Chapter 816 – The Great Western Continent's Ambitions
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
The blue-clothed stranger was surprised that Wang Po had seen through their origins at a glance. After silently pondering this, they replied, "I did not expect that the experts of the continent were already at such a high level. When Guan Xingke visited us, he was far inferior to you, and Tie Shu is also inferior to you. Could it be that your side is more suitable for cultivation?"
The stranger spoke of Guan Xingke and Tie Shu, both experts with very deep connections to the Great Western Continent, Tie Shu even being born there.
"You were on good terms with Tie Shu?" Wang Po asked.
The blue-clothed stranger replied, "He truly was an old acquaintance."
Wang Po calmly looked at the stranger and asked, "You want to take revenge for him?"
The stranger began to laugh, their voice still hoarse and raspy.
"Revenge? I once chased Tie Shu into the sea, where he was ultimately saved by Guan Xingke. He would not think that I would take vengeance for him, right?"
In their battle in the capital three years ago, Tie Shu had died under the strike that Wang Po used to break through, but no one could deny Tie Shu's power. When Tie Shu still lived on the Great Western Continent and had still not broken through that threshold, he was still an extremely talented expert, yet he had been pushed into such desperate straits by this person. From this, one could presume that this person had an extremely high status and lofty reputation in the Great Western Continent.
Wang Po thought of this person's rueful comment and explained, "It's not that the Central Continent is more suitable for cultivation, but that we have more cultivators here, so the competition is more intense."
The blue-clothed stranger muttered for a while before finally saying, "That is reasonable. Then in your view, with my current level of strength, where would I rank in the Central Continent?"
Wang Po replied, "Probably in the top ten."
The continent was vast and contained countless experts. That Wang Po, a great expert of the blade, would personally say that this stranger would rank in the top ten meant that this person was truly extraordinary.
Yet all he received in exchange from the stranger was a sigh.
"Only top ten?"
The blue-clothed stranger sorrowfully said, "In the end, remaining content in one's small corner in peace and joy is not the proper path of the cultivator. Falling behind is a given."
Wang Po replied, "Peace and joy is also desirable."
The stranger looked into Wang Po's eyes and said, "Falling behind will result in being attacked, sealing oneself off will end in decay. In the end, we should still return."
Wang Po fell silent for a very long time before saying, "I have no opinion on this matter."
If the humans living on the Great Western Continent wanted to return to the Central Continent, it would certainly be a major event that would provoke all sorts of troubles and disputes.
Even if only a small portion of experts wanted to return, they would still require territory and resources.
But from Emperor Taizong to the Tianhai Divine Empress and up to the present, this had been the irresistible trend, from the alliance with the demi-humans to the confluence of the north and south and finally to the unification of the east and west.
Because if humanity wanted to resist and ultimately exterminate the Demon race, it had to gather together its entire strength.
After all, those living on the Great Western Continent were still humans, so in the view of many human experts, they were even more trustworthy than the demi-humans of White Emperor City and it was only right that the relationship be strengthened. As for the demi-humans themselves, in the past they might have been worried that the return of the humans from the Great Western Continent might affect their status, but now that their empress was from the Great Western Continent, they would probably not be too wary.
The number of people that could decide this matter was very small: the Emperor of the Great Zhou, the Pope, the Holy Maiden, the White Emperor couple, and now one needed to add Shang Xingzhou.
An expert like Wang Po naturally had a voice in this matter as well.
In the past, Wang Po had supported it, but now, his thinking had changed.
Whether it was the fact that Mu Jiushi had almost become the next Pope or that a Divine Domain expert of the Great Western Continent had brought people in an attempt to kill Chen Changsheng, it was now plain to see that Shang Xingzhou had worked through Madam Mu to form a pact with the Great Western Continent.
The conflict between the Great Zhou Imperial Court and the Orthodoxy was worsening by the day, each side keeping watch over the other, making it extremely difficult for the Imperial Court to secretly mobilize true experts and kill the Pope. However, the Great Western Continent was a power that came from beyond the chessboard.
If Chen Changsheng had truly journeyed along the river as he had originally planned, then if Wang Po had not come, the Great Western Continent really might have killed him.
Wang Po would not accept this.
"Since you have no opinion on the matter, why did you appear here?"
The blue-clothed stranger asked, "The Orthodoxy must have had preparations, so your presence was not needed, or perhaps His Holiness the Pope wished to use this method to force you into making a stand?"
"Just because I have no opinion does not mean that I do not have a standpoint. My standpoint has never once changed."
Wang Po continued, "When it was Tianhai against the Imperial clan, the Imperial Court against Su Li, or now where it's teacher against student, I have always supported the correct standpoint."
The stranger asked, "What do you mean by 'correct'?"
Wang Po answered, "His Holiness the Pope is a good person."
What was a correct standpoint? How could one determine right and wrong? It turned out to be just a simple question of good or bad.
But people would always change, so how could one make a judgment? Since one could not look at the entire life, one could only look at the moment. As long as they were a good person at this moment, then it was enough. When Su Li was heavily injured on the snowy plains several years ago or when Chen Changsheng was heavily wounded by Hai Di just a little bit more than a year ago, they should not have been treated this way by their own world.
After a moment of silence, the blue-clothed stranger asked, "And if it is the Tang clan that wants to kill him?"
Wang Po recalled that snowstorm in the capital from three years ago.
While he and Tie Shu sat across from each other at the table, the Tang Second Master spoke four words.
'Kindness weighty as mountains'.
He still used his sheathed blade to slap the Second Master on the face. He still used his blade to break through the sheath and slay Tie Shu.
If kindness was as weighty as mountains, then it should be returned, but seeking repayment of kindness was another matter entirely.
The stranger understood his silence and shook his head. "It was the Tang Second Master that time, but if he enters Wenshui now, he will be confronting the Old Master."
Many years ago, Wang Po had worked as an accountant in Wenshui for quite a few years. The Tang Old Master had treated and raised him like his own son. It had been many years since he had returned to Wenshui; would he return this year? Just as the blue-clothed stranger said, the entire continent wanted to know, if he really did return to Wenshui, how would he face the Old Master? No matter how strong he was, how firm his will, could he possibly raise his blade against the Tang Old Master?
As he watched Wang Po's figure vanish downstream, Luo Bu fell into a long silence. His fingers moved lightly amongst the winter plums, not making a sound.
Even he would not know what to do in this situation.
The blue-clothed stranger also left.
Luo Bu left the river bank, following them at a distance of about two to three li.
This mysterious visitor from the Great Western Continent was clearly an expert of the Divine Domain. Following them undiscovered was incredibly difficult, perhaps even a death sentence. But Luo Bu had no intention of stopping, because he wanted to know the entire truth of the matter.
It was just like how, several years ago, he had contended with the young experts of Xuelao City and taken enormous risks for the sake of that key.
And now he was confident that he would not be discovered by the stranger.
Both banks of the river were covered in dead grass carpeted with frost. They looked very similar to the grass around Sloping Cliff Horse Farm, like countless swords piled together.
He walked amidst this frosted grass as if wanting to become one with it, because he was also a sword.