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The reason why Qiu Shan Jun didn’t participate in this year’s Grand Examination, wasn’t because of the marriage contract Chen Chang Sheng had placed upon the table, it also wasn’t because of that letter from Xu You Rong on the night of the Ivy League gathering, neither was it due to gossip from the world.
His reason did not contain any childish temperament, but was because he had to undertake a momentous task.
Qiu Shan Jun had already disappeared from the view of others for several months, even Gou Han Shi and the other fellow-disciples from Li Shan Sword Sect, didn’t know where their own senior brother had gone to, that was because this momentous task needed to be absolutely secret.
The masses didn’t know as to where he had gone to, neither did he himself, know as to what was currently happening in the world – the marriage-alliance between the North and South, Qiu Shan clan and Li Shan Sword Sect accompanying the Southern Ambassadors to the Capital to propose to the Divine General’s estate – Xu You Rong didn’t know of this event because it was, intentionally or otherwise, kept secret by Holy Maiden Peak, while Qiu Shan Jun himself really did not know.
Looking at the dossier, Chen Chang Sheng became increasingly quiet.
Qiu Shan Jun had gone to a place called Zhou Garden.
Chen Chang Sheng didn’t know what kind of place Zhou Garden is, only being able to speculate from the context of the dossier. Zhou Garden was probably a miniature world, or in other words a vestige site.
As with the palace in His Holiness’ Green Leaf World, Zhou Garden also had severe restrictions on the cultivation level of those entering it; they needed to be below the level of Star Fusion.
Due to some reason, Zhou Garden was extremely important, being an absolute point of contention between the human world and the demon race, but apart from the previous possessor, Zhou Garden had never been truly controlled by a second person.
Fortunately, upon Zhou Garden’s previous possessor disappearing many years ago, it hadn’t been completely sealed, but had followed a set pattern, opening once every 10 years.
Before Zhou Garden would truly open, phenomena would appear between heaven and earth and its outermost stone wall will become virtual. At that time, whether human or demon, as long as they could find the gate left behind by the previous possessor and can bring out the key for that gate, they can control Zhou Garden for a period of 10 years.
Of course, if humanity and the demon race were both unable to achieve this, Zhou Garden would once again be sealed, disappearing into the chaotic flow of space that is impossible to explore, quietly awaiting the next 10-year mark to arrive.
There had already been many years where Zhou Garden hadn’t been controlled by either humanity or the demon race.
The last time Zhou Garden had been opened, was already several decades ago.
This year was once again the scheduled time for Zhou Garden’s opening. The Five Saints had always closely followed this matter, they, alongside those several terrifying Demon Kings at Old Snow City, were the first to detect the strange phenomena between heaven and earth, swiftly sending out seekers.
For the past few hundred years, Zhou Garden’s scheduled opening had not affected the world’s situation in any way, but those important figures that truly understood Zhou Garden’s origin, as well as what was inside, definitely didn’t dare to look upon it lightly.
No one could be certain as to what would happen to the world if someone was able to find those few items inside Zhou Garden and bring them out.
Due to these reasons, Zhou Garden’s opening, alongside news of its approximate location, needed to be kept absolutely secret, apart from figures on the level of The Five Saints and the head of the Longevity Sect, only those directly involved would be privy to this knowledge.
For the millions upon millions of people living on the continent, they didn’t know of this at all. At the time, the Capital was still awaiting the Ivy League gathering’s inauguration, while Chen Chang Sheng was vexing over the new door that had suddenly appeared on the academy’s wall.
As Zhou Garden is essential, the seekers sent out by the continent’s two opposing powers were naturally extraordinary. The demon race had sent many young experts, while The Five Saints, after a round of discussion, had only sent out a single person.
That person, was the one agreed upon by humanity and the yao race, as to being the most powerful person under the realm of Star Fusion, Qiu Shan Jun.
The Five Saints were correct in their judgement, Qiu Shan Jun did indeed not disappoint, he successfully found the gate to Zhou Garden before the demons, bringing out the key, ensuring that Zhou Garden would belong to humanity for the next 10 years.
This was the reason why Qiu Shan Jun couldn’t participate in the Grand Examination.
The dossier Xu Shi Ji had Chen Chang Sheng look at, obviously did not elucidate Zhou Garden in any great detail, but Chen Chang Sheng could clearly comprehend Zhou Garden’s importance.
What he didn’t know was that the reason why humanity could obtain the key before the demon race, apart from being Qiu Shan Jun being far too outstanding, was also due to another reason, and that reason was actually related to him.
Some months previous, an expert from the demon race had tried to assassinate Luo Luo and was stymied by Chen Chang Sheng.
After that demon had been captured alive by Xue Xing Chuan and after being unable to endure the terrible torture of His Grace, Zhou Tong, he revealed some information, allowing the Zhou Government to uncover an intelligence organisation under the control of Black Robe, and at the same time, discovering a line of information related to Zhou Garden.
Qiu Shan Jun had followed this trail, finally securing a position that was ahead of those people from Old Snow City.
Chen Chang Sheng didn’t know any of this, neither did he know of what hardships and trials Qiu Shan Jun had gone through, he could only rely upon simple information from between the lines of the dossier, imagining what Qiu Shan Jun had done. The more he contemplated, the quieter he became, feeling admiration for that fellow he had never met, but had always looked upon from afar.
“Giving up on the Grand Examination in order to seek prosperity for all of humanity, when this information is spread across the entire continent tomorrow, how much grandeur do you think your first upon the First Banner in the Grand Examination will retain in front of him?”
Xu Shi Ji’s cold voice shattered the silence in the area.
Chen Chang Sheng placed the dossier back onto the table, silently pondering, since it was as such, why was there this family dinner?
“I have never considered myself to be superior to Qiu Shan Jun, not to mention, whether if that was to be the case or not, I would not come here to end the betrothal only because I am superior to him.”
He looked at Xu Shi Ji and Madam Xu, saying: “My withdrawal of the engagement really is because I simply want it to end. It’s just, from the start, no one believed me, currently, it is still the same.”
Whether if they believed or didn’t believe, this was something that still had to be done.
Chen Chang Sheng did a gesture of courtesy towards Xu Shi Ji and his wife, then turned around and headed outside.
The old marriage contract that had been sealed with a new paper envelope, calmly lay upon the table.
Beside the stone entrance by the front courtyard, Shuang’er stood under the bamboos, looking at the image of his back. She extended her hand, wanting to cry out and stop him so that she can ask something, but in the end, she didn’t let out any sound and her hand slowly dropped.
What made Chen Chang Sheng feel astonished was, upon his return to Orthodox Academy, he shockingly found that the marriage contract was currently laid atop the table in the library, it had actually returned even faster than he had.
“What… is this about?” he received the marriage contract that Tang Thirty-Six handed over, feeling a little bewildered.
Tang Thirty-Six said: “Shouldn’t it be you explaining to us as to what is going on? Why is the Divine General’s estate the one sending the marriage contract back? Don’t tell me you still want to break off the engagement?”
Chen Chang Sheng was silent for a moment, before saying: “I went tonight in order to end the engagement.”
Tang Thirty-Six was slightly stunned and asked: “Why do you want to end the engagement? Don’t tell me Xu You Rong isn’t worthy of you?”
Chen Chang Sheng didn’t answer this question, he took the marriage contract and turned around, heading for the outside.
He was preparing to go to Li Palace.
Since the Divine General’s estate was unwilling to end the engagement, then all he could do was to trouble His Holiness.
In the end, someone that wishes to absolve a marriage, needs someone that administers marriages.