Chapter 317: No Doubt About the Champion of the First Selection
Three corpses, three heads.
They had been overweeningly arrogant just a second ago, haughtily demanding Jiang Chen hand over his possessions or die.
Their heads had been separated from their bodies in the next second. They’d died with everlasting regret, and had been subjected to a fate even worse than dead dogs as their corpses were randomly strewn.
There was nothing more convincing than death.
Fear was writ deep in the other candidates’ eyes. Their masks hid their faces, frozen in rictuses of horror, from each other.
How could strength in numbers overcome this kind of strength?
To put it bluntly, if the other wanted to kill them, he’d be able to do away with all of them in fifteen minutes. Not a single survivor would be left.
Too fast! The speed of his move had been faster than a shooting star.
Even combined, the three strongest among them hadn’t been able to take one of the other’s blows.
If it came to the rest of the group, the other would likely kill them in a second even if they charged as ten apiece.
The difference between them was akin to a grown, stocky man trampling a baby. They weren’t on the same level at all.
Pairs of terrified eyes looked at the three corpses. They didn’t even have the courage to look at Jiang Chen. Only fear was left in their hearts.
Jiang Chen had executed three people with a single move rippling the air.
He vanished beneath the slope with a twist of his body.
He had no interest in paying attention to a group of senseless practitioners.
After this battle, their dao hearts had been stripped away and they were now useless. They would never see any improvement on the path of martial dao.
Jiang Chen didn’t even have the interest to kill such trash.
“Birds die for food, people die for wealth. These people dared scheme against me when their own skills weren’t up to par. They were truly seeking death!”
Jiang Chen shook his head and had vanished without a trace with a few leaps and bounds.
The one hundred candidates finally breathed sighs of relief after Jiang Chen had disappeared.
They hadn’t even had the courage to breathe in that moment. They were deathly afraid of attracting a life threatening disaster if they caused the slightest sound.
The feeling of having narrowly escaped death soaked their backs with sweat.
They tragically discovered that this freak genius didn’t even have the inclination to kill them.
This was the truest tragedy.
This was also when they truly discerned the gap between them and the freak genius.
They now fully understood how weak they were, so weak that others couldn’t even be bothered to kill them.
“Frightening, that was simply too frightening.” A lucky survivor spoke in a trembling voice.
“I didn’t even see him flash a weapon with that move! Three spirit realm practitioners were dead, just like that. Are… are we dreaming?”
“Laughable. So laughable. We may not even be an ant in his eyes, but us laughable ants dared scheme against him.”
Jiang Chen’s figure vanished into the great forest, and the figure who’d disappeared into the forest earlier suddenly reappeared beneath a large tree.
“Someone who could survive in the ocean of fire isn’t a simple character indeed. How comical that that group of clowns tossed away their lives like that because they were too overconfident.”
This person had always been keeping an eye on Jiang Chen, and their mind was even more certain now that the one who had survived the ocean of fire was definitely Jiang Chen.
Jiang Chen kept a low profile over the next couple of days, keeping to areas with few people. He wasn’t afraid of other candidates raising a hand against him again, but he didn’t want to be dragged down by those idiots.
The Fire Ravens had been irritated by those two groups of practitioners last time and set a two hundred li diameter circle on fire.
After his travels over the past couple of days, Jiang Chen knew full well that this Valley of Destruction was hardly a simple place. If they had even a saint rank Redscaled Firelizard, they would certainly have other stronger beings.
He’d been lucky once and met a saint rank creature at the end of its life, but that didn’t mean he’d always be this lucky.
If he ran afoul of a saint rank creature in normal condition, he’d be in dire straits even with his extraordinary abilities.
After all, a saint rank spirit creature was the equivalent of an origin realm cultivator. They’d be able to easily trample all cultivators below the spirit realm.
He maintained a low profile over the next couple of days, prioritizing safety above all.
Therefore, although he ran into a few challenges now and again, he was able to resolve them all without much effort.
Although he didn’t run into any more opportunities to strike it rich, he still gained quite a bit from these small skirmishes.
The Valley of Destruction was indeed a place where treasures were littered all over the ground. Jiang Chen made great use of the experiences from his previous life and uncommon powers of judgement. This resulted in the occasional surprise from these small skirmishes.
As the days passed without unexpected developments, the end of the ten days finally arrived.
