The proud Vermillion Bird fled Jiang Chen's gaze. It didn't want the young man to see its sorry state. The noble ancient beast rather looked like a hero in its final throes.
"Senior, don't feel down. You're at your weakest right now. You'll reign supreme again once you rise from the ashes." The words of comfort were rather weak, but they came from the heart.
"Alas! I'm thankful for meeting a kid of you near the end of my life. Someone will at least witness my death. You won't let my body rot when I pass away, will you? You'll give me a burial, won't you?" The divine creature was filled with self-pity. The young human in front of him seemed the best and only friend it could vent its grief on.
But Jiang Chen shook his head. "Senior, don't despair yet. I firmly believe that you'll have a chance at rebirth sooner or later. Have faith."
"No need to placate me." The ancient bird sighed with a wry smile. "After I die, you can take my blood. The blood of a divine Vermillion Bird is precious, you know? Just don't defile my body and let me rest in peace."
The young lord brimmed with righteousness. "Senior, I've felt a kinship with you since we met, as if we're old friends. If you happen to perish, I'll never touch your divine blood or your body. This I swear!"
The bird started. It hadn't expected such a straightforward promise.
"Young man, are you aware how valuable my bloodline is?" it couldn't help asking. "Do you know how many people are desperate for a single drop?"
Jiang Chen shook his head. "I would naturally accept a drop if you offered it to me. But how can I profit from your death? It would be great disrespect to you and defilement of our friendship."
He'd loot everything if he were to chance upon a dead Vermillion Bird. Blood, body, or even the smallest feather, everything was a priceless treasure when it came to one of these ancient, divine creatures. But he was a loyal man true to his friendships.
His solemn tone struck the bird speechless. It'd always thought of humans as a greedy race. This young man was an exception amongst his peers.
"Young man, you're truly worth befriending. I haven't asked your name yet, or where you come from. I've heard them call you Jiang Chen. Will you tell me your story?"
The young man smiled and did so. The only thing he concealed was the secret of his reincarnation. After all, it had too broad an implication to be casually exposed.
Stunned, the bird said, "Jiang Chen, you've risen quite fast. Alas, you were born in the wrong era. Back in my time, you'd be a peerless genius, a figure to match the Primosanct sect head!"
It spoke of the sectmaster with clear admiration. The latter was obviously some distance away from the sect's founder, but he was a well-respected figure of his era nonetheless, a leading figure of mankind. Unfortunately, he'd ended up as yet another victim of the warring era.
The bird's praise was no empty flattery.
Jiang Chen smiled, exhorting, "Senior, I'll go revive the other golems. You just rest and recover your energy. Don't exert yourself any further. With the golem brothers here, these demon lackeys are no threat to us."
With a glance at the two stone brothers, the bird nodded. They were formidable, but with the divine creature's noble ancient bloodline, it didn't have an inferiority complex.
The two brothers shot an honest smile back, looking a little silly and pure as children.
The ancient bird sighed secretly in praise. To unintentionally save eight golems, this kid is blessed by the heavens. With their honest characters, they'll definitely prove useful to him.
Emotion stirred in its heart. If all eight can be revived, will I finally be free to leave this realm and seek a chance at life?
Using the secret art, Jiang Chen revived the remaining golems. This technique was extremely strenuous, so he didn't rush for immediate results. Even so, all eight statues were resurrected after a few days.
To come back to life again after so much time was an unfathomable outcome for the brothers.
The process exhausted the young man, but he could sense it had greatly strengthened his consciousness. The secret art was complex. Only a young and meticulous genius like Jiang Chen could have succeeded.
The eight brothers embraced each other in delight. Bit by bit, memories of their tribe's calamity came back to them. They also came to understand how much time had passed.
No record of the primordial era seemed left in the human domain. That era could be said to be the antiquity of antiquity.
If one thought of it as the continent's first age, then the ancient era was perhaps the second, while they were now in the third age.
The brothers' souls had been separated from their bodies in the first age. To revive perfectly in the third must have been the will of the heavens.
The group returned to the mountain peak facing the palace and rested for a few days. Naturally, it was impossible for the golems to recover their former strength in such a short time. The human domain simply couldn't supply enough resources.
They'd been unimaginably strong in the past. Although mere children among their kin, they'd still been empyrean powerhouses thanks to their race's outstanding potential.
Big Stone was the most gifted among them. He'd once almost rivaled great empyrean experts. His younger brothers had also reached intermediate empyrean level.
But now, the others were at best half-step empyrean, while their eldest brother recovered to first level empyrean realm, making him an initial empyrean cultivator, also known as a lower empyrean expert.
It took the brothers half a month to slowly adapt to their new life and environment.
"Savior, thank you for saving us." Big Stone said one day, his seven brothers behind him.
Jiang Chen smiled. "No need to thank me, it was pure coincidence. What plans do you have hereafter?"
The golems froze at the question. So many eras later, they no longer had an anchor in their lives.
Favors and enmities of the primordial age had disappeared in the long river of time. Their tribe had fallen. The mighty race that had destroyed their kin had also seemingly vanished without a trace. No vestige from their time seemed left on the continent.
"Savior, we don't have any plans. When Saint Dan gave us shelter, he told us to follow the one to revive us. So we'll follow what he said."
"Right. Savior, we'll be in your care in the future," Second Stone agreed.
The other brothers nodded as well.
Golems followed a simple logic, a welcome change from the twisted schemes of the martial world...
You saved us, so we'll follow you.
Jiang Chen had a flowery speech prepared to recruit the brothers, but he hadn't expected them to propose it of their own volition. It almost seemed a shame to have no opportunity to deliver his carefully prepared remarks.
Nevertheless, he was over the moon. Aid from the golems would give him wings! Even not in optimal form, their battle prowess would be enough to deal with many unforeseen situations.
He'd been fretting about the demon lord. But now, this ancient invader was no longer a threat, even if he were to break out of its prison.
He looked gravely at each of them, nodding at their guileless faces. "Since you're honest folks, I won't sugarcoat my words. I promise you won't come to regret your decision. But right now, there's a thorny issue I need your help with."