Note that the Red Goose here, is called 红雁. There does exist an animal that is called this, known as the Ruddy shelduck, but as the description here doesn’t match it, I can only guess it’s some sort of mythological reimagining of the creature.
Chapter 111 – The Pope
Translated by: bbkgs
Edited by: bbkgs
TLCed by: bbkgs
The ocean within the elderly person’s eyes was very calm, giving the impression of boundless compassion. This was however, still an ocean and it was hard to imagine what kind of tidal waves could be created if this elder was to be enraged; what kind of spectacle would be created from those giant waves; how awe-inspiring and mighty would such a scene be?
“You actually managed to fall asleep while we were talking, apart from reading this book, what else could I do?” The elder replied to Mei Li Sha with a smile on his face.
Mei Li Sha continued looking at the Green Leaf and shook his head, replying: “My intent in coming here should be clear to you, you should give those children some proper guidance on their path.”
“An individual’s path has to be tread by themselves.”
The hempen-robed elder continued: “Ever since that child arrived at the Capital, his path has been stable, therefore there’s nothing to worry about, though… I would prefer to see him mature even faster.”
Clearly, the elder was very interested in the child mentioned.
Upon hearing the word “mature”, Mei Li Sha was silent for a time, a seemingly invisible pressure slowly formed around the calm and peaceful Li Palace.
“Maturation requires rain to vitalise, and occasionally, pressure.”
The hempen-robed elder said: “The council of Divine Ordinance’s new Proclamation should be arriving soon.”
Mei Li Sha understand what he meant; rankings had pressure. The three proclamations of Liberation (Xiao Yao), Golden Distinction and Azure Clouds; countless experts and geniuses, countless people, all tried and trained at their hardest in order to make a place for themselves on these proclamations. Those who managed to get a place, upon seeing those listed ahead of them, would also be motivated to go further.
The council of Divine Ordinance existed on this continent, alongside its proclamations, purely as a source of pressure and motivation for humans and yao, only with this, could they stand against the strength of the demon race.
“That child has no possibility of placing on the proclamation, though, due to his grim past, and harsh fate, his views on fame and glory are probably even more subdued than ours.”
Upon hearing this, the hempen-robed elder sighed and said: “Then we can only wait and see if the Grand Examination can help him.”
Mei Li Sha contemplated for a while and came to agree with the hempen-robed elder’s view; due to the fates etched upon the stars above, below these stars, only life was worth respecting, living was in itself a struggle, under such pressure, that child would naturally mature quickly.
“I’m leaving then.”
He stood up, bowed towards the hempen-robed elder to signal his farewell, then turned and headed out of Li Palace.
The hempen-robed elder did not respond, only raising his book and continuing to read.
Time slowly passed by.
The grey pot and its Green Leaf were calm, for there was no wind.
After an indeterminate period of time, the hempen-robed elder’s gaze left his book and switched to the sky outside of Li Palace, on his face was an expression of envy.
If the clergymen within Li Palace were to see this expression, they would definitely be severely shocked.
Upon this continent, there was something that existed which could draw envy from this elder?
The clear chimes of bells rolled in, transmitting from far away, these did not signal the start of classes for the schools like Li Palace College or Temple Seminary, but were peals that signalled the beginning of the Radiant Congregation, that was held once every 10 days.
The elder rose up, removing his hempen-robe.
A black-robed clergyman suddenly appeared, sombrely taking out a divine robe for the elder to change into.
The elder headed towards the stairs, and upon passing the Lotus Flower Pedestal that was carved from crystal, he reached out and picked up the crown, a very casual motion, akin to picking up some common tile.
The black-robed clergyman that was following behind this elder, was well-known for being cold and stoic, the expression on his face having never changed in the past tens of years. But every time he saw the current scene before him, the edge of his eyes would uncontrollably twitch, his concern being: what would they do if the Yin Yang Crown was to be damaged here?
At the top of the stone steps was a mural, heavy in ink, yet without form, an extremely glorious image.
The elder stood before the wall mural, placing the crown atop his head.
The mural covered wall slowly separated and a rush of light, akin to never-ending waves, spilled in from the opening.
The waves of light enveloped the elder’s crown and divine robe, the dancing rays were like a celebration, obeisance.
This side of the wall, lead to an incredibly tall and expansive temple.
This was the heart of Li Palace; the heart of the Orthodoxy; the heart of the continent’s beliefs, The Radiant Hall.
Both sides of the hall had dozens of gigantic statues, some depicted legends from this continent, some depicted virtuous forebears, some depicted saints, some depicted the twelve knights of the church.
Within the waves of light, countless clergymen gathered in worship.
The clergymen had the back of their hands pressed upon their foreheads, a scene of devotion.
The object of their worship, the elder.
The fourth Pope of the Orthodoxy.
By the time Chen Chang Sheng and the others left Little Li Palace, it was already past midday, he looked towards the slightly angled position of the Sun, wondering what time it was, upon glancing back towards the Hall of Clear Virtue, that was as vacant as ever and seeing the green slabs; he thought of how they were just previously in another space, becoming slightly bewildered.
