Chapter 815: Emperor Peafowl
Ji San’s words had quite the impact. Though Jiang Chen had little interest in becoming someone’s disciple in order to inherit their teachings, it would no doubt of great use to his future endeavors if he could create a connection to Emperor Peafowl.
“Brother, look ‘ere. The Eternal Celestial Capital is chasing you everywhere right now, but if you become Emperor Peafowl's successor, then they won’t dare touch you even if you stand right at their gates. That’s a big difference, isn’t it?” Though it was a little harsh, Ji San's words rang true. Emperor Peafowl had made a name for himself three thousand years ago, and his renown was spread across the entirety of the Upper Eight Regions. Even great emperors from first-ranked sects dared not antagonize him.
Jiang Chen laughed at Ji San’s excitement. “Brother Ji, everything in the world follows the path of fate. It has guided us together as brothers, as it did for the serendipitous meeting with Wei Jie at Myriad Peoples City. My meeting with Emperor Peafowl is just another thread in fate’s tangled web. As for whether I can become his disciple… well, we’ll just let fate decide, hmm?”
Ji San was astonished. “Brother, do you really believe in fate, in heaven’s mandate?”
Jiang Chen smiled faintly in reply. He sighed softly to himself. How can I not? In his previous life in the divine planes, he had observed the lives of countless people. The majority of lives and events he'd witnessed had been dictated by fate’s interwoven threads. Two brothers from the same family and background could walk drastically different paths, simply because of differences in their fate.
Jiang Chen suspected that his reincarnation into this world had a hidden thread of fate attached as well, but didn’t dare think further on it. Every time he did so, he would get a headache. The seal of chaos within his consciousness only fueled his theory—his presence here was preordained. What else would explain the chain of seals within his consciousness?
During Jiang Chen’s time at the Precious Tree Sect, he had meditated on the dao beneath the sect's Precious Tree in order to break through to origin realm. Marked by natural phenomenon, it had led to the discovery of the seal within his consciousness for the first time. There were also what appeared to be nine droplets of water that surrounded the seal in a ring. Till date, it was an unsolved mystery to him. Jiang Chen hadn’t been able to analyze the seal back then upon first breaking through to origin realm, and he still wasn’t able to even now—though he was fifth level sage realm.
However, whenever he touched the seal during his meditation, inexplicable tremors would pass through his mind, followed by various primordial visions that ran rampant through his consciousness. Jiang Chen felt… odd, but with a dose of curiosity. However, curiosity aside, he had no intention of forcibly exploring the seal. One wrong move on his part meant the total disintegration of his consciousness, and the destruction of his soul and spirit.
“Brother, what are you thinking about?” Seeing Jiang Chen’s face full of smiles, Ji San was curious himself.
Jiang Chen maintained his expression. “Nothing much. I was reminiscing about something and lost myself for a second.”
“Okay. Well, you just have to remember one thing really. This is an opportunity, and it leads to many more like it in the future. You know that the Upper Eight Regions are core to the human domain, and there are often events held to exchange information between the major factions. As long as you hold a high enough position, you’ll have plenty of chances to travel as part of these exchanges, as well as meet fellow geniuses from different Upper Regions. This will make it easier for you to obtain news about your parents. If you do it yourself, it might take ten or twenty years before a lead comes up, but with the right person… well, it might only take ten or eight days, right?” From the young master’s words, Jiang Chen could hear that Ji San had only his best interests in mind.
“Brother Ji, I will treat the matter with all seriousness,” he nodded.
Ji San was finally satisfied with Jiang Chen’s attitude. “That’s more like it!”
The two brothers spoke for a while. Ji San was clearly in a good mood. Now that the Wang father and son were taken care of, the Coiling Dragon Clan was enjoying much better days.
Though he'd only received an extension of three to five years to his life, the Coiling Dragon clan lord also seemed in much better spirits. His recovery brought an important matter to the other clans’ attention. The decision to distance themselves from the Coiling Dragon Clan before did not seem so wise now. From the look of the Coiling Dragon clan lord currently, the man was at least refreshed enough to contend again. The act of reclaiming respect after losing it for a time solidified the Coiling Dragon Clan’s place as the Veluriyam Capital’s foremost clan once more. Moreover, the Coiling Dragon clan lord knew that majority of the merit for this act went to Ji San.
Thus, Ji San distinguished himself among his fellow candidates in the race for the successor, and gradually assumed a leading role. All of this was ultimately thanks to Jiang Chen. As a result, the young master’s gratitude towards Jiang Chen and thoughtfulness on his behalf were both completely genuine.
Jiang Chen retreated to the back garden after a long time spent entertaining guests. A sudden upward glance revealed the apparent presence of a sound, or possibly a translucent shadow, near the pagoda. Was there someone there? Perhaps, perhaps not. It was so indistinct that Jiang Chen thought he was seeing things. Upon closer examination, he found that there was a person there after all. However, the person almost seemed to meld into the garden’s scenery.
