Chapter 561: Ding Tong’s Background
As the irritating feeling showed no signs of abating, Jiang Chen decided to find a desolate area to stop. He released a batch of Goldbiter Rats and instructed them to set up a perimeter guard in a fifty kilometer radius around him. He himself headed into a deep valley and sat down cross-legged.
His thoughts were in a bit of a mess at the moment, and he had to sit down and meditate to sort them out. He had to at least sort out where this annoying feeling was originating from. If he didn’t get to the bottom of this, it would unceasingly dog his thoughts and leave him unable to concentrate on his matters. He didn’t want something as wonderful as going on a harvesting rampage through Mt. Rippling Mirage to be marred by some unpleasantry.
“My intuition has yet to prove me wrong since training the Boulder’s Heart and Psychic’s Head. This kind of hunch is absolutely not a delusion. Since it doesn’t seem to be springing from the dangers of the mountain’s interior, there must be an external source. Just who could it come from?”
Jiang Chen’s thoughts were still relatively ordered, so he went over everyone who’d been in the batch to enter the mountain. “There should be three in the genius group who hate me with a passion, Wei Qing, Wang Han, and Ding Tong. Wang Han is ranked number eleven, and isn’t in the first batch. Although Wei Qing is slightly superior in martial strength, he poses no threat to me. He’s still too wet behind the ears to be able to use poison on me. So is it… Ding Tong?”
As Ding Tong’s figure floated across Jiang Chen’s mind, he began to feel more and more certain that this person was the culprit. Ever since his first appearance, Jiang Chen had felt that this Ding Tong was someone who stood head and shoulders above the peak Myriad Domain geniuses. He was the only one Jiang Chen couldn’t see through. Jiang Chen felt like he was inches away from confirming that the other wasn’t a simple Tristar Sect disciple.
It might have been that the strength that he was obviously concealing that made it apparent that his level was beyond that of the Myriad Domain.
Jiang Chen recalled the night that Ding Tong had asked him to step outside. He’d tried to convince Jiang Chen to withdraw from the Pill Battles and join the Tristar Sect. This bizarre occurrence had only made Jiang Chen suspect Ding Tong even more. When he had resolutely rejected Ding Tong’s offer, the latter had stated that Mt. Rippling Mirage would be his resting place if Jiang Chen insisted on venturing into the mountain.
Jiang Chen would’ve thrown those words to the back of his head had they come from anyone else. But he didn’t think that Ding Tong was just blowing hot air. It was actually possible that he possessed enough martial strength to be lethal to Jiang Chen.
However, that was only one suspicious occurrence. The geniuses weren’t the only ones who’d entered Mt. Rippling Mirage. Any of the others could equally be a threat to Jiang Chen, particularly the old monsters in the elder group.
Any of the ten elders possessed an absolute strength that could suppress Jiang Chen. With his identity as the champion of the Pill Battles, his Longevity Pill, and the wealth that he’d received during the Longevity Pill auction, all that was more than enough motivation for someone to make a move against him.
A man’s heart was incomprehensible, which was why one had to always be on their guard.
Yet, none of this was what Jiang Chen was most worried about. What irritated him the most was the feeling that someone was following him. It was as if the sense of danger couldn’t be evaded no matter where he went. It meant that the danger’s source was never far from him. It pointed to a single conjecture; he was being tracked, somehow. But… how?
This question refused to fade away, thoroughly irritating Jiang Chen. Therefore, he decided to remain where he was. Instead of walking to and fro, he might as well remain here in wait for the danger to come to him.
After roughly four hours, the Goldbiter Rats standing guard on the perimeter used a variety of methods to send a continuous warning signal to Jiang Chen. Finally, it seems that this mysterious danger had found him. He was actually curious as to who was so determined that they’d follow him into Mr. Rippling Mirage, ignore the slopes and slopes of precious spirit herbs, and focus all efforts on tracking him!
As his thoughts spun, a domineering figure appeared at the entrance of the valley and marched in with great strides.
A beam of shrewd light shot out from Jiang Chen’s God’s Eye when he saw this figure. Ding Tong’s consciousness was evidently equally strong, capturing Jiang Chen’s position with one glance.
Their gazes locked.
Electricity actually sparked through the air as their respective eye arts exchanged blows in midair. However, it seemed that Jiang Chen wouldn’t be losing to Ding Tong quite that easily in this regard.
“Hmm?” A trace of surprise flickered in Ding Tong’s eyes before he laughed leisurely. “To think that a little piece of flotsam like you would actually have a bit of ability to your name!”
When he saw that Jiang Chen’s response was only an indifferent smile, and the apparent lack of fear on his face, Ding Tong started in surprise. But it didn’t last long as he seemed to remember something and laughed even more heartily. “Kid, should I admire your courage or pity your idiocy? I don’t seem to see any fear on your face. Can it be that you’ve forgotten my warning to you?”
Notwithstanding his ostensibly leisurely demeanor, Ding Tong was rather ticked off. He’d tracked Jiang Chen down all this way, just like a proper little prey. But his prey didn’t seem to be what he expected, not nervous, wary, or cowering with fear in front of a hunter. The nonchalant smile on Jiang Chen’s face just seemed to rub Ding Tong the wrong way.
“Fear? And who the hell are you to make me feel fear?” Jiang Chen looked at Ding Tong like he was looking at a complete fool.
Ding Tong didn’t rouse to anger as he laughed coldly. “A glib tongue won’t save you, nor will pretending to be calm. Jiang Chen, whether you’re pretending to be calm or are truly idiotic, I can tell you with the utmost certainty that the only way you’re leaving the mountain today is in an everlasting dream!”
