Chapter 678 – What One Thinks
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
Several dozen houses had been crushed flat, leaving only a tea house standing. As the dust settled in the depths of Hundred Flowers Lane, several carriages arrived.
There was no one in front of the Orthodox Academy's gate. It was very quiet, but in reality, countless gazes were secretly keeping an eye on this place.
Prince Chen Liu descended from his carriage.
The youngest county prince of the Great Zhou Imperial Clan still had his gentle expression that gave off the impression of a cleansing spring breeze. However, the noble air about him had gotten much thicker, and perhaps for this reason, he was much more easygoing, his appearance much brighter, his facial features much more distinct.
Fourteen princes surnamed Chen had entered the capital, the Prince of Xiang at their head. There was already a proposal in the Imperial Court that would soon confer the position of Chancellor of State upon the Prince of Xiang. Prince Chen Liu was the Prince of Xiang's son, and also the sole member of the Chen bloodline in the capital in the past ten-odd years. This fact caused him to be feared by many princes, and even his own brothers, but it was also a meritorious service. Without him, the princes of the Chen clan would have found very difficult to stabilize the capital in such a short amount of time.
Prince Chen Liu walked up to the gate of the Orthodox Academy.
No person came to welcome or obstruct him. Only a few forceful yet light sword intents came probing out of the wall like winter plum blossoms.
Several experts of profound gaze and clearly unusual cultivation arrived behind him.
Prince Chen Liu gestured to indicate that the experts of his estate should not move without his order and should remain where they were. He would walk in alone.
Even after walking into the Orthodox Academy, he remained unwelcomed and unobstructed. There was only the autumn sun reflected off the lake and the flourishing green of the great banyan tree.
Prince Chen Liu entered the library. In these past two years, he and Chen Changsheng had leisurely chatted, not at Clear Lake Restaurant, but here.
Several dozen young women by the lake, sitting or standing, whispered to each other.
Prince Chen Liu was somewhat perturbed at this sight. He thought to himself, the Holy Maiden has already returned south. Why are these disciples of South Stream Temple still staying here?
The teachers and students were cleaning up throughout the library. Su Moyu was arranging repairs and only after a priest at his side informed him did he notice Prince Chen Liu.
He knew Prince Chen Liu's reason for coming and straightaway said, "The principal is not present."
Prince Chen Liu thought, if it were me, I also would probably not meet any of the Chen Imperial clan.
"Then I'll wait," he said to Su Moyu.
Su Moyu replied, "The Imperial Court has many great concerns and there are many places where Your Highness is needed. If Your Highness has a concern, leave a message. There is no need to squander your time here."
Prince Chen Liu heard the meaning concealed in Su Moyu's words. He gave a somewhat bitter smile and answered, "Just treat it as me seeking my own peace of mind."
Prince Chen Liu was noble and pure, each promise of his worth a thousand gold. This was something that many people knew.
If he said he would wait, he would really wait. Holding a cup of tea, he sat under a tree by the lake, smiling in response to the curious gazes of the young women of South Stream Temple. Finally, at twilight, Chen Changsheng returned.
The disciples of South Stream Temple and the teachers and students of the Orthodox Academy knew that the two wanted to talk and very naturally took their leave.
Holding his cup of tea, Prince Chen Liu gazed in silence at the grass and the fallen leaves upon it. After a very long time, he finally asked, "May I go to the Empress's grave to pay my respects?"
Chen Changsheng had not expected his first words to be these and was somewhat startled.
"Regardless of grudges and matters of right and wrong, the Empress treated me quite well." Prince Chen Liu raised his head and said, "I was raised by her for ten-some years before leaving the palace."
Chen Changsheng thought this over, then asked, "Was your life very bitter in those ten-some years?"
Prince Chen Liu was somewhat taken aback, then he bitterly smiled once more.
As expected of Chen Changsheng. Without needing to deliberately do anything, only looking into the true depths, he could expose the truth of the matter with the simplest of statements.
"Correct…in those years, the Empress treated me quite well, and everyone in the palace treated with great respect, but I truly lived a very bitter life."
Prince Chen Liu bent down and placed his cup on the grass, then continued, "Because my surname was Chen."
Chen Changsheng looked into his eyes and asked, "So no matter how she treated you, you still wanted her to die?"
Prince Chen Liu very seriously pondered this for a time, then answered, "Perhaps because I never understood just what sort of person she was, so I feared her."
Chen Changsheng contemplated this answer, then agreed. "I also didn't understand her."
Prince Chen Liu looked at him and seriously said, "But even now, you still stand on her side…you know that I am speaking of standing on her side in spirit."
Chen Changsheng did not explain. "Your Highness, why have you come seeking me?"
Prince Chen Liu requested, "I wish to pay my respects to her."
Chen Changsheng used silence to give his answer.
He would not tell anyone where he had buried the Tianhai Divine Empress's body.
Even if Prince Chen Liu was raised by the Divine Empress.
"Ping was taken back by the Tianhai clan," Prince Chen Liu suddenly commented.
This was a matter that Chen Changsheng did not care about, but he knew that since Prince Chen Liu had mentioned it, he was going to say something more.
"Besides the person on the imperial throne, not much has changed in the world. There's an ugly side, but also a tender-hearted side."
Prince Chen Liu looked at him and said, "Perhaps this world has let you down, but I do not wish for you to lose all hope in this world."
Not long ago, the Pope had said something similar in the library.
Chen Changsheng asked, "Your Highness, just what do you want to say?"
Prince Chen Liu asked, "Do you still remember what Archbishop Mei Lisha said to us before his death?"
Chen Changsheng's thoughts returned to that room brimming with plum blossoms, recalled that elder and his face covered in wrinkles. For a long time, he said nothing.
"His Eminence said to me that I must remember the price that you paid."
Prince Chen Liu continued, "At the time, we didn't understand what he meant, but now, we know."
Maturing, fruit, sacrifice—many of the cryptic and incomprehensible words once mentioned by Mei Lisha now had an answer after the coup of the Mausoleum of Books. In order to overturn the Tianhai Divine Empress's rule, people had used Chen Changsheng, and for this, he had paid many things, very important things difficult to describe with words. If one had to use words to describe them, they would probably be: trust, hope, a sense of being, and emotions.
"I don't know what Principal Shang is thinking, what Father is thinking, what my uncles are thinking, or what my brothers are thinking, but the Chen clan owes you, and I will repay you in their place."
Prince Chen Liu looked into his eyes and earnestly declared, "I will exhaust everything to ensure your safety and interests."
Chen Changsheng replied, "Thank you."
He was very calm, even somewhat wooden, but a hint of warmth finally appeared in his body.
Prince Chen Liu added, "I understand what you are feeling, but I hope that you can pull yourself together as quickly as possible. Today, His Holiness gave such enormous support, and if you give it up, or leave, how can His Holiness face his millions of believers? And what of the teachers and students of the Orthodox Academy? And what will happen to His Majesty?"
Chen Changsheng thought of those words Eunuch Lin had said to him earlier in the day and felt rather tired. "I thought that these weren't questions that I was required to think about."
Prince Chen Liu answered, "If the rumors are true, and His Majesty really does love you as a brother, then these are questions that you must consider."