Chapter 836 – A Cup of Tea
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
The Tang Old Master looked into Chen Changsheng's eyes and asked, "Even if he taught an Emperor and a Pope, he still does not have the right?"
Chen Changsheng calmly replied, "Since one is an Emperor and one is a Pope, he should let them do their jobs."
The young eagle chick had already left the nest and begun learning how to fly; the small sapling was already sturdy enough to resist the wind and rain. Thus, they should be allowed to freely mature.
Only this way could the eagle soar towards the horizon, could the tree tower to the skies and gain more rain and sunlight.
"In Xining Village's old temple, all the books were given to me and everything else was given to Senior. No matter how vast the family property, it still has to be passed on to one's descendants in the end."
Chen Changsheng continued, "Let alone the fact that this is not Master's property, but the world."
The Tang Old Master did not speak.
The old estate's steward walked out from some place and speedily cleaned up the dishes on the table, not making a single sound.
After a while, a tea pot and two tea cups were placed on the table, but tea had not been poured into the cups.
Chen Changsheng gave the Tang Old Master a formal bow to be expected from a junior. Then, without waiting for a response, he walked over to the table and sat down.
He raised the tea pot and filled the cup in front of the Tang Old Master, after which he filled the cup in front of him.
He felt like he had returned to the past, to the stone table in the Hundred Herb Garden. With this feeling, the last remnants of tension vanished, and he truly calmed down.
The Tang Old Master clearly sensed the change in his mood and revealed a hint of admiration.
"I also don't like the phrase 'the world is my property'," he said to Chen Changsheng. "But do you feel that you have the right to treat the world?"
'Treat' was treating illness, but it was also treating the ills of the country, governance.
Chen Changsheng replied, "I am confident that Senior has this ability. As for me, I am also learning."
The Tang Old Master fell into another long period of silence. Suddenly, he asked, "What was your first feeling upon entering the old estate?"
Chen Changsheng very seriously pondered this question, then replied, "It was more ordinary than I imagined. Even those wooden tablets above the gate, I found very intentional, and I found this intention ordinary."
To an ordinary clan, or even to those famous sects and clans, the wooden tablets over the gate of the Tang clan's old estate were a supreme glory. But with regard to the Tang clan, this sort of glory was somewhat intentionally displayed, as the Tang clan did not need these things. On the contrary, such glory actually diluted the Tang clan's mystery. Using Chen Changsheng's words, it made the Tang clan seem ordinary.
The Tang Old Master replied, "Because the old estate has always been a very ordinary courtyard. The reason it is unusual is that the heads of the Tang clan have lived here."
Chen Changsheng understood the Old Master's meaning.
Many people believed that the mystery of the Tang Old Master arose from the fact that he had never fought with anyone and that the Tang clan was too frightening, leaving no one who dared to show him the slightest disrespect. His true level of strength could not possibly be as frightening as imagined.
But the meaning of the words the Tang Old Master spoke to Chen Changsheng was very clear.
The Tang clan was so terrifying because all the heads of the Tang clan had been very powerful, including the Old Master.
Chen Changsheng replied, "But since Sir is willing to meet me in the old estate, it means that Sir is willing to hear a few words from me."
The Tang Old Master commented, "It has already been many years since I've met an outsider. You are the fifth outsider that I have met in the old estate in these past few years."
Chen Changsheng knew that Su Li and Wang Po were assuredly included amongst these five. He just didn't know if Mo Yu had been able to meet the Tang Old Master on her visit to Wenshui, but if she had not, who were the other two people?
"Xu Yourong. I have a good relationship with her," the Tang Old Master explained. "That I am willing to meet you today is in large part because I am very curious to see just what the person she loves looks like."
This time, Chen Changsheng was truly shocked. It was only a couple nights ago that he learned that, before her absolute seclusion, Xu Yourong had come to Wenshui to examine the Tang clan chief branch master's illness. He had not expected that she also had this level of relationship with the Tang clan. He thought in confusion, although Xu Yourong is the Holy Maiden of the south and has a high enough status to converse with the Tang Old Master, there's such a vast discrepancy in age, so where are they similar? Why did the Tang Old Master say that he has a good relationship with her?
The Tang Old Master said, "There are countless types of relationships in the world: friends, lovers, comrades-in-arms, commercial allies… These relationships each have their own disadvantages, their own entanglements, and all variety of falsehoods and concessions. Only one relationship is most real and simple, where one can clearly see what the other is thinking, and without taxing the mind too greatly."
Chen Changsheng asked, "Which relationship is this?"
The Tang Old Master placed his cup down and lightly knocked on the table. "Mahjong partner."
Chen Changsheng fell into a long stupor.
Only now did he notice that this table in front of the Tang Old Master was not an ordinary dining table. The table was square and made from the most precious iron pear wood. The surface of the table was extremely smooth, but careful examination would reveal many fine grooves on it. One could imagine that some sort of hard object had formed these grooves through years and years of grinding. He then discovered that a small, flat box was hidden on each side of the table. Were they meant for holding silver banknotes?
This was actually a mahjong table.
The Tang Old Master had probably played mahjong on this table for centuries, going through countless mahjong partners.
And at some point, he had gained a new mahjong partner.
It was a girl from South Stream Temple.
"Yourong likes to play mahjong?" Chen Changsheng found this rather hard to imagine.
"She doesn't just like to play, she also plays it very well. Not even I am necessarily a match for her. There are many times where I've had the mind to call Little Po back."
The Tang Old Master's eyes were just like that old well in the courtyard, serene and flat, yet unfathomably deep. "But it's obvious that you don't like to play mahjong, let alone have the skill for it. This being the case, I advise that you not seat yourself at the table in the first place."
Saying this, he took up his tea cup and slowly took a sip, not caring whether the tea was hot or cold.
Taking up the tea cup was tantamount to sending off his guest. The tea in the cup was already half-consumed, so the guest should know that it would be difficult to get anywhere and retreat.
Chen Changsheng did not think this way.
He was well-versed in the Daoist Canon, knew astronomy and geography, and countless sword styles, but he didn't know how to spell the word 'difficult'.
He looked at the Tang Old Master and said, "Sir perhaps truly does not know what I want to say."
The Tang Old Master said nothing.
No matter how fiercely the wind blew, how could the bottom of the ancient well be disturbed?
If the Tang Old Master did not want to listen, who could force him to listen?
"Sir has drunk my tea," Chen Changsheng pointed out.
The Tang Old Master asked, "So what? And this is my tea."
Chen Changsheng replied, "In Xining's old temple, it was Senior Brother that boiled and poured the tea. In these past few years, I have only poured tea for one person."
Rather interested, the Tang Old Master asked, "Who?"
Chen Changsheng recalled those nights in the Hundred Herb Gardens, all sorts of emotions bubbling up within him as he said, "The Divine Empress."
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