Yan Qingsang was exuberant to be so lucky as to pick up his grandfather. Since Yan Wanjun’s departure, the young man had been concerned about his grandfather’s well-being on the road. There was also House Yan’s bounty hanging over the elder’s head.
To think that his grandfather had been so close all this time, watching over and protecting him all the while!
He was both touched and contrite.
His grandfather had been the one to raise him since childhood. Yan Qingsang had a very strong relationship with the old man. As for his own parents, he didn’t know them much at all and felt barely anything for them. They’d long been stationed to some unimportant locale due to their excessively weak martial dao talent, and didn’t have many opportunities to meet with their son.
Therefore, Yan Qingsang thought of his grandfather as a parent much more than his actual parents.
Huang’er greeted her grandfather graciously as well. “Hello, grandfather.”
Tender affection shone forth from Yan Wanjun’s eyes. There was some guilt, of course.
“Huang’er, I heard that Shao Yuan killed Xiahou Zong and brought an end to your misfortunes. I am truly sorry for not having been able to do anything for you.”
“Each person has their own destiny. If I hadn’t been afflicted so, how would I have met Brother Chen?” Huang’er drew on Jiang Chen’s arm lightly, her smile tranquil and gratified.
“Brother Chen?” Yan Wanjun was taken aback.
“Hehe, you’re still in the dark about it, right grandpa? Shao Yuan is Jiang Chen from the human domain. Didn’t Elder Xi mention someone like that in his report when he came back? This is him.”
“The human domain?” Yan Wanjun was astounded. “I heard you talking about that place just now and I didn’t understand why, but… so you’re from the human domain, Shao Yuan?”
Jiang Chen smiled faintly. “It’s a long and complicated story. I didn’t have time to convey to you the entire truth, Elder Wanjun. Please excuse the impropriety.”
“Hahaha…” Yan Wanjun roared with laughter. “Good, good, good! You are a responsible and good man, worthy of Huang’er’s love for you. I am satisfied that my granddaughter is in capable hands. There is nothing to regret about a dao partner like this, Huang’er.”
He was more animated than usual. Having experienced all that he had in life, he wasn’t as hung up on issues of origin as others might’ve been. What did it matter that Shao Yuan came from the human domain?
In this world, strength meant power!
Jiang Chen was strong enough to slaughter Xiahou Zong. What was there to worry about regarding his granddaughter’s choice?
“Right, young friend Jiang Chen. I heard you talking about Winterdraw’s formation. What’s the story behind that?” Yan Wanjun inquired curiously.
Jiang Chen made no attempt to hide his past. He related all that had happened since his initial arrival on Winterdraw, as well as ensuing events to Huang’er’s grandfather.
Yan Wanjun enjoyed the tale, and cracked a crooked smile after he finished. “So you’re the Jiang Huang Polylore’s joint bounty was created for? It would’ve been inconceivable without you telling me about it.”
“Haha, I consider it the will of heaven,” Yan Qingsang laughed. “He and Huang’er were made for each other. No obstacle can possibly stand in their way.”
Yan Wanjun made several exclamatory remarks before continuing. “So, Jiang Chen, this island was originally built up by Senior Pei Xing? All the formations and miscellany were controlled by an obelisk? And now that you’ve refined it, you can choose to become the master of this place?”
“Then you should take it over without question. If you’re worried about putting someone here, I can keep watch for you. Let this place be an outpost here in Myriad Abyss for you.”
Jiang Chen’s eyes lit up. “You’re willing to help, Elder Wanjun? But won’t this work be too menial for you?”
Yan Wanjun was a former venerated elder of House Yan and an eighth level empyrean expert in his own right. Though he wasn’t the absolute strongest in Myriad Abyss, he was very near the top.
The old man smiled. “I have no responsibilities to drag me down now, nor do I have a home to go back to. This place is a fine one to rest and recuperate.”
Yan Wanjun had a very healthy mentality. He had no problem with not being a venerated elder anymore. In truth, he had long grown bored of his responsibilities. Without the ties of blood to attach him to the house, he would have resigned long ago.
Now that the house had completely antagonized him, he felt minimal belonging to the organization. Though he still loved it, there was no way he would have any connection to it as long as the current patriarch was still there.
The only possibility of re-involvement necessitated a potential rebuilding.
Jiang Chen thought it was great that Yan Wanjun was willing to watch over the island. A man of his strength and ability could easily take care of this place. Turning Winterdraw into a base of operations was then very viable.
