History’s Strongest Senior Brother - Chapter 1
Chapter 1: I Got the Wrong Script!
Translator’s Notes: About this story. It starts a bit slow but quickly picks up. There are character settings that come from other stories but you don’t actually need to read or have any knowledge of the stories they come from. Of course knowing might let you get a laugh out of it, since Xianxia main characters sometimes seem like arrogant amoral self-righteous immortal assholes who deserve a beat down. But that’s just my opinion so don’t mind it.
Central Heaven Region, Heaven Territory, Eight Extremities World.
Outside Broad Creed Mountain, one of the few martial cultivation Holy Grounds of the present era, Yan Zhaoge stood with a black edged blue mantle draped over white clothes. This outfit declared his identity as one of Broad Creed Mountain’s innermost core disciples.
And across from him stood an unconvinced and dissatisfied youth in yellow clothing, “Yan Zhaoge, don’t you freaking just have a good father?”
Yan Zhaoge replied expressionlessly, “What did you just say? Say it again if you dare.”
“I’ll say whatever I want. You think I’m scared of you? Don’t you just freaking have a good father?”
Yan Zhaoge stared at the yellow clad youth and suddenly burst out laughing, “Very good, exactly what you said. I just love it when people say that about me.”
The yellow clad youth became dumbstruck and speechless.
After a long while, he finally managed to regain his senses but he quickly transitioned into rage due to humiliation. Without caring about the consequences, he jumped at Yan Zhaoge.
Full of indifference, Yan Zhaoge stated, “Restrain your blows and don’t kill him.”
The yellow clad youth faltered mid action. Then he felt his entire body go numb and the vision distorted drastically. A long while after, when he returned to his sense, he discovered someone had soundlessly grabbed him by the small of his back and lifted him high into the air.
A very burly man appeared in front of Yan Zhaoge with one hand holding the yellow clad man high in the air like an adult lifting a tiny child.
The large man was all smiles as he said, “Prince, please go ahead.”
Yan Zhaoge simply nodded. Folding his hands behind his back, he leisurely turned and left.
The large man laughed cheekily while still holding the yellow clad youth with only a single arm. Conversely, the youth could only wail.
Yan Zhaoge entered the main gate of his sect. As he walked, the smugness he displayed earlier had already disappeared without a trace. His expression had become completely tranquil.
At a glance, he appeared to possess a calm and steady demeanor.
But the true connotation behind his current state was…
he was absolutely stupefied.
“This script is wrong.” Yan Zhaoge muttered to himself. As a member of the so called crossing worlds army, there must be a problem with his crossing over.
His first cross over landed him in a foreign world with a martial warrior civilization at the peak of prosperity. He ended up in the book storage building of the Divine Palace, which collected classics of all fields from all over the world.
However, soon after, there was a world class calamity that destroyed even the Divine Palace.
What followed was apparently an unexpected second crossing over, where his soul arrived in the same world except countless years later.
At this point, people had discovered remnants that had survived the calamity and re-established a martial warrior civilization. This new civilization was still in its growth phase far from the peak.
With his brain full of rare books and classics from the era of peak prosperity, Yan Zhaoge’s second crossing over to the present era was like a gamer who was used to playing hell mode suddenly finding himself playing the game on easy mode.
That was just way too awesome.
The only problem with the second crossing over lay in the terrible mess left by the original owner of his body.
“Prince, the materials you were searching for have all been found,” the large burly man had once again caught up, “Information about the locations of the ‘Li Flame True Fire’* fire seed has also been found.”
Yan Zhaoge slightly slowed his pace, “This information is indeed hard to come by. Has the precise location been confirmed?”
“It is in the northeast region of the Dragon Sealing Pool. The search area has already been diminished to the utmost. It won’t take long for our people to send back news of a more precise location,” the large man replied with candid laugh.
“Not bad. Not bad,” Yan Zhaoge nodded in satisfaction.
Yan Zhaoge’s father was not only an important elder of the sect with a lot of authority, he was also the current patriarch of the Yan family, which was an illustrious and influential greater clan whose fame resounded across the entire continent. Those who called Yan Zhaoge prince as opposed to martial brother were all subordinates of the Yan family.
If Yan Zhaoge wanted something, he only needed to create a list and there would naturally be subordinates to carry out the task.
In other words, the current Yan Zhaoge is of high class birth, has a ridiculously bullshit dad, and is a genius himself. Everything is perfect and there should only be smooth sailing from here.
But… something doesn’t seem right.
“Prince, there is one more thing-” the burly attendant had wanted to say something else but then suddenly cut himself off.
A middle aged man with a heavily profound aura walked towards them. Each step seemed to shake the world around him.
Once he neared, he and Yan Zhaoge exchanged proper etiquette. The middle aged man said with a slight smile, “It’s only been a few day, martial nephew Yan’s cultivation seems to progress daily.”
Yan Zhaoge smiled and replied, “Skill from diligence. Incompetence from indulgence. I dare not slack off.”
