“All progresses in its own pace. None shall break the balance and create evil. Now Zeus is risking all creation with his fellow major Gods. I shall endeavor to end his over-ambition with Tao. Ziya, I do not know if it is victory or defeat that awaits me. If we lose, the Heavenly Kingdom shall depend on you.”
“Many Xian are cultivating here in the Kingdom, why not take them with you? I can gather them and raise our apricot flag —”
“Ziya, I am a Savant of Divinity after all. How can I pull the Xian into these troubled waters when our kind were the ones who caused this? Xian have their own paths. Though I am titled the Celestial Divinity, intentions of the sky itself are your guidance. Moreover, the respect Xian have for you outweighs even how they feel about me. Leading is in your destiny, and that is bestowed upon you by the skies.”
“What are skies’ intentions? And what is destiny? I do not understand!”
“Ziya, skies’ intentions are the wishes of all creation. One wish is small like a raindrop, but altogether, they create the oceans that float the boat of life. The skies’ intentions are the direction of the tide, the place where the current converges. Bugs fly and carry pollens; wind blows and transfers cotton seeds...Everything in the realm circulates and perpetuates, like oceans turn into rain, and rain falling back to oceans.”
“If all circulates in their own pace, then why have you invested all these Gods, my master?”
“You do not understand yet! The chaos in the realm was brought by my kind. Zeus tempered with the realm, causing elements to overflow, that brought the rise of Xian and elves. Xian are distinct from mortals; the latter can hardly cultivate Xian-hood because of their inadequate pneuma. As Gods, Xian are disparate from Demons; no evil can attain Xian power. However, by failing to follow the universal principle of all, Xian and elves have distorted the skies’ intentions, while evil power erupted like flood and hurricane. That is the reason why we subdue fiendish elves, suppressed arrogant Gods, pacified chaos, and directed creatures to the correct path of life. Only then, can we ensure the peace in the realm, and fulfill the intentions of the skies.”
“But now, the chaos is over, and evil is shattering. You can recruit the virtuous and powerful, master. If we gather our power...”
“Ziya, just let your master go!” The Celestial Supremacy and Celestial Master had come to receive their brother: “Brother has decided to leave, but the two of us will accompany him. There is no need for you to worry! From now on, you will not work under orders, as you are the head of the Heavenly Kingdom, the commander of all Xian.”
Jiang Ziya’s heart sank as he fell into thoughts; he absent-mindedly patted Sibuxiang, prompting the mystical creature to relax. He had never wished to attain any power or titles; yet, by happenstance, he had been selected to be the leader of Xian. Now he was even endowed with the title of High Marshal of Empyrean, responsible for leading all of Heavenly Kingdom.
Since the Investiture of Gods, Jiang Ziya had been cleansing the evil-raged land alongside his fellow Xian. He had encountered Onmyō power in the East, and experienced Gods’ chaos in the West. The three Celestial Deities ordered Jiang Ziya on different missions, solving a myriad of difficult problems through the realms. Jiang Ziya had never anticipated that these were trials for him, and that the Celestial Divinity had long decided to hand him the reins of power to the Heavenly Kingdom, refusing him the chance to decline.
“Ziya, maintain peace of the Kingdom, and more importantly, of harmony between your Xian fellows...”
“Brother, just let him decide on their own!” The Celestial Supremacy said sternly, “Ziya, all Xian had long deemed you their leader. Even when you were not the head of the Kingdom, they would seek your help should they be in any danger. Succeeding your master is right and proper!”
Jiang Ziya closed his eyes in thought: in the past, we invested Gods, suppressed wars, and encouraged Xian to cultivate their power in the Heavenly Kingdom, a separated piece of land from the realm of man. Now the wars between Gods and Demons are escalating; the time for Xian to enter the realm and devote their power is upon them. Evil is lurking, hoping to restore their power in this short peace between wars; if we Xian enter the realm blindly, the situation would only deteriorate...Compared to so-called destiny, Jiang Ziya cared more for the peace both of all creation and of the realm itself.
“Thank you for your care and support, Celestial Deities. I shall ensure safety of all Xian and not disgrace your tutelage.”