“Victory for the Fiendstar Sect!”
“Second victory for the Fiendstar Sect!”
“Third victory for the Fiendstar Sect!”
The three reports sounded nearly simultaneously. Jiang Chen noticed right after his that someone had already won before him.
The third victory came immediately after.
The first was won by Sectmistress Han Shuang. She walked out of the ring gracefully, a look of joy very much apparent upon her face. Her eyes were slightly reddened.
Evidently, she’d heard the reports and realized that Fiendstar had pulled through once again. Moreover, this round’s victory meant that they were now entitled to a spot!
“We… won?” she ventured uncertainly to the two new elders.
Jiang Chen nodded with a faint smile, while Jiang Huan flashed her a cocky, sidelong look.
Elders Ge and Xu ended up losing again – no surprise there. Thankfully, that didn’t matter. Fiendstar had won against Thousand Battle with almost trivial ease.
The godking’s men were astonished once more.
Godking Crimsonwater glanced at Fiendstar thoughtfully. “Interesting. Those three are very interesting indeed. It’s not just the two elders. I’m beginning to see little Han Shuang in a new light as well.”
“Hasn’t she always been like that?” asked one of his elders.
“Always like that? Haha, perhaps. Don’t you think that she was also concealing her strength, though? If she’s only seventh level divine realm, why has she barely won against every opponent she’s fought despite their differing strengths?”
No one had a good explanation for that.
Yes, seventh level divine realm was no guarantee of victory in this competitive arena. Even eighth level wasn’t necessarily assurance enough.
“When you put it like that, Your Majesty, that is a bit odd. Han Shuang is so young too. Why was she betrothed to Fiendstar’s late sect head in the first place? And why did he die prior to their actual marriage? Is there more to the matter than meets the eye?”
Someone began to wax imaginative.
Crimsonwater chuckled. “That’s inconsequential at best, the sect’s private business. As long as they don’t overstep their boundaries too much, we have no need to intervene.”
His word set the nature of the affair in stone.
“This competition, then?” inquired another.
“It’s their victory, of course. Their strength more than warrants it. Are you saying they cheated?”
“Hahaha, of course not! It is as you say, sire.”
Thus, Fiendstar’s run as a dark horse was sealed, and its fruits of victory secured. A remarkable and completely unexpected result!
The Jade Buddha Sect was the other winner.
When Han Shuang stepped forward to receive a Crimsonwater Token, her face was visibly flushed with emotion.
Only four sects competed for the top three, which made things a lot easier.
The process was no less dramatic, though. Especially notable was Sunblaze’s victory over one of the top three, stealing its spot in the process!
The losing party was named the Jadearmor Sect. Formerly third place in the ranking, it lost its position entirely after the defeat.
The five sects who received an entitlement to the Heavenly Crimson Lake were as follows:
The White Drake Sect, the Cosmos Sect, the Sunblaze Sect, the Jade Buddha Sect, and the Fiendstar Sect.
Han Shuang didn’t care at all that Fiendstar was last among the five. She wanted the renown and benefits first and foremost.
As the governing authority, Godking Crimsonwater congratulated them all. He informed them of the demarcated territory they were permitted to use and build upon.
“I must offer my sincere felicitations to all five of you. At the next godking conference, you will have the right to accompany me as my followers to visit the celestial emperor. You should value this unique and glorious opportunity.”
The five sects were overjoyed. The Fiendstar Sect was the happiest of all, since it was the first time it had made it to Heavenly Crimson’s lakeside. It was natural for its people to be more delighted than the rest.
Of course, Han Shuang and the Jiangs’ excitement was mostly counterfeit. Elders Ge and Xu, on the other hand, displayed authentic emotion. They had fought rather poorly in both rounds, yes, but it was fine after all! Fiendstar had won the day and a position. Winning and losing were a natural part of one’s life.
Others would only look upon them with envy now, rather than mention their names with scorn.
Next came a banquet from the godking’s residence. The five winning sects were invited, as was everyone who had lost. The latter was a kindly and thoughtful gesture, despite the fact that the losers wouldn’t feel great about attending.
The godking found time to speak to Han Shuang and the Jiangs during the banquet, though the words exchanged didn’t go beyond courtesy.
Everything seemed entirely natural. Han Shuang remained quite animated after the meal.
“It’s alright, Sectmistress Han. Elders Ge and Xu have gone home. There’s no one else here,” Jiang Chen reminded gently. The sect head’s behavior was getting a bit too theatrical.
Han Shuang blinked, then smiled with some embarrassment. “What do you mean? Shouldn’t I be happy that we won? And why do the two of you look unhappy, huh? I want to know why that is.”
Jiang Chen answered with aplomb. “We joined Fiendstar for the sake of winning. Losing was not an option, and winning, entirely expected.”
“Hmph. Entirely expected? Do you not have ulterior motives for joining us?” Han Shuang solemnly scrutinized Jiang Chen and Jiang Huan.
Jiang Chen remained impassive. “No. My uncle and I would like to cultivate around Heavenly Crimson Lake. It’s fame and an audience with the celestial emperor that we’re after.”
“Heheh, alright.” Han Shuang waved a hand breezily. “That’s not important. Our first goal aligns, right? We got the spot we wanted.”
In a show of strangely lucid reason, she abandoned her initial probe.
Jiang Chen nodded slightly. “Yes. We worked toward our common goal with concerted effort. Now that it’s accomplished… what are you going to do next, Sectmistress Han?”Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Oh? Oh? Something's up with Han Shuang... innnnteresting.