Chapter 526: Successful Formation Setup
The Pill Battles of Mt. Rippling Mirage drew closer and closer as time went on.
Having assimilated the Golden Cicada’s bloodline, Jiang Chen spent his days either cultivating or setting up the Nine Gates Formation. If he concentrated wholeheartedly on setting up the formation, it would only take a month or so. But doing so while training on the side meant that it would take him at least three months to complete it. It’d been two months since he’d started setting up the formation, and there was still two months more to the Pill Battles. There was still plenty of time.
Gouyu, Ye Chonglou and the others didn’t understand the way of formations, and could only guess randomly when they saw Jiang Chen busying himself day in and out.
One fine day, Tang Hong’s hearty laughter rang out from the rear mountain. He had broken through to the origin realm! He seemed to have set off a chain reaction as Gouyu also broke through not long after, followed closely by Xue Tong. They had both finally grasped their respective dao.
In this way, Tang Hong could rightfully take up residence in the Rosy Valley, and Jiang Chen decided to have a serious chat with his followers, Gouyu and Xue Tong. “Gouyu, Xue Tong, now that you have broken through to the origin realm, you’re qualified to become a core disciple in the Regal Pill Palace. If you remain my follower, you won’t be able to have your own residence. If you join the Regal Pill Palace, you can become a core disciple and have your own place.”
Xue Tong immediately understood Jiang Chen’s meaning. He shook his head and spoke with a resolute tone. “I, Xue Tong, will only follow the young master in my life. Talk of being a sect disciple is nowhere as attractive as following the young master.”
Gouyu flicked a disapproving look over. “Jiang Chen, have you been considering how to get rid of me all this time? Even if I can’t be your woman, I’m still going to follow you. That so-called identity of a sect disciple is completely meaningless to me.”
Jiang Chen laughed ruefully as he looked at the steadfast duo. At least for the time being, he knew that they wouldn’t turn their backs on him no matter what.
Gouyu glared at him, “If you give us this choice again in the future, we won’t let you off this easily! Hmmph!”
Amongst Jiang Chen’s followers, Gouyu was one who had the bearing of a boss sister. As long as she was in the right, she would even dare shout at Jiang Chen. Hers was a forthright personality.
The other followers, provoked by Gouyu and Xue Tong’s breakthroughs, increased their efforts at cultivating. As a result, their strength improved rapidly as they all entered the peak of the spirit realm.
This sent the outside world into an uproar. When Jiang Chen had arrived, the strongest of his followers had only been earth spirit realm. But now, two of them had reached the origin realm, and the rest had firmly consolidated themselves at the peak of the ninth level spirit realm! That such miraculous changes had occurred in them in such a short amount of time left the entire Regal Pill Palace astonished and motivated by the pressure. The martial dao potential of those from the sixteen kingdoms were all so frightening, so what reason did the rest of the others from the Precious Tree Sect have to rest on their laurels? One had to say, Jiang Chen’s appearance had brought an unexpected momentum to the Regal Pill Palace overall, encouraging the younger generation to take their training more seriously.
Jiang Chen finally finished setting up the formation with a month to go until the Pill Battles. With that done, he too breathed out a long sigh of relief. He had ensured that the formation possessed at least sixty percent of its full strength and would be enough to block all those at sky sage realm and below when activated.
He refined another five formation jade tokens, giving one to Ye Chonglou, Gouyu, Xue Tong, and Huang’er, leaving one for himself. The first three were his own people and didn’t need further instructions. When Huang’er received the token, she smiled slightly. “Huang’er will certainly look after the formation carefully given such trust from Sir Jiang.”
Huang’er spent much time inside and rarely ventured out during her days, occasionally visiting Gouyu and Wen Ziqi. She lived an exceedingly simple yet content life, and was entirely happy. Therefore, she had long since regarded this place as half her home in the depths of her heart, and viewed it as a place worth defending.
“Miss Huang’er, the wood spirit spring will be highly beneficial for you if you bathe in it monthly. It’s just that knowledge of the spring’s existence is of utmost importance and cannot be revealed, which is why I’ve spent enormous time and effort to set up such a formation and enclose all of the inner residence into its defenses.
Huang’er spoke sweetly. “Sir Jiang is highly talented; this formation is surely extraordinary.”
Jiang Chen chuckled. “It’s merely a small thing, but can be activated in times of danger. It will just remain so in normal times. Miss Huang’er, please remember to go to the spring every month. If you like it and wish to go when you have nothing else to do, that’s just as well.”
“Many thanks to Sir Jiang’s generous care. Huang’er will remember this well.” Huang’er was indeed touched. She’d purposefully masqueraded an ugly appearance because she hadn’t wanted to show her true form to others, but she now felt that her gesture had been rather superfluous.
Jiang Chen was an open and straightforward person. He was striving his best to take care of her due to Elder Shun’s charge and didn’t keep her away from something as important as the wood spirit spring, allowing her to use it as she would. He had never ostracized or ignored her for her looks. It was apparent that he wasn’t one who judged people on the basis of their appearance.
Now that she gave it some thought, Huang’er grew deeply ashamed of her move to conceal her features. She wasn’t a girl who put on such airs to begin with, but had disguised herself with ugliness thanks to a stray fancy. But now, she didn’t know how to deal with the situation.
