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Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
The Li Palace priest surnamed Lu said rather helplessly, "They're all just here to watch, and it's not like we can drive them too far away."
The awning on the street did not contain any important figures besides the stewards of the Four Great Markets, but the common folk of the capital that had arrived to see the spectacle were already numerous.
It was clearly only six in the morning, and it was even raining! Tang Thirty-Six felt extremely helpless, and also very furious. He thought to himself, isn't it just fighting? Just what's so good about watching that? Is it worth it to get out of bed so early?
The crowd gradually parted and then slowly became quiet. A middle-aged man wearing a black teaching gown expressionlessly strode onto the scene.
Tang Thirty-Six tore open the letter and gave it a few glances. He confirmed that today's challenger was actually a lecturer from the Li Palace Academy.
His sword-like eyebrows slightly creased. It wasn't because his opponent was an expert at the peak of Ethereal Opening, but rather because the perplexity in his mind was growing ever deeper and he felt that this situation was getting ever stranger.
Besides Star Seizer Academy, the other five Ivy Academies were all under the direct jurisdiction of the Orthodoxy. Could it be that within the Orthodoxy, there were really so many people…who dared to go against the will of the Pope?
The door to the library was pushed open, the breeze bringing a few drops of rain inside with it, as well as Tang Thirty-Six.
"I can't understand this matter," he declared to Chen Changsheng.
Chen Changsheng shook his head and said, "In the present Orthodoxy, there are many people, including many priests of the Li Palace, who experienced the chaos of the Orthodox Academy back then. They killed many of the experts who had devoted themselves to the Imperial clan, but many of their hands are also stained with the blood of the students and teachers of the Orthodox Academy. It's simply impossible for them to accept the Imperial clan’s return to power and the reappearance of the Orthodox Academy. It actually has nothing to do with going against the will of His Holiness."
After a brief pause, he continued, "His Eminence said it very well. His Holiness has turned too quickly. Even those loyal to him find themselves unable to turn with him for the moment."
Tang Thirty-Six fell into thought, then mused, "That's reasonable, but I still feel that something's not right."
Chen Changsheng was more concerned about more practical things. He inquired, "What level is that lecturer from the Li Palace Academy?"
Tang Thirty-Six answered, "He's not Star Condensation, but the peak of Ethereal Opening. He's very old. With one glance, you can tell that he's got some desperate technique stashed away."
Chen Changsheng fell silent at these words. He thought, this sort of opponent seems inferior to Zhou Ziheng, but his experience in battle is far greater than Zhou Ziheng's. He's not that easy an opponent to deal with.
He asked, "What time did you arrange the match with the opponent for?"
Tang Thirty-Six was a little taken aback, asking, "What do you mean, ‘what time’?"
Chen Changsheng was similarly taken aback, clarifying, "When will we be fighting with that lecturer from the Li Palace Academy?"
Tang Thirty-Six finally understood what he meant and very casually replied, "The fight's already finished."
Chen Changsheng didn't hear it clearly, so he asked, "Finished?"
"Yes, it's finished."
"Eh…" This was completely beyond Chen Changsheng's expectations. For a moment, he was at a loss for what to say.
Xuanyuan Po found it impossible to continue calmly studying as he looked over in shock.
Even for Zhexiu laying on the ground, he couldn't help but perk his ears.
"Who fought?" The answer was obvious, but Chen Changsheng still didn't quite believe it.
Tang Thirty-Six felt that he was quite the idiot and said, "It was me, of course!"
Xuanyuan Po was so simple and honest, he had really believed that Princess Luoluo must have returned. Hearing this admission, he inadvertently let slip the question, "You…could you beat him?"
That lecturer from the Li Palace Academy was at the peak of Ethereal Opening. Tang Thirty-Six had just entered the upper level of Ethereal Opening in the Mausoleum of Books, so how could he possibly be a match for that lecturer?
"Just what does that mean? Chen Changsheng can surpass cultivation levels to defeat Star Condensation, but I can't even take care of some rotten old man?"
Tang Thirty-Six sneered, "Seeing my free and easy bearing like a jade tree in the wind, my appearance so confident and carefree that not even rain could stick on me, all of you should also know just who won."
The library was completely silent.
Chen Changsheng didn't know what to say.
In the Ivy Festival and the Grand Examination, in terms of both cultivation and swordplay, Tang Thirty-Six was clearly somewhat inferior to the likes of Qi Jian and Guan Feibai, let alone Gou Hanshi. As the talented descendant of an aristocratic family, he ended up being so suppressed by these Mount Li Sword Sect disciples from impoverished backgrounds that he couldn't even breathe, couldn't even raise his head…Chen Changsheng knew that although Tang Thirty-Six acted as if it was nothing, as if he was still free and uncaring, wealthy and headstrong with a mouth full of obscenities, in reality, he was very much irritated by his situation.
