"Haha, you've finally showed up, brother. I would've gone to look for you if you were absent any longer!" Emperor Peerless laughed heartily when he saw Jiang Chen. It was obvious that the great emperor and his wife were having a good time in the young lord residence. Thanks to the Pinecrane Pill and the baptism of the wood spirit spring, Madame Yun was approaching full recovery.
Both Emperor Peerless and Madame Yun appreciated these blissful, carefree days. The madame had been injured almost the moment they fell in love, and it had been the heaviest burden they'd borne for the longest time. Emperor Peerless had to depart very often in search for a cure. As a result, they spent more time apart than together.
But after so many years of travel and hardships, Madame Yun's injuries were now finally healed. That was why Emperor Peerless felt extreme gratitude towards Jiang Chen. The couple were loyal people who greatly valued the ties of friendship, and Jiang Chen had done them an enormous favor. They also rather liked Veluriyam Capital. Given that the three had been close for a while, the couple were beginning to feel like settling here.
"Old Brother Mo, your wife has essentially made a full recovery. From hereon, the two of you can be the happy couple you've always wanted to be."
"Hehe, it's all thanks to you, brother. I can't even imagine how I should repay you. I'll set aside the niceties. I hear that Veluriyam Capital's current situation is souring and someone's trying to challenge your authority. Is that true?" Mo Wushuang asked in a low tone.
Jiang Chen had known it'd be impossible to hide this matter from someone like Emperor Peerless. He sighed quietly. "Well, they can try. In the end, they're nothing more than insignificant clowns."
"Very good! I like your confidence. If these words were to come from anyone else, I would've thought they were being insufferably arrogant. But you? You definitely have the right to say such a thing." Emperor Peerless praised. "I haven't met Emperor Shura myself, but rumors of him have reached my ears. His martial dao strength is beyond questionable, but his breadth of mind, bearing, choice of methods and charisma are far inferior to Emperor Peafowl. I believe that your ceiling of potential is far, far higher than even Emperor Peafowl's. If Veluriyam Capital's citizens aren't completely foolish, they should know to choose you as their ruler instead of this Emperor Shura!"
Madame Yun agreed deeply. "Emperor Shura is the kind of expert that every great force in the Upper Eight Regions possess. There really isn't anything special about him. Emperor Peafowl is the reason why Veluriyam Capital is one of the most prominent powers of the Upper Eight Region, not him."
This was something obvious even to an outsider. At best, Emperor Shura was the third great emperor of Veluriyam Capital. Emperor Petalpluck sat ahead of him as the second, but the emperor was low-key and seldom became involved in these conflicts. That was why Emperor Shura was the more famous one. However, to outsiders, Veluriyam Capital's rise to prominence was all thanks to the extraordinary Emperor Peafowl. Without him, Veluriyam Capital would be no better than a first rank sect.
"Brother, I believe your sister-in-law's suggestion isn't bad. Every vassal of Veluriyam Capital will be at the meeting. You may be the young lord of Sacred Peafowl Mountain, but your roots are ultimately shallow compared to others. The best thing you can do during a time like this is to visit others and garner some support. In fact, you should do something big and let everyone know that your status wasn't gifted, but earned."
"You're very right, Old Brother Mo." Jiang Chen acknowledged.
"Haha, considering the disorder that's plaguing Veluriyam Capital right now, I'm quite worried that someone wishes to harm you, so I'm going to stay close and be your bodyguard for a while. Ah Yun, you're fine with this, right? Hahaha!" Emperor Peerless laughed.
Madame Yun responded seriously. "But of course. I would've advised you to do this even if you didn't ask, my beloved. Our brother is at a critical moment in his life. If you don't help him now, when will it ever be the right time?"
Jiang Chen was very touched by Madame Yun's breadth of mind. He hadn't saved her life with reciprocation in mind, but was grateful that she was doing so. He couldn't deny that the presence of a great emperor would make things a lot more convenient.
"Let's grab the Geng brothers as well." Emperor Peerless laughed. "They're both my sworn brothers, and they've been very impressed by you thus far."
"I shan't pretend that this isn't exactly what I hoped for." Jiang Chen was overjoyed to hear this.
The Geng brothers were extremely powerful. They might not be great emperors yet, but they were at least as strong as the four great monarchs.
With Emperor Peerless, the four great monarchs, and the Geng brothers by his side, his faction now boasted formidable strength. This was even before mentioning Emperor Void, Emperor Coiling Dragon and their many powerful subordinates.
"Brother…" Emperor Peerless pondered for a moment before starting, "Forgive me for saying this, but there have been a lot of rumors in Veluriyam Capital as of late. Emperor Peafowl's whereabouts is what worries me the most right now."
"What is on your mind, elder brother?" Jiang Chen looked over.
"Alive or not, I'm almost certain that Emperor Peafowl has run into some trouble. There's no explaining Emperor Shura's sudden gall to spread such heinous rumors otherwise. I'm worried that… do you think that another power might be interfering with Veluriyam Capital's internal strife?"
As a great emperor, Emperor Peerless' instincts were incredibly accurate. Jiang Chen's face hardened with gravity, and the young man sighed quietly after a long time. "I'll be frank, Old Brother Mo. The same possibility has crossed my mind. A few days ago, after just returning from my journey, I discovered a new pill store right next to Taiyuan Tower. As it turned out, it actually belongs to Pillfire City. To this day, I can't ascertain if Pillfire City was taking advantage of our moment of weakness of their own accord, or if Emperor Shura was the one who's led the wolf into our city."
