In the rear mountain of the Sacred Peafowl Mountain, a young, pretty girl threw herself at Jiang Chen. It was his and Dan Fei’s daughter, Nian’er.
After so many years, she had grown up quite a bit more. She was now a charming young woman, prancing about like an exuberant fawn. Her doll-like face resembled his in several features.
Jiang Chen’s usual heroism morphed to sentiment and affection as soon as he saw his daughter. He had always felt that he owed her a great deal.
“You’re so tall, Nian’er,” he remarked warmly. He had missed almost every stage in her development. She was so close to adulthood already.
Though the world of martial daoists was incomparable to those who didn’t cultivate, he regretted his absence in her childhood nevertheless.
The tenderness in Jiang Chen’s eyes was almost tangible. Nian’er held her father’s face in her hands, murmuring. “Daddy, mom says you’ve been working very hard. You’re the most hardworking and greatest dad in the world. Is that true?”
Jiang Chen’s heartstrings twanged. Was he great?
As a dad, that wasn’t necessarily true.
“Nian’er, you’ve grown so much in the blink of an eye. Do you hate me for not being able to keep you company all this time?”
Nian’er’s eyes reddened, but she held back her tears. “No.” She shook her head. “I know that mom right. You work hard for the rest of the world, daddy… if you spend too much time with our little family, then the greater family that is this world wouldn’t exist…”
Jiang Chen was astonished. How was his daughter aware of all this?
“Hehe, mommy taught me to say that. Personally, I’d really like you to spend some more time with me, if you can…”
Jiang Chen’s heart hurt again. He was about to answer when a set of familiar footsteps sounded behind him. Despite how long he’d heard them last, he recognized them as his sister’s.
“Come on out, Qingxuan.”
Nian’er’s starry eyes lit up with joy. “Auntie, is that you?”
The girl had grown very close to Xu Qingxuan over the years. Aunt and niece were almost inseparable in Sacred Peafowl Mountain. Their ages were close enough that in the world of martial dao, they might as well be sisters.
“I knew you’d be here clinging to your daddy, little girl.” Qingxuan answered with a mock rebuke that was full of doting love.
“Daddy, auntie has kept me company me every day since you’ve been gone. I’ve learned a lot from her!” Nian’er chattered excitedly to her beloved aunt, pulling on her arm like a devoted lark.
Jiang Chen smiled a little. “Thank you for doing so much on my behalf, Qingxuan.”
“I grew up without a dad, too. I know how Nian’er feels. You should carve some time out to spend with her. That would also encompass my wishes as her aunt.” Xu Qingxuan caressed Nian’er’s head delicately.
“Any news about your second brother?” asked Jiang Chen.
Xu Qingxuan shook her head sadly. “We’ve sent out posters of him to every faction. They’ve all been contacted that we’re looking for him. The human domain is too big though. I’ve heard nothing back.”
“I’ve heard nothing in Myriad Abyss Island either, and I’ve traveled far and wide there.” Jiang Chen sighed softly, then turned more optimistic. “Still, I believe that the three of us will be reunited someday. Your second brother will come back safe and sound, even though we don’t know where he is right now.”
He didn’t know the reason he felt this way. He had never seen this brother of his, but his instincts told him that he would come back to them despite a troubled journey.
He had been born under the same star as Qingxuan, after all. He could rely on blessings of his own.
“Brother, there are no outsiders here. Do you think the human domain can really fend off the demonic invasion?” Xu Qingxuan asked worriedly.
Jiang Chen answered definitely, without hesitation. “Of course. Qingxuan, that’s exactly what my travels to Myriad Abyss have been for: to reactivate the formation to serve as a barrier for the human domain.”
“How sure are you about being able to pull it off?” Xu Qingxuan spoke very directly to her brother.
“I’m all but certain.” Jiang Chen wasn’t in the habit of lying. This was the conclusion he had come to after simulating the outcome multiple times.
“Alright, fine. Can the demons not break through at all once it’s in place then?” Xu Qingxuan asked again.
“The formation is very strong, but it’s obviously not unbreakable. However, I have several reasons to believe that the demons won’t choose to attempt it. First, the cost of trying something like that is exorbitant in its own right in terms of both time and resources. Second, no single tribe of demonkind can break the formation on its own, and it’s unrealistic to expect wholehearted cooperation between multiple tribes. They’ll attack other domains instead, giving the human domain plenty of time to prepare. I can’t guarantee our absolute safety, but I can say that we won’t bear the brunt of their assault. The main battlefield will be elsewhere!”
If a domain served as the site of a battlefield, that would be a terrible thing for its inhabitants.
It was precisely for this reason that the human domain had suffered so much in the ancient times. Countless factions and sects had been utterly decimated in the process of the antiquated struggle, unable to pass on their heritages at all.
Xu Qingxuan looked rather cheered up by this answer.
“Brother, I know I wasn’t too accepting of you in the past. Now though, I can say that you’re the person I respect most in all the world. I’m proud I have you as my brother.”
“Nian’er is proud of daddy, too,” the younger girl interjected from the side.
Jiang Chen chuckled. “Impressing Holy Girl Qingxuan isn’t easy!”
Xu Qingxuan examined him rather seriously. “You’ve always been creating miracles, brother. I hope you can produce another in the leadership of the human domain, an unprecedented one that’s never been seen before–and won’t be since!”
There was no need for Jiang Chen to answer. His eyes and actions told all.
The young man looked at his daughter, then at his sister. His mind wandered to his family–first his parents, then his other relatives. His resolution became ever firmer: he would erect the barrier for the human domain to exclude the demons from his homeland. The Great Formation of Heavenly Soul Confinement needed to be activated as soon as possible!Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Stay warm this winter, everyone! I got caught in icy rain a few days ago and it's done wonders for my health... @@