Stability had tentatively returned to Veluriyam Capital, and the negative effects of the rumors about Emperor Peafowl's disappearance were brought to a temporary stop. However, there were still some dissenting pessimism inside Veluriyam Capital. The fact remained that Emperor Peafowl had gone missing, and Emperor Shura and Emperor Vastsea had left Veluriyam Capital. They'd lost three out of eight great emperors in the blink of an eye.
It was no wonder that some people were downcast. However, the melancholy was quickly drowned out by the opinions of the majority.
"So what if we lost Emperor Shura and Emperor Vastsea? What exactly have they done for us all these years? They were just a waste of air and space!"
"Yeah, Veluriyam Capital will be the same with or without them. Who knows, maybe young lord Zhen can lead us to greater heights now that these troublemakers are gone."
"We should support young lord Zhen. He's a successful and refreshing young man. It would be a true disaster if Veluriyam Capital fell into the hands of someone as selfish as Emperor Shura!"
"True enough, Emperor Shura has neither virtue nor ability. He simply can't rule Veluriyam Capital. Young lord Zhen is definitely the better pick of the two."
"Young lord Zhen is practically perfect aside his martial dao strength, you know? Even Emperor Peafowl isn't necessarily better than young lord Zhen in things other than martial dao. Or maybe his master of talismans is slightly better than young lord Zhen's?"
"It's only natural for the new to replace the old. I think Emperor Peafowl was paving the way for young lord Zhen. That's why he gradually withdrew over the past few years."
"You're probably right. Emperor Peafowl is still powerful, but he hasn't focused his attention on Veluriyam Capital for quite some time. He must be planning to pass power down to young lord Zhen as soon as possible."
"Emperor Peafowl is truly all seeing. I wonder how he managed to raise a genius like young lord Zhen. With him at our helm, Veluriyam Capital's fortunes will hold strong for another ten thousand years, at least!"
At the young lord residence, the eyes and ears of Sacred Peafowl Mountain continuously fed the voices of the people to Jiang Chen's ears.
"Young lord, there are still some who are in doubt regarding your abilities, but the vast majority supports you and believes you can lead them to greater glory."
"Yes, the dissenting minority is drowned out by the majority."
The four great monarchs were likely the happiest out of everyone. For one, Sacred Peafowl Mountain had defeated Shura Retreat and solidified its rule in Veluriyam Capital. Secondly, young lord Zhen was easily the equal of a young Emperor Peafowl in both skill and temperament. In fact, the young lord was more decisive and daring when solving matters, so one might say that he was even better.Jiang Chen nodded. "I'd like to hear your thoughts. If anyone has an opinion to offer about the formation of the pill dao academy, please voice them now. We're all on the same side here. Let's make sure we're prepared when we discuss with the vassals later."
"I have no objections, young lord. A pill dao academy is a good thing that will benefit generations to come. Naturally, I wholeheartedly support its construction. There's just one thing that I'd like to emphasize. We must ensure that the students we enroll are absolutely supportive of Sacred Peafowl Mountain. They'll grow up to become the foundation of your rule in the future, so we must ensure that they are loyal to you, young lord." Cloudsoar Monarch gave his opinion.
Mo Wushuang also nodded. "Cloudsoar is right. You may have proposed the pill dao academy in consideration of Veluriyam Capital's future, but there's no harm solidifying your rule over your own subjects. They must learn, even if we brainwash them with this fact, that you're the lord of Veluriyam Capital and the ruler they are to serve loyally."
"What do you say, younger sister?" Emperor Peerless asked Huang'er with a smile.
Ever since Huang'er had defeated Li Jiancheng, everyone in Sacred Peafowl Mountain was seeing her in a new light. The fight made them realize that the amiable Miss Huang'er was actually an incredibly skilled cultivator and they respected her even more. Naturally, her opinion was a lot more important than before.
Huang'er smiled. "I agree with you, Brother Mo. Selfish motives aside, there's definitely a need for young lord Zhen to establish his authority. Otherwise, a second or third Emperor Shura may attempt to challenge our young lord's rule. We don't need more than one authority in Veluriyam Capital."
Jiang Chen laughed. "Won't that make me a tyrant?"
"Please don't joke around, young lord. I also think that they're right," Plumscore Monarch also expressed herself.
"I agree as well, young lord. Why had Emperor Shura dared challenge us this time? Because Emperor Peafowl gave him too much leeway back in the day. If His Majesty had put a stranglehold on the great emperor from the start, he would've never dared rise against us." Wildfox Monarch added.
"Yes, please think this through, young lord. Everyone in Veluriyam Capital currently holds you up as their ruler. Not even Emperor Petalpluck and Emperor Mountaincrush have any objections. You should seize this golden opportunity to solidify your rule. Once your reputation takes root in everyone's hearts, no one will be able to rebel against you." Cloadsoar Monarch advised.
