Xu Qingxuan had truly given them a new perspective on things. The crowd recalled the story of how Pill King Ji Lang had lost to Pill King Zhen of Veluriyam Capital all those years ago. It was a story that took the entire Upper Eight Regions by the storm. Pillfire City had killed many people in order to stifle the rumors, but to no avail.
In the end, the city refused to acknowledge the loss and claimed that Veluriyam Capital had cheated by researching the Longevity Pill beforehand, while Pill King Ji Lang had little to no time for preparation and thus failed the incredibly easy task due to lack of enthusiasm. This statement of theirs was utterly unconvincing, but it was enough to stifle heated discussions. Eventually, people began to forget about Pill King Ji Lang's humiliating loss.
Pill King Zhen? Veluriyam Capital was genuinely a great distance away from Tilted Moon Region. If they sought the Capital's help, it'd be a great form of disrespect to Pillfire City. After all, their borders was right next to each other. Pillfire would definitely take offense if they hired help from that far away. Being neighbors with the city wasn't always a good thing. The sectmasters exchanged glances without saying anything.
The second sectmaster smiled wryly. "Qingxuan, your suggestion isn't bad, but it doesn't suit our situation very well if you take everything into account. It's basically a slap to Pillfire City's face."
"Why must we consider the city's face? What's wrong with hiring someone else if the city is incompetent? It's not as though we sought Veluriyam Capital for help first!" Xu Qingxuan had made a good argument.
"What do you all think?" the second sectmaster asked ruefully.
The senior sectmaster sighed. "We might consider asking Pill King Zhen of Veluriyam Capital for help, but only as a last resort. Before that, we should consider Pill King Blue Phoenix's suggestion and find the genius Shao Yuan."
"Yes. If he's really as great as the pill king says he is, maybe a miracle will happen?"
The sectmasters quickly came to a unanimous decision. They'd seek Pill King Shao Yuan's help first, just as Pill King Blue Phoenix had suggested. They wholeheartedly believed that Pill King Shao Yuan would show up if the reward was high enough, even if his whereabouts were currently unknown.
An announcement was made while they were in the middle of their discussion. "Esteemed sectmasters, Elder Jing asks for an audience."
"Elder Jing?" The senior sectmaster was a little taken aback. "What's he doing here?"
"He wishes to recommend a pill king."
Elder Jing? An image of Elder Jing flashed across the three sectmasters' minds. Indeed, there was an Elder Jing among the elders of the sect. However, he didn't particularly stand out among the jury of elders. He wasn't exactly the cream of the crop. That was why they were a little taken aback when Elder Jing wanted to recommend someone. However, they needed all the help they could get. If they denied him of his audience, who'd ever recommend a pill king again?
"Send him in," the senior sectmaster ordered.
Elder Jing was the Jing forefather and held a seat in the Moon God Sect's council of elders. However he didn't get to see the sectmasters very often.
"Jing Tianbo pays his respects to the three sectmasters and the holy maidens."
The holy maidens were second only to the sectmasters. Their authority was just above the elders, but it was mostly just a symbolic gesture as they held no true power for the time being.
"Elder Jing, you may rise. We heard that you're recommending a pill king?" The senior sectmaster wasn't exactly enthusiastic, but there wasn't any hostility in her voice.
Jing Tianbo nodded. "Yes. This subordinate is here for that reason."
"Oh? The pill king you're nominating. Where is he from?" She followed up warmly.
"This subordinate doesn't know."
How dare you recommend someone without knowing his background first? The senior sectmaster was starting to feel annoyed. "What rank pill king is he then?"
Jing Tianbo found himself in an increasingly awkward situation. He didn't actually know what rank the person in question was. He suddenly found himself incapable of answering.
"Then you should at least know what school of pill dao he's from, right?" The sectmaster was on the verge of kicking him out.
Jing Tianbo smiled wryly. "I heard that his origin is extremely mysterious. This subordinate hasn't made the proper inquiries. However…"
"Elder Jing! You are too rash!" The second sectmaster suddenly yelled as she could no longer hold back her anger. "If you're going to recommend someone, you should at least research his background first! How dare you recommend someone you don't even know a thing about!? Do you even know what you're doing?"
Jing Tianbo was terrified. Cold sweat immediately poured from his forehead. "This subordinate realizes his mistake. But…"
"That's enough! I've heard enough from you. Elder Jing, you may take your leave. The sect is in urgent need of a pill dao expert, but not every Wang, Chen, or Lin has the right to enter our sect and point fingers!"