As a man of action, he began to restore the formation right away. The first act was to return the refined obelisk to its original location, then make a few more helpful preparations.
After that was complete, restarting the formation to return Winterdraw to the way it once was wasn’t particularly difficult.
Though the island had weathered some damage, the formation foundations remained entirely intact. Even if they had been partially ruined, he would’ve been able to fix them without issue.
The desolate Winterdraw Island roared to life once more. Within half a month, the majority of the formations on the island were restored to activity.
Jiang Chen wanted to do the best he could. After finishing with the inner part, he began to ponder what he could do with the defensive measures on the outside. Upgrading them was a pretty good option, all things considered.
Senior Pei Xing had left behind all the formations in and around the island. The people from Rejuvenation had only managed to tap thirty to forty percent of their strength. They lacked knowledge about the true essence of the senior’s formations.
The days spent studying Pei Xing’s works and improving his formations were quite relaxing for Jiang Chen.
On a day just like any other, he slapped his thigh after making an unexpected discovery.
“Haha, I finally found it!” he laughed with excitement. “Huang’er, I’ve found the clues for the ancient transportation formation. There was something like this on Winterdraw after all, a well-designed and very well hidden one to boot. No wonder I was having trouble looking for it.”
Jiang Chen had begun to wonder whether there was a transportation formation here in the first place. But after all this time, he’d struck gold in the book he was reading.
He followed the clues and the diagrams to what had eluded him for so long. The ancient formation was one with the surrounding waters. No one expected that movement was through a vortex within the sea.
“Senior Pei Xing was a real innovator. As expected of a man considered the foremost ancient formation master!” Jiang Chen had seen men more skilled than Pei Xing in his previous life, but the senior he’d never met possessed unrivaled imagination and incredible scope that he maneuvered with ease.
This was an innate talent to be envied.
If Senior Pei Xing had gone to the heavenly planes, he would have had every right to attempt the highest peaks there. He had more than sufficient potential to do so.
Alas, ancient history was too insubstantial and distant. Whether Senior Pei Xing still lived or how many years it had been since Winterdraw’s establishment were totally unknown.
After finding clues to the transportation formation, Jiang Chen looked into the method of activating it. Because the formation was old and had been inactive for a prolonged period of time, it would prove rather difficult to bring back into operation.
Thankfully, Jiang Chen’s own skill with formations and his studies from both lives granted him insight into Pei Xing’s former work. His inheritance from the Ancient Crimson Heavens Sect also provided him with the knowledge needed to carry out the task.
A few more days resulted in his successful reactivation of the transportation formation.
“Hey, brother. If you want my grandfather to watch over Winterdraw for you, why are you sending Huang’er away? Winterdraw is far enough away from the ten sacred lands’ impending wars, right?” Yan Qingsang voiced his opinion.
“Winterdraw is in Myriad Abyss still, while the human domain is not.” Jiang Chen was very stubborn on this matter. He didn’t consider Winterdraw Island perfectly safe.
Right now, the human domain was the safest and farthest place from the worsening instability in Myriad Abyss.
“That’s enough, Brother Qingsang. I’m going to the human domain. I like Sacred Peafowl Mountain, and I quite miss being back there. I’m sure the spirit herbs and flowers I planted feel the same way about me. I have friends I’ve left behind there too.
“Plus, Sister Bi’er has been gone from the human domain for many, many years. She must be really homesick.”
Huang’er had little interest in staying on Winterdraw. Though she didn’t hate Yan Wanjun, she had no strong attachment to her grandfather.
She preferred going to Sacred Peafowl Mountain, that she might reunite with those old friends who’d once called her the young mistress of the faction.
Yan Qinghuang had nothing more to say upon hearing Huang’er’s firmness. “Alright. We’ll come see you in a while in the human domain.”
“Take care, grandfather, Brother Qingsang. “I’ll wait for you in the human domain, Brother Chen.” She saved the most important farewell for last.
“Don’t worry. I may very well return not long after. Be at ease about your parents. I’ll look into it. If I have the chance, I will absolutely rescue them out of the Boundless Prison,” Jiang Chen promised seriously.
Huang’er’s eyes reddened. She tried her best not to cry. “Let’s go, Sister Bi’er!”
The two girls entered the transportation formation.
The formation flared to life. Jiang Chen hardly had time to wave before it took them away, leaving behind only sea salt and sea spray.