It wasn’t long before Xia Nianyi came back with a box carved out of sapphire. Opening it, there was nothing but a pill the size of a longan laying down in the middle of it.
This world had a myriad of pills numbering in the tens of millions but the ones who were worthy of the word heaven were few and far in between.
Any pill which had the word heaven within it was an indication of its indelible connection to the Xiantian.
For example, the Xiantian Pill in the palace, and the Revolving Heaven Pill In Xia Nianyi’s hands.
Revolving Heaven, just the name alone was an indication of its heaven changing effects on the body. Yet to the injured Ning Chen right now, this was one of the few pills that could save his life.
Gingerly placing the pill into his mouth, the boundless medicinal power immediately burst forth from the heavenly pill, and in a potent show of force, rushed right into his Qi Ocean.
In the midst of his unconsciousness, Ning Chen’s eyebrows knitted together in pain as he let forth a drawn out grunt. At the corners of his mouth, streams of blood began to flow.
Seeing this, a worried look crossed Prince Yan’s face as he stepped forward and began focusing his Qi onto his right sword finger(ring finger). Infusing his True Qi into the teen, he began directing the overbearing medicinal strength through his chaotic meridians, over and over again.
This Revolving Heaven Pill was simply too potent for most people. Without a Xiantian or someone close to the realm of Xiantian suppressing its medicinal strength, the person consuming it might end up rising to heaven before the pill manages to overturn the heavens.
Thankfully, Ning Chen had the Prince nearby. A long while later, the injuries in his body finally showed signs of stabilizing. Seeing this, the Prince sealed up the greater half of the remaining medicinal strength in Ning Chen’s body, leaving behind a fraction of the medicine to aid in his recovery.
Having done that, he withdrew his hand with an audible sigh of relief.
“Third Brother, are you sure about this? His identity might cause you major problems.” Warned Prince Tai, having determined that the crucial moment had passed. The fact that an unpurified eunuch like him was able to reside in the palace for so long was bound to be a heaven shaking revelation should it ever come to light.
The Xia Emperor would never allow such a scandal to spread; the first thing he would do was kill off anyone who had any connections to this matter.
Prince Yan’s identity was unique, but while he might not get killed, it would undoubtedly raise the ire and suspicion of the Emperor.
Despite that, Prince Yan’s expression never once wavered as he slowly answered, “Second Brother, be at ease. I have made my own considerations.”
Prince Tai sighed at his answer but said no more. What had to be said was said, he just hoped that this sibling of his had truly considered this matter.
The current Emperor truly wasn’t a benevolent monarch…
Ten days later, Prince Yan left the mansion with a Ning Chen who was still in the initial stages of recovery.
Ning Chen’s injuries weren’t a matter that could be solved in such a short time. However, as long as he didn’t engage in battle, it wouldn’t flare up easily.
The Revolving Heaven Pill could be said to be a miraculous panacea that was able to heal all injuries; yet, pulling Ning Chen back from the gates of hell this time around had truly tested its capabilities. As for the decline in his cultivation, that had to be re-cultivated by the teen himself.
With that said, there was still a portion of the pill’s medicinal strength sealed within his body. Hopefully, this would come in handy at a later date. At least that was what the Prince had in mind when he sealed it.
For now, their destination was the southern regions of Grand Xia. Now was the time for Ning Chen to fulfill his end of the bargain. For a year, he was to be the sword servant of Prince Yan and bear his swords.
The reason why the Prince wanted to visit the south was simple. In this vast empire, the only region he hadn’t visited yet was the south. Furthermore, there was a score from long ago he had to settle there.
Ning Chen didn’t express any objection to this plan. In fact, ever since he woke up, he hadn’t spoken much at all.
Seeing this, Prince Yan chose neither to counsel him nor to pay any attention to it. To him, such matters couldn’t be solved with a few words and would merely be a waste of time to try. If the teen wasn’t able to overcome this obstacle in his heart, no amount of counselling would help.
The trip south was a long one whether it was in terms of distance or time taken. The pair had advanced at a snail’s pace as if they were on a sightseeing tour.
“Heaven has given you a pair of eyes not just so that you may only look at the ground beneath your feet.” The Prince blandly said, as he continued walking in front of the teen while admiring the scenery.
