Chapter 537: A Grand Bet
Jiang Chen only needed to take another glance around to know that that person wasn’t Zhu Feiyang. That was because Zhu Feiyang was just like his name, full of good spirits, and similar in bearing toTristar Sect Head Zhu by his side.1 Since it wasn’t the Tristar Sect’s top genius, but one with an even more frightening potential than him, this made Jiang Chen even more suspicious.
“His killing intent might be understandable if he admired senior sister Bi’er and was someone she knew, just like Wei Qing. But if this person is someone the senior sister doesn’t know, he’s someone she’s never interacted with before. There’s naturally no talk of love for the senior sister then, so this hostility and killing intent has a different source than Wei Qing’s.”
But apart from matters between men and women, what reason would this person have to hate Jiang Chen?
Jiang Chen mulled over his past again and again. He’d only interacted with the Tristar Sect disciples during the wood spirit spring trip, but no one in the outside world knew of that expedition. Otherwise, Jiang Chen’s murder of Elder Wei Wudao from the Walkabout Sect would’ve absolutely raised a great uproar.
As the opening ceremony continued, Palace Head Dan Chi announced the topics of the pill competitions on behalf of the six great sects. The first of fire control, second of cauldron pre-heating, third of cultivating spirit herbs, and fourth of refining pills.
In reality, although the level of competition would be change from year to year, the content of pill competitions would always remain the same. The only difference was that the Pill Battles emphasized practical application and noticeably tested less of theory. This was a limitation that the other sects had imposed on the Regal Pill Palace. After all, the Regal Pill Palace had deep foundations and the richest knowledge banks. Forcing the competition to have very little to do with theory was undoubtedly a kind of limitation on the Regal Pill Palace.
Of course, Palace Head Dan Chi completely understood this, but also was fully aware that it was pointless to object when the other sects had reached an accord on this. Therefore, he decided to pretend that he knew nothing.
After the rules were announced, each sect sent out representatives to swear that they wouldn’t cheat in the Pill Battles and affirmed a declaration of fair play. When all of this was complete, all sides announced a brief break. The Pill Battles would officially commence after two hours.
Having received Elder Yun Nie’s request, Jiang Chen knew that he couldn’t slack off in the upcoming competition. He had to try his best to obtain the championship. He wasn’t opposed to this, since obtaining the champion’s rank wasn’t detrimental to his plans. Dan Chi and Elder Yun Nie had both helped him immensely, so it would be a kind of repayment on them if he took home the championship.
Jiang Chen sat on a chair and closed his eyes, using Boulder’s Heart to finish adjusting his mentality and clearing his mind of the matters of the outside world. Mu Gaoqi was learning from his lessons with Jiang Chen, and imitated whatever his brother did. He too took a seat to meditate, not wandering around.
It was rather Shen Qinghong who seemed to flourish at these gatherings. He kept hunting down others to chat and joke around with, as if trying to show that he had friends throughout the world. Elder Yun Nie sighed inwardly when he saw Shen Qinghong thus. Although Shen Qinghong’s martial dao potential was good, his personality was already showing problematic signs.
At this point, Wei Qing suddenly jumped up at this time from his seat with the Walkabout Sect, one next to the Regal Pill Palace. He smiled, “Everyone, everyone! It’s rare that we have such a complete gathering of geniuses in the Myriad Domain. After all, the Pill Battles happen only once every thirty years. We’re all young here, and so we should have the atmosphere of a group of youngsters gathering.”
Wei Qing talked a good talk, but it was apparent that everyone knew this person was difficult to get along with. They allowed him to wax eloquent, but no one really responded to him. They all looked sideways at him, wondering what this fellow was cooking up again.
Wei Qing didn’t mind this as he chuckled, “I propose setting up a bet.”
Many eyes lit up when he mentioned the word ‘bet’. Very few geniuses were willing to admit that anyone was better than them, so there was always great interest in a bet. But they were also aware of who exactly was proposing this bet. Someone immediately interjected with a cold laugh, “Wei Qing, what kind of plot do you have this time? Out with it directly!”
“Right, speak plainly and don’t talk in circles. You Walkabout Sect people are never straight with your words; it’s so irritating listening to you.”
Wei Qing laughed. “It looks like everyone’s the impatient sort. Fine, then I’ll speak directly. I ask only this, how sure of victory are you all in the Pill Battles? To put it more bluntly, how many of us are here to seize the championship?”
Everyone reacted differently to the provocative question. There were more than ten disciples present who felt they had the right to attempt for the championship, and their eyes flicked towards Wei Qing as they waited to see just what he was up to.
Wei Qing laughed heartily. “I propose that we bet on the eventual champion. Since we’re all confident we’ll win, what’s there to be afraid of? I’ll start off in hopes of creating something wonderful. I bet twenty thousand spirit stones that I’ll win. Who dares bet against me?”
“Hmph, a bet is a bet. Who’s afraid of you? I, Lin Hai, will be the first to take a stand against you!” Lin Hai was a pill dao genius from the Dark North Sect and had come here with the intention of winning the championship.
Shen Qinghong’s wealth was only surpassed by his love of flaunting it. Of course he would join in a bet when the forfeit was only twenty thousand spirit stones. He smiled, “How could I be absent from such a wondrous happening?”
“Count me in!” Zhu Feiyang, first disciple of the Tristar Sect, chuckled. He then looked at the person next to him with a faint smile. This person was the mysterious cultivator who had locked eyes with Jiang Chen previously and revealed a hint of killing intent.
