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Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
"Don't tell me we have to wait another few hundred years?"
"Perhaps we really should research the strength of time. Those legends of the past could be even stronger, but not even they could possibly defeat time."
"In the three thousand scriptures of the Daoist Canon, only one book concerns time."
"Then we should first look at this Scroll of Time."
"Understood, then when the time comes, help me look over it."
With their plans decided and seeing that it was already late, Chen Changsheng stood up and bid farewell, then walked out of the hall.
Shuang'er stood outside the hall in the snow, from time to time taking note of any movement outside. Seeing him walk out, she revealed a very complex expression.
Chen Changsheng was prepared to say a few words to her when he suddenly heard Xu Yourong's voice come from behind him.
"Are you and Lady Zhusha very close?"
Chen Changsheng stood in a daze for some time before finally understanding that the Lady Zhusha she spoke was exactly the young Black Dragon. Confused, he asked, "Close?"
"Mo Yu saw the two of you embracing once."
It was very obvious that Xu Yourong was deliberately keeping her voice extremely calm, because it was so calm that it was almost wooden.
Chen Changsheng was quite speechless, thinking, the Black Dragon is like a mountain—how could I embrace her?
"Could it be that you don't know…if she doesn't maintain her dragon body, she's actually a pretty young girl?"
In the darkness, Chen Changsheng gazed silently at the calm surface of the pool and the remnants of shattered ice on its surface.
A young girl and a Black Dragon—perhaps it was only the external appearance changing, but they gave completely different impressions.
Having a name and not having a name was also an incredibly big difference.
Back then, Wang Zhice had given her a name, calling her Zhusha.
He had also given her two names—one was Zhizhi, the other Hongzhuang.
There seemed to be some faint connection between the two.
The Black Frost Dragon that had fallen in battle in the Garden of Zhou had possessed a noble soul that had a limitless longing for freedom.
She was this Black Frost Dragon's daughter and presumably also possessed a heart that had a limitless desire for freedom, but she was imprisoned for so many years.
Truly too pitiful.
Without speaking to this pool, he left.
On the night of the same day, he used the stone pearl left behind by Wang Zhice to enter the Garden of Zhou.
He paid no attention to that ocean-like monster tide that bowed to him, only noticing that the current Garden of Zhou was much better than it had been previously.
The lakes surrounding the plain had been dredged clean and the collapsed cliffs tidied up.
He went to the lakeshore on the other side of the waterfall and found the Scroll of Time amongst those books that had been dried in the sun.
He returned to Sunset Valley and used the light coming from the horizon to begin reading this book.
After a long time passed, he put away the book, then said to the grand and lofty mountain range before him, "Please relax, I will definitely rescue Sir's daughter."
In that courtyard in the principal alley of the Northern Military Department, Zhou Tong was also reading the Scroll of Time.
The common people currently only knew of him as a cruel and terrifyingly powerful official. Long forgotten was the fact that he had once been widely known for his scholarly erudition, and also the fact that he was a cultivator that had reached the peak of Star Condensation.
After Archbishop Mei Lisha returned to the sea of stars, he had been constantly studying the Scroll of Time. Recently, he had finally been able to comprehend some of the true meaning of this Daoist scripture.
"Can one really change the speed at which time flows?"
As he gazed at the snow and the lonely crabapple tree in the courtyard, the sea of blood within his eyes boiled incessantly, seeming abnormally brutal and frightening. This represented the fact that his mind was currently in a state of shock, his sea of consciousness uneasy as a consequence. He even found it hard to maintain his unfeeling Dao heart.
As time passed, the sea of blood within his eyes gradually calmed, his pale face revealing a little exhaustion and sadness. He knew that from the moment he had decided to follow the Divine Empress and open the golden age, from the moment he had sunken into this sea of blood that was forever in turmoil, it would forever be impossible for him to reach the end of the long road of cultivation. Time and space were both domains that he could never touch, but this did not mean that there was no one in the world who could do this.
He believed that if one could advance into the legendary realm of Concealed Divinity or perhaps was assisted by some extremely powerful array, perhaps one could use the Scroll of Time to adjust the speed at which time flowed. Then this also meant that a certain person's age could have been adjusted by someone else; perhaps that youth and that Crown Prince Zhaoming were exactly the same age?
Two rumors were spreading through the capital.
The first rumor was basically nonsense. It said that Little Principal Chen of the Orthodox Academy was a descendant of the Chen Imperial clan and was even highly likely to be that Crown Prince Zhaoming who had vanished without a trace during the coup in the palace back then. No one believed this theory because Chen Changsheng's age was clearly much younger than Crown Prince Zhaoming's. Moreover, compared to this seemingly quite shocking rumor, the denizens of the capital far preferred to believe that even colder and more sinister rumor: the pitiful Crown Prince Zhaoming had long since been choked to death in his infancy by the Divine Empress.
The second rumor attracted far more interest and had also received far more approval. Perhaps it was because Tang Thirty-Six had drunk too much wine one night and said it to that dancer in the restaurant, or perhaps it was because Shuang'er, when returning to the Divine General of the East's estate to take the handwarming stove her young lady often used, had subtly hinted at it under her madam's indirect questioning. Even more likely was that some truly lofty person would stand up on a high platform of the capital and occasionally direct their gaze down into the streets to discover the scene of the young man and woman walking side by side, the Yellow Paper Umbrella unable to hide Chen Changsheng's face…many people of the capital had heard that after the battle on the Bridge of Helplessness, the Holy Maiden and Little Principal Chen would often meet. It was said that Little Principal Chen would even occasionally enter the palace to find her.
Today, Prince Chen Liu was entertaining guests and Chen Changsheng was the guest of honor. Today, the primary theme of the gathering was appreciating snow, and when appreciating snow, there naturally had to be poetry recitations. Those several students of the Orthodox Academy that had followed Chen Changsheng to the Prince's estate to broaden their experiences competed in poetry with the students of the other Five Ivies. In a few rounds, they had all lost, but the statuses of Chen Changsheng and the Orthodox Academy were completely different from the past, so none of the teachers and students, whether they were from the Heavenly Dao Academy or from the Temple Seminary, would dare use this matter to sneer or ridicule them. However, the students of the Orthodox Academy still felt rather ashamed and would occasionally sneak glances in Chen Changsheng's direction.
Chen Changsheng naturally felt their gazes and very naturally began to miss Tang Thirty-Six. That guy was the ideal candidate for dealing with these sorts of situations. Whether it was being jeered at, being humiliated, or being ignored, perhaps their side's morale would be depressed and even fall into despair, but he would always have a way of reversing the mood.
Just as in the past, Tang Thirty-Six who had an inexplicable hatred for Prince Chen Liu was too lazy to even give an excuse, simply refusing to attend today's poetry gathering. But he wasn't too far away. Bringing along a dancing girl he was close with, he waited in the carriage outside the Prince's estate, pointing out the window at the falling snow and reciting poetry, playing the role of a romantic young master well enough.
The main gate of the Prince's estate opened and Prince Chen Liu personally sent off Chen Changsheng and the students of the Orthodox Academy.
The falling snow had already stopped and many of those people of the capital that were fond of excitement had gathered outside the Prince's estate. The moment Chen Changsheng appeared, countless gazes instantly shot in his direction, simultaneously accompanied by countless whispered conversations. The quiet street outside the estate seemingly transformed into a classroom.