Chapter 350: A Targeted Scheme
Master Shuiyue’s heart was full of contradictions now. She suspected the freak genius of the boulder’s heart was Jiang Chen, but also didn’t want to accept this.
This was because she felt that an ant akin to Jiang Chen was unworthy of such strong potential.
The Eastern Kingdom had given birth to one Long Juxue. How could it have given birth to another incredible genius?
That was an insult to her vision.
If the freak genius of the boulder’s heart was indeed Jiang Chen, why had she only selected Long Juxue and not detected the existence of Jiang Chen in the Eastern Kingdom?
This was a blot upon her record for her.
Therefore, she was quite conflicted right now. It was very difficult for her to accept the truth that Jiang Chen was the freak genius of the boulder’s heart and had such high potential.
However, she also desperately needed an excuse now to suppress this freak genius who’d offended her so.
“According to the intelligence brought back by Chu Xinghan, Jiang Chen used his talents in training beasts to coordinate the million strong Swordbird Army and defeated the Long family at the Second Crossing. Taming beasts is but an unorthodox back door solution. What does this say about someone who is enthusiastic about an unorthodox way? This means his martial dao potential is absolutely not that strong. In addition, according to the various intelligence reports from the Skylaurel Kingdom, Jiang Chen’s never displayed any astounding battle strength. He’d either depended on Ye Chonglou’s protection each time or the mob bullying from the Swordbird Army. What else does he have apart from this?”
It was an odd thing. For an expert at Master Shuiyue’s level, there was actually no need to be that bothered by a young cultivator.
However, when she’d seen the other three sects fight over him in the legacy territory, her heart had felt as uncomfortable as if she’d eaten a fly.
Her thoughts had been, even if an ordinary brat is a bit talented, was it necessary to fight over him publicly like this?
Everyone knew that this fellow was rivals with Long Juxue. To openly fight over him like this was an obvious slap to her face.
And now that she suspected Jiang Chen was the freak genius of the boulder’s heart, not only was she infuriated, she was also a tad bit worried.
If this was the case, then the momentum behind this secular brat’s rise was simply too scary.
His scores in the first selection had been heaven-defying.
Just by the feats displayed on that assessment, they had revealed a level of improvement that was almost on par with Long Juxue, if not already on the same level as her.
However, Long Juxue had had the attentions of ten thousands focused onto her alone these past years, and had claimed the advantage of sect resources.
Jiang Chen had been following and crawling around in the ordinary world all this time, and the level of resources he’d had was on another level entirely.
In this kind of contrasting situation, for two who had started off at similar levels, if Jiang Chen had been able to keep up the same rate of improvement as Long Juxue, then this kid was truly worthy of note. It could even be said that he was truly a latent threat for Long Juxue!
She once again summoned her four disciples for a lecture.
“Honored master, your disciples greet you.” The four disciples approached to make their greetings.
Master Shuiyue said faintly, “Did any of you watch the battle between that secular genius and Ouyang Jian today?”
Of the four disciples, two of them hadn’t been in a match at that time and had seen it with their own eyes, whereas the other two had been undertaking their challenges in other rings and hadn’t seen it.
“Take a look again.” Master Shuiyue conjured forth the images again.
The four disciples focused their attentions on the reenactment of the match. Master Shuiyue played it for them again when it was over, watching it three times in a row.
“Hai Tian, you are currently my strongest disciple in the earth quadrant. What do you think of this candidate? I had all of you keep an eye on him previously, but although you fearfully agreed with your words, you were dismissive in your hearts. I only ask you one question now. How would you fight him if you met in the ring?”
The four disciples were all privately astonished and had nothing to say.
Hai Tian thought silently for a moment and sighed, “That secular genius must have had quite a fortuitous encounter in the area of fire. Perhaps it’s a treasure that defends him, or he may have other methods. Your disciple may be able to use the ‘Thousand Li Locked in Ice’ passed down from the honored master to contain the flames and weaken him this way. My chance of victory would be about fifty-fifty.”
Hai Tian was the strongest of the four. If he was only at fifty-fifty probability, then the others would be even less.
“Honored master, there were many accidents in his match with Ouyang Jian. When he was next challenged in the ring of gravity, his performance was much more ordinary. With our cultivation levels, we should have more than fifty percent chance of winning as long as we don’t meet him in the ring of fire. If we meet him in the ring of ice, he will be dead without a doubt and have no hope of winning at all!” Another disciple who was younger and had exceedingly long earlobes spoke confidently.
Hai Tian also nodded, “Honored master, if we meet him in the ring of ice, I believe that I and the other three junior brothers will have exceedingly high chances of winning.”
Master Shuiyue was silent for a moment and then shook her head lightly. “Don’t underestimate him. He once displayed talents for fire and water in the first selection. If he is thus accomplished in the ring of fire, can you guarantee that he doesn’t have some fallbacks in the ring of ice?”
“Honored master, in my eyes, he seems to have used some sort of fire attribute treasure to cheat in his match with Ouyang Jian. It wasn’t that he had a high cultivation level. He has a great treasure against fire, but certainly he won’t have one for water? If so, this kid truly defies the heavens.”
