Chapter 11: As if a Dream
Translator: Strivon / Ash Editor: Geoffrey / Lancent
From this day onward, Li Yao assumed the identity of “Ou Yeming“, and the miserable life of a low-level Hundred Smelting Guild worker unfolded for him.
This strange dream was completely different from a typical dream to the extent that it seemed even more real than the uncanny dreams that Li Yao had experienced since childhood. Even the passage of time appeared to be abnormally slow. No matter what Li Yao tried, there wasn’t even a single trace of indication that he would awaken from this dream.
It was as if he had truly become “Ou Yeming”, carrying out an entirely different chapter of life.
Being a low grade worker in the Hundred Smelting Guild was not easy. Along with the slow passage of time, the burden that was pressed upon their shoulders grew greater and greater every day.
In the beginning, they carried 3,000 pounds of water and cut down 50 giant trees. Then it turned to carrying 10,000 pounds of boiling molten iron and cutting down 100 of the metal-like orichalcum trees. Additionally, they had to swing the 1,020 pound ‘Heaven Forging Hammers’ down 30,000 times!
And the Instructor of the Low Level Workers, the Titan, seemed to have Li Yao firmly marked in his mind as a thorn in his flesh. Everyday, he would bring Li Yao troubles during the three daily meals. If Li Yao made the smallest mistake, he would unavoidably be hit with a series of the One-Hundred-And-Eight-Hands Chaos-Gale Hammer Techniques, beating him into a state between life and death, a state so painful one wishes they were dead.
Day after day, year after year, time passed in the dreamworld like flickering lights and passing shadows. It was as if 10 years had passed.
Day in and day out, the grueling and mundane drudgery of work was of inhumane torment and slowly extinguished Li Yao’s sense of self. The name “Li Yao” was a thing that was already far distant. Even his past memories became mere grains of sand within the deepest depths of his mind. They had sunk into the hidden depths of the ocean floor and not a single ripple emerged on the surface.
He was completely “Ou Yeming”. The Ou Yeming who was the most outstanding of the Hundred Smelting Guild’s low level workers!
30 years of blood, sweat, and tears. He forged himself a majestic body of steel muscles and iron bones. And much to the bitterness of the Titan, he also completely comprehended the essence of the One-Hundred-And-Eight-Hands Chaos-Gale Hammer Technique to the extent that his proficiency surpassed several inner members of the Hundred Smelting Guild.
Other than the Titan, people no long called him “Ou Yeming”; all the low level workers called him “Elder Brother Ou Ye!”
Year 11. He finally became the number 2 ranked Metal-Forge Worker of the Hundred Smelting Guild and received the qualifications to enter the “Metal Forging Room”.
The following years passed by at flying speeds.
Year 14. He became an outer member of the Hundred Smelting Guild and received the title of “Blacksmith”. He was now qualified to assist in casting and forging the low-grade flying swords used by the outer guild members.
Year 21. He became a “Master Craftsman” and possessed his own Crafting Furnace. He could now cast and forge low-grade flying swords all by himself.
Year 29. He became a “Grandmaster Craftsman”. He was the number one crafter among the outer guild members.
Year 31. The demonic cultivators invaded. Ou Yeming took charge in resisting against the Seven Great Demonic Guilds on the battlefield. He smashed and killed 24 Building Foundation Stage members of the demonic cultivators. It was at the time that the Hundred Smelting Guild discovered that he’d taken the most basic technique, the One-Hundred-And-Eight-Hands Chaos-Gale Hammer Technique, pushed forward an evolution, and transformed it into One Hundred and Eighty-Nine Hands!
Year 33, Ou Yeming sat and paid respects to the Hundred Smelting Guild’s Elder ‘Daoist Yu Chang”. He became an inner guild member of the Hundred Smelting Guild. Another three years later, he and became a core guild member and was the Metal Forging Room’s attendant.
Year 38. Ou Yeming distinguished himself amongst the Hundred Smelting Guild’s countless youths by becoming the first to reach the peak boundary of the Building Foundation Stage. Also, deriving from “Ou Ye Elder Brother”, other people began addressing him as “Senior Master Ou Ye!”
