The senior sectmaster took in a deep breath, puzzlement coloring her eyes. "Young lord, please forgive me if I don't understand. If not you, who's looking to wed?"
Jiang Chen smiled. "I'm here for my father's sake."
Father? Those of the Moon God Sect were even more confused. Wasn't that too bizarre? A son proposing marriage for his father? It was usually the other way around! This was incredibly absurd!
"I'm perplexed, young lord Jiang Chen. Who might your honored father be? Is your honored mother still in good health?"
"My mother is naturally in good health. In fact, I came to welcome her on behalf of my father." Jiang Chen's smile was serene.
"How ridiculous!" Behind the senior sectmaster, Holy Maiden Xi Yuan could no longer restrain herself. When she'd attended the Dragon and Tiger Meet, the young lord had seemed more interested in Holy Maiden Xu Shan, while she herself had been met with a cold shoulder. That had been enough to foment some resentment. His preposterous words were an occasion for her to express her sentiments.
The senior sectmaster heaved a soft sigh. "Young lord Jiang Chen traveled untold miles to my Moon God Sect for a mere prank. Welcome your esteemed mother? Please forgive me if I can't understand."
Jiang Chen smiled with equanimity. "It does sound a little far-fetched indeed. It seems you're in the dark about the truth of this matter?"
She frowned. "What truth?"
"It's a long story." He sighed. "However, my mother really is part of your sect. She's even been put under arrest for thirty years. My parents have been forced apart for all these years, so I came to prevail upon your compassion. They say that marriage is sacred, that no one should come between husband and wife. My parents love each other dearly…"
Her brows knitted increasingly tighter. "Young lord, I'm even more confused. How could your mother be in my sect?"
"Are you truly unaware? Or is this a mere excuse?" Jiang Chen's voice was heavy.
"I really don't know." The senior sectmaster shook her head. "Tell us, who is your mother?"
She took a deep breath, her voice equally heavy, "Did one of our disciples take a lover when journeying in the outside world?" She was now wading in the dark.
"Not so. My mother grew up in Myriad Domain. But she carries the Moon God Sect's bloodline. If you want to get to the bottom of this affair, we need the second sectmaster here," he patiently explained. He could see her confusion was no pretense.
"The second sectmaster?" Slight nuances flickered through her expression as something occurred to her. She turned to the third sectmaster. "Number Three, ask Number Two to come here."
The third sectmaster nodded slightly and was about to walk off when the senior sectmaster added, "Don't tell her about this yet. Just say I need to discuss something with her."
The senior sectmaster was well aware that the second sectmaster's temperament veered to the extreme. If it truly involved her Blue Moon faction, she might well find an excuse and stay away.
If the young man in front of her had been someone from an ordinary sect, the senior sectmaster would have sent him away without hearing him out. But his was an existence that could shake the human territory with a mere stomp.
She naturally didn't want to offend such a genius. More importantly, she couldn't afford to do so.
With the momentum Veluriyam had displayed as of late, the Moon God Sect couldn't withstand his wrath, no matter the distance between the two factions.
More importantly, Jiang Chen had so many helpers present. On the surface, they'd come as Jiang Chen's moral support and go-betweens for his father. If the two parties fell out, these guys might not continue to be so friendly.
With their overwhelming cultivation, these great emperors could flatten her sect.
Although she didn't think Jiang Chen would be that brutal, she still had to walk on eggshells. Things might become hairy if the young man ever became impulsive.
"Young lord, I think I have a vague impression of the matter you raised. An internal struggle happened in the Blue Moon faction then. I seem to remember a baby lost in the mundane world. Could she be…"
Jiang Chen nodded. "That baby is my mother, Xu Meng."
Pensive, she fell silent. Judging from his serious expression, this matter was likely real.
The atmosphere froze stiffly.
Jiang Chen remarked faintly, "There are three things a gentleman rejoices in. The first is that his parents are alive and his brothers well. Though in good health, my parents have been forced apart like the Cowherd and the Weaver Girl of the ancient myths, separated by the Milky Way. They at least can meet once a year on Valentine's Day, but my parents have been separated from each other for thirty years. Their blood flows in my veins, so how could I stand by and do nothing? Sectmaster, can you blame me at all for this?"
Neither Jiang Chen's voice nor his attitude was urgent, but his words alone could move the hearts of the listeners.
