The Human Emperor - Chapter 1: The Downfall of the Central Plains
Wang Chong knew that this was his mission in this world!
“If a barbarian were to become a king, then it would be better that the Central Plains fell”. This was an analect of Confucius. Wang Chong had never thought that in this distant time-space continuum, ‘Central Plains’ would actually be ‘destroyed’!
Furthermore, he himself would be the final witness of the scene!
The skies burned and the earth tremored. Countless corpses laid everywhere, forming mountains and filling oceans. The fresh blood that flowed from them converged to form a crimson river. Wang Chong could even see dense death aura rising from the corpses of tens of million of citizens of the Central Plains lying all around him.
On the other hand, countless cavalries of a foreign race were slowly closing in.
No one knew where these foreign cavalries came from. Neither did anyone knew why they were determined to destroy this world. They only knew that ten years ago, these death aura-filled foreign cavalries appeared from nowhere and within the short span of a few years, they tore through all of the empires!
Along with the appearance of these foreign cavalries, the earth collapsed inwards and space shook! Destruction! Tens of million of living beings were reduced to withered bones!
At this moment, the group that Wang Chong was leading was the final fighting force of this world!
In this center of this vast lands, Wang Chong led the final remaining army of the Central Divine Continent. As though a duckweed floating in a pond, he waited patiently for the end to come.
After going through so many years of hardship, Wang Chong thought that his heart had already steeled. Yet, when the destined moment was about to set upon him, Wang Chong can’t help but shiver.
Sorrow, pain, and despair surged through him, but those weren’t self-pity. Those were for his brothers and the ultimate end that was awaiting this homeland of his, the Central Divine Continent!
“General, please pardon my early departure!”
“You’re not at fault that we came to this point! General, you have already done your best!”
“There is no need to feel sorrow for us! We are already prepared for this. At least, at the very end, we didn’t bring shame to the Great Tang Dynasty! To be able to accompany general in this life, I have not lived in vain!”
“General, let’s meet again in our next life!”
“Come, you foreign rascals! Let’s fight one last round! Hahaha…”
Familiar figures passed by him one by one, roaring heartily in laughter. They charged forward resolutely toward the boundless army of foreign race, as though moths attracted to a flame.
“There’s no need, my dear brothers. We will reunite soon enough!”
Looking at those familiar figures disappearing as though an epiphyllum in the midnight, tears finally gushed out of Wang Chong’s eyes, flowing steadily down his cheeks.
Epiphyllum is a flower that blooms only for an instant before disappearing.
Wang Chong wasn’t a soul from this world. In fact, if not for that accident, he should have been in another time-space continuum enjoying the sunlight and rain, completing his university education and living the rest of his life in peace.
Yet, thirty years ago, a mysterious shooting star suddenly appeared, bringing him into this world which was similar to the Great Tang of the Central Plains in China’s history. Yet, it was an entirely different world and in it, he became the fifteen-year-old son of a clan of generals.
Upon arriving, he experienced betrayal and fear. He felt completely out of place and that nothing here had anything to do with him.
But a catastrophe struck and those who loved him and those that he loved died one after another. At that moment, Wang Chong awoke to reality and his fighting spirit lit up!
It was a pity that it was already too late.
In this world, Wang Chong had experienced many different things. Ten years of aimless wandering caused him to miss the ideal window to cultivate in his lifetime. Eventually, due to the doing of certain coincidences and the army commanding that he had gained through playing strategic games in his previous life, he was able to earn the acknowledgement of various seniors of the empire.
They infused all of their Origin Energy into him, allowing him to become the final Grand Marshal of the empire, the person who carried the final hopes of the Central Plains on his shoulders.
Yet, it was already too late. He had missed out on too much, way too much. Even though he gave his all, he still ended in failure.
With sorrow gripping at his heart, Wang Chong slowly closed his eyes.
He did not fear death, just that it wasn’t time yet. He was still waiting. There was someone that if he did not kill, he would not be able to rest even upon death!