Jiang Chen had been unobtrusively observing this mysterious cultivator, and saw his lip twist when he saw Zhu Feiyang look over, as if contemptuous of such a bet. In the end, though, he still nodded, “Since this is the case, I, Ding Tong, will participate as well.”
Jiang Chen took silent note of this name and committed it to memory.
Shen Qinghong suddenly chuckled as well. “Junior brother Jiang Chen, you love to gamble in the Regal Pill Palace. What, did you give up gambling after setting foot in the outside world?”
Jiang Chen smiled and delivered a devastating response, “Twenty thousand spirit stones are too little. Why not fifty thousand?” He grinned afterwards, turning to Ling Bi’er and Mu Gaoqi by his side. “Senior sister, Gaoqi, I didn’t bring that many spirit stones this time. I’ll have to borrow some from you guys first.”
Mu Gaoqi smiled, “No problem, Brother Chen always wins when he makes a move. I have roughly thirty thousand here, you can borrow it all!”
Ling Bi’er also seemed to be intrigued by Jiang Chen’s big move. She nodded, “I have thirty thousand here as well, take it all if you wish, junior brother.”
The words “take it all if you wish” bathed Shen Qinghong and Wei Qing’s hearts in flames of envy. The other geniuses who harbored affections for Ling Bi’er also quietly took their measure of Jiang Chen. They really didn’t understand why Ling Bi’er looked at this fellow differently.
“Hmph, a deadbeat who lives off women!” Wei Qing looked disdainfully at Jiang Chen. “Are you sure you’re in? This is a bet of who will become the champion. Do you really believe you have the right to participate?”
Jiang Chen smiled nonchalantly. “I just so happen to like gifting fancy, glittering spirit stones. What can you do about it? Don’t tell me you’re too chicken to follow my bet?”
Wei Qing laughed heartily. “Me? Afraid? What a joke! I’m just afraid that you won’t be able to explain yourself when you lose a woman’s money!”
Wei Qing spoke in a greatly exaggerated fashion and elicited a round of laughter from those present. Jiang Chen maintained his look of cool indifference on his face. How would such childish provocation rouse a reaction from him?
It was rather Ling Bi’er who fired back with a livid face, “Wei Qing, what are you going on about? Junior brother Jiang Chen is helping cure my father’s Miasma. I will take out even three hundred thousand stones without hesitation if I could, not to mention a mere thirty thousand. How is he like you, someone who only flaps his lips without action?”
Mu Gaoqi also piped in from the side. “Looking down on my Brother Chen? What a joke, Wei Qing! You’re not even fit to carry my Brother Chen’s shoes with that little bit of skill of yours!”
Wei Qing’s face frosted over as he looked at Shen Qinghong. “Do all you people from the Regal Pill Palace like to run your mouths?”
Shen Qinghong chuckled. “Sir Wei, junior brother Jiang Chen really does have good pill dao potential. Instead of beating around the bush, why don’t you come straight out and say if you’ve the guts to bet fifty thousand spirit stones?”
Wei Qing laughed coldly, “Whoever doesn’t dare to can cry uncle!” He looked around the premises. “Fifty thousand spirit stones. Speak up, whoever dares follow.”
They were all top geniuses; which one of them would back down in front of the others? Some of the immediately stood up to indicate that they would join. The bet soon collected nine participants.
Jiang Chen and Shen Qinghong represented the Regal Pill Palace; Wei Qing and Wei Xing’er from the Walkabout Sect; Lin Hai from the Dark North Sect; Wang Han from the Sacred Sword Palace; and finally, Yuan Yuan from the Sacred Ape family of the Great Cathedral.
Wang Han from the Sacred Sword Palace knew that he didn’t have much hope in seizing the championship, but he couldn’t have the Sacred Sword Palace alone have no representatives in the bet. The other five great sects all were participating, so it would only be a blemish on the Sacred Sword Palace if he didn’t grit his teeth and sign up as the lone candidate.
First female genius Mei Ruoxi of the Tristar Sect had wanted to participate at first, but had given up in the last moment for unknown reasons.
The others, including Jiang Chen, all were supremely confident in their chances to win. As the banter escalated, the forfeit grew to four hundred and fifty thousand spirit stones.
Wei Qing smiled, “A bet is an elegant activity. I hope there’s no one who can’t take the loss graciously. Only the champion will walk off with all of the stones.”
This amount of spirit stones was an enormous sum to anyone here. Apart from Jiang Chen, almost everyone here were the wealthiest of the second generation in their sects. But even so, this was still a stunning amount of money. This merely added more motivation to seek the championship.
The elder of the various sects naturally wouldn’t be against this. After all, competition amongst the geniuses would only spark greater fighting strength and dig out the limit of their capabilities. Although, once Jiang Chen brought all his abilities to bear, his chances of winning it all would be greater than any genius present.
Jiang Chen was completely delighted at the thought of four hundred and fifty thousand stones. He’d randomly thrown out the figure of fifty thousand, and hadn’t thought that so many would take him up on it.
“It looks like all these top geniuses in the Myriad Domain are lovely whales, with plenty of spirit stones. It would be a waste to not take it from them.” Jiang Chen had made up his mind. No matter what, he would bring home the championship of the personal competition!
1. Feiyang means soaring, glorious spirits, and Zhu means well wishes.