The Divine Martial Stars

Chapter 357 - Folk Tales

Chapter 357 Folk Tales

In the ancient times of China, some people on Earth already traveled beyond the solar system?

That sounded like sheer bullshit, the kind of very far-fetched bullshit.

But on second thought, Li Mu realized he being transported from Earth to that planet itself was a supporting case of that theory.

Now that the old faker had managed to send him out of the galaxy in the Power-ending Age when the Spiritual Qi on Earth was about to run out, perhaps people could really do space-travel when the Spiritual Qi was still available, provided that the myths in The Legend of Deification were all true. But that premise had probably been proved solid by the Taoist field Li Mu came across in the Everlasting Heaven. To say the least, he had obtained real Ultimate Yin and Yang Cultivation Method and Somersault Cloud and other miraculous methods. Plus, he had also spotted the Spiritual Fangcun Mountain.

Although it sounded surreal to hear Yu Hualong, a man born in the Tang Dynasty, utter the word ‘Earth’, as a matter of fact, it was quite understandable.

Because in the remote Warring State Period there were already bronze wares inscribed ‘China’. Accordingly, for those wise forefathers who had set their foot beyond Earth or even the solar system, it was no wonder that they referred their home as ‘Earth’. After all, they might have seen the globe from the universe way much earlier than the space shuttle was invented.

Li Mu forcefully pulled his hair, rather fretful.

“This is not going as I expected.”

“Damn, I was here to watch his show!”

“I was sitting at the table as a nonchalant spectator for the crown prince’s story-telling performance at first! But how come I found myself hooked by his story as the show went on?”

Li Mu was surprised to find that he had gradually accepted Yu Hualong’s logic and begun to take his tales seriously.

If it was before Li Mu adventured in the Everlasting Heaven that he heard all those tales, he might turn up his nose at those stories.

Yet, after he discovered the Taoist field of Master Puti in the Everlasting Heaven, Li Mu reckoned he might need to see all the Chinese myths and legends in a different light.

Li Mu ruffled his hair and said, “About the names of those founding fathers, you don’t know any single of them?”

Yu Hualong smiled. Then, he answered, “That’s no secret at all. If you search your brain carefully, you will find in the ancient history of China, there were always some people who once influenced the era they lived but later had gone missing and never been found or passed away in an unbelievable way, won’t you?” “In fact, many of them never died like normal people. Instead, they simply left Earth.”

A pang of shock hit Li Mu.

He thought of one person right off.

“For example?” Demanded Li Mu.

“Take him as an example. Lao Zi, the famous philosopher who composed The Scripture of Ethics, the supreme scripture for sages. Do you know what he ended up with?” Yu Hualong asked Li Mu in reply.

“Surely it’s him!”

Li Mu said, “The history only says Lao Zi passed Hangu in the west, saw the purple mist that came from the east, then headed to the west riding a water buffalo; he lived through his life without any illnesses, and there is no record of his final ending. Could it be…”

“Could it be that Lao Zi had crossed the sea of stars on the back of the water buffalo and come to this planet?”

Yu Hualong nodded. Then, he remarked, “Here are the exact words in A History of China. Lao Zi studied ethics and considered concealing himself and laying low as the primary task of his study. He lived in Zhou State for a long time and left it when he noticed it was going downhill. When he came to Hangu Pass, the governor Yin Xi was very thrilled and said, ‘You are going to live a secluded life. Please write a book for me before you go.’ Then, Lao Zi wrote a book of two chapters, 5,000 words, named it The Scripture of Ethics. After that, he took off and no one ever saw him again… As you are from later generations, you must be familiar with that record, am I right?”

Li Mu nodded.

When he and the old faker lived in Rangdeng Temple, the old faker shared his great interest in Taoist books with him. So, Li Mu knew the old faker particularly admired the study of Lao Zi, the founder of Taoism.

Due to the old faker’s influence, Li Mu also learned a lot about the anecdotes of Lao Zi.

And among all the tales about Lao Zi, the one that intrigued Li Mu most was the end of his life journey. The record said he disappeared after he wrote This Scripture of Ethics, while the folk tale said he crossed Hangu Pass and flew to the heavens on the back of a water buffalo. Li Mu had thought that the folks must have made up such a tale out of their admiration for the wise philosopher. But to his amazement… it turned out that the tale was telling the truth.

To put it in other words, Lao Zi must have reached Void-breaking Realm and left Earth.

The Void-breaking Realm!

Lao Zi was actually a mighty powerful person in martial art?

But with all the groundwork Yu Hualong laid before, Li Mu was not very surprised by that unusual point.

“Who else then?” Having drawn a deep breath, Li Mu asked, “You said more than one Earth celebrity has traveled to outer space. Is it possible that… the wise Confucius is also one of them?”

Yu Hualong shook his head and said, “Confucius took a different path from Lao Zi. He chose to keep fighting on Earth, so he did not set foot into outer space.”

Li Mu nodded again.

The historical record did say around 479BC, the 73-year-old Confucius passed away due to uncured illness.

Unlike the fantasy-like description of Lao Zi’s ending, the record distinctly stated the year of Confucius’s birth and death. Li Mu also knew it clearly that if Lao Zi was powerful enough to go to outer space, Confucius, whose fame was on par with Lao Zi, must be able to possess the same high cultivation as well, if he wanted to, right? Anyway, for a Sage at the age of seventy-three, his life just got started. What kind of illness on earth could really kill a Sage?

