Chapter 250 – Going Upstream (Part Two)
With a clank, the sword glow by the river suddenly disappeared, and a flying sword returned to its sheath.
Chen Changsheng and Zhexiu gazed across, and they saw that the one who attacked was a middle-aged cultivator. His eyes were clear and deep, and spirited. Beside him was a young daoist, who probably was his companion.
The hundreds of cultivators that had entered the Garden of Zhou were all in the Ethereal Opening realm. Most of them were the backbone force of various academies and sects, so there were not many people like him that could have their age determined with a glance. Chen Changsheng thought that if he was not a loose cultivator, then he would belong to a slightly small sect.
What he thought was correct. The middle-aged cultivator was called Fu Qiansong. He was a cultivator from a sect called the Clear Void Monastery in the south. He was even the monastery leader for the Clear Void Monastery, but his cultivation was still at the middle level of Ethereal Opening. Placing him in groups like the Li Palace or the Longevity Sect, perhaps it was not very special. However, in a normal sect, he could be considered to be an impressive expert. As for the young person, it was his eldest disciple who had just undergone Ethereal Opening.
Seeing Chen Changsheng and Zhexiu suddenly appear, the young Daoist of the Clear Void Monastery immediately began to grow nervous. His right hand trembled slightly, like he was prepared to summon his flying sword at any time.
The middle-aged cultivator had recognised Chen Changsheng’s identity at first glance, and he stuck out his hand to stop his disciple. Afterwards, he greeted Chen Changsheng by clasping his hands, and said, “I greet Principal Chen.”
This unknown small sect, the Clear Void Monastery, belonged to the system of the Orthodoxy. According to the rules in the Garden of Zhou, when this middle-aged cultivator moved against the disciples of Holy Maiden Peak, he did not have any difficulties at heart at all, but when facing Chen Changsheng, he instead became respectful and cautious. This was because he still had a life outside of the Garden of Zhou after all, so how could he be daring enough to be disrespectful to Chen Changsheng?
Only after listening to the middle-aged cultivator’s self introduction did Chen Changsheng understand what had happened. Looking at the fragmented magical artifact in his hand, Chen Changsheng thought of how it was said that most of the legacies and treasures in the Garden of Zhou were already discovered, so how could the two girls from the Holy Maiden Peak find it so easily?
“It was a magical artifact found by a predecessor of my Gentle Stream Monastery eighty years ago. However, it was just that she was in a hurry when she left and she could not take it with her, so she hid it under the tree next to the river.”
Ye Xiaolian looked at that middle-aged cultivator and said angrily, “It was originally mine. You actually ambushed me and forcefully stole it. Isn’t it embarrassing?”
The middle-aged cultivator’s expression seemed slightly awkward. He was in his fifties this year, and he had already undergone Ethereal Opening several years ago. Facing these two girls that had only undergone Ethereal Opening not too long ago, he had even used a method of ambush. If this news was spread outside, it definitely would not be too nice.
As the Clear Void Monastery was one of branches of the Orthodoxy, he did not fear the retaliation after this matter had occurred. Even if it was the legendary Holy Maiden Peak, the rules of the Garden of Zhou were set by the Saints. Since he had already destroyed his dignity, he definitely had to make his opponents leave the Garden of Zhou as soon as possible. However, as Chen Changsheng and Zhexiu had appeared, he could only put his sword away.
Eighty years ago, a preceding Daoist nun of the Gentle Stream Monastery had entered the Garden of Zhou to discover mysteries. She found a fragmented magical artifact, but for some certain reason, she did not take it with her, and she instead hid it under a tree. After leaving the garden, she told this secret to later disciples, and she made them retrieve it after entering the Garden of Zhou. It could be imagined that in order to retrieve it, this old story still hid many secrets, and it was even enough to let a few people sigh with emotion.
Chen Changsheng looked at the injured girl from the Holy Maiden Peak and asked, “Senior Tong, are you alright?”
Similar to the Longevity Sect, the Holy Maiden Peak also governed over many other sects, such as the Gentle Stream Monastery that Ye Xiaolian came from. As the cultivation potential of the young girl was rather good, perhaps she would be able to enter the Southern Stream Temple next year. The Southern Stream Temple did not have the rumored inner sect and outer sect separation. It was only Xu Yourong, who was the chosen successor of the Holy Maiden, who had some special treatment. Otherwise, according to the order of entering the sect, Xu Yourong should have called this girl surnamed Tong ‘Senior’. Chen Changsheng did not know why he called her ‘Senior’ so naturally but he had always called her that from the Mausoleum of Books till now.
