Chapter 727 – Redemption, and a New Legend
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
(TN: Way of Choices will be on break from December 25th, 2017 – January 7, 2018)
The stone wall was carved with portraits of Qin Zhong and Yu Gong, two Divine Generals of the previous generation. Their painted hands held two chains that were tied around the girl's feet. This was the array that Wang Zhice had laid down all those many years ago. In the ensuing centuries, no one, the little Black Dragon included, had the strength to pull these two chains from the wall. Even through using the Canon of Flowing West and his own blood, Chen Changsheng was only able to hope that this feat would be possible after two years. Logically speaking, a stone wall imbued with such a powerful array was inevitably cut off from any external organisms and no plants should have been able to grow on its surface, but now there was a Green Leaf growing from it.
There were only three leaves on this Green Leaf, and it had originally been fat and tender. Now, however, it looked rather thin and weak, as if it had lost a great deal of energy.
Perhaps it was because this Green Leaf was spreading too many roots?
Countless roots so thin that they were difficult to pick out with the naked eye were growing out of the bottom of the Green Leaf and spreading across the portraits on the stone wall. Some of the roots had found the smallest of cracks and burrowed into the wall. Upon probing inside, they would begin to almost frenziedly grow under the light of the rainbow.
The rainbow from the Li Palace and the Green Leaf were currently attempting to the break this array.
The little Black Dragon had no idea what was going on, why this was taking place, so she was very perplexed and nervous. Her small face was pale, the cinnabar birthmark between her eyebrows all the more striking.
What bathed the world was not starlight, but the rainbow.
When all the colors of a rainbow gathered in one place, it would be colorless. Noiseless and unbeknownst to all, it cast its light on New North Bridge, and it also shone upon the Frost Flower Market.
In the Frost Flower Market was a seemingly unremarkable, but actually heavily guarded, garden called the Orange Garden, Mo Yu's residence and her current prison for her house arrest.
The array within the Orange Garden was like thin snow under the blazing sun, silently melting away under the light of this colorless, invisible rainbow. No one was alarmed, neither people nor the frogs hibernating within the snow.
Several small lanterns made from orange peels hung over the window. They were very cute, and the light penetrating through them was red and seemed warmer than usual.
Mo Yu kneeled on a prayer mat, facing in the direction of the Li Palace. Her eyes were closed, her long lashes slightly fluttering. She felt an incredible warmth.
This was the Pope's final redemption to her. Perhaps it was related to the arrangements she had made back then to bring Chen Changsheng into the Orthodox Academy or perhaps it wasn't, but it was a redemption nonetheless.
The rainbow vanished, and the precious treasures of the Orthodoxy within the Grass Moon Hall and the other five halls gradually grew calm.
The frigid air over New North Bridge grew even colder. Even that black hole in the ground had been ruptured apart by the cold.
The orange trees of Frost Flower Market were decorated with a new layer of frost, a beautiful sight rare to see. The lanterns in front of the window were still warm, but there was no one atop the prayer mat.
The Pope's funeral was very quickly conducted. All the preparations had long been in place.
The diplomatic missions from White Emperor City and the south had remained after the celebrations because they had all mentally prepared themselves for this.
It was precisely because everything was already prepared that the people of the world felt anguish, but not shock. Nor did too many people feel fear or unease.
From autumn to winter, the Great Zhou had lost two Saints, and the Storms of the Eight Directions had suffered even greater losses. If one also added Su Li and the Holy Maiden of the south, who had departed beforehand, in the short span of a few years, the number of peak cultivators humanity possessed had undergone a steep decline. However, in the view of the common people, the demons had suffered even greater losses through their civil war and so they would not have courage to bring their armies south.
Some people did not think this way, such as the Pope who had already returned to the sea of stars. Besides him, those who knew the truth of the matter also began to feel more and more nervous as time passed.
The Li Palace had already made an announcement, so the entire world knew that Chen Changsheng was the new Pope of the Orthodoxy, even if he had not yet formally ascended to the throne.
The shocking and confusing fact was that no one had seen him during the Pope's funeral.
