The information Divine Kasyapa shared was so surprising to Jiang Chen that he didn’t recover from the shock until a while later.
The Boundless Prison had taken in many powerful cultivators since the ancient times, but he didn’t know there were that many. So many divine cultivators, and beings who were mightier than Divine Kasyapa??
Jiang Chen didn’t know exactly how powerful Divine Kasyapa was, but instinct told him the man was on the level of the Eternal Sacred Land’s forefather. Anyone more powerful than Kasyapa was a serious threat.
Chaos was going to descend on Myriad Abyss, or even the entire Divine Abyss Continent.
Once the island could no longer satisfy the escaped cultivators, they would go inland and visit the different domains. Things would become even more chaotic and unstable then.
It’d be different from how it had been in the ancient times, when each domain and race was at least united in their stand against the demons. Back then, although many had chosen to run rather than fight, at least they’d never caused any trouble or intentionally harmed the continent.
There were a few who defected to the demons’ side, but not many. A majority of them had simply fallen victim to the demons and were forced into helping them.
The more Jiang Chen thought about it, the more his head hurt.
Nevertheless, it wasn’t the first time he faced a seemingly hopeless situation. Since the beginning of his pursuit of dao, he’d often been the underdog, starting from the Eastern Kingdom and Skylaurel Kingdom. The same was true of his time in the Precious Tree Sect, the Regal Pill Palace, and even the Veluriyam Capital.
Now, at least, he had a lot more options. The odds weren’t good, but this new challenge wasn’t necessarily more difficult than the ones he’d encountered before.
Noting the turbulence in Jiang Chen’s eyes, Divine Kasyapa realized that the thought of backing down hadn’t even crossed the young man’s mind. He sighed softly. “If my granddaughter weren’t deeply in love with you, Jiang Chen, this seat wouldn’t have tried to persuade you. Good luck with your own decisions.”
Jiang Chen smiled easily. “We’ll wait and see, senior. You tried to change my mind today. Maybe you’ll end up being turned to my side in the future.”
Divine Kasyapa paused and broke into hearty laughter. “That wouldn’t be such a bad thing. This seat wishes as well that I might one day become the hotblooded youth I once was, who can set aside all other considerations and focus only on fighting for his dreams.”
Neither of them was going to convince the other.
Of course, someone at Divine Kasyapa’s level wasn’t going to make things difficult for Jiang Chen just because they disagreed. In fact, he had a lot of respect for the young man.
Jiang Chen rose to leave. Divine Kapyasha smiled slightly at Jiang Chen with appreciation in his eyes. He saw his younger self in the young man.
“Please excuse me, senior.” Jiang Chen bowed to him.
“There’s no rush.” Divine Kasyapa gave him an open smile. “This seat harbored a lot of fury during my tenure in the Boundless Prison, but most of it dissipated after destroying House Yan. Are you worried that I’m going to hurt you?”
“Of course not.” Jiang Chen smiled. He knew the divine master wouldn’t. The old man was a man of integrity. Moreover, Huang’er’s existence meant Kasyapa would never hurt him, not unless they got into a feud so serious that death was the only possible resolution.
“This seat is fair. Our paths have never crossed before, but you saved Huang’er’s life. I owe you a favor. In return, I’ll give you a fortuitous occurrence. I know you’re meant for greatness and that regular treasures won’t catch your eyes. Thus, I will gift you an empyrean relic. It’ll help you ascend to advanced empyrean in half a month.”
An empyrean relic.
That contained the concentrated life essence of a powerful cultivator! Jiang Chen had once refined a great emperor relic back when he was a great emperor. He’d never even thought it was possible to get his hands on an empyrean relic.
After all, there weren’t that many empyrean experts, and even fewer who would willingly release their life essence just before death so a relic could be created.
Just like the Crowning Empyrean Pill, the relic could unconditionally boost an empyrean cultivator’s power. In fact, its effect was even more profound.
Jiang Chen considered the newly displayed relic with wonder. The life essence contained in this particular one belonged to a ninth level peak empyrean expert!
“Haha, the relic was created with the life essence of a dear friend of mine. We met in the Boundless Prison. Can you believe it? We went through hell together there. Before he died, he let me have the only opportunity to ascend to divinity. And he...”
Divine Kasyapa’s voice was tinted with sorrow. Remembering what happened dampened his mood.
“He chose what was right over his life,” Jiang Chen said, also touched. “Having a friend like him is the blessings of three lifetimes.”
“His reasoning was simple: I have a dao partner, while he was all alone with no strings attached,” lamented Divine Kasyapa. “One couldn’t ask for a better friend.”
Jiang Chen felt a newfound respect for the man. Some things were much easier said than done. It was remarkable that the divine master’s friend could be so generous.
How many brothers had turned on each other or father and son become bitter enemies for the chance to be a god? Even husband and wife could betray or scheme against the other. It was more than admirable that the man had given the opportunity to a friend and done what was right at the cost of his life.
“Take it. It’s his dying wish that I refine his life essence into an empyrean relic, allowing him to live on in another form.”
Without hesitation, Jiang Chen respectfully took a step forward and bowed to the relic thrice before accepting it.
“Remember him—his name was Yun Zhan.”
Jiang Chen engraved the name onto his heart.
“I don’t know what I’ve done to deserve a friend like Yun Zhan. He was a mirror for my soul, Jiang Chen. Whenever I’m lost, the thought of him is enough to clear my head and restore my will. He was also the only person I met in the Boundless Prison who faced the situation with grace and without any complaints.”
Jiang Chen straightened his back. His respect for the noble and dignified senior grew even greater.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Reminder, three weeks to go until voting starts for the writing contest!! Got your submission in yet?
As of the time of release there are 11 short story and 14 poem entries, so it's kinda looking like a 50% win rate if you enter yours! XD May the odds remain in your favor!
Also, shout out to the awesome world of cultivation conversation that took place in Discord last night. Lots of thoughtful discussion on why cultivators are so immature, pop culture in martial dao, and what happens when old farts don't die. XD