In a deep valley somewhere in the human domain, Emperor Sabledeep received the news as well. His starry, wisdom-filled eyes looked thoughtful. "It was hard for Daoist Peerless to reach the ranks of the top great emperors. He can push back someone like Emperor Wellspring just after his breakthrough? Will Mo Wushuang overturn the current six titan rankings?"
Considering this for a few more moments, he sighed. "The Mo Wushuang many years ago was troubled by love and emotion, and veered away from the path of true dao. But now it seems that we were the short-sighted ones. All roads can lead to the same destination, after all. His allegiance to Sacred Peafowl Mountain was an astute decision. His life before was at a bottleneck… he's a different man after only a few years. Does that young lord Jiang Chen of Veluriyam Capital really have a golden touch?"
Different from Emperor Everviolet and his worries, Emperor Sabledeep was neither disappointed nor anxious.
The hibernating Pillzenith was positively aghast from his throne in Pillfire City. He was stuck there thanks to his young son's captivity. Emperor Peerless' improvement was a severe blow to the man. Mo Wushuang was an old rival of his, in love as well as martial dao.
For a long time, the wandering great emperor had been beneath him in almost every aspect. Without their particular special circumstances, Pillzenith would have long ordered his execution a long time ago.
Therefore, the leader of Pillfire tasted venom on his tongue when he heard that Mo Wushuang had advanced in strength. This was worsened by Mo Wushuang joining Jiang Chen and Sacred Peafowl Mountain. Pillzenith's heart was bursting with anger.
Jiang Chen was almost his internal demon at this point.
After returning to Pillfire City and doing some research into the matter, Pillzenith realized that the Temple of Cleansing Fire and young master Tian Lin's guards had all been completely fooled by his mortal enemy.
It completely bewildered him. Jiang Chen was supposed to have been trapped in Eternal Celestial Capital! How could that dastardly young man come to Pillfire City to kidnap Tian Lin?
Though the battle between Emperors Peerless and Wellspring appeared to be a friendly round at first glance, it had an odd effect on the human domain at large.
Almost every cultivator believed that Emperor Peerless' massive short-term advancement had been due to Jiang Chen's assistance. The only catalyst they could think of was the Emperor Supremacy Pill that the young lord had once mentioned.
No one had seen the miracle pill in person before. Jiang Chen had simply mentioned it in passing back at the Dragon and Tiger Meet.
Emperor Peerless was extremely strong evidence that said pill was a real product! That young lord Jiang Chen's marvels was hardly limited to the Pinecrane Pill alone!
Cognitive inertia was a potent effect.
In the weeks and months after the duel, wandering cultivators began to congregate to Veluriyam Capital once more. They all had a common thought: they wanted to join Jiang Chen and Sacred Peafowl Mountain.
The young lord was very happy to see his city gain such influence. All of his hard work and setup earlier had been meant to achieve the results he was now seeing.
In the initial stages of his plan, no great emperor in Veluriyam had been optimistic about his chances. Even Mo Wushuang, his staunchest supporter, had taken that stance. However, it now seemed that he was becoming ever closer to his goal.
Never in history had anyone been able to gather the wandering cultivator world to their side before. But Jiang Chen had indubitably taken a solid first step in that direction.
Currently, Veluriyam not only had Emperor Peerless and the Jiao brothers as its wandering cultivator representatives, but Emperors Wellspring, Inferno, and Reliance were also present. More shockingly, wandering cultivators were expressing their newfound interest in Veluriyam in droves. The activity level as a whole in the city was rising.
The human domain itself was being changed by these differences.
Originally, Veluriyam had been a core of the human domain without much wider influence. It had jurisdiction in the southern cities and not much else. For wandering cultivators, Pillfire had proudly worn the crown of being the heart of the human domain for a very long time.
After gradual changes in the world and Veluriyam Capital's ascension, that was no longer as true. The southern city was gaining prominence and momentum, replacing its northern rival.
It had been public opinion that it was virtually impossible for young lord Jiang Chen to challenge Pillfire's dominance, regardless of his genius and mastery. He needed to mature and grow before doing so.
Truth and trend both showed that that was nothing further from the truth. Veluriyam was well on its way to replacing Pillfire as a matter of fact.
Public opinion was a terrifying thing. When more and more people changed their hearts and allowed the scales to tip toward Veluriyam, many intangibles also changed. Unless Pillfire could overwhelm Veluriyam in zeal and spirit, a shift in the reins of power was pretty much set in stone.
That wasn't to say the northern city had given up, however. It had made several attempts at attracting attention to moderate success. But when compared to Veluriyam's impetus, those efforts amounted to little in the grand scheme of things.