Ning Chen raised his head and gave the picturesque lake in front of him a cursory glance before promptly turning back to the Prince. “Ning Chen is grateful for Senior’s counselling but Ning Chen truly has no mood for such admiration.”
“This Prince isn’t trying to counsel, but merely wishes to say that if your head is forever lowered like that, all you will see is the tiny plot of land beneath your feet. What your eyes can perceive is infinitely more than that.”
“Junior has learnt his lesson.” Ning Chen nodded his head before respectfully answering.
Throughout the rest of the trip Ning Chen no longer travelled with his head down but instead faced it towards the changing scenery. Even if he had no mood to admire them, he still took them all in quietly.
Prince Yan was aware that Ning Chen wasn’t one to be influenced by the outside world so easily, but even such a person would change should he experience a lot more.
Half a month later, the pair arrived at the borders leading to the southern region. Unlike the northern region, the weather here was proportionally warmer. Even during the winter season, the climate here wasn’t as bone-bitingly cold as the north.
Ever since they came here, the pain in his legs had lessened significantly. This was probably the only thing worth celebrating for the teen.
In the southern region, there was a prince known as Yue. He was the seventh brother of Prince Yan and was also the youngest living prince of the four siblings. Yet he was also the prince who had been thrown to the furthest regions by the Emperor.
It wasn’t that this Prince Yue had offended his elder sibling. In fact, when the battle for the throne was ongoing, Prince Yue was still too young to know about such matters. It was just that his mother had offended the current Emperor too greatly; thus, he was implicated as a result.
Having arrived in his territory, Prince Yan didn’t rush to see his youngest sibling; instead, there was someone else that warranted his attention. This was to be expected, after all, they hadn’t seen each other for twenty years; even his impression of this sibling was beginning to fade.
The first thing he had to do was settle his personal score. For that, their first stop was the Man Dynasty.
The Man dynasty bordered the southern region of Grand Xia and was a kingdom similar in size to Zhenji. The current king of Man was an expert who was infinitely close to the realm of Xiantian. A long time ago when he was still the crown prince, he once disguised himself and infiltrated Grand Xia; where he duelled with Prince Yan who hadn’t been crowned a king as yet.
The Third Prince had just begun to reveal his talents and had been labelled the scholar of both the martial and literary arts at that time. This displeased the young crown prince and thus they ended up in a fight outside of the palace.
This duel astonished the masses of the world. There was actually another person of the younger generation who was able to compete with the Third Prince of Grand Xia!
It was in this fashion that the world came to know of the phrase “Yan in the North, Man in the South”.
Both men had made an agreement then, before they entered the realm of Xiantian, they would battle once more. Prince Yan was at the stage where he could enter that fabled realm anyday and the Man King wasn’t that far off either. Having stalled at the peak of Houtian for so long, all the Man King needed was an opportunity.
Ning Chen had only heard some cursory details about the matters of the previous generation; however, he couldn’t imagine the Prince losing.
Having lived through that battle in Sword City, he came to the realization that there was actually such a wide rift between the experts at the peak of Houtian. Experts like the Divine Child and Prince Yan were actually able to stand toe to toe for a short while with a newly ascended Xiantian like Mu Chengxue.
He still couldn’t fathom what such a realm was like, but he knew the realm of Xiantian was the boundary between man and the heavens. Xiantians were known as men of the heavens and were able to channel the power of the heavens and earth. This was something Houtians could never compete with.
However, there was still a few exceptions to this rule. There were people who were able to take on a Xiantian despite being a Houtian. Such people could be found in the past, the present and undoubtedly would continue to exist in the future as well.
No matter how strong the Man King was, there was no way he could win against the Prince who was able to fight against a Xiantian. At least, that was what Ning Chen thought.
The palace of the Man King was merely two days of travelling on foot from the southern region. As they made their way through the outer walls of the palace all the way to the throne room, anyone they crossed were put out of commission; though none of them were actually killed or injured.
In actuality, the Prince wasn’t a person who enjoyed killing people.
Having ascended to the throne, the crown prince of old had lost his sentimentality but instead gained a boundless majesty befitting his position.
“You’ve grown old,” calmly declared Prince Yan.
“You haven’t changed a bit…” sighed the Man King, “There’s no need for disguises here so how about returning to your true form. A paltry twenty years shouldn’t be anything for the legend of Grand Xia.”
