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ZTJ Chapter 148 – Cliff Edge

Chapter 148 – Cliff Edge
Translated by: bbkgs
Edited by: bbkgs
TLCed by: bbkgs

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The second round of the Duelling Stage had already entered its second half, in the two most eye-catching matches between Li Shan Sword Sect and Orthodox Academy, one resulted in conceding defeat and the other, a loss. It could be said that Li Shan Sword Sect had regained the dignity they lost at the Ivy League gathering, while Orthodox Academy was pushed to the edge of a cliff.

Though it had to be said that the duels are not team battles and that, in the end, the Grand Examination will only rank people based upon their individual results, the young examinees were, in the end, not something that had just bounded out of some boulder crags; whether be it in the eyes of the masses or acknowledged by themselves, their results would also represent the glory of their respective academies and sects.

The third person of Orthodox Academy to enter the stage is Chen Chang Sheng.
Luo Luo was the one recognised as to being the strongest in Orthodox Academy; since she was matched up against Tian Hai Sheng Xue, who had already completed his Ethereal Opening, the majority of people considered her chances of winning to be impossible, therefore, if the academy didn’t wish to see a total defeat in the second round, it was up to Chen Chang Sheng as to if he could pass this obstacle.

Even though he had won against that Heavenly Academy student in the first round, no one thought well of his chances, everyone knew that he was the weakest of the four Orthodox Academy students; even Tang Thirty-Six had lost, how was he going to avoid failing? A miracle? If such a thing was to happen frequently, it wouldn’t be a miracle, but something questionable.

The second reason why no one was optimistic for Chen Chang Sheng was because the lot drawing for the second round today, was questionable.

They all knew that someone must have manipulated the lot drawing.

Chen Chang Sheng’s opponent for this round was the scholar from Scholartree Manor named Huo Guang.

No matter from what perspective this was viewed at, this was the perfect choice, it wasn’t the best choice for Chen Chang Sheng, but it was the best choice for those who wanted him to fail.

From the Divine Empress to peddler and pawns; from the White Emperor Royal Couple situated in the faraway yao domain to the Capital’s storytellers. Everyone upon the central continent were paying attention to the Grand Examination that was being held in the Capital; following the announcement of his betrothal to Xu You Rong at the Ivy League gathering and the declaration of his intent to place first upon the First Banner by His Eminence, The Archbishop, countless eyes were focused upon Chen Chang Sheng.

Under these circumstances, those who wished to suppress Orthodox Academy and Chen Chang Sheng had to be extra careful in their deeds, at least to the point of not being uncovered upon a single glance.
If Chen Chang Sheng had been immediately matched against Gou Han Shi in the second round, anyone would have recognised that something was dubious, not mentioning whether if the Education Board might flip the table, the castanets on the tables of those storytellers within the Capital would definitely clack more often.

Huo Guang of Scholartree Manor was the perfect choice.

This young scholar had always stayed within Scholartree Manor, peacefully studying and had never left to train, hence, he was still unranked on the Proclamation of Azure Clouds, for those who didn’t know any better, he would seem to be exceedingly weak.

The truth however, was that Scholartree Manor had no weaklings, not to mention, Huo Guang was an individual the manor was concentrating on nurturing, preparing to enter the Grand Examination and shock the world, how could Chen Chang Sheng possibly be his match?

The atmosphere of the woodlands was rather dreary.

Tang Thirty-Six leaned on the white poplar, looking at Chen Chang Sheng’s back, he suddenly said: “If you can’t win then just withdraw, don’t let anything happen to you.”

He had previously said to Chen Chang Sheng that they can’t afford to lose again, this was because he knew that Chen Chang Sheng had some sort of reason why he had to place first upon the First banner in the Grand Examination, as such, he obviously couldn’t afford to lose.
Having suddenly thought of how, even if Chen Chang Sheng was to once again achieve a baffling victory and defeat that scholar from Scholartree Manor, in the end, he would still be unable to win against opponents such as Tian Hai Sheng Xue and Gou Han Shi, making Tang Thirty-Six want to take back the words he had said previously.

