Time was almost up.
Everyone fixated on the hourglass. There was less than ten minutes before the end. It seemed impossible for a miracle to occur at this juncture. Many were already beckoning to their own disciples to tally the results.
“Get ready, everyone. It’s almost time to score!” someone from Flora called out.
Lu Mingye boomed with laughter. “Heaven doesn’t favor the unlucky. We young geniuses shouldn’t be too arrogant!”
Most frowned upon hearing these words. Their speaker could claim the dubious honor of being arrogant, much more than the one he was attacking.
Jiang Chen was extremely capable, but he’d never seemed pretentious. If any air of arrogance existed, no casual bystander had ever seen that side of him.
Of course, no one was going to say anything right now. At the moment, the Flora Sacred Land was clearly beloved by fortune. There was no reason to get on its bad side.
Currently, Flora had a very good chance at leading a potential alliance. If it did take that role, it would be even more unwise to provoke it.
“Prepare your results, everyone. When the sand finishes, we will begin recording to determine the winner of the competition,” the first prime of Flora loudly proclaimed.
As soon as his voice fell, a response echoed through the air. “The winner hasn’t even arrived. What’re you planning to do without me, hmm?”
Whether the audience recognized it or not, that singular name came to mind.
Eternal’s despairing expressions were magically lifted with eagerness and vitality.
“I knew senior brother Jiang Chen would return!” Gan Ning wildly waved clenched fists in the air. He grit his teeth and glared at Flora to vent pent-up frustration.
“Haha, some people flaunt their conceit far too early. You came back in the nick of time, senior brother! Your presence is a thoroughly gratifying blow to their dignity.” Wu You was positively thrilled. He looked only at Lu Mingye as he said this, without a hint of evasiveness.
Lu Mingye was stunned. The blood left his face entirely. His eyes glared daggers of hatred into space, searching for where exactly Jiang Chen was coming from.
The young man darted into existence like a streak of lightning. He landed in front of everyone in the span of a single breath. There was still a tiny bit of sand left in the hourglass that held on to dear life, almost like the grains were waiting for his triumphant return.
“Senior brother Jiang Chen!”
“Senior brother, you’re finally back. You didn’t know this, but some people were wishing you ill, so that you’d never come out!”
“Well done, Jiang Chen, well done!” Ziju Min rushed forward with exuberance, patting the young man on the shoulder a few times in reassurance.
All eyes focused on him without exception. They were uniformly curious as to how he’d survived the tenth island. Was the curse upon it mere hearsay?
Color returned to the first prime’s bleak visage as she let out a sigh of relief. Jiang Chen was safe and sound. She felt more guilty than anyone, especially after what the venerated forefather had said to her.
When she teetered on the brink of hopelessness, Jiang Chen reappeared against every expectation!
The Flora forefather swore under his breath. The recurrence of Eternal’s genius threw a wrench into all of his plans. He had thought heaven on Flora’s side, but that turned out not to be the case after all.
Eternal’s first prime smiled. “Alright. The competition is finally over. Our waiting wasn’t in vain. Reality has taught us that we cannot make conclusions until the last minute. We can tally the scores now, yes?”
But was there a point to scoring now?
Jiang Chen was obviously in first place. He had passed all ten trial islands of the second segment. Moreover, he had returned safely from the dreaded tenth island. What doubt could there be as to the veracity of his victory?
Even the Flora Sacred Land, with all motivation to be as picky as possible, had no rebuttal to the solidity of his claim.
“Young Jiang Chen,” the Flora forefather snidely probed, “the tenth island has always been one of no return. Did you make any discoveries in your journey there?”
“Oh, nothing significant. That island was very strange, but I managed to sink it completely. Sandplain will only have nine restricted islands from now on.” Jiang Chen flashed a radiant grin.
Everyone was blindsided by his response.
What incredible dominance! It seemed too incredible to believe, but the way he declared it so outrageously left no room for doubt.
The Flora forefather chuckled. “A young hero indeed. You sank the tenth island? Its reputation is undeserved, is it?”
“I think the rumors surrounding it are far too overblown.” Jiang Chen feigned. “Maybe all the supposed danger was entirely made up. I walked around a bit, but didn’t find anything too nasty. I didn’t like being fooled, so, well… I sank it in the spur of the moment.”
Jiang Chen wasn’t going to let a hint leak about the Black Tortoise. Thus, his smokescreen was reasonably effective.
There wasn’t much more room to ask any questions. He didn’t exactly have a responsibility to answer them in more detail, regardless.
Eternal’s venerated forefather came over. “What?” he called out. “The competition of geniuses isn’t your responsibility, is it? Do you think you’re interrogating a criminal? Remember, Jiang Chen, you are one of the future pillars of our world. Not just anybody has the right to ask you questions.”
Jiang Chen laughed. “Yes, my bad.”
The Flora forefather said nothing, but his expression was very dark.
After the scores were tallied, there was no question as to the winner. Jiang Chen was in first place by a long shot. Though Lu Mingye had obtained second place, that was no better than last. His boasting earlier had completely toppled any impact his current results would have.
In fact, it was probably worse for him now than if he had actually been last place.
The competition of geniuses was finally over. The best geniuses had generally ranked near the top. Without considering the anomaly of Jiang Chen, the tournament had indeed witnessed a substantial struggle.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Hmm... is it just me, or was that explanation about the tenth island not that convincing?