Regardless of the reliability of the news or whether it was even relevant, it was still very important. Jiang Chen couldn’t ignore it no matter what.
“Shopkeeper Niu, was this mission widespread?” He couldn’t help but ask.
“The Tilted Moon Region is situated in the northwestern region of the Upper Eight Regions, so few people in Veluriyam Capital know about this. However, this mission was somewhat known to the areas north of the Upper Eight Regions. Of course, the news didn’t travel very far since it was considered minor. No one thought much of it even if it was brought up during a conversation. The only reason it was even mentioned was because a first-rank sect was involved. Had it been a second or third-rank sect, no one would have mentioned it at all.”
A first-rank sect normally earned more attention because there weren’t many true first-rank powers in the Upper Eight Regions. Veluriyam Capital was located to the south of the Upper Eight Regions, whereas the Tilted Moon Region was situated to the northwest. As the crow flew, they were about 300,000 miles apart. If someone were to travel on foot from Veluriyam Capital to the Tilted Moon Region, they would have to walk at least a million miles. If one were to factor in the potential mishaps during such a long journey, then it was literally impossible for a normal person to travel from Veluriyam Capital to the Tilted Moon Region without taking at least three to five years.
Jiang Chen thought about all this carefully. “Are you sure that you’ve heard nothing about the person who posted the bounty since?”
“Mm, I have heard nothing about him since. He’s probably a long ways away from Veluriyam Capital now. His cultivation wasn’t very high, and considering his strength, he would probably have to travel at least seven to eight years to reach the Tilted Moon Region. If he was looking for the holy maiden of Moon God Sect, then his final destination must be the Tilted Moon Region, right?”
Because he had no idea who this person was to young master Ji San, Niu Wuhua didn’t dare make a careless comment. Frankly speaking, he quite doubted that the poster could make it to the Tilted Moon Region alive. To travel from Bluesky Nation to the Tilted Moon Region was to traverse more than half of the Upper Eight Regions. It was just too unlikely for a weak cultivator to reach the Tilted Moon Region without running into any troubles at all. The chances of success were almost nonexistent.
Moreover, the poster had obviously never heard of this rumor regarding Moon God Sect. Therefore, he might not even be aware that he should start his search by travelling to the Tilted Moon Region. Jiang Chen was content with what he’d learned from Niu Wuhua, even though the intelligence was somewhat indefinite. It had all happened far too long ago. That Niu Wuhua even remembered some of it was quite impressive already. It would be entirely normal if he’d forgotten about the details of a small bounty from almost ten years ago.
The Tilted Moon Region, Moon God Sect. Jiang Chen quietly repeated the words to himself. He had already made up his mind to check it out. In any case, if he wanted to travel there, he would have to pass through Pillfire City. Pillfire City was situated in the north of the Upper Eight Regions, whereas the Tilted Moon Region was found to the northwest of Pillfire City.
Of course, he could also choose not to pass through Pillfire City. There was a desolate, ten-thousand mile stretch of mountain ranges to the south of the Tilted Moon Region. If he chose to go down that path, he would have to pass through desolate and uninhabited mountain ranges. Mountain ranges like these were normally ripe with all sorts of monsters and extremely dangerous to traverse. Therefore, most cultivators who wished to go to the Tilted Moon Region chose to pass through Pillfire City.
Jiang Chen had already mentally mapped out a route. He would head to Pillfire City first and save Mu Gaoqi. Then, he would go northwest to the Tilted Moon Region and inquire about the Moon God Sect.
“Steward Niu, your intel is very useful to me. Where does Grand Steward Dong Sheng live right now?” Jiang Chen asked.
Niu Wuhua felt a spike of joy when he heard Jiang Chen asking about Dong Sheng’s dwelling. He knew that the young master was going to defend him now. For a moment, he was so excited that he wasn’t sure what to do. The only thing he thought of lately were ways to reject Dong Sheng’s demands. He hadn’t actually thought of plotting against the grand steward. Therefore, he was actually at a loss when Jiang Chen asked him what he wanted.
“Tell me, what is your bottom line?” Jiang Chen smiled faintly.
“My bottom line is to protect my share and not let Dong Sheng take everything. Plus, he’s absolutely unqualified to run the Prancing Pony’s business.”
Manager Qiu also echoed these sentiments. “The grand steward’s actions show that he’s too selfish. He allows his idiotic brother-in-law to cause chaos in the inn just for the sake of his own goals. The current inn is a foul place to be in.”
“If that’s so, then let us have Dong Sheng surrender his own share,” Jiang Chen said indifferently.
“Ah?” Niu Wuhua was stunned by those words.
Manager Qiu’s mind also blanked for a moment, his mouth falling open in disbelief. Have Dong Sheng give up his own share? Wasn’t this turnaround a little too abrupt? He was demanding they hand over their share. But the young master was going to completely turn the tables on him? Was that even possible?
Niu Wuhua smiled wryly. “Young master, that Dong Sheng… seems to have some powerful backers. I hear that the vice city lord of Goldtower City has a son who’s close to Dong Sheng. It appears that they’re sworn brothers.”
“Vice city lord?” Jiang Chen looked startled. “Does the vice city lord have the final say in Goldtower City?”
