Emperor Peerless suddenly spoke. "Come, let's leave the city and collect ourselves."
Scanning the surroundings, he found numerous pairs of eyes looking in this direction. The emperor knew that their owners didn't have him or Jiang Chen as their target. They were after the short man. Those onlookers might not act within Pillfire City itself, but they were after the short man like snakes drawn to their prey. They laid in ambush, waiting for the right moment to strike.
Jiang Chen noticed the odd tone in the emperor's voice. His own sweeping glance notified him of the same. "Looks like you came to us with a bunch of people hot on your heels," he smiled a little.
The short man blanched at this, realizing too late that he had an unwelcome entourage.
"Don't worry, Old Brother Mo is the strongest deterrent you could ask for. Even if they were ten times as brave as they actually are, they wouldn't dare do anything." Jiang Chen wasn't worried.
The spirit herb was valuable, but not enough to risk a great emperor's ire. As expected, all the hidden ambushers hated the fact that the short man was walking with Emperor Peerless. They could only watch from afar. The emperor exerted an insurmountable amount of pressure on them. They did not dare act out of turn.
The short man had lived his past few days in abject fear. He breathed a sigh of relief in the knowledge that he was finally safe. In no time at all, the trio left the boundaries of Pillfire City proper. Emperor Peerless summoned into the skies, and a great beast answered his call. It was the emperor's mount.
"Take a seat on my steed with this man, my friend. I shall fly," the emperor instructed.
"He can sit," Jiang Chen smiled. "I'll fly with you."
Jiang Chen had his Cicada's Wings, into which he'd refined Featherflight Wings and then Kunpeng Wings. His wings were entirely suitable to be called great emperor level. The additional speed from Kunpeng Meteoric Escape would allow him to easily race the average great emperor. Thus, he had no desire to sit on a steed.
"Little brother, I know it's not too far from here to Tilted Moon Region, but there are at least three hundred thousand miles to go before Frostmoon City," Emperor Peerless reminded.
Jiang Chen smiled. "It's fine. I can keep up, no problem."
"Your confidence surprises me. Is a race what you want?" The emperor chuckled.
"Why not?" Jiang Chen was in high spirits.
The short man found it hard to grasp everything he was hearing.
"Oi, you over there. What's your name?" Jiang Chen suddenly asked.
The target of his question answered instantly. "Ah, my name is Liu Zhen."
"Well, Liu Zhen. Take Old Brother Mo's steed and go on without us. We'll bring up the rear. Don't worry, no one from Pillfire City will get past us."
The man was a little fearful still. He didn't feel it was entirely his place to ride something that belonged to a great emperor. Emperor Peerless exchanged a few words with it under his breath. The beast responded with an unhappy sneeze. It looked a little scornful, but gave a helpless nod anyway. Seemingly, it had agreed to the emperor's unfair request.
"Up you go." With a flick of Emperor Peerless's sleeves, the little man was sent flying into the saddle. With a shrill cry, the beast pierced the heavens like a bolt of lightning, hurtling directly towards the direction of Tilted Moon Region. It looked like a flash of multi-colored lightning through the sky.
"You've a very nice steed instead. It's extremely quick!" Jiang Chen praised.
The emperor chuckled for a moment before turning a serious eye back towards Pillfire City. "Listen, men of Pillfire. Anyone who is still behind us in fifteen minutes won't be able to return home."
It was a warning from a great emperor cultivator. The ones who hadn't yet given up and the opportunists who'd wanted to strike at Liu Zhen later were all shaken when they heard those words. They hardly missed the emperor's anger beneath the surface. If they did disobey the command, they would very likely be smashed to smithereens.
"Come on, little guy. Show me the speed that you have so much confidence in." Emperor Peerless looked back at Jiang Chen in a half-smile.
"Exactly what I wanted. Let's go!" The young man shot back a cocky grin. He turned into a streak of lightning as well, slicing through the sky. His current wings, infused with the strength of the kunpeng bloodline, was in its ultimate stage of development. Once upon a time, their base had been the Featherflight Wings. But after the alterations, few vestiges of those wings' appearance could be find.
Because of this, Jiang Chen didn't need to worry about their relationship to Emperor Featherflight being found out. He had a mind to show off a little before Emperor Peerless. Using his Kunpeng Meteoric Escape ability, he pushed his velocity to its maximum. The ability made him overwhelmingly faster than any emperor realm cultivator. As long as they didn't specialize in speed, even ninth level cultivators could not outpace him. The same was true in general for great emperors as well.
