Chapter 777: Wang Teng Panics
This outcome was an ordeal to Wang Teng. He’d never imagined that the Majestic Clan, at the peak of its glory, wouldn’t be as welcomed by the citizens of Veluriyam Capital as he’d imagined. The guests had seemingly chosen to grace Taiyuan Lodge not because they respected the clan, but simply because they were afraid of the clan. This feeling felt as unpalatable as eating a fly. Reality was straying further and further away from his original predictions. The victory he had felt to be set in stone had acquired a layer of uncertainty.
No, we absolutely cannot lose this match. Wang Teng knew better than anyone that the loss of this pill battle meant that the plans and arrangements they’d made for months would all go to waste. They would even lose an excellent shop front in Farmer God Market. They wouldn’t just be losing face, but also actual money.
“You may have to attend to this third stage personally, Pill King Han Zhu,” Wang Teng turned around and spoke to a high ranked pill king beside him when his thoughts reached their grim conclusion.
Pill King Han Zhu was among the top five pill kings in the Majestic Clan. Although he wasn’t the Majestic Clan’s strongest pill king, he was one of the best. Judging from the current situation and his appearance, it was obvious that Pill King Rong had lost his confidence and spirit. Be it in terms of skill or morale, Pill King Rong shouldn’t participate in the third battle. Wang Teng had no intentions of losing this wager. Therefore, Pill King Han Zhu had to participate in this battle. He was the best card the Majestic Clan could play at this moment.
However, Pill King Han Zhu was in fact quite reluctant to take part in the battle. Especially after witnessing the last two stages, the risks involved in this battle were incredibly hig. If he were to slip up even a little during this third stage, he would become the sinner who’d lost the Majestic Clan the entire gamble. Therefore, he didn’t want to become involved even when Wang Teng voiced his preference. All experts had a kind of intuition they’d grow to rely on, and Pill King Han Zhu couldn’t shake the feeling that House Wei’s pill king was an extremely strange person wielding an equally unorthodox skill in pill dao. Even if he were to attend to the battle himself, he might not necessarily be able to defeat his opponent.
He wasn’t afraid of his opponent, but he was just instinctively wary of the unknown depths of the Deviant Pill Faction. It was obvious that this Pill King Zhen of House Wei was an outstanding representative of the Deviant Pill Faction. After all, Jiang Chen had displayed his prodigal skill in pill dao in the previous two stages. Pill King Han Zhu was a cautious person, and he wasn’t willing to participate in a pill battle where he had no confidence in winning. Thinking quickly, Pill King Han Zhu responded, “Young master, we’ve set the rules and chosen the participants before the start of the match. If we were to switch members now and are turned down by the judge, this crowd might grow even rowdier than before. It’ll be extremely bad if our opponent were to use this as an excuse to attack us.”
Wang Teng’s expression turned chilly, and he gave Pill King Han Zhu a deep, meaningful glance. Pill King Han Zhu served the Majestic Clan. Although he had shown Wang Teng every courtesy deserving of a young lord, the only person who could make him cower was the clan lord of the Majestic Clan, not the clan lord’s son. Considering how awkward the previous matches had turned out, he had absolutely no wish of partaking in this battle. Even if he did win, he wouldn’t be winning much glory for himself. And if he lost, then he would be turned into a scapegoat.
The judges hadn’t noticed Wang Teng’s little interlude. Pill King Yu cast a glance at both sides before saying, “We will review the third stage personally. There will also be three rounds in this third stage. Anyone who wins two rounds shall win the third stage. Does anyone have any objections?” Pill King Yu paused for a moment before continuing, “You should voice any objections before this final stage begins. The moment victory is decided, the gamble cannot be changed. Nothing you say later will change the outcome.”
Candid words were spoken ahead of the battle. House Wei cast a glance at Jiang Chen. At this point, they trusted Jiang Chen fully and were dead set on supporting him no matter what. Whatever hesitation they might have had disappeared when Jiang Chen soundly defeated the Jade Marrow Pill with the Triphase Pill. Naturally, they had no objections to raise. At this point, it no longer mattered if they won or lost. Even if they did lose in the end, Jiang Chen’s efforts had already won back House Wei’s reputation and fame in full. Therefore, Wei Jie smiled calmly and said, “We have nothing to raise.”
However, Wang Teng spoke up. “I would like to request a substitution.”
The moment he said this, the entire scene became engulfed in an uproar, and Pill King Han Zhu’s face had turned cloudy. It was obvious that he was extremely displeased that Wang Teng had forcefully foisted this on him. Young master Ji San sneered, “Are you daydreaming, Wang Teng? We’ve already selected our participating pill kings before the gamble, and now you wish to send in a substitute? Do you think this is all a joke? Plus, aren’t you the one who wanted to send out Pill King Rong to teach Pill King Zhen a lesson in humility? The lesson hasn’t been taught yet, has it? Or are you hoping to take that lesson instead?”
Young master Ji San had a deadly silver tongue, and his words were far sharper than any actual face slapping. Wei Tianxiao was also smiling faintly, “Young lord Wang, you are the one who started this gamble, and the rules were agreed upon by everyone. By this substitution, are you trying to tell the entirety of Veluriyam Capital that the Majestic Clan is a sore loser?”
The notion of a ‘sore loser’ had popped up again.
