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Chapter 602 – Nothing but Darkness before the Eyes
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
In the ten thousand li journey south, Xu Yourong would use the Sacred Light technique on Chen Changsheng at set intervals, cutting off his Qi from the rest of the world.
When passing through Beishan County, she had also transferred blood to Chen Changsheng two times in succession.
In terms of mental energy, true essence, or her most precious Heavenly Phoenix true blood and Sacred Light, she had already exhausted too much.
Moreover, in Mount Han, for the sake of saving Chen Changsheng, she had firmly received that sword of the Heavenly Dao and suffered significant injuries.
But she still could not rest.
At this moment, she was quietly standing in the Great Hall of Light because she could recover faster here, especially with the complement of the Sacred Light.
And this place was closest to that place, separated only by a wall. If something were to happen, she could quickly blast that wall apart and hurry over.
At this time, the Pope and Chen Changsheng were speaking over there.
With the many stars high in the sky, the entire capital was awash in a watery silver light. The depths of the Li Palace had overhanging eaves all over the place, and so the darkness was more preserved here.
Chen Changsheng took off the blanket, but he did not stand up from the wheelchair.
He lowered his head and very seriously folded the blanket into a small square, then raised his head and asked the Pope, "Martial Uncle, just who am I?"
He had asked this question once to the Elder of Heavenly Secrets.
The Elder of Heavenly Secrets had given him an extremely confident answer, but it was not precise enough.
The Pope quietly stared at him for a very long time. Just when Chen Changsheng felt that it would be like the past few times and he would still be unable to obtain an exact answer, the Pope slowly opened his mouth and spoke, "At the very beginning when I received a letter from your master, I believed that you were my martial nephew, entering the capital to seek a cure for your illness. The cure was to cultivate, and what you cultivated was according to what your heart desired, so I did not appear."
Upon hearing this, Chen Changsheng recalled those incidents that took place two and a half years ago when he first entered the capital. He vaguely understood that before he entered the Orthodox Academy, his master's letter had already reached the capital.
The Pope walked behind him and began pushing the wheelchair into the hall. Ramps carved with drifting clouds sat to both sides of the stone steps. As the wheels of the wheelchair rolled across the surface of the ramp, they made an extremely rhythmic clacking, just like the voice of the Pope, calm but with a sense of sorrow. "Only later on, when Mei Lisha came to find me, did I learn that he had also received a letter."
The hall in the night was very peaceful. The clear waters of the pool reflected the starlight, speckling the walls and pillars with clear light. That lush Green Leaf gently swayed in its pot, almost bewitchingly beautiful.
"To speak the truth, even now, I also do not understand what exactly your master wishes to do."
The Pope released the wheelchair, walked to the pool and lifted up the wooden ladle. Taking up half a ladle of water, he began to water the Green Leaf.
Starlight spilled in from the colored glass in the roof of the hall, falling upon the Pope's hempen robe as if inscribing countless incomprehensible runes upon it.
Chen Changsheng looked at his slightly bent body. After a moment of silence, he asked, "If Martial Uncle does not know what he plans to do, why help him?"
"I am keenly aware that you are the person that wishes to know the most why your master sent you to the capital…if you really are Crown Prince Zhaoming."
The clear water falling from the wooden ladle gurgled, not obscuring the Pope's voice, but providing a background.
"What your master wishes to do in this life is very simple: to invite Tianhai down from the imperial throne, or to drive her off it, and thus return the position of emperor to the Chen clan. I think…his allowing you to enter the capital most certainly has something to do with this. At present, I already have a faint inkling of what your master wants to attempt, but I have no means of being sure."
"In that bloody incident of the Orthodox Academy all those years ago, everyone says that Martial Uncle personally killed Master. It now seems that it naturally can't be true."
The Pope's voice was as pleasant and gentle as flowing water. "The legitimate line of the Orthodoxy only consists of me and your master, so how could I bear killing him? Moreover, at that time, although he had been heavily wounded by Tianhai in the Imperial Palace, I still would have found it no easy feat to kill him… I originally thought that this matter would forever remain concealed, but I did not imagine that you would come to the capital."
Chen Changsheng said, "Because I came to the capital, because of Master's letter, because Martial Uncle took care of me, the Divine Empress very easily found out that my master was still alive."
