Including Emperors Void and Coiling Dragon, Veluriyam's great emperors all favored settling the most pressing issue first.
The Order of Wind and Cloud was the greatest threat.
They needed to excise this tumor and get their own affairs in Order before eventually tackling the Embittered Savages.
Though Xu Qingxuan desperately wished for her brother to head northwest, she was mature enough to know she couldn't pester him, lest others mocked the siblings.
She waited for all the great emperors to disperse before pouting. "Smelly brother, you're the only one who can repair Boundary Steles. If you don't go, it'll definitely break! Pillfire or whatever Order, those are internal issues. How can they compare to the Embittered Savages?"
Jiang Chen nodded. "You're right, it would be a disaster to allow the Embittered Savages into our territory. But don't look down on the Order. In fact, I wonder if they're as internal an issue as you say."
"What do you mean?" His sister blinked. "Could there be foreign influences left in the human domain?"
The young man shook his head. It was mere conjecture, so he didn't have a leg to stand on.
But he couldn't be blamed for this nagging suspicion. The Order had risen far too fast. For that to happen, one or two powerhouses were far from enough. Many powerful experts had to stand behind the faction.
The human domain boasted of many cultivators, but there were only so many peak masters, each of them well-known and accounted for. If the Order was a local force, then where did its experts come from?
"Qingxuan, the Order might also have a hand in the troubles in the northwest, so I need to conclude this meeting before heading there. Before that, I can only ask the Moon Good Sect to hold strong."
It was a difficult decision to reach, but the Order had to be rooted out for the safety of the entire territory.
Slightly disappointed, his sister nonetheless accepted his decision with equanimity. She couldn't blame him. Someone of his status had to carefully weigh up each decision. He couldn't be as rash as her.
The Unbounded Region.
The Order of Wind and Cloud's headquarters were located inside the mysterious Unbounded Range.
In a short four years, this mysterious force had swept almost everything in its path. Wherever it set its sights, local factions surrendered. All of the surrounding mid and lower regions were now firmly in its sphere of influence. It had even swallowed two-thirds of the Heavenly Dragon Upper Region.
In a certain residence inside the Order, a cultivator stretched out his hand and plucked an encrypted glyph from the air. Unfolding it, he murmured, "A Supreme Order Writ? Is the supreme lord ready to make another big move?"
The man's tone sounded a little strange. His attire marked him as an exalted figure in the sect's upper echelons. A summons from the supreme lord couldn't be ignored, so he left his residence without hesitation.
Outside, he saw many figures greeting each other as they hopped out of their own residences.
"A Supreme Order Writ. Are we really going to attack the Ninesuns Sky Sect?"
"Great, hahaha! The Heavenly Dragon Sect wasn't even a proper warm-up, so why stop there? Let's thrash Ninesuns as well!"
"Good idea! With these two so-called first rank sects in our hands, nothing can stop us from going straight after Veluriyam!"
"Veluriyam? Our supreme lord has his sights set much farther away. We'll unify the human domain and face the entire continent!"
"Alright, save your saliva, we can't make the supreme lord wait." These seemingly important fellows flew towards the main hall.
The first cultivator remained silent. Despite a flicker of emotion at his companions' words, he let none of it show on his face and merely followed them thoughtfully.
Not too far away, two other figures seemingly on good terms with him shared a tacit look, then set off without a word or even a greeting.
A man sat in a majestic throne inside the main hall, his true features hazy as if covered by a mysterious light. Instead, his face was a whirlpool of stars, giving off an immeasurably abstruse and opaque air.
He simply sat there, yet the pressure of his mere aura seemed to oppress all living beings, stifling their very breath. Naturally, he was the Order's unfathomable leader.
Below his seat, four chairs were arrayed on each side, for a total of eight. They were reserved for the Eight Overlords of Wind and Cloud, whose status were second only to the sect's supreme leader.
These were the Order's eight great protector kings, their cultivation reaching at least advanced great emperor. Their names were as follow: Ardentwind, Gentlewind, Galewind, Stormwind, Shockcloud, Howlcloud, Devourcloud, and Scourcloud.
Below them were thirty six Celestial Stars and seventy two Earthly Fiends, for a total of one hundred and eight elders.
Each Celestial Star was a formal elder, while the Earthly Fiends were probationary elders. So-called probationary elders enjoyed the same treatment. Their status was a little lower, but any of them could be promoted to a formal elder.
These people formed the sect's core. Many Celestial Stars were also great emperors, while Earthly Fiends were at least at emperor realm.
Such a force would stupefy any faction of Upper Eight Regions. The Order dwarfed all of them when it came to the number of powerhouses. Even the former Pillfire and the current Veluriyam were no exceptions.
It was no wonder they'd so easily overwhelmed the haughty Heavenly Dragon Sect! The latter was a formidable force in the Upper Eight Regions, but it had been eclipsed by the Order's vast host.
The upper echelons made due haste, gathering in the hall at the supreme order writ's behest.
The supreme lord's voice echoed faintly from his lofty position. "Everyone, some seemingly can't accept our sudden rise and intend to oppose us. Many of you were eminent figures of the human domain and know it better than I do. What do you think? Can any faction slow our inexorable momentum?" There was a certain magic to his voice.
The crowd below shouted, "No one can!"
"Supreme Lord, we've been too self-restrained thus far. In my opinion, we should bare our fangs and let these ignorant fools know the meaning of despair!"
"I agree. The Empyrean River Palace and the Sublime Chord Temple were nothing but Pillfire's dogs. How dare they put on airs now? How can a measly Pillfire compare to us?"
"Supreme Lord, we're at your orders. We'll forcibly subdue any sects that fail to appreciate our generosity!" The Order's fast expansion these years had attracted many powerhouses to its ranks, increasing its confidence and its arrogance by the same token.
The supreme lord pressed his hands down, calming the crowd.
"Gentlemen, the likes of the Empyrean River Palace or the Sublime Chord Temple are putting on airs, and the Ninesuns Sky Sect refuses our magnanimous offer to surrender, all because they think Veluriyam will back them up. Today, I've obtained news that Veluriyam's young lord's called all factions above third rank to unite in a worldwide alliance. Hmph. It seems Veluriyam's becoming angsty!"
The previously noisy crowd instantly fell silent. If they absolutely had to name a human faction that could withstand them, then it would be Veluriyam.
It wasn't that the city could match the Order's absolute power, but Veluriyam had Jiang Chen, a young genius who'd created miracles time and time again. He was the most inscrutable and fearsome existence for their sect.
"Supreme Lord, are they declaring war on us?"
"Veluriyam could have unified mankind after destroying Pillfire. But the kid's still wet behind the ears and missed the chance to make all the factions submit. Hehe, how else could we have gobbled up these scattered factions and risen so fast?"
"Hmph, you're underestimating the brat. He was simply wary of a collective backlash. His ultimate goal is certainly to have every faction at his beck and call! One must cast a long line to catch a big fish. He's being patient, that's all."
"You're right, this kid plans far ahead. He's had Emperor Wellspring stay on Pillfire territory to organize the city and incorporate the wandering cultivators. He's clearly intent on creating his own great faction there and dominate the entire human domain by controlling both the north and the south!"
"What a crafty kid. We can't let him prevail!" The crowd started shouting pell-mell.