He was the culprit for this all! If it wasn’t for him, the empire wouldn’t have weakened to this point!
Wang Chong felt hatred!
Only fresh blood could wash away the endless hatred in his heart!
But the other party was too cunning. He never showed himself easily and Wang Chong could never find an opportunity to strike. Only this time, when he came to this barren valley to bait him out, Wang Chong knew that he would definitely be unable to suppress his urge to come.
He had already hidden for thirty years. This time, when victory was just at hand for him, he would definitely step out from the shadows!
“Wang Chong, give up. I have already spoken to the king and as long as you are willing to surrender, he can spare you from death!”
Suddenly, a voice echoed from afar.
Behind the endless sea of foreign cavalries, a fat tottering figure revealed the upper half of his body. Gleefulness reflected in his sight, but fear and apprehension could be seen in it as well.
He was in no way a cowardly person. However, it was a mystery why the fellow before him was that incredible. He did not hold much military might in his hands, yet he was able to defeat opponents that outnumbered them tenfolds.
He had only taken over control of the army of the Central Plains for a short few years, but the number of foreign warriors who had fallen under his army was equivalent to the that of dozens of years.
If not for his fear of this fellow, he wouldn’t have hidden for that long a time.
Wang Chong looked at that figure as hatred burned in his eyes. If not for someone allying with them and guiding them, how could the foreign cavalries cause so much damage and conquer massive plots of land within a short period of time?
This was all his doing!
“Hehe, Wang Chong, as expected of the Central Plain’s God of Warfare! To think that a scion of the Wang Clan who lived off his family while awaiting for death would become the world’s Grand Marshal! Reality is truly an enigma! If those old fogeys chose you thirty years earlier to become their successor, the Wang Clan might not have fallen back then and the Central Plains would still have a hope! However, all is already done!”
The figure gleefully says.
“Wang Chong, let me give you an advice. You are a talented person and the king has already said that as long as you pledge him your allegiance, he is willing to spare you! Furthermore, he is willing to convert you into one of them! How do you think about it?”
But Wang Chong didn’t seem to have heard a word he said.
Wang Chong shouted out his name. His resentment was so powerful that it seemed to shoot out from his eyes. After so long, the opportunity had finally come. In the end, this despicable fellow couldn’t resist the urge to appear before him.
“You shall be buried with me and Great Tang!”
Amid the sound of the trembling of the earth, majestic radiance shot out from Wang Chong’s spear. In that instant, there seemed to be another brilliant sun in the sky, blinding the eyes of all beneath it.
The wind blew frenziedly and upon seeing Wang Chong, fear ignited in the hearts of the thousands of foreign cavalries. They immediately retreated backward as though an ocean wave.
“Protect Lord Oracle!”
Some of the foreign experts immediately reacted. They gathered around Kangya Luoshan and incredible rings of light and black flames burst forth from them. However, it was too late.
Boom! A ray of light with radiance comparable to a supernova shot down from the heavens and the diffused light from it warped the colors in the sky. In an instant, the light enveloped the hundreds of foreign experts and figures that were between them.
A piercing but momentary anguished shout could be heard. That chubby face warped in fear before the brilliant flames and swiftly, Kangya Luoshan was reduced to ashes.
Even at his moment of death, he never imagined that Wang Chong would pit all of his strength to kill him despite being forced to a corner!
At that instant, he struggled angrily. However, he was unable to match up to the unmatchable spear!
“Finally, I have succeeded!”
At this moment, an unexplainable surge of exhilaration overwhelmed Wang Chong!
Father, mother, and the countless souls of the Central Divine Continent, you all can rest in peace now!
Death charged straight at him, but in its face, Wang Chong only smiled faintly as he stared calmly at the countless flamed spears stabbing towards him.
Boom! At the very last moment, Wang Chong ignited his dantian, causing the thousands of foreign cavalries to be pulled down to their graves along with him…
It was said that a human’s final moments would seem as though an eternity. To think that the myth wasn’t true!
