Chapter 838: Dongyi

The duo reached Mount Buzhou after another dozen days of walking.

“So this is the legendary Mount Buzhou…” Lu Yun tsk’ed with amazement when he saw the monumental landmass in front of him. If he wasn’t so certain that he was on a planet, he’d really think that this was a pillar holding up the sky.

“Hmm? What are you doing?” He caught a glimpse of a figure stooped on the ground, seemingly studying something. Attention caught, Lu Yun walked over to an erudite-looking young man. Dressed in long purple robes, the young man wore a tiny golden crown in his hair and held a strange looking plate in his hand.

“I’m looking at a part of this world,” the young man replied woodenly as he fixated on a small flower.

“A part of this world?” Lu Yun blinked and crouched down as well to observe the flower.

It was an ordinary flower with no qi or special medicinal qualities. Soft and fragile, it bloomed quietly upon the vast earth.

“There’s a part of our world in this flower?” a baffled Lu Yun asked.

“Of course,” the young man replied absentmindedly. “If our world wasn’t a part of it, how would it exist upon this earth?”

A bolt of lightning seemed to crash into Lu Yun and he goggled at the youth in purple, unable to form words for the longest time. He seemed to be understanding something, but that something remained tantalizingly out of reach. It was like a layer of paper over a window, something just a little foggy and hazy, but strongly resistant to being poked or seen through.

“What are you doing, Lie Shan? Come on!” Shennong’s voice came from far away, sending a tremor through Lu Yun. The youth beside him was gone, leaving just the dainty blossom blooming gently.

“If our world wasn’t a part of the flower, how would it exist upon this earth?” Lu Yun mulled over the last words he’d heard.

“What’s wrong?” Shennong looked askance at the young man.

“Nothing, let’s keep going!” Lu Yun waved his hand.

……

“This is… the human sacred land?” Shock filtered through his eyes when he looked at the bamboo forest teeming with life at the foot of Mount Buzhou. “Is this really the human sacred land?!” His eyes were wide with disbelief.

“This is indeed the human sacred land… the Bamboo Forest. Holy Emperors Fuxi and Wahuang live in the depths of the forest,” Shennong replied hesitantly. Lie Shan had been acting weird ever since meeting Miss Ah Zhi.

Lu Yun took in a deep breath and whispered, “This is plainly a huge tomb, a magnificent, spectacular, and extensive tomb… The human sacred land is established over a tomb?!”

One glance was sufficient to identify a layout to bury heaven and earth. The one resting in this tomb wasn’t buried in just the tomb itself, but in the embrace of all living things. Whoever it was possessed an absolutely unbelievable background. This was the singular grandest and most majestic tomb Lu Yun had ever seen in his life!

“Who goes there, halt and state your names!” A soft whistle came from the bamboo forest ahead of them as a dozen emerald-green feathers nailed the ground before Lu Yun and Shennong.

“Shennong of the Yan Tribe by the Wei River is here with the next Shennong. We wish to meet with the holy emperors!” Shennong announced loudly.

“The holy emperors are hosting guests and cannot see you. Go home!” A young man with three feathers stuck in his hair walked out of the bamboo forest. Contempt danced across his face when he looked at the two visitors.

“If they are busy, we can wait here. Why have us leave?” Shennong frowned and yelled back.

“Piss off when I tell you to. Shouting and yelling like this in front of the sacred land, do you have a death wish?!” The young man notched an arrow to his bow and aimed it at Shennong when he saw the man grow angry.

“I am Shennong, my title was personally bestowed by the emperors themselves. I am one of the greatest leaders of humanity, and you would dare kill me?” Shennong drove the white bone club in his hand into the ground and stood with his head held high.

“So what if I do?” snorted the young man. “This is the sacred land, not your pathetic little Yan Tribe. I’d kill even Xuanyuan, Suiren, or Youchao if they dared give offense in the sacred land, much less you!”

Swoosh!

He loosed the fletching in his hand and shot the arrow at Shennong’s ear, piercing through a stalk of bamboo behind the man.

“Get out!” roared the young man. “Or the next one goes through your throat!”

A vein throbbed on Shennong’s forehead and he almost threw a punch, but Lu Yun clapped a hand on his shoulder.

“Hold it in.” Lu Yun shook his head. “We were attacked by a huge monster spirit when we passed through the Yellow River basin on our way here. I bet that has something to do with this fellow. Judging from the feathers in his hair, he should be from the Dongyi Tribe? [1]

“Since the Dongyi are colluding with monster spirits to assassinate a leader of the human race, we’ll go back immediately and declare war on the Dongyi tribes. We’ll wipe them all out!”

After ten years in the great wilderness, Lu Yun was quite familiar with the local customs of the various large tribes. Skill in archery and wearing feathers in their hair were the trademark of the Dongyi tribes.

Dongyi was an identifier for the many tribes to the north of Qingqiu Mountain. They were a branch of the human race that resided by the banks of the Yellow River, but they weren’t as numerous as those living in the basin proper.

Dongyi and those who lived by the Yellow River often fought each other, their battles actually more devastating than scuffles between tribes along the river. Now that the Yan Tribe had grown so much stronger and all of its people were qi refiners, it wouldn’t be too difficult to destroy all of the Dongyi tribes.

Shennong blinked, then nodded. “Alright, let’s go back!”

The two turned without a second word.

“Hah! Destroy the Dongyi tribes? You’ll have to make it back alive first.” A cold sneer still hung on the young man’s face.

“Ah, yes.” Lu Yun stopped and turned back with a brilliant grin. “Please say hello to Miss Ah Zhi for me and thank her for saving our lives. If it wasn’t for her, we wouldn’t have made it here safely and will probably have to trouble her on our way back as well.”

“What?? Miss Ah Zhi?!” The youth’s face changed drastically. “Get back here!”

“Who’s raising a fuss here and disturbing my sleep?” a lazy girlish voice rose again. “Eh? It’s Shennong and… Lie Shan. Why aren’t you coming inside since you’re already here?”

Yawning, Ah Zhi appeared out of nowhere.

His face now in an appropriate expression, the young man didn’t say anything after Ah Zhi appeared on the scene.

“Miss Ah Zhi, he…” Shennong pointed at the young man, but Lu Yun cut him off.

“We are weary from our long journey and have just arrived at the sacred land. We’ll have to trouble Miss Ah Zhi to show us the way.” He took a thorough look at the lady, then shifted his eyes away.

He didn’t intend on rattling off the young man’s crimes. With Ah Zhi and Fuxi’s strength, there was no way they didn’t know everything that was happening here. For some reason, a strange mixture of unease and anticipation had grown stronger in Lu Yun’s heart since they’d arrived at the sacred land.



1. The Dongyi or Eastern Yi was a collective term for ancient peoples found in Chinese records. The definition of Dongyi varied across the ages, but in most cases referred to inhabitants of eastern China, then later, the Korean peninsula, and Japan. As such, the name "Yí" 夷 was something of a catch-all and was applied to different groups over time.

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