Chapter 152 – The Barefoot Boy, the Determined Girl
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
The Burning Heaven Sword was a secret technique that even the elders of the various sects of the Longevity Sect did not know. Only the disciples of Mount Li could possibly access it, but Chen Changsheng had never been to Mount Li in his entire life, so how had he learned it? To normal people, this was a most incomprehensible problem, perhaps a riddle that would torment them for the rest of their lives. However, the powerful figures within the Hall of Shining Words knew of more stories than normal people, stories that took place much longer ago. It didn't take long for them to remember that several centuries ago, a certain incident took place in the war against the demons. Against the backdrop of the momentous battlefield, this incident was quite unremarkable, but its effects were incredibly long-lasting.
After that incident, the secret manual of the Mount Li Sword Style was sent to White Emperor City.
"According to the agreement made that year, the Mount Li Sword Style manual could only be kept within the White Emperor clan. Transmitting it to outsiders was forbidden, so how was Chen Changsheng able to learn it?"
Because Chen Changsheng is Princess Luoluo's teacher."
"This is also okay? Then if we continue to go in this direction, doesn't that mean that in the future, all the students of the Orthodox Academy will be able to learn the Mount Li Sword Style?"
"If Her Highness thinks it's okay, then it's okay. If the Mount Li Sword Sect does not agree, they can go to His Majesty the White Emperor to argue their case."
"Let's put aside the sword style for now…just how did Chen Changsheng perform his Purification? How could his body be so tough? It's so difficult to break if one doesn't use magical artifacts or weapons; just what sort of lucky encounter did he have?"
Many people within the Hall of Shining Words looked toward the archbishop, their eyes filled with questions. Did the Bureau of Ecclesiastic Education use some sort of secret technique?
The archbishop said nothing. At present, only three people in the world knew of the lucky encounter that Chen Changsheng experienced, and he was one of them.
Mo Yu was also pondering this question, just as she had pondered this question before. She knew that Luoluo had been living in the Hundred Herb Garden for so long that Chen Changsheng was assuredly familiar with the precious herbs within. She knew that Chen Changsheng's teacher Daoist Ji was the best doctor on the continent and skilled in refining medicines. However, none of this was sufficient to make Chen Changsheng's body so tough.
Xue Xingchuan once more recalled Zhou Dufu, but then shook his head, rejecting the idea. This sort of conjecture was far too absurd and unrealistic.
The Grand Examination was one of the most important activities on the continent, but to these important figures within the hall, the main goal of the Grand Examination was to pick young talents, the true significance resting in the future. As a result, they were very calm and did not need to spectate up close, safely seated within the Hall of Shining Words, and those two Sacred Hall archbishops had come even later.
Yet this year's Grand Examination had given them too much shock and surprise. Gou Hanshi and Tianhai Shengxue had still not fought, Princess Luoluo had not had a chance to use her strength in the first round, Zhexiu was still hiding in the plains, but they had already found it impossible to sit quietly in their chairs.
Mo Yu rose and said, "I want to go in and see."
Xue Xingchuan, Xu Shiji, and many other important personages within the hall also stood up and left the hall, making their way towards the Hall of Pure Virtue to enter the Green Leaf World and watch the following matches from a closer distance.
The hall emptied, leaving only Mei Lisha.
The Archbishop of the Bureau of Ecclesiastic Education, the leader of the Orthodoxy's conservative faction, slowly raised his head. He looked at the sandy ground displayed on the mirror of light as if still seeing that youth from a while ago. He was silent and expressionless, making it impossible to know whether he was happy or sad, much less what he was thinking. He gave off the feeling of someone that had been particularly weathered by the passage of time.
Several months ago, on the last night of the Ivy Festival, Chen Changsheng had been imprisoned by Mo Yu in the abandoned garden, after which he entered the Black Dragon Pond of his own volition. He knew of all these things, and he even knew that the Empress had also been watching that night. He just didn't know exactly what had happened after Chen Changsheng met the Black Dragon in that underground cavern.
It now seemed that the truly important matter had occurred not too long ago.
Being reborn by bathing in dragon blood? A mysterious smile appeared on the archbishop's face.
That Black Dragon was actually willing to pay such a great price for you? What does she want to get from you?
In truth, he had never held any hope that Chen Changsheng would be able to take first rank of the first banner. That declaration that had shaken the entire continent had only been to place more pressure on Chen Changsheng.
Only pressure could make Chen Changsheng mature as quickly as possible.
Now, he could actually see hope in Chen Changsheng's performance. Even if it was the faintest and most elusive sliver of hope, an extremely small probability, it was still hope.
How could he not be gratified?
The Hall of Washing Away Dust opened and Chen Changsheng walked out.
When he walked out from the first battle, his right shoe had been destroyed. This time, both of his shoes had been destroyed.
With his bare feet, he stood on the stone steps. His tattered uniform made him seem just like a beggar.
But no one actually regarded him as a beggar. This time, they were truly shocked, especially after the Li Palace priest announced that Huo Guang had been severely injured and, just like Su Moyu, had been sent out of the Education Palace for treatment. At this point, their shock reached its apex. Earlier, only Zhexiu had managed to so heavily injure his opponent under the watch of the Li Palace priests. No one had expected that Chen Changsheng was also able to do this.
But just how had he managed to do it?
Guan Feibai was quite puzzled, asking in surprise, "This guy was just a normal person during the Ivy Festival. Just how many days has it been, and he's already become this strong?"
Gou Hanshi replied, "I said before, he's not a normal person."
