One had so say, Jiang Chen wasn’t particularly well-versed in the area of boosting his troops’ morale, but these words were very direct.
Besides, the invasion of the Darkmoon Kingdom was the accumulation of generations of hatred between the two countries. He almost didn’t need to do anything to inspire everyone to fight to the last moment, bleed to the last drop of blood and kill to their dying breath.
Under Jiang Chen’s fortifying words, one by one, the practitioners all raised their arms to call out loudly and swear blood oaths that they would willingly follow Jiang Chen unto their deaths to keep the enemy at bay beyond the kingdom’s borders.
“Kill the enemy! Kill the enemy!”
More than ten thousand advanced realm practitioners roared in unison, their voices shaking the clouds.
“Hahaha, this is interesting, most interesting.”
Suddenly, a long laugh was heard from the empty air. This laughter actually pierced strongly through the shouts of ten thousand as though it was made from gold or stone, penetrating the air and stabbing into everyone’s eardrums.
“Who is it?” Jiang Chen’s brow furrowed as his Ear of the Zephyr moved slightly, his God’s Eye already shooting towards an empty patch of space to the east.
“Friend, come on out.”
A green figure broke through the sky like lightning in the air to the east.
The currents of air within the sky were suddenly separated swiftly into two sides, like a water surface that had been parted by a speedboat.
The green figure became bigger and bigger. It was actually a wild beast with wings on its back. Its fangs were hideous and it was many times bigger than a Greenwing Swordbird.
The meaty wings that covered the sky and blotted out the sun were even more towering and colossal than those of the Goldwing Swordbird’s.
A finely dressed youth sat on the back of this creature. His adornments resplendent, he was carefree and at ease even beneath the gazes of ten thousand people.
This person’s bearing was extraordinary. Although he looked just one or two years older than Jiang Chen, he exuded a subtle hint of a mature manner.
Judging from the level of his training, he hadn’t seemed to have broken through to spirit dao yet, but he was undoubtedly at the peak of the true qi realm and solidly an eleven meridians true qi master.
The youth’s gaze was profound and deep. The ten thousand strong army were like clay figures in front of him as he ignored them completely. His target was clear as he flew towards Jiang Chen.
“You’re Jiang Chen?” The youth with the extraordinary bearing smiled faintly as he looked at Jiang Chen, but a sense of friendliness permeated his smile.
“I’m Jiang Chen. Who might your esteemed self be?” Jiang Chen was a bit perplexed.
“Allow me to introduce myself, I’m called Ye Rong and I’m from the Skylaurel Kingdom.” A type of confidence and ease that prompted subservience from others was continuously found in the youth’s smile. The first impression he left on others was one able to generate a sense of affinity with them.
“The Skylaurel Kingdom?” Jiang Chen’s face showed faint traces of emotion. “If I remember correctly, the Ye surname is the national surname for the Skylaurel Kingdom?”
“Heh heh, brother Jiang Chen speaks correctly. I am the fourth prince under the current king in the Skylaurel Kingdom.”
“Fourth prince?” Jiang Chen smiled. “The Skylaurel Kingdom is hailed as one of the four great kingdoms in the sixteen kingdom alliance. Their strength is domineering and their existence amongst the pinnacle of the sixteen kingdoms. Why brings Prince Ye to this remote, backwater place?”
Ye Rong chuckled. “Brother Jiang Chen is quite humble. There are currently many rumors and underground intelligence regarding Jiang Chen in the entire sixteen kingdoms. My avenues of intelligence are slightly broader so I’ve received my knowledge just a bit earlier than others.”
“Heh heh, so even Prince Ye also believes these dubious rumors?”
Ye Rong smiled, “I’d half believed and half doubted them initially, but…”
Ye Rong paused and swept his eyes over the ten thousand strong army, the proud Goldwing Swordbirds and the Silverwing Swordbirds with their highly arched necks and highly spirited battle intent.
