Jiang Chen pondered for a moment, but to no avail. He waved his hand. "Oh well, let's maintain the status quo in that case. Rather than keep guessing at their plans, we'll continue improving our strength and be ready for no matter what they throw at us."
"Understood." Wellspring smiled.
That was why he admired the young lord. Despite Jiang Chen's age, he didn't panic in the face of all of these strange events. It spoke volumes about his courage, his broadness of vision, and his confidence. Such a leader was born to achieve great things.
Peerless laughed. "I was convinced the moment I laid my eyes on the young lord I should be friends with him and not enemies. Hahaha!"
Indeed, he'd favored the young man ever since their first meeting in Pillfire, when Jiang Chen had posed as Shao Yuan.
"Gentlemen, don't worry and continue cultivating diligently. In the troubled times to come, there will be ample opportunities for leading figures such as yourselves to contribute."
The two great emperors nodded. Indeed, the greatest help they could provide at present was to break through to empyrean realm as soon as possible. The presence of empyrean masters would be the greatest deterrence and morale boost.
"I need to make a trip to deal with some issues." He did so without any fanfare, departing alone without disturbing anyone.
He soon reached Coiling Dragon Retreat, Emperor Coiling Dragon's domain.
"Young lord, weren't you in seclusion? What wind's blown you my way?" Coiling Dragon asked with a happy smile.
"Coiling Dragon, I came to bestow an opportunity onto you."
"Oh?" The great emperor rubbed his hands in eagerness. The young lord wasn't one to disappoint. "Hehe, young lord, don't leave me hanging. What opportunity?"
Without further ado, Jiang Chen produced a great emperor relic in his palm. "This relic contains the martial dao essence of a peak-stage great emperor."
"Ah? A great emperor relic?" Coiling Dragon flushed with excitement.
"You've heard of them?" Jiang Chen said in surprise. These items were seldom seen. How did Coiling Dragon know of them?
The great emperor scratched his head with a chuckle. "Hehe, I've heard His Majesty Peafowl mention them once upon a time. They're apparently hard to refine? And most cultivators are reluctant to create such relics."
Jiang Chen smiled. "You're right, that's why you're fortunate."
Coiling Dragon laughed heartily. "Definitely, but my greatest fortune was for my clan to meet you, young lord!"
Back then, he'd been stuck at peak-stage emperor realm. His life had been near its end, so frail even a breeze could've blown it away. It'd been extended thanks to a Pinecrane Pill granted by Jiang Chen, allowing him to smoothly reach great emperor realm.
He'd obtained the young man's guidance once more afterwards. Together with the assistance of the Emperor Supremacy Pill, he'd broken through again. Although his cultivation still trailed behind most great emperors in Veluriyam, his progress had been lightning fast.
The relic was certain to sharply increase his strength even further in a short time!
"The Coiling Dragon bloodline flows in your veins, so I have high hopes for you. You'll reach peak stage soon with this relic and will be ready to challenge the empyrean realm. Remember, that realm holds an entirely different meaning for you. You'll be a dragon grown wings, soaring to the heavens!"
Coiling Dragon felt his blood boil. "Young lord! Be assured I'll spare no effort to repay your trust!"
Jiang Chen nodded. "This relic is most suitable for you. No one else has one."
The great emperor grinned. "Hehe, I reached great emperor realm not long ago, so I have a great deal of room for improvement, right? Don't worry young lord, my lips are sealed."
Such a matter truly needed to stay a secret, or it might cause envy.
"If you break through in the future, just tell the others it's because heritage in your bloodline awakened. There's no need to mention the relic."
"Understood." Coiling Dragon well knew the importance of the matter.
"How's Ji San been of late?" Jiang Chen suddenly remembered he hadn't seen this companion-in-arms of his for a long time.
"He left the city to gain experience in the outside world soon after reaching emperor realm."
"Oh?" Interest sparkled in Jiang Chen's eyes. Such a move at such a time was daring indeed.
"Ole Third is more talented than me. He said that in our chaotic times, a man of character ought to leave his mark and make a name for himself."
