Chapter 1012 – The Orthodoxy's Staff Holder
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
Snow had fallen over White Emperor City for half a night and an entire day, rendering all its streets white. The people standing outside the courtyard were motionless, so they had become snowmen ages ago, with the occasional puff of hot air coming from their snow-covered mouths and noses. It was a rather strange sight.
Countless gazes watched the courtyard, wanting to know what the Demon Lord and Chen Changsheng were discussing. If the talks did not go well, when should they strike?
Luoluo stood by the window, calmly observing the snow. She did not know what was being discussed in the courtyard, but she knew that her teacher would not promise anything.
Madam Mu was also gazing through the snow at the courtyard. She felt the same as Luoluo, so she was waiting to see who struck first.
The courtyard's gate was tightly shut, and the only sound coming from within was the patter of snowflakes against the stone walls.
The yellow sands covered in a mantle of snow had seemingly become the plain of snow outside Xuelao City.
The massed snow on the branches of the sole tree appeared like countless white pillars.
Chen Changsheng and the Demon Lord quietly sat in the snow.
A moment ago, they had still been engaged in a candid conversation, speaking of working together and possible friendship, even saying that if they both could leave White Emperor City alive, they should exchange letters.
A moment later, the situation had become extremely dangerous, as if one side or the other could attack at any moment, using their most powerful moves to end the other party's life.
This shift had been extremely sudden, so sudden that anyone besides the participants would have found it absolutely absurd, though this did not matter, as there were no spectators.
Chen Changsheng and the Demon Lord did not find this shift absurd, because from the beginning to now, from the observation platform to here, they had always wanted to kill each other.
Whether it was a negotiation or a conversation, they were just trifling matters compared to killing the other.
And they were both capable of killing each other.
On the observation platform, Chen Changsheng had used the South Stream Temple sword array to break the Demon Lord's technique, and he had not stopped merely because Madam Mu had summoned all the clouds in the city to stop him, but also because he had sensed danger. The Demon Lord was most likely concealing some killing blow in his sleeve, though he did not know exactly what it was.
The Demon Lord had a deeper understanding of Chen Changsheng's cultivation level and methods, but he also was not confident, especially after those five carriages arrived outside the courtyard.
He looked into Chen Changsheng's eyes and asked, "Shang Xingzhou can't come and Wang Po can't come, so who came today?"
Chen Changsheng replied, "This being the case, Black Robe and the Demon Commander also won't be able to make it. Even if the Eight Great Mountain Men are still alive, they probably also won't be able to come."
They had already discussed this question on the observation platform.
That they had brought it up again was a sign that they had both decided to give up. They were somewhat reluctant, so they wanted to confirm things one last time.
After this exchange, Chen Changsheng and the Demon Lord once more fell into a long silence, then they simultaneously sighed.
These two sighs symbolized resignation and were chock-full of regret.
The snowstorm today was massive, the opportunity too superb.
The Demon Lord was far from Xuelao City, the Pope in a strange land. These circumstances were too rare and would probably be very difficult to reproduce.
They could not kill the other, so how could they not feel disappointed?
"After careful consideration, there's not a lot of benefit for me if I kill you. The Human race will be even more united and also furious."
The Demon Lord ruefully sighed, "From this perspective, there's really not much meaning to your existence."
Chen Changsheng's lips perked into a smile as fresh as the spring breeze. "I've gotten used to it."
From the moment he was born, his existence was a trap, a trap targeted at the Tianhai Divine Empress.
His existence had never had any sort of meaning to himself. In other words, he should have never appeared in this world.
But he was currently searching, and could even be said to have found it.
The Demon Lord slightly tilted his head. He could see that there was nothing forced about this smile, so he arched his brows and said, "You really are a monster."
Chen Changsheng had received many evaluations, and most of them had been positive: fresh, clean, persistent, genius.
Even his enemies would at most say that he was somewhat wooden or too stubborn, or else they might criticize him for the unwise way in which he handled his relationship with Shang Xingzhou.
