Chen Mo thought quickly. He had just been worrying about how to go to Underworld Grotto to find that Alpha Ursae Majoris Stone. The beautiful man Qin Shaoxu in front of him had retracted his qi and blood, his very life force. The average person probably would only regard him as a powerless scholar, but Chen Mo knew that truthfully, the insides of this beautiful man concealed an indescribable aura.
Even the Thunder Tribulation cultivator Wen Yiliu that he faced before did not have this kind of aura.
“This is no problem, however, we’ll have to wait until the metropolitan examination finishes. And I have my own business to attend to.” Chen Mo feigned difficulty.
“What business? Can you talk about it here? Since you are willing to help me, then I naturally am also willing to help you.” Qin Shaoxu smiled. Everyone here was smart, no need to beat around the bush.
“Then good. I want to go to the Underworld Grotto in search of something. I fear that this will take some time.” Chen Mo said.
“The Ghost King Mountain Range’s Underworld Grotto?” Qin Shaoxu touched his chin and muttered. Even his thinking pose had a bit of womanly charm, taking Chen Mo aback.
“I just happened to also want to go there for a look around.”
“The Underworld Grotto? That place is very dangerous.” Ting Nanyuan had only just reached Essence Flower Early Stage. She heard that the Underworld Grotto’s Yin Qi was very profound. If the Essence Flower was not proficient, then it would be very easy for a warrior’s mind to succumb to its influence.
“Nanyuan, you stay behind then. This won’t take much time.” Qin Shaoxu gently urged.
“En, Wuyang Princess, you going would instead make things take even longer.” Chen Mo smiled and said.
Ting Nanyuan was extremely angry, gritting her teeth.
They surprisingly dare to underestimate This Princess.
Second day of the metropolitan examination.
The day that the results were posted.
Outside the Divine Warrior Governor House, a red list of names was arranged. Altogether, there were a hundred names. The first ten Mind Trial examinees who passed also had their complete articles posted as well. This was done by the Wanshou Temple to expand their influence.
“Tomorrow, all warriors on this list can enter the Divine Warrior Governor House in preparation for the Martial Trial.”
The governor house’s chief proctor loudly declared.
A tide of people surged, struggling past each other to search for their own names. However, the names of the first ten people were the most eye-catching. These ten outstanding warriors in the Mind Trial had extremely high chances to become the ten candidates from Chuan Province to go to Chang’an and participate in the final court examination.
“First place, Chen Mo.”
“It’s that trash young lord from Chang’an Mansion.”
“Trash? You must be blind.”
“I heard that during the Mind Trial, he was the first to complete the topic. There wasn’t even enough time to drink a cup of tea.”
“It’s a conspiracy, they must have given him first place once they saw Chang’an Mansion’s face. Dammit.”
Thereupon, everyone’s gazes focused on Chen Mo’s writing. They wanted to see just what capabilities that youth had. “It’s just a few dozen characters. It really is a conspiracy.” A warrior took a glance and began to mock it.
“Just a few dozen characters, and he was able to take first place. This Divine Warrior Examination is so rigged, we should inform His Majesty.” The warrior cajoled the surrounding people, trying to incite everyone’s anger and redo the examination. But this man suddenly noticed that the atmosphere had turned very quiet all of a sudden. Everyone was concentrating on that post, deeply engrossed, unable to turn their gazes away.
Gasps very quickly spread through the crowd.
“This conversation is well put.”
“Look at that ‘then see what becomes of him in a few years,’ this child’s nature is honestly frightening. As expected of a young lord of Chang’an Mansion.”
“Right, this level of comprehension, I myself can’t compare.”
“These words are also well-established in the fundamentals. Everyone acknowledges this is number one!”
“To have this kind of comprehension at such a young age, I think someone helped write it for him.”
