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“Within a flower is a world, within a leaf is also a world; this is a saying based upon the outer appearance, but it’s not really correct. Are we really situated within a flower or a leaf? These so called flowers and leaves are just tools created by our forebears through the use of great abilities, they are doors into a fragment of space.”
Tang Thirty-Six said: “The larger the shard of space is, the more stable, yet it also becomes harder to activate. You would need a truly grand ability in order to successfully turn it into a tool; it is only once this is done, then can we truly say it is a miniature world with a master.”
Chen Chang Sheng agreed with this view, the reasoning was understandable. Xuan Yuan Po grew up in a remote tribe and didn’t have any knowledge or experience on this subject, upon listening to this exchange, he shook his head and said: “This place is so big? Why is it called a miniature world?”
Tang Thirty-Six didn’t reply, in truth, he was also in awe of everything before him, but loath to express any outward signs of his awe. The miniature world owned by the Wen Shui family paled in comparison to this flawless world.
Chen Chang Sheng answered: “This miniature world is so vast, I wonder who the owner is?”
Tang Thirty-Six looked at him like as if he just saw an idiot and replied: “The Pope of course.”
Chen Chang Sheng came to his senses, scouring the entire continent, those with the ability to control such a miniature world could be counted upon the digits of one hand. With the location of this place being Li Palace, who else could it be?
“The entry to a miniature world is controlled by its owner’s will.”
Tang Thirty-Six looked at the saintly cranes flying across the sky and solemnly said: “Her Highness will be safe here.”
If the demon race wished to killed Luo Luo now, they would first have to remove His Holiness, The Pope, before they could enter this palace.
This was an impossible scenario, thus the safety of Luo Luo was all but guaranteed.
Chen Chang Sheng understood this, staying here was the safest option for Luo Luo, but upon thinking that her ability to leave this world was dependent upon the Pope’s will, he couldn’t help thinking that this was not too different from being confined.
Yet, remembering that just months ago, there was an assassination attempt at Orthodox Academy, he couldn’t say anything.
Upon entering the towering building, they started climbing the stairs within, to an ever greater elevation. Their line of sight grew with their ascent, but even at the 20th floor, they couldn’t see any end to this miniature world; Chen Chang Sheng was thoroughly impressed, thinking to himself that His Holiness lived up to being one of the pinnacle experts on the continent.
On the edge of their sight, there were still tens of palaces, fading in and out of their view.
Chen Chang Sheng found this puzzling and moved to Jin Yu Lu’s location, asking his question in a low tone before being informed that the Orthodoxy had a large number of clergymen, whom, alongside a lot of other capable cultivators, were given the right to cultivate in the Pope’s Green Leaf (Qing Ye) World, after having achieved some great merit.
Chen Chang Sheng voiced his concern: “If the demon race wished to harm Her Highness, they wouldn’t be able to force their way into this world… but what if the clergymen and cultivators that have been residing here all this time were to have a traitor in their midst? How can this be guarded against?”
“An agent of the demon race that can obscure themselves before the perception (ability) of the Pope? Even Black Robe, that old crook, wouldn’t dare to try this.”
The leading clergyman, upon hearing the words of Chen Chang Sheng, solemnly answered.
Chen Chang Sheng didn’t say anything else.
The group finally began arriving to the top floor, the expansive and flat apex had a small courtyard; surrounding the walls of the compound, planted within and without, were a number of bamboo, presenting the viewer with a delightful array of greenery.
Knowing that Luo Luo was residing at this place, Chen Chang Sheng felt more at ease.
Jin Yu Lu took the three youths to the entrance of the lodging before stopping, he turned around to look at Chen Chang Sheng, with a small smile on his lips, before saying: “The words of that clergyman couldn’t have allayed your fears, but all I can tell you is that I can’t take a step into this small residence, does that help to alleviate your worry?”
Chen Chang Sheng knew that miniature worlds had a so-called limit, especially for smaller shards of space. If someone with a True Essence capacity over a certain level was to enter the space within, then the shard of space would immediately begin to fracture; the space within, alongside the cause, would evaporate into nothingness.
But this residence was a part of His Holiness’ Green Leaf World.
Why wouldn’t Jin Yu Lu be able to step inside?
Not to mention, such a scenario would simplify any assassination attempt by the demon race; sending a single agent on a suicide mission would be enough.
Jin Yu Lu repled: “Some worlds have too tall an entrance; some worlds have too low a ceiling; some worlds have too narrow an entrance.”
Chen Chang Sheng understood, thinking of the saying: “Space has no constant.”
Some miniature worlds, upon the entry of too much True Essence, would immediately destruct, this was having too low a “ceiling”.
Some miniature worlds, couldn’t be entered unless you reached a certain level, this was having too tall an “entrance”.
Some miniature worlds, couldn’t be entered by those above a certain level, this was having too narrow an “entrance”.
Some miniature worlds, contained a multitude of “spaces” (rooms).
Space, was the hardest thing to grasp, the principles behind it were always complex and wondrous.
The Pope’s Green Leaf World, was clearly of the type that had a low ceiling, but due the vastness of this world, it could still accommodate an expert like Jin Yu Lu, but that was only because the previous locations they passed by were connecting spaces.
The lodging located at this apex, was a true “room” of this world; the “ceiling” of this residence was lower, thus, Jin Yu Lu couldn’t continue.
“Only those under the Ethereal Opening realm can enter.” Jin Yu Lu explained.
With this, Chen Chang Sheng finally relaxed, as the tutor of Luo Luo, he was confident of her ability to deal with anyone under the Ethereal Opening realm.
The three youths entered the courtyard, crossing two bamboo thickets, and, before the greeting of the receiving maid had even finished; Luo Luo entered their sights.
