Everyone from the Eternal Sacred Land was heavily taken aback, to say nothing of Ziju Min. They had thought that Shao Yuan was a calm and mild-mannered genius. Who would’ve thought that he’d be so electrifying when doling out the insults?
To Jiang Chen, the logic was simple. He needed to do all that he could to prove himself in the festival, to show the Eternal Sacred Land that he was worthy of their full support.
The middle-aged man hadn’t expected the young man to dare talk back, and even publicly jeer that the Flora Divine Nations produced nothing but trash! How foolish must he be to do so??
The man scoffed sharply and snapped back in a frigid tone, “Your foolishness sure makes you bold. If we truly are so useless, what does that make you losers from the Eternal Sacred Land?
“If I remember correctly, one of your own lost to Master Shi Xuan in a pill dao match, which resulted in an inner demon leading to death. That wasn’t so long ago.” He shook his head mockingly as he spoke. “I suppose that’s only to be expected. You’re young and inexperienced. Ignorance is bliss.”
That was a personal attack.
Those of the Eternal Sacred Land fumed at his words. This was a festival that they were hosting, and those of the Flora Sacred Land had truly crossed a line.
Jiang Chen smiled lazily, unaffected by the riposte. “I heard about what happened to Elder Zimu, but I was told that a certain someone cheated and defeated the elder by a hair. Afterwards, he used the incident to gain fame he didn’t deserve and lied to the world for decades.”
He speculated wildly, punting the blame to Shi Xuan. He didn’t know if Shi Xuan really had cheated in his match with Elder Zimu, and neither did he care. He simply wanted to provoke Shi Xuan and his compatriots.
As expected, Shi Xuan’s closed eyes snapped open, shooting daggers at Jiang Chen. The target smiled faintly, meeting the gaze directly.
“Have I said something wrong, Master Shi Xuan?” Jiang Chen said with a half smile. “You know very well what I’m talking about, don’t you?”
Shi Xuan had never been the tolerant sort. His expression darkened as he turned to Ziju Min. “Even though you aren’t among the top in Myriad Abyss, Ziju Min, you do have some level of recognition. How can you let a immature brat spout nonsense in such a festival? Aren’t you worried about becoming a laughingstock?”
Ziju Min smiled calmly and shook his head, perfectly composed. “No one will laugh at him, and no one is in any place to laugh at him.”
“Oh?” Shi Xuan brayed with unrestrained laughter. “Since when has the Eternal Sacred Land become so untouchable that no one is allowed to call you out?”
“If you knew how to refine the Taiyi Skymender Pill, Daoist Shi Xuan, then you’d be entitled to your pride as well,” Ziju Min responded coolly. “But alas, you don’t.”
What? Everyone turned to Jiang Chen in shock.
They’d heard that the pill was invented by a young man, but had been doubtful. They’d assumed that the Eternal Sacred Land had spread the false information to obfuscate the truth. The name Shao Yuan was on everyone’s lips, but no one knew who he was and what he looked like.
So this sharp-tongued young man was the one they’d been obsessing over?
The area fell silent. Several pairs of curious eyes flicked to Jiang Chen, trying to discern what was so special about the young man. At first glance, he seemed unremarkable.
After careful consideration however, they realized that his composure alone was something that many young men didn’t have. He could be viewed as bold and courageous type in facing so many pill dao figureheads and seniors with dignity and grace. He’d dared even mock Shi Xuan!
Shi Xuan considered Jiang Chen with a smirk and cackled derisively. “Since Elder Zimu’s death, the Eternal Sacred Land’s pill dao has really been in decline. How dare you tell such a crude lie? Do you take us all for idiots?”
There was a natural order to the pill dao world. A young man couldn’t have refined a pill that required such high level of skills like the Taiyi Skymender Pill, let alone produce such a perfect end product with flawless technique.
“There are many geniuses in the pill dao world,” Ziju Min retorted. “Daoist Shi Xuan once claimed to be a young genius as well. Are you in denial that a young man has surpassed you? Do you think no one can do what you can’t? Are you so confident that your pill dao talent has been and always will be the best?”
Ziju Min’s arguments were clearly directed at Shi Xuan personally.
Shi Xuan scoffed in the face of his anger. “Even Elder Zimu wasn’t good enough to talk to me like that back then, Ziju Min. You? You’re not even on his level. Do you think you can provoke me with this little trick? Not at all.”
