Chapter 352: A Shameless String of Fights
For Jiang Chen, sparring with Liu Wencai hadn’t resulted in gains as large as the latter’s, but it hadn’t been a total waste for him either.
Practical experience was always useful.
Liu Wencai’s technique and strength were actually not bad. He possessed exceedingly high potential. When Jiang Chen had faced off against him, he discovered that perhaps because Liu Wencai was the son of a hunter, he’d used the blood of various beasts to refine his meridians since he was young. This had resulted in the phenomenon of dragons and tigers in his blood, muscles, and meridians.
This phenomenon could be an innate factor, or it could something that was cultivated after one was born as well.
“Liu Wencai may be someone who can be shaped. It’s a pity that his humble background made his sect overlook him, and he came even further down in the world when he lost his backer. His potential likely remains untapped, and it could be beyond people’s imagination.”
Jiang Chen discovered that Liu Wencai was beyond the ordinary after a night of sparring.
Jiang Chen adjusted his breathing and he rested after returning to his room. Post battle was the best time to nurture one’s spirit. Cultivating, refining, and reforging spirit power would see the best results during this time.
Jiang Chen finally opened his eyes when the time to assemble was almost upon him, and a hint of a smile eked out from the corners of his lips.
He had indeed had some gains after a night of sparring.
He left his residence and arrived at the Hundred Challenges Arena.
It was the second day of the matches, and it was apparent that every candidate was full of enthusiasm, and the spirit of not wanting to lose was written all over their faces.
The candidates of the earth quadrant were indeed more ambitious and hardworking.
These candidates wavered between second tier and preliminary first tier in their sects. They’d be able to join the ranks of the first tier with a little bit of fortune.
Making it to the first tier would make them core disciples, able to receive the sect’s true legacy.
It could be seen that they were all striving to their utmost for this goal.
Jiang Chen solemnly respected all those with dreams.
However, there were exceptions as well, such as the Purple Sun Sect’s disciples. Jiang Chen had felt their unfriendly looks since early in the morning.
It was obvious that they’d gathered last night to discuss how to exact revenge on him and put the ball back in their court.
Although these disciples may not have the strongest relationship with Ouyang Jian, the latter’s crushing defeat was an affront to the sect’s face.
The Purple Sun Sect disciples naturally wouldn’t remain unmoved when their sect had lost face.
“A bunch of trash that only knows how to form groups. None of them can withstand even a blow when they’re separated.” Jiang Chen couldn’t be bothered with these disciples.
He found a relatively empty spot and he sat down cross legged, silently waiting for the new day’s worth of challenges.
Liu Wencai came over before long as well, but he wasn’t alone this time. There was someone else with him, and this person rather surprised Jiang Chen.
This was because he knew who the person with Liu Wencai was.
The new person was the Myriad Spirit Sect fatty that Jiang Chen had selected for his first win. This amusing fellow had a spike shaped face atop his rotund body. His face was round at the bottom and it tapered off at the top. Accompanied with two thin legs, his body proportions were quite odd.
To put it in other words, he was thin at the ends and thick in the middle.
His eyebrows also had quite a bit of character. They were imbued with a comical feeling. His thin eyes would form a line when he smiled, but a sharp sense of shrewdness suffused his eyes.
He looked open and honest, but he was actually full of schemes.
That was Jiang Chen’s first impression of the little fatty. But after yesterday’s battle, Jiang Chen thought more warmly of this fellow.
This was the first guy that he’d met who’d dared bring a passive attitude into battle.
One had to know that if someone being challenged was unenthused in their match, they may very well face punishment.
“Brother Boulder, this is… ” Liu Wencai had just opened his mouth and was about to make introductions, when the little fatty stretched out a meaty hand and stopped Liu Wencai.
The fatty chuckled, “Junior brother Wencai, you don’t need to make introductions. I, Fatty Lu, have long desired to meet Brother Boulder.”
This little fatty was a disciple of the Myriad Spirit Sect, named Lu Yali. However, because he was shaped like a fat pear, people often mocked him by calling him as Lu Pear [1. Yali sounds the same as the Chinese characters for "pear".].
“Brother Boulder, my name is Lu Yali, but people call me Lu Pear. Pleased to make your acquaintance and please keep an eye out for me in the future.” The little fatty was one who warmed up to others by himself and he didn’t feel standoffish.
“Hello.” Jiang Chen shook hands with the little fatty.
Liu Wencai was a bit awkward off on the side. He hadn’t thought that Fatty Lu would come find him today, and he hadn't thought that Fatty Lu would want to meet Jiang Chen no matter what.
Although the two were of the same sect, and they interacted a bit normally, there wasn’t much of a friendship between them.
In addition, apart from a few hangers-on in the mystic quadrant, he had no close friends in the earth quadrant at all, so he was rather on his guard when Fatty Lu suddenly appeared.
However, according to his understanding of Fatty Lu, this fellow had always played the none-too-glamorous role of a clown in the sect because of his body shape.
He was often jeered at, teased, and even beaten or cursed at.
However, Fatty Lu had always been quite optimistic. He was always smiling, and this kind of survival technique allowed him to carve a small space for himself amongst the younger generation of the Myriad Spirit Sect.
However, because of his personality, a few of the true geniuses looked properly at him at all. Therefore, Fatty Lu didn’t have any truly good friends that he could talk to in the sect.
