Chapter 413: Return to Skylaurel Kingdom
Since Jiang Chen was to return to the Precious Tree Sect, this put Chu Xinghan in a rather awkward position.
Jiang Chen had saved Chu Xinghan’s life, and he wanted badly to repay Jiang Chen, but he was still a Purple Sun Sect disciple after all. To someone as loyal as he was, the notion of him flocking to the Precious Tree Sect’s banner was a bit tough to accept.
Therefore, when Chu Xinghan heard that Jiang Chen would return to the Precious Tree Sect, he was a bit dazed, then said resolutely, “Jiang Chen, I owe you my life. You can come take it whenever you want. I would rather be a wandering cultivator all my life than throw myself at the mercy of another sect. Please understand. If there comes a day that you leave the Precious Tree Sect, summon me at any time and I will be there, awaiting your orders.”
Jiang Chen did indeed greatly admire Chu Xinghan and didn’t want to force the man to follow him.
He smiled slightly, “It’s not that I saved your life, you saved your own. With my style, I only ask for a clear conscience, not for any return.”
Chu Xinghan was well aware that Jiang Chen was open and straightforward. His admiration for Jiang Chen grew even greater.
Elder Shun laughed heartily on the side, “It just so happens that I am going to travel the four seas and lack someone to keep me company. Chu Xinghan, the fates of you and I seem to intersect. Are you willing to stay by my side and be my companion?”
Elder Shun had saved Jiang Chen from Chu Xinghan’s hands back at the Second Crossing.
Chu Xinghan had been able to set his feelings aside with good humor. This had invoked a few traces of admiration in Elder Shun.
And now, destiny had strung them all together in the Eternal Spirit Mountain.
To Elder Shun, this was fate.
Jiang Chen was also delighted to hear this. If Chu Xinghan followed Elder Shun, it would be a great stroke of fortune for him. He immediately smiled, “Brother Chu, Elder Shun is an acclaimed expert of our times. If you can stay by his side and serve him, it would be the making of a new you.”
Chu Xinghan naturally wouldn’t put on airs. Elder Shun had used just a random move that day at the Second Crossing to dispel all of his attacks. The divine arts contained within that move had been something far exceeding that of his honored master Shuiyue.
Jiang Chen had learned later that Elder Shun had used some tricks to run circles around the four forefathers.
This meant that he was much stronger than them.
Now that Elder Shun had extended an invitation to Chu Xinghan to accompany him, that was an incredible change in fortune. What reason did he have to turn the elder down?
He immediately bowed deeply and said respectfully, “Xinghan is willing to follow by Elder Shun’s side, available for beck and call at the side of your saddle to serve you.”
Huang’er felt a bit better when she saw that Elder Shun had taken Chu Xinghan for a follower. She too was worried that Elder Shun would feel lonely as he drifted too and fro in his advanced age.
Chu Xinghan also seemed like someone with a good personality, and was loyal. It would rather be a good thing to have him by Elder Shun’s side.
When the two sides had finished discussing, they left the Eternal Spirit Mountain and the legacy territory through Elder Shun’s handiwork.
Jiang Chen and Huang’er were to head to the Precious Tree Sect, and Elder Shun would take Chu Xinghan in traveling the lands to search for the Requiem Wood.
When Jiang Chen watched the departing figures of Elder Shun taking Chu Xinghan away, he sighed softly. He was genuinely happy at the sight of such an outcome for Chu Xinghan.
When Huang’er saw Jiang Chen sigh, she asked out of curiosity, “Why does Sir Jiang sigh so?”
“Chu Xinghan’s life has been tumultuous. Being at Elder Shun’s side is a good final destination for him, so I’m happy for him. Of the disciples in the four sects, those who can enter my line of sight are few and far in between. Chu Xinghan is frank and forthright with his own principles. He is indeed a true man.”
Huang’er was slightly lost in thought and gave a long sigh after a while. “Sir Jiang only knows to compliment others, but do you know that you are such a person as well?”
Jiang Chen laughed heartily, “I don’t know if I’m a true man, but I do know that my grudges and debts of gratitude are clearly defined, and I always repay kindness. Please be at ease, Miss Huang’er, I will not let Elder Shun down and will take good care of you.”
Huang’er smiled, her downcast feelings of parting with Elder Shun lightening when she saw that Jiang Chen was sincere. She felt that Jiang Chen was someone open and genuine, easy to get along with.
“Elder Shun and Chu Xinghan have gone far, and we should be on our way as well.” Huang’er withdrew her gaze from the distance, steadied her emotions, and spoke to Jiang Chen.
Jiang Chen nodded and set off with Huang’er, heading for the Skylaurel Kingdom.
What he hadn’t thought of was that no matter how fast he went, Huang’er was able to keep tightly to his pace. She would never take even half a step in front of him, but neither would she fall too far behind.
This surprised Jiang Chen, and he became quite curious about her cultivation level.
He recalled that day when he felt her pulse that Miss Huang’er had an exceedingly deep level of cultivation, but he actually couldn’t estimate her abilities.
“Miss Huang’er and Elder Shun’s origins are mysterious, and their strength is unfathomable.” Although Jiang Chen was curious, he didn’t nose around.
The two of them occasionally conversed as they traveled, but Jiang Chen never asked where they’d come from.
