Chapter 73: Legacy of Formation

Jiang Chen made a motion, “No matter what method you use, you must break through to seven meridians true qi within ten days.”

Jiang Chen had given a non-negotiable order, and created a bit of urgency amongst the eight personal guards.

Only five or six days had passed from when Jiang Chen had selected his second mission until now. He still had quite a bit of time left.

After some calculations, he had decided to set a reasonable timeframe of ten days. It gave a slight sense of urgency, but wasn’t too hasty. It would be a time limit that would be just enough to stimulate their potential.

Jiang Chen planned on using these ten days well.

First, the changes in the Redbud region of the Jiang Han territory needed some time to be fully digested.

Second, Jiang Chen also didn’t want to let this time idly slip by. He wanted to undergo a solid bout of training in the Jiang Han territory.

Time was money, and every minute, every second after he’d reincarnated was beyond precious to him.

In the next ten days, Jiang Chen consistently and persistently held on to an extremely regulated schedule every day. However, he would always take some time out of each day to handle some matters of the territory and to review some intelligence sent back from the Redbud region.

He had created this mess and must clean up after it, lest it affect the greater picture and shake the Jiang family’s political foundations. This was one thing that Jiang Chen didn’t wish to see.

It was a good thing that the Jing family’s tyrannical domineering performance in ordinary times had caused them to lose the hearts of many people. After exterminating the Jing family, the reactions from various parts of the Jiang Han territory were actually quite calm, with no backlash whatsoever.

“Xiaoyu, I hope you can make use of this opportunity to become more mature.” Jiang Chen held this expectation deep within his heart. He knew better than anyone that if the Jiang Han territory was to continue to reside within the Jiang family’s control in the future, then Jiang Yu must become the future Duke of Jiang Han.

He, Jiang Chen, possessed far-reaching ambitions. It was impossible for him to give up pursuing martial dao for a mere dukedom.

Ten days time passed by peacefully.

“Time indeed passes quickly. Ten days have flown by so calmly and speedily. Although I have yet to break through to nine meridians true qi, I already possess the qualifications to assail that level. I wonder how the eight of them have done?”

Indeed, none of the eight had let him down. They had all ascended after ten days of hard work.

Xue Tong had been the first to break through on the fourth day.

Wen Ziqi and Guo Jin had spent six days.

The Qiao brothers had broken through on the seventh day.

The remaining three had all broken through on the eighth and ninth days!

“Very good, you haven’t disappointed me.” Jiang Chen nodded. “My mission is not only to recruit eight personal guards, but also to pass a test. This test will surely be pertain to martial dao. All of you now possess seven meridians true qi, and thus, logically speaking, should have no problems handling the test. However, in the case of any unexpected developments, I will pass onto you a set of martial arts techniques according to each of your characteristics. I will also pass on one set of offensive and defensive techniques, so that when you face enemies, you won’t have to fight separately and will instead be able to demonstrate an astonishing group fighting competency.”

Jiang Chen had spent quite a bit of time and effort thinking about how to arrange these eight personal guards during this time.

Of course, Jiang Chen wouldn’t be overly radical at this stage and pass onto them some nature-defying methods. The techniques that he had chosen were all according to each person’s unique characteristics. He’d chosen ones that would register as amongst the elite in the Eastern Kingdom repertoire of methods, but none that would exceed the Eastern Kingdom’s range of acceptance.

Although they were his personal guards, Jiang Chen still didn’t wish to spoil their growth through excessive enthusiasm. Firstly, because one couldn’t reach towards the sky with merely one step of martial dao training, and secondly, that it was actually a form of protection in not passing onto them any nature defying methods.

Of course, Jiang Chen had many more choices to choose from when it came to battle formations.

Jiang Chen had chosen a deeper method to combine eight people as one.

