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Chapter 454 - The Story of Bear Cubs and Swords
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
In the Garden of Zhou, the ten thousand swords had soared into the sky and assisted Chen Changsheng in cutting down the Golden-winged Great Peng and breaking Black Robe's plot because they wanted to leave that plain where the sun never set, because they wanted to return to their homes.
Chen Changsheng had made a promise to these swords, and he would naturally not go back on his word. Thus, upon returning to the capital, even if he was somewhat reluctant, he still took the first opportunity to report this matter to the Pope.
This news had temporarily been withheld from the general populace, but after the Li Palace notified various places in the continent, it was already no longer a secret. Today's victory in the early morning, where Chen Changsheng surpassed cultivation levels and defeated the Star Condensation cultivator Zhou Ziheng, had made many people even more suspicious. They wondered whether, besides those famous swords, he had happened upon anything else in the Sword Pool. Or else how could he advance so far in his swordplay so quickly relying only on Su Li's instruction?
Chen Changsheng was not concerned about what shocks the news of the Sword Pool would cause in the continent, nor did he care about whether the gazes others sent at him would change or not. He just felt this matter to be somewhat troublesome.
Several days ago, at night, the Li Palace had sent him an extremely long list. Many sects and monasteries had expressed their thanks to the Li Palace and Chen Changsheng, and at the same time attached proofs of relation. They requested that the Li Palace return the swords of their predecessors and ancestors. This list was very long, and the one ranked at the very top was, as expected, the temple sword of Holy Maiden Peak. Following after it were many once-famous divine weapons. According to the list, Chen Changsheng reorganized the swords in his sheath. He realized that even though the list was long, when compared to the number of famous and ancient swords within the Sword Pool, it still made up only a tiny portion. From this, one could see that of those experts and sects that had once shaken the entire continent, their descendants in the present that could still be found were not very numerous.
If one were to view this matter through the lens of history, they would undoubtedly feel the sorrow hidden in the background, easily causing them to ruefully sigh over the impermanence of the things of the world. But to him and the Orthodox Academy, this was assuredly a good thing—of the famous swords that had followed him out of the Garden of Zhou, there were at least seven thousand for which no sects could be found. In other words, he was the owner of these swords.
With a clatter, an old sword speckled with rust appeared on the floor of the library.
It was closely followed by an incessant clattering. With merely a moment's effort, the originally empty and vast library was piled full of every kind of sword. Those swords were so numerous and their combined weight so heavy that the floor of the library sank a little. It gave the feeling that it almost couldn't bear the weight anymore.
Zhexiu opened his eyes and looked over, and then he found it impossible to shut his eyes again.
Under the dim lantern light, a small mountain of swords appeared in the library.
He only wanted one sword from the Sword Pool, but Chen Changsheng had brought the entire Sword Pool back with him.
Tang Thirty-Six glanced at the mountain of swords, then at Chen Changsheng, and then he finally looked back at the mountain of swords. His mouth was agape and it took a long time before he was able to close it.
He had heard Chen Changsheng's story of discovering the Sword Pool in the Garden of Zhou and joining hands with the ten thousand swords to defeat his enemy, but to hear the story and to see the swords themselves were two completely different things.
Even though he came from the Wenshui Tangs who were so wealthy they could own the world, he had never seen such a sight.
He suddenly felt that although Chen Changsheng had lost so much gold and treasure in the Garden of Zhou, this business venture was still rather profitable.
Xuanyuan Po heard the sound and also came to the library, his hand still holding the filthy cloth he used to wash dishes.
With a slap, that wash cloth which was bigger than the average apron fell to the floor, splattering a bit of water.
Chen Changsheng glanced over, then chided, "I've said many times before, you have to change the wash cloth often."
At this point, Xuanyuan Po couldn't hear a word Chen Changsheng was saying. His entire being became like that of a little bear climbing a tree. With a yell, he rushed over to the mountain of swords.
The mountain of swords was not struck by his sturdy body, because he had suddenly realized that these were Chen Changsheng's things. At the last moment, he halted his steps and turned his head to Chen Changsheng. His eyes were all watery and he seemed extremely innocent and pitiful.
"Do you want one?" Chen Changsheng asked.
Xuanyuan Po nodded his head. Because he nodded too quickly and because his head was too big, a small gust of wind swept through the dark library.
Chen Changsheng said, "Pick one yourself."
Xuanyuan Po happily shouted, thrust his hand at a hilt in the mountain of swords, then pulled it out with a tug.
