Chapter 882 – The Imperial Court's Diplomatic Mission Arrives
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
Huai Ren had failed to convince Chen Changsheng.
Similarly, Chen Changsheng had failed to convince this martial grandaunt of South Stream Temple.
Huai Ren said, "You should know well that the Holy Maiden will not be able to come out of this seclusion for some time. It might be ten years, twenty, or even longer."
Chen Changsheng truly did know this. The letter Xu Yourong had written to him had clearly explained everything.
Holy Maiden Peak required a true Holy Maiden, as only this way could it maintain its hallowed status in the Orthodoxy and the south.
At the same time, the Orthodoxy also needed a true Holy Maiden, as only this way could it have a greater right to speak in this conflict with the Imperial Court.
The south also needed a true Holy Maiden, as only this way could it reverse the disadvantage in Divine Domain experts that resulted from Su Li's leaving with the previous Holy Maiden.
If Chen Changsheng was able to enter the Divine Domain, he would be able to resolve many problems.
But he was the Pope, needed to lead the Orthodoxy and its millions of believers.
Holy Maiden Peak was in the distant south and had comparatively fewer matters to manage. She had more time and energy than Chen Changsheng.
Thus, Xu Yourong had decided to enter seclusion and charge towards that high, high threshold, striving to enter the Divine Domain in the shortest time possible.
In the records of history, the vast majority of Divine Domain cultivators had only been able to do so after several centuries of cultivation, an example of this being the Elder of Heavenly Secrets.
Even true geniuses of unsurpassed talent, such as Bie Yanghong, required a hundred-some years of bitter cultivation.
If one only examined the past thousand years, disregarding those even more ancient eras, the fastest people to enter the Divine Domain were Zhou Dufu, Chen Xuanba, Emperor Taizong, and Su Li. However, whether it was Su Li, Zhou Dufu, or Wang Po, it was only after the age of forty that they had managed to see those inexplicable mysteries of the heavens.
Even Chen Xuanba, whose talent was rumored to be high enough to shake the sea of stars, had only had a chance to cross that threshold at the age of thirty.
Xu Yourong had the blood of the Heavenly Phoenix and was unquestionably one of the most talented and gifted cultivators in history, but she could not be stronger than these legends of the past.
From these facts, one could conclude that in her charge to the Divine Domain, her seclusion would last at least ten years, even if she was just as much of a genius as Chen Xuanba.
"You say that this matter requires the Holy Maiden to make a decision, but she cannot exit her seclusion, so what can be done? South Stream Temple will still have to confront this question."
Huai Ren continued, "I do not have the wisdom to make this choice, so I will have South Stream Temple close for ten years and wait for the Holy Maiden to leave her seclusion and make a decision."
Chen Changsheng replied, "Your Reverence should also know what she would choose if she were not in seclusion."
Huai Ren answered, "Even if the Holy Maiden agreed, I would still think of a way to prevent Holy Maiden Peak from being a vanguard in the Orthodoxy's war against the Imperial Court."
Chen Changsheng asked, "Could it be that Your Reverence has not realized that of the several hundred disciples of South Stream Temple, not a single one supports your decision?"
Huai Ren fell quiet for a while, then said, "That is because they are still young and have no idea of the terrors of war."
Chen Changsheng said, "The Daoist Canon clearly describes the difference between wanting to fight and fearing a fight. I do not want to repeat it."
Huai Ren replied, "I have also already clearly stated South Stream Temple's stance and have no desire to repeat it."
Darkness suddenly descended, the ten-some mountains becoming as black as ink.
At the most crucial and tensest moment of this negotiation, the blossoming trees were suddenly illuminated by lanterns. Ping Xuan, accompanied by several disciples, quickly hurried over.
Ping Xuan bowed to Chen Changsheng, then said to Huai Ren, "Master, a message was sent from the base of the mountain saying that the Imperial Court's diplomatic mission has arrived."
Chen Changsheng's expression turned slightly grave. He had not expected the Imperial Court's people to come so quickly.
Huai Ren asked, "Who is leading the diplomatic mission?"
Ping Xuan replied, "The Prince of Xiang."
