Chapter 567: Plotting and Scheming
Elder Wu Hen was a circumspect and farseeing person. He had indeed played a small trick when he’d sworn that oath, leaving himself many loopholes to take advantage of. However, he hadn’t imagined that his carefully constructed plot would be exposed with a single word by Jiang Chen. This was a huge surprise to Wu Hen, and left him speechless.
He was finally realizing in this moment that he couldn’t view Jiang Chen as an ordinary genius disciple. Although this Jiang Chen was only fifth level origin realm, he was absolutely a formidable foe. If it wasn’t for Wu Hen being present, Wei Qing’s chances of making it out alive would’ve been very low if he’d run into Jiang Chen by himself. There was nothing more convincing than the truth at hand.
“Jiang Chen, I admit that I underestimated you. Killing someone is just the simple act of making their head touch the ground. Tell me, what will it take for you to let go of Wei Qing?” Elder Wu Hen shifted moods very quickly. Not only did he not enraged by Jiang Chen revealing his plan, but he immediately set aside considerations of face and negotiated directly with Jiang Chen, putting on the act that he was admitting defeat.
But the more he acted this way, the more on guard Jiang Chen was. Those of the Walkabout Sect were highly flexible. They could be domineering when needed, or endure when they had to. These types of people made for the scariest foes.
“Let go of Wei Qing!”
Jiang Chen grinned. “When you two plotted to ambush me, did you think of letting me go? But now that he’s in my hand, you want me to let him go?”
Elder Wu Hen’s tone was cold as he sized up Jiang Chen’s surroundings with eyes like a viper. “What do you want to do, if you don’t want to let him go? Kill him? If you kill him, I will most certainly kill you. You’re just a fifth level origin realm. Are you so naive to think that you’ll be able to escape my blow of thunder!”
Jiang Chen admitted that if it came down to a fight, he had no chance of winning against a sage realm cultivator. But that didn’t mean that he was afraid of Elder Wu Hen. Jiang Chen had many trump cards in his sleeve even without his ace of Long Xiaoxuan. He had an eighty percent guarantee of making it out with his life even if he couldn’t beat Elder Wu Hen.
“Old fox, don’t pride yourself on your seniority. If you really are as great as you say, Wei Qing wouldn’t be in my hands right now.” Jiang Chen rebutted rudely.
Elder Wu Hen was shrewd, since no matter how Jiang Chen insulted him, his expression never changed. His face was like a vast and deep sea, making it difficult for others to read his inner thoughts. He spoke convincingly with a look of solemn gravity. “It’s good for young people to have flair, but you also need to understand how to judge the hour and size up the situation. You’re wasting a great deal of time here. Why don’t we call a truce? There are countless spirit herbs in Mt. Rippling Mirage, do you want to pass up this chance to get rich with open hands? Although I suspect that you’ve gotten a sky rank herb, but have you thought that even if you kill Wei Qing, you’ll become public enemy number one within this mountain as soon as I leak this news? Even if you leave the mountain beforehand, do you think you can guarantee that this herb will remain in your hands?”
Jiang Chen smiled faintly. “That seems to be something I should be worrying about, not you. You’ve spoken so much, but all you’ve been giving off is a feeling of false charity. According to your words, I rather need to beg you to keep my secret, hmm?”
“As long as you let go of Wei Qing, we promise to not tell a fourth person that you’ve obtained the sky rank spirit herb.” Elder Wu Hen promised solemnly.
Jiang Chen flashed a mocking smile. “Do you want to swear another oath to the heavens to gain my trust? How do you plan on creating a loophole this time? You won’t tell a fourth person, but you’ll tell a group of them. It won’t be only a fourth person then, there’ll be a fifth, sixth, and seventh. That still leaves an enormous loophole for you, doesn’t it?”
Elder Wu Hen was chock full of devious schemes, always leaving a backdoor for himself when he spoke. It was a good thing that Jiang Chen was on his guard against this kind of person. Therefore, he wouldn’t believe anything Elder Wu Hen said.
Elder Wu Hen was inwardly startled again. He had the oddest feeling that the person he was dealing with wasn’t a young man at all, but rather another old fox. He had so many fallbacks in place, but Jiang Chen hadn’t missed a single trick so far. So this time, he didn’t retort, but rather smiled faintly. “Jiang Chen, I won’t bother to defend myself since you don’t believe me. You word the vow that you want me to swear. Will this do now?”
He was only playing for more time because he’d secretly sent out a message glyph notifying the other elder of his sect of what had happened here. As soon as that elder arrived and the two of them joined forces, it would be easy enough to destroy Jiang Chen with one in the open and one in the shadows. Elder Wu Hen wouldn’t agree to anything that Jiang Chen asked for right now. His priority right then was to stabilize the situation. His comrade would be here in at least half a day, or at most a day.
Elder Wu Hen was absolutely certain that he would be able to to obtain the sky rank spirit herb in the end. If Jiang Chen really left Mt. Rippling Mirage, he would have no chance to seize the herb out in the open. Therefore, he had to keep Jiang Chen here no matter what cost he needed to pay. He could even sacrifice Wei Qing if he had to. But things hadn’t reached that step quite yet, so he didn’t want to take a risk with Wei Qing’s life just yet. After all, he would be hard pressed to explain himself if he returned with a dead Wei Qing.
