Chapter 814 – A New Comrade
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
Chen Changsheng suddenly asked, "Is there a chance that the Longevity Sect would collude with the demons?"
Zhexiu replied, "It is the ancestral hall of the Daoist sects in the south, a famous righteous sect. The idea is completely unreasonable."
His answer was not based in virtue or morality, but in terms of benefit to be gained.
Betrayal demanded benefits, and the Longevity Sect's roots lay in the Human race and the Daoist faith. What benefits could working with the demons offer it?
Chen Changsheng asked, "But have you ever thought, if the Longevity Sect had not been working with Xuelao City, just how could the Longevity Sect have been able to capture Qi Jian's mother?"
This truly was a problem.
Back then, the whereabouts of the Demon Princess were assuredly extremely secret. Logically speaking, the Longevity Sect should not have been able to capture her so easily.
"Just now, when you finished recounting what happened in the mountains, I also began to think about this problem."
Zhexiu continued, "Su Li massacred the Longevity Sect too ruthlessly. Even if it still had some reserves in the south, it's impossible for it to deceive everyone at the Mount Song Army headquarters."
Chen Changsheng looked into his eyes and asked, "And if they have other helpers?"
Zhexiu understood his meaning, a cold light flashing briefly in his eyes.
This journey of theirs to Wenshui was to pick up a friend. It now seemed they also had to ask a few more questions while they were there.
Night enveloped the desert. Low roars could faintly be heard from the distance, perhaps beasts gnawing on those corpses.
The earlier conversation had mentioned Qi Jian's parents multiple times, so the conversation continued along that line.
Chen Changsheng asked, "How many years has it been since the two of you met?"
Zhexiu thought, then replied, "Five years?"
Time passed at a steady speed, not fast or slow, making it very easy for a person to go numb, to forget many things.
Chen Changsheng asked, "Do you still remember her?"
Zhexiu thought of that charge through the Garden of Zhou, how they struggled to survive together in the Plains of the Unsetting Sun, of how he carried her and she gave directions. The lines on his face gradually began to soften.
He did not need to answer Chen Changsheng's question, because an answer was not required. Similarly, he did not need to remember, because he had never forgotten.
"Don't worry, after I cure your illness, we'll go with you to Mount Li to propose. Of course, that's if she hasn't forgotten you."
"How can a famous sect of the south think much of a lonely soul like me? And in the eyes of the common people, I've always been a monster."
"You're not a lonely soul, you're the Vice Superintendent of the Orthodox Academy. And besides… Mount Li is different."
"And you? How is Xu Yourong doing? It's been a long time since anyone's heard any news about her."
Chen Changsheng fell quiet at Zhexiu's question, his face clearly showing yearning and concern.
It had already been half a year since he had received a letter from Wenshui City, but it was now almost two years since he had received one from Holy Maiden Peak and three years since they had last met.
"She's in seclusion."
Chen Changsheng paused, then continued, "Absolute seclusion."
Only at the most crucial moments would cultivators enter absolutely closed cultivation, as this was an extremely dangerous method of cultivation. No one knew when they might break through: a few months, a few years, a few decades, or perhaps until they passed away while seated in their cave.
Xu Yourong possessed shocking talent, so her absolute seclusion was assuredly different from normal, presumably more dangerous.
But Zhexiu could understand why Xu Yourong had chosen to enter absolute seclusion.
Holy Maiden Peak required a true Holy Maiden; the Li Palace required a true ally.
So she needed to break past that threshold in the shortest time and enter the Divine Domain.
Zhexiu didn't know what to say, so he could only pat Chen Changsheng on the shoulder in comfort.
After not meeting for three years, they spoke much more than they did in the past, but they were still not very skilled with their words, unlike that fellow in Wenshui City.
Just then, a figure suddenly appeared on the distant mountain ridge, accompanied by a tough and cold voice.
"Whoever you are, don't think about escaping."
Chen Changsheng and Zhexiu had a momentary misperception, feeling that that fellow really had appeared.
The figure walked down the mountain ridge and finally reached them.
It was not the person they were thinking of, though this one was truthfully rather similar to that one in certain aspects. As a result, whenever they met, they would immediately be at odds with each other, wanting nothing more than to fight.
This person was a swordsman. Though he was covered in dust, it could not obscure his heroic aura.
Chen Changsheng and Zhexiu had spoken for a while on Mount Li, and now someone from Mount Li had truly come.
Guan Feibai, Fourth Law of the Divine Kingdom's Seven Laws, a genius of the sword from Mount Li, only beneath Qiushan Jun in terms of talent.
Upon seeing Chen Changsheng after three years in this desolate and rocky mountain, Guan Feibai was naturally shocked, his mouth agape as he struggled to find something to say.
And then he remembered that Chen Changsheng was no longer an ordinary student of the Orthodox Academy, but the Pope.
They were acquaintances, but this generation of Mount Li Sword Sect disciples were different from their martial granduncle and were always very courteous.
He bowed to Chen Changsheng and said, "Paying respects to His Holiness the Pope."
Chen Changsheng had long since risen and now sincerely returned the bow.
Guan Feibai had many questions he wanted to ask, but hesitated to speak.
Chen Changsheng asked, "How did you come here?"
Guan Feibai replied, "I received an order to leave Blue Pass and scout the enemy. By accident, I discovered that the Brown Bear tribe was acting strangely, so I followed their tracks to here."
Zhexiu glanced at him, looking rather surprised. "You're a scout?"
Guan Feibai arched his brows and asked back, "Are you the only one allowed to do it?"
It seemed that not much had changed from the Grand Examination and the Mausoleum of Books.
Back then, the only one of the Mount Li Sword Sect's inner sect disciples that Chen Changsheng had somewhat of a conflict with was Guan Feibai.
The reason was very simple: his personality was too stubborn, his temper bad, he was excessively violent, and his mouth never spared anybody. In a few aspects, he was rather similar to Tang Thirty-Six.
Other than friends of the same faction, no one would ever like this sort of person, just like how the person of the Orthodox Academy that the common people most loathed was always surnamed 'Tang'.
Later, Chen Changsheng's impressions of Guan Feibai underwent a significant change. It was not because of their interactions in the Mausoleum of Books and at Boiling Stone Summit, but after that, when the Imperial Court was using its full might to suppress the Orthodox Academy. When no one dared to offer their support… Guan Feibai had come.
He and Chen Changsheng had conducted a very uninteresting conversation, after which he had requested that Chen Changsheng personally send him off.
This was a stance, a stance that he did not mind having the entire capital see.
Chen Changsheng was grateful and told him, "Thank you."
Guan Feibai had replied, "You're welcome."
To these youths that had experienced Xun Mei intruding upon the Divine Path and Wang Po sending him off, these two words held a very deep meaning.
'From this point on, we are friends.'
"Did you kill all of them?"
Guan Feibai pointed at the mountain behind them.
Chen Changsheng turned to Zhexiu.
Zhexiu did not speak, as he did not like to talk.
With no other alternative, Chen Changsheng explained.
"In the past few years, the Brown Bear tribe has been working together with the Demon race in secret. Only when they saw how our side was improving last year did they begin to get close to us again. Their background has never been clean and they're easily controlled by others." Guan Feibai looked at him and asked, "The problem is, just who wants to kill you?"
Chen Changsheng replied, "We want to go to Wenshui."
With this simple answer, Guan Feibai understood. After a few moments of thought, he asked, "Is that guy okay?"