At the end of the day, Ming Hua was still just a minor ruffian from Oriole Valley. He was quick-witted and well-informed, but core matters were still foreign to him.
Jiang Chen would have to travel to a bigger place in the Bluesmoke Isles to learn more. With his current abilities, traveling to the Ten Divine Nations wouldn’t be much of an issue, but barging into House Yan and taking Huang’er away with him was a different matter entirely.
Thus, he felt it’d be wiser to carefully plan out the matter than hope for overnight success. The Eternal Divine Nation was participating in the coming event as well. It’d be a good opportunity to obtain more information. If the stars aligned, Huang’er might even be present!
He didn’t need to take her away immediately. Seeing her and knowing about her current status would be enough to give him great comfort. But will Huang’er be interested in an event like this? Will her clan even let her venture into the outside world?
No matter. Let’s take things one step at a time. There are more urgent matters to attend to, like helping Senior Vermillion with the rebirth cycle. It’ll be a great help if the senior’s born anew at peak power.
Jiang Chen hadn’t fought by himself ever since setting foot in the world. He’d always made skillful use of what he’d been dealt and didn’t feel there was anything wrong in doing that.
He was still young. It’d barely been twenty years since his reincarnation. Not many could get this far in such a short period of time; no one could reach the heavens in a single bound.
His rate of growth was already astonishing and in no way slower than that of any Myriad Abyss genius. He was anxious about growing stronger, but more often than not, speed begot failure.It was imperative that he borrow strength from others until he was strong enough.
“Hua Ming, come here. Let me test your martial dao potential.” Jiang Chen beckoned Hua Ming over.
“Sure!” The boy’s eyes gleamed. He’d never been tested before. Due to his beggarly appearance, people often just pinched their noses and avoided him. Who’d want to check his martial dao potential?
Jiang Chen’s test didn’t involve any instruments. All he did was take Huang Ming’s pulse. “Calm your heart. Don’t let your mind wander or circulate your qi.”
Hua Ming followed the orders exactly.
Jiang Chen’s consciousness gradually filtered into the boy’s body and began analyzing it. A scant heartbeat later, the light of utter shock and disbelief shot forth from his eyes. Hua Ming didn’t notice the reaction as his eyes were screwed tightly shut.
Jiang Chen found it hard to quantify his amazement. Hua Ming possessed an innate fire constitution, and one of high order at that! He was just as talented as Mu Gaoqi, who had an innate wood constitution of high order!
Even though fire constitutions were relatively common, Hua Ming’s constitution was a tad different from the rest as a frighteningly powerful bloodline heritage was held within. Jiang Chen couldn’t identify it just yet, but he was certain that it had nothing to do with the Vermillion Bird.
That’s unfortunate. If he had the Vermillion bloodline instead, the senior will probably view him very favorably.
Even though he couldn’t identify Hua Ming’s bloodline yet, this discovery was enough to make him jump for joy. He’d encountered such a great treasure without even looking for one! Of all people he could’ve met on the street, he’d met someone with an innate fire constitution of high order!
Myriad Abyss Island was truly a luxurious place. Someone with such a fantastic constitution and bloodline had been wholly ignored in a small place like the Oriole Valley?
The Bluesmoke Isles are well governed, but they still have a long ways to go when it comes to discovering talent. Perhaps this is the difference between them and the Ten Divine Nations?
No matter the reason, this discovery was an immense stroke of good news for him. He released the boy’s wrist. “Alright, you may open your eyes now, Hua Ming.”
The boy obediently opened his eyes and look at Jiang Chen with anticipation. One could clearly see the restlessness in his eyes. This was potentially a life changing moment. How could he not be nervous?
“Hua Ming, you have a great foundation and potential. Your body has been cultivating on its own and is now on the verge of breaking through to the sage realm. Didn't you realize?”
Hua Ming shook his head. “Nope. All I know is that my body feels incredibly hot at noon everyday, like it's about to explode. Only at midnight do I feel most comfortable.”
Jiang Chen burst into laughter. Noon was when yang energy was at its strongest, agitating the energy in Hua Ming's body. It was only natural that the boy would feel hot at noon as he didn't know how to circulate qi.
If he'd known the basics of cultivation, he'd likely be in emperor realm or even a great emperor by now. This was a promising talent worth spending some time on.
“Hua Ming, I have two paths for you to choose from. But before that, I need you to swear your allegiance.”
