Chapter 94 – Fighting a Capital (I)
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
Chen Changsheng understood what Mo Yu meant. If it was different from the rumors, if Xu Yourong had no intentions of marrying Qiushan Jun or even marrying at all, her engagement with him was the best excuse for rejecting Qiushan Jun or anyone else besides him, an excuse that could perfectly obstruct all the living beings in the world for a very long time.
The marriage contract was her best reason, and he was the indestructible memorial archway behind her.
Yes, this explanation was the most suitable for the current situation, and it was also perfectly in line with those words that Xu Yourong had Shuang'er specifically relay: 'Don't misunderstand.' But Chen Changsheng did not agree with Mo Yu's argument. It had nothing do with reason, he just found it somewhat difficult to listen to when she said it.
"It seems that your relationship with Young Lady Xu is not as good as I imagined."
"This has nothing to do with how close our relationship is. The demons have been recuperating in the north for several centuries now, so the human world must maintain the alliance with the demi-humans, and it's even more essential that we maintain internal unity, making the confluence of the north and south extremely important. The engagement between Xu Yourong and Qiushan Jun won't inherently affect the general situation, but it's a symbol…a symbol that the entire continent is watching. Her thinking and actions are extremely irrational."
"But you have no means of dealing with her, so you intentionally say all that to enrage me?"
"Do you think that it's not a fact?"
"Something can only be confirmed as a fact after it has happened."
Chen Changsheng thought of those words he had said in the abandoned garden and decided that he didn't need to keep to those words. He didn't want to delay anyone's youth or life, but he had encountered too many things in the capital and could no longer lightly trust anyone. At least, there were some matters that needed to be said face-to-face before he could trust them.
"It's not actually that difficult to get me to annul the engagement on my own. Just have the young lady of the Xu clan tell me personally."
He looked at Mo Yu and said, "Everyone says that she has the bearing of the Heavenly Phoenix, but I, at least, have never seen it."
Mo Yu suddenly said, "In truth, I feel very annoyed."
Chen Changsheng agreed, "This matter also makes me very annoyed."
Mo Yu's black hair gradually spread out, her slender eyebrows rising like swords as she stared at him. "If I could, I would rather just kill you with a finger."
At such a young age, she was already a Star Condensation expert, a trusted confidant of the Divine Empress. In the Great Zhou Dynasty, she wielded supreme power and status, a truly outstanding personage. Being forced to handle this marriage and even having her hands tied for certain reasons had truly made her feel very oppressed.
Chen Changsheng sensed danger and only now recalled that the beautiful woman before him was no ordinary person. He stared back into her eyes and asked, "Does the Empress know of my lady's visit to the Orthodox Academy and what my lady had the Tianhai clan do?"
Mo Yu coldly laughed, but said nothing. Besides her own ability, the reason she was able to gain the deep trust of the Divine Empress, was able to climb up from an ordinary female official to the peak of power in the space of a few short years, was that she was good at understanding the Empress's intentions.
In many matters, the Divine Empress would, for this or that reason, not display a stance, or even reveal her thoughts on the matter. At these times, Mo Yu would always begin to secretly take action, properly handling these matters for the Empress.
Just like this engagement involving the confluence of the north and south.
Mo Yu had never made a mistake in this aspect. She clearly understood what sort of result the Empress desired.
"The Archbishop of the Bureau of Ecclesiastic Education, and those other old fellows in the Li Palace and elsewhere…these people who once possessed limitless glory in the Orthodoxy seem to want to protect the Orthodox Academy, but in reality, they're just using you. Can you not even see this?"
"It was my lady who arranged for me to study in the Orthodox Academy."
Chen Changsheng looked into her eyes and said, "If those elderly seniors in the Orthodoxy wish to use, and ultimately succeed at using me, before the Empress's rage falls upon my head, it should first fall upon my lady's. Could it be that my lady is afraid of exactly this, thus causing my lady to so urgently wish me to end the engagement, thus gaining an achievement to make up for the loss?"
Mo Yu's expression subtly changed, but Chen Changsheng did not know if it was because he had struck at the heart of the matter or not. She then gave a disdainful laugh and said, "The entire continent knows of the trust the Empress places in me. Do you think that a child like you with these ordinary and flat words can affect anything?"
Chen Changsheng replied, "Yes, my lady's plan to have me enter the Orthodox Academy was just a coincidence. Perhaps the Empress will not misunderstand my lady as having any other thoughts, but she will remember that it was my lady's casual decision that caused her august majesty to be challenged. Right now, the Empress still likes and trusts my lady, so there isn't a single problem. However, some day in the future, if the Empress no longer likes or trusts my lady, this matter will bring my lady much trouble."
Mo Yu slightly raised her slender brows, which seemed even more like swords.
"The current situation of the Orthodox Academy truly is somewhat tense, but the situation my lady faces is truthfully not too good either."
Chen Changsheng continued, "Just like I said at the abandoned garden, I won't end the engagement voluntarily unless she comes on her own will to discuss it with me. In this respect, my lady will not obtain any initiative or leadership. I invite my lady to return home and think of another method."
Mo Yu felt that what she was hearing was very interesting. Her eyebrows gradually flattened, her voice gradually grew indifferent. "Is this child hurrying me to leave?"
Chen Changsheng replied, "I would not dare. I am inviting my lady to leave."