From his perspective, Chen Chang Sheng was still very young and had a lot of years remaining, with his talent and learning, who knows how far he could progress in the future? If he was to strive his utmost and yet still fail to place first, why should he strive so hard? Why not set his sights on the time to come, leaving it for the future, why be so cruel to himself?

Chen Chang Sheng waved his hand, but didn’t turn his head, this was because he didn’t have a way to explain himself; even though he was still young, he didn’t have many years left to squander.

He did a formal gesture towards the Li Palace clergyman and walked to the top of the stone steps.

In the first match, his right boot had been destroyed, at this time, he had a pair of new boots on.

These boots were brought over by Lady Official Li from her chambers, they were new, but very comfortable. The size was just right; Luo Luo had probably recorded his measurements privately.

Wearing these boots, he felt rather well-grounded, full of confidence.

By the woodlands, Xuan Yuan Po said to Tang Thirty-Six: “Do you need to rest for a while?”

Tang Thirty-Six looked at Chen Chang Sheng, who was standing faraway, upon the stone steps. He remained quiet for a moment, then said: “No need, give me the crystal.”

As stated in Elder Tian Ji’s evaluation at the time of the proclamation’s update, he had been influenced by Chen Chang Sheng quite strongly; such as, at this moment and time, seeing the figure of Chen Chang Sheng, he quickly removed himself from the misery he was previously mired in; preparing to meditate and recover his True Essence.
Since there was the possibility of a second tournament, he had to at least make it into the Third Grade, otherwise, he really would start to feel diminished in front of Chen Chang Sheng.

This wasn’t a matter of achievement in realms, but a matter of will.

The tower door opened, Chen Chang Sheng and that scholar named Huo Guang walked in.

They were separated by a distance of tens of metres; standing upon the sand covered floor, they quietly faced each other.

If one were to carefully observe, they would perhaps be able to see the faint existence of blood stains below the yellow sand near their feet, these were probably left behind by the examinees in the previous duel.

“I’ve heard about you,” Huo Guang broke the silence, staring at him and continued, “from before arriving at the Capital.”

That scholar from Scholartree Manor looked to be around 18, 19 years of age, his expression was cold; he and his other fellow students looked as if they had been carved out from a single mould; in truth, their features were not similar at all, the only reason why they gave this feeling was because the young scholars from Scholartree Manor gave off a hard to describe type of aura.

Chen Chang Sheng didn’t answer; he didn’t feel the need to.

“I knew that I would run into you at the Grand Examination,” Huo Guang looked at him calmly and continued, “from before arriving at the Capital.”

It was at this moment that Chen Chang Sheng finally knew, the suppression applied upon Orthodox Academy today at the Grand Examination, wasn’t just interference from the Zhou Dynasty, or more specifically, from within the Orthodoxy, it even involved the far off Southern Domain.

Yet, he continued to remain silent, calmly adjusting his breathing and True Essence flow.

“In order to resist the demon race’s invasion, the human world needs to be united, an overflowing momentum, unstoppable by all; anyone seeking to prevent this, would only be flushed into the fetid gutter of history itself. As for you… you have already affected the progress towards an alliance between the North and South, therefore, you cannot take first place upon the First Banner, more importantly, neither can you marry Xu You Rong.”

Huo Guang looked at him while talking, with an expressionless face.

Chen Chang Sheng finally understood what that hard to describe aura was.

Like at the last night of the Ivy League gathering, the words from that rural scholar gave him the same kind of feeling.

In this world, there has always been a certain number of people, a certain number of scholars, that believed in some very strange logic.

For Heaven and Earth, a pledge of the heart; for life itself, a pledge of life; for past sages, the continuation of secret teachings; for all ages, the forging of peace; therefore, will you kindly go and die.

