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Chapter 824 – Ruthless Red
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
Everyone outside the Daoist church was surprised to hear of the Tang Second Master's visit, but Daoist Baishi felt his spirit rise.
Chen Changsheng had entered Wenshui City yesterday, his presence being announced with music by Wenshui's Daoist church at dusk. However, the Tang clan had not reacted in the slightest.
Suddenly, at this very moment, the Tang clan had sent someone, and it was the Second Master who was rumored to already be in control of the Tang clan.
It was plain to see that the Tang clan had informers in the Daoist church and knew about the incident with Daoist Baishi.
Such an important figure as the Tang Second Master immediately coming to pay a visit was precisely to safeguard Daoist Baishi's life.
Everyone turned to Chen Changsheng, wanting to know his decision. Would he act according to the letter and execute Daoist Baishi in the name of the Pope so as to establish his might, or would he act according to the laws of the church and adjourn the matter for the time being, at the same time avoiding further agitating his conflict with the Imperial Court and the Tang clan?
Guan Feibai looked at Chen Changsheng, not knowing what Chen Changsheng would choose, nor knowing what he hoped Chen Changsheng would choose.
You're already the true Pope; will you still act like that young Daoist entering the capital for the first time?
Chen Changsheng suddenly raised his head up to the sky.
It was not far from dawn. The morning sun was still on that end of the Wenshui, not far above the surface of the water.
The red glow of the morning smeared the distant sky, even seeming to set the clouds ablaze. It was no different from twilight.
He recalled how, under a very similar twilight, he and Tang Thirty-Six had conversed atop the great banyan tree within the Orthodox Academy.
He then recalled how, also in the Orthodox Academy, in the darkness after twilight's retreat, he and Tang Thirty-Six had engaged in another conversation atop the great banyan tree.
In brief, over those years, starting from that inn called Plum Garden, he and Tang Thirty-Six had had many conversations.
In those conversations, they had chatted about many things, not recollections of the past, but expectations for the future.
In the twilight, the lake of the Orthodox Academy was suffused with a golden light. That koi fish that had eaten too much was gradually sinking into the rotten mud.
They did not want to live like that.
At the time, Xuanyuan Po had been vigorously hitting trees on the other side of the lake.
Tang Thirty-Six said to Chen Changsheng that, regardless if it was autumn wind or spring, since they were still young, they should act according to their personality.
Xuanyuan Po had returned to White Emperor City and it had been a long time since he had heard any news of him. Tang Thirty-Six had means of continuing to curse at whoever he wished, or declare that if he wanted to curse eighteen generations of ancestors, he certainly wouldn't curse just seventeen generations, because the people memorialized in the ancestral hall that was his prison were all his own ancestors.
In that other conversation, the one in the night, Tang Thirty-Six had said to him that he would be Pope in the future.
He had said that it wasn't that great to be the Pope.
Tang Thirty-Six had said that of course it wasn't.
Tang Thirty-Six had also said to him that in the future, the Orthodox Academy would serve as the foundation for him to become Pope, which was why he had put so much energy into recruiting new students for the Orthodox Academy1.
This fellow had long since imagined the matters of the present. This fellow had always helped him deal with many things.
Now that it was his turn to decide and deal, he realized that it really wasn't an easy job.
Chen Changsheng drew back his gaze, turned around, and walked back into the Daoist church.
He made his stance extremely clear.
Terribly shocked, Daoist Baishi used all his strength, lunging forward like a gale. He charged after that figure in the holy gate, wanting to die together with him.
Yet he was not even able to touch Chen Changsheng.
Nanke still stood in front of him, staring at him with that imbecilic expression on her face.
In his eyes, this girl was like a true devil.
With three heavy thumps, Linghai's iron ruler, An Lin's belt, and Zhexiu's demon sword almost simultaneously struck Daoist Baishi.
Daoist Baishi collapsed in front of the holy gate's threshold, all his bones broken, blood pouring into his lungs, his Ethereal Palace shattered. It was impossible for him to stand again.
His eyes filled with despair. The panic and reluctance that came on the verge of death transformed into a howl that sought to burst from his lips.
He wanted to inform the Tang Second Master outside the forest, quickly, come save me!
