Meng Tianxing trembled cowardly when he saw Elder Liang’s decapitated body and the blood seeping from the cut. It finally dawned on him that his enemies weren’t joking. They really could threaten his life.
He lost his previous bravado and his face turned ashen, timidly swallowing down his retorts.
Jiang Chen smirked at him. “You should be happy that it wasn’t your head she cut down.”
“Yes, you’re right…” Meng Tianxing stammered. “Brother, what do you plan to do with me? Are you going to use me as leverage against my grandfather?”
“You’re not as stupid as you look.”
“You don’t have to do anything,” Meng Tianxing pleaded. “As long as you tell my grandfather that I’m in your hands and have him retreat, he will.”
“Really? Are you sure Meng Qianqiu values you that much?”
“I’m sure. Grandfather has long made me his heir. I’m his only hope and his life’s work. He’d never risk my life.”
The boy knew his grandfather well. Jiang Chen looked at him with great derision. How disappointing it was that a genius from a first tier faction would cower under the slightest pressure! Meng Qianqiu was unworthy of his reputation.
Prime Puresmoke spoke up to warn Jiang Chen, “Don’t be fooled by his appearance. People like him are much bigger threats. They know when to back down, and they may come back to bite you at a critical time. He’ll do anything to strike back when given the opportunity.”
Jiang Chen tensed and threw a meaningful glance at Meng Tianxing. There was indeed a cunning glint deep within his fearful eyes.
Jiang Chen chuckled. “Plot all you want, Meng Tianxing, but you better not do anything foolish. I change my mind easily. I plan to use you as a bargaining chip now, but there’s no telling if I’ll cut you down in a fit of anger. Don’t try any tricks on me and test my patience. Understand?”
He patted Meng Tianxing’s face, deliberately forceful.
Meng Tianxing had only pretended to care about his face in order to relax Jiang Chen’s guard.
He’d thought the boy was truly a useless pretty face, but Prime Puresmoke’s reminder made him realize that was merely a facade.
“Sir Jiang, we have Meng Tianxing. Do we leave now?” asked the prime.
Jiang Chen nodded. “Yes. Let’s follow the plan.”
Before they departed, Jiang Chen cracked a grin. “Actually, there’s no rush. Since we’re here already, we should take a little something to compensate ourselves for the trouble. Otherwise, little Meng Tianxing here would be disappointed.”
He cackled. “Meng Tianxing, we’ll have to trouble you to lead us to the sect vaults. You know the drill.”
Meng Tianxing cursed under his breath. Before he could come up with a plan, Jiang Chen spoke again, “Oh, I know you’re planning on how you can take us to a lesser vault instead, but you better not try anything. I’m impatient and hot-tempered. Don’t give me a reason to kill you. It hasn’t been easy for you to survive to this point. It’d be a shame for you to die before seeing your grandfather. You can always acquire more treasure, but no one can give you another chance at life.”
Prime Puresmoke was impressed by how Jiang Chen kept Meng Tianxing under control.
No matter how reluctant the boy was, he prioritized staying alive. He Jiang Chen took him to the sect’s most important vault to satisfy the intruders’ raiding desire.
He wanted to die when he saw Jiang Chen having the time of his life pillaging their vault.
But the vermilion bird and the true dragon that Jiang Chen summoned was the real surprise. His curiosity was piqued despite his fear. Who was this young man? How could he summon two divine beasts?
“Brother Long, go ahead. This isn’t the Eternal Sacred Land’s vault. You may take whatever you want until you can’t grab anything anymore. You too, Brother Vermilion.”
The bird was more picky. Many of the items weren’t worthy of its attention. Long Xiaoxuan’s standards weren’t as high. Still at empyrean realm, a good number of the items could be of use for him.
“Prime Puresmoke, come get your share as well. Forget your reservations and take anything you want. Seize the opportunity, it won’t come around again.”
She smiled politely. The young man was an interesting character.
She’d always played by the book and had rarely done anything adventurous. Her time with Jiang Chen was proving to be a fascinating one. His unpredictable way of doing things was novel and exciting, and went completely against her beliefs.
