Jiang Chen’s amazing performance had salvaged the sacred land’s reputation and pride. Just about every young genius celebrated joyously with great delight.
Instead of losing himself to the euphoria, Jiang Chen was unusually calm. Once seated, Yan Qingsang noticed the concerned lines on his face. “Brother, you look worried. Is winning over Xiahou Zong not enough to make you happy? You’ve won the love of your life!”
Huang’er noted his unusual state as well. She looked at him tenderly.
“Things have settled down now, Huang’er. Are you interested in returning to the human domain?” Jiang Chen asked out of the blue.
“The human domain?” Yan Qingsang exclaimed in surprise. “Huang’er has finally regained her freedom with Xiahou Zong’s death. She’s no less talented than Yan Zhenhuai. It’s finally her time to shine. Won’t it be a shame for her to return to the human domain now?”
He was talking about the competition for all geniuses in two years.
Ling Bi’er perked up when she heard Jiang Chen’s question, excitement flashing through her eyes. She was never going to return to the imperial family of the Bluesmoke Isles.
She didn’t care how House Yan was going to explain things to them. Huang’er and Yan Qingsang had cut all ties. She didn’t feel guilty at all for making House Yan the scapegoat. Besides, Bluesmoke Isles most likely wouldn’t be bold enough to confront House Yan.
Without skipping a beat, Huang’er asked quietly, “Brother Chen, is there a lurking threat? If you think it’s better to return to the human domain, I’ll listen to you. However...”
Jiang Chen looked at her seriously. “I know your biggest concern is your parents. Will you entrust this matter to me?”
“Are you not coming with us?” she asked in surprise.
Jiang Chen sighed. “I can’t without finding out more about the Great Formation of Heavenly Soul Confinement. I can return any time with a secret method, but I can’t take you all with me.”
The spacetime seal would send him back to the Six Palaces of Heritage if a problem arose. He’d reached a high enough cultivation to take on the fourth palace, which had at most required him to be at initial empyrean, or even the fifth palace, which called for intermediate empyrean.
As for the last palace, that would require advance empyrean level according to his calculations.
All was part of his plan.
For now, he still didn’t know enough about the Myriad Abyss Island. It wasn’t the time for him to return just yet. It’d been only a few years since his arrival, and he estimated that the demons wouldn’t invade in droves until a few decades later.
There was still enough time.
Even if the invasion was to happen early, they’d still need about two to three decades to prepare.
What he had to do was to find clues about the great formation. If he could activate it again, he’d be able to keep demons out of the human domain. Then, even if an invasion occured, the demons would flock to the territories of other races on the continent. The human domain wouldn’t be the main battlefield.
He wouldn’t hesitate to fight the invading demons, but he wanted to at least keep the human domain safe from becoming the main war zone again. Call him selfish, but that was what he had to do.
“What danger is there, brother?” Yan Qingsang asked, agitated. “I don’t believe there’s anything we need to be scared of now that Xiahou Zong is dead. What are you worried about?”
He definitely wasn’t as far-sighted.
Jiang Chen sighed. “It’s difficult to explain. I can only say that it may not be safe even in the Eternal Sacred Land. A seismic shift might be coming to Myriad Abyss Island. It would be wise to leave while you can.”
“A seismic shift?” Yan Qingsang asked in disbelief. “What are you talking about? The island has been peaceful for countless years. Are you just being an alarmist, brother?”
Jiang Chen smiled and didn’t elaborate. He couldn’t make someone frivolous like Yan Qingsang understand the gravity of the issue. He turned to Huang’er with a serious expression. “Senior sister Bi’er must be missing her homeland after all these years, Huang’er. Will you go back to the human domain with her?”
Huang’er trusted him implicitly, and she wasn’t that interested in the competition anyways. She’d been plagued by the Generation Binding Curse since she was young. As a result, instead of being hotly competitive, she was prudent and adaptable.
She knew there must be a reason for Jiang Chen to make the suggestion. She thought for a moment and smiled softly. “I’ll do as you say, Brother Chen. To be honest, I do prefer the human domain and its simple lifestyle over Myriad Abyss Island.”