Regretfully, he was not able to make this howl.
The instant his lips opened, a cloth was shoved into his mouth with lightning speed.
At some point, the Archbishop of Wenshui had appeared at his side.
His left hand had stuffed a cloth into Daoist Baishi's mouth.
At the same time, his right hand gripped a dagger and shoved it into Daoist Baishi's chest.
It was very quiet, so the sound of the dagger being thrust into his body was extremely hair-raising.
A small part of the dagger stuck out of his body, tranquil as a mirror and exuding a faint aura of holiness.
The Archbishop of Wenshui's expression was also so tranquil, so holy.
Daoist Baishi's eyes went round while a muffled sound came from his throat. He extended a hand to snatch at the archbishop's clothes, but failed.
He continuously writhed and struggled like a fish that had been brought out of the Wenshui, unable to breathe and on the verge of death, and unable to escape.
The Archbishop of Wenshui looked to Chen Changsheng and softly said, "Your Holiness, please rest for a while. I am confident that the Tang Second Master has the patience to wait for a little while."
As he spoke, he had one hand clamped on the cloth in Daoist Baishi's mouth and one hand on the dagger thrust into Daoist Baishi's chest.
Daoist Baishi was still struggling and writhing in his hands.
The archbishop's voice did not tremble, but remained serene, even somewhat humble.
An Lin could no longer look, and turned around.
On the other hand, Linghai Zhiwang seemed somewhat appreciative, almost gasping in praise.
The holy gate slowly closed.
Just when it was about to close, Guan Feibai saw the Archbishop of Wenshui drag Daoist Baishi into the woods, in the meantime casually jabbing the dagger a few more times into Daoist Baishi's body.
Jabbing, not stabbing.
Stabbing was for fighting while jabbing was for slaughtering.
The corner of Guan Feibai's eyes twitched.
This time, it had nothing to do with the fact that he had witnessed a major incident of the Orthodoxy.
He knew that an archbishop that the Orthodoxy had dispatched to Wenshui City and was able to last for so long was certainly no ordinary person.
But he could never have imagined, and found it very difficult to accept, that such a calm, meek, and noble archbishop was, at certain special moments, so much like a madman.
If the Orthodoxy had many people, no, even just a few people like him, then it would be far too frightening.
Daoist Baishi was the Archbishop of the Hall of Literary Glory, a true Prefect of the Orthodoxy. Without question, he was also a very important person in Shang Xingzhou's plans.
Today, he had died, died in the Daoist church of Wenshui City.
Having received such an enormous provocation, the other side would assuredly respond, especially because this was Wenshui, the unfathomably deep Wenshui, the Tang clan's Wenshui.
Daoist Baishi's death had made the Orthodoxy and Chen Changsheng's stance unquestionably clear. They were already prepared for full hostilities to break out with the Tang clan.
Everyone knew that the Wenshui Tangs were the wealthiest clan in the continent, the leader of the Four Great Clans, but in truth, the hidden strength of the Tang clan far surpassed what anyone could imagine.
The Tang clan's history was simply too long.
Three years ago, in the coup of the Mausoleum of Books, the Tang clan had played an incredibly important role, but only a few people knew.
If not for the fact that the Tang clan had thought of a way to break the Imperial Design, the Tianhai Divine Empress might still have been seated high up on the imperial throne.
At present, the secret strength of the Pavilion of Heavenly Secrets had been placed under the control of the Monastery of Eternal Spring in Luoyang. The vast majority of the remaining property and businesses had been given to the Tang clan, making their strength even more terrifying.
The backing of a faction like the Tang clan was naturally something that everyone wanted. The Orthodoxy and the Imperial Court were no exception.
Logically speaking, even though the Tang clan had clearly been much closer to the Imperial Court in these past few years, the Orthodoxy should not have displayed such a fierce stance.
It had to be said that the letter writer had a very deep understanding of Chen Changsheng.
He or she knew that Chen Changsheng had to bring Tang Thirty-Six out of the ancestral hall.
If this matter did not change no matter how warmly the Orthodoxy treated the Tang clan, then hostilities would break out eventually.
1. The two conversations are the ones that take place in chapters 435-437 and 486-487.↩
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