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Chapter 2277 Raw 2384 : Worst Draw



The Yan Emperor!


To think that the person who just passed me was the Yanwu Dynasty’s current emperor.


Now, Xiao Chen’s confusion was resolved. No wonder this person’s Imperial Might was tenfold—even hundredfold—stronger than that of the princes. No wonder even after that person’s aura enveloped him, he did not feel any discomfort.


Everything under the sky in the Yanwu Dynasty was that person’s land.


Being in the Yanwu Dynasty was like being in the other party’s small world—a small world that had been inherited for hundreds of thousands of years. There were also the one hundred eight feudal lords, three thousand Noble Clans, hundreds of sects, and the various subordinate factions invisibly increasing the dynasty’s Luck and strength.


When Xiao Chen resided in the Yanwu Dynasty, he also invisibly strengthened the dynasty’s accumulations. The contribution was minuscule and negligible. However, that might not be the case after a long time.


The old doubts had just been resolved when new doubts appeared.


Xiao Chen had practically destroyed a sizable chunk of the imperial capital and caused a huge commotion at the First Prince’s wedding, making the First Prince a huge joke before the world.


Yet, despite being the First Prince’s father, the Yan Emperor still strolled over, coming to the Hidden Spirit Temple to pray.


Moreover, when the Yan Emperor saw Xiao Chen, he did not show any anger or murderous intent at all. Xiao Chen could not guess what he was thinking.


“Strange…”


Xiao Chen pondered this, feeling extremely confused.


“Let’s go, let’s go. Stop standing there like a fool. This is the Hidden Spirit Temple. Even if he is the Yan Emperor, he will not dare do anything to you here, so rest assured.”


The little monk thought that Xiao Chen feared the Yan Emperor and did not dare to continue forward, so he quickly assured Xiao Chen.


Xiao Chen did not worry about his safety in the Hidden Spirit Temple; he only felt some doubts. However, he did not explain, letting Yan Chen lead the way.


After a while, the two traveled the five kilometers and arrived at their destination.


Previously, there was a faint scent wafting over to Xiao Chen. Now that he stood before the temple, he could no longer smell the cinnamon flower fragrance coming from the cinnamon tree illuminated by the moonlight.


“The green pines border the ancient path. The white moonlight covers the cold mountain. The dark path winds about. This is the Hidden Spirit Temple.”


Xiao Chen quietly recited the poem that the Yan Emperor said earlier. When he looked at the simple signboard, he still felt some disbelief.


To think that this place was the Hidden Spirit Temple.


Not to mention the majestic temples on the mountain, even the guest halls welcoming the pilgrims at the foot of the mountain were much better than this Hidden Spirit Temple.


Regaining the natural state?


Xiao Chen frowned slightly. Regaining the natural state was about going with the natural flow. If one intentionally made it simple, it would end up achieving the opposite effect.


With the Hidden Spirit Temple’s status and strength, making the temple grand and majestic would be even more natural.


“The Hidden Spirit Temple does not seem very hard to find. Why is it that the other pilgrims cannot find it? Could this be some sort of forbidden land?” Xiao Chen asked, unable to suppress the doubt in his heart.


The little monk smiled faintly as he replied softly, “This is not a forbidden land or anything like that. If regular pilgrims come, my senior brothers or junior brothers in the temple will come out to receive them. They will explain the scriptures and serve them tea, making sure to uphold etiquette. However, do you think that people would believe this to be the Hidden Spirit Temple? They would take it as just another temple with the same name.


“Don’t overthink. I know you feel disappointed, but this is really the Hidden Spirit Temple. I grew up here; this is like my home. I will not lie to you.”


A smile filled Yan Chen’s juvenile face. He had to be very happy that he could bring Xiao Chen over to his home for a visit.


When Yan Chen entered the temple, some other monks passed by along the way.


When these monks saw Yan Chen, they bowed respectfully, addressing him as Little Martial Grand Uncle. Then, they left hastily.


Yan Chen’s senior brothers and junior brothers had probably experienced the Little Demonic Monk Silver Saber’s bad luck for themselves long ago.


Yan Chen felt somewhat embarrassed. However, every time this happened, he just laughed it off and quickly changed the topic, introducing the temple’s various matters to Xiao Chen.


“Empty Cloud Palace?” Xiao Chen read aloud when he saw the words on the wall when they reached a courtyard by the mountainside.


[TL Note: The pinyin for the Empty Cloud Palace would be the Xu Yun Palace. This place shares the same name as Yan Chen’s master, Venerable Xu Yun.]


This was clearly a courtyard but was named a palace. That was rather interesting.


When Xiao Chen thought about how grand and majestic the Heavenly Dragon Palace was, he felt that this courtyard was in no way comparable.


“My master stays here. Come, I’ll bring you in.”


When the two entered the courtyard, Xiao Chen saw that fallen leaves covered the ground. When they walked, the leaves rustled underfoot like they were treading on snow.


Although the courtyard was simple, it was immense, with several wings to it.


There were two people playing chess under an old tree.


The one hugging a sword had sharply defined facial features. He looked extraordinarily handsome and showed an exceptional air.


When Xiao Chen looked carefully, he felt startled. Isn’t this the Su Hanshan that I saw earlier?


