Chapter 78: The Third Mission
“Tiandu, pass on my royal decree. Send more men to lay in wait around the Jiang Han manor during the Hidden Dragon Trials and protect the Jiang Han Manor. Attend to this matter yourself and personally ensure Jiang Chen’s security from the shadows. Don’t let any threats approach Jiang Chen.”
Eastern Lu had never thought that this youth who had once made him feel extremely vexed and upset would, cause him, the ruler of a nation, to use the greatest manpower at his disposal to protect him on this day.
“Jiang Chen… just what kind of person are you?” Eastern Lu sank into deep contemplation for a while.
Severe reactions abounded in the capital at this moment.
The Hall of Healing was naturally beyond overjoyed. After all, the greater the strength that Jiang Chen possessed, the more they felt that their partnership with Jiang Chen was even more stable with an even brighter future..
However, there was no one happier than Jiang Feng. He had held down the fort alone in the capital during this time and had also been subjected to a lot of pressure.
Due to interference from the royal family, although the harassment from the Duke of Soaring Dragon had yet to become flagrantly blatant, it had still caused Jiang Feng to feel an inordinate amount of pressure.
Jiang Chen had been able to firmly suppress both Long Yinye and Long Juxue once during this mission. Even if it was only suppression on a minor detail, this still caused Jiang Feng to be quite happy.
“Chen’er, well done!” Jiang Feng had been not that optimistic with regards to Jiang Chen’s second mission, and hadn’t particularly known how things stood when Jiang Chen made a trip back to the Jiang Han territory.
He was very aware that he represented a sheet of iron in the Jiang Han territory, and that no one dared to create a disturbance when he was around. But when Jiang Chen went back, it was an unknown as to whether or not even the clan elders would listen to his arrangements, much less the big chieftains.
However, the truth had proven Jiang Feng’s worries to be extraneous.
Not only had Jiang Chen successfully controlled the situation, he had also conveniently wiped out Jing Man, who had been a big thorn in his side. One should either not make a move, or make a thorough and decisive move if one takes action.
Jiang Feng had to admit, with such boldness and methods, his son was even a bit stronger than himself when he was of a similar age.
Jiang Feng was very happy to have his son surpass him.
Jiang Feng had discovered that ever since that encounter at the Rites of Heavenly Worship, Jiang Chen’s entire being had undergone a change that was akin to turning the world upside down.
The Hidden Dragon Trials proceeded like a raging fire.
The time had finally arrived for the third mission. This mission was one in which all the participating heirs took part in.
The third mission: trials in the Boundless Catacombs.
The Boundless Catacombs were an amazing underground world in the northeast of the Eastern Kingdom.
Throughout the entire history of the Eastern Kingdom, these endless catacombs had never been fully excavated.
Even the most distinguished of practitioners in the Eastern Kingdom had never fully explored the Boundless Catacombs to the end.
No one knew if the Boundless Catacombs even had an end.
No one knew either where this end to the Boundless Catacombs was.
It was an underground world, and a heaven for the existence of underground creatures.
What was a heaven for underground creatures could very well turn into a one-way trip to hell for practitioners.
Jiang Chen was attempting a mission of the first rank and therefore the difficulty of this mission was the highest.
“Collect either one hundred green spirit pearls, ten silver spirit pearls, or one gold spirit pearl!” Jiang Chen was completely confused by the mission requirements.
It was a good that there was an introduction to the Boundless Catacombs at the bottom of the mission scroll.
All sorts of underground creatures lived in the Boundless Catacombs, one of which was a green winged swordbird, which had a spirit pearl glowing with a green light in its forehead.
Since the Boundless Catacombs were an underground world, they were dark and dank with exceedingly poor vision. The green spirit pearl in the forehead of the greenwing swordbird would give it a great advantage in this environment.
The silverwing swordbird was a variant of the greenwing swordbird, with the pearl on its forehead glowing with a silver light. The silverwing swordbird was the evolved form of the greenwing swordbird, and only one could be found for every hundred greenwing swordbirds.
The goldwing swordbird was the once again evolved form of the greenwing swordbird, the king of the greenwing swordbirds. Any single one of them possessed a strength that would be on par with a true qi master.
After perusing through the information on the Boundless Catacombs, Jiang Chen had formed a pretty good idea of what was going on.
Except, the information had also mentioned a numerous variety of creatures within the Boundless Catacombs. The greenwing swordbirds were merely one of the more common spirit creatures.
“All the heirs participating in the Hidden Dragon Trials listen carefully. Convene here tomorrow morning to head towards the Boundless Catacombs. The third mission will officially start in three days time.”
Princess Gouyu spoke loudly, “Remember the quota for your respective missions. The time allotted is one month. The mission will be deemed as a failure after one month. If you reach your quota early, you can leave ahead of time. Your lives and deaths are up to the will of the heavens in this mission. If you are afraid or cowardly, you can forfeit.”
The Hidden Dragon Trials had to do with the dukedom, it was impossible for anyone to forfeit.
The matter of life or death was never able to be avoided in the world of martial dao. Only through experiencing the trials of life and death was one able to grow.
“Alright, I’ve said all that needs to be said. Return to your manors tonight and convene here in the morning. Remember the time to gather, we will not wait if you are late!”
Jiang Chen shut himself in the secret training room upon returning to the manor.
This time’s mission was relatively more complex, and he had to make several preparations.
Jiang Chen was currently at the peak of eight meridians true qi. He would be able to break through to nine meridians true qi in three days at the least, and half a month at the most.
