Jiang Chen wasn't actually planning on buying people's hearts, but if one Pinecrane Pill could buy the unswerving loyalty and support of the Coiling Dragon Clan, then it would be worth it. He was now the young lord of Sacred Peafowl Mountain. Although buying loyalty was a very secular method, it was a necessary and unavoidable one too. The young lord of Sacred Peafowl Mountain might sit high above many others, but if he wasn't supported by the people below him, he would have no foundations for his climb no matter how high he ascended. His position wouldn't be secure at all. The Coiling Dragon Clan was Sacred Peafowl Mountain and Veluriyam Capital's number one clan. Naturally, it was very important to obtain their support.
Plus, Jiang Chen had high expectations for the Coiling Dragon Clan. If they continued to develop at their current rate, it was only a matter of time before they became the eighth great emperor faction of Veluriyam Capital. That would make for eight great emperors instead of seven. Their right to speak would become a lot more valuable then. It would no doubt be beneficial to Sacred Peafowl Mountain. If the clan lord survived this tribulation, learned the realm of great emperors, and ascended to great emperor realm, he and the emerging young master Ji San were sure to take the Coiling Dragon Clan to further heights.
Therefore, it was only natural for Jiang Chen to do something to express his goodwill towards the Coiling Dragon Clan. He smiled. "There is no need for pleasantries, Zhongtang. After all, the Coiling Dragon Clan and I are close friends in the same boat. We're partners of shared honor and disgrace." He then turned to the clan lord. "Clan Lord, you should finish this sooner than later, so it is best if you can enter seclusion as soon as you are able to. I shall not disturb you any longer."
After leaving the Coiling Dragon Clan's main residence, Jiang Chen didn't hurry back to the Sacred Peafowl Mountain young lord main residence. Instead, he visited Taiyuan Tower. He had delegated the management of Taiyuan Tower to Shen Trifire. The establishment was now looking to become the number one pill shop in the entire Veluriyam Capital. Shen Trifire might still be young, but since two first-rate pill kings in the form of Pill King Bu and Pill King Lu Feng were watching over Taiyuan Tower, the shop had encountered very little problems so far.
When Shen Trifire and the others noticed Jiang Chen's arrival, they immediately became very excited. They all inquired about his well being. Seeing their excited expressions, Jiang Chen knew that their lives here had been substantial.
"Trifire, please gather all our senior brothers and sisters over. I'll like to have a word with everyone." Shen Trifire's admiration of Jiang Chen was at a level where he would prostrate himself before his senior brother without any hesitation. Naturally, he immediately executed the order. All of the Regal Pill Palace disciples were soon gathered inside a secret room.
They had been lucky enough to be rescued by Jiang Chen, and they now were able to survive on their own within Veluriyam Capital. Their lives were so comfortable now that a portion of them had lost some of their fighting will. In fact, some were even starting to think that rebuilding Regal Pill Palace wasn't that big of a deal any longer. They were leading better lives than the ones they had previously led in their sect. There was nothing wrong with continuing things as they were.
Their mindset didn't escape Jiang Chen's attention. The glitzy world that was Veluriyam Capital far exceeded Regal Pill Palace in every aspect. After all, the Myriad Domain was just a lower region far from real civilization. Be it in terms of prosperity or horizons, they were far inferior to Veluriyam Capital. What was Veluriyam Capital? It was a core region even amongst all of the Upper Eight Regions!
Therefore, a small number of these Regal Pill Palace survivors were slowly starting to succumb to these endless days of pleasure. Their willpower had grown weak, and they were satisfied with just getting by everyday. Jiang Chen swept a glance at the Regal Pill Palace disciples before him before saying, "Trifire, you've managed Taiyuan Tower well."
Shen Trifire's heart skipped a beat despite Jiang Chen's praise. This tone caused sweat to appear on his forehead.
"Senior brother, Trifire has done his best. Unfortunately, my talent is poor, so maybe I need to work harder to meet your expectations?" Shen Trifire sounded a little nervous. He couldn't help but be nervous. Back at the Rosy Valley of Regal Pill Palace, Jiang Chen was just his senior brother of the same sect. There was no element of inherent fear. But now, Jiang Chen was no longer just the person who had saved his life. He was the young master of Sacred Peafowl Mountain and an important figure who would rule over Veluriyam Capital in the future.
Jiang Chen responded indifferently, "Your talent isn't poor and you've done well. There is one thing that you may have forgotten though: the reason why I've put you here is so that you can assume personal responsibility and nurture your talent. The reason I've done this is so that you may shoulder the heavy responsibility of resurrecting our sect one day. You haven't done well enough in this regard."
Sweat trickled down Shen Trifire's forehead. "You're right to lecture me, senior brother!"
"You're still calling me senior brother, so this means that you haven't forgotten that we are both sect members of Regal Pill Palace. If it wasn't for this bond, I wouldn't have risked life and death to come all the way to Veluriyam Capital from the Myriad Domain in the first place, much less rescue all of you from the Myriad Puppets Pavilion. The reason I saved you all is to preserve the last spark of Regal Pill Palace. However, I neither see much fighting will in any one of you, nor do I see the determination and courage necessary to rebuild our sect at first notice. Is the glamorous world of Veluriyam Capital enough to make you lose yourselves, your origin, and the bloody debt on your backs?
