Chapter 234 – In Spring I Sleep, Unaware of the Dawn
The youth under the tree was Zhexiu. Chen Changsheng saw his pale face and the blood on the corner of his lips, and asked in confusion, “Why are you here?”
Zhexiu indifferently said, “I am going with you to the Garden of Zhou.”
Chen Changsheng did not think about this outcome. After a moment of silence, he replied, “It can be dangerous.”
Still expressionless, Zhexiu said, “Which is why I’m going with you to the Garden of Zhou.”
Chen Changsheng asked, “Why?”
“Tang Tang has already paid me. So I’m going with you to guarantee your safety.”
“You’re planning on being my bodyguard?” Chen Changsheng asked with a strange tone.
“Yes.” Zhexiu paused, then continued, “Of course, if the Garden of Zhou is too dangerous, I will have to ask for more money afterwards.”
Even up until now, Chen Changsheng was still not used to this wolf youth’s manner of thinking. Spreading his hands helplessly, he said, “But I don’t need a bodyguard.”
Zhexiu glanced at him and said, “Although right now you’re at the upper level of Ethereal Opening, if we e thrown together in the same forest, the one that would come out alive in the end would most definitely be me. If the Grand Examination did not have so many restrictions, not allowing me to be as fierce, even if Gou Hanshi was able to defeat me, he would not be able to kill me. Then in the end, I would have been the one to kill him.”
Hearing these words made Chen Changsheng somewhat uncomfortable, because he knew that those words were true.
The next words Zhexiu said cause Chen Changsheng to make up his mind. “In addition, you still have to treat my illness.”
Chen Changsheng thought about it, then he said, “Then… let’s go together.”
Zhexiu very naturally took Chen Changsheng’s luggage, then he began walking out of the forest.
Chen Changsheng hurried after him and said with concern, “Being a bodyguard is fine, but how can I let you do such menial work?”
Zhexiu showed no expression and paid him no attention.
Chen Changsheng said, “Then I’ll pay you extra.”
Zhexiu stopped his steps, thought it over, and said, “This is a complimentary gift.”
These two did not like talking very much. Amongst their peers, they were considered very uncommunicative.
They walked out of the woods, without exchanging a word along the way.
Jin Yulu and a carriage were waiting for them at the bridge.
The carriage wheels rolled over the hard limestone pavement, clacking along as they went. The new doors of the Orthodoxy Academy were pushed open from the inside. Xuanyuan Po ran out to meet them, his stalwart body was like a small mountain. The ground trembled as he ran, causing the dust in the cracks of the stone steps to fly about.
Chen Changsheng and Zhexiu stepped out of the carriage.
Xuanyuan Po gave a hearty laugh. “Coming out so early. It seems to me that you couldn’t get much out of the monoliths, huh?”
Zhexiu creased his brows and looked at Chen Changsheng.
Somewhat embarrassed, Chen Changsheng explained, “He speaks rather bluntly, but he doesn’t mean any harm.”
“It’s not like I’m Tang Thirty-Six.” Xuan Yuanpo unhappily said, then he took note of Zhexiu’s existence. Surprise, he said, “So it’s you? Don’t tell me that you actually went to the Mausoleum of Books to demand payment? Didn’t I say that there was no need to be in such a rush? When has my Orthodox Academy every failed to pay up?”
Jin Yulu at the side solemnly asked, “When will you be paying me? A gatekeeper also has a family to raise.”
The three youths turned to him, but they said nothing.
Jin Yulu felt a little awkward. “I know, I know, comedy does not suit me. Please continue.”
“Zhexiu did not come to ask for payment.”
Chen Changsheng told Xuan Yuanpo, but he did not know how to explain Zhexiu’s presence. After some thinking, he said, “He came to the Orthodox Academy to take a look around.”
In the world of the demi-humans, Zhexiu’s name was very famous. Now that Xuan Yuanpo knew that Zhexiu did not come to ask for money, he naturally returned to his mindset as a demi-human youth. His face full of admiration, he told Zhexiu, “The old men in my tribe told me that when you were only three, you were able to kill demon snakes?
