Chapter 352: The Mammothfolk

Mammoth Force glared ominously at Yang Qi, and then back at Yan Wubing. It seemed like he was debating whether to keep on fighting, and the malice in his eyes couldn’t have been more intense. He had lost a huge amount of face, a humiliation that he couldn’t simply accept blithely.

However, after a moment, he let out a long breath which seemed to calm him down. “Your name is Yang Qi, right? You’ve made a big mistake here. But I need to take the high road, so I'm not going to stand around bickering. In the future, be careful. I know full well that you’re from the Rich-Lush Continent. Your whole family is still there, right? Piss me off, and everyone you know might get wiped out.”

“I dare you to do that,” Yang Qi said grimly. “If you touch a single person I know, or harm a single blade of grass in the Rich-Lush Continent, I’ll slaughter you. I swear it.”

Mammoth Force threw his head back and let out a stream of laughter. “You still think you’re a match for me? If old coot Yan hadn’t interfered, my Echo Heaven, Mirror Earth would have killed you, you puny Legendary. How dare you kill my subordinates! After besmirching my glory and might the way you have, if I didn't teach you a lesson, then people would think I'm a paper tiger. You just wait and see what happens eventually. It's not like old coot Yan is going to follow you around your whole life. Come on men, let’s go!”

With that, he turned and vanished, followed by his mumbling, cursing subordinates.

Yan Wubing watched them go. “Young Master, you seem to get more impressive by the moment. I wonder when you’ll finally reach the Great Sage level. Your humble servant really looks forward to that day.”

“It won’t be long now,” Yang Qi replied. Lowering his voice, he continued, “The truth is that I had to use every scrap of true energy I had to keep Mammoth Force in check just now. I'm really not a match for him. After all, he’s a high-level Great Sage, and my cultivation base is much weaker.” This was the conclusion Yang Qi had come to after the fight.

Mammoth Force was too far above him in cultivation level, and once he used that Echo Heaven, Mirror Earth energy art, Yang Qi really wasn’t a match for him. He would have lost, although, there was no way Mammoth Force would have succeeded in killing him.

“You’re right, Young Master, your cultivation level is just a bit too low. In the Hanging Mountain, Legendaries are considered ordinary disciples, and Lifeseizers are like servants. We follow the old ways, in which Legendaries are energy warriors, and are considered beginners in the ways of energy cultivation. Only when you reach the Great Sage level can you be considered a saint or sage. Young Master, please, follow me. I'm going to take you deeper into the Plateau of the Leviathan, to the perfect location to work on your cultivation. Plus, you can meet someone of very high rank here in the Hanging Mountain.”

“Sounds good,” Yang Qi said. “When do you think I’ll be able to see my mother?”

“She’ll be out of seclusion within the next few days. After everything has been arranged for you, we’ll notify her. I wouldn't be surprised if she comes out of seclusion early just to see you.”

“I can wait. After twenty years, what do a few days count for? Make whatever arrangements need to be made. Besides, I need to get to the Great Sage level as quickly as possible. I can tell that the Hanging Mountain is no place of peace and quiet. Unless I'm strong enough, I stand no chance of surviving.”

“It’s good you already understand that, Young Master. Most outsiders think of the Hanging Mountain as a holy land for the Demonfolk. And the truth is that the Demonfolk are in the majority. From ancient times until now, they’ve been a bloodthirsty and violent lot, very similar to devils. In fact, as far as many of us are concerned, there is little difference between a demon and a devil.” All of a sudden, a twinkle of pity flashed through Yan Wubing’s eyes. “In the end, we humans are the most orderly, moral, educated, and civil. Those are the areas where we are superior to demons and devils. The original sagely ancestor of humans actually invented the concepts of etiquette, virtue, and morals. He taught us how to keep desire and lust in check, which is the reason our grand culture flourished.”

Yang Qi shook his head. “Even in the Rich-Lush Continent, the law of the jungle prevails, and the weak are the prey of the strong. If you ask me, human culture isn't very moral at its core.”  [1] 

“Well, the Rich-Lush Continent doesn’t count as a truly human civilization. Neither does the Quake-Dawn Continent. I’ve personally observed true human empires, ones that existed at the highest level of advancement. All of their citizens were refined, gentle and courteous. They cared for the elderly and nurtured the young. They weren’t interested in fighting and killing, nor did they compete with each other. Everyone lived peacefully, day in, day out, year after year. They were truly eternal paradises.” [2]

Yan Wubing’s eyes seemed to lose focus, as though he were thinking about that life of eternal peace.

