Because of Jiang Chen’s strong support, news about rebuilding Regal Pill Palace spread far and wide across the human domain. Many rumors were strewn across regions everywhere.
Those originally belonging to Myriad Domain who had luckily escaped with their lives in the calamity wept after hearing the news. Because of their homelessness, they’d become wandering cultivators in the meantime. Many of them decided to make the journey home. Myriad Domain was where they belonged!
Of course, the layout of six sects no longer existed. There was only one voice in Myriad Domain now – Regal Pill Palace called the shots by necessity.
A thousand things were waiting to be done. For those who had lost their sects, the decade of meandering had smoothed the edges of their prides. This was particularly true for the younger generation of disciples.
Upon the falls of their respective sects, they had gnashed their teeth and sworn oaths of vengeance. But they’d spent the ten next years largely wasting away, their angles worn smooth by the sands of time. Eventually, they had all accepted that their sects were no more, forgetting any notion of hoping to rebuild them.
Reality had beat it into them that doing so was almost impossible.
The younger disciples from Regal Pill Palace had lost themselves too at Veluriyam Capital. Some of them had thought that their days there were quite comfortable. The comfort and contentment had dulled their fighting spirit and motivation. Jiang Chen had stoked their emotions numerous times to that end, restoring their courage and will to fight.
But Myriad Domain had only one such miracle worker.
The other sects were not so fortunate. Including the Great Cathedral, the sect once so intent on having the six sects form an alliance, over ninety percent of their cultivators had died during Great Scarlet’s invasion. The remainder had either become wandering cultivators or joined other factions.
Men who singularly wished to return to and rebuild their homeland were exceedingly rare. In times of adversity, it was impossible for the majority to maintain a desire to improve.
The news of Regal Pill Palace’s rebuilding brought many of those survivors home with optimism. But only ruins remained on the site of their former sects. There were weeds and spiderwebs everywhere.
Some departed in disappointment, never to return. The majority however, chose to join Regal Pill Palace instead. Regardless of its current backer, the Palace was a native faction of Myriad Domain. It could represent the region it was from merely with existing.
For Myriad Domain’s cultivators, Regal Pill Palace had more of a right than anyone to inherit the mantle of the region’s heritage. Many of its former cultivators returned from all over, all of them asking to join the Palace. There were even a few of its original disciples lost abroad that excitedly found their way home.
All the while, Jiang Chen remained with Regal Pill Palace to help things stabilize. He was also present for a secondary reason: he wanted to observe the current goings-on of Great Scarlet Mid Region.
There was a constant influx of news from Great Scarlet. The three sects within had entered a heated civil war after the destruction of the imperial family. They were engaged in frenzied, all-consuming conflict.
Things had gotten significantly worse after the toppling of the Great Scarlet empire. The three sects’ fight was affecting the lives of the common people, sweeping the entire region into the fires of war.
“Is it time yet, young lord?” Emperor Peerless asked, smiling.
“The three sects haven’t lost all of their reason yet. We’ll intervene when that day comes, we will intervene.” Jiang Chen’s tone was cool. He awaited the day that chaos truly descended upon Great Scarlet. Regal Pill Palace’s rebuilding had entered a stable period. There was a report from a messenger mid-discussion.
“Young lord, there is someone outside the Palace who is asking for you by name.”
“Who?” Jiang Chen asked.
“They didn’t say. It was a kindly-looking old man, with a bear of a man closely following. They say that they know you.”
An old man and a bearish man? Jiang Chen sat up immediately. It seemed a perfect description of Ye Chonglou and Tang Hong.
“Quick, show them in.” Hearing about his past acquaintances raised Jiang Chen’s morale. “Old Brother Mo, Lordmaster Ye took great care of me at the beginning of my martial cultivation.” Remembering his past here at Skylaurel filled his heart with gratefulness for Ye Chonglou.
The young and old duo were swiftly led inside. Jiang Chen found the heavy steps echoing in the distance extremely familiar.
The loudness of those feet could belong to none other than Tang Hong! Overjoyed, Jiang Chen rushed out the door, watching the young-and-old pair turn the corner toward him.
“Lordmaster Ye, Big Tang, it really is you two!” He approached them with unmasked pleasure.
Tang Hong grinned upon seeing his old brother. “I told you, old master,” he turned to Ye Chonglou. “How could the Jiang Chen we’ve heard about be anyone other than the same one at the Precious Tree Sect? What was there to be careful about? I’ve missed you a lot, Brother Chen.”
Tang Hong had grown even bigger than he was ten years ago. His facial features had also become more pronounced.
