The reason why the elder woman was shocked was because she knew how prideful and indifferent the black goat was. It was raised by Lady Mo Yan herself. It liked cleanliness so much that it became a strange habit that only the unique Unicorns could rival. Not to mention that the wild grass was grown around the lake. The goat wouldn’t even look at the food that royal relatives carefully prepare for it much less this type of grass. But at this moment, it just accepted the wild grass from the newly met youngster and ate it!
What the old woman saw next was even more shocking to her. After the black goat finished the wild grass, it didn’t leave but instead it rubbed its head against the palm of the youngster. It seemed to like the touch of the young boy.
Why is this? The elder woman wrinkled her eyebrows slightly and walked to the lake with the aid of her wooden cane. Looking at the youngster sitting in front of the black goat, she noticed the naturally friendly aura around him. Her mood settled a little, but immediately became insecure. A person who could calm her down like this could be of danger. She had to be alert around him.
Chen Chang Sheng stood up and looked at the elder woman “Madam, is this your goat?”
The elder lady squinted her eyes slightly, “Do you know who I am?”
Chen Chang Sheng was a little surprised, “No, I do not.”
The elder lady asked indifferently, “Then why did you call me Madam?”
Chen Chang Sheng was confused. he thought ‘How else can I address a lady of her age? The woman in the carriage of General’s Mansion was a madam. The dish washer in the tavern was a madam. Even the chief on the boat was madam. There are countless madams in the world, what is the difference?’
The elder woman saw his confused expression and realized that she thought too much. She realized that her alertness toward the youngster was unnecessary. She couldn’t resist but wrinkle her eyebrows again and felt that something was wrong. She knew that the alertness and indifference present in the few exchanges of lines were originated from her liking of the youngster.
This young boy was so ordinary but it was easy for people to be attracted to him. The black goat and herself were both attracted to him easily. Why was this?
The elder woman looked at the ruined buildings and thought back to the glorious days of this place. She also thought of the bloody and horrific stories behind it. When she thought of the specialty of this youngster, the insecurity in her heart grew stronger. She decided not to waste anymore time and said directly, “You can call me Madam Ning.”
Chen Chang Sheng bowed and greeted, “It’s a pleasure to meet you, Madam Ning.”
Madam Ning said, “If you knew that the reason Starseeker Academy didn’t accept you was me, do you still think it is still a pleasure?”
The cold air of early spring spread when the wind blew across the dense grass. All was silent.
Chen Chang Sheng straightened his back and looked at the elder lady. He was surprised. Yesterday, Tang Thirty Six said in the tavern that the General Mansion had no power to influence the Starseeker Academy and his result was the command of someone in the royal palace. And this Madam Ning…..Was she the one?
“You dare to hold that marriage vow and walk around the capital. I don’t know if you are truly brave or just an idiot.” Madam Ning said expressionlessly.
Chen Chang Sheng remained silent for a while, “No one cares about me besides the General’s Mansion.”
Madam Ning said “If people knew that you are the fiance of the Phoenix girl, millions of people will come to murder you.”
Chen Chang Sheng said, “I’m still alive, which proves that the General’s Mansion doesn’t want others to know about the existence of this marriage vow.”
Madam Ning looked at this at asked, “What if the General’s Mansion wants to kill you?”
Chen Chang Sheng was silent once again but replied shortly afterward, “Since the Divine Queen is in power, they must care about the entire plot.”
Madam Ning raised her eyebrows slightly. She didn’t expect that this fourteen years old youngster could see through the true reason for the careful actions of the General’s mansion. “As time goes on, the pressure on them will increase. There will be a day that the General’s Mansion wouldn’t want to be caution anymore.”
“Then I will resist.” Chen Chang Sheng held the sword handle around his waist tightly.
Madam Ning looked at the ordinary short sword around his waist and mocked, “You don’t know how to xiuxing and want to use a single short sword to defend against the xiuxingist in the General’s Mansion? What do you think this short sword is? A legendary weapon? Can it compare to the Frozen of the First emperor or the Thorn in the hand of the family of Qiu Shan?”
Chen Chang Sheng didn’t speak.
“Even if you don’t hand back the marriage vow, you can still live.”
Madam Ning said, “But you can’t tell anymore about the marriage vow. Even if the Demon Emperor came here himself, your life will perish.”
This sentence wasn’t exactly threatening him because it wasn’t a threat. It was just stating a true fact – if the Demon Emperor couldn’t save his life, then no one in the world will be able to protect him. Madam Ning represented the command of the Zhou Royal Palace.
Chen Chang Sheng must admit it but he felt wronged in that he had no other options. But what Madam Ning said was also good news to him. He just didn’t understand. Why did she harshly crush his future in the Starseeker Academy the day before but now changed her idea?
“Someone wants you to live and want you to be undisturbed. My lady doesn’t like to see a changing variable. Because of this she didn’t like you to have a future of possibilities. This used to be a messy situation….”
