Edited by bbkgs
TLCed by bbkgs
Note that there have been some major edits made for this chapter.
Note to self: might retranslate entire chapter.
Additional note to self: seems to be missing a small section
Note that until I’ve edited all chapters, there will be mismatch between old and new terms, I will be keeping this list on the last chapter I’ve edited till I’ve finished editing all chapters:
“the Orthodoxy” is the new term for “The Tradition”
“Orthodox Academy” is the new term for “Traditional/Tradition Academy”
“the Grand Examination” is the new term for “the Great Trial”
“Scriptures of The Way” is the new term for “Scrolls of the Way/Scroll of the Ways” – it actually refers to the Taoist cannon
“Seven Laws” is the new term for “Seven Rulings”
“Holy Maiden Peak” is the new term for “Mountain Virgin”
“Proclamation of the Azure Clouds” is the new term for “Honor Roll of Green Cloud”
“Divine General of the Eastern Decree” is the new term for “Dong Yu General”
“Cultivator/Cultivation” are the new terms for “xiu xingist/xiu xing”
“The Way/Way” will be used interchangeably with “The Dao/Dao”
In the current era, the Orthodoxy used the glory of the Heavenly Tomes to dominate the field of religion. Since the Mausoleum of Books was located in the Capital, the Altar was naturally also located in the Capital. Before the Zhou Dynasty came into power, all Popes had come from the Shang Dynasty. Now that the Shang had collapsed and Zhou had risen to power, every Pope naturally came from Zhou. A dynasty built around the Capital was already powerful, but it was also protected by the Orthodoxy, which naturally made it become the center of the human world.
Compared to the Shang Dynasty and the Zhou Dynasty, the southern Central Continent had multiple powers in it. There were many kingdoms, factions, and sects. Although they seem to be scattered all over the place, the number of cultivators in each group couldn’t be disregarded. It almost seemed as if the southern region had more cultivators than the Zhou Dynasty had. Of these major powers in the southern region, the most influential were Holy Maiden Peak’s Nan Xi Institute, the Longevity Sect, and the clan of Qiu Shan.
After ending the terrible and bloody war between humans and demons, the southern powers felt that they had sacrificed a lot and wanted to rise in power and status. They believed the Mausoleum of Books to be a holy artifact that belonged to the entire human world and shouldn’t be controlled by the Zhou Dynasty alone, in the same way, the interpretations of the Heavenly Tomes shouldn’t be controlled by the Pope, who represented the Orthodoxy.
For this reason, the southern powers debated and argued with three emperors of the Zhou Dynasty, previous and current, about the procedure and even the name of the Grand Examination. In addition, from within the Orthodoxy, a split occurred, giving rise to the Southern Faith. Although the Southern Faith still belonged to the Orthodoxy, it only viewed the Pope as a spiritual leader. Its affairs were actually handled by the Holy Maiden.
Holy Maidens of the Southern Faith were always the strongest cultivators. But because they needed to balance out the struggles between the multiple powers in the south and had no army for back up, their actual power and status was lower than that of the northern Pope. Nevertheless, they were always the most respected and glorious characters in the south. They held the same power and status as the northern Pope did, spiritually and religiously.
Since the Holy Maiden of the Southern Faith was such a special title and status, it was always appointed to a southern lady. There hadn’t been a single exception for several thousand years. Only up until now was there a possibility for an exception.
Every Holy Maiden of the Southern Faith came from the Nan Xi (Southern Creeks) Institute. Because of this, the mountain that this sect was located on was named Holy Maiden Peak. And currently there is only one successor at the Nan Xi Institute.
That successor is a girl named Xu You Rong. She is the reincarnation of the Sky Phoenix. Her talent in cultivation was unmatched. She understood the essence of the Scriptures of The Way and arrived at Holy Maiden Peak when she was just twelve years old. All of the teachers and masters of Holy Maiden Peak were shocked and disregarded her status as a Zhou citizen and announced to the whole world: she will be the only female disciple of the Nan Xi Institute’s inner circle. This meant that if there were to be no interference, this young girl named Xu You Rong would become the next Holy Maiden of the Southern Faith, a religious leader that can stand up to the North’s Pope!
The night was dark and heavy with stars scattered across the sky. They never seemed to move and yet they also seemed to relocate with every moment. The quietness was both enjoyable and scary. There was nothing but silence in the mountains during the night. Suddenly, a sharp chirp broke through the clouds and a white crane landed from the night sky.
As star light shone upon it, the white crane in the darkness seemed surreal, as if it were formed of paper and contained no dust. The scream of the crane filled the entire cliff. Perhaps it was because of the time, the night slowly faded into oblivion and white lights appeared on the eastern skyline. The dawn has arrived.
The girl who sat on the cliff took down her luggage from the white crane and picked out the letter. She opened it without much care and read it silently. During the reading, her thin eyebrows raised a couple times, but she was mostly calm. The pupils reflected the weak sunlight like the surface of a lake. The beautiful complexion contained youth but no immaturity.
Because the southern region is very humid, when the sunlight grew stronger, mist started to form. The light was scattered by the wet air and landed on her face, making it appear softer, thus, her visage didn’t appear clearer, but it was all the more beautiful. This beauty contained a trace of holiness and righteousness.