Everyone was born of a father and a mother. To watch them forced apart was an impossible proposition for any cultivator with a hint of righteousness. And, what would become of Jiang Chen's reputation if he couldn't reunite his parents with his current status?
Seeing his attitude, listening to his tone, the senior sectmaster realized he was determined to get his way. If the Moon God Sect opposed him, he might become hostile on the spot.
Lost in her thoughts, she wondered how best to handle the situation. She knew how extreme the second sectmaster was. The latter had always thought of Xu Meng as an affront to the Blue Moon faction, so the senior sectmaster had stayed out this particular bit of business. She'd merely heard some talk now and then. She was worried that Number Two's character would be an obstacle, or even deteriorate the entire situation and make Jiang Chen turn hostile.
The third sectmaster came back with her colleague a moment later. Holy Maiden Xu Qingxuan trailed behind them.
The holy maiden seemed unconcerned, the typically precocious rich daughter at first. However, her heart pounded when she spotted Jiang Chen in the group sitting in the great hall.
Hm? Why's he here? She looked at the men beside him, each of them more imposing than the last, all of them evidently top-level experts. Her father Jiang Feng was also there, occupying the seat of honor. Her heart jumped wildly. Is he here to demand justice for mother?
Her eyes fell on her brother sitting in the center, surrounded by experts like stars revolving around the moon. It seemed her elder brother really was very incredible!
Ever since she'd learned they were siblings from the same parents, she'd paid close attention to every tidbit concerning him. She'd scoured all the rumors coming from Veluriyam of late. Although she very much wanted to compete with him, she had to concede her elder brother's achievements were far above hers for now.
Her heart shook, but she kept her face impassive and meekly followed after the second sectmaster like an obedient girl.
"Number Two, here you are. Have a seat," the senior sectmaster greeted.
The second sectmaster was nonplussed when she saw the imposing assembly gathered in the hall. Her eyes fell on Jiang Chen, seeming to take his measure. With a grave voice, she asked, "This genius is somewhat unfamiliar. I wonder…" She paused, a thought occurring to her. "Could it be Veluriyam's young lord Jiang Chen?"
Jiang Chen cupped his hands without batting an eye. "Second sectmaster, I trust you've been well."
She responded indifferently. "The former Sir Shao Yuan, the former young lord Zhen, and now the young lord Jiang Chen. I have to admit you have quite the number of identities. I don't even know how I should address your esteemed self."
Jiang Chen smiled faintly. "Please call me as you deem fit."
She didn't reply. With a nod, she plopped into her chair. Judging from her demeanor, she still had no clue as to the reason for his presence.
She hadn't connected that Jiang Chen was Xu Meng's son because she hadn't been the one to bring Xu Meng back from the mundane world. The disciples from her faction had taken care of that. Hence, she stayed calm, blissfully unaware of what lay in store.
"Senior sectmaster, why did you summon me?"
The senior sectmaster smiled, pondering how she should phrase her reply. She was truly at a loss how to approach the matter. "Number Two, there's something I've never asked you about, but it seems very important now. In the past, was there a baby from your faction abandoned in the mundane world?"
It was an open wound for Blue Moon to this day and a taboo for the second sectmaster. Even the senior sectmaster had shied away from the subject before.
Her face twisted. "This is an old story we shouldn't mention in front of guests."
The senior sectmaster smiled wryly. "But it's of supreme importance."
Jiang Chen sighed gently and patted his father sitting beside him. He could feel Jiang Feng on the verge of erupting. "Second sectmaster, allow me to explain. The baby from your Blue Moon faction happens to be my birth mother."
His words stunned her, a bolt of lightning from the blue.
"What did you say?" She rolled her eyes at him, her tone solemn. "Young lord Jiang Chen, I've heard many ridiculous things in my time, but it's a first for someone to go around randomly acknowledging people as his parents ."
The senior sectmaster quavered. She threw a meaningful look over, indicating for the second sectmaster to not be so reckless.
Indeed, Jiang Chen's mood darkened. "Second sectmaster, you're a senior of notable renown. How can you speak so rashly? Perhaps you think that someone like me needs to curry favor with your faction?" His heavy tone turned the atmosphere oppressive.
The second sectmaster hadn't thought her words through. Regret percolated as soon as they departed her mouth, aware she'd acted impetuously. After all, the one sitting in front of her wasn't an ordinary junior, but the illustrious young lord of Veluriyam. However, Jiang Chen's reply didn't sit well with her unyielding character. Her lips twitched, readying cutting words for a counterattack.