Wang Teng was so ashamed he could die. Countless pairs of eyes were looking at him from all directions, and most of them held nothing but ridicule. It was obvious that everyone disdained his suggestions. Pill King Yu exchanged a glance with the rest of the judges and shook his head resolutely. “The rules cannot be changed once it has been agreed upon. If you must challenge this rule, then we can only announce that Taiyuan Lodge has lost the bet.”
These words completely destroyed Wang Teng’s request to substitute Pill King Rong out. Pill King Han Zhu actually let out an discreet sigh of relief . Thank goodness I don’t need to participate in this farce. On the other hand, Pill King Rong felt a little dejected. He was depressed because Wang Teng’s suggestion was a great humiliation to him. At the same time, he himself was a little unsure if he could win this battle. This was supposed to be a piece of cake, but now the outcome was shrouded in uncertainty. No one could predict who was going to win this battle anymore. In fact, he wasn’t even the favored side. Wang Teng wouldn’t have requested for a substitution otherwise.
“Alright, if both sides have no more objections, then the third stage of the pill battle will now begin.”
The third stage of the pill battle was in fact quite similar to the second stage. It was still a competition between pill kings, and the process was almost the same. “For the first round of the third stage, please refine the pills you displayed during the first stage. You must be able to refine all three types of pills. Whoever finishes first shall win the first round.”
Wang Teng grew furious the second Pill King Yu finished. “I object, Pill King Yu!” Wang Teng could no longer give a damn about losing face.
Pill King Yu smiled faintly and said, “Please go ahead, young lord Wang!”
“I suspect that this round is purposely disadvantageous for us!” Wang Teng exclaimed. The Longevity Pill wasn’t their product to begin with, so how on earth could their pill king refine it? Wasn’t this basically an announcement of their loss?
“Purposely disadvantageous, you say?” Pill King Yu smiled wryly, “Don’t you think you’re overthinking things, young lord Wang? I swear on my heart that we aren’t purposely making things difficult for anyone.”
“Then why must we refine the pills we showed during the first stage?” Wang Teng contained his anger with visible effort.
“You’re the ones who supplied these pills. You can view our request to have you refine those same pills as an extension of that previous stage. This is a decision we judges have unanimously agreed on. Also, considering how special those pills are, we would also like to witness their refinement process and broaden our knowledge as well. Since you’ve chosen us as your judges, then you should obey the rules we’ve set!” There was no need for Pill King Yu to give Wang Teng face.
The rest of the judges were neutral parties who shared no conflicts of interest with the Majestic Clan. Naturally, they had no reason to be biased towards the Majestic Clan. It was obvious that they had their own selfish motives when they set up this third stage. They were hoping to observe how the Longevity Pill was refined. Even if they couldn’t learn how to refine the pill, there was nothing wrong with observing its process.
“Wang Teng, you should just admit defeat if you’re going to be a sore loser. I can’t help but be ashamed of your incessant complaints, even if you’re not!” Young master Ji San had no intention to be polite, so of course he wouldn’t pass up the chance to strike his enemy while he was down.
The onlookers were also joining in with their opinions. “This content of this round is completely fair! They’re not telling you to refine your opponent’s pills, they’re telling you to refine your own! If you yourself don’t know how to refine the pill you’re selling, then you very well may have been cheating earlier!”
“That’s true. I can find no faults to pick at for this test.”
“You’re not trying to obstruct this battle, are you? Are you really afraid of losing, young lord Wang?” There were tens of thousands of people and mouths present at the scene. Wang Teng had no idea where these voices were coming from, but there was no doubt that they were exerting pressure on him.
If you couldn’t afford to make the bet, then why did you act so arrogantly earlier?
You want to slink away now that the situation is awry? You want to turn this battle into a mess?
The crowd says no, Wang Teng!
The scene was raucous for a while as all sorts of accusations were lobbed at the Majestic Clan. Wang Teng felt completely conflicted, and panicked. He suddenly had a feeling that he had shot himself in the foot.
Pill King Yu responded indifferently, “The match will begin now. If Taiyuan Lodge refuses to participate, you may forfeit this match. If that happens, then Taiyuan Tower will win by default.”
Such were the rules. The judges truly weren’t trying to make life difficult for anyone on purpose. If the rules could be challenged whenever the participants felt like it, that would be a challenge to the judges’ credibility and prestige. It meant that they could be challenged at the drop of a hat. It was obvious that Pill King Yu wouldn’t accept this. Therefore, the contents of the bet wouldn’t change regardless of Wang Teng’s intentions!
Pill King Han Zhu also persuaded Wang Teng discreetly, “Young clan lord, please allow you pill king to do his best. While I don’t know how to refine the Longevity Pill, I do know he knows how to refine the other two. What if this Pill King Zhen doesn’t know how to refine some of the three pills that Taiyuan Tower produced too? It’s not like we don’t have a shot at victory if we quickly refine the two. Wouldn’t it be a pity if we were to forfeit and lose the round without even trying?”
Thankfully, Wang Teng hadn’t lost his reason. Although he was a little dissatisfied at Pill King Han Zhu’s show of cold feet, he knew that this suggestion had the best intentions. And so he responded, “Pill King Rong, just do your best and perform to your usual standards!”
At this point, Wang Teng could only hope that this bullshit pill king of House Wei didn’t know how to refine some of the pills he produced during the first stage. If that was the case, then the Majestic Clan would have a sliver of hope at obtaining victory.