Chapter 885 – The Grand Ceremony Begins
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
The Eldest Brother of the Mount Li Sword Sect, Qiushan Jun, had vanished for five years and only recently returned to the mountain, the reason for which no one knew.
Gou Hanshi bitterly smiled and shook his head, thinking, Scholartree Manor still can't stand to be in the inferior position and want to use this matter to gain some advantages. In what way is this similar to Wang Po?
At this moment, he sensed that someone was looking at him. He turned to face this person, froze for a moment, then faintly smiled and bowed.
Chen Changsheng smiled and returned the bow. Now that he thought about it, it had been almost four years since he had last seen Gou Hanshi, and there were times when he would miss him.
South Stream Temple exalted the southern direction, so he sat on the high platform on the south face of the plateau, only ten-some zhang from where the disciples of the Mount Li Sword Sect were seated. However, it was inconvenient for him to rise and go over.
He noticed a somewhat clumsy-looking and naive youth at Gou Hanshi's side, and then looked at Gou Hanshi with a curious gaze.
All the other Mount Li Sword Sect disciples were standing behind Gou Hanshi, with only that youth sitting on the same row as Gou Hanshi. It was clear that he had a rather high status in the sect.
Gou Hanshi had the youth stand up, and then he introduced, "Sixth Junior Brother, Bai Cai."
Chen Changsheng came to know that this was the only member of the Divine Kingdom's Seven Laws that he had not yet met. He gave a warm smile and nodded.
However, Bai Cai kept his head held high, his face carrying a stubborn and aloof expression as he completely ignored Chen Changsheng. Even Gou Hanshi's increasingly stern gaze failed to make him lower his head.
Chen Changsheng was somewhat puzzled, then realized what was wrong and felt rather helpless.
He suddenly felt that Bai Cai's name sounded rather familiar, and then he remembered that that fellow's alias was Luo Bu… which made him feel even more helpless.
Radish and cabbage1—that fellow truly was lazy, or perhaps easygoing.
Chen Changsheng might have felt inconvenienced, but Tang Thirty-Six had never felt anything to be inconvenient in his entire life, and walked straight over to the Mount Li Sword Sect disciples.
Seeing him come over, all the people from the sects seated in this area began to rise and bow. Some knew his identity, while others had been reminded by the people seated near them.
Tang Thirty-Six waved his hand, indicating that he understood. He walked up to Gou Hanshi and asked, "Did that fellow come back?"
Gou Hanshi knew that he was asking about Guan Feibai and said, "He only got back two days ago. Oh, and congratulations."
The struggle over the succession of the Tang clan, Tang Thirty-Six's imprisonment in the ancestral hall for half a year, and the ensuing events had already been spread to the entire continent.
Tang Thirty-Six asked, "Who am I? Such trivial matters can't possibly hold me."
Gou Hanshi chuckled but said nothing. On the side, Bai Cai felt like he had heard these words somewhere before… Although it had not been many times, they had left a deep impression.
"Martial Granduncle's favorite expression," Gou Hanshi prompted.
Bai Cai was suddenly enlightened. He recalled the sight several years ago when his martial granduncle gathered all the disciples of Mount Li for a meeting, and repeatedly shook his head.
Tang Thirty-Six warned, "Don't misunderstand, I didn't learn from him. We just happen to have the same interests."
Bai Cai jeered, "Esteemed Martial Granduncle has the strength to back up his words, while you would probably still be imprisoned if not for His Holiness the Pope's protection. Just how are you the same?"
Tang Thirty-Six raised his brows and shot back, "That I have this sort of friend is due to my skill. To be impolite, just who has a better eye for talent than me?"
He was naturally speaking of how he had managed to get acquainted with Chen Changsheng in the Heavenly Dao Academy and later on in the Plum Garden Inn.
As for the people who realized Chen Changsheng's extraordinary properties afterwards, it was probably Luoluo, followed by Gou Hanshi.