All of the candidates were sent out of the valley.
Jiang Chen took a look around when they exited and noticed that there really was less than half left of the original eight thousand!
Even the four great sects were quite surprised by this casualty rate.
When they took a tally, they discovered that there were only 3,500 candidates left. This meant that 4,500 out of the original eight thousand that had entered had fallen into eternal slumber within the valley.
This death rate was greater than fifty percent!
Jiang Chen also knew though, that if the Fire Ravens hadn’t gone on a rampage, the death rate wouldn’t have been so high.
“Everyone can see that only 3,500 are left of the original amount that entered. However, instead of depression,you should rejoice. Compared to those who died in the valley, you are the lucky ones. With this, you’ve passed the trial of fortune and are the ones who are truly lucky.”
Honestly speaking, not many of the survivors felt any remorse for those who had died. They were actually privately delighted.
That so many had died meant half of their competition was gone as well. This also meant that their chances of entering the four sects had greatly increased.
The four great sects were recruiting three thousand. There were only five hundred more than that left now.
“I must congratulate you here, because most of you are destined to receive the right to enter the sects.”
“The first selection is complete. We will rank you according to your participant tokens. Your rankings will also be transferred over to the three year second selection, becoming your advantage there. However, I must also remind you that in the second selection, you will be facing competition from sect geniuses. Your scores will become meaningless in front of the true geniuses.”
The overseers doused the lucky survivors with this note of warning.
“Alright, rest for a moment and hand over your participant tokens. We will announce the ranking tomorrow and award you tokens for the second selection. Remember, your number for the second selection will be the same as your ranking for the first.”
Jiang Chen was without a doubt the champion of the first selection, and he was far ahead of the pack at that.
Because he was this confident, he was different from the others and wasn’t worried about his personal gains and losses.
“Are the sect geniuses finally putting in an appearance?” He was actually a bit excited instead.
The ordinary cultivators amongst the sixteen kingdom alliance no longer posed any challenge to Jiang Chen. What he needed now was experience and sharpening from the sects.
These so-called sect geniuses would be the best starting point for Jiang Chen’s rise.
He sat cross legged, without a word, all night.
Everyone’s emotions became agitated the next day, because the ranking would be announced in a short while.
Jiang Chen lifted his eyelids slightly, his heart as calm as water in the face of this fervent atmosphere.
The results of the first selection caused no ripples of interest in his heart now. His goal was the second selection, the final sixteen, and the so-called premier geniuses of the sects.
“Everyone, please be quiet. The rankings are out. Now, we will hand out participant tokens for the second selection according to your ranking in the first selection.”
Each participant token had its corresponding number and results.
But realistically speaking, everyone knew that there was no doubt about first place. It was surely the freak genius with the boulder’s heart.
They were more curious about just who this person was? Who was behind the mask? This was their primary concern.
Indeed, there was no suspense whatsoever about who ranked first!
The overseer handed the first token to Jiang Chen and smiled quite amiably. “Young man, you’re the undisputed champion of the five trials. This number one token to you is both an honor and a burden. I hope you understand its weight and meaning, and prepare yourself accordingly.”
The overseer spoke sincerely and offered earnest wishes. He moved to award the second token after a small speech of encouragement.
The second token was given to a skinny candidate. There was also some speculation about this person’s identity.
However, the owner of this token had also kept a low profile and never gave away any hint of his identity.
The tokens were awarded one by one to every candidate.
Of those who ranked towards the front, they were those that were happy, proud, and some who felt this was rather matter-of-fact. Of course, there were those who felt they hadn’t shown off their best side.
Those who ranked towards the back were correspondingly more subdued.
After all, five hundred of those remaining would be eliminated. Those that ranked lower naturally ran the highest risk of having that happen.
Jiang Chen hung the token for number one on his waist, completely ignoring the looks of envy aimed at him from all sides.
“Alright, everyone has received their tokens now. The number on it is your ranking for the first selection. You will face the even more competitive second selection next. Remember, although not many will be eliminated in the second selection, the ranking from this round will impact your fate in the sects. Your scores will determine what level of benefit you receive from the sect. The higher your score, the greater your benefits. Therefore, if you’ve reserved any strength in the first selection, release it all in the second!”
Everyone’s blood frothed with excitement at these words.
The sects! They were finally seeing the doors of the sects open wide and wave at them!