Iron shoulders, burdened with justice; after your death, I’ll look after your family; this entire world will also be cared for by me.

Chen Chang Sheng shook his head; if there was only the first half, it would be very worthy of respect; if the latter half was to be included, then it becomes bad.

He didn’t like that type of aura.

He disliked it even more than the bloodthirsty aura that Xu Shi Ji gave off.

“Don’t worry, I won’t use words to insult you, because that’s meaningless and very dull,” said Huo Guang, while looking at him indifferently, yet, the faintest hint of movement could be seen in his brows for an instant.

Perhaps at this moment, he remembered the mean and callous words Tang Thirty-Six had said to him when they were arguing over the path back in the forest during the Martial Trial.

“I will simply just defeat you.”

He looked at Chen Chang Sheng, looking down upon him from some lofty, idealistic position and said: “Draw your blade and meet your failure.”

Chen Chang Sheng continued to remain silent, not answering, neither did he unsheathe his sword.

This made the actions of Huo Guang look rather absurd; akin to drawing your sword against a wall; akin to intoning a long, lyrical poem to the starry sky.

Motionless yellow sand covered the ground.

Huo Guang’s expression became a little frosty, he looked at Chen Chang Sheng and said: “If you don’t draw your sword, then you won’t get another chance to draw it today.”

Following these words, a distinct and powerful aura began emanating from his body.

Chen Chang Sheng calmly looked at him, slowly raising his right hand, it was very close to the hilt of the short sword at his waist; within grasping distance if he were to reach out.

In the end, he didn’t grasp onto the sword’s hilt.

He withdrew his right hand, he clenched his five fingers together, forming a fist.

“Very well.”

Huo Guang looked at his actions, feeling deeply insulted, his brows slowly rose upwards; he took a deep breath.

An extremely pure True Essence began emanating outwards, passing through his ochre coloured scholar’s robe and raising a wind within the Tower of Purging Dust.

That wind revolved around Huo Guang’s body, akin to a screen.

He carried a large sword upon his back, yet he didn’t draw it; as Chen Chang Sheng had done, he clenched his fist and then sent out a single punch.

A ringing sound exploded out.

A cavity instantly appeared within the wind screen that surrounded him; a fist, suffused with a light green radiance and condensed from True Essence, violently exploded outward from within that cavity, taking but an instant to cross tens of metres, arriving before Chen Chang Sheng. What was more shocking however, was that additional fist manifestations coalesced, one after another from within that wind screen, successively striking towards Chen Chang Sheng.

Dozens of fist manifestations, formed from True Essence, akin to genuine fists, poured in from all directions, like the wind and the rain.

The massive mirror within the Hall of Zhao Wen, that was tens of metres in circumference, displayed the battle within the Tower of Purging Dust, it clearly transmitted the scene to the sights of the important figures present.

Starting from Chen Chang Sheng and Huo Guang’s entrance into the tower, the hall had become abnormally quiet.

His Eminence didn’t continue sleeping, but was serenely observing the display of Chen Chang Sheng, it couldn’t be seen from his expression as to whether if he still had the same confidence from before.

Dozens of green rays suddenly appeared upon the mirror.

Though they weren’t at the scene itself and were only seeing a display, it seemed as if they could also feel the power contained within.

Xue Xing Chuan’s body leaned forwards slightly, he said in an astonished voice: “Regiment Shattering Fist?”

For the important figures present within the Hall of Zhao Wen, that scholar named Huo Guang was only at the Meditation Realm. The methods he could use would not be able to shock them, but thinking of Huo Guang’s age, for him to be able to develop the most difficult to train Regiment Shattering Fist to this level, this was still somewhat surprising.

The one that was about to confront those dozens of Regiment Shattering Fists, was Chen Chang Sheng.

Within the minds of many present in the hall, they silently began to declare his elimination from the contest.

