Chapter 836: War

To future generations, such conflicts were civil wars between their ancestors, but to contemporaries of this era, every clan or tribe was an independent entity with its own tribute spirit and totem, and the chiefs held absolute power over their people.

The Yan Tribe was already one of the most powerful in the Wei River basin. If they continued to develop at this rate, they would one day be powerful enough to conquer all of the human tribes in the area and even the banks of the Yellow River at large.

So although the Yan Tribe had yet to start a war, neighboring tribes had formed an alliance to harass them.

Some things, however, couldn’t be changed.

Over the past six years, the Yan Tribe had established a formidable city and its population had exploded from thirty thousand to fifty thousand. Shennong had offered to step down from his position many times, but Lu Yun always turned him down.

Battle formations also emerged in human battles, but that was unplanned. Lu Yun never became directly involved in the scuffles between the primitive tribes, instead focusing on improving the Yan Tribe’s strength. Naturally, his end goal wasn’t to facilitate the progress of only one tribe, but the entire human race as a whole.

Unfortunately, he knew from history that for humans to come together as a single entity, a period of war was an inevitability. At the same time, he was only theoretically aware of what was to come, since this was a world with a completely different progression of history compared to Earth.

……

“The human sacred land?” Lu Yun perked up at Shennong’s words.

“You don’t know about it, Lie Shan?” The boy’s obvious confusion caught Shennong off guard, and his surprise showed. He’d always believed that Lu Yun came from the human sacred land, but now, he wasn’t so sure.

“The human sacred land? It must be a place that guards humanity...” Lu Yun first shook his head, then nodded. “No wonder the human race has managed to survive in the great wilderness despite our lack of strength.”

Shennong smiled wryly. He hadn’t expected his pet theory to be so off the mark… Fortunately, his misunderstanding hadn’t led to disaster, and had instead enabled the tribe to grow rapidly and become the greatest faction along the banks of the Wei River.

Lie Shan’s status in the tribe now rivaled Shennong’s. Even Qingyou, who’d been openly hostile to Lie Shan before, was a firm follower.

“The human sacred land not only protects mankind, but also preserves and passes on human civilization!” Shennong turned solemn. “Suiren drilled into wood to obtain fire, Youchou built houses, Cangjie created the written language, Xuanyuan invented wheels, and Shennong discovered edible crops… These findings have all been passed down to humanity via the sacred land.

“Our feats are recorded in the sacred land too. You, Lie Shan, created the qi refinement method, tested all kinds of plants, pioneered agriculture… Such feats should be reported to the sacred land and shared with all of the human race as well!”

Lu Yun gave Shennong a close look without immediately answering. The chief looked much older than the man he’d met nine years ago, and his hair was peppered with white. Although he cultivated the qi refinement method and was now a ‘qi cultivator’, he was a late bloomer and couldn’t replace his inner energy quickly enough.

He was aging; it couldn’t be avoided.

Although Lu Yun’s cultivation method prolonged life, Shennong’s physical health had been greatly damaged after years of overtaxing himself. Not even Lu Yun could cure him of all his old injuries.

Instead of responding, Lu Yun posed a question of his own. 

“The sacred land preserves the spark of the human race… But have you considered another way to popularize everything that the tribe has undergone?”

Shennong blinked and fell silent.

“War,” Lu Yun continued. He got to his feet and raised his voice. “Start a war and conquer all of the tribes in the Wei River and Yellow River basins. Bring all of their members into our fold! Then the Yan Tribe and the human race will be one and the same, and everything in the tribe will be shared by the human race!”

“Don’t you know how many will die if you do that?!” Veins bulged on Shennong’s forehead. “We don’t fear war, but have you considered how many will lose their homes and be caught in the crossfire as a result?”

“How is that different from our situation now? Do you think the human race is living a good life now? Are there no displaced people without homes, is death not a common occurrence for us?” Shennong was a good man and a good leader, but Lu Yun felt that he stuck too stubbornly to outdated ideas. 

“Nine years ago, on my way to the tribe from Ning Village, I witnessed at least three major tribes and ten lesser ones slaughtered by monsters and spirits.

“Too weak, we’re all too weak compared to everyone else in the great wilderness. In this world where the winner takes all, there is no other way for the human race to survive other than to unite together as a single entity.

“The human sacred land? It may be able to save humanity when we’re on the brink of extinction, but at this moment… the only one who can save us is ourselves.

“Do you really think it’s enough for us to share our knowledge to the other tribes through the sacred land? I can tell you, the answer is a resounding no!

“Why do you think powerful monsters and beasts dare not invade the Yan Tribe? It’s because we have a large population, which allows us to concentrate our strength to protect our tribe. The same logic applies if we are to protect the entire race!

“The human sacred land alone cannot sustain humanity, we must rely on ourselves. As the world never halts from progressing, so must we constantly exert ourselves!”

As if he’d been struck by lightning, Shennong stared dumbly at Lu Yun for a long while.

“I will go to the human sacred land, but a war must be waged! If you refuse to start it, I’ll do it once you hand over your position to me.” Lu Yun’s tone was steely and determined. “Besides, do you really think a war is anything but inevitable? Even if you don’t land the first blow, our neighbors will not tolerate the tribe’s continuous expansion… And the powerful beings in the shadows will not allow the human race to rise in strength.

“A war between humans is the only thing that will make them relax their guard.” 

Shennong sighed. “I understand… But for that I have to pay Holy Emperor Fuxi a visit. He has to make the final decision.”

Holy Emperor Fuxi!

Lu Yun felt a pang in his heart and his anticipation was tinged with a trace of panic.

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etvolare's Thoughts

Dude, you really are recreating Earth's history in the world of immortals. You've just set Shennong on the path to becoming the first emperor of the world, like he is in Chinese mythology.