Madam Ning looked at the buildings of the Classical Teaching, which were in ruins. She suddenly smiled and said. “Who could’ve thought that you would jumped into this exhausted well yourself. Now I can solve this problem…..”
Chen Chang Sheng’s attention was attracted by the latter information of her sentence, therefore he missed the previous words.
Future? possibilities? exhausted well? problem?
He suddenly grew insecure. From the words of Madam Ning, he felt that walking into Classical Teaching might be a big mistake.
He said without hesitation, “I haven’t decide to enter the Classical Teaching.”
Madam Ning looked at him “You must enter the Classical Teaching.”
“You walked here yourself, therefore it’s your choice.“
”I changed my idea.”
“Sorry, but I’m not Madam Xu.”
Madam Ning looked at him expressionlessly, “I can care less if I kill you.”
Chen Chang Sheng was silent for a long time. He knew he couldn’t reject, but he was still unsatisfied.
“I didn’t take a test or receive an acceptance letter.”
“The Classical Teaching has no principal or teacher, therefore there is no test. But it can still accept students.”
Madam Ning took out a thin piece of paper and handed it to him. “This is a recommendation letter from the Pope himself. You are able to enter any academy.”
Without waiting for a reply from Chen Chang Sheng, she said without emotion “But you can only enter the Classical Teaching.
Chen Chang Sheng took the paper and looked at the sloppy signature and the fancy yet difficult stamp on the signature. He didn’t know what to say.
He didn’t know that he had the chance to see the signature of the Pope during his life. He should be excited, but it was hard for him to be excited due to the situation he was in. Looking at the color of the signature and the stamp, it wasn’t made recently. But the name of the academy was recently filled and should be the work of this Madam Ning.
”First, don’t tell anymore about the marriage vow. Second, you will live. Third, no one will disturb your future.”
Madam Ning looked at him expressionlessly and he responded, “Deal.”
After saying all this, she turned around and walked out of the Classical Teaching. Although the wild grass growing around the lake was tall, it couldn’t touch her simple dress.
For a person of her status, it’s an impossible and meaningless thing for herself to talk to a youngster of fourteen years old.
The words she previously spoke were true. If a person is dead, what’s the point of a marriage vow? Although she thought nicely of the youngster, how many nice youngsters die in the capital every year? If it wasn’t for the letter from last night, maybe he would be dead already. If he is a smart person, then he would be able to guess who let him live, and he would know what to do next.
It was the best choice for everyone. Maybe except for him, but who cares?
Thinking about this, Madam Ning walked further and further away.
The black goat followed her. But before they walked out of the door, it turned its head and looked at Chen Chang Sheng for a moment.
Chen Chang Sheng stood around the lake. He held the piece of paper in his hand and remained silent.
Even now he still didn’t know the true identity of that Madam Ning, but he was forced to accept a trade.
He didn’t know the truth behind his trade, but he knew that if he accepted it, it would be beneficial for everyone – he knew more than anything else that maybe others thought he would not benefit from this trade, but in reality he obtained the benefit the moment he held the paper.
Therefore he wasn’t angry, he was just a little sad.
Chen Chang Sheng’s intention of coming to the capital wasn’t for the marriage to the girl named Xu You Rong. It had no connection with General Mansion, the Royal Palace, or other names that had no relation with him. He didn’t want anything to do with these places either. The only thing he desired were books, xiuxing, and the championship of the Great Trail.
Before the Great Trail was the Semi Trial, and it will be open next month. He didn’t know how to xiuxing and didn’t reach Purification yet. He would have no chance to pass and obtain the permission to enter the Great Trail. How then will he obtain the championship? Because of this, he had to enter one of the six academies on the list.
Those six academies were the oldest and best academies in the history of the capital. Since there were ivies growing outside of the walls of these academies, they were referred to as the Ivy League – only the students of the Ivy League were able to enter the Great Trial without going through the Semi Trail.
Now, he finally became a student of one of the Ivy League. It seemed that his wish was fulfilled, but…..there was too much ivy growing on the walls of this academy.
This was the road his master and senior planned for him before Chen Chang Sheng left Xi Ning Village.
But it was clear that they didn’t know that the once glorious and historical Classical Teaching was now in ruins.
Chen Chang Sheng stood around the lake and watched the academy which was not much different from a graveyard. He couldn’t resist but to question his future.
After a long time, he woke up in a breeze of spring. After breathing deeply five times and pushing out the last bit of discomfort in his body, he folded the thin paper neatly and stored it within his shirt. Chen Chang Sheng followed the old path in the grassfield and walked towards the depths of the academy.
(TL Note Bing: I just wonder who the person being nice to him is in the chapter O.o The one that didn’t want him to die and the words that the MC just ignored… Any guesses guys? I take my pick to be Xu You Rong.)