At their peaks, the celestial demon lord and the Vermilion Bird would've easily found the group from the Myriad Abyss Island. After all, the former had been at the top of the food chain during the ancient era.
The seventh master of House Xiahou and his two retainers were only the descendants of an ancient people. It was uncertain exactly how much of their ancestors' abilities had been inherited after two hundred thousand years.
The seventh master's silence made the two elders feel that they'd possibly spoken too harshly.
"Seventh Master," Elder Peng advised, "there's no conflict between our search for the heavenly secret orders and our fight against Jiang Chen. Plus, that kid looks like he really does enjoy great fortune. Maybe we'll be able to use him to find the orders?"
"Him?" The supreme lord sneered with scorn. "A commoner kid will only have so much fortune to him. He's only lucky because the human domain around him is so poor. In Myriad Abyss Island, there are countless geniuses like him."
Deep down, the seventh master retained House Xiahou's diffidence and pride. He both hated and abhorred Jiang Chen, but had no way to consume him in one bite.
Elder Mo shook his head, dissatisfied with the young master's judgment. "Jiang Chen cannot be underestimated." This was his opinion on the matter.
"Seventh Master," Elder Peng chimed in, "you definitely can't belittle that kid. Otherwise, the Order of Wind and Cloud may eat a severe loss from him in the future."
"Oi, aren't you two over exaggerating his abilities?" The supreme lord was a hundred twenty percent unconvinced.
"Not at all. I've collected a lot of information about him. His deeds in the human domain are utterly earth-shaking. Everyone in the outside world believes that he was able to do all this because he has backing from Myriad Abyss Island.
"The truth of the matter is that the only people related to him come from House Yan. Elder Shun and that Huang'er girl. We know how much House Yan is worth, and none of the pills that Jiang Chen has refined could've come from them. The Pinecrane Pill, the Longevity Pill, the Emperor Ascension Pill, the Emperor Supremacy Pill… there must be more to his story than that, much more!" Elder Peng's tone was thoughtful and full of meaning.
Elder Mo nodded as well. "These pills are very high level indeed. An empyrean pill immortal in Myriad Abyss Island would have trouble coming up with them."
It was rare for the tight-lipped elder to utter such a lengthy sentence.
The supreme lord grew thoughtful. "That Jiang Chen kid has had some ridiculous luck," he sighed softly. "I'm curious where he got those pills from. Elder Peng, what do you think?"
Elder Peng had no answer to that conundrum. He couldn't understand it at all; such amazing pills would have been explosive even in Myriad Abyss Island. How could they have come out of the human domain? Especially one in such a sorry state?
Was there such a thing as communicating with the gods? Had one really been summoned? Had Jiang Chen's beating back in the Eastern Kingdom given him an invisible patron?
Such a sentiment seemed preposterous and absurd. Elder Peng didn't believe it himself. But if not that, how were the pill recipes to be explained otherwise? Was a commoner child remotely capable of coming up with so many miraculous recipes all by himself?
That was even more illogical.
"I'm guessing that he really did receive tutelage from some senior or other at a young age. Maybe he wandered into a secret realm of some sort, and got the recipes from there?"
The elder didn't quite believe his own hypothesis. It was a huge stretch to assign improbability to this degree.
"If he got the recipes from a secret realm, how could he have refined the actual pills? He's just some kid. I think only an empyrean pill immortal could perfectly manage the techniques needed for them, no? Even pill emperors would have a hard time."
"That's why we say he's full of secrets."
"Back then in Agarwood Valley, his luck shone through again, right? He received the heritage of the Primosanct Sect! His fortune knows no bounds!"
Both master and servants had plenty to complain about. Their trip from Myriad Abyss Island to the human domain had been extremely smooth. Because of that, they'd expected similar ease for their exploits after arriving. But right now, Jiang Chen and Veluriyam Capital were a huge obstacle in their path, preventing them from doing as they wished in this new land.
They had come solely in order to seek out ancient secrets, with the heavenly secret orders at the top of their list. Besides this ultimate goal, they had other delusions of grandeur as well.
There had been countless powerful human sects in ancient times. Any powerful sect had its own suite of treasures, tomes, and resources.
The deserters who'd fled to Myriad Abyss Island had brought many resources and treasures with them, but what they'd managed to bring was certainly a far cry from everything. Much had remained in the human domain. The two hundred thousand years that had passed were enough to cover anything in the sands of time; for example, if Agarwood's secret realm hadn't opened and the celestial demon lord hadn't helped things along, who would've managed to get into the sealed Primosanct Sect under the guardianship of the Vermilion Bird?