The shocked gazes of the crowd followed Chen Changsheng to the forest's edge.
Xuanyuan Po gave an honest smile and went up to welcome him.
Chen Changsheng barely managed a smile and then said, "Can you give me a hand?"
Luoluo's expression slightly shifted at these words. Only now did she realize that though Chen Changsheng looked fine on the surface, he had actually taken such significant injuries that even walking was an effort. She quickly went up to support him.
Upon reaching the white poplar tree, Chen Changsheng sat down next to Tang Thirty-Six, his eyebrows slightly creased in pain.
In the Hall of Washing Away Dust, when he was breaking out of the storm of fists, he had instantly been struck by seven Army Shattering Fists.
No matter how strong his body was, enduring these blows was still rather painful. The punch he had taken on the right side of his chest had been particularly bad. Although none of his bones were broken, they were probably somewhat cracked.
If he had used the Yeshi Step or taken out his dagger, he might have won a little easier, would not have had to endure so much pain. But just like he had thought the instant he had made the decision on the battleground, his goal was not to pass the second round, but to take the Grand Examination's first rank of the first banner. Thus, he had to make it to the last match, and he needed to leave some cards for the end.
Scholartree Manor truly did raise its young disciples well, and Huo Guang had the strength to rank in at least the top fifty of the Proclamation of Azure Sky. But he was too proud and inexperienced, so he might treat his foes lightly.
For the ultimate goal, taking these risks was worth it.
"It's over, I won't be able to raise my head in front of you anymore."
Tang Thirty-Six had suffered significant injuries in his battle with Liang Banhu, so he had been leaning on the poplar tree the entire time, adjusting his breathing. Upon seeing Chen Changsheng at his side and thinking of how this guy had actually gotten into the third round, further than he had, he couldn't help but be a little angry. Stuffing a crystal in Chen Changsheng's hand, he said, "It's just that your luck is a little better."
There was truth to these words, as Huo Guang could in no way compare to Liang Banhu. Chen Changsheng laughed and paid him no more attention. Looking over at Luoluo, whose face was covered in concern, he said, "I'm okay, relax."
Luoluo looked at his dirt-covered feet and hurriedly took out a new pair of shoes. She placed them at his side and then took out a handkerchief from her sleeve.
It seemed that she was preparing to wipe Chen Changsheng's feet.
Chen Changsheng didn't dare let her do this. This was certainly not the Orthodox Academy's library, but the middle of the Pope's Green Leaf World. Several dozen examinees and even more Li Palace priests were watching them, and he had no desire to be rendered into ash by the fury of the crowd, so he quickly snatched the handkerchief.
"Your Highness, with his style of fighting, you might need to prepare a few more pairs of shoes."
Tang Thirty-Six took a count, then said, "There are still four rounds, so Your Highness should prepare three more pairs."
His intent with these words was to poke fun at the teacher-student relationship between Chen Changsheng and Luoluo, but he didn't expect Luoluo to happily smile and say, "Thank you for your blessing."
Tang Thirty-Six froze, then realized that he had just subconsciously believed that Chen Changsheng would make it to the end.
"You don't need to prepare more shoes. In the following rounds, I will strive not to lose my shoes."
Without waiting for Tang Thirty-Six to say anything, Chen Changsheng turned to Luoluo and said, "You should forfeit this round."
If the teacher gave an order, the student should follow. Luoluo had always obeyed his words, but this time, she did not.
"I don't want to."
Her answer was very straightforward and determined, carrying with it the somewhat pampered or arrogant attitude of a girl.
"You can't beat him." Chen Changsheng gazed at the distant Tianhai Shengxue in silence for a few moments, then said, "And he also gives me a very dangerous feeling today."
None of the three other people at the forest's edge noticed the word 'also'.
Today, Tianhai Shengxue was very quiet and low-key, which made other people feel very strange.
This was because his family background had decided for him that he could not be low-key.
Amongst the examinees of this year's Grand Examination, he and Luoluo were the two with the deepest and most frightening backing.
And his personality had always been the complete opposite of low-key and quiet. A low-key person would not have gone to destroy the Orthodox Academy's gate immediately after returning to the capital.
But he truly was acting very low-key today. From the start of the Grand Examination to now, he had remained silent the entire time, acting like an ordinary examinee standing in the crowd, not even showing any change in emotion.
Many people had noticed his silence. Chen Changsheng had noticed, and he felt it to be very dangerous.
If one were to say that the focus the wolf youth Zhexiu had on Luoluo gave him the greatest sense of danger, Tianhai Shengxue was second on the list.
This was because both people had the strength to defeat Luoluo.
This was especially so for Tianhai Shengxue.
As the grandnephew most highly regarded by the Divine Empress, he did not engage in a hedonistic lifestyle in the bustling capital, but traveled to the distant Snowhold Pass to battle with demons. This was because he yearned for strength.
And then he truly had broken through that boundary of life-or-death on the battlefield outside Snowhold Pass, succeeding in breaking through into Ethereal Opening.
In this year's Grand Examination, he and Gou Hanshi were the two strongest individuals.
Luoluo knew that she was no match for Tianhai Shengxue, but she was still determined to fight.
Chen Changsheng stood up and sent her off to the Hall of Washing Away Dust with his gaze. His expression was grave and fraught with worry.
Tang Thirty-Six dug out a hard piece of tree bark from the white poplar tree and accurately smacked it on Chen Changsheng's head, saying, "Do you really not understand why Her Highness is participating in the Grand Examination?"