"Young master Chen, how confident are you that this young cub is actually of the Astral White Tiger bloodline?" Long Xiaoxuan seemed to more concerned than Jiang Chen.
"I'm not completely certain, but the chances are high. However, its bloodline and heritage memories haven't awakened yet because it's still a young cub. It might look exactly like a Cloud Devouring Tiger, but it possesses a temperament that a dumb animal like the Cloud Devouring Tiger could never hope to imitate."
"Mm. This cub does indeed possess an unusual temperament." Long Xiaoxuan said and suddenly channeled some dragon aura at the cub. The cub immediately switched into a vigilant and alert posture from its original relaxed state. It puffed up its whiskers and glared fiercely at Long Xiaoxuan. It was roaring for battle instead of backing down.
"Little brat, do you or do you not submit before your dragon lord?" Long Xiaoxuan burst into an eccentric cackle.
Jiang Chen knew that Long Xiaoxuan was being spiteful on purpose, but didn't stop him. He wanted to see how the cub would respond to the dragon aura. A Cloud Devouring Tiger would be trembling with fear by now. The young cub was very small in size, but one could see the ferocity within its round, belligerent eyes. It was staunch and incredibly unyielding. Fortunately, Long Xiaoxuan wasn't really trying to suppress it.
"Good kid, you have some guts after all! This dragon doesn't bully young children, so you may bare your fangs at me when you're older. I want to see if your Astral White Tiger line is stronger or my Eastern True Dragon line is stronger!" Long Xiaoxuan knew better than to bully a child. "Young master Chen, how will you evolve its bloodline? It looks so weak and feeble. Even if it's of the white tiger bloodline, I don't think it can ever catch up to me."
Jiang Chen naturally had his ways. It wasn't his first time helping others undergo bloodline evolution. Back then, he'd helped the Goldbiter Rats. Emperor Peerless had finished expelling Madame Yun's poison during their conversation.
"Little brother, you may come up now," the emperor called out.
Long Xiaoxuan curled his lips. "You should go. I'll stay here and keep a look out."
He was still rather cold and aloof like many from the dragon clan. He didn't dislike Emperor Peerless, but dragons typically took a lot of time to warm up to others. The only human he currently trusted was Jiang Chen. The dragon understood that the emperor was powerful, and that he was Jiang Chen's sworn brother, but that didn't mean that Long Xiaoxuan was ready accept him. Especially not when there was a foreign woman in the room too.
Jiang Chen didn't force Long Xiaoxuan as he knew that this was the nature of the dragon clan. He quickly made his way upstairs.
"Congratulations Old Brother Mo, sister-in-law is doing very well. Her condition is much better than I'd hoped." Jiang Chen smiled after checking her condition. "She'll be fine if you're certain that the poison has been completely removed from her body. The Pinecrane Pill's potency hasn't been affected by the Seven Emotions Poison at all. Her lifespan has greatly increased."
Emperor Peerless and Madame Yun were both aware of this.
"Brother, it's all thanks to your Pinecrane Pill. You've saved your sister-in-law twice!" The emperor sighed. "Ah Yun, what good have I done to deserve a brother as trustworthy as him? Did you know that while we were out, he risked his own life to get us the antidote? We truly owe him a huge debt of gratitude."
"Brother Zhen, I don't know where to start thanking you because I'm not good with words. You two are both very loyal and honorable men. Fate must've tied both of you together because of this. If there's anything you might need in the future, just ask. Even if Peerless doesn't agree to it, I'll make sure that he will."
Jiang Chen laughed. "Sister-in-law you over exaggerate. Old Brother Mo would never abandon me in my time of need."
Emperor Peerless roared with laughter. "That you are correct! However, with my brother's skill and talent, he will surely surpass me one day! We won't know who'll be asking who for help then! Moreover, instead of helping him, my debt only grows deeper and deeper."
This was just courtesy, of course. Without the emperor's help, Jiang Chen would never have won Mu Gaoqi's auction, nor would he be able to save Elder Yun Nie, let alone having powerful experts like the Geng brothers escort them back to Veluriyam Capital.
Third Master Jing would never have had such huge turnaround in attitude either. Of course, these were words Jiang Chen would keep to himself. "Old Brother Mo, Miss Qing is still unconscious. It's up to you whether you want to rescue her or not."
The emperor let out a gentle sigh and looked at Madame Yun tenderly. "Ah Yun, Little sister Qing is your junior sister. You should decide."
Madame Yun sighed gently as she'd already heard about the sequence of events from Emperor Peerless. "Little sister Qing has always been a good sister. We've relied heavily on each other ever since we were only three. To think that I knew nothing about her unrequited love for Peerless. It's my fault for not showing her enough concern. Maybe… this really is too unfair."
