High up in the skies, a giant silhouette passed over the pair, blocking off the moon and all light at the same time. Just from its shadow alone, one could see that its wingspan greatly exceeded the four to five zhang described by Ning Chen.
Little Mingyue’s face seized up in anxiety as her hands gripped down tightly onto the teen’s neck in panic. No matter how strong willed of a girl she was, she couldn’t help but be frightened by such an unknown monster.
The strange bird let forth a long screech before promptly changing course and diving for the two of them.
Seeing that Ning Chen’s eyes grew cold. Kicking off with his feet, he transformed into a ray of silvery light and shot into the sky in a display of gravity defying prowess.
His sword sliced into the belly of the strange bird and immediately right after, a gush of blood burst forth from a gaping wound more than one zhang long. Yet, this strange bird was simply too large to be downed like that; based on his rough estimation, it had to at least be over 10 zhang wide. Thus, it merely flew off at high speeds after letting forth a distraught bird screech.
At that same time, Ning Chen landed softly on his feet and after noticing that the strange bird had already disappeared, he couldn’t help but furrow his eyebrows.
Exactly what was that thing just now? To think that a slash with his full power wasn’t enough to bifurcate it completely; its body was a lot tougher than he had initially thought.
Looks like he had to be a lot more cautious in a primeval location like this. There were simply too many hidden dangers lurking around the corner.
Suddenly, an ear-splitting roar echoed across the heavens and cleared the horizon of birds in an instant. The earth itself began to tremble in fear of that mighty roar as if an earthquake had struck it.
At that, the grip around Ning Chen’s neck grew even tighter, behind him, the girl’s face had grown noticeably tenser. However, Ning Chen merely continued on his way calmly, bloody sword still drawn out and dripping blood. He knew tonight wasn’t going to be a smooth journey.
No wonder the Qizhou Mountain Range was basically impassable and shunned by people, even martial practitioners. Just that strange bird alone wasn’t something a martial practitioner below the seventh-grade could handle.
All those days ago when he fell down that cliff, he met one as well. Today, he met another. Looks like these birds weren’t as rare as he had initially thought.
Truly, monsters were a dime a dozen nowadays; today, even more so.
It was at that moment that the earth suddenly shook and a gigantic fist descended from the heavens. Like a tiny mountain, its weight was enough to suffocate those around it.
Seeing that, Ning Chen couldn’t help but narrow his eyes before retreating back half a step. Immediately right after, he closed his left fist and a burst of dark yellow light rushed forth. The True Qi around his body began rapidly circulating around his entire body before finally coalescing behind a titanic punch towards the sky.
With a thunderous rumble, the air around the teen exploded outwards. All around, the ancient trees and plants scattered before the devastating shockwave, shattering into tiny pieces as they careened through the air.
Finally, the owner of that giant fist revealed itself. It was actually a 10 zhang (33m) tall ape!
Body covered entirely in dense chestnut fur, it had an almost disfigured face that seemed all the more terrifying to onlookers.
The giant ape raised its head and bellowed into the heavens. Instantly, the frightening sound waves generated a violent windstorm that ravaged the surroundings.
“A mere beast dares to act so arrogantly?! Kneel!”
Ning Chen coldly harrumphed before releasing his closed fingers into an open palm which restrained the fist of the giant ape. As he did that, the Qi of dense earth within him exploded forth and promptly tugged at the giant beast.
All one could hear was a resounding bang before, suddenly, the giant ape lost its balance and fell to its knees causing a momentary earthquake.
The Ink Sword stirred and a second later, its blade was covered in a layer of deadly frost ready to reap the life of this beast. Yet just as Ning Chen was about to end its life, he was stopped by a shout from little Ming Yue.
“Don’t kill it.”
At that, Ning Chen frowned a little. When did little Ming Yue become so soft-hearted? As a monarch, such benevolence was unbecoming.
“We’re the ones who intruded upon its territory, all it was doing was protecting its home.” She explained in a soft voice.
At that same moment, the giant ape’s ugly face turned into one of fear as it lowered its head in submission.
Not willing to reject her wishes, Ning Chen finally stowed his Ink Sword and in a cold voice, said: “Get up.”
Hearing that, the giant ape actually stood up as if it could understand what he just said.
“Move aside, don’t block the way.” He said, brows furrowed as he looked at the big lug standing right in the middle of the path.
*shuffle shuffle* The giant ape gingerly stepped aside as if it was afraid the slightest noise could garner the ire of the terrifying human.
“I’ll walk myself.”
