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Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
Chen Changsheng had found the Sword Pool and carried out many swords. This matter had not been spread widely for the moment, but it could no longer be considered a secret.
It was just that Xu Yourong had since been in seclusion to recover from her injuries and so she really knew nothing at all of this matter. However, everyone believed that she naturally knew of it. If Gou Hanshi had brought it up, then she should have been able to guess at a few matters beforehand, but in fact…what time she learned of it was never important.
This statement was very awkward, but the reasoning behind it was incredibly simple.
As in both stories and real life, people would always encounter this or that problem. Some problems make one want to drink poison and throw oneself into the grave, while other problems make one unsure whether to laugh or cry as one enters into a beautiful marriage predestined by fate. In the final analysis, the conclusions of these lives and stories had not much to do with those problems that occurred on the way. The most important factor was just how one resolved these problems.
As Xu Yourong made her way to the back mountain of Mount Li, her teacher was at this very moment attempting to resolve a problem. As an equal of the Pope and the leader of the southern sects, the problem that she sought to resolve was naturally one of titanic proportions.
This problem was called 'the confluence of north and south'.
If the humans wanted to obtain complete victory over the demons, or at the least completely remove their threat, they needed to truly unify, or to use the saying that had been going around for the past two centuries, 'the confluence of north and south'.
The Great Zhou Dynasty occupied its every waking moment with thinking of ways to truly conquer the south, but even the wise Emperor Taizong, the Divine Conqueror, was only able to make the families and sects of the south nominally recognize the legitimacy of the capital. When the Divine Empress took the reins of power, it had also been her deepest wish to conquer the south, but she was also unsuccessful. Ten-odd years ago, the Liang Household and the Longevity Sect conspired together to take the south and invade the north. Although this seemed more like a joke in retrospect, it also indicated that the confluence of north and south was an irresistible trend.
Many centuries ago, the reasons for the failure of the confluence of north and south were complex. However, in these recent two centuries, the entire continent, including the demons, knew that the reason why the combined will and forceful promotion of the Tianhai Divine Empress, the Pope, and the Holy Maiden of the south—these three Saints—had failed to advance the confluence of the north and south a single step was all essentially due to a single person's existence.
Because Su Li did not consent.
Why was it that after Su Li had fought a bloody battle against the demon experts on the snowy plains, he had to immediately confront the shameless pursuit of the human world? Why was it that the Saints and the Eight Storms had disregarded any harm to their reputation in their insistence that Xunyang City be his place of death? Because he had killed too many people? Of course not. It was because once Su Li was dead, the confluence of north and south, this grand undertaking, could finally have a chance of success.
"I don't want you to become the second Zhou Dufu," the Holy Maiden softly said to Su Li. "If you feel that the faces of the Zhou people are truly too shameless, just think of it as that which you do not see is clean!"
Su Li shook his head, saying, "You've never understood why I don't agree to this matter."
"And just when will you truly open yourself up to me?" The Holy Maiden smiled as she looked into his eyes.
Xu Yourong knew that her teacher and Su Li were aware of her arrival. However, the actions of her seniors could be like the cool breeze and the vast sky of stars and she really couldn't continue listening. She stepped forward and offered her greetings.
Su Li pointed at her and said to the Holy Maiden, "If you have the time, first resolve the problems of your disciple."
Xu Yourong's expression seemed to chill. Just what problem do I have?
Su Li continued, "Her problem is even more troublesome than the confluence of north and south, such that not even I know what to do."
The Holy Maiden arched her brows, asking, "What problem?"
Su Li said, "Of course it's the greatest problem of life. Qiushan Jun or that idiot Chen Changsheng, not even I can say who is better. Just who is she going to marry?"
A little displeased, the Holy Maiden chided, "Just what are you blabbering about in front of a junior?"
Xu Yourong truly found it difficult to accept…this sort of scene. She sighed in her heart, and she also felt that Senior Su Li's words were actually faintly more favorable when speaking of Chen Changsheng.
"I will not marry anyone," she declared. "I will go to the capital to end the engagement."
Su Li's brows shot up as if they were swords about to soar up into the night sky above Mount Li. But in the end, he chose to say nothing.
The Holy Maiden looked at her in pity. What Xu Yourong had encountered in the Garden of Zhou, she had spoken of to no one, including her. But a person of her caliber needed only a glance several days ago to see that her own disciples had encountered some romantic block, so she no longer discussed the engagement. Changing the subject, she said, "When you go to the capital, represent your teacher and go to the Li Palace to pick something up."
Xu Yourong replied, "Yes, master, but I don't know what the item is."
The Holy Maiden explained, "The Sword Pool of the Garden of Zhou has reappeared. Chen Changsheng is willing to return those swords to their old sects, and the temple sword is among them. For the moment, it is temporarily in the custody of the Li Palace."
The temple sword was the sword meant to be carried by the Holy Maiden. Many years ago, Zhou Dufu had snatched it away from Holy Maiden Peak after which it was never found again.
Hearing this news, Xu Yourong was incredibly shocked, and then she felt that something wasn't quite right.
Yes, something was very wrong…
Su Li suddenly asked, "When do you plan to go to the capital?"
Xu Yourong awoke from her daze and responded, "After the winter solstice."
Su Li said, "Since you're going to the capital, help me return something to Chen Changsheng. You even know each other."
Xu Yourong was subconsciously a little resistant to this idea. She declared, "I don't know him."
"Girl, you're as stubborn as your master."
Su Li said, "Tianhai and your master taught you, and Old Man Yin only has him as a junior. You two will have to fight eventually. You don't have to meet him when ending the engagement, but is it possible to fight him without meeting?"
Xu Yourong knew that this was true. Upon returning to the capital, disregarding the events of the Ivy Festival and the Grand Examination and basing it purely on the current state of affairs in the capital, she and Chen Changsheng would inevitably have to fight.
Su Li seemingly took a yellow paper umbrella from out of nowhere and handed it to Xu Yourong.
In the past, this had been the umbrella that he treasured the most and within was the sword which he had wished to find the most. This umbrella was also a symbol of an era.
So on the snowy plains, even if he and Chen Changsheng bickered like children, he was still unwilling to give it away.
But now, he just casually threw this umbrella away.
The Holy Maiden's expression subtly shifted and her voice seemed to be a bit shaky. "You've really…agreed?"
Su Li said, "I'm still considering it, but…if I really have the chance to go to a different world and see, it's far better than sticking around this swamp smelling all these awful stenches."
The Holy Maiden said no more, only quietly gazing at him with gratitude and fond remembrance.
If Xu Yourong were looking at this scene, she would definitely have felt very helpless, but she was not.
Her eyes were currently transfixed on the umbrella in her hands, that old umbrella.
Naturally, she recognized this umbrella.
She had held this umbrella.
She had lifted this umbrella.
From the plains to the Mausoleum of Zhou.
Carrying it for a thousand li, passing several times through the four seasons.
Back then, she was on his back, the umbrella in her hands.
This umbrella had served her and him as shelter against the rain and snow, to block out the wind and frost, to avoid the dust, to point the way.
Return…Chen Changsheng…Sword Pool…temple sword…him.
Her face instantly turned white as snow.
She was somewhat despondent.
She was incredibly dazed.
Just what was going on here?