Though Sir Shao Yuan's words erred on the side of the preposterous, he did open up an entirely new angle of attack.This was an approach that had never been tried before. The suspicions about him began to loosen. Could this young man possibly be speaking the truth? His confidence made it difficult to imagine he was just making it up. Unlike Pill King Ji Lang, he had spoken with surety.
The senior sectmaster took in a deep breath. "Sir Shao, if it is really as you say… how should we fix the problem?"
Jiang Chen waved a hand. "There's nothing to fix. The effects so far have been superficial at best and no lasting damage has been done. But… Big Sister Xu Shan won't be able to take care of the Moon God Precious Tree any more." He turned to the girl in question. "Your Yin Yang Reverse Bloodline should be well taken care of. Get a set of martial methods and principles tailored to you, and your future accomplishments will be limitless."
He looked back at the Moon God Sect's senior sectmaster. "That's at least part of the reason I was congratulating you, sectmaster. With this Yin Yang Reverse Bloodline in your Moon God Sect, you're sure to witness the birth of a new great personage sooner or later."
These words were like a clap of thunder, exploding within close vicinity of the audience. If it really was as Jiang Chen said, then Xu Shan's talent had been wasted for a long time. The senior sectmaster felt her ears ring. Too much information too quickly had that kind of effect, and she could scarcely take it all in. Had it really taken so little to find the reason for the Precious Tree's problem? And they'd received a martial dao genius on top of that? What kind of bloodline was the Yin Yang Reverse Bloodline? Despite her breadth of experience, she had never heard of such a thing. Was it really as wondrous as the young man was saying?
Xu Qingxuan had never heard of it, either. Probably none of the sectmasters have. But it was simply inconvenient for them to say that outright. She didn't care about that, though. She had few concerns to consider.
"Sir Shao, you've certainly been the most reasonable one so far, but… why does your theory sound like something out of a myth? What is the Yin Yang Reverse Bloodline? Can you tell me?"
It was impolite for Xu Qingxuan to ask this of him, given that Jiang Chen was a guest. However, her personality had naïve innocence woven into it. Any listeners would only hear the cute temperament of a little girl, taking nothing serious from the gesture.
Jiang Chen had a rather good impression of his little sister. Since she asked, he was ready to show off a bit. He knew that the better his performance was, the more likely that Xu Qingxuan might bring his storage ring to mother. It was an important outcome to ensure. Sinking into thought for a moment, he turned back to Xu Shan, his tone deliberate. "Big Sister Xu Shan, you're still very young, yes? Thirty at most, I'd wager."
It was normal for girls to find talk of their age embarrassing at any time. In the world of martial dao, thirty was equivalent to a child in normal terms. A very early stage of life. Even so, Xu Shan still visibly reddened. Her voice was as small as an ant's. "I'm twenty-eight this year."
"Hmm, twenty-eight. Good, you haven't missed the best time to cultivate yet. It would be a great shame if you were over sixty instead… both for you, and your bloodline." Jiang Chen carried on. "When you cultivated during your childhood, it must have been very difficult to gather spirit energy. Scattered energy was only one symptom, though. Oscillating between a hot dantian and an icy one must've been another. It had no pattern whatsoever, right?"
Xu Shan's eyes lit up. "Yes, yes, you know everything about it! What… what problem do I have?"
"The Yin Yang Reverse Bloodline is liable to cause such chaos if you don't have a good grasp of its characteristics. You need a set of cultivation methods tailored to you. If you go about it the normal way, you won't even get a fifth of the results of other people. In other words, even though you're one of the Moon God Sect's best talents, you've been reaping very little returns from your work. I'm not wrong about that, am I?"
Xu Shan began to cry once more. She'd experienced a great deal of abuse because of her cultivation. Remembering back on it saddened her. Being laughed at by one's peers, being abandoned by one's family, being sidelined by everyone in general… this kind of mass rejection was hard for anyone to deal with, much less a girl.
Nobody had cared about her feelings these past few years. Nobody had cared about her suffering. And yet, a total stranger had been the one to speak these caring words to her. And a prominent pill king, at that! Her past anguish was brought to the forefront again. It was very cruel to be presented with such awful outcomes despite her prime talent.
Xu Shan had been aiming resentment at Jiang Chen at first. She thought that he was putting on an act in order to push the blame onto her, that she was going to be made a scapegoat. She felt ashamed to have thought that, now. She had been wrong about this Sir Shao, her mindset too narrow. From beginning to end, the young pill king had shown zero antagonism towards her. Quite the opposite, he actively proved her innocence. If this had occurred in private, Xu Shan would've had no qualms about kneeling down in gratitude to him.
Each and every cultivator dreamed of becoming a genius one day, regardless of gender. Xu Shan's had been crushed before it could bloom. How painful it must have been! The silence from the audience following the revelation was palpable. The senior sectmaster sighed softly. Her mouth moved as if to say something, but she swallowed those unformed words.