So in the Mausoleum of Books, Tang Thirty-Six had been exceptionally diligent and hardworking. Ultimately, he was able to catch up to and even surpass Guan Feibai, and then shockingly directly entered the upper level of Ethereal Opening.
But Chen Changsheng had not imagined that he would actually have made such a great leap that he could defeat a senior at the peak of Ethereal Opening.
He glanced over Tang Thirty-Six and, upon confirming that he truly was uninjured, asked, "What was the situation in the end?"
Tang Thirty-Six sat cross-legged on the floor. His clothes were a little damp and his hair still had a few drops of water.
He did not immediately answer Chen Changsheng's question. He spent a few moments in silence before saying, "I cut off one of his hands."
Chen Changsheng took a few of his own moments of silence, then replied, "A little severe."
Tang Thirty-Six said, "I have to make the opponent pay some sort of price…or else what would we do if we got a letter of challenge every day? Are you just going to keep fighting? If you were to make a mistake once, they would also dare to just cut off your hand."
He spoke calmly and firmly because this was something he knew was absolutely going to happen.
Chen Changsheng noted that his face was rather pale, and then he remembered, although Tang Thirty-Six upon entering the capital had yelled that he was going to cripple Tianhai Ya'er, in reality…he had lived his entire life in Wenshui, growing up with a golden spoon in his mouth. Upon coming to the capital, he was under the care of Principal Zhuang. Only after he left the Heavenly Dao Academy and came to the Orthodox Academy did he truly begin to confront the trials and tribulations of human life. Just when had he ever actually crippled someone? Besides the battles of the Grand Examination, he hadn't even seen blood before.
Chen Changsheng did not voice any of these thoughts. Taking out a handkerchief, he handed it over and said, "Wipe."
Tang Thirty-Six was somewhat stunned and Xuanyuan Po was exceptionally stunned. Even Zhexiu mustered the strength to open his eyes.
They were the people in the world most familiar with Chen Changsheng. They all knew that Chen Changsheng was exceptionally serious and had an obsession with cleanliness that he did not usually display.
"Just for the rain water." In a rather more serious tone, Chen Changsheng explained, "If you want to use it to wipe the blood on your sword, then you don't need to return the handkerchief to me anymore."
Tang Thirty-Six's hand was heavy, but the rains of summer were even heavier. The drizzle of the morning suddenly transformed into a torrential downpour at dusk. The bloodstains in front of the Orthodox Academy's gate were very quickly washed away. Besides making the maidens of the capital think him even more cool, and thus making them even more smitten for him, this matter had no lasting effects, for either the Orthodox Academy or its opponents.
On the morning of the second day, the Orthodox Academy received three more letters of challenge. Unlike the day before, the Orthodox Academy's gate remained shut. Only the faint sounds of debate and even quarreling could be heard. Finally, at twilight, the gate was pushed upon. Watching as Tang Thirty-Six walked out of the gate, the spectators that had waited for the entire day—the idlers, the stewards under the awning, and the people in the carriages on the street—were all roused from their stupors.
Today was truly different from yesterday. There was no pouring rain today, only a sky suffused with the glow of the sunset.
The Wenshui Sword was pulled out of its sheath, the sword reflecting the twilight. Simultaneously, it seemed to possess a sort of magic, completely absorbing the light of the sunset in the west. The street grew dark and then brightened once more.
Tang Thirty-Six had used the mightiest move of the Three Forms of Wenshui!
As the evening clouds gathered, the sword intent rose up.
The remnants of the rain in the numerous depressions in the ground before the gate seemed like countless tiny lakes.
With the majestic rise of true essence, a vast and mighty sword energy emerged. Those lakes were suffused with a golden glow and then vanished in the heat.
In the lane, there was a dense cacophony like a sword harshly whistling through the air countless times!
That swordsman who on the surface seemed to come from the Temple Seminary, but was actually an expert of the Tianhai clan, plunged backwards and heavily fell on the street.
With a slap, those small lakes were pulverized by some figure, and the golden light transformed into countless scales.
That swordsman's body was crisscrossed by ten-odd sword slashes. Blood flowed out everywhere and he was powerless to stand.
Tang Thirty-Six didn't even pay him another glance.
Grasping the Wenshui Sword, he looked into the crowd and said, "Next."
The crowd was absolutely silent, and then spread apart with a bang.
They were struck silly, especially those maidens of the capital. They shouted his name with all their might while tossing over the flowers in their hands.
Flowers were thrown in an unending rain to the area in front of the Orthodox Academy. The ground was soon covered in a thick layer, like a sea of flowers.
And he stood amidst this sea of flowers.