But this was his first time being called a monster.
Chen Changsheng was not angry. On the contrary, he found the Demon Lord's view very interesting, and even somewhat close to what he himself thought was true.
There was a banal saying that went, 'The person that understands you the most is not your friend, but your enemy.'
Then the Demon Lord might be his true enemy.
As he thought about these things, he took the cup of tea that was on the verge of freezing and dumped it on the snow in front of him.
This was an offering to those people that had died to the demon wolf cavalry.
He was a guest, so he should be the one to bid farewell.
He stood up, brushed the snow off his body, nodded at the Demon Lord, then began to make his way out of the courtyard.
As he watched him leave, the Demon Lord suddenly said, "The White Emperor will definitely be very disappointed."
Chen Changsheng stopped and asked, "Why is it not Madam Mu?"
The Demon Lord explained, "Since you're not willing to work with me, Madam Mu will be my firmest supporter."
Chen Changsheng was quiet for a while, then asked, "Just what does Madam Mu want to do?"
"The Great Western Continent has always been traditional and boastful, and she has the blood of the Elves running through her. Do you think she would like humans?"
The Demon Lord sighed, "And besides, she's an Aquarius, so nobody knows what she's thinking."
Chen Changsheng knew that the Demon Lord was referring to the constellations popular in Xuelao City, but he had no idea what it meant to be born under the Aquarius constellation.
He shook his head in confusion and continued walking.
The Demon Lord's hands slowly stroked those two cold statues in his hand as an annoyed expression appeared on his face.
He turned his gaze to that trail of footsteps on the snow, so straight that they seemed to be following a ruler, and muttered to himself, "He actually moved over the entire Li Palace. He's really afraid of death."
With a creak and a shower of snowflakes, Chen Changsheng opened the gate and walked out.
This sound and sight was quickly spread to all of White Emperor City.
The majority of people felt relieved, though a few felt disappointed, shocked, suspicious, and all types of emotions.
People began to descend from the five carriages.
Daoist Siyuan of the Hall of Subjugation.
Archbishop An Lin of the Divine Edict.
Master Linghai Zhiwang of the Hall of Heavenly Judgment.
The newly-appointed Archbishop Hu Thirty-Two of the Hall of Announcements.
Mao Qiuyu had remained to guard the Li Palace, but the remaining four of the Five Prefects of the Orthodoxy had rushed across tens of thousands of li to White Emperor City, their respective precious treasures in hand.
Chen Changsheng first gave a deferential bow to the blind zither player, then spoke with Linghai Zhiwang and the other Prefects.
A blue curtain stirred, shaking off the snow, and a graceful and handsome young master descended from the last carriage. Tang Thirty-Six had arrived.
In his right hand was a seemingly unremarkable short staff.
Just when Chen Changsheng was prepared to say something, Tang Thirty-Six threw over the short staff.
At this sight, Linghai Zhiwang turned extremely gloomy while An Lin couldn't help but lightly sigh.
The unremarkable short staff was the Orthodoxy's Divine Staff.
If Chen Changsheng had not reacted quickly, it might have fallen into the snow. What if it had been broken?
Tang Thirty-Six pretended not to see the looks on the faces of the Prefects as he angrily said, "In the future, stop having me do things like this."
In order to break the seal over the Red River, the Orthodoxy's Divine Staff had emptied itself of light. It had spent the last few days in the Daoist Church of the Western Wastes, receiving sustenance.
Today, Chen Changsheng was meeting the Demon Lord, so he had needed to fully prepare himself. He needed someone he could trust and also had the right to hold the staff, so it could only be Tang Thirty-Six.
Even if Linghai Zhiwang and the other Prefects found Tang Thirty-Six unpleasant, they could not deny this.
Because Tang Thirty-Six had filled this role before.
Back then, the person to receive the Divine Staff from the Pope had not been Chen Changsheng, but him.