“That kid is very strange. He claims to have come to cancel the engagement, but for some weird reasons, he regrets his decision. I don’t know what is he trying to do. I originally thought he felt embarrassed and said so intentionally to feel better but after a while I felt that this was not true because when he was speaking, he was very calm and without anger.”
“Granny watched him for several days. I heard that this kid would wake up promptly at five o’clock in the morning everyday. He, like a wooden man, treats everything seriously. Also he has mysophobia, sounds like those evil perverts you told me about before and makes people scared. Fine, Miss, I admit that he didn’t look so bad. When I was talking to him, I thought he looked handsome which making me feel close to him, but the scary thing was that that was my first time seeing him.”
“ That kid didn’t speak of the engagement to the public or anyone else. I am not sure if he is smart or just stupid. Anyways, the family has always sent people to stalk him. Miss, I always thought that the kid is very hypocritical. He thinks so much and demands much more. I will take a look at the most currrent situation. If he still wants to twist the matter, His Grace (the Divine General) and the Madam may start preparing to do something.”
“Miss, even though I think that kid doesn’t deserve to die, I don’t approve of his actions. He holds the engagement and mocks the demesne (the estate) thinking he has a strong backing. I feel that he is full of vengeance. Furthermore….I heard that the Qiu Shang clan will come to the Capital next year to propose a marriage. What if that rascal tries to cause trouble?”
The young girl who sat on the cliff read the letter quietly. Her clothes fluttered along the morning wind. Her dark hair floated lightly like silk. They all added some awe-inspiring character to her beauty.
After reading, she remained silent for a while and whispered to herself: “He actually went to the Capital?”
The white crane was waiting silently on a side while the girl was reading. Even when it was squatting down, it had half a man’s height. After seeing the girl close the letter, the white crane turned around. It used its mouth to get a pen brush from somewhere and the brush tip was filled with ink. The place where the ink was produced was unknown, but it actually emitted a cold fragrance.
The girl smiled and touched the white crane’s slippery thin neck. She took the pen brush and prepared to give a reply but for a moment she did not know what to write.
She had been close to her grandfather since a very young age. If her grandfather hadn’t passed away, she might not have left the Capital and came to the Nan Xi Institute at the age of twelve. Even the white crane by her side was given to her by her grandfather. If her grandfather wanted her to do something, she would definitely do it but ….engagement was definitely not ok.
The little Taoist priest from Xi Ning Village should have the last name of Chen?
She slightly frowned, recalling the things she heard in childhood, realizing that she had no impression of the little Taoist priest.
She remembered that her grandfather specifically asked the current Pope to notarize the engagement. Only the male side could cancel the engagement. She then remembered what Shuang Er said in the letter. Her thin eyebrows stirred up a bit and she thought silently. Was that little Taoist priest really that bothersome and hypocritical? She remembered that when they were young, she didn’t have the impression that he was that kind of person.
She knew that many people in the Capital, including her father, all wished that she would represent the Zhou Dynasty and marry to the south, and that they would absolutely not allow the little Taoist priest to influence this. Even more extreme, they most likely would kill him if he tried. She thought that this little Taoist priest was truly stupid and dumb. Did he really think that he could gain an advantage from the Divine General’s Estate simply because of his little cunning brain?
Thinking of this point, she felt somewhat unhappy.
Unhappiness was a rare feeling for her. She was not sure if it’s because the little Taoist priest didn’t know how to protect himself or….
Fine, that little Taoist priest was truly irritating.
Fine, no matter how much the little Taoist priest has changed, the engagement must be canceled.
Yet…..there was no need to hurt him.
With a sharp scream, the white crane carried the girl’s two letters and flew away into the cloud. With the morning gale and sunlight, it flew to the distant Capital.
The girl placed her brush into the water and stood up. She walked on the cliff wearing a cotton shirt and placed her hands behind her back.
Her eyes were young but they were filled with an extraordinary attitude.
She is the world’s sole existing young phoenix.
She is the next Holy Maiden of the Southern Faith.
She is first upon the Proclamation of Azure Clouds.
She is Xu You Rong.
She was still innocent. She had a kind of innocence that was not mischievous but naive.
She smiled brilliantly. The kind of brilliance she showed was not of emotion, but of spring wind.
She did not wish to care about the world and its people. What people considered to be related to her, were actually not related to her at all. Such as the engagement she was about to leave behind in her memories, and perhaps, even Qiu Shan Jun.
She had to admit that senior Qiu Shan Jun was very strong, to a nearly perfect extent. He was the best husband to have in everyone’s eyes, but why did that matter to her?
This was all very, very good, but this was not what she wanted.
Of course, the little Taoist priest was even less of what she wanted.
What she wanted to do now was to sit on the cliff and enjoy watching the snow, hearing the rain, reading, reading, and more reading.
Within books, there contained a grand Dao. One scroll already surpassed countless lovers.
She solely concentrated on revering The Way. Who could stop her?
Chen Chang Sheng left the inn, walking to the second to last school on the roster his Master gave him.
He really wanted to know what Miss Xu would do today to make him fail.
Of course, even if he failed again, he wouldn’t change his mind.
What he had done ever since he was young was to watch the temple, sweep the snow, eat medicine, read, read, and more reading.
Within books, there contained a grand Dao. One scroll already surpassed a thousand mountains and seas.
He solely concentrated on seeking The Way. Who could stop him?