Jiang Chen had nursed the idea of gathering all four sacred beasts ever since first meeting Long Xiaoxuan. At the time, he didn’t think he would have the opportunity to find them all on Divine Abyss, much less specimens that were also willing to cooperate with him.
However, many years later, he’d already managed to collect three among the four. He was only missing a black tortoise.
It was too early to say anything conclusive about all of it yet. To use the four sacred beasts to enact the heavenly dao required all four of them to be at least peak empyrean. Moreover, their strengths had to be very close to equal. Too much of a difference between them meant there would be an imbalance.
And of course, the sacred beasts had other uses aside from simulating heavenly dao. They could be assembled in a fighting formation. Their blood was valuable as well; it could be used to refine pills or injected into regular cultivators.
Jiang Chen had read a vast amount of material on that topic. His father, the Celestial Emperor, had been very interested as well, often researching the subject with him.
In his previous life, Jiang Chen had been the son of the ruler of a set of heavenly planes. As such, he hadn't considered any realistic application of using the four sacred beasts to develop another set of planes.
However, his father’s interest had been uncommonly intense.
He hadn’t thought much of it back then. Perhaps his father had been particularly willing to spoil him by wasting time with him studying esoteric topics.
Now though, he had different ideas. Was there a reason behind the time his father had spent with him?
Divine Abyss was a rather ordinary world. Why did it possess the four sacred beasts’ incredible bloodlines?
Typically, it was quite rare for a mortal plane to host just one of the four. It was nearly impossible for all of them to appear in tandem. There had never been a recorded instance of this in anything Jiang Chen had read.
The young man’s seriousness caused his three bestial friends to sink into silence as well.
Nevertheless, they were quite shaken up. Jiang Chen’s words contained information that their ancestral memories didn't.
“What are you thinking about, young master Chen?” the Vermilion Bird couldn’t help but ask.
Jiang Chen recovered himself, smiling a little. “I was just imagining that if we could find a black tortoise, all four of the sacred beasts would be gathered. Wouldn’t that be a marvelous sight?”
The sacred fowl chuckled. “I suppose that would be fascinating to see.”
“Young master Chen, we’ll do whatever we can to find a black tortoise for you. Hmph, if he doesn’t want to listen to you, then we’ll beat him up for you!” the Astral White Tiger was as combative as ever. Its strength having increased, it was much more confident.
Jiang Chen nodded. “We’ll look for a black tortoise at some point. However, our first priority right now is to cultivate hard. Especially you, Little White! You started the latest, so you have to work hard to catch up, alright?”
“Heheh, of course. I don’t want to lag behind! I want to do all astral white tigers proud.” Little White licked his lips.
After refining the pills, Jiang Chen and his friends continued to cultivate.
The venerated forefather didn't seek out Jiang Chen again. Clearly, the old man was very busy. Jiang Chen was happy with the peace and quiet; he was a little worried about any future meetings in any case.
There was rarely anything good to hear about from those meetings. And right now, he absolutely didn't want to go to some offworld battlefield.
Elder Ziju Min occasionally came to visit, but always departed considerately after seeing that Jiang Chen was mid-cultivation.
The elder was the one who’d discovered Jiang Chen, and perhaps the most familiar with him in the entirety of the sacred land. If he hadn't inducted the young man into the Eternal Sacred Land, it would have been unrealistic for Jiang Chen to topple House Xiahou so quickly.
Therefore, though Jiang Chen didn’t like the way that the venerated forefather bargained, he couldn’t deny that he was indebted to the sacred land. Especially on the matter of House Xiahou, things wouldn’t have gone nearly as smoothly without it.
Three months flew by in no time. One day, the first prime and Elder Ziju came to visit him together.
“You’ve been working hard recently, Jiang Chen. For the great competition of geniuses, I hope?” the female prime inquired kindly.
Ziju Min’s eyes were full of anticipation as he looked at Jiang Chen.
“Is it time for us to be off?” The young man smiled.
“Indeed. The date for the competition has been set—it will commence in half a month’s time. The specific location has just been decided. Because of the trouble with the Boundless Prison, the Ten Divine Nations are employing additional caution. We’re trying to be as impromptu as possible.”
Jiang Chen inclined his head. That wasn’t a bad idea. News getting out wouldn’t be much of a concern with that in mind.
If the cultivators who’d escaped from the Boundless Prison wanted to target the Ten Divine Nations, the grand competition of geniuses would be a good place to start. A location that was decided on spontaneously meant that these hidden enemies wouldn’t have time to plan an attack.
“If I may ask, how many factions are participating in the competition?” Jiang Chen asked.
“The various sacred lands will all have executives present, including their senior divines. The offworld battlefield urgently needs manpower, but the first order of business is to form a formal alliance...”
The competition itself wasn’t particularly important. In actuality, the ten sacred lands wanted to take this opportunity to draft and codify an accord. Once they were united, it would be easier to defend against their enemies—both domestic and extraplanar.
The sacred lands had never announced the existence of enemies from other worlds because they were worried that would unduly plunge Myriad Abyss into chaos.
This brief respite after civil strife also highlighted that the offworld battlefield could no longer be hidden.
Therefore, it was better to announce it at this juncture and reorganize Myriad Abyss accordingly. The impure elements could be removed, and the rest strengthened.
Several geniuses from the Eternal Sacred Land were slated to participate in the competition. Aside from Jiang Chen, the others had also been candidates in the tournament of geniuses in Eternal.
In other words, they were the Five Great Gentlemen, or at least on that level. Wu You, Gan Ning, and the others. Yan Qingsang had improved greatly, true, but he still lacked somewhat when it came to serious contention.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Okay, looking forward to JC roflstomping this competition.