Chapter 846: Pillfire City's Secret Letter
There was simply no place left for any other man in Dan'er's heart, because every inch belonged to one man already. Whether it be a superlative genius, or the most handsome man in the world, they were but an insignificant passersby to her. That man was her sky and her earth, her entire world and the source of her happiness.
The feelings that grow between men and women are fascinating like that. It was also Dan'er's nature. She was simply powerless to extricate herself from her feelings. She didn't feel a hint of regret no matter how much hardship she'd suffered. In Dan'er's mind, this man was someone sacred, an ideal that no one could infringe upon. She would never allow anyone to say half a word against him.
The reason why she'd never mentioned him to anyone else was that she didn't want to hear the slightest negative opinion about him. Dan'er had made every decision in her life out of her own volition. He might even be completely unaware that she'd carried his flesh and blood. If he truly was the kind of man to love and leave them, then he would have had the opportunity to do so back when she'd revealed her feelings to him. But he hadn't done so. So Dan'er knew he was a genuine gentleman. She'd never doubted that.
Cui'er was at a loss when she saw the young lady's anger. Her gaze fell to the floor as she stammered, "Miss, Cui'er is in the wrong again. Don't be angry, alright?" The servant girl's tears streaked down her cheeks when Dan'er remained silent. "Miss, if I made you angry, then hit me or yell at me. Just don't hold it inside. His Majesty said that you worry too much, so your worries are buried too deep. You can't keep sulking by yourself anymore, or it'll be bad for your health," Cui'er said while choking down her sobs.
Dan'er heaved a small sigh. "Cui'er, you accused him wrongly because you don't know him, so I won't blame you. Just don't let it happen again."
Cui'er hurried to nod. "There won't be a next time. Miss, you can pull out my tongue if you hear me talking nonsense again."
"Am I that cruel?" Dan'er didn't know whether to laugh or cry.
Cui'er broke into laughter despite her tears. "Miss, you're not cruel at all, you're very kind to me. I simply can't express how fortunate I was to have His Majesty choose me to serve by your side. Miss, don't be angry at me, I beg you. If His Majesty thinks my service to be lacking, I will have to leave this place. Cui'er doesn't want to leave Sacred Peafowl Mountain."
On Sacred Peafowl Mountain, even a servant girl was an upper class servant girl. Cui'er's family had ridden her coattails and moved up in the world all thanks to her. If she were to be kicked out from Sacred Peafowl Mountain, her family would probably fall back to their previous station. Such was Sacred Peafowl Mountain's prestige. Even mere servants had unfathomable influence.
"Silly girl, what are you thinking of now? I'm not going to let you go. I would always feel something amiss without you babbling in my ear." Dan'er wouldn't truly be angry at such a honest and outspoken servant girl. She soothed Cui'er;s anxiety with a few words and changed the topic. "Alright, Cui'er, now tell me what really went on with that pill battle?"
Cui'er completely forgot her previous anxiety and trembled in excitement. Her gossipy nature came to the surface once more as she tirelessly told her tale, the rise and fall of her voice akin to that of a storyteller. After all, this girl lived on Sacred Peafowl Mountain. Though she hadn't the seniority to personally witness the duel, she'd still heard quite a few rumours. The news one heard on Sacred Peafowl Mountain was much more reliable than those in the outside world. And so, she told Miss Dan'er every tidbit she knew.
"So that means that His Majesty's judgment is as keen as ever. There are so many outstanding pill kings on the mountain, but he chose a young outsider over any of them. I'm sure no one understood His Majesty when he came to this decision. They must have doubted him instead, am I right?" Dan'er sighed.
"Miss, your insight is as penetrating as ever. From top to bottom, many people on the mountain truly questioned His Majesty's decision. I heard that out of the four great monarchs, apart from the Cloudsoar Monarch, the other three were all a little skeptical, not to mention the other great emperors in the Capital," Cui'er said, fully animated.
"Yet the facts have proven that His Majesty is still His Majesty after all. His Majesty is still the one standing at the very top in the Capital, the one who sees the furthest. Everyone else is a step, or ten, even a hundred steps behind." Dan'er brimmed with adoration when mentioning Emperor Peafowl, a little pride slipping into her voice like a daughter talking about her amazing father.
"Hehe, no wonder His Majesty loves you so much, miss. Sacred Peafowl Mountain is so big, but you are His Majesty's real confidante," Cui'er exclaimed in admiration.
"How can I pretend to be His Majesty's confidente? His Majesty merely chats with me now and then, so I can discern some of his thoughts from his words." Dan'er was a sensitive girl. She knew that at Emperor Peafowl's level, his very thoughts were impossible to understand for the average person. Choosing this Pill King Zhen of no fame whatsoever merely emphasized this point. How much courage and resolve had he needed to choose an obscure junior? If this duel had ended in failure, all the criticism and all the blame would have fallen on Emperor Peafowl's shoulders, rather than on Pill King Zhen.
