Chapter 216: Returning with Rich Rewards
Jiang Chen finally walked out of the cave five days later. The Flaming Heart of Ice had been fully refined by now and became a seed within his spirit ocean, becoming an additional ability in his arsenal.
There was less than two days left until the day the exit would appear. Jiang Chen didn’t dare tarry as he hurried to the appointed time and place.
There was only half a day left when he finally made it there.
Dan Fei and Xue Tong were all very anxious as there was such a short amount of time left until the deadline. If Jiang Chen missed it, he wouldn’t be able to get out even with all his abilities.
“Haha, Brother Jiang Chen, you’ve finally appeared. Sister Dan Fei was about to head back and look for you if you still hadn’t appeared.” Ye Rong happily walked up.
He was sincerely grateful from the depth of his heart towards Jiang Chen. Without Jiang Chen, he likely wouldn’t even have made it out alive from the Autumn Hunt this time round.
It was because of Jiang Chen that he had benefited from misfortune and swept away all the contestants for Crown Prince.
Dan Fei was slightly embarrassed to hear Ye Rong’s exaggeration, “Ye Rong you little monkey, what are you blathering on about?
“Heh heh, now that Jiang Chen’s back, this means that we haven’t lost a single person and the entire team has returned safe and sound.” Ye Rong hastily changed the topic.
“Ai, the losses during this time’s Autumn Hunt has been truly great. Look, only this amount of people have come back by now. It looks like only half of the group has made it back?”
Ye Rong sighed. “Who knew that so many spirit creatures would suddenly appear in these last few days and hunt all of us so ferociously? If we hadn’t come back early, things probably wouldn’t have gone so smoothly for us. Jiang Chen, were you not pursued by the spirit creatures in these past couple of days?”
Jiang Chen shook his head wryly, “I’ve been in closed door cultivation the past couple of days and didn’t run into them.”
He found that there was a look of “I wouldn’t believe you even if I was beaten to death” in everyone’s eyes. He could only laugh ruefully, “I really was in closed door cultivation. What’s with all of the looks you’re giving me?!”
“Alright.” Ye Rong smiled. “It was a good thing that you were in closed door cultivation. I heard from the survivors that there were more than ten spirit creatures hunting through the realm for human practitioners. Most of the participants in the Autumn Hunt have lost their lives in the past couple of days.”
Jiang Chen laughed with resignation inside and also wondered, could it be that the spirit creatures who didn’t die to the Bewitching Lotus of Fire and Ice are hunting for me?
This was a possibility.
However, Jiang Chen would never admit to this even if he was beaten to death.
No other accidents occurred in the remaining half day. Jiang Chen walked to the exit transportation portal with the rest of the entourage, porting out in batches.
When his footsteps once set foot on Skylaurel Kingdom territory, he felt a wave of emotions at the thought of so many things that were occurring and how different everything was.
A group of Precious Tree Sect disciples were maintaining order at the exit.
Jiang Chen knew that although they were maintaining order, it’d be more accurate to say that they were actually guarding the proceedings. They were worried about practitioners slipping away and making off with their fruits of labor from the Autumn Hunt.
As the host of the Autumn Hunt, the Precious Tree Sect would be able to take half of all that was gained without any effort on their behalf, no matter how much or little. Therefore, it wasn’t surprising that the Sect would on full alert.
Letting one escape meant they would receive less of the spoils.
Even Ye Rong’s status as a prince didn’t make him an exception. He also had to hand over his storage items and open them, taking out all his gains and give half away.
When it was Dan Fei and Jiang Chen’s turn however, old tutor Ye Chonglou walked over and said to the disciple making inspections, “I was the one who sent those two in, so there’s no need to inspect them.”
The old tutor was quite domineering as he took one of them in each hand and led Jiang Chen and Dan Fei away. The disciple could only stare open mouthed, furious but not daring to mouth it.
They weren’t afraid of anyone in the entire Skylaurel Kingdom, not even the king, but they were quite fearful of this old man.
They could only wave their hand in irritation, “Next!”
They had a belly full of anger but with nowhere to vent it, the next group of people in line naturally became their scapegoats.
The old tutor led Jiang Chen and Dan Fei to the side.
Dan Fei smiled merrily, “Teacher, those disciples don’t seem very happy?”
“The hell does that have to do with me. At your teacher’s level, the emotions of those disciples are naturally not of any importance. They can be happy or sad for all I care.”
“Little girl Dan, your gains seem to be great this time.” The old tutor was in a wonderful mood as he looked at the bamboo basket on Dan Fei’s back.
“Hehe, things never go beyond a third attempt. If I didn’t get some sort of gain this time, Little Dan wouldn’t have dared to come out and see my teacher.”
The old tutor laughed. “And how was my suggestion to form a team with Jiang Chen? I’m willing to guess that Jiang Chen didn’t put forth any less effort than you this time.
Dan Fei’s beautiful face reddened. Well… she really couldn’t deny that bit.
Jiang Chen however, smiled. “I was just an assistant, what help could I have possibly been?”
Dan Fei pouted, “Teacher, this time I made an agreement with Jiang Chen that half of the spirit creatures we’ve obtained must be split with him.”
The old tutor smiled dashingly, “That’s a given. Since you were a team, the spoils of war should be evenly split.”
Dan Fei had been a bit worried that the lordmaster would have some opinions. The unease in her heart abated somewhat when she saw the lordmaster’s attitude.