“This set of ‘Eight Trigram Assimilation Formation’1 is a battle formation that can be used to both attack and defend. When faced with an enemy, its changes are numerous. Its iterations are even harder to predict when attacking and defending. If you are able to comprehend sixty or seventy percent, with your current abilities, even a few true qi masters will be unable to break your formation. When the opponents are your peers, you will be able to handle even a hundred with ease.”

“A few true qi masters? Eight against a hundred peers?” Qiao Shan’s large eyes blinked, astounded again.

“Qiao Shan, stop being so wound up and overreactive as a result. The young duke must have his reasons for saying so.” The eight personal guards had thoroughly become familiar with Jiang Chen’s strength and mysteriousness after the matter of locating the acupoints.

“Heh heh, Ah was shocked. Being able to battle against several true qi masters is enough to make anyone’s blood boil.”

“That’s under the conditions of you being able to comprehend sixty to seventy percent. If you can comprehend eighty percent, then it wouldn’t be an impossible thing to kill a true qi master. If you comprehend ninety percent, killing a true qi master will be as simple as killing a dog.”

Jiang Chen was actually being a bit conservative when he spoke like this.

“Then.. what if we comprehend a hundred percent?” Qiao Shan asked haltingly.

“A hundred percent?” Jiang Chen smiled. “Let’s put it this way, if the eight of you are able to comprehend a hundred percent, then you would be invincible within the realm of the Eastern Kingdom, apart from the spirit dao practitioners. If you are able to ascend to the realm of true qi masters in the future, even those who have just set foot into spirit dao will have to keep their distance from you!”

“Spirit dao practitioners keeping their distance from us’ns?” Qiao Shan’s tongue was about to tie itself into knots as a fervent light shone in his eyes. He itched to immediately start practicing this formation and find a spirit dao practitioner to to test and corroborate this!

“Qiao Shan, you’re barely retaining your composure again. The young duke is saying that all of us need to join the ranks of the true qi masters and fully comprehend this formation before we have the qualifications to battle spirit dao practitioners.” Guo Jin dumped a timely bucket of cold water on him.

“Heh heh, true qi masters, we will surely be able to advance! But Ah’ve yet to see one of those legendary spirit dao practitioners. Mine uncle’s position is so high and he’s hung around the capital for so many years – he doesn’t seem to have ever seen a spirit dao practitioner either.”

No wonder Qiao Shan was so excited. For a common, ordinary kingdom, the existence of a spirit dao practitioner was basically on the same level as divine myths – living on only in legends.

Although there were rumors that the Eastern Kingdom did have spirit dao practitioners, not that many in the entire Eastern Kingdom had ever enriched their knowledge by actually seeing what one of the spirit dao practitioners looked like.

Therefore, in the hearts of all the youths pursuing martial dao in the Kingdom, the existence of spirit dao practitioners were that of legends, as if symbolic totems.

To try and think about it, how great a temptation would it be to battle a spirit dao practitioner under these circumstances? How honorable would it be? No wonder Qiao Shan utterly lost his composure.

A spirit dao practitioner was an absolutely divine existence to those ordinary practitioners.

“Formation training is not the matter of one day and night. The pressing matter for all of you at the moment is training your true qi and martial arts techniques. Guo Jin, focus on the dao of the blade. Qiao brothers, one of you take the axe, the other familiarize himself with brass rods. Both are heavy weapons that can fully display your strength. Wen Ziqi, Ke Mu, and Bi Yun, you all use swords, but the dao of the sword is broad and profound. Each of you will walk your own different path. Shen Yifan, you take the spear. It’s domineering and direct, a tough and fierce path. Xue Tong, you’re different from them as your technique does not fall into a set pattern.”

Xue Tong’s expression became downcast. Although he was the younger cousin of the young duke, he had been bereft of parents since young and lived in the house of the family from his mother’s side. He had been bullied by his older cousin since young and sought survival in the cracks. It had already been quite difficult for him to train his true qi to six meridians.

As for martial arts techniques, the Lan family of the Yinglan Tribe had never given any thought of preparing any for him. It could even be said that the Lan family either by design or by accident, even oppressed Xue Tong.

