That was the best arrangement at the moment.
Which of the two would give their statement first was a problem though. Someone suggested drawing lots to decide the order.
Jiang Chen smiled. “That’s simple. I can go first in this round. Next round, the Flora Sacred Land will go first. That’s the fairest arrangement, isn’t it? What do you all think?”
He won the crowd’s preliminary approval with his initiative.
“Young friend Jiang Chen is indeed decisive. That’s a good idea. What do you think, members of Flora?”
Flora quietly cursed at Jiang Chen for his slyness. The speech of the seniors was naturally more important. The young geniuses were simply a reference point. The order they spoke in wasn’t as significant.
However, he had made a perfectly reasonable proposal. If they voiced their opposition, they’d be viewed as being intimidated and a laughingstock!
Nevertheless, they couldn’t give an inch, no matter how trivial the matter was in this situation.
Prime Zhao smiled. “I still believe it’s better to draw lots. That way, there will be no controversies, no matter who ends up benefitting.”
The group decided to go with Flora’s suggestion, since the latter insisted.
Nonetheless, fate seemed to be working in concert with Jiang Chen. The resulting order was completely in line with the one he’d proposed.
Jiang Chen chuckled. “It seems that I’ve managed to predict the future. I will humbly offer my meager thoughts to start then. Senior, fellow daoists, please give me the benefit of the doubt. If at any point you think I’ve said something wrong, I’d greatly appreciate your advice.”
He wasn’t a naturally humble person, but he had to be on such an occasion to gain votes and approval.
The crowd applauded. Jiang Chen’s poise went a long way to winning them over. Even those with biases against him had to admit that the young man was charismatic and had an edge over the other youths.
Jiang Chen cleared his throat. “Many seniors have already mentioned that the ten sacred lands are equals, that there’s no hierarchy between us. A myriad of coincidences led to Eternal putting ourselves forth as a candidate for alliance head. We were simply at the right place at the right time.
“With great power comes great responsibility. Being the head of the alliance is a great honor, but along with it comes a weighty burden. Therefore, before we decided to vie for the position, we seriously considered what kind of a leader Myriad Abyss needs, the future of our continent, what we should do, and more importantly, what Eternal can bring to the table! I don’t know if the others have carefully thought these questions over, but I have.”
The audience could feel Jiang Chen’s earnestness. Many elderly participants nodded faintly in approval. Such consideration of the greater picture in the young man’s words set him quite apart.
“Some seek to isolate Myriad Abyss. They believe that all is well as long as Myriad Abyss is untouched. That might work under normal circumstances. However, such thinking is deeply flawed in chaotic times. The Divine Abyss Continent is composed of two parts. One of the mainland that fell under the sway of different tribes. The other of the boundless ocean, over which Myriad Abyss rules with absolute authority.
“Most may know that I’m from the human domain, popularly held as one of the weakest territories. Widely believed to have lost its heritage and resources, it’s viewed as a domain with no future. However, everyone in the human domain is aware of the coming threat. They’re making preparations for future chaos despite its lack of strength.
“That’s because the mainland still remembers the nightmare that was the demonic invasion from the ancient times. It’s entirely possible that the demons will invade in a few years without us noticing. Once that happens, will Myriad Abyss be able to stay on the sidelines? Will the demons stay away just because this is sacred land territory?”
The answer was a resounding “no.” There was no place in the world that demons wouldn’t trespass. The more powerful a region was, the better a target it was.
“If we are to summarize the situation we’re in, I’d say we’re facing dangers from both inside and out. Thus, we must consider the problem with an open mind at this point in time. If we’re hung up on status and pedigree, or cling deathly to factional differences, or if we hold dearly greed and self-interests, Myriad Abyss and the mainland will fall into ruin.
“I don’t think I need to remind anyone of the demons’ might. We’d also be facing an endless stream of adventurers from the offworld battlefields. With threats from both within and outside, how are we to survive if we don’t work together?”
Jiang Chen laid down the inconvenient truth and painted a grim picture, delivering a harsh slap of reality.
All participants, including the heavyweights of the sacred lands, mentally slumped, their hearts heavy. In truth, they’d been burying their heads in the sand, refusing to face the prospect of a demonic invasion.
The offworld battles had taken a heavy enough toll on them. If demons struck as well from within the continent, things would be even more difficult then.
“That’s how things will go whether we accept it or not. But we don’t have to despair. The Divine Abyss Continent has a solid foundation. Although the demons were powerful in the ancient times, they still failed to defeat our ancestors. This is our home territory. We have the advantage.
“No matter how powerful the invaders are, they have no roots here and as such there’s a limit to their manpower. They will exhaust their forces sooner or later. What we have to do is to work together and be ready for the impending threats. Only by fighting down to the last man can we ensure our survival. If we aren’t strong-willed enough to hold our ground, we should be prepared to become slaves.” He didn’t sugarcoat his words.
“If Eternal becomes the head of the alliance, we’ll first focus our forces on the offworld battlefields and establish order.
“The mess won’t be resolved overnight, but we have to find a way to adjust the heavenly axis or mask the continent’s coordinates. Only then will the threats be eliminated from the roots.
“As long as we can hide the coordinates and prevent offworld invaders from finding the continent, we’ll have one less thing to worry about. Then, we can focus on fighting the demons. Our odds of winning will be much better then.”
“Meanwhile, we also have to improve ourselves. The entire continent has to become stronger. With the Crowning Empyrean Pill and the Taiyi Skymender Pill, each sacred land will be able to make substantial progress. Of that, I can assure you.
“As for masking the coordinates, it’s not going to be easy, but it’s not impossible.” Jiang Chen smiled. “And that’s the end of my remarks. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask me. I’ll answer them to the best of my ability.”
Everyone was shaken by his speech. Jiang Chen hadn’t made outlandish claims with no basis. Instead, he’d given them the broad strokes of an overall plan for the future.
That was about as good as the divine forefathers could do. In fact, they might not even be as detailed as Jiang Chen had been.Previous Chapter Next Chapter