Chapter 855: The Wood Demon Tribe
Holy King Mu's words sent everyone into a daze. Pill King Zhen was actually Jiang Chen? What kind of far-fetched joke was this? Wasn't Jiang Chen a mere genius from a fourth-rank sect? He shouldn't be at such a level even though he was moderately talented.
"Jiang Chen? Impossible! He's admittedly quite cunning, but how could he produce such a grand spectacle with his meager abilities? Even Pill King Ji Lang of Pillfire City wasn't his match."
"Indeed. It isn't quite possible for Regal Pill Palace to produce such a genius with their modest heritage." Those assembled successively expressed their lingering doubt towards Holy King Mu's deduction. It wasn't so surprising that the people had their misgivings. In their eyes, Jiang Chen was only a genius who was relatively adept at using the time and terrain to his advantage.
Wiping out Gong Wuji's group had been Jiang Chen's greatest feat of strength. But everyone knew that it wasn't because Jiang Chen had been exceptionally strong. Rather, it was because he had made use of the Infant Shriek's topography to poison his enemies with the Divine Befuddlement Miasma. Those who knew about the incident at Mt. Rippling Mirage were naturally aware that Jiang Chen had ways to deal with the poison of the Divine Befuddlement Miasma. That was all.
But the things Pill King Zhen had done were obviously on a much higher level. He was a genius that even Emperor Peafowl favored greatly. How could that boorish Jiang Chen hold a candle to him? Thus, everyone felt that this deduction wasn't quite reliable. They couldn't accept this in the depths of their hearts. If Jiang Chen was indeed Pill King Zhen, the Eternal Celestial Capital would have no way to deal with him seeing as how he had Emperor Peafowl as his supporter. This was something they'd never be able to accept.
Holy King Mu disregarded everyone's doubts. "I'll not change my stance on this, regardless of what you all think of this matter. I will definitely investigate the origins of this Pill King Zhen."
Others didn't dare comment but, as a peer, Holy King Ke Sheng couldn't help but point out, "Brother Mu, I'm not against you investigating this matter, but you must know your limits. Neither you nor I can bear this responsibility if things get out of hand and we draw the attention of Sacred Peafowl Mountain."
The Eternal Celestial Capital possessed experts as abundant as the clouds, but Sacred Peafowl Mountain boasted no less. The Eternal Celestial Capital's strength was, at most, half that of Veluriyam Capital's assets. It was rather unwise to offend the latter. What's more, the Eternal Celestial Capital had incurred the wrath of Pillfire City.
From their perspective, they wouldn't have landed in such a situation if the meddlesome Eternal Celestial Capital hadn't given them this Longevity Pill recipe in the first place. Neither would Pillfire City have lost so much face after having their unbeatable status broken. Even a legendary character like Pill King Ji Lang had been defeated! Pillfire City naturally wouldn't shift all the blame for their humiliation onto the Eternal Celestial Capital, but they would inevitably take it out on the sect to a certain extent. The Eternal Celestial Capital didn't want to put themselves directly in the firing lines of both sides.
Holy King Mu snorted coldly, "The reminder is unnecessary. I always act with due propriety. Do you lot realize that, if Pill King Zhen is indeed Jiang Chen, he's most likely obtained Emperor Featherflight's inheritance—something that our Eternal Celestial Capital and Ninesuns Sky Sect have been pursuing for thousands of years?"
Everyone fell silent because they had no way of refuting this statement. It had become a different matter, now that the long sought-after inheritance of Emperor Featherflight was involved. They might not necessarily covet Emperor Featherflight's own inheritance, but the latter had once obtained the inheritance of an empyrean cultivator. That inheritance was specifically what the Eternal Celestial Capital and Ninesuns Sky Sect had been pursuing for thousands of years. They'd even gone to great lengths to plot against the Myriad Domain for this. But their thousand-year arrangement might have all been for naught in the end, and they might have even sustained losses instead!
This was especially true for the Eternal Celestial Capital. They had lost a holy king, a batch of elites and had even thrown in their puppet, the Great Scarlet Mid Region. Many major sects from the Great Scarlet Mid Region had accompanied Gong Wuji as he chased after Jiang Chen, and all were buried within Infant Shriek that day. The most infuriating aspect was that Jiang Chen had cut off the victims' heads and had them transported to the Great Scarlet Emperor. It was said that the Great Scarlet Emperor nearly spat out blood on the spot. This was a great humiliation to both the Great Scarlet Empire and the Eternal Celestial Capital.
Holy King Ke Sheng asked solemnly, "Brother Mu, did Emperor Featherflight's inheritance really land in Jiang Chen's hands?"
"I can't be completely certain, but it's quite likely because the pawn we'd planted in the Darknorth Sect died that day as well. It's highly unlikely that this well-trained agent would've died without encountering a major incident. Furthermore, Jiang Chen once mentioned Lin Hai's name to Gong Wuji, which goes to show that he was aware of Lin Hai's status as our undercover agent. But Lin Hai wouldn't have exposed himself for no reason. It's highly likely that he'd found Emperor Featherflight's inheritance but was ultimately unable to overcome Jiang Chen. Of course, all of this is just my speculation, but I feel that it's quite reasonable."
