Legend of Yao Lao 药老传奇 (COMPLETED)
Author's synopsis: This is the Dou Qi world, where the strong are respected and the weak are despised. The Yao clan is one of the eight ancient clans with a Dou Di's blood in their veins, and it is a holy land for alchemists. Follow Yao Chen, Xiao Yan's teacher, as he goes from his low position in the Yao clan to standing at the summit of the Dou Qi continent.
This is a spoiler synopsis by the author. Don't read if you don't want spoilers!
Located on the edge of the Dou Qi continent was the Yao clan descended from an ancient Dou Di. Not only was this place isolated from the Central Plains, it was also a breeding ground for poisonous insects and vicious beasts. But with the Yao clan's incredible strength and their exquisite alchemy, it became a holy land that was worshiped by alchemists. Born in a weak branch family, orphaned by his father at a young age, treated with indifference by the clan, and banished from the clan for false charges when he tried to display his talent. He experienced all kinds of trials and adventures, in the end gaining the title of the Central Plain's mainland number one alchemist. But because of his apprentice's betrayal, not even his bones remained...
How did Yao Chen, a youngster in a weak branch of the Yao clan, manage to reverse his fate to become the mainland's number one alchemist?
What kind of encounters did he have after being banished from the Yao clan?
From a lowly trash to the top of the mainland, just how many secrets are still hidden in Saint Yao's story?
Volume 1 (Chapters 1-10): First Signs of Budding Talent
Chapter 1: The Yao Clan
Within the Central Plains lay the Shennong Mountain Range.
At dusk, a fiery glow lit up the clouds. This mountain range spanned many miles, and a bustling city was built on top of a certain tall mountain. The peak of the mountain had been flattened out by people and a huge metropolis which exuded an energetic air had been built atop of it.
This was the Yao clan’s ancestral land where most people share the same surname – Yao. There were only some exceptions to this, such as disciples, close relationships, or some distant relatives.
No matter their origin, to be able to live on the Yao clan’s ancestral lands meant that you had an indisputable relationship with the Yao clan. However some would only be considered a branch member.
The Yao clan: one of the eight ancient clans. Their clan name meant medicine, and they could be considered the best expert alchemists under the heavens. No matter where you went in the clan, if a clan member wasn’t an alchemist then that person at least knew a thing or two about alchemy and appraising pills.
At the utmost peak of the mountain lay an extremely large, mostly empty space. At the very center of it was a towering stone monument. The monument was both simple and huge, exuding an air of cohesive majesty. This is a symbol of how consolidated the members of the Yao clan were – the Clan Monument.
This monument was considered extremely important to the Yao clan. Only the most famous clan members could have their names, along with their parents’ names, engraved onto the Clan Monument. This was the absolute highest honor for them. There was even a saying amongst clan members: ‘to leave your name on the Clan Monument, your death would not have been in vain’.
Looking at the Clan Monument, the four sides of it pointed to separate parts of the clan: the ancestral hall, the elders’ hall, the clan school, and the clan treasury.
Just below the mountain peak was the inner ring where the members of the main bloodline resided. Immediately below were the houses of the clan members who had the great prestige and power to live there. From this area came many sporadic bursts of concentrated medicinal fragrance.
Below the foot of the mountain was where the ordinary members of the clan lived. The buildings there were not so eye-attracting; they looked just like any other town’s buildings and roads.
On one street, a group of children around seven years old were playing an alchemy game. Although it appeared to be a game, all of them were reciting the words of actual pill formulas; none of them were made up.
While the kids were playing excitedly, a group of tall men walked over from afar. As they walked towards the sounds of the laughter, the setting sun caused their shadows to grow longer and longer.
“Ah, you’re still playing outside! Come home to eat dinner!”
The children became even happier and threw themselves towards the group of men.
“Dad came back!”
“Dad, yesterday I learned about pill refining in the clan school….”
When the children saw their dads coming towards them, their young voices became even more rowdy.
The dads laughingly picked up their individual children onto their shoulders.
Amongst the children was a five-year-old boy who appeared extremely calm, but his hand was tightly clasping his father’s hand. The warmth from his father’s hand gave him a sense of simple happiness.
“What happened Chen-er? Were you naughty again and caused your mom to be angry?”
The child lowered his head, “Mom’s angry, she said she wouldn’t acknowledge me anymore… dad, you’ll coax mom, right?”
“Haha, of course. Let’s go; us father and son duo together can definitely make sure that your mom will make us some good food.”
Yao Huo laughingly picked his child, placing him on his shoulder.
