Chapter 573: The Sacred Sword Palace Elicits Public Anger
Elder Xiang Gan paused briefly as he digested the words, and then slapped his thigh. “Ole brother Yun Nie is a thoughtful one after all! We almost let such a loophole slip past us! Everyone, count up your people and report anyone from your sect who has yet to arrive! This is no small matter, so no mistakes will be tolerated!” Elder Xiang Gan was a highly principled person and immediately issued orders after receiving this reminder.
Jiang Chen relaxed slightly when he saw that Elder Xiang Gan was emphasizing an ironclad oath. He’d done all he’d could at this point, and had given all the reminders he could. That the Tristar Sect was colluding with an enormous entity like the Ninesuns Sky Sect was something that he couldn’t change on his own. Jiang Chen could only take things one step at a time. So, he would just keep a careful eye on the situation, and expose the Tristar Sect at a suitable moment.
He discreetly kept an eye on their reactions, and noted that the two Tristar Sect elders did indeed have a barely perceptible shadow flash past their brows after Elder Yun Nie’s speech. Zhu Feiyang even frowned unconsciously. Mei Ruoxi however, nodded lightly, quite in agreement with Elder Yun Nie.
“It looks like Mei Ruoxi’s still in the dark. Her level isn’t high enough to know.” Their reactions was more than enough for Jiang Chen to form a basic analysis. It turned out, Zhu Feiyang absolutely knew the truth.
Those who had yet to arrive were quickly tallied up. There were two from the Tristar Sect, and one each from the Dark North Sect, Sacred Sword Palace, and Walkabout Sect.
“I don’t care what methods you use; get in contact with them immediately. If you are unable to do so, you must swear the oath again to include those absent. No oversights will be tolerated. This isn’t aimed at you, but out of consideration for the greater picture of the Myriad Domain.” Elder Xiang Gan’s words were tough, but indeed reasonable.
Elder Wu Qi of the Walkabout Sect responded, “The other elder of our sect should be here shortly.”
“There’s a disciple missing from the ranks of our Dark North Sect, but we’re unable to get in touch with him. He may be lost to us. However, we can swear the oath again and include him within it whether alive or dead.”
The Sacred Sword Palace also spoke up to report that they’d gotten in touch with their person and that they’d be here momentarily. Only the Tristar Sect remained mum.
“Elder Tan Lang, what of your Tristar Sect?” Elder Xiang Gan smiled faintly.
The elder in question was feeling extremely conflicted at the moment, but could only accept reality. “The other elder of my sect will be here shortly. We’re unable to get in contact with disciple Ding Tong at the moment.”
Elder Xiang Gan nodded, “Then we can only swear the oath again.”
Elder Tan Lang was dejected, but he could only smile faintly. “But of course.”
The others all arrived after roughly another hour. Apart from the missing Dark North Sect disciple, Ding Tong of the Tristar Sect was also absent. The other thirty eight candidates were all present, and they were mostly of the six great sects.
“Alright, there are still two who are not here. All of the various sects need to reaffirm their oaths.” Elder Xiang Gan was absolutely impartial and didn’t allow anyone to gloss over things. Everyone ultimately swore their oaths again under his supervision.
Elder Tan Lang was the epitome of dejection. Not only had they lost their loophole, but another alarming issue had cropped up—where was Ding Tong? Even Zhu Feiyang found this odd, much less Elder Tan Lang. Ding Tong was such a great character, how could he possibly have met with an accident in Mt. Rippling Mirage? However, neither Elder Tan Lang nor Zhu Feiyang knew that Ding Tong hadn’t done anything other than make straight for Jiang Chen after entering Mt. Rippling Mirage. Ding Tong was prideful by nature and didn’t think much of a so-called genius like Zhu Feiyang. Therefore, there were many things that Ding Tong hadn’t told the Tristar Sect at all.
Such as the fact that he was also there on Third Senior Brother Yong Xingyun orders to kill Jiang Chen, for example. He would never have been inclined to reveal this. This was also why Elder Tan Lang and Zhu Feiyang wasn’t connecting his disappearance to Jiang Chen. Even if they knew about it, they likely wouldn’t have thought that someone as strong as Ding Tong would’ve been taken out by Jiang Chen.
Elder Xiang Gan only spoke again after verifying that there was nothing amiss with everyone’s oath. “This is the thirteenth day, and the formations to the mountain will close in seven days. Thus, time waits for no one. I’d like to obtain everyone’s opinions now. Do we wait for the third batch to arrive before entering the ancient herb garden, or do we go in now?”
“Now, now! Time is precious and we’ll only have five days left when the third batch enters. It’s not worth it to waste three days waiting for them.”
“Right, we need to go in first. Three days is more than enough to get a lot of good things!”
This didn’t even need to be discussed at all. Everyone advocated for entering right then.
Elder Xiang Gan took a look around and smiled. “It looks like everyone has the same thoughts. But if we go in first, what of those who come after?”
“What about them? We can’t wait.”
“Right, we can’t pass up on this opportunity. Why don’t we leave behind a few folks to wait for them?”
“Mm, that’s certainly an idea.”
Elder Xiang Gan laughed softly. “Who’s willing to stay?”