On this day, they finally set foot into the capital of the Skylaurel Kingdom.
Huang’er had put on a black cape. She wrapped herself up firmly and hid her face behind a veil.
Jiang Chen felt that this was because Huang’er was self conscious about her appearance and didn’t say anything.
All was orderly in the Jiang manor, with nothing falling into disarray just because Jiang Chen was absent.
“Young master?” Xue Tong discovered Jiang Chen as soon as he reached the door and yelled out excitedly.
The other personal guards dashed out when they heard this shout, delighted beyond words.
Their last parting had resulted in a leave of almost two years. Everyone had undergone great changes in the meantime.
They had all been young folk, but had all grown and become muscular after two years.
Xue Tong in particular had broken through to the spirit realm, whereas the others were all at the peak of the true qi realm, a mere step away from the spirit realm.
Jiang Chen swept his gaze across all of their faces and smiled. “Not bad, not bad!”
When he walked in the front door, he saw Gouyu standing on the steps of the courtyard. Her figure was still stunning, but her face seemed a bit thinner, imparting more natural beauty to her.
“Young master, you’re finally back.”
Gouyu was still the eldest amongst them all and thus more mature. But no matter how she tried to conceal the agitated emotions in her heart, they were still revealed in the deepest corners of her eyes.
It was apparent her happiness upon that Jiang Chen’s return wasn’t any less than that of Xue Tong and the others.
It was just that she was the de facto person in charge when the young master was gone, and so she didn’t lose her composure like the others.
“Haha, Gouyu, you seemed to have slimmed down these past two years. These two years have been tough on everyone.” Jiang Chen grew lighthearted when he saw that all was well within the manor. “Is my third uncle and Jiang Yu well?”
“The third lord and young master Yu are all very well.” Xue Tong responded.
“Mm, let’s go inside and chat.” Jiang Chen was about to go inside when he suddenly halted, smiled, and pointed at Huang’er. “This is Miss Huang’er, a friend of an old friend.”
“Hello Miss Huang’er.”
Xue Tong and the others all made their greetings.
Gouyu also walked over with a charming smile and latched onto Huang’er’s arm. “Miss Huang’er, since you are our young master’s friend, be at ease here.”
Huang’er smiled and was happy to see that Jiang Chen’s pretty follower was open-minded and friendly.
“Hello older sister Gouyu.”
Gouyu saw that the other had remembered her name immediately, and that her voice was as pure as the heavenly tones. This made her entire being seem quite otherworldly and ethereal.
Therefore, Gouyu was immediately insatiably curious. Where did the young master pick up this old friend? Miss Huang’er’s voice is so unworldly, the dulcet tones of a fairy. Just how extraordinary is she?
She became rather curious about Huang’er’s face beneath the veil.
Huang’er also seemed to sense Gouyu’s thoughts as she gave a soft smile. Girls were remarkably sharp when it came to these matters.
She knew that older sister Gouyu must have some feelings for her young master, so she couldn’t help but be curious about other girls.
Huang’er was an empathetic sort as she lightly tugged her veil, revealing the ugly features.
Gouyu was slightly surprised to see this, but that surprise immediately transformed into concentrated apology. She knew that her probing just now had made Miss Huang’er misunderstand.
Huang’er’s move had been to dispel Gouyu’s curiosity and misunderstanding.
Gouyu felt rather awkward now. She was curious, yes, but didn’t mean so in a jealous manner. She felt greatly apologetic that Miss Huang’er had been forced to show her face.
“Miss Huang’er…” Gouyu murmured and wanted to explain herself.
Huang’er smiled faintly. “Older sister Gouyu, I should’ve shown you my true face to begin with. It is I who have been rude.”
Gouyu felt quite conquered by Miss Huang’er’s demeanor. She felt it quite a pity that Miss Huang’er was so kind and straightforward, but her looks were a blemish in an otherwise perfect whole. What was even more rare was that she didn't have the slightest bit of an inferiority complex with showing her face to others. This kind of leisurely bearing could only come from a daughter of an eminent family.
Surprise and guilt filled Gouyu’s heart in that moment.
She grasped Huang’er’s hand that felt so soft it was almost boneless. “Younger sister Huang’er, you live here from now on. I’ll be your champion if anyone dares bully you!”
Gouyu was kindly disposed to this kind and openminded girl, and her protective instincts exploded in a second.
Jiang Chen chuckled and didn’t say anything.
It was yet to be determined who would protect who. However, Gouyu’s personality was open, fierce, and tough. She was quite direct about her likes and dislikes, and must be feeling guilty towards Huang’er about her actions just now. Wanting to protect her was completely in line with Gouyu’s personality.
Huang’er knew that this was a true and genuine girl when she saw Gouyu thus. She didn’t reject Gouyu as she smiled gently, “Then I must thank my sister first.”
The two of them walked inside hand in hand, chatting and laughing.
The news of Jiang Chen’s return spread quickly to the palace, the Dragonteeth Guard, and every corner of the entire capital.
All of the nobles couldn’t sit still as they all set out for the Jiang manor.
Please, Jiang Chen had risen from the Skylaurel Kingdom, and was now first amongst the younger generation with his return!
With this identity, who would dare mistreat him? They couldn’t wait to fawn on him enough!
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