Since all the other cultivators present were great emperors, Jiang Chen wasn't worried about scaring anyone with the gravity of his words. Nor did he want to make anything up - he really didn't have to.
"In fact, I've fought a demon expert in the human domain already. A demon great emperor that hadn't fully awakened, to be precise." Jiang Chen swept his eyes across each and every wandering great emperor's face, his tone grave.
"I can guarantee that, one on one, only Old Brother Wellspring can possibly challenge that demon great emperor to a degree. And that's assuming that the demon expert only recovers about sixty to seventy percent of his strength… as for the rest, you may be able to escape with your life if you're lucky. Otherwise…"
Jiang Chen was absolutely right. Emperor Bloodmalva had beat him into a swift retreat with only twenty to thirty percent of his full strength. Without the young man's plethora of lifesaving methods, perhaps he would have died during the battle in the Cloudshatter Mountains.
Therefore, a Bloodmalva with sixty to seventy percent of his full strength was a force to be reckoned with. The average great emperor human cultivator wouldn't be a match at all.
A demon emperor at a hundred percent of their full power would have scarcely any contenders among humanity. That was a most worrisome prospect for the young lord.
If demon great emperors awakened in droves, breaking through the seals into the human domain, then the latter would be subjected to a great disaster heretofore unseen. It was something that the human domain - first rank sects included - had no power to resist.
"Young lord Jiang Chen, you've exchanged blows with a demon great emperor before?" Emperor Wellspring drew a sharp breath. "In the desolate wildlands?"
"No, in the human domain. Great Scarlet Mid Region. The master of the Resplendent Emerald Veranda was brainwashed into a faithful lackey for a demon emperor. He purposefully misled many cultivators there for his master to feast upon them. Moreover, the flesh and blood of many women were prepared as sacrifice. Luckily, the demon great emperor managed to recover only twenty to thirty percent of his strength in the end. If he had managed the full measure, the entire human domain would be in utter chaos right now."
Everyone drew a sharp breath at that. They could definitely believe what Jiang Chen had said. The fact that the young lord rarely ran his mouth won him plausibility in times of trouble.
"Young lord Jiang Chen, were you alright after fighting that demon great emperor?" Emperor Wellspring couldn't resist asking. "Did you have Daoist Peerless with you?"
"No, no, no," Jiang Chen shook his head. "That didn't happen recently. It was quite a bit before the Dragon and Tiger Meet. I went to Great Scarlet Mid Region quite alone, I assure you. I just chanced upon those momentous events. I didn't quite expect to venture into the site of an ancient demonic seal… or encounter a race traitor like that."
"That… that demon emperor. Did you exterminate him?" someone asked in a hushed tone.
Jiang Chen shook his head, regretful. "I struggled to deal with him at the time. He wanted to kill me at the cost of his own lifeforce using a secret method, but I managed to escape through luck. He fled with severe wounds to who knows where. It should take three to five decades for him to awaken once more. Full recovery? I'd give him at least a century."
There was a collective sigh of relief.
"Ah, wonderful, wonderful. You've done the human race a big favor, young lord Jiang Chen."
"A demon great emperor only at twenty or thirty percent of his strength can cause such trouble for young lord Jiang Chen! Even Emperor Shura didn't ever manage to force our young lord to flee, eh? Demons are quite the mighty race."
"In ancient times, they were a nightmare for humanity."
"Ah, I hope the demonic invasion doesn't come to pass. They're a savage race indeed."
The great emperors felt their scalps tingle at the ferocity of demonkind. It was a most thorny problem.
"Demons are fearsome, and yet humans are busy with infighting," sighed Emperor Wellspring. "Emperor Pillzenith's actions are a crime against his own race."
"With the overwhelming loss of ancient heritages, humans don't have anything to resist the demons in our current state. What do we do when they break free of their seals?"
"Yes, it sounds like they're much stronger than us. Is a gap that large possible to overcome?"
The general pessimism in the air elicited a smile from Veluriyam's young lord. "Don't worry too much," he advised. "The demon race is fearsome, but it's not perfect or without weakness. Otherwise, they wouldn't have been sealed away by our ancestors long ago."
His words sounded reasonable enough. That was right! If the demons really were indomitable, they would've conquered the whole world in ancient times already. Unfortunately for them, history ended up with the demons defeated and sealed away.
