Even the other factions from the Eternal Divine Nations were baffled by the match, House Xiahou included.
Xiahou Ying watched everything play out like great entertainment. In her eyes, Shao Yuan was all bark and no bite. He was beyond foolish to provoke Master Shi Xuan. Had the sacred land forgotten how Elder Ziju died?
She pursed her lips and murmured in a low voice, “He must be crazy, brother.”
Xiahou Zong smiled faintly. “The young man’s talented, but he’s overconfident. He might’ve had a chance to win if he’d played some unexpected tricks. But after hearing his proposal, the only explanation I can think of is that he’s out of his mind.”
Shao Yuan had to be insane to think that he could win like this.
“How ridiculous for all of the sacred land to dance to his tune.” Xiahou Ying shook her head. “I don’t get why Teacher Ziju is so over the moon about him.”
“Enough talk, Ying’er. He’s going to get what’s coming to him. Let’s just watch the show. It’s clear that the kid tells convincing lies. Why else would the three primes and Ziju Min let him do whatever he wants to?” Xiahou Zong had identified the key issue.
“Hmph, they’re all possessed.” Xiahou Ying didn’t think Shao Yuan had any chance in winning. Her eyes swept to Yan Qinghuang, who was not far from her.
Her brows furrowed, she tugged lightly on her brother’s sleeve and murmured provocatively, “Brother, it seems that the Yan girl really is in bed with Shao Yuan. Look at the way she’s watching him. Tsk, look at how adoring her eyes are!”
Xiahou Zong’s gaze grew frigid as he looked over at Yan Qinghuang, whose sole focus was on the two parties involved in the match. Every minute detail about her concerned expression betrayed her true feelings. Even a fool would be able to see them.
Xiahou Zong boiled with rage, his head spinning. He felt humiliated and betrayed. He didn’t have any feelings for Yan Qinghuang, but since she was his possession, both her body and mind belonged only to him. And yet, her attention was so ardently elsewhere!
It was a brutal slap to Xiahou Zong’s face.
“Unacceptable. Simply unacceptable!” he fumed. “What a slut. She’s forgotten her place after her time in the human domain! House Yan is indeed a family of cheap whores.”
Under different circumstances, he would’ve taken Yan Qinghuang away on the spot and taught her a lesson.
“You should make your move soon, brother,” Xiahou Ying commented, adding fuel to the fire. “I don’t want your possession to be claimed by someone else.”
“Shut up,” snapped Xiahou Zong.
Xiahou Ying giggled. “You always vent your anger on me. Go be mean to your girl, or that guy. I didn’t instigate the affair between the two of them.”
“Are you done yet?” drawled Xiahou Zong.
Xiahou Ying could tell from the tone that her brother was truly angry. She didn’t dare say another word. She stuck her tongue out and shut her mouth.
Jiang Chen and Shi Xuan each took a side of the stage. They had an hour to come up with their questions.
It wasn’t a challenge for Jiang Chen to formulate three questions. There was no arguing that Shi Xuan was among the top pill dao figureheads in Myriad Abyss, but in the heavenly planes, he would be of mediocre talent. In Jiang Chen’s past life, any of his pill dao disciples was considerably more talented than Shi Xuan.
In terms of knowledge alone, Jiang Chen had learned almost everything there was to know about pill dao from different dimensions and schools of thoughts. As a result, even though every opponent he encountered was stronger than the last, he could still defeat them easily like an adult on a child’s playground.
After some deliberation, he picked three that he was almost sure Shi Xuan wouldn’t be able to answer. After that, he waited patiently.
He knew that Shi Xuan must be confident in himself. He’d destroy that confidence soon enough!
Shi Xuan came up with three questions not long after. He made his choices with great care, sure that the young man wouldn’t have a clue, let alone give a correct answer. His lips twisted into an odd grimace. His win was inevitable.
“I’m done, brat, but no rush,” Shi Xuan spoke up when he noticed how silent Jiang Chen was, trying to rattle his younger opponent. “You may take your time. I won’t be seen as bullying a junior.”
