Xu Meng and Jiang Feng held each other in a sobbing embrace. Seeing them, the senior sectmaster was seized by contradictory feelings. As a sectmaster, her chastity was still intact to this day. She'd previously held little interest for the feelings between husband and wife. But at the sight of Xu Meng, of her husband who loved her so very much, of her oh-so-outstanding son and remarkable daughter...
Despite her lofty status as sectmaster, perhaps she wasn't as successful in life, comparatively speaking!
Jiang Chen shared in the happiness of his parents' reunion. With a smile, he handed a list of gifts to the senior sectmaster. "Senior Sectmaster, you can accept these betrothal gifts now, right?"
The senior sectmaster glanced at the second sectmaster. Seeing the latter pale but showing no signs of active opposition, she realized with delight that her peer had finally swallowed her prejudice.
With a polite smile, she accepted Jiang Chen's list. Astonishment flickered on her face when she glanced at it. The items written on it almost made sent her into a faint. The first was a pair of Pinecrane Pills.
Was there anyone in the human domain who didn't know of this pill? Without contest, it was currently the number one pill under the heavens, whether in price or actual value. The third sectmaster had told her that one of them had been auctioned for more than ten billion during the Dragon and Tiger Meet.
The Moon God Sect dreamed of that pill. It was a wonderful guarantee for someone near the end of their life.
The second was a pair of Emperor Ascension Pills. The list also made note of the pill's use. A cultivator could unconditionally gain a level in the emperor realm. The list specified that one of the two pills was reserved for Holy Maiden Xu Qingxuan.
The third item...
Reading the list made her dizzier. It seemed to scorch her hand when she realized the value of the gifts.
Veluriyam's young lord was famous for his generosity. Experiencing it personally today, she finally realized exactly how lavish the kid was. Even great emperors at the very peak of Upper Eight Regions might not be as generous. But for this young man, it was mere trifles he dispensed with a wave of the hand.
She very much wanted to present a calm and dignified front, or she and her sect might be mocked for being inexperienced in the ways of the world, scared by simple gifts. She sifted through the items back and forth several times before finally realizing she'd forgotten her manners. She handed the list over to the second sectmaster.
"Number Two, take a look."
The second sectmaster was still peeved, but she'd at least realized the Moon God Sect might be brought to ruin if this matter was handled badly. Although she was reluctant, she had to admit they would be the ones to suffer if Jiang Chen turned hostile.
But if everything ended well, then rather than shame, her Blue Moon could boast of having a holy maiden with a son as celebrated as Jiang Chen.
After weighing the pros and the cons, she'd finally come to see reason. Only, her great sense of pride wouldn't allow her to discard her indifferent facade. But when she saw the gifts, her almond-shaped eyes twitched with amazement.
Two of them at that?
Just like the senior sectmaster, the list instantly subdued her. No matter how obstinate, she couldn't refute his sincerity when she took in his generosity. The list even noted that some pills were a special gift for Xu Qingxuan. Naturally, this was favorable to her faction.
Her thoughts whirled at top speed.
This Jiang Chen is rich and ostentatious. These gifts are enough to express his sincerity. Even the senior sectmaster might run out of patience if I keep protesting. Qingxuan must also be aware of the truth. If I alienate her, won't I waste the painstaking efforts of half a lifetime?
Pondering back and forth, she finally decided not to oppose any further. Xu Meng's matter had indeed once been her greatest taboo and her greatest shame. If not for Xu Qingxuan, she would have executed her after bringing her back.
But when Xu Qingxuan became a holy maiden of Blue Moon, the young girl's talent had won her over. She'd pinned all her hopes on this disciple.
She'd planned on brainwashing Qingxuan and make her reject Xu Meng. However, no matter how obedient the girl was otherwise, she remained stubborn as a mule when it came to her mother.
Qingxuan never clashed with her head-on, but the girl always plied her with soft words, acted like a spoiled child, or perhaps threw a small fit and stopped cultivating properly. The second sectmaster was helpless when the girl reacted like this.
It was fortunate the matter wasn't irreversible yet. If she'd truly killed Xu Meng, Jiang Chen wouldn't have left things alone with his current position. She heaved a soft sigh.
"Young lord Jiang Chen, this list is worth its weight in gold. I won't be unreasonable. I've always seen your mother's matter as a personal affront. I've never been able to see past this prejudice of mine. If not for Qingxuan, I might have ordered your mother executed."