Zhexiu ignored him.
Xuan Yuanpo followed him into the Orthodox Academy and continued, “I heard that when you were seven, you could kill demons?”
Zhexiu continued to ignored him.
Xuan Yuanpo’s enthusiasm was not dampened. “It looks like you’re not going back to the snowy plains just yet. It would be great if you joined our Orthodox Academy instead.”
Chen Changsheng also stopped and looked at Zhexiu.
Zhexiu seemed to think it over, then said to Xuan Yuanpo, “If I stay around a black bear like you, I’m afraid I’ll become an idiot.”
(TL: Black bear (狗熊) can also mean coward.)
They were both demi-humans, so Zhexiu could naturally tell what Xuan Yuanpo’s true body was.
Xuan Yuanpo’s expression suddenly became very grave. He very seriously said, “Take off that first character (狗), or else I will be very angry.”
Zhexiu replied, “Fine, black bear.”
Xuan Yuanpo flew into a rage and blurted, “How could a person like you be just as troublesome as Tang Thirty-Six!?”
Chen Changsheng returned to the small building, washed his face and rinsed his mouth, then he went straight to bed. Last night, he had gone without any rest, so he was extremely tired. Now his mind had also calmed down, no longer in such a frenzy, only leaving behind satisfaction and warmth. All this mean that the sleep that he had was especially sound, such that even when someone came in, he could not tell that it had happened.
Mo Yu sat the edge of the bed, gazing at the youth’s clean and delicate appearance. She slightly raised her brows, muttered some words, and took a whiff of the renewed scent. For some reason, her mood became much more pleasant. She lifted up a corner of Chen Changsheng’s bedding, then in she went.
She very quickly fell asleep. Even as she dreamed, her smiling face was like a flower.
If the eunuchs in the Imperial Palace or the chancellors of the Imperial Court had seen her appearance, they would most assuredly have thought that they were seeing things.
Outside the window came the pitter-patter of spring rain. Mo Yu opened her eyes and woke up. As she languidly stretched her waist, she turned around and realized that Chen Changsheng was snugly positioned by her waist, sound asleep. Only now did she become a little embarrassed, and two blushes of red appeared on her elegant face. She quickly got up and left, disappearing into the spring rain outside the window.
Not much time had passed, then the door to the room was pushed open and Luoluo entered.
Seeing the soundly sleeping Chen Changsheng, she happily rushed over. Just when she was about to pounce onto the bed, she smelled the faint aroma of makeup.
She wrinkled her thin eyebrows, then moved close to Chen Changsheng’s neck and carefully smelled it. Suddenly, she became angry and stamped her feet on the ground, causing the pearl-like raindrops in her hair to fall onto the floor.
Even though she was angry enough to stamp her feet on the floor, she did not really stamp her feet, because she did not want to wake up Chen Changsheng.
Looking out the window at the spring rain, she hatefully cursed, “Mo Yu, you shameless woman!”
She closed the window, blocking the soft and gentle spring rain and wind outside. Thus, the small building became whole. Now, there would be no more shameless women who would come to disturb her teacher’s rest. Only now could she relax. She brought a stool over to the side of the bed, then sat down and looked at Chen Changsheng’s face with a beaming smile. She did not say anything or do anything, she just quietly watched him. She was satisfied with just that.
Chen Changsheng woke up and realized that his left arm was being held tightly. Hearing the gentle and relaxed breathing, without opening his eyes, he knew who it was and smiled. His arm was held for quite some time, which was always a bit exhausting. That crisp smell was a very familiar odor. How could he not know who it was?
Opening his eyes, he saw that it really was Luoluo sitting by the bed. He did not know how long she had been there, but she probably got tired from sitting for so long. Just like in the past, her two hands were customarily holding his arm, hanging over his body. Only that she still sat in a stool, making her position somewhat awkward. Of course, it was very cute.
With a trembling of her eyelashes, Luoluo woke up. Somewhat muddleheaded, she rubbed her eyes, then she realized that Chen Changsheng was looking at her. She quickly sobered up, feeling somewhat bashful, and yet even more happy. Crisply she said, “Teacher.”