The Archbishop’s eyes squinted slightly, his cloudy gaze once again became sharp.

Mo Yu had a look of indifference on her face, yet, the nails on her hand that was laying on the armrest of her chair were slightly pale.

Prince Chen Liu gave her a glance, feelings of doubt abounded.

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  1. DMR says:

    Thanks for the chapter XD

    I really hate that cheap logic.

    Heck, they aren’t even the rulers of both sides…. so in the end, the marriage they’re all hoping for is symbolic….

    They need a f***in symbolic marriage for the humans to unify?

    • Kain Yusanagi says:

      In this world, power rules. As such, the two strongest from each faction should rule together. That’s their mindset.

      • DMR says:

        But they aren’t rulers… right now, it seems to be more of a symbolic marriage….

        This issue looks more like they’re trying to fight for a symbol of the 2 sides uniting so that humanity could be united…. which seems dumb, since you should be united before you have a symbol (at least that’s what I believe in this situation).

        • Lance Lanigan says:

          I can’t really reveal too much without spoiling future chapters, but I can say that the marriage makes sense (it happens a lot in ancient Europe, for instance).

          There’s other reasons for it as well, in the eyes of the populace. Are there any celebrities that you follow, and that you really like? Think of how you might feel if he/she is meant to marry – say, a foreign leader as a special ambassador of peace. A glorious event, right? Now, imagine that a random homeless bum suddenly darted into a TV station in the middle of an interview and shouted that he has special approval from his/her parents to marry him/her, and that the rest of the world should not interfere. How would you feel?

          Does it seem a bit ridiculous? Would you think that the bum is being silly? That’s kinda like what the rest of the world is feeling right now, since as far as anyone is concerned CCS is really just a bum with no cultivation ability who somehow got his hands on a marriage license and wants to interrupt a revered political marriage.

          I’d almost say that most of us are only cheering for CCS because he’s the protagonist and we’ve been seeing things from his point of view. If this wasn’t the case, we’d probably treat him exactly like another arrogant guy who was too full of himself and wants things he’s not supposed to have.

        • VLS says:

          Not really. I don’t follow any celebrities and I could careless who they marry. Its their choice & their business, not mine. Plus the would be bride doesn’t want to marry the so called “perfect” guy herself, yet hasn’t rejected CCS officially. I feel that if they knew about his master they wouldn’t be so condescending. If someone came into the room and objected to the marriage, I would be shocked yes, but I would listen THEN decide whether or not they are an upstart.

        • Fat Cat says:

          SO u dont care bout the MC at all ? So which side are you ? Welcome to the internet , i can recommend you a few celebreties which you might interested 😛

        • VLS says:

          I am on CCS’s side. He had a legit betrothal, though I think he should have dissolved the marriage because they are not worthy of him & the trouble it has garnered isn’t worth it. As far as celebrities go, I only like people like the dalai lama or other powerful figures who I think deserve the fame, in other words “a do-gooder.” I also take note of powerful people who do bad things so that I may know how they affect the world. I respect artists for their work and if they have integrity I may take more note of them. However, I do not run around trying to know what they wore on such and such a day, or who they’re getting married to, etc. I do not understand why people chase after celebs & consider them their idols. It’s invasive to the celebs privacy and a waste of my life, which would be better spent improving myself. Honestly speaking, personality wise I don’t like most celebrities. There are many more people in my life who deserve my respect and attention. I know this opinion may offend some of you readers, but it is my honest feelings. A starving homeless person who uses their money to buy a can of soft food for their cat instead of feeding themselves (I saw this happen as a child) is worth more in my eyes than someone who is famous because of their birth and/or media attention.

        • Kain Yusanagi says:

          But… how you, personally view the situation doesn’t matter. How SHE views the situation, also doesn’t matter. What matters is the perception of the populace, for explaining it. It’s like nobility of two kingdoms being married off to each other to cement relations. Doesn’t matter that they aren’t related to the royal family, or the Divine Queen’s family- they are nobility because of their bloodline, regardless of mundane origin.

