Chapter 515: The Dao of Wealth
“What? Jiang Chen is willing to accept challenges?”
“Tsk tsk, this kid hasn’t set foot outside for a month. Was he in closed door cultivation to train in pills and pray for emergency help at Buddha’s feet?”
“Very likely! Elder Yun Nie must’ve put him through special training during this month!”
“Tsk tsk, whoever triumphs over him can have a Pill Battle slot. Looks like I should look into whether I want to challenge him or not!”
“Do you have a thousand upper rank origin spirit stones to spare?”
“Ai, looks like it’s a game for the rich.”
As conversations about Jiang Chen’s proclamation started to overtake Rosy Valley, many people started to hatch their own schemes. Evidently, the allure of a Pill Battle spot was hard to resist. But the thousand upper rank origin stones was a severe entry barrier, so much so that people felt lacking in strength even when they had the heart. It was impossible for one to possess such wealth if one wasn’t born of a wealthy family in the Regal Pill Palace.
In Dan Chi’s residence, Palace Head Dan Chi and Elder Yun Nie were casually chatting, their expressions relaxed.
“Palace Head, where on earth did you find such an impressive genius? It’s rare to find a young man with such maturity.” Elder Yun Nie smiled.
“To be honest, allying with the Precious Tree Sect was a gamble. But it seems my wager paid off. Jiang Chen has become the touchstone for the sect, winkling out all the mediocre talent within.” Palace Head Dan Chi sighed softly.
Elder Yun Nie nodded with a slight smile. “Not only a touchstone, but even more so a mirror revealing monsters. All of the malicious characters in our midst have caught themselves in various embarrassing positions this time and revealed their true forms.”
Palace Head Dan Chi shook his head lightly as his expression turned grave. “Elder Lian Cheng, Elder Jin Gu, and Ouyang De of your Herbal Hall… who else?”
“Just these three alone are enough to shake the foundations of our Regal Pill Palace.” Elder Yun Nie’s tone grew stern. “Palace Head, we need you to put on an obvious display of strength this time. It’s the only way we can thoroughly cow them.”
“Yun Nie, the one to suffer the most from my actions has been your Herbal Hall, and yet you have been the hall that has supported me the most staunchly. Selecting you as a venerated elder that year was the most outstanding thing I’ve done.”
Yun Nie spoke quite seriously, “I, Yun Nie, simply act in the best interests of the sect. Personal interests rank second. Although Palace Head has a stern and sweeping manner, you do not act for personal interests either. In terms of the bigger picture, you and I are cut from the same cloth. Who would I support if not you?”
Although the two had slightly different mindsets, they were both acting for the future of the sect and men who truly cherished the same ideals.
“Just as you say, the rumors this time act as a mirror for detecting monsters. Who would’ve thought that even Elder Lian Cheng, one who has demonstrated a high caliber of morals and principles would stoop to involve himself in those murky waters.” Palace Head Dan Chi’s tone was a bit regretful.
“Elder Lian Cheng is a straightforward person. Although he has some selfish motives, he isn’t a great villain. I rather think that his involvement in this matter wouldn’t venture too deeply. It should be mostly due to Shen Qinghong borrowing the elder’s name. With what I understand of Elder Lian Cheng, he isn’t someone who will incite trouble and bring disaster to the sect.”
Elder Yun Nie’s words actually mildly surprised Palace Head Dan Chi. It wasn’t that long ago that the two elders had been screaming at each other across a table at an upper echelon meeting. It could even be said that the two had formed quite a grudge between them on that day. Who would’ve thought that Elder Yun Nie would be speaking on behalf of Elder Liang Cheng this time?
“Yun Nie, your exemplary conducts speaks of your noble character. You do not flout public law for personal gain and have the true presence of a sage.” Palace Head Dan Chi sighed in appreciation.
“Palace Head gives me absurd praise above and beyond what is due. Compared to your great actions, I am only doing my job.”
“Haha, don’t be overly humble. Yun Nie, when it comes to great actions, Jiang Chen is truly making a great move this time. He first ignored everything in the outside world for a month, then suddenly opened the doors of his residence to issue his challenge. This move will crush the rumors like dry tinder and spread his name far and wide.”
“Jiang Chen does indeed often make stunning moves.” Yun Nie smiled. “He also seems to have a magic about him that enables those by his side to become more and more outstanding. Take Mu Gaoqi for example, who would’ve thought that he’d be so remarkable? This time, Jiang Chen brought a thousand upper rank origin spirit stones as his fee for a public challenge. What a move. On one hand, it resolves his resource dilemma, and simultaneously weeds out those who lack sufficient strength by acting as a barrier for entry.”
Elder Yun Nie smiled at this point. “I’d like to see how these people will clean up after themselves.”
Palace Head Dan Chi’s eyes shifted. “Yun Nie, this means you possess great confidence in Jiang Chen’s pill dao potential? Even the original geniuses in the Sovereign Area can’t successfully challenge him either?”
“Even Mu Gaoqi with his innate word constitution of high order admits defeat in front of Jiang Chen. As for those in the Sovereign Area, even Ling Bi’er might not be able to surpass Jiang Chen. If the others wish to challenge him, they’ll only be bringing embarrassment down on themselves.” Yun Nie possessed absolute authority in the area of pill dao. His judgement was unconditionally peerless. Palace Head Dan Chi had no reason to doubt his words.
He had made an alliance with Precious Tree Sect purely for Jiang Chen. This had brought a great deal of pressure down on him from within the sect. Several senior elders had strongly objected to it, but Dan Chi had somehow overridden them. Now, the more eye-catching Jiang Chen’s performance was, the more justified Dan Chi would be in supporting Jiang Chen.
