Chapter 542: Ding Tong Extends an Invitation
“Hmph, even though Jiang Chen isn’t from the demon race, there’s still something noticeably off about his bloodline. Can’t you see it?” Wei Wuying was still unwilling to accept this outcome.
Wang Jianyu nodded. “Indeed. Although this is the bloodline of the human race, there are some odd components to it. In my eyes, this bloodline is still worthy of investigation.”
The Sacred Ape family head from the Great Cathedral suddenly laughed out loud. “The two of you should stop raising objections just for the sake of opposing the Regal Pill Palace. It’s a very common thing for cultivators to assimilate the bloodlines of various animals. Almost all of the disciples of my Great Cathedral have assimilated similar bloodlines. Are you going to look into each and every single one of them?”
Someone had finally stepped out to speak in defense of fairness. He sighed, “Still, this bloodline is very rare. Even in my eyes, it’s still a very impressive lineage. No wonder Jiang Chen’s potential in pill dao is so high, this bloodline could be the reason why!”
The Sacred Elephant family head also sighed. “You’ve really found a treasure this time, ole brother Dan Chi. Are you willing to give Jiang Chen over to my Great Cathedral? Demand whatever price you will, his bloodline is a great match for the style of our sect!”
Dan Chi chuckled and declined resolutely. “Family Head, I might be able to painfully part with anything else, but I’ve gone to the depths of antagonizing the Ninesuns Sky Sect for him. Would I part with him that easily?”
The Sacred Elephant family head seemed to have anticipated this response as he huffed out lightly. “What a pity. Ai, it seems like my Great Cathedral should have a broader vision. We let the Regal Pill Palace pick up a treasure this time.”
Wei Wuying had played the role of a petty person the entire time, but he had yet to give up hope. “There’s no problem with Jiang Chen, but we still need to look at Ding Tong’s bloodline.”
Ding Tong’s bloodline was also quickly analyzed, and surprisingly, although he didn’t have any lineage from the ancient demon race, the energy within his bloodline was abnormally strong. It actually surpassed all the geniuses in the Myriad Domain. The vitality and life-force in Ding Tong was thrumming with vigor, a level that exceeded even the extreme limit of the Myriad Domain. He didn’t seem like someone from the Myriad Domain at all.
“Well now this is odd. How could such a sophisticated bloodline appear in the Myriad Domain?” The Sacred Ape family head was a bit suspicious as he examined Ding Tong. The latter only snorted coldly as he retained his usual dismissive look in front of the sect heads. Jiang Chen also felt it odd, just what was Ding Tong’s background?
Tristar Sect Head Zhu sneered coldly. “Well? Is there the lineage of the ancient demon race in Ding Tong’s bloodline? If there isn’t, can we end this farce already?”
Wei Wuying was currently the epitome of awkwardness. He’d been the one raising the greatest fuss, but the tests had proven that neither Jiang Chen or Ding Tong were of the ancient demon race despite the irregularities in their blood. There was no reason for them not to participate if they weren’t of that ancient demon race. After all, bloodlines were a different matter for martial dao geniuses, and everyone had their own gifts. No one could guarantee that everyone’s bloodline was of pure human and without the slightest bit of impurity. Even his Walkabout Sect often absorbed the bloodlines of poisonous materials to enhance their own body’s ability in dispelling poison. When it came down to lineage, theirs actually veered more on the edge of evil than anyone else’s.
Dan Chi laughed coldly and flicked a glance at Wei Wuying. “Aren’t you quite disappointed now, Sect Head Wei?”
The other had an incredibly thick skin, slipping on the veneer of a satisfied, happy chortle. “I am quite gratified! That these two young geniuses aren’t of the ancient demon race, this is simply the great fortune of the Myriad Domain!”
Dan Chi then looked at Wang Jianyu and spoke faintly. “Ole Wang, what a waste of being the villain this time, hmm?”
Wang Jiangyu snorted coldly. “It’s not like I had any ulterior motives. Everything I did was for the greater good. I can face myself with a clear conscience.”
Witnessing this exchange, Jiang Chen almost wanted to harrumph. These old fellows were one more shameless than the other. They were plainly suppressing those who were different from them, but they wanted to wrap it up in the outfit of righteous justice.
After the hubbub had died down, the day’s competition took a break, and everyone returned to their respective areas for a quick rest.
Jiang Chen inquired after the situation in the elders’ group, learning that their competition had been exceedingly fierce. Even Elder Yun Nie, with his tremendous pill dao ability, had only won second place. An elder from the Walkabout Sect had actually used the barest of advantages to win out over Elder Yun Nie. This had cast a slight pall over the elders from the Regal Pill Palace. It was a good thing that the young geniuses had performed above their usual level, including even Jiang Chen. Everyone’s scores were good, and Shen Qinghong’s were actually the lowest amongst the four. But even so, because of his advantage when it came to a tie, he ranked number seven.
A first, fourth, sixth and seventh, these rankings were absolutely unheard of. Not only had the team of geniuses not been left in the dust, but they were greatly in the lead.
Palace Head Dan Chi summoned everyone together to give them a little pep talk. “Everyone, there are multiple factors at work in the Pill Battles. It’s said that the elder from the Walkabout Sect has absorbed a skyfire acclaimed as one of the utmost sources of fire beneath the heavens. Although this skyfire isn’t ranked highly, its power is easy to imagine. Therefore, it’s only due to luck that he’s ranked first for now. Our Regal Pill Palace still holds the overall advantage in the Pill Battles.
“For the young geniuses, everyone has acquitted themselves well. Your results have been nothing but a pleasure. If you can maintain this advantage, then our Regal Pill Palace can still leverage our greatest advantage to take home the championship this time.” He turned towards Jiang Chen, “Jiang Chen, it’s impossible to not incite jealousy from others when you’re so extraordinary. I hope the bloodline testing didn’t result in any psychological pressure on you.”
