Chapter 731 – The Black-Clothed Girl Walks Out of the Snow
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
"Does it really have to be this way?"
Chen Changsheng's gaze looked across the lake.
The existence of these blue-clothed Daoists was no longer a secret. Many people knew that they were from the eastern capital of Luoyang, from a once-obscure Daoist monastery.
"I said before that I have never made any plans," Shang Xingzhou replied.
Peaches and plums did not speak, but a path would form underneath them nonetheless1. The height of the sun decided the angle at which many plants grew.
For a powerful figure like Shang Xingzhou, no actions or plans needed to be taken on his part, and there would naturally be many people willing to kill Chen Changsheng on his behalf.
This was because he had already made his stance clear through many matters.
Chen Changsheng drew back his gaze to Shang Xingzhou and asked, "Even if it's a war this time?"
According to the Pope's dying wish, he had come to the Orthodox Academy to engage in this important negotiation with Shang Xingzhou, so he had naturally made arrangements.
The Li Palace was heavily guarded, and the Orthodoxy cavalry was ready to charge in at any time. When those blue-clothed Daoists had arrived by the lake, Mao Qiuyu and the others had probably arrived as well.
Most importantly, he was the current Pope. If Shang Xingzhou insisted on killing him, he would inevitably stir up a conflagration that would destroy the entire capital.
"I have many supporters in the Li Palace," Shang Xingzhou calmly replied.
As the only Saint of the Great Zhou Dynasty, as the teacher of both the Emperor and the Pope, Shang Xingzhou already had an absurdly high reputation.
And he was also a member of the Orthodoxy's legitimate line, so he had every right to be master of the Li Palace.
Let alone the normal priests of the Li Palace, even some cardinals and perhaps even some of the Five Prefects would be willing to accept his descent.
However, the Pope's dying words and the means he had left behind were extremely unyielding, and the matter had already been announced to the world, allowing the Orthodoxy to maintain its unity.
If Shang Xingzhou was truly willing to take this risk, even if he could not personally attack, he still had enough strength to forcefully kill Chen Changsheng in the Orthodox Academy. As long as the act was fast enough and caused a small enough stir, what might happen next?
A snowstorm enveloped the capital and thus enveloped the Orthodox Academy. Together with this snowstorm, a dense mass of soldiers also surrounded the Orthodox Academy.
A girl walked out of the snow toward them.
She was dressed in black, her head slightly lowered. Her rather wide collar had become a black hood that obscured her face.
Miraculously, from the street to the entrance of Hundred Flowers Lane, not a single soldier had noticed her presence.
Only when she was close did the experts of the Imperial Court and priests of the Li Palace realize her existence through her footprints.
"Stop!" a person harshly yelled, either a general of the Imperial Court or a cardinal.
A major incident was highly likely to happen today, so the capital had descended into an extremely tense atmosphere. At this moment, a girl had suddenly walked out of the snow. Anyone would find it strange.
Upon hearing this voice, the black-clothed girl trembled. She continued to make her way into the lane, her steps even more hurried. She seemed rather scared.
Of course, this response could also be understood as arrogant.
"Are you seeking death?"
A sinister voice rose up from the shadows of the lane.
The buildings of Hundred Flowers Lane had already been leveled by the cavalry of the Imperial Court in the crises of the last few months. Only the shell of the tea house, which still had some commemorative value, remained standing.
Just as the girl walked past this building, that sinister voice spoke, followed swiftly by a cold and sinister sword glow as a shadow pierced towards her.
This sword glow was abnormally bright, yet it was unremarkable when mixed with the snow. Its sword energy was particularly frightening.
Even more frightening was that when this sword glow burst out, the shadow in the lane seemed to be exuding shards of starlight.
The Star Condensation assassin who had chosen to attack first was most likely from the Pavilion of Heavenly Secrets. As an expert that had just been subdued by the Imperial Court, they wished to prove their value as quickly as possible. Their encirclement of Chen Changsheng in the alley of the Northern Military Department had ultimately become a chaotic battle with no conclusion. Tonight, they did not want to miss out on another chance.
No could have imagined what happened next.
Nobody expected it, not the assassins in the lane, the experts of the military, the Guardians of the princely estates, or the Li Palace priests and experts of the academies at the end of the lane.
When the cold and sinister Qi arrived, the girl still had her head lowered, the face shrouded in the hood showing no reaction.
But then, the sword glow shattered into countless shards, vanishing into the night sky and truly mixing with the wind and snow.
The shattering here was a true shattering, as even the assassin's sword had shattered, causing the sword glow to shatter with it.
There were very few people in the world that could deal with a Star Condensation assassin, and as for someone who could shatter the sword of a Star Condensation assassin…many people had never even heard of such a person.
This was not the true conclusion, as after the sword glow shattered, another similar object also shattered.
The assassin shattered.
There was a soft buzz.
A smattering of pink suddenly appeared in the snow falling over Hundred Flowers Lane as if someone had poured several large tubs of paint over it.
Immediately afterwards, several dozen chunks of meat rained onto the ground. Only with careful examination could one make out that these were the limbs and organs of some human.
A gale of blood and a rain of limbs—all this had happened in a brief instant.
Only after this could people clearly make out the scene.
The black-clothed girl still had her head lowered, her face still shrouded in the shadow of the hood and difficult to make out. However, she had extended a single hand forward.
This hand was very small and white, like a snow lotus. However, it was currently dripping with blood, creating a striking and ghastly sight.
At her hand's current position was just falling snow, but it had previously been where the Star Condensation assassin was.
The dim lane was deathly still.
After a moment, several roars of anger mixed with shock rose up. An assassin from the Pavilion of Heavenly Secrets and two experts of the military transformed into three streams of snowy wind as they struck.
Plop plop plop. It was a sound like three ripe grapes dropping to the floor or three holes appearing in the ice.
These three streams of snowy wind instantly shattered.
These three experts of Imperial Court became three more rains of blood and shattered flesh!
No one could clearly make out what that girl had done, but in reality, she had done nothing at all.
She had just extended a hand into the snow.
The snow heeded her will to wipe out all that existed within it.
Then, she raised her head.
The black hood descended and her black hair fell like a waterfall, revealing the face of a young girl.
Her face was snow-white as if she had never seen the sun in her entire life. It was beautiful and elegant, but it also gave off an aura of biting cold.
Most striking of all were her eyes.
They had vertical pupils.
They were exceedingly monstrous and beautiful.
At this moment, her eyes were extremely perturbed.
There was reminiscence, unease, timidity, and also some madness.
This sort of eyes paired with her snow-white face stained with blood presented a most terrifying sight.
Suddenly, she stuck out her tongue and licked the blood on the corner of her lips.
This action made those experts hidden in the snow and the dark night feel a fear in the deepest depths of their soul.
1. This line is from the 'Records of the Grand Historian'. Its meaning is that though peach and plum trees do not intentionally draw people, their flowers and fruit result in people eventually treading out a path beneath them.↩