Chapter 949 – The Young Man Wearing a Bamboo Hat
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
No one knew the reason for Xiaode's change, because no one had ever asked him, not even the Shi clan leader.
All of the Demi-human race knew he was callous and temperamental, even though he truly had changed a lot.
However, many important personages of the Demi-human race had already guessed at the reason.
This was because Xiaode had begun to change several years ago, upon his return from the distant capital of the Human race.
During the coup of the Mausoleum of Books, he had allied with Painted Armor Xiao Zhang and the Tang Second Master to invade the Great Zhou Imperial Palace. In that bloody battle, both his mind and will had endured the most harrowing of ordeals.
But this was not the moment Xiaode began to change, as he was part of the winning side.
What truly affected Xiaode and stimulated his change was the events of one winter's day.
When the capital was shrouded in snow, Chen Changsheng went to kill Zhou Tong.
Xiaode received Madam Mu's order and cooperated with the Great Zhou Imperial Court to stop him from killing Zhou Tong and to also use this chance to kill him.
At the time, Xiaode had been stronger than Chen Changsheng in both cultivation level and strength, and he was even assisted by many Star Condensation assassins.
But the end result was Zhou Tong dead, executed by a thousand cuts.
Chen Changsheng had not died, had not lost.
Although many things had taken place that day, not just a battle between Xiaode and Chen Changsheng, this matter had still inflicted Xiaode with an enormous sense of defeat.
He did not understand why this was.
Why was it that Chen Changsheng was so much younger and so much weaker and yet was still able to pull off such a feat?
He very seriously pondered this matter for a long time but still could not reach a conclusion.
Since he did not understand, then if he acted as Chen Changsheng did, would something happen?
The so-called changes had probably begun from that point.
There was no reason for change more sufficient than this.
His personality shift, and the Yellow Tree Thorn, were all because of this.
To the north of Heavensguard Pavilion was the Imperial City.
The fighting platform there was closest to the Imperial City.
The Great Western Continent's Second Prince stood on this platform.
This was because he had walked out of the Imperial City and he had no desire to walk too far.
He only needed to go through the motions, but the end was already decided. There was no need to walk so far and tire his feet.
Not long after Xiaode won his first match, the Great Western Continent's Second Prince also won. This victory was just as expected, just as casual.
From start to finish, he had a casual smile on his lips.
He did not say a single word, nor did he give a precious pill to his opponent. His opponent was barely injured, able to walk off the platform under their own power.
Since they could walk off the platform, they naturally still had the energy to fight. Given how the demi-humans loved to fight and valued reputation, his opponent could only retreat because they had not seen a single chance of victory in their battle. The discrepancy in strength had pulverized their confidence.
The morning fog gradually dispersed. The morning sun hung over the mountains like a red ball playing pretend.
The Imperial Palace's observation platform was on the east side, and was the highest place in White Emperor City besides the three stone halls in the Imperial Palace. By standing on the platform, one could look down upon every place in the city.
White Emperor City today was rather strange, the majority of districts quiet and deserted while several dozen areas were extremely lively. These were where the fighting platforms were located, and the stone walls around them were so packed that the figures looked like ants from a distance.
Several hundred Red River Beast Guard kept watch on the events below, their hands tightly gripping leather ropes. The other ends of these ropes were tied to the necks of black vultures. If anything strange happened below, they would descend on the black vultures and suppress it with the fastest speed. They were even more convenient than the flying carriage used last night to search for fugitives.
The important figures observing the ceremony on the observation platform appeared slightly surprised, many of them looking at a certain elder.
The one who had lost just now came from this elder's tribe. They had been famous and powerful and had been the opponent that several factions in the Council of Elders had intentionally arranged for the Great Western Continent's Second Prince.
Yes, many important personages in the Demi-human race were not willing to see the Empress's nephew become the next White Emperor.
Although the Wildfire of the Celestial Trees could remold one's body and soul, although the impartiality of the Heavenly Selection ceremony was unquestionable, if they were unwilling, they were unwilling.
Several demi-human elders had made several plans which they had believed could easily stop the Great Western Continent's Second Prince. They had not expected the first match to be lost in such a way, and had nothing to say.
The Second Prince had still not revealed his true strength, so would their following plans be of any use?
The gazes of many other important figures fell on that mountainous figure.
The Chief Elder was truly deserving of his position as leader of the Xiang clan. Just like his long-lived brethren, he valued every moment of rest.
At this moment, his eyes were closed as if he was sleeping. Was he truly not worried?
All of a sudden, the Chief Elder opened his eyes and looked towards the fighting platform on the meadow on the western side of the Heavensguard Pavilion.
His eyes were serene and without ripples. He was not like the oldest wells, but the most serene of pools. Yet right now, a flash of cold appeared in this pool.
Several elders of powerful cultivation also sensed something, looking to the platform on the meadow with surprise.
The Chief Elder turned to glance at an even higher place. He silently thought for a while, then closed his eyes, continuing to rest or sleep.
The only place higher than the Imperial City's observation platform was the stone hall. Madam Mu sat in a stone chair in front of the hall, looking down upon White Emperor City with an impassive visage as if she had sensed nothing.
Heavensguard Pavilion was where the demi-humans held their spring ceremonies. Like the Imperial Palace and the vast majority of buildings in White Emperor City, it was built from stone, though it did have a green river running around its perimeter. This, coupled with those trees that were over a thousand years old, made the place seem quiet and serene. The meadow to the west appeared especially beautiful in the morning light.
The meadow and the river cordoned off the many spectators far from the action. As a result, they could not clearly make out what had happened on the platform, as their view was even inferior to that of the important personages on the Imperial City's observation platform. They only knew who had won and lost.
The one in charge of determining victory and defeat was an old man of the Carp tribe. As he looked at the person still standing on the platform, he wanted to say something, but his resolve suddenly failed and he only shook his head.
The loser of the match had already been taken away. Although they had suffered no external injuries, they had fallen unconscious through some mysterious method, giving the match a bizarre atmosphere.
The person on the platform himself was very bizarre. The bamboo hat he wore completely obscured his face, but everyone could feel that he was very young. Moreover, this person naturally exuded a cold and sinister Qi that not even the gradually strengthening light of the sun or the morning winds could dilute.
A member of the Council of Elders responsible for supervising the matches squinted at the young man as he sternly asked, "Which tribe are you from?"