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Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
Of course, it could not be for this reason.
As Chen Changsheng recalled the scene in that snowy temple, he quickly rejected his theory. Soon after, he thought of another important question.
At the time, Xu Yourong had said that she was called Chen Chujian.
She was surnamed Chen—perhaps he was somewhat imagining that his love was reciprocated, but he always felt that this had something to do with him, just like how he had said that he was called Xu Sheng.
He didn't ask any more questions because he realized that this matter truly was quite disorderly. If he continued to probe further into the situation in the Garden of Zhou, he might develop an unpleasant impression towards Xu Yourong's fiancé, and wouldn't that just be getting jealous of himself?
This matter truly was rather disorderly, the reasons unclear.
One had studied the Daoist Canons since he was young, the myriad principles at his fingertips. One had a serene Dao heart, at the age of twelve beginning to research the Heavenly Tome Monoliths. Chen Changsheng and Xu Yourong's innate intelligence were both one in a million. Both were cultivating geniuses, but in the Garden of Zhou, they had handled matters in a very hurried fashion and committed hundreds of mistakes.
Xu Yourong did not respond to Chen Changsheng's silly question. The beef ribs were still gurgling in the pot. In this peaceful moment, looking into each other's eyes, the two understood why they had both chosen to conceal their identities. They did not miss a single one of the subtle changes in emotion that had occurred back then.
In the end, they were both smart children, just like those pure white snowflakes drifting down outside the restaurant.
However, there were still some things that needed to be resolved, or else the mind would always feel somewhat uncomfortable. For example, that matter.
"You and Princess Luoluo, and also the little Black Dragon?"
Xu Yourong had not stated it clearly, but Chen Changsheng understood what she asked.
Back in the Mausoleum of Zhou, she had once said that her fiancé was a womanizer, and one…that only consorted with uncomprehending young girls.
Chen Changsheng suddenly remembered, at the time, he had cursed this fiancé—"Truly a shameless piece of scum!"
As it turned out, he had been cursing himself.
Thinking of this, he felt rather complex, not knowing how to even start explaining. He could only sigh.
"Presumably, Miss Shuang'er told you?"
Only knowing the truth after half a year had delivered too heavy a blow against his psyche, so much so that he didn't even notice that besides Luoluo, Xu Yourong had also mentioned the little Black Dragon.
He rather helplessly defended himself, "Think about it, we should be the two people who most understand the principle that what the eyes see is not necessarily the truth."
Xu Yourong softly replied, then raised her head and gazed at him, a spark of light flashing across her eyes.
She seemed to have thought of something, causing her to arch her brows. As a result, the ethereal mountain waters within her beautiful, painting-like appearance suddenly came to life, and that light gained an edge.
"I remember, back then you said that fiancée…"
Chen Changsheng's expression flickered. Back then in the Mausoleum of Zhou, he had once described his fiancée to her. Although he had not intentionally ridiculed or dishonored her, he really hadn't said anything nice about her either, but…
"Didn't you say yourself that it was better to not have this sort of woman?" He couldn't help but argue.
Xu Yourong replied, "This is because I was misled by your words."
At the time, she had an extremely low evaluation of this fiancée of Xu Sheng's, even finding her rather shameless—proud, stupid, terrible vision, and she even had a problem of virtue.
From the moment she realized that these were all evaluations of herself, she found it hard to not be rather angry and ashamed.
At the time, her evaluation had been very critical. Later on, it was filled with anger and shame.
One need not examine her current calm expression The small hand within the sleeve of her cotton jacket was tightly clenched into a fist.
This matter was still very disorderly.
Chen Changsheng gazed at the wine in his cup and sighed once more.
When he was ten, after that strange scent had shrouded the old temple, he had fallen silent for many days and then moaned and groaned for many days after that. From that point on, he had never sighed as much as he did today.
Everything had been a misunderstanding.
At times, the things and encounters of the world were truly very coincidental, very unfathomable.
There had already been all sorts of grudges and emotions between the two of them, but as it turned out, in the Garden of Zhou, they met under different identities and then experienced many days together.
Fortunately, they were finally able to meet once more. It could be presumed that there would be many more occasions to have these difficult-to-explain, difficult-to-understand matters cleared up.
It was fine as long as this misunderstanding did not persist for the rest of their lives.
Thinking about this, Chen Changsheng was no longer so weighed down by anxiety. Looking at her, he grinned.
"What are you grinning about?" Xu Yourong asked.
Chen Changsheng responded, "Happy."
Xu Yourong's eyes drooped and her eyelashes fluttered.
Suddenly, she covered her mouth with her hand and burped.
"Drank too much," she explained embarrassedly.
The alcohol content of this wine was rather high. Given that she was not using her true essence to dispel the wine, after drinking so many cups, she truly should have been drunk by now.
Or else why would her cheeks be blushing again?
Chen Changsheng asked concernedly, "Is your injury okay? Is drinking wine okay?"
As he spoke, his gaze fell upon her sleeve. Seeing the finger that had just poked out of the sleeve, he realized that there was no wound.
Then he realized, she had once studied at the Thirteen Divisions of Radiant Green and now she was even the Holy Maiden of South Stream Temple. With the Sacred Light, there was absolutely no need to worry himself over these things.
Xu Yourong glanced at him and asked, "Do you really think I couldn't beat you?"
Chen Changsheng thought, how did we get back to this topic? Changing the subject, he declared, "I have something important to tell you."
