The rebel army had been destined for collapse since the moment of Forefather Goldenbell’s demise.
However, the sight of an army ten thousand strong being steamrolled by one man and two beasts was still astoundingly impressive. Of course, only two hundred or so were actually empyrean experts. The rest were a more standard composition of great emperors and emperors.
Even the ten divine nations couldn’t indiscriminately recruit only empyrean cultivators.
Though this was Myriad Abyss, the number of empyrean cultivators was limited all the same. They were a valuable resource.
Among those two hundred empyreans, most were only initial empyrean. Cultivators who could reach mid empyrean generally became executives. Advanced empyrean experts commanded respect even from their executive peers.
With Eternal Divine Nation as an example, even a house as strong as House Xiahou only had ninth level empyrean realm cultivators as their venerated elders. Many of the more important elders were only seventh or eighth level. Cultivators who made it to ninth level were among the best in their faction.
Divine cultivators could be counted with one’s fingers. Demigods weren’t much more numerous than that.
This group contained a quarter of the rebel elites in Martial Divine Nation. The rebels’ resolution to take the spirit herb base was very clear to see.
The destruction that was currently being visited upon them had been wholly unexpected. They hadn’t had time to actually launch the assault before being attacked themselves.
The carnage on the battlefield started to conclude.
Aside from a lucky few with potent defenses, the majority of the main force was on the brink of death. Those exposed to the brunt of the dragon’s roar had exploded into smithereens.
The empyrean experts were either kneeling in surrender or cut down and eaten without ceremony.
Not every rebel was dedicated enough to fight to the bitter end. Many empyrean experts saw what Jiang Chen was doing. They were the priority target, and thus dared not offer much resistance.
Man and dragon alone were hard enough to fend off, not to mention the vigilant Vermilion Bird at the side that hadn’t yet acted. Primed, the bird was far more threatening and fearsome than the young man and his dragon.
The remaining officers lost their will to fight. They all prostrated themselves in capitulation.
Even if Jiang Chen were to begin indiscriminately slaughtering two hundred empyrean experts, he wouldn't be able to kill them all. Therefore, he didn't pursue the deaths of those who voluntarily surrendered.
He had killed in order to quash the rebels, not to slay them in cold blood. Now that the masterminds were dead, there was no need to exterminate every little accomplice of theirs.
In less than two hours, the land outside the valley was calm once more. Aside from a few fleeing stragglers, most were dead, injured, or captured.
Since there was barely anyone left who could fight, Jiang Chen ceased his actions after a final circle.
Instead, he landed at the passage to the formation. “This is Jiang Chen from the Eternal Sacred Land,” he shouted aloud with cupped fists. “I came to aid the Martial Sacred Land at your request. May I ask which master is stationed here? Could we have a meeting?”
He didn't blame them for staying out of things.
The dragon’s roar had been far too destructive in a haphazard sort of way. It had been impossible for any allies to effectively join the fray.
A moment after his voice fell, luminous petals opened within the formation, releasing the restrictions blocking entrance. Teams of cultivators from the Martial Sacred Land rushed out, their demeanor no-nonsense and well-trained.
Though the youth said he was an ally, these men and women didn't let down their guard. They stayed around the formation without approaching.
Two pretty figures slowly stepped out from the passage. It was First Prime Puresmoke and Holy Girl Yu Ling.
“Hail, First Prime,” the cultivators to either side of them boomed in unison.
“No need for the ceremony.” Puresmoke gave a small wave with her delicate hand. She glanced upward with an elegant visage, her clear eyes resting for several moments upon Jiang Chen in scrutiny.
“Heroes have ever made their names in their youth,” she pronounced, “and so I have heard of yours, Sir Jiang Chen. Our remoteness doesn’t preclude the thunder of your fame from reaching us. Now that I’ve seen you in person, I can confirm the rumors are true. A real genius, indeed.”
Jiang Chen was a little astonished at the two extraordinary women before him. The two responsible for this base were female?
“Greetings, first prime of the Martial Sacred Land. Please excuse my tardiness for coming to your aid.”
“You came timely enough,” First Prime Puresmoke smiled. “Would you come inside and sit awhile, Sir Jiang?”
Jiang Chen nodded. “I’ll be intruding for the next while then, First Prime.”
