The senior sectmaster couldn't be more familiar with the second sectmaster's character. She could tell from the look on the latter's face that her fiery temper was about to explode.
"Number Two, stay calm. Since young lord Jiang Chen's made his request, we ought to investigate as repayment for what he did for the Moon God Precious Tree. If a misunderstanding indeed exists between us, then we should let bygones be bygones and allow husband and wife to reunite." The senior sectmaster hurried to extinguish the fire.
But the second sectmaster was truly short-tempered. She sneered. "Senior Sectmaster, do you believe him simply because he threw out a few random sentences? How can such a coincidence exist in this world? That abandoned child tainted my Blue Moon bloodline, so I had her killed when my disciples brought her back. How could I possibly hand her over now?" She decided to simply deny everything outright.
Behind her, Xu Qingxuan paled, clearly stung by the words. A shiver coursed through her lovely figure.
Jiang Chen might have believed the deception if he hadn't learned in advance his mother was alive and well. However, he did know, so he saw right through the lie.
"Second Sectmaster, I simply lent a passing hand for the Moon God Precious Tree. I don't expect any sort of repayment." His voice was serene. "However, don't look down on my resolve to bring my mother back, and don't underestimate my father's feelings for her."
The second sectmaster smiled coldly. "Young lord, are you trying to frighten me? Although Veluriyam is mighty, I'm not scared of you. Kindly take your grand prestige somewhere else."
"Number Two, that's enough!" The senior sectmaster frowned. Everything had gone as she'd feared. The second sectmaster had talked them into a deadlock.
"Senior Sectmaster, are you really going to side with their nonsense?" The matter was taboo for the second sectmaster, hence she'd adopted an obstinate approach and wouldn't listen to reason.
Anyone else would have investigated the issue and seized the chance to step back gracefully, easing the tension. However, she thought of nothing else but the extraordinary humiliation of her bloodline's tainting. Everything else was negligible.
Beside Jiang Chen, Jiao Yun smiled grimly. "The Moon God Sect is putting on quite some arrogant airs! You must be the second sectmaster? My young lord's been polite with you, but you can't seem to distinguish good from bad. Perhaps you'd like to force him to change his attitude?"
"Indeed. This is supposed to be a happy occasion. Second sectmaster, are you trying to sour the mood? Do you think you can stop our young lord?" Jiao Feng cracked a devilish grin.
Jiang Chen waved them silent, calming the two brothers down.
"Second sectmaster, why don't we both take a step back? Your Blue Moon's Holy Maiden Xu Meng is my mother. If I wasn't reasonably confident of that, I wouldn't have mustered so many people here. Wouldn't it be unfilial of me to watch my mother be detained and do nothing? If someone from your sect were in my shoes, I'm confident they wouldn't be able to turn a blind eye either."
Jiang Chen's tone was unhurried. "Let me repeat myself. Don't look down on my determination to take back my mother. A man owes everything to his parents. For them, I could rend the sky asunder and shatter the earth!"
The senior sectmaster sighed. "Number Two, I know you've always thought of it as a humiliation for Blue Moon. Have I butted in all these years? The present is different from the past. If Xu Meng truly is young lord Jiang Chen's mother, then rather a disgrace, it would be Blue Moon's blessing. Just think about it. Xu Meng was lost in the mundane world, but still gave birth to such a colossus of our time. Furthermore…"
She glanced meaningfully at Xu Qingxuan but spoke no further. It wasn't Xu Meng's fault for being abandoned. She'd only been an infant. What did a baby know? She'd committed no crime and shouldn't have borne any punishment. Not to mention, she'd also given birth to a genius like Xu Qingxuan.
If young lord Jiang Chen also happened to be her son, then that woman was blessed by the heavens.
More importantly, the Moon God Sect was powerless to obstruct young lord Jiang Chen's momentum and resolve. The situation could become unsalvageable if it worsened any further.
As the senior sectmaster, she couldn't allow the Moon God Sect to be backed into that impasse, so she had to take responsibility and make a forceful decision, even if it meant overriding her peer.
The second sectmaster was displeased, but she couldn't deny the truth. Like a sharp blade, the words slashed deep into her thoughts and showed her a new way of thinking.
Shame? Was it still shameful if Xu Meng had given birth to a genius like Jiang Chen?
A tearful Xu Qianxuan suddenly thumped to her knees.
"Mercy, master, please show benevolence. I already know everything about my mother. Please renounce your prejudice and allow my parents to reunite. Your disciple will remember your kindness until death. I will repay your grace for a lifetime." The young girl shed anguished tears.
