Xiao Qian finally figured out what was going on after listening to the comments floating around her. Had Liu Zhen actually gotten rich? Was he here to turn the tables on Liu Feng? Her heart skipped a beat when she looked at the battered Liu Feng, and then at the lofty-looking Liu Zhen. She finally understood everything.
She suddenly wailed. "Dearest Zhen, this really isn't my fault. It's this bastard who forced me to do this! You know he's a tyrannical bully, and I have no choice but to… darling Zhen, you haven't forgotten about me after so many years. You even came back for me. I… I've had enough of this! I want to come with you, dearest Zhen. Please, let me come with you. I can warm your bed. I can do anything. Please..."
The speed at which Xiao Qian suddenly changed her tune amused even Jiang Chen. This woman was extremely fickle. It was unbelievable how quickly her attitude had changed. Emperor Peerless and Madame Yun were also frowning. They never imagined that Liu Zhen's woman would possess such a lousy character.
"Disgraceful!" Liu Zhen yelled angrily. "I'm not surprised at all to find that Liu Feng is a tyrannical bully, but I'm pretty sure he hasn't forced you to sell my properties and sleep with him behind my back!"
Xiao Qian shouted and cried. "It was all his fault! He forced me to do everything. Dearest Zhen, you should know that the one I truly love is you. You are my one true love in this world. He was the one who forced me to abort your child! Darling Zhen, you can't forgive this animal, you have to…"
"Enough!" Liu Zhen suddenly laughed bitterly. "Forced to abort? My child? Well said! The only thing I wanted to know today by coming here was to learn who was the father of that child, but I guess there's no need to verify it any longer since they're already gone." His eyes reddened as he said this.
A moment later, Liu Zhen's eyes suddenly locked back on Liu Yue coldly. "Assistant Minister Liu, I've noticed your sincerity. However, there needs to be a conclusion to this disgusting affair, don't you agree? Do as you wish. I await your show of sincerity."
Liu Yue stared at him blankly. What did he mean by that? Was Liu Zhen asking him to punish his own brother?
Liu Zhen didn't waste time waiting for Liu Yue to break out of his daze. He immediately walked up and kicked Liu Feng in the groin.
Liu Feng let out a bloodcurdling scream as a terrifying, crunching sound came from his groin. The man collapsed on the ground and writhed all over, screaming in horrible pain during the process. It was the utter destruction of Liu Feng's family jewels!
Xiao Qian turned pale with fright and screamed again and again. "Don't kill me, darling Zhen, don't kill me! We were once husband and wife, and we loved each other deeply back then…"
"Shut up, slut!" Liu Zhen sneered. "I have no intentions of letting my blade be stained with your blood. That being said, I should thank you for being the cheap slut you are. You made me realize just how unnecessary my years of misery truly were. I won't kill you. From hereon, you and I shall go our separate ways." He looked back at Liu Yue. "This matter is settled. I hope that the Liu family won't forget today's matter. Remember that the heavens are watching before you commit such acts in the future."
Although this ending was a bit humiliating, Liu Yue knew that it was the best kind of ending he could hope for. At the very least, Liu Zhen didn't sound like he was going to pursue this matter any longer. That was a relief to Liu Yue, especially because of the pressure he felt from the unfathomable experts standing behind Liu Zhen. He almost felt like he'd just escaped from hell.
The entire Scarlet Tang City was in an uproar because of Liu Zhen's return, but the man himself soon mysteriously disappeared once more. A guard had been hired to protect his ancestral home, however. So it seemed that Liu Zhen had left the city again.
For a time, Liu Zhen became a moderate legend in Scarlet Tang City. His terribly idle neighbors shaped Liu Zhen's image into a mystical avenger, and a classic example of an underdog who fought against his oppressors and won. Many versions of the story were spawned and passed on over time.
Liu Zhen looked a lot happier and relaxed after rid of his heartache. The group now headed towards Veluriyam Capital, and this time they encountered no obstacles along the way.
They reached Veluriyam Capital without a hitch a dozen or so days later.
After they passed the borders, Emperor Peerless concealed his magnificent bearing and maintained a low profile. The first thing Jiang Chen did after returning to Veluriyam Capital was to confirm if Mu Gaoqi and the others had returned safely.
Thankfully, everything had more or less proceeded as planned. Mu Gaoqi's group had returned safely to Veluriyam Capital since a month ago, and the Geng brothers were still hanging around, and they very excited to see Emperor Peerless and Madame Yun again.
Jiang Chen arranged Emperor Peerless' group to stay in the building across the street of Taiyuan Tower. Taiyuan Lodge had been another faction's property, but it'd changed hands after Jiang Chen won it from a bet. It was more than enough to accommodate Emperor Peerless' group.
Since Mu Gaoqi was Jiang Chen's sworn brother, Lin Yanyu had already taken him to the young lord residence at Sacred Peafowl Mountain. Lin Yanyu knew that his master valued Mu Gaoqi a great deal, so he treated the latter with equal respect. Meanwhile, Elder Yun Nie stayed behind in Taiyuan Tower.
