Chapter 242 – Journeying Together
When the real dragon appeared up in front of Xuanyuan Po’s face, he was truthfully rather frightened, yet that had not been enough to make him faint. The real reason for why he fainted was that the Black Dragon had, in its fury, released some of its dragon aura. For a Demi-human like Xuanyuan Po, he was absolutely incapable of resisting that ancient and terrifying Qi.
With a gust of wind, Jin Yulu appeared, his shirt lightly flapping in the breeze. He warily looked around. As soon as he had sensed that frightening Qi, he immediately rushed over from the gatehouse. The Li Palace had appointed Chen Changsheng as principal of the Orthodox Academy. Could it be that it had already attracted some peerless expert?
Yet when he finally arrived in the kitchen, he could sense nothing. Seeing Xuanyuan Po knocked out on the floor, he asked in a deep voice, “What happened?”
“It’s nothing.” Chen Changsheng explained, “I was unblocking one of his meridians, but then some of his true essence began to flow backwards. With a little rest he’ll get better soon.”
Jin Yulu creased his brow. He found that Chen Changsheng’s expression was somewhat unnatural, yet he could not sense any of that terrifying Qi anymore. After examining the scene again, he took his leave.
Chen Changsheng rubbed his forehead, sighed a breath of relief, he knelt down to wake Xuanyuan Po up.
Xuanyuan Po’s face was painted with fear. He looked all around, his face deathly pale.
At the Ivy Festival, this demi-human youth had shown extraordinary bravery and courage when confronting the vicious Tianhai Ya’er. Yet the previous scene had already exceeded his imagination.
As a demi-human, he had felt an innate crushing terror towards the dragon’s aura.
“Did you see…a…black dragon?”
Xuanyuan Po did not see any sign of that terrifying existence, yet this only made him more worried. His voice shuddered with fear.
Chen Changsheng was originally going to tell him that he was seeing things, but he knew that it would not convince Xuanyuan Po. After a moment of silence, he said, “It came to find me. Don’t say anything about it.”
Xuanyuan Po pointed at Chen Changsheng, his lips trembling, unable to speak. Only after a long while did he finally stammer out a few words. “Just who hell are you?”
Many people wanted to know who Chen Changsheng was, but he was incapable of answering that question.
Because to him, this had never been a question. He was Daoist youth from Xining Village’s old temple. Even though his master Daoist Ji had so many secrets, that did not mean that he did as well.
Of course, right now, he had a secret: that Black Dragon.
Back at the small building, he placed his dagger on the display rack and then walked over to the table and looked at that tiny Black Dragon. After a very long time, he still was not convinced that he was not hallucinating. Only when he finally summoned up the courage to run his fingers along the Black Dragon’s body and feel its icy scales did it finally prove that all that had happened was real.
The tiny Black Dragon clearly did not like him touching it, so it slapped his hand away.
“This…just what is going on here?” Chen Changsheng nervously asked.
The tiny Black Dragon said nothing but flew to the table, rubbed itself in ink, and used its body as a brush to put a few words on paper.
It was very cute, but Chen Changsheng had no time to pay attention to such things.
He took up the paper and only then understood that this was the result of a secret technique for the spiritual soul.
This secret technique allowed the soul of a dragon to split from its massive body, allowing it to assume some other appearance. It originated from when the dragon tribe first transformed into humans, only that it was even more mysterious and challenging. The downsides of this method were that the dragon’s spiritual soul could not be too far from its body. There was also a time limit. If the spiritual soul did not return to its original body, it would gradually dissipate.
In addition, a dragon in this state was extraordinarily weak, no longer possessing any of its original supreme strength. It would even require the protection of humans.
Seeing this tiny Black Dragon before his eyes, Chen Changsheng found it impossible to reconcile with the mountainous body of the Black Frost Dragon in the underground space.
“You figured out this secret technique yesterday, and today you want to accompany me around the capital?”
Incomparably shocked, he said to the tiny dragon, “And you need me to keep you safe?”
