Way of Choices

Chapter 95 – Fighting a Capital (II)


Translated by: Hypersheep325

Edited by: Michyrr


Why did the entire capital hold such malice towards the Orthodox Academy, or to be more accurate, that youth within the Orthodox Academy? Naturally, because of that marriage contract he carried.

In the capital, 'Xu Yourong' was a name that could not be desecrated.

Apart from her identity as next Holy Maiden of the south, she had the talent that came from being the reincarnation of the Heavenly Phoenix, and the love of the Divine Empress. Crucially, she was also very beautiful…so at least in the eyes of the people of Zhou, she was perfect. Naturally, there were countless young men who adored her, and even young women.

But also because she was too perfect, adoration in most cases became veneration or worship. People only dared to fantasize alone in the middle of the night, but would never reveal it in public, as it would only invite the mocking of others.

That was a sort of desecration.

When the events of the Ivy Festival spread throughout the capital, this situation underwent a massive change. Amongst Xu Yourong's male admirers, those of slightly older ages were still able to maintain their cool. The younger men, on the other hand, could no longer suppress their feelings. They decided to go to the Orthodox Academy and express their rage.

In these past few years, no one would ever go to the mansion where the southern diplomatic mission was staying to make trouble, much less hurl curses at Qiushan Jun without end. Why? Because Qiushan Jun was also very beautiful, shining with an endless brilliance. Moreover, his relationship with Xu Yourong had obtained the tacit approval of the Imperial Court and the endorsement of the people.

This sort of mentality was rather complex and difficult to explain. It probably had to do with the fact that the existence of Chen Changsheng and the engagement meant that Xu Yourong was no longer perfect, Qiushan Jun no longer as unmovable. Thus, these young men began to use this reason to express their rage and announce their own existences.

The primary reason was that the youth holding the marriage contract was called Chen Changsheng and nobody knew who he was. After asking around, they learned that he was a new student of the Orthodox Academy and very ordinary. After asking around again, they learned that he couldn't even cultivate, that he was useless.

How could they endure this? They couldn't compare to Qiushan Jun, but what did that fellow called Chen Changsheng count for?

To use a simpler phrase, it was really just…the Daoist priest can grope her, why can't I? (TN: This rather vulgar phrase is an adaptation of a line from 'The True Story of Ah Q' by Lu Xun. The original line features a monk who gropes a nun, the protagonist Ah Q using this as an excuse for why he should also be allowed to grope the nun.)

This young Daoist from Xining Village wanted to marry the Xu clan's lady?

It was just like the curse being shouted the most frequently outside the gate of the Orthodox Academy: A toad wants to dine on Phoenix flesh?

Pah!

……

……

The sounds of cursing and obscenities grew louder and louder, heard loud and clear from the academy gate to the library.

Chen Changsheng was reading a Daoist scripture and seemed oblivious to the noise outside, as well as oblivious as to what was taking place.

Tang Thirty-Six found it impossible to be so calm. The Wenshui Sword had long since been unsheathed and gripped in his hand, reflecting the autumn sun and blue sky and exuding an indescribable chill.

Xuanyuan Po had already walked to the stone steps, prepared to once more take up a piece of the gate.

Seeing Chen Changsheng's complete failure to react, Tang Thirty-Six angrily asked, "You can still endure this? If you don't do anything, after today, you'll become the most famous toad in history! Then what will the Orthodox Academy be? A pond for raising toads?"

Xuanyuan Po earnestly added, "That's right, are we all toads like you?"

Chen Changsheng looked at Tang Thirty-Six and said, "Do you think that if they curse me as something, I'll actually become that? Then if I curse you a few times as being a bird, you'll really grow wings and fly off with a whoosh into the Imperial Palace?"

"This joke isn't a good joke. And if I had to be cursed, I would prefer being cursed as a bird to being cursed as a toad. Birds eventually have to do bird-like things, but you? You haven't even met Xu Yourong, you're just holding a marriage contract, and you still have get cursed at like this?"

After saying this, Tang Thirty-Six couldn't be bothered anymore. Grasping the Wenshui Sword, he walked towards the gate.

Seeing the situation, Xuanyuan Po hurriedly brought up the board that was about two people high and ran after him, huffing and puffing.

Chen Changsheng was momentarily stunned. He put down the book and prepared to go to the gate and look around. After all, this was his personal matter.

……

……

"Bring that Chen guy out here!"

"Drive him out of the capital!"

"Actually daring to forge a marriage contract, far too bold!"

"Did he not look at a mirror and see what sort of thing he was before telling such a pack of lies? Is he not afraid of being struck by thunder?"

"The Divine General of the East's estate might not want to bicker with a lowly person like you, but we who are stimulated by righteousness will come to teach what is right and wrong!"

More and more people gathered outside the Orthodox Academy's gate. By noon, over a thousand people had arrived. They were a dense crowd with a powerful momentum, their obscenities unending, curses and reprimands never ceasing. The mood grew increasingly tense.

In the early morning, the Tianhai clan had sent people to destroy the academy gate, and the remaining shambles were incapable of halting anyone. Moreover, the Orthodox Academy had simply let those people curse, with no one ever responding. Some youths could no longer control themselves, with blood rushing to their heads. "Let's get in there and seize that vile man!"

The so-called wrath of the public was indignant and spread generously, and with the constant cries for action, youths were the most prone to fall into a state of passion, to be overcome with an urge to break things. With this call, the crowd rumbled towards the Orthodox Academy.

Soon after, there was a massive boom!

Countless strands of energy shot out of the Orthodox Academy's gate.

