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Chapter 696: Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained

“Report for the elder! Senior brother Ding Rong came back just now and said that he’d discovered some clues. He needs to make an urgent trip to the Regal Pill Palace headquarters to meet with the sect head.” A patrolling elder came to make a report to the eighth level sage realm elder standing at the door.

“Oh?” The elder frowned, “Did he say what kind of clues they were?”

“No, and I didn’t dare ask,” the patrolling elder shook his head.

“Did he go alone?”

The patrolling elder hastily responded, “He was with disciple Hua and two of Hua’s followers, Feng and Zhang. However, I didn’t see the two followers.”

Feng and Zhang were all minor characters in the origin realm, so the elder didn’t pay them much attention. He was more curious about the supposed clues Ding Rong had discovered. As curious as he was, he didn’t dare hold the slightest dissatisfaction towards Ding Rong’s independent actions. Ding Rong was the personal disciple of the sect head and had reached fifth level sage realm at his young age. His achievements would be much higher than the elder’s in the future. He thought for a moment and spread out his hands. “I understand. Keep up the high density of patrols; don’t become complacent and careless.”

Jiang Chen and Huang’er had an easy journey to Regal Pill Palace headquarters. Their identities were now Ding Rong and senior brother Hua.

“Miss Huang’er, it’s a bit dangerous this time, do you…” Jiang Chen didn’t actually want to lead Huang’er into a dangerous situation.

Huang’er however, smiled faintly back at him, “Sir Jiang, we’ve been through thick and thin so far, weathering life and death together multiple times. It’s more interesting if I adventure with Sir Jiang!”

Jiang Chen laughed heartily. He was a straightforward person and felt that those in the jianghu had no need to put on coquettish airs. “I’m afraid that I won’t be able to explain myself to Elder Shun if anything happens.”

“Elder Shun is an understanding person,” Huang’er smiled slightly. Jiang Chen nodded. He really did need Huang’er’s support for this undertaking. Although his plan was very bold, it wasn’t good enough with just him alone. Their chances of success would be much greater with Huang’er.

The two arrived outside the doors of the Regal Pill Palace four hours later. Security here was noticeably heavier than at the Regal Pill Palace headquarters. However, as a personal disciple of the Thunder Note Hall, Ding Rong’s position was high and there was naturally no need for additional checks when he appeared. When they heard that he had some important clues for the sect head, no one in the sect dared stop him. On the contrary, they all chatted and laughed with him, the very picture of politeness.

Jiang Chen was very careful as he interacted with these people. He was deep in the lion’s den now, and could only go forward with his plans.

“Senior brother Ding, Master Gong has summoned the sect head and the Great Roc sect head. They seem to be discussing something very important. You might have to wait for a while.” The one who’d gone in to make his report walked back out with a slightly apologetic response for Jiang Chen.

Jiang Chen didn’t actually want to see the sect head either, so he asked, “What important matter is this?”

His peer shook his head apologetically, “I didn’t dare ask.”

“Who else is in there?” Jiang Chen asked again.

“Some other heavyweights of the two sects,” the peer responded honestly, patently having great respect for Ding Rong.

Jiang Chen nodded and paused again, “Is Master Gong’s young grandson, young master Qi, here?”

His peer revealed a bit of a wry smile. “He actually is here, but he’s not participating in the meeting. He’s inside trying to make a Great Roc Sect true disciple spar with him. The true disciple… oh no, senior brother Ding, they’re out. Take cover!” The disciple thought that senior brother Ding wanted to avoid Gong Qi when he heard Jiang Chen’s question, that he didn’t want to be harassed by Gong Qi. After all, Gong Qi was a challenge maniac. He would challenge any genius that was a similar strength to him.

Who dared really fight Gong Qi, seeing as he was Master Gong Wuji’s young grandson? Therefore, this kind of sparring was all pain and no gain. All of the Thunder Note Hall and Great Roc Sect reacted skittishly to Gong Qi’s name, always seeking to avoid him whenever possible. They were deathly afraid that the kid would latch onto them and demand a round of sparring. It was better to take two punches from him than to actually fight with the him. Thus, Ding Rong’s peer had the best intentions in reminding Jiang Chen to go into hiding when he saw Son Qi walk out.

Jiang Chen was inwardly delighted but put on a slightly panicked expression, making as if he was about to take cover. However, Gong Qi’s eyes were sharp and instantly picked him out. “Haha, Ding Rong you kid! I heard you went someplace else. What brings you here today?” Gong Qi was only fourteen years old, but he was as tall as an adult. He was also styled as a mini Gong Wuji. He had a bald head, yellow eyebrows, and extreme ferocity brimming in his words and movements.

Jiang Chen smiled ruefully, “Young master Gong, I ah, I had some matters to come back and report to my master.”

