The Records Of The Human Emperor Chapter 1254
Chapter 1254: Sounding Each Other Out
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
"Come, Your Highness, please!"
The white-robed Confucian had at some point raised his wine cup and offered it in a toast.
"Haha, Brother Li is too polite. Please!"
A hint of surprise flashed through Wang Chong's eyes, but he quickly regained his composure and clinked cups with the white-robed Confucian.
As the two cups approached each other, the mood in the restaurant suddenly shifted. All the Confucians had been watching the young man performing the sword dance in the clearing at the center of the floor, but now, they were all turning to the pair of cups.
The two cups crisply collided against each other in the air. In the quiet atmosphere, this sound was like a peal of thunder, and at this moment…
Wang Chong's eyes flashed as boundless energy surged out of his arm, into his cup, and across to the other side.
Bang! A moment later, he felt a strange sensation. When the cups collided, Wang Chong felt as if he had clinked cups with a mountain. The white-robed Confucian had a gentle smile on his face, his body entirely unmoved as he raised his cup high into the air.
Not even the wine inside the cup was shaken.
Wang Chong smiled and immediately exerted more power. Energy surged out like an endless river toward the white-clothed Confucian, and at this same moment, a similarly enormous energy erupted from the white-clothed Confucian.
Their eyes were fixed on each other as the powerful streams of energy clashed in the air through their wine cups. But neither Wang Chong nor the white-robed Confucian was able to make the wine cups move even a sliver. Both of them had succeeded in keeping out all impacts and shockwaves, and even the wine in the cups was as calm as the surface of a lake.
They continued to add on power, and a few moments later, the surrounding floor began to tremble. It was barely noticeable at first, but it quickly intensified, and then the surrounding tables and the food atop them began to shake. The trembling continued to increase, and by the end, the entire restaurant quivered as if it was experiencing an earthquake.
Cries of alarm came from all around as the surrounding Confucians were unsteadied by the power erupting from Wang Chong and the white-robed Confucian, and began to stand.
Clingclingcrash! A large number of plates and cups were finally unable to stand the power and slid off the table, pulverizing themselves on the floor.
At almost the same time, Wang Chong and the white-robed Confucian across from him both restrained their energy and drew back their cups. The two enormous energies strong enough to shatter mountains vanished simultaneously. The two of them were both too powerful. If they continued to test each other, they would tear the restaurant in half.
"Your Highness is very powerful!"
The white-robed Confucian was the first to raise his head and drain his cup. As he put down his cup, his face had a carefree and relaxed expression, and he didn't even seem a tiny bit out of breath. It was clear that he had been far from exerting his full strength in that clash just now.
"Brother Li possesses excellent cultivation!"
A moment later, Wang Chong also drained his cup and placed it back on the table.
In this attempt to sound each other out, neither had been able to gain an advantage.
I didn't think that the Confucians had such a formidable expert!
Wang Chong appeared calm, but his mind was in turmoil. Although Wang Chong was only eighteen years old, his cultivation was exceptional. Merely the fact that he was a Great General greatly reduced the number of people that could compare to him, and he had even been able to kill a powerful existence like the Governor of War, Qutaybah.
Wang Chong had never imagined that there would be someone at the same level of cultivation who was on equal footing with him. Although the exchange just now had only been a minor probe, Wang Chong sensed that this white-robed Confucian was on the same level of cultivation, and his Psychic Energy was also extremely bizarre.
Wang Chong was a grandmaster when it came to Psychic Energy, even having successfully killed someone like Masil. But this white-robed Confucian had the same mastery over Psychic Energy, and he was even somehow able to alter the nature of his Psychic Energy, something that was simply unheard of.
The mood in the restaurant was fraught with tension, and everyone stared at Wang Chong and the white-robed Confucian, afraid that the two of them would start fighting again.
"Hum!" The white-masked and black-robed man performing the sword dance on the center stage suddenly sheathed his sword and withdrew.
"All of you are dismissed!" the white-robed Confucian suddenly said, sweeping his sleeve.
Everyone replied in unison, and then more than half of the Confucians withdrew. A minority was left, scattered throughout the restaurant or seated behind the white-robed Confucian.
This simple order greatly relaxed the mood in the restaurant.
The sounds of firecrackers came from outside, accompanied by the laughter and cheering of child and adult alike, which loudly resounded through the restaurant.
The white-robed Confucian chuckled. Taking the silver wine jar, he filled Wang Chong's cup and then filled his own.
"Your Highness is talented and well-learned, and your grandfather is the renowned Duke Jiu. Then, does Your Highness know what day today is?"
