Everyone’s attention had shifted away from Jiang Chen, despite him being the one they were gathered here for. However, that was exactly what he wanted. He didn’t want to be part of the limelight within the pill dao community.
The last thing he wanted was for people to chase after him even after entering the sacred land. He’d be too busy dealing with them to cultivate then.
Ziju Min was going to make good on his promise to disclose the secret of refining with the Silverstripe Grass. He smiled at Jiang Chen. “Shao Yuan, my friend, everyone’s waiting for an answer with bated breath. If you don’t mind, would you tell everyone how to replace Illusory Spirit Grass with Silverstripe Grass?”
Jiang Chen smiled. “I’ll tell you, Master Ziju. Please explain to everyone else for me. I’m young and not good with words. I’m worried that I may not be able to fully express myself.”
He didn’t want to be the center of attention. He’d rather give the opportunity to Ziju Min.
What’s more, Ziju Min was a prestigious figure in pill dao. It would be easier for everyone to accept the explanation if it came from him.
Jiang Chen summarized the key points and went into detail regarding the use of Silverstripe Grass.
Being a titan of pill dao, Ziju Min was able to understand things immediately. He was deeply impressed and took some time to digest the information before fully sharing it with the others.
Besides, once everyone knew that Silverstripe Grass could replace Illusory Spirit Grass, they’d eventually discover the right method. He might as well let them owe him a favor.
Many factions knew how to refine the Mirage Introspection Pill. Even if they didn’t know how to use Silverstripe Grass, they could make do with Illusory Spirit Grass. There was no trade secret to be kept or great profit to be made.
And so Ziju Min enlightened the others with his explanation. Some of the more impatient ones started refining right then and there.
Some pills were successfully formed less than an hour later. Even though the results weren’t ideal, they were successful nonetheless. The more skilled ones saw a great increase of quality in their pills. The outcome was thrilling.
Jiang Chen however, was bored out of his mind. He wanted to leave this dull place as soon as possible.
Old Immortal Brightstar had finished refining as well. Once the lid was off, twelve Mirage Introspection Pills leapt into the air like sprites. Every single pill was endearing and clear as a crystal.
The elder was living up to his fame as the figurehead of the Jade Lake Sect. He was able to produce a lot more successful pills and ones of supreme rank in a cauldron.
The outcome convinced won over even him. He sighed. “It seems that we stubborn old men do have to adopt a different mindset. As you pointed out so eloquently before, there is no constant truth in the world. Today’s experience has taught us frogs in the well a lesson, reminding us to be open-minded. We should encourage young people to think independently, rather than limiting them!”
Old Immortal Brightstar was extending a friendly hand and conceding on behalf of the Jade Lake Sect.
“That’s right, young Shao Yuan. We’ve offended you with undue hostility.” Those in attendance were sensible enough to see that it was Jiang Chen who had done them the big favor.
Jiang Chen maintained a faint smile on his face throughout, unaffected by neither mockery nor praise.
Ziju Min was pleased with the display of composure. In his opinion, Pang Wei from the Jade Lake Sect paled in comparison to Shao Yuan. Pang Wei had had several strong emotional responses today, and every time his emotions had been clearly displayed.
Shao Yuan’s shrewdness and temperament convinced Ziju Min that he really had found a hidden gem.
Shao Yuan and Pang Wei were both young men. However, while Pang Wei was still engaging in petty arguments, Shao Yuan had already grown to the point that even figureheads in pill dao approved of his ability. It was amazing how enormous a difference there was between them.
The contest of the Mirage Introspection Pill made Shao Yuan a household name in the entire Eternal Divine Nation. Factions that hadn’t known the young man before started to gather information about him.
House Yan’s actions were exposed as well. They were mocked for the hostility and dislike they’d shown Shao Yuan. Everyone in the house was ashamed. Shao Yuan had been part of the family, and yet it had been their own members that refused to accept him and ended up pushing him away.
They’d lost a genius who could’ve changed their destiny for good. Ziju Min was the one who benefitted in the end.
Xiahou Ying, a noble miss of House Xiahou, was in a dark mood as well. She’d sent a letter to Shao Yuan to be a guest at her house, but had received no reply.
“Jerk!” In rage, she flung a small, delicate vase at the wall. Anger drained out of her as the vase shattered with a loud smash. She gritted her teeth and snapped out, “How dare you ignore my invitation, you little shit! I’ll make you fall head over heels for me one day!”
She was a typical spoiled child from a large family — short-tempered, capricious, and at times manipulative.
