The air of depression that had been left behind from the great battle had been swept cleanly away.
What did the successes and failures of a single moment matter?
Experiencing life and death was a commonplace matter on the path of the martial dao. If one were to brood on momentary setbacks, how would one face the greater waves and winds in the future? How would one overcome the obstacles that would crop up in their travels?
Enlightenment on the path of martial dao happened to be the most ideal way to triumph over these random thoughts, as well as to sweep away internal demons. This was why half the path of martial dao lay in training, while the other half lay in meditation.
Meditation could help one understand theory, sweep away internal demons, and bring about various sorts of instantaneous enlightenment. This kind of instantaneous enlightenment was most likely a sort of comprehension of a martial arts technique, but could possibly be comprehending some form of knowledge.
After Jiang Chen had resolved his questions regarding “twelve meridians true qi”, his obstacles in knowledge of the true qi realm were all swept away.
This was to say, that he could singlemindedly assail the path of spirit dao now.
However, Jiang Chen was in no rush. With his familiarity with martial dao training, he knew that assailing spirit dao wasn’t the hard part. The difficulty in this laid in how wide and how far the path of spirit dao could be expanded.
If the martial dao and the human body were a patch of earth, then spirit dao and spirit power were the seedlings that grew on the human body.
The power of martial dao was ever changing and mutable.
Out of all three thousand great daos, and countless divine abilities, all of them could be relegated to elements and qi between heaven and earth.
Metal, wood, water, fire, and earth were the five basic, fundamental elements that were the building blocks of all matter.
Wind, thunder, light, and darkness were the derived elements.
In conclusion, there were nine major elements.
The number of elements that a spirit dao practitioner could hew out in his spirit ocean would determine the width of his spirit dao’s path.
How far one could walk in the spirit dao realm would be the length of their spirit dao path.
How wide, and how far, could the path of the spirit dao be?
Much of this current world thought that this would entirely be decided by one’s potential after entering the spirit realm.
The truth was that this wasn’t this case.
The true determinant of how far and wide one’s path of spirit dao was, was actually set before one entered the spirit realm, not after.
This was also the “one” that troubled the practitioners of this world.
This was also the boundless potential encompassed by the bridge between eleven meridians true qi and the spirit realm.
There were both innate factors, and acquired factors, when discussing martial dao potential.
It was a pity that the people of this world could only see the innate factor, and paid no heed to acquired factors.
Long Juxue for instance, enjoyed the attention and love of thousands, because of her innate constitution.
And yet, Princess Gouyu, with such a resolute heart for the martial dao, was still unable to attract the attention of a sect no matter how hard she tried.
“Ai, even the sects value potential so; they even make light of temperaments when selecting these talents. It’s apparent that something is greatly amiss with the martial dao knowledge of this world.”
Jiang Chen sighed lightly, but didn’t have an excess of emotions.
Even if the martial dao knowledge of this world was greatly behind – even if there were various shackles in this world – he would just avoid being fettered by the rules of this world, and evade being assimilated by the shortcomings of this world.
He, Jiang Chen, would walk a path that no one had walked before. He would create a new, and heretofore unseen road, on the path of martial dao.
This road might even upend the rules of martial dao within this world several hundred, even thousands of years from now. It would be sure to become the new rules — the new signpost!
After he emerged from training, the morning light fell upon Jiang Chen. It added a few traces of sunshine to his being, and imbued him with vigor and vitality.
“Chen’er, you’ve emerged from training?”
“Father, are you used to such carefree days?” Jiang Chen chuckled.
“I’d love to be carefree, but unfortunately, mundane matters keep me entangled. The Duke of Jinshan and Duke of Hubing came to visit two days ago. They’re both old brothers of mine, and I’m going to accompany them around the city.”
“Oh, they’re here? The situation within the kingdom has just settled. As the new four great dukes, don’t they need to help shoulder the royal family’s burdens?”
Jiang Feng smiled wryly, “Aren’t they here on behalf of the royal family’s burdens?”
“They’re here to probe our Jiang family’s attitude?” Jiang Chen smiled. This wasn’t outside his expectations. With the Jiang family’s current reputation, it was normal for the royal family to be on pins and needles.
“Mm.” Jiang Feng nodded. “Chen’er, I’ve also been considering. Where should the future of our Jiang family lie?”
Jiang Chen had actually long since considered this question.
No matter what, they absolutely couldn’t tarry in the Eastern Kingdom. For one, given the political situation, the Jiang family would always weigh on the royal family’s hearts if they stayed.
The second reason that Jiang Chen had never voiced was the land with the spirit vein in the Redbud territory.
The bizarre occurrence that had appeared in the land with the spirit vein last time and all sorts of investigative reports gave Jiang Chen a sole conclusion. This place was sure to be an ill-omened land.
Therefore, there was no future for the Jiang family if they remained here.
Upon hearing his father’s questions, Jiang Chen thought momentarily and said, “Father, a man walks towards the highest reaches. The heavens are vast, why should our Jiang family worry that there is no place for us now that we’ve reached this point?”
Jiang Feng laughed heartily, “These words have never been more true. Remaining within the Eastern Kingdom truly doesn’t provide much of a challenge anymore.”
Unless Eastern Lin vacated the throne, Jiang Feng really felt that there wasn’t much of a challenge to staying within the Eastern Kingdom.
“Right, Chen’er, there’s another matter. I’ve heard from the Duke of Jinshan that Song Tianxing has led an entourage of senior executives from the Hall of Healing to our River Wave City. They would like to call upon you. I haven’t made a decision for you with regards to this matter. These people are still in River Wave City, do you wish to see them?”
