Chapter 798 – Yes, Your Holiness
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
An Hua and the deputy general watched speechlessly as the Monster Bull and the Mountain-toppling Fiend slowly made their way into the depths of the plains.
Everything they had seen upon coming to this world was simply too shocking.
The deputy general recalled how he had once heard some fellow say that the Demon Commander enjoyed sitting between the coiled horns of a Mountain-toppling Fiend.
But in the Pope's world, even a crippled Earth Monkey could sit in the same place.
"General, might I know your name?"
A voice broke his stunned recollections.
He turned around and saw that Chen Changsheng was looking at him. He hurriedly responded, "This lowly general is called Chen Chou."
Chen Changsheng asked, "General Chen, I am very interested in a certain matter. When you decided to go to Gaoyang Village, were you not worried that your superiors would accuse you of absconding from your duties?"
Chen Chou bitterly smiled as he answered, "I'm a disgraced general from Seven Li Xi that was transferred to the Mount Song Army headquarters. I originally had nothing to do, so I thought it would be fine to try and save a person. I didn't expect to encounter so many troubles."
Chen Changsheng felt that the name of Seven Li Xi was very familiar, but he did not think about it too much.
He greatly admired this general called Chen Chou, both for the risks he had taken to send an array master to Gaoyang to seek medical aid, and for the bravery and resolve he had shown in front of those experts. He asked, "What about now? Do you still plan on returning to the Mount Song Army headquarters for work?"
Chen Chou was somewhat confused, asking, "Your Holiness means?"
Chen Changsheng replied, "If you go to the Mount Song Army headquarters and become Divine General, presumably no one will leave you without things to do."
Chen Chou froze, and only began to slowly emerge from his stupor with An Hua's gentle voice. Wearing a perplexed expression, he pointed at himself and asked, "I return to the Mount Song Army headquarters and become Divine General?"
Chen Changsheng affirmed, "Correct."
Chen Chou found this idea completely ridiculous. He couldn't help but bitterly smile and shake his head. "If this were before I was transferred, if I were still commanding general of the roaming cavalry, and perhaps if I fought on the frontlines for another ten years, accumulating merit and increasing my strength, perhaps I truly might have a chance at that position in the Mount Song Army headquarters. But now…"
Right now, he was just a deputy general, the lowest-ranking general. He was separated by a full six ranks from the position of Divine General, so was there anything even worth talking about?
In the end, he just sighed.
He had always felt that his father had chosen a poor name for him.
Chen Chou, Chen Chou, achieving merit but no rewards, only having them slowly molder in the records1.
How else could that fellow be transferred to Sloping Cliff while he ended up in a place like this?
Chen Changsheng suddenly realized that he didn't know what to say next.
If that friend of his were here instead of Wenshui City, perhaps everything would have become much simpler.
That friend would assuredly pat Chen Chou on the shoulder and heroically declare, "Who is Chen Changsheng? If he says you can do it, then even if you can't do it, you can still do it."
This was precisely the reasoning, but Chen Changsheng could not bring himself to say such words.
Fortunately, there was still another person present.
An Hua walked in front of Chen Chou and quietly whispered a few things to him.
Only then did Chen Chou remember that the person who wanted him to be Divine General was not some swindling priest from a small church, or one of those avaricious secretaries of the Ministry of the Army, but the Pope!
His eyes brightened, but then quickly became confused and turbulent with emotion.
An Hua knew that this was the response after one's mind had been dealt a heavy blow, and smiled as she shook her head. She paid him no more mind and returned to Chen Changsheng.
The Li Palace had never involved itself in government affairs, and in the past few years, it had been particularly inconspicuous.
Logically speaking, even if Chen Changsheng was the Pope, he could not casually arrange for a person to become Divine General of the Mount Song Army.
Moreover, just as Chen Chou said, he was clearly not the ideal candidate, lacking in both seniority and backing.
But to An Hua, this was not a question that even needed thinking about.
From the snowy mountains to this world, from the origins of the Cinnabar Pill to dispersing the monster tide with the wave of his sleeve, the image of Chen Changsheng in her heart had continued to grow until it had become supremely divine and imposing.
She was currently Chen Changsheng's most loyal believer and follower.
To put it another way, if Chen Changsheng were to right now tell her that the sun would rise from the west tomorrow morning, she would definitely wait the entire night just to look upon the horizon. If she realized that the sun was still rising from the east, she would then contemplate whether she had heard wrongly or was looking in the wrong direction.
"Return with Chen Chou to the Mount Song Army headquarters."
Chen Changsheng said to her, "I will write a letter for you to carry. In addition, I have a few other matters that I need to trouble you with."
An Hua felt flattered to be given this honor of carrying out a mission for the Pope, but she also felt a massive pressure, as if she was standing in front of an abyss. Her voice shaking, she said, "Yes, Your Holiness."
Chen Changsheng examined her face, finding it rather familiar. With a sudden idea, he asked, "What is your relationship with Archbishop An Lin?"
An Hua became even more humble as she softly responded, "Archbishop An Lin is my aunt on my father's side."
Chen Changsheng did not pursue the topic. Whether the Orthodoxy or the Imperial Court, they were all assembled from relationships between people, so there was no need to speak more of it.
His gaze moved up the White Grass Path, but he still did not see that temple. He thought to himself, was it destroyed when that shard of the sky fell down? When I have the time, I should check it out. He then confirmed that the things he had left here were still intact. Feeling that there was no more need to stay, he brought An Hua and Chen Chou out.
The wind between the mountains was somewhat colder. The stars in the night sky quietly watched the three people by the stream.
An Hua and Chen Chou did not have any experience in spatial transition, so they could not help but be a little dazzled and absent-minded. They needed some time before finally being able to calm back down.
"Your Holiness, where are we?" An Hua asked.
Chen Changsheng replied, "Sloping Cliff Horse Farm. That road leads to the Mount Song Army headquarters. The next courier station is twenty-four li out. I am sorry for troubling you like this."
Upon hearing 'Sloping Cliff Horse Farm', Chen Chou seemed a little surprised. He looked towards the sparsely lit barracks and thought, could that fellow be here?
An Hua finally could no longer restrain her question, "Your Holiness, the world that you placed us in to save us… where was it?"
Chen Chou also could not help but look over. He also wanted to know the answer, but he was also a little nervous.
Chen Changsheng considered the question, then answered, "You guessed correctly. That place was the Garden of Zhou and that mausoleum was the Mausoleum of Zhou."
Upon having their most burning question answered and confirming that they had passed the last few days in that legendary place, An Hua and Chen Chou felt very satisfied.
Since there was no more reason to stay, they parted.
"Your Holiness, please take care of your health for the sake of all the believers in the world."
After watching those two figures disappear into the darkness, Chen Changsheng fell quiet for a very long time.
He had done many things in the years after leaving the capital, but it was tonight, when he requested An Hua and Chen Chou to complete those two tasks on his behalf, that he truly began.
In the past few years, he acted according to his martial uncle the Pope's plan, acted according to that agreement made on that snowy night in the Orthodox Academy, and concealed his identity as he traveled the world, silently improving himself. But it seemed that his master and many more people still did not trust in his silence.
He had been silent, but no matter how silent he was, he was still the Pope.
He already had the unconditional trust and loyalty of countless believers, just like An Hua.
Then he should bear without conditions the burdens he should bear.
In the name of the Pope.
1. The name Chen Chou consists of the words '陈' and '酬'. '酬' means 'reward' while '陈旧' means 'old-fashioned'.↩