They didn’t want Xue Tong to become too prominent and outshine the sons of the Lan family. After all, Xue Tong was also a relative of the duke’s family. What if his potential was too strong, resulting in preferment from the duke’s manor? Wouldn’t it turn into the Lan family being suppressed in the future?

Because of these reasons, Xue Tong had had an exceedingly difficult existence in the Lan family. Therefore, his martial arts techniques were quite simplistic and crude.

“Xue Tong, what do you like? Or rather, what weapons are you most disposed towards?”

“I like concealed weapons, particularly the bow and arrow.”

“Bow and arrow?” Jiang Chen’s thoughts moved. There was indeed a lack of someone skilled at surprise attacks amongst these eight. Xue Tong’s potential was the highest, it would be a nice choice if he concentrated on the way of surprise attacks.

“Alright, when we return to the capital, I will purchase a fine bow for you at the first opportunity. You will begin practicing the bow and arrow from this day forth.”

“Bi Yun, I’ve heard that you like to research poisons. You can also spend more effort and thought in this regard. You are my personal guards and thus should be widely practiced in all sorts of ways. Additional skills are never considered an increased burden on the body. The more skills you have and the more practiced you are, the better you will be able to retain your lives in the future.”

The eight of them all nodded their heads as they felt the young duke made quite a bit of sense.

On the path of martial dao, the more skills and talents one had meant an additional layer of guarantee. After all, the world of martial dao was filled with strange and treacherous currents. Many times, it wasn’t the strongest one who was the last person left standing.

Just as Jiang Chen was training his eight personal guards, Jiang Tong came to visit and was in an extreme hurry.

“Third uncle, what matter has caused you to be in such a rush?”

“Chen’er, an urgent message has just come from the Redbud region with three feathers stuck to it. This represents urgent intelligence of the highest grade.”

“What intelligence?”

“The letter didn’t say, just that a bizarre matter has occurred in the Redbud region and requests that the young duke must hasten over to take charge of the situation!”

“Could this letter be a deceit?” Jiang Chen asked.

“No deceit. The letter contains my Jiang family’s secret code and the handwriting is also Xiaoyu’s handwriting.”

Something large had happened but the letter didn’t offer an explanation.

Mutiny from his troops? That shouldn’t be the case. The remaining confederates of the Redbud region had been fully exterminated. The other tribes temporarily couldn’t find an excuse to rebel.

Besides, if the other tribes rebelled, it wouldn’t be the Redbed region sending urgent intelligence back.

Invasion from a strong enemy?

It didn’t seem like it. If a strong enemy invaded, there would be no need for secrecy in the letter.

“Since this is the case, I will set out immediately. We should be able to make it there before noon on the backs of fast horses.”

Jiang Chen wasn’t an irresolute and hesitant person. He immediately summoned his troops and prepared fast horses, setting out on his way.

Jiang Chen was unafraid of any conspiracy developing in the Jiang Han territory. Judging from the letter, it must be that some bizarre development had occurred in the Redbud region, and it was a change that must be kept secret.

Otherwise, Jiang Yu could absolutely speak clearly in the letter.

Galloping quickly on the backs of horses, they sped along the way. Jiang Chen and his retinue entered the Redbud region before noon.

“Brother, you’re here.” It was as if Jiang Yu had seen a savior when he saw Jiang Chen, and he welcomed Jiang Chen into the secret room.

“Xiaoyu, what is going on?” Jiang Chen furrowed his brow.

“Brother, bizarre happenings. The strangest thing. I’ve already given orders to seal this news. Even the elders of the family clan, apart from Elder Xi, are being kept in the dark right now. I dare not announce it.”

“Oh?” Jiang Chen’s interest was piqued upon seeing Jiang Yu so solemn.

“Brother, our medicine boy went to the land with the spirit vein to water the plots last night at dusk as usual, but the spirit medicine in the fields suddenly spontaneously matured!”

1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bagua#Bagua_of_the_eight_aspirations↩

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