Regardless of Pillfire City's mundane excellence, it couldn't put something like the Pinecrane Pill or the Emperor Supremacy Pill on the table. Nothing it had was sufficiently eye-catching or sublime.
Jiang Chen witnessed all the changes in his city with his own eyes. Things were taking shape exactly as he had hoped.
"We're doing very well lately, young lord. Many wandering cultivators have come through our gates and the city is bustling with activity."
"That's nice, but Pillfire isn't going to roll over and surrender." Jiang Chen was completely composed. "It's not time to celebrate yet." Smiling, he looked at Emperor Peerless. "Old Brother Mo, I do apologize for what the commotion around this duel has done to Emperor Wellspring. Is he upset?"
"Daoist Wellspring is a broad-minded man. He would never be bothered by something as minor as this." Emperor Peerless was absolutely certain of this.
Among the wandering six titans, Emperor Wellspring was probably one of the most unprejudiced, if not the fairest outright.
Jiang Chen nodded. He had perceived the emperor's visionary nature firsthand. Emperor Wellspring wasn't a short-sighted man focused only on personal gain. He'd taken the initiative to stay here in Veluriyam, calling upon his fellow emperors to do so as well.
Jiang Chen respected him a great deal for having done that.
He'd given Wellspring a Pinecrane Pill sure, but only as a part of a transaction. The great emperor had done something so selfless solely out of consideration for the goodness of the world. Such magnanimity in the wandering cultivator world truly astounded the young lord.
Jiang Chen had to admit that even Old Brother Mo couldn't compare to this man's tolerance and wisdom. Someone like him was a world's difference from crude experts like the Jiao brothers. Therefore, he was presently wondering whether to gift the final drop of kunpeng blood to Emperor Wellspring.
Should he attempt to draw this astute and prophetic wandering cultivator under his own banner?
Having been by Jiang Chen's side for several years now, Emperor Peerless was able to predict his friend's thoughts to a certain degree. He guessed part of what the silent Jiang Chen was pondering.
"Young lord, let me summarize the wandering cultivator world's six titans. Emperor Everviolet is proud and domineering; Emperor Sabledeep, mysterious and unpredictable; Daoist Wellspring, altruistic and honest; Emperor Inferno, devoted to martial dao; Emperor Reliance, opportunistic and practical. As for me, I've always gone with the flow without much of a loftier goal. Daoist Wellspring is definitely the most contemplative among us and also the most permissive."
These words were nothing short of a recommendation from Mo Wushuang himself.
Peerless had heard of Wellspring's stalwart support of Jiang Chen after returning to Veluriyam. As someone who knew the man well, he understood that his friend hadn't made the choice out of greed or gain. What had compelled him was justice, the justice that existed in every man's heart!
A man like that was truly worthy of respect.
Peerless suspected that the other man's request for a fight and the permission to announce the duel to the world had both intentionally been given.
It wasn't because Wellspring was some kind of masochist. He had wanted to use it as an opportunity to create influential momentum for young lord Jiang Chen. If that was the case, Wellspring was that much more admirable.
Jiang Chen smiled gently. "No need to be so humble, Old Brother Mo. Emperor Wellspring possesses numerous commendable characteristics, but you're not a bad hand yourself. You are honest and clean-cut with your preferences, both superb traits to have."
The young lord hadn't exaggerated in his evaluation. Mo Wushuang cared a lot about loyalty and chivalry. He was the ideal friend and brother.
But in terms of leadership? Truthfully, he was slightly lacking. Someone like Emperor Wellspring surpassed him in vision quite a bit.
"There's no need for you to praise me like that, young lord," laughed Emperor Peerless. "We're very close acquaintances, no? Out of the wandering six titans, I respect Daoist Wellspring the most. In fact, I suspect that he intentionally made the commotion around his challenge to me. It certainly seems that he's expended a lot of effort in attempting to spread your fame and Veluriyam's fame."
Jiang Chen was extremely shocked upon hearing this. He hadn't considered that possibility before. Was Wellspring that self-sacrificial of a man?
"There's no need to be suspicious, young lord. Not many wandering cultivators have the same kind of foresight as Daoist Wellspring. He didn't do that to butter you up or anything. He really does think highly of you."
Emperor Peerless's words made huge waves in Jiang Chen's heart. He couldn't calm himself for quite a while. In that moment, he solidified his previous idea.
He had someone he was going to give the last drop of kunpeng bloodline to. The Jiao brothers were inappropriate and the same was true with every other great emperor in the city. As of right now, Emperor Wellspring was the best and most fitting candidate for the drop of blood!