“Good girl.” Chen Changsheng stroked her small face.
The two left the small building and sat for a while in the library, waiting for Xuanyuan Po and Zhexiu to come over so that Chen Changsheng could tell them what had happened in the Mausoleum of Books. At noon, Jin Yulu prepared lunch. After eating lunch, Chen Changsheng and Luo Luo took a stroll through the grounds of the Orthodox Academy. The spring rain was very light, so there was no need for an umbrella. It was just when they climbed atop the great banyan tree, and their feet were a bit wet.
Luo Luo gazed at the capital through the drizzle, then turned to Chen Changsheng and asked, “Does Teacher want to go to the Garden of Zhou?”
They had been together in the Orthodox Academy for so long that Luo Luo could be considered to be the only person in the world that most understood Chen Changsheng. She knew very well that if her teacher did not have some reason to leave the Mausoleum of Books, a person who valued time and opportunity as much as her teacher would absolutely not depart from the mausoleum, from the Heavenly Tome Monoliths, with such ease.
Chen Changsheng replied, “Yes.”
Luo Luo opened her eyes wide and asked, “Why?”
Not waiting for an answer, she lowered her head to look at the ripples made by the rain as they fell into the pond under the banyan tree. Then she softly said, “Is it because teacher’s young lady is also going to the Garden of Zhou?”
Chen Changsheng was stumped for a few moments, then he realized that the young lady she spoke of was Xu Yourong. Although he had never thought about marrying Xu Yourong, Luoluo’s method of address still made him feel rather embarrassed. He replied, “What does it have to do with her? Only people in Ethereal Opening can enter the Garden of Zhou, and despite her shocking talent, she still had not managed that.”
Last night, the Mausoleum of Books was bathed in starlight for an entire night. Dozens of people had broken into Ethereal Opening. It could now be assumed that Xu Yourong, first place in the Proclamation of Azure Clouds, was tarnished in comparison.
“Teacher’s young lady broke through into Ethereal Opening several days ago.”
At some point, Luo Luo realized something, and a naïve and vivacious expression returned to her face. She gave a big smile and said, “In her body flows the blood of the phoenix. Such a proud person, even if she did not care that Teacher exceeded her, how could she lose out to all those other mediocre people?”
Chen Changsheng was a little astonished. It took a bit of time before he was able to digest this abrupt news.
The very first thought he thought of was the fact that very soon, the Proclamation of Azure Clouds would be changing its rankings.
“Congratulations.” Chen Changsheng said to Luo Luo as he smiled.
Luo Luo mumbled, “This isn’t anything to be happy about.”
Xu Yourong had entered Ethereal Opening, so naturally she left the Proclamation of Azure Clouds. Last night many, people entered Ethereal Opening. If they left the mausoleum, they would also leave the Proclamation of Azure Clouds.
The value of the first rank in the Proclamation of Azure Clouds had definitely decreased a lot.
Chen Changsheng extended his hand to listen to Luo Luo’s pulse, then said, “The difference between demi-human blood vessels and human blood vessels is quite large, especially with the bloodline of the White Emperor. The innate talent in your blood is too overbearingly strong, so even though you’re in the Meditation Realm, you can still defeat many opponents at Ethereal Opening. That’s why you shouldn’t worry so much. Though when the time comes, it will be somewhat more difficult for you to enter Ethereal Opening.”
Now that he thought about it, he could not help but wonder how exactly Zhexiu broke into Ethereal Opening last night and what sort of ordeal he went through.
Luo Luo suddenly looked at him and very seriously said, “Teacher, after you go to the Garden of Zhou and meet the young lady, you can’t become softhearted.”
Chen Changsheng remembered that she had previously been discussing how Xu Yourong was going to the Garden of Zhou.
It had already been many years since that white crane had delivered messages between them. He did not have much affection towards Xu Yourong, but it was not like he did not care. Even the disgust and loathing that he had once felt for her had not completely disappeared, but when he thought about actually meeting her, for some reason he had an indescribable sense of nervousness. The only thing he did not understand was why Luoluo had said these words.