Early next morning in the Herb Garden of the Nine State College.
There had not been a Herb Garden in the Nine State College before. It was something that was built specifically for Saint Jiang, after he became a hermit in the Nine State College.
There was someone coming from outside the Herb Garden. It was not Ye Futian and his people, but Zhou Huang and his.
A figure was seen walking out of the Herb Garden, and it was none other than Jiang Chuan, who was a formidable who had been sparring in the Qingyun Building the day before.
"To what do I owe the pleasure of being graced with your presence, your highness?" Jiang Chuan cupped his hands and bowed at Zhou Huang and the others. If Zhou Huang had only been the emperor of the Great Zhou Sacred Dynasty, Jiang Chuan would have not needed to go that far. However, Zhou Huang was considered his senior, and a mighty one ranked in the Sage and Saint Ranking.
"Nothing major. I'm just here because I've long heard of Saint Jiang's renown and I feel like taking a look where the renowned senior resides." Zhou Huang smiled and added, "A small gift, please hand it to Great Teacher Xu for me, and let him greet Saint Jiang in my father's stead."
"Will do. If it's a greeting from the Sacred King, I'd personally hand this to the Great Teacher." Jiang Chuan nodded and took the box containing the gift over, then asked, "Would there be any word you would like to send as well, your highness?"
"That wouldn't be necessary." Zhou Huang shook his head and said, "If you'd excuse me."
"Please." Jiang Chuan sent Zhou Huang off and returned to the Herb Garden, arriving before a spot with some herbs planted.
Jiang Chuan was a Herb Garden Caretaker, which made his status at the Nine State College rather special. He studied under Saint Jiang and thus, he was considered a candidate to become a disciple of the Divine Path.
Other than the Herb Garden, he was allowed to study in the college itself as well.
Jiang Chuan arrived at one of the gardens and there was a black-robed figure standing right before him. The figure had one of his hand placed behind his back. He was tall and exuded an air of exceptionality by simply standing there.
It was none other than the Great Teacher Xu that Zhou Huang mentioned, and the eldest student of Saint Jiang, Xu Chehan.
Saint Jiang, who ranked 12th on the Sage and Saint Ranking, had only taken two students. The eldest was Xu Chehan, who inherited Saint Jiang's ways as the Poison Lord. Some claimed that if he were to become a saint in the future, he could be titled as the Poison Saint. It was also noted that it was best to not get near him if one was not all that familiar with him. That alone spoke volumes about Xu Chehan's notoriety.
The second student of Saint Jiang was a woman, who was also at the garden at the moment, and she was plucking some flora. In contrast to Xu Chehan's black robe, she was dressed in white instead and seemed completely clean. Her delicate hands were exposed and her skin looked supple. Her back was alluring enough to make anyone determine that she would have been a beautiful lady when seen from the front as well.
No one at the Nine State College knew her name. Everyone simply addressed her as Goddess Die, alluding that she was as flighty and light as butterflies, as well as looking just as beautiful. There was no doubt that Goddess Die was indeed a beauty, and furthermore, the most beautiful to be found in the Nine State College. She inherited Saint Jiang's medicinal ways, which was the complete opposite of Xu Chehan.
Jiang Chuan turned his eyes at Xu Chehan's back and then at the goddess before the flowers. He quickly dodged by lowering his head, not daring to defile her further with his sight.
While Jiang Chuan himself was of exceptional status in the Nine State Forum and a candidate of becoming a hallowed disciple, as well as the Herb Garden Caretaker, but within the vicinity of the garden, he was little more than a caretaker who was studying under Xu Chehan and one who was training in the Herb Garden. He had no doubt knew of the Great Teacher Xu's notoriety. Few among the younger generations in all of the nine states were as terrifying as Xu Chehan.
Xu Chehan had been training for over 30 years and he was near the rank of Archmage within the Sage Plane. He was considered a formidable figure for being able to reach such a level at his age.
Xu Chehan simply remained standing with his hand behind his back and said nothing, while he watched Goddess Die's movements.
He said nothing, and Jiang Chuan dared not speak first, as if the later feared interrupting something the former was doing.