Jiang Chen laughed and exhorted patiently. "Haha, great. His ambition is commendable. Alas, I would do the same were it not for my heavy responsibilities. Apart from the relic, there's also this jade token. I've stored some of my refining methods inside. Just follow them. Remember, don't be rash or fearful. Proceed as you ordinarily would,"
There was some risk involved with refining the relic, but with enough control and lack of undue haste, the issues wouldn't be too severe. At Coiling Dragon's age, he wouldn't strive recklessly for quick results like a young man.
The Savages' domain was about only a tenth the size of the human domain, equal at best to the smallest region in Upper Eight Regions. Their lands were also far less fertile in comparison.
Only, they were fierce and resilient folks, their character forged by the poor environment. Hence, they could survive no matter the crises they faced. Even the ancient demon-sealing war had left few scars.
Of course, it was partly because their lands were too barren that no demons had been stationed there, sparring them from a great calamity. Without too much threat from the demons, the Savages' gap with the greatly wounded humans shrank further and further, to the point they'd almost caught up.
Inside their holy land, inside an ancient temple.
A sacrifice was currently drawing to a close. Countless warriors had received the ritual's baptism, their sharp blades ready for a brand new campaign.
"Greetings to Forefather Embittered Bamboo and the Holy Beast! Our tribe will be ever victorious!" The warriors lifted their bone spears aloft, exposing their sinewy muscles, tall frames, and explosive bodies.
Smoke clouded the sky above the temple. A hazy red light faintly flickered within.
In the next moment, a strange, thin as a match man walked out with a disproportionately big head. A beast followed in his wake from the smoke, looking like a lion yet not a lion. Its mouth was filled with malevolent fangs that still seemed to drip with the blood of its prey.
An equally malevolent necklace made from bones rested on the old man's chest. Added to his skeletal body, he made for an incomparably strange sight.
"Children, my Embittered Savage graves, you are invincible with the blessing of the Savage God!" he suddenly said in a hoarse voice.
Like the world's holiest gospel, his voice sent the gathered warriors into a frenzy. He was clearly a supreme ancestor-level figure, the reverence from the sturdy warriors proof of his godlike status.
He squinted slightly, basking in the feverish atmosphere of an army before battle. But radiant light suddenly flared in his seemingly drowsy eyes as he gazed at a certain spot in the sky.
"Who goes there!" As soon as his voice fell, the beast at his side pounced at the sky like an arrow springing from its bow. The flawless coordination between voice and action demonstrated the old man's perfect control over his beast.
"Long live the Holy Beast, long live!" Rather than being surprised by the sudden turn of events, the warriors became even more fervent, inspired by the beast's grand, heroic outburst.
Streaking through the air like a meteor, the Holy Spirit reached the sky in the blink of an eye and opened its maws wide, its fangs pervading the air with the stench of blood.
"Back down you go, filthy animal!"
A stern shout resounded from the air. In the next moment, alternating purple and white lightning clapped down from the clouds, faster than the eye could see, and smacked the Holy Beast on the top of its head.
The spirit creature twitched fled with a roar and its tail between its legs. In its eyes, dread had replaced the previously ferocious glint. Whimpering, it scuttled back to the forefather.
Bitter Bamboo frowned in surprise. The beast was contracted to him. Though its strength couldn't match his, ordinary empyrean cultivators were nothing in front of it.
Who on earth was the invader to scare it away in one move? He narrowed his eyes, his expression reluctant. "Who is it that trespasses my tribe's forbidden temple? Don't you understand the rules?"
An indifferent voice descended from the clouds, "Forbidden? It's only forbidden for your kind. As an outsider, I have no obligation to abide by your rules."
Anger swelled in the forefather's chest. He cackled through clenched teeth. "So does that mean you're not simply passing by, but here to stir up trouble?"
"I guess so," the voice replied languidly.
Such a frank answer struck Forefather Bamboo speechless. He brayed laughter at the sky, but his tone suddenly darkened. "So you intend on being unreasonable!"
"Why should I be reasonable? Am I not allowed to come to your holy land?"
The forefather fumed. "Nonsense! How dare you sound so self-righteous when you're the trespasser?"