Life on Crimsonwaters seemed rather peaceful. Shady dealings were a daily occurrence, but the lesser world was relatively stable as a whole, a sign that Godking Crimsonwaters’ ability lived up to his reputation. At the very least, the situation in his lands hadn’t devolved uncontrollably.
Jiang Chen remained in seclusion inside Fiendstar. Sectmistress Han Shuang sometimes stopped by and shared gossip, but contrary to his expectations, she acted with decorum when alone with him. Her behavior was a far cry from her rough and ready attitude in public, not to mention her wild and bold demeanor.
Her current personality was much more to his taste.
“Elder Zhen Junior, why do I feel like you should be called Elder Zhen Senior instead of your uncle? You’re clearly younger, yet you’re boring as dust. Do you know anything other than cultivation?”
Jiang Chen smiled lightly. “Shouldn’t you be gratified by my diligence? The more hardworking I am, the better the odds for Fiendstar in the competition to come.”
“Haha, you’re right. I should lecture your uncle instead. I haven’t seen him cultivate seriously even once since he’s joined!” Han Shuang laughed freely. “The red-light districts are more familiar with him than us. What a debauched fellow. It’s a miracle you haven’t been led astray with such a relative.”
Jiang Chen chuckled. The one to lead him astray hadn’t even been born yet. Moreover, Jiang Huang’s attitude was a simple masquerade. He’d brought many useful pieces of information as of late.
“Sectmistress Han, please don’t misunderstand him. He might be a freewheeling spirit, but he knows where his priorities lie. He simply enjoys life in his own way. As for me, cultivation is a form of pleasure.”
A little perplexed still, Han Shuang soberly looked him over, genuine appreciation shining in her eyes.
“Seeing you put your nose to the grindstone makes me feel like we’ll definitely achieve our goal at the lake!”
Sensing her eagerness, Jiang Chen nodded in agreement. “Of course we will. Isn’t that the reason why we joined? We also want to meet the celestial emperor.”
Han Shuang giggled. “Tell me about it. Why do folks like us cultivate for a lifetime? Isn’t it to build up our legacy? To bring glory to our sects and honor our ancestors? To make something of ourselves? Who on Crimsonwaters would dare look down on us after we earn an interview with His Majesty?”
Jiang Chen smiled softly at her naive thinking, but offered no comment. He naturally wouldn’t point out that the current emperor was a fake and wouldn’t last long.
“Hah, I hope the current celestial emperor will stay on his throne for a while. Wouldn’t it be a waste of our efforts if he gets replaced as soon as we score an audience?” That was her greatest worry.
Jiang Chen chuckled leisurely. “That would indeed be a pity.”
“Sigh, the turnover of celestial emperors is a real downer. How can the ruler of a self-respecting plane be replaced so quickly? From what I hear, it’s not nearly the case in the other planes. Did our Taiyuan Plane fail to obtain the supreme dao’s blessing? Is that the origin of this volatility?”
Although seemingly thinking aloud, Han Shuang also sought an answer from Jiang Chen.
“Sectmistress, why are you so concerned about the affairs of our betters?” Jiang Chen asked with a chuckle.
“I’d rather not to. I don’t care who sits on the throne, but I’d welcome more stability and a strong ruler. I heard that the plane once knew millions of years of prosperity under the original Celestial Emperor Taiyuan. None of the following emperors lasted more than thirty thousand years. What a joke!”
She poked out her tongue. “Elder Zhen Junior, my words are a little disrespectful, so mum’s the word. We don’t want to bring harm to our sect, alright?”
“Haha, don’t worry, I’m also a man of Fiendstar. My lips are sealed.” Jiang Chen was only half joking.
“Alright, then I leave you to your cultivation.” Han Shuang stood up.
The young lord suddenly spoke when she reached the door. “Sectmistress, just like you, I long for a strong celestial emperor.”
Han Shuang grinned merrily, waved goodbye, and left without further ado.
Jiang Chen waited for her figure to disappear before murmuring, “The unrest’s lasted for hundreds of millenia. Men now yearn for peace to return. Few want to see a Taiyuan Plane in the throes of discord.”
On this day, Jiang Huan came back and cast a defensive dome inside Jiang Chen’s residence, isolating it from the outside world.
“Young lord, I have new reliable information,” he announced eagerly.
“It must be quite exciting to make you so heated, Uncle Huan.” Nothing short of a momentous development could make the older man so agitated.
“Several days ago, Godking Crimsonwaters invited several godkings to his residence. They stayed there for many days.”
“Oh, and what of it? Isn’t it normal for godkings to visit each other? Godking Crimsonwaters has a friendly reputation, I’m not surprised he has many acquaintances.” The young lord didn’t think much of it.
“As you say.” Jiang Huan nodded. “But I hear he’s not very satisfied by Taiyuan Plane’s current state of affairs.”
“That also goes without saying. Who’d be happy when there’s no end in sight to chaotic times?”
“Hehe, you’re right. Among his guests, there was a certain Godking Righteous, a very upright man. Apparently, he’s always been His Majesty Taiyuan’s firm supporter. Our secret mastermind’s simply orchestrated the coup too masterfully for him to overturn. But, it gets better. Because of the worsening times, he sometimes openly pines for the past Taiyuan Plane.
“What does that mean? That your father is still influential after all this time! He still has supporters left. And at a guess, as the turmoil continues unabated, more godkings will yearn for the good old days and back his return.”
Jiang Chen nodded, agreeing with the reasonable hypothesis. “Indeed, the greater their discontentment, the more opportunities for us. It’d be much more difficult to achieve our goals in times of peace.”
“That’s what I meant. So we absolutely need to take part in the godking convention. Everything hinges on you breaking through and refining the creation token before then.”
Jiang Chen nodded. “Rest assured. At the current pace, I’m pretty confident I can become a godking within sixty years. I don’t have access to the token yet so I can’t make promises, but I’ll do everything in my power!”Previous Chapter Next Chapter