Chapter 572: The Ulterior Motives of the Tristar Sect
“Everyone, most of us have arrived by now. In that case, I have a few suggestions to offer, if you’re willing to hear them out.” An elder from the Great Cathedral spread his hands to calm the crowd as he addressed them.
No one spoke as they all turned to look at him. The speaker was Xiang Gan, the foremost elder of the Great Cathedral. Although he wasn’t as old as Xiang Wentian of the Sacred Elephant family, he was still around nine hundred years old and a pillar of his sect. This kind of old monster boasted an unparalleled strength and was absolutely a top tier existence in this crowd. Therefore, none of the others objected to him speaking up.
“The first, and the most important issue, lies with the matter of confidentiality. I trust that none of you need me to go over the Myriad Domain’s history. This ancient herb garden has once brought glory to the region, and the care with which it was kept secret is the reason why the Myriad Domain has yet to be conquered by others. This matter of confidentiality isn’t just one of the herb garden, but one that has to do with the fates of all our sects. I trust that no one here wants an armed force to invade one day and seize our territory, claim our resources, and enslave our descendants?”
Confidentiality was certainly a must. Everyone nodded in acquiescence.
“Right, we must keep this secret. Everyone must rise up together and condemn those who reveal its presence!”
“We must keep this secret, or we’ll bring down disaster on ourselves.”
Elder Yun Nie also nodded. “I quite agree with Elder Xiang Gan in this matter. If we don’t keep this to ourselves, we will surely invite calamity.”
When someone with as much authority as Elder Yun Nie had spoken, those from the other sects naturally couldn’t remain quiet. They all spoke of their intentions to keep the secret.
In the end, Elder Xiang Gan nodded. “Verbal promises are useless. I hope everyone can swear a heavenly oath, that apart from the heavyweights of our sects discussing the matter of the ancient herb garden, no one can reveal its existence in any way, shape or form. This includes us heavyweights as well, we cannot reveal its existence in any way, shape or form. If any sect reveals its presence, then that sect must be punished by a heavenly tribulation!”
“Right, only the heavenly oath can bind us all!”
Elder Xiang Gan’s solemn gaze swept past everyone’s face. It was evident that he didn’t want anyone to slip through the cracks.
Most were highly supportive of this proposal, because this matter didn’t only affect their personal gains and losses, but had to do with the survival of each sect. It even impacted the future development of the Myriad Domain.
Jiang Chen stood behind Elder Yun Nie, his face carefully expressionless. His attention wasn’t on the Walkabout Sect, but rather discreetly on the Tristar Sect. Of the forty total from the two batches who should be present, there should’ve been six from this sect. Yet, there were only four present. Jiang Chen knew that Ding Tong occupied one of the slots, but he would never appear now. That still left one person from the Tristar Sect who was absent.
Everyone had agreed to Elder Xiang Gan’s proposal, even the two elders from the Tristar Sect. They too nodded and felt that this should remain confidential. Jiang Chen found that to be a bit odd. Could it be that these elders didn’t know that the Tristar Sect had privately thrown in their lot with the Ninesuns Sky Sect? They would certainly reveal the secret then, so why were they acting so natural and proactive now?
Once the oath was sworn, they would be bound to silence and therefore unable to pass this secret along. Apart from the two elders present, there were also two young disciples present as well. One of them was Zhu Feiyang, and the other was a girl named Mei Ruoxi. Jiang Chen had a previous impression of her.
He used God’s Eye to covertly observe Zhu Feiyang, noting that while his expression was natural and he’d put on a dashing air, there was still an unnatural hint in his gaze. However, Jiang Chen never would’ve noticed had he not been keeping a close eye on Zhu Feiyang. It was rather Mei Ruoxi who didn’t betray the slightest reaction. She only nodded slightly when she heard Elder Xiang Gan’s suggestion, and her expression didn’t seem to be an act either.
“Zhu Feiyang must know of the arrangement between the Tristar Sect and Ninesuns Sky Sect. As for Mei Ruoxi, either her acting skills are too good or she’s still in the dark. And what’s going on with those two elders? Logically speaking, they shouldn’t be this proactive, right? Is it because they’re unaware of their interaction with the Sky Sect and so don’t have a guilty conscience?” Jiang Chen didn’t think that to be the case, because although the two elders appeared quite proactive, they were still acting to a certain degree. But what did they benefit from doing so?
“How will they leak this to the Sky Sect once they swear a heavenly oath?” Jiang Chen kept turning this question over in his mind. If possible, he would like nothing more than to expose the Tristar Sect. But reason told him that if he exposed the Tristar Sect now, he would have no evidence or credibility.
With the Sacred Sword Palace’s dratted personality and the Walkabout Sect’s own hostility towards him, they would certainly ally together to speak against Jiang Chen. Then, it would be easy enough to catch him on the back foot. He was not so brash as to play a losing hand.