Li Palace in mid-autumn wasn’t just a dazzling scene, the warming air of the afternoon, caused the green pagoda trees to take on a life of their own; the leaves sparkling with green radiance and if one’s gaze were to lower, they would be presented with an array of greenery, giving a sense of being back in the midst of spring.
The group followed the never-ending steps downwards and after an endless distance, they could gradually see the figures of people appearing from both sides of the divine avenue, some of these figures even started directly stepping onto the avenue, preparing to block their advance.
“I told them if they had the guts then they should stay, so what are we going to do now?”
Tang Thirty-Six looked at the cold expression of a Li Palace clergyman, with a slightly vexed expression.
The Li Palace clergyman was the same one that previously received them at the Hall of Clear Virtue and lead them to Little Li Palace, it seems he was intent on escorting them out of Li Palace. Tang Thirty-Six knew this must have been Luo Luo’s request, in order to avoid their group getting into anymore squabbles with the students.
He wasn’t overly pleased with Luo Luo’s arrangement, as it made him out to be a coward. Jin Yu Lu had no opinion on this matter, he didn’t interpret it as to being a criticism on his handling of matters. Chen Chang Sheng was fine with this arrangement, as he was the one that suggested it to Luo Luo.
Upon this moment, the chiming sound of bells resonated in, it was unclear as to whether if it was from one of the palace buildings or one of the school campuses.
“Don’t tell me they can use the bells to gather people for something like this? This is Li Palace, not some military base.” Tang Thirty-Six thought either Li Palace College or Temple Seminary were using their bells to gather people, upon seeing the current spectacle, no matter how fearless he was, he couldn’t stop his expression changing.
Upon this moment, from the edge of the skies, a flock of birds suddenly scattered, akin to a gathering of people, parting to form a path. From the Eastern side, a layer of clouds suddenly formed a tunnel and a black shadow shot out across the sky at great speeds, before passing through the path created by the flock of birds, heading towards Li Palace.
Xuan Yuan Po was a youth from the yao race that grew up in the wilderness and was acquainted with all types of birds, he also had eyesight that was multiple times better than that of a human’s; he shielded his eyes from the light and looked forwards, upon identifying the black shadow, he exclaimed: “It’s a Red Goose (Hongyan).”
In comparison to divine beasts such as the Unicorn or Wan Li Deer (Ten-Thousand Mile Deer), Red Geese were not particularly special, but they had a special trait amongst birds and that was speed. It was one of the fastest types of bird that were currently known to the continent and ranked just under the Crimson Eagle, that was currently used by the military for transmitting messages, of course, these rankings did not include the White Crane.
Upon Xuan Yuan Po finishing his words, the black shadow had already arrived at the skies above Li Palace. Clergymen that had reached a high level and other individuals who were close to Tang Thirty-Six in ability, could make out the image of a long, red tail, it was indeed a Red Goose.
The Red Goose left behind a trail of after-images, before disappearing into the deeper recesses of the palace complex, to some place unknown.
Tang Thirty-Six thought to himself, since it was a Red Goose, it couldn’t be a message from the North regarding movements of the demon race, it was also unlikely to be some sort of bad news, since the previous bell chimes were so steady and consistent. But what could it be, to require the dispatching of a Red Goose? Especially at this time, with the Radiant Congregation ongoing, didn’t they fear disrupting the congregation?
Further thinking on the subject didn’t lead to an answer, therefore Chen Chang Sheng’s group, under the leading of the Li Palace clergyman, continued advancing forwards, reaching the bottom of the stairs after a short while. All they could see from this position was that the divine avenue had a multitude of people, who knows just how many people had arrived due to Tang Thirty-Six’s previous words.
On the left side of the divine avenue, the doors to the guesthouse were tightly shut, Gou Han Shi had not made an appearance, the other three Laws from the Divine State were also absent. Disciples from Holy Maiden Peak and the other Southern Sects also neglected to make an appearance.
Chen Chang Sheng gazed past the Cedrus Trees, resting his gaze upon the guesthouse and staying quiet.
Due to his marriage vow with Xu You Rong, upon arriving at the Capital, starting from the Divine General’s mansion, he had endured derision, scorn, ridicule and sometimes even humiliation, this naturally led him to have a bad impression of Qiu Shan Jun and his Sect.
During the Ivy League gathering, he finally met the other side.
The impression was different from his expectation, after two meetings, he found that they were not repulsive; be it Gou Han Shi, Guan Fei Bai or Qi Jian, be it their atmosphere, be it their admirable pride, be it their inspiring determination, all of it was endearing to him. He could also see that Gou Han Shi and the other disciples of Li Shan genuinely respected Qiu Shan Jun from the bottom of their hearts, therefore, how could Qiu Shan Jun be a fraudulent figure?
The autumn wind swept across his face; awakening him.
His mockingly laughed at himself, he had thought too much. Qiu Shan Jun was an individual praised by the entire continent for his talent, idolised for his virtue; therefore, there already wasn’t any basis for assuming him to be a bad person, it was only due to their opposing positions that he had come up with such thoughts.