Vast disagreement rose when Xu Qingxuan heard the second sectmaster's words. Although she revered her master, she wasn't blindly loyal. Otherwise, she wouldn't have brought her mother to meet with her father and brother behind her master's back. Despite all of the brainwashing she'd endured over the years, it still hadn't been successful. She'd retained her own mind.
Her master's words struck her as biting the hand that'd fed them. Xu Qingxuan was quite dismissive of this. Her brother had saved the sect's Precious Tree!
The holy maiden liked to think in the long term as well. Ever since her parents had found each other, she'd begun considering the possibility of the family reuniting. If that were to happen, she'd have to spend some effort here to make the Moon God Sect accept Veluriyam Capital and young lord Zhen. Only when that happened could the dream of a family reunion become possibility.
Otherwise, that road ahead was fraught with difficulties in the current situation. It'd be better if it was up to the senior sectmaster. She at least was a bit more reasonable. Qingxuan knew her master quite well. That was a heavily prejudiced woman. In the second sectmaster's eyes, Xu Meng was a traitor and the shame of the faction. She hadn't killed Xu Meng only because she'd been worried about the effect on Xu Qingxuan. It was also the only reason why Xu Meng had been allowed to remain within the sect.
However, her master was her master. Although Xu Qingxuan was deeply disapproving of these actions, she would never openly rebuke her master.
"And what of you, number three?" The senior sectmaster turned to the third leader with a smile.
The third sectmaster smiled faintly in return. "Sacred Peafowl Mountain is indeed a bit far from us, but if it's proven that young lord Zhen is indeed the Sir Shao Yuan who cured our Precious Tree, I think we still need to keep this favor in mind. Perhaps we don't need to offer tangible help, but we're ethically obliged to support him. So perhaps we should offer a pronouncement that we support young lord Zhen taking control of Veluriyam Capital?"
The third sectmaster was a mild soul with clear separation of right and wrong. She wouldn't take a favor for granted.
"Support young lord Zhen? How can we do that?" The second sectmaster couldn't help but break in.
"And whyever not?" The senior sectmaster looked back, amused. "What are your thoughts?"
"Simply that we can't be certain that young lord Zhen is Sir Shao Yuan. Since we can't prove it, then we can just play dumb. I'm not being miserly, but we really can't release that kind of announcement. Pillfire City and Veluriyam Capital are bitter rivals, and young lord Zhen even more so. If we support him, that means we're offending the enormous entity by our side."
The second sectmaster was a pragmatist. She always approached issues from the perspective of the sect's profits.
Pillfire City was on the western edge of the Tilted Moon Region. A few steps northwest would bring them into Moon God Sect territory. They were neighbors in the truest sense. The sect was very wary of and sometimes even found Pillfire's domineering to be unbearable. But no matter what they thought about the pressure, this enormous faction would always be by their side. That fact would never change.
Since they couldn't change that fact, then they could only get used to having such a tyrannical neighbor. They had to endure things even if that meant coming off worse for the wear sometimes. Compared to Pillfire City, the first rank sect's foundations and strength was still on a different level. Such a great entity was absolutely someone they couldn't afford to offend.
Holy Maiden Xiyuan expressed her thoughts at this time. "Honored master, this disciple thinks that the second sectmaster makes a great deal of sense. As wonderful as Veluriyam Capital may be and as great a genius young lord Zhen is, they're still too far away. They're so far away that they have absolutely no effect on us. Anything that happens there feels like the stuff of story tales, with absolutely no impact on our lives. But Pillfire City is right next to us. Even a casual stomp is enough to send us reeling."
Her meaning couldn't be clearer. They couldn't support young lord Zhen no matter what, even if he had done the sect a great deed.
Holy Maiden Xiyuan seemed impartial and objective, but personal motive was the real driving force. She felt irritated at the mere thought of young lord Zhen. If it wasn't for that jerk sticking his nose where it didn't belong, how would Xu Shan have climbed to her current height and be a threat to her position?
Just cure the Precious Tree, what did you go dig up some Reverse Yin Yang Bloodline for?? Don't you know how unfair this is to other people?
These were the holy maiden's deepest thoughts. She was completely unable to accept the situation, so she hated that busybody young lord Zhen as well. Now that he was in trouble, she wished fiercely for the matter to become even more serious. It'd be best if there was civil war and a ton of people died!
Have her support young lord Zhen? Dream on!
