Chapter 167: Meeting on a Narrow Path, Eyes Ablaze with Hatred
The person who had also arrived wore the accoutrements of a royal disciple. He wasn’t tall, but a sense of shrewdness filled his eyes. As those eyes looked around , there were even a few traces of a violent air.
“Third brother, you’ve come this early?” The smile on Ye Rong’s face didn’t falter when he saw this person and called out in greeting.
“The earlier the better when offering birthday felicitations for the honored tutor since that indicates you possess more sincerity. Number four, haven’t you always said that the honored tutor has always taken great care of you? Why have you come so late? Is it that you affirm with your lips but deny in your heart?”
This person was the third son of the current king, Ye Zheng. Out of all the princes, his status was a bit higher than Ye Rong’s, but he basically also had no hope for being Crown Prince.
Ye Zheng probably also knew that he had no hope of being Crown Prince, so he was quite close to first prince Ye Dai and rather proactive about cozying up to him.
“Third brother, you still like to joke around. Us brothers have all benefited greatly from the honored tutor’s attentions. How can there be a difference in the weight of our sincerity?”
Ye Rong didn’t want to get embroiled in a quarrel with Ye Zheng so he simply laughed heartily. “Third brother, I’ll go walk around and say hello to everyone.”
Ye Zheng smiled superciliously, “Number four, I was saying just now that you’ve been keeping a high profile lately. What, you want to greet everyone and make connections here and there? Do you have something in mind?”
This was an allusion and insinuation obliquely implying that Ye Rong had the ambition to become Crown Prince.
Ye Rong looked quite innocent as he laughed wryly, “Third brother, we’re all young folks here and just greeting each other. Isn’t that common courtesy? Otherwise, people will say that we royal disciples have no manners and maintain an aloof eliteness. Wouldn’t that be throwing the face of our Ye family away?”
“Haha, well said, well said!” An extremely magnetic voice suddenly resounded from behind.
Ye Rong knew who it was as soon as he heard it.
Indeed, a person whose complexion was as clear as jade with eyes like bright stars and wearing a light yellow robe that offset his tall stature walked out from the artificial mountains on the side. He was towering, straight-backed, and magnificent, giving one the feeling of one brimming with talent.
“Big brother, you’re here as well.” Ye Rong didn’t actually want to interact with this person, but since he’d already appeared, there was no way that Ye Rong could avoid the inevitable.
The person who had come possessed an imposing and dignified bearing, and comported himself with sophisticated grace. He was the first prince, Ye Dai. There were five followers behind him, also illustrating the special treatment afforded to the first prince.
They were both here to attend Ye Chonglou’s birthday banquet. Ye Dai was the first prince and although he hadn’t been titled the Crown Prince, but he could bring five followers with him.
As the fourth prince, Ye Rong had only three slots.
Although it was just a difference in numbers, this displayed the differences between the two.
“Number four, so you’ve finally arrived.”
“First brother, what does this mean? Could it possibly be that you were waiting for me?” Ye Rong deliberately pretended to be confused.
“You’re right. Heh heh, I’ve been waiting for you.” Ye Dai said with a faint smile.
“I’ve heard that you have a follower called Jiang Chen. I wonder if he has come today?” Ye Dai’s gaze was noncommittal as he swept it randomly behind Ye Rong. That light dismissal seemed as if he had gazed at several wooden logs instead, completely displaying the superior attitude of his position of first prince without holding back anything at all.
Ye Rong started. He’d actually been mentally prepared for Ye Dai’s pointed actions, but he hadn’t thought that Ye Dai would be so direct.
“Royal big brother, it seems rather inappropriate if you wish to cause a scene on an occasion like today?” Although Ye Rong was wary of Ye Dai, he couldn’t possibly back down at this time either.
“Haha, number four, you’re thinking too much, aren’t you? Cause a scene? What can cause a scene about between us brothers? I’ve heard that this Jiang Chen has caused quite a disturbance lately and wanted to see for myself just what kind of amazing character this young man from the Eastern Kingdom is like.”
Ye Dai was quite at ease as he laughed. It was obvious that he felt no pressure at all in front of Ye Rong as his every word and laugh was self-confident and carefree.
