Beigong Ming was hesitating still, but Liu Zhen was more decisive than he. In the blink of an eye, he jumped over to yet another executive. Said executive crumbled instantly and began screaming. "If he doesn't want to, I'll talk, I'll talk! This is stuff everyone knows!"
Liu Zhen nodded, revealing a satisfied smile. "Very good, you're very cooperative. Are you sure you want to? I don't care who speaks up. As long as the info is good, you don't need to die. But, if you don't want to die, you have to show a little sincerity."
"Yes, yes, I will," the executive confirmed hurriedly. "I see now that it's not worth it to put my life on the line for these bastards. The Heavensfall Society is a motley bunch at the heart of things. We're together only for profit, doing nothing but the most despicable and vile deeds. Those four over there don't care about the rest of us at all."
Liu Zhen lit up at that. "Perfect. Speak up, then. You'll be safe if you show us real sincerity."
Overjoyed, the executive nodded incessantly. Beigong Ming's heart panicked at the sound of 'sincerity'. He had a terrible feeling, a prospect of what was about to happen next.
"I'll talk! I'm willing to talk too," he interjected instantly.
"Now? Too late," Liu Zhen announced callously.
"No, it's not, really it isn't," Beigong Ming sweated profusely. "I definitely know a lot more than he does. I'll spill all the beans if you give me the chance to!"
The executive was furious at that. "Beigong Ming, aren't you ashamed of yourself?"
Jiang Chen was impressed by Liu Zhen's adept manipulation of the men. Surprisingly, only a few tricks were needed to make the Heavensfall Society turn back on itself.
Liu Zhen's face darkened. "What're you two screaming about? You. Talk." He pointed at the executive.
The executive was simply ecstatic. "No problem! The holy maiden belonged to the Blue Moon faction. The whole thing was an embarrassment for the Moon God Sect. Many years ago, the four factions competed against each other in the selection for the holy maiden. They each had a reasonably good candidate, but the one from the Blue Moon faction, still a baby, had a naturally gifted constitution. Therefore, she had the most support amongst them. For some reason, the Blues were mysteriously attacked later and the holy maiden lost. It's still one of the Moon God Sect's great mysteries. It wasn't until thirty years ago that the Blues were able to recover and to everyone's surprise, they found the holy maiden in a small, worldly kingdom. Alas, she was… no longer a virgin. She had married a duke and had a son with him. This revelation greatly angered the Blues: the holy maiden they'd spent so much effort to find was…"
Liu Zhen looked on in blank dismay, then turned to Jiang Chen. Clearly, he wanted the young man to decide whether to hear more about the topic. Jiang Chen shook a hand slightly. This much was enough.
Liu Zhen quickly reacted to the signal. "Stop, that's all we need to know. What're you rambling on about? We didn't ask you about the rest."
The Blue Moon faction? Passion swelled up in Jiang Chen's heart. He'd finally managed to find out his mother's origins! The details matched up to his father's letter exactly. In other words, the Moon God Sect's holy maiden of yesteryear was very likely his mother.
Hold on, the Blues? Wasn't Gu Xintang of the Blues as well? If so… A ray of hope dawned in Jiang Chen's heart. If Gu Xintang is the same faction as mother… And if she was still around… would she just let father be put to death under her nose?
No, unless Gu Xintang had intentionally kept the matter from her. Otherwise, there was almost no woman in the world who would kill her own husband. Furthermore, all evidence in his father's letter indicated that his parents' relationship had been a loving one. In particular, his mother had cared a lot about her husband. There was no good explanation for his father's insistence on finding her again otherwise. Without a strong bond, what could motivate Jiang Feng to chase after his wife for all these years?
Regardless, all of this was still a thread of hope. His heart tightened as he walked towards Liu Zhen. "I'll take it from here."
The origin realm cultivator nodded before carefully getting out of the way. His smile was positively simpering. Beyond a doubt, Liu Zhen was aware that this young master Shao led the company.
Jiang Chen's eyes brushed past the face of each Heavensfall Society member emotionlessly.
"You know Liu Zhen's rules. So," Jiang Chen began. "The Blues' lost holy maiden. What's her name?"
"I know, I know. Xu Meng!" The executive they were interrogating scrambled to answer.
"How are things with her now?" Jiang Chen asked.
"When she was first brought back, the other three factions had announced that she should be put to death because her noble blood had been tainted. Oddly, the Blues resisted the other three at all costs. Even more oddly, upon holy maiden Xu Meng's return, she was discovered to be pregnant."
