Jiang Chen’s answer was very much by the books. He displayed neither swagger nor timidity, which the voice found rather remarkable.
“Strange, strange! You are so young, yet you carry the poise of a true master. This characteristic was rare even in the ancient greats. Is this the heavenly ordainment that Great Divine Veluriyam spoke of?” The voice sounded thoroughly curious. “You were busy in the outside world. What for, may I ask?”
“Internally, a demonic menace. Externally, offworld invaders. These two matters are more than enough for me to tire myself over.”
“Oh? Do elaborate.”
Jiang Chen knew that the Six Palaces of Heritage were sure to hold many clues about the ancient demon-sealing war. He had to get in the good graces of the sixth guardian. He patiently recounted what had happened throughout his life and tenure.
“Myriad Abyss Island! You went there, child?”
“More than once, yes.”
“How did you pull that off with the boundary steles around?” marveled the voice.
“The ancients went to Myriad Abyss Island. I don’t see why I couldn’t have gone. Old transportation formations remain between the two lands still.”
“You found an ancient transportation formation?”
“With a bit of work, yes,” Jiang Chen answered truthfully.
“Not bad, not bad. Very interesting. It’s not inaccurate to call you an unparalleled genius, then.” The voice sighed softly. “Allow me to introduce myself. I am Xia… Xia Tianze.”
“No need to call me senior,” Xia Tianze sighed.
“You are an ancient expert, senior. Of course you deserve the title.” Jiang Chen smiled faintly.
“Ancient? I suppose, but I’m hardly an expert. If I was, why would I have allowed the demons to rampage in my homeland?” Xia Tianze sounded somewhat sad.
Evidently, the ancient demonic invasion had hurt him deeply on a personal level. If he couldn’t protect his home despite his strength, that itself was a profoundly sorrowful thing.
Jiang Chen sympathized with him on a visceral level.
In his previous life, his father had probably felt much the same way. A divine emperor with a single son who couldn’t cultivate at all! And the shattering of the heavenly planes had taken even that from him.
“What are you sad about, young man?” Xia Tianze blinked when he detected the resonance.
Jiang Chen was astonished. “How did you know I was, senior?”
Xia Tianze laughed softly. “The sixth palace is named the Veluriyam Palace. All sentiment, all emotion, is laid bare here.”
Ah, so that was it.
The Veluriyam Palace was a wondrous thing, able to detect changes in people’s emotions. It couldn’t read their hearts more accurately than that, but what it could do was already remarkable enough.
“Are you able to answer now, child?”
Jiang Chen sighed quietly. “I remembered a few things pertaining to my birth and origin. A wistful history, all that.”
“Indeed. I can see that you are a young man with a sincere heart. Perhaps you are the next master that Great Divine Veluriyam predicted.”
“Is Great Divine Veluriyam the master of Veluriyam Capital?” Jiang Chen asked with some curiosity.
“Yes. Does Veluriyam Capital still remain as a heritage unto its own?” Xia Tianze replied inquisitively.
“It does. But the current human domain is rather weak. It can’t compare to even Myriad Abyss Island, much less the demons,” Jiang Chen observed.
Xia Tianze was entirely unsurprised. “That’s nothing out of the ordinary. Know you the reason?”
Jiang Chen nodded. “If I had to guess, it’d be because of the ancient demon-sealing war. The human domain served as the main field of battle then, and was destroyed too severely in the process. Its spirit veins were destroyed, causing the cultivation resources here to dwindle. Generation after generation of decline brought us to this point.”
This was the most plausible explanation.
Xia Tianze chuckled. Rather than continue with Jiang Chen’s line of reasoning, he struck out in radical disagreement. “Not a bad guess, but you couldn’t be further from the truth. The ancient demon-sealing war was calamitous, yes, but why did the human domain descend into weakness so instantaneously afterward? Haven’t you wondered whether there was some cause for that?”
“Oh?” Jiang Chen’s eyes lit up.
“Think about it. There were so many great factions and sects back then. Even if their people died, their heritages should’ve remained, no? But how much has actually been dug up over the long period since then?”
The young man was rendered speechless. The ancient human domain had ten leading factions in the war effort against demonkind.
Of these, Veluriyam Capital nominally remained, but the city was drastically different from what an ancient leading faction should’ve looked like. Even the Pagoda was said to only contain an empyrean decree… not exactly something representative of even a fraction of ancient glory.
Though Jiang Chen didn’t know much about the ancient demon-sealing war, stray clues here and there showed that its participants were definitely more than empyrean.
Old Lightford, of the monster demon lineage, was proof enough. There had been more to that war than what had survived in the records of history.
At minimum, both belligerent sides had been significantly stronger than was currently imagined.
Jiang Chen felt his heart surge with eagerness and hope. “Is there an answer to this enigma, senior?”
Xia Tianze didn’t tackle the question directly. “Have any cultivators from Myriad Abyss returned to the human domain recently?”
Jiang Chen blinked. “There’s a rule in Myriad Abyss Island that forbids any faction from traveling to the human domain. This has limited most, but a few have snuck over regardless. As of right now, guests from there haven’t made their way over on any large scale.”
“How is Myriad Abyss Island doing these days?” Xia Tianze was taken aback. “Do the ten factions’ remnants remain in power still? Why else would that rule exist?”
“Yes, senior. Myriad Abyss’s ten sacred lands were offshoot descendants sent there by the ten leading factions of the demon-sealing war. They rule that place still, but there was a rebellion only a few years back. They were very close to being toppled.”Previous Chapter Next Chapter