Chapter 2016: A Stunning Sum

Lu Mingye hadn’t intended to help Jiang Chen against Sui Chen. He’d only mouthed the insult because of his petty nature and dislike of Eternal.

He didn't expect his statement to bail Jiang Chen out of trouble so cleanly. There was no more need to argue. An opponent’s impassioned words were typically the most credible.

The first prime’s expression froze. She stared at Sui Chen darkly, who wanted more than anything to dive into the ground right this instant.

He hadn’t expected Lu Mingye to mock him when passing by. In fact, he hadn’t expected Lu Mingye to be nearby at all.

Wei Yong was quite upset. “Senior brother Sui Chen!” He glared with some exasperation at his friend. “You told me the two holy girls took your orbs. I took you at your word! But it looks like you just didn’t want to return them to us, huh? You wanted to hog them all for yourself.”

Flustered and embarrassed, Sui Chen tried to defend himself. “Lu Mingye took only the orbs I got later on!”

The implication was that his team had been robbed once already before Lu Mingye. However, his defense was paper-thin to even himself.

Ziju Min sighed softly. He was disappointed in Sui Chen as well. 

Truthfully, Sui Chen was pretty talented. Unfortunately, he was greatly flawed when it came to tolerance and character. These flaws would prevent him from ever reaching the ranks of the very best.

There was a reason why Eternal had low expectations of him. Jiang Chen’s appearance and acquisition had been timely indeed.

The Five Great Gentlemen alone wouldn’t have been able to compete in this competition.

Overall, the gentlemen were only middling geniuses among the sacred lands’ younger generation. Only Jiang Chen was fit to be Eternal’s crowning pearl, raising it up amid its fellows by proxy.

The first prime scrutinized Sui Chen coldly for a long while before pressing with equal frost. “Sui Chen, I’m asking you one last time: who took your orbs?”

Faced with the prime’s sharp gaze, Sui Chen was unable to blurt out any of his planned lies. He knew that if he practiced any further deception, he would probably lose any hope of peacefulness after they returned home.

However, he couldn’t bear the humiliation of admitting responsibility. He kept his head down and his mouth shut instead.

His silence was answer enough.

The first prime was extremely disappointed. Sui Chen was the same as always, utterly incompetent and resistant to change. If he had confessed his wrongdoing and used it as motivation for changing himself, she would have been willing to grant him another chance.

Alas, Sui Chen didn't even have the courage left to do that. This frustrated her the most. A genius who was continually irresponsible could not be trusted, no matter his talent.

How could someone like that bear the sacred land’s future upon his shoulders?

“Alright, First Prime. Let’s lay the matter to rest. They received scores of zero, which should be punishment enough. If you prefer, shall we discuss it further after we return home?” The second prime tried to smooth things over.

“I suppose that’s the best course for now. Think over your actions, Sui Chen, and reflect on what you should do. A genius needs more than talent—honor and grace are just as important.” The first prime’s comments were steeped in displeasure.

Sui Chen compressed his lips. He looked pretty harmless on the surface, but Jiang Chen could see that he hadn’t accepted a word of the rebuke.

That was none of his business though. Sui Chen had always been like this. He had surrendered instantly when he’d encountered Xiahou Zong during Eternal’s internal tournament of geniuses.

What kind of person the genius was had been more than apparent at the time.

Thus, Jiang Chen had always been on lukewarm terms with Sui Chen over the years.

Still, he could see that the first prime was quite upset. If she had yielded to Sui Chen’s venomous whispers, Eternal’s judgment of the overall situation would be affected.

To abandon Radiance and Sunrise as potential allies when there was only a faint possibility of their hostility would really hamper Eternal’s chances.

Not wanting this oversight, Jiang Chen related the circumstances and events at the time to the first prime, who was much relieved by his transparency.

“The two holy girls have a good impression of you? Good, very good! You did very well in this competition. If Sunrise and Radiance can take our side, then our plans are all the more likely to come to fruition.”

The first prime was very excited, as was Ziju Min on Jiang Chen’s behalf.

“You know, young master Chen,” he noted, “Holy Girl Si Tong has quite a bit of influence among the younglings. And, though that Yao Guang argued with you quite a bit, she’s naturally detached and forbidding. If your performance was good enough to win her over—and I think it probably was—then her opinion of you is very different from what she says.”

Jiang Chen laughed. Yao Guang was actually quite nice. Dealing with her was at least much easier than maneuvering around the likes of Shi Qinglu.

With Yao Guang, one simply had to be capable enough to win her favor. Shi Qinglu, on the other hand, had to be brought to the brink of despair. A single lapse of concentration before that would lead to incapacitation via a sneak attack.

“Oh, that’s right. How many orbs has your team gotten?” Ziju Min asked curiously.

Gan Ning’s declaration of certain victory had been interrupted earlier. The elder knew that Jiang Chen and his fellows had done quite well, but wasn’t sure of the precise numbers.

Jiang Chen smiled. “Just a bit shy of three hundred. A dozen or so?”

“What did you say? Three hundred??” Ziju Min thought he’d misheard.

The first prime was positively astonished. Her eyes focused on Jiang Chen in an instant, unable to comprehend what the youth had reported.

“Yes. Two hundred and eighty-six, to be precise.” Jiang Chen had counted this number before coming back out.

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etvolare's Thoughts

Mark my words, I bet that Sui Chen's going to be trouble down the road.

Holy guacamole are you guys watching the first days of Worlds?? Upsets!! Upsets!!