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Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
The people on the ship were even more confused than the crowd on the banks of the Luo River.
The match had already been concluded for some time, but neither Chen Changsheng nor Xu Yourong had descended from the Bridge of Helplessness. Instead, they stood calmly at Chen Changsheng's end of the bridge, looking at something or the other.
None of the important figures like Mao Qiuyu or Linghai Zhiwang or even Xu Shiji believed that Chen Changsheng and Xu Yourong knew each other. Moreover, they were keenly aware of the significance hidden behind this battle, so they did not believe that Chen Changsheng and Xu Yourong would begin to sympathize with each other through this exchange of swords. So just why, after this battle had just concluded, were they so calmly standing next to each other? And why were they so close? What were they doing?
"Just what's going on here?" Tang Thirty-Six said as he looked at the backs of those two people on the bridge.
Mo Yu felt the same, and when she associated it with that night Xu Yourong visited the Orthodox Academy, the more she thought, the more she felt something was wrong, causing her to crease her brow.
Tang Thirty-Six said in aggravation, "I don't care if they feign loneliness or mimic despair, but can they care a little about the mood of us spectators?"
On the side, Su Moyu asked, "What mood?"
Tang Thirty-Six pointed towards the Bridge of Helplessness at Chen Changsheng and Xu Yourong, explaining, "They just fought such a fierce battle and both are clearly wounded. At this time, under the eyes of so many people, they're actually still in the mood to appreciate the snow? You don't feel that this is too…that thing?"
'That thing' was an obscene word.
The crowds on the banks of the Luo River and the people on the ship might have different moods, but none of them were thinking about curses like Tang Thirty-Six was.
Because the scene on the Bridge of Helplessness at the moment truly was very beautiful.
Chen Changsheng and Xu Yourong stood on his side of the bridge, their backs to the great ship and the numberless crowds on the banks of the Luo River as if they didn't exist in this world.
After quite some time had passed, Chen Changsheng raised his head and looked at her, saying, "You…"
Xu Yourong did not look back, continuing to gaze at the upper reaches of the Luo River. She calmly replied, "Do not speak."
Somewhat hesitant, Chen Changsheng said, "Then I…"
Xu Yourong raised her brows, saying, "Didn't I say to not speak?"
Chen Changsheng lowered his head. "Oh."
Xu Yourong gazed at a snowflake drifting down in front of her. "Don't speak of our matter to anyone else."
Didn't you tell me not to speak? Chen Changsheng only dared to think this sentence, and then upon thinking about her request, he became rather confused.
Xu Yourong suddenly asked, "Happy?"
Chen Changsheng very obediently replied, "Mm."
Xu Yourong turned her head to him, then smiled, "Truly silly."
Chen Changsheng scratched his head, then said, "Ah."
"I'll leave first," Xu Yourong declared.
Somewhat surprised, Chen Changsheng said anxiously, "Ah?"
Xu Yourong extended her hand and received the temple sword, then walked back to her side of the bridge.
Chen Changsheng watched as her body gradually disappeared into the snow, completely at a loss as to how to respond.
He once more felt that feeling he had felt several days ago in front of the Mausoleum of Zhou.
Countless emotions seemed to assail him like a tide.
This time, the tide contained no sorrow, but was complex to the extreme.
He stood muddleheaded on the Bridge of Helplessness. As he watched the White Crane fly off, he suddenly saw that pheasant-like young Peng.
In the wind and snow, the young Peng twisted its head to glance, seeming very much like it was jeering at him.
He turned his head back to gaze once more at the Luo River. Leaning against the guardrail, he lowered his head.
He didn't use his hands to cover his face. He knew that his face was burning hot at the moment.
The other reason he didn't use his hand to cover his face was the small slip of paper in his hand.
This small slip of paper had been secretly stuffed into his hand by Xu Yourong when she was taking the temple sword.
In the Six Ivies, and in the private schools and provincial academies in the counties, provinces, and countryside, when the spring sunshine outside the window was bright and lovely, small slips of paper would always be passed around between desks.
This small slip of paper was like a ray of spring sunshine.
Today, in the company of the wind and snow, before the numerous populace of the capital, he had also received a small slip of paper.
On the paper was written a location and a time.
Fortune Peace Road's Fish with Tofu.
Today, at dusk.
This was the first time Chen Changsheng had received this sort of slip of paper.
He recalled those stories of gifted scholars and beautiful ladies that he had once read and the guidance Tang Thirty-Six had provided in his everyday life. Rather unconvinced, he thought, is this what is meant by a ‘date’?
The wind and snow were as before, but the Bridge of Helplessness gradually began to grow livelier.
Xu Yourong had conceded and then departed. This battle which everyone had been engrossed in had finally come to a close.
Moreover, without mentioning what sort of variable this battle on the Bridge of Helplessness would present towards the conflict between the Li Palace and the Imperial Court, this battle would inevitably be recorded in the annals of history, becoming the first battle between the future Pope and the Holy Maiden. Then, it would be brought up countless times by other people, like now, for instance. At the moment, many people wished to know the details of this battle.
Especially Tang Thirty-Six.
He cared nothing for the indications of the Orthodoxy cavalry and Imperial Guards. Transforming into a puff of smoke, he ran to the Bridge of Helplessness. Gasping for breath, he looked at Chen Changsheng and asked, "Just who exactly won?"
At the moment, Chen Changsheng was still somewhat in a daze. Hearing his question, he inadvertently replied, "She did not lose."
"I reminded you before, don't go easy on her just because she looks pretty! And now would you look at it, you didn't go easy, but your mouth is playing these games! She didn't lose, so does that mean that you lost? Xu Yourong has already admitted that she lost and you still want to trick me!" Tang Thirty-Six said angrily.
Chen Changsheng was rather confused at why he was so angry, thinking, even if this is the case, as my friend, shouldn't you be happy for me?
"Since you could beat her, just what was all that before the match about telling me to bet on you losing? Just what do you mean?"
As Tang Thirty-Six thought about this matter, he became absolutely apoplectic. "You are a pig!"
Chen Changsheng recalled this matter and then he recalled many other things. Feeling quite ashamed, he admitted, "Yes, I am a pig."
Tang Thirty-Six was stunned. Only now did he realize that there was something wrong, that Chen Changsheng seemed like he was in another world.
Under the gaze of the countless crowds of the capital and cheers coming from both sides of the street, Chen Changsheng's group returned to the Orthodox Academy.
The restaurants outside the academy walls hung high their colored lanterns and random zither tunes could be heard. Because of their pride and joy at their principal's victory, the students and teachers of the Orthodox Academy were there, celebrating to their heart's content.
After returning to his room, Chen Changsheng did not emerge for a very long time.
Tang Thirty-Six, Su Moyu, and Xuanyuan Po stood around the first floor, looking up at the third floor window, their faces filled with doubt.
Chen Changsheng had ultimately obtained victory in this match that was the focus of the entire world's attention, and he had won in such a beautiful fashion, with no place that he could be criticized. But why was it that very few of the emotions a victor should feel could be seen on his face? Even if he once had an engagement with Xu Yourong, he might feel somewhat complex about it, but to this extent?
Just what had happened on the Bridge of Helplessness? What problem had Chen Changsheng encountered?
"To make a person obsessed with cleanliness admit that they're a pig…"
Tang Thirty-Six looked at the window, his expression grave. "This matter does not seem very simple at all."