Chapter 551: A Proud Walkabout Sect
Shen Qinghong heaved an internal sigh of relief when Elder Yun Nie walked over. He was truly feeling a mix of emotions at the moment. He’d indeed felt anger bubble up from within him when Zhu Feiyang and Wang Han were bullying him just now, and Wei Qing had obviously fanned the flames to put him in an uglier spot. But to be honest, he had nothing that he could say to defend himself.
He was inferior to Zhu Feiyang and Wang Han in terms of cultivation level, and below Wei Qing when it came to pill dao scores. If he’d tried to retort, it would’ve only led to greater shame being piled on him. But at that low moment, it’d been Jiang Chen who’d stepped out to rescue him from the situation, successfully attracting the ire of the crowd.
Shen Qinghong had never known what it meant to feel gratitude, but in that moment, he’d finally felt an inkling of that emotion. In times of crisis, it was those from his own sect who’d stepped forward to help him. None of those so-called friends he’d cultivated had come forward at all. It’d been Jiang Chen, the one who’d always been at odds with him, who’d taken a stand for him.
Moreover, it’d been Elder Yun Nie’s appearance at this time that’d scared the group off, someone he equally disliked. After all, Elder Yun Nie had openly argued with his master before. Yet it was the two he normally had the worst opinion of who’d saved him from his awkwardness today.
Elder Yun Nie’s expression was a bit solemn. “How did you all do?” He looked at Shen Qinghong first with a hint of expectation. After all, he was the top genius of the Regal Pill Palace.
“I didn’t do so well in the second section and could only identify five or six ingredients. I don’t think I’ll be able to obtain full marks in the third section either.” Shen Qinghong didn’t dare hide anything at the moment.
Ling Bi’er also responded, “My situation is similar to senior brother Shen’s.”
“How about you, Gaoqi?” Elder Yun Nie skipped over Jiang Chen and asked Mu Gaoqi next.
Mu Gaoqi smiled faintly. “I think I did well. I was lucky enough to refine an upper tier saint rank pill, so I should be able to win full points in that section. I only missed two ingredients in the second section, and my other ingredients were correct.”
“Oh? How are you so confident in your answers?” Elder Yun Nie smiled.
“Brother Chen said so.”
Elder Yun Nie and the other elders all looked at Jiang Chen, their gazes a bit odd.
Elder Yun Nie smiled. “Jiang Chen, you’ve become the answer key, haven’t you? Did you really identify the Skyheart Rebirth Pill?”
Mu Gaoqi jumped in before Jiang Chen had the chance to speak. “It really was the Skyheart Rebirth Pill! Haha, Brother Chen, you’re too amazing!”
The elders were rendered instantly speechless after Mu Gaoqi’s words. They looked at each other, already convinced about the futility of further questioning. Mu Gaoqi’s words had already given them their answer.
Elder Yun Nie sighed. “The elders have met an incredible opponent this time, and I don’t believe we’ll be able to retain first place with our overall performance. It seems that your genius group’s scores will be the key to protecting our first place.”
Apart from Elder Yun Nie’s stable performance, the other elders had only acquitted themselves nominally, with no performance that was terribly eye catching. If the genius group had done the same, then the championship that the Regal Pill Palace had defended multiple times would surely be seized by one of the other sects this time.
That was the worst result in Elder Yun Nie’s eyes. He cast his gaze over at Jiang Chen; obviously aware that the crux of this dilemma lay with Jiang Chen. If he could take the champion’s position of the genius group, an additional hundred points would be added to the Regal Pill Palace’s overall score. Only then would they have the hope of keeping the overall champion’s position.
Jiang Chen knew of Elder Yun Nie’s thoughts and gave him a small, confident smile. Elder Yun Nie heaved a long sigh of relief in his heart when he saw how self confident Jiang Chen was. Although he knew that Jiang Chen was their ace, if the latter hadn’t performed well in the fourth round, then they might lose the championship of the genius group as well.
Elder Yun Nie had been highly confident in his ability to claim the championship of the elder group were it not for the sudden appearance of an elder possessing a divine fire. It had thrown their initial plans into disarray and cast a shadow over Elder Yun Nie’s chances for seizing the championship.
If the elders didn’t cinch the championship of their group, then they would lose the extra hundred points that they would’ve otherwise received. If the geniuses also failed to secure their championship title, then it would spell no end of trouble for the overall Regal Pill Palace rankings.
Jiang Chen had reason enough to be confident, because apart from the slight uncertainty in the first section in this round, he was certain that there would be no issues with any of the other sections. He was guaranteed to be the champion of his group, and would outpace the first runner up by far.
The elders of the Walkabout Sect also arrived, striding forth as if mature trees welcoming the spring. Pride and confidence was splayed all over their faces, and it was apparent that they were very satisfied with their results this time. They were greatly assured of their chances in seizing the Regal Pill Palace’s throne. At least, they were certain that the performance of the Walkabout Sect elder group was superior to the overall performance of the Regal Pill Palace elder group. It was now down to whether the genius group had done the same as well.
As long as their genius group didn’t lose to the Regal Pill Palace, then the Walkabout Sect was destined to overthrow the Regal Pill Palace and take home the championship.
This would be a historical moment! Even taking a step back, if their genius group lost to the genius group of the Regal Pill Palace, the overall championship would be theirs as long as their elder group score had a more than 200 point gap! Their buoying confidence stemmed from the performance of a heaven defying elder in their elder group. He had simply acquitted himself too well, and the others had put forth a stable performance to support him. When it came down to the wire, old fellows such as them wouldn’t bother wasting time in verbal sparring, so they all settled in to await the final results after some superficial pleasantries.