She’d hosted the birthday banquet to evaluate the young geniuses from different factions. Many of the top geniuses had treated her with great respect. The fact that Xiahou Zong was her brother was enough to garner her their deference.
Moreover, she possessed the charm of a young lady from a powerful family. She was adept at socialization, and she was a great actress when she was with other people.
She had a great deal of support from the younger generation.
However, her charm didn’t work on the young man, whose origin was unknown. He hadn’t paid her any attention during the birthday banquet. After that, he’d turned down her invitations several more times.
This was a stain on her track record that she would never accept! This Shao Yuan was just playing hard to get. That’s exactly what he was doing! To make things worse, her own teacher Ziju Min, had been working hard to bring Shao Yuan into the fold of the Eternal Sacred Land.
Not even Xiahou Ying had enjoyed such treatment.
She was his pill dao disciple, yet even she didn’t have the right to stay in the Eternal Sacred Land for long periods at a time. She was only given the opportunity to meet with Ziju Min and receive his teachings every once in a while.
As a latecomer, Shao Yuan had surpassed her. He’d won Ziju Min’s appreciation in a very short period of time. Her teacher clearly valued him more than he did her as he’d spent almost all his time on Shao Yuan lately.
“Teacher is so unfair. Why does he favor that kid who came from nowhere so much?” Xiahou Ying refused to accept the current situation. “Hmph! When I visit teacher, I’ll trick Shao Yuan into falling for me and embarrassing himself!”
Xiahou Ying wasn’t a generous person. On the contrary, she was a spoiled girl. Shao Yuan was now her rival for her teacher’s love. She was as upset like a child whose candy had been taken away.
Moreover, the thief was giving her the cold shoulder. It made her all the more furious. She was an important woman of high status. She was destined to be admired by everyone like a phoenix that soared through the sky!
What gave the young man the right to ignore her?
House Yan was in chaos.
With Yan Qingsang’s help, Jiang Chen was able to meet up with Huang’er.
“You only have one hour, brother,” Yan Qingsang emphasized. “Be quick with whatever you have to say. I can only buy you so much time.”
He had now completely thrown his lot in with Jiang Chen; he would weather whatever adventures came their way.
Jiang Chen was able to meet with Ling Bi’er at the same time.
When Ling Bi’er first heard that Jiang Chen was visiting Huang’er, she’d instinctively tried to leave, but Huang’er stopped her by grabbing her tightly.
“You and I are sisters, Sister Bi’er. And we both have been through life and death with Brother Chen. There’s no reason for you to hide now.”
Heat rose to Ling Bi’er’s cheeks. Jiang Chen entered the room when she was still dithering.
The three of them came face to face. Huang’er had a calm smile on her face, while Ling Bi’er looked as helpless as a thief who’d been caught red-handed. However, she couldn’t look away when her eyes landed on Jiang Chen.
“Huang’er. Senior sister Bi’er.” Jiang Chen was delighted to see the two of them.
Huang’er chuckled. “You’re here to say goodbye, aren’t you? Let’s not talk about your departure, but about our shared past today.”
Her light words made Ling Bi’er tremble with anticipation. Her heart sped up on its own accord.
“No matter where I am, Huang’er, my feelings for you will never change.”
“We’re past that, Brother Chen. I’ll understand whatever decisions you make. Sister Bi’er, on the other hand, has been through a lot of hardships over the years, and she still holds you dear in her heart.”
Ling Bi’er was a mountain of ice that was melting. She didn’t know what to do with herself. The enthusiasm in the air both embarrassed and warmed her. For reason unbeknownst to her, she felt warm every time she saw her junior brother. She’d always felt insecure, and yet her heart fluttered whenever she saw him. She felt the same now as she had ten years ago.
“Senior sister Bi’er, how have you been since we parted?” Jiang Chen was delighted to see Ling Bi’er again.
“Junior brother...” Ling Bi’er said in a low and quiet tone, her voice a little nervous. “I heard that you’ve taken my father and Hui’er in and rebuilt the Regal Pill Palace… The past few years must have been difficult for you.”
Huang’er chuckled. “Sister Bi’er is still being too formal. Brother Chen cares deeply for the Regal Pill Palace, and about you and your sister. He never forgot about you in all the years you went missing.”
Jiang Chen smiled. “It’s quite a miracle that we’re able to meet again after everything. Uncle Ling and Hui’er will be happy if they hear about our reunion.”
The awkwardness between them dissolved. In its place was an easy familiarity.