Chapter 121 – The Dragon’s Dilemma
Translated by: bbkgs
Edited by: bbkgs
TLCed by: bbkgs
The Black Dragon indifferently gave him a glance, it didn’t contain any emotion, or more specifically it was rather simplistic. But it was the same as the dragon speech it used; this simplicity contained a complex message. Chen Chang Sheng only met the dragon’s gaze for a moment, but it felt as if he had seen innumerable stars and had received a large amount of information the dragon had wanted to convey.
The abandoned well’s creation was personally overseen by Wang Zhi Ce and was the Life Gate of the array that formed the prison for the Black Dragon, just akin to how the Black Dragon Pond that was located within the derelict garden was the Life Gate of Tong Palace.
The bottom of the well originally had a net that was woven from three strands of a special alloy, which served the function of keeping the array’s Life Gate functional, and ensuring that citizens of the Capital did not accidentally fall into the well and end up becoming food for the dragon. Not long ago however – Chen Chang Sheng couldn’t make out how long this “not long ago” actually was, it could have been decades ago or maybe just days – from the Imperial Palace, someone retrieved the three strands of alloyed net for some unknown reason.
The Black Dragon had only used a single detached glance to transmit this information straight into Chen Chang Sheng’s mind, he understood most of it, but there were still parts he hadn’t yet had the chance or time to fully process, he didn’t fully understand its meaning, but he did clearly manage to perceive what the dragon wanted to project: humans are really inane.
A being that had been imprisoned for hundreds of years, without being able to communicate and had to endure days of solitude and cold, actually called humans inane. Chen Chang Sheng couldn’t quite accept this, thinking to himself, “If you weren’t bored, why were you so insistent on keeping me here and had to make me promise to come back and talk to you?” The bigger question was why did someone come to take away the three strands of alloyed net, weren’t they afraid of people falling in?
He looked towards the two metal chains behind the Black Dragon, the gaze travelled a long distance before resting upon the gigantic portrayals of those two legendary Divine Generals that were on the stone wall, questions filled his mind.
He had never thought of assisting the Black Dragon in leaving this place. Firstly, he was unsure as to how much of the legend was actually factual; if the dragon was to leave this underground cavern, would it bring death and destruction to the Capital? More importantly, the array that was used to imprison the Black Dragon was created by Wang Zhi Ce and other peak experts during Taizong’s era, with his current level of ability, even the thought of attempting to breach it was preposterous.
He suddenly thought of something, since the Black Dragon understood human speech and he could directly receive messages from its gaze, there wasn’t any problem in their ability to communicate. Incidentally, experts who had reached the realm of Star Fusion and above could rapidly communicate using just their divine sense, therefore, there wasn’t any reason why a divine existence on the level of the Might Black Frost Dragons would have been any different.
Chen Chang Sheng looked towards the Black Dragon, wishing to inform it of this, but the Black Dragon, akin to having already guessed what he was thinking, quickly closed its eyes, scattering a spray of ice shards. Chen Chang Sheng was stunned by its response, he guessed that the Black Dragon did not only wish to converse; did it want to hear speech from its own species? For what reason? A yearning?
“That night, I had promised to come see you as quickly as I can… but the Imperial Palace is hard to enter and even getting in once is difficult, requiring enormous risk, you know that I’m afraid of dying. But I’m on the verge of something problematic, that if handled badly, I will probably die, therefore I decided I should come see you before it happens.”
He didn’t mention the word left behind by the middle-aged woman, nor did he mention the effort he had expended in order to meet the dragon.
“That night when I first met you, I said a lot of things concerning death, to repeat that today; I hope it doesn’t annoy you.”
Upon finishing his words, he suddenly thought of something; the dragon tribe had an innate understanding of the power behind the heavens, earth and stars. With its knowledge, it should have an understanding of this area; he suddenly had a surge in hope and disclosed the problem he had met in his cultivation path, before earnestly waiting for the dragon to open its eyes.
