Book 9 Chapter 36 - Life Is a Mirage

Original and most updated translations are from volare. Please don't read elsewhere and stop supporting theft.


TL: Zhao
Editing: Krisaia


“Surprised?” Mr. Kong smirked, but he could not hide his anger at being pushed to such lengths by mere mortals. 

With his last bit of strength, Sai Gao emitted a ferocious roar and bolted toward Mr. Kong. With one hand raised, Mr. Kong nailed his assailant midair before exploding him into a bloody mist. 

“You don’t seem to understand my power. If the embodiment of Heaven’s Laws could be taken down so easily, then I wouldn’t have needed to wait for a thousand years.” Mr. Kong said as he sat down a miniature cloud that formed beside him.

“You…” Li Yiming struggled to even lift his arm. 

“They say that the weapon’s spirit takes from its master… Look at you, what have you inherited from Wukong? Ahahahaha!” Mr. Kong burst out laughing. 

“Perhaps if you kneel to me, I might consider keeping you alive, as part of my collection of staves…” 

Liu Meng stared at Mr. Kong coldly before slowly turning her head to look at Li Yiming with a gentle expression, with her arms wrapped around him. 

“What’s with that look? You’re not possibly thinking of defeating me with the pathetic remains of the previous Heaven`s Laws, are you?” Mr. Kong mocked as he crossed his legs. 

“You know, I’m not too fond of birds, but maybe if he begs me for it I’ll keep your corpse intact and turn you into a specimen right next to him. What do you think of that?” Mr. Kong laughed maniacally as he imagined various methods of disposing of Li Yiming and Liu Meng. 

“You’re delusional if you think that he’ll kneel down to you. Even if he dies, he’ll die with pride.” Liu Meng’s heart ached as she looked at the bloody eye socket on Li Yiming’s face. She knew full well that she was no match for Mr. Kong, and that the situation was utterly hopeless. 

“I think he should be proud of this, shouldn’t he?” Mr. Kong pointed at the ruins nearby. 

“I’ll be the one who decides that, not you!” Liu Meng stated angrily and her entire body was suddenly set ablaze. The third eye on her forehead opened up and created a barrier that even Mr. Kong found to be difficult to break. 

“Meng… You…” Li Yiming raised his head with difficulty. 

“I’ve lived a good life.” Liu Meng smiled as her third eye fully opened and the scarlet flames, along with her flesh and bones, were all absorbed into the eye.

Liu Meng vanished completely, leaving behind a single eye that bore testimony to her ultimate sacrifice. As the eye made its way into Li Yiming’s hollow socket, his eyes began to flash with different colors: one glowed purple while the other a burning crimson.  

With Liu Meng’s barrier fading away, Mr. Kong found Li Yiming standing tall again, staring vacantly at the landscape in the distance. 

“Now you’re the only one left… How do you want to end this?” Mr. Kong grimaced. 

“Have you ever thought about how Wukong felt when he made his decision?” Li Yiming ignored Mr. Kong’s taunting and turned toward the rock Chen Quan brought. 

Crack! 

“Don’t mention his name in front of me…” After turning the rock into dust, Mr. Kong lowered his hand and threatened.  

With the rock smashed to smithereens, Li Yiming turned his head toward Mr. Kong, who slowly opened his hands and showed his sharp claws. 

Liu’er, now’s the time to stop…” Li Yiming sighed. [1]

“What?” Mr. Kong sprang up from his cloud as it was blown away by the wind. 

“I’ve always wondered, why me?” Li Yiming continued his monologue. “Why am I the bug in the system, the person that Heaven’s Laws failed to notice? It’s only now that I understand…”  

“You… You…” Mr. Kong stammered as he pointed at Li Yiming. 

“It’s not too late, yet.” 

“Stop it all? Why didn’t you tell me to stop before our friends were butchered, skinned, and burned to ashes?” Mr. Kong swung his fists in a crazed frenzy. 

“You don’t understand what they wanted…” Li Yiming said in a sorrowful voice. 

“I don’t understand? I’ve dethroned Heaven’s Law! I’ve avenged our brothers and sisters, and you say that I don’t understand?” Mr. Kong spat out. 

“Even if you destroy the entire world, Heaven’s Laws will still exist, and they’ll continue to reign as long as our world is bound by their rules.” 

“I can change them! I can bend the rules to my will!” 

“Hah… You don’t seem to understand…” Li Yiming sighed. 

“Maybe I’ll do after I take your life…” Mr. Kong said with murderous intent as he dashed toward Li Yiming. 

Li Yiming caught Mr. Kong’s kick with ease. The force of the blow exchanged raised violent gusts of wind behind Li Yiming, but he stood strong and steady as a statue. 

Bang! 

A deafening explosion was heard, and Mr. Kong was blinded by a bright red light. When he reopened his eyes, he was met by the same set of armor that Wukong once wore: The golden armor with dragon carvings, the boots of traveling within the clouds, and the jade belt. The only difference was the golden staff that Li Yiming held. 

Li Yiming wasted no time in smashing down at Mr. Kong with his staff, forcing him to jump back from the force of the blow. As he repositioned himself, a rock resembling the one that he had just destroyed appeared behind Li Yiming. However, it had a center that emitted a jade-like glow in a shape resembling that of a monkey. If one were to look closely, they would be able to notice that a piece was missing on the monkey’s forehead. 