For some reason, she suddenly confessed her inner feelings. "I must admit it's partly out of personal bias, and partly out of the sect's longstanding rules. Fortunately, no lasting regrets have been created. With a son like you, Xu Meng's gained unparalleled karma in the mundane world. Is that what they called mixed blessings? It's a profound lesson for me…"
With everyone's eyes fixed on her, she suddenly thought her lengthy monologue was a little inopportune.
She nodded. "I will no longer involve myself with your mother. From today on, she is a married woman and no longer part of Blue Moon. You and your father should take her back to Veluriyam." After a pause, she added, "However, Qingxuan is Blue Moon's holy maiden. I won't back down on that front. If you want to take her away, you'll have to go over my dead body!"
Despite making some concessions, this old woman's attitude was as tough as ever.
Jiang Chen smiled. As long as she didn't oppose his parents' reunion, he didn't mind a little impetuousness.
As for Qingxuan, she followed the Moon God Sect's martial dao. It would be detrimental for her cultivation to take her away. And judging from the little girl's attitude, severing the relationship between master and disciple seemed out of the question.
"Young lord Jiang Chen, it seems the conclusion is to everyone's satisfaction. What do you think?" A faint smile clung to the senior sectmaster's lips.
"Qingxuan, what do you say?" Jiang Chen looked at his sister. If she didn't have any affection for her sect, he'd also take her away, no matter the hurdles.
Xu Qingxuan bit her lower lip, forcing back her tears. She walked up to Jiang Feng and Xu Meng. "Father, Mother, I swear I will repay you for giving birth to me. But I can't simply cut the bonds between me and the Blue Moon faction, or forget my master's kindness. I would like to keep sides happy. I don't want to turn my back on either my parents or my master."
After reuniting with his wife and seeing Qingxuan's beauty and talent, Jiang Feng only felt tender affection for his daughter. How could he force her to do anything?
"Qingxuan, stay here. Although I'm no cultivation expert, I still know it's the best choice for you. You're our daughter. No matter how high the sky or how vast the earth, you'll always be our daughter."
Xu Meng gently stroked her child's cheek. "Qingxuan, you've stayed by my side all these years. I know you're a kind and good-hearted girl. I do bear resentment towards your master, but it's gone now that I'm reunited with your father. Although the Moon God Sect drove away my son, it raised my daughter. The kindness and resentment cancel each other out. I won't hinder your future path. Stay here and cultivate well with your master. If you ever miss your parents or your elder brother, you're welcome in Veluriyam at any time. Your daddy, your brother... everyone cherishes you very much."
Xu Qingxuan could no longer fight back her tears no matter how strong she tried to act. Sobs racked her body.
"Silly, why are you crying? You should be happy for your parents." Xu Meng softly stroked her daughter with boundless tenderness.
Jiang Chen cupped a fist at the senior sectmaster and the second sectmaster. "Qingxuan is my younger sister and a holy maiden of the Moon God Sect. It is indeed more suitable for her to remain here. However, I also hope she will be happy in the sect and won't suffer anything, or else I might take her away one day. Sectmasters, please take this as your warning."
Afraid of her master's short fuse, Qingxuan hurried to clarify, "My master is very good to me. I won't suffer here."
Jiang Chen smiled gently. "Little sister, it's true your master values you. However, you can also rely on me from today onwards. If one day a bastard or some skirt-chaser makes you unhappy, just say the word and I'll teach him a lesson."
His sister laughed despite her tears. "Who needs your help? I can beat them off by myself."
Xu Meng berated, "Qingxuan, don't be so cheeky. Chen'er is your big brother, why do you talk to him like this?"
Xu Qingxuan knew her mother was feigning anger, but she still murmured, "I've already said he needs to beat me if he wants me to call him big brother. Otherwise, I'll call him stinky brother."
The crowd roared with laughter at her adorable words. Those present sighed with emotion at the warmth of their family. The senior sectmaster, in particular, felt a twinge of yearning.
Xu Qingxuan rolled up her sleeves, exposing arms as white as jade to challenge Jiang Chen. "Want to give it a go? I want to see if Veluriyam's young lord is stronger than a holy maiden of the Moon God Sect!"
Even the second sectmaster had trouble sitting still at these words. Xu Qingxuan was a little too spoiled!
"Qingxuan, don't cause trouble. Even Emperor Shura was helpless against young lord Jiang Chen's talent. How dare you challenge him with your little bit cultivation?" Despite her short temper and her pig-headed character, the second sectmaster wasn't entirely blind yet.