At this juncture, no one from the Purple Smoke Sect would oppose him. Only a brainless fool would. Every elite treated the departing group with only smiles.
They hadn't known who Jiang Yu was before this, but he demanded respect from them at present. They could tell that he'd suffered a great deal over these years at Yin Hongxue's hand. Not slicing her head clean off was already very gentlemanly of him.
With a great emperor backing him up, a more vengeful youth would demand a river of blood. It was precisely because of this worry that the elites spared no courtesy for either the great emperor or his charges.
Yin Hongxue clutched at her stinging face, weeping incessantly. There was a positive tsunami roiling in her heart. She tasted agonizing regret on her tongue. She'd found joy in toying with men all these years, perpetually seeking one who could conquer her heart.
Someone like that had never been found. There was no man that she was forced to kneel in worship or respect. The proud Jiang Yu before her however, gave her an odd and rather different sensation. There was a vague impression of having lost a great deal.
The graceful man looked somewhat anemic and was only average in terms of cultivation, but he had a noble heart. He never begged mercy nor tried to butter her up all these years.
And though he had a great emperor behind him now, he didn't forget himself.
A man like that could shoulder the burdens when the odds were against him, and suppress any hubris during the reverse. With the support of a great emperor behind him, Jiang Yu had the capacity of becoming someone great!
Yin Hongxue was lost and anguished with remorse. She truly realized that she'd been utterly wrong about this man. Her fate was to lack the fortune to possess a man like this.
Her heart was in disarray. She'd been humiliated and slapped in public, but she couldn't bring herself to hate him. She deserved all of this due to her past mistakes.
Jiao Yun was a bit surprised that after Jiang Yu's years of adversity, he didn't erupt in an anguished outburst. This relatively calm solution was pleasantly astonishing.
The Jiang family's sons are all broad-minded people. Young lord Jiang Chen's genius aside, his cousin from an ordinary kingdom has a big heart, too. His martial cultivation is very weak, but he is also young. Something can be made of him!
The great emperor found the youth much more respectable after this display. He smiled coolly, sweeping his eyes toward the Purple Smoke Sect's collected elites. "You're lucky that you wronged someone who isn't particularly vengeful. Otherwise, there would be a pile of bodies here today."
The Purple Smoke Sect's leadership jointly blanched. None of them dared to utter a word in reply. They knew the great emperor senior was telling the truth.
After saying this, Jiao Yun turned back to Jiang Tong and Jiang Yu. "My friends," he smiled, "do you have anything left undone here?"
Jiang Tong was still pale from his injuries. "No," he shook his head.
Jiang Yu pressed his lips together, then turned away. "Let's be off, senior."
Jiao Yun nodded, wrapping both father and son in a beam of light. The next moment, the three of them disappeared in the blink of an eye.
The entire Purple Smoke Sect let out a sigh of relief. The boulder upon their chest was finally gone. Thank heavens they'd finally survived this potentially disastrous encounter.
The Purple Smoke Sect's forefather frigidly glanced at the venerated elder. "Tianchou, it's the older generation's responsibility to teach their younger descendants well. Who's responsible for your granddaughter's education and attitude? If you aren't good at teaching, I don't mind asking some of the fellows from the hall of law enforcement to help."
Yin Tianchou's head beaded over with sweat. "Ancestor, it's all my fault. I am willing to take full blame. I've spoiled Hongxue far too much, and will appropriately punish and discipline her. I guarantee she'll cause no more trouble for the sect."
The elites were all quite annoyed by the unexpected visit. The situation just now had been extremely risky. If a great emperor unleashed his fury, the Purple Smoke Sect would have posed zero resistance. It wasn't an exaggeration to say that the sect had narrowly escaped total destruction.
The sect head saluted the forefather with a cupped fist. "Forefather, I'm partially to blame as well as the sect head. This event has reminded all of us that the rules for our sect are too lax and arbitrary. We must draft a new set of stricter rules to regulate our disciples with."
"It's good that you think so," the forefather nodded. "We Purple Smoke may walk freely about Phoenix Cry, but as a third rank sect, we're as significant as a fart in the human domain. There are three to five thousand fellow sects at our level. To put it bluntly, even a fourth rank sect in the Upper Eight Regions is stronger than us!"
The forefather held an elevated position in the Purple Smoke Sect. Having traveled the world in his youth, he was experienced both by virtue of age and encounter. The entire sect, venerated elders included, was junior before the forefather. Which of them could talk back to him?
