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Chapter 656 – Perhaps She Always Knew
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
Linghai Zhiwang gazed at the elder he once regarded as teacher and father, saying, "The Empress has already defied the heavens and changed fate for Chen Changsheng. Why has Your Holiness still made this sort of choice?"
"This matter has nothing to do with Chen Changsheng, nothing to do with Senior Brother. Choices can only be chosen by oneself."
The Pope gazed at the Green Leaf within the pot as he spoke with regret, "Throughout my entire life, I never knew what to choose. Like a blade of grass, I swayed around in whatever direction the wind blew. So it was several hundred years ago, and so it was twenty years ago as well. Senior Brother spoke correctly: I truly am a very useless person. Only at the final moment do I finally act according to my heart, but when that time comes, it is often already too late. Thus, Senior Brother and the Empress broke apart, Zhu Luo and Guan Xingke died. When carefully considered, it should all be considered my fault."
It was said that because of the Orthodox Academy's rebirth, the Pope had ceased supporting the Orthodoxy's new faction in the past two years, causing both Linghai Zhiwang and Daoist Siyuan to develop a deep resentment for the Pope, but the two of them actually bore no malice towards him. This was because both of them were keenly aware that in the past one thousand years of the Orthodoxy, the Pope was the only true, pure cultivator of the Dao.
Hearing these words, Linghai Zhiwang and Daoist Siyuan raised their heads, but saw that the Pope now stood in the Sacred Light, making it impossible to look upon him directly.
Daoist Siyuan said in anguish, "Your Holiness, there is no need to force yourself to choose."
The Pope answered, "My choice is for the benefit of all living beings."
With this statement, he walked out of the Great Hall of Light.
The several thousand priests outside the hall prostrated like a tide.
The Pope gazed towards the Mausoleum of Books and asked, "Is it not better to return together?"
The Tianhai Divine Empress's answer to this proposal was extremely clear, her voice extremely cold. Every word was chock-full of ridicule, perhaps out of disappointment?
"And pass my position on to these idiots? You've truly gone senile, so just die then."
The Pope faintly smiled, knowing that her mood was not very good at this moment, and then he shook his head.
The Green Leaf was no longer in his hands but rather floating behind him in the darkness.
In the gentle caress of the breeze, the Green Leaf slowly shook as if also shaking its head.
With the swaying of the Green Leaf, people began to walk out of the Hall of Pure Virtue a distance away from the Great Hall of Light. Those people were the experts of the Orthodoxy who had sealed themselves away so that they could break through, priests who wished to quietly cultivate and comprehend the Dao. They had already grown used to their lives in the Green Leaf World. After being so suddenly called out, they had rather perplexed expressions, not understanding what was going on.
After a moment, they knew the present situation and their faces instantly turned grave. They congregated with the other priests of the Li Palace and then followed the Divine Avenue out, scattering towards various parts of the capital.
The Li Palace had finally moved, so the situation in the capital was decided.
Liang Wangsun had left the Lingyan Pavilion. For some reason, the Tang Second Master did not kill him.
The Imperial Guard fell into internal turmoil, the Imperial Palace resounding with the sound of fighting. Only when Prince Chen Liu took up Emperor Xian's so-called dying wish and took a carriage into the palace was the situation finally brought under some control.
Soon after, several princes arrived, eighteen cardinals leading three hundred priests entered the Imperial City, and the Imperial Palace finally turned silent.
The situation in the Imperial Court was even more complex. The rebellious faction encountered massive resistance, and if not for the firm insistence of the Minister of Rites, the experts of the Ivy Academies led by Principal Zhuang Zhihuan of the Heavenly Dao Academy might have killed even more people tonight.
The unrest in the capital was gradually calmed.
The rebellious factions gradually took control of the situation, but the true outcome was still far from being decided, because the Mausoleum of Books was still there.
There were no armies around the Mausoleum of Books, no cultivators or experts from the outlying provinces and counties, because the level of this battle was far too high.
One after another, people came to the Mausoleum of Books. Even the most unremarkable of them was still an important figure.
Mao Qiuyu had come, and with him was a tall and thin man in a Daoist robe, as well as a little girl.
Out of the darkness surrounding the Mausoleum of Books, on the other side of that dried-up river, the hidden experts of noble clans and sects began to gradually appear.
The Tang Second Master did not appear. He quietly departed the Lingyan Pavilion and no longer appeared to anyone else. This was the style in which the Wenshui Tangs conducted themselves. When their task was done, they would depart with the brush of their sleeve, and only when the time for rewards came would they appear once more. Not many people knew of just how important a role the Tang clan had played in tonight's coup.
Many people came to the Mausoleum of Books, but the Qiushan clan head left. On the road southwards, when asked by his Guardian, he pondered before replying, "There are too many people."
Chen Changsheng gazed at the scenes below the Mausoleum of Books in silence, his thoughts a mystery.
In truth, even he didn't know what he was thinking, what he should be thinking.
The tall and thin man by Mao Qiuyu should be the archbishop Daoist Baishi, but just who was the girl?
This girl had a very delicate appearance. Just how did she have the qualifications to stand next to two major figures of the Orthodoxy?
"Mu Jiushi, when did you return from the Great Western Continent?"
The Tianhai Divine Empress gazed at the girl and slightly arched her brows.
