Han Qianzhan rasped out again. "Qiansui, let me try out the Reformation Pill first."
Qiansui sent the Reformation Pill behind the doors. "Big brother, I'll wait for you outside. I heard that this Reformation Pill is of exquisite workmanship, so it should take effect immediately."
Han Qianzhan responded with a grunt of acknowledgement. He was consuming the pill already.
As Han Qiansui waited for his older brother outside, every second felt like an eternity to him. They had gotten the Ancient Reformation Pill alright, so all that was left was to see how effective it was. If the pill was really effective, his older brother would be able to recover his strength. This meant that the situation in the sect could be completely stabilized. If they could persuade Sir Shao to join their sect after that, their sect would more than double in strength. Nothing could stop their rise then!
Time passed by slowly.
A loud, exuberant roar suddenly blasted out of the cave, which was followed by a carefree laugh.
"Hahaha, Qiansui, this Reformation Pill truly is as amazing as you say. The effects are immediate!" Han Qianzhan shot forth from the cave. His naked, reformed body was completely exposed beneath the sun, and he looked like a primitive barbarian because of it. His muscles rippled with explosive strength and his body looked like it'd been cast of iron. He presented an absolutely perfect sight.
"Big brother, your clothes." Han Qiansui hurriedly tossed a set of clothes to his older brother.
"Give me a minute!" Han Qianzhan roared with laughter again. He took leaping strides towards a lake and flung himself into the water.
"Let me wash away these years of bad luck first. Qiansui, you did very well this time! I'll thank you well in the future." Han Qiansui brimmed with excitement. The past several hundred years had been the lowest point of his life. At his worst, he'd practically been a bag of bones barely held together by a sack of rotting skin. Anyone who saw him would've thought that he was a demon. However, that was all in the past now. Han Qianzhan had returned to the world!
"What? Sect Head Qianzhan wishes to hold a banquet for me?" Jiang Chen's mind whirled with Han Qiansui's message. He highly doubted that Han Qianzhan would exit his seclusion just to treat a pill king.
"That's right. My elder brother is extremely impressed by your talents, Sir Shao. Please, you simply must attend." Han Qiansui was very sincere.
Although Jiang Chen didn't know why Han Qianzhan had suddenly exited his sealed door cultivation, he had no reason to turn down the invitation.
"If Sect Head Qianzhan so insists, then I will respectfully accept this invitation." He nodded on the spot.
News of Han Qianzhan exiting his seclusion shocked the entire Skyword Sect. After all, no one had seen Sect Head Qianzhan for a very, very long time. Some of the disciples who'd joined the sect later didn't even know what the sect head looked like. All they knew was that the Great Yu Skysword Sect had a great emperor called Sect Head Qianzhan, and he was indisputably the strongest sect head and great emperor to ever exist in sect history.
Emperor Peerless was a little surprised by this invitation as well. Han Qiansui had just treated them, and now his elder brother wanted to do the same? Something else is in play here. Still, he knew that Skysword Sect wasn't a dishonest or ungrateful sect. So, he agreed to go as well.
Jiang Feng discussed this with Liu Zhen for a bit. In the end, they decided against attending the feast. They felt that their strength was too low, and they were certain to feel pressure if they came face to face with the senior executives, especially Sect Head Qian Zhan, of the Skysword Sect. Unlike last time, Han Qiansui wouldn't be the only person who was attending. It seemed that every senior executive in Skysword Sect would be present as well.
Madame Yun also turned down the invitation saying that she wasn't feeling well enough. In the end, Jiang Chen and Emperor Peerless were the only ones who came to the feast.
When Jiang Chen finally saw the legendary sect head of Skysword Sect, a bit of surprise grew in him. It wasn't Han Qianzhan's cultivation that sparked this emotion, but the man's body. Emperor Peerless was unaware of the signs because he had never come into contact with the Ancient Reformation Pill, but Jiang Chen was the refiner of this pill. Han Qianzhan's body was extremely strong and had a prowling vitality to it. These were obvious signs of consuming the Ancient Reformation Pill. However, Jiang Chen didn't point this out. The sect must have their own reasons for keeping this a secret, so he had no intentions of exposing this and souring the atmosphere.
Han Qianzhan treated them passionately and generously during the feast. He called Emperor Peerless a brother and treated Jiang Chen with great courtesy. However, he didn't mention anything else except his thanks during the feast. Even when they were chatting about nothing in particular, he only recounted some interesting stories of the world. Naturally, the story they focused the most on was Jiang Chen's inhuman performance at the Moon God Sect.
"Do you know that you're famous in the entire Upper Eight Regions, Sir Shao? One man is extremely angry because of this." Han Qiansui suddenly chuckled.
"Who?" Jiang Chen was slightly taken aback.
"Pill King Ji Lang of Pillfire City, of course." Han Qiansui sighed softly. "It's rumored that you went to the Moon God Sect right after Pill King Ji Lang and the other pill kings departed. You weren't separated by more than half a day. Pill King Ji Lang failed to find anything wrong with the tree, but you found the root of its sickness in no time at all. As a result, Pill King Ji Lang is deeply humiliated by your success. The cherry on top is that Pill King Blue Phoenix can't stop singing your praises when he heard that you were the one who cured the Moon God Precious Tree."
"I hear that Pill King Blue Phoenix is the one who recommended Sir Shao in the first place." An esteemed elder smiled. "A person who is both talented and popular like you is hard to come by. Come, allow me to offer you a toast, Sir Shao!"