Emperor Peerless had some aptitude in this area. The formidable haste with which Jiang Chen was moving aroused his interest. He accelerated to his own limits to compete. Emperor Peerless's successful pursuit, despite Jiang Chen's head start, ignited the latter's fighting spirit. Drawing more power from his kunpeng bloodline, he stepped up his speed with Kunpeng Meteoric Escape yet again.
It was common knowledge that it was extremely difficult to raise one's speed past a certain point. In general, special methods were essential to doing so. Jiang Chen had no special methods, but he did have a bloodline backing him up. The Kunpeng Meteoric Escape was an ability that borrowed the strength inherent in one's blood to increase one's speed. He was merely exerting himself at the moment. If necessary, he could sacrifice his blood in moments of desperation to raise his velocity yet again. That was why he was so confident in his own speed.
In the first serious challenge within the main Veluriyam Pagoda, his kunpeng bloodline and Kunpeng Meteoric Escape ability had been most valuable prizes. It was a perfect improvement for him in terms of agility. Even that venerable expert, Honored Master P'eng, had lauded his speed without reservation. Jiang Chen was only half-step emperor realm. It was difficult to get an empyrean cultivator like the master to offer such words without exceptional talent and potential being present.
Jiang Chen's instantaneous acceleration amazed Emperor Peerless. He increased his own speed yet again. They chased at each other's tails, momentum continuously increasing. The leading person switched to and fro, always changing hands. Four hours later, the two of them had flown a few dozen thousand miles out.
"Hahaha, what a blast. That was really quite enjoyable!" Emperor Peerless roared in laughter. "I didn't expect someone as young as you to be so fast. I almost lost to you, you know."
In the end, Jiang Chen elected not to fuel further bursts speed using his blood. On the other hand, the emperor hadn't shown all his own tricks either. Thus, no one was nominally the winner.
"Thank you for the concessions, old brother. I know you're holding back on me, heh." Jiang Chen felt himself freed in the presence of the old man.
"Uh huh. I'm sure you didn't use everything you had, either," Emperor Peerless shot back. Another fit of laughter ensued. They had both flown at top speed, and because of this, Liu Zhen and the emperor's steed had actually been left behind.
Thankfully, the steed was a rapid enough creature in its own right, and it caught up before too long. The threat the emperor had issued a few hours prior, plus the beast's own alacrity, meant that Liu Zhen was able to arrive unscathed. However, lingering fears about his erstwhile pursuers and the steed's incredible speed had led to the short man's eyes being closed the entire trip. His heart almost leapt out of his chest. It had been almost more than he could bear.
Jiang Chen found Liu Zhen's bloodless face extremely amusing.
"Sirs, how… how did you get in front of me?" Liu Zhen was agape with shock. Indeed, he had imagined needing to wait at some point along the trip. It was scary being alone. But rather than his waiting for them, they were here waiting for him.
Emperor Peerless and Jiang Chen exchanged a look and smile. The emperor was thinking the same as the youth; the short man's reaction was quite funny.
"Looks like I'm that frog in the bottom of the well, huh." Realizing his own embarrassment, Liu Zhen remarked with some self-deprecation. "I really underestimated just how capable you two sirs are."
They arrived in Tilted Moon Region in two days. But Frostmoon City was another day or two's journey away. The Tilted Moon Region was in the northwest of the Upper Eight Regions, and had a rather broad expanse of territory. It was one of, if not the, largest regions. In the Upper Eight Regions, the northwest territories were the hottest lands. A sweltering heat was present all year round, and there was little differentiation in terms of seasons.
Jiang Chen found it rather odd. "Old Brother Mo, don't you think that the names 'Tilted Moon Region' and 'Frostmoon City' match the actual circumstances very poorly? It's so hot here. Why does the city have 'frost' in its name at all?"
It was absolutely perplexing. Rationally speaking, 'Frostmoon City' gave off the vibe of severe cold that stretched for thousands of miles.
"Haha, I'm afraid I can't answer that question. Probably no one in the entire Tilted Moon Region can, to be honest. However, I do remember hearing that in ancient times, the climate here wasn't like this at all."
"The Divine Abyss Continent is an intriguing place," Jiang Chen exclaimed. He had no impression of the city whatsoever. If not for the information he'd obtained from Niu Wuhua, he wouldn't have come here at all.
No matter whether his father Jiang Feng had received news of his mother, Jiang Chen intended to come take a look all the same. Even the smallest rumor was better than perfect silence. Though he didn't remember his birth mother at all, Jiang Chen needed to thoroughly investigate for the sake of his father. The enduring love that his father had for his mother made Jiang Chen instinctively feel that to deserve such love, his mother had to have been an amazing woman.