        • Fat Cat says:

          Yep , thanks for the enlightenment 😛 😛 😛 what you say really makes sense if hes not MC then ill probably hate him too just like those faggots out there .

        • DMR says:

          Well, the thing is, he isn’t a bum… and most people actually don’t think he’s bad or anything.

          And it isn’t like she wasn’t willing (to the populous at least).

          So it’s like they all wanted her to marry this guy, but her boyfriend comes in and is against it.

          To be honest, I originally thought he should have just given up the contract, but right now, to the world, the girl claimed him as her fiancee, and it was done through the proper procedures…

          Most of the young men are against it because they want her themselves but felt they aren’t good enough, and the older people wanted it for politics.

          But the rest just seem like sheep right now. Kinda annoying.

          Cause right now, it looks like their love/relationship is mutual (to the populous at least) and yet they’re all just complaining…. it’s pathetic and childish.

        • Lance Lanigan says:

          I apologize for not replying earlier. I don’t actually use this facebook account, so I generally don’t get notifications until a bit late.

          CCS isn’t a bum in our perspective, but he is similar in the much more ancient world with his inability to cultivate and his lack of status. Basically, he’s a dirty commoner with nothing to his name. In comparison, XYR is – at the moment – like a princess. She’s not just powerful; she’s also the favored of the Divine Queen, the successor of the Holy Maiden of the south, and a number of other titles that assures her as one of the future leaders of humanity itself.

          He isn’t actually like her boyfriend at all; the letter that XYR sent is a bit ambivalent and, like a lot of things, becomes distorted when it’s passed along to the crowd. Instead, the marriage vow is between their predecessors, so instead he’s viewed as a commoner with no status or cultivation trying to marry this powerful and capable princess using just this ancient marriage license to force her hand.

          And people do think he’s bad. Remember that the Xu family has been basically denouncing him (under the wraps) and rumors about him are spreading?

        • DMR says:

          But it is known that she chose to be with him, and that he actually is comparable in knowledge.

          And while he isn’t purified yet, he’s still young.

          The South feels offended cause they made a big deal out of it, and all… but for the most part, it feels like they are caring too much about other people’s relationships…

        • Lance Lanigan says:

          The North and South Reunification is a pretty touchy topic in the story, and for good reason. Remember that humanity is a bit fragmented by politics at this time, and that there is still a war with the Demon race going on. Not to mention that a lot of people in high places want the reunification to happen for various reasons – and propaganda is slanted towards it.

          As for it being known that she chose to be with him…unfortunately, I believe that even in our modern enlightened society, someone at the bottom rung of the social totem pole going public with a marriage vow with Angelina Jolie would inspire mockery among the masses, even if she halfheartedly sent a confirmation letter at some point. This is especially if public PR companies have a vested interest in slanting things against the person in question. Some won’t care, of course, but the ones that do…

          For the not purified part – he’s not young enough to reasonably not be even in the first stage of purification, and still be able to achieve success on the same level of XYR. We know, as readers, that he’ll probably advance unnaturally quickly, but to most people that defies all common sense. The people that can do something like this in all of history is literally a single person.

          I would advise you to read on, though – changing perspectives, and what kind of gossip is popular about CCS at various stages of his cultivation and political development – is a major part of the manga.

        • DMR says:

          That said…. it was stated that in the younger generation, jealousy is also a big part of the hate.

          All the boys wanna marry her, and the girls believe she’s the only one worthy enough for their beloved dragon boy…

        • Lance Lanigan says:

          The younger generation, yep. The hate for CCS is a mix between pathetic reasons and idealistic reasons – classism and jealousy being among the pathetic ones, while the North-South reunification is among the idealistic ones.

