Chapter 1983: In Difficult Straits

Jiang Chen looked around and cast out his senses for a moment. He became briefly thoughtful, but didn’t point anything out. Perhaps someone was watching him in secret.

Given there were several dozen opponents trialing on the very same island, that was rather normal. He couldn’t possibly bother pursuing every voyeur. If he did, what time and energy would he have left to find the orbs?

He refocused on what he was going to do in the time ahead.

Evening arrived rather quickly, the colors of dusk cast a dimming gloom over all that the eye could see. Jiang Chen frowned slightly as he glanced towards the setting sun.

Nightfall was no big deal to him. He didn’t think any genius of the ten sacred lands could possibly threaten him. He was much more worried about Wu You and Gan Ning.

If he couldn’t make contact with them, the night would be a long one. Darkness was the best cover for the cloak and dagger.

Gan Ning was one of the weaker geniuses. If he wasn’t careful at every turn, he could very well fall to a sudden sneak attack.

Right now, the genius in question was doing what Jiang Chen had instructed him to do beforehand. He had taken many leaves of the wallowing tree and boiled juices out of them, rubbing the liquid all over himself.

It had been more than half a day since entering, and Gan Ning hadn’t yet moved ten miles. Each time he moved, he crept along with utmost caution. Wherever he went, his first concern was hiding himself.

He was lucky enough to find a fallen orb in the process of his journey.

When night fell, Gan Ning felt his heart waver in uncertainty. He knew that he would suffer a great deal in the darkness, given his cultivation.

His safety could no longer be assured even if he stayed in one spot.

However, there was nothing for it except proceed with the plan. He himself couldn’t last a fortnight on the island, much less get his hands on many orbs. Each person had to get at least ten orbs to pass.

Gan Ning didn’t believe for a second he was capable of beating the competition to that number.

“Never mind. Why worry about it now? I can just hide here and lay low. I’m scared of others, but they might be scared of me as well. No one can be sure of their own safety here on this island, except maybe geniuses as amazing as senior brother Jiang Chen,” he comforted himself.

He knew that every sacred land had a number of geniuses who were its pride and joy. How strong has senior brother Jiang Chen become?

There were several sacred land geniuses who were near or at advanced empyrean.

Those geniuses had always stood at the peak of Myriad Abyss’ younger generation. Even the likes of the late Xiahou Zong had to bow down to them.

Xiahou Zong had always boasted he was the strongest among Myriad Abyss’ youth, but House Xiahou had never truly understood the extent of the ten sacred lands’ concealed strength.

It was unrealistic to expect a genius from a mere first-rank faction to be better than every genius from the sacred lands.

As Gan Ning mulled over his circumstances, he suddenly sensed the barest hint of activity in the distance.

His hairs stood alertly on end. He instinctively knew he was being tracked, despite his best efforts at hiding himself. He hadn’t necessarily been targeted specifically, but he was within his hunter’s sights. 

He immediately dashed toward an ancient tree.

Whoosh!

A whip lashed against the ground where he’d stood a moment ago. Bits of grass and leaves flew everywhere. If he hadn’t been quick about it, he would have been seriously injured on the spot.

“Do you think you can run away, kid?” A cool voice sounded nearby. “On my watch?”

Gan Ning didn’t recognize it, but the decisiveness within was obvious. He wasn’t going to get out of this easily.

The young gentleman cursed to himself. This wasn’t the kind of situation he wanted to be in. He had hoped to unite with senior brother Jiang Chen sooner rather than later, but reality had proven harsh.

“Give up your orbs, kid. If you surrender, you won’t have to suffer much.” The cool voice rang out once more.

Gan Ning almost wanted to immediately give up the sole orb he had on him.

However, he instantly realized that doing so would make him a detriment to his team. What if they ended up losing by a single orb?

Plus, was this hidden person really going to just let him go? The assailant might not kill him, but a good thrashing was more than likely, then him being tossed into some shadowy corner to fend for himself.

Gan Ning’s scalp tingled just thinking about it.

No. Even if I can’t beat him, I have to at least try. Gan Ning didn’t know this opponent’s strength, but he was confident in his own defenses.

As a water-attribute cultivator, he had command over a number of associated abilities. In his battle against Jiang Chen, the other young man had allowed him to lose with grace.

It was at that time that Gan Ning had realized exactly how commanding Jiang Chen was.

Myriad Abyss geniuses couldn’t all be Jiang Chen, though. What did he have to lose by resisting?

Gan Ning focused. Watery ripples radiated off his person, spreading into the space all around him.

His Water God’s Arm was an amazing asset. It allowed him to attack and defend with equal ease. During his sparring match against Jiang Chen, he had been third level empyrean.

Years later, he had attained an important breakthrough to reach fourth level.

Perhaps he was in the bottom half of the sixty geniuses gathered here, but he firmly believed it wasn’t going to be easy to beat him.

“Come out into the open, kid.” The voice sounded again. “Do you think I can’t do anything to you, just because you’re hiding behind a tree?”

The voice was incredibly proud, as if it already had him under control.

Gan Ning was unmoved by this. He began to build up his Enclosure of Rippling Water as a shield around himself.

Once the battle was engaged, his opponent was sure to try for a quick victory. To drag things out would be disadvantageous for both of them.

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etvolare's Thoughts

Okay I'm slightly worried about Gan Ning. We've had major sidekicks be crippled before...