Jiang Chen’s expression changed. “Ding Tong, what do you want to do?!”
Ding Tong felt a sweet thrill run through him when he saw Jiang Chen’s expression finally change. “What, now you know to be afraid? Aren’t you something, even the champion of the Pill Battles? What a pity, it was both the most glorious day of your life… and the last!”
Jiang Chen turned both aghast and livid. “Just because I took your championship?”
Ding Tong sniffed contemptuously. “A mere Myriad Domain championship? What do I care about that?”
“Hmph! If it isn’t for the championship, we have no grudges between us. What reason do you have to do anything to me?” Jiang Chen growled.
“Hahaha, no grudges!” Ding Tong clapped loudly. “Well said, we do indeed have no grudges between us. However, the sight of you just pisses me off and I want to kill you. What are you going to do about it?”
“The sight of me pisses you off? What kind of reason is that? Senior brother Ding Tong, is it that you want my spirit stones? I can give all of them to you!”
Ding Tong laughed proudly when he saw Jiang Chen start to beg for mercy. “Aren’t you naive? That’s right, I’ll take your spirit stones and all the goodies in your ring. However, that’s after I kill you!”
Jiang Chen was ashen-faced by now, his voice turning into a pleading rasp. “Senior brother Ding Tong, we can talk about anything! I declined your demand to withdraw from the Pill Battles, but you also said that you don’t care about the championship. I can give you all the stones if you just tell me the reason. Right, I have a Longevity Pill here that I can also give you. I can even give you the pill recipe if you want it…”
“The Longevity Pill recipe!” Ding Tong’s tone sharpened. This was indeed a treasure. He was only interested in the spirit stones because there were ten million of them. He couldn’t be bothered with anything else. However, the Longevity Pill recipe was a far different case.
Ding Tong knew that if he obtained this heaven defying recipe, it would absolutely be an enormous stroke of fortune for him. Even someone ten times stronger than him wouldn’t be able to decline the recipe, much less him. “You have the recipe!”
Jiang Chen hastily responded, “How would I be able to refine the pill if I didn’t have the recipe? Senior brother Ding Tong, I’ll willing to offer up the Longevity Pill if you let me off. I can also teach you if you don’t know how to refine it! You want me to join the Tristar Sect? I’ll announce that as soon as I leave! I don’t owe the Regal Pill Palace anything anyways!”
Ding Tong’s lip curled up in a disdainful smirk. “The Tristar Sect! Jiang Chen, I can give you a quick death on behalf of the recipe, and I’ll even spare your people when I leave. However, if you don’t hand it over nicely and force me to use soul searching methods, you’ll be in for it then!”
“Soul searching methods!” Jiang Chen’s expression changed drastically. “How does the Tristar Sect have such vicious methods?!”
“The Tristar Sect!” Ding Tong laughed heartily and suddenly unleashed his aura. A baffling strong aura uprooted the earth and shattered the air.. It was… the aura of an earth sage realm cultivator!
“You…!” Jiang Chen’s face was the color of dirt as he stumbled a few steps backwards. “You’re an earth sage realm cultivator!”
Ding Tong’s cultivation level was actually on par with Palace Head Dan Chi! Although Jiang Chen had been putting on an act earlier, he was still a bit surprised to see Ding Tong’s true strength. This show of his was meant to purposefully leave himself open so that Ding Tong would reveal his background. Now that Ding Tong had revealed his true strength, he was absolutely certain that Ding Tong was no mere Tristar Sect disciple.
“You… you’re not a Tristar Sect disciple.” Jiang Chen stammered.
“So you’re not a complete idiot. What the hell is the Tristar Sect? What a bunch of trash! The Sky Sect has set up this pawn for so long, but in the end, it can’t even cause the slightest ripple in this garbage region.”
“The Sky Sect! You’re from the Ninesuns Sky Sect?” Jiang Chen suddenly discovered a kernel of truth amidst the blather.
Ding Tong smiled dismissively. He naturally didn't care that someone he’d mentally consigned to death had recognized him. “Hand over the pill recipe and I’ll leave you a complete corpse for your last rites!”
Jiang Chen spoke as if he had a bitter taste in his mouth. “So you’re from the Ninesuns Sky Sect. Then this means that the Tristar Sect has long since flocked to the Sky Sect’s banner?”
He recalled that when the Regal Pill Palace had allied with the Precious Tree Sect, the Tristar Sect Head Zhu had been the one who’d proposed having the Regal Pill Palace compete with the Sky Sect envoy. If Jiang Chen still didn’t understand that the Tristar Sect was a spy for the Sky Sect, then he’d truly be an utter fool.
“Since you’ve come to understand the true nature of events, then you should know that your actions towards the Sky Sect are unforgivable!”
“Because I killed old monster Sunchaser!”
“What the hell is Sunchaser? You killed Long Juxue! That innate azure phoenix constitution was earmarked as a cultivation cauldron for the third senior brother of the Ten in my Sky Sect! Third Senior Brother Yong Xingyun trains in the Dragon Phoenix Sword and was a mere step away from a breakthrough. You killing Long Juxue meant you broke his path of martial dao! You tell me, who in this world can save you now? Who can save you?” Ding Tong looked at Jiang Chen as if he were looking at a dead man, a cold smile twisting his face.
“Then, you were just making empty promises when you said I’d have a future that would be ten times that of the one in the Regal Pill Palace!”
Ding Tong laughed loudly. “It seems your idiocy is ultimately curable after all. I tempted you with all that just because I didn’t want to spill blood then. I was going to take you back to the sect so Third Senior Brother could personally take care of you. Jiang Chen, it’s you who gave up an opportunity to live longer!”