“Don’t tell me you’ve forgotten His Highness Chen Mo’s bitter experiences from before? I think it’s completely possible he wrote it himself.”1
Everyone incessantly praised it, completely ignoring the warrior’s attempt to incite them. That warrior’s mouth hung agape, and he said in astonishment: “Are you blind, what can that brat write with just a few dozen characters.”
“Open your dog eyes and look, how can the average person comprehend words like these.”
The warrior was ruthlessly scolded, his face turning green then white. He looked in derision, but with this look, he was all of a sudden stunned.
A courtyard in Changluo.
Zongzheng Ying was currently training in the courtyard. The youth’s arms were like wings, moving about. Unleashing a punch, overflowing intent flooded the courtyard. A large tree had its leaves shaken loose by his punch-wind. The tree’s trunk quivered without stop, and even the ground appeared to undulate restlessly.
“Young Master, the list of successful candidates was posted.”
A bodyguard came and informed him.
Zongzheng Ying stopped his routine, using a soul technique to calm his breathing. Doing so, that wisp of True Qi could circulate throughout his whole body, contributing to his Qi Flower’s growth. This was also why Zongzheng Ying was able to break through to Qi Flower Realm before he was age twenty. That was because he had a specialized breathing techniques.
“What was my rank?”
Zongzheng Ying nodded. Ninth was not a bad ranking. This examination’s Chan Buddhism topic was created around “equanimity.” He had expended a lot of time before he finally set about by starting from a standpoint of national defense, using his disposition as a soldier to interpret that equanimity needed to defend the country. Of course, due to not being very germane to the topic, perhaps the Wanshou Temple would not be very fond of it.
As for placing ninth, Zongzheng Ying did not mind as long as he could enter the Martial Trial.
“And who is first?” Zongzheng YIng then asked.
The bodyguard hesitated.
“Hm?!” Zongzheng Ying grunted, his dissatisfied mood rushed out.
The bodyguard fearfully said: “His Highness Chen Mo of Chang’an Mansion!”
“Chen Mo? He was able to compose the first place article?” Zongzheng YIng was taken aback.
“Yes. Right now, his answer is already spreading madly through Changluo.”
“Quickly bring me a copy to see.” Zongzheng Ying promptly said.
A nearby maid presented an already finished facsimile of the paper.
Zongzheng Ying spread it open and spotted that Hanshan’s question to Shide.
“In this world, how do I handle someone who slanders me, cheats me, humiliates me, ridicules me, underestimates me, belittles me, or deceives me.”
“Endure him, permit him, avoid him, follow him, bear him, respect him, or ignore him. Then see what becomes of him in a few years.”
Zongzheng Ying’s eyes widened, and instead of his usual attitude, he laughed aloud.
“Splendid, this is too splendid. Each word is like blood, like pearls. This is the first time I’ve been impressed.” Zongzheng Ying carefully studied the dialogue on the paper, that last bit of arrogance and dissatisfaction in his heart towards Chen Mo vanished into thin air without any warning between the words of “me” and “him.”
At first glance, this was apparently very simple logic, but given Chen Mo’s history, there was significantly more persuasion.
Zongzheng Ying took a deep breath and called out loudly: “Someone come and frame this to hang in my study.”
“As you command.”
Zongzheng Ying raised his head to the sky, as if bathing in the blue dome of heaven. It was boundless and vast, impenetrable to the eyes of any cultivator, no matter how keen their vision. He smiled: “Chen Mo, you are worthy of my Zongzheng Family’s loyalty!”2
Chen Qing shredded the scroll to pieces. Although he already knew this Mind Trial’s results a day ago from his father, to actually see Chen Mo still so easily take first place in the metropolitan examination, a kind of unreconciled fury was about to burst out from his chest, unable to be suppressed.
“These words truly are too formidable.” Zhao Yan clicked his tongue praise. Even he had no choice but to admit that Chen Mo’s writing was a bit competent, even capable of entering the Wanshou Temple’s Chan Master Hall.
