Chapter 201 – The Two Teenagers on Either Side of the Wattled Fencing
Cheng Changsheng entered the Mausoleum of Books and did not view the Heavenly Tomes. Instead, he viewed the scenery. Nobody knew what Chen Changsheng was thinking or why he did such a thing. Actually, even he himself did not understand why he had refused to take even a single step into the Mausoleum of Books or to view any of those stone monoliths. He was only willing to walk in and look around the park below the mausoleum.
While watching the setting sun far off in the distance, his hand landed on the hilt of the short sword, and his spiritual sense gently swept over the black rock inside. Only after feeling that gentle aura did he become more aware, and he understood that viewing the scenery originally represented his hesitation. This hesitation meant he subconsciously did not want to continue cultivating.
Cultivation caused people to mature and become stronger. Only true experts could follow those instructions that the Pavilion of Ascending Mist had given him to change his fate. The only thing was….. he still had not properly begun this journey. He had already seen the bloody scenes at the end of the long journey, and these scenes had even caused his legs to become unbelievably heavy and immobile.
Previously, he would not think of such questions because everything became extremely simple while facing life and death. Only by continuing living could he have the right to think about this. However, he was currently still far away from solving this problem. Still, he had already begun thinking about another matter. It indeed could be considered somewhat unconventional, but of course, this was a type of happiness from a different angle.
Twilight slowly grew darker, and the green mountain seemed to burn in the evening glow. He had already walked around the Mausoleum of Books once and arrived in a wooded area in the southwest corner. He saw a grass hut.
The grass hut was built very simply, and even the bark on the wooden beams could still be seen. It seemed extremely crude. He did not know when the grass on the roof was last changed. It was dark, dusty, and very unsightly.
If the examinees wanted to stay in the Mausoleum of Books for a long time, they needed to find a place to live and sleep. Chen Changsheng decided not to accept the arrangement with the other examinees because he subconsciously did not want to get too close to the green mountain and stone monoliths that he missed seeing today. He decided to look around and see if he could stay here or not.
He called out to the grass hut out of politeness, but nobody responded. After thinking for a moment, he walked up the stone steps and pushed open the door to enter. He realized that the grass hut only had a few simple furnishings. The surface of the table was covered in a shallow layer of dust, and the water tank placed behind the back door was almost empty. However, there was a lot of rice in the rice barrel.
There was probably someone who lived here, but that person lived extremely carelessly. As Chen Changsheng was slightly mysophobic, he could not help but shake his head after seeing the house’s condition. However, he did not leave. After pondering for a bit, he actually found a cloth and bucket in the corner of the room and began cleaning.
From Xining Village to the capital and from the old temple to the Orthodox Academy, he was best at cleaning the courtyard and washing clothes rather than reading. Not long afterwards, the interior of the grass hut was unbelievably clean from Chen Changsheng’s scrubbing. Clear water rippled inside the water tank. There were no signs of spider webs in the house at all. Although the room was not completely different from before, it had at least reached his standard and people could live in it now.
He allowed the rice to simmer in the pot, and after cutting the salty fish that hung from the house’s room, he steamed a third of it. He went into the yard, and pulled out some bok choy. He washed it and then stir-fried it. After doing these things, he carefully washed his hands, He used his handkerchief to dry his hands completely before sitting down on the stone steps. Once again, he began to stare blankly at the scenery.
Twilight slowly disappeared, and the Mausoleum of Books slowly grew dark. The scenery was not as pleasant as before, but people felt a more mysterious feeling. Those green mountain woods turned into inky blobs, which resembled a few characters.
Several thousand years ago, a Demon Lord had studied the Dao inside the Mausoleum of Books for ten years. In those days, Zhou Dufu used three days and three nights to completely comprehend all of the stone monoliths, thereby reaching the top of the mausoleum. There were very many stories like these in the history of the mausoleum, almost too numerous to count. This was because it had always been a legendary holy ground.
