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Chapter 689 – An Announcement with a Person
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
As the most famous treacherous minister, fawning sycophant, ruthless official, and thug in the past few years, perhaps in all of history, Zhou Tong had no friends.
Su Li also often said that he had no friends, but these were two different things.
Whether it was his schoolmates, colleagues, or even kindred spirits, they all wanted nothing more than for Zhou Tong to quickly die, an example being the princes who now held power in the Imperial Court.
If Zhou Tong really did die, there would naturally be no one to bury his body.
In fact, he had once had a friend who was willing to bury his body.
It was a pity that this friend had been personally murdered by him and had almost been denied a burial.
Thus, on this autumn day, the distant future was already visible: Zhou Tong would assuredly die without a place of burial.
He had no means of blaming other people or this world, as all this had been created by his hands.
From this moment on, he would live in unease, frustration, and doubt, without ever seeing the tiniest glimmer of hope, until he finally died without a place of burial.
Chen Changsheng's question was not a curse, but a cool-headed analysis, a calm exposing of the facts.
This was terrifying.
The scene became abnormally quiet. Nobody spoke for a very long time, neither the officials of the Department for Purging Officials nor the students of the Orthodox Academy.
At this time, the only person able to break this silence was Zhou Tong himself.
He looked at Chen Changsheng and said with extreme solemnity and seriousness, "The esteemed master of the Dao will naturally take care of my body after I am gone."
In this short amount of time, this was the only thing he could think of that had a chance of shattering Chen Changsheng's conclusion.
He was currently Shang Xingzhou's dog. After he died, the master would surely have at least some sense of pity.
Chen Changsheng looked back at him and said, "I understand him more than you do. To him, every corpse has its uses. If a dog he raised died, he might eat its meat for nourishment, or divide it amongst the people of the town to gain a little reputation. If the dog ever bit someone before, he would not mind burning its bones to ashes to allow those still living to vent their anger."
Zhou Tong felt somewhat cold, and then somewhat hot, beginning to sweat within his blood-colored official's robe.
"Everyone must die," he said to Chen Changsheng.
Chen Changsheng knew that Zhou Tong was speaking of the Pope.
Zhou Tong immediately followed, "Then did you ever think about who would bury your body when the time comes?"
Without waiting for a response, he stared into Chen Changsheng's eyes and yelled, "Don't forget, you are just a plaything of the powerful, nothing more than a tool!"
Starting from 'The esteemed master of the Dao will naturally take care of my body after I am gone' and continuing to these three consecutive statements, he had truthfully been speaking a single question.
Chen Changsheng's question had touched upon Zhou Tong's weakest point, and he began to feel uneasy, even somewhat fearful.
Chen Changsheng replied, "I don't know who will bury me. I only know that before I die, I will definitely kill you."
There was silence. Not even the birds cried out. Within and without the Xue Estate, only the rustling of the autumn breeze could be heard.
This was also not a threat, as when he made this statement, his expression was very calm.
Of course, he was not making a joke either, as not a hint of a smile could be seen on his face. It was a very earnest statement.
This was an announcement.
Chen Changsheng was announcing to the world: No matter what, Zhou Tong will assuredly die before me.
Zhou Tong would die a violent death.
It was in addition to the previous question.
And his statement was that he would certainly have Zhou Tong die without a place of burial.
A deathly stillness gripped the Xue Estate.
The officials of the Department for Purging Officials had abnormally ugly expressions, while the students of the Orthodox Academy were rather nervous.
No matter what, Zhou Tong was a powerful minister of the court. Not even the Pope or the Emperor would make such an announcement.
Chen Changsheng's making such an announcement might have allowed him to vent his emotions, but what sort of turmoil would it invite?
To him, this was not a problem. He did not want to use this announcement to vent his anger. He had very calmly and coolly stated his thoughts. As for what other people thought, he didn't much care.
After saying these words, he walked over to Madam Xue.
As for the young lady and butler of the Xue Estate who had been captured by the officials, they had naturally been rescued.
Zhou Tong stared at his back and emotionlessly asked, "Can you kill me?"
Chen Changsheng did not stop or turn around. "On that night, I already killed you once."
