Roughly two hours later, Emperor Void walked out of the secret room with a complicated expression.
Emperor Coiling Dragon was first to greet him. "Daoist Void, how was it? Did he speak?"
Emperor Void nodded, but his face was still as grim as ever. "He spoke. There's no way he wouldn't yield to my interrogation techniques."
"Who is he? What's his background?" Emperor Coiling Dragon asked in rapid succession.
Emperor Void flashed a complicated look at Jiang Chen. "Young lord Zhen, Daoist Coiling Dragon, that person… is from Pillfire City."
"What?!" The news caught Jiang Chen and Emperor Coiling Dragon by surprise.
"Pillfire City?" Jiang Chen was extremely dumbfounded. "Emperor Void, did he really say that he's from Pillfire City?"
"Yes. I could also tell that he wasn't lying. With my specialized interrogation technique, I can immediately tell if he's lying or not."
"Pillfire City…" Jiang Chen flashed a complicated look and suddenly raised his eyebrow out of suspicion. "Did he also mention Emperor Shura?"
Emperor Void sighed with a shake of his head. "He didn't mention anything about Emperor Shura. He claims that he was sent to our city by his superiors on a mission. The one who gave him the mission was a high ranking executive in Pillfire City. He knows nothing about the co-conspirators, and if they have anything to do with anyone from our capital."
"Does this really mean that he's unaffiliated with Emperor Shura?" Emperor Coiling Dragon was feeling rather conflicted.
Both emperors looked at Jiang Chen with complicated expressions.
The situation in Veluriyam Capital was truly concerning. If Emperor Shura was trying for a coup, they had ways to deal with him, but they'd have to tread carefully if Pillfire City was the one pulling strings from behind the scene.
If Emperor Shura was colluding with Pillfire City, things would be a lot more difficult. As the saying went, a thief from home is much harder to fend off than an outsider. However, the prisoner had declared that he was unaffiliated with the great emperor. Did Emperor Shura really have nothing to do with this, or did the captive just didn't know better?
Both scenarios were completely plausible.
The first scenario would be a lot easier to handle. But if it was the second, things would be extremely complicated. Outside influence was always the scariest thing during an internal conflict. It was an enormous hidden danger that could cause Veluriyam Capital to collapse.
Pillfire City was filled with unbridled ambition and viewed themselves as the leader of the Upper Eight Regions. They'd been pressuring Veluriyam Capital for a long time with their influence. Veluriyam Capital would be in jeopardy if they'd infiltrated the capital and was cooperating with Emperor Shura. With their appetite and ambition, they'd surely swallow the entire capital whole and take complete control over it.
Jiang Chen had to investigate this thoroughly if Pillfire City was involved
"Gentlemen, we must attend to this matter immediately. Since we can no longer stop the Vassal Meeting, we'll have to come up with a counterplan. You may leave the planning to me.
At the end of the day, Jiang Chen wasn't afraid of Emperor Shura. The only reason he hadn't taken the Shura faction head-on was because he didn't want the capital to fall into internal conflict. Since the emperor was already acting on his ambitions, Jiang Chen would no longer keep the peace.
"Daoist Void, for some reason, seeing young lord Zhen being this confident puts me at ease!" Emperor Coiling Dragon exclaimed with a laugh.
He knew Jiang Chen better than Emperor Void and often interacted with the young lord. Jiang Chen had also saved his life. His support for the young lord came from the bottom of his heart.
Emperor Void laughed in response. "Pill King Zhen has created many miracles in our capital over the years and this incident will no exception!"
They were both wise and accomplished experts. Since they'd found a direction, they no longer had to fret over the matter. In the worst case scenario, the two sides would just erupt in civil war. Even if they couldn't beat Emperor Shura's faction outright, in combining both their armies with the Sacred Peafowl Mountain's army, they could at least put up a good fight. Would true men be afraid of a battle or two?
Jiang Chen didn't immediately reveal himself after the two great emperors left. Instead, he cultivated in the young lord residence for a few days and completely ignored the situation outside.
During his trip to the Great Scarlet Mid Region, he hadn't just rescued Wei Xing'er, but also obtained an extremely important treasure, the Earth Bodhisattva Orb. Jiang Chen had learned about the orb's origin from the Venerated Skysoarer. It was a signature treasure from the Earth Bodhisattva Sect, a sect unrivalled in formations during the ancient age.
