The whole of Pillfire shared Pillzenith's indignation. The city hadn't been this frustrated in several millennia. It had always stood tall even against a towering figure like Emperor Peafowl. However, a mere decade had been enough for the Jiang Chen brat to crimp their style in the human domain.
Were they to tolerate that??
Noting the great emperors' restlessness, Pillzenith knew his time had come. He would be able to push them over the edge with just a little more. A cold smile on his lips, he swept a meaningful gaze across them.
"Ladies and gentlemen, I have to admit, much to my chagrin, that the kid will steal our limelight if we allow him to grow. He and Veluriyam will be the first thing that comes to mind when cultivators mention pill-refining. What of us then?"
For a great faction, especially its direct beneficiaries, it was human nature to view with hostility those poised to supplant them.
"Your Majesty, we have to act first."
"We need to nip him in the bud. It'll be too late once he fully spreads his wings."
"Indeed. He might have Myriad Abyss Island behind him, but so what? He's only a fledgling. If he were to die an obscure death tomorrow, their powerhouses won't pay it too much heed. After all, compared to the human domain, such a legendary place must have its own geniuses in spades."
Pillzenith smiled mysteriously. "Are we all of one mind then? Are we agreed he must be stopped?"
"Your Majesty, it's our only choice, else he'll most certainly become a future calamity."
"I agree. Without Emperor Peafowl, Veluriyam has no supreme expert to stop us."
Pillzenith grinned. "Hehe, very good. We're in luck, the heavens have sent us an unparalleled opportunity."
"Oh? What opportunity?" The listeners' eyes shone.
"According to my intelligence, he snuck into the Moon God Sect a few days ago. He's still there as we speak!"
"The Moon God Sect?"
"What's he doing there? Are those fickle wenches switching allegiance to Veluriyam?"
"Those hags really don't know what's good for them. Your Majesty, they're always dragging their feet and never showing proper respect for your goodwill. Are they really flirting with the distant Veluriyam now?"
"It seems we've been too kind to them." The news rattled the great emperors. By right, that sect ought to belong in Pillfire's sphere of influence since it bordered the city on the northwest.
Pillfire couldn't tolerate a disloyal neighbor. Someone was suddenly struck by a possibility.
"Your Majesty, the opportunity you spoke of, could it be…?"
"He's in the Moon God Sect? The kid's handing us his life on a silver platter. What are we waiting for?"
"That's right. He killed Greathorn and Old Ma when they trespassed on his domain. Since he's slipped into ours, it's time to pay him back."
"Let's go the whole hog and kill him!"
"Your Majesty, please issue your order. His death will stop Veluriyam dead in its tracks!"
Pillzenith's tone was solemn. "It's an easy decision for me. But please keep in mind, there's some risk involved. Don't shy away from your responsibilities if it comes back to bite us."
"Your Majesty, what risk could there be?""The experts from Myriad Abyss Island? No matter how close they are to Jiang Chen, it's impossible for them to stay for long. Aren't they gone already? Who's to say they'll come back? Even if they do, it might be centuries later."
"Indeed. They'll have long forgotten this tenuous friendship by then."
"Your Majesty, we await your command. Whatever happens, we'll face it together. If we can kill the kid, the advantages outweigh the risks."
They despised Jiang Chen, but they had to concede that he was a mighty thorn in their side. The Longevity Pill in the past, the Pinecrane Pill now, and mentions of the Emperor Supremacy Pill and also the Emperor Ascension PIll...
Even for a faction like Pillfire with an inheritance unrivalled in the human domain, these pills were unheard of. It would be a lie to say they weren't jealous.
A great emperor clad in daoist robes and sporting a top knot stood in the crowd. He'd kept his own counsel until then but suddenly voiced, "Your Majesty, may this poor monk say a few words?"
"Tallpeak, share your wise opinion with us." Pillzenith smiled.
Tallpeak's cultivation wasn't the highest in Pillfire, but his intelligence set him apart. For that reason, Pillzenith sometimes lent him a ear.
"Your Majesty, from his beginnings in the mundane world until today, Jiang Chen's made his share of enemies over the years. We might not be the ones who most want him dead."
"Oh?" Pillzenith stirred in his seat, waiting for Tallpeak to elaborate.
