Chapter 1: Maple Leaf Village

Disclaimer: This is the author’s work I am simply translating it. If you are offended by parodied biblical stories then I suggest skipping this chapter – 白酒鬼

Chapter 1: Maple Leaf Village

“Legend says…… In very distant past, we humans came from a continent far far away from the one we reside in now…….”

“Long long ago, on that continent, we humans lived happily and free of worries. But one day, a bunch of demons appeared from out of nowhere. These demons began tempting and enticing humans into sin. Slowly, under their influence, we humans became selfish, greedy, and evil. Then, we endlessly fought and killed each other……”

“When the omnipotent God saw this, he felt sad, and decided to punish humanity. God sent down a curse that made the land infertile. To even harvest from it required tremendous effort……”

“Even so, humans still refused to turn over a new leaf. Instead, we became even worse. We became even more selfish. We became even more vicious. At that point, humans had already become the embodiment of sin……”

“At the time, God began to regret creating humanity. Humanity’s actions had long crossed his bottom line. So, in fit of boundless fury, God decided to bring about the apocalypse. A disaster that would destroy not just humanity, but everything in existence……”

“When the day of armageddon came about, every volcano on the continent erupted. All the rivers flooded and it rained without pause. Thunder and lightning obscured the sky and the ground split apart. Humans…… pushed to the brink of extinction……”

“God’s prophet, Noah, couldn’t bear watching this. So, he mustered his courage and begged God to change his mind and not destroy humanity……”

“In order to save humanity, Noah knelt in prayer for seven days and seven nights……”

“His sincerity had moved god. And at the same time, God felt regret looking at the horrid state the continent was in……

“”However, by then it was too late. The apocalypse had already happened and the continent was completely ruined. So ruined, it looked no different from hell. It was simply not suited for human life……”

“Seeing this, even God was helpless……

“In the end, Naoh came up with an idea. He made a ship. This ship was 300 km long, 50 km wide and 30 km tall. It was simply colossal. Huge beyond imagination……”

“Noah called it ‘The Ark’……

“He brought all surviving creatures, from humans to birds that fly in the sky to beasts that run on land and put them all in the ark. One side, was meant to be a shelter for everything. The other, was for finding a new continent that was suitable for human life.

“The ark journeyed for many many days and still could not find a continent. All around, was endless ocean as far as the eye could see. This gave rise to despair in the hearts of the humans. Even Noah was no exception……”

“After several tens of days more, Noah opened a window on the ark and sent out a crow to explore. However, after leaving, the crow never returned. Noah once again sent out another bird. This time, a dove. The ocean was simply boundless with no land to be found. So, unable to find a place to land, the dove returned to the ark……”

“After another seven days, Noah sent out the dove yet again. In the evening, the dove returned. In it’s beak, was an olive branch that was obviously taken from a tree. And after yet another seven days had passed, Noah released the dove again. This time, the dove didn’t return. This signified the discovery of a new continent……”

“Noah was extremely pleased at discovering a new continent. A continent upon which humanity flourished……”

“As for Noah, he became a hero. A legend. He was… Is the saviour of humanity. And hence, the people named the new continent after him. That continent, is the one we are standing on right now. The Noah continent. His name was included in a new calendar era, starting with the day that he set foot on the Noah Continent.  That was the first year of Noah.”

In the western part of Noah, in a small village called Maple Leaf, under a banyan tree by the green pebble roadside, a silver haired old man was vividly telling an old myth. Around him, was a group of kids 11-12 years old. They were doing their best to catch every detail, their expressions were extremely serious.

Within this group of children, was one who was out of place. It was a scrawny boy whose eyes blinked with fascination.

He was different from the other children near him. Because of chronic undernutrition during his growing years, his body exceptionally small. But in contrast, his head was exceptionally large. He looked like a “little carrot head[1]”. His clothes were more tattered than the other children’s, and had holes in the most conspicuous places. Some spots even had multiple holes, showing his fair white skin. As for his hair, it was extremely dishevelled.

The old man was a resident of Maple Leaf Village and he was currently telling these children the story of “Noah’s Ark”. Though it’s authenticity was controversial, the story was stilled widely spread.

“Grandpa, you said that Noah’s Ark was very big and he put everyone from the continent inside. Exactly how big was it?”

When the old man’s spit was flying everywhere, he was inappropriately interrupted by someone. When the old man looked at the person, it was that skinny little boy. His name was Roan.

Despite being interrupted by Roan, the old man wasn’t angry in the least. Instead, he replied with a smile, “To fit in all living creatures, the boat was definitely very big. So big that you couldn’t possibly imagine it.”

Roan gave a soft sigh, and followed up with fascination, “Then how did Noah know which direction to go in? What if he couldn’t find the new continent?”

