Chapter 2036: The Black Tortoise Concedes

The Black Tortoise swept its triumphant way toward Jiang Chen with a victor’s smile on its face. It looked at Jiang Chen like it was appraising at its masterpiece.

“Tsk, it’s impressive for a human cultivator to reach your height,” the tortoise muttered to itself. “But you still fell short in the end! Haha, you were just a bit shy of being good enough.”

Jiang Chen’s eyes suddenly shot open, shooting forth a stunning, crystal-like light, interrupting the tortoise’s self-satisfied spiel.

“Oh? I think it’s you who falls short.” The human’s lips curved into a lazy smile.

What?!

The tortoise came to a halt, staring at Jiang Chen incredulously, its pupils shaking like it’d seen a ghost.

The Vermilion Bird’s heart settled back into its chest. Even the usually serious Long Xiaoxuan flashed an involuntary grin.

“That big guy is an idiot,” grumbled the White Tiger. “Did it honestly believe it can defeat young master Chen? Whoever can do that hasn’t even been born yet.”

The tiger was either making the statement in hindsight, or out of its blind admiration for Jiang Chen.

“You… you’re fine?” The tortoise couldn’t believe its eyes.

“Do I look like I’m not?” There was a touch of friendly teasing in Jiang Chen’s tone. He was obviously not hurt at all.

The festering gas that’d entered his consciousness had faded like a breeze. It didn’t even cause a ripple on his ocean of consciousness.

“But… that’s the Black Tortoise Festering Gas,” stammered the tortoise, dumbfounded. It didn’t look like a sacred beast at this moment.

“I know,” Jiang Chen said with feigned seriousness. “Didn’t I tell you I know how to deal with the gas, so you better not use it? Why didn’t you believe me? Where’s your trust in another human being?”

“You!” The tortoise almost spat out a mouthful of blood, the metallic taste lingering in its throat.

Trust in another human being? The tortoise was a divine beast, not human. Besides, it was only natural for opposing parties to plot against each other. Why would there be any trust between them?

However, Jiang Chen was looking at it with an innocent face, as if the Black Tortoise was the one that had made a mistake—a grave mistake.

The tortoise felt his perception of the world, developed over the past two hundred thousand years, shattering. His festering gas was unbeatable. The tortoise could easily take out cultivators at its level with the gas, and even when faced with an opponent above its level, it had a good chance of winning.

However, a young empyrean cultivator proved to be the exception.

Why?? The tortoise was still confused. It knew its technique. The festering gas wasn’t something an empyrean cultivator could take.

There must be something it was missing, but that seemed to be the least of its concerns now.

The tortoise looked at Jiang Chen dumbly, trying to figure out the human’s secret. Jiang Chen smiled and cleared his throat. “Oh, what was the oath you’ve made?”

The tortoise paled and shot him a glare. “Stop boasting! I admit my loss. I’m at your service from now on. However, you have to tell me what tricks you’ve used. How did you nullify my festering gas?”

Curiosity would continue to nag at it if it didn’t get an answer. The gas was its trump card. The tortoise be devastated if it was so worthless.

Jiang Chen didn’t want to knock the tortoise down. He smiled and extended both hands with his palms up. 

“There’s nothing special, really. I happen to have a powerful consciousness that protects me against such attacks. If you’d used a physical attack, I might’ve been in trouble. However, a mental attack is exactly what I fear the least. I could fend off the festering gas because I understand it, and my consciousness is powerful.”

The seal chain was like the sun in the sky, while an attack on his consciousness a blast of cold air. Cold air evaporated immediately beneath the blazing heat.

Therefore, the festering gas couldn’t destroy Jiang Chen’s consciousness, despite its incredible strength.

The Black Tortoise gaped. The explanation did make sense, but how could an empyrean cultivator have such powerful consciousness?

“Are… are you really an empyrean cultivator? You aren’t a god pretending to be much weaker than you are, are you?” The tortoise was beginning to question the basic tenets of life.

The Vermilion Bird guffawed. “I told you, Daoist Black Tortoise, that young master Chen is no regular young genius. It’s your fault for treating him like one. You have no one else to blame for underestimating your opponent and making the wrong decision.”

The tortoise shook its head dejectedly. “I knew it. You targeted me. Of course I would fall for your tricks.”

“What tricks?” the bird retorted. “You were the one who boasted prematurely. You thought you were going to win, didn’t you?”

“Fine, I lost.” The Black Tortoise had given up. “But I have to make something clear first. I’ll join you, but you can’t humiliate me or make me a slave.”

“Of course we won’t do that,” snapped the bird. “Do we look like slaves to you?”

“I’m just worried you’ll bully the new guy,” the tortoise complained pitifully.

“Haha, with the Black Tortoise with us, we have a perfect team.” Jiang Chen laughed heartily. “Don’t worry. We’re all brothers and partners. We’re comrades who weather thick and thin together. No one bullies anyone else.”

The Black Tortoise considered Jiang Chen and clucked its tongue. “You’re different from other humans. Alright, I know you’ve been telling the truth. I can’t just hide here and pretend nothing bad is happening. I’m not stupid. I know the continent will soon face a disaster. I know about the offworld invaders as well. I simply didn’t want to face it and didn’t know how to face it.”

That was the truth, and nothing but the truth.

The tortoise was merely one sacred beast. It had no allies, no comrades it could trust. It couldn’t possibly take on the invaders on its own, ancient sacred beast or not.

His new circumstances weren’t necessarily a bad thing, since he would have powerful allies by its side.

As long as it wouldn’t be enslaved and it wasn’t fighting on its own, what reason was there to be unhappy?

They were all of sacred beast bloodlines, after all. They respected each other. The tortoise believed the other three spirits weren’t going to ostracize it.

More importantly, they had said the human cultivator knew how to refine divine level pills. That piqued the tortoise’s interest.

After careful deliberation, it believed it was a good thing for it to join the group.

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