This was almost unimaginable, but both the Li Palace and the Imperial Court remained silent on the issue as if there was a tacit agreement between the two sides. And what was this tacit agreement? Was it that agreement made after the long conversation the Pope and Shang Xingzhou had, on the night when Wang Po and Chen Changsheng killed Zhou Tong? Or were both sides waiting for a certain moment to come?
As the new year approached, another yellow page would be ripped off the calendar, and the winter sun would rise over the horizon once more. Many things would change.
On New Year's Day, the Great Zhou Dynasty would formally change eras and the young emperor's status would become unshakable. On the same day, the Li Palace would conduct a succession ceremony and the Orthodoxy would welcome a new master.
The young Emperor and young Pope were martial brothers.
Nothing of the kind had ever happened before.
This also meant that the current Emperor and Pope were both Shang Xingzhou's students.
This was also something that had never happened before.
From every angle conceivable, this was the greatest peak to which one could ascend in life, and was perhaps even unimaginable before all this had occurred.
He had led the entire world in overthrowing the rule of the Tianhai Divine Empress, predicted and even perhaps taken part in the destruction of the Demon Lord, subdued the Pavilion of Heavenly Secrets with the wave of a hand, and now the two disciples that he had personally raised were about to become the two most important people of the mortal and religious spheres. Even if Shang Xingzhou was not a god, he had already become a legend.
Somewhat regretfully, nothing in this world was truly perfect. Fate, which reigned above the starry sky, would not allow such a thing to occur.
That problem still needed addressing, no matter how incomprehensible people found it that Chen Changsheng would be so confrontational with his own teacher. It still needed addressing, no matter how perplexed people were at why Shang Xingzhou so disliked, even loathed this disciple that he should have trusted…in short, this problem had to be addressed.
This was no longer merely a problem between teacher and disciple. It now concerned the fate of all of humanity, perhaps the world.
Just what would happen on New Year's Day? The first civil war in the Great Zhou Dynasty's history?
Snowstorms continued to rage. The Grass Moon Hall, the Pure Cassia Palace, and the Moss Institute were all dyed white. A lonely trail of footprints could be seen on the snow.
The streets outside the Li Palace were completely deserted. An invisible energy was constantly rippling between those famous stone pillars.
Whether it was the priests or ministers of the various halls, the students and teachers of the Ivy Academies, or the more than twenty thousand Orthodoxy cavalry, not a single person came out.
The various barracks of the Imperial Court within the capital were at the highest state of alert. Several Divine Generals were leading the world-famous black-armored heavy cavalry back south from the snowy plains of the north and were currently garrisoned at Black Mountain Valley. Based on the time needed for this journey, this terrifying flood of armored cavalry had left the Northern Army twenty days ago, when the Pope had still been alive.
The atmosphere in the capital was abnormally tense.
On New Year's Eve, snow was still falling, and it could even be called a raging snowstorm.
The capital had suffered a particularly harsh winter this year. Nobody knew that this was for the most part due to the abandoned well near the Imperial City.
The afterglow of the setting sun barely managed to peek through the clouds and snow, shedding an extremely faint twilight against the walls of the palace.
Suddenly, an unimaginably cold Qi flooded out of the abandoned well. Both dried leaves and mud were instantly frozen rock-hard. Even the ice and snow, through some other, more incomprehensible method, were frozen again. Even the twilight seemed to be frozen.
A sound that had originally been very crisp came up from the depths of the well to the surface. It was already faint, even weaker than the sobbing sound that followed it.
A girl was crying.
She was crying nonstop, but the emotions expressed by this sobbing changed every moment. Sometimes it was incredibly happy and excited, other times particularly dismal and sad.
The soldiers of the Imperial City and the commoners in their houses all heard the sobbing of this young girl, but they did not know where it came from; they looked all over but could not find the source. They found it even more puzzling that a little girl was outside on such a frigid day and was still alive, and was even constantly crying. She cried from dusk until the late night, never once stopping for a break.
From that day on, in New North Bridge, a new legend appeared alongside the legend of the evil dragon.
The main character of this legend was a child daughter-in-law killed by her heartless mother-in-law.