"If that is true, then I'd rather that I hadn't rescue you at all back then." A hint of disappointment tinged Jiang Chen's tone. His calm, sweeping glance caused every Regal Pill Palace disciple to feel restless and uncomfortable. They all kept their heads low and didn't dare meet his eyes.
They were guilty. It was as Jiang Chen had said—their fighting will had weakened, and they had nearly forgotten about the blood debt they shouldered. Truthfully, they hadn't actually forgotten their roots or turned ungrateful. It was just that they had been living too comfortably in Veluriyam Capital as of late. It had been so comfortable that they were starting to care less about their own roots and had chosen instead to escape reality. They all thought that rebuilding their sect was something very, very difficult that couldn't be accomplished overnight, so what was the hurry? The sect was already destroyed anyway, so rebuilding it a day sooner was no different from rebuilding it a day later. This was exactly the mindset that had caused them to grow lazier and evade their responsibility.
Today, they all felt guilty after this lecture. Some felt regretful, others timid, and some others guilty. Frankly speaking, their fates were currently completely under Jiang Chen's control. If Jiang Chen were to tell them to leave right now, they would have no choice but to obey. Without their senior brother's protection, they were nothing but piles of shit after leaving Taiyuan Tower. It was true that all of them had some level of skill, but their skill was at best average in the Upper Eight Regions. Maybe they could barely protect themselves, but to excel amongst others, enjoy a high status, and be respected wherever they went like they were now was nothing more than foolish talk.
Shen Trifire collapsed on his knees with a thump, in tears. He punched the floor fiercely with a fist and spoke in a trembling voice, "Senior brother, I don't know what the rest think. However, I have never stopped thinking about resurrecting the sect every day. It's just, sometimes, when I remember how weak I am, and how difficult the task to resurrect our sect from the ashes is, I can't help but be sad and even depressed. However, I haven't forgotten about this goal. I have never forgotten senior brother's expectations of me!"
Shen Trifire had been a core disciple and one of the greatest geniuses of Regal Pill Palace back then. His spirit, mind, body, and strength of character were of course much better than everyone else's. Jiang Chen didn't suspect his claim and nodded slightly. "I'm not trying to lecture you all today; I'm just here to give you all a wake-up call. Your roots lie at Regal Pill Palace. No matter how happy you are at Veluriyam Capital right now, you are all rootless duckweeds and flying leaves. A gust of wind may be all it takes to scatter all of you.
"Ouyang Chao, weren't you a proud man back at Regal Pill Palace? Didn't you fight me to participate in the Mt. Rippling Mirage Pill Battles? I ask you, do you still have your pride? Will you be brave when the sect needs you accomplish its goals?" Jiang Chen stared at Ouyang Chao with deep eyes.
Ouyang Chao was originally the grandson of Regal Pill Palace's Herbal Hall Elder, Ouyang De. Ouyang De had gone missing after Regal Pill Palace was destroyed, but Ouyang Chao was still alive. He wasn't cowardly. His face flushed beet red after this provocation. He abruptly looked up. "You're right, senior brother. Our roots are at Regal Pill Palace, and we are now nothing more than rootless leaves. If we forget our origin and background, we will never be able to escape our mediocre lives in this corner or establish ourselves without your protection. I, Ouyang Chao, would rather accomplish great things for our sect than to live the rest of my life this way!"
Ouyang Chao was very loud and agitated when he said this. It was obvious that his personality hadn't been completely whittled away by the long period of comfort.
"Good, very good. This is what I wish to see from a Regal Pill Palace disciple! I may not need you to contribute much in the task of rebuilding Regal Pill Palace, but I do want to see that you all haven't lost your courage and bravery. Why else would I keep you around? And why should I shelter you otherwise?" Jiang Chen didn't mince words when he said this because it was the complete truth. If they weren't tied together by Regal Pill Palace, why would he ever want to keep them around?
Neither their martial dao strength nor pill dao talent even qualified as outstanding in Veluriyam Capital. Their current qualifications were far beneath the current Taiyuan Tower's level as well. The only reason they had their status today was because they were Jiang Chen's sect mates. If they didn't even want their identity as Regal Pill Palace disciples, then Jiang Chen could no longer count them as sect mates. In that case, why on earth would he want to keep them around?
If Taiyuan Tower wished to recruit new blood, they could recruit a bunch of superior talent. Take Lin Yanyu as an example; he was just as young as the Regal Pill Palace disciples. If he were to enter Taiyuan Tower, even the likes of Shen Trifire would have to stand aside like a lackey. Lin Yanyu was the champion of the Pill Pagoda battles after all. Everyone was drenched in sweat after they heard Jiang Chen's words.
"Trifire, this is as far as I'm going to go with the heavy words. This is the first and last time I'm going to give a wake-up call to all of you. Don't forget who you are, and don't forget the mission you bear." Jiang Chen was done with his lecture and fell silent.
Shen Trifire stood and stared at his fellow sect mates. He said loudly, "Everyone, senior brother Jiang's attitude is my attitude too! I hope that none of you will ever forget about the virtuous cause of our sect at any moment. If all you can think of is to live comfortably like a parasite for the rest of your lives, then I'll kick you out of Taiyuan Tower myself even if senior brother Jiang chooses not to. Now get your mind, spirit, and body up! This isn't a vacation, and Taiyuan Tower is not the place to cultivate a haughty temper!"