The scene fell deathly still.
Elder Xu’s face turned ashen. Elder Ge stared in shock, mouth agape. Han Shuang’s eyebrows shot up, satisfaction mingled with doubt in her eyes.
Beyond the shadow of a doubt, the nephew and the uncle far outclassed Elders Ge and Xu.
Rather than kicking his opponent while he was down, Jiang Huan ambled back to his seat, grabbed another fruit, and took a bite, completely unfazed.
The pale but uninjured Elder Xu returned as well, his aged cheeks burning red. If only he could dig a hole to hide in!
But he still had some lucidity left to him. If his opponent hadn’t shown mercy, he would probably still be down for the count.
“Many thanks for your leniency.” He raised a cupped fist salute to Jiang Huan.
“Heh, no fuss no muss. It’s just a friendly fight, I wasn’t trying to take your life or anything,” Jiang Huan responded pompously.
He was performing a role for all he was worth, so as to mask his original personality and not give up the beginning of a clue about his real identity.
While his normal self was no stranger to jests, he was far from a buffoon.
Han Shuang laughed heartily. “Great, Little Gou struck gold this time. He’s found two gems for us. There’s no reason we can’t grab a spot now. Elders Zhen, you two are quite the secretive ones!”
“Not secretive. We’re just staying lowkey.” Jiang Huan chuckled.
Elder Ge demurred for a moment, but still inquired in the end, “Please assuage this one’s curiosity. With your strength, you could easily have joined another sect. Why choose our Fiendstar?”
Jiang Huan rolled his eyes. “I like the sectmistress’ gallant air. Happy?”
Han Shuang tittered. “Elder Zhen Senior speaks from the heart as always. The why doesn’t matter. It’s enough that we all have the same goal.”
Jiang Chen nodded minutely. “Certainly. Not to mention, we might not have been valued as highly in a bigger faction. My uncle and I have our own pride. We’d rather not have to tolerate being bossed around.”
Han Shuang beamed at this candid-sounding explanation. “That’s right, big sects are all like White Drake. They won’t treat you nearly as well as us. That little witch would’ve used you as a sex toy. She’d suck you dry, then tossed you out on the street like a broken husk of paper bag when she’s done with you.”
Jiang Chen smiled silently.
They’d passed the test with flying colors and truly joined Fiendstar. There were still three years to the competition. They could put this time to good use.
Han Shuang was the happiest of the lot. With the two new recruits, the sect’s strength had grown in spades. At the very least, the audit was no longer an issue.
With a decent enough showing, they might truly finish in the top five.
Jiang Chen cultivated single-mindedly inside Fiendstar headquarters. As for Jiang Huan, he was bored out of his mind. He spent every day outside and returned only late at night, outwardly enjoying life’s pleasures with wanton abandon. In reality, he was busy ferreting out information involving the Taiyuan Plane or Jiang Chen’s father.
Meanwhile, Godking Crimsonwaters was entertaining a few good friends inside his mansion. There were five in total. Apart from the tall and bulky master of the house, the four guests were all godkings in their own right!
Together, the five of them could shake the entirety of Taiyuan Plane. There were quite a few godkings left in the greater world, but none were truly close to the others. Few could pool their forces together and entrust their lives to a peer without qualms.
As the host, Godking Crimsonwaters brought out the best Crimsonwaters Cloud Liquor he could offer to toast his bosom companions.
“Heh, Brother Crimsonwaters, I never tire of your fine stuff,” happily commented a godking as fat as Maitreya Buddha.
The other three guests also nodded in agreement, praising the drink to high heaven.
Godking Crimsonwaters sighed softly, “Gentlemen, you’ve finally found the time to accept my invitation for a chat. Of course I have to celebrate the occasion and bring out the good stuff for us to enjoy. You haven’t yet made preparations for the godking convention, am I right?”
“Have you, Brother Crimsonwaters?” wondered the fat one.
“Not preparations per se, but the sects in my territory are gearing up for an upcoming contest. I can only take five factions with me to the convention, so I need to filter out the lot.” Godking Crimsonwaters chuckled.
“It must be inconvenient with all the little sects on your world. My small fief doesn’t have this problem,” remarked the fat godking, seemingly unconcerned.
Another man clad in blue said, “To be honest, do we expect anything to come out of the convention?”
“Same old, I guess. First comes disputes, then someone picks a fight when they can’t win the war of words. Then they overthrow the current celestial emperor and elect a new one, then rinse and repeat ad nauseum. Nothing new under the sun. I’ve seen enough of this circus for the past several hundred thousand years. At this rate, we’ll soon deplete Taiyuan’s fortunes.”
This one sported upright features and a righteous air. Known as Godking Righteous, he specialized in the cultivation of virtue and integrity, which explained his looks.
“Hehe, Brother Righteous walks the straight and narrow as always,” the blue-clad godking exclaimed softly. “Sadly, people like you are far and few between. Instead, sinister folks abound on Taiyuan. They obviously harbor ulterior motives, yet all of them are cowards. Everyone wants to ascend to the imperial throne, but no one wants to put themselves at risk.”
“I don’t want the throne.” Godking Righteous shook his head. “One who isn’t fated for it is nothing but a crowned imposter waiting to be overthrown. Objectively, I don’t have this kind of destiny, so the thought has never crossed my mind. What about you all?”
The fat one grinned. “I’ve never dreamed of it either. I’d rather live a long life!”
Godking Crimsonwaters sighed softly. “Me neither. I’ve always thought that sovereigns without virtue are scourges for us all. Not only is it self-destructive, they also drag down the entire plane with them.”
The four others all nodded at this pearl of wisdom. Recent history was littered with such examples. Without the required karma and fortune, the throne was nothing but fool’s gold.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Oho, seems like these guys could be allies?
And fascinating, so there's been a revolving door of celestial emperors lately, hmm?