Chapter 2173: Meeting Mang Qi for the Third Time

Jiang Chen, Venerated Skysoarer, and the rest of the workers had arrived at the Myriad Domain node several days prior. Having completed the repairs on the one near the Ninesuns Sky Sect, they’d checked for all possible flaws before moving on.

After they garrisoned themselves at this node, Lan Tianhao and Yu Gong’s men swapped places and headed towards the Ninesuns Sky Sect node.

Jiang Chen was no stranger to the node in Myriad Domain. In fact, he had first found the Great Formation of Heavenly Confinement back in the Eastern Kingdom, within the Boundless Catacombs. He had been ignorant of what the formation was exactly at the time.

The formation spanned the entirety of the Myriad Domain in the shape of a curved fan, cutting an invisible border between it and the desolate wildlands.

First, Jiang Chen visited the Eastern Kingdom.

The sixteen kingdom alliance was entirely different from before. The Precious Tree Sect had conquered it entirely, naming the new alliance after itself.

The man who led the sect was Old Man Ye Chonglou, as well as several of Jiang Chen’s old acquaintances. Big man Tang Hong had received Jiang Chen’s special care, growing to become the strongest among his peers. Even his old master couldn’t rival him now.

Of course, the Precious Tree Sect still took orders from the Regal Pill Palace.

Regardless of that fact, the Myriad Domain had undergone a drastic change thanks to him. It had been utterly ruined after the Great Scarlet Mid Region’s invasion, but the rebuilding in recent years had given it a new appearance.

The Myriad Domain of the present was every bit the equal of any Upper Eight Region.

When Jiang Chen appeared once more within the Boundless Catacombs, Mang Qi was utterly astonished.

“We meet again, Mang Qi.” Jiang Chen’s smile was filled with wisdom.

Mang Qi had been able to sense the human’s previous two visits, but this time, he’d come utterly undetected.

“You’re here, Jiang Chen.” Mang Qi’s tone was filled with wistfulness. His eyes lingered a long while upon the youth, moved with unabashed amazement.

“The first time you came here, you were only true qi realm – a weakling of weaklings. The second time, you reached sage realm after a handful years. I’d thought that miraculous enough, but all these years later… I can no longer see through your cultivation anymore.”

The beast sounded conflicted, but soon turned joyful. “Your third visit must herald some good news, yes?”

Jiang Chen smiled coolly. “The Great Formation of Heavenly Soul Confinement is within my grasp. I have readied all that’s needed to reactivate it once more.”

“Really?” Mang Qi’s eyes lit up. “Then…”

Jiang Chen waved a hand. “Hold on. Let me ask you, if you were to leave this formation…”

“I said last time that I would swear an oath to heaven and earth not to devastate the human domain ever again,” Mang Qi said. “Plus, we were only the demons’ puppets. The demons are our common enemy.”

“You might think that, but what of the others locked up by the formation? Do they all think this way?” snickered Jiang Chen.

“I don’t know,” Mang Qi sighed, “but they will surely swear the same oath when faced with the prospect of freedom.”

“An oath isn’t enough,” declared Jiang Chen. “I require your submission and obedience in the war effort against demonkind.”

Mang Qi fell silent. He couldn’t make that promise on his comrades’ behalf.

“What, do you lack the courage to fight them?” Jiang Chen sneered.

“No, we’re simply tired of being enslaved. Honestly, Jiang Chen, it’s true that the demons enslaved us to invade the human domain, but now you want to enslave us to fight the demons? We’re always stuck in the middle of a war that we don’t want to be a part of. When will these terrible days end?” Mang Qi voiced his concerns.

Jiang Chen nodded slowly.

“You have a point. Enslaving you to fight the demons is a despairing prospect for your kind. However, I guarantee that I will not treat you like cannon fodder. If you are to fight, my men and I will be right by your side. How does that sound?”

“Are you capable of making such a promise?” Mang Qi intoned in a low voice.

“You have little choice otherwise,” smiled Jiang Chen. “You’ve been trapped by this formation so long that your passions have long been worn away. Why not try a pact with me? Isn’t your greatest wish to return to your home?”

Mang Qi peered carefully at the young man.

“From what I know of you so far, you’re a trustworthy human. I will try my best to convince the others. Give me three months to do so.”

“Alright, three months it is. When that’s up, I should be done repairing all three of the formation’s nodes.”

“I’ve always placed my trust in you, Jiang Chen. I hope you won’t let me down,” Mang Qi stated seriously.

The young lord chuckled. “I’ve always been perfectly fair to everyone. I give respect to those who respect me. If you don’t trust my word alone, I can swear an oath as well. However, if you try to play any tricks, I have a hundred ways to reduce you to smithereens. I will open up an escape route in the formation for you, only for a short while. 

“When the formation is completely restored, you will only be trapped once more – with no hope of escape entirely this time. The formation is being reactivated to defend against the demons. We are making some alterations to grant it the ability to attack and defend actively as well, that they might be repelled back into the desolate wildlands.”

“Well, I will certainly strive to give you a satisfactory answer!” Mang Qi was galvanized by the prospect of freedom.

He had waited for two hundred thousand years since the ancient era. And yet, three months seemed too long when the outside world beckoned.

Spending so much time in this subterranean world had taught him that nothing was more invaluable than his personal liberty.

……

After making the agreement with Mang Qi, Jiang Chen returned to the second node and continued conducting the repairs there. The deterioration here was somewhat more serious than the last node he’d worked at, but the experience he had accumulated there hastened his efforts here.

After a while, Xia Tianze came to find Jiang Chen. “Jadeface has been on the run for more than a day now.” He grinned slyly. “Aren’t you going to do something about it?”

“Let him run,” Jiang Chen smiled serenely.

“Hmph! I’m not so ignorant not to know about the Great Veluriyam Lamp’s light, kid! You can track his location anytime after you’ve implanted its seal upon him.” As the Great Divine Veluriyam’s ancient lieutenant, Xia Tianze was no stranger to his old master’s treasures.

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etvolare's Thoughts

UwU MANG QI!! IT IS YOU!!!