Mo Yu truly began to laugh, finding all this too inconceivable. "You actually dare to treat me this way?"
Chen Changsheng answered, "As we disagree, it is useless to talk further."
In this conversation, his performance was very much like an adult, but in reality, he was just a youth. He spoke with a frank assurance and sharp words, but when paired with his still-childish face and the somewhat stiff gestures of his arms, he actually looked very cute, and also very clumsy.
Only the cuteness and clumsiness were real. As a result, Mo Yu was truly angry. In the previous parts of their conversation, she could understand the need to meet sharpness with sharpness, but it was only at the final moment that she realized that Chen Changsheng truly did not care for, and truly was not afraid of her.
Ever since she began following the Divine Empress, no one dared to treat her this way, much less dare request her to leave on her own. Whether it was the Prime Minister, the nobles of the Tianhai clan, the important personages of the Orthodoxy, or even the Pope himself, they would all somewhat pamper or indulge her, but Chen Changsheng did not.
"Are you truly not afraid of death?" she bit her lip and resentfully asked.
Because of her anger, she had lost self-control, and her current self was really like that of a honest and straightforward young lady.
Chen Changsheng sincerely replied, "If my lady could kill me, I would already have died two nights ago by the Black Dragon Pond. Since I'm not dead, it must be for some reason that my lady cannot kill me. Thus, I am afraid of death, but…I'm not afraid of my lady."
There was a saying: the truer it was, the more hurtful it was. Consequently, this line of his was most wounding.
Mo Yu's gaze turned colder and colder.
"Correct, I promised someone, so I can't touch you…but there are still many people that do want to move against you. So what if you have that engagement? You can't marry Xu Yourong, and she certainly won't marry you, because she's the sole Phoenix of the continent, and her status is incomparably holy and pure. The engagement between her and Qiushan Jun is a story that has captivated the minds of the people for years. Everything related to her should be a legend in the view of the people, and now an unremarkable speck of mud like you has appeared; do you think the people will agree?"
She looked at Chen Changsheng and jeered, "Do you know what you are doing? You are shattering the finest imaginings and anticipations in the hearts of the people. Those imaginings and anticipations were naturally childish and laughable, but you've succeeded in making the entire world unhappy. Just how do you think this world will treat you?"
Mo Yu left the Orthodox Academy. As the master of the Orthodox Academy, Chen Changsheng sent her off, not at the gate, but at the very depths of the academy, in the deepest parts of that lush and dense forest. He watched her make her way through the trees until she vanished from sight, then stood in the same place for a very long time.
There was a wall in this forest, a wall that separated the Orthodox Academy from the Hundred Herb Garden. As this wall extended deep into the fog and ivy, it could faintly be seen connecting to a thick wall. This thick wall was covered in a thick layer of moss, and upon it was a door that had not been opened for a very long time.
The thick wall was the wall of the Imperial City, and Mo Yu had used that door to return to the Imperial Palace.
On normal days, when standing on the lake shore or atop the great banyan tree, it was possible to see the buildings of the Imperial Palace between the tree branches. He knew that the Imperial Palace was nearby, but it was only today that he learned that such a door existed in the deepest depths of the Orthodox Academy, that the Imperial Palace was this close.
Because of the Ivy Festival, he had entered the Imperial Palace once. With regards to that vast collection of palaces, he remembered the middle-aged woman by the pool, and he had even more vivid memories of that Black Frost Dragon chained beneath the Black Dragon Pond for so many years.
In that underground cavern, he had promised the Black Dragon that he would visit it if he had the time and accompany her in chatting. He had not forgotten this promise, but he didn't know how to enter the Imperial Palace. Tonight, upon seeing that old door covered with moss, he suddenly realized that there truly might be a chance.
But the Imperial Palace was so large, even if he braved such great risks to sneak inside, how could he find that abandoned garden? On that night, he had been able to find Weiyang Palace completely thanks to the Black Goat leading the way. Now, he had no Black Goat, so he did not dare run around blindly.
Those final words akin to a curse that Mo Yu had left very quickly became reality.
After making sure that the autumn rain had ceased, several hundred youths went to the gate of the Orthodox Academy. There were students of the Heavenly Dao Academy, part-time laborers of the Thirteen Divisions of Radiant Green, aspiring scholars of the capital, and also many ordinary commoners, idlers, and the like. The composition of the crowd was very complex, but they all came for the same purpose.
The crowd gathered around the shattered gate, a mob enraged, their arms flying as they continuously shouted.
"Get that little rascal surnamed Chen out here!"
"A vicious and greedy traitor, anyone has the right to punish him!"
"Just what do you think you are! Actually wanting to marry Xu Yourong!"
"Do you think you're Qiushan Jun!"
"Take out that fake marriage contract!"
"Where'd this hick come from? Drive him out of the capital!"
"A toad wants to dine on Phoenix flesh! Pah!"
Ear-piercing shouts and curses resounded in front of the Orthodox Academy's gate, crescendoing in volume, the words growing increasingly offensive—'hick', 'shameless little traitor', and ultimately the most direct of obscenities. More and more people gathered in front of the Orthodox Academy, coming to either add their curses to the pile or delight in someone else's suffering…
In brief, the entire capital, at this very moment, carried not a hint of kindness towards the Orthodox Academy.