Emperor Peerless immediately interjected. "Ah Yun, how can there be fairness when it comes to love?"
"Peerless, I'll never be able to rest easy if I don't save little sister Qing. Surely you won't blame me if I choose to save her?" Madame Yun let out another gentle sigh.
The emperor shook his head. "Little sister Qing isn't a bad person. Otherwise, she would never have taken such good care of you."
"Mm. I'll save her." Madame Yun quickly responded.
Emperor Peerless was worried. Madame Yun had just only recuperated from all kinds of ailments, and was in no state to help Miss Qing. If Miss Qing was hell-bent on dying, she might even cause the poison to backfire.
"Ah Yun… your body has yet to fully recover. Expelling this poison is extremely taxing to the body and mind. Why don't you rest some first?" The emperor glanced at Jiang Chen, signaling him to say a word or two.
Jiang Chen smiled wryly. "Sister-in-law, with the current state of your body, you'll have little chance of success. Moreover, the poison might even backfire onto you."
Madame Yun was very trusting of Jiang Chen. "Ah? Then what shall we do?" she panicked.
"The only person suitable for the task… is probably Old Brother Mo." Jiang Chen responded wryly.
The emperor's face immediately turned aghast. "Little brother, how is this appropriate? Y-you… you shouldn't drag me into the mud!"
Jiang Chen was only speaking the truth. If the task was left to Madame Yun, it would surely end in catastrophe, and he was obviously not suitable for the task either. At the end of the day, the best person for the task was Emperor Peerless.
"Old brother, it might be a little inappropriate to put you up to this task, but you are currently the best person for the job. You may seek female pill kings to do it for you, but in this city, there's likely very few who'll risk their lives for this. Moreover, there's only two days left before her time is up. The longer you drag this out, the smaller the chance of success will be." Jiang Chen was completely honest.
Madame Yun had something to add too. "Peerless, you should save her. You're the only person who can undo the knot in her heart. She won't let the poison backfire if you do it."
Women were emotional beings, but that didn't mean they were incapable of rational thought. Madame Yun had clearly thought this through from the angle of a woman.
"Fine." The emperor was a true cultivator. He was not going to act wishy-washy like the common man after hearing Madame Yun's request.
"Ah Yun, as long as you know how I feel about you, I'm willing to do anything you ask."
The emperor had successfully purged Miss Qing's poison four hours later. When she regained consciousness, she first thought that they'd reunited in another world, but was quickly awakened to reality when Madame Yun entered the room.
"You… how are all of you alive? W-why am I alive too?" Her face was full of confusion and distraught.
"Little sister Qing, why do you remain so obsessed with the Seven Emotions Poison after coming back from the gates of hell?" Madame Yun sighed. "Why didn't you tell me that you had feelings for Peerless as well?"
Miss Qing sighed faintly. "Dear sister, what use would that be? It won't change the fact that Brother Mo knew you first. You're right, why would I remain obsessed even though I've already been to the gates of hell? Brother Mo, dear sister, whether you wish to beat me up or kill me, do as you wish."
"You silly girl, why would I kill you after asking Peerless to save you?" Madame Yun sighed gently. "You need only say the word and I'll have Peerless treat you as how he treats me."
Miss Qing gently smiled and got on her feet. "Dear sister, you've always been muddle-headed, but because of that, you're blessed with a fool's luck. Brother Mo is your man, so you should know him better that I do. Do you really think he's capable of loving two women? He wouldn't be worthy of my admiration if he was.
"Brother Mo, take good care of Sister Yun." Miss Qing headed for the exit without looking back.
"Little sister Qing, where are you going?" Madame Yun asked immediately.
"Dear sister, don't worry about me. I've already died once. I won't do something this foolish ever again." Miss Qing flashed an elegant smile and slowly made her way downstairs.
Upon exiting the door, she noticed Jiang Chen standing right outside. She glanced at him emotionlessly and walked right past him. However, she suddenly came to a halt. "You were right about something. I really should've told him about my feelings. Everything feels much lighter now."
Her smile was very muted and discreet, but one could clearly see that her infatuation was now replaced by enlightenment and insight. She had fully conquered her inner demons.
Jiang Chen's thoughts were complex as he watched her leave and disappear from sight. The innkeeper and his assistants had fled, but Jiang Chen and others didn't move into another inn. The emperor and his wife remained where they were for two more days in order to recuperate. After that, they finally departed for the designated place where they'd agreed to meet Liu Zhen.
Jiang Chen was curious. What trouble could an origin realm cultivator run into at a place like Frostmoon City? How serious was it that he'd trade Radiant Celestial Grass to get help from others? Jiang Chen didn't want to be a busybody, but it was worth a look since he'd receive a shoot of Radiant Celestial Grass in return for his troubles.