“Hahaha, Old Tang, you’ve grown taller.” Smiling, Jiang Chen looked Tang Hong all over. The other man’s height constantly astounded him.
“It’s been ten years, Jiang Chen,” Ye Chonglou sighed with a slight smile. “I took your advice and withdrew from the world. The Precious Tree Sect’s head didn’t quite agree with me at first, and when he finally did, it was perhaps a bit late. We’ve spent these years adrift, Tang Hong and I, with relative peacefulness.”
“What of the others from the Precious Tree Sect?” Jiang Chen blinked.
“Ah! They said they were going to leave as well, but I didn’t hear much from them later on. If they succeeded in going into hiding, they’ll be back when they hear about what’s been happening here. If not, then…” Ye Chonglou paused here.
“Everyone must live by the decisions they make, I suppose.” Jiang Chen sighed softly. If the Precious Tree Sect was fated to perish in that calamity, there was nothing he could do. The fact that Ye Chonglou and the big ox Tang Hong were still alive was enough for him.
“That’s right, lordmaster. Come in. I’ll ask Dan Fei to come see you.”
“Dan Fei?” Excitement flashed through the old man’s eyes. “Jiang Chen, you found Dan Fei?”
Jiang Chen rubbed his nose. “It’s a long story. Take a seat inside, and I’ll tell you the long and short of it.”
Leading the old man inside, Jiang Chen patted Tang Hong on the arm. “Good work, Old Tang. You’ve improved quite a bit, huh?”
He could see that Tang Hong was already initial sage realm, with a level very near mid sage realm. It was a solid achievement even in light of the true dragon blood’s effects.
“Heh, the lordmaster’s pushed me pretty hard these past few years.” Tang Hong sounded rather proud. He hadn’t been sure if he would even reach origin realm back at the Precious Tree Sect. Many things had happened in the outside world during their decade of separation, but the massive increase in his strength was the most visceral change for Tang Hong.
“Why are you puffing yourself up because of a bit of praise, Tang Hong? Is there anything you can be proud of in front of Jiang Chen?” The old man dumped a bucket of cold water on the preening man.
His mouth agape, Tang Hong didn’t know what to say. Finally, he smacked himself on the head.
“That’s true. My strength is nothing compared to you, Brother Chen. You’re something of a legend, you know? At first, we didn’t believe what we were hearing during our wanderings. After the lordmaster analyzed some of the details, we began to hazard the guess that the famed young lord Jiang Chen was none other than you.
“And that’s why we came back.” The big man chuckled, clearly pleased with himself.
As someone who’d once studied at the Regal Pill Palace, he held feelings for the sect as much as anyone else. The sect’s fall ten years ago had saddened him for a time as well. Hearing about the rebuilding of the Palace was both surprising and gratifying for him. The man behind it all was the person that he respected the most in the world: the one and only young lord known throughout the sphere, Veluriyam Capital’s Jiang Chen!
It had only been ten years since their trials together at Eternal Spirit Mountain. The distance between them now was incomprehensibly large!
As the old acquaintances conversed, Dan Fei hurried over at the message. Her eyes reddened when she saw the old man, her vision blurring with emotion.
Dan Fei loved the old man a great deal, throwing herself into his arms. “Lordmaster, I thought I would never see you again.”
“Foolish girl. If you were scared that you wouldn’t see us again, why did you secretly leave the residence?” Old Man Ye Chonglou spoke with a mildly disapproving tone.
Dan Fei’s face reddened as well. She glanced at Jiang Chen in embarrassment; she thought that he’d told the old man about everything already.
“Let’s talk about that later, lordmaster. Shall we have a few drinks to celebrate our reunion?” Jiang Chen quickly changed the subject.
“Oh, yes. Let me introduce you: this is the famous wandering cultivator titan, Emperor Peerless. He’s currently with Sacred Peafowl Mountain as one of our guest venerated elders.”
The name ‘Emperor Peerless’ was as loud as a thunderclap amongst all wandering cultivators.
Old Man Ye Chonglou’s body shook. “A great emperor senior. Please excuse my lack of courtesy.”
Tang Hong’s ox-like eyes spun in their sockets. “A great emperor expert? How do you even get there?”
Everyone roared with laughter. The unexpected appearance of Ye Chonglou and Tang Hong alleviated a fair bit of Jiang Chen’s worries.
“That’s right.” Jiang Chen suddenly remembered something else. “Old master, didn’t my uncle Jiang Tong and cousin Jiang Yu withdraw with you? Where are they now?”
He had almost forgotten this extremely important tidbit.