“The Hall of Healing?” A trace of a smirk was revealed at the corners of Jiang Chen’s lips. “They’ve finally come? Their reaction is truly slow, I thought they weren’t coming anymore. This matter isn’t important, let’s hang them out to dry for a while longer. Qiao Baishi is my disciple, they dared to bully my disciple, and almost handed him over to Long Zhaofeng. Wouldn’t you say these people are despicable? Shouldn’t I take them down a peg or two?”
“Eh? Qiao Baishi is your disciple?” Jiang Feng’s eyes widened.
Jiang Chen suddenly realized that he’d spoken too fast, he chuckled, and scratched his head, “Father, don’t go spreading this information, just keep it to yourself.”
“Hey, you brat, speak plainly to your old man!” Jiang Feng couldn’t help but call out when he saw Jiang Chen turn around and run off after saying those words.
Jiang Chen chuckled and vanished like the wind.
“This darned brat.” Jiang Feng was wreathed in smiles as he heckled. He truly couldn’t find anything at fault with his son.
Jiang Feng felt his chest full of contentment and accomplishment when he thought of his son.
“Honored master! Your disciple Qiao Baishi greets you.” Qiao Baishi was overjoyed to see Jiang Chen.
“Baishi, there’s no need to stand on ceremony. I trust that you’ve already heard that the senior executives of the Hall have arrived in River Wave City?” Jiang Chen asked when he saw Qiao Baishi.
“Yes, your disciple received word a while ago. Your disciple also had a matter to report to honored master a few days ago, but didn’t dare disturb the master behind closed door cultivation.”
“Oh? Is it with regards to the Hall of Healing?” Jiang Chen blinked.
“You could say that. I didn’t have that many good friends in the Hall previously. There was an elder called Ying Wuyou who was my staunchest supporter. He resigned a few days ago and came to me, seeking shelter. Your disciple didn’t dare promise him anything before asking honored master’s opinion. I’ve only let him live here, and will listen to honored master’s arrangements for him.”
Qiao Baishi’s posture was quite low, his words and actions were filled with respect for Jiang Chen.
Jiang Chen waved his hands, “Since he is your trusted confidante, it is fine for you to make the appropriate arrangements. You don’t need to ask me for such small matters.”
Pausing, Jiang Chen’s eyes suddenly shifted, “You said he’s an elder within the Hall of Healing?”
“Yes.” Qiao Baishi hurriedly explained. “But I know his character, and he’s definitely not here on behalf of the Hall.”
“Haha, I’m not suspecting that he’s here to instigate you to rebellion. I mean that since he’s an elder of the Hall, perhaps this person can be mentored.”
Jiang Chen smiled and said, “Look at the Hall of Healing. It’s filled with idiots like Elder Blue. I’m not at ease with cooperating with such idiots either.”
“What do you mean?” Qiao Baishi’s eyes lit up as he suddenly thought of something. “Does honored master mean that he wishes to support Ying Wuyou and control the Hall of Healing?”
“Baishi, this is my bottom line. If the Hall wishes to engage in a partnership, then we’ll start discussing on basis of this bottom line. If this is unacceptable, then they can go back to where they came from.”
Qiao Baishi greatly rejoiced upon hearing these words and bowed, “Honored master has expended much care and thought, your disciple is everlastingly grateful.”
Jiang Chen’s actions was actually also giving face to Qiao Baishi. To be honest, with Jiang Chen’s current thoughts, he had no desire to linger in the Eastern Kingdom and had no need to cooperate with the Hall of Healing.
He did so purely to give face to Qiao Baishi. In this way, not only would Qiao Baishi’s confidante gain power, but it could also lessen Qiao Baishi’s remorse for leaving the Hall of Healing.
Jiang Chen knew that the Hall of Healing had cultivated Qiao Baishi. If he dusted himself off and just left like this, Qiao Baishi would surely feel internal guilt and remorse.
However, if they steered the Hall onto the right path through Qiao Baishi’s efforts, then his conscience wouldn’t be plagued by too much guilt.
Qiao Baishi was a smart man and naturally understood Jiang Chen’s care and thought. A warm current flowed in his heart as he looked at Jiang Chen, full of even more admiration.
It was amazing that the honored master was so understanding and amenable to reason, and to be so worldly at such a young age.
This would truly help Qiao Baishi resolve his previous feelings for the Hall, and could also help the Hall avoid from taking a downhill path at the same time.
“Baishi, remember, you’re my disciple. It’s right and proper for me to think of you. You have full rein to take care of this matter. Remember, hold onto the bottom line. You must finely control who can’t be left and who must be marginalized. If you think something can’t be done, you can also use the power of the royal family appropriately. Princess Gouyu will surely give you this amount of face.”
Jiang Chen didn’t wish to get involved in the matters of the Hall of Healing. With Qiao Baishi’s competencies, he firmly believed that Qiao Baishi could take care of things.
Qiao Baishi was filled with happiness, “Your disciple… your disciple understands. Your disciples will now summon Ying Wuyou to pay his respects to the young duke.”
“That’s fine, but there’s no need for him to know the relationship of master and disciple between us. You only need to let him know that I will spare no effort in supporting you. That will be enough.”
Qiao Baishi brought Ying Wuyou soon after.
Ying Wuyou had also met Jiang Chen before, but the circumstances of today weren’t of those prior. Jiang Chen had been an ordinary young duke when they’d met previously, and he only had that one precious recipe from ancient times.
At this moment, the young duke’s reputation was undoubtedly like that of a thunderclap piercing the ear, a legendary existence. Ying Wuyou was cautious and reserved as he respectfully moved forward, “Ying Wuyou pays his respects to the young duke.”