"What? A pregnancy? Are you sure?!" Jiang Chen was floored by the turn of events. "How…"
"Who else could it be? That duke I spoke of, of course. When the holy maiden had first come back, she apparently cried every day about wanting to go back to the small kingdom she'd been taken from. She wanted to be with her husband again, you see. This was worse after her pregnancy was discovered."
Jiang Chen was astonished. His head rang with the impact of what he'd just heard. He hadn't expected this particular twist. His mother's pregnancy when she was taken away had surely been unknown even to his father.
"What happened next?" Jiang Chen rasped, struggling to hold back his emotions.
"As her pregnancy advanced, she gradually reduced the extent of her struggles. She eventually gave birth to twins: a boy and a girl.
"Twins? A boy and a girl?" Yet more shock rippled through him. An endless tide welled up within his chest, wave after wave breaking upon his heart.
Twins, huh? They would be his younger siblings! They were related by blood of the purest kind. How happy would his father be to find out about that?
"How're they doing nowadays?" Taking a deep breath, Jiang Chen asked once more.
"It's a long story. The Moon God Sect at large despised Xu Meng because they considered her blood tainted by the common world. That feeling extended to her children at first. Some thought they were harbingers of misfortune, and there were calls to evict the three. In fact, some went so far as to declare that they should all be put to death.
"But a bloodline test quelled all of the clamoring. In terms of purity, the twin girl's surpassed even her mother's. The Blues had hit the jackpot. They protected the little girl with everything at their disposal. The other three factions had no grounds any more to oppose it, either. For the Moon God Sect, bloodline was everything. That girl's bloodline far surpassed all the other geniuses of her generation by a mile, leaving them no room for criticism. Thus, Xu Meng's former position of holy maiden was bequeathed onto her daughter."
Holy maiden? Jiang Chen let out a long breath. If his long-lost sister was now the holy maiden of the sect, then his mother was probably not too badly off there. However, something else suddenly came to mind.
"It's understandable for the daughter to walk in her mother's footsteps. But what of the other twin? The boy? How is his bloodline?"
"He… ah, there's no need to mention it. Despite coming from the same mother, the boy had an entirely different fate. His bloodline was quite ordinary, one that could be found in any worldly kingdom. Even a sixth rank sect wouldn't want a talentless child like him, much less a first rank one like the Moon God Sect. The Moon God Sect only cares about a holy maiden, anyways. There's no tradition of a holy son or anything. Traditionally, the sect's leadership has always been held by women."
Jiang Chen was stunned. The twins had the same mother, but one had superb talent while the other was extremely average. This was almost too incredible to consider. Thinking back, he remembered that his own body had initially been the same way. If not for his continued alterations via his past life's memories, he would've been in a similar situation. Sixth rank sects had standards, too. His little brother that he'd never met was just like him. Mediocre constitution, mediocre talent.
"Is he with the Moon God Sect as well?" Jiang Chen let out a silent sigh. Without surpassing talent, life at a first rank sect like the Moon God Sect was generally awful. Having a sister who was the holy maiden of the Blues did little to mitigate that fact. The comparison to one's sibling alone was enough to crush a weak heart. One child was the holy maiden, sought and supported by everyone. The other was a worthless piece of trash with nothing to his name.
"No way. The Moon God Sect doesn't normally keep any slackers around, much less a child with tainted blood. The result of the bloodline test decided his destiny, and that's not something that anyone can change. Still, they gave him a chance. I believe they said that if he was able to enter the origin realm at twelve, then he could stay. Otherwise, he would be exiled the moment he turned twelve."
Origin realm at twelve? Jiang Chen cracked a wry smile. That meant his unknown brother was definitely with the Moon God Sect no longer. Without a unique opportunity, someone with such middling talent wouldn't be able to enter origin realm their entire life. The child was indistinguishable from the rest of the sixteen kingdom alliance, perhaps even just the Eastern Kingdom. He couldn't compare to the typical disciple of the four great sects in the sixteen kingdom alliance, much less survive in a first rank sect.
What were the sixteen kingdom alliance's four great sects in actuality? Merely seventh rank in the grand scheme of things. Someone that sixth rank sects cared nothing about was at most a common disciple in a seventh rank sect. Back then, the four great sects had only one origin realm cultivator each. This was true of the Purple Sun Sect, the Precious Tree Sect, and the two others. Only Ye Chonglou's explosive breakthrough had heralded the second origin realm ancestor of the Precious Tree Sect.