Dejection flashed through Xu Shan's eyes when she heard her peer's words. But when she swept a look across Xu Qingxuan's face, she was startled to see that the latter was looking at her encouragingly. This bolstered the self-conscious holy maiden a little.
"I wouldn't dare agree with senior sister Xiyuan's words. Clearly knowing what's right and wrong is a basic requirement for cultivators. This is to be applied for everything from our own nature to the reputation of the sect. We might appear to be sly and clever if we play dumb, but we'll definitely become the laughingstock of the entire world. Whenever others talk of the Moon God Sect, they'll add on the description of heartless ingrates."
Even Xu Shan herself was surprised at how smoothly she delivered these thoughts. The senior sectmaster had always wanted to increase Xu Shan's confidence, but she knew that this wouldn't be accomplished overnight. So when she heard how her disciple had spoken up and was disagreeing with Holy Maiden Xiyuan, not only was she not unhappy, but rather pleased.
Xu Shan's martial dao potential had been verified, and her bloodline was indeed unparalleled. But if her confidence levels couldn't be enhanced, then even the greatest potential would be wasted on her.
So now four had expressed their opinions. Two were in support and two against. The senior sectmaster smiled and looked towards Holy Maiden Qingxuan. "Qingxuan, weren't you quite lively earlier? Let's here from you."
"Senior sectmaster, I'm not falling for that!" Xu Qingxuan giggled. "If I say what I think, I know my master will be unhappy again."
"You brat, say what you want to say, don't blame everything on me." The second sectmaster had a dark expression on her face.
"Then I'll say what I think?"
"Say whatever stupid nonsense you've got!" The second sectmaster had a fiery temper.
"Hehe! This disciple also thinks that we should support young lord Zhen. There's another reason apart from the help he's given us."
"What is it?" This drew general curiosity, but the senior sectmaster threw her a glare. She was irked by her disciple not backing her up, but was also used to her disciple being a headache.
"You darned girl, what do you know? What other reasons are there? I'm going to punish you severely if you can't think of a serious reason why!"
"Hehe, my reason is very important! But before I tell everyone, I'd like to ask, is Pillfire City and Veluriyam Capital the two strongest factions in pill dao in the world?"
"How can Veluriyam compare to Pillfire? It's at most one third of Pillfire's foundations, or even less!" Xiyuan instantly fired off.
"Then let's put it this way, if one thinks of Pillfire, they also need to consider Veluriyam. We can all agree on this, right?"
"What do you want to say?" Xiyuan smiled coldly.
"Simply that while it may currently look like Pillfire is ahead of Veluriyam by a lot, it's a different story when it comes to their heirs. We've all witnessed Pill King Ji Lang's empty showmanship and flashy theatrics. We've also seen young lord Zhen's mature generosity. I think it's quite obvious whose fortunes are greater. I don't think that Pillfire has anyone who can compete with young lord Zhen in pill dao in the future. The young lord is definitely a monster genius who appears once in ten thousand years.
"Isn't there talk of a Pinecrane Pill? The pill who can extend lives of emperor realm cultivators by a thousand years? Can Pillfire refine such a pill? Or setting that aside, can they even manage a Longevity Pill?
"What's most frightening about young lord Zhen isn't that he understands pills that no one knows of, but that his knowledge stores are much too vast. We all saw how he cured the Precious Tree, right?"
Her long speech won the senior sectmaster's approval.
"Quite right. Qingxuan, your comprehension abilities are indeed uncommon. You also analyze problems from a very deep angle. In my eyes, Pill King Ji Lang's fortunes are one fifth, or even one tenth of Sir Shao Yuan's. If the gentleman is indeed young lord Zhen, then I look very favorably upon Veluriyam and his pill dao academy!"
The senior sectmaster's personal proclamation surprised the second sectmaster.
"Senior sectmaster, do you mean that we're going to openly support the young lord? Even if he can defy the heavens in the future, we still have no need to offend Pillfire right at this very moment!"
"It has nothing to do with offending or not offending Pillfire. We just need to express our stance. Young lord Zhen rendered us a great service and out of this gratitude, we support his authority over Veluriyam. This is a very right and proper thing to do. Even if Pillfire is unhappy, they can't use this as an excuse to oppress our sect. Since when did a vaunted first rank sect have to consider the feelings of others when conducting our business? Pillfire is our neighbor, not our ruling nation!"
This was a clear announcement of the sect's attitude.