Ye Rong didn’t think that Jiang Chen would give them such a great surprise so carelessly.
He had invested a great deal in recruiting Jiang Chen, he’d even gifted Jiang Chen the four times refined spirit weapon, the Da Yu bow.
However, today, Jiang Chen had returned it all, with interest! The magnitude of this return was such that even five spirit weapons wouldn’t measure up to it.
A spirit weapon was dead and it could be bought with money.
But the sense of pride, the feeling of exaltation upon fulfillment and the honor of receiving the honored tutor’s favor was something that no amount of money could purchase.
Tian Shao and Lin Qianli also felt that this was quite incredulous.
Tian Shao was alright, he’d interacted with Jiang Chen before and more or less understood him. He knew that this fellow most likely had an impressive background, and that he often committed stunning acts.
It was the first time that Lin Qianli had come in contact with Jiang Chen though, and he’d been rather predisposed against Jiang Chen earlier. But now, Jiang Chen’s careless action had astounded all those around him and he firmly suppressed them!
In the beginning, Jiang Chen said that the wine jug was an indication of the three’s sentiments, Tian Shao didn’t say anything, but Lin Qianli had quite felt embarrassed.
But now, with the turn of a head, the previous humiliation and mockery had turned into unsurpassed pride now and it became the gift in first place that thoroughly trounced everyone!
Even a person as coolly composed at Lin Qianli couldn’t help but be more than a bit proud at the moment. He was a proud person, and he had always yearned to be accepted and esteemed by others.
Therefore, he was quite stubborn on the road of martial dao. He only looked to be top dog and have others look up to him.
And in this moment, he well and truly felt the feeling of having others hold him in awe.
Although this feeling wasn’t something that he’d earned himself, he still felt rather damn good about it.
Even the most isolated person yearned to be accepted, respected, and valued deep in their hearts. Lin Qianli was no exception.
Tian Shao chuckled merrily, “Younger brother Jiang, I’ve unwittingly shared in your glory once again. I shan’t fight against you for the chance to ask a question of the lordmaster later.”
“Heh heh, since we’re brothers, why divide things between me and you so clearly?”
Tian Shao hastened to shake his head and wave his hands, “Forget it, forget it. I’m a military person and I can only ask the lordmaster for his guidance in limited areas. You’re young and accomplished, if you receive the lordmaster’s guidance, your future will have boundless prospects.”
Lin Qianli felt a bit awkward as he was quite conflicted. He knew Jiang Chen had previously said the three of them had prepared the gift together. But he would never be so thick skinned as to claim that he had a part in the glory.
To put it candidly, they were riding on Jiang Chen’s coattails.
However, Lin Qianli was truly tempted. Although he didn’t think that he would really have the chance to ask the lordmaster some questions, now that the chance was in front of him, he really did want to. He had been stuck at an impasse on his path of martial dao. He was just one step short, but he could never take the leap.
If he could take that step, he could break free from his cocoon and become a butterfly.
Therefore, he was rather hesitant and bit his lip lightly. The resolute pursuit of martial dao finally triumphed over his modesty as he stammered, “Jiang Chen, can I discuss something with you?”
“No problem,” Jiang Chen waved his hand. “I don’t have any questions to ask. You can have both chances if you’d like.”
Jiang Chen truly didn’t have much to ask. Jiang Chen had possessed more than enough theory in his past life. Although the lordmaster was the enduring monument of the Skylaurel Kingdom, it would still be a colossal joke for him to give pointers to Jiang Chen.
“What?” Lin Qianli suspected that he hadn’t heard correctly.
“Younger brother Jiang, you… ” Tian Shao was also flabbergasted.
Jiang Chen spread out his hands, “I said that we don’t need to be so polite between brothers. How about this, for fairness’ sake, each of you ask one question?”
According to the rules of the gifting segment, whoever won it would have two chances to ask a question. It would be just right if the two chances were distributed to Tian Shao and Lin Qianli.
“Younger brother Jiang Chen, do you really have nothing to ask? The lordmaster is the spirit king protector of the kingdom. His training is at the peak of the spirit realm. If you receive a few words of guidance… ”
“That’s alright, I have my own path.” Jiang Chen said faintly.
Tian Shao wanted to carry on speaking, but Dan Fei said with a smile on stage, “Everyone, here comes the lordmaster. Please say a few words to everyone!”
Cheers rang out from beneath the stage as everyone started applauding.
First prince Ye Dai, battered out of his senses with dejection, controlled his emotions with effort and started applauding as well. Lu Wuji’s gaze flitted around as he hated Jiang Chen even more.
He had once again been humiliated and slapped in the face by Jiang Chen. He’d been made a fool of, and even the first prince had been made a spectacle of.
“Jiang Chen, you like being in the limelight. You’ve thoroughly offended the first prince this time. Let’s see who can protect you in this entire capital!” Lu Wuji’s tone was filled with rage.
Old Tutor Ye hadn’t been very interested before, but at this moment, there were some traces of a smile on his face.
