With a simple smile devoid of maudlin tears, curtains fell on a century-long separation.
Neither of the two brothers could conceal their innermost feelings.
They could sense the intimacy between blood kin on an instinctive level. Jiang Chen didn’t need his consciousness to be certain the one named Jiang You was his brother in the flesh.
He’d searched for this lost sibling high and low, but in a strange twist of fate, Jiang You had appeared on his own. Stranger still, he was now a god as well!
Though unexpected, it was cause for rejoicing.
Jiang Chen had never doubted he’d see his brother again one day. But what if, alone in the world, the child came to suffer ordeals so cruel that his very nature became twisted, creating a rift impossible to mend between him and his family? This was the one worry that had always nagged at him.
However, though taciturn, Jiang You seemed to have stayed pure and good-natured.
Jiang Feng, Xu Meng, and Xu Qingxuan scrambled outside as soon as they heard the news.
The middle-aged Jiang Huan rubbed his nose. “I seem a little out of place here. My apologies for disturbing your reunion.”
Jiang Chen looked at the man, a subtle expression flashing on his face. “Friend, what’s your relationship with my brother?”
Silent thus far, Jiang You finally spoke up. “He took me under his wing when I was a child. I’ve been with him for the past hundred years.”
At this explanation, the Jiang family looked at the scholar with much gentler eyes.
“My greatest thanks, friend. We’ll never forget your kindness. What a coincidence for you to also be named Jiang! We might have come from the same family five hundred years ago,” Jiang Chen said with sincere gratitude.
“Heh, not only five hundred. Perhaps we truly came from the same family several hundred thousand years ago. Don’t you think so, young lord Jiang Chen?”
The subtle meaning hidden in Jiang Huan’s words startled Jiang Chen. He looked meaningfully at his guest. “Fellow daoist, you must have been the one who’s guided my brother’s cultivation into peerless divinity?”
“No no no, I didn’t teach him at all. To be more accurate, he’s only done one thing.” The scholar replied with a chuckle, startling the Jiang family.
“What is it?”
“Move a mountain,” Jiang You, ever the laconic one, volunteered.
His parents and siblings looked at each other. What did that mean?
They coaxed out a more in-depth explanation from the young man. Jiang Feng and his wife remained somewhat baffled, but Jiang Chen was shaken to the core.
There was definitely more to Jiang Huan than met the eye! He’d tempered Jiang You’s mind and disposition by having him focus single-mindedly on this one task, and left behind a spring and fruits that had unwittingly elevated the boy to the divine realm. Truth be told, he seemed capable of greater feats than the young lord himself.
Jiang Chen felt a rush of admiration for the man. He’d never imagined Divine Abyss would harbor such an outstanding figure.
“There are truly many powerhouses in our world. Fellow daoist, you’ve kept quite a low profile, I must say. Would you like to come in for a cup of wine?”
Jiang Huan arched his hands in salute. “Pardon my intrusion, then,” he agreed without excessive modesty.
Jiang Chen turned to his parents and his sister. “Keep Jiang You company first while I entertain this friend.”
He might be my brother’s benefactor, but he’s strong enough that even I don’t feel confident going against him.
The young lord didn’t feel entirely at ease leaving his family this close to such a powerful man.
Rather than paranoia, it was simply the circumspection of one who’d weathered the mighty tribulations of two lifetimes. One had to be wary of possible risks at all times.
Smiling, he offered his guest a drink. “Thank you again for your righteous actions. My family is reunited thanks to your noble efforts. I must thank you appropriately for such a deed.”
Jiang Huan drained his cup in one gulp. “Family reunions are good things, of course, so it’s rather sad that there’s still another family apart.”
Jiang Chen looked at the man with an inscrutable expression. “What do you mean?”
“Haha, make of it whatever you will, young lord.” A wise smile on his lips, Jiang Huan appeared utterly composed.
The host and the guest observed each other, both contemplating their own thoughts. Jiang Huan broke the silence first. “Young lord, you must be close to ninth level divine realm?”
Jiang Chen didn’t answer directly. “Your own strength must not be worse than mine if you can see through my cultivation at a glance.”
“Haha, I’d have lived all these hundreds of millennia in vain if my cultivation can’t match yours.”
Jiang Huan’s words imparted a sense fantastical enough to shake the young lord.
“I’ve been asleep during most of that time, but I’ve kept an eye on the events of the world during the rare times I was awake. I’ve forgotten by now how many times this cycle of sleeping and waking up has repeated itself. The world itself has become a blur. Young lord, you should be able to understand my solitude.”
A double meaning, yet again.
But Jiang Chen remained deadpan, silent to his guest’s emotional sighs.
“I arrived in the primordial age. It was truly barren back then, save for its earliest inhabitants. Then came the ancient era where many great personages vied for supremacy, before the demonic invaders came, and the demon-sealing war with them.
“Later on, a fragmented Divine Abyss entered a long period of decline. And then… I woke up not long ago to find the demons eradicated? The four sacred beasts matured? The day I’ve long been waiting for has finally arrived, it seems.”
Jiang Huan ranted on like a lunatic, a mysterious glint in his eyes.
Jiang Chen frowned tightly. In a few short sentences, he seemed to have experienced the endless passage of time, witnessed the rise and fall of the world from the primordial age all the way to the present.
This weather-worn feeling didn’t feel out of place emanating from his guest. Was the man older than Divine Abyss’ history itself?
“Heh, the sacred beasts might be grown now, but they were still pups back when I brought them here. Some hadn’t even hatched yet. There’s also a Amaranth Clouddew Tree inside this sect, it must have borne fruit by now, I presume?”
His voice was quiet, but the wheels of history seemed to creak slowly with his words.
It was an inexplicably strange conversation that took Jiang Chen aback. The divine beasts were an open secret by now, but he’d kept the Amaranth Clouddew Tree deep in the palace’s forbidden ground, hidden beneath illusions and misdirections. Few knew of its existence.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
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