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It was only after the elder had left did Wei Xing'er's cold eyes mellow. There was a bit of anger and resentment in her eyes, but she was for the most part pleasantly surprised to see Jiang Chen. It was obvious that his unexpected visit had caught her off guard.
Wei Xing'er smiled slightly when she noticed the lingering caution on his face. "Rest easy, there are no eyes or ears around. This is the Resplendent Emerald Veranda's forbidden grounds and no one would dare scrutinize this place. To think that you would come to Great Scarlet Capital! I had thought our goodbye back then to be our last."
Wei Xing'er's smile looked a little bitter and resentful. It was obvious that her current lifestyle had ground away much of her willpower after so long.
Jiang Chen sighed quietly. "You did me a favor back then, Miss Wei. I'm here to save you."
"Save me?" Wei Xing'er smiled in self-derision. "I have no roots to return to. Where can I go even if I'm free? I am but a walking corpse here, but at least it's a peaceful and steady life. Too many years have passed. I hear that Myriad Domain has completely fallen under the Eternal Celestial Capital's control. Little guy, I know that you still haven't given up on revenge, but listen to me when I tell you to let go of that thought.
"We so-called geniuses of Myriad Domain are nothing compared to the members of a true first rank sect. It's true that your talents may be ten times of what I have, but no genius from Myriad Domain can ever compare to the geniuses of first rank sects and the Upper Eight Regions. Most importantly, the first rank sects have more than just geniuses. Those terrifying masters… ai!"
Wei Xing'er sounded a little depressed. She was different from when Jiang Chen saw her last time. Back then, she hadn't lost all hope and optimism despite adopting a slightly pessimistic outlook of the world. At the time, she had even asked him about Walkabout Sect and hoped that Myriad Domain could rise once again. But after a few years had passed, it looked like she'd completely given up.
Jiang Chen stared blankly at her for a moment. A bit of disappointment entered his eyes.
"Miss Wei, I didn't think you'd actually want to be a walking corpse. Maybe I made the wrong choice when I travelled all the way here to save you." Jiang Chen's voice turned cold.
Wei Xing'er gave him a miserable smile. "The only reason you're here to save me is because you owe me a bit of favor from those years ago. You're simply trying to deal with this responsibility so you'll feel better about yourself. Tell me, do you really truly care if I live or die? If you do, then why didn't you rescued me before and waited for years before you finally came to me during your leisure? Save me? Save me how? There are prisons everywhere in this world that eats up losers like me. People who lost the protection of their sects like me are ultimately nothing more than ants…"
Jiang Chen frowned. "I see. You aren't aware of the truth even now, are you? Do you think you can live comfortably like this forever on after losing hope? Do you think that the master can't find another pretty face to hold up the Resplendent Emerald Veranda? Are you really so confident, or are you just lying to yourself?"
Wei Xing'er paled drastically. "What… what have you heard?"
"Do you really not know?" Jiang Chen sneered and threw the question back at her.
Infinite pain welled inside Wei Xing'er's eyes. She said sorrowfully, "And what if I know? What if I don't know? Ever since I joined the Resplendent Emerald Veranda, my fate is not mine to decide. How could I not know that the Veranda master has something sinister in store for me? I may not be aware why he keeps me here, but if there's one thing I'm certain of, it's that he doesn't desire me for my beauty… he hasn't touched me, not even once!"
This wasn't out of Jiang Chen's expectations at least. After all, the Veranda master wanted to use Wei Xing'er as a cultivation cauldron. He would never take away her virginity so soon.
"So, you've truly given up?" Jiang Chen asked seriously.
"What else do you think I can do in this situation?" Wei Xing'er smiled bitterly.
"Do you know why the Resplendent Emerald Veranda is so lively as of late?" Jiang Chen asked another question.
"Hmph, the Veranda master is planning to achieve a breakthrough and become a high level emperor realm cultivator. He has enemies everywhere, so it's only natural that he'll seek out a couple protectors to defend him."
Jiang Chen nodded. He asked again, "I'm sure you don't know that he plans to use you as his cultivation cauldron, do you?"
Wei Xing'er swayed as her face turned deathly pale. Her delicate, ruby-lipped mouth was slightly agape with surprise. The surprise quickly turned into thick fear.
"How do you know about this?!" Wei Xing'er asked in a panicked state.
"That's not important. What's important is the two choices presented before you. One, leave this place. Two, give up and become his cultivation cauldron."
There was no sugarcoating it. She would die if she became a cultivation cauldron. Almost no one survived the experience. Wei Xing'er didn't recover from her fear and shock for a very long time. She might have submitted to her current circumstances, but that didn't mean she was so far gone that she could give up her life on a whim.