“Benefactor, I swear that I'll always be loyal to you. If I ever stray from my path, may the heavens smite me and the earth reject me. May a million horses pull my body apart!” Hua Ming blurted out every oath he could think of.
Jiang Chen nodded and smiled gently. “You're young, but have been tempered by the ways of the world. This is both a boon and a bane. You're well-versed in how the world works, so you won’t be deceived or cheated in the future. But because of that, you'll run the risk of having an impure dao heart. Of course, this is something that you can overcome with enough tempering and training.”
Hua Ming nodded obediently and committed the words to memory, even though he didn't really understand what Jiang Chen was talking about. It sounded like gibberish now, but he could slowly comprehend it over the years to come.
“You have two choices. One, be my attendant. As long as you're by my side, you'll never worry about food, clothes, or money ever again. All you need to do is tend to my needs with utmost loyalty. Two, be my disciple. I'll guide you through your cultivation.”
There wasn’t an iota of hesitation after Hua Ming heard his choices? “Honored master, your disciple wishes to learn from you and accepts your tutelage.”
Why would anyone with a sound mind choose to be a servant? Jiang Chen wasn't surprised by Hua Ming's choice. It was the better choice of the two.
“Then I shall accept you as my disciple. From now on, I will pass on training methods to you. However, I won’t tell you my true name yet. Further observation and later deliberation is required.”
Hua Ming kneeled. “Master, please accept a kowtow from your disciple!”
He carefully went through the disciple’s ritual, rigidly kowtowing nine times until Jiang Chen had lifted him up. He was so ecstatic that he couldn’t stop rubbing his hands together. His encounter of Jiang Chen was like a dream.
“With your talents, you should’ve been a disciple of a great sect, but for some reason, your potential has gone unnoticed all these years. That’s just as well, if you’d been taught by those amateurs, your future would probably be just as mediocre as theirs. Perhaps it was your destiny to be taught by me and possibly achieve greater things in life.”
Jiang Chen didn’t paint too big of a picture, but he was still filled with confidence.
Even at Myriad Abyss, he didn’t think there was anyone more worthy of taking in disciples than him. His cultivation level wasn’t on par with the masters of the island, but any of his numerous disciples from his previous life could single-handedly wipe out the Ten Divine Nations.
“Hua Ming, you’ve come from a harsh world, filling your mind with schemes and ploys. To improve your mindset, let me impart to you Boulder’s Heart, along with its three accompanying abilities, God’s Eye, Zephyr’s Ear, and Psychic’s Head. These four abilities will heighten your senses and temper your foundations. Work hard to master these skills, or you’ll be punished.”
“If I ever slack on master's teachings, I'll have no complaints even if you kill me with a palm strike!” Hua Ming agitated.
There was a reason why Jiang Chen had chosen Boulder Heart instead of something else. Hua Ming was a child from the secular world, and thus hadn’t formed a dao heart. What he needed right now wasn't a method, but a tempering of his heart. Boulder’s Heart was without doubt, the most suitable ability for the job.
Hua Ming's mentality had to be stabilized first before he could cultivate other techniques. Otherwise, if he found out that his innate talents were beyond that of many, he'd grow proud and conceited.
There were many such stories since the beginning of time. Jiang Chen didn't want to watch his handpicked seedling wasted like that. The next day, he left the tavern along with Hua Ming. Their next destination was the Bluesmoke Isle's eastern capital.
There was a total of four capitals on Bluesmoke Isles. The eastern capital was known as Miracle City. It was a very popular city in the isles. Because of its vicinity to Yellow Dragon Ridge, it was also the most developed and bustling city. It was also a convenient starting point to travel to Hell King Island.
Departing Oriole Valley led them to a bleak wilderness. Jiang Chen led the way, not going particularly quickly. Hua Ming however, kept glancing behind them, seemingly worried about something.
“Hua Ming, don’t look backwards. Even if you’re worried about something, don’t show it on your face, understood? You need to practice the Boulder’s Heart some more.”
Hua Ming blinked, looking at his master with surprise. “Master, do you know that something’s behind us?”
“The Northcrown Five, and maybe other helpers too.” Jiang Chen smiled faintly.
“Ah? They really didn’t give up?”
“Since they didn’t, they can be the Northcrown Dead.” Jiang Chen’s tone abruptly turned frosty.
The wandering cultivators didn’t dare stir up trouble in Oriole Valley, but they were emboldened enough by the lawless wilderness outside the city that they wanted to regain their face.