One had to say, when a woman became stubbornly willful, even the strength of ten oxen wouldn’t be able to get her to change her mind.
This was even more so for someone with as resolute a heart as Princess Gouyu. She had utterly freed herself from the identity of a princess the moment that she’d fully understood her own thoughts, and voluntarily adopted the identity as Jiang Chen’s follower.
She was unwavering in her intent no matter what Jiang Chen said.
“Say no more Jiang Chen. Even if you hit me, yell at me, or drive me out, I would still be thick skinned and hard to shake off.” Gouyu had actually started pulling out these underhanded moves.
“Alright, you win.” Jiang Chen understood Gouyu very well. Once this woman went nuts, she would be like a wild horse that’d slipped its harness. No matter whether you yelled at her or drove her away, all of it would prove to be useless.
The only thing to be done was to let her behave as she would.
Three days later, Jiang Chen’s entourage officially set off. Jiang Chen’s eight personal guards numbered amongst his followers, but he didn’t take the four Sheng battalion brothers with him and sent them back to the Tiandu army instead.
After many experiences and much training, the four Sheng battalion brothers all successfully made it into the senior ranks of the Tiandu army and had become personnel that the royal family relied on.
Jiang Feng brought the head of his personal guard, Jiang Ying and a few of his trusted followers.
Jiang Tong and son brought a few family members with them. The entourage totaled to around twenty or thirty people. Of course, this also included Gouyu and Qiao Baishi.
When they heard that Gouyu was willing to become Jiang Chen’s follower and accompany him in his travels, Jiang Feng and Jiang Tong both felt rather taken aback. They both suspected: Just what was so alluring about Jiang Chen that even a lofty princess would give up endless wealth and prosperity to become his follower?
It was a good thing that Jiang Chen thought highly of Gouyu and made her the captain of his guard, placing her in charge of training his eight personal guards. With Gouyu’s level of true qi master, she did indeed have the qualifications to do so.
As Jiang Chen’s disciple, Qiao Baishi was naturally a close follower.
As for Jiang Chen’s steward, Jiang Zheng, Jiang Chen had arranged for him to be in the Hall of Healing at the side of Ying Wuyou. Since he also had ten percent dry shares, his days within the Hall of Healing could be considered very leisurely and enjoyable.
Jiang Zheng’s life goal could be counted as having been reached its peak, the three realms characteristic of a greatest steward had all been materialized.
Jiang Zheng actually wished to keep following Jiang Chen, but he knew that he wasn’t a practitioner. If he continued to hang around the young master, not only would he not amount to much, but he might even become a burden for the young master.
This kind of arrangement was actually the best.
When they left, Eastern Zhiruo had been quite depressed and kept kicking up a fuss that she wanted to go with Jiang Chen. However, Jiang Chen knew that Eastern Zhiruo’s body was fragile and not suited to long distance travel at all.
Jiang Chen had also left special instructions with the Hall of Healing with regards to Eastern Zhiruo’s condition and made many preparations, ensuring that Eastern Zhiruo wouldn’t have any anxieties regarding her life.
Although an entourage of twenty or so people looked quite small, no one dared rob them no matter where they traveled to once they learned that it was Jiang Chen’s group.
Everyone knew that there was a million strong Swordbird army at Jiang Chen’s beck and call. When that black, dense mass surged out, one wouldn’t even know how they’d died.
Jiang Chen especially took the time to visit Mang Qi when he passed by the Boundless Catacombs.
When Mang Qi saw Jiang Chen, he sighed. “Master, I could sense that you had met danger, but sadly, I had no way to leave. I’m incredibly sorry.”
“This matter isn’t your fault. Now that I think about the situation, I rejoice in my narrow escape.”
However, Mang Qi scoffed and took exception to Jiang Chen’s words, “Master, you were born with great fortune and won’t die that easily. Although I was a bit worried, I also knew that you would definitely turn calamities into blessings. At most, it’d be a fright without danger. ”
“Oh? You have that much confidence in me eh?”
