Chapter 877 – The Reason for South Stream Temple's Chaos
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
That the bamboo sea had fallen silent indicated that the fellow hidden deep inside it had felt the same thing as Tang Thirty-Six.
When she heard this voice, the viciousness on the black-clothed Daoist nun's face gradually retreated. She coldly glared at Tang Thirty-Six, apparently wanting to say something. But she had probably recalled Tang Thirty-Six's earlier threat, so all the words she had planned to say ultimately became a simple snort. With an enraged visage, she flicked her sleeve and left.
Seeing the Daoist nun walk away, Tang Thirty-Six called, "Hey! Don't leave if you have the guts! Snorts also count! Next year's donation will be halved again!"
Those disciples that had not gone to Mount Han or the capital looked at each other, speechless. Is this that young master of the Tang clan that I've heard so much about? Why is he so different from the rumors? This temper is just a little too excessive.
"It's fine, it's fine. Martial Grandaunt certainly doesn't care about any donation. She has a noble clan supporting her. If not for Martial Grandteacher's words, she would have disregarded your threat and smacked you down with a single palm."
Ye Xiaolian raised her petite hand and feigned a punch at Tang Thirty-Six's stomach, then said, "Donation money is used by us disciples. You'd better not actually cut it."
Tang Thirty-Six held his stomach, feigning injury as he sorrowfully said, "Your petite hand and petite face are both quite beautiful, so how come your heart became so prejudiced? It was for your sake that I stepped up."
Ye Xiaolian had long since gotten used to his cheeky demeanor and didn't care much for it. "Since Grandteacher wants to meet you, let's quickly go."
Tang Thirty-Six finally reacted, asking in shock, "The Holy Maiden returned? What of Su Li? Don't tell me that she was cast off again?"
He was naturally not speaking of Xu Yourong here, but Xu Yourong's teacher, the previous Holy Maiden.
Hu Thirty-Two was also stunned, but upon hearing the last question, he mistepped and almost fell off the mountain path.
Ye Xiaolian and the other girls were angrier. One by one, they fixed Tang Thirty-Six with furious glares, wanting nothing more than to take out their swords and hack him to bits.
"I was just making a joke to lighten the mood; why so serious?" Tang Thirty-Six said with an apologetic smile.
Ye Xiaolian suppressed her temper and explained, "The grandteacher I am referring to here is the senior sister of the martial grandaunt from just now."
Tang Thirty-Six commented, "I feel like you've just said something useless."
Ye Xiaolian was helpless and further explained, "My grandteacher is not the previous Holy Maiden, and that's all you need to know. In terms of seniority, she is an elder of very high status in the temple."
"Just what has happened in South Stream Temple?"
Upon confirming that the black-clothed Daoist nun was far away, Tang Thirty-Six stopped, smiled, and earnestly asked, "Just who are that old woman and the grandteacher that you spoke of? Why have I never heard of them?"
Ye Xiaolian replied, "Please be a little more respectful, and besides… Martial Grandaunt has reached an extremely high realm, has met with success on her cultivation, and so has means of stopping her appearance from aging. Just how does she look old?"
"For people like them, no matter how young they look, they're already old."
Tang Thirty-Six pointed at his stomach, then looked at the girls of South Stream Temple and declared, "But we are all very young, so there are times when we don't need to listen to them."
The meaning of these words made all the girls fall into a pensive mood.
Hu Thirty-Two sighed, perhaps because he had thought of his own age.
Ye Xiaolian was moved by Tang Thirty-Six's words, and her eyes moistened.
One girl worked up her courage and said, "I'll say it."
Before she could start, a fellow disciple and friend of hers advised, "Martial Grandaunt won't be happy."
"Don't be afraid. You can tell me anything."
Tang Thirty-Six said to Ye Xiaolian, "If that old woman dares to scold you, then there won't be any donation next year."
Ye Xiaolian broke into a smile and asked, "Can you take the responsibility?"
Tang Thirty-Six's expression did not change. "If it's a crime to swindle others so that I can stand up for you, then just lock me up in Zhou Prison."
Ye Xiaolian blushed. "Can't you speak properly?"
Tang Thirty-Six innocently replied, "It's not like I'm a proper person."
