Chapter 498: Jiang Chen Strikes Back, Linghu Runs Into Bad Luck
With Jiang Chen’s understanding of Linghu Xian, the old man may look friendly, but overflowed with rotten schemes. Petty beyond belief and narrow-minded to boot, he would stop at nothing to achieve his goals. Jiang Chen had declined him twice now, so their relationship was as inharmonious as fire and water—particularly this time, since Jiang Chen’s rejection was a direct blow towards his grandson’s opportunity.
Once Jiang Chen obtained a residence and Linghu Feng failed, Linghu Xian would be sure to take his revenge. He might not be brave enough to act against Jiang Chen in the Regal Pill Palace, but he could absolutely send people to harass the Precious Tree Sect in private, or even act against it.
“Linghu Xian, you and your grandson have challenged me time and time again. If you cross my bottom line, I’ll let you know what it means to feel regret!” Killing intent flashed through Jiang Chen’s eyes as he saw the elder depart.
If Linghu Xian and Linghu Feng wanted to fight with Jiang Chen, they were welcome to try. He wouldn’t be afraid of them in the slightest. The only thing he was afraid of were despicable, petty characters who would focus their attention on those unrelated to this matter. Take the Precious Tree Sect for instance, although Jiang Chen didn’t have a deep relationship with them, he didn’t want to see them affected because of his matters. Given that Linghu Xian had issued this kind of threat, Jiang Chen wanted to nip it in the bud. He absolutely couldn’t dither until Linghu Xian acted. It would be far too late by then.
When Mu Gaoqi saw Jiang Chen’s solemn expression as he walked back into the residence, he hastily inquired why. Jiang Chen didn’t hold back his thoughts and summarized everything.
Mu Gaoqi began cursing loudly, “The Linghu clan has always been arrogant, and Linghu Xian is a particularly sly old fox. Many people in the sect know not to provoke him, as he tends to be vicious in return. Whoever becomes embroiled with him is certainly unlucky. Brother Chen, you need to be on your guard against him.”
Jiang Chen nodded. “This man is petty and narrow minded, and I must stay on my guard. He must think he has me for sure. Don’t worry, I won’t give him a chance to make a move.”
Mu Gaoqi was much more at ease when he saw how confident and relaxed Jiang Chen was.
“Alright Gaoqi, let’s ignore this and continue our discussion about pills.” Jiang Chen then proceeded to give Mu Gaoqi many pointers with great patience that night. As the discourse continued back and forth, Mu Gaoqi felt like the clouds had parted over the horizon of his understanding. He realized that he had entered a world that was far more magnificent than he’d realized.
“Brother Chen, a conversation with you is worth more than ten years of study. You are truly my benefactor. If I amount to anything in the future, it will because you shone a light on the path forward for me, Brother Chen.” Mu Gaoqi thanked Jiang Chen from the bottom of his heart.
“You and I grew to know each other as well. I wouldn’t have spoken of all this to you if it wasn’t for your kindness and honesty. Gaoqi, you taking down a residence in tomorrow’s finals is more convincing than any words of gratitude you can voice.”
Mu Gaoqi nodded firmly. “Brother Chen, I only had fifty to sixty percent assurance before, but now I feel that I have a ninety percent guarantee. I must seize a residence after you do! I’ll have those snobs know that I, Mu Gaoqi, am not the coward they hold in their eyes!” His personality previously had been a bit cowardly. He’d always rather come up short in any matter than others, and always treated others nicely, wanting to be the good guy and please everyone.
However, at the end of the day, he hadn’t found favor in anyone’s eyes. There weren’t many core disciples who’d truly taken him into their confidence in Rosy Valley. It wasn’t because he wasn’t friendly or sincere enough, but that his martial dao potential and cultivation level were truly insufficient. In terms of pill dao, although his potential was good, it wasn’t at the level where he dominated everyone else in the younger generation.
The two spent the rest of the night gathering their strength, sitting down cross legged in meditation. The two arrived in vigorous spirits at Shen Li Palace early the next day, and were met with a supercilious look from old man Linghu Xian. He swept right past Jiang Chen, a warning look flashing through his eyes.
This was evidently his final warning.
Jiang Chen pretended not to have seen it and laughed coldly in his heart. “Old Linghu, I don’t mind sending you and your grandson on your way if you want to court death!”
When Linghu Xian saw Jiang Chen only smile coldly and ignore him, he grew incensed and sent a silent message. “Jiang Chen, I give you a final chance. Find an excuse to withdraw now, and all our previous matters can be forgotten. Everything I promised you before still stands. You’ll regret it if you refuse!”
Jiang Chen’s footsteps suddenly halted as he looked at Linghu Xian with a mocking look. He purposefully spoke loudly, “Elder Linghu, I’d like to see how you’ll make me regret things.”
Linghu Xian hadn’t expected that Jiang Chen would suddenly speak out loud. He’d sent the previous messages with his consciousness before so that he could naturally deny things now. He put on a baffled expression, “Jiang Chen, are you speaking to me?”
A cold smirk played about Jiang Chen’s lips. “Elder Linghu, is it fun to play dumb at your age in front of all these young folk? You dared threaten me in my residence last night and now you’re publicly sending me a silent message with another threat. What, now you don’t have the courage to admit to things?” Jiang Chen purposefully spoke loudly and immediately attracted several curious stares. Several elders in charge of the proceedings all walked up, wanting to ask what was going on.
