Chapter 703: Dan Chi Captured?
Jiang Cheng and Huang’er were far away from the Great Scarlet Mid Region half a year later. But because of the bounty notice issued by the Great Scarlet Empire, there were fanatic bounty hunters hunting for them everywhere they went, even though they were a long distance away from the Great Scarlet Mid Region. Therefore, Jiang Chen and Huang’er weren’t able to make their way to the Veluriyam Capital at top speed. That being said, since they were dressed as origin realm wandering cultivators, they weren’t suspected even though they were questioned a few of times along the way.
Since he had a sufficient amount of Heroic Sage Pills, Jiang Chen achieved a breakthrough once more during this time. He’d successfully ascended to the third level sage realm. Since Jiang Chen didn’t wish to attract any attention while he was undergoing his ascension, he activated a formation and completed the ascension inside of it. Huang’er watched over Jiang Chen outside the formation. The entire process thankfully progressed without a hitch.
After associating with each other for half a year, the duo quite enjoyed journeying in each other’s company. In fact, their joint flute and zither performance of the ‘Ethereal Soothing Melody’ had practically reached perfection. Compared to the time she’d spent at the Regal Pill Palace, Huang’er found that she didn’t dislike this kind of wandering life at all. In fact, she reveled in it. Talking with Jiang Chen had also given her a better understanding of this mysterious young man. Thanks to the unparalleled memories he possessed from his past life, he spoke and acted with superior knowledge and manner, even though he didn’t try to show it off on purpose. Huang’er had to hide her surprise many times because of it.
The duo arrived at a small city today. Jiang Chen’s bounty notice was hung on the city gates, and Jiang Chen had long since become numb to this fact. Their plan had originally been to avoid densely populated cities as much as they could. They couldn’t skip this small city, however. If they did, they would be forced to make even more wandering detours, not to mention that they wanted to enter a densely populated area and receive word of the latest news. After entering the city, they’d just found a tavern to sit down at when they heard a group of wandering cultivators chatting with each other with great gusto.
“Have you heard? The Regal Pill Palace’s palace head, Dan Chi was caught not long ago!”
“Pfft, that’s old news already. It’s been seven to eight days since then, hasn’t it been?”
“Hehe, the Myriad Domain’s fate is truly tragic. I wonder how they’d offended a first rank sect in the first place. This was literally an annihilation.”
“What do you mean tragic? In the world of martial dao, the laws of the jungle apply. A first rank sect is powerful, and the Myriad Domain is weak. It’s only natural that they are devoured by the powerful.”
“You’re right, but as wandering cultivators we may be even worse off than the Myriad Domain if we somehow provoked the ire of a powerful force too.”
Jiang Chen was shocked when he heard the news.Palace Head Dan Chi was captured? The shocking news struck Jiang Chen so hard that his mind almost went completely blank. Out of everyone in the Regal Pill Palace, the person he respected the most was Palace Head Dan Chi. Whether the news of his capture was real or not, Jiang Chen still couldn’t help but be worried about it.
Huang’er hurriedly sent him a silent message, “Sir Jiang, rumors are just rumors. They cannot be believed until they’re proven to be the truth.”
Huang’er’s voice sounded ever so soothing and warm like the sun in March. Jiang Chen fought back his anxiety and continued to listen in on the conversation.
“What’s the point of capturing Palace Head Dan Chi? I hear that the Eternal Celestial Capital and Great Scarlet Mid Region fear Jiang Chen the most, not Dan Chi.”
“Yeah, I heard that Jiang Chen killed a lot of Great Scarlet Mid Region people. In fact, he even killed off the grandson of a holy king in the Eternal Celestial Capital. This Jiang Chen is truly monstrous. I can’t believe that an insignificant fourth rank sect disciple in Myriad Domain can be this insane! If this person was picked up and nurtured by another first rank sect, then it is only a matter of time before he becomes a huge threat.”