Huai Ren appeared unmoved by the Prince of Xiang's name, but she inwardly felt relieved.
She had risked the Li Palace's rage to push this matter of closing the temple, and taken on an enormous pressure. This conversation with Chen Changsheng had also thoroughly exhausted her. Now, the Imperial Court's diplomatic mission had arrived, and it was led by the Prince of Xiang, who had just entered the Divine Domain. Presumably, they could relieve South Stream Temple of some of its burden.
Chen Changsheng found it rather strange that he had not heard Wuqiong Bi's name.
Huai Ren had asked who was leading the diplomatic mission, but if Wuqiong Bi were also present, a capable disciple like Ping Xuan would certainly have mentioned this important point.
No matter how detestable Wuqiong Bi's personality was, she was still an expert of the Divine Domain, the number of which could be counted with one's fingers. If she had not been mentioned, it could only mean that she was not with the diplomatic mission.
Outside Wenshui City, and when Xiao Zhang had seen them, Wuqiong Bi and the Prince of Xiang had been together, but where had she gone now?
Soon after, even more news was sent from the mountain gate.
The Longevity Sect's representative had come, as had the Mutuo clan's and the Wu clan's. The Vice Principal of Scholartree Manor had also arrived, as had representatives from all the other great sects of the south.
"Forgive me, Your Holiness. I must go down the mountain to welcome them."
Huai Ren apologized to Chen Changsheng, then left the cliff.
Others of South Stream Temple remained to take care of Chen Changsheng's party, led by the purple-clothed nun Huai Shu.
From her appearance, one could see that this Daoist nun had a very violent personality, but when she guided Chen Changsheng's party, she did not speak a single word.
Given Chen Changsheng's status, South Stream Temple naturally had to give him the best treatment, opening to him the most exalted building in the temple.
Ye Xiaolian and several other disciples were busy tidying the furnishings of the room. Tang Thirty-Six stood on the side, directing their movements, but not lending a single helping hand.
"This courtyard has not been opened in many years and is inevitably somewhat dusty. I ask that Your Holiness wait for a few moments."
Huai Shu added, "Because it has been many years since a Pope has visited Holy Maiden Peak."
Chen Changsheng said, "I request Your Reverence's guidance."
"The Orthodoxy is the Daoist faith, but the Daoist faith is not the Orthodoxy. At the very least, Holy Maiden Peak has never enjoyed the Orthodoxy's favor, so no matter what our fellow believers in the capital might think, no matter how the scriptures of the church described that schism, the Li Palace has never thought highly of us."
Huai Shu looked at him and asked, "Now that the Li Palace is in danger and requires us, Your Holiness has come to us. Does Your Holiness think this is appropriate?"
The night gradually deepened. After dinner, Chen Changsheng stood in the courtyard, gazing in the direction of the Tong River. He quietly looked at that barely visible belt of silver, then said, "There's no need to rush the investigation. The first priority is to stop the closing of the temple. If these three elders remain steadfast, we can promise to not mention the matter of unification."
Quite some time had passed since they had left Wenshui City and come to Holy Maiden Peak, but the Li Palace had still not received any news on the return of these three martial grandaunts and the major event that was the closing of the temple. This was an incredibly worrying matter. It seemed that Daoist Baishi's sudden death was not able to resolve all problems.
Hu Thirty-Two left to carry out his order. He had the means to transmit Chen Changsheng's decree as quickly as possible to the capital and the nearby churches. When he returned to the courtyard, he had already obtained the most recent intelligence. Just an hour ago, the representative of the Li Palace had finally arrived at the base of Holy Maiden Peak. Apparently, Mao Qiuyu had sent this person over on very short notice.
This news was slightly relieving to Chen Changsheng, but there was still a problem that he could not understand: where had Wuqiong Bi gone?
Tang Thirty-Six also found it very strange. "That old Daoist nun loves to participate in events like these. There's no reason for her to leave mid-journey."
Chen Changsheng thought of the unease he felt when he stood in front of the stone wall at the summit. His mood turned gloomier, and he found it hard to sit still, so he walked out of the courtyard.
Vote for ZTJ!
Way of Choices ebook 3 (covering chapters 129-179) out now!