Chapter 193 - Once upon a Time… There were Three People (Part Two)
Translated by: Pipipingu
Edited by: Tim
The second person suspected of successfully changing their fate was Emperor Taizong.
Emperor Taizong had many nicknames, such as the Millennial Wise Lord or the Great Lord of the Generation. Throughout history, very few sovereign kings were as impressive as he was. His most famous accomplishment as Emperor and what garnered the highest praise from many citizens was naturally leading the human and demi-human allied army to victory against the formidable demons.
As time passed, people only remembered that the two races’ allied army went on multiple northern expeditions under the command of Emperor Taizong along with the meticulous control of the Zhou Dynasty’s government. They defeated the Demon race army and made them flee in all directions. Other than those who focused on studying history, very few people remained who still remembered when the Zhou Dynasty was founded.
When it was first founded, the emperor had begged like a dog for peace in front of the Demon race’s vanguard and persevered whilst at death’s door. As for the famous Treaty of Fallen Willow in people’s memories, its meaning was already completely different from the original reason it was formed.
In the third year of Emperor Taizu’s ascension to the throne in front of the Mausoleum of Books, the great Demon army flagrantly began to invade the south. At that time, the war in the central plains had just ended, and most people lived in poverty. This resulted in a weakened country, which had no method of resisting. Emperor Taizu could only swear allegiance, become a subject, and pay tribute to the Demon race. Afterwards, as the strength of the Zhou Dynasty slowly rejuvenated, they attempted to spread their borders into the south. As a result, Taizu and his three sons led an army to war, only leaving behind Emperor Taizong who was still the Prince of Qi to guard the capital.
The demons took advantage of this and invaded the south again, conquering the Tianliang County in one fell swoop. The vanguard was about to attack Luoyang, threatening the whole human world. Emperor Taizong deceptively deployed his troops while he personally led the many generals and advisors from the Prince of Qi’s Palace to meet the Demon Lord at the Fallen Willow Plains. It was rumored that the Demon Lord was surprised by how ordered and mighty the formations of troops were in or that Zhou Dufu silently appeared under five willows. Anyways, before the great war had even started, Emperor Taizong offered a large amount of wealth and resources, showing submission once again. Offering up a pure white unicorn, the two signed a treaty, and the great Demon army returned to the north.
The Treaty of Fallen Willow was an underground alliance formed from humiliation.
In the history books, Emperor Taizong was known as a perfect man and was appointed according to his merit. However, he who was destined to become the great lord of the generation obviously had his own pride, so how could he forget this period of humiliating history? Three years after the event in the Hundred Herb Garden, Emperor Taizong, those legendary subjects, and the divine generals finally began preparing to take back the Human race’s honor and dignity from the Demon race. This was the catalyst for a grand scale war.
Under the governance of two wise lords, the Zhou Dynasty used all of its resources to strengthen itself. It just so happened that this coincided with the cultivation world’s second renaissance in the past thousand years, with countless legendary figures like Wang Zhice appeared over and over. Adding to the alliance between Emperor Taizong and the demi-humans, they received strong support, which allowed the allied army to produce fantastic results in their first expedition to the north.
In the following decades, the flames of war in the northern plains were never really put out. Emperor Taizong and the legendary experts constantly attacked the Demon race, and after three expeditions to the north, victory was finally decided between the two. The Demon race suffered a crushing defeat and returned to Xuelao City. They became afraid to take another step into the south.
There could be countless reasons for the Human race to defeat the Demon race: the lord was wise, the empire was strong, or experts appeared one after another as mentioned before. However, no matter how many reasons there were, it was very difficult to explain while looking closely at this period in history. The overwhelming Demon race had once ruled the entire northern region of the continent. So, how could they be defeated in just a few decades, and how could the positions of power between the two change so drastically? It seemed like there was a hidden power that protected both Emperor Taizu and the fate of the Zhou Dynasty, which constantly ate away at the morale of the Demon race.
What exactly was this hidden power? Was it the power of fate? When Emperor Taizong changed his fate, did he also change the fate of the human world?
The third person who seemed to have successfully changed fate was still alive.
She was the ruler of the present day human world, the Divine Empress.
Maybe because she was still alive, very few rumors spread about the Divine Empress’s success in changing fate. Very few people were brave enough to speak up about this matter, even if they were at home in their beds.
However, many people speculated in this manner.
How could a female conquer the world and sit on the throne of the emperor as the sovereign king? If the Divine Empress had not changed her fate, how could an event that had never happened before in all of history occur?
The legends described three people who seemed to have succeeded in revolting against the heavens and changing their fate. These three people were Taizu, Taizong, and the Divine Empress. They were also the three most successful people in the past thousand years of this continent. In Chen Changsheng’s opinion, there was no “seem” because before he had left the Old Temple of Xining Village, his master Daoist Ji had once explained very clearly, that only three people had succeeded in changing fate.
Although he had used the word “only”, nevertheless, he was certain of this history.
In order to change one’s fate, one had to change the position of one’s Fated Star in the night sky. Chen Changsheng’s reason for traveling to the capital and participating in the Grand Examination was to find a method of changing his Fated Star’s position by entering the Pavilion of Ascending Mist. This method should have been the technique the first Pope of the Orthodoxy and Emperor Taizu used in secret, which was the method Emperor Taizong and the Divine Empress should have also used.
What Chen Changsheng did not fully understand was that since it was the Orthodoxy’s secret technique, why did his master not tell him to find a way into the Li Palace to investigate? Rather, he told Chen Changsheng to do everything he could to enter the Pavilion of Ascending Mist and arrive in front of the portrait of Wang Zhice. Still, no matter how legendary Wang Zhice was, he did not do anything related to revolting against the heavens and changing his fate.
Just at this moment, the stone walls produced a soft click.
Waking from his musings, he looked at the wall and saw that those complicated and unreadable bronze lines covering the box had already changed into a completely different image from before. The small, delicate bronze buttons had already shifted in position, and after the two centermost springs retracted, the box unexpectedly opened.
The method to undo the seventeen pairs of chains was extremely complicated, and he did not even know whether it was correct or not until the end. However, he opened the box in a single attempt, which had to be considered very lucky.
He pulled out a handkerchief from his sleeve and wiped away the sweat on his forehead. He licked his somewhat dry lips. While extending his hand towards the box, he suddenly realized that these bronze buttons and lines….. were actually the same as the stars and the invisible lines in-between in the night sky. However, they were just simplified.
It was just a casual thought, so he did not continue to ponder about it and extended his hand to take out the book within the box. The Lingyan Pavilion blocked out all light and sound, and the book was kept within the stone wall. As a result, even after hundreds of years, it had only become slightly brittle around the edges, and the pages themselves were still pure white like new. The words looked as if they were just written.
The book did not have any words on its cover, so the first time Chen Changsheng saw words was on the first page. These words were not sharp, but rather rounded, like an old rock in the mountains. It was very distinctive.
‘The positions are relative.’
Seeing these four words, Chen Changsheng stared blankly at them. He did not understand their meaning at all. After thinking earnestly, he realized that there weren’t any important clues, so he continued reading. The second page was densely covered with words. The handwriting was elegant but not frivolous, and it did not attempt to look clever at all. Only after seeing this page did he finally verify that this book was indeed the diary of Wang Zhice.