Chapter 138 – Riding a Crane to the Southern Shore
Translated by: bbkgs
Edited by: bbkgs
TLCed by: bbkgs
An emerald river separated the two shores; all the examinees were currently on the Southern shore, with only Chen Chang Sheng remaining opposite, looking solitary, lonely.
This scene and the mood it evoked, in comparison to the declaration that had spread across the entire continent, made it all the more poignant, or perhaps, more pitiful. The stares, be they empathetic, contemptuous or cold, they all waited for the end to his time in the Grand Examination; no one could have guessed, therefore, that the first thing to come from their waiting would have been the cry of a crane.
The Capital’s Spring skies were filled with wandering clouds; suddenly, from the lower strata of clouds, a line appeared; at the fore of this line was a White Crane.
Countless gazes followed the path of this White Crane, watching as it flew across the sky before arriving at the Garden of Dawn and alighting by the riverside where Chen Chang Sheng was; these gazes all changed.
“It can’t be…” Gou Han Shi thought to himself, feeling rather stunned.
Guan Fei Bei involuntarily took a few steps towards the edge of the river, gawking at the White Crane, he said in an astonished voice: “It can’t be…”
Qi Jian’s mouth was slightly agape; he managed to stop himself from uttering those three words himself with much difficulty.
At the riverside, a lot of the examinees looking upon this scene, endured what seemed to be an excruciatingly slow flight, yet, it didn’t take long to land upon the meadow.
Chen Chang Sheng dismounted from the White Crane, looking very much the picture of some Elder; he gave a formal gesture of thanks.
Luo Luo rushed up in greeting, delighted; gazing upon the White Crane with much curiosity.
Her Royal Father had once said that White Cranes have an immortal leaning, furthermore, due to both being ‘surnamed’ White; White Emperor City did not use White Cranes for carrying people.
She had seen a lot of different yao beasts since young, but had rarely come into contact with White Cranes, at the last Ivy League gathering, since seeing the crane, she had wanted to get closer; she looked at Chen Chang Sheng, enquiring through her gaze whether if she could stroke the crane.
She knew that the White Crane did not belong to her tutor, but she felt that the crane would eventually belong to him and that as a student, her request wasn’t discourteous.
As the Princess of the yao race, the White Crane wasn’t accustomed to the presence exuded by Luo Luo, or perhaps it could be said that it was wary; without waiting for Chen Chang Sheng to make a response, it let out a clear cry, spread its wings and flew up, high into the air.
Chen Chang Sheng waved farewell to the crane.
Luo Luo felt remorseful, but also thankful towards the White Crane for helping her tutor cross the river today; she earnestly waved to express her gratitude.
The cries of the crane gradually faded into the distance.
Silence enveloped the meadow.
What was this?
Was this the Grand Examination or was it some kind of joke? In order to cross this river that was over 100 metres wide, the examinees that had come from various sects and academies all resorted to numerous means, using all they could muster, yet, this Chen Chang Sheng… he had actually ridden a crane across.
More importantly, he had actually ridden that White Crane across.
That’s correct, that White Crane was famous, recognised by many, especially for the youths that had come from the Southern Domain.
It was Xu You Rong’s White Crane.
A lot people took notice that when the White Crane left, it had flown towards the South.
Holy Maiden Peak was located in the South.
Everyone turned to stare at Chen Chang Sheng, they had complicated expressions on their faces.
More so for the disciples of Holy Maiden Peak and the Longevity Sect, their expressions were especially extreme.
None of them knew that the White Crane had arrived at the Capital days ago and that Chen Chang Sheng had requested it to stay.
Therefore, they couldn’t help but guess; was it Xu You Rong herself that requested the White Crane travel thousands of miles, from the South to the Capital, in order to especially provide assistance to her fiancé in the Grand Examination?
Luo Luo held onto Chen Chang Sheng’s sleeve, her little face beaming in joy, constantly praising his intellect.
Her praise was exceedingly genuine, to the point where it started to make Chen Chang Sheng feel rather embarrassed.
Tang Thirty-Six patted him on the shoulder, not saying anything else.
Xuan Yuan Po looked at him while shaking his head, he wanted to say this wasn’t good, but upon thinking that he was technically his Grand Master, all he could do was to drearily remain quiet.
Su Mo Yu approached, stared at him and asked: “Is this allowed?”