Yu Hualong added, “In the Warring State Period and Qin, Han Dynasty, the thoughts and theories of numerous scholars contended for attention and bloomed at the same time. All those learned scholars were powerful people. Half of them followed Lao Zi in going into outer space to find a way of redemption. The other half decided to stay on Earth as Confucius did, to fight the enemy head-on… The Great Moon Empire was the seed of civilization sowed on this planet by Lao Zi and his followers. By now, have I made myself clear?”

Li Mu nodded subconsciously.

He was kind of in a trance, but also starting to see things in perspective.

Before the Qin Dynasty or even the reign of Emperor Wu of Han, all the thoughts the various schools advocated contended for attention. Later, when Emperor Wu of Han banned all those schools but the Confucianism, the free contention of schools was no longer seen in the following generations. Aside from the ban imposed by the imperial court, perhaps the departure of all those learned scholars also resulted from the deficiency of Spiritual Qi. In later times, although brilliant people came to the stage from time to time, only a few could compete with those learned scholars.

It seemed that the only one that could be said as a Sage in the succeeding generations was Wang Yangming, the founder of the philosophy of the mind, didn’t it?

After a short pause, the first thing Yu Hualong told him suddenly crossed Li Mu’s mind, so he asked, “As you said it before, you’ve followed your master here from the Tang Dynasty. Could you tell me who your master is?”

A glint of pride lit up Yu Hualong’s face at once.

It was not an expression of arrogance or conceit but natural revere and admiration for his master, deep to his marrow.

Look purely awestruck, the crown prince cupped his hands to the sky before he answered, “My master is famous throughout history. Well, Lord Li, aren’t you also very familiar with the ever-popular poems my master composed?”

Li Mu’s jaw dropped. “Li Bai?”

Li Bai, his style name Taibai, was also known as Green Lotus Dweller and Immortal Demoted from Heavens.

He was the greatest romantic poet in China. The following generations called him the Poem Fairy.

“So the Poem Fairy really flew back to the heavens?”

For all the Chinese on Earth, no matter if they could read or not, they all heard about Li Bai, the Poem Fairy.

Li Mu felt that Li Taibai was still a leading poet even if compared with all the other outstanding poets through the ancient dynasties in China. Simply by virtue of his achievements in poetry, Li Bai could already compete with anyone in any field. In the minds of the Chinese, even those celebrated emperors and officials were perhaps not that popular as Li Bai.

As to Li Bai’s ending, there were all sorts of tales.

But the most wide-spread folk tale said in Li Bai’s later life, he traveled along the Yangtze River in a boat and came to a place called Caishiji. Seeing that the place was picturesque like an immortal’ residence, he arched the boat at Caishiji, had a drink, and started composing new poems. As the night fell and the moon climbed high in the sky, a whale surfaced from the water. Li Bai leaped to the back of the whale and rode it flying to the sky to capture the moon, and since then disappeared into the dark sky and never came back.

That was the tale about Li Bai catching the moon on the back of a whale.

It did share some delicate similarities with the tale on Lao Zi flying to the sky with a water buffalo as his ride.

“So, the folk tales are likely to contain more truth instead, don’t they?”

Yu Hualong went on, “By the Tang Dynasty, the Spiritual Qi on Earth began to decline. My master found a way to outer space, so he followed the path of the wise forefathers, hoping to discover their traces, to attain the answer he had been searching for a long time, and to find the way of redemption in the legends. He took two bosom friends and several disciples along on the journey to the vast universe. Following the thread of clues, he came to the Great Moon Empire. Unfortunately, by that time, the mighty pursuing forces were already there. The situation became rather dire. To keep us safe, my master sealed me as well as the other four senior fellow apprentices in the Moon Altar with the Green Lotus Resurgence Magic. Then, he and his bosom friends went to confront the enemy… When I woke up, the world has all changed. More than 1,300 years has passed. The Great Moon Empire that was thriving in my era was already gone.”

Yu Hualong’s remark was interrupted by his many sighs of sorrow. The lines were also drenched in the sentiment of missing the close friends he lost track of.

If that was all acting, he could definitely make it into Hollywood.

In that case, Li Mu would truly let the crown prince have his respect.

By that moment, Li Mu already bought everything Yu Hualong said.

“He is a disciple of Li Bai! Why did I copy so many poems of his master…?” Even though Devil Li was famous for his thick skin, at that moment, he could not help blushing out of shame, as though a fellow student had spotted him cheating in an exam, though he had not been caught by the invigilator.

Thus, Li Mu hastily inhaled a large draught of air, putting on a face that said ‘Don’t disturb me as I was thinking hard’.

If all Yu Hualong told him was true, more unanswered questions popped into Li Mu’s head.

“You said there were a total of five people sealed by your master. But why are you alone now?” Inquired Li Mu.

Yu Hualong said, “Back then, I was the youngest among the five disciples, so they called me Xiaowu, which clearly means I was the fifth oldest.” So, at least, he did not lie to Caicai and Wu Beichen about his name. “The thing is, I woke up in the Moon Altar only to find that my other four senior fellow apprentices had all come to themselves and left the altar before me. I’ve been looking for them all those years, but sadly, there are not many clues leading to them.”

“Not many? So, you’ve found some clues?” Li Mu said expectantly.

Yu Hualong replied, “I think they have something to do with the top nine Holy Clans and the three empires. But I haven’t straightened it out.”

Li Mu nodded his understanding. He did not feel like pursuing that question, so he posed the most crucial one that logically held up all the stories. “Based on what you said, that those wise forefathers had left Earth is for the purpose of finding a way of redemption. For the same end, some people chose to stay and fight… What on earth is the redemption for? What are they fighting against? Where is the enemy?”

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