Chapter 360: Battle of Experts

“Young Master, you’re just like the Holy Mother. You’ve blessed your humble servant with a new lease on life. I'm not going to forget this, Young Master.” Yan Wubing's face shone with enlightenment. He looked like a weary traveler who, in the middle of a pitch-black night, had suddenly caught sight of the light of an inn up ahead. Thanks to the sagelight given by Yang Qi, questions he had pondered for a long time were suddenly answered. The glory of the legion of gods made everything clear.

When a person with a cultivation base as powerful as his received sudden, profound enlightenment, it always came with a terrifying increase in power.

Crick. Crack…. All of his joints began to creak. His bones extended, and filled with more life force than before. He immediately stopped coughing, and his skin grew smoother and more lustrous. He almost looked like he had reverted to a younger version of himself.

He even began to pulse with a strong immortal energy.

No longer was he stooped and withered. His hair was long and black, and his eyebrows were like swords. His eyes seemed like they could pierce heaven above.

‘After all these years,’ he thought, ‘I finally feel like I might achieve another breakthrough.’

In the briefest of moments, Yan Wubing changed from being a sick old man into a strapping youth, capable of shouldering heaven and earth, an immortal-spirit capable of fighting relentlessly and without stop.

“The glory is from the legion of gods, but the strength is your own,” Yang Qi said, his heart as calm as could be. Raising his voice, he said, “Faith in the Legion of Gods Will be Rewarded; Betray the Legion of Gods, and Lose Everything.”

RUMBLE!

Yan Wubing clenched his hands into fists and then struck a ready fighting pose. In response, heaven and earth trembled as though they might explode and change back into primal-chaos.

‘He’s about to break through!’ Father Leviathan thought, shocked. ‘His lifespan is close to rivaling that of heaven. That means that soon, there will be a place for him in heaven!’ [1] Shocked, Leviathan Truesoaring looked at Yang Qi and then back at Yan Wubing. ‘It was actually the young master who helped Yan Wubing break through his shackles, and head even closer to the Demi-Immortal level? This is crazy! Who… who is the young master exactly?’

Yang Qi was currently settling down cross-legged to watch events play out, with a very enigmatic and profound look in his eyes.

“We’re going to end this right now, Ape Heavenhelve!” Yan Wubing said. “You’ve profaned the name of the young master, and for that, you will die!” Without any warning, he extended his fingers, changing his hands from fists to knifehands. [2]

Suddenly, heaven motes swirled around his hands in eye-catching fashion. In the blink of an eye, Yan Wubing seemed to connect on numerous levels with heaven and earth.

Then, he began to stride forward, his hands swirling through the air with infinite variations. Finally, they settled back into twin knifehands which slashed forward, ripping apart the air as they moved toward Ape Heavenhelve.

‘What's going on? How did things change so quickly?’ A look of shock overtook Ape Heavenhelve’s face as he said, “What is this, Yan Wubing? And you, Yang Qi… what are you doing?!”

As the chief of the Apefolk in the Hanging Mountain, Ape Heavenhelve had devoted plenty of resources to investigating Yan Wubing, and thought he knew him well. Therefore, these sudden changes had caught him completely off guard.

However, it only took him a moment to collect himself, clear his mind, and brandish his dual-crescent-bladed halberd.

Ape Heavenhelve was an Epic Saga Sage, and not the type of person who would make casual slip-ups in a fight. In the blink of an eye, he was already immersed in a state of battle-readiness.

Seven Stances of the Heavenly Plow!” His halberd suddenly resembled an enormous plow, hewing enormous rifts into space itself, out of which poured numerous gigantic apes, all of which could perform incredible feats of martial arts. [3]

Bam!

Yan Wubing’s knifehands smashed into the halberd, sending meteor-like sparks showering out in all directions.

Aaaiiiieee!

Some of the nearby Demon Sages were too slow to dodge out of the way, and when the sparks hit them, they were instantly transformed into ash. Everyone else who saw that immediately fled as quickly as possible.