Color drained from Jing Tianbo's face. The entire incident was leaving a bitter taste in his mouth, but he didn't dare to go against the sectmaster's orders. He flashed a wry smile and bowed deeply. "This subordinate has overstepped his boundaries, I ask for your forgiveness. Aii…"
Jing Tianbo didn't have enough authority to speak. Otherwise, he could've added a few more words. Unfortunately, he didn't have the courage to do so. He was genuinely intimidated by the wrath of the three sectmasters.
However, Xu Qingxuan suddenly spoke up. "Elder Jing, the pill king that you're recommending, what is his surname? You should at least know that much, right?"
Jing Tianbo quickly answered. "He goes by the surname of Shao! Maybe the sectmasters have heard of him too? A captain from the Bleakmoon Hall was recently declared as Emperor Peerless' foster son, right? Sir Shao has accompanied the emperor throughout his stay in our region. A few months ago, they've even attended the Bounty Arena in Pillfire City together and raised an enormous commotion there!" Jing Tianbo didn't dare to linger once he was done and immediately backed towards the exit.
"Wait!" The senior sectmaster yelled excitedly. The other two sectmasters were also brimming with excitement.
"Elder Jing, did you just mention that he goes by the surname of Shao? Is his full name Shao Yuan?" The senior sectmaster asked agitatedly.
"That is correct. Senior sectmaster, you know of Sir Shao Yuan too?" Jing Tianbo was a little taken aback. He didn't expect the sectmasters to care about such mundane affairs. And it was true, the sectmasters genuinely knew nothing about this pill king. The only reason they even knew of his name was because they'd just come to a decision to seek his help.
Pill King Blue Phoenix had strongly recommended Pill King Shao Yuan. He held Sir Shao in such high regard that Sir Shao seemed like the only person he revered in the pill dao world. No ordinary person could possibly gain so much respect from a proud and acclaimed pill king like Blue Phoenix. The sectmasters of Moon God Sect couldn't help but have a paramount of respect for Shao Yuan. Initially, they were worried they'd fail to locate the enigmatic pill king, but unexpectedly, he was right on their doorstep! Finding him hadn't taken the slightest effort!
"Elder Jing, you've done us a great service. Quick, go get Pill King Shao Yuan!"
"Please hurry. Tell him that we're willing to give him any reward for his services! As long as he finds out what's wrong with the Moon God Precious Tree, he can ask for any amount of spirit stones from us."
Jing Tianbo breathed a sigh of relief and laughed inwardly at himself. If he'd known earlier that this would happen, he should've just mentioned Sir Shao's full name. It would've saved him an earful.
The sectmasters exchanged glances once Elder Jing had left. The second sectmaster was still a little skeptical. "Isn't this too much of a coincidence? I can't help but suspect that something is amiss."
"I concur. However, Emperor Peerless has been in Frostmoon City for quite some time. Since Sir Shao and the emperor are well acquainted, it isn't that suspicious to see them together."
"Who cares if it's a coincidence or not? Our main concern is his ability to cure our Precious Tree! Does anything else really matter if he can solve our problem?" The senior sectmaster ended the argument. The crowd nodded in agreement.
"Senior sectmaster, how should we welcome him? Should we show him as much hospitality as Pill King Ji Lang, or would that too excessive?"
"Mm, that's true. His fame is nothing when compared to Pill King Ji Lang's."
The senior sectmaster's face darkened. "Who cares if he's famous or not at a time like this? Pill King Ji Lang is famous, yes. But what has he done for us?"
"Jing Tianbo has already left. He'll surely inform Sir Shao of our predicament. Sir Shao might hold it against us if he realizes that we're showing him less hospitality than the other pill kings. This might end up working against our favor."
The discussion on hospitality was from henceforth put to rest. If the guest didn't put forth his best simply because he wasn't shown enough hospitality, all their efforts would go down the drain.
Jing Tianbo quickly brought the news to the first division. Jiang Chen was thrilled. He turned around to face Jiang Feng.
"This is our chance! Father, I'll make sure hand over your token to little sister. We can only hope that she'll hand it over to mother."
Jiang Feng nodded resolutely. "She will. We share the same righteousness in our blood because she's my daughter. Of that I have no doubt."
Jiang Chen nodded. He hoped that it'd be the case. He was worried that his sister might've lost her innocence after being constantly brainwashed by the sect. Could she possibly remain kind, gentle, and magnamious as how his father described his mother?
Jiang Chen brought along his father's token and left with Jing Tianbo without hesitation. He didn't bring a single person with him. Not even Emperor Peerless. The more people there was, the bigger the chance that something could go wrong.
They soon arrived at the entrance of the Moon God Sect. It was his second time here, but he was in a completely different mood this time. He was determined to deliver the message to his mother so that his parents could reunite. The desire to do so burned fiercely inside of him. It was the his responsibility as their son and his greatest wish.