The Taiyi Skymender Pill had appeared in a strange way indeed. There’d been nothing to suggest its emergence before now. The Eternal Sacred Land had announced it without rhyme or reason. Did it have a contingent of capable pill masters who had been conducting secret research?
As mentioned before, Shi Xuan was astonished by the method of the pill’s refinement even more than by the pill itself. The technique had been beyond perfect. He was more curious about whose hands the pill had come about.
“Hmph. What does the Eternal Sacred Land mean by this pill and invitation? Is it flaunting its new acquisition before us?” one of the forefathers declared with displeasure.
“Haha, they’re probably still upset about Elder Zimu,” the other forefather remarked with off-handed contempt.
Shi Xuan smiled faintly. “Flaunting the new acquisition? I doubt they have the courage to do so. Still, this pill is rather startling in its own right. Apparently, there’ll be more surprises at the festival itself. Have they obtained multiple pill recipes through sheer, dumb luck? That doesn’t explain everything, though. There is definitely a master behind the Taiyi Skymender Pill.”
The two forefathers traded a look. Shi Xuan’s musings had only increased the amount of mystery around the matter.
“Are you going to the Skymender Festival, Shi Xuan?” one of them asked.
Shi Xuan smiled slightly. “Why shan’t I go? I don’t believe the Eternal Sacred Land can cause much of a commotion. Elder Zimu fell before me, is Ziju Min somehow going to surpass him? I don’t think so.”
“They might bear a grudge, haha. Are you sure, Shi Xuan?”
“I certainly am,” Shi Xuan responded smoothly. “I didn’t lay a finger on Elder Zimu. He died because he was too narrow-minded to accept his loss gracefully. How am I supposed to be held responsible for that? Plus, I don’t think the Eternal Sacred Land has any pill dao talents worth mentioning.”
“Right. Do you remember the affair around Ziju Min last time? About the Mirage Introspection Pill’s materials?”
One forefather’s response prompted the other to nod. “Yes, yes, there was something like that. The Mirage Introspection Pill is nothing important, so we didn’t pay much mind to it at the time… but it was a hot topic for a bit.”
The Mirage Introspection Pill wasn’t exactly a high-rank pill. Thus, any attention attracted had been temporary. At the time, it had been public opinion that the Eternal Sacred Land had lucked into the discovery.
The appearance of the Taiyi Skymender Pill however, made the forefathers to recall what had happened back then.
“I hear a young genius was the one who caused that ruckus. Maybe this Taiyi Skymender Pill is related to him as well?”
“Impossible. How could a young genius know this much? There’s no way his technique is so refined either.”
Shi Xuan sighed softly. “Never mind. It’s pointless to guess at the truth when the festival is so soon. I think a personal look will yield the most accurate observation.”
Despite being on bad terms with Eternal Divine Nation, Flora Divine Nation couldn’t resist the Taiyi Skymender Pill’s allure. The other factions were no different.
The returning messengers carried good news with them from all over Myriad Abyss. Responses took many forms: some communicated goodwill; others, verbal promises; and still others, handwritten letters.
For the most part, almost every important faction had agreed to attend the Skymender Festival. Great praise and curiosity were expressed in the letters.
The steady stream of successes invigorated the three primes. At the same time, they felt pressure bearing down on them. The festival was set in stone now.
“Elder Ziju, all of the factions have expressed their willingness to attend the Skymender Festival. Shi Xuan is included in the list of attendees from Flora Divine Nation!”
Ziju Min’s eyelids fluttered when he heard the name. So Shi Xuan was coming after all.
The battle between his young disciple and the pill dao giant was unavoidable. The prospect of it made his heart race uncontrollably. Could Shao Yuan win?
Though Jiang Chen was one of the combatants, he remained profoundly calm. Since he had no missions to refine pills, he spent his days in cultivation and meditation within the sacred land. This continued until Ziju Min told him of the certainty of the battle ahead.
“So, it’s confirmed that Shi Xuan will come?” Jiang Chen’s eyes lit up.
“Yes, we’ve confirmed that already. You have no avenue of retreat, Shao Yuan. Shi Xuan is a vicious character. You must prepare yourself for the confrontation.”
Jiang Chen smiled coolly. He knew Ziju Min was still worried, but he saw no reason to console the senior with niceties. The immediate future would prove him correct soon enough.