“Yao Huo, your kid was being naughty again?”
A sturdy man came walking over with a rather fat child on his shoulder who was also around five years old.
“Dad, Yao Chen used aunt’s favourite flower vase as a pill furnace,” the fat child reported loudly.
“…Cough, Chen-er, it wasn’t that celadon flower vase was it?” Yao Huo asked with a cough, his eyebrows twitching.
Yao Chen lowered his head, his hands roving across his father’s head in an agitated manner, “Mom really won’t acknowledge me again? She really will never make me chicken legs for dinner again?”
“So it really was true… then it’s all over for you. Old Huo wasn’t that the first gift you ever gave to your wife? Yao Chen, just wait to be punished,” laughed the muscular man carrying the fatty.
“Hmph, screw off Luo Bing! Don’t try frightening my child; Chen-er isn’t scared. With me as your father, I will definitely make sure your mom makes you chicken legs for you to eat.”
The fatty loudly asked, “Dad, what are chicken legs?”
“Bad tasting stuff. Go home and eat some meat buns.”
“Yeah, meat buns are definitely the most delicious.” The fatty nodded his head as if he had understood something.
Yao Huo gave Luo Bing a despising look, “Old Luo, you better go look for a different kid. This one’s so young but you’re already willing to let him do whatever?”
Luo Bing glared back at him, “Hmph, you understand nothing. Whatever, let’s go home.”
Yao Huo laughingly said, “We’re leaving now!”
Yao Huo and Luo Bing were clearly this group’s leaders. As soon as they told everyone they were leaving, everyone laughingly picked up their children and started walking home.
The two were actually neighbours, so they started walking home along the same route.
The fatty’s name was Luo Shu, and he was constantly chattering along the road either about Yao Chen’s current misfortune or saying bad things about his older brother Luo Shan.
But every time the fatty would talk about Yao Chen’s situation, he would secretly glance towards him. It was pretty clear that he was trying to get Yao Chen’s attention.
However, Yao Chen did not take to heart anything that he said. His father’s shoulder was very wide and he felt extremely comfortable. If only his mom wasn’t angry at him; then he’d feel even better.
When the father son duo finally arrived home, Yao Chen jumped off from his dad’s shoulder and announced “Mom, dad’s home now.”
A beautiful figure came out of the house with a pleasantly surprised opened-mouth look. However when she saw a worried Yao Chen looking to see what was inside the kitchen, her lips curved slightly upwards in a smile. She quickly changed her expression and put on a fake angry look. “Hmph, you are finally willing to come home huh.”
Yao Huo winked towards Yao Chen, “Haha, I’m kind of hungry, are there chicken legs for dinner? The chicken legs cooked by my dear pretty wife Yao Qing are the most delicious in this whole world. Isn’t that right Chen-er?”
“Uh-huh, uh-huh, uh-huh, mom’s chicken legs are the most delicious!” Yao Chen immediately nodded his head.
“One old swindler, one young swindler. Hmph, just who is your dear pretty wife.”
“Of course it’s you….” Yao Huo innocently blinked his eyes as his hands affectionately held Yao Qing who was still faking anger.
“Dad, I’m hungry.” Yao Chen couldn’t bear to watch any more of this; his stomach agreed with him by emitting a rumbling noise.
“Forget it, let’s eat.” Yao Qing laughed, her anger changing to smiles as she turned around and brought the father-son duo in to the kitchen. The dinner table was filled with plates covered with bowls. As soon as the bowls were lifted, a strong wonderful smell rushed out and assailed their noses.
“Oh, mom is the best!” Yao Chen seemed was so happy he felt like he could fly.
“Say that mom is the most beautiful. Women all like to hear this kind of talk,” Yao Huo laughingly told his son.
“Mom is the mostmostmostmostmost beautiful!” Yao Chen learned very quickly.
“You aren’t afraid to teach your son bad things?”
“If we don’t teach him some bad things now, in the future how will he trick a beautiful lady to come home?”
“My Yao Qing’s son actually needs to use tricks? Who do you think he is? You?”
“Haha, that’s true… wait a second, why do these words seem a bit off?”
“At the beginning, I also fell for your tricks.”
“Mom, how did dad trick you?” Yao Chen blinked his eyes, taking the opportunity to insert some words into this conversation. He was still very young and had been very worried that his mom would stop acknowledging him.
“You really want to know?”
“Wait for when you’re older and then I’ll tell you.”
“I’m already grown up! I’ve ever started to practice the Flame Foundation Skill.”