The other person wore long, embroidered robes. His sleeves looked gaudy, like the hem of a skirt. His smooth and white skin and exquisite facial features formed an exceptionally handsome face.


However, this did not result in a sense of distance. This person’s face appeared soft. When combined with the smooth skin, it gave a surprising impression of gentleness.


At this moment, this person held a chess piece. He frowned slightly, debating where to place it.


Hey…why does this face feel somewhat familiar? However, I just can’t place my finger on it.


As Xiao Chen thought this, that person raised his head and looked at Xiao Chen. Then, he relaxed his frown, showing a bright smile that made his eyes narrow slightly.


In that instant, it felt like winter departed, and spring arrived silently.


This smile seemed to contain spring, but not spring in the conventional sense. It was a gentle spring breeze that melted ice, revealing hundreds of flowers. When the spring breeze passed, flowers bloomed.


Xiao Chen immediately felt stunned. His heart was like the wild plains with ten thousand horses galloping with the wind. It felt like endless rolling thunder.


This is…the beggar?


No, this is the Spring Snow Bladesman, Pan Huang!


This was a completely different style. However, what was more inconceivable was that these two had immediately gone to the Hidden Spirit Temple.


“Little Brother Xiao Chen, unexpectedly, you came to the Hidden Spirit Temple as well.”


Pan Huang’s eyes lit up when he saw Xiao Chen. Then, he prepared to walk over.


However, Su Hanshan placed his sword on Pan Huang’s shoulder just as Pan Huang was about to stand up, forcefully pressing down on Pan Huang.


“Quickly place your piece so that I can make my next move. If you want to leave, then admit defeat first,” Su Hanshan said calmly with an indifferent tone.


Xiao Chen found the atmosphere somewhat awkward. He hesitated to walk over, not knowing how to deal with this.


“Who are the two of you? Why are you in my master’s courtyard? This is not a place for pilgrims. Quickly leave, quickly leave.”


Confusion flashed in the little monk’s eyes. As he looked at the two strangers, he felt bewildered.


Then, Yan Chen walked over with large strides, preparing to chase the two away.


When Su Hanshan and Pan Huang saw the little monk coming over, some shock flashed in their eyes.


Su Hanshan put away his sword and gently leaped up. He landed on top of the wall before the little monk could approach.


Pan Huang’s figure flashed, appearing like he teleported to the top of the wall. The two seemed somewhat afraid of the little monk.


It was like they could see Yan Chen’s bad luck and did not dare to get close.


“What quick Movement Techniques!” Yan Chen’s eyes lit up with the desire to give chase.


“Don’t be rude!”


Xiao Chen was about to call out and remind Yan Chen. However, Venerable Xu Yun appeared and shouted to stop Yan Chen.


Xiao Chen had met Venerable Xu Yun before, back at the Soaring Dragon Marquis’s residence.


“Master.”


Yan Chen leaped over and landed before Venerable Xu Yun. Then, he pointed to Su Hanshan and Pan Huang, asking, “Who are those two?”


“They are the abbot’s honored guests, here to stay for a while. You startled them.”


“Haha! Venerable Xu Yun is joking; we were not startled. This is that child from back then? Indeed, I can see that he lives up to his reputation.”


Pan Huang and Su Hanshan had already returned, looking at Yan Chen with curious expressions.


“That’s good. Benefactors, do go about your business first. I need to entertain Benefactor Xiao.”


After the polite exchanges, Venerable Xu Yun brought Xiao Chen to the tea room, where he personally brewed tea for Xiao Chen.


“Benefactor Xiao, I trust that you have been well since we last met. Looking at the time, we have not met for ten years already,” Venerable Xu Yun murmured with a smile as he served a cup of freshly brewed tea.


After Xiao Chen accepted the teacup, he did not rush to sample it. After some thought, he said, “Many thanks for Venerable’s help. Otherwise, I would not be able to avoid this trouble.”


Since Su Hanshan and Pan Huang were here, Venerable Xu Yun was clearly not as ignorant as the little monk about matters outside the temple.


“You are too polite. However, since you are here, stay at this Hidden Spirit Temple for a few days. Even without this matter, I had already thought about inviting Benefactor Xiao to stay a few days.” Venerable Xu Yun spoke unhurriedly with a faint smile.


Xiao Chen pondered this. The other party probably had other intentions. However, since the other party put it this way, he would not ask further.


---


At the same time, in the main hall of the Hidden Spirit Temple:


After the Yan Emperor offered incense alone, he looked at the Kāśyapa Buddha statue and held an inscribed bamboo stick. Then, he asked, “Is my draw good or back?”


The result of the Yan Emperor’s drawn lot would impact the entire Yanwu Dynasty, whether he was willing or not.


The Hidden Spirit Temple’s Abbot Xu Ye walked out from the side and received the inscribed bamboo stick. After a while, he sighed, “It’s the worst draw.”


[TL Note: This is a form of fortune-telling, customarily used in conjunction with deity worship. One would pray to the deity and then hold a cup with a bunch of bamboo sticks with words inscribed on them. They would shake the cup until one stick fell out. Then, someone skilled in the reading of these lots would interpret them.]


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