There was no need to hazard any guesses. It was no doubt Shi Qinglu who was the speaker. The cool tones of her voice were incredibly unique and unforgettable.
Jiang Chen’s footsteps paused. He crossed his arms, poised to watch an unfolding show. His stance was that of a bystander’s, not someone remotely involved at all.
He could see plainly that though Lu Mingye and Shi Qinglu were the twin treasures of the Flora Sacred Land, they were at considerable odds with each other.
Still, he didn’t underestimate his opponents because of it. There was another possibility: that the two of them were putting on a show.
Even if they were competing against each other, they would probably work together when facing a common enemy. At the end of the day, they were peers that shared a common interest.
Jiang Chen stood in a mostly empty area. His eyes were coolly locked onto the space in front of him. His consciousness was more than powerful enough to instantly pick out where the poison consort was.
Within moments, a slender figure emerged from the foliage.
“Is this Poison Consort Shi Qinglu? She certainly deserves the name.” Jiang Chen was a little astonished by her appearance. Her skin was ivory to the point of translucence; she appeared slowly like a lotus rising out of water, striking any who beheld her with a pristinely exquisite image. Dressed in brightly varicolored clothes, she cut a figure that rather resembled a motley butterfly.
She was every bit Huang’er’s equal in character and appearance. A little less elegant, but all the more glamorous and stunning for it.
As expected of one of the sixteen hairpins. According to Gan Ning, she was touted as one of the most beautiful among them – if not the most outright.
That was the extent of Jiang Chen’s reaction though. He was taken aback by her beauty, but his heart instantly returned to unfettered calm.
Shi Qinglu’s eyes appeared as pure as a mountain spring. Their clarity made her all the more alluring.
Lu Mingye frowned when she came into the open.
“You can leave now.” Shi Qinglu glanced at him dismissively.
The other genius’s face frosted over. “Why? He’s not entirely in your territory yet.”
“If you could do anything to him, he wouldn’t have gotten here. I’m not looking down on you, Lu Mingye. You’re pretty capable, but there’s nothing more you can do here.”
Lu Mingye turned irate. “I tolerate you, Shi Qinglu, but that doesn’t mean I’m afraid of you. You go too far!”
“I’m just being honest,” Shi Qinglu replied coolly. “What can I do if you can’t accept the truth?”
Jiang Chen didn’t interrupt their argument. He was content to watch with a sneer from the side. Who knew whether or not this was an act?
He wouldn’t be fooled by appearances alone.
Shi Qinglu didn’t seem to have much interest in Lu Mingye. Her eyes rested upon Jiang Chen’s face. “So you’re Jiang Chen,” she stated matter-of-factly.
“That’s me,” Jiang Chen admitted readily. “Give Wu You up, and I can let what’s happened slide.”
“Sure. If you can get past me, you can take whoever you want with you. But if you can’t, what then?” Shi Qinglu’s captivating eyes fixated upon Jiang Chen.
“To the victor goes the spoils. If I can’t get past you, Poison Consort, then I will accept whatever consequences you propose.” Jiang Chen’s tone was carefree.
“Alright.” Shi Qinglu nodded slowly. “I don’t ask for your life or your cultivation. Simply release my great-uncle, Shi Xuan.”
“Heh, now that you mention him, I should make it clear. If Shi Xuan can’t do anything to me, what makes you think you can?”
Shi Qinglu frowned a little. “Who told you that he was my better?”
Jiang Chen smiled smoothly. “Oho, is that not true? I’ll be waiting to see your performance. Make your move. I’ll answer whatever you have in store. Of course, I won’t mind if both of you come for me at the same time. Don’t bother acting out your contentious charade. Such a played-out farce is too boring.”
Shi Qinglu giggled at his presumptuous words.
“A lot of people in Myriad Abyss like to talk about your accomplishments, Jiang Chen. Those rumors say that you’re supposed to be smart… but not smart enough, it seems.” Upon recovering, her tone was chilly.
Jiang Chen laughed indifferently. “Enough small talk,” he declared lazily. “Bring it. We’re all busy people here, aren’t we?”
Her failure to get much of a reaction out of him made Shi Qinglu more wary of her enemy.
She pointed at the leaves behind her. “Wu You is within this forest. If you can find him, you can take him with you.”
Jiang Chen peered into the dense thicket. “Sure. Let me try doing just that,” he said with a faint smile. Without a moment of hesitation, he darted past the veil of branches and foliage.
Shi Qinglu was astonished. What had just happened? She’d expected him to bargain, or perhaps wonder what trickery she’d been up to.
But Jiang Chen had headed inside just like that. Almost as if he’d never heard of her title as the poison consort!
Lu Mingye jeered a little. “Looks like your confidence was misplaced, Shi Qinglu. You said I couldn’t stop him, but you’re not faring much better, are you?”
Shi Qinglu shot back a derisive glance. “Either he’s fearless because he’s confident in his own abilities, or the rumors are entirely overblown about his intellect. Who knows? Maybe he’s a brute and a simpleton.”
“Hmph!” Lu Mingye didn’t allow the conversation to be steered in this direction. “Our bet isn’t over,” he said. “If I beat Jiang Chen inside the forest, the orbs are mine.”
i Qinglu’s expression darkened. “This is my territory, Lu Mingye. You can go inside if you want, and I don’t even mind if you help – but if you want to take what’s mine, you better be ready to watch your back.”
Saying this, she disappeared in a flash of kaleidoscopic light, rushing after Jiang Chen herself.
Lu Mingye’s face rapidly changed colors over the span of mere moments.
Shi Qinglu didn’t spare him a single shred of courtesy! He wanted to gnash his teeth with frustration, but it wasn’t like there was much else he could do.
He didn’t think his cultivation was inferior to Shi Qinglu at all. In fact, he believed he had a small edge. Alas, Shi Qinglu’s mastery of poisons was a natural advantage that he couldn’t hope to match. This was the biggest difference between them!Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Lol @ SQL's "but.. but.. I'd wanted to posture and cackle and watch him beg!!" XDD
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