And, he also seemed to rather enjoy the dread that Ye Rong was projecting upon confronting him, as though he was facing a formidable enemy.
At this moment, someone growled sinisterly from behind Ye Dai, “Jiang Chen, the first prince wishes to see you. This is a wonderful thing similar to the auspicious sign of green smoke rising from your ancestors’ graves yet you’re hiding like a young, married woman behind the fourth prince. What, are you afraid to meet the first prince?”
This voice had a harsh tone to it, filled with a sense of hatred that rose up to the heavens. It was vice general Lu Wuji. He’d taken a great fall this time and although he hadn’t been demoted, but his prestige had more or less taken a hit within the Dragonteeth Guard. Add that to being swindled out of a great sum of money by Jiang Chen, his inner energy had been greatly injured. He’d also been humiliated by Jiang Chen. His belly was so full of resentment and anger that not even all the waters of three rivers and five creeks would be enough to wash those emotions away.
“Unpresentable?” Jiang Chen said with a slight smile. “Lu Wuji, perhaps you should say these words to yourself? If I were you, I’d really take cover in a turtle’s shell to avoid coming out in public and making a fool out of myself. What, you didn’t lose enough face last time?”
Lu Wuji’s gaze was tinged with a violent light as he said viciously, “Jiang Chen, don’t you be too proud too quickly.”
“Haha, does this kind of nonsense need to be repeated? Why can’t I be proud? What reason do I have to not be proud in front of you, Lu Wuji? Give me a reason, eh?”
“Jiang Chen, you animal, do you remember me? You beat a disciple of my Northern Palace to death. I, Liu Can, will well and truly settle this score with you when we exit these doors. Let’s see if you can escape to the Qingyang Valley this time!” Another person jumped out and started threatening malevolently.
This person was obviously Liu Can of the Northern Palace, the strongest amongst the culprits who’d originally been pursuing Jiang Chen to death.
“You, transsexual? What, you’ve come to strut around in pride and glory instead of hiding in your Northern Palace after old man Fei didn’t slap you to death with one blow last time? Who do you plan on robbing this time?”
Transsexual! That was a degrading term that commoners used to call eunuchs. Liu Can had unique features since he had the body of a man, but his features contained a few traces of female tenderness. He did rather look like a eunuch.
When he heard Jiang Chen call him a transsexual, Liu Can was greatly enraged. This was the word that was the greatest taboo to him. He was strong within the Northern Palace so no one dared talk about him like that behind his back, much less than to his face.
Not to mention that in such a brief moment, Jiang Chen had humiliated him in front of so many others!
“Jiang Chen, you country bumpkin, you creature as pathetic as a dog. How dare you act this wildly in my Skylaurel Kingdom? I, Liu Can, swear that I will kill you!” Liu Can spoke through gritted teeth.
“Mm, now that you mention it, your current state of frenzied rage really does make you look like a defeated dog. However, I won’t compare you to a dog since that’s an insult to dogs.” Jiang Chen smiled slightly.
In terms of verbal sparring and how good one was at being venom-tongued, Jiang Chen was absolutely peerless and matchless.
He didn’t need to speak sharply or hop up and down like a shrew cursing in the street, gasping for breath angrily.
A few random words were enough to grasp the scabs of the other’s wounds and viciously throw some salt in their wounds.
Lu Wuji and Liu Can were thus defeated after a few rounds.
This caused a coldly strict youth beside Lu Wuji to be quite irritated. He took one step forward and stared at Jiang Chen with a coolly sinister look. “Jiang Chen, I, Xin Wudao, was handling a case outside and thus allowed you to escaped disaster. If I had been in charge of your case, you would already be a stark white skeleton in the Black Dungeons by now.”
“And who the hell are you? Are you guys taking turns in the battle ring to exchange verbal blows? You’ve got a lot of spare time on your hands.” Jiang Chen looked at those behind the first prince. “First prince, I must protest. Your followers love flapping their mouths. Aren’t you going to keep in them in line?”