Mang Qi laughed heartily, “I do indeed have more and more faith in you. Oh right, you should still take the Swordbird army with you. If laid out appropriately, it will still give you a helping hand in moments of need.”
“I won’t take the large army. The Goldwing Swordbirds will be enough.”
Eight hundred Goldwing Swordbirds would be enough battle strength. If he brought the rest of the Swordbird army with him, the numbers would be too overwhelming and shocking. It would be easy to incite national panic whenever he crossed borders.
It would be better to avoid such incidents as much as possible.
When he heard Jiang Chen say this, Mang Qi also nodded. “The battle capabilities of the Goldwing Swordbirds are not bad. The strength of the Greenwing Swordbirds only lies in numbers. If you truly need them, contact me at any time.”
Mang Qi nodded, thought for a bit and said, “Right, so are you headed to the Skylaurel Kingdom? The Boundless Catacombs runs through the underground world of the entire alliance of the sixteen kingdoms, and extends even beyond the range of the sixteen kingdoms. If you meet any danger within the Skylaurel Kingdom, you can find a way to make it to the Boundless Catacombs there and mention my name. Perhaps you’ll receive some help from the outskirts of the Catacombs.”
Mang Qi’s influence existed only in the outskirts of the Boundless Catacombs.
The Skylaurel Kingdom was located in the center region of the sixteen kingdom alliance. Its position was slightly to the south, its territory was vast and resources abundant.
In terms of territory, the Skylaurel Kingdom was at least the size of three Eastern Kingdoms.
In terms of resources, it wasn’t a level that a third rate kingdom like the Eastern Kingdom could even aspire towards.
The Skylaurel Kingdom was at the apex of the sixteen kingdom alliance for all sorts of training resources. After all, there was the huge backer, the Precious Tree Sect, standing behind the Skylaurel Kingdom.
The Precious Tree Sect was one of the four great sects within the alliance of the sixteen kingdoms, and a heavyweight that could throw its weight around with the Purple Sun Sect.
Riding on the backs of the Goldwing Swordbirds caused the journey to be quite easy. Jiang Chen and his group transversed the lands of three or four kingdoms and finally arrived within the borders of the Skylaurel Kingdom after roughly ten days.
They had just entered the borders of the Skylaurel Kingdom when their Swordbird army was halted by a Wyvern Knight who served as a frontier guard.
“Who are you? How dare you fly within the borders of the Skylaurel Kingdom?”
Wyverns were a common sight within the borders of the Skylaurel Kingdom. Actually, Ye Rong had also been riding a variation of the wyverns, but its pedigree was much more noble.
Jiang Chen wasn’t irritated when the Wyvern Knight stopped him and brought out the medallion that Ye Rong had given him. “I’m a friend of Prince Ye.”
“Mm. The medallion is real. Since you’re a friend of the prince, you do have the right to fly within the Skylaurel Kingdom. However, please proceed according to this flight path. Remember, don’t fly around randomly. There are many powers within the kingdom and they’ve defined many forbidden zones. If you follow the wrong flight path, you may cause plenty of unnecessary trouble.”
This Wyvern Knight was rather responsible and warm hearted as he gave Jiang Chen’s group a few key pointers.
Jiang Chen nodded and brought out a bottle of pills. “Thanks brother, here are a few qi replenishing pills named the Vast Ocean Pill. You will be able to instantaneously recover fifty percent of your true qi. Treat it as a token of my appreciation and thank you for your tips.”
The Wyvern Knight started and automatically caught the bottle that had been flown over. When he pulled open the stopper and held it up to his nose for a sniff, his facial expression immediately changed slightly.
He had thought that the other was joking and had carelessly given him some non mainstream pills.
But who would’ve thought that this truly would be qi replenishing pills with such high potency. They would be ranked as precious items even within the marketplace of the Skylaurel Kingdom!