“I have no choice but to be a believer now that I’ve seen this.” Ye Rong seemed to be quite glad. “To know a man by repute is not as good as seeing him face to face. It looks like not only have I arrived early on this trip, I’ve also come very aptly.”
Jiang Chen faintly furrowed his brow. “Prince Ye, I’m not sure if you’ve come early or late, but I can be certain that you’ve come at an unfortuitous time.”
“Haha, I rather think that I’ve come at a perfect time. Surely, the reason why brother Jiang Chen has called for this oath taking rally is to advantage of the Swordbirds’ mobility to harass the armies of the Darkmoon Kingdom?”
“Hmm? How do you know this?” Jiang Chen truly did have this thought, but who would’ve imagined that this youth would reveal the secrets of heaven with one word?
“Heh heh, I would do the same if I were brother Jiang Chen. Great minds think alike.”
Jiang Chen was a bit impatient, “Prince Ye, please speak directly.”
“Heh heh, he who comes from afar is still a guest, right? I would like to request a cup of wine from brother Jiang.” Ye Rong still remained unhurried and unflappable. “However, I won’t just drink this wine and offer nothing in return. I’ll gift brother Jiang a strategy to beat back the enemy. I’m sure you’ll find it useful.”
It was impossible for Jiang Chen to throw all his bearing to the wind now that these words had been spoken. After all, Ye Rong was the prince of a great nation at the end of the day, and his demeanor hadn’t been haughty or overbearing.
He had been amiable and polite and his bearing was actually quite nice.
It would be shameful for Jiang Chen to reject such a person and shunt them a thousand miles away.
“In that case, you honor us, Prince Ye. I’m afraid there is no decent wine that is befitting your noble taste in such wild mountains and plains.”
“When drinking with a bosom friend, even a thousand cups are still too little. When we drink wine, we are partaking in the mood. As I’ve seen brother Jiang today, I’m sure I’ll be satisfied with even drinking village brew.”
One had to say, this Prince Ye seemed to exude a manner that made others feel that they wished to follow him with every word he said. He was always able to speak to the heart of the listener.
“Prince Ye, I, Jiang Chen, salute you.” Jiang Chen lifted his cup.
“Alright, to our great satisfaction!” Ye Rong threw his head back and drained his cup.
After they had drunk three cups, Jiang Chen set down his cup. “Prince Ye, the timing of battle cannot be delayed so let’s cut a long story short.”
“Alright, then I’ll condense what I have to say. I’ve come here due to two matters this time. One, to help you beat back the enemy, and two, to invite you to develop your skills in my Skylaurel Kingdom.”
“Oh? How would you elaborate on these words?”
“These two items originally had no connection to each other. If we must define a relationship, then the first item can be viewed as the greeting gift for the second item.”
Jiang Chen gazed indifferently at Ye Rong, “Is there a reason for this?”
“The reason is simple. I admire you and need you. And you need a bigger stage. I don’t want to voice alarmist words. I just want to say that going to the Skylaurel Kingdom is definitely at least ten times better than staying in the Eastern Kingdom.”
That, Jiang Chen couldn’t deny.
The Skylaurel Kingdom was one of the four great kingdoms in the alliance of the sixteen kingdoms. These four kingdoms were the apex of existence within the sixteen kingdoms, and were first rate kingdoms.
The Darkmoon Kingdom was roughly a second rate kingdom.
As for the Eastern Kingdom, it had always hovered between a second rate and a third rate kingdom. After this civil unrest, it was without a doubt, a third rate kingdom.
Therefore, there was truly no basis of comparison between the Eastern Kingdom and Skylaurel Kingdom.
“Jiang Chen, from my investigations I know that you’re a proud man. I invite you to the Skylaurel Kingdom not as a follower, but as a guest.”
“Indeed. I know that proud men will never be willing to live under someone else’s roof. Therefore, our relationship can be defined as one of employer and employee, and not as master and servant.” One had to say, Ye Rong carried himself very humbly and he was full of sincerity.