Wang Chong smiles sorrowfully, but his heart was tranquil.
He was finally relieved of his duties after so many years. Yet, he felt an aching pain deep in his heart. In that instant, Wang Chong thought of his grandfather, his granduncle, his parents, his eldest brother, his second brother, his cousins and…
If only he wasn’t that obstinate then!
If only he was able to awaken in time, stand up and protect his family and homeland with his military talents!
It was all too late!
All that he loved and all he loved had left him!
All those that loved deeply and all that he loved dearly had left him.
If only he could do it all over again, he would have been a better person. However, it was all too late!
From this moment onward, the Central Plains of China will become the hunting grounds of the foreign race. Thousand years from now, will no one know of the existence of the race known as Yanhuang and the dynasty known as Great Tang?
Wang Chong felt regret, sorrow, and indignance.
“This isn’t how it should be! ——”
Tears of regret flowed down Wang Chong’s eyes. If only he could restart, in order to make up for all the regrets he was feeling now, he was willing to give his all! The entirety of him!
When this thought flashed across Wang Chong’s head, in the depths of the heavens, the rumbling of lightning could be heard. At the last moment when the final flicker of his life was going to extinguish, when everything was dark, Wang Chong suddenly saw a shooting star.
This… Isn’t this the shooting star which brought him to this world?
【The user has awakened. Activating the Power of Destiny!——】
Seemingly coming from nowhere, a mechanical voice devoid of any emotions rang by his ear.
“The Son of Destiny! He is the Son of Destiny! Stop him! ——”
In the darkness, the frightened screams of countless foreign cavalries suddenly echoed. What could that made these foreign lifeforms which feared not of death to experience such terror!
However, Wang Chong didn’t know of these. Surrounded completely by darkness, Wang Chong sunk into it.
“Why are you called a transcender?”
It might have been an instant or countless long eras, but Wang Chong was suddenly awakened by a curious voice by his ear. That voice seemed distant yet near, crisp as though silver bells, with a tinge of innocence and immaturity to it.
As though a rock that had been thrown into the surface of a lake, ripples diffused in Wang Chong’s consciousness.
Who is it? Whose voice is this?
Didn’t they say that a person is reduced to nothing upon death? Why was he still able to hear? Could this be… an illusion?
Just when Wang Chong was still deep in contemplation, a displeased harrumph sounded by his ear. Before Wang Chong could react, he something violently jabbing at his body.
It was a finger!
Wang Chong immediately came to a realization.
That’s not right! How could one’s consciousness still possess a body upon death?
Unless he wasn’t dead!
Weng! The moment this thought flashed across his head, Wang Chong felt as though billowing waves had risen in his head. He struggled to open his eyes and soon, a brilliant radiance spilled onto his eyes.
The darkness before him was illuminated. Not too far away from him, Wang Chong saw a pouting ten-year-old girl staring at him in displeasure.
“I told you not to ignore me!”
The little girl used her slim finger to jab Wang Chong once more.
Wang Chong couldn’t believe what he was seeing. That little girl had eyebrows of a crescent moon, bright eyes and white skin with a tinge of red. Dressed in silver-red leather pants, she looked like a jade sculpture.
However, the two braids on her head that faced the heavens exposed her mischievous nature. Who else could she be other than his youngest sister?
However, wasn’t his younger sister already…
Wang Chong stared at her blankly. For a moment, his head was unable to react.
Wasn’t he already dead? He remembered clearly that at the very last moment, in order to kill Kangya Luoshan, he charged into the army of countless foreign cavalries. How was it possible for him to see his youngest sister here?
Furthermore, his youngest sister was so tiny. This was obviously how she looked when she was ten, and he was only five years older than her. If his youngest sister was only ten-year-old, didn’t that mean that he was…
Wang Chong lifted his arms and soon, he saw a pair of skinny and white arms. This was different from what he remembered.
In that instant, Wang Chong was speechless. Could it be that… He had come back to life?
