Chapter 878 – The Thatched Cottage's Huai Ren
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
While conversing, the group reached the cliff.
A few pine trees grew on this cliff, and there were also slender waterfalls sending droplets of water splashing everywhere.
In front of the cliff was a large plateau. It was very flat and stretched so far into the distance that its edges could not be seen, making it seem more like a plain than a plateau.
This plateau was covered in trees, and one could see more flowering trees the deeper one went. Behind these flowering trees were countless buildings. The sight of black eaves and white walls peeking through the trees was quite beautiful.
Seeing the legendary South Stream Temple, Hu Thirty-Two found it quite different from the Li Palace and was full of praise. Tang Thirty-Six, however, thought of Wenshui City's ancestral hall and Chicken Crow Mountain outside, falling into a contemplative mood.
They passed through the green and flowering trees, traversing a twisting and turning path of damp stones, and arrived at South Stream Temple.
The group passed through the ceremonial hall, made their way through several small gardens, past several library pavilions, and came to the deepest part of the complex, where they saw a thatched cottage.
Many monoliths were standing around this thatched cottage. A few patches of moss could be seen on these monoliths, but they were incapable of concealing the lines deeply carved on those surfaces.
Both Tang Thirty-Six and Hu Thirty-Two had entered the Mausoleum of Books to view the monoliths and comprehend the Dao. At a glance, they were able to recognize that these monoliths were copies of the Heavenly Tome Monoliths.
These were not simple and crude models. The monoliths exuded a timeworn aura, seemingly one with the thatched cottage, creating its own little world. It was a scene that inspired awe and respect.
Despite Tang Thirty-Six's frivolous personality, coming to a place like this made him much quieter, and somewhat concerned that something might happen to the concealed Zhexiu.
Three prayer mats were laid out in the thatched cottage. Light streamed down from the colored glass installed in the roof. These rays of light were in no way dim, allowing one to clearly see what was inside.
The black-clothed Daoist nun they had met near the mountain gate was sitting on the prayer mat placed on the left-hand side. Her expression was still cold, and when she saw Tang Thirty-Six enter the cottage, a hint of viciousness appeared in her eyes.
A Daoist nun dressed in purple sat on the right-hand prayer mat. She had straight, thick eyebrows and most unyielding eyes. One glance was enough to see that she had a violent and fiery personality.
The Daoist nun seated on the center prayer mat wore a white temple uniform. Her expression was warm and gentle, her eyes as clear as the limpid autumn waters. She exuded an amiable and cordial aura.
But when Tang Thirty-Six saw this white-clothed nun, he felt wary, immediately guessing that this was the owner of the voice from earlier.
It was not because her clothes were white, the color most revered by Holy Maiden Peak, but because of the person.
At his side, Ye Xiaolian softly said a few words, bowed to the three Daoist nuns, then retreated to the back.
Tang Thirty-Six came to know that the purple-clothed Daoist nun was Huai Shu and the white-clothed Daoist nun was Huai Ren.
Huai Ren warmly said, "Young Master Tang and Archbishop Hu, please sit."
Tang Thirty-Six and Hu Thirty-Two obediently sat on the prayer mats intended for guests.
Huai Ren looked at Tang Thirty-Six and asked, "Is the Tang Old Master doing well?"
Tang Thirty-Six answered, "He's fine and hasn't died. But since I'm alive, he's naturally not very happy."
All the continent knew what had happened in Wenshui City, but nobody thought that he would reveal it, and that he would speak so disrespectfully of the Tang Old Master.
Huai Bi sneered at these words while Huai Shu raised her brows, clearly displeased at his words.
"Young Master Tang has spoken well. As long as one is alive, nothing can be better," Huai Ren faintly smiled and said to Tang Thirty-Six.
Tang Thirty-Six understood the meaning of this elder of South Stream Temple.
As long as the Tang Old Master was still alive, the Tang clan was the Tang Old Master's Tang clan. His earlier threat to South Stream Temple at the mountain gate would naturally not be realized.
"Right, living is truly the best, but someone like my second uncle would definitely not think so, because he is dead."
Tang Thirty-Six solemnly said, "This is truly a matter worth being happy about."
In what clan would one feel happy if one's uncle died?