"Hmph! That kid is an odd one. How come the Vermilion Bird likes him so much? I thought it was supposed to have a fiery temper."
This was a very perplexing point.
The Vermilion Bird had clearly been a divine creature protecting the sacred grounds of the Primosanct Sect. Any other intruder would have been ferociously attacked, these unwelcome guests from Myriad Abyss Island included.
Many human cultivators had been slain at the bird's talons, in fact. And yet, this Jiang Chen kid seemed to have some kind of magic that allowed him to coexist harmoniously with an entity as unreasonable as the Vermilion Bird. They spoke and laughed as if they were long-lost family.
The incomprehensible state of affairs upset the Seventh Master immensely and made him rather jealous. He was from Myriad Abyss Island! Shouldn't he be much nobler than some backwater lout like Jiang Chen? He deserved that kind of treatment much more!
Alas, things didn't always turn out the way everyone wanted. It had been inconvenient to even show themselves in the presence of the bird. Not that they were afraid of it, but revealing themselves would have been foolhardy.
Thinking back on this still made the seventh master mildly disgruntled.
The fact that Jiang Chen had managed to gain the bird's friendship only added fuel to the fires of jealousy and envy. Wouldn't it have been amazing if he had tamed a Vermilion Bird, and had been able to ride it back to House Xiahou as a mount?
The bird was an ancient sacred fowl! One of the four ancient sacred beast bloodlines. The regality of its line far exceeded these ancient human descendants.
"The Primosanct Sect was once one of the ten great factions in ancient times. By all means, it was one of the leaders among humanity. That kid is immensely lucky." Elder Peng couldn't refrain from his contemplative observations.
If he had been permitted to show himself, the Primosanct Sect's heritage could have been theirs. Unfortunately, things hadn't quite panned out that way. Jiang Chen was the one who'd benefited in the end.
"Heheh… if we let out word that this kid got the Primosanct Sect's heritage, won't the others on Myriad Abyss Island start rampaging? The descendants of that sect's disciples most of all?"
The ancient Primosanct Sect had been a just and righteous sect. They had been at the vanguard of the defense against the demonic invasion, all of them fighting tooth and nail against the invaders.
However, even a noble bunch like that had its cowards. Fearing for their lives, a small contingent had slithered off to Myriad Abyss Island.
For a sect as large so large, even its wimps were reasonably proficient. Additionally, there had been a series of agreements establishing hierarchy between those fleeing to Divine Abyss in the first place.
Primosanct's deserters had managed to establish a base on Myriad Abyss Island, with some continuation of their old heritage there. If the seventh master were to release news of the sect's old grounds and treasures reappearing, the descendants of that sect would undoubtedly enter into a frenzy.
The human domain would certainly be livelier then!
"We cannot allow that, Seventh Master. Right now, we cannot afford to alert the enemy."
"Haha, I'm just joking around. I'll take all he has of course, when he falls into my hands. Hahahaha!"
As they conversed, a message glyph shot in from outside the residence.
The seventh master picked it up casually.
"Haha, Overlord Shockcloud is efficient alright! He's already encircled the Ninesuns Sky Sect. No attacks, of course, just skirmishes and intimidation. Rumor has it that Veluriyam is preparing a combined army against him."
The seventh master burst into laughter when he came to this part. "Maybe that kid thinks I'll be there personally. Did he want to take a decisive victory over me?" His laughter was extremely exaggerated, as if he were especially pleased with his stratagem.
"Seventh Master," Elder Peng reminded, "that Jiang Chen is a master of warfare! Both military and psychological. We shouldn't take him lightly."
"Haha, this isn't about taking him lightly. I'm going to give him a big surprise this time!"
Elder Peng's eyes lit up. "Do you have a plan?"
"Yes!" The seventh master made no move to hide it.
Both elders looked to their young master, waiting for him to continue.
"The core of my plan is to bait Jiang Chen out of Veluriyam Capital. We can then lead the bulk of our forces in a sneak attack on the city. I hear that Veluriyam Capital was built by an ancient Veluriyam king. He was one of the three leaders of humanity back then. The city he built surely holds the secret to his life's work as well as a rich heritage. How can we not try our luck there?"