Shen Trifire had been the appointed manager of Taiyuan Tower, but the position had now been transferred to Elder Yun Nie. Everyone in Regal Pill Palace was extremely happy to see the elder again, because he was the first sect elder they'd run into after so many years post sect destruction. Additionally, Hallmaster Yun Nie of the Herbal Hall was very high up the totem pole.
After everyone was arranged for properly, Jiang Chen finally headed towards the young lord residence at Sacred Peafowl Mountain with his father.
Everyone in the young lord residence, especially Huang'er, was overjoyed when they learned of Jiang Chen's return. She had nearly singlehandedly managed the entire young lord residence on her own in recent times. Although it wasn't a difficult task, her longing for Jiang Chen had only increased with the passage of time. Naturally, the couple spent some sweet moments catching up.
"Come, Huang'er, let me introduce you to my father."
Huang'er had actually seen Jiang Feng a couple of times back in the Eastern Kingdom. However, he hadn't left an impression on her because Huang'er had no feelings for Jiang Chen back then, much less the duke of Jiang Han province. The duo had never interacted with each other. But today, Jiang Feng was no longer the duke of Jiang Han province. He was now her beloved's father and her senior. It was only a matter of time she called him "father" as well.
"Huang'er greets you, uncle." Huang'er's urbaneness, outstanding temperament, exquisite countenance, perfect figure, great intelligence and kindness made her literally flawless in every way. Her bearing of a well-bred young lady was especially unmatched by any top rate disciple in the Upper Eight Regions.
Jiang Feng laughed loudly. "Good, good! Huang'er, a girl as beautiful as tall bamboo. What a great name, what a wondrous temperament. Chen'er, you have a good eye for woman."
Jiang Chen also laughed. "I believe it's more luck than a good eye, father. If the heavens haven't sent Huang'er to the Eastern Kingdom, there is no way our paths would have intersected."
"You're right, you're right!" Jiang Feng was very happy. His son had grown up and even had a partner of his own now. His gratification and pride only increased when he saw how excellent his son's partner was.
"I wonder how happy your mother will be if she sees Huang'er, Chen'er." Jiang Feng sighed.
Jiang Chen didn't conceal the matter of his mother from Huang'er. She looked very happy after he had briefly explained the ins and outs of this part of his journey. "Brother Chen, it is the heavens' will and destiny's power that have reunited uncle and auntie! Your filial piety must have touched the gods themselves!"
"Don't worry, Huang'er. One day, I will accompany you to Myriad Abyss Island and rescue your father and mother as well."
Huang'er agreed quietly as her heart became filled with limitless happiness. Ever since their relationship had been confirmed and they had become soulmates, her lonely heart had been slowly melted by Jiang Chen's existence and contentment. The suffering she'd endured in the past was all worth it in the end. If she hadn't gone through those hardships, she wouldn't have met her beloved in this sea of humanity!
After Jiang Chen had set everything up for his father and arranged a few slaves to serve him, Jiang Chen finally left with Huang'er to express their longing for each other. Huang'er was full of admiration and praise when she heard of Jiang Chen's experiences. She was deeply proud of him.
When she heard that Jiang Chen had become sworn brothers with Emperor Peerless, she felt joy for him from the bottom of her heart. She felt that her man was growing every day and that he was slowly becoming the true ruler of the human domain. Although that goal was still a ways away, it was looking like nothing could stop Jiang Chen in his rise.
"Oh right, Huang'er. How is Gaoqi doing right now? Does he show any signs of psychological trauma?" Jiang Chen still missed Mu Gaoqi.
"He has grown a lot and become a lot more mature after surviving this hardship. Mentality wise, I think he's doing wise. That said, he seems to be extremely thirsty for knowledge and strength. It's as if he wants to regain all the years he had lost during his captivity," Huang'er responded.
"That's good. Hard work can make up for the loss of time, not to mention that the mental fortitude he gained from this hardship may yet be a different form of wealth."
Jiang Chen's opinion of Mu Gaoqi had always been rather high. He had paid a high price to save Mu Gaoqi not only because Mu Gaoqi was his friend, but also because he valued his sect mate's talents greatly.
Jiang Chen was surrounded by many people with great talent in pill dao, such his disciples Pill King Bu, Pill King Lu Feng and Lin Yanyu. However, none of them were as talented as Mu Gaoqi.
"Has His Majesty returned while I was gone?" Jiang Chen asked concerningly.
"Unfortunately, no. The atmosphere in Veluriyam Capital has been a little strange as of late, and Emperor Peafowl hasn't returned from his journey. Thankfully, things are relatively well within Sacred Peafowl Mountain, but for some reason, Veluriyam Capital's atmosphere feels oppressive right now. I feel like something is rising from the shadows."
Sometimes, women relied on intuition instead of logical inference. However, such intuition had been proven to be better than rationality on many occasions.
"Huang'er, what do you mean, exactly?" Jiang Chen rarely let Huang'er's opinions slide by his ears. On the contrary, he always listened to her opinions seriously. If she felt confident enough to voice her doubts, it was very likely that her worries weren't unfounded. There must be some sort of basis behind all this.