“Young Chen, there are no outsiders here and I, old Fei, am not scared of any jeering. To be honest, look at me. My position as the head of one of the heads of the four great sites, the Qingyang Valley, looks quite lofty, doesn’t it? However, in reality it’s less than even a fart. Any random, mid-ranked disciple from the Precious Tree Sect can point at my nose and curse my mother. I wouldn’t even be able to talk back. Therefore, this superficial level of glory exists only in ordinary people’s eyes.”
“Including the Northern Palace, Southern Palace, and Myriad Treasures Palace — their circumstances are surely better than mine, but their senior executives only amount to so much in the eyes of the Precious Tree Sect. Not that many sect disciples would give them face. In the eyes of true sect disciples, anyone who fools around in a common, ordinary kingdom, is someone who will amount to nothing. They’re all rejected defectives from the sect, and destined to have not much of a future. Do you understand when I put it this way, young Chen?”
Jiang Chen nodded faintly, “The sect disciples have their eyes set in high places. In their eyes, wasting time in the mundane world is a loss of power, and such people won’t amount to anything. This isn’t too difficult to understand.”
“Eh? Young Chen, are you also a sect disciple too? Otherwise…”
Jiang Chen waved his hands, “I’m not a sect disciple. I was born in the Eastern Kingdom, all of this can be verified. I can only say that I’m a bit luckier than ordinary practitioners.”
Old man Fei seemed to be musing over something when he suddenly said seriously, “Young Chen, allow me to continue. With your potential, your worldview and your bearing, it would be a true pity if you didn’t enter the sect. In my eyes, you absolutely have the qualifications to enter the Precious Tree Sect, and you can absolutely soar up into the sky and take the lead!”
“Let’s talk about that later. If being in a sect is a boulder than I am destined to be unable to bypass, then there’s nothing bad about entering and obtaining a slight understanding.”
Jiang Chen felt slightly distasteful towards the Purple Sun Sect, but this wouldn’t cause him to be irreversibly prejudiced against sects. He was an opened minded person, and naturally wouldn’t purposefully evade or reject sects because of a few subjective notions.
Jiang Chen had still inherited the thinking patterns from his past life as someone in a lofty position. If the sects were an obstacle that he was destined to run into, then he would either step over them or right on top of them.
Seeing that Jiang Chen’s attitude was this peaceful, old man Fei was flabbergasted. He wasn’t sure if Jiang Chen didn’t know that much about sects, or if his worldview was vast enough that he’d already jumped out of the confines of a sect and hence lacked the passion for them?
As he thought about it, he felt that it should be the latter.
Regardless of how he looked at things, young Chen didn’t see like one of those country bumpkin practitioners who hadn’t seen much of the world. Could someone who could gift him the Renewal Purity Pill like it was cabbage be completely clueless about sects?
To say the least, if Jiang Chen was willing to offer the recipe to the Renewal Purity Pill, it would be enough for him to gain a very nice position within the sect.
If he could offer it to an important member of the sect, perhaps he could gain the patronage of a great backer.
“However, why doesn’t he do so? Judging from his cultivation, he doesn’t seem to be a spirit realm practitioner. Can it be that the mysterious expert behind him is just a great pill master, and is unaccomplished in the realm of martial dao?” Old man Fei found it hard to get a grasp of things.
Jiang Chen paid no heed to old man Fei’s thoughts as he patted his shoulder, “After endless mountains and rivers that leave doubt whether there is a path out, suddenly one encounters the shade of a willow, bright flowers and a lovely village… Old man Fei, you’ve been ostracized from the sect for decades and are still so loyal to it. I believe that there will come a day when you can make a triumphant return back to the Precious Tree Sect.”
Old man Fei smiled wryly. “I hope such a day comes. I’m trying my best with the Qingyang Valley because I also want to make that slightest bit of contribution to the sect. I hope there will come a day when I can move the gods so that the senior levels of the sect know that there is such a character as I, Fei Xuan. Even though I was exiled, I never had any complaints or regrets and I even dreamed of returning to the sect when I slept.”