Niu Wuhua started, then shook his head involuntarily. “Not really, the city lord is normally the one who has the final say, although there are some exceptions. After all, this is Bluesky Nation. The monarch of Bluesky Nation is the one who has the final say when major events are involved.”
“Then there’s no problem, is there? If the vice city lord himself can’t decide what goes in Goldtower City, then what can the son of this vice city lord possibly do?” Jiang Chen smiled. “How about this? I’ll visit Bluesky Nation’s palace myself while the rest of you wait here for my good news.”
He decided to settle this matter once and for all. He did owe Niu Wuhua a favor, so it was his responsibility to settle this properly. Judging from Niu Wuhua and Manager Qiu’s tone, Dong Sheng was probably younger and wilder than they were. He was also seemingly no slouch when it came to socialization, given his sworn brotherhood with the son of the vice city lord. He must be a silver tongued cunning rascal.
If a person like this saw hope, he would use hook and crook to work towards his goal. Even if Jiang Chen forced him to cough up his business shares, he would definitely cause trouble for Niu Wuhua and Manager Qiu in the future. Therefore, simple oppression wasn’t the most appropriate solution. Jiang Chen had to find a way to scare Dong Sheng so much that he wouldn’t even muster the thought of resistance. That was the only way he could settle this matter once and for all.
The royal palace of Bluesky Nation was heavily guarded. At the Eastern Palace where the crown prince lived, a few sorry-looking pill masters were shifting awkwardly at its doorstep, clearly dejected and depressed. They looked like they couldn’t wait to sprout wings and fly away.
“Trash, all of you are trash! How can the nation achieve great things if you lot are the kind of people we keep?” A young man with flawless skin, wearing official, ceremonious robes and a golden crown yelled angrily after the group of pill masters. The young man rained a torrent of abuse on the elderly pill masters, but not one of them dared to rebuke him. Instead, they kept their heads bowed and shuffled towards the door.
“Your Highness, they’ve already done all they can. It is not their fault that the pill is too difficult to refine,” an elderly voice advised from the side.
It was only then the young man stopped swearing and waved his hands impatiently. “Get out, get as far away from me as you can!”The pill masters immediately poured out of the palace as if pardoned from a terrible crime.
The young man’s kindly face turned beet red with anger when he saw their hurried exit. He sighed towards a nearby elder. “Grand Tutor, it seems that I have to make a trip to Veluriyam Capital. There is only so much the pill kings of Bluesky Nation can do. I hear Veluriyam Capital has produced many amazing pill kings as of late, and the new young lord of Sacred Peafowl Mountain is even heralded as a future pill emperor of the pill industry. Even the invincible legend of Pillfire City was defeated by this young lord.”
The elder smiled wryly. “Your Highness, Bluesky Nation is but one of the many nations ruled by Veluriyam Capital. I doubt we can even be compared to those first rate great clans. No problems will arise if you simply wish to visit the pill kings of Veluriyam Capital, but if you wish to visit young lord Zhen, I fear that…”
The elder didn’t continue, but the unspoken words were clear. You may be the crown prince of Bluesky Nation, but you’re still not important enough. Even the monarch of Bluesky Nation couldn’t meet young lord Zhen anytime he wanted to.
The prince seemed to be aware that he wasn’t important enough, grumbling. “It’s not like I’m visiting him out of self interest.” He sighed. “Everybody says that that young lord Zhen is a kind, friendly person who respects the wise. These days you can hear everyone under Veluriyam Capital’s rule praising him everywhere you go. I hear it so often calluses have started growing on my ears. So there must be some truth behind those praises, right? There’s no reason for him to close the door on my face, is there?”
While they were speaking, a palace attendant suddenly rushed in to report. “Your Highness, a strange person has requested to see you outside the entrance of the Eastern Palace.”
“A strange person?” The prince looked confused. “Who is it?”
“This servant doesn’t know.” The palace attendant looked just as confused.
“What? You came in to report to me without even checking who he is? And, how did he even make it in here?” The inner section of the palace was heavily guarded. It was impossible for a stranger of unknown origins to make it all the way to the Eastern Palace. So where had this strange person come from?
The palace attendant turned deathly pale. He stuttered. “I… I’ll tell the guards to chase him out right away.”
“A moment, Your Highness.” The elder suddenly spoke. “The fact that this person can come all the way without being detected proves that he also has the ability to come and go as he wishes. But the fact that he sent someone to report his arrival means that he isn’t entirely inconsiderate. Since we may not necessarily be able to chase away someone like him, we may as well meet with him instead.”
This old man was the prince’s teacher. Therefore, the crown prince was more receptive towards his advice.
“Send him in.” Frowning in thought for a moment, the prince decided that his teacher’s words made a lot of sense.
A while later, an average-looking fighter strode into the hall. When he saw the prince, he smiled and clasped his hands together carelessly. “Well met, crown prince of Bluesky Nation.”
The palace attendants next to the prince immediately scolded the newcomer harshly when they saw how rude he was.
“Insolence! Why do you not bow immediately when you see the prince?”
“Where do you come from, barbarian?! How dare you act like this before the prince?”