He hadn’t blatantly supported Jiang Chen from the beginning because first, he wanted to see how adaptable Jiang Chen was; and second, he hadn’t wanted to leave any ammunition for the senior executives to use. He didn’t want to leave the impression that Jiang Chen could only find his footing in the sect because of the Palace Head’s help.
Now that Jiang Chen was using all sorts of truth to demolish the rumors, it continuously provided more validation to Dan Chi’s original decision.
One had to say, Jiang Chen’s domineering proclamation had thrown a wrench into everyone’s plans.
Within Shen Qinghong’s residence, Shen Qinghong and his group were all sitting around, faces grave.
Rong Zifeng bit off his words as he broke the silence, “That vermin Jiang Chen is indeed slippery. A public challenge, but with the requirement of a thousand upper rank origin spirit stones. Which ordinary genius has enough capital to challenge him?”
Nie Chong also nodded. “Some expert must be teaching him in the background. How else would that little thief suddenly come to possess such smarts? Senior Brother Shen, this proclamation has instantly quieted much of the speculation stirring around.”
Shen Qinghong was also quite irritated. It’d been his team who’d masterminded this malicious rumor mongering. He’d even had the Hall of Might and Hall of Spring and Autumn helping them from behind. In the month that Jiang Chen had remained in closed door cultivation, they’d almost convinced the majority of the sect that Jiang Chen’s lack of a response came from his guilt. But suddenly, his one announcement had destroyed all of their conspiracies.
“Senior Brother Shen, how about I answer the challenge and probe Jiang Chen’s ability in pill dao?” A Sovereign Area genius took a proactive approach to the matter. This genius was Shen Anyang, also known as Shen Trifire. He was called thus because he’d had the opportunity to refine three kinds of fire beneath the heavens, thanks to a certain encounter. His pill dao potential was quite renowned amongst the younger generation of the Regal Pill Palace. He wasn’t much weaker than Ling Bi’er.
When he saw Shen Trifire step forth, Shen Qinghong displayed an expression of encouragement. “Good, Trifire, it’d be best for you to go figure out this kid’s limits. If you win, the thousand upper rank stones belong to you. If you lose, count them on me.”
Shen Qinghong’s reign on the throne of the Sovereign Area came from three factors. First, his potential and cultivation level, second, his esteemed birth, and last, his generous ways.
Shen Trifire was delighted to hear this. “Many thanks to Senior Brother Shen!”
In the Sovereign Area outside of Jiang Chen’s residence, Jiang Chen had set up a pill dao ring and was awaiting challengers. One had to say, a Pill Battle spot possessed great allure. The very day he set up the ring, he immediately had two challengers.
Jiang Chen had been quite generous and allowed his opponents to set the rules and bet. The two ended up slinking away in less than two hours, not daring to even voice a single tough word, and two thousand upper rank stones silently made their way into Jiang Chen’s pocket.
“Gaoqi, I’ve had a revelation. Pill ring battles are definitely the way forward.” Jiang Chen joked. “Do you think I should raise the stakes and make it so that only those with three thousand stones can challenge me?”
Mu Gaoqi was deeply admiring of Jiang Chen’s high spirits and completely relaxed air. He knew that his Brother Chen’s bearing was an innate aspect of him, and something that he would likely never be able to learn.
Several figures dashed forward as they conversed.
Jiang Chen chuckled, “Some more fat targets have presented themselves.”
The newcomers were Shen Trifire and a few of his followers, striding towards them in a domineering fashion. Shen Trifire had originally been ranked number seven amongst the eight, and his level of cultivation was at eighth level origin realm, but he was weaker than Rong Zifeng. But when it came to pill dao cultivation, he was far superior.
Shen Trifire wore the accoutrements unique to the Sovereign Area geniuses, embroidered flames decorating his robes, making them stand out quite a bit. “Jiang Chen, Shen Anyang of the Sovereign Area has come to answer your challenge.”
Mu Gaoqi spoke next to Jiang Chen’s ear. “Brother Chen, Shen Anyang is also known as Shen Trifire. He has extraordinary pill dao potential and is one of Shen Qinghong’s most steadfast supporters.”
Jiang Chen smiled faintly, his gaze sizing up Shen Anyang’s face. Jiang Chen laughed. “Shen Anyang? A genius of the Sovereign Area like you naturally can’t be as low class as those junior brothers. If you want to challenge me, you must offer up three thousand upper rank origin spirit stones.”
This move took Shen Anyang down a peg and caught him off guard. Shen Qinghong had only given him a thousand stones. If he bet three thousand, he’d have to front two thousand. If he lost, Shen Qinghong might not reimburse him after the fact.
His dominating momentum was instantly halved. Jiang Chen’s move was pure genius. Even though Shen Anyang knew that Jiang Chen was denying him face, he hesitated for a bit. Once he did, his momentum took a large hit.
A thought struck Shen Anyang as he inwardly cursed at Jiang Chen. “This brat is wiley alright! This has thrown everything into doubt, and once I hesitate, cracks will appear in my dao heart. If I bet with him, I must pay two thousand stones myself. Can it be that this kid was prepared exactly for this development and has done so precisely to generate this effect?”
Shen Trifire knew that he was caught between a rock and a hard place. It’d be difficult for him not to agree. If he didn’t battle because of the spirit stones, it would leave a shadow on his psyche, and he’d find it incredibly difficult to advance in the future.