This was why Liu Wencai hadn’t rejected him out of hand when Lu Fatty came to find Liu Wencai.
It was said that one should not reach out a hand to slap a smiling face.
Looking at Fatty Lu, he also wanted to find people to form a group with. Based on Jiang Chen’s cold eyed observation, Fatty Lu was also one of those in a more awkward situation in the Myriad Spirit Sect.
Otherwise, none of the more normal disciples would come to form a group with him now.
He wasn’t repulsed by the idea, and the matches began as the three chatted and laughed.
None of them made it into the list of challengers in the first batch.
However, Jiang Chen’s name appeared in the list of those being challenged shortly thereafter.
“Brother Boulder, may you succeed at the very start.” Liu Wencai said.
Fatty Lu chuckled, “It doesn’t matter! The wins and losses when you’re challenged don’t count in the final score after all.”
This was Fatty Lu’s rules of survival. It was fine if he discarded some of his face in order to better his chances of survival.
Most candidates being challenged would try their hardest for considerations of face.
Cultivators didn’t like to lose. So even they were the ones being challenged and this match didn’t count for anything, most candidates were unwilling to lose and become the backdrop for someone else’s victory.
This was why competition was very fierce. Candidates such as Fatty Lu with no principles were very rare.
Jiang Chen’s opponent was a fourth level disciple from the Precious Tree Sect in the ring of ice.
He had intentions to hold back his strength. So when faced with this opponent, he pretended to be trying quite hard, but he used none of his trump cards.
Thus, they fought until the end of the time limit, whereupon Jiang Chen just barely managed to use the advantage of the ring to prevent his opponent from winning.
Even if someone who was being challenged won, they’d have to leave the ring.
When Jiang Chen walked down from the ring, he was met with Fatty Lu’s shifty-eyed, bizarre smile. “Brother Boulder, you look like a good man with strong features, but who would’ve thought that your acting skills are even better than I, Fatty Lu’s?”
Jiang Chen knew that this little fatty was shrewd and he didn’t chat much with him. He sat down cross legged with a smile.
He hadn’t sat down for long before his name was chosen again.
“This is odd. You’ve only just sat down and you’ve been selected again. Is someone playing with you?” Liu Wencai felt that it was unfair as conspiracy theories filled his mind.
His opponent had changed to the first level candidate of the Flowing Wind Sect, and he was in the ring of ice again.
The first level candidate of the Flowing Wind Sect was two levels higher than Ouyang Jian had been. This was an easy opponent to face off against.
Since he had been chosen, Jiang Chen naturally wouldn’t evade the battle.
He entered the ring and started fighting. With his personality, he wouldn’t choose to lose even if he was the one being challenged.
He absolutely didn’t accept Fatty Lu’s method of survival in this.
Of course, even if it was a first level disciple, he couldn’t force Jiang Chen to use all his strength.
Jiang Chen acted even more mightily this time, finally turning the match into a hard fought battle in which he almost lost.
Another match in which he’d barely won, one could almost say it was a pyrrhic victory.
Jiang Chen walked down from the ring with ‘exhaustion’ on his face.
The smile on Fatty Lu’s face became even more pronounced. It was funny, even Liu Wencai thought that Jiang Chen had expended too much energy in two successive matches, leading to his tiredness.
However, Fatty Lu’s bizarre smile also fully explained that he knew that Jiang Chen was still acting.
The show that the two had put on yesterday had enabled Fatty Lu to gain a deep understanding of Jiang Chen’s acting skills. Therefore, only he knew that Jiang Chen was absolutely putting on an act.
“Senior brother fatty, don’t disturb Brother Boulder.” Liu Wencai said. “He’s fought two times in a row and he has expended great effort. He must rest and recover. Otherwise, if it’s his turn to be the challenger, he’ll be in a weak position then!”
Fatty Lu chuckled. “Alright, alright.”
As smart as he was, he knew that it was enough to merely know some things and not thoroughly reveal them. It was enough to have a tacit understanding. Putting things out in the open meant that they might become ruined by their own cleverness.
This time, an even more bizarre thing happened.
Jiang Chen hadn't even warmed his seat before his name was chosen again. He was still the one being challenged.
This time, even Fatty Lu felt that there was something afoot here, to say nothing else of Liu Wencai. Fatty Lu said musingly, “The winds are a bit strange today. Can it be such a coincidence that one is selected to be challenged three times in a row?”
There were also questions in Jiang Chen’s heart.
However, the thing to avoid when a cultivator was fighting a match was wild speculation. Since he’d been chosen, whether it was real or a cheat, what did he fear?
His opponent this time was He Yan of the Purple Sun Sect.
“He Yan? He ranks as number four amongst Master Shuiyue’s ten main disciples. He’s a seeded candidate in the top twenty in the earth quadrant!” Although Fatty Lu’s strength wasn’t particularly strong, his gossip abilities were very practiced. He knew all sorts of random news, intelligence, and information with great familiarity like the back of his hand.
“Humph! Tiring out someone through several rounds of successive fights. How shameful!” Liu Wencai wasn’t suspicious now, but he felt that Master Shuiyue had done this on purpose.
She’d first arranged for two strong opponents to wear away at Jiang Chen, and then she sent her own disciples in the end. Master Shuiyue was absolutely manipulating the selection!
Liu Wencai was greatly angered and he felt that a great injustice had been done to Jiang Chen.
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