The old man was clearly stumped. He had never once thought of this question. He hesitantly answered, “This…… is definitely because of God’s directions……”

When he said these words, the old man himself was unconfident. This part wasn’t mentioned in the legend……

“Since God can do anything, why doesn’t he just return the continent back to how it was? Wouldn’t that be even better? Also, how did those creatures survive on the boat? What did they eat? Was there food on the boat? How long could it last?” Roan asked with his head tilted. The questions flew out of his mouth like firecrackers. Those questions, pointed out an age old plot hole.

“This…… This……Uh……Er……” This time, the old man had no answer.

At this moment, the other kids in the group felt unhappy. One one by they said, “Hey…… Roan, you’re listening to story for goodness sake. What’s the point of asking so many questions?”

“Go stand in a corner by yourself. We’re listening to a story. Don’t ruin it.”

“That’s right, even if you don’t want to listen to it that doesn’t mean we don’t either……”

The children shouted one after the other, driving away Roan. As they did so, their eyes gleamed with malice. The reason, was simply because in Maple Leaf Village, Roan was well-known as the son of a vagabond that only had his crippled grandfather to rely on. To put it simply, they were beggars. Even though the other children weren’t from rich families, they were still relatively well-off and their place on the social ladder was a lot higher than his. Naturally, they would look down on Roan.

Seeing the kids quarrelling, the old man lost his motivation to tell stories. And so, he stood up, patted off the dirt on his body and said, “That’s all for today. You guys should head home.”

After saying that, he stopped paying attention to the kids, turned around, and left.

Even though the children were unwilling, with no story hear, they still scattered. All that was left, was Roan standing there all alone.

A gust of autumn wind blew by and swept a bunch of leaves. As he stood there, Roan couldn’t help feeling cold. So, he tightened his clothes[2]. Roan helplessly shook his head as he spoke to himself, “That’s it? I haven’t finished asking questions. What happened to Noah in the end? Where’s the Ark now? Sigh……”

Roan was the son of a vagabond and had received uncountable looks of disdain as he grew up. He was already numb to the mockery. That said, not being able to listen to full story made him feel a bit regretful.

Roan looked at the sky. Seeing that there was still some time to dusk, numerous thoughts raced through his mind.

“Hey, it’s still early… I’ll go try my luck at Maple Forest Road[3]……”

Subsequently, Roan ran in the direction of Maple Forest Road…..”

Maple Forest Road, was a path to the west of Maple Leaf Village. It was also the only way in and out of the place. Innumerable adventures had passed through here. This was where Roan was heading.

The road was covered in maple leaves. So, when the wind blew, there’d be a flurry of red and yellow.

“Yup, I’ll just wait over here……”

Roan went to a spot devoid of people, found a clear patch, and sat down. He vigilantly watched the empty road and his ears were pricked. It was as if he was waiting for something.

Maple Leaf Village was located in a remote area and wasn’t exactly a lively place. To begin with, it didn’t have many resources, not to mention any treasures. It didn’t even have any amazing sights. The only thing worth taking a look at, was the leaves falling during autumn. But of course, that wasn’t enough to attract any adventurers.

The people going through Maple Forest Road everyday could be counted on two hands. And it wasn’t rare for the number to hit zero.

The lives of the villagers were peaceful, as tranquil as dead water. The villagers started work as soon as the sun came up and went to rest when it went down. Their lives were plain yet plentiful.

The people here were simple and kind. Even towards poverty-stricken vagabonds like Roan and his grandfather, they treated them well and didn’t drive them away. If anyone had food leftover, it would be given to them.

These past few years, Roan could be said to have grown up in Maple Leaf Village. However, his diet was lacking, so he wasn’t tall but rather was obviously thin and sickly.

Like this, Roan and his grandfather settled down in Maple Leaf Village. They lived at the village’s only river. More specifically, under the bridge in a makeshift shack. Roan’s grandfather’s name was Zaari. Both of Zaari’s legs were crippled, so he couldn’t walk. Hence, he couldn’t get a job. Instead, he pushed a wooden plank with 4 wheels beneath it up the bridge to wait for the villager’s donations.

In Maple Leaf Village, there’d generally be leftovers for him everyday. And sometimes, maybe there was a festival or someone was celebrating something, he could get a few copper coins.

As for Roan, he’d help out around the village every morning. While he didn’t get paid, they at least gave him food. Come afternoon, he’d quietly wait at Maple Forest Road until nightfall. Then, he’d begrudgingly return to his simple and crude “home”.

This was Roan’s daily routine for 7 years, starting from when he was 8, all the way to when he was 15.

Just what was he waiting for?

[1] 小萝卜头 [Image]

[2] 紧了紧身上的衣服

[3]Author alternates between Maple Leaf and Maple Forest. So for consistency’s sake, I’ll be sticking with Maple Leaf.

翻译者:白酒鬼

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