Chapter 523: The Authority After One Battle
Although Shen Qinghong left in a heroic manner, inwardly he was utterly shellshocked. When he calmed down and reflected over the battle, he felt like there were too many suspicious points. But, he couldn’t pinpoint anything in particular. The whole match had just felt… eerie. How likely was it to finish refining a pill at the same time? Yet, it had happened in this match!
Shen Qinghong would never believe that Jiang Chen had purposefully thrown the match in his favor. But no matter what, Shen Qinghong was certain that Jiang Chen’s pill dao potential was absolutely not inferior his, but was possibly greater. This was because he’d more or less obtained what he wanted with the least expense possible in refining the Aeonian Dream Pill. He’d refined this pill before, but it was Jiang Chen’s first time coming in contact with it.
It was because he had come to those conclusions that Shen Qinghong had left without a fuss. He knew that taking the easy way out was the best way to handle the situation given what had happened. Continued entanglement would just invite humiliation upon himself. He also felt it odd when he thought closely of Jiang Chen’s greedy display. No matter how he looked at it, this Jiang Chen didn’t have a reason to view wealth so highly, almost as if it were his life. Could it be that all of this was an act?
Shen Qinghong didn’t dare keep thinking. The best of the thirty six stratagems was to retreat!
And this was how a battle that was supposed to be a clash between the greats concluded as a most bizarre tie.
Shen Qinghong naturally didn’t care about the ten thousand spirit stones. This kind of loss to him was just a hair off his leg. It was Jun Mobai who looked meaningfully at Shen Qinghong’s back and then at the absolutely delighted Jiang Chen. He suddenly smiled, “Congratulations junior brother Jiang Chen. There will be no more rascals who dare question your position and results in the future.”
Jiang Chen smiled offhandedly. “Many thanks, many thanks. Thank you all for coming out.”
His unspoken intent of refusing to entertain guests was obvious. Jun Mobai had wanted to strike up a friendship with Jiang Chen, but could tell from Jiang Chen’s tone that he had no intention of inviting anyone in today. Jun Mobai smiled gallantly and raised a cupped fist salute to Jiang Chen. “Junior brother Jiang Chen, I extend to you the same offer. Come by my residence whenever you’re free, I’ll be waiting at any time.”
“Your invitation is quite generous.” Jiang Chen politely responded with some pleasantries.
When Jun Mobai left, Ling Bi’er glided up to Jiang Chen as if a jade tree piled high with snow. “Junior brother Jiang Chen, can I ask you a question?”
Jiang Chen smiled. “What is it?”
“I’m just purely curious, can I take a look at your leftover Aeonian Dream Pills?” Ling Bi’er’s tone was indifferent, the icy representative of the broad, cold moon.
Jiang Chen’s thoughts raced. Has Ling Bi’er detected something? He’d purposefully put away the remaining pills just now to avoid the eyes and ears of others. He was deathly afraid of someone detecting the supreme rank pill. The entire game would go up in flames if anyone discovered it, and his goal of a tie would be a failure.
“Heh heh, I was lucky and refined an upper rank pill. All the rest are low quality dregs and not fit for senior sister’s eyes.” Jiang Chen chuckled as he glossed over the topic.
Ling Bi’er nodded slightly, a meaningful look in her expressive eyes as she looked at Jiang Chen deeply. “Since this is the case, I will take my leave now.” She turned to speak to Ling Hui’er, “Hui’er, we’re going back.”
The baby-faced and well endowed Ling Hui’er bounded over to Jiang Chen like a little deer on her vigorous legs. Combined with her leopard skin miniskirt, she was overflowing with a youthful wildness. “Jiang Chen, even senior brother Shen couldn’t beat you. It looks like I well deserved that loss that time!”
“Heh he, junior sister Hui’er, your pill dao potential isn’t low either. When you reach my age, your pill dao potential just might surpass me!” Jiang Chen humored her.
Ling Hui’er chuckled. “You speak like you’re that much older than me. I’m 17 this year, and my sister is 20. How old are you Jiang Chen?”
This girl was innocent and naive. Her baby face made it very difficult for feelings of resistance to develop in one’s heart. Jiang Chen smiled. “I’m 21, I guess.”
“What do you mean, you guess? Don’t you know how old you are?” Ling Hui’er pouted, seeming to detect that Jiang Chen was only humoring her.
Jiang Chen smiled ruefully. He really didn’t care much about his age in this life. If he really put his mind to it, he seemed to be around twenty one years old.
Ling Bi’er frowned slightly; she really was at a loss when it came to her younger sister. She’d even revealed her age! “Hui’er, why aren’t you leaving yet?”
Ling Hui’er stuck out her tongue again when she saw her sister irritated. “Remember Jiang Chen! You have to teach me how to refine pills when you have time! I’ll come find you next time!”
Mu Gaoqi sighed as he watched the sisters leave. “One is as proudly aloof as the frosty moon, the other as enthusiastic as fire. Two sisters from the same womb, and yet how come their personalities are so different? They each have their own strengths as well. No wonder they’re the most accomplished sisters in the Regal Pill Palace!”
Jiang Chen sent him flying with a kick. “Look at all you’re good for!”
Mu Gaoqi flipped over and stood up, dusting off his butt as he chuckled. “Brother Chen, don’t be like that! I have no intentions of taking your woman from you. A gentle and graceful young woman is a gentleman’s best mate. I feel that these sisters will be unable to escape from Brother’s Chen’s grasp sooner or later… Ah!!”