News of the Taiyi Skymender Pill and the Skymender Festival spread through Eternal Divine Nation like wildfire.
As a first-rate faction within the divine nation, House Yan received an invitation despite its current state of decline. This had been done as a favor from Ziju Min, of course. The patriarch was stunned into silence after hearing of it.
Elder Ziju had sent someone here with an invitation that specially outlined Yan Qingsang’s relatives should be brought alongside the other representatives. Yan Wanjun and Yan Qinghuang were both identified by name.
The patriarch didn’t know what Elder Ziju was getting at and found it odd indeed. Why had someone of Master Ziju’s stature point these specifics out? Had Yan Qingsang received a warm welcome at the sacred land?
He simply couldn’t understand it. However, the invitation was clear enough. Because Yan Wanjun had been sent to Mt. Cloud Camel, a messenger was delegated to bring him back.
Yan Qinghuang was at home, but the patriarch really didn’t want her to be seen out and about. Could he just brush off Master Ziju though?
After much thought, the patriarch decided it was best to bring her after all. He was concerned that they would encounter Xiahou Zong at the festival. If Xiahou Zong openly disgraced Yan Qinghuang, what then? What face would remain for House Yan?
Perhaps others would stay put at a convention hosted by the sacred land, but a genius like Xiahou Zong dared to do what others did not.
Ever since Jiang Chen’s departure for the Eternal Sacred Land, Huang’er had lived a reclusive lifestyle. Her life with Ling Bi’er was relatively peaceful and quiet.
A few days ago, she had found out through Elder Shun that Xiahou Zong had emerged from closed door cultivation. The news made her rather uneasy.
Xiahou Zong’s reappearance meant that misfortune marched ever closer to her.
She didn’t want to succumb to it, but fate was a cruel mistress.
“Don’t worry, Sister Huang’er. You need to believe in junior brother Jiang Chen.” Ling Bi’er wasn’t very good at consoling people. She too felt Huang’er’s pain keenly.
“Sister Bi’er, do you remember what you promised me? If I can’t escape my destiny, you must take care of Brother Chen, alright?” Huang’er’s voice sounded hollow, tinged with sorrow and tenderness.
“You… you’ll definitely be okay. Junior brother Jiang Chen is making his name known in the Eternal Sacred Land right now. He will defeat Xiahou Zong for sure and protect you.”
As the two girls spoke, a voice sounded from outside. “Miss Huang’er, the patriarch has sent me to inform you that the Eternal Sacred Land is hosting the Skymender Festival. House Yan is invited, and the patriarch wishes for you to attend and gain more worldly experience.”
The Skymender Festival?
Huang’er was astonished. What kind of convention was that? The sacred land had no such tradition. She wanted to make further inquiry, but the messenger had already departed.
In the midst of her confusion, Elder Shun arrived from outside in a hurry as well. Joy was plain upon his face. “Excellent news, Huang’er. The Eternal Sacred Land is hosting a Skymender Festival, and House Yan has been invited. I believe the patriarch has given you a spot.”
“So you’ve heard as well, Elder Shun? Do you know what’s going on with this convention?” Huang’er was perplexed by the suddenness of the event.
“I hear the Skymender Festival is being hosted because of a single kind of pill—the Taiyi Skymender Pill.”
“They’re hosting a meeting just for one kind of pill?”
“Yes. Apparently, the sacred land has managed to come up with a kind of pill that no one’s seen before. Moreover… Shao Yuan is the man behind it.” There was excitement in the elder’s voice.
“Ah. But of course.” Rather than surprise, Huang’er felt the relief of recognition.
She understood Jiang Chen and his pill dao talent very well. The Eternal Sacred Land would’ve shown off their genius long ago—if they had it in the first place. Why would they wait until now?
Any miraculous medicines would undoubtedly be related to Jiang Chen. Huang’er firmly believed this.
Now she knew why the patriarch had asked her to go to the Skymender Festival. The invitation had likely requested her presence outright. Her gloomy mood began to brighten thanks to the good news. Jiang Chen’s accomplishment had reversed that which Xiahou Zong’s emergence had dampened.
Her beloved had not let her down. He’d only gotten to the sacred land a short while ago, and yet he was already causing such a huge commotion. Perhaps the Eternal Sacred Land really would throw their whole support behind him?