Chapter 863: Brotherhood
The three of them weren’t bound by any restrictions, but they couldn’t conjure up the thoughts to escape. From what they could feel, their purchaser had strength that surpassed theirs by a hundredfold. There was no way they could outrun him even if they got a five hundred mile head start. Simultaneously, they were also curious. Why were they not implanted with any restrictions after being purchased? Was their purchaser really not afraid of them running away? But what ordinary cultivator was this kind to his slaves?
Each member of the trio was occupied with his own thoughts for a time. Feng Pao was unfamiliar with the other two. On the other hand, Liu Wencai and Lu Yali were both sect and blood brothers, but they couldn’t exactly communicate in present circumstances.
“Ay,” Jiang Chen sighed softly. “Life is a lottery. I didn’t think that my travels into the Great Scarlet Mid Region would lead me to some old brothers.”
This time, he didn’t disguise his voice. Liu Wencai and Lu Yali trembled when they heard this. They gazed at Jiang Chen with indescribable astonishment, their eyes filled with a strong desire for inspection. Clearly, the familiar voice greatly deviated from their expectations. Feng Pao was no stranger to Jiang Chen’s voice either. Stunned, he couldn’t help but speak aloud, “Are you… are you senior brother Jiang?”
At the Myriad Grand Ceremony long ago, Jiang Chen had thought Feng Pao to be an upstanding man devoted to the sword. He was a candidate with potential and could be molded. Because of this, he had taught Feng Pao some mysteries of the sword at the time. Though Jiang Chen remembered those events still, it didn’t weigh much on his mind. But for Feng Pao, it had been an amazing stroke of fortune, and he had taken it to heart ever since. He was very grateful to Jiang Chen. Hearing the voice of his benefactor was very shocking to him.
Liu Wencai was thoroughly bewildered as well. “Brother Boulder…”
At the trials at Eternal Spirit Mountain, Jiang Chen had participated with the alias of ‘Boulder’. It was thus the same name that Liu Wencai had always called him by. Though Liu Wencai had found out later about Jiang Chen’s true identity, he’d already given Jiang Chen a place deep in his heart as a brother worthy of lifelong respect. He could never forget Jiang Chen’s debt of instruction and reformation of him. Back at the Myriad Spirit Sect, Liu Wencai had been given the cold shoulder everywhere. Without Jiang Chen’s tutelage, there was no way he could have stood out from his peers and become the primary recipient of resources. Because of this, he appreciated Jiang Chen beyond everyone else at the sect, including even Forefather Ninelion who mentored him later on.
Lu Yali was even more overlooked at the Myriad Spirit Sect. Just like Liu Wencai, his fate had been changed by Jiang Chen singlehandedly. He saw the latter as a blood brother just the same. ‘Brother Boulder’ was someone unforgettable to them. The revelation that he was their deliverer from suffering quite excited them. Jiang Chen patted Liu Wencai’s shoulder. “Wencai, we haven’t seen each other for several years. You’ve made a lot of progress. You didn’t let me down.”
“Fatty, you’ve improved considerably as well.” Jiang Chen turned his gaze towards Lu Yali. He’d met the rotund youth through a brawl. An interesting fellow, to be sure–especially when Jiang Chen remembered the fact that he’d intentionally feigned weakness back on Eternal Spirit Mountain. Because of his rounded build, Lu Yali was often nicknamed Pear Lu, or Fatty Lu. The fatty grinned from ear to ear. “Is it really you? The Brother Boulder we’ve kept in our thoughts day and night?”
Jiang Chen nodded, then turned to Feng Pao again. “Brother Feng, a genius of the sword. It’s been many years for us as well. Perhaps these struggles will inspire something in your understanding of the dao.”
Feng Pao was the kind of person who could endure anything for the sake of his art. He had treated the past few days of enslavement as a trial. His spirit hadn’t been crushed by the experience. However, he was still quite thankful for his rescue. “Senior brother Jiang, the world works in mysterious ways. You were the one to teach me the sword back then, and you are my deliverer now. I have been blessed by very few people in my entire life. You are one of them. If I by chance survive my ordeals and achieve a new pinnacle of the sword, I will come wherever you summon me. Regardless of my strength, regardless of the difficulties before me. I won’t bat even an eye.”
He wasn’t making things up. He was fanatically devoted to the dao of the sword, with little concern life and death. His life had been saved by Jiang Chen anyways. He was prepared to turn it over back to his savior at anytime. As long as he lived, he would not give up pursuing the supreme dao of the sword. Feng Pao saluted with fist and palm. “Senior brother Jiang, I’ve been imprisoned for a while. I don’t know what’s happened to my sect and I’d like to investigate. May I have leave to go?” Having been both saved and purchased by Jiang Chen, he felt he had to obtain permission in order to leave.
“Brother Feng, you wish to leave now? Isn’t here too far away from the Great Scarlet Mid Region? There is considerable risk if you travel alone.”
Feng Pao smiled wryly. “If I am captured again, that is entirely my uselessness. It cannot be helped. Do not be worried, senior brother Jiang. Even if that comes to pass, I will not divulge your location no matter what.”
Jiang Chen didn’t doubt that one bit. If Feng Pao was the kind of scoundrel who would do that, Jiang Chen would never have taught him the secrets of the sword in the first place. He thought for a few moments before taking out an escape glyph. “This is an escape glyph. It may help you to retreat at a crucial moment. Keep it so you have something for emergencies.”
Feng Pao laughed, accepting the glyph without melodrama. “I owe senior brother Jiang more and more. For as long as I live, I will repay you with everything in me.” Accepting the escape glyph, he bowed deeply to Jiang Chen, then saluted to Liu Wencai and Fatty Lu before disappearing. With a single twist of his body, he became a dashing breeze in the wind.