“Provoke you?” Jiang Chen laughed. “You think too much, Shi Xuan. But of one thing I’m sure of, and that you must have cheated to win over Elder Zimu. The truth will be known one day.”
“How dare you!” Shi Xuan shot to his feet with a loud slam of the table. He placed his hands behind his back to proclaim haughtily, “The Eternal Sacred Land has produced no one on the same level as me over the past ten thousand years, and will not for the next ten thousand!”
Jiang Chen remarked pointedly with a laugh, “Oh? Then why don’t you show us with a Taiyi Skymender Pill?”
“A pill dao master’s ability isn’t measured by one pill,” Shi Xuan responded coolly. “Who knows if the pill really is your work? Even if it is, you may have picked up an ancient recipe by accident, which tells us only how lucky you are, but nothing about your abilities.”
Shi Xuan was convinced that the young man must have found a recipe, if he’d really been the one to refine it in the first place. He couldn’t have developed the pill himself.
Acquiring a recipe was simply a matter of luck; it had nothing to do with one’s foundation and ability in pill dao.
Jiang Chen hid a smile at this development. He’s right where I want him.
“You don’t have to worry where the Taiyi Skymender Pill comes from, Shi Xuan. The truth is, you don’t know how to refine it.”
“Ha, so what? Of all the pills you know, the Taiyi Skymender Pill may be the only one I don’t. But of all the pills I know, ten generations worth of the Eternal Sacred Land might not be able to grasp them. That’s the difference between our ability and foundations in pill dao. Got it?”
Shi Xuan was derisive, and suddenly felt that it was beneath himself to argue with a young man. He normally had better control over his emotions. However, something about the damn brat made it difficult for him to manage his anger.
“Foundations?” Jiang Chen chortled. “Shi Xuan, do you think Flora Divine Nation is the only faction in Myriad Abyss who has a basis in pill dao? Do you really think you’re better than anyone from the Eternal Sacred Land? Are you sure the Taiyi Skymender Pill is your only blindspot?”
“Do you disagree?” Shi Xuan scoffed.
Jiang Chen grinned ever more radiantly. “It’s a little too kind to say you’ve sought bliss in ignorance. You obviously don’t use your brain at all.” The young man snorted. “You’ve been building an illustrious name for decades. Since you’re so confident, why don’t we solve this issue once and for all?”
“Ha, are you next going to say that the Eternal Sacred Land will rewrite history? That you’re going to challenge me to avenge Elder Zimu?” Shi Xuan sneered. “If so, I’m afraid you’ll be disappointed. I don’t care enough to accept your challenge. Do you know why? Your pill dao isn’t good enough to deserve my time.”
Jiang Chen stared at him mockingly. “Don’t mistake bravado for real courage, Shi Xuan. Others may not be able to tell, but I can see the insecurities in your heart. You talk the talk, but can you walk the walk? Why don’t you show us your true talent?”
“With you as my opponent?” Shi Xuan shook his head haughtily. “I’m not interested in bullying a mewling brat.”
Jiang Chen smiled faintly. “What if I bet the recipe for the Taiyi Skymender Pill?”
Shi Xuan perked up. “What do you mean?”
As Jiang Chen expected, no one could resist the Taiyi Skymender Pill, not even Shi Xuan. His appetite had obviously been whetted as soon as the recipe was mentioned.
“We’ll have a match with the pill recipe as the prize. You win, you take the recipe. You lose, you admit you cheated in your match against Elder Zimu.”
“Kid, are you sure you speak for the Eternal Sacred Land?” Shi Xuan pointed out coldly.
Jiang Chen shrugged. “The pill is my invention. Of course I have the right to decide how it’s used. Elder Ziju and the three primes will understand my decision.”
Shi Xuan laughed, his gaze shifting to Ziju Min. “Is this reckless young man authorized to make such a decision, Ziju Min?”
“Every pill dao figurehead has gathered here today to bear witness. We always keep our promises. What do you have to fear?” came the indifferent response.
Shi Xuan broke into laughter. “Good, good. I’ve underestimated the Eternal Sacred Land! You may be ignorant, but you are bold. That much is admirable. Since you refuse to give up until hell itself is staring you down, I’ll make an exception and teach you another lesson!”