Chapter 887 – If You Ask Me, My Answer Is No
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
Only the Longevity Sect elder understood the meaning of Tang Thirty-Six's words.
The poison that had been used on the Tang First Master had come from Chusu, and Chusu was a monster raised by the Longevity Sect.
If this elder said to Tang Thirty-Six that his words had power, then the fury of the Tang clan would be his to bear.
He did not dare, so he could only say that his words held no power.
Tang Thirty-Six turned his gaze to the Prince of Xiang and those other powerful figures. "Words without the slightest potency, no matter how moving, are still just nonsense. Even in its dire straits, the Longevity Sect is not so idiotic as to approve a pile of nonsensical words. I think that this reasoning also holds true for everyone else present."
The Wu clan head looked at Tang Thirty-Six and said, "Worthy nephew, your words are somewhat too excessive. This is, after all, South Stream Temple's affair."
Tang Thirty-Six replied, "Sir is my elder and speaks reason. Since this has nothing to do with any of our clans, why make our positions known in advance? If the Imperial Court and the Orthodoxy want to fight, let them fight. It won't be too late to pick a side when the winner is about to be decided, so why take our seats in advance?"
The Old Lady of the Mutuo clan sighed, "The Old Master did not say as such in his letter."
Tang Thirty-Six smiled. "Madam also knows that a few things happened in Wenshui City recently. My esteemed elder has naturally had a change of mind."
Huai Ren finally spoke.
She calmly said to Tang Thirty-Six, "In the end, this is still a matter of my South Stream Temple. Although the stance of others is also very important, it is not critical."
Tang Thirty-Six faintly smiled at her and asked, "This being the case, why has Senior called so many people to add to your prestige?"
Infuriated, Huai Bi shouted, "As an outsider, what right do you have to criticize the matters of my South Stream Temple!"
Huai Ren indicated that she should say no more, then said to Tang Thirty-Six, "I know that you've always felt that since the Holy Maiden passed the management of the temple to two disciples before entering seclusion, we elders who have returned after traveling the world should not involve ourselves in such affairs, especially something as major as the closing of the temple. Do I speak correctly?"
She spoke these words to Tang Thirty-Six, and naturally to Chen Changsheng, the Mount Li Sword Sect, and Scholartree Manor as well.
Tang Thirty-Six felt that something was wrong. He frowned, but didn't give a 'yes' or 'no'.
"Ping Xuan, Yi Chen, before the Holy Maiden entered seclusion, she decreed that the temple was yours to manage."
Huai Ren warmly said, "In front of our fellow Daoists of the world, I will ask you: do you agree or disagree to the closing of the temple?"
As she said this, many gazes fell on two South Stream Temple disciples at the front of the crowd. The cultivators of the Mount Li Sword Sect, Scholartree Manor, and all those other sects present knew that these two were Ping Xuan and Yi Chen, the people that the Holy Maiden had personally chosen to handle the matters of the temple.
Hearing this, Ye Xiaolian and the other young girls of South Stream Temple glanced at each other, pleasantly surprised. Their senior sisters—or perhaps it was better to say 'their martial aunts'—would naturally not agree.
Tang Thirty-Six suddenly felt uneasy.
Ping Xuan's face was pale, and for a very long time, she did not speak.
She recalled the long conversation she had with her master Huai Ren last night, thought of how her master had talked about a tradition that would persist through the ages, how the existence of the temple's Dao was at stake, remembered the resolve and boldness her master had shown as she declared that she was willing to die for a just cause. She had no idea what she would do. Based on her own desires and her understanding of the Holy Maiden, she would naturally object, but would this not be condemning her master to death in front of the world?
Yi Chen was facing an identical situation. She recalled the serene and firm expression of her master last night and her Dao heart gradually wavered. She could not maintain her calm expression, and tears began to trickle from her eyes. As she silently apologized to the Holy Maiden, she stammered out, "I agree."
Ping Xuan glanced at her, lips trembling. She wanted to say something, but ultimately remained silent.
The plateau became abnormally silent. There was no sound but that of the breeze ruffling the white temple uniforms.
The crowd was deeply shocked. Not even the Prince of Xiang and the two clan heads had expected that these two second-generation senior sisters in charge of the temple's affairs would agree to the closing of the temple.
Huai Ren gazed at them, a relieved expression on her face as she kindly said, "You are both good disciples who support your teacher."
All was still. Everything had been decided.
No one expected that an unremarkable girl of South Stream Temple would stand up.
Whether it was in the south or in the capital, very few people in the world of cultivation recognized her.
Ye Xiaolian had stood up.
She then prostrated on the ground, using her gathered courage to say, "My three martial grandaunts, I do not agree to the closing of the temple."
Huai Bi snorted and yelled, "Impudent! A trifling third-generation disciple dares to rashly involve herself in matters of the temple? Withdraw!"
At this moment, several dozen disciples stood up and prostrated behind Ye Xiaolian.
These disciples had essentially all followed Xu Yourong to Mount Han, and then to the capital, where they had stayed in the Orthodox Academy for a very long time.
"I ask for Martial Grandteacher to think this matter over again!"
"I ask for Martial Grandaunt to withdraw the order!"
Huai Bi was surprised to see so many junior disciples stand up and oppose the decision, and the finger she pointed at them began to tremble.
Huai Shu saw that there were two juniors amongst disciples that she was very optimistic about, and couldn't help but feel deeply disappointed. Her heart ached.
This sight made Huai Ren recall her conversation with Chen Changsheng last night, and she became somewhat absent-minded.
But she soon thought of the rivers of blood that would flow once war broke out and she quickly gained back her resolve. She said to the disciples, "South Stream Temple is not only the disciples, but the inheritance passed down by successive generations of teachers and disciples. If you do not wish to remain in the temple, you may leave. Presumably, the Orthodox Academy or the Li Palace will accept you."
The meaning of these words was crystal-clear. If these disciples persisted in opposing the closing of the temple, they would be driven from Holy Maiden Peak and lose their status as disciples of South Stream Temple!
Ye Xiaolian and her fellow disciples had miserable expressions, and they said no more. They were not willing to be cut off from the world, but who could bear the anguish of being driven from their sect?
At this moment, the opinions of South Stream Temple were finally united under the unyielding methods of the three martial grandaunts. No one else voiced their opposition.
The Prince of Xiang stood up and smiled. "My congratulations to my fellow Daoists for taking their leave from the quarrels of the secular world. Being able to focus on cultivation is truly worthy of envy."
With these words, countless cultivators stood and congratulated South Stream Temple.
Only the Mount Li Sword Sect and Scholartree Manor remained silent. Bai Cai was so angry that he wanted to say something, but he was stopped by Gou Hanshi.
Tang Thirty-Six had returned to his seat. He squinted at the ever-serene Huai Ren, apparently thinking of something.
"Seclusion is a vicious path, the last resort of Saints. If this is so worthy of envy, why did Your Highness leave seclusion this year?"
A voice resounded through the plateau.
The voices on the plateau had gradually quieted, making this voice even clearer.
It was very calm and indifferent voice, but also one of incomparable resolve.
"If you ask me whether the temple can be closed or not, my answer is naturally 'no'."
Angered at these words, Huai Bi turned and shouted, "Who said 'no'?"
Chen Changsheng rose and gazed at her. "Because none of you ever asked me, I can only speak up."
The plateau was in an uproar, countless gazes looking over.
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