Admittedly, Holy King Mu's theory was fairly reasonable. He hadn't had much to do in recent days and had been continuously mulling over this matter. It was no wonder that he was able to piece together all the important clues and come up with this deduction.
Holy King Ke Sheng frowned, "If he has indeed obtained Emperor Featherflight's inheritance, then it becomes quite likely that Pill King Zhen is Jiang Chen in disguise."
"Yes, how otherwise did this genius suddenly appear in Veluriyam Capital? He must've obtained a heaven-defying inheritance." Holy King Mu was quite certain of his theory.
"Then we should really look deeper into this Pill King Zhen's background," Holy King Ke Sheng nodded at Holy King Mu Shen. "Should we report this matter to the sect head and have him dispatch more people?"
"I think we have enough manpower. We'll plan this slowly. It's easier to be discovered if too many people are involved. I heard that Emperor Peafowl has extremely terrifying insight. The current scale of our operation is already quite dangerous. His discerning eyes might see through us if we mobilize more people." Holy King Mu was quite cautious.
The others nodded successively, and Holy King Mu said to Holy King Bei, "Holy King Bei, you can be considered a local boss in this area. You should ask around more about this Pill King Zhen and relay any clues you find about him to us. We'll ambush and capture him once we're able to track his whereabouts and immediately bring him to the Eternal Celestial Capital. We can always let him go secretly if we're proven wrong."
"Either way, we have to exercise extreme caution. We definitely can't expose our movements." Everyone agreed to continue working in secret after much discussion.
A month's seclusion passed by quickly. Jiang Chen had spent nearly twenty days refining the Featherflight wings and another ten to comprehend the Featherflight Tactics. He then spent the remaining time nurturing the Pentacolor Divine Swords. Jiang Chen had formed a solid connection with the Pentacolor Divine Swords after a month of painstaking effort. It had become more familiar with Jiang Chen and was gradually fusing with him. Although a sword spirit hadn't yet developed, Jiang Chen believed that, at the current rate of fusion, it might eventually be possible one day. A divine weapon was only truly complete after giving birth to a spirit.
After exiting his isolation, he decided that he wouldn't bring along anyone other than Huang'er this time. The Goldbiter Rats and Long Xiaoxuan were, of course, an exception. He chatted with Shen Trifire about matters regarding Taiyuan Tower and also spoke briefly with the Wei father and son duo. His explanation was that he was planning to wander outside for a period of time and look for something, but didn't offer any detailed explanation regarding his reasons.
Pill King Lu Feng repeatedly pleaded to go along with Jiang Chen, but only received a scolding in return. In the end, he was helpless and could only behave obediently. Jiang Chen used a carrot and stick approach, later giving the old man a Deviant Pill Faction pill recipe. The ecstatic "old brat" couldn't stop grinning from ear to ear. Before leaving, he also briefly informed young master Ji San of his plans. The latter immediately offered to go along with him but Jiang Chen tactfully declined.
"Brother Ji, I want to keep things as low profile as possible for this journey. You can just pretend that we never had this conversation. I'll keep the clan head's matter in mind. It'll be a great fortune if I can find an Invisible Chameleon Cloudpine."
Young master Ji San didn't insist on the matter and only wished Jiang Chen well on his journey. His final stop was naturally Emperor Peafowl. Emperor Peafowl smiled faintly, "You're traveling?"
Jiang Chen was startled, "Your Majesty is already aware?"
"I wasn't certain but I made an educated guess from certain clues. Where do you plan to go this time?"
"I want to return to my homeland." Jiang Chen replied truthfully.
"The Myriad Domain?" Emperor Peafowl's eyes gaze shifted but didn't say much. "Do you need me to dispatch some people to follow you?"
Jiang Chen shook his head, "My training would be meaningless with Your Majesty's people escorting me everywhere. I only came to inform Your Majesty that I will return in time for the Veluriyam Pagoda opening six months from now, lest Your Majesty thinks I've broken my promise."
"Haha, I rarely make errors when judging people. I wouldn't hold you in such high regard if you were one to break promises." Emperor Peafowl was a fairly unconstrained person and didn't stop Jiang Chen. "Take care."
Jiang Chen nodded but after a moment of thought, he added, "Your Majesty, there's one thing I must bring to your attention."
Jiang Chen replied seriously, "The demon race you were worried about has already appeared. According to my knowledge, there's a subdivision of the demon race called the Wood Demons. I've found certain clues regarding said tribe near Veluriyam Capital, but I've dealt with them already."
"What?! Wood Demons?!" Emperor Peafowl was greatly astonished. "You've heard of the Wood Demons?"
Jiang Chen could only laugh wryly after seeing Emperor Peafowl's strong reaction. "I've only heard a little bit about them from my teacher."