Lin Ming toiled tirelessly once he realized that young lord Zhen didn’t bear any grudges against him. Moreover, the young lord had even told him to get to know Wei Jie more. It was an indication that the boss was tacitly accepted by the young lord. This incredibly motivated Lin Ming, and he even brought all of his most trusted men with him to personally escort the newly purchased slaves to Sacred Peafowl Mountain.
Jiang Chen had Xue Tong and the others await Lin Ming’s arrival at the entrance of Sacred Peafowl Mountain. The slaves were subdued, so Jiang Chen didn’t need to worry that they might rebel against their masters. After all, the Peafowl Guard could easily eliminate them at any moment’s notice. However, the slaves were still at the mercy of their owners even without the guards. This was because their ownership jade tokens were in their owner’s hands. The owner need only break the tokens in half to activate the restrictions within their consciousness. Their mind would then collapse, instantly killing them. The slaves would never do anything rash under such conditions, unless they were tired of living. Moreover, the owner could simply check the tokens at any moment to find out if they were planning to revolt.
The slaves had no choice but to resign to their fates and listen to their owner’s orders if they wanted to live. Pride and honor had no place in their life. The owner could kill them with the snap of a finger if they disobeyed his orders. However, Jiang Chen wasn’t such a tyrannical person. He’d bought these slaves, but he didn’t plan to enslave them for the rest of their lives. He actually disliked ordering the slaves around. It wasn’t that he believed that all life was equal, but he understood how difficult it was to be a cultivator. Becoming a slave after having cultivated for so long was a fate crueler than death.
The first thing he did was gather the slaves when they arrived at his residence. “I know not why or how you were reduced into slavery, but it is not my intention to enslave you for the rest of your lives. With that being said, I still require a lot of help, as my residence was only recently established. I hope that you will be responsible in all matters and do whatever it is you are asked to do. I will one day return your freedom and your lives back to you. You need not doubt the authenticity of my words. I guarantee that you will not spend more than a hundred years as slaves in my residence.”
Emotions began to appear on their expressionless faces when they heard his words. Emotions had ceased to be a part of them ever since they had been forced into slavery. They were humanoid tools. All they could feel was fear and obedience. A hint of skepticism appeared in the slaves’ eyes when they heard his promise. They were aware of the identity of their buyer. He was the young lord of Sacred Peafowl Mountain and also one of the most popular people of Veluriyam Capital. This was exactly the reason why they were incredibly nervous while they were on the road to his residence. There was no say what their life would be like at Sacred Peafowl Mountain. Young lord Zhen had a good reputation in the capital, but who knew what he was really like in private? Was he a tyrannical person with a short temper? Would he take his anger out on his slaves?
Slaves often led pitiful lives in aristocratic residences. They were treated as mere cultivation tools and were used as targets for skill testing. Some were even used as punching bags. Their masters would beat them whenever they were in a bad mood. It was difficult to gauge how many slaves were beaten to death in the Upper Eight Regions every day. A slave had no rights. The death of a slave was like the death of a mere hound. Nobody would ever question or investigate the matter, because a slave was nothing more than a commodity. They didn’t believe Jiang Chen one bit when he said those words. However, it was evident that he had a different attitude towards slaves compared to others.
“Maybe there are some amongst you that think that I’m lying or that I’m only putting on a show. But let me ask, what do I stand to gain by lying to you?” Jiang Chen cut straight to the point. “I’m not trying to get in someone’s good graces by promising you anything. I merely wanted to let you know that only I have the power to control your fate. And only I can grant you a new lease in life.”
“Some of you might ask why I’m doing this. I can only say that it’s because I understand that you have gone through all kinds of difficulties in order to reach your current cultivation level. Forever reduced into slavery must have been a fate worse than death for all of you.,I’m not fond of such cruelty. This is why I’m offering you an opportunity for a new life! But I will not do it unless you prove that you deserve it. If you dawdle around without any sincerity in your work then I can only apologize. You will have no choice but to be a slave for the rest of your life. I will not offer you the opportunity to turn your life around.” The meaning behind Jiang Chen’s words were clear. He wanted to unite these slaves from different backgrounds by offering them a common goal. It was impossible to brainwash them with the limited time that he had. So, the best way to achieve a similar effect was to entice them by offering their freedom back and a new lease on life. This was something all slaves craved. It was also the only thing they could look forward to. Jiang Chen glanced briefly through the crowd.
