Chapter 153 – Not Fighting
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
Luoluo could just enter the Mausoleum of Books to view the monoliths, but she had still pleaded before the Pope's throne for an entire night so that she could participate in the Grand Examination, even if she was not being ranked. Why? Because she wanted to clear a few obstacles for her teacher Chen Changsheng. In the one-on-one matches phase, every opponent she defeated was one less opponent that Chen Changsheng would face.
From this perspective, the stronger the opponent she encountered, the more it was in accordance with her intentions. This was especially the case for the two strongest examinees, Gou Hanshi and Tianhai Shengxue. Even if she could not defeat them, she still wanted to make them exhaust themselves, at least inflict upon them a few significant injuries. Only by doing this could she preserve a little chance for Chen Changsheng when it was his turn to face them.
Thus, when she drew Tianhai Shengxue as her opponent in the second round, shocking everyone, only she was calm, even rather happy.
Chen Changsheng had never thought about why Luoluo wanted to participate in the Grand Examination, but now that he had been reminded by Tang Thirty-Six, he managed to think of the reason after a few moments of thought. He lowered his head and stared in silence at his brand-new shoes for a very long time, then raised his head and said to Tang Thirty-Six, "I will definitely win."
Tang Thirty-Six looked back at him and said, "You shouldn't say these words to me. Tell her."
Chen Changsheng replied, "I don't need to say it to her. She already knows."
As they were speaking, the door to the Hall of Washing Away Dust closed once more.
This year, the one-on-matches for the Grand Examination were being held in the Hall of Washing Away Dust, foreordaining this hall's door to be closed many times. In a little while, it would have to close many times more, and the creaking of its hinges would be even more grating on the ears. However, none of those times would attract as much attention as this particular closing of the door, nor would their creaks be heard as clearly as this one.
This was the most formidable match since the start of this year's Grand Examination. One side was Princess Luoluo, the Princess of White Emperor City, possessing the most superb of talents and able to cause the Proclamation of Azure Sky to undergo an impromptu revision. The other was Tianhai Shengxue, the Divine Empress's most highly regarded grandnephew, who had succeeded in breaking into Ethereal Opening while engaged in pitched battle with the demon experts outside Snowhold Pass.
This sort of match would naturally draw everyone's attention.
Even that lonesome youth who always stood apart from the crowd with his back to the world turned to glance at the Hall of Washing Away Dust.
In the depths of those shards of ice that were Wofu Zhexiu's eyes, a flame was leaping about.
The Hall of Washing Away Dust was very quiet.
Tianhai Shengxue and Luoluo stood across from each other. They bowed and then straightened.
Neither person attacked.
The sunlight of the Green Leaf World shone upon Tianhai Shengxue's face. His skin looked so white that it surpassed snow1.
Luoluo quietly stood, her face still sublime and beautiful in this sublime and beautiful world.
Tianhai Shengxue calmly listened to the sounds of the hall and suddenly smiled.
It had to be admitted that his smile was rather charming.
Luoluo would naturally not be enchanted, but she was rather perplexed. Why was it that Tianhai Shengxue had never smiled outside the hall but was smiling now?
"Many people want me to fight with Your Highness, because of the examinees in the one-on-one matches of the Grand Examination, only I and Gou Hanshi can defeat Your Highness. I am apparently a more appropriate opponent for Your Highness, because even if I truly did injure Your Highness, the White Emperor couple, out of respect for the Empress, will not be too angry at me."
Tianhai Shengxue faintly smiled at her. "Yes, many people want to borrow my hands to make Your Highness, the Orthodox Academy's greatest fighting strength, drop out from the examination. As for Your Highness's intentions, I am also well aware of those. Your Highness just wants to escort Chen Changsheng, but I am somewhat confused. Even if Your Highness can defeat all opponents, how can Your Highness ensure that he will continue winning?"
Luoluo replied, "As a disciple, I must do everything in my power, regardless of how far Teacher can go."
"Rather interesting. No, it's very interesting."
The smile on Tianhai Shengxue's face gradually receded as he calmly, almost indifferently said, "It's a pity that this match is in the interest of two archbishops of the Orthodoxy, in the interest of my clan, in the interest of some people in the palace, and the interests of many other people. The only person whose interest was not considered is me."
