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Chapter 216 - Viewing the Monoliths in the Night by Lantern Light (Part Two)
Now that the middle-aged man had appeared, one of the Scholartree Manor’s students regained his arrogance. He introduced the man to the surrounding onlookers. “This is my martial uncle from Scholartree Manor, Ji Jin. More than twenty years have passed since he offered his Dao to the Mausoleum of Books.”
The young examinees were all startled by these words and one by one stepped forward to pay their respects. It must be known that in the past, Ji Jin had been one of the south’s most famous scholars, possessing exceptional gifts. Who would have thought that he had actually become a Monolith Guardian?
This martial uncle, from the Scholartree Manor, called Ji Jin paid no attention to the respects and bows of these juniors. While throwing Chen Changsheng an exceptionally cold stare, he strode before him and Gou Hanshi.
“To take the shape is to refine true essence, to take the idea is to stimulate the spiritual sense, to take the form is to imitate sword moves; the world only recognizes these three methods as authentic. All other methods, regardless of how bizarre they are, equally serve as the foundation for these three. If you really plan on discarding them all, then I want to know, what sort of method do you have? In the many years past, there have been countless people overconfident in their intelligence, always thinking that their predecessors were only mediocre and that they could easily surpass them. How could these people understand that with such an unrealistic mindset, that they were already travelling down a limited path?”
He stared at Chen Changsheng, his voice harsh and uncompromising. “Don’t think that just because you obtained first place on the first banner in the Grand Examination that you’re entitled to look down on all these others in this holy and sacred Mausoleum of Books, that has attained first rank on the first banner and more! Who would dare to be as arrogant as you, wanting to reach enlightenment as fast possible. Otherwise you would definitely be battered and bruised here.”
Everything around the monolith hut sat in silence. Only Ji Jin’s cold and oppressive voice rang out. In the eyes of the senior from the Holy Maiden Peak, the two students from the Star Seizer Academy, as well as all the other students present, Senior Ji Jin was a Monolith Guardian worthy of great respect from all Daoists. His understanding of the Heavenly Tome Monoliths was far beyond that of anyone outside the mausoleum. Although his words were harsh, they were also reasonable. Although Chen Changsheng and Gou Hanshi could be considered well-read, even erudite, in the Daoist Canons, they were still young. Especially in the domain of the Heavenly Tome Monoliths, when faced with such harsh yet substantive criticisms, what else could do they except humbly receive this advice?
Yet as time passed, the atmosphere in front of the monolith hut grew increasingly tense.
Because while Chen Changsheng and Gou Hanshi had not said anything, they also had not clearly acknowledged their mistakes.
The Bureau of Ecclesiastic Education’s building was not very eye-catching. It was completely engulfed by the dozens of tall red fir trees around it, but even those trees were incapable of shutting out the night sky. This was why the dozens of stone steps were illuminated by the starlight, as if covered by a layer of snow.
His Eminence, Archbishop Mei Lisha, stood in front of the window, gazing at the white steps as his right hand twirled a winter plum flower behind him. It was the beginning of spring, but for some reason this winter plum flower had just blossomed.
“The Empress’ mind was vast and broad, able to hold the entire world, thus she needn’t care about the Orthodox Academy, needn’t care about how far that child called Chen Changsheng could go…of course, most importantly, the Empress was too powerful. Even if that child were to come across a stroke of luck, he would still be but an ant in the Empress’ eyes. If she wanted to crush him, she could do so at any time, but there were still many people that were not as strong as the Empress, so naturally they cannot be as open-minded. So they will fear, they will be afraid of those matters of the past, such as the reversal of the verdict in the Orthodox Academy.”
Mei Lisha’s wizened face exuded a faint sense of ridicule. “No matter if it’s people from the Tianhai clan or those dogs that the Empress uses to gnaw people to death, along with the Pope’s attitude, the fear in their hearts grows ever stronger and they grow increasingly wary of the Orthodox Academy and Chen Changsheng. Naturally, they have no desire to see him continue to shine. Since they themselves are unable to act, they invited a southerner that they had known for many years, yet this is to be expected. It’s just that I didn’t think that a person like Ji Jin would deign to act.”
