Chapter 2337: The Competition Begins

“The tournament for the last two spots will take place first. As for the first three spots, each sect will duke it out with another one. Two winners will confirm their spots after the first round, while the two losers will fight again for the last one.”

After announcing the rules, the officials proceeded with the draw.

As the sect’s representative, Han Shuang quickly saw Fiendstar’s name come up, as well as the identity of their first opponent. As luck would have it, it was the sect of the bald fellow who’d previously insulted her.

Not one of the absolutely strongest factions, it was nevertheless far more famous than Fiendstar and easily ranked in Crimsonwaters’ top seven.

“Heh, Sectmistress Han, wwe have such a shared destiny.” Old Zhao the Seventh licked his lips and leered lasciviously.

Han Shuang was a little disgruntled to run into such a thorny opponent right off the bat.

What the Golden Glyph Sect lacked in raw strength, it often obtained unexpected victories thanks to its ingenious use of glyphs and talismans.

She would’ve preferred a lesser foe, if possible.

“Gentlemen, a tough fight awaits us, but it doesn’t mean our chances are nil. We only need three wins out of five, so those of you confident in the odds, please raise your hands.” 

Jiang Chen and Jiang Huan looked at each other before slowly doing so.

Scowling, Elder Ge and Elder Xu rebuked, “Gentlemen, now’s not the time for showboating. There’s a spot at stake, so don’t overestimate your strength.”

Jiang Chen chuckled. “And how would you know that we are, elders? What are you, mind readers?”

His retort struck the two old men speechless.

“Hmph! Sectmistress, you better carefully consider all of the variables before deciding on our overall strategy. Don’t let certain foolhardy people ruin it all.” Elder Xu snorted lightly.

“Cut it out,” replied an annoyed Han Shuang. “Strategy? What’s the use if we’re eliminated from the get go? Truth be told, I would’ve been more relieved to see you two step forward as well. Since you don’t have the guts for it, why are you trying to hold back others?”

Han Shuang didn’t think Jiang Chen and his uncle were guaranteed to win, but their aplomb was far more preferable to the two elders’ cowardice.

Elder Xu and Elder Ge fumed. “If that’s your stance, then so be it. Just don’t hold us responsible when our sect’s eliminated.”

“If we fail, it won’t be because we took a risk, but because of lack of strength.” Jiang Chen calmly countered. “All their tricks are powerless if you’re powerful enough in the ring.  Sectmistress, what about you? Are you up for it? Me and my uncle are ready to brawl.”

Han Shuan smiled at him, secretly happy with his confidence. “Of course I am. I’m the sectmistress, so I have to lead by example! Ah, woe is me! I’ll do whatever it takes, so you guys just do your part. ” 

Jiang Chen smiled. “Great, the Golden Glyph Sect will be a piece of cake in that case.”

Elder Xu and Elder Ge scowled ferociously. They hadn’t intended to shirk their duties. They had the same desire to win, yet they hadn’t raised their hands. They simply didn’t feel strong enough to confront their opponent.

So they found themselves torn between two opposites. They’d be glad to see the two pretentious fellows suffer, but they also hoped to see them prevail.

“Alright, the arenas are ready. The chosen representatives may come forward to authenticate their identities,” one of the main judges announced.

“Let’s go.” Han Shuang concluded curtly. No further words were necessary.

The authentication was to prevent any instance of impersonation. Today’s combatants were required to have attended the audit the previous day, or they’d declared cheaters and their eligibility revoked. 

It was an important step, but fraud rarely occurred at this stage.

Once confirmation was completed, the doors opened to five tunnels leading to the arenas. Both sides would soon clash against each other in five duels.

As for the fighting order, it was entirely up to the luck of the draw.

As it happened, Jiang Chen’s name was the first one drawn. His opponent, an esteemed elder almost as strong as the Golden Glyph Sect’s sectmaster, was known as his sect’s number two.

Jiang Chen observed the man. He should be around the eighth level.

He waved at Han Shuang. “I await your good news, Sectmistress.”

Han Shuang’s smile vanished when she saw who he was supposed to face. Weaker opposition would have secured a victory both for him and his uncle, propelling them to the next round once she gave it her all.

But the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.

Could someone as young as Elder Zhen Junior handle a warrior as seasoned as the Golden Glyph Sect’s number two? 

One after the other, the others drew their own opponents and entered their respective stages.

“Alright, since everyone has taken their places, I will go over the rules one last time. Avoid fighting to the death as much as possible. You have to cease attacking as soon as the opponent throws in the towel. Otherwise, you’ll be penalized and declared the loser instead.”

The rules were less complex or restrictive than they might initially appear.

Jiang Chen stood in the middle of the arena, his heart entirely serene. He’d already grasped his opponent’s strength. Peak seventh level, close to the eighth level, but not quite there yet.

Perhaps the Golden Glyph elder possessed a mighty art that could tap into his potential and temporarily elevate his fighting capabilities to the eighth level.

Even so, the young lord was a ninth level god chasing after the godking realm. Few at the same level were his match, so he had little to fear from someone with lower cultivation.

The Golden Glyph Sect’s esteemed elder stared at him with cold, haughty contempt. “This seat wonders where Mistress Han dug up you misfits. Let me warn you, you should know your place and admit defeat right now. Otherwise, while my wondrous skills won’t kill you outright, but you’ll wish they had.”

It was a naked threat, pure and simple.

This fellow obviously thought very little of Jiang Chen, but the young lord was accustomed to this kind of conceit. His youth made him easy to belittle.

Hence, he smiled indifferently. “Yap yap yap. Is that the only thing they teach in your sect? How are you going to clean up the situation when you lose even your pants later?”

The older man roared with laughter. “Interesting. I won’t waste my breath then. I’ll just smack you until you cry uncle. Don’t break on me too soon now, boy!”

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