Their reactions came as no surprise to Jiang Chen.
Anyone would've reacted the same way after hearing such earth-shattering news. Jiang Chen had been equally shocked when he heard Cloudbillow's name.
Resurrection wasn't unheard of in the martial dao world, but it could only be done if the soul was still intact.
Jiang Chen had slain Cloudbillow, Sublime Chord Temple's Venerated Weimo, and the Empyrean River Palace's vice sect head with the divine bow. It hadn't been a dream. Yet somehow, these men had mysteriously come to life and were sullying his reputation!
Han Qianzhan was wide-eyed with shock. "Young lord Jiang Chen, do you mean that you've slain the demon sympathizers?"
"I didn't do it alone. I had help from a few companions, the Primosanct Sect's terrain advantage, as well as the divine bow." Jiang Chen was open and frank. This wasn't the time to be sneaky and coy.
"The demon race…" Su Huanzhen murmured. "I've always thought of them as faraway beings whose paths would never cross with ours, but now I finally realize that they were always among us. Our ignorance and fear have led us to forgetting about the scars they've left behind. We lied to ourselves in hope that ignorance would make them go away!"
She'd hit the nail on the head.
Despite knowing how big of a threat the ancient demons posed, the entire human race had unconsciously decided to run away from their problems and live from day to day.
It was a very widespread issue. After all, nobody had ever experienced the gruesome ancient battles themselves. Only a few texts about the ancient massacre still remained. Information about the demonic cataclysm was mostly spread through the word of mouth.
However, most couldn't associate their present reality with something so distant and ancient. Thus, only a few remained cautious in times of peace.
Han Qianzhan abruptly shifted his gaze to Jiang Chen. "Young lord, if those men are imposters, perhaps the demons are the ones pulling the strings?"
Jiang Chen shook his head. "I can't be certain. Since everyone here is a figurehead of the human domain, do you know of any hidden factions in the human domain over the recent millennia?"
The crowd shook their heads. "It would be extremely difficult to keep themselves hidden for so long."
"It's very unlikely."
"I agree. The playing field in the Upper Eight Regions has long solidified. A hidden faction could never cause so much chaos."
Jiang Chen nodded. "I'm afraid there will no longer be a day's worth of peace in the human domain. Truth be told, I felt completely helpless when the demon lord was freed from his seal. Fortunately, he fled to Southern Celestial territory. The consequences would be dire if otherwise."
The crowd nodded in agreement. They could tell how frightening the demon lord was from Jiang Chen's descriptions alone.
Great emperor or not, no one had been able to break free from the demonic domain, even though the demon's true body had been sealed. And right after being released, he'd subdued three Southern Celestial empyrean experts without breaking a sweat, despite not being at peak condition.
The Southern Celestial experts were initial empyrean cultivators, but not even they could muster up a fight against a newly freed demon lord. One could only imagine how frightening he'd be at full strength.
The divine bow was incredibly heaven-defying, but the demon lord had only defeated by it because he'd let his guard down and his senses were dulled from disuse. Under any other circumstance, the arrows wouldn't have been enough to cause him much harm, let alone destroy his physical body.
"We've narrowly avoided the demon lord's wrath, but it's clear that the demons in the shadows are growing restless!" Jiang Chen warned after meeting Han Qianzhan and Su Huanzhen's complicated gazes.
Han Qianzhan sighed. "I used to think that the Upper Eight Regions was more than adequate in strength, but I now know that to be false. Before the demons, we're nothing but pigs waiting to be slaughtered!"
"Sectmaster Han, you need not belittle yourself. True, the demons are extremely powerful, but they are limited by the environment. Even if they free themselves of their restrictions, it's almost impossible for them to return to their peak condition."
The amount of resources and energy density in the human domain was no longer what it had been in the ancient era.
The destruction of countless spirit veins and the overconsumption of resources during the ancient demonic war was the main culprit of the human race's decline. A turnaround wasn't in sight even after two hundred thousand years.
To add insult to injury, many powerful experts had taken their heritage and resources with them to Myriad Abyss Island after the war.
Destruction of spirit veins, exhaustion of resources, loss of heritage and powerful experts…
These were all enormous disasters for the human race, but the same problems applied to the demons as well. In an environment as malnourished as the modern human domain, restoring themselves to peak condition was nigh impossible.
"Young lord, the human domain has declined greatly and is no longer as affluent as the ancient era. Perhaps the demons will no longer care to invade us and so we won't be the primary battleground again?" Coiling Dragon theorized. Due to the human race's decline, the proud demon race might no longer see the human domain a worthy target.
Perhaps this was actually a blessing in disguise?
Jiang Chen shook his head. "You're being overly optimistic. First of all, the human domain was the main battlefield during ancient times and so this is where many powerful demons are sealed. Once these experts awaken and free themselves from their seals, they'll surely wreak havoc upon our lands. Moreover, the Boundary Steles have isolated us from the other domains. Even demons would find it difficult to get past the barriers to seek other lands.
"There are already demons present in the other domains. They can't trespass upon another demon's territory. Also, you might've overlooked the fact that the demons didn't invade us merely for our resources. They actually set their targets on our population, our reproductive abilities! The demons are powerful, but their ability to reproduce is extremely weak. To build a sizable army, they have to take over the human race!"
Emperor Coiling Dragon laughed wryly at his own naivete after hearing Jiang Chen's detailed analysis.
Jiang Chen realized that he might've dealt an enormous blow to the group's morale, but this wasn't the time to be concerned over such matters. The figureheads of the human domain had grown too complacent. They'd been too careless and failed to see the demons as a real threat.
If this went on, the demons would surely exploit their fears and flatten them without breaking a sweat.
Jiang Chen had rung the alarm bells to wake everyone up from their stupor.
"The demons are frighteningly strong, but they can be defeated. The demon lord was extremely powerful, no? Yet in the end, he could only flee with his tail between his legs. We humans have survived since the primordial era. There were times where we were nearly wiped out, but we've always stubbornly clung onto life.
"Every race has their advantages and disadvantages. As long as we come up with good countermeasures and plans beforehand, the demons won't stand a chance!" Jiang Chen had to reassure the group to prevent inner demons from forming in their dao hearts.
He took out a bottle. "Here are a few Emperor Supremacy Pills. They are specially made for everyone here, the future pillars of the human race. With this, everyone's strength will improve by a notch. We'll need every set of hands and bit of strength we can muster."
The crowd's mood instantly took a turn for the better. They felt ashamed of themselves when they saw Jiang Chen's composure. Despite his youth, he'd already faced a demon lord head on and lived to tell the tale!
Moreover, he didn't seem to harbor any fear of the demons!
This crowd's confidence in him grew. Perhaps the unfathomable youth before them really could lead them to victory against the demons.
The Emperor Supremacy Pill!
Great emperors would unconditionally ascend by one level after taking it! The crowd's worries were washed away by this joy.
"Everyone here is a trusted aide of mine. Since we've on the same ship, I'll skip the high-falutin' words. Today, I bring to you the Emperor Supremacy Pill, but when the time is ripe, there will be many more opportunities to come!" Jiang Chen proclaimed upon distributing the pills to the crowd.
The crowd's eyes gleamed.
"It's time that we clean up the mess that is the Upper Eight Regions. I have no interest in gaining sovereignty over the region, but if we don't change the status quo, we'll be sitting ducks once the demon cataclysm occurs!" His voice was as thunderous as it was dominant.
The crowd turned their gazes to Jiang Chen out of surprise and saw the determination in his eyes. Was the stalemate in the Upper Eight Regions finally coming to an end?