After a long period of inactivity, the Black Dragon slowly opened its eyes, frost rippled down.
It looked at Chen Chang Sheng, its gaze was still indifferent, but Chen Chang Sheng detected a trace of change; this change was bewilderment and doubt, indecision.
Within the dragon tribe’s three most noble and powerful bloodlines, the Mighty Black Frost Dragons were noted for their knowledge and wisdom. For even the dragon to be unable to solve his problem led to Chen Chang Sheng feeling even more pessimistic.
Upon this moment, the Black Dragon’s whiskers fluttered upwards towards his body, before striking out and touching him upon the centre of his brow, bringing him back to his senses.
This action, was evidence of the dragon getting impatient.
What did a human youth’s cultivation have to do with itself? It was only interested in how to make him grasp dragon speech so that he may perform another task.
Chen Chang Sheng forlornly shook his head, feeling rather sombre; back in Xi Ning village when he read about the dragon tribe and their pride, tyranny and dreadfulness in the Scripture of The Way, who would have thought that he would actually meet a real dragon, and that the dragon would be one that enjoyed instructing others.
A brief moment later.
Chen Chang Sheng let out a sound that was akin to a low growl, akin to the wind, but unlike any normal sound that can be pronounced. This sound was very simplistic, yet also complex, requiring the usage of many smaller muscles within the throat and exertion of mental control over several uncontrollable areas before it could be produced, yet it did not require any usage of the tongue.
This was the first word the Black Dragon had taught him that night; he had learnt to pronounce similar sounds when he was younger, back at the old temple in Xi Ning village, therefore he quickly managed to grasp and remember it. The meaning of this word was very complex; using human language as a comparison, it contained at least tens of messages, with the most complex requiring an entire paragraph to represent, but the most simplistic message was simply: “me.”
The Black Dragon was pleased with Chen Chang Sheng’s performance, its dragon whiskers quivered; delighting in its own ability to educate others. Unknown when, from the domed ceiling above, two Luminous Pearls had been taken down and was grasped within the dragon’s front claw, spinning in shades of eerie green. Were the Luminous Pearls any bigger, or the dragon’s claw any smaller, the image would have been even more akin to that of an old teacher in some village, teaching private classes.
The dragon lightly turned its eyes to stare at the Luminous Pearl by Chen Chang Sheng’s side.
Chen Chang Sheng could clearly remember that the greedy Black Dragon had wanted to forcibly keep his Luminous Pearl; he quickly put away the pearl.
The Black Dragon’s whiskers gently wilted, evidently disappointed; it then let out a single sound.
This was the second word it wanted to teach Chen Chang Sheng.
Luminous Pearl, glass, rainbow, golden scales upon a lake, blazing night clouds, or more specifically… brilliance.
Chen Chang Sheng let out an embarrassed laugh and rubbed his brow, this raised his attention slightly, before trying to copy the sound enunciated by the Black Dragon.
The most important thing was time. The Grand Examination was imminent, with his Purification problem unsolved and the risk of death approaching, time was currently the most precious thing to Chen Chang Sheng. Logically, he shouldn’t be wasting it here on learning dragon speech, it should be acknowledged that this was as meaningless as learning dragon slaying skills.
But he didn’t refuse the Black Dragon’s demand, nor did he leave, instead, he continued to earnestly learn. This was because he enjoyed learning, and he had already made a promise; his own matters had to be dealt with himself, promises had to be kept, even unto death. This was something he had nurtured since he was young, it wasn’t something particularly good, but it was strong.
The isolated unground space might have been illuminated by countless Luminous Pearls, but it was still cold and lonely, boundlessly hollow.
On the ground, in front of the colossal Black Dragon, Chen Chang Sheng was akin to an ant.
He was like a babe, gurgling as he learnt speech.
Within the hollow underground space, strange sounds constantly rose; these were from his mispronunciations.
These were followed by echoes of the Black Dragon’s chuckling.