The screech of metal echoed through the quiet library.
He had retrieved a pitch-black sword. It wasn't at all sharp and was extremely coarse. It looked more like a metal club.
Xuanyuan Po gave it a vacant stare. He realized that this metal sword's weight and feel was extremely suitable for his strength, so much so that it was almost like this sword was meant for his use.
It must be said that there really could be some sort of indescribably mysterious connection between man and sword, a sort of destiny. It was just like those invisible lines of fate in the starry sky that could never be glimpsed by humans.
The sword that Xuanyuan Po had randomly pulled out was a heavy sword made of black iron. It was heavy as a mountain and mighty as the sea, hence its name: the Mountain Sea Sword.
This weighty sword's former master was an expert called Xi Ke. It was said that he possessed the bloodline of the White Emperor clan. In his entire life, he had never encountered defeat, until that day he lost to Zhou Dufu in the Garden of Zhou. In the end, he died at the hands of some nameless individual.
Chen Changsheng was somewhat taken aback that Xuanyuan Po would pick up this sword.
The Mountain Sea Sword was one of the most well-preserved of the swords in the Sword Pool, second only to the temple sword. Moreover, because of the rumor that Xi Ke possessed the bloodline of the White Emperor, after the Li Palace confirmed that Xi Ke had no successor, he had originally planned to give the Mountain Sea Sword to Luoluo. However, when he saw Xuanyuan Po unable to contain his happiness and then thought about how the scene of Luoluo's elegant and childish figure flailing around with a big metal club was truly too beautiful, he decided to say nothing.
Tang Thirty-Six had something to say.
“This is the Mountain Sea Sword. Although it's plain to see that the edge of it was shorn off by Zhou Dufu's Halving Blade, now that it's appeared once more in the world, it can definitely rank in the Tier of Legendary Weapons.”
If an old and heavily damaged sword were to reappear in the world, was that enough for it to enter the Tier of Legendary Weapons?
Tang Thirty-Six was not exaggerating. If the renowned swords of history were ranked, no matter how they were ranked, the Mountain Sea Sword would always be ranked in the top ten.
Xuanyuan Po was not very encouraged by these words. Like a child holding a toy, he tightly gripped the Mountain Sea Sword and warily stared at Tang Thirty-Six. "What are you trying to say? No matter what you say, I won't be fooled by you crafty humans!"
Tang Thirty-Six teased, "Chen Changsheng is also a human, why aren't you afraid that he'll cheat you? And why so willing to receive his sword with such goodwill?"
Xuanyuan Po didn't know how to respond. He ruminated for quite a while before saying, “He's my grandteacher, how can he be compared with a normal human? If my grandteacher gives me something, of course I have to receive it."
Tang Thirty-Six sneered, "On a normal day you won't admit, but now for the sake of an old sword, you're only too willing to become a grandson. If anyone says that you bears are honest and sincere, I'll worry for his sake."
Xuanyuan Po was no match for him, so he could only huff in silence. But he held the Mountain Sea Sword to his chest even more tightly.
"What do you want to say?" Chen Changsheng asked.
Tang Thirty-Six replied, "If an infant stuffs some precious treasure into his pocket and walks the streets with it, what problems do you think will occur?"
Chen Changsheng followed his gaze. Xuanyuan Po's sturdy body was like a small mountain. The originally weighty and massive Mountain Sea Sword being hugged to his chest did not seem to tower over him at all.
But Tang Thirty-Six had spoken truly. In this perilous human world, Xuanyuan Po was an infant, a bear cub.
Chen Changsheng was currently the Principal of the Orthodox Academy, the Pope's appointed successor, so he clearly understood that no one, barring a scant few people, would ever dare to take the treasures he carried on him through anything less than legal means.
Not so for Xuanyuan Po. Neither the Orthodoxy nor White Emperor City would be willing to go to war for some ordinary demi-human youth.
"If he really was just some bear cub, then I really wouldn't be too concerned about his life or death. The problem is that this kid's recent performance hasn't been too bad." Tang Thirty-Six proposed, "I think that this way is better: this Mountain Sea Sword, I will safeguard it for you. When you can defeat me, that will serve as proof that you have the ability and qualification to grasp this divine weapon, and then I will return the sword to you."
As he said this, he looked at Xuanyuan Po, his expression very natural and his tone very casual.
