Chapter 513: Tempting the Ancient Cicada
“Be calm, Gaoqi.” Jiang Chen smiled faintly as he completely dismissed the rumors. “I only ask you this, is your innate wood constitution of high order pure fabrication?”
Mu Gaoqi shook his head. “Of course not.”
“And did you cheat your way into winning your Sovereign Area residence?”
“Of course not.”
Jiang Chen laughed heartily. “Then what are you worried about? A wise man does not believe every rumor that comes flying by. As long as you stay confident, what do you care if they circulate random falsehoods?”
Mu Gaoqi scratched his head. He truly admired Jiang Chen’s ability to keep calm in any situation. He could tell that his Brother Chen truly wasn’t panicked, and that was why he wasn't all afluster.
“Brother Chen, I’m different from you. I still haven’t trained enough in strength of heart. Ai, I’m worried that they’ll make a move against my honored master.” Mu Gaoqi greatly venerated Elder Yun Nie.
“Is Elder Yun Nie worried about this?” Jiang Chen laughed.
“My honored master lives happily everyday and couldn’t care less about rumors in the outside world. His attitude is rather similar to yours, Brother Chen. But these scum have no reservations or qualms in any rumors they create! I’m worried that this will damage my honored master’s reputation if this continues.”
“Elder Yun Nie couldn't care less because he has the confidence to do so. I will speak no grand words for your master, as he truly doesn’t hold the advantage in martial dao in the sect. But in terms of pills, whether it be the Hall of Might or the Hall of Spring and Autumn, everyone else would become a bystander.”
Mu Gaoqi sank into contemplation when he heard these words.
“Gaoqi, let them hop up and down for a while. I’ll step forward and clarify things when it becomes necessary, but when I do so, they should be prepared for a face-slapping then.” It wasn’t that Jiang Chen didn’t want to step forward, but that he was biding his time, waiting for the right moment.
Jiang Chen wasn’t angry about these fabricated rumors that sought to make trouble out of nothing. On the contrary, he was actually secretly delighted. He wanted these rumors to spread to their peak, until every soul in the sect had been informed. Then he would decisively stamp them out, destroying the schemes of those behind the scenes. As such, he played his part; refraining from responding and even staying within his residence, he purposely fed the misconception that he had a guilty conscience and didn’t dare address the rumors. The more he did this, the more the others would act and feel that they were in the right, justifying themselves by using Jiang Chen’s performance as proof of his guilt.
Then, their efforts would further intensify, culminating in a harsh slap to their faces when Jiang Chen finally stepped out. But of course, face slapping was secondary; what Jiang Chen wanted more was to strike it rich. He’d already set his sights on Shen Qinghong when he’d seen how rich the latter was. This whale of a target had presented himself at the opportune moment to solve all Jiang Chen’s spirit stone troubles for the Nine Gates Incineration Formation.
Jiang Chen was more aware than anyone else that it was Shen Qinghong behind the rumors, and how it involved the two great powers behind him.
“Gaoqi, ignore these troubles and go back first. Cultivate ‘Boulder’s Heart’ well and I’ll make an appearance in a few days to resolve things.” Jiang Chen naturally wouldn’t step out right then because he’d actually been feeling the subtle stirrings that he was about to break through to the earth origin realm over the past couple of days. He knew that only a thin film separated him from the earth origin realm. He naturally didn’t want to pay attention to anything else at this critical moment.
Jiang Chen entered closed door cultivation after he sent Mu Gaoqi off. The baptism in the wood spirit spring would lead to long-term benefits, and refining the reservoir of origin energy in the Redscaled Firelizard’s core would be the key that would allow him to break through to the earth origin realm in such a short time.
All of his preparation came together as Jiang Chen successfully broke through to the earth origin realm after twelve days. He spent another few days consolidating his grasp over his level and reinforcing his various techniques. Now in the earth origin level, he quite valued the Bewitching Lotus of Fire and Ice. Although the Lotus was strong in the fire attribute and had immense regenerative skills, it was still a bit weak in terms of durability.
Thus, he decided to combine the attributes of the magnetic golden mountain and the Lotus. Once the magnetic power was assimilated into the Lotus, its ability to withstand attacks would increase to the point of perfection.
Whenever he’d used the Lotus to set up a defensive perimeter in previous battles, there was always the possibility that a strong opponent could destroy the Lotus’ actual body. Although the Lotus could regenerate infinitely, that was still highly disadvantageous when in battle.
Jiang Chen could now harness some two hundred ice and fire lotus vines at the same time. His defense and attack range had expanded by yet another step.
“I possess the Lotus, but the Lotus’ attack is affected by the level of the Lotus itself and I can see no great breakthroughs in this area at this time. Only if I obtain a strong source of fire or ice energy will the Lotus’ strength be further strengthened.”
The Lotus was a renowned spirit entity beneath the heavens, very pure in its multiple forms. If one sought its weakness, the only qualm they would identify would be its slightly weaker defense and not quite strong offense. But its unique strength came from its flexibility with multiple forms and the regenerative abilities of its Flaming Heart of Ice. It was also an entity that could be assimilated with any item of a similar attribute.
The Lotus could devour almost all sources of fire and ice energy, with no conflict at all. Therefore, the Lotus’ greatest strength lay in its devouring abilities. Each of the numerous vines that Jiang Chen could control was an enormous suction cup, imbued with terrifying devouring abilities.
