Shen Gongbao immediately nodded upon hearing the words. He was born smart, so he got the point. However, he still had some doubts, so he asked, "Master, I understand what you said, but I'm afraid that when Jiang Ziya gains power one day, the Clan of Enlightenment will develop vigorously in Xiqi. As a result, it will inevitably impact the position of our Western Religious Sect in Xiqi. What should we do then?"
Zhunti nodded with a smile. Shen Gongbao was cautious and thoughtful. He served Western Religious Sect wholeheartedly. Then Zhunti said, "Your worries are understandable, but we have to join hands with the Clan of Enlightenment. Before that, you just need to do one thing to hold firm your position in Xiqi."
Shen Gongbao thought for a while. Suddenly, an idea struck his mind. He laughingly said, "I understand. Master, you want me to help Bo Yikao save his father, the Marquis of the West Ji Chang. Then I'll become the savior of the entire Xiqi. Ji Chang and his son will naturally have more faith in me as well. Even if Jiang Ziya is put in an important position, he will just be a talent that I recommended for Xiqi. In that case, the Western Religious Sect will have equal shares of honor with the Clan of Enlightenment in Xiqi at least, if not more than it."
Seeing that Shen Gongbao was quick-witted, Zhunti guffawed. Shen Gongbao, I haven't misjudged you. However, it's not easy to save Ji Chang. On the occasion, Bo Yikao will surely go to Zhaoge in person. I intended to divine, but the secrets of heaven are in chaos. I'm afraid that it's hard to predict whether this trip is a blessing or a curse. You will then request to go with him to keep him safe."
Shen Gongbao nodded after hearing Zhunti's words. The time limit of seven years was approaching. If Zhaoge had no intention to release Ji Chang, Bo Yikao would surely go to Zhaoge and make atonement for his father. Since King Zhou was fatuous and moody, no one knows if this trip was a blessing or a curse. If Bo Yikao died, everything Shen Gongbao had in Xiqi will be affected.
After bidding farewell to Zhunti, Shen Gongbao returned to Xiqi that very night. Soon after he arrived home, he began to deduce the fate of Bo Yikao. However, as his master Zhunti had said, he could not figure out. Looking at the bright falling moon, Shen Gongbao frowned and began to plan how to save Marquis of the West Ji Chang, which was an important event for both him and the Western Religious Sect.
By daybreak, Shen Gongbao already had a plan for how to save Ji Chang. He looked to the room where Jiang Ziya lived and sighed, "Oh Ziya, the will of Heaven always makes fools of people. If we first learned from the same master, we would be honest with each other today. However, as the Way of Heaven is changeable, I can't help it."
On the next morning, Shen Gongbao had someone to invite the Jiang's for dinner. At the table, Shen Gongbao asked with a smile, "My brother, I wonder whether you had a good rest last night. Anything you feel uncomfortable, you are free to tell me, and I'll ask them to rearrange. Make yourself at home, otherwise, you are treating me like an outsider."
Jiang Ziya waved his hand and chuckled. "My family was poor since young. Later, after I left my master and went down the mountain, if nt for my sworn brother Song Yiren, I would live in poverty. I now live in your house, which is far better than my former residence, so I can't be more pleased."
Hearing the words, Shen Gongbao nodded and said with a smile, "That's fine. If you're neglected, it'll be my fault." Shen Gongbao paused and continued to say, "Brother, after breakfast, you can get changed and go to Hou Mansion with me. We'll pay a formal visit to Bo Yikao, and then I'll introduce you to him. As for what you can do, it depends on your skills."
Jiang Ziya was elated to hear that. "Thank you, my brother. Actually, during the years in Mount Kunlun, when my master found that I could hardly achieve any accomplishments in the study of Taoism, he asked me to work hard at state-governing strategies and military tactics. As a result, I'm quite experienced in both aspects." When it came to this, Jiang Ziya showed a confident look.
Seeing this, Shen Gongbao also smiled. He was no good at either the military or administrative affairs, so Jiang Ziya could make up for this deficiency. However, if he wanted to make Jiang Ziya more grateful to him, he needed to use some means. After breakfast, Shen Gongbao asked someone to send new clothes to Jiang Ziya and then led him to Hou Mansion.
In Hou Mansion, Bo Yikao was discussing saving his father with his younger brother Ji Fa. The time limit of seven years was approaching, however, according to the report of the spy in Zhaoge, King Zhou had no intention to release his father Ji Chang. Besides, no one mentioned this matter in court. Both Bo Yikao and Ji Fa were worried, so they got together trying to find a way out.