“Alright.” He answered before squatting down to allow the little girl to dismount.
Reaching out to hold his huge hands, she then turned to the big lug of an ape and smiled after which she went on her merry way.
Following her lead, Ning Chen gave the giant ape a thoughtful look as he passed by it. This big lug had probably come into contact with humans before and perhaps even interacted with them for a substantial amount of time. If it wasn’t for that, there’s no way it could understand his words so well.
After all, no matter how intelligent a lifeform was, there’s no way they would know the language of humans from birth. Humans themselves couldn’t do it, let alone an ape.
Looks like someone had been here before but exactly who was that person? To think he was bold enough and bored enough to teach a monster the human language.
As he thought about that, Ning Chen halted for a moment before turning to face the giant ape and raising his voice: “Hey, the big lug over there, have you seen a human before?
“Woo.” It nodded its head.
“Can you lead us there?”
“Woo.” It nodded once more.
Gripping down tightly on the little girl’s hands, a ray of light appeared below his feet after which the both of them appeared once more on the ape’s shoulders. “Let’s go.”
“Rooaarrr!” It bellowed into the sky, scaring the little girl in that very instant.
It had to be said that the ancient trees of this forest were all extremely tall. Even though the giant ape was already an astonishing ten over zhang tall, it wasn’t all that visible amongst these towering trees. Compared to them, it seemed more like a child standing amongst adults.
Throughout their bumpy ride, they would often bump into multiple tree branches. Given how sturdy the ape’s muscles were, it naturally wasn’t affected by that at all. Little Ming Yue on the other hand clearly wasn’t that sturdy. Thus, throughout this entire ride, the one who had it roughest was Ning Chen who had to use his True Qi to shield her from start to end in case she got injured by a stray branch.
*whoosh whoosh whoosh*
It wasn’t long before they heard the roaring sounds of a waterfall from what looked like a clearing ahead. Cutting through the last few rows of trees, the giant ape arrived in front of an ancient plunge pool and finally came to a stop.
The scenery abrupted opened up as they gazed in wonder at the sheer cliff in front of them that stretched over a hundred zhang tall. Turning to the center, their vision was completely dominated by the furious rush of water from above. As glittering water tumbled down the sheer cliff, it grew ever faster and ever more effervescent as if it was a bunch of watery flowers cascading from the heavens.
By the time it reached the bottom, the waterfall looked more like a silky white sash flowing down the cliff. It was as if the top and bottom were two entirely separate sections of the waterfall.
Right at the very bottom, the water scattered against the pond in a breathtaking explosion of watery mist that almost seemed like an avalanche. All around, the surroundings rumbled with the thunderous sounds of the waterfall as if there were a thousand horse galloping through this astonishingly majesty scene.
“To think there was such a treasured land hidden within this mountain range.”
Just standing in front of the pond, he could feel the two Qi whirlpools in him stir, they were telling him that the spiritual energies in this region was several folds denser than the outside world.
As usual, little girls weren’t able to resist such beautiful objects. Looking at the majestic waterfalls, she couldn’t help but stare in wonderment.
Hands wrapped securely around her, Ning Chen hopped off the ape’s shoulders with Ming Yue and lightly grazed the almost crystalline surface of the pool. It was cool but it wasn’t a biting coldness.
“Play around here for a while, I’m going to have a look around.”
“Alright.” She answered in a light voice without much hesitation. Clearly, she loved this place.
Raising his head to look at the giant ape, he flatly warned it, “Hey the big lug up there, make sure you look after Ming Yue, if anything happens to her, I’ll rip you to shreds once I get back.”
“Woo…” It shakingly nodded its head.
It was then that Ning Chen felt it was safe enough to leave. He wanted to see for himself exactly what kind of person was able to enlighten a beast like that.
If there had really been a person living here, there should be traces left behind; after all, men and beast weren’t the same and couldn’t blend perfectly into nature.
After searching around for a while, he finally found a stone house roughly a hundred zhang away from the waterfalls. Due to its age, it was overrun with weeds and foliage. Had it not been for his sharp eyes, he would have most likely mistaken it for a giant rock.
Judging by its worn down and crumbling door, the house had to at least have several hundred years of history.
The interior of the house was empty for the most part except for a stone bed and a stone table. There weren’t even any stools though they were mostly likely destroyed by the ravages of time.
Stepping up to the table, he found a piece of paper lying there. It was an ordinary piece of paper you could find anywhere and yet because it appeared here, it wasn’t at all ordinary.
