Chapter 552: The Ultimate Comeback
The rankings for the genius group were quickly calculated. Jiang Chen had actually received 580 points in the fourth round, losing only 20 points in one of the questions regarding the completion of a pill recipe. This way, out of the total 2,000 points possible for four rounds, he’d taken 1,980 points for himself. As the champion of the genius group, he received another 100 points to reach a total of 2,080 points!
It was one thing for Jiang Chen to have such an inordinate score, but Mu Gaoqi had also soared above the rest in the fourth round. He’d lost only sixty points in the fourth round and had tied for second with Ding Tong at 540 points. In this way, his final score was an astonishing 1,790 points. This was second only to Ding Tong’s 1,810 points. In the end, Mu Gaoqi had managed to rank third overall.
Wei Xing’er had come in fourth with 1,720 points, and Wei Qing fifth with 1,710 points. Ling Bi’er was sixth with 1,670 points, and the remaining seventh to tenth spots were divvied up between the disciples of the great sects. Because Shen Qinghong had only made a mediocre showing in the fourth round, he’d barely managed to secure a spot in the top ten, coming in tenth. Wang Han of the Sacred Sword Palace had been the one who’d lost the rat race and dropped to eleventh.
Jiang Chen laughed heartily when the scores came out and bounded over to the mountain of spirit stones with extreme speed, shoving them all into his bag without another word. “Many, many thanks to everyone giving me this opportunity.”
Everyone here were notable personages. It had been Wei Qing who had put together the bet, and those who had participated were all top geniuses. There was no one present who would go back on their words for a mere fifty thousand spirit stones. Jiang Chen’s score did indeed place him at the top of the genius group, but it was just that they all felt that they’d lost face when he’d gone over to collect the spirit stones. If looks could kill, Wei Qing in particular would’ve murdered him right then and there.
This had been a bet that he’d put together with great effort so that he could strike it rich, but instead, Jiang Chen had reaped all the benefits. To add insult to injury, he, as the one who’d started everything, had only placed fifth.
With the announcement of the genius group’s scores, the final scores had also been tabulated. The combination of the genius and elder group scores would become the overall score of each sect for this time’s Mt. Rippling Mirage Pill Battles.
To make matters interesting, the Regal Pill Palace genius scores were actually ahead of the Walkabout Sect geniuses by roughly 700 points. Jiang Chen in particular was a full 360 points ahead of Wei Xing’er, their highest scorer. Second place in the Regal Pill Palace, Mu Gaoqi, was a full 80 points ahead of the Walkabout Sect’s second place, Wei Qing. And although Ling Bi’er and Shen Qinghong hadn’t displayed performances that were as impactful as Jiang Chen and Mu Gaoqi, their combined scores were enough to suppress the remaining geniuses from the Walkabout Sect. In this regard, it was no surprise that the Regal Pill Palace genius group had a roughly 700 point lead over the Walkabout Sect’s genius group. When that was applied to the overall scores, an astonishing result came to the fore. The Regal Pill Palace had, in one fell swoop, closed the 300 point gap, overtaken the Walkabout Sect, and then lengthened their lead by roughly 400 points. It was an undeniable first place finish.
This comeback of the century sent everyone present reeling with astonishment and disbelief. The Walkabout Sect in particular were utterly flabbergasted. They had never dreamed that their nearly 300 point lead would be so perfectly reversed into them being led by more than 300 points. The genius group, with Wei Xing’er and Wei Qing at their head, were dumbfounded. This was a humiliating outcome, one that was nigh impossible to swallow.
In another surprising turn of events, the Tristar Sect had almost managed to catch up to the Walkabout Sect using the stable performance of their genius group. Their overall ranking was number three, but they were obviously not satisfied with the result either. However, with the awkward situation of the Walkabout Sect first laughing and then ending up crying, the Tristar Sect didn’t end up losing their composure as much.
On the Walkabout Sect’s side, the cocky expressions of those elders were now akin to fighting gamecocks who had lost, darkened and sunk to the lowest of depths.
The Sacred Sword Palace scores were as expected, solidly in last place. However, this wasn’t the most awkward of matters for them right now. What was particularly awkward, and rather galling, was that they had just indicated their goodwill to the Walkabout Sect earlier and congratulated them ahead of time for winning the championship. These results were a couple of fierce slaps to their faces, burning their cheeks with shame.
“Heh heh, congratulations Elder Yun Nie.”
“Congratulations, Daoist Yun Nie. The Regal Pill Palace well deserves this win!”
“The Regal Pill Palace is the first sect for pill dao in the Myriad Domain after all! This kind of foundation and lineup of geniuses is simply stunning.”
“Indeed, Daoist Yun Nie. It’s likely that no one will be able to shake the Regal Pill Palace’s position in the next thousand years, not with the type of advantage you possess. You were able to send out just your unknown youths to put on such a stunning display!”
Mu Gaoqi and Jiang Chen had been relative unknowns beforehand, but they were now the biggest reasons why the Regal Pill Palace had defended their championship title once again.
Elder Yun Nie’s emotions had just been through incredible highs and lows, but he was still worldly-wise after all. He had regained his composure enough to thank them all one by one. One had to say, apart from being hated rivals with the Sacred Sword Palace, the Regal Pill Palace still enjoyed decent popularity in the Myriad Domain. The Dark North Sect was its brother sect, and those of the Great Cathedral had a good impression of the Regal Pill Palace as well. As for the Walkabout Sect, they viewed the Regal Pill Palace as a latent competitor, but that was another story. The Tristar Sect was a mysterious entity and did things by themselves. They weren’t close with anyone, but also not particularly hostile with anyone either.