No one in the Nine State College would have probably expected that Jiang Chuan, who had been such a dazzling figure outside, looked so mediocre and cautious around Xu Chehan.
Goddess Die had finally finished her plucking after a while and stood. It was only then that Xu Chehan turned around and looked at Jiang Chuan. His black-robed image gave off an exceptionally cold image. The sharp features on his appearance exuding an equally sharp feeling. He was still incredibly handsome nonetheless, but there was no mistaking his coldness, per his namesake.
"What is it?" Xu Chehan asked.
"Zhou Huang of the Great Zhou Sacred Dynasty had requested me to hand this over to you, Great Teacher." Jiang Chuan added, "He said to have you greet Saint Jiang in his father, the Sacred King's stead."
Xu Chehan's brow frown slightly and appeared even colder. Goddess Die came up and said in a low voice, "I thought our teacher and the Zhou Sacred King had not been acquaintances."
"My lady." Jiang Chuan bowed to Goddess Die. Both of them were personal disciples of Saint Jiang, which made them his heirs. Jiang Chuan ritualistically addressed her as 'my lady', while addressing her Goddess Die when he was around others from outside.
Goddess Die smiled and nodded at Jiang Chuan, who lowered his head after seeing her eyes, not daring to look at her beautiful eyes directly.
"I see." Xu Chehan nodded and opened the box. A cold sheen shone on his face immediately. Xu Chehan's expression turned as sharp as a blade. It seemed that Zhou Huang had made quite an effort with the gift. The item was very suitable for further his training.
He closed the box and asked, "What is happening out there? Why would Zhou Huang give me such a gift?"
"I'm sure you've heard of the sacred war outside." Jiang Chuan continued, "Sage Douzhan invoked the Divine Catastrophe but had not suffered its entirety. Ye Futian of the Holy Zhi Palace of the Barren State is now in the college, and he would visit the Herb Garden soon enough."
Jiang Chuan did not spell everything out, but Xu Chehan got it immediately nonetheless. Barren State needed something from Saint Jiang. Ye Futian needed something to create a saint, but since the Great Zhou Sacred Dynasty was at war with the Holy Zhi Palace, it was only natural that the former did not wish to see a second saint come into being in Barren State.
Xu Chehan handed the box to Jiang Chuan and said, "Return this to Zhou Huang."
Jiang Chuan was dumbfounded but took it nonetheless and nodded. He did not know what was going on in Xu Chehan's mind, but he knew enough to do as told.
"I'd be off then." Jiang Chuan turned around and left. Xu Chehan looked at the direction he left at with plain eyes and said, "I totally did not expect the Great Zhou Sacred King to be so wary of the Barren State. It seems that the sacred war is not going as well as he expect it to be."
It was apparent that the Great Zhou Sacred Dynasty was wary of yet another saint emerging among the ranks of the Barren State.
At the Saint Plane, one person would have sufficed to determine the fates of hundreds of thousands. A mindless saint would have became nothing less than a calamity, and that was because no one but a saint could have stopped a saint, even matrixes would have proved inadequate.
Ye Futian and his people came as soon as Jiang Chuan walked out of the Herb Garden, and was preparing to head towards the place where the ones from the sacred dynasty was resting.
Ye Futian smiled and nodded as he saw Jiang Chuan coming out.
"Palace Lord Ye." Jiang Chuan cupped his hands. They both fought the day before and Jiang Chuan was defeated yet impressed. While Jiang Chuan was indeed exceptional, there was quite a gap between him and Ye Futian.
"Brother Jiang, I'd like to pay a visit to Senior Saint Jiang. Would you mind informing Great Teacher Xu for us?" Ye Futian asked. It was apparent that he caught wind of the fact that the Herb Garden was tended to by two students of Saint Jiang. It would have been difficult if he were to simply look for the saint on his own.
"Yes, please hold on for a moment, Palace Lord Ye." Jiang Chuan went back into the Herb Garden.
Xu Chehan frowned and asked, seeing how Jiang Chuan came to him again, "What is it now?"
"Palace Lord Ye of the Barren State has come to pay you a visit," Jiang Chuan said.
Xu Chehan took a look at Jiang Chuan and said, "Tell him that teacher is now training in isolation and is no state to receive guests, so he may leave."