Another kick sent him flying a dozen or so meters.
“Brother Chen, can you not be this harsh!” Mu Gaoqi clutched his butt as his cry of agony came from far away.
“Sister, why did you want to look at Jiang Chen’s leftover Aeonian Dream Pills just now? Are you interested in failed pills?” Ling Hui’er purposefully changed the topic because she was afraid her sister would grow angry with her for speaking to Jiang Chen.
Ling Bi’er suddenly halted in her tracks. Only when she looked at her younger sister would her chilly gaze have some hints of warmth to it. “Hui’er, could you bother using your brain sometimes?”
Ling Hui’er felt quite aggrieved. “Sister, what did Hui’er do now? Why are you lecturing me again?”
“Why did you tell him our ages?” Ling Bi’er asked.
Ling Hui’er giggled. “Sis, are you angry because of that? Anyone who really wants to would easily be able to find out our ages. I don’t think senior brother Jiang Chen is a bad person!”
Ling Bi’er sighed lightly and shook her head slightly, saying nothing more. She was both fond of and exasperated by her younger sister, and no idea what to do with her at all.
When she saw her sister ignore her again and start walking, Ling Hui’er laughed lightly and scampered up, tugging on Ling Bi’er’s arm, “Sis, you still haven’t told me why you wanted to look at the failed pills? Or do you actually like Jiang Chen and trying these crude methods to get close to him?”
Ling Bi’er was completely petrified. This thick headed sister of mine will say anything! “Ling. Hui’er.” The elder sister’s face darkened. “You won’t be calling me sister anymore if you keep spouting this kind of nonsense.”
“Hehe, it’s just that I think it’s weird. Everyone says you’re a frigid beauty, but the frigid beauty asked a boy to look at his trash pills today, then…”
Ling Bi’er suddenly asked, “Hui’er, do you think the pills left over really are trash ones?”
Ling Hui’er could hear the oddness in her sister’s tone. She lifted her small face and asked quizzically, “Didn’t Jiang Chen say so himself? He said they were all dregs.”
“And this is why I say you’re too naive.” Ling Bi’er exhaled a breath as fragrant as orchids, her tone profound. “I was standing quite close after he took out the upper rank Aeonian Dream Pill, and I subtly sensed that the spirit power pulses from his Skyweave Cauldron were far more concentrated than from Shen Qinghong’s Skypeak Cauldron.”
“So what of that?” Ling Hui’er blinked her large eyes, her curly eyelashes fluttering and dancing with the motion.
“I suspect that he even had a supreme rank pill hidden within his cauldron! There’s no explanation for the strengthened spirit pulses otherwise. He also concealed it very quickly, as if afraid that someone would see and hastily stood up after putting away all the Aeonian Dream Pills.”
There were no outsiders here apart from her own sister, so Ling Bi’er spoke freely of her suspicions.
However, Ling Hui’er seemed to be acting as if she was listening to a myth. Her skepticism showed in her words as she asked, “This can’t be, sis? If I’m Jiang Chen and Shen Qinghong bullied me that badly, to the point of creating rumors to slander me, there’s no way I wouldn’t take out a supreme rank pill to slap his face!” She shook her head like shaking a rattle drum, continuing, “Even the elders of our sect are unable to refine a supreme rank pill! Although I know that Jiang Chen is quite amazing, but is he stronger than Elder Yun Nie? And, he could’ve thoroughly crushed Shen Qinghong if he’d taken it out and replaced Shen Qinghong as first in the Rosy Valley. What reason would he have had to not do so?”
Her multitude of reasons made quite a bit of sense. Ling Bi’er had naturally thought of this as well, but she still stuck to her original convictions in her heart. Perhaps it was a misconception, but she felt deep down that Jiang Chen was still holding something back, that his mysteries hadn’t been fully brought to the surface. If he really had done what she’d thought, then his pill dao potential and cultivation level was… monstrous.
This was more frightening than winning over Shen Qinghong!
Everyone knew that it was easy to win in a pill competition, but it was rather difficult to create a tie. Only when one had a complete advantage and absolute certainty would they be able to do with such ease.
A sliver of doubt circled around Ling Bi’er’s heart. Although things weren’t as full blown as Ling Hui’er had said, she was indeed a bit curious about Jiang Chen and a trace of an investigative desire had sprung up in her mind. This was a new development to the icy beauty Ling Bi’er.
News of the tie quickly spread throughout the Rosy Valley and Regal Pill Palace. Then, the Palace Head, Hallmaster of the Hall of Might and the Hallmaster of the Herbal Hall jointly issued a statement asking for all disciples to stop propagating rumors. It also named and complimented Jiang Chen and Mu Gaoqi’s pill dao potential, as well as made reference to the legendary battle between the Skyweave and Skypeak Cauldron. It also encouraged the youngsters of the Regal Pill Palace to interact more and to oppose each other less.
When this statement was made, it squashed all the rumors. Everyone grew truly conscious of the fact that Jiang Chen and Mu Gaoqi’s rise were out of solid, real ability, and it became an incontrovertible fact. Even Shen Qinghong’s martial dao master had publicly admitted to this.
Jiang Chen didn’t actually care about slander from the outside world; he cared much more about Elder Lian Cheng’s word. The elder was a man of his word, and his conditions were secretly delivered the next day, along with three thousand upper rank Origin Fostering Pills.
“I’m rich!” Jiang Chen was just about capering inside when he saw his war trophies piled in front of him.