“Haha.” Prince Yan gave a light laugh before instantly transforming his face to that of his younger self from ten years ago.
“That’s the multi-talented, arrogant and untamable Third Prince I know.”
As he said that, the Man King slowly rose to his feet. In a split second, the air in the throne room underwent a massive change as if a massive beast was about to awaken, a beast so massive it seemed to warp the space itself.
“Ning Chen, stand aside,” said the Prince in a solemn tone as his expression became more serious.
“Mhm.” Ning Chen nodded before immediately putting down the sword rack and wheeling away.
“Ah Man, entertain our guest.”
The Man King turned to a comely young girl seated beneath him as he gave out that instruction.
“Understood.” The girl nodded.
The next moment, she walked up to Ning Chen and pushed him to a safer location. She knew, more than anyone else, that her royal father had waited a long time for this battle!
The moment the pair left the scene, the battle immediately erupted. With outstretched hands, he summoned forth the Peacekeeper which flew out of its sheath on the sword rack right into his waiting hand.
At the same time, the Man King forcefully kicked off from the ground and rushed towards the prince like a speeding cannonball, his fist punched forward in an titanic blow.
Sword and fist collided with each other; the fist had actually suppressed the sword! Prince Yan retreated half a pace, a trickle of blood flowing down from the corner of his mouth for the first time ever.
Ning Chen’s eyes opened wide in shock. Even the combined efforts of Mu Chengxue and the Divine Child wasn’t able to injure the prince, yet the first blow alone was enough to do so.
This king’s power was simply too frightening, it wouldn’t be an understatement to say that it was unparalleled.
“Having not seen each other for twenty years, it seems like your improvement hasn’t been as drastic as mine, hmm.”
The Man King laughed boisterously before leaping into the air and stomping down on the prince.
The Prince’s eyebrows furrowed as his left hand stretched outwards. The ocean blue sword immediately responded to his call and flew right into his outstretched hand. The Prince summoned a tidal wave with a vertical slash of his sword and immediately moved to block the incoming stomp with a wave of the Peacekeeper.
The Man King’s stomp promptly dispersed the tidal wave and landed with a crash on the giant blade of the Peacekeeper, pushing its wielder against the cracking ground.
As the dust settled after the titanic clash, the clothes on both men were in complete disarray. Prince Yan had weakened the Man King’s colossal strength with his two pronged attack and barely managed to deflect the blow.
It was only now that the two men were finally at the same starting point. A second later, the hall shook once more from their blows. Just from the thundering booms alone, one could tell how monumental this clash was.
Standing beside Ning Chen, Ah Man’s delicate face was just as shocked as the teen. She had never seen a person take on her father’s strength directly. While there was some trickery involved, it was a fact that his blow was deflected.
“So this is the current legend of Grand Xia?” Ah Man’s pleasant voice rang out in Ning Chen’s ears. Unlike the daintiness of the women in the Central Plains, her voice had a crisp, refreshing feeling to it that was unique to the Man Clan.
Ning Chen nodded at the girl. Without a doubt, this was the legend of Grand Xia.
While the younger generation’s Yin Moxiao, the Eldest Prince and Xia Miaoyu had all grown up. They didn’t even come close to Prince Yan.
“Are you his disciple?”
Ning Chen shook his head and said, “No, I’m just a sword servant.”
Her face revealed an deeper look of astonishment as she looked at the teen. Such a strong person was merely a sword servant?
She had sensed a dangerous aura in him which proved that he was stronger than her. The people of the Man Clan were all blessed with such astute instincts.
In the Man Dynasty, the strongest person was her royal father; as for the rest, while there were those who could win against Ning Chen, there weren’t that many, especially not amongst the younger generation.
“Can you bring me to the Central Plains for a look?” Asked the girl in a soft voice. Her curiosity had been piqued by the teen before her. What was the mysterious Central Plains like to have given birth to so many experts?
Hearing this his eyebrows unknowingly knitted together. He simply couldn’t keep up with the pace of this conversation. They had just been acquainted with each other, in fact, they couldn’t even be counted as acquaintances. Shouldn’t such a request only be made to people you were familiar with?
However, this was only the start as her next statement left the teen at a loss for words.
“If you agree to my request, I don’t mind marrying you.”