“Why, why can’t we stop him! Just what capabilities does he have, I refuse to acknowledge this.” Chen Qing was unable to accept that the painstaking efforts he had spent over the last decade were surprisingly defeated easily by a brat.
“There’s still another chance. Young Master Chen Qing, there is no need to be so worried.” Zhao Yan smiled, seemingly unsurprised that Chen Mo passed the metropolitan examination’s first trial.
“Zhao Yan, don’t tell me the prince still has more countermeasures? Is it to dispatch another official to kill him?” Chen Qing asked.
“How can this be. A Three Flowers warrior made a Thunder Tribulation cultivator go all-out. The prince does not want to bear such humiliation, and Chang’an Mansion would never allow the prince to go himself.”
“Just what the hell happened to that Elder Wen? Why didn’t he kill Chen Mo.”
Zhao Yan was also very puzzled.
It was reasonable to say that Wen Yiliu had more than enough to spare killing the current Chen Mo, but he had disappeared without a trace afterwards, confusing everyone. Of course, the prince’s mansion still did not believe that Chen Mo had such high abilities to be capable of killing a Thunder Tribulation cultivator.
“Perhaps he met his end by the hands of someone that Chen Zhangtian had sent. In short, we must be even more careful this time.”
“What will the prince do?” Chen Qing harbored one final hope.
“In this martial trial, the prince has already dispatched someone to mingle inside. By then, so long as he kills Chen Mo during the martial trial, we can stop him from entering the court examination all the same.”
“The prince is careful, Chen Qing is impressed.” Chen Qing breathed a sigh of relief when he heard this. “But who was sent this time?”
“Relax, in the Martial Trial’s underground labyrinth, even if Chen Mo grew wings he wouldn’t be able to fly out. And I myself will see about this.” Zhao Yan slightly grinned, his expression calm and unforced, as if saying – once I set out, this brat’s luck is at an end.
“Good, after everything is finished, Chen Qing is willing to do anything for the prince.”
Chen Mo was currently drinking tea and chatting with Qin Shaoxu. He noticed that this beautiful man was quite mysterious, but he possessed very deep martial arts mastery. That sort of feeling was similar to a Star General. Therefore, the two of them would discuss the Impurity Dew, Dew Water, and Fateful Marriage when they had time.
However, Qin Shaoxu still remained tight-lipped about “Dew Water and Fateful Marriage.”
Yet Chen Mo could see that he did not feelings of love towards Ting Nanyuan at all, more like affection for a little sister. But to give such an ambiguous thing to the Wuyang Princess made Chen Mo very confused.
While Chen Mo pursued the topic, Qin Shaoxu finally revealed the reason.
As it turned out, Dew Water and Fateful Marriage were relatively strange. They were two weapons, one male and one female, but they were required to be given to two people separately for safekeeping. One of the two must have an affinity for the other. Only then did Dew Water and Fateful Marriage maintain its luster, and if they were made one, they would dim instead. Qin Shaoxu had coincidentally met Wuyang Princess Ting Nanyuan, whose background and character were both worthy to him to entrust her with the other weapon.
The Book Of Casting did not have too many details in its record on Dew Water and Fateful Marriage, but what he said should have been correct. But Chen Mo felt that Qin Shaoxu was still hiding something, unwilling to reveal it.
Just at this moment, footfalls came from outside the door.
Ting Nanyuan hurriedly ran in. The girl dripped with sweat, her hand holding a scroll. “Shaoxu, you guessed wrong!!!”
“Hm?” Qin Shaoxu showed a bit of confusion, “What did I guess wrong.”
“You said Chen Mo couldn’t possibly pass the metropolitan examination’s first trial.” Ting Nanyuan proudly clutched the scroll.
“Of course.” Qin Shaoxu was certain the Wanshou Temple would obstruct him.
“Hee, hee, he passed, and as first place on the list.” Ting Nanyuan shouted.
“What?” Qin Shaoxu looked at Chen Mo in astonishment.