“Not belonging to the five elements, not to the Heavens, Earth, nor Hell…” Li Yiming murmured. 

“Die!” Mr. Kong roared as he slashed at Li Yiming with his claws. 

Li Yiming raised his staff and thrust it against Mr. Kong’s chest, sending the latter flying back hundreds of meters. 

“That’s impossible! I’ve sealed Heaven’s Laws and taken its power! You cannot rival me!” Mr. Kong smashed the ground in fury, causing many fissures to form. 

“Heaven’s Laws… You cannot hope to defeat, destroy, or seal it…” 

“Bullshit! Why did you defy it back then?” 

“I wanted to separate it from our world…” 

“What?” 

“With our world isolated from Heavens, only then will the people finally be able to find true peace,” Li Yiming said. 

“You’re lying! I’ve sealed Heaven’s Laws away and taken its power for my own!” 

“You’re wrong. You’ve merely sealed away the unconscious wills of all living creatures.” 

“What?” 

“I’ve sacrificed my own powers to detach our world from the Heavens back then. I thought that it would be able to bring peace to the world, but little did I know that there was a piece left behind… A fraction of Heaven’s Laws that is bred from each living creature…” 

“Then…” Terror finally showed on Mr. Kong’s face, finally understanding what Li Yiming was getting at. 

“Yes, the existence of guardians and domains was an accident from the start, an unfortunate side-effect from my unfinished work, as the original Heaven’s Laws was no longer present to enforce balance.” 

“You… you’ve calculated all of this?” 

“Heaven’s Laws do not care for the emotions or the wants of us mortals. I’ve had to pay a price to split our world away from its influence, but I did leave something behind… In my staff… A shard of my soul followed him as he was reincarnated,” Li Yiming said as he looked at the smoldering ruins around him. 

“You tricked Heaven’s Laws…” 

“I’ve also left something in your blood… The same blood flows in both of us, Liu’er, I thought about accomplishing my rebirth through you, but you…” 

"...You didn’t think that I would finish the work for you, did you? I thought I took what remained from Heaven’s Law for myself, but you actually transferred it over to yourself…” Mr. Kong finally realized why he could not defeat Li Yiming; his power was gradually being sucked away.

“I came back for another reason, actually.” 

“What?” 

“It’s because of my child. He has inherited my blood and my marking…” Li Yiming looked at the sky. 

“You have a child?” 

“Liu Meng… She’s pregnant…” 

A long silence ensued until Mr. Kong finally asked, “What do you plan on doing now?” 

“I’m going to finish what I’ve started.” Li Yiming walked toward the rock. 

“No! No! You can’t! Think about it, we’re the strongest people in the world now. What remains of Heaven’s Laws, we control! Why? Why do you have to do this?” Mr. Kong started to panic. 

“You don’t understand…” Li Yiming stopped in front of the rock. 

“Noooo!” Mr. Kong leaped toward Li Yiming, but it was already too late; Li Yiming placed his right hand on the rock, and the immense power that was contained within his body — the last bits of power which remained from Heaven’s Laws — flowed into the rock like a river into an ocean. As the small missing shard in the rock was filled up, Li Yiming’s body gradually vanished. 

A shockwave spread throughout the entire world. Mr. Kong was sent flying from the force of the impact and rolled several times on the ground. As he crawled up, he saw the thick fur on his arm recede and his razor-sharp claws vanish. 

“Nooo!” Mr. Kong looked at the rock in the distance. Despite how small his reflection was on the crystal surface of the rock, his appearance had clearly changed to what it was prior to his ascension: the same thick eyebrows, flat nose, and disheveled hair. 

With the shockwave slowly dissipating, the ordinary people who sought refuge away from the cities suddenly felt a certain weight lifted from their hearts. As for the few lucky guardians who survived by being the ones dispatched to elsewhere, they all felt their powers wane and their Heavenly Veins dissipate. Some of them were terrified, others sad, and still others relieved. 

The president opened his car door and looked at the clearing sky. The sunlight which spread throughout the country carried a warmth that melted the severity of the atmosphere.


1. IMPORTANT: For a basic understanding of Mr. Kong’s (Or rather, the Six Eared Macaque’s (Liu’er, literally meaning “Six ears”)relationship to Wukong. 

From: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Journey_to_the_West_characters#Six_Eared_Macaque

The Six Eared Macaque (六耳獼猴) is one of the four spiritual primates that do not belong to any of the ten categories that all beings in the universe are classified under. The other three are the Intelligent Stone Monkey (靈明石猴), Red Bottomed Horse Monkey (赤尻馬猴) and Long Armed Ape Monkey (通臂猿猴). As he and Sun Wukong are both spiritual primates (Sun Wukong is the Intelligent Stone Monkey), their powers and abilities are on par. He first appears in Xiliang (西粱) in disguise as Sun Wukong, knocks Tang Sanzang unconscious and steals the baggage. He fights with the real Sun Wukong and neither of them is able to overcome his opponent. No one is able to differentiate between the real and the fake Sun Wukong until the two appear before the Buddha, who tells them about the four spiritual primates. The Six Eared Macaque attempts to flee when he hears the Buddha speak about his true identity but the Buddha traps him under a giant golden alms bowl. The macaque is then killed by Sun Wukong.

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