Jiang Han territory, River Wave City.
Ever since the Jiang father and son pair had returned, the atmosphere of the entire Jiang Family had become quite fervent. All of the Jiang family sons and disciples were united in a display of celebration that had been never seen before. Never had they been more enthusiastic.
The battle of the Second Crossing had already been revised into countless versions and become a legendary story within the Jiang Han territory.
The same theme permeated through the multitude of versions, and that was that the young duke had displayed an invincible martial prowess and stemmed the tide by himself, engaging the million strong Long family army in a fierce battle in front of the Second Crossing!
He had killed Long Zhaofeng, annihilated the Long family accomplices, and terrorized the million strong army. He had turned back the tides of darkness by himself and had lent a supporting hand to the Eastern clan in their time of crisis.
Even the Duke of Jiang Han, Jiang Feng, had to admit that, at this moment, the reputation of his son far outstripped his in the Jiang Han territory by now.
Jiang Feng naturally wouldn’t be jealous of something like this. Every father had great ambitions for his son, and the only person that every man could accept as being stronger than himself was his own son.
Being surpassed by his son was the pride and joy of every man.
Of the ten major tribes of the Jiang Han territory, the Redbud Tribe had been annihilated and was now under the sway of Jiang Tong’s son, Jiang Yu.
The other nine tribes had completely submitted and would send someone over to the River Wave City every two or three days to express their stance, with every one of them being docilely obedient.
This was no wonder. If even the renowned Duke of Soaring Dragon had been annihilated with a flip of hand, would they, small tribes, dare to rise in mutiny?
The small thoughts and plots they had previously hatched were all quietly buried in the face of the truth.
The Jiang father and son pair were the earth and sky of the Jiang Han territory now!
Even if the duo wanted to raise troops, rebel, replace the Eastern clan, and rule over the entire kingdom, these people would still go with the flow and assent.
In their eyes, the royal family was currently in decline and had a million things to attend to. Even if Eastern Lin had ascended the throne, the royal family still wouldn’t be able to rise again without more than ten years of recuperation and strength building.
The Jiang family, on the other hand, was like the sun at high noon and inspired great awe throughout the country. If they were to replace the Eastern clan now, it was more than highly likely that no duke or family would dare to resist or speak out otherwise.
However, it seemed that the Jiang father and son pair had no thoughts in this regard at all. They soundly rejected all of the various rewards and appointments from the Eastern royals, not to mention the idea of raising an army to march against the Eastern clan.
Jiang Chen had thrown the medallion of the dukedom back to Eastern Lu that day and had expressed words that the Jiang family was cutting off all relations with the royal family and would no longer listen to any of the Eastern clan’s commands.
Even if Eastern Lin’s ascension had been due to the efforts of the Jiang family, they still had no intention of accepting bequeathments of rewards.
The title of first duke beneath the heavens had also been rejected by the Jiang father and son pair.
It was a good thing that the Eastern clan also recognized that they had no power to change the Jiang family’s attitude. They would have been overjoyed if the Jiang family was willing to accept their rewards. They also wouldn’t dare force them to accept either if the Jiang family was unwilling to.
Jiang Feng was taking care of some matters in the manor one day when the Duke of Jinshan and the Duke of Hubing suddenly came to visit.
The Duke of Jinshan and the Duke of Hubing were Jiang Feng’s best friends when he was the Duke of Jiang Han, and they had very deep and strong relationships. In the conflict against the Long family, these two families had loyally stayed at the Jiang family’s side, even at all costs.
Although that had also been a function of the greater picture at that time, the relationships between the three families still ran deep.
“Heh heh, my two wise younger brothers have come to visit me. I, Jiang Feng, no longer hold any government post. Will my two wise younger brothers mind?” Jiang Feng joked.
“Brother Jiang, one is allowed to be carefree when not holding a government post. I rather admire your carefree days.” The Duke of Jinshan sighed.
The Duke of Hubing also laughed. “To be honest, the Duke of Jinshan and I only have our accomplishments today due to borrowing brother Jiang’s influence. We are ashamed, ashamed.”
“Haha, we’re all brothers here, don’t be an outsider. Come on inside.” Jiang Feng laughed uproariously and was still quite satisfied with these two best friends. He was quite happy for them.
The kingdom had undergone great turmoil and these two families had grasped this chance to recruit quite a few talents. Their strength had abruptly surged forward and each had made use of the Jiang family’s influence to become one of the new four great dukes.
“Brother Jiang, I’ve heard that the royal family has the inclination to bestow upon the Jiang family the title of first duke beneath the heavens. However, I don’t understand as to why brother Jiang has turned this down? We have all toiled away for the greater portion of our lives and have finally reached this point. This should be the time when we’re working together in tandem to make our fortunes.” The Duke of Jinshan asked.
The Duke of Hubing also nodded. “If anyone else sat in the position of first duke, I and the Duke of Jinshan would be the first to find this unacceptable. Who else is qualified to be the first duke apart from the Jiang family?”
Jiang Feng smiled faintly. “Two wise younger brothers, did Eastern Lin send you?”
The Duke of Jinshan and Hubing both smiled and nodded.
“Brother Jiang, what plans does the Jiang family have now? We hope you reveal a few hints for us. You also know that there’s a general feeling of insecurity within the kingdom since you haven’t spoken. No one is sure of anything.”
Jiang Feng smiled faintly, “My Jiang family will no longer involve ourselves in the power struggles of the Eastern Kingdom from henceforth on. You can go back and tell Eastern Lin that he can be at ease in being king. He doesn’t need to worry that the Jiang family will mimic the Long family. To speak with great impudence, if we had the intentions to, we needn’t have waited until now.”