Luo Luo was by the window, a brush and paper in hand, writing something with a serious look on her face. Constantly crossing and relaxing her brows, or biting the tip of the brush, a rather cute scene.
Upon seeing the corner of the paper that was lifted through the wind Chen Chang Sheng knew that she was following his instructions and writing her cultivation diary, this was because the paper was originally given to her by him. Paper that was originally found in a desk located in the library back at Orthodox Academy, each sheet had the insignia of their school.
Such a scene brought warmth to his heart.
Luo Luo was in the middle of bringing the brush to her mouth, when she suddenly noticed something, upon turning around to look, the brush stopped at her lips.
She let out a single sound, threw away the brush and charged towards Chen Chang Sheng, her white gown leaving behind after-images from the speed, with the space around her letting out sounds of after-shocks; a shocking momentum.
Tang Thirty-Six sharpened his attention, his face suddenly changed and immediately pushed Xuan Yuan Po aside before quickly dodging, only leaving Chen Chang Sheng in his original position.
In the blink of an eye, Luo Luo had charged from the window to Chen Chang Sheng’s location, it was at this moment, that she suddenly thought of something: if she didn’t slow down, her tutor was about to become the first victim in history to die under a hug; her little face immediately drained of colour.
She uttered another sound, but this was one made in the midst of exerting great effort.
The young lady stomped a foot upon the ground, creating a single explosive bang, before a web of cracks surfaced on the solid ground beneath her. A horrifying wave of energy spread out, seemingly causing the entire palace to shudder, with dust rising up all over.
A blanket of silence followed, with vague sounds of alarmed clergymen outside of the residence coming through.
Calm eventually returned.
The dust eventually settled, with the view returning to clarity, only the bamboo were slightly stained by the event.
Chen Chang Shen and Luo Luo stood across from each other.
She was wearing a rimless hat (imagine a beret), and had small braids; due to the previous speed, the braids had begun to unravel, her black hair resembled a mass of weeds, stuck under her hat, the overexertion of her True Essence caused her small face to flush up in red, a rather cute scene.
Time passed by.
“Greetings to Sir.”
She decorously performed a formal student greeting to her tutor by bowing down, without a single mistake possible in her movements.
She was the same little thing as her time at the school.
Chen Chang Sheng extended his hand and patted her head.
Luo Luo gave out a frivolous sound of joy before standing straight, rubbing her head against his palm.
Chen Chang Sheng extended his arm and rubbed away dirt that had gotten on her face.
Luo Luo laughed out in delight before casting herself into his arms, planting her small face into his chest and rubbing her face clean.
Xuan Yuan Po was used to seeing this scene, but was still unused to this scene, yet he knew he should remain silent.
Tang Thirty-Six however, had never seen this scene before and had a massive gape between his lips.
His admiration of Chen Chang Sheng was akin to a surging tide, akin to never-ending streams.
He also started to worry for Chen Chang Sheng; how was he going to handle this future?
From outside of the small residence, Official Li had an unpleasant look on her face. From the moment Luo Luo jumped into Chen Chang Sheng’s arms, her hand, which was on the entrance door had started to shiver.
Jin Yu Lu only laughed, without uttering a single word.
Official Li turned towards the fencing, motioning for him to follow.
Jin Yu Lu glanced at the doorway, only seeing that fingerprints had been left behind, the print was very deep and clear-cut.
This was the Pope’s Green Leaf World, the material of the palace was incredibly hard, for her to leave behind such strong imprints was proof enough that she was on the verge of exploding.
“It was with much difficulty that we finally managed to take away Her Highness, so why did you have to bring that person here?”
Official Li look at him with worry and continued: “This really, really, cannot continue.”
Jin Yu Lu laughed, “It’s fine, they’re good children.”
This was already the apex of the palace, the deepest location of the clouds.
In the farthermost part of the residence, was Luo Luo bedroom, the door side had some saplings growing, but it wasn’t possible to make out what plants they were, outside the window, clouds drifted by.
Luo Luo sat beside the window, looking at the sheet in front of her, the ink had dried, but it was evidently very fresh; it should have been written the night before; thinking of how much her tutor cared about her, she felt slightly giddy, neglecting to pay attention to the contents of the sheet before her.
Chen Chang Sheng was the same as always, he was close to Luo Luo in age and still a youth, therefore he didn’t have any attitude that would be more fitting for an elder, or paid any attention to the strict conduct of a teacher. But on the subject of cultivation, he was always fastidious, sometimes even severe.
Upon thinking more closely, this was the first time the two had met since the night after the Ivy League gathering.
He now knew that Luo Luo was the sole daughter of the White Emperor, but his attitude towards her was still the same as before.
Luo Luo was very happy with her tutor being like this, and with a single sound of acknowledgement, she began to seriously read the sheet before her.
After an indeterminate period of time, she finished reading the paper before her in its entirety and lifted her gaze towards Chen Chang Sheng, preparing to listen to his lecture.
“In the school library, I found a total of 400 plus books concerning cultivators that had failed to break through to the Ethereal Opening realm, within that, 332 people died, while the rest either committed suicide after turning insane, or became fully paralysed, suffering a fate worse than death; the risk is exceptionally high. I don’t have any real way of aiding you in this matter, so all I can do is to summarise precedents for you, we may not know how to successfully break into the next realm, but at the very least we can know what mistakes were committed by our forebears. According to my findings, failure can be broadly classified into 3 categories and 97 types…”
Chen Chang Sheng moved to her side before pointing at the words on the paper before her, earnestly explaining while doing so. Luo Luo earnestly listened, occasionally nodding her head.
With the faint rays of daylight shining in, white clouds calmly drifting by the window and greenery lightly swaying outside, it was akin to them once again being back at the school campus.