“Forget it all. All this has nothing to do with us. Let’s not bother ourselves with those things and drink instead.”
What annoyed Jiang Chen was that they’d stopped talking about the subject at this point. The pause caused his heart to itch restlessly. An idea came to his mind as he lifted his cup and walked up to the group of wandering cultivators, “Good day, fellow brothers.”
Jiang Chen was dressed like a wandering cultivator, and his apparent strength was lesser than the rest of them. This was why those cultivators didn’t look guarded or wary when he approached them.
“Mm? What do you want?” the wandering cultivators looked at him and asked.
“Oh, I accidentally overheard you talking about the Regal Pill Palace. Dan Chi being caught is an excellent opportunity, don’t you think?” Jiang Chen purposely spoke with an exaggerated tone.
“What opportunity? Go scram somewhere else and stop bothering us from drinking!” a wandering cultivator said impatiently.
“Look, if Dan Chi is captured, then Jiang Chen will definitely come out to rescue him, right? If he shows up, and we work together to take down that Jiang Chen… the bounty is amazing, you know! The mere thought makes me itch with anticipation,” Jiang Chen said with a rapt look on his face.
“Pfft!” A cultivator immediately spat out the mouthful of alcohol in his mouth when he heard Jiang Chen’s words.
“Hahaha!” The rest of the cultivators also laughed loudly after they were stunned for an instant after hearing Jiang Chen’s words. One of them was even slapping his thighs repeatedly while laughing, looking he had just heard the funniest joke in the world.
“What are you laughing at, brothers?” Jiang Chen scratched his head like a simple-minded fool.
It took a long while before these people finally managed to restrain their laughter and stare at Jiang Chen with a teasing look on their faces. “Look, younger brother, I’m not trying to insult you, but do you think that you’re more capable than the Eternal Celestial Capital? Do you think that you’re more capable than those sects in the Great Scarlet Mid Region? These are people who’ve failed to capture Jiang Chen. What makes you think that you’ll succeed?”
Jiang Chen chuckled and said, “What if we get lucky?”
“Alright, if you think that your luck is so good, why don’t you go give it a try instead of bothering us? You’re a pretty funny guy though, so here’s a toast for making us laugh,” The wandering cultivator raised his cup casually. He obviously wasn’t trying to raise a toast to Jiang Chen. He was just mocking the younger man.
“So, erm… may I know where that Dan Chi is being held, brothers?” This was the information Jiang Chen was really trying to fish for.
“He’s at Tai-ah City, Swordland Mid Region. Dan Chi will be executed publicly in a month. Alright, go now. I hope that your lucky stars explode for you and help you catch Jiang Chen in one go!” The man’s reply was completely perfunctory. It appeared to be a blessing, but the thick sarcasm behind the words couldn’t be ignored.
Tai-ah City, the Swordland Mid Region. Jiang Chen wasn’t unfamiliar with this place because they had to pass through the city on their way to the Veluriyam Capital. Plus, it wasn’t too far away from where they were right now.
Jiang Chen chuckled and said, “Tai-ah City? That isn’t too far away from here. Is it really there? I guess I’ll have to go there and test my luck then. Even if I failed, it would be nice to watch from sidelines.”
“Alright go away now, I’ve already told you all you need to know. Now scram and stop pulling me away from my drink.”
Jiang Chen continued to radiate with delight when he returned to his seat, but the rock in his chest only grew heavier and heavier. The wandering cultivator’s explanation was right and proper, and as the saying went, there is no smoke without fire. It was very likely that this rumor was not unfounded. Jiang Chen and Huang’er drank gloomily for a while before they finally left.
“Sir Jiang, Tai-ah City is not really far away here. If we are quick, then we will reach there in half a month’s time. We can head over there and take a look.”
