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Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
Today, the capital was exceptionally bustling.
Not too long after early morning, the battle took place before the gates of the Orthodox Academy and Chen Changsheng surpassed cultivation levels to obtain victory over Zhou Ziheng.
This matter was already enough to astound the world.
But no one could have imagined that he would go on to do something that was even more world-shaking.
He brought the remaining two students of the Orthodox Academy, boarded a carriage, and rushed into the Zhou Prison. It was said that he was currently within, in stalemate with that frightening Lord Zhou Tong.
The Orthodox Academy wanted a person.
Zhou Tong would not release him.
After learning this news, the populace of the capital rushed over to see the excitement, but it was a different sort of excitement compared to the battle from this morning. There was far too much evil around Zhou Prison and its image was far too gruesome in the eyes of the populace, so the crowd did not dare get too close.
So when the five hundred cavalry of the Orthodoxy roared through the street, there were no accidental injuries.
Soon after, a chief eunuch from the Imperial Palace arrived, the Vice Minister arrived, and Mao Qiuyu came to the scene. Lastly, the county prince's carriage hurried over to the scene.
No one entered Zhou Prison or even the alley which contained it.
Prince Chen Liu descended from his carriage and glanced at the five hundred Orthodoxy cavalry. He almost imperceptibly creased his brow, then gave a bitter smile to Mao Qiuyu, saying, "This matter has made too much of a ruckus."
Today's matter truly had caused too much of a ruckus. Everyone knew that the Orthodoxy's new rule concerning the All-School Martial Exhibition was nothing more than the Imperial Court—or to be more precise, the Tianhai Clan and the two archbishops that were loyal to the Divine Empress—pressuring the Orthodox Academy. But no one had imagined that the Orthodox Academy's response to this would be so intense and so swift. Right after obtaining victory in their first battle, they had gone without the slightest delay to Zhou Prison to demand a person's release!
The once-principal of the Heavenly Dao Academy, Mao Qiuyu, now the Sacred Hall Archbishop of the Hall of Illustrious Persons, stood amongst the ranks of the Six Prefects.
His appearance assuredly signified the attitude of the Li Palace. The problem was that even such a powerful figure as he stood outside the alley, not going in.
Everyone knew that the relationship between the Divine Empress and the Li Palace had undergone a great change within the past year. They were gradually growing apart, but they still maintained peace on the surface.
Since these two Saints were presently maintaining their silence, no one wanted or dared to make this situation even more fraught with tension and make it spiral out of control. No one was willing to bear the frightening consequences of such an act.
Until the Orthodox Academy's carriage entered this alley.
If today, some mishap really did happen in that small courtyard, then the capital, the continent, and even the entire human world would be plunged into a great mishap.
Within the courtyard, Tang Thirty-Six looked at Zhou Tong very seriously, even sincerely. "Your Excellency, I must speak the truth to you. Chen Changsheng, his life…is truly very good, and could be said to be precious beyond description. I do not know how the Divine Empress sees it, but in the eyes of His Holiness, Your Excellency's life is inevitably not as precious as Chen Changsheng's life. If he were to really die today in Zhou Prison, do you believe His Holiness would spare Your Excellency? And how would the Empress view your Excellency?"
"Precious beyond description?" Zhou Tong narrowed his eyes at Chen Changsheng, seeming to ruminate over something.
Tang Thirty-Six continued, "And Your Excellency perhaps does not understand him. At times, he really can be very stubborn, very foolish. He really could do something like exchanging his life for Zhexiu's."
"No matter how you say it, it's still threatening me." Zhou Tong was deeply emotional. "Is it maybe because there have been less stories about me in the capital lately so that no one is afraid of me anymore?"
Tang Thirty-Six smiled. "Your Excellency can think what he wants."
Zhou Tong coldly yelled, "Can you bear the consequences of this matter?"
Chen Changsheng replied, "It was not me that wanted to become Principal of the Orthodox Academy, so I don't believe I need to bear the consequences.”