"Don't worry, Emperor Peafowl entrusted this task to me, so there's no way I'll shirk my duties. However, please don't misinterpret Emperor Peafowl's intentions. He had a reason for indulging Emperor Shura. That being said, the past is in the past, so we should focus on the present. There are two things we must do for now. One, we need to form the pill dao academy. Two, we need to locate Emperor Peafowl. Though I don't believe His Majesty is dead, I don't think Emperor Shura would've dared rebel so brazenly if Emperor Peafowl was perfectly unharmed. He may very well have something to do with His Majesty's disappearance. At the very least, Emperor Pillzenith and the Eternal Celestial Capital's appearance during the Vassal Meeting was no coincidence." Jiang Chen spoke frankly since they were all on the same side.
Cloudsoar Monarch's forehead creased. "Do you mean to say that they've ambushed His Majesty?"
"Emperor Peafowl's cultivation is unparalleled. Shura can't possibly have the gall to harm His Majesty, right?" Everyone spoke their minds. Although all they thought that Jiang Chen's suspicion was reasonable, their trust in Emperor Peafowl was so deep that it was almost zealotry. None of them believed that there was anyone who could truly harm Emperor Peafowl.
Jiang Chen sighed quietly. "I sure hope that I'm wrong in this regard. For now, please pay attention to your surroundings and avoid making trips out of the capital as much as you can. I'm worried that Emperor Shura may try something drastic in his desperation."
"Yes, we should all watch our backs."
Chronobalance Monarch looked a little puzzled. "Young lord, we had the upper hand back then, haven't we? Why didn't we tried to kill Emperor Shura and pull out the thorn in our side once and for all?"
Jiang Chen broke into a smile. "Our advantage wasn't as great as you think. For example Emperor Pillzenith and the Eternal Celestial Capital may have interfered. Although we had the advantage of numbers, there's no telling if Emperor Petalpluck and Emperor Mountaincrush would exert themselves to the utmost. It would've been a pyrrhic victory even if we won. That's absolutely something I didn't want to see. Our enemies would rise against us if we were wounded, and that may even lead to a complete collapse."
"The young lord's words make sense. A pyrrhic victory isn't worth it." Cloudsoar Monarch nodded.
"Alright, let's turn our attention back to the academy. Where should it be built? How big should the scale be? Please speak your minds freely, everyone."
"We should establish the academy in a more prestigious part of Veluriyam Capital. In this subordinate's eyes, the Luojia Mountain Range is a good location. Large plains can be found at the foot of the mountain, and three rivers converge into a lake. It is a wonderful location with excellent fengshui, and it is very close to Sacred Peafowl Mountain. This makes it convenient for you to keep an eye on the academy, young lord."
"I suggest that we erect a sculpture of the young lord in the academy. The students should always be reminded that young lord Zhen is the one who founded the academy."
"You're right, that's a good idea."
"As for the scale, well, it can't be too small. I suppose we can split construction into several stages. For now, we'll focus on enrolling the youths of Veluriyam Capital. We can consider pill dao geniuses from the surrounding regions after that."
"Why must we accept geniuses from other regions?" Plumscore Monarch was a little reluctant.
Jiang Chen replied with a smile. "I suppose you all want an explanation. Very well, let me speak of when I visited Pillfire City. The biggest impression I walked away with was that Pillfire is a lot more active than Veluriyam. This activity is expressed in the exchange of all areas of study. In other words, Pillfire City is better at attracting surrounding experts because they offer a greater degree of freedom and attractive options. Do any of you know why that's the case?"
"Please enlighten us, young lord."
"The answer is very simple, really. Pillfire City is simply more open than Veluriyam Capital. True their pill dao foundation is deep, but no one power can grow strong on its own without outside help. That is why Pillfire puts great emphasis in expanding their influence in their territory, stretching out to the mid and southern regions of the Upper Eight Regions. Do any of you know why even areas closer to us prefer Pillfire City instead?"
Jiang Chen's subordinates fell silent as they considered the young lord's words. It wasn't like they'd never thought about this when Emperor Peafowl was still in power. They just hadn't thought about that deeply until today.
Mo Wushuang also sighed. "As you all know, I loathe Emperor Pillzenith. You might even call him my lifelong enemy. However, even I admit that Pillfire City's operation methods are quite impressive. The surrounding regions are very loyal to Pillfire not because Emperor Pillzenith is that impressive, but because Pillfire's fame and foundation are deeply rooted in their hearts."
"Do you mean that the ultimate objective of our pill dao academy is to attract geniuses from all across the land, young lord? Are we trying to make Veluriyam Capital everyone's top choice in the Upper Eight Regions, and even the entire human domain?"
"That's exactly what I'm planning. However, I need everyone's cooperation to make it come true." Jiang Chen sighed.