Even if the entire world knew of the problems between him and the Tang Second Master, wasn't it improper to speak this way?
Huai Shu's eyebrows rose higher and higher, the anger on her face growing more and more evident. She had a violent nature and regarded evil as her personal enemy, and those she loathed the most were scoundrels who did not respect differences in seniority.
Huai Ren remained serene, but she now looked at Tang Thirty-Six with a more indescribable gaze.
She also understood what Tang Thirty-Six was saying.
She had spoken to tell Tang Thirty-Six that he alone could not threaten South Stream Temple. Tang Thirty-Six had countered by telling her that the Tang Second Master was dead and that he had won the war over the succession of the Tang clan. The Tang clan truly was the Tang Old Master's clan, but in the future, it would end up being his.
Of the donations that South Stream Temple received every year, a large majority was offered by the Tang clan.
But this was not the crucial point. The crucial problem was that South Stream Temple, its innumerable subordinate sects, and its agriculture businesses were in large part intimately tied to the business of the Tang clan.
Many sects did this. If they weren't doing business with the Tang clan, they had to do business with the Qiushan clan, the Wu clan, or the Mutuo Clan.
Cultivation had always been a large business.
With South Stream Temple's status in the world of cultivation, when its elders were choosing a business partner, they naturally chose the candidate with the best reputation, the longest history: the Tang clan.
Who could have expected that after so many years, the successor of the Tang clan would use their partnership to threaten South Stream Temple?
Huai Ren did not continue this topic with Tang Thirty-Six, instead asking, "Where is Young Master Tang's companion?"
This naturally referred to Zhexiu, which meant that South Stream Temple had known of his presence the entire time and was perhaps keeping an eye on him at this very moment.
Tang Thirty-Six was blessed with a very thick skin, so he calmly asked, "What is Your Reverence speaking of?"
Huai Ren faintly smiling, thinking nothing of his response. She turned to Hu Thirty-Two and asked, "Where is His Holiness the Pope? The disciples of the temple wish to receive the teachings of His Holiness as quickly as possible."
This was a very tactful set of words, and very polite, but the handiwork was not as exquisite, and it was somewhat laughable in how awkwardly it was constructed.
But her meaning was clear enough. Although everyone said that South Stream Temple was descended from the Orthodoxy, and though the Pope was a most revered position, entering without sending a message was still inappropriate.
Though Hu Thirty-Two also had a very thick skin, he knew that now was not the time to act recklessly. He pointed and said, "His Holiness has probably gone to the summit."
A sea of clouds lay behind that cliff, and in those clouds, one could faintly make out a lofty peak, Holy Maiden Peak.
Hearing this, the Daoist nuns seated on the sides were instantly startled, especially the purple-clothed Huai Shu. She furiously yelled, "Preposterous! The Holy Maiden is currently in secluded cultivation and is currently at the most critical moment. It is forbidden for anyone to disturb her lest they cause a deviation in her cultivation. Just who can bear this responsibility! Just what does the Pope plan on doing!"
Tang Thirty-Six answered, "After hearing that there was strife in South Stream Temple, His Holiness the Pope was worried for the Holy Maiden's safety. He ventured over vast distances without sleep or rest to visit. How is that inappropriate?"
Huai Bi sneered, "When has my South Stream Temple suffered any strife? The Holy Maiden's safety naturally has our support, so the concern of outsiders is not needed."
Tang Thirty-Six asked, "I hear that Xiao Zhang came to Holy Maiden Peak several days ago?"
Huai Ren raised her hand, ordering her junior sister to no longer speak. She calmly replied, "Correct."
Tang Thirty-Six stared into her eyes and questioned, "Why was he ultimately unable to enter the mountain?"
Three years ago, as snow fell over the capital, Xiao Zhang wielded his spear on the shore of the Luo River and saved the heavily injured Wang Po.
From that moment, regardless of whether Xiao Zhang was willing or not, the entire continent regarded him as a powerful ally of the Orthodoxy and Chen Changsheng.
The Imperial Court pursued him for three whole years for this reason.
At his lowest moment, he came to Holy Maiden Peak for temporary shelter, but he was driven away.
Could it be that Holy Maiden Peak no longer regarded itself as an ally of the Li Palace?
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