The rain water still on the ground was drawn by this Qi to leave the ground, shooting like countless arrows fired from their bowstrings to shoot holes through the tree leaves on the side of the lane.

The young men charging towards the Orthodox Academy all cried out in pain as they fell to the floor, covered in wounds, their hands propping their bodies against the ground. Those who ran the fastest and had already charged inside were sent flying over ten zhang. They were knocked unconscious, their bodies covered in blood, their ultimate fate uncertain.

Those curses that had persisted outside the Orthodox Academy for more than an hour suddenly stopped.

A silence settled over the scene, punctuated by moans of pain from the young men.

Jin Yulu, clothed in a rich silk gown, slowly walked out from a room by the gate.

His left hand was holding a precious clay teapot made in Yi County and his right hand was rolling around two jade spheres. His expression carried an indescribable sense of relaxation and casualness.

He stood on the stone steps, raised his head to the sky, and sighed in praise.

The autumn rain had long since ceased and the blue sky seemed newly washed. It was truly very beautiful.

Then he drew back his gaze and turned to the dense crowd outside the gate, his expression slightly chilling. "Do you want to die?"

He did not use his true essence when speaking, so the crowd did not feel like a clap of thunder was ringing in their ears when they heard it. However, it still felt like a clap of spring thunder had exploded in front of the academy, because the miserable state of those on the ground served as a footnote to his words.

Several dozen people were bleeding from the head, while several people were covered in blood and unconscious. It was a horrifying sight.

"You…just who are you?"

A youth in the crowd who was a bit bolder said in a shaky voice, "You actually dare to commit violence…to kill!"

When a person was leading the charge, to bravely follow was a somewhat easier endeavor. More voices rose up, and as the crowd saw the miserable state of their companions, their questioning voices grew louder and louder. The crowd grew angrier and angrier as the silence was shattered, the atmosphere once more becoming intense.

"Murderer!"

"Quickly report it to the palace!"

Hundred Flowers Lane had long since been packed to the bursting. Hearing the words coming from the front, ten-some people at the back truly did leave, probably to report this matter to the capital government. And then, some passionate people helped the wounded up, while those who knew some medicine began to treat the unconscious.

If one did not think of the reason these people were besieging the Orthodox Academy, the sight was actually somewhat moving—when had the capital ever been so united?

Unity was strength. People had already gone to report to the authorities, and in a little while, the Imperial Court would assuredly dispatch someone to punish this vicious murderer dressed as a hick. This sort of confirmation was also a sort of strength, and the crowd was no longer as scared. Gathering their courage, they charged once more at the gate.

Jin Yulu had moved a bamboo chair from somewhere and sat upon it like a soldier upon his horse. He took a drink of tea from the teapot and then glanced at the crowd.

Some people were already several zhang away from the stone steps, but upon receiving his casual glance, they hurriedly retreated with all their might, stepping out on the feet of the people behind without a care. Instantly, a wave rose up in the crowd.

The might of a single glance was just that domineering.

Jin Yulu would not be content over such a minor matter. He impassively said to the crowd, "I am the gatekeeper of the Orthodox Academy. The Orthodox Academy is an important place of education, and entry is not permitted without invitation. And if anyone dares to step past the threshold? Those people are examples."

Only now did the crowd recall that the middle-aged man who looked like some rich man from the countryside had come out of a small room by the gate.

But…which academy had such a formidable gatekeeper? Not even the Heavenly Dao Academy would have one like this!

It had been raining from yesterday to this morning. The temperature had gradually dropped and a chill had been settling in.

The crowd looked at their groaning companions, especially those few that had been knocked unconscious, and then they looked back at the middle-aged man who called himself a gatekeeper and instantly felt even colder. Only a few people in the deepest parts of the crowd dared to shout a few curses, but who would dare to step forward?

It was at that moment that a warm breeze suddenly blew across the scene, immediately followed by an extremely clear aura of aridity.

The leaves of the tree sticking out beyond the academy wall, which had already begun to yellow, instantly dried up.

A red cloud descended from the sky.

The Red Cloud Qilin noiselessly descended. As its four hooves stepped on the gray flagstones, the water in a radius of one zhang around it instantly transformed into steam.

A middle-aged man sat on the Red Cloud Qilin, his body covered in blood-colored armor, his expression solemn and dignified.

Seeing this person, Jin Yulu stood up and placed the teapot on the chair's armrest to show his respect.

When the crowd saw this person, they bowed in complete respect as soon as they guessed at his identity.

Xue Xingchuan, the Great Zhou Divine General of the Heavens, with a Red Cloud Qilin as his mount, and wielding a divine blade that glowed with blood!

Of the thirty-eight Divine Generals of the Great Zhou, he was ranked second!

This person was deeply trusted by the Divine Empress and had managed the Great Zhou Imperial Guard for many years. He had the right to concern himself with anything that happened in the capital. Of course, he also had the ability to concern himself. Xue Xingchuan's arrival took some people by surprise. Even if some people had gone to report to the capital government, they couldn't be this fast, and how could the capital government possibly have the right to move such an important personage?

But when they thought of how Divine General Xue Xingchuan had always been famed for his upright and strict attitude, the crowd was filled with hope and began to call out.

"The Orthodox Academy committed assault and murder in broad daylight!"

"Divine General, please uphold justice!"

After a moment, a squad of Imperial Guards entered Hundred Flowers Lane, parting the crowd and coming to the gate of the Orthodox Academy.

Under more than a thousand attentive gazes, Xue Xingchuan slowly ascended the stone steps and stood himself before Jin Yulu.

At this point, Chen Changsheng and the other two also arrived.

……

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