“Don’t be shy, Prime Puresmoke,” Jiang Chen prompted. “My two friends are both greedy buggers. There will be nothing left for you if you don’t start now. Just pretend you aren’t the prime of a sacred land, but a girl fighting with your childhood friends for snacks.”
Prime Puresmoke’s heart skipped giddily. She hadn’t broken any rules since she became a prime. Jiang Chen’s words brought out the youthful recklessness in her. There had once been a period of youth and rebellion in her life as well.
Jiang Chen chuckled. “It seems that you still have trouble letting yourself go. I’ll start without you.” He continued ransacking the vault.
Prime Puresmoke bit into her lip and threw her reservations out of the window. She flashed through the vault, taking whatever piqued her interest.
With her joining the raid, the items disappeared at an even higher pace. Meng Tianxing could barely contain pained screams. It didn’t take long for them to almost empty the vault.
Jiang Chen glanced at the lingering excitement on the prime’s face. “That wasn’t enough, was it?”
She smiled slightly, dropping some of her bearing before the young man. “This seat hasn’t taken as much as you have.”
“Well, that’s because this is your first. You haven’t gotten into the groove yet. You’ll get better at it after a few more times.”
Meng Tianxing wanted to cry tears of blood. A few more times? The Dreamhaze Sect would be broke after this raid! These robbers had taken the majority of their treasure. He wanted to break down and cry. How was he going to face his grandfather after this?
The raid was a bonding experience for Jiang Chen and Prime Puresmoke. The strangers became unlikely friends, despite their age difference.
Fortunately, their operation was a secret. No one in the Dreamhaze Sect knew what they’d done. They didn’t even know Meng Tianxing had gone missing and his two personal guards dead.
Two hours later, Jiang Chen and his companions arrived at the home base of an aristocratic family - House Yuchi. This was another demigod’s faction. That family’s territory could rival that of the Dreamhaze Sect in size, and the manor more extravagant than the sect’s.
“There are a good number of powerful aristocratic families in Martial Divine Nation, the strongest one being House Yuchi due to their demigod forefather,” explained Prime Puresmoke. “In our nation, having a demigod expert puts you ahead of the other first tier factions.”
“How powerful is the family compared to the Dreamhaze Sect?”
“House Yuchi’s forefather falls slightly short of the Dreamhaze Sect’s, but there’s not a substantial difference. House Yuchi is much better at doing business than the sect. It’s probably the wealthiest among all first tier factions in the nation.”
Jiang Chen cackled. “So we’ve come to the right place then?”
Prime Puresmoke could read between the lines. They were going to raid this aristocratic house as well. The idea excited her and brought her back to the passionate and reckless days of her childhood. She didn’t know why, but she looked forward to robbing the house of their treasure.
House Yuchi’s defenses were at the level of the Dreamhaze Sect’s, which wasn’t enough to stop Jiang Chen. However, the forefather didn’t have any clear weaknesses.
He didn’t favor any one of his numerous descendents. It wasn’t viable for them to threaten the forefather the same way they had with Meng Tianxing. Jiang Chen decided to employ a different strategy.
“Prime Puresmoke, since this forefather doesn’t care about anyone in particular, it won’t be effective even if we capture a dozen of their members. We may as well raid their vault first and start a fire. That’ll get a reaction out of him.”
Prime Puresmoke’s eyes lit up. A fire could do great damage to House Yuchi, and the forefather will feel the blow as well.
“Let’s do that!” Prime Puresmoke now trusted Jiang Chen implicitly.
It wasn’t difficult to sneak into House Yuchi, but it took some effort on their part to locate the vault. It was under great protection and proved to be difficult to enter without someone guiding them.
Prime Puresmoke let herself go completely this time. She ransacked the place with as much abandon as the others.
After that, Jiang Chen and his companions showed themselves and razed the manor. The Vermilion Bird’s fire enveloped and devoured the entire complex. Long Xiaoxuan roared and wrecked havoc everywhere, unwilling to be outshone by the bird.
House Yuchi was completely destroyed before they could even begin to put up a resistance. Given the annihilation of their main fighting strength, their end was a foregone conclusion.