Chapter 897: The Struggle for Legitimacy

As the crowd watched on with gazes overwhelmed by shock, Lu Yun walked through the void and arrived in front of the Builder Tree.

Whoosh!

Hellfire ignited with a fury and set his body on fire, prompting fear from the Builder Tree as it sensed the approach of hellfire. This kind of flame happened to be the precise counter to the foremost divine tree beneath the heavens.

“Fine! I’ll give you Ling Weiyang! Take him and get out of my kingdom!” ‘Goumang’ yelled with indignation. In his eyes, the tree was far more important than a constitution of the great dao.

“I will still destroy the tree if there's even a hair missing from his head.” Lu Yun was completely unrelenting. 

Caught mid-action in extinguishing Ling Weiyang’s true spirit, the realm monster jerked to a halt. He could see that the Sal Tree mirage had already formed outside the Builder Tree, whereupon boundless hellfire streamed in from the void and surrounded the tree he was in.

Goumang’s hand froze in the air, and he fiercely grounded his teeth before throwing Ling Weiyang out. 

“I’ll self-detonate in human territory if you dare destroy the Builder Tree, just try me!” he snarled.

Lu Yun caught Ling Weiyang with a snort and left the Mu nation with Ah Bao and Tushan.

……

Tushan reverted to her fox form and burrowed into Lu Yun’s robes, sending a wave of resignation through the youth. The little fox had once been partial to Qing Yu’s embrace, but now she clung to him whenever possible.

She was plainly on the path of recovery and had reached peak celestial human realm, placing just one step away from human king. She counted as a quasi-great master of combat arts, but for some reason, she still liked burrowing into Lu Yun’s robes in her true form.

Unfortunately for him, Lu Yun had no other choice in this situation.

Ling Weiyang said not a word on their way out of the Mu nation. He hadn’t known the truth before, and had only learned of it after he entered the Builder Tree and met Goumang’s true spirit. It’d never occurred to him that the Mu ruler he’d known all along was a fake.

“Was that a realm monster?” he suddenly asked.

“Yes, that is the number one threat to the great wilderness.” Lu Yun nodded.

“Mm.” Ling Weiyang fell silent once more. A tiny sapling was rooted to his nascent spirit—the future zombie tree. It was a small branch of the Builder Tree that Goumang had personally grafted into Ling Weiyang’s soul in his childhood.

Ling Weiyang was now one with the sapling and couldn’t be parted from it.

The group quickly arrived in human territory. After an unprecedented increase in strength upon the establishment of the human dao, some humans had broken through to the human king realm.

However, conflict between the tribes was even worse than before. The antagonism and disputes that demon gods had previously sowed among the human race exploded completely out of control. Apart from the Yan and Xiong tribes, as well as some of the other larger tribes, the remaining ones all devolved into furious battles.

Thirty percent of humanity died in less than two years!

During Lu Yun’s travels to the Mu and Jin nations and challenge of Asura and Dijiang, Tianqi and Bingyi made use of the time to kill three chaos realm demon gods. Add to that Lu Yun’s defeat of his two opponents, that well and truly awed the great wilderness—no one dared interfere with humanity’s affairs ever again.

Most of the Dongyi tribes had surrendered to tribes in the Yellow River basin, and the human race had essentially split into two camps: the Yan Tribe along the Wei River Basin, and the Xiong Tribe along the Ji River basin.

The Xiong Tribe grew at an explosive pace after the establishment of the human dao. Several of its members broke through to human king realm, and if it wasn’t for Tianqi in the Yan Tribe, the latter wouldn’t have been able to maintain its footing in the race.

At the same time, these two tribes were the only ones not embroiled in the flames of war due to their strength.

Battles and dissension flew thickly between the tribes. Yan and Xiong furiously recruited all of the factions around them, slowly consolidating the entire race.

In the twentieth year of Lu Yun arriving in the great wilderness, humanity’s internal conflict gradually calmed down and the two great human alliances were officially established.

Connate demon gods had increasingly withdrawn from the world stage at this point, focusing their efforts on studying cultivation methods so that they could break through and become a creator. The great wilderness thus slowly became a planet ruled by humans.

Chief of the Yan Tribe, Shennong, abdicated his position and confirmed Lie Shan as the new Shennong, whereupon Lie Shan hailed himself as an emperor with the title of the Flame Emperor! [ref[Yan is the character for fire. We could go with Yan Emperor if people prefer, but I thought the English would make more sense. Both names are used in actual Chinese mythology.[/ref]

The human dao resonated with the title as soon as it appeared, and the heavenly dao acknowledged Lu Yun’s identity as the first great emperor of the human race!

The title even made its way to the human sacred land, to become a personage venerated by all members of humanity.

That naturally drew the ire of Xuanyuan—chief of the Xiong Tribe. Though Lie Shan had accomplished enormous achievements for humans and could even be listed among the first generation Shennong, Xuanyuan, Youchao, and Suiren as a fellow saint, he refused to accept that Lie Shan was now the emperor of humanity.

It wasn’t that he nursed bitterness in his heart, but that he, too, cherished his own ambitions. He felt that given enough time, he would also become a great master like Lie Shan and vie against the powerhouses of the great wilderness. He would also be able to carve out a paradise for humanity!

But if the Flame Emperor was accepted now, then that would forever be a weight on his head and a thundercloud he’d never be able to get rid of.

Xuanyuan’s cultivation had also advanced by leaps and bounds beneath the human dao, and he was a peak expert of the race now. But one was easily affected by shadows over their dao heart, and further progress would be obstructed if one’s mind fell into despondency.

……

True to his usual style, Lu Yun handed over all administrative power to the previous Shennong as soon as he became the Flame Emperor. He bent his mind to studying the current iteration of human dao and used formula dao to determine where humanity’s future could be found.

“Humanity’s path… lies not in the great wilderness!” He shook as he stood up and looked to the sky.

The world of celestials!

Up in the cosmos, there was a vast world that was bigger than the great wilderness and even the stars beyond.

Taiyi had occupied this world when he first founded his celestial court, becoming the legitimate ruler of the realm. In the same vein, humanity would have to form their own court in that world if they wanted to become the masters of the great wilderness and protagonists of the realm!

The great wilderness was the heart of this realm and its roots, whereas the world of celestials was the place of origin for the heavenly dao. However, a group of demon gods currently squatted in the central zone of that world—where Taiyi’s court was once located. There was nothing that Leize or Fuxi could do about them either.

They’d once been demon gods loyal to Taiyi, but had immediately proclaimed themselves as the legitimate successors of the celestial court upon Taiyi’s death. God had once kept the world of celestials under control, but now God had also fallen.

“This isn’t some struggle against the heavens or a rebellion of any sort, but a struggle for legitimacy! The connate demon gods in the world of celestials represent the last fortunes of their kind in the great wilderness. We’ll have to kick them out if humanity is to be the master of this realm,” Lu Yun murmured as he looked up at the sky.

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