“Is my mother Demonfolk?” Yang Qi asked. “If the August Patriarch is a megamammoth, then it stands to reason that my mother would also have Demonfolk blood.”

“No,” Yan Wubing said, shaking his head. “She's human. And your father was human too. In fact, so am I. Like I said before, all types of living creatures are allowed in the Hanging Mountain, including humans. And any of them can become the Holy Mother or the August Patriarch. Although, from ancient times until now, the tradition was always for Demonfolk to take those positions. That’s why outsiders call this place a holy land of the Demonfolk. The truth is that, throughout history, the Demonfolk are only one major faction. Eventually, human sages and human immortals rose up, and some claimed to be guided by the legion of gods. That was when they announced that they were a different and unique people, separate from demons, devils, ghosts, and the like.”

“My mother is human? And my father too?” For some reason, Yang Qi felt a bit better. He had always lived among humans, and would have found it hard to accept that he was actually one of the Demonfolk.

Of course, by now, his blood was not that of humans, but that of the gods. And that went all the way down to his bones. But in the end, he preferred the culture and civilization of humans, not the bloodthirsty, cold, murderous lifestyle of the Demonfolk.

By this point in their conversation, Yang Qi and Yan Wubing had reached the depths of the Plateau of the Leviathan, where an enormous city rose up in front of them. It was a clean, orderly place, and although there were few people present, an immense energy lurked within it, as though this was a place where top experts would practice cultivation.

All of a sudden, before they could even reach the main gate of the city, Yan Wubing suddenly cried out in a loud voice. 

“Father Leviathan! The young master is here! Why haven’t you come out to greet him? Get off that high horse of yours!”

As of this moment, Yan Wubing didn't seem sickly or weak at all.

RUMBLE!

The entire city vibrated, and a massive wave of true energy rolled out, creating a wide path for Yan Wubing and Yang Qi to walk along. As they headed into the city, Yang Qi could see that, at the end of the path, in the middle of the huge city, there was an old man with bright blue hair that draped down over his shoulders. His eyes were as blue as the ocean, and when he looked at Yang Qi, his gaze felt like the waves of the sea.

This old man was the Father Leviathan that Yan Wubing had just called out to. His name came from the fact that he was one of the Demonfolk, and was the incarnation of an actual leviathan.

Megamammoths and leviathans were similar. One was the largest type of animal on land, the other was the largest in the oceans. Both represented the ultimate level of strength. Furthermore, the entire Plateau of the Leviathan was the remains of an enormous leviathan from ancient times. [3]

Among all the Demonfolk that resided on the Plateau of the Leviathan, it was obviously the leviathans who occupied the highest position of authority.

Father Leviathan was flanked by a group of Great Sages whose eyes flickered like lightning. All of them pulsed with demon energy, although theirs differed slightly from Father Leviathan’s. Yang Qi could sense the auras of tigers, snakes, cranes, and other wild beasts and birds.

“Young Master, this is the ruler of the Plateau of the Leviathan, the venerable Leviathan Truesoaring. Over here is Tiger Overlord, Snake Nine-Yangs, Crane Aeonson….” He went on to introduce everyone present. “Everyone here is a figure of note in the Plateau of the Leviathan, and also powerful and important in the Hanging Mountain in general. Furthermore, they’re all loyal to the Holy Mother. Young Master, you can further your cultivation here, and wait for the Holy Mother to come out of seclusion. You can also wait for word to come down from the heavens above about the upcoming training competition. Hopefully, you’ll be a Great Sage by the time that happens.”

The various demons rose to their feet in greeting. 

“Well met, Young Lord.”

Apparently, it really was true that Yang Qi’s identity as the son of the Holy Mother was an open secret. The only one who didn’t rise was Father Leviathan. Cupping his hands in greeting, he gave Yang Qi an approving smile and said, “Well, you’re just what I expected to see of the Holy Mother’s son. You've lost her no face, that's for sure. I was watching your tussle with Mammoth Force, and the fact that you, a Legendary, actually stood up to him without being killed, well, that’s spectacular!”

