This young girl who seemed so ethereal and unworldly had an uncommon bearing. Her limpid eyes were clean and translucent, without the slightest impurity.
“Huang’er, this old man feels increasingly certain that old man Qian Ji’s divination will be fulfilled in the form of Jiang Chen.”
Elder Shun came alive with interest whenever he mentioned Jiang Chen. A benevolent smile split his aged face.
Elder Shun and Huang’er had come from a mysterious place because a magical seer had once divined that clues about Huang’er’s illness could be found in this mundane world.
The dao of divination was a wispy, intangible art. It would seem definite, yet not, and was beyond mystical.
Old man Qian Ji very rarely employed his arts, but whenever he did, his accuracy was beyond doubt.
Since Qian Ji had once said that there would be clues about Huang’er’s illness within the Eastern Kingdom, Elder Shun hadn’t wanted to give up the slightest bit of hope.
Cultivation of any dao in itself had always been a mysterious matter.
As such, Elder Shun would rather believe in its existence than not.
It was because of this that he had taken Huang’er away from the place they lived and travelled to the Eastern Kingdom.
Even though this divination of them being able to find the merest wisp of a clue to Huang’er’s illness in the Eastern Kingdom frankly appeared ludicrous on the surface.
After all, the world that Elder Shun and Huang’er resided in was so, so much stronger than these mundane kingdoms. They weren’t on the same level of existence at all.
If even the world they resided in was unable to resolve Huang’er’s illness, how would they possibly find any clues in a mere ordinary kingdom?
No one else would’ve believed it, but Elder Shun was no ordinary person.
The greater one was in the world of martial dao, the more one understood and knew that sometimes, strange twists of fate would occur according to divine ordinance.
Even though this mundane kingdom was weak and insignificant, this didn’t meant that no clues would appear here.
In the laws of nature, the world took from the abundant to fill in shortfalls.
Elder Shun had shown off a few hands in the Hall of Healing and gotten the position of a resident expert.
It was this identity that had helped him gain a footing in the Eastern Kingdom.
Elder Shun had been quite disappointed in the beginning because he had gained nothing after staying in the Hall of Healing for so long.
This had stayed the case until the day that Jiang Chen appeared with the recipe for the “Heavenly Karma Pill”.
The appearance of that ancient formula had given Elder Shun a whiff of something suspicious. One had to know that an ancient recipe was rather precious even in Elder Shun’s former residence.
For it to appear in a mundane kingdom, it was something that would’ve been rare to see in a hundred, or even a thousand years.
From then on, Elder Shun had taken note of Jiang Chen, and pinned this tiny hint of hope onto Jiang Chen.
Jiang Chen’s performance after that had further aroused Elder Shun’s attentions.
His counter attack and face slapping at the banquet held by the Duke of Soaring Dragon, turning the tables at the foundational exams, soaring to brilliance in the Hidden Dragon Trials, and shocking the heavens when he suppressed the Soaring Dragon rebellion…
This string of events had happened in a short year. It was absolutely incredible that they would appear around the son of a duke who’d started off at a low place in this world.
Something had surely been up behind all these abnormalities.
Elder Shun had seen much, and he observed that Jiang Chen was the point of commonalities in all this.
If it was said that he’d only suspected Jiang Chen in the beginning, now that they’d spent almost a year in the Skylaurel Kingdom and seen his rise in the kingdom, Elder Shun was almost certain that the hint of a clue that they’d searched for so long almost certainly lay with Jiang Chen.
The Four Seasons Eternal Spring Pill, the Nine Magnificence Dew Wine — even with Elder Shun’s level of existence, he had to sigh with admiration. He’d never heard of any of these either.
Furthermore, Jiang Chen’s own rate of self improvement was incredible. He’d barely passed three meridians true qi during the foundational exams. It’d been as if he’d reborn in a short year or two and progressed directly into the spirit realm, killing three peers with three arrows!
Elder Shun didn’t think much of the level of training in the spirit realm.
What had surprised Elder Shun was Jiang Chen’s rate of improvement, and the level of potential and charisma he’d displayed.
Elder Shun saw on this young man a potential that far exceeded the limits of this mundane kingdom.
Even though the potential and strength of the youngsters of Elder Shun’s world was far in excess of those of this mundane kingdom, Jiang Chen was on par in some areas, such as his bearing, and even exceeded those of his world in others!
“Heh heh, this Jiang Chen kid is more and more interesting. Judging from his intentions, he doesn’t seem to be that enthused about entering the Precious Tree Sect. I’m rather curious as to just what a young man from an ordinary kingdom is thinking about? Logically speaking, a young man of this caliber should be filled with yearning towards the so-called hidden sects. However, I don’t see that at all on Jiang Chen.”
Perplexed emotions could be heard in Elder Shun’s tone.
The young girl called Huang’er laughed softly, “Elder Shun, the young are proud and unbridled. There are many in our place who don’t like to enter the sects.”
Elder Shun smiled ruefully, “Most people who are like that are either unparalleled geniuses or idiots who are blindly confident. Huang’er, which type would you say Jiang Chen is?”
Huang’er cocked her head to the side and thought for a moment before saying, “He likely counts as a genius amongst the sixteen kingdoms?”
Huang’er had heard Elder Shun mentioned Jiang Chen almost everyday in the past year.
Elder Shun would thoroughly investigate whatever had happened to Jiang Chen and then fully relay it all to her.