Jiang Chen sank into thought, and suddenly felt occasional looks of hatred shooting towards him from the Walkabout Sect’s side. He didn’t need to turn his head to know that it was coming from Wei Qing.
Jiang Chen naturally couldn’t be bothered with someone who was about to die. But when his thoughts wandered to the Walkabout Sect, he suddenly remembered something.
“Right! That should be it!” Jiang Chen abruptly recalled Elder Wu Hen’s heavenly oath. There had been nothing wrong with it, but that he’d already sent the information onto Elder Wu Qi before he’d made the oath. In this regard, he couldn’t be viewed as having violated the oath whether in terms of cause and effect or precedence.
“Could it be that the Tristar Sect is also attempting a similar play?” The more Jiang Chen thought it through, the more likely it looked to him.
As his thoughts spun rapidly, those from the Great Cathedral had already finished their vows. The content was quite stringent, and not the slightest loophole could be detected. The Dark North Sect and Walkabout Sect also walked forward to swear their oaths. When it came to the Regal Pill Palace, Elder Yun Nie and the others all swore, and Jiang Chen walked up to emulate them too. The Sacred Sword Palace was next, and there was no problem with them either.
Last came the Tristar Sect, and one of the elders spoke with a solemn expression, “I swear that I will not reveal the matter of the ancient herb garden after leaving this place, and promise that those who have learned of this matter here today will not reveal this secret to the outside world in any way, shape or form. If we do so, then may the heavenly oath annihilate my Tristar Sect!”
Jiang Chen couldn’t help but laugh coldly inside when he heard this wordplay. This oath seemed just as stringent as everyone else’s, but the other sects might not have this kind of loophole when they made their oaths. However, Jiang Chen suspected their secret and picked up on the loophole immediately.
“After you leave!” He snorted coldly. “Herein lies the loophole. If he reveals the existence of this place before he leaves, then that’s not within the boundaries of the oath. Then his so-called heavenly oath won’t be binding!”
What a nice verbal feint! The words of swearing not to “tell the outside world in any way, shape or form of what we learn of today” would have no meaning at all then. All one had to do was to reveal the secret before making this oath, then what did it matter if the one who knew the secret revealed it or not? Only one was needed to reveal it, and that person wasn’t covered under the oath.
“Nice plotting and planning!” Jiang Chen had to admire these old fellows. Not a single one of them were easy characters, and each were more slippery than the other. He flicked a glance over at Elder Wu Hen. It was apparent that even one as slippery as Elder Wu Hen hadn’t detected the hidden catch in this Tristar Sect elder’s words. Elder Wu Hen would’ve never dreamed that the Tristar Sect was the Ninesuns Sky Sect’s dog! Only Jiang Chen, because of his previous experience, knew that the Tristar Sect was the Myriad Domain’s traitor and would pay attention to this loophole. How would the others pay attention to something as miniscule as this when they didn’t know the Tristar Sect’s particulars? Not to mention that everyone was already thinking it was just and right to contain the secret. As a member of the Myriad Domain, it wasn’t a simple matter of becoming a public enemy if they revealed this secret, but really a type of suicide as well. When the enemy invaded and swept everyone present up, then who would be able to emerge unscathed?
Elder Xiang Gan smiled with satisfaction when those of the Tristar Sect finished their oaths. “Good, I trust that no one has any more doubts of the secrecy of our undertaking here.”
Jiang Chen however, sent a silent message to Elder Yun Nie. “Elder, there should be forty here, but there’s only thirty five. There are five who have yet to arrive.”
Elder Yun Nie didn’t think much of it. “They must not have gotten here in time, or were already lost?”
Jiang Chen was actually giving the elder a subtle reminder, but the elder wasn’t understanding the hint. So he prodded him once again, “There’s a loophole in everyone’s vows that they can take advantage of. They all said that they will not reveal the secret after leaving, then what if they tell their absent comrades before they swear the oath? Then that means the oath doesn’t apply to those not here.”
These words were clearly spoken and instantly reminded Elder Yun Nie. His expression shifted as he suddenly said, “Ole brother Xiang Gan, can this little brother speak a few words?”
Xiang Gan gave the Regal Pill Palace quite a bit of face as he smiled, “What would ole brother Yun Nie like to add on?”
The two sects had just conducted a Longevity Pill transaction and so were in a honeymoon period. Elder Yun Nie spoke, “According to logic, there are now forty people inside on the thirteenth day, but there are only thirty five present. This means five are yet to arrive. Everyone’s oath has spoken of not revealing the secret after we leave, but there was nothing said of before swearing the oath. What if someone has already alerted their companions before swearing? Then those who have yet to arrive wouldn’t be within the scope of the heavenly oath! Wouldn’t this be a small loophole?”
Elder Yun Nie’s words weren’t particularly aimed at anyone, but everyone nodded slightly after he spoke. He seemed to make a great deal of sense.