Way of Choices

Chapter 204 – Wang Po of Tianliang
TL: The name of the chapter (????) refers to a person, but at the same time, it is also an idiom that is often used on Chinese social media. It basically describes someone so powerful that when the weather grows cold (??) and he dislikes it, he can cause the Wang (?) Corporation to go bankrupt (??).

Xun Mei looked at Chen Changsheng and said while shaking his head, “Is it only your true essence that is actually weak, such that you were still able to place first upon the First Banner? It really is getting worse and worse with each generation.”

Everybody knew that the Grand Examination this year was a high, and the competition was much intenser than the past years. Chen Changsheng did not react, but Tang Thirty-Six could not agree.

“Even if it was the Council of Divine Ordinance analyzing it, this year’s Grand Examination was much tougher than senior’s year.” He said.

Xun Mei’s expression suddenly became somewhat lonely, and said, “I don’t know who participated this year, but in my year……. two people did not participate.”

Tang Thirty-Six was slightly surprised and remembered the two names that were once placed with Xun Mei’s name. He could not help but admit what Xun Mei had said was reasonable.

If those two people competed in the previous Grand Examination, then even if Qiushan Jun and Xu Yourong had participated, this year’s Grand Competition could still not be compared to the previous one.

After sharing this, Xun Mei’s mood was obviously slightly shaken, and he no longer paid any attention to the three teenagers. He walked to a rock within the yard and sat down. He began to stare blankly at the Mausoleum of Books.

Chen Changsheng looked at this senior’s back and sighed slightly with emotion. In the daytime, Tang Thirty-Six had shared with him that some cultivators would stay in the Mausoleum of Books to view the monoliths for many years. Who would have thought that he could personally meet one so quickly. Specifically, this person had stayed in the mausoleum for thirty-seven years and had not taken a single step outside. It was obvious that he had some things he wanted to hide.

After thinking up until this point, he felt that the senior’s shadow became rather miserable. He did not have the heart to disturb him again and extended a hand to stop Tang Thirty-Six from continuing to ask questions.

Tang Thirty-Six’s expression changed slightly and asked, “What?”

Chen Changsheng looked at him and asked seriously, “Have you eaten?”

Only now did Tang Thirty-Six remember this important matter, and he felt hunger that struck him like a tidal wave. He hugged his stomach and weakly said, “No.”

Chen Changsheng brought him into the hut and served up the leftover salted fish. He then added hot tea to a bowl of leftover rice and said, “There is no more bok choy, so just make do and eat some of this.”

“Can this be eaten? Can this be eaten? What do you mean make do? There’s no more bok choy, so you let me use tea leaves to fake it? What type of taste will that have?”

Tang Thirty-Six used the chopsticks to pick up a tea leaf that had been soaked black. He said irritatedly.

Chen Changsheng ignored him and used the starlight to find the oil lamp. After rubbing it carefully, he lit the wick, and the dim light illuminated the interior of the hut.

The side of the table was also illuminated. Tang Thirty-Six buried his head into the bowl and ate without stopping. Many fishbones had already appeared in front of the bowl.

After seeing this, Chen Changsheng could not help but wonder what those young ladies who loved Tang Thirty-Six within the academies of the capitals would think if they saw his eating manners?

Zhexiu naturally would not observe Tang Thirty-Six’s eating. He looked at Xun Mei who sat outside on the rock and said, “Who would have thought that the rumors were true.”

Chen Changsheng said, “According to what Tang Thirty-Six had said, there should be more people like this within the mausoleum.”

Tang Thirty-Six took time off from busily eating and raised his head to say something, “But there are not a lot of well known people like Xun Mei. “

Zhexiu said, “Many people believe that he had already died…..To view the monoliths within the mausoleum for thirty odd years is really hard to imagine.”

Tang Thirty-Six pulled out a handkerchief from his sleeves slightly unfamiliarly and carefully wiped his mouth under Chen Changsheng’s gaze. He said, “He is unwilling to part with the mausoleum.”

