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There were over a hundred sovereign missions, more than Jiang Chen had expected. Some had remained unresolved for over a thousand years. They’d long since faded from people’s memory.

Nonetheless, every mission ever submitted remained in the Hall of Merit’s record, and there were no expiration dates. All missions were still valid even after ten thousand years.

Jiang Chen took note of a few missions that caught his attention during his first pass and went over them again. He weighed his options and made up his mind.

“This, mission number 72.” He pointed at the number on the scroll. “It rewards a hundred and twenty thousand points.”

Gu Yunjin was surprised by how quickly the decision had been made. Ziju Min looked over the youth’s shoulders curiously.

“The Flames of Vengeance!”

An interesting name for a mission. It was clearly a fierce matter of personal vengeance.

Gu Yunjin had known what mission it was as soon as Jiang Chen uttered the number. He looked at the youth in shock. “This mission was submitted only 63 short years ago, young Shao Yuan. However, the party involved has passed away already.”

“Passed away? Does that mean the mission is invalid?”

“No, no. The mission’s still valid. It was proposed by the senior executives. It involves a humiliation we once suffered. Brother Ziju should know about it too”

A surprised glint flashed through Ziju Min’s eyes. He blurted out, “Is it about the tragedy that befell Elder Zimu sixty some years ago?”

“It is,” Gu Yunjin said with a sigh. “You are the pill dao authority of the sacred land now, Brother Ziju, but back then, Elder Zimu was the unequivocal figurehead. That you agree with, right?”

Ziju Min’s expression turned serious and reverent at the mention of the elder’s name. He obviously held the elder in high regard. He nodded with a sigh. 

“Elder Zimu’s mastery of pill dao surpassed mine. He taught me a lot before his passing. He was far superior than I in age, experience, and prestige, and he spared no effort in guiding me, hoping that one day I’d take his place as the first in pill dao. I could go on for three days and I still wouldn’t be done praising his character.”

“It’s a shame that he passed away,” Gu Yunjin echoed sadly. “It was a serious blow to the sacred land as well. Under his guidance, we saw clear improvements in our knowledge of pill dao, but things went downhill after his death. We were furious about his death. That’s why the mission came into existence, and it’s titled the Flames of Vengeance.”

So the mission was about avenging the elder. Gu Yunjin and Ziju Min gave Jiang Chen a basic understanding of what the elder had been through, and what the mission was about.

Elder Zimu used to travel around the world. One day, he received an invitation from Flora Divine Nation. 

Among the Ten Divine Nations, Flora Divine Nation ranked first in pill dao. They regularly held pill dao exchanges within the nation, and Elder Zimu was a regular participant. Even Ziju Min had been to many of those events.

Once, Elder Zimu ran into a young pill dao genius from Flora Divine Nation. They had a disagreement about theory, and the arrogant genius insisted on winning the argument. Their verbal duel grew more heated and escalated into a pill dao match due to the crowd’s provocation.

Elder Zimu’s mentality had been compromised, and the young genius was on home turf, supported by Flora Divine Nation. Driven by his bloated confidence, he won the match against Elder Zimu by a small margin.

The match should have ended as a friendly exchange, but the genius aggressively hurled insults at the elder after winning, cornering the elder until he was thoroughly humiliated. Afterwards, the genius shot to fame while Elder Zimu’s reputation suffered greatly. He became cannon fodder for the young man’s overnight success.

The elder fell into depression after returning to the Eternal Sacred Land. He couldn’t escape the memory of being humiliated by the young man and inner demons descended in the end.

News about the match became widespread in jianghu. The genius from Flora Divine Nation was highly praised, while Elder Zimu was mocked in every way one could imagine. He became the butt of jokes throughout Myriad Abyss after first being a stepping stone for the genius’ success.

Afflicted with an inner demon, Elder Zimu wanted a chance at redemption, but the genius declared far and wide that having lost, the elder wasn’t qualified to challenge him ever again.

As the leading figurehead of the sacred land, Elder Zimu was very proud. He lost control over his inner demon after repeated humiliations, and died of a cultivation deviation due to backlash through his meridiens when cultivating.

It was an unremovable stain on the sacred land’s record.

After the elder’s death, Eternal Divine Nation’s relationship with Flora Divine Nation deteriorated drastically. The bad blood between the two nations persisted ever since.

The Eternal Sacred Land felt the blow even more keenly. To educate newcomers of the shame they’d suffered, the senior executives created the mission. There was only one objective—to defeat the genius from Flora Divine Nation.

One victory would be enough to complete the mission, and the reward was a hundred and twenty thousand points. The one who completed the mission could also become one of the top ten elders in the sacred land.

It was evident how much emphasis the sacred land put on the mission. Everyone felt Elder Zimu’s shame like it was their own. However, Flora Divine Nation was the top in pill dao. There wasn’t much they could do.

The mission was there to make them feel better about themselves. They knew the possibility that anyone could clear the mission was slim. The pill dao geniuses here didn’t have high enough potential. The faction didn’t have a solid enough foundation in pill dao and enough room for its development either.

Gu Yunjin sighed. “No one has attempted the mission since its inception, young Shao Yuan. We don’t even dare think about it. You’re bold for making this choice.”

As the keeper of the Hall of Merit, Gu Yunjin knew the sovereign missions like the back of his hand. This was the first time the mission had been selected.

Ziju Min was doubtful as well. “Are you sure you want to take the mission, Shao Yuan? Elder Zimu’s grasp of pill dao was much better than mine.”

Jiang Chen smiled. “Of all the missions, this is the only one that catches my eye, and it seems more interesting.”

He really did find the mission appealing, and it was in the realm of pill dao.

Gu Yunjin took a deep breath. “If you’re sure, I’ll approve your application. Once that’s done, you cannot take back your decision. Have you really made up your mind, young Shao Yuan?”

“I have.” Jiang Chen nodded without hesitation.

“Good, very good,” praised Gu Yunjin. “It’s been a long time since the mission was created. No one has ever taken it. Things are about to get very exciting.”

Ziju Min sighed softly. “If you can complete the mission, Shao Yuan, your position among the younger generation will be indisputable.”

“That’s right,” agreed Gu Yunjin. “The mission occupies a special place in the sacred land. It’s more meaningful than the others.”

“Then that’s the one.” Jiang Chen maintained a relaxed smile throughout. He was calmer than both Gu Yunjin and Ziju Min. For them, the mission was a faraway goal they’d only ever dreamed of reaching, but for him, it was just another pill dao mission.

“With that done, how does Elder Gu and Elder Ziju think I should go about the mission? Do I invite him to a challenge? Or should I go to Flora Divine Nation to challenge him?”

He only cared about how he could complete the mission in the most efficient way.

Ziju Min smiled wryly. “You’re being too hasty, Shao Yuan. You should know your opponent first. He defeated Elder Zimu. Over the past decades, he’s become even more well-known. He’s considered a top tier pill dao master within the Ten Divine Nations. It’s amazing for him to gain such prestige at such a young age. If you don’t get to know him before challenging him...”

“I’d like to know him beforehand as well, but I don’t have the time.” Jiang Chen smiled. “May the two elders please help me come up with a solution to make sure he accepts my challenge? I’m most worried that he will turn me down because he believes none of us are good enough to be his opponent.”

The pill dao genius had made a name for himself at a young age, and he’d defeated Elder Zimu in a manner that caused the elder’s death. He was bound to look down on every pill dao expert in the Eternal Sacred Land.

It was very possible that he’d refuse if the sacred land invited him to a match. He could see it as an insult to his status.

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