Shouldering so much pressure, facing so much skepticism, the emperor had nevertheless plowed forward in spite of the adversity, braved the tremendous risk of defeat and challenged a colossus like Pillfire City. Pill King Zhen had reaped all the acclaim, but Dan'er knew that, though Pill King Zhen's performance was admittedly near perfection, most people had neglected His Majesty's role as the decision maker and the one supporting him from the shadows.
Back at Taiyuan Tower.
Jiang Chen had received many private letters, but he threw them all in the fire without even reading them, reducing them to ashes. Those letters had all been left behind by those pill experts before their departures. Though their words changed, their meaning was still the same. They all told Jiang Chen that, as long as he brought their letter to their territory, he could receive the highest level of treatment. He would definitely receive more honor and prestige than he did in Veluriyam Capital.
In the Capital, everyone had learned that Pill King Zhen was merely a guest pill king in a noble house, just a last minute find by Great Emperor Peafowl. There were no ties of inheritance whatsoever between them. For that reason, everyone had seized an opportunity to lure him away. That was why every single one of these pill experts kept sending him confidential missives, to try to pry him away to their own factions.
If they'd known that the Pill King Zhen they wanted to rope in had already refused Emperor Peafowl several times already in private, they likely wouldn't have done something so pointless. He'd even refused an invitation from Emperor Peafowl to become his personal disciple. Why would he even consider theirs? So, these secret letters all ended in the fire.
"Hm? Even fire can't burn this particular letter?" Jiang Chen took one letter from the fire and observed it from every angle, but he didn't see anything unusual.
"Who gave this to me?" Jiang Chen couldn't remember off the top of his head. He'd received several dozen letters and casually put away all of them without keeping track of which one was whose. Most of the letters were already ashes, so it was even more difficult to tell now, unless he opened it.
When he tore it open, it was actually Pillfire City's emblem that appeared, a divine pillfire alternating blue and red, giving off a striking visual impact. "It's from Pillfire City?" There weren't too many words written on this missive, merely a few lines telling Jiang Chen that, as long as he was willing to leave Sacred Peafowl Mountain and seek refuge with Pillfire City, Pillfire City would forget about today's matter, and would bestow him with countless riches, as well as the highest treatment for a pill king in Pillfire City. If he failed to appreciate this kind gesture, he was bound to meet with a tragic end someday soon…
The tone between the first and last parts of this letter was quite at odds with each other. There didn't seem to be any sincerity to their offer, while the threat was painted in quite vivid details. It was very difficult not to be provoked. With a laugh, Jiang Chen was about to crumple this letter and destroy it when his eyes suddenly flashed. With a yelp of surprise, he carefully put this letter in front of him and looked at it for a long while. The closer he examined it, the more his brow creased. By the time he was done, his expression was as dark as an approaching thunderstorm.
Jiang Chen slammed a fist into the wall beside him, gaze fixed into the distance as he ground out from between clenched teeth, "How ruthless of you, Pillfire City! You sound like you want to rope me in, but in fact, you want to bury me six feet under!" He looked at this letter and the unique grain of its paper. There didn't seem to be anything unusual about this letter at first glance. Only, his sight was exceptionally keen. He could see that the paper had a particular texture to it. The grain actually contained a lethal poison.
Definitely a lethal poison! Jiang Chen had been a pill grandmaster renowned throughout the entire heavens in his former life. The letter's paper was made from a certain type of snake skin. It was one of the most poisonous things in the world. Were it not for Jiang Chen's vast knowledge, he would never have spotted it. In particular, this snake skin would exude ten times the toxicity when burned or encountered heat. It would drift in the air, poisoning a man's body through his lungs, or failing that, even through the pores of the skin.
"Pillfire City!" Jiang Chen put down this letter, a strong murderous aura flashing in his eyes. He never imagined Pillfire City would be so sinister. This secret letter was clearly a scheme against him. The so-called offer was pure hogwash. The stern threatening words in the latter part were designed to anger him. Furthermore, his enemies had clearly planned this in great detail. They'd wanted to anger him, to provoke his wrath, so that he would act in fury.
If Jiang Chen had crumpled the paper in his hands and used pill fire to destroy this letter, then the toxicity from the snake skin would have been ten times more violent. Even a powerhouse at the peak of the emperor realm would probably suffer from such a ferocious poison. Even a great emperor might suffer quite a bit if they'd entirely let their guard down.
"Pillfire City, you really don't show any mercy when clamping down on your opponents. It looks like Pillfire City's position as leader of the pill world has been maintained thanks to these shameless methods!" Jiang Chen seethed with anger. It had merely been a single challenge for the Longevity Pill, but now Pillfire City wanted to directly send him to the afterlife. This instantly ignited the flames of Jiang Chen's wrath!
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