Joy and anxiety gripped Wang Chong’s heart. More than that, he felt apprehensive.
“Little sister, pinch me.”
Wang Chong suddenly said.
Right after he said those words, Wang Chong saw a soft and white tiny hand stretching over toward him. Around that tiny hand, there were faint white ripples.
That faint ripples seem to congregate around her hand instead of dissipating into the surroundings, as though steel. It felt impressive.
“Origin Energy Tier 9!”
Wang Chong’s felt a tight squeeze in his heart. That faint white layer was symbolic of a Origin Energy Tier 9 expert. How could he have forgotten that his younger sister possessed superior talent since young and was known to be a ‘herculean warrior’ with unmatched strength?
He was simply bringing himself pain by having her pinch him to wake him up!
“Little sister, don’t…”
Wang Chong’s complexion warped. He hurriedly tried to stop her, but it was too late. Kacha. Wang Chong felt as though his radial bone had cracked.
“Aiyo, little sister, let go!”
Upon hearing Wang Chong’s cry of agony, the little girl looked a little embarrassed. Sticking out her tongue, she retracted her fingers sheepishly.
“Brother, you can’t blame me for this. You were the one who asked me to do it.”
The little girl said while sticking out her tongue. There wasn’t the slightest hint of apology in her words.
Wang Chong smiles bitterly. As expected of that youngest sister of his in his memories. That extraordinary talent and mountain-smashing strength weren’t something average people could bear.
Even so, while rubbing his aching arm, Wang Chong felt incomparably happy. He was able to see, feel and experience pain… This meant that this wasn’t an illusion.
He was really still alive!
“Can it be that the heavens had answered my prayers?”
At this moment, Wang Chong’s heart was filled with many different emotions.
“3rd Brother, it’s not that I want to nag at you, but you shouldn’t hang out with that bastard Ma Zhou. That fellow isn’t a good person. He caused 3rd Brother to be lectured by father and others were saying that you had raped female villagers. Does my 3rd Brother need to rape female villagers? That bastard! I will definitely teach him a lesson if I see him. I will beat him up whenever I catch sight of him.”
The little girl seemed to have thought of something and a frown appeared on her face. Kacha kacha, cracking sounds could be heard from her fearsome hands. It was clear that the resentment she felt towards him wasn’t something trifling.
Hearing the sincere tone his little sister spoke with, Wang Chong felt his heart ached. Moved, he hugged his younger sister, Wang Yao-er, tightly.
This was his younger sister, a younger sister who loved her elder brother dearly. However, it was a pity that he was too much of a jerk back then. He wasn’t able to understand her sentiments until he lost her and he deeply regretted it.
Since the heavens had given him another chance, he was determined to prevent his younger sister from experiencing what she had in this life.
“Little sister, thank you. However, there’s no need for it. I will deal with that bastard Ma Zhou personally.”
Wang Chong replies her softly.
Wang Yao-er was taken aback. In Wang Chong embrace, she raised her head and her large eyes reflected in Wang Chong’s eyes. She was surprised. This 3rd Brother of hers seemed to be slightly different today.
He usually lived sloppily and hung out with bad company. He wasn’t the type to say such words.
“Alright, 3rd Brother, you haven’t told me yet. What is a transcender? What does transcender mean? Why have I never heard of it?”
Wang Yao-er suddenly recalled something. The large round eyes she stared at Wang Chong with had a pair of large question marks in them. After talking for so long, she still hasn’t received the answer to the question she was concerned about.
Towards this, Wang Yao-er felt quite dissatisfied towards Wang Chong.
Despite his thick-skinned, upon hearing the words of his youngest sister, Wang Chong can’t help but fondle his nose.
About the matter of ‘transcender’, that was when he first came over to this world. At that time, his heart was filled with resentment. Everything was foreign to him and he didn’t know a single person here. He only felt like a passer-by in this busy world, as though a fleeting bubble.
It just happened that this obstinate and interesting little sister with a twin braids came to look for him, calling him ‘3rd Brother’. Back then, his inner youth exploded and he jokingly got her to call him ‘transcender’.