The second sectmaster, on the other hand, seemed dissatisfied still. "Your version of things is untested. Do you have any proof?"
Jiang Chen bore no goodwill towards the second sectmaster, who was also Xu Qingxuan's master. This woman was indubitably a Blue Moon forefather, and the person responsible for shattering his father and mother's marriage. It was more than likely that she had also ordered his mother's house arrest and his little brother's exile as of late. On what basis could he have a good impression of her?
Still, he had no desire to engage in open warfare with her. "As a pill master," he smiled faintly, "My job is to speak the truth. Whether you accept it or not is another matter. I had no intention of receiving any reward from you from the start. If one day I am proven correct, then do try to remember that Elder Jing Tianbo tried to help once upon a time. If not for his sake, I wouldn't be here."
His speech was a little pretentious, but he couldn't exactly reveal his true intentions here. It was better to be circumspect and indirect. The jig was up if they found out that he was here for his mother. He didn't want to waste all the effort he'd put in so far. Failure was not an option. Jiang Chen had no fear of antagonizing these people here. The only thing he was scared of was his parents' inability to reunite once more. To him, it was a weighty matter of filial piety.
The senior sectmaster stopped the second sectmaster with a look. She stepped forward in inquiry. "Sir Shao, your explanation is very reasonable indeed. There's just one question I'd like to ask: why does the Yin Yang Reverse Bloodline conflict with the Moon God Precious Tree? How should someone with the bloodline go about their cultivation?"
These were honest questions.
"No matter whether it's leaning towards yin or yang reverse, the bloodline is intensely potent either way. Naturally, it does far more damage to the tree during yang reverse. The Moon God Precious Tree is a spirit plant characterized by extreme yin. The pure yang energy from the yang reverse process intrinsically inhibits it. You people know that already to a degree, yes? You've never sent male disciples to care for this tree, correct?"
The senior sectmaster looked thoughtful. Her expression shifted from confusion to convincement.
"As expected, Sir Shao, you're a man of many talents and experiences. I'd wager that only you could've found the cause for our problem. We hereby thank you for your assistance. If you'd like any reward, feel free to let us know. We have both spirit stones and spirit herbs aplenty, and no sum is too great for your taking."
Jiang Chen knew the promise was mostly only lip service. The sect wasn't likely to comply with any outrageous demands. But he wasn't here for a reward in the first place. "Never mind," he waved a hand dismissively. "I've said before that material rewards are not my reason for coming here. I'm just glad that you believe me enough to trust me, senior sectmaster."
"Hmm, alright. And the matter of the Yin Yang Reverse Bloodline, if I may be so bold?" the senior sectmaster added.
Jiang Chen nodded. "I'll do a write up in a bit. Big Sister Xu Shan will understand as soon as she sees it. The Yin Yang Reverse Bloodline only looks chaotic, but there will be no problems whatsoever if she just follows the directions. When she grasps its principles, she'll catch up to everyone else in no time-or pass them, really. Perhaps the Moon God Sect will gain another holy maiden in five years' time."
"Is that really possible?" The senior sectmaster was amazed. There were high standards for becoming a holy maiden, both talent and bloodline wise.
Jiang Chen laughed heartily. "If you don't believe me, then why not entrust Big Sister Xu Shan to me? I'll provide her with a splendid future. I daresay you'll regret it down the line, though!"
The girl in question let out a soft chirp, her face immediately reddening at those words. She clutched at the hems of her clothes, made anxious by the suggestion.
The senior sectmaster smiled. She could take an obvious joke. If this Sir Shao hadn't described the Yin Yang Reverse Bloodline in such exaggerated terms, she would've had no problem handing Xu Shan over to him. But now, regardless of his claims' truthfulness, she wasn't willing to part with a potential holy maiden genius. Thinking this, of the sectmaster tossed Xu Shan a meaningful glance. What she saw unsettled her. Both Xu Shan's expression and body language communicated embarrassment, but also a subdued, impulsive willingness to leave. That wasn't a good sign.
This was not the time to call her out on it, though. From Xu Shan's perspective, she'd just been rescued from the brink of uselessness and turned into a treasure. Anyone would feel overwhelming gratefulness in her situation. The sectmaster could also see that Sir Shao's joke wasn't exactly a call for ownership. Instead, it was an offer to help her cultivation, a chance at a brilliant future in martial dao.
To the side, Xu Qingxuan looked dumbfounded. She looked back and forth between Jiang Chen and Xu Shan. Suddenly, she became inexplicably unhappy. Not because of Xu Shan's Yin Yang Reverse Bloodline, but rather Jiang Chen's joke. The noble impression that he'd finally managed to erect in her heart showed signs of crumbling.
Girls' hearts were eclectic things. Upon discovery of a man's uniqueness, a girl tended to overanalyze each little action and statement that they made, imagining infinite possibilities. In other words, an overactive imagination. Not that Xu Qingxuan's heart was moved, per se. The displeasure arose almost entirely out of her feminine instinct.