Chapter 726 – A Grand Inheritance
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
(TN: Way of Choices will be on break from December 25th, 2017 – January 7, 2018)
Chen Changsheng stood in the light, at the very front.
The Pope stood behind him.
In the great hall, several thousand bishops kneeled upon the ground like a tide.
On the plaza, tens of thousands of Orthodoxy cavalry and priests kneeled upon the ground like a tide.
Outside the Li Palace, hundreds of thousands of believers kneeled upon the ground like a tide.
At this sight, the Pope slowly squinted his eyes as if completely satisfied and delighted at drinking a most excellent wine.
His eyes squinted more and more until they closed and then never opened again.
From this moment on, no one would be able to see the vast sea of stars contained within those elderly eyes.
Chen Changsheng turned his head, the hand holding the Divine Staff slightly trembling.
Mao Qiuyu held up the Pope's body and shook his head at him.
The nearby crowd became faintly restless, but it did not fall into disorder. Led by An Lin and the other archbishops, everyone continued to kneel, but…there was the occasional choked sob.
Odes intended to cleanse the Dao heart, brimming with reminiscence and sobs of sorrow, floated higher and higher over the grandiose Great Hall of Light, but then were temporarily brought back to the world of mortals by the toll of a bell.
Whether it was the sacred bell of the Li Palace or the sacred bells of the Bureau of Ecclesiastic Education and the Heavenly Dao Academy, they all rang together.
The toll of the bell quickly spread to the entire capital and then beyond, sending the news that the Pope had returned to the sea of stars to all corners of the continent.
Chachachacha, countless sounds of metal scraping on metal rose up in the air.
The Orthodoxy cavalry in the plaza of the Li Palace pulled out their weapons, a black wave appearing amongst the sea of people.
Whether divine crossbow, spear, blade, or sword, they were all cold and sharp and aimed straight up at the night sky, aimed at those millions upon millions of solemn, quiet, and unchanging stars above. This was not a show of military force by the human world towards the sea of stars but a cheer, a grand ceremony to send their lord off to the great beyond.
The Grass Moon Hall, the Pure Cassia Temple, the Clearwater Terrace, the Hall of the Heavenly Dao, and the Autumn Residence were the six most important halls of the Li Palace. At this moment, six most hallowed and grand Qis emerged from these halls and soared into the cold and desolate night sky. At some place in the depths of the night sky, they united and formed six streams of light.
These lights were all of different colors so that they seemed to form a rainbow.
No one had ever seen a rainbow at night before. The people kneeling in the Li Palace and the common people kneeling in the various parts of the capital began to raise their heads. In shock at this phenomenon in the sky, they thought with anguish, is this the mortal world's final farewell to His Holiness?
Chen Changsheng knew that this was no rainbow, but power.
When those six streams of Qi emerged from the Grass Moon Hall and the other six halls, he and all the other cultivators in the capital of Star Condensation level and above could clearly sense that power. This power came from the precious treasures of the Orthodoxy ensconced in the six halls and it also came from the ground upon which the Li Palace stood. To be more precise, it came from the array beneath it.
The way of the Dao had existed for countless years but it had been esteemed as the Orthodoxy for close to a thousand. Before that, it had also been referred to as the Orthodoxy by no small number of famous dynasties. It had a deep history and abundant resources. In certain aspects, not even the Imperial Court could compare to it. It would not be strange for it to have this sort of array or possess more divine artifacts that no one else knew about.
One such artifact was the torch hanging over a certain bed: the White Sun Flame.
This sacred artifact of the demons had been kept in the Lingyan Pavilion for many years, serving as a major part of the Imperial Design. After the coup of the Mausoleum of Books, the Tianhai Divine Empress had cast the Frost God Spear and destroyed the Lingyan Pavilion. The portraits within the pavilion had been rendered completely into dust while the Frost God Spear had vanished. People generally thought that it had been stored back in the Imperial Palace.
But no one had imagined that the White Sun Flame could have ended up in the Li Palace.
It had once been a sacred artifact of the demons, later on a precious treasure of the Great Zhou, and now it was being used as an ordinary light.
The blazing divine flame was not dazzling and its light gave off no warmth. If it were to shine upon the Pope's elderly face, it would most likely not have upset him in the slightest.
Chen Changsheng sat by the bed and finished reading for the ninth time the Classic of Longevity. He then stood up and gazed at the White Sun Flame and the quiet palace hall that it illuminated.
The Orthodoxy was the inheritance the Pope had left for him, and the White Sun Flame naturally formed a part of this inheritance. So did the Divine Crown, the Divine Staff, the precious treasures in the six halls, the Li Palace's array, and also those countless believers and priests still kneeling within and without the Li Palace, unwilling to leave. And there was also authority.
But he remembered very clearly that there should be another part of this inheritance. Yet he did not know where it was.
In the past, the Pope had clearly expressed his meaning that after he died, that item would be Chen Changsheng's to safeguard.
Where had the Green Leaf gone to?
Six divine Qis combined into a sublime rainbow in the night. One end of this rainbow was in the Li Palace. Though the rainbow ran across the sea of stars, it ultimately fell back onto the mortal world.
Many places in the capital were illuminated and adorned by this rainbow. It was very difficult to tell which place received more light and blessing.
Everyone on this great earth could see the vast sea of stars, but the starlight had never illuminated every part of the world. Close to the Imperial City, the abandoned well in New North Bridge saw no sun and no starlight year-round. Today, however, this place was mystically filled with light. This light was a part of the rainbow that was rising from the Li Palace.
This underground cavern that had been frigid and pitch-black for centuries was not warmed by this light, but it was no longer so terrifying, especially when the light shone upon the snow on the ground. In doing so, it also shone upon many objects on the ground, thus imbuing this place cut off from the human world with some of its flavor.
Stoves of all sorts were scattered around, making the place seem like a termite nest. There were also all sorts of kitchen utensils, with pans, bowls, ladles, and basins of every sort. Coal from Tu Province, particularly known for the strength at which it burned, was piled up like a small mountain, and there were ten-some metal pots of varying size and thickness. The specially constructed table that seemed like the surface of a lake was piled high with every sort of food that a normal person could possibly imagine.
Around three hundred zhang away from this place was an area that probably served the purpose of a study. There were no walls and so naturally no painting or calligraphy hanging upon them. There was only a seemingly endless bookshelf brimming with books. As one walked along the bookshelf, furniture of all sorts of styles would appear along it—a desk, a chair, an imperial concubine sofa—until when one walked very far…
Here was a particularly massive bed, not very much smaller than the lake in the Orthodox Academy. This bed was ostentatiously decorated, its surface completely covered in carvings and its railing studded with seventy-two Night Pearls. Just by looking at it, one could imagine how comfortable lying in this bed would be.
The Black Dragon girl called Zhizhi, and also Zhusha, and also Hongzhuang, was currently lying on this bed, but it was obvious that she did not find it very comfortable. It was not because some unremarkable bean was buried at the bottom of the thirty-six layers of bedding, nor was it because the last blue lobster Chen Changsheng left had not been very fresh, but because she was currently very nervous.
The rainbow rising from the Li Palace illuminated the underground cavern, and it also illuminated the wall that she did not wish to face ten-some li away.
She was a Black Frost Dragon, one of the noblest beings in the world and possessing the most powerful of magical powers. She could see a silver leaf tens of thousands of li away, so she also could clearly see that a change was occurring on that distant wall: a collection of green leaves had appeared on that ice-covered stone wall.