On the fourth day, Jiang Chen and Gan Ning finally picked up news of Wu You’s whereabouts.
The Goldbiter Rats delivered an unfortunate revelation: Wu You was in the hands of someone else.
The rats had no idea who his captor was, but they did mention a rather large band that included Qin You and his friends – yes, the very same ones Jiang Chen had beaten up a short time ago.
“Qin You?” Jiang Chen frowned. Rather than locking up the six geniuses after overpowering them, he had knocked them out and tossed them in a corner somewhere.
It had only been two days since then. The troublemakers were out and about already?
“Gan Ning, I know where Wu You is.” Jiang Chen glanced at his junior brother.
Gan Ning had no idea what Jiang Chen’s communications with the Goldbiter Rats entailed. “What discovery have you made, senior brother?” He blinked.
“He’s fallen into enemy hands,” Jiang Chen stated coolly.
“Huh? Whose?” Gan Ning was shocked.
“I don’t know just yet, but I’m guessing it’s related to the Flora Sacred Land.” Jiang Chen’s eyebrows jumped a little. “Specifically, that Qin You from earlier is definitely involved.”
“That bastard!” Gan Ning gritted his teeth. “We should’ve crippled all of them back there.”
The ten sacred lands didn't have a deep-seated hatred of each other to begin with. In fact, they were allies when it came to defending their realm against offworld bandits.
Therefore, the sacred lands in general paid heed to maintaining reasonably cordial relations. Killing was frowned upon, as was actively damaging diplomatic connections in any other way.
This was why the rules had forbidden killing of any kind in the trial. However, there were no rules against permanently crippling people.
If Jiang Chen had wished it, he could’ve skirted around the rules by rendering useless the cultivations of the geniuses they’d run across earlier. However, it would have damaged the Eternal Sacred Land’s reputation as well as the sacred lands’ current alliance.
In the world of martial dao, removing someone’s cultivation wasn’t much different from killing them outright.
Thus, Jiang Chen had shown mercy to Qin You and his compatriots. That Wu You would end up falling into their hands was a small surprise.
Now that they knew where their third teammate was, Jiang Chen wasn’t going to just ignore him.
“Come on, let’s go get him,” he said after musing a moment.
Gan Ning nodded and quickly followed behind his senior brother. Suddenly, he remembered something important. “Senior brother, Qin You isn’t too bad as a Flora genius. If we run into Shi Qinglu however, we need to be a bit more careful.”
“Shi Qinglu?” Jiang Chen frowned. “Any relation to Shi Xuan?”
“Yes!” Gan Ning nodded. “The surname Shi is quite well-known in the Flora Sacred Land, and in fact the house is one of its pillars. Shi Qinglu is considered the best genius Flora has seen in five thousand years. In recent years, she hasn’t bothered participating in any contests among the younger generation. It’s quite a surprise that she came to this competition in the first place. I guess that shows how dearly the Flora Sacred Land values it.”
“Hmm. That’s a remarkable reputation to have. She isn’t going to be easy to deal with, I assume.” Jiang Chen didn't have a habit of underestimating his opponents.
“Indeed. Though Shi Qinglu has kept a pretty low profile recently, she was called the Poison Consort once upon a time. Despite her youth, she’s made a name for herself in art of poisons.” Gan Ning was very serious when he mentioned her strengths. Obviously, he was very wary of what she could do.
Jiang Chen frowned. He had come to the Eternal Sacred Land for a while now, but hadn’t paid much attention to the other sacred lands’ affairs. It looked like they really didn't want for geniuses.
Back then, he had heard rumors that Xiahou Zong was as good as the best that the ten sacred lands could offer – maybe even better.
He hadn’t put much credence in those rumors, but he hadn’t expected them to be too far from the truth. As a result, after defeating Xiahou Zong, he had thought very little of the young geniuses of the ten sacred lands.
It seemed that his assumption had been mistaken. Yes, Xiahou Zong’s talent had been remarkable, but it was ridiculous to claim that he was better than many of the geniuses Jiang Chen had seen so far.
Hu Lei, for example, was his superior in several ways. This Poison Consort Shi Qinglu was likely the same way.
“Senior brother, we really need to take care around this poison consort. I hear she can turn a radius of several thousand miles into a zone of death. Nothing can live through the miasma she produces.” Gan Ning had clearly heard some rumors of Shi Qinglu before. He spoke of her with a guarded tone.
Poison users were always the most dangerous among cultivators. Jiang Chen understood why Gan Ning was so apprehensive.
However, he was a master of poisons himself. Much of his knowledge about them had been inherited from his previous life, in fact. Jiang Chen wasn’t going to take this Shi Qinglu lightly, but he saw no reason to be scared of her.
“Don’t worry, Gan Ning. I know of many exotic poisons in the world. If this poison consort is as competent as you say, I’d like to fight her myself. I just hope she doesn’t disappoint.”
Jiang Chen’s tone was very relaxed. The smile on his face was as sunny as the thawing rays of early spring. Gan Ning was calmed considerably by his demeanor.
The Goldbiter Rats ferried a number of messages back as time went on.
According to their reports, there were a number of exotic poison formations within a dozen miles in that area. Strangely enough, the formations didn't entirely seal off the space.
An impish smile curled at the corner of Jiang Chen’s mouth. This poison user was the furthest thing from ordinary.
Leaving holes intentionally in the setup was like herding someone into the opening of a bag. Anyone that fell for the trap was as good as clay in the poisoner’s hands.
“Is it just like Gan Ning said? Is Poison Consort Shi Qinglu on the scene?” Jiang Chen found this rather interesting. Shi Xuan had lost to him and become his slave, and now one of his junior relatives was directly opposing him. If it really was her, he admired her audacity.
If she knew that Shi Xuan had lost to him, she was either ignorant or supremely confident in her gifts.
“Gan Ning,” he asked his junior brother, “Are there any other strong geniuses from Flora aside from Shi Qinglu? The Qin You we met earlier – is he worth anything at all?”
“Qin You? Number four at best. Aside from Shi Qinglu, there’s Lu Mingye as well. He is said to be just as capable as her. They are the Flora Sacred Land’s twin treasures.”
Despite his mediocrity, Gan Ning was reasonably informed about the ten sacred lands’ affairs.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
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