Thinking of these stories and legends or that number one divine general of the continent who had stayed in the pavilion for hundreds of years, Chen Changsheng felt slightly moved. His eyes grew darker and darker due to the color of the night.
“Yearning and reverence are all very normal, but…….. you are only looking at it one way, and you are doing absolutely nothing. In my opinion, this is extremely stupid…..and you are wasting your life.”
A voice entered from outside the tattered wattled fencing of the grass hut. That person spoke very slowly, and he did not have any obvious fluctuation in his voice. It sounded like a boring record.
Chen Changsheng turned his head around to take a look and only saw a teenager standing outside the wattled fencing. The teenager was very skinny and did not have any expression on his face. He seemed very apathetic, just like his plain eyebrows.
It was the teenager of the Wolf Tribe, Zhexiu.
Chen Changsheng knew that Zhexiu had earned enough army merits in the northern borders to easily obtain the right to enter the Mausoleum of Books. However, he had waited many days at the Orthodox Academy for Chen Changsheng who had never appeared. Instead, he had recently entered the mausoleum with the examinees of the top three grades from the Grand Examination, so inevitably, this was some kind of coincidence.
He clasped his hand to greet the teenager outside the wattled fencing and said after thinking, “Listening to songs, watching dramas, and reading novels, aren’t there actually many people who are wasting their lives? I also really want to experience such a feeling.”
“But you….. aren’t that kind of person.” Zhexiu looked at him and spoke with the wattled fencing separating them. His voice was still dry and awkward, but it was very certain almost unquestionable.
Chen Changsheng stayed silent and only replied after a little while, “I have some things that I still cannot make sense of. And before I can understand them, I temporarily do not want to do anything. At the very least, I do not want to do anything today.”
He had only met Zhexiu at the Grand Examination, so he was not too familiar with him. Also, his first impression of the Wolf Tribe teenager was an extremely dangerous and very vigilant character. However, when twilight had swallowed the Mausoleum of Books today, he suddenly found that this Wolf Tribe teenager seemed to be able to understand his own bewilderment for some unknown reason. Perhaps, it was due to the brutality of the northern plains’ extremely windy and snowy weather or the rumors regarding this teenager.
“Is living really the most important thing?” He looked at Zhexiu and asked him seriously.
A fifteen-year-old teenager asked his peer a question concerning life or death. It seemed like an extremely philosophical question, and he would definitely be laughed at by people if it were asked in the capital’s academies.
However, Zhexiu was not a normal teenager, so he did not laugh at Chen Changsheng. Instead, he stayed silent for a very long time. Only after thinking very seriously about the question did he give his reply.
“Living is not the most important thing.”
In the snowy and windy northern borders, living was an extremely difficult thing. It was even more difficult to survive for a mix-blooded young wolf who had been exiled from his tribe since his youth. Zhexiu had managed to survive at all costs, and had done countless cold-blooded things to survive. However, he did not believe that living was the most important thing.
This answer was somewhat shocking.
Chen Changsheng ruminated deeply and said, “Thank you.”
From outside the wattled fencing, Zhexiu replied, “Don’t mention it.”
Chen Changsheng then asked, “Then, what is the most important thing to you?”
Zhexiu said, “Living soberly, or dying soberly.”
Just at this moment, there was a creaking noise in front of the grass hut. The wattled fencing was pushed open to reveal a hole, and a male walked in. The male had messy hair and a dirty face, and his clothes were old and shabby. However, he did not seem too old, and a pair of bright and clean eyes could be seen from within his untied hair. He looked at the two teenagers who stood on opposite sides of the wattled walls, and he looked like he wanted to ask something. However, he did not end up asking anything due to some unknown reason.
Silence descended upon both the inside and the outside of the wattled fencing. This silence was somewhat strange.
Changes in translations:
?? – Used to be divine sense, now spiritual sense
It’s technically more correct as spiritual sense because it is heavily dependent on the spirit (?). Even the author explained at the start of the book that the strength of the spiritual sense was dependent on the strength of the spirit, so spiritual sense would be more correct than divine sense.