However, his youngest sister took this joke of his seriously. Again and again, she chased him asking what ‘transcender’ was. Thinking about it, this was probably it.
Remembering this joke of his, Wang Chong felt so embarrassed that he could die.
“Hmmm, transcender means a suave man.”
“Suave man?” Little sister’s eyes widened further in confusion.
“It means a handsome guy!”
Wang Chong laughed heartily.
“Brother, you lied to me!”
Little sister immediately erupted in anger. She might be young, but she wasn’t gullible.
“Little sister, I just remembered that father is about to be home soon. You should hurry back. Otherwise, if you are caught here, you will be in deep trouble!”
Sweating profusely, Wang Chong hurriedly changed the topic. His little sister was innocent and believed him easily. However, if she were to realize that he had lied to her, her frightening strength would put him in place.
With her red cheeks puffed up, it was clear that she was still angry. She might be young but she wasn’t that easily fooled. It was clear that her brother wasn’t telling the truth.
Through cajolery and deception, Wang Chong finally managed to dupe her to leave. Even so, she was still enraged and discontent then.
“Father will be home in awhile. Mother told me to remind you to head to the grand hall to have your meal later!”
Upon hearing those words, a thunderous roar seemed to have flashed across his head. Wang Chong suddenly shuddered.
After saying those words, little sister stomped out of the room.
Wang Chong fondled his forehead and realized that his hand was full of cold sweat. He really thought that she had managed to sneak in without anyone’s notice. Even if she managed to get past their father, she was unable to escape their mother’s all-seeing eye!
However, it wasn’t a surprise. Given his little sister’s capability, how was it possible for her to escape the Buddha’s Five Finger Mountain?
After his little sister has left, Wang Chong closed the door and leaned against the wall. His face tilted slightly upward as he stared at the high roof of the room. His face slowly regained its calmness.
Today’s happenings were simply too bizarre. He needed some time to muse over them.
Everything that happened during his moment of death appeared in his mind and eventually, the shooting star he saw slowly clarified. Some distant memories that he thought that he had forgotten through time abruptly emerged clearly in his head.
Wang Chong could remember clearly that in AD2022, on Earth of another parallel universe, it was a scorching day of summer. When he was walking on the street, a shooting star suddenly fell from the sky onto him. After which, he was brought into this foreign world.
When he transcended over, he thought that he would obtain some ‘transcender’s privilege’. However, he lived an ordinary life, even up to the moment of his ‘death’. Other than his identity as the son of a general, he was no different from any other person.
That shooting star was an enigma. Other than bringing him into this foreign and distant land, it hadn’t showered any miracles upon him.
He didn’t think that it would appear at the moment of his death.
“Was it resentment? Or indignance?”
Wang Chong pondered.
No matter what, he had returned. He had truly returned to this day, thirty years ago! This year, he was fifteen while his little sister was ten!
The era of prosperity and strength for the Center Divine Continent!
Regardless of whether it is the Qin Dynasty or the Han Dynasty, there wasn’t a single dynasty which territory had expanded as massively as the current one. The eastern sea, the western ridges, the southern prefectures and the northern Yin Mountains. They were all part of the sphere of influence of the empire.
With its 600 000 large army, the Great Tang ruled over the entire Divine Continent, dominating all of the foreign countries and tribe by its orders. Furthermore, its military was filled with countless talents of general caliber and it was reputed to possess ‘The Radiance of the Hundred Generals’. Even the Hu had to submit to this massive empire.
In short dozens of years, the territories of the empire expanded continuously, resulting in its current size.
Without doubt, this was the center of the world.
The era where the Central Plains was at its greatest.
As such, those of the Central Divine Continent term the one in the palace as the Saint Emperor. In this Central Divine Continent, everyone was proud of their identity and complacency lingered in the air.
However, oblivious to the others, Wang Chong knew that under its powerful exterior, this prosperous empire was on its way to its downfall.
