Jiang Chen had no plans to bring Liu Wencai and Lu Yali with him. The former, especially, would benefit from further tempering in the outside world. Though talented, Liu Wencai lacked a certain degree of necessary experience. Jiang Chen had no need of his assistance around Taiyuan Tower. The only task he delegated to the budding swordsman was for Liu Wencai to refine his own strength. The quicker he unearthed his talents and perfected his skills, the better. Jiang Chen firmly believed that Liu Wencai had it in him and that hee would pull it off sooner or later.
Fatty Lu Yali, on the other hand, was decidedly average in all aspects. His potential was far outstripped by Liu Wencai’s. Jiang Chen gave him a post at Taiyuan Tower that was both comfortable and had a little authority. It served as a place to stay and was a comfortable arrangement. The little fatty did not have any particularly lofty goals. He was quite happy with this kind of lifestyle. Because Taiyuan Tower was on the path to become Veluriyam Capital’s leading pill faction, his own status would increase accordingly. He was living much more enjoyably than he had been at Myriad Spirit Sect, at any rate.
After finalizing the list of people that would leave with him, Jiang Chen took Shen Trifire aside separately for a few extra words of encouragement. “You have a lot of responsibility on your shoulders, Trifire. Many things cannot be accomplished in a day, but you must also have a clear purpose in mind that you can work towards. I hope that someday soon, you can take the reins yourself.”
Shen Trifire was a man whom Jiang Chen valued greatly, starting from the day of the former’s arrival at the Tower. He knew that the weighty assignment in his hands was there to forge him through future trials. There was no way he could refuse. He nodded to Jiang Chen. “Senior brother, do not worry. It is all thanks to you that my life is even my own right now. Whatever you ask, I will do it.”
“I rescued you because we are peers of the same sect. If you want to repay me, do it by working towards our common goal of resurrecting our sect. I hope that you all pitch in good effort, no matter how hopeless re-establishing and rejuvenating the sect might seem.” Jiang Chen did not want the disciples of Regal Pill Palace to be lost in Veluriyam Capital’s decadence. After all, the Palace was a sect with its own set of beliefs and traditions. Jiang Chen wanted his peers to reflect this mindset through their actions. Unfortunately, the others lacked somewhat in thisregard. If Shen Qinghong or Ling Bi’er were here, the hope of restoring the sect would have been greatly improved. Of course, Mu Gaoqi could be counted amongst that number as well. Jiang Chen was a little sad when he thought of his old friend. After his business in the Veluriyam Pagoda was finished, it was time for a trip to various places in the Upper Eight Regions.
He had two things to do there: one of them was to rescue Mu Gaoqi, and the other to find his father Jiang Feng. His father’s whereabouts was one of the heaviest things that had been weighing on his mind over the past few years. A spirit realm cultivator daring to wander the Upper Eight Regions… Jiang Chen didn’t want to think of the possible things that might have happened to him, sometimes. The more he did so, the more the possibilities scared him. But as a fellow man, he understood his father’s decision.
No hot-blooded man could simply stand around when his wife had been forcibly taken away by another. Anyone who could remain impassive in the face of such a tragedy wasn’t fit to be called a real man. As for rebuilding Regal Pill Palace, Jiang Chen knew that it wasn’t something that could be accomplished overnight. When his strength was perfected and he could finally reveal himself in broad daylight, only then would the time be ripe. Where were the others from the Palace now? Palace Head Dan Chi and Elder Yun Nie? He harbored no small concern for them, thinking of them now and again.
The palace head had treated him with generosity and kindness. He had been one of the visionaries with a large influence on the Myriad Domain’s fate. He had even prophesized that the future of the entire palace lay in Jiang Chen’s hands. Jiang Chen felt mildly apologetic towards the palace head whenever he remembered the past. Yes, the Eternal Celestial Capital and the Great Scarlet Mid Region’s invasion had been wholly unrelated to him, but he still felt that he’d let the other man down. It wasn’t out of any kind of moral reasoning, but rather, an emotional one. That was why he had ignored the risk and rescued Regal Pill Palace’s disciples. Doing so soothed his guilt, if just a little.
After putting Taiyuan Tower’s matters in order, Jiang Chen headed towards Sacred Peafowl Mountain with his guards and attendants. This was a mythical place, serving as a sacred existence for many. Before now, they’d never even dreamed that they would one day have the chance to stay here long term. Cloudsoar Monarch was waiting for him outside the Mountain. “Young lord Zhen, His Majesty is occupied at the moment. That is why I have been sent here to greet you.”
Jiang Chen had met the monarch several times before. “Is His Majesty not in at the moment?”
The monarch sighed. “He’s here, but His Majesty is… taking care of some business.” As if to avoid a misunderstanding, Cloudsoar Monarch explained further. “His Majesty is speaking with the Spirit Branch clan lord. Apparently, the clan lord is here to arrange a marriage… one that His Majesty is none too pleased about.”
“Arrange a marriage?” Jiang Chen was flabbergasted. “With whom?”
Cloudsoar Monarch smiled wryly. “You haven’t been here much before, young lord, so you may not know. His Majesty has a foster daughter that he’s raised as his own. Not many know, to tell the truth, but anyone under our wing generally does.”