In the same year, he took the Hundred Smelting Guild’s thirty-fifth supreme guild leader’s only daughter as his wife.
At the wedding festivities, beautiful women lined the walls. Ou Ye Ming was like the rising sun — his future looked boundless. He thought back to the days when his identity was a low-level worker, when he had declared in jest, “Eventually there will be a day, when I will become the Hundred Smelting Guild’s Guild Leader!”
It seemed that this was no longer an impossibility.
At present, he held great power. He sat upon endless resources and advanced peacefully down the road of cultivation, making tremendous progress. Numerous elders of the guild watched over him from above, and countless blood-brothers aided him from below. His future landscape was truly boundless. He was at the apex of life!
Only… When he thought back to when he had said those words in jest dozens of years ago, he could faintly recall memories of some sort. Inevitably, a ripple of recollection would churn from the depths of his mind, letting him feel somewhat uneasy.
“My husband, you will certainly make and build our Hundred Smelting Guild to become the most powerful crafting guild within the three-thousands worlds...” his darling wife lay upon the bed gazing at him with a smile. Her blurry eyes were as tender and soft as water.
Ou Yeming deeply, deeply deeply, deeply deeply deeply deeply felt a cold shiver.
A strange vision rippled suddenly, surfacing. It was as if there was something distorting space and time, ripping a hole in the world. The face of his wife lying on the bed became fuzzy, unclear, and hazy. It changed to a another face that was clean to the point of pureness.
““Promise me, don’t go street racing any longer. Become an honest car mechanic, no one will look down on you. There will be a day when we will have our own Auto 4S Shop!””
“Promise me! Dear Yao!”
He subconsciously nodded his head. He blinked his eyes once and suddenly woke up.
It was a feeling that was completely bizarre. Something similar to a spirit had disengaged from the body. It changed into a transparent empty shadow and floated midair. It looked with absolute calmness in the bridal room at Ou Yeming and his wife. It had once shared Ou Yeming’s personal experiences, but now it turned into a complete spectator.
“I am not Ou Yeming, I am not Ou Yeming! Who am I? I am… I AM — LI YAO!”
It was like a rush of clear spring water had flushed his heart. His mind awakened to a bright comprehension that was incomparably clear. In a flash, he found his sense of self once more and the seventy two years of past memories also shattered into multi-colored shards, a transient dream.
“Too close. Too close. If I’d kept on wallowing in this dream and was unable to free myself, then I fear that the day I woke from this dream, the one who would awaken would be only Ou Yeming, not the real me!” Li Yao thought back to his various moments in the past, and he could not help but to be drenched in sweat as he let out a shout of luck.
From this day forward, he assumed the role of a spectator and continued to participate in the dreamland’s development. Even though he still had not broken free, he knew clearly that this was a dream. Within the dream were countless things that caused him to be perplexed.
In psychological terms, this was called a “lucid dream”.
The rate at which the dreamland unfolded grew faster and faster. It was like the blurred lightning speed of a crystal rail train. Only during important moments did the speed slow down, allowing Li Yao to clearly see their details.
Year 41. Li Yao saw Ou Yeming become the Hundred Smelting Guild’s youngest Elder in history. In that same year, he crafted a secret sword, the Profound Spark, and beheaded True Monarch Dulong, a demonic cultivator tyrant who’d seized the Core Formation Stage.
Year 43. Li Yao saw Ou Yeming representing the Hundred Smelting Guild in the “10 Worlds on Sword Theory” competition. He used the might of the one-of-a-kind, tyrannic greatsword, “Hundred-Meter Swallowing Dragon”, to suppress the other outstanding competitors. He cut through, breaking 92 of his opponents weapons in succession, seizing the title “Blade Saint of 10 Worlds”, and became a master swordsmith that could shake this dozen of worlds.
Year 52. Li Yao saw the demonic cultivators invade once more. Their most important target was the Hundred Smelting Guild. Dozens of necessary core members, the Guild Leader, highest level members, Elders, fell one by one.