Jiang Chen smiled nonchalantly. “Such desperate actions from cornered beasts aren’t worth bothering with.”
Palace Head Dan Chi laughed with admiration. “Fantastic! This is the bearing of a true expert indeed! The more composed you are, the less they can do anything to you. In the end, they can only slink away in envy and jealousy.
“Mu Gaoqi, you have brought glory for the Regal Pill Palace this time. Elder Yun Nie truly had impressive forethought in accepting you as a disciple.”
Mu Gaoqi smiled honestly, “The third topic of spirit herbs is my forte. I must take advantage of the opportunity to consolidate my position and advance myself further.”
His stunning results in the second round of cauldron preheating had been entirely due to Jiang Chen. Although he’d only grasped a third of the True Fires of Ninety Nine that Jiang Chen had passed onto him, that had been enough for him to make a great showing in the second round. His results had sent him flying into second place, lifting his overall ranking from tenth to fourth. The third round of cultivating spirit herbs was what he was most skilled at. He was an innate wood constitution of high order, a gift that was a perfect match with cultivating spirit herbs. This advantage bred great confidence in him for raising his ranking further. He even hoped to make it into the top three this time! He knew that he didn’t have much hope when compared with Brother Chen, but he wasn’t satisfied simply trailing behind Ding Tong at number two and Wei Xing’er at number three.
“Shen Qinghong, your martial dao potential is extraordinary and your pill dao potential first rate. You need to use this advantage well and utilize the Pill Battles to temper your strength of heart. This will only bring benefits to you with no downfalls. If you are fortunate enough to find enlightenment in the Pill Battles and benefit from an enhanced mental state, then your future accomplishments will exceed even your master Elder Lian Cheng. But if you don’t, everything that you have built will not be enough to prevent you stumbling in front of obstacles of your own making.”
Dan Chi was quite sharp when it came to assessing people, and his diction and choice of words was carefully precise. He wanted to give pointers to Shen Qinghong, but whether or not Shen Qinghong could actually take in his words would be up to him. After all, he was Elder Lian Cheng’s disciple, and Dan Chi couldn’t overstep his boundaries to truly use harsh methods to force Shen Qinghong to shape up.
“Ling Bi’er, your martial dao potential is extraordinary, as is your pill dao potential. Right now, you and Shen Qinghong are on very similar levels. In the same vein, you also have an internal dilemma to resolve. However, it differs from Shen Qinghong’s burden, and I’m reassured to see how you’re handling it. Your calm personality guarantees that your performance will not skew wildly from one extreme to another.”
Ling Bi’er had suffered multiple hardships since her youth, fostering her steady personality. Palace Head Dan Chi had naturally picked up on that strength of hers, and had spoken to each of the youngsters before he was done. As for the four elders, they were all notable characters and held high positions in the Regal Pill Palace. The palace head naturally wouldn’t need to talk to them, and their performance had been more or less stable.
In terms of overall ranking, even if they hadn’t overtaken the Walkabout Sect, at least they weren’t losing. Add that to the genius group’s performance, it seemed that as long as they maintained their current course for the next two rounds, they still had high hopes of taking home the championship.
Everyone returned to their lodgings after the meeting wrapped up.
Jiang Chen had returned and was sitting down cross legged when a message glyph suddenly flew into his room.
“Jiang Chen, dare you come out for a meeting?” The glyph was from Ding Tong.
Jiang Chen’s thoughts raced. Ding Tong had shown him a flash of killing intent before, and so Jiang Chen’s wariness against this person was even higher than against Wei Qing of the Walkabout Sect. What does he want with this late night invitation? He wanted to turn it down, but after spending a moment in thought, still walked out. Ding Tong flashed out from behind a column when Jiang Chen reached the side pavilion.
“So you really did dare come.” Ding Tong’s tone was dispassionate as he remained fully hidden in the inky shadows.
Jiang Chen responded faintly, “What insights would Daoist Ding like to impart with this late night summoning?”
Ding Tong’s gaze raked over Jiang Chen’s body like knives in the night sky, hovering around him like blades. It was enough to force someone’s hairs to stand on end.
“I’ll give you a suggestion.” Ding Tong said quietly.
“Quit the Regal Pill Palace and Pill Battles.” There was an indisputable sense of arrogance in Ding Tong’s tone, as if he were issuing orders.
Jiang Chen broke out into a smile. “On what basis?”
Ding Tong responded coldly. “You’ll regret it if you refuse.”
Jiang Chen smiled casually. “I don’t even know how to write the word regret. What else do you have to say in the middle of the night? Might as well let it all out at once.”
“Leave the Regal Pill Palace and join the Tristar Sect. I will guarantee you a life of riches that will be more than ten times what you would have had in the Regal Pill Palace.”
“You sure talk big.” Jiang Chen smiled slightly.
“You don’t believe me?” Ding Tong’s gaze chilled.
Jiang Chen waved his hand. “It doesn’t matter if I do or not. I seek prosperity, but don’t need anyone to bestow it upon me. With that domineering tone of yours, you’re likely no Tristar Sect disciple either. I have one word of advice for you. Although the waters in the Myriad Domain aren’t deep, they’re not something that just anyone can play in. Be careful of drowning here if you don’t pay attention.” He refused to listen to any more nonsense after that and drifted inside.
“Jiang Chen, since you refuse to see the error of your ways, then Mt. Rippling Mirage will be your resting place!” This was a barely concealed warning and a blatant threat.
“Ding Tong, if you have the spare effort to think of me, why don’t you have a good ponder on how to hide your fox’s tail?”