Under the illusion of prosperity and peacefulness, the empire was surrounded by countless threats.
In the highlands at the west of Great Tang, the Ü-Tsang was swiftly growing stronger. Going slightly further, the Umayyad Caliphate had fallen and replacing it was the empire that brought the Arabian world to the peak of its strength, the Abbasid Caliphate.
In the northeast, Yeon Gaesomun was training troops and purchasing steeds. In the south, the Erhai was also moving in the shadows.
All kinds of dangers were present, just waiting to burst.
On the other hand, the Great Tang of the Central Plains was still immersed in the illusion of prosperity. They were completely ignorant of the potential dangers that were lying around them. In fact, when the barbarians propped up their military might and were viewing at Great Tang menacingly, those Confucian scholars were trying to bring about a new line of thought by persuading the royal court to extract their army and return others their territories. They hope to move them through virtues so as to earn the Center Divine Continent and the barbarians everlasting peace.
This was an unprecedented occurrence of one weakening their own army:
A tiger was crippling its claws, a wolf was plucking its sharp teeth!
Four years later, when the avaricious barbarians came conquering its territories, when a destructive catastrophe was sweeping across it, the Central Plains found itself without the strength to retaliate.
After four years, all of these hidden threats came surging one after another from all directions! Eventually, this massive and prosperous empire fell completely.
His beloved homeland fell into decline within this four years and fragmented. As such, the powerful clan of generals fell to the point of struggling in mud.
He lived his previous life groggily, only awakening when everything was already fixed into place. However, this life, with the memories and experience of his previous, he will not allow the same situation to reenact!
He had contemplated many times over why this massive empire would fall apart in a short period of time. If he was able to put in place the plans he had thought of ‘thirty years later’, the fall of the Tang Dynasty could still be reversed.
But before so, he has to first prevent the major event that was going to happen in this household. His little sister, his eldest brother, his father, his mother and the entire Wang Clan… Everyone would be affected by this matter.
It was due to this matter that the Wang Clan fell further and further into decline, unable to rise up once more.
After a series of events after the happening of this matter, those that he loved and those that loved him slowly left him.
This all happened not long after he transcended into this world.
Just that, he was still ignorant then. However, he was determined to change it all this life!
How can one sweep across the world without cleaning their own household first? How can any egg remain intact under a ruined nest? If he doesn’t salvage his own home, how can he save the world?
No matter what, he has to stop it from happening!
With such thoughts in his mind, Wang Chong pushed the door open and walked out.
Central Plains refer to China when it was still in the feudal era.
Epiphyllum is a flower that blooms only for an instant before disappearing.
In the Han mythology, all Chinese are said to originate from the Yan Emperor and Huang Emperor (aka Flame Emperor and Yellow Emperor). As such, we term ourselves as ‘Descendants of Yanhuang (of the Yan Emperor and Huang Emperor)’.
Buddha’s Five Finger Mountain
Journey to the West Reference.
After challenging wrecking the Heavenly Palace, Sun Wukong was challenged by the Buddha to escape from his palm. Thus, Sun Wukong traveled to ends of the world and upon seeing a pillar, he peed on it. However, it turned out that the pillar was Buddha’s finger, and he wasn’t able to escape from his grasp. After which, he was trapped under a mountain known as the Five Finger Mountain for 500 years.
The Southern Prefectures actually meant Northern Vietnam. (交趾)
Hu could be translated as Hu Tribe, but it isn’t actually a tribe.
It would be safe to assume that it refers to all foreign tribes/races.
In some era, the term was used to refer to the nomads. There are various explanations why it is called the Huren, one of them is because the Xiongnu Tribe termed themselves as ‘hu’.
In the Qin & Han Dynasty, Huren mainly refers to the Xiongnu Tribe.
In the Tang Dynasty, it referred mainly to the Caucasian.
(Note: This story is situated in Tang Dynasty)
Ü-Tsang is the ancient name for Tibetans.
I’m assuming that Erhai refers to Dali.