Hearing this name, even Chen Changsheng's befuddled mind became somewhat clearer.
It turned out that this elegant and fine girl was actually Mu Jiushi, one of the Orthodoxy's Six Prefects?
He had never imagined that this most enigmatic figure of the Orthodoxy was so young, and from the Tianhai Divine Empress's words, did she also have some relationship with the Great Western Continent?
Mu Jiushi gazed up at the peak of the Mausoleum of Books and gave an awkward laugh. "Empress, I only came to serve as a witness. Empress shouldn't be angry at me."
The Tianhai Divine Empress mocked, "If it weren't for that fact it might seem too ugly, even the demons might have sent someone over tonight."
No one replied to these words, not the Pope who was coming through the darkness or Daoist Ji who had just entered Luoyang.
Because just as she had said, this was truly a shameless affair.
The Tianhai Divine Empress was well aware that on this continent, this sort of shameless affair had occurred many times, and a similar sight had also occurred before.
But she was very sure that she would not suffer the same uninteresting end as that man.
"The supreme experts under the starry sky are still beneath the starry sky, while We have stepped beyond the starry sky."
Chen Changsheng heard her voice but still did not understand, and he could not be bothered to consider these words.
He was still alive. It seemed that his changing of fate had already succeeded, and he could live like this for the foreseeable future. This was a matter very worthy of being happy about, but for some reason, there was not the slightest joy in his heart—he had lost interest in all things. Even this grand and majestic battle sure to be chronicled in the annals of history stirred no interest in him. His mind was blank.
But when he gazed at the occasional black plume of smoke or bright flame rising from the streets of the capital, he was still somewhat concerned.
He didn't know what sort of state the Orthodox Academy was in, just how…those friends who truly cared about him were currently doing.
The Imperial Guard and the Orthodoxy cavalry had both withdrawn, and were now probably fighting at some other place in the capital.
There was only silence before the gates of the Orthodox Academy. There were fallen leaves in Hundred Flowers Lane, but not a single person.
After Tang Thirty-Six left, he never returned. Zhexiu clearly understood that the reason did not lie with the person himself.
Thus, Zhexiu also left the Orthodox Academy, vanishing into the darkness.
None of the teachers or students could sleep. They stood in front of the library with apprehensive expressions. Some students even proposed that they should go out to look for the principal and the others.
"No matter what happens, no one is allowed to leave."
Su Moyu gravely warned, "Anyone who dares to take a single step out tonight will be expelled on the spot!"
Hearing this, the somewhat agitated and uneasy students gradually became silent.
Su Moyu ordered several teachers to keep the peace, walked to the academy gate, and said to Ye Xiaolian, "Tonight, I've greatly troubled my junior sisters."
The sword array of South Stream Temple was sufficient to intimidate any faction that wished to use the present chaos to harm the Orthodox Academy.
After Su Moyu finished arranging a few matters, he walked out of the academy gate and gazed out into the dark streets. As he listened to the distant sounds of fighting, his heart felt very heavy.
Chen Changsheng, Tang Thirty-Six, Zhexiu, and Xuanyuan Po had all left. At present, only he was left at the Orthodox Academy.
He absolutely had to ensure the Orthodox Academy's safety, and this was also the only thing that he could do.
Ye Xiaolian walked to his side, also looking into the darkness, her elegant and beautiful face covered in concern.
The South Stream Temple disciples were protecting the Orthodox Academy on the Holy Maiden's orders, but after the Holy Maiden went to the Imperial Palace, she never returned. With the capital in chaos tonight, was the Holy Maiden still safe?
After the bamboo carriage left the capital, it went south. It wasn't long before it was already a thousand–odd li away.
Perhaps because it was somewhat tired, or perhaps because it felt things to be overly boring and dull, the Black Goat stopped at the banks of the Tangwang River.
The starlight falling upon the clear waters of the Tangwang River was cut by the night breeze into countless silver leaves. Shining into the window, they drew countless beautiful silver patterns on the walls of the carriage compartment.
This starlight fell upon Xu Yourong's and Mo Yu's two beautiful faces, yet it seemed to dim them, perfectly matching their current moods.
The ebony hairpin in Xu Yourong's hair made it impossible for her to move, only allowing her to speak.
She gazed at Mo Yu and said in a soft voice, "Perhaps you have guessed at something."
The palace dress on Mo Yu's body slightly shook, because her body was trembling.
She turned to Xu Yourong, seeming particularly feeble and helpless. She was not at all like the merciless and decisive Grand Lady Mo of the Imperial Court, but like a girl that had suddenly been abandoned.
"What…do you want to say?"
They were the two smartest women in the world. The further they got from the capital, the more composed their minds became, the more numerous their conjectures. Seeming to have received proof from each other's attitudes, they both felt dread in their hearts.
Whether it was the hairpin in Xu Yourong's hair, the Black Goat vacantly gazing in the direction of the capital at the banks of the Tangwang River, or their very own presence here, it was all evidence.
If the Divine Empress was truly confident of her complete control over the capital tonight, why had she made them leave?
Her face somewhat pale, Xu Yourong said, "Let's go back."
After a long period of silence, Mo Yu finally rejected her view, saying, "This is the Empress's decree. We will continue south."
When she spoke, her expression was very calm, but her voice was shaking as if she was on the verge of crying.