Jiang Chen had put it plainly enough. Imperial Prince Huo would be a fool not to understand by this point. The prince's heart pounded as he held the items in his hand. His heart was crystal clear on their meaning: these were immeasurably precious treasures for Rejuvenation, fit to be passed down through countless generations.
More men from Heavenlight arrived on Winterdraw in a fortnight's time.
When they heard that some of their comrades had fallen into young lord Jiang Chen's hands, they were dumbfounded. The Eternal Sacred Land and its young lord weren’t entities that they could afford to anger.
Furthermore, the ones who'd brought back this news had described Jiang Chen's power and the Vermilion Bird's terrifying consciousness in exaggerated detail.
The whole of Heavenlight had descended into great fear, concerned that Jiang Chen would take this chance to strike at them. Thankfully, the end of the message included only a request for ransom. The young lord didn't seem to want to ruin them too much.
Heavenlight could finally breathe a sigh of relief. The ransom was quite exorbitant in its amount; it took seven days to ready that many funds.
After they were prepared, a group was sent to Winterdraw to immediately redeem the prisoners. The prisoners were incredibly important to Heavenlight's power structure. If they couldn’t return, its strength would plummet overnight, possibly to a level equal to the likes of Rejuvenation.
Thus, the ransom had to be paid, even if they had to pinch pennies for a while after the fact.
Jiang Chen kept things simple. He released his captives as soon as he got the money, but not before issuing a warning.
If these Heavenlight nationals committed some crime and ran afoul of him again in the future, a simple ransom wouldn't be enough resolution.
Everyone else involved made fervent promises as to their future subservience before they were finally permitted to depart.
The little interlude had substantially increased Jiang Chen's spirit stone supplies. He now had seventy percent of the amount needed to reactivate the Great Formation.
The remaining third wouldn't be too much harder to put together. Another trip to the Eternal Sacred Land and some extra work was needed, but three to five years was quite doable.
He didn't plan to stay too long in Winterdraw. Huang'er was with him, and her heart had probably already flown to Eternal Divine Nation.
Yan Qingsang had wanted to return to House Yan alongside Yan Wanjun before, but the old man had denied his grandson's audacious request. Yan Qingsang been forced to stay on Winterdraw and train instead.
Jiang Chen and Huang’er’s return presented a welcome opportunity for the youth. He swore up and down that he would be accompanying the couple back to Eternal Divine Nation this time.
Yan Qingsang’s obvious resolution was enough to sway his friend. The rebellion had already been quelled in Eternal, so the trip wouldn’t be particularly dangerous. Moreover, the Vermilion Bird was more than sufficient of a deterrent to any threats.
“Let’s go back together then, Brother Qingsang.” He nodded.
Calling Lu Che and the others to his side, he instructed them, “Rejuvenation and Tritalent have both sworn their allegiance to me. If anything serious arises, you can request help from them when necessary.”
“Yes, milord.” Lu Che nodded.
After taking care of everything, Jiang Chen soared rapidly atop Starfate in Eternal Divine Nation’s direction.
Huang’er felt very differently about this trip home than her last.
Darkness and despair had gripped her heart the previous time she’d been here. Aside from her faith in Jiang Chen, she had very little to hold on to.
This time, she was together with her beloved. Her worries now rested with her parents. She knew that House Yan had been warned to rescue them from the Boundless Prison within the allotted time, but she couldn’t cast aside her anxiety.
The suffering her parents had no doubt experienced over the years cut her heart to ribbons. She didn’t even know if they were still alive!
“I’m sure they’re blessed enough to survive, Huang’er. We’ll be back at House Yan in only a few more days. Everything will be made plain then,” Jiang Chen comforted his beloved, aware of the topic of her worries.
Huang’er leaned lightly upon his shoulder. “Brother Chen,” she murmured, “my parents were thrown into the Boundless Prison not long after I was born. It’s been so many years since then… what if they haven’t lasted until now? Even in my childhood I heard stories of how terrifying that place is…”
Jiang Chen had heard of the Boundless Prison before. Supposedly, it was a kind of extra-dimensional prison that had entrances in each of the Ten Divine Nations. It was a tremendous furnace that consumed the vast majority of those who entered.
Having little actual impression of her parents, Huang’er’s apprehension for them stemmed from something more primal.
One day, Starfate passed by the Bluesmoke Isles.
Bluesmoke had been the place of their reunion some time ago. Jiang Chen still had some ancient jade on hand from the meeting that’d forged his friendship with Yan Qingsang. He would earn quite a pretty stone for them if he sold them now.
Informing Huang’er of his intentions, he was met with complete support. Huang’er knew what these spirit stones meant to Jiang Chen. It would only take half a day to sell the jade, an inconsequential delay in the grand scheme of things.
“Your business comes first, Brother Chen. Don’t worry about me.”
Jiang Chen nodded, and the couple revisited Miracle City.
Stepping upon the ground of the city recalled past experiences, filling his heart with warmth. He gripped Huang’er’s hands more tightly. Evidently, she shared the same sentiment as he did. Adoration filled the lovebirds’ eyes when they looked at each other.
“Good thing you’re dressed in your normal clothes, Huang’er. If you were wearing a man’s clothing, the imperial family might recognize you. They’re probably looking for a certain someone.”
Huang’er burst out in laughter. She knew what Jiang Chen was poking at; Ling Bi’er had been a princess here, and they’d taken her away, never to be heard from again.
Though Bluesmoke’s imperial family had sent envoys to Eternal Divine Nation to investigate what had happened, they’d only managed to pick up on the drastic changes within House Yan. No one knew a thing about ‘Princess Bi’er’.
Tremendously depressing news for them, to be sure.
A little asking around found them the largest jade store in Miracle City. Its reputation and scale were unparalleled. Its employees didn't dare slight a customer with Jiang Chen’s imposing aura. He demanded to see the person in charge as soon as he entered.
Someone higher-up was found immediately—a shrewd, middle-aged woman who was perceptive and experienced. She was the very image of courtesy to the couple of undoubtedly grand origins.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
The way he has to gather spirit stones... it suddenly feels like we're grinding in an RPG lol. Or FGO! Team Tyrannical Shooting Star~~