At the time, the Mount Li Sword Sect's disciples were rivals to the people of the Orthodox Academy, but Gou Hanshi had never once underestimated Chen Changsheng.
Gou Hanshi naturally wouldn't quarrel with him over whose eyes were better. Pointing to the platform, he said, "It's about to begin; don't you have to go back?"
"You intend to drive away your guest? We haven't met in three years; what's the harm in chatting a little bit more?"
Tang Thirty-Six simply had no intention of going back. He took a chair from Scholartree Manor's seating area and sat down by Gou Hanshi.
He used a very soft voice to whisper a few things to Gou Hanshi, so low that not even Bai Cai could hear.
Gou Hanshi's expression did not change. He calmly responded, "I understand. You can leave now."
Tang Thirty-Six knew that Gou Hanshi was a true gentleman. Since he had said that he understood, he would naturally do it. Tang Thirty-Six could be at ease, but he still was not willing to leave.
He said woefully to Gou Hanshi, "Just look at Chen Changsheng over there, sitting all by his lonesome. It's so uncomfortable; I certainly don't want that."
Bai Cai interrupted, "Why do I think that you're worried that you'll have to stand there, since there's no chairs behind His Holiness?"
Tang Thirty-Six appeared unmoved as he replied, "Since you understand, why do you have to be so ignorant and insist on exposing it? You must have learned this from your second brother."
Tang Thirty-Six naturally didn't want to stand, but that woeful sigh of his was not completely false.
With the Pope's arrival, the archbishop from the southern church could no longer remain seated. He had long since stood up and gone over to accompany Hu Thirty-Two in attending on the Pope. Coupled with the ten-some priests who followed, Chen Changsheng's figure on the platform did not seem very lonely, but… it was somewhat lonely.
The clouds obscured the sun. The plateau, which was ten-some li in radius, was caressed by a gentle breeze stirred by an array, assuring that everyone was comfortable.
Three Daoist nuns arrived, a hundred-some disciples of South Stream Temple following behind them.
The gentle breeze caused their Daoist robes to rustle.
Everyone bowed, while the Prince of Xiang and the two clan heads also stood. Only Chen Changsheng did not move.
He was not even allowed to bow to these martial grandaunts of South Stream Temple, as this was not in accordance with the laws and etiquette of the church.
To be different from the masses was perhaps the reason for loneliness?
Huai Ren first thanked the Pope for coming, then mentioned the Prince of Xiang and the two clan heads, after which she spoke of all the other sects. Finally, she began to discuss the topic of today's ceremony.
Her first sentence explicitly stated the purpose. "South Stream Temple has decided to close the temple for ten years. I invite all our fellow Daoists to act as witnesses…"
Gou Hanshi had already guessed at South Stream Temple's intentions before coming, but since Chen Changsheng had arrived, the situation should have improved. Unexpectedly, this extremely senior martial grandaunt still persisted in closing the temple. Then he noticed that Chen Changsheng's position was quite some distance from South Stream Temple's, causing him to be even more concerned.
"Since you arrived last night, does that mean you failed to persuade them?" he asked Tang Thirty-Six.
Tang Thirty-Six sneered at Huai Ren, "These old things seem to pity the state of the world and don't want South Stream Temple to be pulled into its foul waters, but really, they've just been lonely too long and aren't willing to resign themselves. They just want to come up and stir up a storm to prove that they are the true masters of South Stream Temple. How could they be persuaded?"
Of the various generations of the Mount Li Sword Sect, the thousand-some teachers and disciples of all its various mountains, all the disciples—excluding the most senior Su Li, whose innate character was most unruly and arrogant—were strict and righteous people, regardless of whether they were born in poverty or grew up in some respected family. This sort of personality meant that they all paid great attention to seniority, respecting the gap between the old and the young.
Upon hearing Tang Thirty-Six's words, Bai Cai felt very uncomfortable and creased his brow.
1. 'Luo Bu' sounds rather similar to the Chinese word for 'radish', and as mentioned before, 'Bai Cai' literally means 'cabbage'.↩
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