Since time immemorial, the cultivators of the south had a tradition of descending the mountain and traveling the world after reaching some level of success in their cultivation. Scholartree Manor had this tradition, as did the Mount Li Sword Sect, and Holy Maiden Peak was no exception.
Xu Yourong had once gone to the Southern Sea, while her teacher the Holy Maiden had gone off with Su Li to the distant other continent.
Besides them, Holy Maiden Peak also had elders from the previous generation that had spent all this time traveling the world, with long spans of time in between their returns, and it was precisely because of these excessively long intervals that many people had forgotten them. Even if some people did remember, they would think that these elders were still roaming, or perhaps had even returned to the sea of stars.
No one had expected that half a year ago, three elders of the previous generation who had been traveling the world for several decades would suddenly return to Holy Maiden Peak.
These three elders were of extremely high seniority. In the present South Stream Temple, it was actually impossible to find someone of a higher generation than them. To put it another way, they were currently the old ancestors of Holy Maiden Peak.
The return of the old ancestors was naturally the most joyous of occasions, but soon after, everyone realized that their return had caused a very troublesome problem.
When the previous Holy Maiden left, she had not expected these martial sisters of hers who were traveling the world to return, and had directly passed South Stream Temple into the hands of Xu Yourong.
When Xu Yourong entered seclusion, she also had not thought of this matter, and had passed the administration of the temple to two senior sisters of high integrity and steady demeanor.
Now that these ancestors had returned, just who would South Stream Temple be managed by?
Logically speaking, it should have been managed according to Xu Yourong's orders, but these three elders were truly too senior. If they expressed an opinion of the temple's administration, would anyone dare to ignore them?
It would have been for the best if these three martial grandaunts were devoted to cultivation and had no care for the temple's administration, but this was not the case.
They did not care about the day-to-day affairs of the temple, but on one particular matter, they had a very clear and unyielding stance.
This matter involved the relationship between Holy Maiden Peak and the Li Palace.
It was the merging of the Orthodoxy's north and south.
The three martial grandaunts were unbending in their rejection of this matter, and they made a decision certain to shake the entire continent.
This decision was the reason Ye Xiaolian and the other disciples of South Stream Temple were so depressed, their emotions so complex.
After listening to Ye Xiaolian's recount, Tang Thirty-Six thought for a few moments, then asked, "They sent no message before they returned?"
He could understand, even accept, the three elders' fierce opposition to the merging of the Orthodoxy's north and south.
The thoughts of elders were often much more unyielding and impossible to change, his clan's Old Master serving as a prime example.
What put him on guard was the decision that Ye Xiaolian had not explicitly stated, as well as the information that was hidden behind this matter.
Given that they had left the most hallowed holy land in the world and traveled for several decades, these three martial grandaunts should not have been people that lusted for glory, power, and riches. Even if they did have things that they couldn't let go, just who could have sought them out in this vast continent and then had them return to South Stream Temple to do these things?
"No one had expected for them to suddenly returned. It was just like…" Ye Xiaolian paused, then continued, "A sudden ambush."
Tang Thirty-Six asked, "What are their names?"
Ye Xiaolian replied, "My grandteacher is called Huai Ren, and the martial grandaunt you saw has the Daoist name of Huai Bi."
Tang Thirty-Six felt strange. Have I heard these two names somewhere before?
Ye Xiaolian, having no idea what he was thinking, continued, "And there is also a martial grandaunt called Huai Shu."
Tang Thirty-Six pondered these names, then said, "If they're all like that old woman, their true personalities the opposite of their names, then this will be quite the problem1."
1. The Daoist names of Huai Ren, '怀仁', Huai Bi, '怀璧', and Huai Shu, '怀恕', are not their actual names, but names that they take upon leaving secular society and entering the temple. Huai Ren means 'Cherishing Benevolence' and Huai Shu means 'Cherishing Forgiveness'. The 'Bi' of Huai Bi refers to a jade disk with a hole in it that was usually conferred on someone of high social status or moral integrity. Huai Bi's name could also refer to the saying, '匹夫无罪，怀璧其罪'. The meaning of this saying is that while an ordinary person might be innocent, if they are keeping some sort of treasure, it might lead to disaster.↩
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