          There are other reasons as well. Negative propaganda from the Xu estate and Mo Yu’s/Tian Hai’s actions are probably a big part of it as well, and contributed to the mob mentality.

        • Kain Yusanagi says:

          She’s the ruler of the Mountain Virgin Sect, and he’s the groomed-to-be-ruler of the Li Mountain Sect or whatever that sect is called again. It’d be like (I do hope you’re at least somewhat familiar with The Romance of the Three Kingdoms) if Liu Bei married off one of his daughters to Sun Ce. Two of the large factions of the South would have been united. The North (Cao Cao) would still be at odds with them, but it would not be from a position of power. Yet, in the end, they all are still part of the grand Empire of China.

    • Fat Cat says:

      im getting carried away by this novel , i feel a deep hatred towards those people who wants to unite the South & North . What ? are they from korea that they want to unite south and north ? Wahahaha : P : P

      • DMR says:

        Everyone is just acting pathetic.

        Some of the kids, I understand; they want to support their senior’s love.

        And the adults actually involved want the political power and glory…

        But the masses and rest? I feel it’s just plain stupid and they just fell for the propaganda the higher ups are trying to do.

      • DMR says:

        In the real world, if 2 people are mutually in love and they are going through issues, the general populous would feel pity and sympathetic (even in those times).

        Maybe they’d think it’s foolish, but they wouldn’t normally be this against it (and to the public, it does look like it is mutual).

        • Lance Lanigan says:

          The thing is, no one knows that they are mutually in love. XYR’s letter likely went through a bunch of permutations before it reached the public ears (since there are powerful people with explicit interest in destroying any possibility of this relationship), and since it’s impossible for the two to have even met yet (and that CCS has the social status of a nobody), no one could possibly think that love is at all involved.

          Generally, we aren’t going to be against, say, Angelina Jolie marrying Brad Pitt, but think of the kind of crapstorm that will arise if she married random jobless kid who looks quite ugly (our world is even more prone to this kind of bias, in fact).

          Now, think about the kind of thing that might result if said random jobless kid came out to a news station with some marriage license signed by his grandpa and Angelina Jolie’s long dead grandfather and insisting that they are meant to be together. Consider if Angelina Jolie is going through a messy break-up right now and used this as an opportunity to get rid of her current ex-spouse. What would the public opinion be in this case?

          Keep in mind – in the real world, people get obsessed with celebrities and cry out over silly things like the Spice Girls randomly saying that they don’t like Bush. A scandal like the one above would have provoked a massive crapstorm not incomparable to the one in the story.

        • DMR says:

          The media though usually makes a bigger deal out of it… it isn’t really the people themselves…

          Those magazines that make money try to make the problem a big deal.

          In this world, there isn’t any gossip based company… and most people know that the Phoenix girl chose him.

        • Lance Lanigan says:

          I think the people definitely make big deals out of anything that defies established social thinking, if Twitter and Facebook posts are any indication. Many people are rampant about these sort of things – just look at examples of Anonymous vs. Scientology (and the mass demonstrations that result from that event), or GamerGate, or for a much darker example, racist mobs that were prominent in the South (United States) immediately after the Civil War.

          In CCS’s case, it’s actually a bit mild. Most people aren’t really doing anything and just poorly hiding their feelings – the only ones that acted against him (like the mob that broke down the door) were spurred into a mob by an external party.

  2. AnarchyDev says:

    [neither did HE unsheathe] ~small mistake…

    That aura of those guys was well described… Just go and die XD

    Thanks for the chapter translation.

  3. IdealistTCO says:

    I knew it was going to be a cliffhanger by the way the narrative pointlessly dragged on…
    Thanks for translating though

  4. Rafey Ibrahim says:

    Damn. I Just finished reading all 148 chapters in one and a half day.. I’ve never ever read a novel that’s so perfectly matched to my taste. The most i have ever enjoyed whilst reading a novel.. *sigh* .. I wish i knew chinese.

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