Leviathan Truesoaring was sure to keep Yang Qi safe, but at the same time, kept his eye on the fighting.

As for Yang Qi, he also watched closely, taking note of every single attack unleashed by either party. As space shattered around them, it almost seemed like they were fighting in slow motion, but at the same time, with the speed of lightning. After all, both of them had personal domains that could interfere with time itself, which made observing them a tricky task. In the end, Yang Qi was forced to open his Lord's Eye, which revealed everything with perfect clarity.

Yan Wubing and Ape Heavenhelve fought back and forth, slowly rising higher and higher into the air as they did.

A serene look could be seen on Yan Wubing’s face; his true energy flowed with ease, and his quintessence energy surged. It almost seemed like he was connecting to an immortal plane, causing immortal energy to surge down and bolster his attacks.

“Fine, Yan Wubing. Considering you’ve broken through to this level, I'm not going to hold anything back! Echo Heaven, Mirror Earth!

RUMBLE!

Ape Heavenhelve suddenly resorted to another powerful divine ability. He hunched over, howling at the top of his lungs as his eyes began to glow like suns and moons. Then, his forehead split open to reveal a third eye, which erupted with golden light, slamming into his halberd and releasing a stream of blood-colored magical symbols, which swirled behind him to take the shape of nine pairs of enormous wings. 

“Bloodflow Wings!”

In that moment, Ape Heavenhelve’s energy suddenly seemed to surge high enough to rival that of Yan Wubing’s.

“Echo Heaven, Mirror Earth is an ancient divine ability of the Mammothfolk,” Yan Wubing said. “You’ve studied it too, I see. Seems you really have made a deal with August Patriarch Mammoth Heaven. So that's why you want to kill the young master. Sadly for you, I'm here.”

“I'm going to kill you and that young master of yours!” Ape Heavenhelve said. Then he spat out a stream of blood that turned into a river. Stepping onto the river, he threw his head back and roared, causing the stars to shake, and wild energy to surge out from every hair that covered his body. In that moment, he seemed to connect with countless planes in the universe, as though every hair on him was a space-time wormhole reaching out into the depths of heaven and earth.

“See if you can handle this move. Apefolk Ascendant: Multitudinous Phenomena!”

He slashed out with his halberd, and flapped his Bloodflow Wings.

Yan Wubing’s only reaction was to unleash another fist strike.

Bam!

The fist struck the halberd, and then Yan Wubing’s fingers slid into the shape of a hook, which latched onto the blade, completely locking it into place.

“Uproot Mountains and Rivers!” Ape Heavenhelve shouted, tugging at the halberd with shocking force. As he did, all of his fur stood on end, making him almost look like an enormous porcupine.

WHOOSH!

He finally managed to wrench the halberd out of Yan Wubing’s grasp, and then stab it back toward the man’s forehead. Clearly, he wanted to hit him in the ancestral aperture, and exterminate his soul. [4]

And yet, Yan Wubing didn’t dodge to the side. Instead, he just reached out again, grabbed the razor-sharp blade of the halberd, and shoved it to the side.

The force of the move transformed the blade into nothing more than ash.

“Be broken!” he said, taking another step forward. With that, he struck the haft of the halberd, shattering it. In the blink of an eye, the weapon was completely destroyed.

Having no time to contemplate what move to use next, Ape Heavenhelve shouted, “Heaven-Propping Pillar!” 

All of a sudden, the sky seemed to rip open, and a huge pillar appeared, rising up as if to prop up heaven, surrounded by swirling flows of azure energy. [5]

This was none other than one of the Heaven-Propping Pillars that supported the sky.

And yet, Ape Heavenhelve leaped up, reached out with his hand into the plane which had just opened up, and actually grabbed onto the pillar. Then, he wrenched it out into the open, which made it seem as though all of the primal-chaos vital energy in the area might collapse.