Jiang Chen sighed lightly. There were indeed many strange folk within the four great sites.
Elder Ning was absolutely focused on exterior looks with an almost perverted fixation on appearances.
Shi Xiaoyao was an absolute alcoholic, and quite besotted with the dao of wine.
As for old man Fei, he was a fervent supporter of the Precious Tree Sect. Even though he’d been discarded by the sect, he’d hardened his heart in his desire to return.
These were the hundred facets of the world.
Jiang Chen seemed to glean sudden reflections and feel sudden emotional resonance from these people.
“This is odd, why is it I’ve become so melancholy and moody all of a sudden? This is really bizarre.” Jiang Chen also felt strange. He didn’t know where these thoughts had come from either.
However, he’d naturally had these thoughts and couldn’t help but glimpse the hundred facets of human life from their state of their lives.
Suddenly, Jiang Chen seemed to grasp a thread of inspiration as his thoughts raced. Countless thoughts surged in that moment, as if a meteor shower fell from the skies, an irresistible advance.
“Old Fei, guard the surroundings for me a few more days, I’m going into closed door cultivation.”
After he threw down this strange instruction, Jiang Chen once again returned to the pill room. This time, he wasn’t refining a pill, he was meditating.
Those notions just now had enabled Jiang Chen to capture a wisp of inspiration, to grasp a delicate, mysterious opportunity.
Elder Ning, Shi Xiaoyao, old man Fei…
All these people and their stages of lives represented a type of attitude towards life.
Their attitudes were some of the most ideal material to refer to when shaking off the ordinary and entering the spirit realm.
Elder Ning, Shi Xiaoyao, why were they like that? It was obvious that they had been disciples who’d been washed out of the Precious Tree Sect. They were disciples who had no future within the sect, and so they simply decided to come to the ordinary world to enjoy life, and enjoy the thrills that power and influence brought in the ordinary world.
Meanwhile, old man Fei had also been expunged from the Precious Tree Sect, but he’d never accepted his defeat and never forgotten his desire to return to the sect. Even now, despite the fact that he was getting on in the years and behind the times, he still couldn’t forget it.
Wasn’t this the resolute conviction of “tearing through the boundaries and entering the spirit realm” that compelled him forward?
Old man Fei was meant to be a spirit realm practitioner, but without the support of the sect, he hadn’t enjoyed the benefits of endless resources and was still an ordinary, middling, old man when he fell to the mortal world.
Although he held a large amount of power, his glory was only unparallelled within an ordinary kingdom. It was as he’d said, any true Precious Tree Sect disciple who was anyone could point a finger at his nose and curse his mother.
This was the division between the mortal and spirit realm. This was the path of martial dao. This was why there existed a never-ending drive to climb upwards.
Jiang Chen had theorized quite a bit of philosophy from these three people.
One was still ultimately a worm if he couldn’t transmute true qi to spirit.
Transmuting true qi to spirit was the goal of all practitioners. But those who could truly complete the process were all geniuses that wore the golden scales of dragons.
To those who could take this step, it was but a simple step.
For those who couldn’t make it, it was a chasm.
“Why is it that the ratio of practitioners that have transmuted their true qi in this world is so low? Why is the success rate of entering the spirit realm so low? From what I’ve seen, it’s not a simple matter of not having the assistance of spirit medicine. It seems that their knowledge of the unformed bridge between true qi and spirit qi is not wholly complete. Perhaps, for the practitioners of this world, they think that transmuting true qi to spirit is merely an ascension of their martial dao training, but they cannot comprehend that it’s a transformation, a ritual of leaving behind the mundane and entering the spirit. The enhancement of strength and raising of one’s level in this process is important, but the enhancement and transformation of the heart’s strength is equally important. Those who are unable to comprehend this will be unable to make it past this hurdle. This isn’t too difficult to understand either.”