The Wyvern Knight was overjoyed, “As expected of an honored guest of the prince. By what right do I have to accept such a rich reward? I am not worthy of it!”
Although he said he was unworthy, but the hand grasping the pill bottle was clasped firmly around it, as if afraid that the wind would blow it away if he loosened his grasp. He looked like he had received a precious treasure.
It was no wonder that he had lost his composure like this. His status as a Wyvern Knight patrolling the borders looked illustrious on the surface but his position wasn’t actually that high.
His income was even more pitiable. Although he could occasionally seize a few items, they were but a drop in the bucket when used in martial dao training.
A precious qi replenishing pill on this level was truly a luxurious item for him. He’d never even dared think of it before, much less actually purchase it.
“I’ve traveled the various kingdoms and have seen many border patrols. It’s quite rare to meet someone as warm hearted as you.” Jiang Chen smiled. “Tis but a small gift that’s not worth mentioning.”
The Wyvern Knight chuckled and scratched his head, a bit embarrassed. “Right, since you’re not in a hurry, I’ll tell you a few more prohibitions.”
“After you enter from here and fly out a distance of roughly twelve hundred li along this path to enter this region, you must be on your guard. If you see someone wearing a red robe embroidered with blue lines, you must be absolutely careful. That kind of person is not someone you should provoke.”
“Oh? What kind of strong person is this?”
“That would be someone of the Azure Heaven Northern Palace. The Azure Heaven Northern Palace is one of the secular locations of the Precious Tree Sect within the Skylaurel Kingdom where rites are performed. They’re located in the northwestern region of the Skylaurel Kingdom and have absolute influence!”
“Azure Heaven Northern Palace.” Jiang Chen silently committed these four words to memory.
“Then here, this secluded valley with dense and thick mist. Do not linger here at all costs. Although the people here aren’t as domineering as those of the Azure Heaven Northern Palace, it’s also a place where one is likely to get into trouble. If you don’t handle things properly, then you’ll be seized to become a medicine slave. They won’t kill you or beat you, but instead, just make you toil for ten, twenty years. This place is called Qingyang Valley.”
“Qingyang Valley…” Jiang Chen committed this name to memory as well.
“Once you have crossed the Qingyang valley, there are still some powers but they’re not enough to endanger your life. Even if there is any trouble, the identity of the fourth prince will be enough to resolve it. In conclusion, be extra cautious when you’re around the Azure Heaven Northern Palace and Qingyang Valley as you head to the capital.”
“When you arrive at the capital, then it goes even more without saying that everyone you meet within the kingdom is somehow related to royalty if you really dig into their background. Therefore, try not to offend anyone. It looks like that you’re friends with the prince but most of the time, this identity won’t be useful. It isn’t that the prince’s identity isn’t enough, but that his identity is too sensitive. There are more than ten princes within the capital and they all keep an eye on each other, attempting to find shortcomings that can be exploited. They attack each other and seek to crush each other. Every prince within the capital handles himself with utmost care, as if treading on thin ice. Therefore, when you arrive at the capital, don’t go barging in flying through the air. You must enter the capital on foot, otherwise you’ll have violated a huge taboo!”
One had to say, the Wyvern Knight was an honest man. He’d tried his best to come up with ideas for Jiang Chen after benefitting from him.
“Haha, thank you brother for going to the trouble of giving us this overview. I feel much more confident.”
The Wyvern Knight chuckled. “No problem, not a problem. Right, my name is Tang Long and my home is also in the capital. Since you’re going to the capital, can you take a few things back for me?”
“Of course, this is but a small favor.”
Tang Long hesitated for a moment and then spoke seriously, “I… it’s not that I don’t trust you guys, but I just want to repeat myself. Don’t get into trouble in those places. In addition, the items I wish to send home are urgently needed and must arrive within seven days. It would be quite troublesome if it’s tardy, so…”
“Be at ease, tell us the address. We will definitely not offend anyone and delay your matters.”
Tang Long chuckled as he handed over an address to Jiang Chen.