The second form of “Vast Ocean Current Splitter”, Wave Breaker, was becoming more and more familiar. Full of a pleasing quality, its battle capabilities were astounding when deployed.
The practice of “Divine Aeons Fist”, when compared to “Vast Ocean Current Splitter”, was progressing at a slightly faster pace. He had already trained to four cycles of blooming and wilting, the mysteries of four cycles of reincarnation.
Jiang Chen had also quite adeptly grasped the foundational movements of “Moonshatter Flying Daggers”.
Jiang Chen’s training in these four accompanying abilities had already progressed a bit, but he was still a far ways off from employing the mysteries of the “Moonshatter Flying Daggers” in an attack.
This so-called using the mysteries to attack was the true great move of this method.
“God’s Eye” was the most prominent ability that Jiang Chen had trained the fastest. As of now, he had already trained it to the fifth level .
“Ear of the Zephyr” was on the same level as “God’s Eye”. Jiang Chen had also trained it to the fifth level.
In the month that he’d trained in the Jian Han territory, “Boulder’s Heart” had finally broken through to the second level and successfully entered the third level.
There was no way that Jiang Chen could even attempt “Psychic’s Head” before entering the realm of spirit dao.
Jiang Chen took stock of his various methods and techniques, confident that even if he met a true qi master, he would be able to directly confront him.
Did a true qi master truly exist amongst all the heirs?
Jiang Chen didn’t dare think too optimistically, but neither was he overly pessimistic. Even if Long Yinye and Long Juxue entered the ranks of the true qi masters, Jiang Chen would still be able to exchange a round or two with them by himself.
“The ranking of the dukes will commence after the third mission is complete. No matter if it’s Long Yinye or Long Juxue, they are sure to have many trump cards, as they are heirs to the Duke of Soaring Dragon. How will I fight them in the ranking battles if I don’t improve my training to the best of my abilities?”
Jiang Chen discovered that even though the speed of advancements in his training since reincarnation could be described as miraculous, he still had to expend great effort in catching up to the gaps that had formed previously.
“There’s still one more month and anything is possible. The Boundless Catacombs are the first true trials of my life. Perhaps my potential will only be stimulated to the next level in the midst of a real battle?”
Jiang Chen was in high and vigorous spirits as he fully made his preparations.
Apart from the advantages in martial dao methods, Jiang Chen also took inventory of his equipment.
The Layered Feather Throwing Daggers that Princess Gouyu had gifted him, as well as the Skysilk Armor were necessary items to take along, as well as the nameless saber raided from Du Ruhai’s house. It was Jiang Chen’s personal weapon now, and naturally never left his side.
In addition, Jiang Chen would not give up the dao of poison. Until his martial dao had reached perfection, this was one of his advantages.
Some of his specially mixed poisons would have life-saving effects in critical moments.
After finishing his inventory count, Jiang Chen sat down cross-legged and once again started circulating his qi, forging his meridians, and training his true qi.
Peak of eight meridians true qi. Jiang Chen tried continuously to assail and find that moment of inspiration for a breakthrough.
When training in martial dao, a breakthrough wasn’t as easy as eating or sleeping. Even those with extraordinary potential needed a bout of comprehension and a catalyst to set a foot through that threshold.
Breakthroughs would never come knocking randomly.
He spent the first half of the night tempering his true qi and the second half of the night meditating with closed eyes. A night quickly passed by.
Jiang Chen walked out of the secret room early next morning, taking his leave from his father and arranging all his personal guards within the manor.
The third mission did not allow for the presence of personal guards.
He arrived at the convening point and, escorted by the royal army, the entire entourage set out for the northeast part of the kingdom, the location of the Boundless Catacombs!
Within the Soaring Dragon manor.
“Your Lordship, your subordinate has already come to a covert agreement with Hidden Hand. They will send four true qi masters and we’ll pay double the rate.”
“Four true qi masters? Good!” Long Zhaofeng nodded and smiled. “Hidden Hand isn’t an assassin organization from Eastern Kingdom. Even if Eastern Lu wishes to pursue the matter afterwards, he won’t be able to trace it to us.”
“Heh heh, the duke is wise and brilliant.”
“Long Yi, my apologies to you in this matter. Long San was your brother and you should’ve been the one to take revenge for this matter. Don’t take it badly that you’ll be unable to personally take your revenge.”
“The duke’s great plans take precedence over everything.” Long Yi was a thin man with a gaze like that of knives, but exceedingly humble before Long Zhaofeng.
“I promise you that when my matters succeed in the future, the Jiang family will be handed over to you for you brothers to dispose of. They will be one Jiang Chen short, but the rest of the Jiang family clan will be unable to escape.”
“Jiang family!” A cold killing intent shot out from Long Yi’s eyes.
“Oh right, Long Yi, have you finished selecting the candidates yet? This matter must be kept airtight, with people having no evidence, even if they speculate it is us.”
“I’ve selected them, four unremarkable heirs. Hidden Hand always conducts their affairs in a clean and crisp manner, without revealing any traces. The results of the matter will be that the four heirs failed in their trials and were eaten by fierce beasts.”
Long Yi’s voice was remote, as if other people’s lives were less than those of ants in his eyes.
Long Zhaofeng laughed heartily. “Jiang Chen, let’s see how you’ll be able to avoid the all extensive nets above and snares below! Eastern Lu, you’re pointing at the Jiang family to be your foot soldiers, looks like you’re out of cards in your hands?”