Behind Han Guang Palace, a bamboo carriage slowly arrived. The curtains of the carriage were lifted slightly and Mo Yu appeared on the stone stairs. The starlight shone on her beautiful complexion and her thin eyebrows, bright pupils and the light makeup on her face.
She looked at the two tamed deers, with purely white coats, pulling the carriage and raised her eyebrows. She was a little surprised and asked, “Where is Black Jade?”
The previous black goat had disappeared into the darkness of the night and was nowhere to be found.
Nanny Ning held her hand and helped her walk down the stone stairs and answered lightly, “I don’t know where that precious went.”
Mo Yu knew that the black goat’s personality was a little unique and that she never listened to anyone in the palace. She shook her head and said, “she is just a little kid.”
Nanny Ning glanced towards the back of Han Guang palace and thought to herself, the youngster who was standing around the lake and had nowhere to go was also a kid.
Mo Yu knew what she was thinking and mocked lightly, “He’s just a kid but when he’s talking, he could spit out some logical words and act mature. He doesn’t know his actions are just jokes in other people’s eyes and would only make him look silly.”
Nanny Ning said, “Well, I actually think silly people are sometimes cute as well.”
A few months ago when Chen Chang Sheng entered the Tradition Academy, Nanny Ning helped along with the applications and the process. After she was done with the business, Mo Yu knew she liked Chen Chang Sheng. Right now hearing her speak well of Chen Chang Sheng, Mo Yu didn’t care much either. She did what needed to be done.
Chen Chang Sheng couldn’t leave that ruined garden and couldn’t appear in front of the crowd in the Wei Yang Palace. This meant that he couldn’t sabotage the marriage between Xu You Rong and Qiu Shan Jun. After the proposal, no matter how much he argued, he will only be seen as a joke. All of his anger would burn and bring pain to himself and only himself.
The bamboo carriage slowly rode towards the direction of Wei Yang Palace.
Although the professor of Heavenly Academy committed suicide under the threats of evil enforcers working for Zhou Tong, the Ivy Festival still needed a host — especially when there were important guests in the southern ambassadors who were participating in the event tonight. The Bishop of Department of Education and Xu Shi Ji was responsible for watching over them while Prince Chen Liu represented the Divine Queen in greeting the southerners. In addition, Mo Yu would attend the festival herself to show respect.
Nanny Ning placed her hand on the window of the carriage and glanced at the direction of the ruined garden multiple times. A trace of regret was showing on her face.
“Don’t worry too much nanny; that kid won’t be harmed.”
Mo Yu’s voice was heard from the bamboo carriage, “The seal of the Lake of Black Dragon is unbreakable. Unless someone from the outside opens the garden’s gate, no one can ever leave. The most he will endure will be the cold wind blowing on his face while he’s staying in the garden. This is nothing compared to the mess he will bring.”
Nanny Ning thought about a rumor and asked worriedly, “What if he touched the taboo?”
Mo Yu said, “Since it is a taboo, how would it be so easy for him to touch?”
Although she spoke casually and coldly, Nanny Ning could hear the tiredness from Mo Yu’s words. Thinking about the previous scene on the stone stairs and the tiredness showing between her eyes, Nanny Ning was a confused of why her lady would harm her qi to activate a secret technique to bind Chen Chang Sheng in place.
“Lady, you promised Lady You Rong that you would not use force on him.”
“Did I use force tonight? I only used words.”
Mo Yu thought back to the letter that she received few months ago from the south and became irritated, “That idiot girl didn’t want to marry him but didn’t want others to use force on him either. Don’t harm or interfere with him. What kind of rules is that, or else I wouldn’t need to use so much energy on this and it wouldn’t be such a trouble.”
Using her power, high status, and influence in the Zhou Dynasty, she could have more than thousands of ways to make youngsters like Chen Chang Sheng praying for death and despise living. But this thing turned out to be very troublesome due to that letter.
After thinking about it, Mo Yu got even more irritated, “Her own family arranged a bad marriage and needed me to help her out of it while she hid in the south and pretended to be a good person. Now I’m the bad guy. You didn’t even hear how that youngster insulted me earlier. If it wasn’t for her, I would have already killed him!”
Nanny Ning smiled, “My lady is basically a sister of Lady You Rong. It’s fine to use a bit of energy to help your own sister out.”
Mo Yu smirked coldly and said, “We all say Black Jade is the precious, but that young phoenix is the actual precious treasure in this world. The entire continent think she’s pure, innocent, and pretty, but they don’t know she’s a cheapskate and no one could blame her. If she’s not happy, then she can do and will do anything. I’m not helping her because she’s like a sister to me. I’m just worried that if she’s not happy and doesn’t marry Qiu Shi Jun, then what will happen?”
Nanny Ning soothed her, “Thank god that after tonight, we don’t have to worry about this thing anymore.”
The window curtain was lifted slightly and Mo Yu glanced towards the ruined garden behind Han Guang Palace and that cold lake which was covered out by an old wall. She thought about Chen Chang Sheng’s words and thought to herself, will tonight pass successfully? Why must he be sealed here specifically? What is the Saint thinking?
After the few sentences of mockery, Mo Yu’s voice wasn’t heard again. Chen Chang Sheng stood quietly in the ruined garden by himself. The cold lake was in front and the berry trees were to his side. His body wasn’t as lonely as before. It was as if strength was filled inside his flesh.
After making sure that Mo Yu had left, he started walking forward and passed the berry trees. He arrived at the lake. A wave of coldness hit his face.
The ruined garden was clearly colder than any other place in this royal palace. The reason was probably due to the cold lake in front of him. He observed the surface of the cold lake closely while letting the freezing air stack against his face until a frost seemed to appear on his eyebrows.