The elder group’s scores were out after roughly two hours. In line with everyone’s expectations, Elder Wu Hen took first place with 1,880 points. This awarded him another 100 points, bringing his score to a stunning 1,980 points.
Elder Yun Nie was in second place with 1,830 points, and some elder from the Tristar Sect had come in third.
A loud hubbub broke out when the elder group scores came out. As a first in the Myriad Domain, Elder Yun Nie had actually lost the championship for the elder group! This was absolutely a note for the historical record!
The overall group ranking for the elder group were soon tallied as well, and the Walkabout Sect had actually taken first place thanks to their overall performance! They were approximately 300 points higher than the elders of the Regal Pill Palace! This kind of gap left the four great elders from the Regal Pill Palace with ashen expressions. Apart from Elder Yun Nie, the others were completely ashamed of themselves. They knew that Elder Yun Nie had already done quite well. He’d only lost to Elder Wu Hen because the latter had a skyfire; this advantage was simply too much to close.
They were the ones who were truly dragging the Regal Pill Palace elder team down.
The rest of the elder group were ranked as Tristar Sect coming third, then Dark North Sect, Great Cathedral, and lastly Sacred Sword Palace. There was no surprise that the Sacred Sword Palace had come in last, but the entire scene erupted into a hubbub once again when the rankings were fully revealed. Cries of congratulations and felicitations rang out around the Walkabout Sect, and those from the Sacred Sword Palace in particular drew close to tender their congratulations. The Walkabout Sect’s elder group was ahead of the Regal Pill Palace by nearly 300 points. This had almost guaranteed their position as overall champion. As strong as the Regal Pill Palace genius group was, could they close this kind of gap?
Elder Yun Jian of the Sacred Sword Palace chuckled. “Congratulations, Daoist Wu Hen. It looks like the pill dao landscape of the Myriad Domain will transform with this time’s Pill Battles. With the Walkabout Sect charging ahead to seize the championship, please remember to take care of us Sacred Sword Palace in the future, so that we might learn from you and improve ourselves.”
Elder Wu Hen smiled. “Daoist Yun Jian is too polite. Our two sects are as if brothers. Aren’t your words simply too polite?”
This sham of a conversation between the two placed the Regal Pill Palace in an exceedingly awkward position. On one side was their biggest competitor in this time’s Pill Battles, and the other was the Regal Pill Palace’s hated rival. That the two were coming together to congratulate each other, wasn’t this a blatant denial of face to the Regal Pill Palace?
As shrewd as Elder Yun Nie was, the edges of his vision were touched with scarlet rage as he witnessed this play. Ouyang De’s face was like a thundercloud on the verge of erupting, and he was barely holding himself back from cursing them to kingdom come. It was rather Jiang Chen who maintained a composed expression and a secretive smile as he observed the relationships between the various sects of the Myriad Domain.
It seemed that the Walkabout Sect wanted nothing more than to take the title of first sect of pill dao from the Regal Pill Palace, and were eccentric and difficult to predict. The Sacred Sword Palace and Regal Pill Palace had a simple relationship, that of irreconcilable fire and water. On the other hand, the Great Cathedral was busy styling themselves as the pre-eminent leader of the sects and focused on knocking down the Tristar Sect. Only the Dark North Sect maintained good relations with the Regal Pill Palace.
Mu Gaoqi snorted softly, his lips twitching continuously, patently irritated by the masquerade these two sects were putting on.
Elder Yun Nie extorted everyone behind him in a low voice. “Chin up, everyone! Our Regal Pill Palace has lost this battle, but we have yet to lose the battle of talent! Gaoqi, your potential destines you to be someone who will come to dominate the pill dao arena in the Myriad Domain. In the future, it would not be an exaggeration to say that you alone will be able to command the winds and clouds. Don’t be distracted by momentary gains and losses.
“Remember, tempering iron requires strong tools. Without exception, everyone needs to put forth effort if a sect is to be strong. Once you fail to maintain that drive, others will come to step on and suppress you. If glory finds the sect, it finds us all. If the sect falls, so do we all. Starting from myself, I hope everyone can learn their lessons from this experience and contemplate the reason for our loss from ourselves.” Elder Yun Nie didn’t say much else as he waved his hand. “Let’s wait for the genius group’s scores.”
There was no point in speaking more about it now. The genius group’s scores were also tallied before long, and the various sect heavyweights also walked out. Although Dan Chi had a calm expression in the front, a trace of delighted glee had yet to dissipate in the corners of his eyes. Walkabout Sect Head Wei Wuying’s face was as black as night, his expression as if he’d suddenly plummeted from a great height. Tristar Sect Head Zhu also shook his head lightly, plainly a bit disappointed.
Elder Yun Nie had sharp eyes and immediately caught sight of this scene. When he saw how the palace head was forcefully holding in a joyous expression, a spark of hope ignited in him. Could it be that the genius group’s performance was so heaven defying that they’d turned the situation around?? When he took another look at how Wei Wuying had an absolutely darkened face, appearing almost enraged, his hopes began to rise. This didn’t seem like the expression of a sect that had just won the championship!
All of a sudden, Elder Yun Nie’s heartbeat sped up. His gaze couldn’t help but drift over to Jiang Chen’s direction to see that him still treating everything noncommittally. A faint smile drifted around and off Jiang Chen’s face.
“To think that the one who would save the Regal Pill Palace in its final moment would be this miraculous youth!” Elder Yun Nie sensed the answer floating up in his heart. Now all that was left was to see how the geniuses had performed… and how they’d bridged the 300 point gap the Walkabout Sect’s elder group had created!