In this way, although Huang’er had never met Jiang Chen, but she more or less had a hazy image of him over a year.
She didn’t know Jiang Chen and naturally wouldn’t have any prejudices against him.
Although she had a few words to say about some of the ways in which he’d handled things, with her temper and rearing, she wouldn’t look down on a young man whom Elder Shun was complimenting because of a few small details.
“Haha, if even our Huang’er admits that he’s a genius, then this Jiang Chen is definitely a genius.” Elder Shun clapped heartily in laughter.
“Elder Shun, with your level of attention, even if he’s not a genius, with your ability to turn stone into gold, you’d be able to turn him into the most preeminent genius amongst the sixteen kingdoms if you gave him just a few hints?”
Elder Shun shook his head and laughed, “Oh no, I will absolutely not appear to instruct him in person. A genius has a genius’ path. At least, I don’t want to give him pointers yet at this stage. Put it this way, although the current level of potential he’s displaying is in excess of the limits of the sixteen kingdoms, he’s still far away from my standards. Perhaps if he breaks through to the origin realm in the next three or five years, then he might truly have the right for this old man to appear and tutor him.”
“Three to five years?” Huang’ers long lashes fluttered rapidly as her ethereal eyes looked at Elder Shun. “Elder Shun, Jiang Chen will be in his early twenties in the next three to five years? If he enters the origin realm at that age, he’d be a strong genius even in our world, no? I don’t think this kind of genius has ever appeared in the history of the sixteen kingdoms?”
“Huang’er, if old man Qian Ji’s fortune is truly to be fulfilled in Jiang Chen, then he shouldn’t only be at the level of a genius of the sixteen kingdoms. The sixteen kingdom alliance is but a desolate martial dao backwater in the greater world. My standards for him are not measured by the barometer of the sixteen kingdoms.”
Huang’er nodded, deep in thought, but still felt that Elder Shun was being a little too one sided in his enthusiasm. After all, the conditions of the sixteen kingdoms were limited. It would be incredibly difficult for a practitioner to achieve quick breakthroughs on the path of martial dao when the resources available to him were so limited.
It was likely that no one in the history of the sixteen kingdoms had broken through to the origin realm at the tender age of twenty years old. It was indeed a bit harsh to take this kind of measurement to Jiang Chen.
“Huang’er, do you think that three to five years is too short?”
Huang’er didn’t like to conceal and hide her thoughts, so she smiled faintly when she heard Elder Shun’s question and didn’t deny it.
“Ahi, this old man also knows that three to five years is short, but Huang’er, have you thought of the fact that your illness can’t be dragged on for any longer? Although Jiang Chen is an important clue, but this old man cannot place all my bets on him. It’s nothing if I lose, but Huang’er, you can’t wait. You can wait three to five years, but we must start over again if Jiang Chen isn’t the one we’re looking for. I’m afraid clues will be difficult to find when time drags on…”
Elder Shun’s tone was filled with the worry over gains and losses.
Huang’er’s face of heavenly beauty revealed a touch of softness. She knew that Elder Shun was worried about her, and had come to this desolate place, wasting his time on mundane youths because of her.
For someone on the level of Elder Shun, time and energy were all quite precious.
“Elder Shun, Huang’er is greatly warmed by all that you have done for me. Even if Huang’er is destined to succumb to my fate in this life, such is my destiny. A person’s lifespan can be long or short, Huang’er has seen those around us that even if they live past ten thousand years, they pursue only fame and profit in their lives. Almost robotically absorbed in training, they can steal resources, slaughter brothers, friends, and those around them, all in the name of training. So what if this kind of heartless, mindless person achieves the great perfection of dao? Are they truly happy to be alone for the rest of their lives?”
“As for me, although I am young, I have Elder Shun who loves me and who has taken me to across a thousand mountains and ten thousand rivers, viewing all the wonders and sites of the world, and experiencing all there is in this realm. Even if I live to only this day in my life, my life would not be in vain. Compared to the peers of my clan, I have possessed more than a hundred times their happiness.”
Although Huang’er’s tone was noncommittal, her tone was suffused with sincerity as well as a certain realization and the intelligence of acceptance.
Elder Shun’s eyes filled with love when he heard these words. He roared raspily, “Huang’er, unless this old man dies, otherwise I will never give up on visiting all sorts of renowned doctors for you to cure you of your illness! You are a goddess amongst mortals. If your life is short, then that is because the heavens are blind! With this old man’s knowledge of the heavenly law, although Huang’er is troubled by your affliction, you are not meant for a short life. You are destined to suffer first in your life before sweet rewards arrive. You are destined to have someone appear who will help you!”
It was as if spring had alighted in the courtyard when Huang’er smiled sweetly.
“Elder Shun, Huang’er is young and doesn’t understand talk of the heavenly law. Except, Huang’er will try hard for you to live on and not be beaten by this sickness. If there really is someone who will help me in my life, Huang’er will try her hardest to live until he appears and then tell him that Elder Shun has spent a lot of effort looking for him.”
Elder Shun laughed heartily. “That’s my good Huang’er!”
He paused and then said. “I hope this Jiang Chen doesn’t disappoint me. It doesn’t seem like there’s another clue worth pursuing in all of the sixteen kingdoms. Can it be that he really gained divine patronage after being caned by Eastern Lu?”