Everyone suddenly became deaf and mute after he asked this question, pretending they hadn’t heard. Who was willing to stay? No one was willing to give up the chance to enter the ancient herb garden. It wasn’t fair no matter who stayed behind. But they couldn’t not leave someone behind. When the third batch entered and saw the phenomenon of the hundred lakes materializing and the rippling mirage, they would certainly recognize the signs ofthe ancient herb garden. Without the heavenly oath binding them, they could very well reveal its existence after leaving.
Elder Yun Nie thought momentarily. “How about this, every sect will leave someone behind. That’s fairest to everyone.”
It was actually the Walkabout Sect who was the first to agree to this proposal. Elder Wu Hen nodded expressionlessly. “I think this is fair. The best is if the one who stays behind is an elder level personage. Only this way will they be able to enforce restrictions on the third batch.”
But now, the elder from the Sacred Sword Palace refused to agree. He was the only elder present from the Sacred Sword Palace. If he stayed, then only three of the young disciples could enter, placing Sacred Sword Palace at a great disadvantage. Of the eight from the Regal Pill Palace and the Walkabout Sect, they’d all entered within the first two batches. It wasn’t critical whether they had one more or one less within the herb garden.
“That would be inappropriate. There’s only four of us here from the Sacred Sword Palace, and leaving behind the only elder for the three youngsters to go in isn’t fair.” The Sacred Sword Palace elder shook his head.
However, none of the other sects agreed. Apart from the Sacred Sword Palace, the others had more or less a full complement present. Apart from the Tristar Sect, all of them had at least six present. The Regal Pill Palace and Walkabout Sect even had all eight of their people there. Although the Tristar Sect and Dark North Sect had each lost a person, there were still six each from their two groups. There was also six present from the Great Cathedral. Only the Sacred Sword Palace had just four.
Elder Yun Nie smiled faintly. “Is it only fair that each of the other sects will leave behind one, but none remain from your Sacred Sword Palace?”
The Sacred Sword Palace elder snorted coldly. “Yun Nie, your Regal Pill Palace may have been the champion of the Pill Battles, but your words don’t carry any weight here!”
Elder Xiang Gan frowned. “Then do you have any better suggestions, ole brother Chen?”
Elder Chen paused, but shook his head. “I have no good suggestions, but I will absolutely not agree to remain outside.”
Elder Xiang Gan’s face darkened. “Since Elder Chen thinks it unfair and objects to a proposal that everyone thinks is reasonable, we can’t force him either. In this case, we should just wait another three days and enter the ancient herb garden only after the third batch of people come in.”
Vigorous complaints started shooting off when those words dropped.
“How will that do? I say it’s fair that one person from each sect stays! Elder Chen, none of us have any opinions to the contrary, but your Sacred Sword Palace is the only one that has an issue?”
“Right, you can’t ruin things for everyone just because you don’t agree!”
“One rat stool is enough to ruin a pot of soup. Some people should strive not to become public enemy number one of the Myriad Domain!”
Those of the Sacred Sword Palace all had frosty expressions after hearing these words being thrown at them. The young disciples had livid expressions, visibly displeased by this kind of mockery.
Elder Chen snorted coldly. “Then we wait three days! I have nothing against that.”
The others from the Sacred Sword Palace would enter in the third batch. It would be fairer when all of them were present.
“I object!” Xiang Qin from the Great Cathedral roared out.
Yue Baize from the Sacred Lion family also sniffed derisively. “I too object. I happen to have a grudge to settle with Du Lihuang of the Sacred Sword Palace as well.”
“I also think it’s a joke to wait three days.” First disciple Lin Hai of the Dark North Sect also stepped forth.
Shen Qinghong nodded as well. “What, do you expect us to sit here and wait for three days, all of us glaring at each other? What a joke!”
Zhu Feiyang from the Tristar Sect also laughed. “It is indeed inappropriate to waste three days.”
Wei Qing from the Walkabout Sect chuckled as well. “Brother Wang Han, I have to remain neutral this time.”
The Walkabout Sect was actually the least willing to wait three days. But considering that there were signs of the Sacred Sword Palace and the Walkabout Sect forming an alliance, he wasn’t at leisure to step forth in open objection.
Although the older generation had yet to speak, the attitudes of the younger generation had already said it all. No one was willing to wait three days.
“Old brother Chen, public opinion is hard to dispute. You should decide what to do then.” Elder Xiang Gan didn’t threaten, but his words were obviously an ultimatum.
“Old bother Xiang, we only have four from our sect here at the moment. If I stay behind, won’t the three youngsters be at a disadvantage after they go in? Why must my Sacred Sword Palace silently eat this kind of loss just like that?” Elder Chen was still unaccepting.
“How ludicrous! Why are there only four here from your Sacred Sword Palace? No one forced this situation down your throats. Who are you to throw blame around when it’s your own abilities that came up subpar?”
Those who’d entered the mountain were based off the Pill Battle rankings. The other four from the Sacred Sword Palace were ranked 21 to 30 and would come in with the third batch.
“I’ll stay!” Vice Head Wang Yue of the Herbal Hall volunteered from the Regal Pill Palace’s side. He was second only to Elder Yun Nie in the Herbal Hall, so his words carried great weight.
A green haired elder volunteered from the Walkabout Sect. “I’ll stay as well.”
“I’ll remain behind.”
Elders from the Great Cathedral and Dark North Sect also quickly stepped forth as volunteers.