Chapter 1990: A Blissful Gan Ning

Gan Ning had a bellyful of questions he wanted to blurt out. For example, was the golden rat that had saved him a spirit creature under Jiang Chen’s command?

In addition, the senior brother had dealt swiftly with Hu Lei like an adult punishing a child. The power gap between them was substantial. What amazing heights had the senior brother reached with his cultivation?

Jiang Chen hadn’t even ascended to empyrean when Gan Ning had sparred with him back in the Eternal Sacred Land. It hadn’t been that many years. This rate of progress was simply unbelievable!

Jiang Chen had defeated the arrogant Xiahou Zong in the sword competition, but it hadn’t been an easy fight. He hadn’t always had the upper hand.

This time though, Jiang Chen hadn’t even broken a sweat when facing Hu Lei. He’d toyed with the Polylore genius like a cat would a mouse. Anyone with eyes could identify the large gap between the two contestants, even if Hu Lei didn’t care to admit it.

Nevertheless, Gan Ning was clever enough to know there were questions he shouldn’t ask.

Jiang Chen brought Gan Ning to a relatively remote area.

“We’ll stay put here for the night. Tomorrow, we’ll meet up with Wu You.”

“You have word from senior brother Wu You?” Gan Ning asked curiously.

“Not yet,” muttered Jiang Chen, almost to himself. “But I should soon?”

Gan Ning could now almost guarantee that the golden rat was under Jiang Chen’s command. It was probably how his senior brother had found him so quickly.

Jiang Chen laid down on a thick tree branch with his eyes closed, radiating leisureness. Gan Ning had difficulty quieting his mind. He kept standing up to look around.

In the end, he stayed on his feet, intending to keep watch.

Jiang Chen opened his eyes when he heard the noise that Gan Ning was making. 

“Aren’t you going to get some rest? We’ll be here for half a month. There’s no need for you to stay alert twenty-four hours a day. Conserve your energy.”

“I’m not powerful enough to be of help,” Gan Ning admitted guiltily. “At least I can stay on guard for you.”

Jiang Chen waved a dismissive hand. “There’s no need. Rest well. No one will come near us. Even if they do, I’ll know beforehand. You don’t have to worry too much.

“By the way, did you get any orbs?” he added.

Gan Ning nodded dejectedly. “I got lucky and found one.”

“That’s good. We’ve only been here for a day.” Jiang Chen hadn’t expected Gan Ning to have found any.

“How many do you have, senior brother?”

Jiang Chen smiled. “Six.”

“What? Six??” Gan Ning was surprised. “You took two from Hu Lei, which means you’ve collected four in only a day?”

That was indeed the case, but Jiang Chen wasn’t satisfied yet with his findings.

He felt that after half a month, the orbs wouldn’t be evenly distributed, but concentrated in a few individuals’ possession.

The most powerful cultivators would have a disproportionately large number of orbs, while the weaker ones were left with none.

After all, competitions were cruel. The rules prohibited murder and looting, but anything else was allowed. Most of the orbs would be monopolized by a few cultivators, and they would be the fiercest of contestants.

There were six hundred orbs in total. If the orbs did end up falling into the hands of a few, it’d be next to impossible to win the first place as a team with only dozens of orbs.

This was the highest ranking competition for the ten sacred lands. Too many remarkable geniuses were gathered here.

The night was uneventful, which Gan Ning found hard to believe. Night time was perfect for evils to strike. He hadn’t expected it to be so peaceful. If he hadn’t met up with Jiang Chen, he wouldn’t have had near such a pleasant time.

“Senior brother Jiang Chen, what’s the plan for today?” Gan Ning now had the utmost respect for Jiang Chen. He sounded unusually deferential.

“Follow me.” Jiang Chen didn’t explain. “If you find any orbs, they’re yours. I’m not going to take them from you.”

“What?” Gan Ning hurriedly explained, “You should get priority over the orbs, senior brother. I don’t care about my ranking. As long as our total score is among the top three, we’ll get the extra points, which is good enough for me.”

Jiang Chen grinned. “Don’t be so polite with me. I can get orbs myself. I don’t need to take anything from you.”

It dawned on Gan Ning that Jiang Chen was being completely honest. He was overwhelmed by a myriad of emotions.

He’d always been the rebellious sort, but he couldn’t not respect Jiang Chen.

It was the Eternal Sacred Land’s great fortune to have a leading figure like Jiang Chen. Back when the sacred land’s youths were led by the Five Great Gentlemen, not even Sui Chen had been able to garner the others’ submission. Therefore, the Five Great Gentlemen had never been a united team.

Now that Jiang Chen had become the ‘boss’ of the youths, he’d do not only a decent job, but a great job given his character and approach.

Over time, Gan Ning realized with great surprise that Jiang Chen could always find orbs hidden in the most obscure of places. Since the morning, they’d already found two orbs from hidden corners.

As promised, Jiang Chen let Gan Ning have the orbs, which rather embarrassed the latter.

However, it was clear that his senior brother didn’t intend to take them.

When noon came, Gan Ning was in noticeable high spirits. Out of the blue, Jiang Chen said, “Let’s change directions. Trouble await us up north.”

Gan Ning was flabbergasted. How did Jiang Chen knew there were troubles ahead on such an undeveloped island? Could he predict the future? Or was he sensitive enough to detect the enemies?

Jiang Chen didn’t explain, and Gan Ning didn’t need him to. He believed Jiang Chen must have based his decision on solid reasoning.

He followed Jiang Chen to the west.

    ……

“Damn it, does he have the nose of a hound? How can he be so sensitive? Did he know we’ve set up an ambush for him?”

Not far to the north, a few cultivators looked into the distance with venomous eyes. They’d set up a trap for their prey, but their prey had taken a turn right before setting foot into it!

Previous Chapter Next Chapter

etvolare's Thoughts

Voting on the SOTR 2000 submissions starts this week! Submissions remain open, but get your entry in ASAP to maximize your votes!