Staying temporarily within Gu Xintang's reisdence, Jiang Chen took meticulous care of his father every day. Under his attentive ministrations, Jiang Feng's wounds healed very quickly. He was mostly healed after roughly four days. Physically and psychologically, he was no different from most other cultivators.
During this entire time, Jiang Chen kept completely silent. He told the older man nothing of their current circumstances. Jiang Feng cooperated by reciprocating that silence, asking no questions whatsoever. He knew that his son urgently wanted to treat his injuries.
The silence lasted until the day of Jiang Feng's recovery. On that day, he let out a soft sigh. "Chen'er, I didn't expect us to reunite here, of all places. Why did they take me to the Moon God Sect? Why did they just toss me into the Sable Cells? I only went to the Heavensfall Society to gather some information. Is there something different about the Tilted Moon Region?" Jiang Feng was still utterly lost as to the reasons for having been put through this entire experience.
He'd drifted about the Upper Eight Regions for numerous years, making contacts through an entire gamut of channels. Though he had often been deceived, this kind of ordeal was new to him. Simple information-gathering had led to him being mired in unexpected trouble.
Jiang Chen tossed his father a complicated look. "Father, perhaps you still have the wool over your eyes. You don't know that you came too close to the truth for comfort."
"What do you mean?" Jiang Feng's face froze.
"What you've been seeking for all these years… is with the Moon God Sect. You stumbled upon their secrets. What better reason could they toss you into the Sable Cells for?"
Jiang Feng's expression changed drastically as he jumped out of his chair. "Chen'er, what did you just say? What I've been looking for… is with the Moon God Sect? Your mother, is she really from here?"
Jiang Chen nodded. "Indeed."
Jiang Feng was in literal shock. He was in a great disarray, punctuated by outbreaks of foolish giggles, incomprehensible mutters, and stoic stares. He recovered himself a little only after a long while. "Chen'er, are you sure that your mother is at the Moon God Sect still?" He grabbed his son's hand. "How did you find out?"
Jiang Chen cut straight to the chase. "When I was at Veluriyam Capital, I heard a certain piece of news. Several decades ago, a holy maiden from the Moon God Sect was lost to the mundane world. This inspired me to come to the Tilted Moon Region in search of more information. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that you'd come as well, nor that you wouldn't know mother was with the Moon God Sect!"
"This must be the will of heaven! Chen'er, heaven itself wants our family to get back together. Who can refuse the decree of the divine?" Jiang Feng's lips trembled and he was greatly excited. He badly wanted to grow a pair of wings and set out right this moment to find his wife again.
Jiang Chen, on the other hand, looked more conflicted. "Father, that's only part of it." He let out a long sigh.
"Oh? What else is there? Is your mother… not doing well?" Jiang Feng's voice trailed off, shaking. He was most worried not about not being able to find his wife again, but rather finding her in unhappiness. Or worse, that she'd forgotten about him altogether.
"I don't think… 'not doing well' is the right way to put it, but I can't say that she's amazingly well either. Perhaps she pines for you every day, father, just like you do her. But she has no control over her own fate, and can't leave the Moon God Sect."
"Why?" Jiang Feng was incensed. "The people at the Moon God Sect are a bunch of bullies. If your mother isn't willing to stay, why are they stopping her from leaving? Don't they know that you can't force a horse to drink water? Don't they understand that she doesn't care about being some holy maiden?"
Jiang Chen hastily tried to calm his passionate father down. "Dad, take a deep breath and relax. Mother isn't their holy maiden at the moment."
"Oh? How do you know? If she's not, all the better. There should be much less resistance for our family reunion, then." Jiang Feng was visibly pleased.
Jiang Chen knew that it was his father's dream to see that happen. However, what he didn't know was that their family didn't quite include the number of people that he'd expect.
Technically, they were now a family of five.
The complexity of Jiang Chen's expression did not escape his father. Jiang Feng's voice cracked. "Chen'er, are you keeping something important from me? Is… your mother…"
"No, no. She's with the Moon God Sect, and not as their holy maiden. But, er, there's someone else who is, who makes it very hard for mother to leave them."
"Why should that person matter to her?" Jiang Feng shook his head.
"Not just to her, but to us as well. Because… the current holy maiden of the Blues is your daughter and my sister. And mother, well, she was originally supposed to be the holy maiden for the Blue Moon faction…"
"What? What'd you just say? Your sister? My daughter?" Jiang Feng's eyes widened. What he'd just heard was absolutely astounding. Without a doubt, this information was simply too incredible. Jiang Chen had experienced similar emotions when he'd first heard about it as well, so this was nothing unexpected. Jiang Feng positively reeled with confusion.