The meaning of these words was exceptionally clear.
He was the Principal of the Orthodox Academy and Zhexiu was a student on the registers of the Orthodox Academy. Zhexiu had been imprisoned in Zhou Prison for too long, so it was only natural that he rescue Zhexiu from this prison. As for the deeper implications hidden behind this matter, he really couldn't comprehend them, nor did he want to comprehend them. Thus, he only needed to bear the consequences that a principal shielding his student should bear. As for whatever serious consequences this matter would attract, it should be the joint responsibility of that person that made him Principal of the Orthodox Academy and the person that ordered Zhou Tong to imprison Zhexiu.
In other words, if a storm really was stirred up in this small courtyard and the relationship between the Li Palace and the Imperial Court became like that of fire and water, then even if the world fell into complete chaos, the demons seized the chance to invade, the populace became destitute and homeless, and all of humanity became enslaved for tens of thousands of years…it was the fault of the Pope and the Divine Empress.
The courtyard once more became incomparably silent.
Zhou Tong had not imagined that Chen Changsheng would have this sort of intention. He narrowed his eyes and the temperature suddenly dropped. A layer of frost suddenly formed over the petals on the ground.
Tang Thirty-Six and Xuanyuan Po gazed at Chen Changsheng, wanting to sigh with admiration.
The Li Palace, the Great Hall of Light.
Countless sculptures of sages, some solemn, some hallowed, emitted a faint radiance as they gazed at the sky above the hall.
The Pope was also gazing at the sky, his expression calm. It was as if he had not just heard about what Chen Changsheng had done and said.
"How can a person like Chen Changsheng, who is ignorant of the general situation, who cannot grasp the bigger picture, inherit the Orthodoxy?"
The speaker was Daoist Siyuan, master of the Hall of Subjugation. He stood at the side of Linghai Zhiwang, master of the Hall of Heavenly Judgment.
As the youngest of the Six Prefects and simultaneously the most powerful of the Sacred Hall Archbishops, they were still reverential to the Pope, but they spoke very directly.
Perhaps it was also because they were only a step from the Divine Domain and could already see the back of the Pope.
At present, the entire continent believed that these two archbishops continued to support the Divine Empress and were unwilling to stand at the side of the Pope because they had an unquenchable hostility and distrust for the Chen Imperial clan. However, no one had imagined that, besides this, the more important reason was that the Pope had decided to entrust the future of the Orthodoxy to this young person called Chen Changsheng.
The two Sacred Hall Archbishops could disregard the authority of the secular world, but it was impossible for them to not care about the inheritance of the divine.
Linghai Zhiwang expressionlessly said, "It was written very clearly by the Holy Maiden in her letter, that matter really has a hope of success. This signifies that the pressure placed on Mount Li was reasonable. Zhou Tong has achieved some merit on this matter."
The Pope said nothing, as serene as ever.
Daoist Siyuan sighed, saying, "Your Holiness should be keenly aware, our positions on the ownership of the Divine Staff or the emperor's throne are not because we oppose Your Holiness. Our unease comes from the fact that Your Holiness and the Empress still have at least several decades’ worth of life essence. What need is there for Your Holiness to make a decision so quickly?"
This decision was still about ownership.
The ownership of the Divine Staff and the emperor's throne.
Linghai Zhiwang's face was still emotionless, but his voice was like the deepest depths of the ocean, containing an unimaginable might. "As for Zhou Tong, just kill him. All of his crimes are his own to bear. He should have been keenly aware long ago just what his mission is."
Just a moment ago, he had said that Zhou Tong had achieved great merit.
Now, he was saying that if a problem occurred in that small courtyard, it was fine to just kill Zhou Tong.
In the next moment, a worried and panicked voice came from outside the Great Hall of Light.
Something had occurred in the Northern Military Department alley that exceeded everyone's expectations.
Zhou Tong had actually released Zhexiu!