The situation was dire. Ou Yeming was elected to act as the Hundred Smelting Guild’s 36th generation Guild Leader.
Under his leadership, the Hundred Smelting Guild transformed into a gigantic weapons manufacturing plant, steadily providing Masterwork Weapons to guilds on the path of good.
Year 68. The final disciples of Nine Great Demonic Guilds were exterminated and slayed by the Masterwork Weapons crafted by Ou Ye Ming!
At this time, there were no longer any people who called him “Senior Master Ou Ye” or “Guild Leader Ou Ye.”
Every person addressed him with absolute veneration as — Ou Yezi!
Year 109. The name Ou Yezi had already spread through to the several hundreds of surrounding worlds. Even people on the other shore of the sea of stars from unknown worlds, even people from close distances of millions and millions of kilometers braved the danger of being consumed by the raging maelstrom of primordial chaos. They crossed over using ancient transmission arrays, arriving at the Grand Foreworld, all for the sake of acquiring a Masterwork Weapon crafted by Ou Yezi.
Year 130……. Year 250…… Year 320……
At last ------
“Supreme Guildmaster! Elder Forebearer! Please sir, think twice, think twice about this! Tunneling through time is fundamentally impossible! You sir are the great pillar of heavens that supports our Hundred Smelting Guild. You absolutely cannot undertake such a risk yourself!”
Li Yao looked on within the giant palace hall that was incomparably majestic and upon which clouds and mist curled around. Over ten thousand cultivators were kneeling simultaneously on the ground. They were facing towards Ou Yezi and were kowtowing repeatedly. The knocking called the entire hall to echo with “bang bang” sounds while blood flowed to fill the earth.
Ou Yezi, who’s hair and beard were completely white, was standing magnificently in the center of a grand and mysterious transmission array. With a flick of his sleeve, he indifferently said, “There are a great number of worlds in the universe. There are a great number of eras in eternity. The true meaning of cultivation is… to explore the endless mysteries of the cosmos. This old man has happened to coincide with destiny and has accidentally crafted something that could possibly traverse time, the ‘Great Time Array’. Even if the possibility is uncertain, I need to test it out. To find out if it can truly traverse to the ends of time.”
He stopped for a moment. Slowly, he swept his eyes across the people within the great palace hall. Ou Yezi face was written full of melancholy. He murmured, “My disciples, you need not speak any further. All the artifacts in this world have already been studied fully by this old man. I have no regrets. I just hope that at the distant era on the other shore, this new world several tens of thousands of years in the future, there would be new artifacts capable of making people somewhat happy.”
His tone left nothing out. Ou Yezi had already ignited the Great Time Array. A pillar of blinding light came from the depths of the bizarre transmission array and enveloped him within.
This pillar of light flooded with an incomparably violent surge of essence energy. It was just like a flood rushing and spreading in all directions. All those at the great palace cowered and shivered in front of the surge of essence energy. All the cultivators were forced to erect essence shields of protection. The cultivators closest to Ou Yezi were directly caught in the wave of essence energy and were overturned.
And that essence energy seemed to be infinite. It continued to gather unceasingly... increasing, expanding. It was like the essence became a mythical beast which beared its fangs.
“No. Not good. Right now this transmission array is assimilating the surrounding essence energy in an unending stream, transforming into a chaotic flow of essence energy. It can explode at any time!”
“Something has gone wrong with the transmission array. Everyone, quickly evacuate. RUN!”
“No, we can’t escape in time. Hurry, put up the essence shields. Use the most powerful artifacts to withstand it!”
The last scene Li Yao saw in his eyes was an expanding ball of milky white bright light that was like a roaring sea. The entire palace, the hundreds of floating mountains outside, and even the entire sea below were all engulfed entirely.
And in the instant Li Yao witnessed the milky white ball of light expand to its limit, he completely and thoroughly awakened. In the Cultivation Era Year 40,000, in Heaven’s Origin Sector, in the Star Glory Federation, in Floating Spear City’s suburbs, in Morning Sun Village’s residential area, In his house, Li Yao suddenly sat up in his bed.
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