"From what you say, young lord Jiang Chen, you should have a deep understanding of the demon race. Why not tell us more about what you know? We wandering cultivators are often alone on our journeys across the realm, making us prime targets for any predatory demons."
"That's right, young lord, please enlighten us."
Knowledge was crucial to victory in any circumstance. These wandering great emperors were wary of demons, and thus wanted more knowledge to defend themselves with.
"The demon race has many advantages that guarantee them a place in the heavenly planes. They are all masters of battle, for example, with deeply rooted heritages and particularly invasive bloodlines. They can conquer tracts of territory through bloodline corruption alone, transforming that land's inhabitants into demons or slaves.
"Of course, they have weaknesses too. They're not perfect beings, and there's no need for fear when fighting them." Jiang Chen didn't want to loudly announce demon invincibility.
If these great emperors' confidence was destroyed, that would truly be disastrous for the human domain.
"Young lord Jiang Chen, what weaknesses do they have, specifically?"
"Their bloodline is invasive, but their reproduction abilities are very poor. The purer a demon's bloodline is, the more difficult it is for them to have offspring. Therefore, a demon army sorely lacks in numbers when compared to a human one. The human race scores a total victory in this regard. We have no issue with procreation at all.
"Apart from that, though their bloodline is invasive, it's also easily noticed. Normal demons without peak cultivation reveal their presences through the explosive, invasive aura they exude. This makes it hard for them to hide. Because of this, demons enjoy controlling human puppets instead, which makes it a lot more convenient for them to get things done. Alas, there is no shortage whatsoever of humans willing to be puppets.
"Aside from that, they have yet another fatal flaw. Demons tend to be full of themselves, presumptuous, and vain. They won't listen to one another without a very powerful leader to forge an alliance. Quite often, they engage in infighting of their own accord.
"The only reason to fear them is their tremendous dominance in one-on-one situations where both parties are at equal cultivation level. Only when two or three humans gang up on one demon is there a chance of winning. Moreover, the strength in their blood ensures that demons don't die easily."
"It seems that you've done a lot of research about ancient demons, young lord Jiang Chen. We've learned a great deal today, thanks to you," sighed Wellspring.
"Yes, we do feel a bit more relieved after this discussion. Demons are formidable, but they have weaknesses too."
"And as long as they have weaknesses, they can be defeated."
Emperor Wellspring suddenly recalled something. "Young lord," he asked, "I remember you specifically refined some antidote pills targeting demons back when you first started out at Veluriyam Capital. Have you been weaving a web for this development all along?"
"That was just a coincidence," Jiang Chen smiled wryly. "The wood demon parasites are hideous indeed. Having that antidote simply happens to alleviate most of their danger."
Next, he told stories and gave examples of the demon race's exploits and how they tended to operate. Though Jiang Chen wasn't a true expert on the subject, he knew far more than everyone else present added together because of his previous life.
Finally, Wellspring sighed. "I feel that my prior choice was overwhelmingly correct, young lord. Out of the entire human domain, only Veluriyam - nay, only you are fit to lead the human race. I will make it clear to the world that if Pillfire acts against Veluriyam, I will spare no effort in supporting both your city and you."
Emperor Inferno nodded as well. "The world can go on without Emperor Pillzenith, but it cannot do without you. I haven't respected anyone else in my entire life as much as I do you!"
The attitudes of the two titans were echoed by the others.
"My friends," Jiang Chen presented his cupped fist, "there's no end to my thanks for your appreciation and support. Still, I have to remind you that no matter how attractive a place with a sealed demon may seem, don't venture inside. It is quite possible that once you do, you will end up as food for their strongest experts, hastening their awakening in the process."
"I maintain my decision from before," Emperor Wellspring chuckled. "I'll stay at Veluriyam from now on. This place is nice and the people are nicer. Living here long-term is much more comfortable than wandering the world."
"Heheh, if Old Brother Wellspring is staying, then I am too."
"With how complicated the human domain is right now, maybe staying here in Veluriyam is the safest thing to do."
"I think we'll all be staying here for a time, young lord Jiang Chen. I just hope you don't feel too inconvenienced by this, eh?" The wandering great emperors were seriously considering what they should do.