Even the wooden furnitures had succumbed to time and turned to dust so how was this piece of paper so well preserved?
Looking at the paper, he found several words written on it. They weren’t particularly hard words and were still in clear, pristine condition.
“Chance encounter with a young ape, mother died, out of compassion, decided to protect it for ten lunar years (TL: 355 days instead of 365), left —Ji Taishi.”
There was nothing else on that piece of paper except for those few phrases. As for the contents of that paper, it wasn’t anything special in particular. However, the name that signed off at the very end was a different story. The shock it caused took Ning Chen’s breath away.
Ji Taishi, three simple words and yet they were as weighty as Mt. Tai.
The first imperial preceptor of Grand Xia, the head of the three Grand Dukes, the founder of Confucianism a thousand years ago; yet the masses knew him by another more widely known name, the Sage.
(TL: A bit of a mix up here. Previously, any mention of Confucius was done through the word “Sage” which ordinarily refers to Confucius especially since the novel talks about Confucianism.
Normally, that wouldn’t be a problem but after 100 chapters, the author finally revealed the name of Confucius in this world as being Ji Taishi rather than Kong Qiu so the using the term Confucius doesn’t make sense anymore. Confucius, to begin with, is just a latinized word for Kong Fuzi which means Sage Kong or Kong Sage(Fuzi) so it’s a mix of a title and a surname.
Seeing as there is no one called Kong Qiu in this world, using the name Confucianism becomes rather strange as well and that is where the issue of translation comes in. 儒门(Ru Men) is the chinese word for Confucianism and as you can see, the word Kong doesn’t appear anywhere in that name except in the official english translation. However, not using the word Confucianism isn’t an option either since it’s the official translation.
Essentially, not using Kong Qiu works for the Chinese version of this novel but it becomes a problem in the English version.
Anyway, Confucius will be “Sage” as stated in the raw text but the name Confucianism still stays because I can’t change something set in stone.)
The rule that the Three Grand Dukes couldn’t interfere lightly in government affairs was also set by that same sage.
Grand Xia’s thousand years of dominance were inextricably tied to the dedicated efforts of the Confucian School of Thought. While its recent incarnation had started to show signs of corruption, it was an undeniable fact that, without Confucianism, there would be no thousand years of dominance.
In fact, one could say that those thousand years were basically a thousand years of Confucianism. Even the radiance of the Eternal Night Cult ended up being suppressed by the dominance of the Confucian School of Thought.
The Eternal Night Cult’s beliefs were a form of theism while Confucianism was a form of atheism. From a very fundamental standpoint, both of their beliefs were in conflict and couldn’t co-exist together.
As of now, the only school of thought which rivalled the Eternal Night Cult was Confucianism. This was precisely the reason why Grand Xia was able to prosper for so long.
A thousand years ago, theism was rampant throughout the lands and yet in spite of that, the Sage was able to found his own school of thought. Based on that alone, one could see how astonishing he was.
The Sage enlightened the masses of Grand Xia: no longer were they blindly faithful to some unseen god and instead they gained a sense of rationality. Thanks to that, the world lost some of its foolishness.
From that moment on, the word Sage was no longer a title any old preceptor could use. Anyone who bore that title had to be a great scholar.
With regards to all that was said, Ning Chen naturally knew of them well; what shocked him wasn’t that.
Instead, it was the handwriting on that letter that shocked him. He had seen it before.
He had a spent a couple of months in the Academy before. Within said academy was a sage, a sage that was beyond old. And of this old sage, Ning Chen was probably the only one in the Academy who saw his handwriting before.
Back then his legs were still crippled so he wasn’t accustomed to a lot of things. Whether it was his learning pace or his movement, they had all slowed down significantly. Thankfully, he met an equally slow person in the old sage. Thus whenever he had time to spare after chopping the firewood, he loved to listen to the old sage’s lectures.
On the night he left the Academy, he had a long chat with the old sage that lasted the entire night. He mentioned a lot of things then: all the secrets he kept hidden in his heart and even the fact that he wasn’t from this world.
At the end of all that, the old sage didn’t say a word more but merely wrote down four words “Go with the flow.”
(TL: The old sage didn’t actually write anything down at all, the author made a mistake here.)
Written in the snow, that message disappeared with the winds soon after.
Back then, he didn’t pay much attention to those words but after looking at that paper, he was suddenly reminded of it.
Truly, this was a shocking revelation, one that hardly anyone would believe.
The Sage from a thousand years ago was actually still alive…
Synopsis: The online game <