Yao Chen wasn’t satisfied with just saying it out loud, he jumped from his chair and in front of his mom and dad he began demonstrating his cultivation technique. However his imitation of the correct form was very off, and his appearance caused his parents to let out a burst of laughter.
Right after eating dinner, Yao Qing ‘forgave’ Yao Chen for his mischievous use of the flower vase as a medicinal cauldron. Together they took a stroll towards to the top of the mountain. The light breeze was pleasing as it blew through the late evening air, and Yao Chen started to play and amuse himself along the mountain path. The family was very happy together.
Arriving at the mountain top, they saw Clan Monument in the center of the public square. There were already quite a few people around it.
Yao Huo laughingly said, “Come, today I’ll bring you to a special place. Originally that was where your dad was with your mom and….”
“Yao Huo!” Yao Qing stamped her foot and on her beautiful, pure face appeared two red dots.
“Hehe, let’s go. Watching the sunset there gives you a kind of special feeling, and if we get there too late it will be taken up by other people.”
Continuing along the roads, they passed the Clan Monument and arrived at a huge bell tower. They climbed the stars and arrived at the roof where bursts of wind blew by. The fiery light of the setting sun was slowly descending beyond the distant mountain peaks.
The wind’s breeze, the light of the setting sun, the laughter of his mother and father…
Yao Chen’s small hand pointed to the distant square. “Dad, we can see the Clan Monument from here! Wow, it’s so small from here.”
“Haha, Yao Chen, do you know what the Clan Monument is? Do you know why it’s so important?”
“No.” Yao Chen shook his head. The young him still didn’t know just why the Clan Monument was the most important symbol in the Yao clan.
Yao Huo laughed heartily. He patted Yao Chen’s head with his rough and large hand and slowly said, “This Clan Monument has records of our Yao clan’s most heroic clan members. It is the greatest honor of our Yao clan. Countless ancestors have spent their entire lives trying to get their names carved onto it.”
“Yao Chen, your great-grandfather once achieved that honor and had his name carved onto it. That was the most glorious moment for our entire branch family.”
When speaking of this past glory, Yao Huo’s expression turned to one of great reverence, hope, and yet also powerlessness.
Yao Chen was unable to see through his father’s expressions, and after blinking he said in his tender voice, “Great-grandfather was amazing.”
“Yes, he was amazing. But his own descendants could only be unworthy of the old man’s name.”
Yao Huo smiled faintly. Looking at the ancient and huge stone monument, his words now contained some regret, “Ever since your great-grandfather’s time, our branch family could no longer produce people with such achievements. Over these few years, our branch has sunk more and more. The glory your great-grandfather left for us has already faded.”
Yao Qing’s eyes flashed. She had already known what her husband wanted to bring up when he suggested coming out today. Yao Chen was now five years old, which in the Yao clan was the time to start building his foundation. Yao Huo was telling this to Yao Chen because he was worried he was too young and wouldn’t be able to handle how much bitter work was required to train.
But hearing that faint regret in his voice, she couldn’t help but to sigh. Holding her husband’s large hand, she said, “You’ve already tried your best.”
Who knew just how much Yao Chen understood, but he could sense his parents’ powerless regret, so he reached out his tiny little hand to grab Yao Huo’s other hand. His bright eyes stared at the distant, large stone tablet.
“Dad, I will get you and mom’s names onto it.”
The five-year-old Yao Chen’s tender, childish voice was serious. If doing so would make his dad and mom happy, then he would work his hardest for it.
Yao Huo shook when he heard this. To carve their names on the Clan Monument was incredibly difficult. Countless talented individuals had failed. But his still nodded encouragingly to the little Yao Chen. “Then dad will wait for the day. My son Chen-er will definitely be amazing.”
Yao Chen nodded his head fervently, his young heart filled with determination.
Time flew by, and eight years passed in the blink of an eye.
That determination had filled him in the bell tower was something Yao Chen had never forgotten about in those past eight years.
When he was six he had joined the clan school. He trained practically crazily, in part because whenever he advanced he could the pride in his father’s eyes and his mother’s joyful smile.
In a training room of the clan school, a green-robed youth was practicing a physical drill.
His movements were like an arrow, straight and without pause.
Suddenly his movements stumbled and his Dou Qi showed signs of running out so he had no choice but to stop.
The youth exhaled a long breath of turbid air.
“Brother Chen, let’s go home. I’m hungry.”
A fat figure rushed infrom outside.