"How can you have a sister?! How would your mother have married someone else and have children with him? You're lying, this is all fake, Chen'er, it must be!" He sounded like a raving madman.
Jiang Chen smiled wryly. "Father, I didn't say anything like that. Her child is also yours, but no one knew about it back when you first separated. There's another thing, actually. Mother gave birth to fraternal twins, one boy and one girl."
This revelation hit Jiang Feng on the head like a hefty club. He saw stars in front of his eyes. Should he be feeling happy? Bewildered? He was still for a long while before coming to his senses. Excitement flared in his eyes. "Chen'er, is everything you've said true?"
"You can trust it completely. I've verified these secrets with many people. The Moon God Sect prefers to keep them hidden, but even secrets have keepers."
"Good, great, amazing!" Suddenly, Jiang Feng began to cackle loudly. The skin around his eyes became reddened, and tears pooled at their corners. Though men were usually stoic and unyielding, there were certain soft subjects that could bring them to tears.
Jiang Feng had gone through a great deal. He had planned for and anticipated the worst. Hearing that his wife was still alive cheered him up quite a bit. Not only that, but she'd also given him a pair of children. Two pieces of wonderful news! In that moment, he felt that every trial and tribulation had been worth it.
"So you're saying, Chen'er, that we're not a family of three anymore? Instead, we're a family of five?! What excellent news. Let's go find your mother immediately!" Jiang Feng was being very impulsive.
"Easy, father," Jiang Chen cautioned hastily. "Mother is the previous holy maiden of the Blue Moon faction, and younger sister is the current. They surely have a formidable amount of protection around them. If we just go looking for them willy-nilly, then we won't be able to see them at all. Worse, we'll have given away our goal, lowering our chances to be reunited with them."
Having seen a fair bit himself, Jiang Chen knew well the barriers for relationships between those of different social classes. His father was just some origin realm cultivator. The Moon God Sect cared little for individuals of that caliber. The Blues, for one, was less than willing for their two generations of holy maidens to have any connections with such a man. Thus, recklessly heading in could only result in closing off future paths towards his mother and sister. That was a much graver matter than just not being able to see them for the time being. To achieve a proper family reunion, they needed to wait for the right time and approach.
Jiang Feng had made the rash suggestion based on his emotions alone. Cooling off was enough for him to agree with his son. Going now would result only in the opposite of what they wanted.
"What do you think, Chen'er? My head is a little messed up. I'd rather listen to your ideas," Jiang Feng declared decisively.
"We need to be in this for the long haul. Father, I promise that no matter how much resistance, I'll see this through and get you and mother back together. I'll make our family whole again. And I'll find my younger brother…" Jiang Chen hadn't wanted to add the last part, but he decided that it was too important to omit.
"Find your younger brother? What do you mean?" Jiang Feng's tone darkened. Jiang Chen let out a soft sigh. He laid out what'd happened.
Jiang Feng adopted an ugly look at the situation. "Is the Moon God Sect this cold-blooded?"
"They are. As is any first rank sect. Don't worry, father. The heavens are watching over our entire family. Even if my little brother has been exiled from the Tilted Moon Region, I'm sure he's safe and sound elsewhere. It's very possible that these troubles are only trials on his road to greatness." Jiang Chen could only try to comfort his father this way.
Jiang Feng nodded. "You're right. Back in Jiang Han province, you wallowed in ignorance under my protecting eye. After you went to the capital, you suddenly wisened up. And look how well you've turned out, now! You know, I've been hearing about your exploits at the Precious Tree Sect, then the Regal Pill Palace, and then your grudge with Eternal Celestial Capital… a first rank sect even has a bounty on your head, eh? Is all of this true?"
As a wanderer, Jiang Feng had been privy to a reasonable amount of information from the jianghu while on the road. The size of the bounty on Jiang Chen's head had alerted the entire world to his existence. He'd thought that it was merely someone with the same name at first, but a cursory examination revealed that the Jiang Chen on Eternal Celestial Capital's hit-list was his son!
This had scared him into a cold fright. He had to start hiding his name and identity because of it. It wasn't that he was scared of being captured by the Eternal Celestial Capital, but that he was worried that he would be used to blackmail his son. Thankfully, Jiang Feng was so insignificant that few people even noticed him. He managed to avoid the most unfavorable outcomes.
He hadn't heard any more news of Jiang Chen, after that. He thought constantly of his son, but the presence of the bounty from Eternal Celestial Capital remained an assuring sight. As long as the bounty was still there, his son was safe. Truthfully, Jiang Feng sometimes felt proud of his son. A first rank sect hadn't managed to touch his son after how many years? He didn't know where his son had ended up, but he'd maintained a strong faith that his son was alright!