“There are boundless sources of qi beneath the heavens and on this earth, and the ones with fire and water attributes are far too numerous to count. The Lotus has absorbed much along the way, but it has yet to meet a particularly dominating source that it can add to its offensive arsenal. This is why its attacking power has yet to reach an earth shattering level.”
Jiang Chen knew that this also required a fortuitous opportunity. It had already been a great stroke of fortune to capture the Lotus. If he was able to absorb heaven defying sources of qi to boot, that would really be too perverse. Jiang Chen knew that these matters could only be wished for, not planned for.
It was a good thing that although the Lotus couldn’t display its full potential in offense, it was enough to help him in challenging others stronger than him. He’d put the Lotus’ illusionary abilities to good use in his most recent battles, using the Lotus to befuddle his opponent and successfully evade powerful blows.
Apart from the Lotus, the magnetic golden mountain was also a valuable treasure. Jiang Chen’s first task after entering the earth origin realm was to summon the Thundercloud Golden Cicada.
The Cicada had been spending its days peacefully in the magnetic golden mountain and was a bit put out to be summoned. “Human big brother, you said that you wouldn’t disturb me for ten years after I gave you the Thundercloud Tree branch!” The Cicada was a bit unhappy, pouting like a little girl throwing a small tantrum.
“Haha, Little Cicada, I wanted to ask you how far along your bloodline evolution’s gotten?” Jiang Chen chuckled.
“Far from any progress!” The Cicada responded in a miffed tone. “Human big brother, I’m going to go back and train if there’s nothing else.”
Jiang Chen naturally had something to discuss since he’d summoned it.
“Little Cicada, what are you in a hurry for?” Jiang Chen laughed leisurely. “I have a great stroke of fortune here that can absolutely accelerate your bloodline evolution.”
The Cicada made a moue. “Don’t lie to me, Human Big Brother.”
Jiang Chen smiled faintly and summoned the Goldbiter Rat King. “Little Cicada, look at Ole Gold if you don’t believe me. Remember how far along he was when you last saw him?”
The Cicada focused for a second, and began to shriek, “How is this possible? Big Golden Rat, you’ve awoken your heritage of memories? How come your bloodline has increased by so much all of a sudden? It’s at least ten times stronger than before!”
The Rat King chuckled. “Young master Chen helped me, of course! Little Cicada, don’t you be too hoity toity. My bloodline’s of of the ancient Goldbiter Ratkings, but even I am willing to follow the young master. A young Cicada like you wants to talk terms with young master Chen? A great stroke of fortune is in front of you, yet you don't seem that willing. How laughable!”
The Cicada stared at the Rat King, tsk’ing with amazement. “Odd, how odd!” It suddenly tilted its head to the side and asked Jiang Chen, “Human Big Brother, do you really, really have the ability to facilitate my bloodline’s evolution?”
Jiang Chen nodded faintly.
“Alright, you won’t be giving it to me for free. Tell me, what are your conditions?”
“Didn’t Ole Gold say so? Follow me and I’ll gift it to you.”
The Cicada thought for a bit and said, “Human Big Brother, you’re not a bad man. Following you and accepting your orders isn’t a big thing. However, you must promise that you will never harm me.”
Jiang Chen spoke seriously. “Little Cicada, your body is of no great use to me. Although the ancient Golden Cicada can be refined into pills, that would be a true waste of a heavenly treasure. I, Jiang Chen, would never do such a thing such as kill a chicken for its eggs. Little Cicada, your bloodline have yet to evolve and so your memories haven’t fully awakened. You likely don’t know your potential.”
The Cicada and Rat King both started. Judging from Jiang Chen’s tone, he seemed quite familiar with the former, but he was only a human around twenty years of age!
“Human Big Brother, do you know how much potential I have?” The Cicada grew curious.
“Heh heh, I won’t say anything else, but a Golden Cicada’s wings are one of the precious few types that can instantly regenerate, the Cicada Shell has an art named Cicada’s Counterfeit which can even deceive heavenly experts, its bloodline is one that’s impervious to all poisons and its body can withstand ten thousand strikes of lightning.”
“Impervious to all poisons? Withstand ten thousand strikes of lightning?” The Cicada was astonished, and the Rat King even more so.
The Rat King’s eyes spun like crazy. “Young master Chen, this tiny Cicada is that strong?”
“Old Gold, if you could recover your level of a Kingrat, your strength would surpass the Cicada’s. All beneath the heavens would tremble at the sound of your name.”
The Rat King chuckled and curled its whiskers, as proud as if he could already see the day waving at him in the not-so-distant future.
The Cicada was uninterested in the Rat King’s look of almost unholy glee. Instead, it turned its attention to Jiang Chen, “Human Big Brother, you say you have a way to help evolve my bloodlines. What is this method? I will certainly serve you if you help me awaken my heritage.”
“Good! I’ve been waiting for this!” Jiang Chen laughed leisurely and calculated the time. Gouyu and the others should be about done. The wood spirit spring was absolutely a timely gift for the Cicada, anxious to advance its bloodlines. Jiang Chen had been counting on this. It was why he’d summoned the Cicada. The more he himself cultivated, the more he would need the Cicada’s bloodline to increase his own strength.
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