The green-robed youth was the thirteen-year-old Yao Chen, and the fatty was Luo Shu. Over these eight years, Yao Chen had grown taller and brighter. As for Luo Shu, he got taller, but in some ways he was the still the same fatty who liked to chatter.
Yao Chen smiled and nodded. “Okay, let’s go.”
“Hehe, when we left this morning, aunt Qing said we’d eat a feast for dinner!”
Luo Shu licked his lips. Whenever he thought of food he wouldn’t be able to hold back his appetite and had to continuously swallow his saliva.
Yao Chen couldn’t get his mood up though. Whenever they had such a feast it was because his father had to go out.
When he was young he hadn’t known this, but now that he was thirteen he had learned that this ‘going out’ was actually completing the clan’s missions.
His father and uncle Luo Bing were both Iron Guards of the clan.
The Yao clan’s Iron Guards normally didn’t leave the clan. But when they did, the missions they were assigned to would definitely be extremely dangerous.
Easy missions didn’t require the Iron Guards to handle them. Just the surrounding sects and schools who had adhered themselves to the Yao clan would be able to handle them. Only when those people no longer had any methods available to them would the Yao clan send out Iron Guards. It was obvious the danger level would not be low.
Luo Shu went to Yao Chen’s house to eat as he often did. Ever since the day he had tried a chicken leg, Luo Shu never went to eat at his own house. His mother had passed on early, while his father never wanted to remarry. There were no other women within his family, so every meal every day was just steamed meat buns. Although it didn’t lack meat, it was always boiled and pickled. If he hadn’t ever eaten any other food then that would have been fine for him, but after eating that chicken leg, Luo Shuo couldn’t go back to eating the same bland meal every day.
Yao Chen’s family naturally welcomed Luo Shu; food was not worth much in the clan. In addition, with Fatty Luo coming over to eat, Yao Chen’s portion also unconsciously went up.
After eating, Yao Huo patted Luo Shu on the shoulders and said, “Luo Shu, go home a bit early today.”
Luo Shou also knew that his father was going onto a mission. After wiping his mouth and saying goodbye, he quickly disappeared.
After Luo Shu left, Yao Huo and Yao Chen laughed. “Chen-er, let’s talk outside.”
Yao Chen nodded and went outside. When he did, Yao Huo laughed again and jumped onto the roof.
With a light shout, Yao Chen ran up along the wall.
Every now and then his father would have to leave the clan for a mission, but he had never done as he had today and brought Yao Chen up for a talk on the roof.
“Haha, do you think it’s weird? This time father might have to go out for a long time. But hopefully I’ll still be back before the ninth day of the tenth month.”
That day… it was his mother’s birthday. Yao Chen nodded and smiled. His father would always prepare all kinds of different ways to celebrate that day. It was one of the most festive times in their family along with Yao Chen’s birthday and the new year.
“But if I don’t make it back by then, help dad give this to your mom.”
From his robes he handed him a jade hairpin. “But you can’t give it to her early. Only give it to her if I don’t make it back. Women like romantic things.”
Yao Chen rolled his eyes… his mom and dad were a bit TOO romantic. In any case, he wasn’t able to learn it.
Yao Huo then told Yao Chen a couple other techniques to pick up girls, but he suddenly paused when he looked into Yao Chen’s eyes. “What level has your Flame Foundation Dou Qi reached? Show me.”
“Yes.” Yao Chen’s eyes brightened and he extended his hand towards his father.
Yao Huo clasped his hands. A boom rang out and a powerful aura exploded from his body. It quickly condensed into a fierce tiger that attacked Yao Chen.
Yao Chen wildly shouted, and Dou Qi billowed off his body, its light forming a stiff defence. Light condensed on his hands and slammed towards his father’s chest.
“Six star Dou Zhe, not bad.”
Yao Huo left and suddenly stopped, the exploding aura coming off from it disappearing into nothing.
But Yao Chen didn’t have as much control. He hastily attempted to pull back his power, and due to focusing too hard on that, he ended up falling from the roof. Getting up, he fumed, “Dad, stop messing around! Didn’t you say you’d spar with me?”
“Do we have to cross hands to spar? Mannerism is also a kind of fight. How to use your manner to intimidate enemies, how to figure out your opponents’ intentions - these things are something you can’t learn from just training.”
Yao Chen gaped, seeming to understand something but also feeling it was very vague.
“Something like this is very difficult and you don’t have to figure it out fight now. Once this mission is complete I’ll go to the clan and resign from being an Iron Guard.” Yao Huo laughed and patted Yao Chen’s shoulder.
Yao Chen went mad with joy at that. The intent behind his father’s words were to guide his heart.