“Ai, let’s have things develop naturally. It’s just that my actions are a bit untoward given how sincerely everyone is treating me.” As Huang’er watched Jiang Chen’s retreating back, there were some soft ripples stirring her heart. For some reason, she always felt quite relaxed when interacting with Jiang Chen, and felt none of the repulsion she usually did when facing the young men of her homeland.
It boiled down to the fact that although those young men were exemplary and accomplished, they always felt a bit too forced, as if they were putting on an act. It was difficult to feel close to them, whereas Jiang Chen was open and stood in the light. He neither withheld favors to elicit gratitude or judged others by their looks, nor did he pretend to be elegant or dashing in front of her.
Once he settled everything in the residence, there were only a few concerns hanging over Jiang Chen’s heart.
When he finished up everything, Palace Head Dan Chi sent over a message glyph, inviting him to come over. The palace head had done him many favors and helped him a great deal, so Jiang Chen naturally didn’t drag his heels and immediately got up, making his way over to Dan Chi’s residence.
“Jiang Chen, you’ve been rather busy these days hmm? Not bad at all kid, it looks like you’re going to break through fifth level origin realm!” Dan Chi could see with a glance that Jiang Chen was at the peak of fourth level origin realm.
“I’m going to strive to break through to the fifth level before the Pill Battles.” Jiang Chen didn’t need to put on a facade in front of the palace head.
“What an incredibly insane genius!” Palace head Dan Chi sighed. “I feel absolutely no sense of superiority about my cultivation speed in front of you. I spent two years to ascend from first level to fifth level origin realm, but you’ve spent less than a year! I daresay that even the geniuses of the Upper Eight Realms are barely capable of matching that.”
Jiang Chen laughed. “It comes down to the Regal Pill Palace possessing superior resources, and that is wholly thanks to you, Palace Head! If you hadn’t brought me here, where would I have gotten so many resources?”
The vast quantity of Origin Fostering Pills had indeed been of great use to Jiang Chen.
“Oh pfft. Although those pills can induce faster cultivation, they’re not nearly as incredible as to produce this speed. You must’ve had some other fortuitous encounters. Never mind, I won’t keep asking. I’ve called you here because I want to ask you; where did you get your Nine Magnificence Dew Wine?” Dan Chi chuckled.
“The Nine Magnificence Wine?” Jiang Chen was startled, but spoke honestly. “I was once taught by an extraordinary expert when I was small and learned some tricks from him. This was when I learned how to craft the Wine.”
“Oh? You know how to craft it?” A hint of something else crept into Dan Chi’s tone.
“Yes.” Jiang Chen didn’t deny it. It wasn’t that difficult to refine this wine, and with his current cultivation level, it was a remarkably easy task that he didn’t need to expend much effort on at all. His abilities had been limited in the Skylaurel Kingdom because of limited resources, but now in the Regal Pill Palace, he almost didn’t think much of a spirit rank Nine Magnificence Dew Wine.
“Good, wonderful! Jiang Chen, the Myriad Domain has a particular tradition of wine tasting whenever we meet up. Ever since my Regal Pill Palace has been founded, we’ve yet to have taken out a decent wine. Instead, the Walkabout Sect has claimed the limelight in this area. I feel that if we can take out the Nine Magnificence Wine in the Pill Battles, we’ll be able to beat down their proud stance a bit. It certainly helps that the Walkabout Sect has always been our greatest opponent in pill competitions.”
Jiang Chen smiled as he immediately understood the palace head’s meaning. The Nine Magnificence Wine wasn’t any sort of secret that couldn’t be passed on, so he had no reason to keep it to himself. “Palace Head, there are ranks to this wine as well. Those would be mortal, spirit, origin, saint, earth, and sky rank. Which one would you like? Let’s set aside the earth and sky rank, I don’t know how to craft those.”
But he actually did. It was just that these two levels were too frightening—the Regal Pill Palace probably couldn’t even prepare all of the materials.
“I tasted the spirit rank last time, correct? Then we can taste the origin rank.”
“No problem. We can try even the saint rank as long as we have enough materials.” Jiang Chen thought, since you want to use wine to make a stand, then I’ll give you a saint rank version so that the Regal Pill Palace can really bask in glory.
The Regal Pill Palace had treated him well, so this bit of payback was only right.
Palace Head Dan Chi was delighted. The spirit rank had been so stunning already, and the saint rank was a full two ranks ahead of that. This would certainly be a heavenly brew that the Myriad Domain had never seen before in all its history. “Alright! What materials do you need? I’ll collect them all for you even if I have to dig through all ten thousand miles of the Regal Pill Palace.”
Jiang Chen smiled. “We don’t have to go quite that far. I’m sure the Regal Pill Palace can prepare them all. Please take out brush and ink, I’ll write down the recipe for you.”
“Good, good! Jiang Chen, I owe you one!” Dan Chi was in great spirits. Although he wasn’t one who lusted after the delights of a cup, infusing wine with spirit herbs was still a genteel pastime in the world of martial dao. Almost every cultivator liked the pleasures of a cup, it was just a matter of how much they did.
The palace head often crafted wine for himself and tried adding all sorts of spirit herbs into it, but he’d never had great gains. It was either too much medicine and mediocre wine, or good wine but a simple product. The Nine Magnificence Dew Wine tasted sublime and was hailed as an ethereal brew. Dan Chi could only imagine how much of an impact they would have throughout the Myriad Domain as soon as they brought it out.
Using wine to spread their name and gain profit to enhance the Regal Pill Palace’s influence was also setting the foundation for rebuilding the Myriad Empire in the future!