"Pillfire City?" Emperor Peerless arched an eyebrow in response.
Madame Yun's gentle expression also became clouded with some complications. Obviously, the name "Pillfire City" was something neither the great emperor nor his wife were keen to hear as Emperor Pillzenith was the source of Madame Yun's injuries.
That emperor had been a thorn in Emperor Peerless and Madame Yun's side for the longest time. Countless geniuses had sought to win her affection when the madame was young, but her heart belonged to Emperor Peerless alone. What was supposed to be a beautiful love became muddied when Emperor Pillzenith decided to fight for Madame Yun's affection too.
In the end, the two great emperors fought a decisive duel and Emperor Peerless had come out just a little short. In a moment of danger, it was Madame Yun who jumped in and took a blow meant for Emperor Peerless. That was how she came by the long term injury.
When the battle was over, Emperor Pillzenith was furious, incensed, regretful, and apologetic for what he had done. That was why he'd never really stopped Emperor Peerless from entering Pillfire City in search for a cure. But it wasn't that he didn't want to strike down Emperor Peerless. He was more afraid that he would damage his reputation and inspire Madame Yun's eternal hatred after the act.
Jiang Chen also hated Pillfire City to the bone. He had crossed paths with the faction before, and had recently discovered that they were the ones behind the disorder of Veluriyam Capital. This was something the young man absolutely couldn't allow. Veluriyam Capital was his domain and Taiyuan Tower was his private property. Anyone who attacked Taiyuan Tower was attacking him as well.
"Brother, are you sure Pillfire City is the culprit behind this?" Emperor Peerless asked gravely.
"I interrogated someone to get this information. I am absolutely certain that it is them."
"Mm. If Emperor Shura really did lure the wolf into his own city, then I must say that he is far dumber than I imagined. Gratitude means nothing to Pillfire City. I guarantee he will regret his decision down the line if he really is the one behind all this." Emperor Peerless uttered angrily with impatience.
Madame Yun quietly hugged Emperor Peerless' arm. "Calm down, darling Mo. Our wise younger brother is an exceptional genius. He doesn't fear even Pillfire City. Do you forget that he's soundly defeated Pill King Ji Lang twice already?"
Emperor Peerless laughed loudly with a slap of the table. "That's right, Pill King Ji Lang was supposedly the number one successor of Pillfire City, but even he's suffered defeat twice at the hands of our wise brother. This means that the next generation of Veluriyam Capital is far superior to Pillfire City's!"
Jiang Chen smiled before his eyes suddenly colored with seriousness. He looked at Emperor Peerless. "Old Brother Mo, would you like an opportunity to utterly crush Emperor Pillzenith?"
"Oh? Please elaborate." Emperor Peerless' eyes lit up. Other than healing Madame Yun, crushing Emperor Pillzenith was practically his greatest wish over the years.
Although his wife was now fully recovered, the humiliation of defeat at the hands of Emperor Pillzenith hadn't passed at all. Emperor Peerless was willing to accept any price in exchange for crushing Emperor Pillzenith.
"Brother, are you sure you're not just teasing me?" Emperor Peerless asked with a wry smile.
Jiang Chen shook his head. "I do not make empty promises. However, this must remain a top secret."
Emperor Peerless slapped his chest. "Brother, you should know what kind of person I am. If you can fulfill this wish of mine, I swear to obey your orders for the rest of my life. I won't even frown if you want Yun'er and I to join Sacred Peafowl Mountain!"
Jiang Chen smiled easily. "Brother, I know you're comfortable leading a free, wandering life, so I wouldn't impose on you with such a request. However, you and I are kindred spirits. I'm sure I'll be uneasy if I don't gift you this opportunity."
"Oh?" Emperor Peerless' chest tightened when he discovered that Jiang Chen didn't seem to be joking. "Brother, please don't leave me hanging any longer. You know I'm an impatient person."
Jiang Chen nodded. "Old Brother Mo, Madame Yun. This matter is of the utmost importance. All I ask is for this to remain a secret, because a leak will put Old Brother Mo in grave danger."
Madame Yun covered her mouth after a soft cry. This time, she couldn't help but stare at Jiang Chen with eyes clouded by doubt and worry. She couldn't keep calm at the thought of danger to Emperor Peerless' life.
"Brother. Do I look like someone who's afraid of danger? What kind of danger do you think I haven't encountered yet after wandering the world for so many years?" Emperor Peerless sounded nonchalant however. It was obvious he didn't take Jiang Chen's warning too seriously.
The young man shook his head. "It's different this time. If news of this is leaked, you may be hunted by every great emperor in the entire world."
"It's that serious?" Emperor Peerless goggled at Jiang Chen.
"Mm. It may even be worse than that, honestly." Jiang Chen opened his palm and revealed an intricate bottle. "Brother Mo, this bottle contains a drop of blood of the ancient kun'peng. Once you've refined it, you will be gifted an empyrean opportunity. In the future, it will guarantee your ascension to empyrean realm, and if you're lucky, you may surpass even that."
Emperor Peerless trembled all over like a bolt of lightning had struck. Madame Yun's face had turned completely white too. They were both flabbergasted by Jiang Chen's gift.