Chapter 367: The Betting Madman
When Jiang Chen arrived at the area for testing strength of heart, he noticed that not many participants had arrived yet.
The examination area was a tower.
There were nine levels to the towers, and the way of testing for all five exams in the area was to climb from the first floor to the fifth, finding a jade pendant with the same number as your own token.
Completing this task in the allotted time would win you 25 points. Those who didn’t make it would have their points calculated with where they ended up at.
If a candidate lost their way, they would gain no points. Making it past the first floor would award you five points.
This exam of the heart was a bit similar to the Path of Rebirth that Jiang Chen had experienced in the first selection.
However, the architecture of this tower was different to the Path of Rebirth. More accurately speaking, the tower used space formations to craft all sorts of situations in which dimensions randomly intersected with each other, making it hard for those within to find the real path.
This kind of method that folded space was one that touched on the various divine arts of space.
Jiang Chen went up to the bottom of the tower. As he looked up at the nine level tower, there wasn’t a ripple of emotion in his heart. The Path of Rebirth hadn’t stumped him, and this tower wouldn’t do so either.
“Humph. Kid, you scared? Scram back to the ordinary world if you are and don’t block the way!”
An ear piercing voice came from behind just as Jiang Chen was focusing his attentions on studying this tower.
A young man with red hair in a short sleeve shirt that displayed his chest was standing there. His shoulders were broad and his back was thickly muscled, giving one the feeling of a tiger’s back and bear’s waist.
The most interesting part of this fellow wasn’t his mane of red hair flowing in the wind, it was his large feet. It was like they were the feet of enormous beasts, a full size larger than most normal folk’s. He also wasn’t wearing any shoes. Him going barefoot gave one an exceedingly wild feeling.
A slight furrow creased Jiang Chen’s brow. This fellow is quite impudent. I’m just standing here, what business is it of yours?
He froze where he was standing, like a thickly forested mountain, purposefully unmoving.
“Oh? You want to start something?” The red haired youth chuckled and put out a hand the size of a large fan, grabbing at Jiang Chen. “Move!”
Jiang Chen made a shooing motion forward with his hands and he sent a surge of strength forward.
Both of them grunted softly as their bodies wavered.
“Hmm?” The red haired youth seemed to have sparked his interest as he chuckled oddly. “I underestimated you, secular kid. Interesting.”
He once again reached a hand out to Jiang Chen.
He’d increased his strength this time and was using seventy to eighty percent of his total strength, projecting a posture of ‘I’m not stopping until I shove you out of the way.’
Jiang Chen snorted coldly and he made a circle with his arms. The moon was in his left hand and the sun in his right as he drew an enormous taiji vortex with a light movement of his arms.
The red haired youth once again ended up clutching empty air.
He was even more bedraggled this time as his body pitched forward after he stumbled slightly.
The fellow was completely stunned now. His eyes widened like two brass bells as he stared at Jiang Chen. “Good going kid, I take back what I said before. You have what it takes to travel through the Divine Maze Tower. Interesting, how interesting! I hear everyday how there’s a freak genius of the boulder’s heart from the secular world. Everyday and every month — calluses are growing in my ears! It looks like although the rumors have been exaggerated, they’re not without reason. Good. very good. You deserve your reputation alright.”
The red hair youth rubbed his hands together and grinned. “Your boxing technique and footwork is not bad. It looks like it won’t be easy for me to beat you out right. Time is of the essence now and I’m going to head into the Divine Maze Tower. I hope we can have a good fight next time we meet and see if it’s your boxing technique that’s superior or my fists that are harder.”
The fellow gestured as he talked, spittle flying everywhere as he gave one a feeling of powerful domination. He seemed like a person, rough around the edges, who liked to battle.
Jiang Chen had thought at first that this person was purposefully provoking him. It looked like now that he’d misunderstood. This person’s personality was likely just this forthright and direct.
He smiled faintly, stepping to the side, “Go on in.”
To someone who bore him no enmity, Jiang Chen wasn't so bored as to keep butting heads with them. He stepped to the side to let the fellow in.
“Are you not going in?” The red haired youth started in surprise.
“I will be.”
“Heh heh. So you are, huh?” The red haired youth’s eyes gleamed as he suddenly thought of something exciting.
“Is there something amiss?” Jiang Chen couldn’t help but ask when he saw the other smile bizarrely.
“Haha, nothing, nothing at all. Look, we’re going in at the same time. Do you want to make a bet that whoever makes it to the fifth floor and locates their own jade pendant first is the winner? How about that?” The red haired youth spoke with an animated expression.
“So what if I win? So what if I lose?” Jiang Chen had to laugh. It looked like he’d run into a gambler.
“Let’s place a forfeit on it. How about we bet spirit stones?”
“Spirit stones?” Jiang Chen smiled ruefully. “I don’t have any.”
He really didn’t have any. In the ordinary world, spirit stones weren’t a medium of exchange. Although Jiang Chen had quite a few rare and precious items, he really didn’t have any spirit stones.
The red haired youth smacked his own forehead. “That’s right, you’re a secular cultivator and it’s normal that you wouldn’t have any spirit stones. Actually, us sect disciples don’t have many either. Then what do you say we bet on?”