Wang Chong did not answer, only stared at the Confucian. He knew that since this person had asked this question, he had more to say on the matter.
"The teachings of the west have been passed to the east, and now, everyone in the world knows that the eighth day of the fourth month is Buddha's birthday. But how many people know that today was also the day in which the one hundred sages of the Spring and Autumn Period were extinguished?"
These words took Wang Chong by surprise, and he immediately raised an eyebrow as he waited for the white-robed Confucian to continue.
"In the Spring and Autumn Period, the many states fought against each other for supremacy, and the common people spent every day in calamity. That was a truly hellish era in which the strong ate the weak and all living beings were in peril. Later on, the one hundred sages began to promulgate their ideas, and by paying an enormous price, they were able to change the minds of the people, impressing the ideal of benevolence and righteousness in their minds. They turned the era of the birds and the beasts into the era of 'man', realizing Great Harmony1 throughout the world," the white-robed Confucian solemnly said.
Wang Chong said nothing, only listened, but the words 'Great Harmony throughout the world' caused him to imperceptibly frown.
"In the Spring and Autumn and Warring States Periods, although the states fought against each other, there was also the illumination of the one hundred sages. Each sage was like a fire in the darkness, illuminating the era and pointing out the correct way for the people of the world. But now, the one hundred sages have been extinguished, and the people of the Central Plains and all the world around it have been plunged into darkness, have become lost, and the era has become once more that of the birds and beasts. The loss of the one hundred sages is a loss for all of us, so every year, on this day, the day the one hundred sages were extinguished, all of us will gather together to pay tribute to the sages and express our remembrance of that era!" the white-robed Confucian loudly proclaimed.
Wang Chong's heart trembled, and he finally understood why the air had been so strange when he stepped into the restaurant. He also understood why there was that bizarre sword dance and why everyone was wearing black headbands. They were all paying tribute to the sages.
"King of Foreign Lands, you are the greatest talent we have ever seen. In such a short time, you have pacified both Mengshe Zhao and Arabia, and all of society hails you as the new War God. A man can live for a hundred years, but they must still die, and there are some things whose value or significance far surpasses that of a single human life. I hope that you can join us. If we work together, we can realize the hopes of the sages and create a truly harmonious world.
"Not just the Tang, not just the Central Plains, but all the cultures in this world, including the Turks, Goguryeons, the Xi, the Tibetans, the Khitans, all the other foreigners, and even the Arabs of the western world. People fight and kill in endless strife because they do not share the same language and thoughts, but if the world is united, if the ideas of benevolence and righteousness are impressed into the minds of all foreigners, including the Arabs, if everyone shares the same language, all wars and killing will cease to exist, forever vanquished from the face of the earth! This is the true method to end all wars for eternity!
"This is the true Harmonious World!"
The white-robed Confucian spoke with absolute solemnity. His words were not the product of a momentary passion, but the result of thoughts considered and pondered a thousand times over.
Wang Chong earnestly listened the entire time, not interrupting once. Wang Chong understood far too little about this mysterious and powerful faction that could control the Grand Preceptor, King Qi, Li Linfu, and the First Prince all at once, who seemingly dominated the Great Tang. No! It was the entire world that essentially knew nothing of them.
Wang Chong keenly understood that this was his best opportunity to understand them.
"The Harmonious World?"
Wang Chong's expression sank at these final words, his brow furrowing. If the white-robed Confucian had not said these last few words, Wang Chong would have felt some admiration for him, but a Harmonious World? Just how many benevolent and ambitious men with lofty ideals throughout the ages had tried to realize this? Even in that other world, even after centuries and millennia of effort, this idea was still merely a fantasy.
Magnificent aspirations could not overcome selfish desires, and ideals would always lose to the hearts of the people.
Since ancient times, whenever someone brought up this phrase, it would be accompanied by great sacrifice and rivers of blood. The 'Harmonious World' was more often used as a tool by the mad, delusional, or ambitious to realize their selfish desires. For the sake of their personal obsession, they would pull in all the people of the world and bring them to the grave.
Wang Chong did not oppose the idea of the Harmonious World, but the Harmonious World required eternal perseverance, the constant altering of minds through thousands of generations. It was not something that the impatient could hope to accomplish in a few decades, a century, or even an entire era. They would never succeed, only bring down calamity and destruction upon the world.
They raised the flag of righteousness, but they did the work of the Demon King.
1. Great Harmony refers the utopic vision of society in Confucian thought, where everyone loves and trusts each other and the world is at peace.