The Duke of Jinshan nodded, “Brother Jiang indeed makes a great deal of sense. His Majesty isn’t worried about this.”
“Alright, your foolish brother has said all that needs to be said. From this moment on, us brothers will only talk about old times and not of the matters of court.”
“Haha, brother Jiang, no rush. We’ve been entrusted with yet another matter.”
“What is it?”
“This is what has happened. The Lord Hallmaster Song Tianxing of the Hall of Healing set out to host a banquet and treated us brothers a few days ago. He wants to bring some people to visit brother Jiang, but is afraid of disturbing you. Therefore, he’s asked us two to come ask if brother Jiang has the free time and desire to see them?”
The Duke of Jinshan actually hadn’t wanted to do this favor, but unfortunately the Hall of Healing still had a great reputation and status. He hadn’t wanted to offend them either.
Not to mention Song Tianxing had actually humbled himself quite a lot this time, feting them with food and wine, and also giving them presents and pills. This made them unable to deny this favor and brush his face aside.
“Song Tianxing?” Jiang Feng started slightly. “They probably wish to see Chen’er?”
The Duke of Jinshan hastened to nod his head. “Yes yes, they wish to visit wise nephew Jiang Chen and actually urged our two brats to come speak on their behalf. However, those two kids were quite devious and only concerned themselves with rejecting the request, causing us two old fellows to come here and ask brother Jiang with a thick skin.”
Jiang Feng didn’t say anything and set down the cup in his hand. “I’m not at liberty to decide Chen’er’s matters for him. He’s also been in closed door cultivation for half a month and probably won’t emerge any time soon. The Hall of Healing entourage has probably already reached River Wave City?”
“Yes, they’ve all arrived and have taken up lodgings within the inns. They seem to be quite sincere. If wise nephew Jiang Chen is in closed door cultivation, it should be fine to have them wait for a while.”
“Since this is the case, then let’s have them wait. To be honest, I’m not too sure when Chen’er will emerge either.” Jiang Feng spoke the truth.
The Duke of Jinshan and the Duke of Hubing both smiled and nodded. They had a sense of being unable to fully grasp the Jiang father and son pair. Although they had gone through life and death together, now that things had developed to this stage, they discovered that many things were no longer as easy-going as before.
Although Jiang Feng was just a civilian now, and they were powerful, noble dukes, in front of Jiang Feng, it rather seemed that they were the ordinary people, and that he was the powerful, noble duke instead.
Having participated in the battle of the Second Crossing and witnessing Jiang Chen’s miracles, even if dukes such as them, who had seen great happenings, wanted to chip away at Jiang Chen’s eye popping performance, it would be impossible to do so.
Therefore, their current cautious reservation was a given.
The current Jiang Chen had already been behind closed doors for half a month. He had continuously explored and adjusted his method of training after breaking through to eleven meridians true qi previously.
“It’s said that there are twelve meridians true qi. Why do all practitioners halt at eleven meridians true qi? Why is it that no one tries for spirit dao only after achieving twelve meridians?”
Jiang Chen had slowly felt a trace of a profound theory after half a month of exploration and comprehension.
This wasn’t a matter of potential, but a problem with the laws of training within this world.
The so-called twelve meridians true qi was actually stopped at eleven meridians true qi. The missing meridian was like the last number that had gone flying away.
The missing “one” was all-inclusive and covered all the phenomena of the universe.
This “one” was the difference between a minor way and a major way.
In actuality, this “one” hadn’t gone missing for no reason. It was just that this “one” had transformed into infinite possibilities.
This meant that boundless possibilities and phenomena existed between the true qi realm and the spirit dao realm.
Some people laboriously pursued perfection with regards to this “one”, but could never find fulfillment.
Some people would suddenly comprehend this “one”, and break out of their cocoon, becoming a butterfly and ascending into the spirit dao.
This “one” was the bridge between the true qi realm and the spirit dao.
You were unable to see or touch this bridge.
If you could make it across, you would set foot into the infinite great dao and enjoy a lifespan of hundreds of thousands of years.
If you couldn’t make it across, at the end of the day, you would still be a mortal, having failed in escaping the abyss of the mundane.
“Laughable. Pitiful. The practitioners of this world all think that twelve meridians true qi is a realm. This is an error of knowledge and a true obstacle in martial learning. This is a problem that not even potential can resolve.”
If it hadn’t been for the memories of his past life and if Jiang Chen hadn’t been one of the leading authorities in research, he likely wouldn’t have comprehended this point either.
In actuality, once you comprehended the final “one”, that meant that you’d already entered “twelve meridians true qi” and had completed yourself to perfection. You had already set foot on the bridge.
This “one”, narrowly speaking, was indeed “twelve meridians true qi”. But speaking from the perspective of martial dao, this was a bridge of martial dao – the separation between the heaven and earth that was the mortal and spirit realm.
The bridge was different to different people.
The bridge has ceaseless possibilities for different people.
Jiang Chen had a feeling of sudden enlightenment when he grasped this point. At the end of the day, the “one” was used to mould his inner self. It was a kind of settling of the mundane martial dao, a type of ascension for the common martial dao, and a farewell ceremony for pursuing a higher level of life.
To speak even more frankly, it was establishing the final foundation for entering spirit dao.
Finally, whether you were eleven meridians true qi or twelve meridians true qi, the process of transmuting true qi to spirit qi was to transmute all your true qi into one dantian, one spirit ocean.
This spirit ocean was the true goal of a true qi realm expert.
Therefore, those experts stubbornly searching for “twelve meridians true qi” would either fail in the end, or realize that they’ve lost their way and would turn back to assail the spirit dao.
This was because twelve meridians true qi was a false theory. It was a type of true meaning of martial dao, a type of inspiration from martial dao.