Chapter 39

The voice that appeared in his head made Yuri feel very confused.

But at the same time, he felt a strange, indescribable feeling suddenly surge up.

If he had to describe it, he could only come up with a list of words and explain it in a complicated manner.

In the cave at that time, this wasn’t a specific and clear thought but a very vague and chaotic subconscious feeling.

It may have been caused by the darkness in the depths of the cave. That kind of darkness made it easy to lose your train of thought so the word to describe such an indescribable feeling was probably rolling around in his subconscious somewhere.

But to put it in simple terms, he had a strong feeling that if he threw something into this abyss, it would disappear forever.

This kind of feeling was very similar to the strange urge you would feel to jump off of a building when you were standing at the top and looking out at the scenery.

This state would be impossible to understand from a book unless you had experienced it yourself. Yuri suddenly understood why religions often talked about taking chances, because words couldn’t really describe such feelings. There was no feeling in his past life that he could accurately use to describe what he felt so that others would feel the same way.

Even Beliak, who knew him so well, couldn’t empathize with him.

He began trying to divide the primitive religions into two parts so that Beliak could understand his feelings in a rational way.

The first part was the secular and conventional primitive religions.

Yuri and Beliak’s efforts over several winters had actually been very fruitful. They sorted through various myths and roughly summed up the origins of several different types of ancient gods.

The first included huge natural disasters. The whole phenomenon would often be shaped into an image of an ancient god, especially those that could be seen with the naked eye, such as tornadoes and tsunamis.

Then there were abnormally large man-eating beasts, such as giant snakes and species of huge wild boars that tended to become oversized.

There were also cold natural landforms, such as bottomless caves, and scents that would kill you as soon as you smelled them.

People in the Neolithic Age suffered huge population losses due to natural disasters, man-eating beasts, and terrifying natural landforms, which gave them all the wrong idea: ancient gods liked to take human lives.

At that time, people’s main focus was food so there was a misunderstanding that the gods were taking people’s lives because they were eating them.

Of course, natural disasters also led to the death of many animals so it was very common to use animals as sacrifices. But most sacrifices took place during special times of famine and drought when the animals had long been eaten up. As a result, the only thing the tribes could offer up as sacrifices were their own people.

That was how murder was preserved as part of the prescribed customs.

Of course, it was useless to kill people since the disaster would always pass eventually. After tribes with large populations killed some people, the disaster would be over and the shaman would gain supreme status. But those tribes with small populations normally didn’t survive and ended up disappearing quietly.

This was the first stage of primitive religion.

If we listened to the oldest version of the legends of the ancient gods from the mouths of priests in remote villages—those that weren’t written down but were passed down through the ages by oral tradition—we would find that the ancient gods in the first stage were animalistic.

They were as unpredictable as animals, so even if they received sacrifices, there was a high probability that they wouldn’t satisfy your wishes.

The gods were temperamental, which was why the female shamans during Ximen Bao’s time(1) could only drown young girls one by one, waiting for the moment when the gods would be satisfied with the sacrifices.

In the second stage, civilization developed to a certain extent and the ancient gods began to be personified. The reason for this was simple—it was easier to describe them this way. Since everyone needed to know what an ancient god was in simple terms, there would probably be some doubts if you told them that it was a cave. If you said that there was an ancient god living in the cave, however, then that would make things much simpler.

That was how a cave in the Himalayas became a local Dark Goddess.

If any official agency were to interpret these primitive religions, this would probably be the way they conducted their analysis.

But in ancient literature, there was a second kind of record of primitive religions that was completely different.

Yuri called it the myth of the biological evolution of the ancient gods.

Most of the records of these strange ancient gods in the ancient texts of the Bon religion seemed like records of hallucinations. The contents were very obscure and seemed to detail abstract things that were difficult to describe even in ancient languages.

During the Neolithic Age, there was a group of ancients who went around exploring the world. They would enter various extremely remote landscapes such as caves, glaciers, and mountains.

Either long-term exploration and loneliness made these people delirious or there was some kind of poisonous bacteria or virus in those places that directly destroyed their brains.

This kind of poisonous bacteria or virus caused these people to have strange thoughts, and they would begin to create gods based on the hallucinations they saw.

Horsehair worms could make praying mantises yearn for reflective surfaces so much that they used to jump into sparkling lakes. Even now, mantises would sometimes jump onto the glass windows of cars.

If mantises had conscious thought, they would consider that flash of light to be an ancient god.

This poisonous bacteria or virus corrupted the ancients’ brains and caused them to hallucinate, so when they eventually came back from the deep mountains, they started spouting legends of ancient gods and other insane nonsense. But then they brought more people into the deep mountains where they also became infected or poisoned, which spread to even more groups and eventually created a kind of strange cult.

People began to gather around these places where the virus was bred, which enabled the virus to keep multiplying.

This was the origin of virus religions.

The viruses corrupted people’s brains and made them delirious. Yuri was infected now, so he firmly believed that the abyss could satisfy his desire as long as he was willing to lose something.

This could also explain why he had been running a high fever ever since then.

This theory made Yuri very excited, because he realized that if there really was a virus in that cave, then he could definitely use this primitive Bon religion to do something big.

He decided to comply with the hallucination, promise the Dark Goddess to lose something, and then see how the virus affected his brain.

What he chose to lose at that time was Beliak.

After he made this choice, he could no longer see Beliak; the other man had completely disappeared from the world.

Of course, Beliak didn’t really disappear. He had stayed with him the whole time but Yuri couldn’t feel or see him at all.

Although Beliak was a very important teacher to him, his own brain had blocked out the older man’s existence.

<Chapter 38><Table of Contents><Chapter 40>


TN Notes:

(1) Ximen Bao (active around 422 BC) was a statesman and hydraulic engineer of Wei during the Warring States Period. Info here.


Sorry guys, I know we’re about 4 chapters behind but this week was…rough to say the least. But we’ll get there eventually (ᵔ◡ᵔ)

5 thoughts on “Chapter 39

  1. Oh my god, it took me more than 20 chapters to understand that “Beriak” is actually “Беляк” хD And all this time I’ve been sitting here like hmm that sounds weird for a russian nickname… х))

    Anyway, thank you so much for the translations!


    1. Wait, have I been translating it wrong this whole time? 😱😂 I tried my best but going from Chinese to Russian to English got me like no results so I just went with whatever Google directly translated it as 😅


      1. Well, probably that’s because in Japanese and I guess Chinese letter “L” usually changes into “R” 🙂
        In English his nickname would probably be “Whitey” or “White Guy” cause he’s an albino. Like, for example “white hare” in Russian is “заяц-беляк” (zayac-belyak).

        I’m not sure about his real name (扎赫沃基 – Zakhvaki), tho. It also doesn’t sound right, but I can’t think of any name I know except maybe Zachary. It has the different meaning to what the author says, it does kinda sound a bit similar to the russian name “хворь” which means illness. But it is a bit of a stretch. Transliteration also sounds and looks like “Захватчик”, but it means “Invader” and is not a name.


        1. Ah good point. I’d say we’re in too deep now to change it anyways but I can go back and make a note when it’s first mentioned 😊

          At this point, I’m convinced the author is just making up names 😂


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