"Do you perhaps think that you inspire awe with your devotion to justice? That these nonsensical words of yours have weight and power? 'Following your heart'—just how many times are you prepared to repeat that tired old phrase?"
Zhou Tong ended, "No one will think the same as you, just as no one will come to this place."
The facts proved Zhou Tong to be incorrect.
Not long after Chen Changsheng arrived, the Xue Estate welcomed another guest.
This person had a very special status which not even Zhou Tong had any power over. At the same time, his visit was very surprising.
The important personage who had come to pay respects to Xue Xingchuan was the Prince of Zhongshan, Chen Sixuan.
This was a prince who had suffered countless humiliations at the hands of Tianhai's government. He naturally had no good feelings for Chen Changsheng, but this was even more the case for Zhou Tong.
He lit a stick of incense for Xue Xingchuan, glanced at Chen Changsheng, and then spit all over Zhou Tong's face.
Soon after, the Minister of Rites arrived, followed by several major figures of the Orthodoxy, and then Tianhai Shengxue finally arrived.
Many people noticed that there was a faint wound on Tianhai Shengxue's face, most likely the result of the conflict that arose when he was preparing to leave the estate earlier.
Every important personage that appeared at the Xue Estate was another slap to Zhou Tong's face.
No matter how much Zhou Tong could endure it, he could not continue to remain here.
Just when he was leaving, he saw Prince Chen Liu.
"If I were you, I would definitely silently pray for Chen Changsheng to smoothly ascend to the seat of the Pope."
Prince Chen Liu seriously advised, "Or else, he will definitely make those words a reality."
In the past, on the Divine Avenue of the Li Palace, Archbishop Mei Lisha had announced to the entire world that Chen Changsheng would take the first rank of the first banner in the Grand Examination. In the end, Chen Changsheng had really managed to do it.
Today, in front of the Xue Estate's funeral hall, Chen Changsheng had announced to the entire world that he would assuredly have Zhou Tong die without a place of burial…
"There are many people who want to kill me, but I'm still alive after so many years. Why?"
Zhou Tong laughed, his smile rather sinister. "Because I've never regarded myself as a human. I've always known that I'm just a dog."
Dogs had masters.
To strike a dog was to strike at its master.
And he had always been a dog that was able to find the strongest master.
"Those mad, hot-blooded young ones who have had their minds purged of intelligence by youth have always wanted to kill me in these past few years, but were they able to do it?
"As for those people who have the ability to kill me, could they be so blind that they can't see who my master is?
"Chen Changsheng can talk all he wants, but he still won't dare attack me. Am I wrong?"
Zhou Tong smiled, the sinister aura in his smile gradually transforming into ridicule and exhaustion, both to this world and himself.
He spoke the truth, as he himself was a cultivation expert at the upper level of Star Condensation, while at his command were countless assassins and experts. Those who were able to kill him had to be true experts of the continent. And true experts had never been lonesome souls. They had their own sects, families, disciples—many people that they needed to watch over. An example of this was Zhu Luo. As an expert of the Divine Domain, killing Zhou Tong would not be too difficult a task, but in these past few years, he had never even attempted this feat.
Those young and courageous enough to come and kill Zhou Tong did not have the ability to do so.
Those who had the ability were certainly experienced and weathered by the trials of time, mature and composed. They knew the principle of taking the big picture into consideration.
There were very few people like Chen Changsheng.
And even he could not touch Zhou Tong if he had any plans of sitting upon the Pope's throne.
In Zhou Tong's view, this announcement was just the vicious words of a youth.
Besides Chen Changsheng, who else could there be?
Those who had the ability to kill him would never be so naive and childish.
Thus, he was always safe.
At this moment, a large carriage transporting a crabapple tree entered the capital.
The roots of this crabapple tree had been preserved very well, wrapped in the freshest of soil.
The attending redcoated cavalry waved their horse whips to drive away pedestrians while they cursed at the time.
On the side of the official road, a man was calmly watching these scenes in silence.
His blue clothes had been washed until they had begun to fade, starched until they had become very inflexible.
His two eyebrows drooped downwards, making him seem somewhat poverty-stricken.
He looked like an accountant who had had much of his salary deducted.
And also like a worn-out blade wrapped in rough cloth.