The middle aged man said, “These days, there is movement at the Dragon Sealing Pool. We are preparing to scout out the situation. The elders have decide to send the younger generation first. It so happens that the sect’s youth competition has just concluded. The sect wants to send the eight top ranked disciples along to give them an opportunity to train.
“It’s just that, according to rumor, your old rival is also in the vicinity of the Dragon Sealing Pool. If martial nephew Yan isn’t busy in the near future, you might as well act as squad leader for this expedition.”
He stared at Yan Zhaoge with eyes full of expectation and admiration.
The youth in front of him possessed extraordinary talent, a true chosen son of heaven. He is a well known figure and an acknowledged leader among those of his age group. He is the pride of Broad Creed Mountain’s younger generation.
Only geniuses among geniuses, as in those geniuses that stand most prominent over their same aged peers in the absolute best sects of the Eight Extremities World, can compare to him. They were evildoers, freaks, and people who stand so far above the masses they no longer seemed human.
In the current era, there are four princes who are famous far and wide across the entire Eight Extremities World. One of them is the Broad Creed Prince Yan Zhaoge. Acknowledged by the masses as an elite hero, it is said that so long as he does not die early, he will definitely create a new legend.
“Dragon Sealing Pool is it…” Yan Zhaoge pondered a bit before accepting right on the spot, “There aren’t any important matters on hand, I might as well make this trip. I will naturally look after my junior brothers and sisters a bit.”
Yan Zhaoge understood what the other man meant. There were strong members of the junior generation from other sects also operating near the Dragon Sealing Pool.
If the sect’s disciples are suppressed during an encounter between the younger generation, it would be a blow against the sect’s glory.**
On the other hand, if a martial uncle led the squad, the younger generation obviously wouldn’t be bullied but conversely this would also weaken the prestige and influence of the sect’s younger generation.
In regards to himself, Yan Zhaoge would happily leave the sect more often. After all, to him this entire world was brand new. He wanted to collaborate the memories in his mind with the world outside.
He would need to go on an expedition to the Dragon Sealing Pool sooner or later. Some of his plans required its unique environment. His current objective was also located at the Dragon Sealing Pool. So this time, he would just conveniently play along.
The middle aged man became even jollier after Yan Zhaoge accepted his request, “For this outing, martial nephew Yan can also act as an example for the younger generation. I believe they can learn many things as a result.”
After taking leave of the middle aged man, Yan Zhaoge continued on his way. The burly man followed beside him and resumed their earlier discussion, “Prince, earlier An wanted to tell you lady Lin’s close door training has apparently been extended. She will not be coming out as scheduled.”
In his opinion, his master should react with regret and dissatisfaction after hearing this news.
However, in reality Yan Zhaoge at this time had the urge to roll his eyes.
This is the terrible mess left to him by his body’s original owner.
During a past training trip, the original owner of this body met a girl.
The girl originally had a childhood friend who also happened to be her sweetheart. However, upon meeting the perfect Yan Zhaoge of that time, she became moved. For the sake of a brighter future, she left her original sweetheart.
Even though the original owner of this body did not intentionally seduce the girl, but he would not refuse any beautiful girl who offered herself to him. This caused a lot of resentment in the girl’s commoner ex boyfriend.
The difference between the body’s original owner and the commoner boy was too large. Even though he did not suppress or make things difficult for the boy, he still held the boy’s hostility beneath contempt.
The girl’s martial talent was truly unusual. Originally she was like a pearl gathering dust in a small corner of the world, but once she followed the body’s original owner to Broad Creed Mountain and became a disciple, her cultivation grew by leaps and bounds.
Sometime after she became a disciple, the girl started closed door training and it was at that time that Yan Zhaoge experienced his second crossing over, taking over his current body.
Admittedly, the girl was an undeniable top class beauty.
She was a beautiful and graceful maiden who even a prince would desire. However, to the current Yan Zhaoge, that was all she was. Her visage was pleasing and warmed the heart, but he had no particular feelings toward her.
The Great Cataclysm he experienced during the first crossing over and the sight of the Divine Palace being destroyed was eternally etched in Yan Zhaoge’s mind.
Even the immeasurably mighty Divine Palace could be destroyed, who between this heaven and earth could stay safe and sound forever?
Some people would giving into despair after witnessing that scene. Live in the moment and enjoy while one still could. However, Yan Zhaoge’s choice was different. He chose to work hard and strengthen himself.
Even though his dad was ridiculously bullshit, his own starting point extraordinary, his background amazing, and his subordinates innumerable, Yan Zhaoge still eagerly treasured every scrap of resource available. He spent all of it without waste on strengthening himself.
He makes the most of every second, every minute.
This has already become his natural instinct.
During the time after his second crossing over, Yan Zhaoge progressively got used to his new identity and environment. As the days passed by, he adapted to the people and things around him. However, some things still could not be changed.
To him, the most important thing is to cultivate rigorously, without wasting his superior environment and circumstances.
In this world where the martial path reigns supreme, the might of a single individual could potentially decide the fate of the entire world. Only strength is respected. Only the victor is king.
But Yan Zhaoge discovered, things are not as simple as they seemed.