“Junior brother Yan is right.” Hai Tian smiled. “Honored master, if he really did have such fortuitous occurrences, that makes him superior to even us sect disciples. I don’t think this is likely.”
Master Shuiyue also found this a bit unbelievable, but up until now, this secular genius’ performance had been absolutely incredible.
“You cannot view this person with normal eyes.” Master Shuiyue’s tone was very grave.
“Don’t worry honored master. Senior brother Hai Tian ranks within the top five of the first level candidates and is absolutely on a different level from Ouyang Jian. That kid will be a cricket after the end of autumn, unable to bounce around for long if he runs into senior brother Hai Tian!”
Hai Tian smiled demurely and said reassuringly, “Honored master, if your disciple meets this fellow, I will certainly teach this arrogant fellow a lesson. That a mere secular disciple has dared challenge the honored master is truly evil!”
“Indeed, when us brothers bump into him, we will absolutely vent our honored master’s ill feelings.”
Master Shuiyue also spread out her hands, “The forefather has sent word not to suppress him. However, I am speculating that this fellow is the rival of your junior sister Long Juxue from the ordinary world. If he really is that swine Jiang Chen, then he is fated to be unable to coexist with my Purple Sun Sect. If we temporarily don’t suppress him according to the forefather’s will, it will be even more difficult to move against him when he comes into his own.”
“Then the honored master’s intentions are…?” Hai Tian asked probingly.
“Hai Tian, He Yan.” Master Shuiyue said, “You rank third and fourth, respectively, amongst all the ten greatest disciples beneath me. It is said that a country nurtures its soldiers for a thousand days, all for one day’s battle. Now, I want to send you two to test this fellow. Do you dare try?”
“Your disciples are willing to shoulder the honored master’s burdens.” The two disciples she had called upon replied.
The other two also said voluntarily, “We are also willing to shoulder the honored master’s burdens.”
Master Shuiyue waved a hand dismissively, “This matter is of great importance. Let your third and fourth senior brothers go for greater assurance in completing this task. Since this is the case, I’ll arrange things tomorrow. Number four, I’ll arrange for you to select this freak genius first. Which ring do you think you will have the most confidence in?”
“Honored master, your disciple is willing to meet him in the ring of ice.” The Shuiyue faction had particular affinity for water.
Master Shuiyue then looked at Hai Tian. “What about you, number three?”
Hai Tian thought for a moment, “Since honored master will be sending junior brother He to meet him in the ring of ice, then there is no meaning for your disciple to choose the ring of ice again.”
Master Shuiyue nodded, quite satisfied with Hai Tian’s comprehension.
“Number three, it seems like you understand my meaning. Since that secular brat has no particular disadvantages in the area of water, he will certainly be worse off fighting number four in the ring of ice. If he also has a heaven-defying performance in the area of water, then there’s no meaning in you picking the ring of ice again.”
Master Shuiyue’s considerations were quite all-encompassing.
“Perhaps junior brother He will handle that kid without even needing me to put in an appearance.” Hai Tian laughed heartily and said, “If your disciple does need to fight, then I choose the ring of spirit devouring.”
The ring of spirit devouring was the ring that mapped to the metal attribute.
There were all sorts of external powers in this ring that would sap a candidate’s reserves of spirit power, making them run through their energy more quickly.
Of the five rings, this was the ring that candidates wanted to face the least.
As for Hai Tian, he’d had some special occurrences that allowed him special methods that others wouldn’t have for the metal attribute.
Therefore, his advantage in the ring of spirit devouring should be no less than his advantage in the ring of ice.
Master Shuiyue nodded, “Number three, number four, remember, this is only a battle to feel out his identity. Don’t kill him for now, or I won’t be able to explain myself to the forefather. If you have the ability to, use a more clandestine method to break open his mask so that his true features are revealed. That would be a true accomplishment.”
This was Master Shuiyue’s true goal. What she wanted to do the most was to uncover the true identity of this freak genius.
According to the rules, secular candidates couldn’t reveal their identities until the final battle, lest it give rise to improper recruitment actions from the four sects.
But if one’s mask was accidentally broken in a match, that was another story entirely.
Hai Tian had high levels of comprehension and knew that his honored master wanted to know this freak genius’ identity, and that she particularly wanted to confirm if he was their junior sister Long Juxue’s rival, Jiang Chen.
She would be able to form a strategy only after this question was answered.
Hai Tian immediately understood the greater meaning behind this match, and a confident look made its way onto his face. “Honored master, your disciple will go back and think of a plan. I’m not idly boasting, but I truly have seventy to eighty percent confidence if we are to compete in the ring of spirit devouring.”
“Don’t worry about the ring. As the keeper, I still have this little bit of authority.”
Although examiners couldn’t cheat, if she went about her business privately and with no witnesses, who would be the wiser? The keeper’s authority wasn’t something that the other examiners could measure up to. This kind of cheat would be easy to accomplish!
“Alright, go back and make your preparations. Meet tomorrow’s matches at your best condition possible. Particularly Hai Tian, remember that I will put everything in place for you.”
Master Shuiyue waved her plain hand and indicated their dismissal.