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Chapter 581 - Not Everything Is Fabricated
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
The Demon Lord's appearance had placed an enormous pressure on Chen Changsheng. The secret of his body had been discovered and it was highly likely that he would have to confront the avaricious stares of the entire continent. The conversation on the island had placed upon him an even greater pressure. Similarly, it was also one of his body's secrets. The severed meridians would soon cause him to die, and this fact had also been discovered.
As it turned out, his fractured meridians had been ruptured by his sun wheel. As it turned out, he really was a descendant of the Chen Imperial clan. Then was he Crown Prince Zhaoming? If he really was a descendant of the Chen Imperial clan, then the encounter on the stream bank sixteen years ago was naturally no coincidence. His teacher had presumably long known of his background; did his senior brother know as well?
This was actually the source of his greatest pressure.
He had to begin confronting many matters head-on. If the appearance of the Demon Lord in Mount Han really was a trap, then it was possible that he had been discarded. If his going from Xining Village to the capital was also a trap, then what sort of role had he been ignorantly playing out?
In the past, whether he was applying for the Six Ivies or participating in the Grand Examination, no matter what sort of obstacles or challenges he faced, he was never too worried. This was because he believed that his real roots lay in Xining Village's old temple, that his true confidence was with his teacher and senior. Now, he realized that everything might have been fabricated.
His trust was no longer as certain, so how could his Dao heart remain as tranquil?
If he could not even trust Senior Yu Ren, just who could he rely on in this world?
Chen Changsheng was often praised by others as possessing a calm and composure beyond his age, but he was still a sixteen-year-old youth in the end.
As matters had developed today, developed into this appearance, he finally found it hard to bear. In a daze, he gazed at the mist-covered surface of the lake, his heart rather melancholy.
The sound of footsteps could be heard on the balcony.
Tang Thirty-Six and Zhexiu had walked over.
They gazed at Chen Changsheng's back in concern.
Ever since Chen Changsheng had returned, he had not spoken. He seemed extremely reticent, even desolate. It was obvious that something had happened.
"Just what did the Elder of Heavenly Secrets say to you?"
In the end, Tang Thirty-Six could not hold himself back. Walking to his side, he asked this question.
Leaning against the balcony, Chen Changsheng still refused to open his mouth. He seemed rather frustrated.
Zhexiu suddenly said, "I don't believe that such a thing as an unsolvable problem exists in this world."
Chen Changsheng straightened himself and turned to look at him. He very seriously asked, "If there is, what then?"
Zhexiu's answer was extremely suitable to his personality. Simply and firmly, he replied, "At worst, just die."
On the side, Tang Thirty-Six added, “Moreover, even thinking about dying is often not that easy."
Chen Changsheng looked at the two of them and suddenly asked, "Do you believe or not believe that I am Crown Prince Zhaoming?"
When he didn't want to speak, he naturally wouldn't say a thing. In the end, however, he was still somewhat unwilling to ignore the matter, so he had opened his mouth and spoken, spoken about the most important matter.
At this question, Tang Thirty-Six glanced at Zhexiu, somewhat nervous.
In fact, this sort of rumor had been spreading around the capital for a long time, but both he and Chen Changsheng himself found it complete nonsense, so they had not taken it seriously. But now that Chen Changsheng had so formally asked this question, this could only mean that the Elder of Heavenly Secrets andChen Changsheng had spoken of this matter, moreover…it might even be true.
Zhexiu was still expressionless, offering no assistance whatsoever to Tang Thirty-Six.
Tang Thirty-Six's expression seemed to freeze, and then he smiled and said to Chen Changsheng, "What sort of nonsense are you pulling here? There's a difference of quite a few years."
Chen Changsheng did not smile. Quietly looking into his eyes, he asked, "Don't you often say that I've matured early, that I seem like an old man?"
"Maturing early means you can just pull a few years out of thin air? Then the early-maturing pigs of Black Mountain Swamp will always be higher than the rest of their species for the entirety of their lives?"
Tang Thirty-Six's face was brimming with derision.
Chen Changsheng was not angry to hear such a vulgar example, nor did he laugh. He continued to seriously question, "If I am, what then?"
Tang Thirty-Six grew quiet, then replied seriously, "Even if you are, so what? Just treat it like a plate of pig ears, eaten cold and with sauce."
Chen Changsheng knew that he was advising him to ignore it, but…"Will the Divine Empress allow me to live?"