With a flick of Xu Yourong's finger, a gale kicked up and slowly rolled the Yellow Paper Umbrella on the floor into its original position. There were now two more tables of guests in the restaurant and it was even noisier. Now, the sound from the outside could no longer enter, and the occasional gaze sent over to their corner was blocked off by that invisible wall.
With the Yellow Paper Umbrella and both of their current cultivation levels, unless a peak level Star Condensation cultivator personally came to eavesdrop, nobody would be able to notice them.
"Do you still remember all those treasures and valuables we found in those stone chambers in the Mausoleum of Zhou?"
Chen Changsheng took the Stainless Sword from his waist and placed it by the pot, then began to take things out of its sheath.
This was the first time Xu Yourong had such a close view of this valuable treasure of the Orthodoxy—not the Stainless Sword, but rather the sheath known as the Vault Sheath. She examined it very seriously and with great interest. She was so interested that she didn't really care much for Chen Changsheng's solemn words, giving a casual 'uh-huh' in reply.
"Right before Nanke used the Soul Wood to command the monster tide to surround the mausoleum, the Soul Pivot started going crazy and broke many things. Those herbs and medicines had originally lost their effectiveness, so their destruction didn't matter too much. It's just a pity about those secret manuals. Oh, as for the jade and crystals, after being pulverized into a powder, they're worthless now. The gold is still okay. Later on, I requested someone to melt it all down and cast it back into ingots, so not much was lost. These are pearls…I hear that powdered pearls can be made into tea and drinking it is supposed to be good for one's looks. We don't need to divide this. In a while, you can just take all of it with you."
Chen Changsheng incessantly took out items and incessantly spoke.
This finally caught Xu Yourong's attention. Looking over at those boxes by the stove, she asked, "What are you talking about?"
"We already agreed on this, that we would divide the treasures of the Mausoleum of Zhou equally."
Chen Changsheng looked at her very seriously and continued, "If those medicines were still usable, then when Senior Su Li was heavily injured, I would have used some. But for the rest of the things, since we hadn't agreed on it, I kept them all. Just, to make it more convenient, I asked the Bureau of Ecclesiastic Education to help me exchange some of the items for silver taels and other items."
He spoke the truth. He had always believed that the treasures of the Mausoleum of Zhou were not his alone. Until he confirmed whether she was alive or dead, he had no right to use them. Thus, when Tang Thirty-Six asked him for money, he did not mention that he had these treasures. Moreover, when he believed that she had already left this world, he had made an even more incomprehensible decision.
"This is a deed…I asked Jin Yulu to go to the lower reaches of the Red River and acquire a large plain to leave for you," he said, pointing to a box.
Xu Yourong was a little startled, asking, "Why would you give this to me?"
Chen Changsheng explained, "At the time, I thought you were no longer alive, so I felt I had to leave something behind for your tribe in your place, and that plain is closest to your homeland…"
At the time, he was still of the belief that she was a young genius girl of the Elf race, bearing the heavy responsibility of reviving the Elf race.
Xu Yourong understood, but remained silent.
Chen Changsheng misunderstood her silence and said awkwardly, "Of course, now I know that you don't have any use for this plain. This matter truly does seem rather silly now."
"No, it's very good, I like it a lot."
She took the box and said to him as she gazed at his face through the steam rising from the pot.
Back in the Mausoleum of Zhou, he had cared not a whit for those treasures and secrets, and was only in a rush to find a medicine for her. Back then, this had moved her greatly.
It was the same case now.
"I'll leave everything else with you. I didn't bring out the Tong Palace, so it's inconvenient for me to bring it all with me."
In a very natural tone, she continued, "Whenever I need it, I'll go and find you."
This was a very good arrangement and Chen Changsheng was filled with praise towards this proposal. But he thought about how she was now master of South Stream Temple and probably had to spend money in all sorts of places, so said, "These assorted items you can leave with me, but take the pearl powder and box of silver taels with you."
Xu Yourong replied, "These are all external things, there's no need to care about them too much."
Chen Changsheng didn't understand this sort of otherworldly attitude towards life, so asked, "Then what should we care about?"
She wasn't really otherworldly, it was just that compared to the fires of humanity, the myriad stars above were all the more dazzling and bright.
"We should care about…the fact that we are opponents, enemies."
Xu Yourong stared into his eyes, her voice very calm, the expression in her eyes somewhat complex, and the starlight in the very depths of her eyes slightly shaking.
Beautiful, yet stirring up a sense of unease.
Yes, whether or not there was still an engagement between the two of them, the two were destined to be rivals. In the future, they might even be mortal enemies.
The schism of the Orthodoxy's north and south, the struggle between the new and conservative, the difference in opinions on this world between the Divine Empress and the Pope.
The three primary conflicts of the human world now rested on their bodies.
Above and below the balcony, poison and dagger, the lonely tomb on the yellow sands and the butterflies in the cold? No matter how one looked at it, Chen Changsheng and Xu Yourong's story seemed that it would ultimately develop in such a fashion. Perhaps sad, perhaps tragic, perhaps it would be a romance that would be passed down through all of history. In brief, this matter easily stirred sorrow in others.
(TN: The first line refers to two rather famous tragedies, the first being Romeo and Juliet, the second being The Butterfly Lovers.)
He and she were so young, their shoulders so weak and thin—how could they carry along so many burdens?
But he and she seemed completely unaware of this all. They had just fought on the Bridge of Helplessness, then soon after sat together to eat ribs and drink wine. Chen Changsheng especially seemed completely clueless to the general situation, utterly oblivious to all the dangerous obstacles between the two of them, because he really had…
"I forgot," he said rather sheepishly to her.