Within the Yao clan were three ways to study: one, enter the clan school. From six to eighteen, anyone could join the school. The clan school offered education for everyone and anyone, whether it was a genius or a bumpkin; two, stay at home and have the elders of the family be in charge of teaching them. The result of such training was naturally better than the clan school’s very broad teachings with many students. Moreover, many secret arts were only circulated within each family. The ones the clan school could teach were all very common; third, become an apprentice of a clan elder. The clan’s experts would occasionally select young disciples to become their apprentice, but only the absolute best had such an opportunity.
Yao Chen was currently cultivating within the clan school bitterly. His progress was already pretty good; at thirteen he was already a six star Dou Zhe. Moreover, he had never taken radical medicinal pills to promote his Dou Qi. Each month he only took a single Musk Essence Foundation Strengthening Pill. With his talent, even just continuing with the clan school to cultivate wasn’t bad. But he would gradually fall behind the other talented disciples of the clan.
“Don’t worry, I’ve finally managed to get enough money. Now that you are a six star Dou Zhe, you can finally begin to practice a true cultivation technique. The clan school’s few great techniques aren’t bad. With your progress these two years, you should go choose the best technique.” The Yao clan placed great importance and respect to refining medicine, thus disciples within the clan all had to use the Flame Foundation Skill as their first cultivation step. Only when the flame attribute Dou Qi within their body reached a sufficient level could they choose a foundation building cultivation technique. From the Flame Foundation to a true foundation building cultivation technique was an extremely important step.
“But dad, the best techniques requires too much…” Yao Chen had already prepared himself to choose a technique that didn’t require too many additional medicines.
“Haha, don’t worry about it. Your father will pave the way for you; Chen-er, as long as you work hard, your father won’t say anything… Ok, go find your mom and talk a bit. And don’t forget about the jade hairpin; don’t let her find out about it.”
“Yes!” Yao Chen was full of enthusiasm as he nodded. Looking up at his father’s large stature, his heart was filled with warmth.
The night passed…
Early in the morning, before the sun had even risen, Yao Chen heard his parents get out of bed. He quietly got out of bed and went to the window. Borrowing the starlight, he saw uncle Shu was already waiting next door. “Old Huo, hurry up. Old men with women are the most troublesome.
“Screw off! And be quiet; don’t wake them. And hey, who’s an old man?”
“Ok ok, let’s go!”
Under the starlight, the two figures disappeared into the distance. A frustrated feeling of loss filled Yao Chen.
At this moment, his mother walked in and saw Yao Chen. She laughed, “Chen-er, let’s go eat breakfast.”
“Ok mom. Dad said he’s going to resign as an Iron Guard.”
“Haha, mom already knows. Don’t worry, even if he’s not an Iron Guard, he can still become a clan soldier.”
Yao Chen blinked; the clan soldiers had an obvious disparity in terms of salary and treatment in comparison to Iron Guards. Their family’s condition was something Yao Chen was very clear about, and the best foundation building techniques required a great deal of resources in order to cultivate. Yao Chen wanted desperately to be stronger, but he also didn’t want to place such a heavy burden on his family.
“What? Chen-er has learned how to think about his family?” Yao Qing warmly smiled and rubbed Yao Chen’s hand. “Don’t worry about it too much. Eat.”
Hope you guys like this novel. Yao Lao, known as Yao Chen here, is my favorite character in BTTH. In his name Yao Chen, Yao=Medicine while Chen=Dust. In his BTTH name Yao Lao, the Lao means old. However it is not 'Old Yao' (which would have been Lao Yao, not Yao Lao).
Yao Lao's first appearance in BTTH: https://www.wuxiaworld.com/novel/battle-through-the-heavens/btth-chapter-8
Yao Lao crapping on everything Xian Yan once knew (sixth tier alchemist Gu He is trash?!?!): https://www.wuxiaworld.com/novel/battle-through-the-heavens/btth-chapter-9
The Clan Monument is translated as 'clan tablet' in BTTH. The Yao clan arc in BTTH is roughly from chapters 1560 to 1577. https://www.wuxiaworld.com/novel/battle-through-the-heavens/btth-chapter-1560
Shennong is a god of medicine in Chinese mythology.
Yao=Medicine. The other eight ancient clans are as follows: Gu=Ancient, Hun=Soul, Shi=Rock, Ling=Spirit, Lei=Thunder, Yan=Flame. The only one that is perhaps difficult to translate is Xiao. It roughly means mournful and bleak, but it is also a common surname.