Jiang Huan grinned. “Sectmistress, since our main opposition consists of lesser first-rate sects instead of White Drake or the like, then it’ll be a piece of cake. We simply need to find them once the contest starts and take out their powerhouses. Won’t their strength plummet if so?”
His rather crude and simplistic reasoning left the dumbfounded Han Shuang speechless.
Of course the thought had crossed her mind, but it’d be a very long shot in practice. As far as plans went, this one was sheer fantasy.
The other two elders also scowled. Were the sectmistress’ two new recruits complete frauds?
What other explanation was there for such a brainless idea?
Jiang Chen had planned on staying discrete, but he interjected in spite of himself. “My uncle likes to joke around, so please don’t take him at face value. It’s hard to offer good advice without knowing the rules of the contest, so please enlighten us, Sectmistress Han.”
That was more like it!
The two elders eased up a little.
“They’re very simple, truth be told. First comes a strength audit. Only those who pass it are eligible to take part in the main competition. The audit itself is very strict. We need at least five advanced gods, or our application might be rejected.” Han Shuang looked meaningfully at Jiang Chen and Jiang Huan.
Jiang Huan grinned. “Hehe, what a coincidence you found us then, Sectmistress. The three of you must be the only advanced gods in your esteemed sect? With the two of us, doesn’t that make for exactly five? The audit will be a breeze then, eh?”
Since he and his ‘nephew’ had concealed their strength, so it was difficult to get a precise read on their levels. They were mostly likely around advanced gods, but no one knew whether they’d reached the seventh level proper.
At least, it was impossible to tell for those weaker than them.
One of the elders snorted lightly. “Please forgive this old man’s bluntness, but as new elders, shouldn’t you display your strength for us to appreciate?”
“That’s right. Otherwise, how can we be sure you’re qualified as elders? The audit is nothing to sneeze at. Our entire plan will be ruined if we fail that early. None of us can shoulder this kind of responsibility.”
The other elder barely concealed the barbs in his words. Perhaps they weren’t satisfied by the sudden recruitment, or maybe they resented Han Shuang for not consulting with them.
The sectmistress chuckled, her eyes roving around Jiang Chen and his companion.
“I personally have no doubt you’re advanced gods, but these two gentlemen don’t seem like they’ll let it drop if you don’t show your hand.”
Grinning, Jiang Huan made a small stretch. “Hehe, let’s do it then. Sectmistress, how should we prove our worth? Should we roll up our sleeves and flex our arms for you to see?”
With a titter, Han Shuan rolled a pair of sensual eyes at him.
Jiang Chen chuckled. “Let me be the representative then. Elders, let’s avoid bad feelings. Let’s go with a spar, what do you think?”
The two elders immediately sprang up. They were itching for this!
“Very good! Your heroic spirit is commendable, Elder Zhen Junior!”
For reasons legitimate or otherwise, they thought the enlistment of the two new elders too rash, so they wanted to verify whether the newcomers were con artists.
If so, they’d be thrashed, then chased off. As a bonus, it’d also be a ruthless slap to the sectmistress’ face.
In the first place, they’d been highly put out to see an unmarried widow seize control of the sect. She wasn’t all that more outstanding than them. The sectmaster’s seat ought to have belonged to them.
Jiang Chen faced their eagerness without batting an eyelid. “Elders, how should we proceed? Let’s not overdo it since it’s a friendly spar, do you agree?”
“Hehe, of course, we’ll stay our hands,” the shorter elder agreed with a smile.
The thinner one sneered, “No one begins a fight by begging for indulgence. I’m very disappointed, Elder Zhen Junior.”
Yawning, Jiang Huan murmured, “How ungrateful. My sonny Shi is just trying to spare you some injuries.”
The two elders boiled with anger at his words. A snot-nosed runt afraid of harming them? How could they tolerate such naked provocation?
“Come, I, Old Ge, will fight you first.” The skinny elder took the initiative.
“How shall we play?” Jiang Chen’s smile remained nonchalant.
Elder Ge glared. Whatever his misgivings, the brat did possess an unsettling poise. There was an undeniable air about him. Even if he were to come up short, his attitude was genuine.
“Take three strikes from me. I’ll be able to tell by then, hehehe.” With a sneaky grin, Elder Ge suggested the most primitive form of testing.
Jiang Chen frowned, irked by the elder’s frivolousness and provocative tone.
“Just taking a few blows won’t be enough to demonstrate my skills. How about this instead? I’ll stand right here. It’s your win as long as you can make me move my feet within three moves.”
Even Han Shuang stared on in shock, to say nothing of the two elders. She looked blankly at Jiang Chen, a little baffled.
Inside the wine shop, the young man had been cool-headed from beginning to end, as if nothing in the world could affect him.
He’d turned a blind eye to the charms of White Drake’s little witch as well as the flirty glances she herself had thrown his way. He shouldn’t be one to lose his composure, so why had he become so flippant all of a sudden?
Elder Ge’s eyes narrowed into slits. “Is that a joke?”
Jiang Chen shook his head. “Not all all. Just try me. It’s nothing but a friendly bout, isn’t it?”
His cold mockery and barely veiled contempt lit a fuse in Elder Ge. “Very well, let’s go along with it then. No need for three moves. If you can take a single one without moving an inch, it’ll be my loss!”
Could someone below seventh level withstand a strike of his without budging? The answer was self-evident.
Elder Ge looked at Han Shuang. “Sectmistress, Elder Zhen Junior was the one to suggest it. I decline any responsibility whatever may happen.”
Han Shuang shot the young lord a meaningful look, then glanced at Jiang Huan. Doubts arose when she saw both of them unconcerned, as if it was no more than a warmup.
She nodded. “Good. Elder Ge, you have my permission. Elder Zhen Junior, don’t force yourself. Feel free to move if you’re at your limit.”
Jiang Chen nodded shortly without further comments.Previous Chapter Next Chapter