After refining the orb, Jiang Chen could sense that his earth attribute cultivation had improved by leaps and bounds. However, he didn't gloat over his improvement. He'd refined the orb, yes, but he hadn't even unearthed a tiny sliver of its potential.
He'd experienced the might of the orb first-hand when he was at Cloudshatter Mountain. Even an advanced cultivator like Jiang Chen was afraid of its frightening pulses. One could only imagine how powerful it could be when its true potential was unleashed. It fact, its potential wasn't in the least bit inferior to the magnetic golden mountain. The power that the magnetic golden mountain possessed was frighteningly powerful, and so were the Lord of the Golden Seal's attacks. It was a treasure with limitless value.
Jiang Chen also hypothesized that the magnetic golden mountain was also a signature treasure from an ancient sect. It was the only way to explain the depth of its potential. However, it was merely a hypothesis and would likely remain that way for a long time as he didn't have a way to prove yet.
Since the magnetic golden mountain had been found in sixteen kingdom alliance territory, itself a cataclysmic warzone in the ancient times, there was a high chance that it was actually an ancient treasure. It was impossible that the alliance could wield such a powerful treasure with its current foundation.
Regardless of their origins, the fact remained that Jiang Chen was still unable to unleash both of the treasure's full potential. Since the orb originated from the Earth Bodhisattva Sect, the orb's greatest strength was in the construction of formations.
Jiang Chen didn't possess any of the sect's formation heritage, but that didn't matter as he had the inheritance from the Ancient Crimson Heavens Sect. The orb wasn't only limited to compatibility with the formations from the Earth Bodhisattva Sect.
Since the Earth Bodhisattva Orb is an earth attribute treasure, what formation would best complement it? Jiang Chen pondered deeply.
"Maybe the Nine Sparks Petalstorm Formation?" It was the first formation that came to his mind. It was the most powerful formation in his current arsenal, but it wasn't too compatible with the orb.
"Or the Great Dream of Spring and Autumn Formation?" This formation was somewhat compatible with the orb, but it was merely a restrictive formation. It would gain some potency if combined with the orb, but it wasn't something to write home about.
"Hmm… the Minor Artifice Formation, the Major Artifice Formation, and the Ancient Slaughter Formation of Seven are also very useful formations, but they're not quite compatible with the orb either…" He was flipping through the various formations in his head. Suddenly, he recalled the last formation that Venerated Skysoarer had given him.
"The Heavenly Chalice Sword Formation... is a slaughtering formation that seals off an area to form a domain. Combining it with the orb would make the formation effective both above and below ground. It would be a formation without flaws! Mm… if I also incorporate the magnetic golden mountain into it, the formation will likely become much stronger as well…"
Jiang Chen's mind began to churn with excitement. He wasn't a martial dao hatchling. On the contrary, his mind was filled with all kinds of knowledge. He could come up concepts just by coming through the knowledge in his mind.
He was extremely excited after forming his theories and could see how incredibly heaven-defying the formation would be after incorporating both the Earth Bodhisattva Orb and the magnetic golden mountain.
"The orb can seal the surface and earth, obliterating all with its pulse, while the magnetic golden mountain seals the surrounding air with its frightening magnetic field. Meanwhile, the Heavenly Chalice Formation forms a vortex to rip everything apart! It's the perfect combination!"
The more Jiang Chen thought about it, the more excited he became. He took out the Heavenly Chalice Formation diagram and studied it meticulously.
"The formation requires eighty-one flying swords which must all be forged with True Heavensfall Iron. Even one sword would be hard to come by, let alone eighty-one."
The rest of the requirements were doable. The only issue was that the materials required for the flying swords were extremely hard to come by.
"Tsk tsk. This formation is truly extraordinary." The more Jiang Chen studied it, the more impressed he became.
"If I have those flying swords in my possession and use them with the Heavenly Chalice Formation, I can fight toe-to-toe with peak level emperors! If I combine it with the magnetic golden mountain and the Earth Bodhisattva Orb, killing one wouldn't be impossible!" Jiang Chen was feverish with excitement.
He possessed trump cards that could kill a peak level emperor, but the trump cards came from his equipment and not his own skill, and could only be used a limited number of times. By mastering the sword formation, he could finally achieve such feats with his own abilities. It was more reliable to use his own abilities to slaughter his enemies.
"True Heavensfall Iron… It seems that finding it will be my next goal. After forging the flying swords, I will gain another trump card. The sword formation will also become more powerful as I get stronger. The formation is truly extraordinary!" Jiang Chen was now completely fired up.