Zhexiu thought about those stories from years ago and said while shaking his head, “Instead, I feel like he is afraid of leaving.”

Tang Thirty-Six stared blankly and said while shaking his head, “It is inappropriate saying it like that. At most, he is just embarrassed to leave.”

Unwilling, afraid, and embarrassed were all words that were unpleasant to hear.

Chen Changsheng was somewhat surprised and thought that since this senior called Xun Mei had obtained first place upon the First Banner in the Grand Examination thirty-seven years ago, then he definitely was not a normal person. How had he fallen from grace to receive such an assessment?

“Senior Xun Mei’s most well-known trait is that his willpower for cultivation is extremely firm and persistent. When he was seven, he stood outside Mr. Yunshan’s door in the snow for three days and three nights. Only after that was he taken in as a disciple.”

Tang Thirty-Six said, “This was where the four words, Snow-treading Xun Mei, came from.”

Chen Changsheng asked, “Mr. Yunshan?”

“Mr. Yunshan is the teacher of principal Mao Qiuyu”

Tang Thirty-Six looked at Chen Changsheng, and said, “If you are correct, then Xun Mei is Principal Mao’s youngest junior.”

Mao Qiuyu was one of the few current day experts of the continent, so one could only imagine what kind of level his youngest junior was at. Also, his youngest junior carried a special type of meaning within the word youngest——The youngest junior was definitely the final disciple, and only people who had extremely excellent talent could be accepted as the final disciple of a sect or an academy.

For example, the legendary Junior Martial Uncle of Li Mountain or the current Qi Jian.

“Xun Mei was Heavenly Academy’s most outstanding student back then, and he held a position that was much higher in the Heavenly Academy than the current day Zhuang Huanyu. Hey, speaking of which, shouldn’t we call Zhuang Huanyu here after entering the mausoleum? Xun Mei is his great senior of the Heavenly Academy. Let’s see him kowtow to Xun Mei. It will be extremely good. Also, speaking of which, if we didn’t go to the Orthodox Academy, then wouldn’t we also have to kowtow to him? What a dangerous thing.” Tang Thirty-Six said with a great smile, but then he realized Chen Changsheng and Zhexiu were not interested in what was said. He could not help but say slightly annoyedly, “Just one person in the world who is as boring as you is enough for it to be depressing. Why must there be two? And why must the two of you meet? It really causes people to be depressed.”

Chen Changsheng ignored him and asked Zhexiu, “Why is Xun Mei afraid to leave the mausoleum?”

Before Zhexiu could say anything, Tang Thirty-Six had already started speak, “Then, it can be considered that you have asked the right person. No matter how you say it, I have stayed in the Heavenly Academy for half-a-year after all, so I understand this matter better than all of you. Back then, Xun Mei was the pride of the Heavenly Academy. His talent was very astonishing, but unfortunately, there were people who had even better talent than him in his age group and were even more outstanding.”

Tang Thirty-Six’s expression suddenly became serious, and he said, “The most unfortunate thing of Xun Mei’s whole life was that he was born in the same year as Wang Po of Tianliang. Since he was twelve, he would often meet him in various gatherings of academies and sects. They fought at least a hundred times, and every time, Xun Mei always lost. And in the Grand Gathering of Zhushi one year, Xun Mei actually lost three times in a row.

After living for one year in the capital, Chen Changsheng still possessed rather limited knowledge about the affairs of the world. However, he did know this name since this name was just too well-known.

Before Qiushan Jun, this was the most well-known name on the entire continent. Even up until now, the name was still high up on the Proclamation of Liberation.

Wang Po of the Tianliang County.

Afterwards, he discovered that when Tang Thirty-Six mentioned this name, his expression was very solemn and vigilant. What he still did not really understand was that even though Qiushan Jun was already the first on the Proclamation of Gold Distinction, he was still very far away from people like Wang Po who were in the Proclamation of Liberation and had already been famous for a long time. No matter how he looked at it, it was impossible for Tang Thirty-Six to have any problems with Wang Po.