The lordmaster’s gaze looked at the crowd and his forehead creased slightly. “The amount of people who have come out this time seems to be quite low.”
“Lordmaster, out of the four princes who participated in the Autumn Hunt this time, all of them are dead except for Ye Rong.” Dan Fei suddenly recalled this matter.
“Both Ye Dai and Ye Zheng conspired with each other to destroy Ye Rong, but were constrained by Ye Rong and Jiang Chen. I pleaded for mercy on their behalf, but… ai. We ran into the rat tide in the end. Ye Dai and Ye Zheng were unable to escape disaster and were swallowed by the rat tide. Ye Qiao, who had triggered the rat tide, ended up smashing up his foot with his own rock and was swallowed by the rat tide.”
The lordmaster’s gaze was far away as he listened silently and didn’t respond.
“You didn’t run into the rat tide?” The lordmaster asked after he’d finished listening.
“We were also surrounded by the rat tide, but…” Dan Fei’s gaze looked towards Jiang Chen at this moment as she didn’t quite know how to say it.
“Heh heh, it seems that there’s something more to this?” The lordmaster chuckled.
“Nothing much, just that I happened to know a bit of the beast language and chatted with their leader. I just persuaded them, that’s all.” Jiang Chen spread out his hands.
The lordmaster smiled meaningfully but didn’t comment on anything else. He sighed. “To think that releasing a rumor would result in another struggle for the position of crown prince. Everything has been illuminated in a moment and after the dust has settled, Ye Rong has indeed become the final victor.”
“This isn’t necessarily a bad thing.” Jiang Chen smiled.
His eyebrow suddenly quirked as he made his apologies in a low murmur, walking swiftly to Ye Rong’s side.
“Xue Tong, who was the person who just walked past you?” Jiang Chen walked up to ask.
Xue Tong shook his head. “I don’t know. He only talked with me for a bit and asked for my name. Maybe it’s because he saw that I was with the fourth prince.”
“Did you tell him?”
Xue Tong nodded subconsciously, “Young master, is something amiss?”
Jiang Chen thought for a moment and lightly shook his head, “I feel that that person’s been observing you all this time. Perhaps it’s my wrong impression. Forget it, it’s just a small matter. I’m probably thinking too much.”
Xue Tong also knew that with Jiang Chen’s personality, he definitely wouldn’t randomly ask this question. Xue Tong scanned the crowd but didn’t find a trace of that person.
Although he felt it was odd, he didn’t say much.
“Heh heh, Tutor Ye, I heard that you directly took two young people out just now, making things difficult for the disciples afterwards. Everyone in the line afterwards keeps saying that it’s unfair and are constantly causing trouble for us.”
A Precious Tree Sect Elder smiled merrily as he walked towards the old tutor.
Old Tutor Ye narrowed his eyes, “Who cries foul? Tell them to come find me.”
The elder smiled, “How would they dare say that in front of you? They could only complain incessantly at our disciples and refuse to cooperate.”
“Elder Iron, what are you telling an old man like me this?”
“Ai, I just wish that you’d make things easier for us and be a good role model.”
Ye Chonglou laughed heartily, “This is just a bad coincidence. The two young people I took away entered the Autumn Hunt to broaden their worldview and didn’t gain much. How will they be able to give you half?”
Elder Iron’s facial expression froze. “Lordmaster, this isn’t the kind of thing to do?”
“There is nothing to do or not about it. If you don’t think this is alright, have Sect Head Xie come find me or have your great elder come find me as well.”
The lordmaster’s tone was indifferent as he obviously didn’t want to waste his spittle in talking to the elder.
Elder Iron also seemed to be a bit fearful of the lordmaster as he gave a few glances at the latter but didn’t say anything in the end. He left with an angry flourish of his sleeves.
Elder Iron halted when he walked in front of Jiang Chen. “You’re one of the ones that Tutor Ye brought out right?”
“Yes.” Jiang Chen nodded.
“I’m an elder of the Precious Tree Sect. Young man, I’ll ask you, how much did you hunt and bring down inside?”
“Lordmaster Ye seems to have already discussed this? I won’t blather on then.” Jiang Chen knew that this elder was attempting to include Jiang Chen in his schemes.
“Playing tricks with me huh?” Elder Iron’s face darkened. “You’re young with not bad potential. Do you want to impede your own future for a small matter like this?”
The connotations of this was that you’re young and will still fall into my grasp if you want to enter the Precious Tree Sect in the future. Why don’t you docilely hand over the items now and avoid damaging your own future.
Jiang Chen smiled noncommittally as the corners of his eyes and lips drooped. He didn’t want to pay any more attention to this fellow. How would he not know that this fellow was trying to start something? If he, Jiang Chen, really handed over half of his items, he would’ve been used by this fellow to indirectly slap Lordmaster Ye’s face.
The items were a small thing. This Elder Iron was obviously making use of the opportunity to face off against the lordmaster.
“What kind of attitude is this?!” Elder Iron felt a surge of rage in his heart when he saw Jiang Chen being so cocky.
Old man Ye strutted around because his strength was extraordinary coupled with great seniority, so he couldn’t do anything to old man Ye. But the hairs hadn’t even fully grown on this brat, so how dare he behave like this?
And it looked like his attitude was even more arrogant than the old man!
“Elder Iron, every wrong has a source, and every debt a debtor. Go vent your ill feelings on whoever’s roused them. I’m young and I can’t take this kind of shock.”
Jiang Chen’s tone was noncommittal as he obviously wasn’t falling for Elder Iron’s act.