Ye Rong laughed meaningfully. “Jiang Chen, you’re the same as me — gold buried in sand, our shine temporarily hidden. To speak candidly, I’m only a second or third rate prince in the Skylaurel Kingdom. There are at least four or five princes that are much more superior to me. It isn’t that they’re better than me, it’s that their lives are good in the sense that they were born into a strong position. They have good mothers, whereas my birth mother doesn’t possess a high standing and lacks a prominent family background. I don’t have any sort of backer.”
“No backer…” Jiang Chen remembered the feud between him and the Long family and recalled Long Juxue. When one spoke of backers, he truly was similar to Ye Rong in this aspect.
“Jiang Chen, you have no backer either. I’ve heard that you’ve formed a blood feud with one of the genius disciples of the Purple Sun Sect. This is to say that in your lifetime, at least half of the great doors to the sects have been sealed off to you. If you stay in the Eastern Kingdom, it will be impossible for you to attract any attention from the sects. However, if you come to the Skylaurel Kingdom, everything will be different. As strong as the Purple Sun Sect is, they will not impact the Skylaurel Kingdom because the supporter of the kingdom behind the scenes is the Precious Tree Sect of the four great sects.”
The Precious Tree Sect was one of the few great sects that was on par with and advanced shoulder to shoulder with the Purple Sun Sect.
“This is to say, if you display exemplary performance in the Skylaurel Kingdom and attract the attention of the Precious Tree Sect, entering the Sect to train is also a path as well. This way, you won’t have to worry about being constantly surveilled by the Purple Sun Sect in the future. With the protection of the Precious Tree Sect, it’s of no matter that you’ve offended the disciple of the Purple Sun Sect. Within the alliance of the sixteen kingdoms, the disciples of the Precious Tree Sect are on par with the disciples of the Purple Sun Sect.”
Ye Rong’s tone was at ease as he smiled and continued, “Therefore, the two of us are the same. We both need each other. Brother Jiang, I’ve thoroughly gone through everything with you, please consider it for a bit.”
Jiang Chen pondered silently for a moment and asked, “What strategy do you have to make the enemy back down?”
Ye Rong displayed a meaningful smile. “My strategy is quite simple and crude, and that is to kill the first general of the Darkmoon Kingdom, Ren Feilong.”
“Obtain the head of the general of a million strong army? This… do you take me for a spirit dao expert?”
“I know you’re not a spirit dao practitioner, but you’ve once fought against one. I have full faith in your abilities. However, you’ll need some aid in assassinating Ren Feilong.”
“What sort of aid?” Jiang Chen asked.
“A spirit weapon of course.” In between Ye Rong’s smiles, he suddenly brought out an inky black longbow as though he was demonstrating a trick.
This bow immediately exuded the tantalizing presence of spirit qi when it was placed on the table.
“A spirit bow?” Jiang Chen’s brow arched slightly.
He was not lacking in theoretical knowledge of the world he’d reincarnated in, but was only short in matters of all sorts of hardware, weapons, pills, and various ingredients.
“This is a four-times refined spirit weapon with extraordinary power. If Jiang Chen possesses this spirit weapon, it would not be entirely impossible for you to fight against even Chu Xinghan.”
Jiang Chen was tempted, but repressed his greed.
“If I accept this bow, does this mean I’ve agreed to be in your service?” Jiang Chen asked blandly.
“These two are separate matters. Borrowing the bow takes precedence, we can discuss later with regards to you being in my service. We can slowly mull over the various conditions.”
“We don’t need to discuss further, I agree.” Jiang Chen had somewhat approved of Ye Rong after testing him for a few times. He could tell that Ye Rong was sincere.
The Jiang family would surely leave the Eastern Kingdom one day. As one of the strongest kingdoms in the sixteen kingdom alliance, the Skylaurel Kingdom would be quite a nice place to set themselves down in.