The reactions from those present had been within Jiang Chen’s realm of expectations. When he first heard, he’d been much the same.
“Young lord, the destroyed spirit veins mean that the environment for cultivation in the human domain has been worsening all the while. The spirit herbs here are lower quality than ever before, with the better specimens disappearing entirely. This is public knowledge, isn’t it? What’s wrong with what we currently know?”
More than astonishment was a communal perplexity. Everyone found the logic behind these statements completely and unquestionably sound. Why had young lord Jiang Chen said that it was false?
“There’s nothing wrong with your logic, my friends, save your assumptions. Though the spirit veins were damaged in the ancient demon-sealing war, the severity of the harm was grossly overestimated. Yes, the war ruined many sects and locales, but the spirit veins remained largely intact. The reason they disappeared was because several ancient cultivators used their abilities to seal them away, to preserve them as a treasure for posterity.”
This astounded the audience; faces contorted with emotion. The news was too sudden to digest. The cultivators glanced at each other in confusion, as if they’d just awakened from a dream.
Someone snapped back to reality after a while. “Young lord… you’re not joking, are you?”
Indeed, this sounded a bit too good to be true.
“I’m stating the absolute truth,” Jiang Chen replied seriously. “I have more than sufficient proof for it. Moreover, I know the method of sealing and unsealing the veins. I was planning to attempt their unsealing during the reactivation of the Great Formation of Heavenly Soul Confinement. It seems to me now though, that the time has not yet come!”
Mo Wushuang was incredulous. “If the spirit veins are unsealed, wouldn’t the human domain return to the same way it once was in ancient times?”
“The environment, yes, but everything else needs time,” sighed Jiang Chen.
This was easy to understand. Not everything would recover immediately even given a favorable environment. Spirit herbs, for example, needed seeds and time to grow. It would take several centuries at least.
Nevertheless, all present laughed with genuine pleasure.
“If that’s the case, won’t we cultivate under the same sky as the ancients?”
“That something so miraculous would be real… it is truly difficult to comprehend the acts of our ancient seniors.”
“Young lord, why did the great cultivators back then make this choice? Were they worried about demons returning to destroy the veins?”
“That’s right, why did they?”
Jiang Chen laughed and shook his head. “No, not that. The great cultivators foresaw that the demons wouldn’t be able to make further mischief for a good amount of time after being sealed. They were worried about something else.”
“What?” Everyone was puzzled.
“Humans have always been afflicted by internal trouble, rather than external,” Jiang Chen sighed.
The others were smart enough to glean what he meant. ‘Internal trouble’ meant petty squabbling between human factions, of course.
“We humans love to fight among ourselves. Perhaps the great cultivators were worried about the possibility of endless civil wars, which have the potential to wreak significant havoc. Is that why they sealed away the spirit veins? To limit the extent of destruction?”
“That must be so. The ancient greats were truly wise beyond understanding.”
“It’s good for future generations to benefit from the past,” Jiang Chen stated coolly. “The issue comes when each man intends to steal all the benefit for himself.”
Everyone else nodded in agreement.
“Not every faction behaved selflessly during the demon-sealing war. The leading factions were the ones mainly engaged in warfare against the demons, and thus bore the brunt of sacrifice.
“My friends, consider this: if the human domain faced some calamity that required the Upper Eight Regions’ strongest factions to face it head on, but the middle and lower regions threatened to plunder what they had afterward. If you led the former factions, would you be happy to see that?” His explanation clarified things even more.
“Yes, I hear that many cowards existed in the ancient demon-sealing war. There were plenty of deserters and selfish cowards. The great cultivators were wise to do what they did.”
Everyone was selfish to some degree, the great cultivators included. However, their selfishness ultimately ended up benefiting the rest of the human domain.
If the strongest factions were all so hurt in the demon-sealing war that the non-contributing second and third-rate factions could overthrow them, that wouldn’t be remotely satisfactory or fair.
More importantly, the human domain risked falling into the wrong hands. If those with authority lacked the equanimity and responsibility to lead, what would mankind do against a new enemy?
“We must make use of what the great cultivators left to us, young lord. Why do you say that now isn’t the time yet, though?” Mo Wushuang asked curiously.
“First, the information you’ve given me shows that the demons are beginning to resurface. I’m worried that the truth of the spirit veins may get out and lead to further trouble in the dark. We must keep all this under wraps. Second, the absence of the Great Formation of Heavenly Confinement can’t prevent a demonic invasion en masse, so unsealing the spirit veins is unsafe. Third, the unsealing process is hardly a simple one. It demands many people and resources. The human domain is incapable of multitasking on such a scale just yet.”
Jiang Chen’s three reasons were all quite sound.
“Our priority at the moment is to reactivate the Great Formation of Heavenly Soul Confinement. At the same time, we must tighten security and remain on high alert to watch for factions that try to muddy the waters. Neither concealed demons nor human traitors will be tolerated.”
Jiang Chen supposed that in his year behind closed doors, the various attacks weren’t entirely caused by demons. It was likely that other factions laid in waiting as well.
The human domain was a huge place, after all. Xiahou Jing and the others of yesteryear were the prime example of that.
Myriad Abyss Island had always kept the human domain on its mind. There was no doubt that some faction or other from there had a presence here as well.Previous Chapter Next Chapter