Ten-some chairs were set out in a quiet and secluded room within the Hall of Washing Away Dust.
The two honorable Sacred Hall archbishops of the Orthodoxy sat on the east and west ends respectively. Mo Yu and Prince Chen Liu sat in the very center. Xue Xingchuan, Xu Shiji, the Bishop of the Temple Seminary, the Principal of Star Seizer Academy, and the three representatives of the southern sects were also seated in the room.
The young experts of this year's Grand Examination had brought too much shock and surprise, so these important personages wanted to observe from a closer vantage point to ensure that no problems would occur. Thus, they had moved from the Hall of Shining Words to the Hall of Washing Away Dust. The first battle they were about to see was the most formidable one, and also one of their targets.
The match between Princess Luoluo and Tianhai Shengxue could proceed and be decided, but it was absolutely forbidden for anything like what had happened with Zhexiu and Su Moyu, or Chen Changsheng and Huo Guang, to occur. The examiners in charge of keeping control of the stage had been caught unprepared and had not reacted in time to prevent the examinees from suffering heavy injuries. Now, these important figures had promised the Pope and the Tianhai clan that nothing of the sort would occur here.
But, to their surprise, this match that had been the focus of so many had started off with an unexpected tempo, just as unexpected as Tianhai Shengxue's silent and low-key display in today's Grand Examination. There was no storm brought down by a whip or northern pass filled with snow, only Tianhai Shengxue's calm voice echoing through the hall.
Yes, no one had ever considered Tianhai Shengxue's interests, as everything was done through the collective will of the Tianhai clan.
When the crowd heard Tianhai Shengxue say this, the expressions of the two Sacred Hall archbishops and a few other important figures in the room subtly changed.
"What is interest? Interest is pursuit. Of course, I have my own pursuits and goals in life."
Tianhai Shengxue glanced at the second floor, then looked back at Luoluo and calmly continued, "In the past few years, whenever I came back to the capital, people would always say that I was envious of Prince Chen Liu, because he was able to grow up in the Imperial Palace and could study together with the Princess of Ping and Mo Yu. In truth, everyone was incorrect. The person that I truly envied was Mo Yu.
"The common people only see how the Empress dotes on and trusts her, only see the power and glory granted to her, but their eyes are blinded by that glory. They can't see that at such a young age, she's already managed to reach the Star Condensation Realm. Ah, the Star Condensation Realm… In the past few years, everyone has been talking about Xu Yourong and Qiushan Jun. A few years before that, everyone was talking about Wang Po and Xiao Zhang, yet very few people thought about just how strong she was."
In that gloomy room on the second floor, many people looked at Mo Yu. Her expression was indifferent, as if Tianhai Shengxue had not even mentioned her.
"Indeed, in the Tianhai clan, I am the person with the most potential on the martial path. Everyone thought that I returned from Snowhold Pass to the capital in order to participate in the Grand Examination and take first rank of the first banner, and yet…Qiushan Jun didn't come, so what meaning is there if I take first rank of the first banner? Is that possibly proof that I'm stronger than Mo Yu?"
Tianhai Shengxue suddenly paused. After a very long period of silence, he continued, "Okay, even if I did defeat Qiushan Jun, it still wouldn't be proof that I was stronger than her. Moreover, if it was me in the past, I probably would be willing to strive to take first rank of the first banner. It is a glory, after all."
Puzzled, Luoluo asked him, "Could it be that you don't think this way now?"
"What is the goal of cultivation? Power. What is the goal of power? To live, and then to gain even greater power and receive many more things."
Tianhai Shengxue calmly said to her, "In the past, I believed that taking first rank of the first banner in the Grand Examination was very important. At the very least, it could add to my self-confidence when confronting Mo Yu. But now, the most important meaning of the Grand Examination is that I am able to meet Your Highness, and Your Highness requires me to lose."
After saying this, he turned to the second floor and said with a little pride, "I advise all of you not to hear what I have to say next, or it will also cause some trouble."
1. Shengxue '胜雪' means 'surpassing snow'↩