Jiang Chuan looked up at Xu Chehan and said, "Great Teacher, Ye Futian is quite renowned now in all of nine states, and furthermore, he's a palace lord from a holy land. Wouldn't it be rather inappropriate to just have him leave like that?"
Xu Chehan frowned and took a look at Jiang Chuan. He felt a shiver running all over his body all of a sudden and said, "I've said too much. I'll inform him at once."
He turned around and left after he was done.
Goddess Die turned to Xu Chehan and said, "Brother, Jiang Chuan was correct. Ye Futian is indeed quite renowned these days. According to legend, he's quite a rare genius and a leader of a holy land of the Barren State. It would indeed look inappropriate if we were to just shut our doors at his face."
"Since when did you care about such mortal affairs, sister?" Xu Chehan smiled and asked. His smile was warm and polite. It was an expression that would have warmed the hearts of those who have seen it, a far cry from the coldness displayed in front of Jiang Chuan.
"But you've declined both sides, brother. Why is that?" Goddess Die asked.
If Xu Chehan had intentions of declining Ye Futian, he could have simply just take Zhou Huang's gift.
"If we were to take gifts of others, we would then need to dedicate ourselves to their cause. I didn't decline Ye Futian due to the Great Zhou Sacred Dynasty. It's that I don't want teacher to be embroiled in the feud between the sacred dynasty and the Barren State, so as to not interrupt our teacher's training. While it is entirely in our capacity to entertain them, but there is also need to get ourselves involved in petty affairs like that." Xu Chehan added further in elaboration, "As for who Ye Futian is, that matters little."
"Right." Goddess Die did not say much after that. She had a mild temperament and was dedicated to her training under her teacher's tutelage. It was just that she got curious about things occasionally nonetheless.
Jiang Chuan arrived outside the Herb Garden again to meet Ye Futian and his people.
Ye Futian had been waiting for quite a while and it was a surprise that he had grown rather restless. But then again, it was something that concerned his teacher's fate after all.
"How about it?" Ye Futian walked up and asked Jiang Chuan, with a hint of anxiousness.
"Palace Lord Ye." A tinge of apology was seen in Jiang Chuan's eyes as he said, "The Great Teacher said that Saint Jiang is training in isolation at the moment and is not in a state ready to receive guest. I'm sorry."
Ye Futian looked rather disappointed and then asked, "How about the Great Teacher then? Would it be alright if we pay him a visit?"
"The Great Teacher doesn't like to be disturbed." Jiang Chuan shook his head slightly. He knew well that Xu Chehan did not want to see Ye Futian.
Both parties were no acquaintance of each other and Xu Chehan's cold temperament said that he was not one who would have helped others.
One's training would have affected one's temperament. Xu Chehan trained in the art of poisons, and as such, his temperament was naturally colder than most.
"I'll come again tomorrow then," Ye Futian said with a smile after hearing the answer, before turning around and left.
The party did not expect to have doors shut in their faces. They were not even able to get into the Herb Garden, let alone see Saint Jiang.
They were not even able to see Xu Chehan, the eldest student of Saint Jiang.
"What an arrogant prick." Xu Shang said rather lazily, "So what's this Great Teacher's training is like?"
"At the pinnacle of magi, near to archmage, I heard," Qin Zhuang said.
"So he's not an archmage yet then." Xu Shang smirked and said, "While he's indeed the eldest student of the Medicine Saint, but he just simply dismissed a leader of the Barren State who came to see him personally. He really knows how to put on airs."
Ye Futian notwithstanding, all of them in the party were of higher training than Xu Chehan. Furthermore, given Ye Futian's renown and status as a palace lord of a holy land, the least Xu Chehan could have done was to invite them into the Herb Garden. Dismissing them in such a manner meant that he paid no heed to their presence.
"We're the ones who're paying them a visit after all. If they don't want to see us, then they naturally wouldn't do so. There's no need to blame them for anything," Ye Futian said with a smile.
"Good state of mind you've there." Xu Shang smiled.
"We'll come again tomorrow," Ye Futian said. They needed help from someone else, and it was precisely the kind of state of mind he needed to be in!
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