Whether love or hatred, the second sectmaster had always been single-track minded. She was very strict with Xu Qingxuan, but that was an expression of harsh love. She doted on her genius disciple from the bottom of her heart.
Even if she had a heart made of stone, the sight of the young girl on her knees and begging her in tears moved her.
Jiang Chen stared coldly at her. Everything hinged on her attitude now. If she was determined to hold to her position until the bitter end, then perhaps he'd have no choice but to resort to open hostility.
One way led to paradise, and the other led to hell.
The senior sectmaster sighed. "Number Two, Qingxuan is a sensible child. For her sake, you should exorcise the demons in your heart. Even if Xu Meng committed a little wrong, Qingxuan's existence more than makes up for it. Why don't you call Xu Meng here and let them meet? If true, it would be a beautiful tale."
Anger had been brewing beneath Jiang Chen's skin. Only when he saw the senior sectmaster's friendly and pacifying attitude did he rein in his emotions. At least she had her head on straight at this critical juncture.
He handed her a list. "I'm determined to see through the marriage of my father. These are the gifts I've prepared. Please take a look, sectmasters. I hope you can witness my sincerity and won't back me into a difficult corner. My parents already spoke their vows long ago. I didn't come to carry off the bride. In fact, I mentioned a marriage proposal purely out of respect for the Moon God Sect."
Jiang Chen's words were reason itself. His parents were a lawful couple to begin with. No justification was truly needed. He could have taken a tough stance and taken his mother by force.
The so-called marriage proposal and betrothal gifts were mere gestures of goodwill to salvage the Moon God Sect's reputation. Jiang Chen wanted to leave an elegant way out for the sect. And if he could avoid violence, he would naturally do so.
The senior sectmaster dared not take the list directly. She offered him a polite smile instead. "Young lord Jiang Chen, let's obtain confirmation first before we proceed with further discussion. Otherwise, if a mishap happens, wouldn't we become the laughingstock of the entire world?"
To identify the wrong mother would be a ludicrous joke! Hence, cautiousness was required.
Jiang Chen nodded with a faint smile. "In that case, please bring Holy Maiden Xu Meng here."
The senior sectmaster glanced at the second sectmaster. "Number Two, let's proceed. Give the young lord some face. Let it not be said that we of the Moon God Sect don't know gratitude."
The second sectmaster responded, crestfallen, "Ah well. Since you've made your decision, there's nothing left for me to say. Qingxuan, let your mother come here."
Xu Qingxuan finally stopped sobbing. She wiped away her tears and dashed away.
Not long after, she reappeared in the hall with her mother. Xu Meng sparkled with a happiness impossible to describe with words. Day after day, she'd wished on the stars, the moon, hoping ardently for her husband and her son to come and take her away.
Today, her wish was finally coming true.
When her daughter had come for her, she'd broken down in tears.
"Meng'er!" How could Jiang Feng keep his composure? When he saw her from afar, he jumped up from his seat and rushed her way.
"Husband!" Xu Meng's tender figure crashed into his arms, tears of happiness showering them both like the rain. No words were needed. Proof? What more proof was required?
There were many women in the Moon God Sect. Many female disciples sported reddened eyes at the scene, with some crying in secret. They were baffled. They'd heard of Holy Maiden Xu Meng's story. Brainwashed as they were, they'd always thought of her as a stain on the sect's bloodline, as a disgrace. They'd even viewed Xu Qingxuan with some hostility.
But in this moment, when they understood Xu Meng was Veluriyam's young lord Jiang Chen's mother, they suddenly felt envious of her and of her daughter.
The status of Veluriyam's young lord was already a lofty one. Together with Jiang Chen's unbelievable achievements during these past few years, he'd become the hottest topic in the human domain bar none.
Emperor Wellspring chuckled. "The road was long and twisty, but the story concludes on a beautiful note. How wonderful! A holy maiden stranded in the mundane world gives birth to a genius son who goes on to become the greatest genius of the human domain. When this tale spreads, it'll be a song for the ages."
"Indeed. The darkest hour is just before dawn. I'm really quite jealous!"
"Haha. With a good son like young lord Jiang Chen, who wouldn't be envious?" One after another, the great emperors sighed with admiration.
Han Qianzhan smiled. "Senior Sectmaster, allow me to congratulate the Moon God Sect."
The Celestial Cicada Court's Su Huanzhen also heaved a quiet sigh. "We cultivators strive bitterly for the peak of the martial dao. For us, to be stranded in the mundane world would be the height of failure. But perhaps, sometimes true happiness isn't found on at the end of the martial road…"