Having known Jiang Chen for years, the Vermilion Bird had come to understand the human. It knew he very much wanted to recruit the Black Tortoise.
It would be a difficult task, but the bird had to try. Jiang Chen had painted the picture of what the four sacred beasts would be capable of in concert, which the bird very much wished to come to fruition as well.
If possible, it’d like to achieve something great.
There was nothing greater than manipulating the heavenly law and refining the five elements to create a heavenly plane. If they succeeded, they’d be the rulers of the heavenly plane. Even if Jiang Chen was the Celestial Emperor, the four of them would be the emperor’s most powerful followers.
The prospect was a hundred times better than wandering the world like they would otherwise. No matter how exciting the Divine Abyss Continent was, it was no match for a heavenly plane.
“May I have a word, fellow daoist?” tried the Vermilion Bird.
“Hmph, who are you lot? What are the four sacred beasts doing with a human? This is a dishonor to your bloodlines!”
The Black Tortoise was an obvious hothead. It didn’t sugarcoat its words and pulled no punches, even when faced with an equally-powerful sacred beast.
The Vermilion Bird was too shrewd to be provoked. It smiled indifferently. “The bloodlines of the four sacred beasts are superior, but not so superior that we cannot interact with humans. Based on my heritage, even the sacred beasts sometimes serve and follow a human master. Only on a plane ruled by spirit creatures would the four sacred beasts be considered the unequivocal supreme leaders. This is a world led by human lords. Are we to stay out of it?”
“Hmph, you sure have a lot of excuses for your voluntary fall from grace,” the Black Tortoise retorted derisively. It didn’t want to waste its time arguing.
“Why must you think in absolutes?” the bird responded with a smile. “What can you do in this barren sea of a home even with your great might and plethora of techniques? You’re burying your head in the sand and trying to convince yourself otherwise! Truth be told, you’re just playing dead!”
The tortoise flew into a rage. “How dare you say that?!”
The bird shrugged. “Why don’t you visit the bustling areas in Myriad Abyss if that’s not the case? But no, you’re afraid! Afraid of human cultivators!”
The tortoise was both furious and mortified, like its worst secret had been exposed,
“That’s still better than being a human’s slave! I’m living the good life on my own. You’re making a joke out of yourself and your bloodline!”
The Vermilion Bird remained smiling, unperturbed. “You might be able to say that if I was the only one making the decision, but both a True Dragon and the Astral White Tiger follow my young master as well. Can you honestly say that we all lack your foresight? It’s Black Tortoises that fancy themselves too good for the real world! You’ve been cut off from reality after holing up here with little interaction with the outside world.”
Naturally, the Black Tortoise wasn’t going to admit that.
It scoffed. “As long as I’m free and happy, what does the outside world have to do with me? Since the ancient times, there have been human cultivators who have trespassed into my territory. All of those foolish humans mistook my back as an island and became my food!”
It grinned. “You didn’t see how they reacted before they died. You wouldn’t feel any affection for humans then.”
Since Jiang Chen understood the ancient beast language, it was clear to him that the tortoise was a jaded cynic, especially when it came to humanity.
“No offense, fellow daoist, but you’re quite naive for a being with more than two hundred thousand years of experience. A long life expectancy is the Black Tortoise race’s strength. You being two hundred thousand years old is equivalent to several thousands in human years. Still, you’re as ignorant as a child.”
“Tsk tsk, are you honestly telling me to behave in my territory?” the Black Tortoise snapped, making it clear that it wouldn’t hesitate to attack if further provoked.
“There are black sheep among every race. You only see the bad apples and the weaklings among the humans, not the heroes of their kind. I am quite right to call you ignorant.”
The bird scoffed.
Enraged, the Black Tortoise glared at the bird with murderous eyes.
The bird wasn’t intimidated. With a smile, it asked, “If you think so little of human cultivators, why give them such a wide berth? What you call freedom is nothing but cowardice in my eyes. You’re deluding yourself and frittering your life away.”
The bird minced no words. Every part of its riposte cut deep.
“Bullshit! Who do you think you are? Who gives you the right to judge me?!” The Black Tortoise was again consumed by its prejudices. Its eyes blazed with red battle lust.
“Fine, if you don’t want me to point out your faults, I’ll stop. It’s just a shame for a sacred beast to hide out in the middle of nowhere and waste your potential. This won’t help when outside foes invade our world. They’ll drag you out from the sea and make you their slave. That day will arrive soon enough.”
“Outside foes?” The Black Tortoise paused. The defiance in its eyes lessened somewhat. “Do you mean demons?”
“The demons are just one of our concerns. The plane’s coordinates have been exposed. It’s only a matter of time before offworld races invade. Our sacred bloodlines will make us their prime targets. With your Black Tortoise bloodline, fellow daoist, you’ll surely be their proudest possession after you’re enslaved.”
That hit the tortoise hard. Its eyes widened as it fixed a stare at the bird, trying to determine if the bird was telling the truth.
The bird might have been a little hyperbolic, but it hadn’t said a single false word.
The Black Tortoise spat. “Ha, if one day I become their slave, do you think you’ll be spared the same fate?”
“We may not, but at least we’ll fight for ourselves and the world. We won’t hide in the ocean like you’ve been doing, too intimidated to even interact with people. In terms of dishonoring our bloodlines, we’re no match for you.”
The tortoise was cynical, not shameless. It opened its mouth to defend itself, but couldn’t find the words.
“Fellow daoist, this young man saved my life. I joined him to repay the debt, and I trust him. Along with my True Dragon and White Tiger companions, we all trust him and will go through heaven and hell with him.”Previous Chapter Next Chapter
I'm, I'm not sure what Moltres' understanding of diplomatic is... this doesn't really seem like it lol!