“I've been training with this Heaven-Propping Pillar for thirteen hundred years in a unique plane of existence. Who would have thought that I would need to summon it early to drink of the blood of an Epic Saga Sage? Don’t blame me for this, Yan Wubing. In the face of my Apefolk Ascendant technique, you’ll become nothing but a stepping stone for me.”

With the Heaven-Propping Pillar in his hands, Ape Heavenhelve’s white fur turned golden, making him seem completely and utterly holy.

“The Golden Monkey Raises his 30,000 Catty Staff, Clearing the Dust and Creating a Sparkling Sky!” [6]

Ape Heavenhelve struck out with the enormous pillar, with force that vastly surpassed anything he had unleashed with the halberd before. After all, the Heaven-Propping Pillar was a precious treasure of the Apefolk, and one of their most ultimate weapons. It was designed to crush heaven and earth.

In an instant, the crushing power was descending onto Yan Wubing.

Yan Wubing looked up placidly at the descending Heaven-Propping Pillar, then extended his hand. As he did, the eight trigrams and nine palaces appeared in his palm, making him seem like a primal-chaos elder-god. [7]

Bam!

His hand clamped down onto the Heaven-Propping Pillar.

The chiefs of the Lionfolk, Sharkfolk and others were all stunned to the point where their scalps tingled. 

“This….”

“Is that the fabled Primal-Origin Battle God Fist?”

“It is! That's a lost art that once belonged to the Humanfolk of primeval times, supposedly created by Celestial Primal-Origin. Each strike from that fist art can sunder heaven and crush earth! I can’t believe that Yan Wubing successfully mastered it!”

“The Heaven-Propping Pillar is a precious treasure of the Apefolk, forged in a special plane by sacrificing numerous god items! Only the most elite experts could possibly wield it. And yet, Yan Wubing stopped it with his bare hand? How strong is he?”

“Strong. Too strong! He’s reached the level in which aging is reversed, and one changes from being old to being young again. How did this happen? Don’t tell me it was the Holy Mother’s son! That brat is only an eighth level energy warrior, so how could he possibly channel planetary power into another person?”

“The mere thought is terrifying.”

Around this time, a group of Demon Sages from the Rocfolk appeared, including Roc Glory. And when he saw what was happening, he shivered in terror.


1. I mentioned a long time ago that “demi-immortal” is one of the few terms I chose not to translate directly. The literal translation is “a place in heaven” or something like that. I tried out a lot of variations on that theme, but didn't come up with anything I really liked. And since the actual explanation of the level is that it is “half-immortal”, I decided to go with “demi-immortal”. Since the play on words of “a place in heaven” is not particularly relevant to the plot, I felt safe to interpret the term in this way. This paragraph in this chapter is pretty much the only place in the novel where the play on words is relevant.

2. A knifehand is your typical “karate chop” hand position.

3. Fun fact: the “heavenly plow” is “Li Tian” in transliteration. It’s a very obscure term that I wasn’t able to find any information about. Actually, when you search for the term on the Chinese internet, the main results are Li Tian, the author of Sovereign of the Three Realms. I asked Etvo about it, but she seems to think it’s a coincidence.

4. It's been a while since the ancestral aperture was brought up (specifically chapters 136 and 204), so I guess this is a good time for a reminder that it's the acupoint in the forehead. This will be the last reminder.

5. Fun fact: in the mythological sense the ‘Heaven-Propping Pillar’ can be taken literally to be a pillar that props up heaven. It’s also a Chinese idiom that means “the most important leader of a cause”. AND it is how they translate Optimus Prime into Chinese 🤖.

6. This is a line of poetry written by Mao Zedong who is considered to be a competent poet, although not incredible. The poem essentially refers to the “great sage Sun Wukong” (the monkey king), raising his magical staff to expel the demons and devils, and create a new world. Check out more of Chairman Mao’s poetry here.

7. The ‘nine palaces’ here refers to the arrangement of stars, immortals, elements, winds, colors, numbers etc. according to the eight trigrams.

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