Seeing Feng Pao’s departure, Lu Yali couldn’t resist. “Brother Boulder, there are bounties for you throughout the world. Just letting him go like that, is anything going to…” Fatty Lu did not know Feng Pao very well, and was evidently worried that he would sell Jiang Chen out.
Jiang Chen waved a hand. “There’s no need to worry. Even if he was a person that would do something like that, there are many people hunting me already, but I’m still alive and well, aren’t I?”
“Brother Boulder, your talent is extraordinary. We’ve only been apart for a few years, but the gap between us has only widened,” Liu Wencai exclaimed admiringly. His emotional reflections aside, Liu Wencai was still entirely overjoyed. Back at Eternal Spirit Mountain, Jiang Chen had taken care of him and instructed him, just like an elder brother would. It could be said that Jiang Chen was the person Liu Wencai admired most. He played the role of a generous patron in Liu Wencai’s life.
Even after all these years, he was still touched whenever he remembered Jiang Chen’s care. Liu Wencai had both missed and worried about his brotherly figure. Seeing Jiang Chen again was like a hot-blooded youth’s reunion with a respected elder brother. His heart was greatly moved. Moreover, this respected eldest brother had just rescued him from a world of suffering. The emotions he felt were indescribable.
They exchanged words about what their experiences had been in the interim. It turned out that the Myriad Spirit Sect had followed the example of Precious Tree Sect’s alliance with Regal Pill Palace, affiliating themselves in turn with the Great Cathedral. Because of Liu Wencai’s superiority of talent over his peers, he had been sent to the Great Cathedral as well. In effect, Myriad Spirit Sect became a branch of the great sect. However, after the invasion of the Great Scarlet Mid Region, there were heavy casualties since the Great Cathedral was a primary target.
At the battle of the Myriad Grand Ceremony, Xiang Wentian and three other family heads, as well as a few other elders from the Great Cathedral, used their totemic power to break through. Many died in the process, and the escaped survivors were never found. There was also no news of the younger geniuses such as Xiang Qin, who’d come out later from the Paramount Realm and were rescued by Jiang Chen.
Before these sweeping changes, Liu Wencai had cultivated at the Great Cathedral’s headquarters. After the great force’s invasion, many of the experts guarding the Cathedral died, but some successfully broke through the enemy’s encirclement. Being from the Myriad Spirit Sect, Liu Wencai and Lu Yali had not been informed of anything even in crucial moments in the proceedings, so both of them became unknowing prisoners. A tumultuous journey later, they were sold as slaves at Great Scarlet Capital.
Recent times had not been kind to either Liu Wencai or Lu Yali. Hearing the former recount their struggles depicted a new image of the violence of those days.
“It looks like that nowhere in the Myriad Domain was safe from this calamity. There was equal ruin everywhere,” Jiang Chen sighed.
“Brother Boulder, do you have any news of the family heads from the Great Cathedral?” Lu Yali asked eagerly.
“What are you asking about them for?” Liu Wencai angrily interrupted. “They were going to escape, but didn’t tell us anything about it. The Great Cathedral, hmph… a sect like that isn’t worth our thoughts.”
Liu Wencai had bad experiences of isolation at Myriad Spirit Sect already. He especially despised the feeling of being abandoned. Lu Yali didn’t know how to reply. “…then what about Myriad Spirit Sect?”
Liu Wencai looked at Jiang Chen when his old sect was mentioned. Certainly, he still had some leftover feelings for it. After all, he had grown up with the Myriad Spirit Sect. No matter how they’d ostracized him and neglected him in the past, there were also people that had been good to him.
“Don’t ask me, I don’t know much about it. The Eternal Celestial Capital and Ninesuns Sky Sect had made preparations in order to unleash this calamity. If a bird’s nest is overturned, no egg within can remain unbroken. I would assume that there is great loss of life within the sixteen kingdoms alliance as well.” Jiang Chen’s tone was heavy.
Liu Wencai and Lu Yali were worried about Myriad Spirit Sect, but he was worried about Precious Tree Sect and the people he knew in both the Skylaurel and Eastern Kingdoms. However, a faction like the Eastern Kingdom that was already second- or third-rate in the sixteen kingdoms alliance was fairly likely to be overlooked by first-ranked sects. Current circumstances didn’t exactly permit Liu Wencai and Lu Yali to return to the Myriad Spirit Sect, either.
“What do you plan to do next?” Jiang Chen asked.
Liu Wencai looked at Jiang Chen wordlessly. Now that he’d found Jiang Chen, Liu Wencai’s heart was dead set on following him. Lu Yali was anxious as well. “Brother Boulder, both of us are homeless now. We’ve always treated you like an older brother. Hopefully you can show us a better way.”
After considering a moment, Jiang Chen nodded. “I have important matters at hand that more people would make inconvenient. How about this, go to Veluriyam Capital, to a place called Taiyuan Tower. I’ll give you a token, and you’ll find out the rest when you get there.”
This trip carried great risks for Jiang Chen himself, and he had no reason to take Liu Wencai and Lu Yali along with him. The pair had enough self-awareness to know that they would only be dead weight for Jiang Chen. “Alright, then we shall go to Veluriyam Capital.” They nodded simultaneously.
“Don’t worry, I own that place. Just let them know your relationship to me when you arrive, and people will receive you appropriately. Remember, caution is key. The Great Scarlet Mid Region is cracking down on slaves of every kind. You need to disguise yourselves a bit more…”
862 was bonus chapter 3/5 to celebrate the launch of Return of the Swallow, my favorite web novel of 2017!
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