“I will now allow you three questions. Only three.” Jiang Chen gave them a stern look before he continued. “You better make them count.”
The slaves finally realized that the new young lord of Sacred Peafowl Mountain truly was different from all the other slave owners. Their icy cold hearts began to thaw, and their minds slowly unwinded themselves. The crowd quickly gathered together to discuss their questions. They sent out three representatives after fifteen minutes had passed. These three were the oldest and strongest amongst the slaves at the ninth level sage realm. They were a few hundred years old. It was obvious that they were very experienced cultivators. Elderly cultivators were often reduced into slavery either due to a painful past or because they had been backstabbed by others.
“Young lord, this old slave has a question.” A bearded grey-haired man was the first to speak. “Is it true that you will release us from slavery after a hundred years if we unite as one to serve under your banner?”
Everyone was dying to know the answer to this question. Jiang Chen nodded without hesitation. “You needn’t worry. You will be released as long as you pass the test and satisfy me with your service. It doesn’t have to be a hundred years. It’s possible that I might release you within fifty years, thirty years, or maybe even twenty years.”
There was no vagueness in his answer. The grey-haired man was satisfied. He nodded and returned to his original place. Another middle-aged man stepped up to ask the second question.
“Young lord, this lowly one is called Dan Qinzi. I only wish to ask if we are allowed to leave Sacred Peafowl Mountain after we regain our freedom.”
This was also a question that some were concerned about. What use would freedom be if they couldn’t leave this place? Jiang Chen smiled. “It’s your own choice whether you choose to leave or stay. What would people say if Sacred Peafowl Mountain were to prevent a person of free will from leaving?”
The slaves exchanged glances and communicated their thoughts with their eyes. Many seemed very content with the answers they’d received. The last person to step up was a big and burly man. He yelled, “Young lord! My surname is Tu! Everyone else calls me Ole Tu! It’s a given that we will serve you after you’ve bought us. However, I wish to ask if there’s anyone amongst you and your followers that has the habit of beating slaves.”
His boldness had grown bigger after hearing the young lord’s sincere answers. His question was also slightly more sensitive than the others.
Jiang Chen burst into laughter. “What, is there a trend in Veluriyam Capital for beating up slaves? I don’t know about others, but you need not worry about such matters in my residence. You are slaves in name, but you are more likely to be treated as a common follower. Nobody will give you any trouble as long as you work hard and do your job. Remember that you are now a member of the young lord residence. You should always act in the interest of the residence. I only ask for your loyalty and commitment. I don’t want to see anyone evade their responsibilities and create havoc within these walls. As long as you manage these things, you will one day see the light again as free men.”
Jiang Chen could have used strong-handed methods to make them obey, but he was well aware that such methods would often backfire after a period of time had passed. Most of his followers weren’t as powerful as these slaves, with the exception of Huang’er. There were many instances where a slave’s sage realm cultivation could be put to good use. Inflicting fear into them could make them obey, but it couldn’t motivate them to give their all. However, giving them encouragement and a taste of the good life could do exactly that. They weren’t going to be lazy or hide their true abilities so they could stand out and pass the test set by the young lord. The slaves were delighted. They had a feeling that young lord Zhen wasn’t lying to them. He seemed like a man who kept his promises.
“You three. Since you were sent out as representatives, you must be well respected by the others. I will temporarily set you as the leaders amongst the servants. Each of you will be in charge of fifty people. Naturally, somebody will divide the work up amongst all of you later.” Jiang Chen had given them a sweet taste of what was to come. Setting three of them as leaders might seem like a small matter, but there was an enormous meaning behind it. As expected, the slaves were elated when they heard Jiang Chen’s words. What did it mean to have one of them serve as a leader? It meant that the young lord was giving them the right to make their own decisions! It was now up to them to perform. The slaves had become infinitely more motivated. Hope had dawned and a new life awaited them.