Tang Thirty-Six replied, "In the Garden of Zhou, was Nanke prepared to let you live? On the mountain path, was the Demon Lord prepared to let you live?"
Chen Changsheng understood his meaning and the frustration on his face seemed to lighten somewhat.
"Other people want you to die, but that doesn't mean that you need to die, no matter who it is—Nanke, the Demon Lord, or the Empress."
Tang Thirty-Six stared into his eyes and said, "Think positively. If you really are Crown Prince Zhaoming, then if you continue to live, you will be the first successor to the position of Emperor of the Great Zhou."
As he spoke, his expression was very serious, but the contents of his words were utterly lacking in seriousness.
He knew that Chen Changsheng had zero interest in something like the position of emperor, he just wanted to use these words to dilute the oppressive atmosphere.
"Now that I'm talking about it, which one is better, the Pope or Emperor of the Great Zhou?" he asked Chen Changsheng with a smile.
Chen Changsheng did not reply to this question, but Zhexiu did. This wolf youth that had always regarded worldly matters with extreme indifference somewhat clumsily voiced his opinion. "It's still better to be the emperor. Under your grasp is the army and thirty-eight Divine Generals. In the future, when going to war against the demons, you would be the commander-in-chief."
To have these sorts of friends was truly excellent.
Chen Changsheng thought to himself.
He didn't know whether Xining Village was fabricated, whether his own existence was fabricated, but at least he could now be sure that his days in the capital were incomparably real.
"Thank you," he said to Tang Thirty-Six and Zhexiu. He seemed to sense something and said, "I have some things I need to take care of first."
Zhexiu wasn't clear on what things he needed to take care of, but Tang Thirty-Six had easily guessed at it. This was especially the case when he sensed the ripple of Qi from his magical artifact and caught a glance of the dress flitting past the white sands and shallow waters below. This made him feel very depressed as he thought, this guy puts his lover over his friends.
The date pit rested against the white sands amidst the limpid waters of the lake. Perhaps because it carried her Qi, this date pit had become an object that many fish in the lake were extremely willing to approach. Its surface had been nibbled clean, leaving it remarkably smooth. It looked just like a stone in which lines had been carved.
Chen Changsheng and Xu Yourong sat on the wooden deck, their feet immersed in the lake. They weren't deliberately sitting close to each other, but their shoulders would occasionally lightly bump against each other.
This sort of distance, this sort of rhythm, this sort of calm were what they were most accustomed to, what they most enjoyed, just like their feelings toward each other.
Xu Yourong softly said, "To have friends like these is something very worthy of being happy about."
Chen Changsheng asked, "You…don't have these sorts of friends?"
Then he remembered that as a child, she had been doted on and cherished by the entire capital as a little princess, carefully raised by the Divine Empress and the Holy Maiden as their successor. From the age of five, she departed from this mundane world, and so it truly would be very difficult for her to have ordinary, yet extremely precious, friends.
Xu Yourong faintly smiled, saying, "All my senior and junior sisters in the temple…even all the elders except my teacher treat me with deep respect—how could I possibly have a casual chat with them? But I do have a few acquaintances in the village at the foot of the mountain that I can chat with about what's on my mind…I'll introduce you to them in the future."
Chen Changsheng's curiosity was piqued by these words, thinking, how could an ordinary village have people that you're familiar with?
"If we're really talking about friends…the senior and junior brothers of Mount Li are closer, but they're not in the same place, so chances to meet are comparatively few."
"I hear…that the place where Qiushan Jun practices his sword is not far from Gentle Stream Monastery?"
"What do you want to ask?"
"Fine, what you said isn't wrong, I've always regarded Senior Brother as an extremely important friend."
"The problem is that he definitely does not think this way."
"Princess Luoluo worships you as a teacher, but you don't know what she's thinking."
"I can't out-talk you."
"Because your arguments are groundless."
"Why aren't you talking anymore?"
"What do you want to hear?"
"You…are you really Crown Prince Zhaoming?"
The wooden deck below the house instantly grew silent.
The lake water lightly swayed while the white sand remained unmoving, yet the fish swam far away as if sensing that the atmosphere had changed.
Chen Changsheng was silent for a very long time, finally saying, "I don't know, but I don't think I am."
Xu Yourong slightly tilted her head and gently leaned against his shoulder.