Jiang Chen’s offer was generous. In fact, in certain ways, what he promised in return was more valuable than the stones themselves.
Therefore, Imperial Prince Huo could scarcely believe his ears. He exchanged a glance with Chief Warden Ding, silently confirming that the other had heard the same thing before falling into deep thought.
It was an offer they couldn’t resist.
Spirit stones were consumables. Once used, they were gone. There was no heritage to speak of, and they contributed nothing to Rejuvenation’s foundations.
They would either make Rejuvenation nouveau riche, or bring doom to their home. A double-edged sword, so to speak.
On the flip side, what the young lord promised would benefit Rejuvenation in the long term. Any of his three offers was too good to turn down.
“Take your time to consider my words. Give me an answer in a month.” With that, Jiang Chen waved a dismissive hand and walked away.
Imperial Prince Huo glanced at Chief Warden Ding. “What do you think, Old Ding?”
The chief warden sighed. “We’d have to be remarkably short-sighted to turn down such an offer. There’s no telling what the spirit stones will do to us, but what the young lord offers will surely do us good.”
“I agree. However, I worry that those who lack foresight may assume we’re giving away the spirit stones to get on the young lord’s good side.”
“That can’t be avoided no matter what we do. It’s impossible to make everyone happy.” Chief Warden Ding chuckled. “Besides, His Majesty will be the one making the final decision. As long as we convince His Majesty, there’s nothing the others will be able to do. One cannot achieve greatness without making a leap of faith. This decision will determine Rejuvenation’s future. You shouldn’t be overly concerned with things, Your Highness.”
Chief Warden Ding was a worldly man. He knew what the right thing to do was.
“Old Ding, stay here while I return to Rejuvenation and brief my royal brother so that he can make a decision. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity.”
Chief Warden Ding nodded without hesitation. “Understood.”
The imperial prince was efficient. It took only eight days to make a round trip from Rejuvenation.
When he came back, he sought out Jiang Chen.
“Have you made a decision yet, Imperial Prince Huo?”
“My royal brother has the final say in all things for Rejuvenation,” Imperial Prince Huo responded seriously. “This minor prince wanted to make the deal happen. Therefore I reported back about it and detailed the factors involved. Being the wise man my brother is, he approved of my judgement. However, he’s been so bold as to make a few trivial requests of his own.”
“Let’s hear them.” Jiang Chen could fulfill a few reasonable requests.
“First, he said the young lord could have all the spirit stones, but it should be announced to the public.”
Jiang Chen smiled. “That’s fair. It’s the only way to ensure Rejuvenation isn’t targeted. You’ll never be safe if people don’t know you’ve given the stones away.”
“Exactly.” Imperial Prince nodded. “Second, we hope you might announce that Rejuvenation is under your protection from now on. Targeting us will be equivalent to challenging your authority.”
That was also fair.
It wasn’t unreasonable for Rejuvenation to use Jiang Chen’s name to deter potentially hostile factions.
Jiang Chen nodded. “I can grant you that wish, but remember, if I find out you’ve been using my name to commit atrocities and hurt people, there will be consequences. You better think before you act.”
“Rest assured, young lord, we aren’t bold enough to do anything untowards on your behalf.” Imperial Prince Huo had no doubt about that. After the time he’d spent with the young lord, he was aware that Jiang Chen cared about his image. If they dared damage his reputation, they would have no one to blame for their doom.
Imperial Prince Huo shook his head. “No, just these two.”
“Good. It’s good that Rejuvenation didn’t let greed get the better of you and stayed within the boundaries.” Jiang Chen had thought they would make a lot more requests, but there were only two, and both were in good faith.
“Since you haven’t requested for anything unreasonable, we have a deal. Among the three offers, I can fulfill the second now. Do you need a cultivation method or a tangible martial method? Or perhaps you have other needs?”
“Cultivation method,” Imperial Prince Huo said without hesitation.
Cultivation methods were the basis of martial dao. It could improve one’s level and bring about the most comprehensive progress. Specific martial dao methods were too limited.
Jiang Chen browsed through the wealth of cultivation methods in his head and picked one to share.
“Imperial Prince Huo, any empyrean cultivator can learn this method. How effective it is will vary depending on each person’s fate. Those who aren’t as fortunate may stop at advanced empyrean, while the more fortunate may reach peak ninth level empyrean, or demigod. Those who are particularly compatible stand a chance to ascend to divinity. In other words, the method, if used well, can be your heritage for generations to come.”
That was no exaggeration. The cultivation method was considered a demigod method, but in reality it was as good as any divine method.
Imperial Prince Huo didn’t doubt the young lord’s words at all. There was an air of integrity about Jiang Chen that demanded trust. The thought that the young lord might be lying to him didn’t even cross his mind. He gingerly accepted the method and cupped like the precious treasure it was.
The imperial prince knew his place well. Jiang Chen added after a bemused pause, “Since you’re being so cognizant of the situation, it’d be remiss of me to give you only a cultivation method and not a martial one. I’ll give you a hand-to-hand combat method as well to go with the cultivation method. However, you mustn’t let anyone outside Rejuvenation learn about the method. Otherwise I have ways to take it back from you!”
Imperial Prince Huo could barely contain his excitement. He hadn’t expected the additional boon! He hurriedly promised, “We’ll be sure to keep it from outsiders!”
Jiang Chen handed both methods to Imperial Prince Huo. “And here’s the list of ingredients needed for refining the Crowning Empyrean Pill. You must keep this confidential as well. In addition, don’t try to study and refine the pill yourself. Once you gather all the ingredients, contact me.”
It’d be difficult to gather all the ingredients. If Rejuvenation managed to do it, Jiang Chen wasn’t opposed to refining a cauldron of the pills for them.
Noting the bemused look on the imperial prince’s face, Jiang Chen added faintly, “It’s for your good. It’s difficult enough to gather the ingredients. If you recklessly try to refine the pill yourself, all of the ingredients will go to waste. You won’t be able to get any results even after a hundred thousand years.”Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Actually, I do wonder how he'd take the method back. Some sort of... memory wipe...?