He absolutely had to make a trip. He owed Palace Head Dan Chi his patronage, and his life had been greatly influenced thanks to the palace head taking him away from that miniscule sixteen kingdoms alliance to the Regal Pill Palace. Jiang Chen hadn’t been able to do anything when the Regal Pill Palace collapsed. He was already feeling a lot of regret about this matter already, so it was literally impossible for him to ignore even the rumor that Palace Head Dan Chi might be in trouble.
“We must check out whether or not it’s the truth.” Jiang Chen nodded, “However, the Eternal Celestial Capital has always been good at plotting. This rumor may not necessarily be real. If I have to guess, it might be a trap to lure me to them.” Jiang Chen didn’t have a one track mind. He quickly deduced many possible scenarios of what might have truly happened.
Huang’er had actually thought of this too. It was just that she knew just how much Jiang Chen respected Palace Head Dan Chi. While Dan Chi might not be Jiang Chen’s master, the duo shared a relationship that was akin to a master-disciple or even friends. She had no reason to object to Jiang Chen’s desires in this matter.
“If it’s fake, then it must be a trap. They know about your relationship with Palace Head Dan Chi, and that you’ll show up because you’re unwilling to bet on the off chance they do have him in captivity.”
“Mm. Tai-ah City will be very interesting when the time comes. However, I don’t mind teaching them a lesson again if this really is just bait.”
Jiang Chen and Huang’er entered Tai-ah City twenty days later. The duo acted with great caution, and decided to split up and enter Tai-ah City separately before meeting up later inside the city. This way, they would be less likely to make a mistake when questioned at the city gates.
Seeing that Jiang Chen was alone and a wandering cultivator, the guards didn’t question him too closely before letting him in. However, Jiang Chen also knew that Tai-ah City only looked calm on the surface. He was sure that many undercurrents were running deep inside it. Entering Tai-ah City was easy, but exiting it would be an entirely different matter.
Jiang Chen had just walked through the city gates when a few groups of people suddenly emerged from the roadside and blocked his path completely. Jiang Chen’s heart sank as he stood still and extended his consciousness.
“Relax, brother, relax!”
“Brother, I see that you’re alone on your journey. Would you like to join us?”
“Brother, ignore what he says and join our team instead. We have three sage realm cultivators in our team!”
“Blech, what’s the use of just three sage realm cultivators? My boss is an earth sage realm cultivator, brother. I think you should join us instead.”
“Don’t listen to them and join us! Our team is evenly split in strength so no rewards will be monopolized by a sage realm cultivator even if we do catch Jiang Chen.”
Jiang Chen relaxed when he’d listened up to this point. He wasn’t sure whether to laugh or cry on the inside. As it turned out, these people were the groups of wandering cultivators who were chasing after him. A simple sweep of his consciousness revealed that there were at least seven to eight teams of cultivators among these people. In fact, there were a lot more teams further ahead. It was just that those teams consisted of stronger members who thought little of his ‘earth origin realm’ level strength.
He’d never thought that someone would want him even though he had disguised himself as an earth origin realm expert. It would seem that this bounty truly was the latest fad amongst wandering cultivators right now.
“Everyone, I am weak and of average combat ability. I’m afraid that I would only drag you all down if I join your team,” Jiang Chen made up a random excuse. However, he had obviously underestimated these people’s passion.
“Come on, aren’t most of us at origin realm too? We wandering cultivators are different from those big sects in that we rely on our numbers! United we stand, I say!”
“Yeah, even ants can kill an elephant if there are enough of them, plus it’s not like Jiang Chen has three heads and six arms. If five aren’t enough, then twenty should enough, right? If twenty aren’t enough, then 30, 50 or even 100 people should do the job, right?”
Jiang Chen was going to turn him down again, but in the end he recalled something and didn’t turn them down completely, “Slowly, slowly. Allow me some time to think, okay?”
He suddenly thought that joining a team of wandering cultivators was an excellent way to cover up his tracks. Plus, considering how many wandering cultivators there were, he might be able to listen in on some useful intelligence from them.