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Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
In today's feast, the principal guest was Luoluo, but in order for her to have a reason to leave the Imperial Palace, several additional guests had also been invited. These included Prince Chen Liu, Mao Qiuyu, and Priest Xin. When drafting the list, Chen Changsheng did not pay any attention to such questions as differences in status or sensitivity of identity. He had just wanted to take the opportunity to also thank those people that had once helped the Orthodox Academy. Prince Chen Liu had come, Mao Qiuyu had not. Priest Xin had come, but upon seeing the other guests and thinking of his own status, dropped off a gift and left first, receiving both Tang Thirty-Six's praise and Xuanyuan Po's incomprehension.
An array of culinary delicacies, plum wine, the lake breeze, and youths.
Prince Chen Liu was the person who was least acquainted with the rest of the group, but he lived up to his reputation as the sole representative of the Imperial clan able to persist in the capital, the sole junior able to be admired by the Divine Empress. His way of speaking was naturally warm and natural, and it was not long before he and Chen Changsheng had warmed up to each other. After the final dish had been served, he thought of the rumors he had heard on the way here and asked in an uncertain tone:
"Is that matter true?"
Luoluo asked curiously, "What matter?"
Prince Chen Liu described the incident in Clear Lake Restaurant and even mentioned what had happened afterwards.
Chen Changsheng saw that he could no longer conceal it. Indicating that Tang Thirty-Six should take out those letters of challenge, he said, "I just feel like this is all a children's game."
Prince Chen Liu glanced at the stack of letters and shook his head. "The little games played by the powerful often have a deeper meaning. Is there anything that I can help you with?"
Chen Changsheng thought it over, then replied, "In the end, this is a matter concerning the Orthodox Academy, so we'll try and handle it ourselves. If we really can't do it, then we might as well go to the Li Palace and request His Holiness for assistance."
Luoluo glanced at Chen Changsheng.
Chen Changsheng used his chopsticks to ferry some pickled tofu and spinach onto her plate.
Luoluo understood. With a soft tone, she whispered a 'thank you Teacher', then lowered her head even further, silently continuing to eat.
"Teacher, why is that after all these things happened at the Orthodox Academy, you still won't tell me about it?"
"Are you still used to living in the Imperial Palace? Ah, I forgot. In the very beginning when you first got to the capital, you lived in the Imperial Palace."
"Teacher, was that Zhou Ziheng really in the Star Condensation Realm? Teacher, did you really only need one strike to kill him?"
"Now that I think of it, why is it that Guardian Jin never wants to come into the academy? Is it because he doesn't like all the Orthodoxy cavalry outside?"
"Teacher, is that guy Tang Tang really so strong now?"
"What do you think about Prince Chen Liu? I think he's not bad, but you also know, I don't have many friends, nor am I that good at judging others."
"Teacher, could it be that Tang Tang is even stronger than me now? He shouldn't be! As he's won twelve consecutive victories, if I were to represent the Orthodox Academy, maybe I would just win all the way until the end?"”
"For some reason, Tang Thirty-Six has never liked him."
Of course, this wasn't because they couldn't see eye to eye, nor was it because he was attempting to avoid the main subject, although Chen Changsheng had actually intended to do so at the very beginning of this conversation. But later on, he thought it was very interesting to converse in this way. Before he entered the Mausoleum of Books, especially in that time period where neither Xuanyuan Po or Tang Thirty-Six had entered the Orthodox Academy yet, this vast academy that occupied an area of one thousand mu contained only him and Luoluo. In those times at dusk, when they would stroll around the lake or laze around atop the great banyan tree, they would also hold these rather interesting conversations.
Chen Changsheng gazed at the golden ripples on the lake and the distant Li Palace. Reaching out his hand, he rubbed Luoluo's head.
In performing this action, he didn't even look at Luoluo, yet his hand accurately fell on her head. It was an action he had performed many times, and Luoluo would always sit in that area.
On the night when Mei Lisha returned to the sea of stars, they had truthfully already foreseen the current situation. When they had met last, they also had discussed this matter. Every person had their own responsibility. The most vexing fact was that it was impossible for every person to be their own person. They all had their own relatives, friends, schoolmates, teachers, and elders, all the way up to the continuation of the country. Thus, it was always impossible for a single person to make their own choice or decision. One would always have to consider the matters of the future, and then also consider the matters of the past.
"I've never avoided my own responsibilities." Luoluo wrested herself away from his palm, then stood up to gaze together with him at the distant Li Palace. "But have none of you ever thought that I'm also a student of the Orthodox Academy, that I also have to bear some of this place's responsibility?"
"Because…above all, you are your parents' most beloved daughter, Her Majesty the Princess adored and respected by the countless demi-humans living along the eight hundred li of the Red River."
Chen Changsheng turned to her and said, "As for the Orthodox Academy, this place still has me and Tang Thirty-Six. There's nothing that you need to worry about."
Upon returning from Xunyang City, he realized that the state of affairs in the capital was extremely tense. The Tianhai Divine Empress and the Pope had begun to show their strengths and many people had begun, or been forced, to pick a side. He did not let Luoluo concern herself with the matters of the Orthodox Academy precisely because he did not want Luoluo to pick a side, because Luoluo, from a certain perspective, represented the position of the entire Demi-human race.
"But…" Luoluo lowered her head to the reflection of the great banyan tree in the lake, as well as her and Chen Changsheng's reflections. "I'm very sad."
Chen Changsheng said soothingly, "Later on, if the situation clears up a little, perhaps it won't be this sensitive."
Ultimately, he was still just a youth from Xining Village. It was impossible for him to understand that in every case, once something like this began, it would never conclude.
Luoluo was a princess from White Emperor City, so she naturally understood, which only deepened her sorrow.
Chen Changsheng found it rather difficult to see her in such a state. Changing the subject, he said, "In the past few days, Zhexiu and the rest all picked a sword. You should also pick one. Yeah, I still have many good swords."
He thought that since every other person of the Orthodox Academy had chosen a sword that had been brought back from the Sword Pool, it was only natural that Luoluo not be excluded. Moreover, if she were to think that this was a privilege of the students of the Orthodox Academy, perhaps she would be happy. As for which sword Luoluo would pick…he didn't care too much. The reason he had not easily agreed to Mo Yu's request for the Yue Maiden Sword, other than that he really believed he had no obligation to do so, was primarily that he remembered that Luoluo had not chosen yet. He thought that the Yue Maiden Sword and the Flowing Light Sword, these swords more inclined towards female persuasion, should first be left for her. If she didn't want them, they could be taken care of later.
Indeed, upon hearing that every person of the Orthodox Academy had a sword from the Sword Pool, Luoluo grew somewhat happier. However, she did not immediately choose a sword, instead telling Chen Changsheng to keep it safe for the meantime, and that they would talk about it again in the future.
Chen Changsheng saw the Falling Rain Whip at her waist and suddenly remembered that she was the noble Princess of the demi-humans. She had ten Thousand Li Buttons as well as the Falling Rain Whip and the Emperor's Tusk, divine weapons of the Tier of Legendary Weapons. It was very likely that she wasn't that interested in these once-famous swords.
"Oh, I'm also preparing to give you a small present, if…I can actually obtain it, that is." As Chen Changsheng said this to her, he thought, if I can really go back into the Garden of Zhou and learn that technique of Wang Zhice's, then I'll take all those Heavenly Tome Monoliths around the Mausoleum of Zhou and turn them into little black stones, and then give one to her.
To use the Heavenly Tome Monoliths as a gift…
He had definitely not thought of the fact that if this thought really became truth, then it would inevitably be the most precious gift in all of history.