Chapter 867 – Part of a Sight That Others Can Only Watch from a Distance
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
The people of Fengyang City continued to kneel on both sides of the street, a dense and silent crowd.
"Disperse. I presume that everyone has many things that they need to do to make a living," Chen Changsheng said.
After passing through that small village at the base of Mount Han, he had gained experience in accepting the prostration of the masses, but he was still somewhat unaccustomed to it.
To put it another way, 'unaccustomed' meant bashful or shy, so his voice was somewhat soft, making it impossible for many people to hear.
"Quickly disperse! Those who need to open their businesses should open their businesses, those who need to go to work should go to work, and those who need to go to school should go to school!"
Tang Thirty-Six shouted at the crowd.
His voice was very loud, his expression natural. It was like he was the one that was Pope.
Naturally, no one listened to him.
Very quickly, the magistrate of Fengyang County ordered his troops to maintain order.
The people lining the streets stood up but didn't leave. They stared at Chen Changsheng, their faces showing all sorts of emotions: respect, piety, passion, excitement, and many more.
To the people of this remote city, this was probably the only chance they would ever have to personally lay eyes on the Pope, so how could they so easily leave?
The priests of Fengyang City's church also hurried over, but they were not very different from ordinary believers. Upon seeing Chen Changsheng, they became so nervous that they couldn't speak. Their Daoist robes instantly became soaked in sweat and their legs went even softer than Xiao Zhang's. To wit, they were useless.
The blue-clothed Daoists and experts of the Imperial Court also did not leave.
Tang Thirty-Six looked at them and said, "What? Are you really thinking about assassinating the Pope in front of tens of thousands of people, thereby succeeding in causing the stupidest and bravest situation of all time?"
Such harsh jeering and coarse words actually had some effect, because the target of their criticism was so clear that everyone could understand.
Countless furious gazes fell on the Daoists and experts of the Imperial Court, and those officials also failed to escape.
The officials and experts retreated far away while the crossbowmen disarmed their crossbows so as to avoid any disrespect.
The blue-clothed Daoists stood ten-some zhang away, but they did not seem ready to leave.
Chen Changsheng took out a few pills.
Hu Thirty-Two went into the Seven Treasures Stronghold to ask for a bowl of water.
Xiao Zhang used this bowl of water to drink the handful of pills.
Chen Changsheng hesitated for a moment, then said, "Those pills were meant to be taken over three days."
At these words, the paper over Xiao Zhang's face flapped.
"There's no wind; is that just from breathing? As expected from an expert of the Proclamation of Liberation, his anger causes such turmoil."
Tang Thirty-Six very seriously commented.
He wouldn't have been afraid of Xiao Zhang in the past, let alone now.
His three years of imprisonment in the old estate and the ancestral hall, especially that half-year at the end, had truly stifled his voice too fiercely.
At some point, the similarity of the Tang clan's young master to Su Li had spread around the continent. Xiao Zhang knew that little advantage could be gained from quarreling with this fellow and decided to ignore it. He said to Chen Changsheng, "Don't hope that I'll sell my life to the Li Palace."
"A thing like one's life naturally can't be sold," Chen Changsheng agreed.
On the side, Tang Thirty-Six said, "Who said you can't sell a life? Have you ever thought about how my idol makes his living? How did I play that final hand in the ancestral hall?"
Chen Changsheng looked at him, saying nothing.
Tang Thirty-Six waved his hand, indicating that he understood and would stop saying whatever came to mind.
Chen Changsheng looked at the nearby Daoist and said, "Whether one is guilty or not all depends on a single sentence from the Imperial Court. I can pardon all the hollow crimes they charged you with, but they can charge you with new crimes at any time and keep up their endless pursuit."
Xiao Zhang said, "When I struck with my spear on the Luo River, I didn't think of this much, so there's no need for me to think of it now."
"Your wounds are too heavy and numerous. You need to recuperate, so I want to arrange a place for you to hide away for some time."
Chen Changsheng added, "I'm not Wang Po. There are no grudges or affections between us, so there's no need for you to reject my good intentions."
Xiao Zhang was quiet for a while, then said, "In fact, I had also thought of finding a place to hide away."
After being pursued by the Imperial Court for three whole years, how could he not feel exhausted? No matter how unbridled he was, he also knew that this could not continue.
Not long ago, after being heavily wounded, he truly did want to find a place to rest, but such a place was quite difficult to find.
There were very few sects that were both daring enough and able to defy Shang Xingzhou's majesty.
He had old grudges with the Mount Li Sword Sect and Scholartree Manor, and was not willing to lower his head to them, even if his refusal resulted in his death.
The place he ultimately chose was the same place Chen Changsheng had intended to bring him.
Holy Maiden Peak.
Hearing Xiao Zhang's words, Chen Changsheng's party was shocked. Since he had already gone to Holy Maiden Peak, why had the Imperial Court chased him here?
"I wasn't able to enter Holy Maiden Peak."
Xiao Zhang's eyes pierced through the holes in the paper, turning somewhat dark, perhaps because he was recalling the circumstances of that day.
"The sword array formed by those girls is truly difficult to deal with, and since they clearly didn't want me, should I implore them to let me in?"
Chen Changsheng felt this very strange. After the battle of the Luo River, the Imperial Court began to pursue Xiao Zhang. Everyone knew what the Li Palace's position on Xiao Zhang was. Even if Xu Yourong was in seclusion, South Stream Temple was masterless, and the people in the temple did not like Xiao Zhang's way of doing things, was there a need for such an unyielding stance?
As he thought of these questions, his eyes met Xiao Zhang's.
He suddenly understood that Xiao Zhang was telling him that something might have happened in South Stream Temple.
"When leaving South Stream Temple, I encountered a party from the Imperial Court and quickly avoided it."
"Because there were two sedan chairs in that party. I don't know who was in them, but they were far stronger than me."
Chen Changsheng and Tang Thirty-Six glanced at each other, knowing the answer.
"The Prince of Xiang and Wuqiong Bi… Where were they going?"
"It wasn't clear. Afterward, I was ambushed by some monster. Because I was driving out its poison, my old injuries broke out, and then these houseflies came chasing after me. It was very annoying, so I wanted to come here and drink some tea."
Drinking tea could truly calm one's mind, but Chen Changsheng's party knew that Xiao Zhang must have thought he did not have long to live and so wanted to come here and drink some tea.
Both involved drinking tea, but the reason and frame of mind were different.
Chen Changsheng had a vague guess as to who that monster was.
To poison a person like Xiao Zhang, who else could it be?
"Have you been eating well lately?" Chen Changsheng asked.
Xiao Zhang replied, "I can eat my fill, but I'm not eating well."
Having to watch for an ambush at any moment, always looking out for poison—anyone would find it difficult to savor one's food this way.
There was a restaurant in the Seven Treasures Stronghold, so they found a private room to sit in. In a short while, they began to partake of a sumptuous banquet.
Chen Changsheng was also eating, so there was naturally no one who dared to poison the food.
Xiao Zhang paid no attention to anyone else. His chopsticks descended like the wind, swiftly emptying the plates of their delicacies.
He didn't drink alcohol, but he did drink half a pot of winter wild tea.
To be able to eat in such a relaxed fashion was already a very extravagant matter for him.
After eating and drinking to his heart's content, Xiao Zhang became too relaxed and fell asleep at the table, his snores seemingly echoing throughout the entire city.
Chen Changsheng's party quietly watched him, none of them saying a single word.
Outside the restaurant, countless people were also watching him, none of them saying a single word.
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