Both Yong Peng and Xing Hui were stunned by this detail. They had thought Jiang Chen’s pursuers were merely people from Winterdraw. So they were from Polylore…
And yet, Sir Jiang didn't seem to care very much about being hunted by Polylore’s experts.
“Sir Jiang,” Yong Peng asked cautiously after quite a while. “Who from Polylore…”
“Three mid empyrean experts. I killed a few of their houses’ geniuses, so they’re after me. They should be behind me now, though. You should consider well what your plans next are. I’ll look for a place to drop you off. It’s not safe for you to be with me.”
Jiang Chen had saved them partially because it’d been convenient to do so. He wasn’t looking to be repaid with anything.
Xing Hui thought about it for a moment. “US father and daughter would like to find a more secluded place to live out our lives. The Ten Divine Nations isn’t a suitable place for us.”
He knew the extent of his capabilities. Someone of his strength would only become cannon fodder in the Ten Divine Nations.
Because his daughter had turned out rather nicely, she was eye-catching anywhere she went. Thus, Xing Hui wished for a place where he would be able to protect her.
Yong Peng had a family too. He didn't know anyone in the wider Myriad Abyss and thus couldn't do much about his circumstances. He wanted to go to the Ten Divine Nations, but it was difficult to gain a foothold there without a referrer.
“If so, shall I put you down at Warmspring Island ahead?” asked Jiang Chen.
Xing Hui thought for it a moment, then nodded. “Alright. It’s reasonably convenient to head from Warmspring to elsewhere. Even if there are pursuing troops, they won’t be able to come here that quickly. Plus, we’re insignificant characters. Perhaps Rejuvenation won’t care about us.”
He chuckled self-deprecatingly.
Not that he enjoyed unreasonably looking down upon himself. Rather, it was the definite truth that Winterdraw wouldn’t consider Xing Hui and his daughter as anyone remarkable. Millions had escaped in Winterdraw’s recent riot, and more would be on their way in the coming days.
There were countless experts among those who’d fled. No matter how strong the Isles were, it wouldn’t have enough manpower to hunt all of them down. Moreover, it was unimaginably tough to actually catch any escaped prisoners.
A fish was easy enough to find in a small pond, but virtually impossible to seek out in a vast river or ocean. Obviously, the biggest fish became a priority in that circumstance. There was no effort left available to devote to smaller fry!
Moreover, Winterdraw’s exiles lacked a special seal with which to identify them. Without clues, how was a hunter supposed to track his mark?
Though Xing Hui was grateful to Jiang Chen, further consideration advised him that it was probably best to break with him from now on. The father and daughter pair would only drag the young man down if they traveled with him. Furthermore, it was a dangerous thing to be pursued by mid empyrean experts from Polylore.
Jiang Chen slowed his pace when about three hundred miles of Warmspring Island.
“Thank you for saving our lives twice, Sir Jiang. I cannot repay you with anything but my heartfelt wishes for your success.” Xing Tong had been mildly upset ever since hearing that they were going different ways at Warmspring Island. Her eyes reddened as they said their farewells.
Her pretty eyes gazed at Jiang Chen as she struggled not to cry. “Thank you, Big Brother Jiang. I won’t forget you for the rest of my life.”
For an innocent girl like her, Jiang Chen’s appearance from the blue had altered the fate of both herself and her father. Like a prince on a white horse, he had become a great hero in her heart. A girl’s youth was spent in fantasies and dreams, and her heart particularly pure. Thus, she had long since cemented him as an irreplaceable, impossibly heroic big brother.
Splitting up with him – with little to no hope of seeing him ever again – was absolutely devastating and saddening.
Jiang Chen smiled. “Xing Tong,” he comforted, “you should be happy that you’re free from Winterdraw’s shackles. You’re in the wider world now.”
Xing Tong nodded cleverly. “Big Brother Jiang,” she asked with hope in her eyes, “will I see you again?”
See him again?
Jiang Chen sighed. He couldn't promise anything for the future. However, far was it from him to crush a girl’s pure hopes. Rather than cruelly refusing, he smiled. “If we are fated to meet again, perhaps.”
Xing Hui knew that his daughter had developed a psychological reliance on Sir Jiang or couldn’t bear to part from him. He had been young once and understood his daughter’s feelings. But he couldn’t do a thing about it. If Jiang Chen had shown the slightest hint of interest, he would have offered his daughter without hesitation.