“There’s no need to refer to me so impersonally. You may call me Prime Puresmoke.”
“Alright,” Jiang Chen smiled in turn. “Old Brother Vermilion, Brother Long,” he called out to his companions. “I’m going inside for a bit. You can wait for me outside the valley.”
The Vermilion Bird shook its head ambiguously, while Long Xiaoxuan growled softly in response. Jiang Chen could guess at what Prime Puresmoke was thinking when he saw her hesitation. “Brother Long, you’ve got to be tired after all that fighting. Let’s leave the taking of prisoners and tidying up to our friends at the Martial Sacred Land.”
This was Martial Sacred Land territory. It was fine for them to gather up the spoils without that sacred land’s people present, but handing over that right was reasonable now that the owners appeared.
Of course, the bulk of the riches was already theirs. There wasn’t much more to plunder, and what there was, Jiang Chen wasn’t much interested in.
Past the passage protected by the formation was the spirit herb base proper.
His eyes lit up as soon as he entered. The spirit energy density was much higher than outside – by several times in fact. This was practically the perfect place to grow spirit herbs.
“This is a wondrous place. A beautiful world within a world!” he praised.
The prime was pleased at the youth’s recognition. Her impression of him was instantly improved.
Many young geniuses who became famous at their age had poor personalities. They tended to be arrogant, especially after lending their aid to another. It was rare that one would be as composed as this gentleman.
Moreover, Jiang Chen was neither flippant nor pretentious in his words and actions. His natural poise and confidence was especially rare.
The prime recalled that Jiang Chen had first astounded the world with his pill dao prowess. Since having a genius like this visiting was a unique occasion, she wanted to see him show off a thing or two. She took the young man around the spirit herb base to sightsee.
Whenever they passed by a specimen, the prime would ask several questions of Jiang Chen to test him.
Realizing this, he answered with a carefree fluency that was free of shyness. Though there were a few rarities here and there, he had no difficulty waxing eloquent about them. For him, it was nothing more than child’s play.
With each comment he easily made, Puresmoke’s approval grew.
Holy Girl Yu Ling, on the other hand, was keenly curious about the youth who was barely older than her. Her initial dissatisfaction faded away when she noted Jiang Chen’s familiarity with the spirit herbs.
Taking a stroll around the fields, Jiang Chen suddenly smiled.
“Prime Puresmoke, I heard Eternal’s venerated forefather say that the Martial Sacred Land has perhaps the most abundant store of Taiyi Dragonscale Fruits anywhere in Myriad Abyss. Are they not cultivated in a place as marvelous as this?”
The prime blinked, then cracked a crooked smile. “I didn’t expect you to know that. I suppose it would be rude not to show you around then.”
The Taiyi Dragonscale Fruit was one of the spirit flora the Martial Sacred Land was most proud of owning. Typically, it wasn’t shown to outsiders. If Jiang Chen hadn’t solved their rebel problem, Prime Puresmoke wouldn’t have considered for even a moment taking him to see the Taiyi Dragonscale Fruit.
The fruit was located at the core of the spirit herb base, an area compartmentalized and hidden away from the rest of the complex.
Entry into this space required passage through several pathways guarded by formations, showcasing the fruit’s importance to the Martial Sacred Land.
The security elicited a wry smile from Jiang Chen in turn. “The Martial Sacred Land places this much importance on the Taiyi Dragonscale Fruit?”
“Thanks to you, Sir Jiang,” Prime Puresmoke smiled slightly.
Jiang Chen blinked. “How so?”
“Originally, the Taiyi Dragonscale Fruit was only considered a reasonably important species in our catalogue. Nothing to warrant all of this secrecy though. After the Taiyi Skymender Pill was shown to the world, the price of the Dragonscale Fruit skyrocketed, which in turn increased our regard.”
Jiang Chen burst out laughing. “I helped your assets increase in value?” he joked.
“If you want to put it that way,” Prime Puresmoke inclined her head.
“Haha, I’d be very happy to receive priority consideration if I end up needing some of that fruit in the future,” Jiang Chen remarked in half-jest.
He didn't actively ask after a reward. However, he did desperately need the Taiyi Dragonscale Fruit. If it came down to it, he definitely wouldn’t mind receiving it as compensation from the Martial Sacred Land.