“Senior, I wouldn’t dare to accept such flattery,” Yang Qi replied humbly.

“It’s no flattery,” Father Leviathan said. “That whelp Mammoth Force had no choice but to flee with his tail between his legs. He probably coughed up a whole stomachful of blood after he returned home. He’s violent, brutal, arrogant, ruthless, and completely cruel. You really put him in his place. Although, you need to be careful. He's the type who will seek revenge over the smallest grievance, and is no doubt already plotting a way to get back at you. We’ll do our best to keep you safe, but we can’t be by your side at all times.”

Another of the Demon Sages said, “You need to be especially careful over the next few days.”

“Many thanks for your words of counsel,” Yang Qi said. “I’ll keep that in mind. But if he’s the type that will seek revenge over the smallest grievance, then once I'm a Great Sage, I guess I’ll just kill him.” From Yang Qi’s tone of voice, it was as if he were talking about killing someone he thought to be as dangerous as a naughty toddler.

“That's the spirit!”

“This is exactly how the Holy Mother’s son should act! You know, you’re a lot like her. She wouldn’t show fear even if the sky were collapsing! Well, let’s see if you really can kill Mammoth Force after you’re a Great Sage. The megamammoths are natural-born fighters, so if you challenge him to a duel to the death, he won’t refuse.”

“I couldn't be happier that the Holy Mother’s son is like this.”

“I truly hope that you can defy heaven in the future. We’ve been getting a lot of pressure from the heaven above lately.”

“Hey, there’s no need to bring that up now. He’s only a Legendary! And even if he were a Demi-Immortal, he wouldn't be able to stand up to pressure from the heaven on high. He’d definitely need to advance into the dao of Demolishing first.”

“Alright, enough chatter,” Yan Wubing said. “Talk like this could bring tribulation down on our heads. I’ll go to the Holy Mother’s secluded meditation location to notify her of the latest updates. She’ll definitely be thrilled to hear about the young master’s debut in the Hanging Mountain.”

“Don't worry, we’ll care for the young master,” Father Leviathan said.

“I trust you, Father Leviathan,” Yan Wubing said. “In the Plateau of the Leviathan, no one is stronger than you. Of course, it would be a different matter elsewhere.” With that, Yan Wubing faded into the void, disappearing without a trace.

** 

Some distance away from the Plateau of the Leviathan was a floating castle, in which Mammoth Force had devolved into a fit of rage. Slashing out with his enormous axe, he split an asteroid in two, unleashing a spatial tempest.

“Damnation! I have to kill that Yang Qi, no matter what!”


1. In both ISSTH and AWE, there was a common way to describe the cultivation world, which I usually translated as “the law of the jungle”. Directly translated, the Chinese expression is “the weak are the meat that the strong eat” or “the weak are the prey of the strong”. If you look up that term in the dictionary, it also lists definitions such as “law of the jungle” or “survival of the fittest”. In this passage, it uses a different Chinese expression that literally translates as “law of the jungle”. Going forward, I'm switching, and will use “the weak are the prey of the strong” for the term that I previously translated as “law of the jungle”. For all intents and purposes, they are synonymous, as you can tell from this passage.

2. In Chinese, it’s very easy to make things vague. In this passage in Chinese, it’s impossible to tell whether he visited “an empire” or “empires”. There is also no way to tell whether he is talking about a time in the distant past (implying that the empire in question doesn't exist), or whether he's talking about something that he saw only a few days ago. I opted to go with "empires" in this passage because I feel that it would be possible for someone to use the plural to reminisce about the singular, but not vice versa. For example, take me. As an American who lived in China, I could theoretically wish to hide my expat background and tell someone "I've seen countries where the pollution is horrible", when in fact I'm actually referring to a single country.

3. I think I’ve already put in two or three footnotes about this, so this is the final one. Leviathan literally means “giant whale” 巨鲸 in Chinese, whereas megamammoth is “giant elephant” 巨象. So in Chinese, they both have the 巨 character which means “giant”, making a comparison between the two of them very apt.

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