“How could someone like Xun Mei who had extraordinary talent, unbending willpower, and the heavy hopes of the Heavenly Academy be willing to spend his whole life in the shadow of Wang Po? The reason why he had entered the mausoleum to view the monoliths for thirty-seven years was to comprehend the true meaning of the heavenly Dao and then defeat Wang Po in battle. This was also why he was still unwilling to leave.

Tang Thirty-Six glanced at the outside of the hut, and said, “After thinking about it now, Wang Po of Tianliang has already become one of his obstacles in Xun Mei’s heart. For every day he did not believe he could win against Wang Po, it was another day he was unwilling to leave the mausoleum. Unwilling, afraid, or embarrassed……. They are all correct because he understands very well that the day he walks out of the mausoleum, Wang Po will definitely be outside waiting.

Chen Changsheng stood up and walked to the doorway. Under the starlight, he looked at the middle-aged man in dire straits, and his feelings became somewhat complicated.

Was he unable to leave the mausoleum because he did not have the courage to face the world or because of that person outside the mausoleum? Xun Mei did not think like this. He was once a proud teenager from the Heavenly Academy, so it was impossible for him to lack courage. At least, he would not lack courage when he would face his life’s nemesis, Wang Po. Otherwise, he would not have fought hundreds of battles before. Then, why exactly was he afraid to leave the mausoleum?

Sometimes, leaving meant forever. Xun Mei was afraid of leaving the mausoleum because he was afraid of losing the mausoleum. From his upright youth to when he was frustrated and dejected, he had never left this place in the whole thirty-seven years. The mausoleum had caused him to become stronger, and the more this occurred, the more he was afraid to leave it.

It was just like what Tang Thirty-Six had said during the day, the Mausoleum of Books was just like a jug of good wine to cultivators. The more they drank it, the drunker they became, and the drunker they became, the more they wanted to drink it. When dealing with such a good jug of wine, how much was appropriate to drink? Was it to drink until one had become so drunk that one was unwilling to be sober anymore? Or was it to only take a small sip before putting it away? It was an ordeal every person had to face. Because of Wang Po’s shadow, this choice was even harder for Xun Mei to make.

Only Xun Mei had extraordinary talents, and he had also trained hard for thirty-seven years within the mausoleum. So, indeed what level was his current strength? He was already so strong, but he still lacked confidence in defeating his opponent located outside of the mausoleum. So, indeed what level was Wang Po’s strength?

However, this was still a problem that had to be solved in the end. Tang Thirty-Six had said Wang Po would definitely be waiting outside on the day Xun Mei left the mausoleum. This did not mean that Wang Po was literally waiting for him outside the mausoleum. Rather, if he left the mausoleum, he would definitely have to go and find Wang Po. Only then could he explain his own life, as well as the thirty-seven years he spent viewing monoliths.

A cool breeze blew past from the forest outside of the mausoleum. It swept up bits of grass on the ground and brushed away the verdant, tender leaves from the trees, which produced a rustling sound like rain. There was only one cool breeze, but it arose from two directions. Those bits of grass and tender leaves were swept into the center of the forest, and they began swirling together slowly like an upside-down waterfall. It cut the starry sky that the night had projected downwards into countless fragments.

Mao Qiuyu of the Two Sleeved Breeze appeared there. He looked underneath a scholartree and said with a complicated expression, “Twenty years ago, I once invited you to come to the capital to persuade him, but you didn’t come.”

A person stood underneath the scholartree. He seemed to still be very young, yet his eyes seemed a little cold. His clothes were very clean, and his black hair was tied up tightly. However, for some reason, it always gave people a wretched feeling. It was like a teenager who was once a young master, but because of a reversal in fortune, he became a cashier for a tavern for three years.

“If he doesn’t want to leave himself, then nobody will be able to persuade him.” That person said while observing the Mausoleum of Books at night.

Mao Qiuyu asked, “Then why did you come today?”

That person said, “I don’t know. I just feel that he will come looking for me tonight, so I came to wait for him.”

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