That Senior Tong stood up with the support of Ye Xiaolian. Fresh blood flowed between the fingers of her hand which were pressed against her shoulder. Her face was somewhat pale, and said shaking her head, “There should be no problems.”
As she could break through to Ethereal Opening from one month of comprehending monoliths in the Mausoleum of Books, it could be said that her cultivation talent was outstanding. Ye Xiaolian was actually also able to break through to Ethereal Opening. Her luck was good, however, the main reason was the starlight Chen Changsheng had drawn in that night.
All of the examinees of the Grand Examination this year understood this very clearly, so outside of envy, those disciples from the Star Seizer Academy, Li Palace Academy and the Temple Seminary all felt slightly but truly grateful to him. However, for the two female disciples of the Holy Maiden Peak and other disciples of the southern sects, what they felt towards Chen Changsheng instead was more complex.
No southerner liked Chen Changsheng, however, they had to accept what he had done. Ye Xiaolian was only a young girl, so when she thought about matters, she was much more immature and much more direct. In the beginning, she humiliated Chen Changsheng on the Divine Avenue, but afterwards, her attitude changed slowly. After that night in the mausoleum, the only feeling left were admiration and gratefulness. Looking at the back of Chen Changsheng, she felt that her heart had calmed down a lot, like she had found something to rely on.
She supported her senior and stood up behind Chen Changsheng. She stared at the master and disciple from the Clear Void Monastery.
The middle-aged cultivator naturally did not care about the anger in her eyes, and he only cared about Chen Changsheng’s attitude on this matter. He believed that with his cultivation of middle level Ethereal Opening, no matter how great Chen Changsheng’s potential was, or that the indifferent looking teenager beside him may have been the legendary wolf cub, Chen Changsheng could not beat him. However, as he was a member of a branch of the Orthodoxy, how could he not worry about Chen Changsheng’s backing from the Li Palace?
Taking advantage of the fact that Chen Changsheng could not say anything in time, he made a prompt decision, “The Garden of Zhou is extremely large. The two of us still want to look around some more, so I shall be taking my leave, Principal Chen.”
The Senior Tong looked at Chen Changsheng and said apologetically, “Finding treasure in the Garden of Zhou relies on your own skills. Originally, I would not ask Senior Chen for help, but it is only that that magical artifact is a beloved item of a predecessor in the temple. Before entering here, I was specially asked to bring it back for her. So I plead… ”
She spoke up to there, and stopped, as she felt that this series of pleading was somewhat unjustified.
Chen Changsheng indeed did not know what to do. What the master and disciple of the Clear Void Monastery had done, which was ambushing and forcefully taking, naturally was disgraceful, but the Garden of Zhou’s rules were like that. Also, the opposing was a part of the Orthodoxy and had not been disrespectful to him at all. Contrarily, although Xu Yourong and he had an engagement, he did not have any affiliations with the Holy Maiden Peak at all. The north and the south were already going in different directions. Did he have to move against a northerner for a southerner?
This was the first time he had met such a difficult choice.
He only felt that those Saints, who had set down the rules for the Garden of Zhou years ago, really did cause people to loathe them.
Just at this moment, an extremely sharp sword intent erupted from the forests far away.
The expression of the middle-aged cultivator changed slightly. He clasped his hands at Chen Changsheng with respect, and he was about to leave with his disciple.
Senior Tong gave out a soft sigh, and she did not say anything more. Ye Xiaolian instead stared at Chen Changsheng with her eyes wide, like she did not understand why he had let this person go. She thought, “Are you really the son-in-law of the Holy Maiden Peak?”, and then instead, she suddenly realised that if she thought like this, Chen Changsheng had really replaced the Qiushan Jun’s once seemingly irreplaceable place in her heart.
Chen Changsheng looked the master and disciple who had waded through the river to the other side, and he finally made a decision.
However, just at this moment, the tree leaves swayed slightly, and Zhuang Huanyu appeared on the riverbed.
He looked at Chen Changsheng with an indifferent expression. He did not say anything, but the meaning was very clear.
He looked at Chen Changsheng to see what he would actually do.