“Must we?” Jiang Chen smiled.
“Ai, look at how boring these trials are. It’s all the same stuff. How boring do you think our lives would be if we don’t find something fun to do?”
Jiang Chen was speechless at seeing how much this fellow liked to gamble. However, he wasn’t the slightest bit interested.
“Sorry, I don’t have anything valuable to bet with you.” Jiang Chen demurely declined.
“Do you really have nothing of any value?” The red haired youth was depressed.
“No.” Jiang Chen shook his head. He had many nice things, but he’d obtained them with great effort and he didn’t want to take them out as a forfeit.
“Depressing, how depressing!” The red haired youth waved his fan-like hands and he lost quite a bit of interest. However, his eyebrow quirked again as he seemed to think of something fantastic and he slapped his thigh. “How about this? I’ll bet a spirit stone with you, and it’s yours if you win. If you lose, you become my lackey. How about that?”
“Be your lackey?” Jiang Chen smiled wryly. “Not interested.”
“Man, you’re really boring. Do you think that anyone can be a lackey of the great Tang Hong? Are you afraid that I’m exploiting you? Why don’t you ask around and see when have I, Tang Hong, ever taken advantage of someone? Humph! If it wasn’t for the fact that you seemed a bit interesting, I wouldn’t have wanted to waste this time with you at all.”
So the red haired youth’s name was Tang Hong.
Jiang Chen could see that this fellow didn’t bear any malicious intent, but he liked to gamble too much.
He smiled. “I don’t want your spirit stone. To be fair, why don’t you be my lackey if you lose?”
“I... be your lackey?”
Tang Hong blanked as he widened his eyes, looking at Jiang Chen like he was looking at a freak and then suddenly laughing heartily. “Kid, you want me to be your lackey?”
This did sound odd to Tang Hong. He was a top three genius of the Precious Tree Sect, and he was also ranked in the top 10 in the sky quadrant.
Even the most premier geniuses didn’t dare say that they’d make him a hanger-on.
Everyone knew that he had a nickname called Death-Defyer Tang Hong. Once this fellow’s ire was up, he was known for being hard to shake off.
This was because he had a most death defying spirit. Therefore, all cultivators on similar levels were unwilling to interact too much with Tang Hong. They were all afraid of him suddenly doing something crazy.
This was also why he’d never had many friends.
His stubborn personality was suffused with a mad drive that most ordinary folk couldn’t handle.
Jiang Chen ignored his reaction and laughed softly. “If you want me to be your lackey, then to be fair, you naturally have to be my lackey if you lose. What? Afraid to make the bet? Forget it if you’re afraid. I’ll take my leave now.”
Jiang Chen could see that he was an unbridled and wild person.
Tang Hong blanked and then, he smacked his forehead. “That’s true, a bet has to be fair. An unfair bet is cheating. What the hell’s the point of cheating? Alright, I’ll make the bet with you. Kid, don’t go back on your word now.”
“As long as you don’t.” Jiang Chen chuckled as he walked into the tower.
Tang Hong wasn’t one to easily give up as he called it, “Kid, you want to get a head start on me? Think again!”
It looked like this fellow didn’t just have an ordinary love of gambling. An even brighter light was shining out of his eyes now that they’d set the bet and he was incredibly excited.
“Kid, don’t blame me for not reminding you. Every level in this Divine Maze Tower will continuously change according to the shifts in formation. Although I’ve traveled through it twice, it wasn’t easy both times. There’s also no logic to the space formation either, it all depends on your mental strength. There are many who failed in this area.”
Tang Hong seemed to feel that it wouldn’t be much to win over a rookie as he purposefully spoke a few reminders.
Jiang Chen chuckled and purposefully provoked him, “Why don’t you take care of yourself, hmm? Don’t lose your way in the end now.”
Tang Hong bawled out, “Kid, you dare look down on me!? How dare you!”
Jiang Chen flashed forward as he vanished from Tang Hong’s sight with a whoosh.
Tang Hong chuckled oddly. “Silly kid, do you think you’ll reach it first level just by moving faster? Speed isn’t the key to this Divine Maze Tower, but strong strength of heart is.”
Tang Hong seemed to be quite confident in his strength of heart. He crossed his arms and he took a look around, revealing a trace of a confident smile as he dashed forward in a blur of red light.
He traveled through one level in a short amount of time and arrived at the second. He cast his eyes around, but he saw no sign of Jiang Chen.
He couldn’t help but grin. “Heh heh, that silly kid must still be wandering around randomly downstairs. Rookies! Ignoring my advice after coming to the Divine Maze Tower. He really didn’t recognize my good intentions.”
Tang Hong was quite confident in the exam of the Divine Maze Tower as he had his own thoughts about them.
Although there was no pattern to the space formation, his strength of heart was exceedingly strong as he could always find the slightest clues, and ignore the realistic illusions.
He continuously identified various traps and dead ends.
Tang Hong quickly found the passageway to the third level.
“Heh heh, that kid dares make a bet with me in the Divine Maze Realm. He’s too young in the end... too naive!” Tang Hong grinned widely and proudly.
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