At this time, a guard came to report. "My Lords, Imperial Master is at the door and asks to see you. He also brought a man and said that he was the talent recommended for Xiqi." Hearing that, Bo Yikao laughed and said, "The Imperial Master always thinks of our Xiqi and recommends talents for us. Hurry up and invite them in." Ji Fa also followed him with a smile.
After a short while, Shen Gongbao walked in with Jiang Zhiya. Seeing Bo Yikao and Ji Fa, they bowed and said, "Shen Gongbao (Jiang Ziya) greets you, Princes." Bo Yikao and Ji Fa were puzzled to see Jiang Ziya next to Shen Gongbao, as Jiang Ziya looked like 70 years old, not like the decent immortals recommended by Shen Gongbao before.
Though they had doubts, Shen Gongbao personally brought him after all. To be respectful, Bo Yikao said, "Please take your seats." After they two were seated, Bo Yikao asked, "Imperial Master, I wonder where the Taoist Priest you introduced has cultivated and what kind of Magic Skills he has." While Ji Fa was rather curious and stared at Jiang Ziya up and down.
Shen Gongbao smiled. "My Lords, allow me to introduce my friend, with Jiang being his family name and Shang his first name, and he styles himself Ziya. I met him in my early years on the way to find a master. Unfortunately, Heaven was not harsh and separated us. Later, I became the disciple of Sage Zhunti while he became the disciple of Sage Jade Pure. We didn't meet until yesterday. Since you value the talents, I come specially to recommend him."
Bo Yikao and Ji Fa were surprised to hear that as Shen Gongbao always introduced those who were in the same clan as himself or those Individual Cultivators who were his friends. But they didn't think that Shen Gongbao would recommend a member of the Clan of Enlightenment to them, even the disciple of Sage Jade Pure. How could they not be surprised? Seeing Shen Gongbao behave with perfect composure, they two couldn't help admiring his broad mind.
Although they two were mortals, as the sons of Marquis of the West, they were experienced and knowledgeable. They knew that four tribes, including the Tribe of Humanity, the Clan of Enlightenment, the Tribe of Severity and Western Religious Sect, all preached in the Human Tribe and fought both with open and secret means. Just looking at the Shang Dynasty, then people would know that the Tribe of Severity was dominant while the other three tribes were rare to see. Even if there were any, they were not just any high officials.
Now Shen Gongbao put aside the factionalism and recommended the disciple of the Clan of Enlightenment for Xiqi, which surely surprised Bo Yikao and Ji Fa. Bo Yikao became serious and asked Jiang Ziya, "Taoist Priest Jiang, since you're the disciple of Sage Jade Pure, you must have learned a lot of Teachings of the Jade Pure One. We don't know what skills you have, so would you share some with us, also to increase our knowledge? And then we'll offer you a post."
Hearing the words, Jiang Ziya said, "Princes, I'm ashamed that although I'm lucky to be the disciple of The Sage, as my aptitude is not good, I haven't gotten somewhere in The Way of Celestial Immortality. I've learned some magic arts, but not so good as those of my brother, Shen Gongbao. Therefore, I'd better not show myself up. However, when I was in Mount Kunlun, I studied state-governing strategies and military tactics on my own, and had the honor to read the military book Mysterious Lady of the Nine Heavens gave to Xuanyuan the Yellow Emperor, from which I benefited a lot."
Both Bo Yikao and Ji Fa were shocked by what Jiang Ziya had said. They did not expect that Jiang Ziya would have the honor to read the military book Mysterious Lady of the Nine Heavens gave to Xuanyuan the Yellow Emperor. One knows that no one had seen the military book since Xuanyuan the Yellow Emperor read it but Jiang Ziya did. However, thinking it over, it made sense. Guang Chengzi was once the teacher of Xuanyuan, so he kept a copy of the military book. Later, Jiang Ziya became his junior, so Guang Chengzi gave it to Jiang Ziya.
Seeing Jiang Ziya was so talented, Bo Yikao finally said after thinking for a long time, "Since Taoist Priest Jiang Daochang has much knowledge about the military tactics, then I give you the Ordinary Grand Master and allow you to participate in politics. What do you think?" Although Jiang Ziya was recommended by Shen Gongbao, and the disciple of The Sage, he made no contributions to Xiqi. As a result, it was inappropriate to rashly give him a high position. Giving him the Ordinary Grand Master already exceptional.
Jiang Ziya was elated to hear it, as the Ordinary Grand Master was one rank higher than the Primary Grand Master he once wanted to be. But Shen Gongbao said, "Prince, his talent is competent in managing a state, and Ordinary Grand Master is not comparable. For the sake of me, please put him into an important position, and I'll be grateful." What Shen Gongbao said made all the other three present shocked.