In his meditations, Jiang Chen perceived many theories, and his comprehension of the heart’s strength had already gone through a transformation, unbeknownst to him.
It wasn’t a simple matter of understanding the true meaning of martial dao, but a comprehension of a stage of life.
From a certain aspect, Jiang Chen was also considered as being half step spirit realm from this moment forth.
And he only lacked that final step in the process now, and that was to transmute his true qi to spirit, cleave open the spirit ocean, and reshape the spirit ocean!
Jiang Chen had the aid of the Five Dragons Opening Heavens Pill in this process. He was richly endowed by nature compared to the other practitioners.
“Some of my comprehensions need to be more thorough. I still need some inspiration to complete the final bit of understanding. Obtaining that bit of understanding will be moment I enter the spirit realm.”
Jiang Chen knew that he didn’t have any time left for that now.
He had promised fourth prince Ye Rong that he would participate in Tutor Ye’s birthday banquet, and offer his birthday wishes to this esteemed and sagacious elder. He couldn’t break his word.
Refining the pill had taken ten days or so, and he’d meditated for a few more days. He calculated the dates and discovered that it was only another day or two before the promised day arrived.
When he returned home, Jiang Chen actually discovered that something had cropped up at home.
After Qiao Baishi had gone to the Southern Palace, the mundane tasks of the house fell to Jiang Chen’s uncle, Jiang Tong, to handle. Jiang Chen’s father, Jiang Feng, focused on martial dao and rarely inquired after matters at home.
Although Gouyu was Jiang Chen’s follower in name, no one in the Jiang family truly treated her as a follower. She was basically the commander of the home guard.
This was to say, the entire Jiang family lacked a pillar when Jiang Chen wasn’t present.
“The Dragonteeth Guard again?! Do they think that they didn’t receive enough of a lesson last time?” When Jiang Chen heard from Xue Tong’s report that it was the Dragonteeth Guard again, rage rose in his heart.
“Young master, it’s different this time. According to the laws of the Skylaurel Kingdom, an unregistered spirit fowl cannot fly within the capital. The Qiao brothers have a brash personality and forgot themselves for a moment, giving an opportunity to the Dragonteeth Guard. They were captured along with their Goldwing Swordbirds. We asked about the matter through Commander Tian Shao, he’s unable to do anything in this matter either.”
“Are the two brothers alright?” Jiang Chen was more concerned with if any harm had befallen them.
“Having been captured by the Dragonteeth Guard, they’re sure to suffer a bit. I went to visit them, it’s not yet to the points of threatening their lives. Apparently a great character is celebrating his birthday soon, and the capital will be fasting for three days, with no blood allowed to be shed. The Dragonteeth Guard has to adhere to this too, so it seems that their lives should be safe for now.”
Xue Tong felt similarly resigned. The Qiao brothers had brash personalities. Perhaps they could act without reservations in the Eastern Kingdom, but their characters would definitely land them in trouble in the Skylaurel Kingdom.
“Xue Tong, don’t berate yourself over this matter. You’ve tried your best, the fault isn’t on you. I’ll take care of it from here.”
“Young master, the Dragonteeth Guard is sure to use this as an excuse and make a big deal out of it, what strategy do you have?”
Jiang Chen spread out his hands. “If soldiers approach, we’ll send a general to fend them off. If water rises, we’ll create a dam to stop it. It happens to be the spirit king protector of the kingdom, Tutor Ye’s, birthday tomorrow. I will accompany the fourth prince to the banquet. You need not inquire more with regards this matter.”
The Dragonteeth Guard again!
A trace of killing intent flashed through Jiang Chen’s eyes.
“Dragonteeth Guard, I’ve already forgiven you once. I hope you were proceeding about this case normally this time, and not purposefully starting something. Otherwise, I will indubitably let you understand that you have to pay the price for provoking me, Jiang Chen, in blood!”