The fifth rank sects were actually the most friendly with the Regal Pill Palace, because the Regal Pill Palace was actually much more amiable compared to the other fourth rank sects. This wasn’t only because the Regal Pill Palace had allied with a small power like the Precious Tree Sect, but also because the Regal Pill Palace rarely put on the airs of a fourth rank sect to bully the numerous fifth rank sects. When it came to the division of profits, the Regal Pill Palace were amongst the few that would step out to speak for the fifth rank sects.
Although this was but one of Palace Head Dan Chi’s strategies, it had certainly garnered visible results. When the Walkabout Sect elder group had been in the lead, only a few of the fifth rank sects had come up to tender their congratulations. But now that the Regal Pill Palace had made this great turnaround, almost all of them came up to share in the moment.
Jiang Chen hadn’t thought either that the Regal Pill Palace would enjoy such high popularity with the fifth rank sects. As the primary reason why the Regal Pill Palace had been able to defend the championship this time, there were naturally many who came up to befriend and greet him. Jiang Chen didn’t put on any airs and responded to each and every one of them. This continued for quite a while before everyone returned to their seats.
Elder Yun Nie sighed. “Palace Head Dan Chi has always advocated that we be considerate and kind to men of talent. Our sect has refused almost no sect who’s asked us to refine pills for them over these years. This is merely the visible proof of how we’ve been able to collect on those favors. I have to admire the palace head’s vision.”
The other elders also nodded as well. Ouyang De spoke, a tinge of shame in his voice. “Elder Yun Nie, I was rather a bastard before and full of myself. I have truly seen the light this time. If it wasn’t for your keen eye for talent that uncovered such geniuses as Jiang Chen and Mu Gaoqi, I’m afraid the Walkabout Sect would have truly taken the championship from this time’s Pill Battles. Then I, Ouyang De, would’ve been condemned as a traitor of our sect throughout the ages.”
Ouyang De had been nursing a grudge against Jiang Chen and Mu Gaoqi because of the matter of the Pill Battle spots. He’d really wanted to obtain a spot for his grandson, Ouyang Chao. But it now seemed that had he really done so, his grandson wouldn’t have had any effect other than dragging the Regal Pill Palace down. If that had happened, he really would have been the ultimate sinner in Regal Pill Palace history. If Jiang Chen and Mu Gaoqi had been swapped out for pill dao geniuses on the level of Ouyang Chao, then there would’ve been no doubt of the Regal Pill Palace’s defeat at the hands of the Walkabout Sect.
“Jiang Chen, Mu Gaoqi, you two are very good. Truly very good. I will have Ouyang Chao learn more from both of you when I return.” Ouyang De had finally seen through the clouds now. Although his grandson was a scion of the sect and a genius in his own right, he was on a completely different level compared to Jiang Chen and Mu Gaoqi. As opposed to continuing to butt heads with these two geniuses, why not befriend them? Ouyang De had some valuable insights from this time’s Pill Battles regarding internal conflict. Ultimately, he realized, it had no future for the sect. When the Regal Pill Palace had trailed behind the Walkabout Sect by roughly three hundred points, there had been no lack of people who’d immediately come forth to step on them. Such was how disinterested and uncaring the world was.
Elder Yun Nie’s words had given them great food for thought. One had to be strong themselves if they wished to temper iron. A sect had to be united internally, with everyone exerting force in unison to benefit the sect and make it stronger. Only when the sect was strong would others be prevented from stepping on them. Only then, would the sect be respected wherever they went.
At that moment, the organizer on stage gestured for silence. “Everyone, please be quiet. The rankings are out for the Pill Battles, and you can now raise any objections you may have. If there are no objections, then we will seal the scores and announce the end of the Pill Battles.”
Wei Wuying was the first to jump out. “I have objections!”
His face had turned as dark as the depths of the sea in his bad mood. It was obvious that when the elder group had raced ahead with such an incredible lead, he’d thought that the championship was already in his hand. But the genius group had suddenly collapsed, and the trophy that had been at the tips of his fingers had slipped through and landed in someone else’s lap.
“What objections do you have, Sect Head Wei?”
Wei Wuying zeroed in on Jiang Chen without hesitation. “I have objections about Jiang Chen’s scores! How did he know about the Skyheart Rebirth Pill? Only his answer was correct! In addition, the pill he refined at the end doesn’t seem to have been in our plan!”
When Dan Chi heard Wei Wuying target the Regal Pill Palace, the former snorted coldly. “Does he need to report to you how he knew? What does it matter if the pill wasn’t in the plan? The critical thing was that the pill was a true saint rank pill, that’s all!”
The so-called plan was the fact that the ingredients they’d supplied had been carefully calculated beforehand. At most, it was designed to allow a pill at the initial true saint rank. However, Jiang Chen’s Longevity Pill had been in noticeable excess of that standard. This was why Wei Wuying had raised the objection of it not being in the plan.
Once Wei Wuying had spoken thus, Wang Jianyu immediately joined the conversation with a sneer. “It is indeed suspicious that it’s not in the plan. What do you think, Sect Head Zhu?”
Sect Head Zhu chuckled. “I only think it to be rather odd. The pill does indeed look extraordinary, and seemingly not on the level of the Myriad Domain.”
Everyone’s gaze turned towards Jiang Chen. The Sacred Elephant family head smiled. “ No need to argue about this. Why don’t we ask the man himself? Little friend Jiang Chen, what pill is this?”
Jiang Chen walked indifferently forward amidst countless gazes. “In response to the various sect heads, this pill is named the Longevity Pill. If a sage realm cultivator ingests it, it will extend their lifespan to a maximum of eight hundred years.”
“What?” All of the expressions on the elders changed drastically when they heard this. They were all sage realm cultivators! Who wouldn’t be tempted when they heard that they could extend their lifespans?