Jiang Chen opened his eyes and smiled lazily. “Finally? I almost fell asleep waiting for you.”
He knew Shi Xuan was trying to shake him, but he wasn’t going to back down. This understated comeback was the most effective.
Shi Xuan frowned, his expression clouding over. The brat was already done? Had he come prepared? But that couldn’t be. He’d come up with the rules according to their conversation. He couldn’t have predicted what Shi Xun would say.
Shi Xun fell silent. The more he talked, the more mistakes he might make, which would open himself up to more mockery from the young man. Since he wouldn’t win the war of insults, he’d let his pill dao do the talking. In the end, that was the only thing that’d determine the winner.
Both had decided on their questions. The bet could officially begin.
“You’re the guest, Shi Xuan,” Jiang Chen said with a smile. “How about I let you ask the first question?” They’d agreed to take turns asking questions.
Anger flamed in Shi Xuan’s heart again. The young man was truly arrogant! He really knew how to push Shi Xuan’s buttons. Again, the older man reminded himself to keep calm and stay focused.
“Seniors should make concessions to their juniors. I’m not going to take advantage of you, kid. You may ask your question first.”
It didn’t really matter who went first. Thus, Shi Xuan was more than willing to play up the generous senior.
Jiang Chen smiled faintly. “Are you sure?”
“A man lives by his words. What does it matter if you go first?” Shi Xuan affected a careless tone and continued derisively, “But what can someone as inexperienced as you come up with? I’m all ears.”
Jiang Chen flashed a wide smile and nodded. “Then your wish is my command. My first question has to do with the Trinonary Sages' Puzzle. Twenty-seven herbs can be used to refine twenty-seven different pills. You consider yourself among the top ten pill dao figureheads in Myriad Abyss, Shi Xuan. Can you give me all the combinations?”
Ziju Min barely stopped himself from bursting out in laughter. Naturally, he knew about the Trinonary Sages' Puzzle. He’d asked Jiang Chen about it out of curiosity, and Jiang Chen had deeply impressed him by revealing all of the combinations.
He was deeply amused that Jiang Chen would use the puzzle as his first question. He was sure that Shi Xuan didn’t know the answer. There was no mention of a Trinonary Sages' Puzzle in the Myriad Abyss’ records. Some combinations had been preserved, but at most three to five of them.
Shi Xuan frowned. The Trinonary Sages' Puzzle? He’d never heard of it.
His frown deepened as he stared at the twenty-seven herbs he’d been presented with. He could immediately come up with three or four combinations, but twenty-seven? That couldn’t be possible.
After contemplating for fifteen minutes, his expression darkened further. He couldn’t help but ask, “Are you sure there are twenty-seven combinations? How can that be?”
Jiang Chen laughed. “Didn’t you say the Taiyi Skymender Pill was the only one you didn’t know out of all the pills I know? Then you should know about the Trinonary Sages' Puzzle.”
Embarrassed, Shi Xuan huffed. “Are you sure there really is an answer?”
Jiang Chen smiled. “I’ve sworn an oath. Empyrean cultivators have an even stronger connection to the heavens. If I give you a false question and thus go against my oath, the heavenly law will punish me. You should know that.”
Shi Xuan paused, speechless, before turning back to the question.
it wouldn’t be difficult to solve if he’d seen the puzzle before. Since he hadn’t however, it was impossible for him to figure out the answer in an hour.
After a while, he sighed dejectedly. “Fine, you got me. However, you have to announce the correct answer. Who knows if you made up the question?”
Jiang Chen threw out a scroll. “I knew you’d say that. Here’s the answer. Read and learn!”
His tone was mild, but the way he acted and held himself stunned the spectators.
Most had thought he was reckless to challenge Shi Xuan in the beginning, but many now had put aside their patronization and was reevaluating Jiang Chen. The young man did seem arrogant, but his confidence was turning out not to be unfounded.