“Who is it?” Jiang Chen called out in a low voice. Someone who could slip into the garden unseen and undetected was surely extraordinary. Moreover, Taiyuan Tower had a rule that only female family members were allowed in the back court. Even the ten sage realm cultivators Jiang Chen had handpicked had no right to enter. There were very few people who were eligible to enter.
“Young man, I’ve waited for you for a long time now. Do you have the courage to come with this old fellow and speak awhile?” The voice was foreign to Jiang Chen, and didn't hold any clues to its identity either. But, it had an odd magnetism, piercing through time and space in a mystical way. Jiang Chen furrowed his brow. In that moment, he found himself a little indecisive.
“Don't worry. If this old fellow wanted to harm you, there would be no need for such theatrics.” The voice laughed softly before it rushed outwards in a flash. Concerned for the women in the rear court, Jiang Chen pursued it with gritted teeth. He was very familiar with the garden’s layout, but found himself walking its paths no longer. As he shot forward, he seemed to head onto a different road, but the connection between the two was seamless—almost if he really had come onto it from the path near the pagoda.
“Hmm? What’s this?” Jiang Chen’s heart sank, and he stopped in his tracks. Activating his God's Eye, he scanned his surroundings. “Is this a formation?” Frowning, Jiang Chen realized that he had entered a formation set by the other entity without even noticing. The formation that he was now in was unique. It was able to connect itself to reality and manufacture a patchwork landscape that even Jiang Chen hadn’t noticed at first glance. After activation, Jiang Chen’s own formations ordinarily formed an internally consistent world. It was always drastically different from the outside world. However, this person’s formations could link together with reality, and bridge the gap flawlessly. The formation methods on display here moved Jiang Chen greatly.
“You have a good eye. I thought it would take longer for you to understand.” The voice sounded again, this time directly in front of Jiang Chen. The shape of a body appeared near a patch of pines. The entity’s form was dressed in a rainbow taoist robe, and gave off a feeling of antiquity. The man cut a tall and straight figure, his features well-defined on his face. He had a very handsome appearance, and the lines of his body was nothing less than perfection.
“Who exactly are you, if I may ask?” Jiang Chen asked, grimacing. Though he was within the man’s formation, Jiang Chen didn’t lose his composure. However, the other man carried a disorienting aura around him. It was as if Jiang Chen was standing at a seashore, and could not measure the depth of the waters before him, or as if he gazed at an endless expanse, and could not tell the stars’ origin. The man’s profundity made him a mystery.
“Who do you think I should be?” The man faintly smiled, his expression placid.
Considering the man for a moment, Jiang Chen came to a sudden realization. “Emperor Peafowl?” He blurted aloud.
The man did not deny the identification. “Your intuition is quite good,” he smiled cheerfully. Suddenly, the man’s gaze intensified, though his expression remained unchanged. “Then, you’re the Jiang Chen from the Myriad Domain?”
“Did the Coiling Dragon clan lord tell you, Your Majesty?” Jiang Chen blinked.
The man grinned nonchalantly. “Then, the Coiling Dragon clan lord’s known your identity all this time? Ah, that old eel… he didn't tell me.”
Jiang Chen didn’t say anything. His instincts told him that the man before him had no need for deception.
“Jiang Chen. This old fellow has known of you ever since you first set foot in Veluriyam Capital with Wei Jie.”
Old fellow? As far as Jiang Chen could see, Emperor Peafowl’s face was that of a man in his thirties. He showed no sign of age. Thus, Jiang Chen found the man’s self-designation of ‘old fellow’ a little peculiar.
“Your Majesty, calling yourself an old fellow while looking like that… well, it feels a little odd.”
Emperor Peafowl smiled softly. “Then, what shall I call myself? Shall I use the royal we, or say ‘this emperor’? Do you not see that I have no desire to converse with you as Emperor Peafowl?”
“Why is that?” Jiang Chen asked.
“Because today is just a private visit.” Emperor Peafowl laughed. “I wanted to take a closer look at the youth from the Myriad Domain—someone who could stir up chaos even in the ranks of the Eternal Celestial Capital—and see what kind of person he was. Now that I’m here, I see that I have not made my trip in vain.”
“Oh? And what has Your Majesty seen in me?” Jiang Chen chuckled.
“You saw through my formation, which was your first distinction. You identified me, which was another. You are neither anxious nor uncomfortable, which was the final point in your favor. Are these three distinctions not satisfactory enough for me?”
Jiang Chen didn’t think that Emperor Peafowl would be able to casually summarize so much. “Your Majesty, you said just now that you knew of me the first day I arrived? What do you mean by that? I didn’t have the chance to see Your Majesty that day.”
Emperor Peafowl shrugged. “That day was my successor’s funeral. You remember this much, at least?”
“Young lord Fan?” Jiang Chen remembered the circumstances in which he entered the city that day. House Wei being a staunch supporter of young lord Fan, Wei Jie had been severely distraught upon hearing the latter’s death. The entire House had worn funereal white in remembrance and commemoration.
But Jiang Chen still didn’t recall having seen the emperor.