"You shower me with too much praise." Jiang Chen smiled and drank the toast.
Han Qiansui sighed. "The fact that Pill King Blue Phoenix's recommendation came out ahead only serves to humiliate Pill King Ji Lang further. That's why the latter has a lot to complain about Pill King Blue Phoenix right now. I heard he's declared that he will take out Pill King Blue Phoenix, and you all know how hot tempered Pill King Blue Phoenix is. I'm almost certain that great drama is right around the corner of Pillfire City."
When Jiang Chen recalled Pill King Blue Phoenix, he couldn't help but feel a bit concerned. "Pill King Blue Phoenix is a senior of virtue and prestige. Pill King Ji Lang couldn't possibly attack him directly no matter how much hatred is there, right?"
"Ai, who knows? That being said, Pill King Blue Phoenix is a veteran representative of Pillfire City and sits very high up on the totem pole. If Pill King Ji Lang really tries to harm him, he may very well provoke the ire of every other veteran pill king in Pillfire City. I doubt that even Emperor Pillzenith's successor can do as he wishes in this matter."
"Say, speaking of Pill King Ji Lang, don't you think he's a bit unlucky as of late? He is exceedingly talented and full of mettle, but for some reason this former 'invincible' legend has suffered two losses in a row for the past few years, although his second loss was purely accidental. Sir Shao just happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time."
Truthfully, Jiang Chen fostered no goodwill towards Pill King Ji Lang. His only impression of the pill king was that of an overly arrogant person who was too fond of pretending.
"It doesn't matter. I'm just doing what I'm supposed to be doing. Pill King Ji Lang's feelings are none of my concern." Jiang Chen raised his cup. "Let's talk about something else, shall we? Let's drink some more!"
"Yeah, let's drink!" The feast only ended when everyone had enjoyed it to their heart's content.
"Please stay behind for a little longer, Sir Shao. My older brother would like to discuss something with you in private." Han Qiansui whispered to Jiang Chen at the end.
"Sir Shao, I have some amazing tea leaves at my place." The sect head walked over with a smile. "Would you like to taste them? It should neutralize the wine in our bellies a bit."
Jiang Chen agreed immediately because he knew that Han Qianzhan must have something to say to him. "In that case, allow me to impose on you both a little longer. How about you, Old Brother Mo?"
"I'm coming too. Brother Qianzhan, am I invited too?" Emperor Peerless chuckled.
"Of course you are! In fact, I would be offended if you didn't ask." Han Qianzhan laughed heartily.
Inside a private room, Han Qianzhan raised his cup after tea was served.
"Sir Shao, I've never been a person to beat around the bush, so allow me to thank you for your Ancient Reformation Pill. Without it, I would still be stuck in a dark and lightless residence and afraid to show anyone my face."
"Hmm?" Jiang Chen was startled. He didn't think that Han Qianzhan would reveal this of his own accord.
"It is a long story. Back then, I…" Han Qianzhan summarized his close call all those years ago. Traces of lingering fear flitted through his face when he talked about the demonic poison that plagued him before.
Jiang Chen hurriedly walked forwards and put a hand to Han Qianzhan's hand, feeling his pulse. Jiang Chen nodded a while later. "Thankfully, the demonic poison was flushed out completely after your body was constructed. Congratulations, Sect Head Qianzhan."
Han Qianzhan clasped his hands together in thanks. "It's all thanks to your miraculous pill, Sir Shao. You saved my life."
"You praise me too highly, Sect Head Qianzhan," Jiang Chen responded hurriedly.
However, Emperor Peerless interrupted with a smile. "There's no need to be humble, brother. Brother Qianzhan is not a person who speaks carelessly. When he does, it's truth that comes from the bottom of his heart. I would've died too if you hadn't saved me. We owe you one, and it's nothing we feel ashamed about."
"Oh? Were you saved by Brother Shao as well, Brother Mo?" Han Qianzhan looked slightly surprised. At his side, Han Qiansui shared the same feeling. They realized that this must be the reason why Emperor Peerless always followed Sir Shao's words.
Emperor Peerless briefly relayed when he and Madame Yun had been schemed against by a friend.
"Sir Shao is truly amazing. We are right to call you a miracle worker!" The Han brothers praised after the story.
Emperor Peerless waved his hands. "Brother Qianzhan, surely you haven't treated us to a feast and invited us here for a simple expression of thanks, have you? Let us be frank with each other. There are no outsiders here."
Han Qianzhan laughed in response. "You are just as forthright as you are before, Brother Mo! In that case, I won't beat around the bush any longer. I am extremely impressed by Sir Shao's pill dao talents, and I wish to invite Sir Shao to join the Skysword Sect. Would you like to create something big with us, Sir Shao?"
Both Jiang Chen and Emperor Peerless were stunned by this. An invitation to join Skysword Sect. My word… Both men smiled wryly in response.
"Brother Qianzhan, you are a forthright person, so I'll be forthright with you as well. Unfortunately, there is no way my brother will, or can, join the Skysword Sect." Emperor Peerless responded directly.
"Could we ask why?" Both Han brothers were a little disappointed.
"I should tell you the reason myself, sect heads." Jiang Chen sighed with helpless smile. "I'm deeply grateful for your invitation, but my real name isn't Shao Yuan. I'm Pill King Zhen of Veluriyam Capital and the young lord of Sacred Peafowl Mountain. So, you can imagine how Emperor Peafowl would react if I were to join you."