Commander Yan was a smart man. He’d considered all options and realized that he didn’t have any other choices. Returning to Bluesmoke was a no-go. Even if Jiang Chen let him go, would the royal family place their trust in him like before?
Of course not!
So then should he choose a valiant death?
Absolutely not. While that might sound like a noble and righteous idea, Commander Yan wasn’t a young man anymore. It wasn’t in his blood to be a martyr. The thought of surrendering his life had never even crossed his mind.
That was, unless Jiang Chen was determined to kill him, then he could do nothing but face death.
Since that didn’t seem to be the case, Commander Yan wasn’t going to single-mindedly choose death. The idea of pledging himself to Jiang Chen struck him suddenly, and he followed through on that impulse.
In fact, Jiang Chen had purposefully kept his attitude vague to give the commander an opportunity. It’d be ideal if the commander decided to surrender. If not, he wouldn’t push it.
Thus, he wasn’t exactly ecastatic by Commander Yan’s unprompted forfeit.
He looked at the commander meaningfully and asked with a smile, “Are you sure you didn’t make that decision because that’s the only way for you to survive?”
Commander Yan shook his head and responded with great conviction, “I‘m sure.”
“How do I know you’re telling the truth?” asked Jiang Chen.
“It’s simple. Firstly, I can’t go back to the Bluesmoke Isles. Even if I do, I won’t be able to maintain my prior status and privilege. Secondly, my ambition was to win glory by contributing to Bluesmoke’s establishment as a divine nation and make a name for myself. But I can obtain that immediately by surrendering to you, young lord. Thirdly, I’m not ready to die yet. It would be a worthless death.”
He’d made his points clear, but Jiang Chen wasn’t convinced yet.
“You’ve got a silver tongue,” the young lord said with a smile. “However, if you’re swearing fealty to me, you have to abide by my rules. Lu Che and his companions from Warmspring chose to follow me after their defeats as well, but they serve me as slave followers. What of you?”
Commander Yan paused. A slave?
Anger boiled in his heart. He almost blurted out that he’d sooner face death than to take such humiliation, but he managed to stop himself.
He had a feeling that Jiang Chen wouldn’t hesitate to kill him if he made such a remark. However, it was very much beneath himself to be a slave.
His hesitation grated on Yan Qingsang’s nerves.
“Remember your place, Yan! Do you think you have any right to negotiate?” Yan Qingsang snapped. “Haven’t you been serving the divine senior like a slave as well? What sets you apart from his puppets? Jiang Chen has found success in his youth. He will ascend to divinity sooner or later. If you become his servant, you’ll be one day serving a god. Countless demigods yearned for the opportunity to receive guidance from a divine being. You’ve been offered the privilege, and yet you hesitate?”
Those should’ve been Jiang Chen’s lines, but Yan Qingsang had delivered it more effectively for him.
It was undeniably tempting. Commander Yan’s mental defenses fell apart despite his hesitance. One couldn’t fight their fate. His pride didn’t allow him to be a slave, but saying no would undoubtedly lead to his death.
Moreover, what Yan Qingsang said made sense. Given the trajectory of Jiang Chen’s life so far, the young man was bound to ascend to divinity. It’d be possible then for the commander to receive guidance and help as Jiang Chen’s servant.
The last of his hesitation melted away.
“I’m willing to be your servant, young lord Jiang Chen,” Commander Yan asserted immediately after making up his mind.
Jiang Chen wasn’t at all excited about it, far from it, in fact. His only reaction was a faint smile. “Good, you’ve made the smart decision. I hope you’ll do as you’ve said and fully honor your choice. One day, you’ll realize that this was the best decision you’ve ever made.”
Commander Yan paused. He couldn’t picture that future, but the young lord was certainly confident.
After a few days, Starfate entered Eternal Divine Nation.
Jiang Chen and Huang’er were both eager to return. Huang’er especially, could think of nothing but House Yan after hearing the news about the Boundless Prison.
The Eternal Sacred Land was still rebuilding and rejoiced when they heard of Jiang Chen’s return. They hadn’t heard from him since he left for the Martial Sacred Land.
Everyone considered Jiang Chen the leading figure of the sacred land’s younger generation and the hope of their future. Naturally, they all cared greatly about him.
The sacred forefather wasn’t in the sacred land, but the first prime and Venerated Elder Ziju were.
After some brief chitchat, Jiang Chen eagerly asked about House Yan.
The first prime was hesitant. “Elder Ziju, Jiang Chen has just returned from a long journey. You should help him recover from the fatigue of travel. This seat has a lot of business to attend to. Please excuse me.”
Her avoidance enlightened Jiang Chen that something bad had happened to House Yan.
As he predicted, once the first prime had left, Ziju Min sighed. “Try to remain calm. House Yan… all of House Yan has been massacred.”
“What?!” Jiang Chen shot to his feet. “When?!”
“Not long after you left for the Martial Sacred Land. You’d probably just eliminated the rebels by then. I haven’t mapped out the exact timeline.”
Jiang Chen’s mind had gone blank, but Ziju Min’s words triggered something in his mind.
“Right after the Martial Sacred Land’s rebellion ended?”
“Yes.” Ziju Min nodded. “About that time.”
“If that’s the case, is Elder Yan Wanjun alright?” Jiang Chen didn’t really care much about the other members of House Yan, but Yan Wanjun was Huang’er’s grandfather.
“Yan Wanjun? He’s here in the sacred land with Elder Shun, but he’s not in a good place emotionally right now. I don’t know if he’s heartbroken about what happened to House Yan or something else.”
Jiang Chen felt a little better after hearing that Yan Wanjun was safe. That left him with one question: What had exactly happened to House Yan?
Meeting Jiang Chen’s questioning gaze, Ziju Min shook his head with a wry smile. “We didn’t exterminate House Yan. Neither have any of the factions in Eternal Divine Nation. Rumor has it that House Yan offended a powerful cultivator escaping from the Boundless Prison. That’s why...”
Again, the Boundless Prison was involved!Previous Chapter Next Chapter
O_o Alright so at this point it seems rather obvious that there's been a prison break. But House Yan massacred? Whew, that's one way for them to all go down!
Don't forget about the SOTR 2000 contest! Perhaps you can win a Samsung Galaxy S10 for writing about when House Yan grew a spine and didn't end up [spoiler].