Venerated elder Yin Tianchou was particularly submissive before the old man, his back perpetually bent in an effort to apologize.
"Forefather, that great emperor senior had such incredible pressure," one of the other elders commented. "Who was that, if I may ask?"
Phoenix Cry Lower Region was a remote place, and the Purple Smoke Sect was only relevant within its own corner of the world. In the wider human domain, it amounted to very little.
Moreover, those that lived here rarely left. A majority of the time, rumor rather than fact made its way to the ears of the region's inhabitants. The question piqued everyone else's curiosity. Great emperors were exceedingly rare in Phoenix Cry. One could go several decades without seeing one here.
The forefather sank into thought for a while before shaking his head. "The great emperors I know are very limited. That senior's cultivation elevates him above his weaker fellows, though. Perhaps he's a mid or advanced great emperor."
For the Purple Smoke Sect, great emperors were the stuff of legends. Even initial or half-step great emperors were men that they'd have to look up to. Ordinarily, they would go lifetimes without seeing seniors at that level.
That the chance to finally meet one was in this kind of circumstance… the Purple Smoke Sect was both grateful and mollified that the problem was resolved in such a peaceful way.
"I wonder how that father and son pair is related to the great emperor senior?" One person declared their wonderment aloud.
The interest in that topic was universal. Why was their cultivation level so low if they knew a great emperor? More importantly, how did they come to be captured by Yin Hongxue in Phoenix Cry?
"Elder Tianchou, do you know where those two came from?"
Yin Tianchou was somewhat disconcerted. He knew of his granddaughter's bad behavior, but typically paid no attention to what she was doing. He hadn't even met Jiang Tong and Jiang Yu, much less known where they were from.
"Hongxue, do you know where they're from?" Yin Tianchou asked.
Yin Hongxue wiped away her tears, clutching her face still. "I didn't hear them say for sure. I interrogated them before, but nothing came of it. I only know his name was Jiang Yu, and his father called him 'Yu'er'…"
"Where and when did you take them?" Yin Tianchou inquired.
Yin Hongxue tried her best to remember. It had been many years and she'd forgotten many of the details. She only remembered a rough outline.
She recounted some of what she recalled to them. The tidbits of information she had weren't at all elucidating. A single name wasn't enough to form a conclusion off of.
"Ah, never mind. Thankfully, there wasn't too much trouble. I shudder to think of what could have happened."
"Elder Tianchou, you seriously must educate your dear granddaughter."
The elites bemoaned and groaned about what had happened. As they did so, two figures flew toward the sect's entrance from the distance. They landed shortly thereafter, their identities known.
These two newcomers belonged to another large sect in Phoenix Cry, the Spirit Crow Lodge. The one in the front had long, flowing white hair and a healthy complexion; titled Ancestor Ninecrows, he was the forefather of his sect, a well-known individual in the entire region.
"Fellow Daoist Purple, how do you do?" Ancestor Ninecrows beckoned to Purple Smoke's forefather from a distance.
"Daoist Ninecrows, you look as well as you did a century ago," the Purple Smoke Sect's forefather chuckled politely. Clearly, they were old acquaintances.
"Tsk tsk, has something really wonderful happened? Why is your entire sect outside the mountain doors? Daoist Purple, please do tell about anything remarkable that's happened as of late." Ancestor Ninecrows spoke jokingly.
"Nothing wonderful at all! Quite the opposite, in fact." The Purple Smoke Sect's forefather waved both hands. "What wind carries you here, Daoist Ninecrows?" he asked casually.
Ancestor Ninecrows had originally come for something important. However, he was more curious about what had gone on at the Purple Smoke Sect.
The forefather's unwillingness to speak about the subject only intensified his nosiness.
"That's not very nice, Daoist Purple. Cozying up to a great emperor, eh? Why keep something good like that from me?" Ancestor Ninecrows chuckled, a meaningful grin upon his face.
"Where did you hear all that hogwash from?" the Purple Smoke Sect's forefather retorted nonchalantly.
"Haha, I didn't need to hear about it. Wasn't a great emperor senior just leaving when I came to your door? What, is there anything you can't talk about publicly?" Ancestor Ninecrows shot back with a half-smile.
Though he appeared to be joking, he actually cared about this a great deal. There was a hint of jealousy in the mix as well. After all, it was a huge blessing for a third rank sect like theirs to make connections with a great emperor senior.