“Are you talking about Miss Dan’er?” Jiang Chen suddenly remembered something. Hadn’t he visited someone like that alongside Ji San? There had been a quarrel with Spirit Branch Clan’s young lord, Miao Suo, as well.
Cloudsoar Monarch was stunned. “Young lord Zhen, you know Miss Dan’er?”
“I’ve both heard of her and paid her a visit with young master Ji San, but we haven’t actually met. Doesn’t she have a maid called Cui’er?”
“Yes, that’s her. The Spirit Branch clan lord has overestimated himself a little. He thinks that just because Emperor Peafowl found Miss Dan’er in the outside world, Miao Suo is somehow qualified enough to be her match. His Majesty doesn’t intentionally interfere with other’s relationships, but Miss Dan’er has no interest in that young master whatsoever. Personally, I think Miao Suo is trying to reach a bit out of his league.” Cloudsoar Monarch seemed a little unhappy about the affair.
Jiang Chen smiled but stayed silent. Miao Suo was tall and burly. It was unlikely that someone would fall in love with him based on his looks alone. Because he hadn’t actually seen Miss Dan’er, much less made her acquaintance, he wasn’t in a position to judge her opinions regarding such matters. Still, from his point of view, there was no way Miss Dan’er would find Miao Suo attractive. Even someone like young master Ji San was outside her consideration. How could Miao Suo have any hope whatsoever?
“Hah, well, sometimes His Majesty has to deal with some pretty minor things. Anyways, you can come with me.”
Nodding, Jiang Chen followed Cloudsoar Monarch into Sacred Peafowl Mountain’s interior grounds. Sacred Peafowl Mountain occupied a huge expanse of land. Though it was secluded from the outside world, there was no atmosphere of desolation. There were many residences available within. Naturally, the one reserved for Jiang Chen was one of the best. The conditions therein were ten times that of what Regal Pill Palace could have offered, all those years ago.
“Young lord Zhen, are you satisfied with your new home?” Cloudsoar Monarch chuckled. He was here to serve as Jiang Chen’s guide for a while.
The new young lord returned the laugh. “If I say no, I would be a liar.”
The monarch nodded. “Good, good. His Majesty instructed me to help you settle down, so come to me if you need anything. Ah, that’s right, you’re a young lord now. Besides the guards and attendants that you’ve brought with you, you can also buy a few slaves. It does not fit a man of your station to not have a few hundred at your beck and call.”
Jiang Chen smiled. He knew that Veluriyam Capital, as many places elsewhere, demanded ostentation and grandeur. Personal guards were only brought along on excursions and were otherwise free in terms of day-to-day tedium. Most menial jobs were assigned to slaves. The term ‘slave’ was one of the more undignified ways to address such people, and they were typically called ‘servants’ instead, or perhaps even ‘laborers’. Though followers and servants were both servile in nature, they were actually quite different. Followers just followed one around, but servants were essentially slaves, with little autonomy in regards to their work.
Staring at his enormous residence, Jiang Chen knew that the few followers he did have weren’t going to cut it. He didn’t like to keep slaves around, but he had to bring in new people somehow. Seeing that the young lord in his charge was satisfied, Cloudsoar Monarch hurriedly waved goodbye. “Young lord Zhen, there’s not many things left for me to do here. His Majesty will host an audience with you tomorrow. Please, do rest awhile before then. I have other duties I must attend to, so I will not disturb you any longer.”
Though he found it a little strange, Jiang Chen didn’t probe the monarch further. He was perfectly happy with his new home. It was ten times better than his old place at Regal Pill Palace, and he had been perfectly content with his previous residence back then. Thus, his satisfaction was magnified tenfold here as well.
“This residence is enormous, Gouyu. I’d like to task you to manage the details of our accommodations, just for the next while. Let’s try to fill this place up in the next couple of days.”
Gouyu nodded. She was an expert at dealing with such matters. “Young lord, how many slaves and servants do you intend to acquire?”
“Cloudsoar Monarch said at least a few hundred, but I think that’s a bit too much. One or two hundred is enough.” Jiang Chen grinned.
“So, we’ll have to make another trip off the mountain, right?” Gouyu giggled. “I wonder what particulars we’ll need to pay attention to when purchasing them?”
Jiang Chen inclined his head. “We’ll talk about the details later. Let’s settle everyone in first.”
Not many people had accompanied him to Sacred Peafowl Mountain, so the task of settling them down wasn’t difficult. Still, the residence seemed a little empty. On the plus side, it was quite a well-designed home. There were specific areas for growing spirit herbs, refining pills, and cultivating martial dao. Living areas were abundant as well, with no function missing from the complex.
After his friends were settled in, Jiang Chen wanted to take a short break before he went to visit Emperor Peafowl. Surprisingly, his first guest knocked at his door as soon as he was done. It was the eternal second place young lord of Sacred Peafowl Mountain: Zhou Yan. He had been second when young lord Fan had been around, and he was second once more now that Jiang Chen had moved in. Zhou Yan clearly possessed a strong mentality, though. There was no hint of sadness on his face.
“Senior brother Zhen, my arrival may have been a little hasty. Is my visit an inconvenience, perhaps?” The other young lord was the image of politeness.
“We are sect brothers, Brother Zhou. There is no need for so much courtesy. Please, come on in.” Though he hadn’t expected Zhou Yan’s visit, Jiang Chen returned the civility in equal measure nonetheless.