Having some experience in the ways of the world, Xing Hui could tell that Sir Jiang was an extraordinary man indeed. If a genius like him could become his son-in-law, his daughter would be set for life. Moreover, Xing Hui’s fate would be drastically changed too.
But Sir Jiang wasn’t interested at all. Xing Hui wasn’t about to take too much of an initiative, lest he cheapen his daughter’s emotions. Still, her marked reluctance pained his heart.
“Tong’er, Sir Jiang is destined for greatness. Fate dictated that he would save us twice, and we shall pray every day for his eventual success and rise to prominence. We too will share in glory when he becomes famous in Myriad Abyss.”
Her father’s comforting words didn't have much their intended effect. Being an obedient girl in the end, Xing Tong tried her best to dry her tears, silently returning to her father’s back. Her eyes however, told a different story.
“Sir Jiang, I wonder where you’re planning to go next. If you intend to head for the Ten Divine Nations, please make sure to pay attention to one thing in particular.” Something occurred to Xing Hui before he left.
“What is it?”
“Your airboat shouldn’t charge directly into Ten Divine Nation territory. Otherwise, you’ll be obliterated on the spot as an invader.
“As the heart of Myriad Abyss, the Ten Divine Nations have a complicated set of rules. They’re also often intimately connected to each other. If you’re hunted by Polylore, I wouldn't lower your guard for anything. If they put a bounty on your head in the entirety of the ten nations, you’ll be at a severe disadvantage.” Xing Hui relayed all that he knew.
Jiang Chen nodded. “I will take care. Many thanks, Old Brother Xing Hui.”
The older man nodded without saying another word. He left Starfate, descending towards Warmspring Island.
Yong Peng and his family prepared to say their farewells to Jiang Chen as well.
“Zhen’er, Li’er, come kowtow to Uncle Jiang. Without him, you would live like corpses on Winterdraw your entire lives.”
The two children listened to their parents quite a lot. They were already grateful to Jiang Chen for saving their mother, and were now even more endeared by the fact he’d rescued their entire family. They hurried forward to comply with their father’s instructions.
Jiang Chen extended a hand to keep them upright. “There’s no need for that. Commander Yong, I see that these two kids have reasonable potential. You’ve taught them pretty well yourself, but perhaps it’s a good idea to find a good sect for them while they’re young, to develop their gifts further.”
Yong Peng nodded. “I think the same, yes.”
“Take care.” Jiang Chen had nothing more to say.
“Sir Jiang, take care!” Yong Peng took his wife and children with him off Starfate, flying to Warmspring Island the same way Xing Hui had.
Jiang Chen was alone once more in the world. He called out Xiaoxuan, Little White, and the Vermilion Bird.
“Senior Vermilion Bird, Myriad Abyss Island has an endless ocean that we may wander in. We should find a place for your rebirth, yes?”
The bird had been looking forward to it all this time. It was hardly going to refuse.
“I’ve only owed the Primosanct Sect anything in my life, Jiang Chen, but it seems I will now owe you a favor as well. I suppose this is for the best. I’ve been doing pretty well recently, so now may be the best time for the rite of rebirth. Let’s look for a suitable place along the way.”
Despite having ‘island’ in its name, Myriad Abyss Island was actually an endless ocean. Within this ocean were many islands and archipelagos. Some islands were as huge as continents!
“I didn’t expect Myriad Abyss to be such a vast place.” The human domain wasn’t a small realm by any means, but it would only amount to a single mid-sized continent within Myriad Abyss’ seas. One was many magnitudes larger than the other.
It wasn’t going to be easy to find a place suitable for the rite. Still, Jiang Chen wasn’t discouraged. Starfate flew ever eastward.
His senses told him that the climate heated up the further east he went. There might be some opportunity there.
After three days of flying over water, he discovered land ahead. There was obviously a large faction upon it. In fact, it seemed stronger than the Rejuvenation Isles in terms of force.
“Never mind that. At last I’ve reached civilization. Maybe I should land and ask around?” Rather than searching for a needle in a haystack, Jiang Chen decided it was better to gather some info.
Putting Starfate away, Jiang Chen rode the Vermilion Bird down onto the large landmass. He arrived at one of its coastal isles very quickly. There was a visible restriction upon it that prevented entry to outsiders.