She was speaking from the heart. She wouldn’t have returned here if not for her parents. She might’ve be born and raised on Myriad Abyss, but the place felt completely foreign to her.
“Alright, it’s best we act soon. When do you think we should depart, Huang’er?”
Yan Qingsang was becoming upset. “What’s going on? You’ve only just reunited with my sister. You can’t send her away so quickly!”
“I was going to have you go with them as well, but I know you won’t be willing to leave,” Jiang Chen remarked faintly.
Yan Qingsang huffed. “Just as long as you know that.”
“Huang’er, trust me when I say that your parents will be my top priority. I’ll rescue them from the Boundless Prison while I’m here.”
His impending marriage to Huang’er was done and settled. Naturally he wouldn’t stand by and watch his in-laws suffer.
“It pains me to see you work so hard for me on your own, Brother Chen.”
“Nonsense. Your business is mine as well.” Jiang Chen smiled. “I just hope you won’t resent me for telling you to leave so soon.”
Huang’er smiled. “I couldn’t be happier. Stop arguing with Brother Chen, cousin Qingsang. He knows what he’s doing. When has he ever done anything without a good reason? Don’t forget who it was that helped you ascend to empyrean realm.”
Yan Qingsang retorted exasperatedly, “It’s said that women prioritize their husbands over their family after marriage. You’re defending him before you even get married!”
“Sister Bi’er, let’s depart in two days. What do you think?” Huang’er wanted to leave as soon as possible after seeing how anxious Jiang Chen was.
Ling Bi’er responded in a upbeat tone, “I’ve wanted nothing more than to return. Anytime works for me as long as you’re ready.”
“Alright, that’s decided then. How about we leave tomorrow night?”
“Huang’er, how did you leave for the human domain with Elder Shun before?” Jiang Chen asked suddenly.
“There’s an ancient portal on Myriad Abyss. We snuck our way there back then, but I think it’s going to be heavily guarded now. It’ll be difficult to get there without attracting suspicion.” Huang’er was worried.
“That’s no problem. I believe there’s another for leading to the human domain somewhere else, but I’m not sure what state it’s in.”
Huang’er’s eyes flicked to him. “Do you mean Winterdraw Island?”
“Guessed it, haven’t you?” Jiang Chen chuckled. Huang’er was indeed quick on the uptake. His first stop when he came to Myriad Abyss was Winterdraw Island. He speculated that there was an ancient transportation formation leading to the human domain there. However, he wasn’t sure if it was still functional.
The portal in the human domain was working, but there was always a possibility that the portal on this end had been damaged.
No matter what, it was worth checking out. After the foundations of Winterdraw Island had been destroyed, almost all the inmates there had escaped. The island was unlikely to be restored, which rendered it useless for the Rejuvenation Isles. Rejuvenation wouldn’t hesitate to abandon it.
“Let’s depart from Winterdraw Island then, Brother Chen. I believe the ancient portal I left through last time won’t be a viable option.”
“That’s decided then. We’ll get ready and depart tomorrow night.”
Jiang Chen was resolute. He should be enjoying married life with Huang’er, but what the venerated forefather had said had left a deep impression on him.
The sword competition further convinced him that aside from the imperial family, there were many more factions working against the sacred land both openly and under the table. He didn’t know if the factions had formed an alliance, but one thing was for sure—the Eternal Sacred Land was in a delicate position.
Any day from now, the tension might escalate into an all out war. Either the sacred land could successfully suppress the ambitious usurpers, or it’d be destroyed and replaced.
No matter what, there would be a bloody conflict leaving both sides heavily injured. Not even the sacred land would be a safe harbor when that happened. Jiang Chen didn’t want his lover to be targeted by his enemies. It was better for Huang’er to go to the human domain.
Jiang Chen and his companions prepared for the trip. It might not be that dangerous, but better safe than sorry. He was going to personally escort them to the island to prevent any accidents from happening. He would wallow in regret forever otherwise.