He would only take this step if there was no other choice. Wu Hen believed that even if he sacrificed Wei Qing for the sky rank spirit herb, he would still be pardoned if he returned with the spirit herb. Wei Qing was outstanding, but he was only a genius. There were still a few others just as exemplary as Wei Qing in the Walkabout Sect. In addition, although he was skilled in poison, his potential in martial dao wasn’t the best. It was a fatal flaw in the otherwise impressive Wei Qing.
Compared to Wei Xing’er’s innate fire constitution, Wei Qing lacked a great deal in potential as well. Thus, if it was Wei Xing’er, Elder Wu Hen might not have dared sacrifice her, since not only did she possess a fire constitution, she was also a direct descendant of the sect head.
Jiang Chen wasn’t willing to continue wallowing in this mire either, he was furiously brainstorming how to escape. The most domineering way was to summon Long Xiaoxuan and swallow Elder Wu Hen. However, Jiang Chen was worried that the elder might have trump cards up his sleeve and use poison on Long Xiaoxuan. The dragon had fallen victim to the Spirit Restraint Powder already at the wood spirit spring. This Elder Wu Hen was noticeably more ruthless and vicious than that Wei Wudao. No one could guarantee that he didn’t have anything else lying in wait. Then, if Long Xiaoxuan was enthralled, Jiang Chen would be left in a dire situation then. Therefore, Jiang Chen didn’t want to go head to head with the elder in a territory in which he’d set up poison formations.
After thinking silently for a while, Jiang Chen formed a plan. “Old fox Wu Hen, I can release Wei Qing, but it’s not likely that you’ll give up on the sky rank spirit herb even if I want you to. How about this, I’ll add two conditions. I’ll release Wei Qing immediately if you can meet them.”
“What are they?” Elder Wu Hen responded noncommittally.
“First, the matter of the sky rank spirit herb cannot be revealed in any shape or form whatsoever. Secondly, you cannot prevent my departure in the next four hours in any shape or form. I will let Wei Qing go if you can meet these two conditions. However, given that you like to play tricks, you must swear to the heavens to these two conditions using the name of the Walkabout Sect. The heavens themselves will annihilate your sect if you go back on your word.”
A light flashed through Elder Wu Hen’s eyes. This kid is certainly ruthless!
“Then what about four hours later?” He asked faintly.
“If you have the ability to track me after four hours, then that’s up to you. I won’t complain.”
Elder Wu Hen thought momentarily and nodded. “Alright, then we’ll settle on that. However, don’t you play any tricks either. What if I swear but you still don’t let go of Wei Qing, what then?”
“I will naturally also swear to not move against Wei Qing in any shape or form.”
Elder Wu Hen closely pondered for a moment and felt nothing amiss with these arrangements. He had many ways to find Jiang Chen after four hours as long as the latter didn’t leave the mountain. Judging from Jiang Chen’s posture, he wasn’t willing to leave Mt. Rippling Mirage either.
“I’m adding a condition that you can’t leave the mountain before time is up.” Elder Wu Hen said faintly.
“What business is it of yours if I leave or not?”
Elder Wu Hen smiled slightly. “Why act dumb? If you leave the mountain, how will I seize your spirit herb then?”
Jiang Chen laughed heartily. “Good, good! You should’ve been this straightforward from the beginning. Men die for wealth, and birds die for food. I promise you that I will not leave this mountain before the full twenty days are up. However, accordingly, you will need to add that once time is up, you cannot try to seize the spirit herb in any shape or form once we leave.” He wouldn’t be able to take it from me anyway once we leave, even if he has the ability to.
“That’s fine.” Elder Wu Hen snorted coldly inside. As if us two sage realm cultivators can’t track you down within twenty days!
“Then swear to this. Remember, don’t play any tricks. Wordplay won’t fool me so take advantage of this chance to stop playing tricks. If you try anything else, I’ll cancel our agreement at any time.” Jiang Chen reminded with a icy smile.
“I, Wu Hen, swear to the heavens and earth that I will not reveal the existence of the sky rank spirit herb in any shape or form…”
“Add another line of whether within Mt. Rippling Mirage or after you leave.” Jiang Chen reminded him.
“I, Wu Hen, swear to the heavens and earth that whether in Mt. Rippling Mirage or outside it, I will not reveal the existence of the sky rank spirit herb in any way, shape or form. I will also not seek to stop or track Jiang Chen in any way, shape or form in the four hours after he leaves. If I violate these two promises, then may the heavenly tribulation descend to annihilate my Walkabout Sect!” Elder Wu Hen didn’t bother playing any tricks and did as Jiang Chen said.
Just as Wu Hen was making this solemn vow, Wei Wuying suddenly sneezed randomly outside Mt. Rippling Mirage. After Wu Hen made this vow, he stared at Jiang Chen. “Now it’s your turn.”
“I, Jiang Chen, swear to the heavens and earth that I will not make a move against Wei Qing in any way, shape or form. I will not leave Mt. Rippling Mirage within the twenty day time limit, or may heavenly tribulations descend to annihilate me.”
The two analyzed each other’s vows and couldn’t find any flaws.
Elder Wu Hen nodded as a vicious look surfaced in his eyes. “In this case, go. I’ve promised not to do anything in the next four hours, but I’ve made no promises for after that.”
Jiang Chen smiled bizarrely. “Bring it on four hours from now then.” He then made a hand seal and had the Lotus retract, vanishing in front of Elder Wu Hen’s eyes with a flicker of his body.