Xuanyuan Po was almost fooled, but he cottoned on to it when he saw the smile on Chen Changsheng's lips and gave two low and angry roars. Tang Thirty-Six's little idea had been uncovered, but he wasn't angry. With a smile, he got up and pulled a paper fan from somewhere. As he waved the fan, he said, "I've said nothing but the truth. If you want to carry around the Mountain Sea Sword every day, recklessly waving it around, there will be some day when some guy is going to knock you out with a black bat."
Xuanyuan Po's expression flickered with uncertainty. He knew that Tang Thirty-Six spoke the truth, but he wasn't willing at all to hand over the Mountain Sea Sword to Tang Thirty-Six for protection. It would be better to hand it over to Chen Changsheng.
"In any case, I won't give it to you, but I also won't let other people know."
Xuanyuan Po carried the Mountain Sea Sword out of the library. Not long after, he returned, but the Mountain Sea Sword was no longer with him.
"Where'd you hide it?" Chen Changsheng was truly very curious.
Xuanyuan Po was not going to hide it from them. "The pile of firewood in the kitchen."
Chen Changsheng thought about it, then praised, "That's really not bad. Even if someone else saw it, they would just think it was a poker for stirring the fire."
Ultimately, Tang Thirty-Six was not the child of some ordinary family. The Wenshui Sword at his side was not one bit inferior to the famous swords of the Sword Pool. After realizing that it was impossible for him to get the sole sword that interested him, the Mountain Sea Sword, into his hand, he was no longer very interested. However, upon hearing the exchange between Chen Changsheng and Xuanyuan Po, he suddenly thought of a very interesting possibility. "Do you guys think that several thousand years in the future, there will be some person who discovers the secret of the metal sword in the Orthodox Academy's pile of firewood, comprehends the path of the sword, and then immediately becomes a peerless expert in one stroke?"
Xuanyuan Po thought, even I haven't become a peerless expert, and in the future, I plan to return to my tribe. How could I possibly leave this sword behind in the Orthodox Academy?
Chen Changsheng thought, that really is a very interesting thought, like a story out of a book. The problem is that several thousand years later, none of us will be around, so how can we know what comes after?
The more Tang Thirty-Six thought about it, the more he found the matter amusing, and his eyes began to shine abnormally bright.
"Just this one sword isn't interesting enough, we should hide a few more in the Orthodox Academy, no, dozens, or even hundreds of swords. Hide a few in the stones by the lake, stash a few in the holes of the trees, at the bottom of the lake, in the beams of the buildings…ah, right, isn't there a big bird's nest on top of the great banyan tree? …tsk, tsk, think about it, the students of the Orthodox Academy, several decades later, finding a famous and exceptional sword in some place, that scene…"
He got more excited the more he talked about it, but Chen Changsheng could only feel more helpless the more he listened. He thought, we can disregard the fish in the lake, but just what have the birds in the trees done to offend you?
What Tang Thirty-Six said, he did. He began walking over to the mountain of swords, preparing to pick out a few of the more heavily damaged swords and hide them all over the Orthodox Academy.
He had even thought of where to hide them. He wouldn't tell anyone, not even Chen Changsheng. Only this way would their future discovery be interesting.
At this time, Zhexiu's voice rose up.
His voice was rather weak, but there was a faint ridicule within it.
"Weren't you going to let me choose a sword? Why is it that I feel that this matter has nothing to do with me?"
Chen Changsheng and the other two realized just then that from the start of this episode to its end, Zhexiu had said nothing.
To be more precise, the three had carried on such a lively conversation that they had long forgotten the original purpose.
The atmosphere was rather awkward but Tang Thirty-Six still persisted in lifelessly sighing a few words.
"This thing called presence is really quite miraculous. Clearly you're the fiercest one of us, but now you're in such a miserable state, really…"
Chen Changsheng saw Zhexiu's complexion and hurriedly stopped Tang Thirty-Six from going any further. With great care, he asked, "Which sword do you want?"
Zhexiu raised his arm and pointed at a certain place on that mountain of swords.
Because of his injuries, his actions were rather laborious and slow, but very resolute.
Chen Changsheng and the other two followed his finger, and their expressions subtly shifted.
"You're sure it's this sword?"
"But…that sword's origins…it might provoke some discussion in the future."
"Since Zhou Tong says that I'm a spy for the demons, it's only natural that I use a demon's sword."
The sword Zhexiu wanted was ancient and slightly damaged, but an everlasting demonic Qi and bloody scent still pervaded its surface.
It was the Demon Commander's Banner Sword.