The tiny Black Dragon floated in front of him and nodded its head.
Chen Changsheng kneaded his forehead in silence. It was only after a long time did he say with difficulty, “I’m going to the Garden of Zhou. I don’t know what I’ll encounter. If something happens, what then?”
The tiny Black Dragon said nothing, and only quietly watched him.
Chen Changsheng and the dragon’s eyes met. Though its eyes on the surface seemed indifferent, he could faintly detect a fervent desire deep within.
Only then did he realize that this Black Dragon had been imprisoned underground for several hundred years, so this was its first visit to the surface in a long time.
Even though it was not truly free, it finally managed to leave.
After it left the underground space, the first thing it did was to find him.
After thinking it over for a long time, he finally said, “Fine, Zhizhi.”
Hearing this, the dragon’s eyes were as cold and proud as ever, yet it still gave a cry of ‘zhi zhi’.
Chen Changsheng knew that this was its way of laughing, and so he also laughed.
One after another, monolith viewers departed from the Mausoleum of Books. Added together with all the Ethereal Opening cultivators in the various schools and academies, as well as the teacher, more than a hundred people had assembled before the stone pillars of the Li Palace, preparing to set off on a journey to enter the Garden of Zhou.
There were even more cultivators that had already set off from different places all over the continent, or had already arrived at the Garden of Zhou.
An imperial carriage, pulled along by a pegasus, slowly proceeded along the Sacred Path. The carriage probably contained an important member of the Orthodoxy whose duty was to manage the journey to the Garden of Zhou.
Chen Changsheng looked at that imperial carriage, trying to guess which important figure was within, and why the Pope or the Archbishop had not sent someone to tell him who it was.
As he looked at the carriage, there were many people looking at him, because he had already become one of those important figures of the Orthodoxy. Chen Changsheng had no awareness of this. When the bishop of the Temple Seminary brought his three students to pay their respects, he could only stare blankly for a while before responding. Soon after, the groups from the Heavenly Dao Academy and the Li Palace Academy also came to pay their respects to him. Naturally not everyone paid respects to this fifteen-year-old youth willingly, but Chen Changsheng’s status was so high, and it was right in front of the Li Palace. As members of the Orthodoxy, none of them dared to show the slightest bit of disrespect.
Chen Changsheng had no experience with this sort of thing. He could only return their bows one by one. Thankfully, he still remembered the Archbishop’s words. Besides the Pope and the Divine Empress, he did not need to give anyone a full bow, he did not need to lower his head. However. his movements were inevitably somewhat stiff and reserved, completely lacking the sort of presence that his status deserved.
Zhexiu expressionlessly stood by his side. He said nothing because he also had little experience with this sort of thing and would be of no help.
Liang Xiaoxiao, Qi Jian, as well as more than a dozen southern examinees of the Grand Examination stood on the opposite side, silently spectating.
When the group going to the Garden of Zhou left the capital, a melodious bell rang from the depths of the Li Palace.
Earlier, the red geese had flown off to some far away place.
The ranking of this year’s Proclamation of Azure Clouds had officially been changed.
Xu Yourong, who had sat on the first place seat for so many years, was no longer amongst its ranks.
Luo Luo had become the new first place.
Liang Xiaoxiao and Qi Jian had also departed from the Proclamation of Azure Clouds.
The Pavilion of Divination had also put forth a new Proclamation of Golden Distinction.
As expected, Qiushan Jun remained at the top of the ranking.
Liang Xiaoxiao and Qi Jian also appeared on the rankings, as well as many of the other youths that had successfully broken through into Ethereal Opening in the Mausoleum of Books.
However, surprisingly, neither Xu Yourong nor Chen Changsheng could be found on the rankings. Gou Hanshi, Tang Thirty-Six and all the others, that still remained in the mausoleum, would not be evaluated by the Divining Elder, as per custom. However, Chen Changsheng had already left the mausoleum, while Xu Yourong had always been outside of it. Did they not appear on the Proclamation of Golden Distinction?