Linghu Xian spoke with a self righteous look plastered across his face. “Jiang Chen, perhaps my grandson Linghu Feng clashed verbally with you yesterday? Even if that’s the case, you don’t need to frame me like this, do you? Everyone knows about my character in the Regal Pill Palace. You’re just a newly entered disciple, do I need to threaten you? What would I threaten you for?”
Elder Yun Nie happened to walk in at this point. His brow furrowed when he saw how many people had gathered, “What’s going on?” Someone immediately walked up with a report.
Elder Yun Nie looked at Linghu Xian, then at Jiang Chen. From his position as the Hallmaster of the Herbal Hall, he couldn’t blatantly succor Jiang Chen and suppress his own subordinate. “The Palace Head himself is overseeing the competition for the Sovereign Area residences. I don’t care who is in the right and who is not, only know that I will be the first to take to task anyone who dares disturb the proceedings.”
Linghu Xian nodded successively, as if in full agreement. “Indeed! I also resolutely support Elder Yun Nie. Those who maliciously seek to disturb the competition should be punished!” His tone was full of justice as he put on a great act.
Jiang Chen snorted derisively and grasped with his hand, sending a message glyph in a beam of light hovering in the air. “Elder Linghu, you can’t have forgotten what you said last night, could you? There happens to be so many people present, so why don’t I ask everyone to take a listen?” He made a quick gesture and the message glyph materialized in the air, playing back the previous day’s conversation.
When Linghu Xian had come visiting, Jiang Chen had secretly taken precautions, and recorded the conversation between the two into a message glyph. The technical requirements needed to do so weren’t high, and Jiang Chen’’s sophisticated methods had left Linghu Xian without an inkling that such an act had taken place.
The atmosphere immediately became awkward, as a message glyph would essentially recreate the entire scene. Linghu Xian knew things would only get worse when he heard the replay. He suddenly gave a great shout and leapt forward, grasping at the glyph before a third could be played. “How dare you simulate my voice and frame me, kid?! You deserve to die for your crime!”
He was about to bound forward when Elder Yun Nie snorted and flourished his sleeves, sending Linghu Xian skidding back a few steps with a flash of light. His face was stony. “Why are you nervous if you aren’t feeling guilty?”
The other elders all nodded, their gazes laden with contemptuous overtones as they looked at Linghu Xian. It was obvious that they believed the contents of the message glyph.
The glyph disappeared as soon as it’d finished its playback. Elder Yun Nie’s chilly gaze was merciless as he stared at Linghu Xian, full of authority.
“Elder Yun Nie, you must believe me! I have such a high position, what need would I have to suppress a new disciple? Everyone, you all should uphold justice! Tell me, what reason would I have to suppress Jiang Chen?” Linghu Xian had an imploring expression on his face as he stumbled and stammered through an explanation, trying to persuade his peers in the Herbal Hall to speak out or argue on his behalf.
However, who would stand out to speak for Linghu Xian in the face of such incontrovertible evidence, even if they had a strong relationship with him? He wasn’t much for making friends to begin with, and with the competition for slots in Mt. Rippling Mirage staring them in the face, many Herbal Hall elders were secretly applauding in their hearts. It was good enough that they weren’t fanning the flames at this moment, let alone speak up on his behalf.
One less Linghu Xian meant one less competitor for the slots of the Pill Battles!
“Elder Yun Nie, I… I’ve really been framed! Jiang Chen has a conflict with my grandson and wants to suppress Linghu Feng so that he can’t enter the competition! These are despicable methods he’s using to suppress the competition!” Linghu Xian screamed hoarsely, but Elder Yun Nie’s eyes only grew colder and colder.
“Linghu Xian, are you stupid, or do you take all of us for fools?” Elder Yun Nie responded coldly. “Voices can be imitated, but do you think we aren’t able to tell apart an imitation from reality? Good, very good! You’re something else, aren’t you Linghu Xian!?”
Linghu Xian’s expression changed drastically. “I… I’m innocent! Elder Yun Nie, you can’t persecute me!”
“Persecute you?” Elder Yun Nie asked frostily. “You disturbed the competition and paid no heed to the Palace Head’s words, and you dare say that I’m persecuting you?!”
“I… I don’t accept this! I want an appeal! I want to accuse Jiang Chen of framing me!”
Elder Yun Nie couldn’t be bothered wasting further words with him. “Where are the law enforcers? Strip him of his elder robe first!”
He was an elder if he wore the robe, and nothing without it.
Linghu Xian started screaming and raving, “Yun Nie, you’re framing me! Everyone knows that Jiang Chen is your man and you’re using his hand to persecute me!”
Elder Yun Nie smiled faintly and looked at the other elders. “Everyone, Linghu Xian says I am persecuting him. You are all witnesses, what do you think?”
An elder immediately jumped out. “Linghu Xian is a thief calling for others to stop the thief! How can any of us fail to determine the veracity of that recording? And he certainly has motive enough to really threaten Jiang Chen.”
“Yes! This miscreant dares openly flaunt the Palace Head’s words, he should be handled according to the sect’s regulations!”
People band together to push down a falling wall. Everyone knew that Linghu Xian was done for, so no one minded adding a few footprints on his body.