What did Gong Qi care about that for? He walked over and grinned, “I thought I heard someone say you were back when I was inside just now. I was so happy that I ran out for a look. Yeah it’s you! You can’t ditch me this time, kid! Come come come. Let’s spar!”

Gong Qi was a battle fiend alright. He was also the height of arrogance in calling Ding Rong “kid”. Ding Rong was at least twice his age!

“Young master Gong, let’s forget the sparring? How would I possibly stand up to your beating with my skills?” Jiang Chen pretended to retreat while actually advancing.

Gong Qi’s expression darkened, “What, Ding Rong, you’ll deny me face? You had all sorts of excuses the first two times. Do you still plan on not showing me face this time?”

He’d quickly flipped his mood as he was now glowering, the air around him descending a few degrees as well. Jiang Chen was happy with how things were going and retained a wry expression on his face, “Young master Gong, it’s not that I’m not giving you face, but I feel quite panicked in sparring with you before Master Gong. His aura is simply too strong.”

Gong Qi was quite put out when he heard these words and rolled his eyes. “Ding Rong, the hell you mean? Do you mean that it was because of my grandfather’s aura that I defeated all you geniuses?”

Jiang Chen chuckled, “I didn’t mean that.”

The temperament of a young boy made Gong Qi feel even more humiliated when he saw how Ding Rong was chuckling. “How dare you! Ding Rong, how dare you think so little of me! Fine! My grandfather’s meeting with your master inside, so let’s pick a place far away and have a good fight!”

Jiang Chen looked at the two guards behind Gong Qi. One of them was first level emperor realm, the other half step emperor realm. None of them were easy characters. His expression was quite lively when he looked at the two guards, making it seem like he meant something else by it. To Gong Qi, his opponent was still staying that Gong Qi was bullying others with his superior numbers. He grew enraged, “Don’t follow me, you two! I’m going to teach this kid a lesson today and let him know that I beat their faces into the ground with pure skill!”

Gong Qi was indeed an incredible genius to have such cultivation level at fourteen years old. The pride of a genius made it difficult for him to swallow the “you’re so cheating” look that Jiang Chen was sending his way.

The two guards hastily spoke up, “Young master Gong, this won’t do. Master Gong instructed us that we’re never to leave even a foot by your side.”

Jiang Chen shrugged, “Then another time, young master Gong.”

“No!” Gong Qi was thoroughly enraged. Jiang Chen’s every look and move seemed careless, but they were completely provocative in Gong Qi’s eyes. All other geniuses were beyond polite when they saw Gong Qi. They couldn’t avoid the boy fast enough. But Ding Rong today dared chat and laugh so casually with him. Gong Qi could feel his blood pressure rise as he looked at Jiang Chen’s “I’m not afraid of you, I just don’t want to offend your grandfather” pose.

“Let’s go!” Gong Qi grabbed Jiang Chen’s sleeve and glared at the two guards. “Don’t follow us! I’ll break the legs of whoever follows us!”

The two guards may be strong, but they really wouldn’t dare hit back if Gong Qi was beating down on them. But they also didn’t dare obey Gong Wuji’s orders. Gong Qi lost his temper, “What?! Do my words not mean anything?”

The two guards were obviously afraid of Gong Qi. They looked at each other. Although they weren’t by his side, they still trailed after him. The group walked towards the Regal Pill Palace fighting arena, and Gong Qi landed in the ring with a mighty leap. He spoke impatiently, “Are you chicken now, Ding Rong?”

Jiang Chen smiled faintly, “Young master Gong, I’m worried that your two guards will rip me apart if anything happens. I still feel uncertain and I’m worried I won’t be able to give it my all.”

Gong Ji leered, “What kind of future would us cultivators have if we can’t triumph even over a little bit of fear? Kid, stop making excuses. It’s your honor to spar with the genius of a first rank sect. Just think, ten years from now, I might not even be willing to take a second look at you if you throw yourself at my feet and look up at me.”

These words were quite arrogant, but they were justifiably so. To have such accomplishments at fourteen years old, he’d be at peak sage realm in another ten years, and possibly even half step emperor realm. He did indeed half the right to look down on a fourth rank sect top genius like Ding Rong. If it’d truly been Ding Rong here, he might’ve more or less felt a bit humiliated after hearing these words. However, Jiang Chen only laughed coldly. Gong Qi was a kid after all. He was arrogant and full of himself.

Jiang Chen smiled, “Alright, young master Gong is a genius of a first rank sect after all. It is indeed the fortune of several lifetimes that I can spar with you. Therefore, will young master Gong let me have three moves first?”

Gong Qi started and then smiled proudly, “I’ll give you even ten moves, much less three.”

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