He wasn’t looking for pain, he just wanted to use the environment to calm himself down. He wasn’t willing to waste time on anger or any other negative mood – the previous words he said that Mo Yu seemed to be childish and useless. Perhaps the words were the complete opposite of calmness, but he still said them.
There are three thousand methods to understand the Way. His method was to soothe his own mind. To act on his mind and to live by his mind. If the world wouldn’t let him do things his own way, he will think of methods to soothe his own mind. Only after the mind is soothed can a person be undisturbed. And being undisturbed is the highest level of calmness.
Of course, he didn’t want his words to be jokes either. Therefore he had to leave the ruined garden and make it back to Wei Yang Palace. Before he left the Tradition Academy, he had made some preparations. However, if the powerful figures can deceive Luo Luo out of Wei Yang Palace, then he can’t place all his hopes on her.
What can he do to leave this ruined garden? He had no idea at the moment but he still told Mo Yu previously that he would, just as he told Tang Thirty Six and Luo Luo that he would participate in the Great Trial and obtain the first place.
Although it was without reason and impossible, he said it with such a calmness and confidence. This unlogical confidence seemed impressive to those who trusted him, but was a joke to strangers from the outside.
Only he himself knew that this confidence originated from a need. If in the beginning of next year, he had to participate in the Great Trial and obtain the first place, then he will accomplish it, or he will die. Tonight, if he had to leave the ruined garden and appear in Wei Yang Palace, then he will accomplish this as well.
He must do it, so he will do it. Before all this, he must believe that he will do it, only this way will his mind be soothed.
Once again, there are three thousand methods to understand the Way, and his only method was to soothe his mind.
Everything he did after leaving Xi Ning Village and coming to the capital was closely related to this method.
Because only when he soothes his mind will he change his fate.
He looked around the ruined garden. There were old walls, autumn trees, dried lotuses on the lake, and old petals beneath the berry trees that weren’t blown away by the wind.
Although he never saw this sight before, he felt that he had seen it a long time ago.
He never traveled ten thousand miles, so he didn’t see too many sights.
But he read ten thousand scrolls and traveled ten thousand miles in the books. He saw many sights there.
After memorizing the view around the lake in his heart, he sat down around the lake and closed his eyes and concentrated his mind. Then he started thinking back to the books he read before.
There were the Scrolls of the Way, there were scattered articles, there were fables, and there were traveling diaries.
Those were the books he read in the old temple of Xi Ning Village and in the library of the Tradition Academy.
He sat next to the lake and his eyes were closed, but countless books were flipping in front of his eyes.
The cold wind seemed to know these words and kept on flipping the books and stopping at the pages he wanted to see.
Those pages contained pictures and context.
“The Travel of Nan Ke”*
“Zhu Dian Yuan Hou Luan”
“Zhen Lei Ben Chao”
(The latter two are just book names and I can’t find the meaning of them, not relevant either I believe)
Chen Chang Sheng opened his eyes and stood up. Once again, he glanced around the ruined garden.
The ruined garden was still the ruined garden, the cold lake was still the cold lake. But currently in his eyes, they were completely different.
The few petals scattered around the lake seemed to be irrelevant and without meaning, but this view was the same throughout four seasons and never changed. The only thing that changed was that only the trees were still living.
The edge of the lake contained many rocks and there were no break between them. But on the other side of the lake, which was close to the old walls, the rocks weren’t there. It seemed to be an exit in the darkness, but he knew it wasn’t an exit but rather an unfinished stroke.
A dozen berry trees seemed to line up here.
This was the character “Tong.”
There was a story in “The Travel of Nan Ke.” There was a picture in “Zhen Lei Ben Chao”. There was a mentioning of a burned down palace in Zhu Dian Yuan Hou Lun”.
That palace was named Tong Palace.
The Tong Palace that killed an emperor in his sleep.
It was also a formation created by a Pope who used all of his energy.
Even after Chen Chang Sheng recognized this ruined garden and this cold lake, what could he do?
Unless he reached the legendary Saint stage, he cannot forcefully break out of this Tong Palace.
Of course, there is a door to any place. Every formation has its living exit.
But in the history of mankind, no one dared to leave from the living exit of Tong Palace.
Many years ago, the Tong Palace which was burned to ashes had grim reapers guarding outside of its living exit. People can still barely live in the palace, but they will surely die after they leave.
Because charm and harm always come together. The so called “living exit” may actually be one’s final destination.
Chen Chang Sheng knew where the living exit of Tong Palace was.
As the wind blows, the water will rise.
When the wind finished blowing but was yet to stop, where the water was low but was yet to rise.
He stared at the cold lake that was in front of him and stayed silent.
The sophisticated music from Wei Yang Palace entered the ruined garden from a distance.
The southern ambassadors sat down and everyone was ready.
He didn’t think much further and walked towards the depths of the cold lake.
*Translator Note: The Travel of Nan Ke: I believe the author was referencing to a chinese idiom, Nan Ke Yi Meng(南柯一梦) Which directly translates to “The Dream of Nan Ke”. The basic story of this idiom is that a person was drunk and fell asleep under a big tree. Then he dreamt that he was appointed as the governor of the Nan Ke City and climbed his way up the social ladder. After twenty years of hard working, he was trusted by his king and respected by his people, but suddenly, a neighboring kingdom attacked and he was defeated. This caused him to lose all of his power and he woke in the real world in his house. This dream made him realize that the fortune and glory in this world is gained and lost too quickly. At last, he turned to Taoism and became a hermit.
Thanks for the feedback on translator note and I took the advice of leaving them on the end of the chapter to not disturb the flow of the story.