After Priest Xin’s conversation with Chen Changsheng earlier that day, he had felt that the situation was a little strange. After investigating, he quickly returned to report. Standing before the bishop, he was stunned by these words. His face carried a fierce expression as it shuddered. With disbelief apparent in his voice, he asked, “Who would dare do such a reckless thing in the Mausoleum of Books?”
“Upon entering the Mausoleum of Books to view the monoliths and comprehend the Dao, the most important asset is the mindset. Those people do not need to personally take action to deal with Chen Changsheng, just disturb his mindset, thus affecting his cultivation.The experience of entering the Mausoleum of Books for the first time, for one’s cultivation, is irreplaceable and impossible to reverse.”
Mei Lisha’s eyes gradually grew small, his expression cold. “Even if we’re not speaking in the long-run, only at the moment, if Chen Changsheng’s cultivation were to be affected, if he were unable to obtain sufficient gains in the Mausoleum of Books, even if he were to enter the Garden of Zhou a month later, he would not be able to reap much. In fact, it would be extremely dangerous.”
Only now did Priest Xin understand that the seemingly unremarkable hostility and scorn that some in the Mausoleum of Books held actually concealed such ruthlessness. He took in a breath of cold air and somewhat hurriedly said, “I will immediately send someone over to tell Mister Nian Guang to keep watch over Ji Jin and the others.”
“Nian Guang, huh…He might not necessarily like Chen Changsheng.”
Mei Lisha frowned, then said a little roughly, “If he had not been so fiercely coerced by the Orthodox Academy that year, how could that outstanding student from the Temple Seminary be willing to spend the rest of his life in the Mausoleum of Books?”
Priest Xin asked worriedly, “Then what should we do?”
“You can still tell Nian Guang, but I think that in the end, I want Chen Changsheng to overcome this problem himself, in fact…I’m really quite curious. That child stayed for a day in the Pavilion of Ascending Mist, then played tourist for a day, then made meals for a day. When he finally arrives before the Heavenly Tome Monoliths, what will he see?”
The main residence of the sumptuous mansion grounds was filled with the sounds of music and laughter. This was not the Tianhai clan’s main residence, but was Tianhai Shengxue’s own home, so there was no elder to take notice.
Tomorrow, Tianhai Shengxue would once again set off for Snowhold Pass. All the young nobles of the capital’s princes and dukes, that he was friends with, had come to send him off. With the wine flowing freely, it was hard to avoid the subject of the recently concluded Grand Examination, as well as the young people that had recently entered the Mausoleum of Books. Towards the beginning, the subject of Tianhai Shengxue’s odd withdrawal from the Grand Examination was still fresh in the minds of those young nobles, so they tiptoed carefully around the subject, but after three rounds of drinks, they gradually became too intoxicated to restrain themselves, and their conversations gradually began to ridicule and shame Chen Changsheng and even the Li Palace.
Tianhai Shengxue had nothing to say, only smiling upon hearing their words. At the midpoint of the feast, he turned to Prime Minister Yu Wenjing’s son and excused himself, got up, and walked towards the rear of residence. In the rear residence, there was someone waiting for him. This was a person even younger than him and their bloodline was even more distinguished. Normally, he would never have invited this person to come to his drinking parties, sometimes going as far as avoiding him if possible.
“The people in my family are ready to go crazy. Could it be that you also think I’ve gone mad?” Tianhai Shengxue looked at Prince Chen Liu and frowned. “You’re worried that Chen Changsheng will be suppressed in the Mausoleum of Books, but your worries are redundant. The Empress hasn’t said anything and the Pope has made his position clear. Who would dare to touch him? It’s not like he’s offended Zhou Tong.”
Prince Chen Liu’s handsome face was fraught with anxiety. “You’re right, there are people in the Mausoleum of Books that are attempting to disrupt Chen Changsheng’s viewing of the monoliths, and Zhou Tong is really waiting outside the mausoleum for him.”