At that time, the large man beside him just happened to mention, “Prince, other than lady Lin’s matter, An has also investigated Ye Jing.
“Currently sixteen years of age. A citizen of the Eastern Tang Kingdom, East Heaven Region, Heaven Territory. Both his parents died when he was three years old. He was fostered by relatives. Because he grew up relying on his relatives’ charity, he was bullied.
“He appeared to be an ordinary person without any unusual traits. His martial talent was completely average. Except for the fact he grew up together with lady Lin, there was nothing else worth noting.
“However, after you left together with lady Lin, he underwent remarkable changes. His cultivation soared and his behavior became stunning. First he stabilized his own position within hisclan, then he helped his clan grow stronger and suppress its opponents.
“Leaving home, he headed to the capital of the Eastern Tang Kingdom and achieved considerable fame among the younger generation. As a result, he obtained the right to participate in the Broad Creed Mountain disciple selection exam.
“After he has successfully passed the exam and joined Broad Creed Mountain as a disciple, his momentum seems stronger than even lady Lin. His performance is very outstanding.
“Among the new disciples, he is the very best. Recently, he’s even achieved number one in the sect’s youth competition.”
The large man stopped his citation and released a candid laugh, “However, compared to prince, he doesn’t even qualify to compete.”
Yan Zhaoge, however, twitched his lips. His actual thoughts were along the lines of, “It’d be a miracle if that were actually true.”
It could not be helped. No matter how he looked at it, that thing seemed to be a template main character.
Herein lay the problem. What was his role in main character Ye’s abrupt rise to power?
“Let me think. The current number one genius figure of the younger generation in the same sect. Rich young master. Possesses considerable personal strength. Has a father that can abuse his authority for my sake. Has a significant and influential background. And most importantly, it seems ‘I’ stole his girl?
“My body’s original owner seems to have even plucked the flower of the girl named Lin?
“… yeah, the exterior of this flesh bag of mine also quite excellent, very handsome if I had to say so myself. This body is just perfect for a poser who wants to pull off the false prince act. Hitting or stepping on a face like this would probably create a considerable amount of warm and fuzzies.
“And after that, my old man would try to help me out, becoming another stepping stone just like me. This would create the road that a main character needs to abruptly rise to power. One guy delivers his face to be smash and his whole family follows soon after, free shipping included…”
Yan Zhaoge rolled his eyes.
This script is definitely wrong!
* The ‘Li’ in ‘Li Flame True Fire’ refers to the 离li as in the symbol ☲ in the eight trigrams, which represents fire.
** glory as in face – literally the sect’s face would look bad
More Translator Notes: First, since I don’t have an editor, if you find any mistakes, please leave a comment. Thank you.
Something to note about wuxia is that a lot of terms are actually non-existent in the English language or the characters themselves carry multiple meanings, making a lot of things difficult to translate without losing part of the meaning. For example, in the title we have the word shixiong; I chose to use senior brother as a compromise between elder brother (which might also work, but it sounded a bit too much like older brother as in the normal older brother of a very traditional family) and martial brother (which lacks the ability to indicate whether the martial brother is older or younger). On the other hand, I could just put elder martial brother, but that’s just a tongue twister and the characters say it all the time. ‘Elder martial brother’ is six syllables, which I could use to make a sentence, as opposed to shixiong, which is only two syllables. There’s a lot of things like that and tons of pseudo proverbs making this novel more difficult to translate than some of the others. It also loses a lot in translation, especially the humor, so if you know Chinese, I recommend you not be lazy and read the original. But I really like this story, so I’ll be translating this instead of something else. Anyways, here’s the crux of the matter. Sometimes I won’t be able to decide whether to translate something or maybe I can’t decide how to translate something and then it’ll be up to you to decide.
Here’s the first decision: Guang Cheng Mountain or Broad Creed Mountain.
This is the name of the main character’s sect. The words can be literally transliterated as Broad Creed but it can also be translated as ‘numerous ways to take advantage’ or ‘wide riding’ or ‘multiple sects’ or a bunch of other possible translation, though the general idea behind it taking context into account should be that the sect is very versatile and adaptive in its martial arts.
Another thing to note is the Chinese idea of ‘face’, which doesn’t actually mean ‘face’ but rather a strange type of pride that follows certain rules, such as not bullying those who are weaker, appearing to have strength equal to your rivals, keeping your word, if you say something you shouldn’t go back on it. Face can be both a good thing and a bad thing. Evil cultivators usually treat face as a tool to manipulate Righteous cultivators. At the same time, ironically evil cultivators will hold especially hold a grudge if you make them lose face. Lose face pretty much mean a) to suffer defeat from those you see as weaker than yourself (this is usually an extension of keep your word and the words usually happen to literally be “I am stronger than you” or “I can crush you with one finger”, etc.) and b) subordinates fail to keep their word. The way to gain face is to be generally successful and have your reputation and fame soar. Of course the more famous you are, the easier it is to lose face. But so long as you’re not a revenge driven hick that’s set off by the smallest slight, you aren’t yet suitable material for a wuxia/xianxia villain.
So should I use ‘face’ or should I do my best to translate the concept into pride?