"Everyone says that the Elder of Heavenly Secrets can clearly understand the Heavenly Dao, that Black Robe's schemes are without equal, but in truth, your master is the true schemer. Without discussing what his true goal is in sending you to the capital, just intentionally revealing the fact that he is still alive to Tianhai has caused a tear to open between me and her, and this tear grows ever larger."
"Since it is impossible to repair this tear, the suspicions Martial Uncle and the Divine Empress have against each other will eventually become hostility."
"Yes, once there is hostility, once one discovers the other side's hostility, then when they come to stand on opposite sides, they will be enemies."
"Isn't this saying that Master is using the compassion Martial Uncle showed for him back then to force Martial Uncle into standing at his side?"
Chen Changsheng gazed at the Pope's back and realized that it seemed more and more stooped, more and more like that of a tired old man. As a result, his voice subconsciously became more downcast, just like his current mood.
But the Pope's voice was still its customary calm. "As I said before, your master is the true schemer. In his view, anything can be sacrificed in order to reach his goal."
Chen Changsheng felt even more depressed at these words. "Why does it have to be this way?" he asked.
The Pope released the wooden ladle and took up the dry towel by the pot to wipe his hands. "Back then, I and your master were at odds because we had different views of the world. Today, your master has used all his methods to force me to stand by his side, but I can calmly accept this because time has changed many things and my and Tianhai's views of the world are already different."
Chen Changsheng recalled the conversation he had in this dark palace after returning from the Mausoleum of Books.
"I also now believe that Tianhai should abdicate."
Although the volume of the Pope's voice in this dark palace hall was not great, a clap of thunder seemed to ring out from high up in the night sky.
There was no sound in the hall other than the water trickling down from the wooden ladle suspended in the air.
After quite some time had passed, Chen Changsheng once more opened his mouth and asked, "Then what about me? What sort of role am I playing? Just why did Martial Uncle and Mei Lisha watch over me for these past two years?"
"I can only speculate at your master's motives while Mei Lisha probably knew a little more, but you must have faith that this elder that has already returned to the sea of stars would not have any thoughts of harming you. His thoughts and your master's are not necessarily one and the same. He firmly believed that you would be greatly harmed, but that you would also obtain many benefits."
"Mei Lisha believed that only through this method could your illness be cured."
"Can my illness be cured?" Chen Changsheng's voice trembled as he spoke.
The Pope walked in front of the wheelchair, the eyes gazing at him as serene as the water. "Even fate can be changed, so why not an illness?"
Chen Changsheng quickly calmed back down. He looked back at the Pope and seriously asked, "Martial Uncle has long known that I am ill."
The Pope replied, "Correct."
Chen Changsheng turned even more serious, asking, "Then does Martial Uncle also know of this matter?"
This was the deepest and most secluded part of the Li Palace, so it was gloomy, only a little starlight spilling in from the colored glass at the roof of the hall.
He sat on a wheelchair, the woolen blanket folded into a square on his thighs, his clothes thin.
The stars moved with time, and at some point, the brightest star in the night sky, the Dragon Soaring Star, appeared above the dark palace hall, its starlight passing through the colored glass and descending upon his body.
Starlight was even softer and gentler than snowflakes, and so it descended without a noise. Yet for some reason, there was a tiny whoosh like something was being set alight.
Chen Changsheng was borrowing the starlight to ignite that scant remaining star radiance in his body.
His meridians were all ruptured, and so the true essence, whether in his Ethereal Palace or the snowy plain outside it, had nowhere to be released and crashed about inside his body.
His body very quickly became hotter. His face and neck, as well as his two hands, all became somewhat red.
Examining with the eyes would reveal a dull pink color, but within his body, it was a blood red color, because it was a sign that he was bleeding within his body.
As his body's temperature rose, his skin turned redder, turning from an illusion of health to a bewitchingly strange monster. At the same time, an extremely faint Qi began to issue from his countless pores and face. Carried along by the night wind, it was brought to the Pope.
The Pope's expression instantly changed, the endless sea of stars within his eyes instantly transforming into a surging river of stars.
In those two eyes, no kindness remained, only a powerful apathy and a cruel will.