It was an honest question, without any ridicule or contempt, he was genuinely asking Chen Chang Sheng as to if any rules were being broken.
This question was one that many examinees present were also asking.
One of the scholars from Scholartree Manor had found an invigilator and was talking to them with a stern expression on their face.
The examinees turned their gazes towards that direction, waiting for a final verdict.
After a time, the invigilator walked up the students of Orthodox Academy, looked at Chen Chang Sheng and mournfully said: “This is not allowed.”
For the invigilators and other related personnel that were here today, at least half of them were from the Education Board and thus, leaned towards Orthodox Academy and Chen Chang Sheng, but this leaning only extended to the finer minutiae of the exam, such as the provisions of tea and stationary supplies, or the position of seating and such; with so many eyes bearing witness to Chen Chang Sheng crossing the river on a crane, they couldn’t favour him even if they wanted to.
Chen Chang Sheng was obviously confident of success before making his move.
“The rules do not forbid crossing the river with this method.”
He singled out one of the examinees and pointed at them: “Previously, while on the other shore, he asked the examiner: if he was to bring the personal steed of his sect’s Elder and fly across while mounted upon it, would this also count as passing, the examiner did not disprove of this.”
The disciple from the Longevity Sect’s Precipice of Violet Qi was stunned, thinking to himself, “don’t tell me my question will turn out to be something that will help you?” yet, under the stares of everyone present, he couldn’t deny having asked that question.
The invigilator was stunned by what they heard; they then smiled while shaking their head, but didn’t say anything else.
Seeing what was happening, a lot of the examinees vehemently protested; Gou Han Shi, Tian Hai Sheng Xue and Zhuang Huan Yu remained silent.
Su Mo Yu spoke: “This… is a rather disingenuous interpretation of the rules, but as long as it doesn’t break any of them, I don’t have anything to say on the matter.”
As the representative student for Li Palace College, his words had a degree of authority amongst the students of the Capital, coupled with the silence from Zhuang Huan Yu and the two students of Star Seizer Academy, sounds of protest dimmed. Only a number of youths from the South were persistent in their appeals to the invigilator to disqualify Chen Chang Sheng.
“Wait? Where did they go?”
Someone suddenly interjected; Chen Chang Sheng’s group had disappeared from the riverside.
Everyone turned around to look; unknown when, the Orthodox Academy group had left the meadow and were about to enter the woodlands ahead.
One of the scholars from Scholartree Manor looked upon their fading figures and said in a cold voice: “Shameless to the extreme.”
Chen Chang Sheng did not feel that crossing the river on a crane was shameless, though, he also didn’t think of it as something to be proud of. Just as the colloquial usage of “smart”, it was hard to objectively judge; the Grand Examination was too important for him, and his opponents were far too strong, thus, he had to make use of all the advantages available to him.
As long as he could achieve his aims without bringing harm upon anyone, the views others had of him were not important. In order to place first on the First Banner, his biggest advantage was that no one knew of his current ability and strength, this even included Luo Luo; conversely, with aid from the Education Board, he had information on all the other examinees.
This was the reason why he felt a sense of unease as he saw that youth at the pavilion.
That youth was too secretive, to the point of being a little unfathomable.
Within the cool Spring breeze, that youth wore but a single piece of clothing, his sleeves rolled up to reveal his arms, as if he had no fear of the cold at all.
In the information provided by the Education Board, that youth was registered as a student of Star Seizer Academy, named Zhang Ting Tao.
Chen Chang Sheng didn’t believe it to be his real name.
That youth did not participate in the Academic Exam and was the fastest to cross the sea of trees, the earliest to cross the River Qu, to enter these woodlands, to enter this pavilion, yet, he hadn’t done anything else since.
Be it when Gou Han Shi and Tian Hai Sheng Xue crossed the river, or when Luo Luo had leapt across, or even when he had ridden the crane across, no matter how crowded the riverside had gotten, he still remained within the pavilion.
That youth hadn’t even directed a single glance towards the river.
He stood within the pavilion solitarily, causing the pavilion and the mountain to also become solitary.
This lonely person couldn’t have possibly been named Ting Tao (listening to waves).
Listening to waves upon the shore; though it looked solitary and refined, it was a yearning for its clamour.
“If I’m not mistaken, that person’s real name should be Zhe Xiu.”
Tang Thirty-Six looked towards the pavilion and that youth, a serious expression upon his face: “That, is a wolf from the North.”