She wasn't actually afraid of death, but dying as a cultivation cauldron was a different matter altogether. It was too sudden and terrible for her to accept. Real fear gripped Wei Xing'er tightly for a time. At first, the young woman thought that she had given up on life completely, but now Wei Xing'er finally realized that she couldn't accept her fate at all.
She was young and barely at her thirties. In the martial dao world, she was like a child who had just started to walk. She should be shining like a new sun and full of youthful energy, but she had been reduced into another person's puppet instead. Time had ground away her delusions of resistance and adapted her into this puppet's life, but when Jiang Chen told her the truth, her will to live finally burst out of her shell.
"I… I want to live." Wei Xing'er stared frightfully at Jiang Chen. "You have a plan. I know you have a plan, right?!"
"What do you think our chances are if I were to take you with me and escape from this place by force right now?" Jiang Chen suddenly asked.
Wei Xing'er was taken by surprise greatly. "Are you joking? Escape this place by force? Both of us would be turned into dust!"
Jiang Chen smiled and said nothing. He was that confident in his current abilities. Still, it was unwise to try and escape this place via force. Alone, he ultimately wasn't strong enough to take on the entire Great Scarlet Mid Region by force. He would be trapped inside Great Scarlet Capital and attacked by countless experts if he chose to forcefully break out. They wouldn't stop until he was completely destroyed.
"You must have another way, right?" Wei Xing'er couldn't help but ask.
Jiang Chen didn't answer her question. Instead, he asked, "Do you know why the Veranda master chose this place to achieve his breakthrough?"
Wei Xing'er thought for a moment but shook her head in the end. "He never told me anything about martial dao, and I was never bold enough to ask him about it."
The young madame might look well off on the surface, but in reality she possessed little to no power. She barely saw the Veranda master in person, and their conversations consisted of polite greetings and nothing more. They'd never had a true conversation with each other. There was simply no way that the master would tell Wei Xing'er something as important as his cultivation.
Wei Xing'er's lack of answers wasn't a problem for Jiang Chen though. He wasn't someone who made reckless decisions without a plan. The young man passed over a bottle of powder to Wei Xing'er after pondering for a moment.
"Miss Wei, this is something I made by myself. I'm sure you've used a similar drug in the past, although it absolutely is incomparable to this one. For the next few days, you will consume some of it on a daily basis. Remember, it's only for consumption, not outward application. This is so that I'll be able to track you down accurately within a radius of a couple thousand kilometers for the next three months. I'll be able to track you down the moment the Veranda master makes his move."
Wei Xing'er didn't accept the bottle right away. Instead, she asked in astonishment, "Track me? Are you planning to rescue me on the road? Little guy, I admit that I very much want to escape from this place, but if you're going to use a suicidal method like this, we may as well call off this rescue mission."
It wasn't that Wei Xing'er looked down on Jiang Chen's abilities. She just didn't like this plan at all. Jiang Chen was undoubtedly a genius. Literally no youths in the entire Myriad Domain was comparable to him. However, no matter how talented Jiang Chen was, he was ultimately a genius in the scope of only Myriad Domain. Even if he could still be considered a genius in the Upper Eight Regions, his cultivation was completely incomparable to the Veranda master's, not to mention the large group of protectors the Veranda master just hired for himself.
Wei Xing'er had definitely been a femme fatale in the past. She cared little for a man's life, and only the heavens knew how many many men she'd killed. Jiang Chen was the only exception to the rule though, and he'd come from a distant place today to save her. Even if he did it only because he owed her, his action still touched her. She might not want to die, but she didn't want to drag Jiang Chen with her when she did.
Jiang Chen didn't explain anything. He said coolly, "You don't need to know my plan. Consume this powder if you trust me. If you don't, then whatever."
Wei Xing'er stared blankly at him before she slowly accepted the bottle. She fell into silence for a moment as she held it.
"Are you leaving?" Wei Xing'er finally broke out of her reverie when she noticed that Jiang Chen was striding outside. She chased after him.
"Stay here." Jiang Chen stared at her meaningfully and moved his arms a little. A strange smile tugged at the corners of his lips slightly, but he didn't say anything more. Suddenly, he dashed out of the side hall as quick as lightning.
Jiang Chen swore the moment he exited. "I knew it, a woman has no eye for true value at all. This Resplendent Emerald Veranda is truly a disappointment! I'd be a fool to step into this place once more!"
When Jiang Chen saw the elder walking towards him, his anger turned even more overt. "Elder Li, you have nothing to say to me. Even if the Veranda master were to show up himself, I have no interest in discussing anything with you lot any longer!"
Elder Li was completely stunned. He had no idea what the young madame had done to earn such fury from this man.