"There's the Eternal Celestial Capital, for one. They prodded Great Scarlet into destroying Myriad Domain. There's little love lost between them and Jiang Chen. There's also the Ninesuns Sky Sect… Their presence in Myriad Domain has also prompted the kid's enmity. In Swordfield Mid Region's Infant Shriek Valley, Jiang Chen killed many eminent figures from both sects. I doubt they would bury the hatchet."
Pillzenith debated with himself for a moment. "From what I know, It's likely the Ninesuns Sky Sect's already reached a compromise with him. But his enmity with the Eternal Celestial Capital runs too deep. They were the only ones excluded among all eight first rank sects in the Dragon and Tiger Meet. Even a blind man can see they're at daggers drawn."
Tallpeak nodded. "They must be quite anxious nowadays about a possible attack from Veluriyam. They're at their most vulnerable. Won't they be desperate for a backer? We can make good use of them."
"Tallpeak, do you mean for them to assume to be the vanguard?"
Tallpeak nodded. "Precisely."
Pillzenith smiled wryly. "You don't know everything. Jiang Chen is slippery as an eel. He's invited a mighty parade of powerhouses on his trip. There's the Great Yu Skysword Sect's Han Qianzhan, the Celestial Cicada Court's Su Huanzhen, as well as Emperor Wellspring, Inferno, and others from the six wandering titans. Even if we came out in full force, can you say for certain we'd win? To say nothing of the trivial Eternal Celestial Capital."
As a first-rank sect, the Eternal Celestial Capital was only second-tier in Upper Eight Regions. Withstanding Jiang Chen was a pipe dream for them.
Tallpeak gasped. "How can he gather so many people? Why are these wandering great emperors at his beck and call?"
What an inconceivable thought. Why were these proud men running errands for a youngster?
"The Pinecrane Pill, of course." Pillzenith snorted. "Do you think they're lofty and aloof? These wandering great emperors are nothing but poor bums! People like them are easy to buy off. They'd think nothing of murder to get their hands on a pill, to say nothing of an errand."
A wisp of envy colored his tone.
He'd overseen Pillfire for three thousand years. He too had tried to win their loyalty during the many grand gatherings he'd held in the city. Only, his bargaining chips hadn't proved tempting enough.
In contrast, Jiang Chen had attracted many of them in a very short time. Even if it were a simple scheme for the sake of Pinecrane Pills, it was indirect proof of the kid's skill in bribery.
"Your Majesty, the situation's a little delicate in that case. On top of the wandering great emperors, Han Qianzhan and Su Huanzhen aren't to be trifled with either."
Pillzenith snorted. "How the mighty have fallen. Why are two heads of first rank sects doing the kid's bidding instead of attending to their duties? ."
"Your Majesty, I think we should summon a few more sects. I've hear that the Heavenly Dragon Sect's Long Baxiang argued with Jiang Chen at the Dragon and Tiger Meet. Perhaps we can get his sect involved?"
The Heavenly Dragon Sect was one of the greatest first rank sects.
"Them, the Eternal Celestial Capital, the Sublime Chord Temple and the Empyrean River Palace. With four first-rank sects and us, how will the kid escape from our clutches?" someone jeered.
"Your Majesty, the Empyrean River Palace and the Sublime Chord Temple will obey us, but the Heavenly Dragon Sect has always been independent. Will they follow our lead?"
Pillzenith snorted. "With enough benefits on the line, they won't say no. I've hear that Jiang Chen has a true dragon. If we grant it to the Heavenly Dragon Sect, do you think they'd refuse?"
Tallpeak shook. "Your Majesty, I fear giving them a true dragon would be letting the fox in the chicken coop."
The heavy-handed Heavenly Dragon Sect would become an even greater threat than Veluriyam if allowed to grow.
Tallpeak's concern was met with an indifferent smile. "It's a temporary strategy. There's no eternal enemies in the world and no eternal friends. Do you think I won't curb them once we're done with Jiang Chen?"
The crowd looked at him with respect and awe.
"Your Majesty, it's so decided. Time waits for no one. Shall we immediately get in touch with the different sects?"
The great emperors rubbed their hands with eagerness, ready for action.