Ye Dai smiled dashingly, “This is a private matter between all of you. Whether it’s me or number four, we both have no authority to intervene. Jiang Chen, I’ve heard of your exploits within the Eastern Kingdom. However, this is the Skylaurel Kingdom. Since you’re an outsider with no foundation, you should look more clearly at which road to take.”
This sounded like a call for peace, but it was actually an attempt at taking Jiang Chen down a peg.
Jiang Chen gave a bark of laughter. “This proves that the first prince does not know enough of me yet. I, Jiang Chen, always walk my own path and let others go on barefoot.”
“Jiang Chen, don’t you be arrogant.” Xin Wudao roared. “I, Xin Wudao, am the general of the seventh troop of the Dragonteeth Guard. I’ll tell you clearly, you’re in trouble.”
“Oh? Are you threatening me?” Jiang Chen sneered with a shadow of a smile. The general of the seventh troop of the Dragonteeth Guard, this meant that he was Lu Wuji’s superior since Lu Wuji was the vice general of the seventh troop.
“Threatening you? Who the hell are you to be worthy of receiving my threats? Qiao Shan and Qiao Chuan are your dogs, aren’t they? They behaved atrociously and disturbed the order of the capital. They’ve already been arrested by me. Jiang Chen, you were lucky to escape disaster last time because I wasn’t there. This time, I’ll start with your followers.”
Jiang Chen’s expression grew chilly. He already knew that something had happened to Qiao Shan and Qiao Chuan which resulted in their arrest by the Dragonteeth Guard. Jiang Chen had been hoping that it was the Dragonteeth Guard going about their normal business, but from Xin Wudao’s tone, it was quite apparent that he was using his position to get even for a personal matter.
Seeing Jiang Chen remain silent, Xin Wudao was even more proud. “What? Aren’t you going to be cocky? Didn’t you suck up to the three great sites? Why don’t you repeat past events for me to see?”
It was obvious that inciting a matter like the three great sites simultaneously launching an attack once was alright, but it would definitely not go down well if it was used too many times.
Powers such as the three great sites could not make any decision carelessly. He’d leveraged them well last time, because the others had sought his favor. He had also cleverly used the circumstances he was in to create a situation in which the three great sites attacked the Dragonteeth Guard together.
Such a thing could happen once, but not twice.
There would be no problem on old man Fei’s side for the Qingyang Valley, but it was impossible for the sides of the Myriad Treasures Palace and the Southern Palace.
Except, if he played the card that was old man Fei again, it was the same as using the same trick twice. Whether or not it was effective, it would at least appear cowardly and timid.
Besides, after last time’s conversation, Jiang Chen also knew that old man Fei had his own burdens. Old man Fei had been marked by those of the Precious Tree Sect and thus had always kept a low profile.
If he pushed old man Fei to the front whenever he ran into something, then that would simply be a bit too cruel to him.
Jiang Chen disdained doing so and hence did not want to do so.
“Jiang Chen, don’t say that I’m taking advantage of my power to bully you. I’ll give you a chance. There will be a martial sparring segment later when we celebrate the honored tutor’s birthday. If you can beat me during that segment, then I’ll immediately return those two dogs to you.”
Xin Wudao’s tone was as quick and forceful as it was overbearing and aggressive. Accompanied with the violence imbued in his gaze, he was a presence that demanded submission from others.
Jiang Chen lifted an eyelid slightly, “Do you mean that?”
Xin Wudao laughed heartily, “I’m a vaunted general of the Dragonteeth Guard. How would I play the juvenile tricks of first making you promises and then denying them?”
“Alright, it’s settled then.” Jiang Chen said noncommittally.
He could also see that Xin Wudao’s strength had already surpassed half step spirit realm. He was a practitioner truly within the first level of the spirit realm.
To his surprise, out of Ye Dai’s five followers, Jiang Chen discovered that three of them were spirit realm practitioners. Apart from Xin Wudao and Liu Can from the Northern Palace, there was another mysterious man wearing a full body black robe and a cape. He was also a spirit realm practitioner, and his presence in the spirit realm was even stronger than Liu Can’s and Xin Wudao’s.
Jiang Chen already did not have much confidence in facing off against Xin Wudao or Liu Can, but if they wanted him to fight against the mysterious man, then he would be even less assured of a victory.