“I stand here every year. My eyes may be closed, but my heart is open. I may not look beneath the stage, but I observe your every motion and gesture. There is controversy every time when the gift rankings are announced. I never explain anything. You can be full of doubt if you’d like, or be unhappy if you will. I don’t care about any of that at all. Those who would come will still come next year, and those who shouldn’t come, I wouldn’t look forward to you coming either.” The honored tutor’s voice was resonant and it was carried far. A few traces of gravity had been added to his face that seemed not of this world, reminding everyone that this was an old man who could change the layout of things in the Skylaurel Kingdom.
“Today, I will make an exception. Why did I chose the Nine Magnificence Dew Wine as the best gift? Because I have lived for so many years, so many endless nights, and I have seen a countless number of fine items and forgotten even more of them. But what is truly good is something that one would be unable to forget in their entire lives. These fine items are destined to take root in your mind and leave an imprint behind. This Nine Magnificence Dw Wine is one of the few good things that have left a brand on my heart.”
“Perhaps, I am unable to describe how precious it is from direct observation. I can only give an example. Not even the head of the Precious Tree Sect would necessarily be able to drink this wine if he wanted to.”
No description or propaganda was needed to describe how precious this wine was.
The most direct way of describing it was that if even the head of the Precious Tree Sect wanted to drink it, he may not be able to.
This was the explanation that cut straight to the point the most and it was the most effective!
The entire crowd was solemnly silent after these words were spoken. All of their emotions were surging bizarrely. What kind of identity and status did the honored tutor have? Would he lie? Would he craft these lies for this wine?
Therefore, this Nine Magnificence Dew Wine was truly this precious?
In the span of a moment, all the gazes on Ye Rong became a bit complicated. These people had all originally felt, more or less, that this wine jug was too… unique, and a thorough affront to the eyes.
In this moment, all these thoughts did a complete one eighty.
“Where did Prince Ye Rong find this young man? He carries such wine on him at all times? Did he carefully prepare this in advance to offer it to the honored tutor?”
“This Ye Rong isn’t someone simple alright. He set up a trap step by step, letting the first prince advance and then finally, carelessly offering that wine. This must have been something carefully designed beforehand. It looks like the first prince has fallen into Ye Rong’s trap.”
“To think that Prince Ye Rong was so shrewd! He purposefully found an unassuming wine jug and let everyone laugh at him, to allow the first prince to have his digs and mockery. He then made an ultimate comeback! This type of face slapping is truly brutal, and damned sweet. Look at the first prince, he’s lost a lot of face this time.”
“It looks like we can’t underestimate Prince Ye Rong in the future. I’d always thought that he was a meek, quiet sort. Who would’ve thought that such great ambitions would be hidden behind his low profile? A book can’t be judged by its cover alright.”
Poor Prince Ye Rong. An unexpected matter had helped him leave a fathomless impression in the eyes of others. Everyone thought that he had purposefully led the first prince on and used this method to slap the first prince’s face.
However, Ye Rong obviously didn’t care about this. The more everyone thought in this manner, the happier he was. The more that others kept a fearful and respectful attitude towards him, the higher his place as prince would be.
Although first prince Ye Dai’s mouth was full of bitterness, he was also secretly cowed. He too felt that this had been a trap that Ye Rong had set up, and lured him into stepping into it step by step.
“Ye Rong that animal, to think that he harbored such ambitions. It looks like I can’t sit idly by. I always thought that number two was the greatest thorn in my side, but now, it looks like I cannot afford to lower my guard against Ye Rong either.” Once Ye Dai felt the pressure from Ye Rong, he would exert greater pressure over Ye Rong in the next stage of his plan.
The honored tutor had had the spontaneous interest to voice these words. As for whether or not the people beneath the stage understood him or not, he didn’t pay that much heed to that.
Dan Fei smiled faintly, “The confusion should’ve been cleared up in everyone’s hearts now, I think? The lordmaster has lived such a great span of life that he looks lightly on everything. I trust that there is no doubt about the items that can leave an impression in his heart. The Nine Magnificence Dew Wine well and truly deserves the title as first amongst all the gifts.”
A palm that was so tender that it seemed to lack any bones waved lightly across her face, tucking a strand of hair that had drifted by the corner of her eye behind her ear. Dan Fei smiled, “Alright. Now, will the owners of the three gifts that received placements please step up and ask their questions. Second and third place both have one chance. The owner of the gift of first place has two chances.”
“Ye Dai, you come first.”
Ye Dai had readjusted his emotions with quite some effort at this point. Although he was quite dejected that he had received third place, he didn’t dare display any displeasure.
He wore a very humble smile on his face, “Teacher, student Ye Dai has a question to ask you. With regards to the alliance of the sixteen kingdoms, is it better that the kingdoms are separate, or that they are one?”
Ye Dai’s question was domineering and expansive, showing breadth of vision. It had to do with the great question of the separation and unification of the sixteen surrounding kingdoms.
He had obliquely learned that the honored tutor was a fervent warmonger when he was young. He’d always advocated the expansion of the Skylaurel Kingdom, swallowing the smaller surrounding kingdoms, conquering the neighboring sixteen kingdoms, uniting the lands, and establishing a great dynasty.
Therefore, his question played up to the honored tutor’s interests. He was purposefully currying favor with the honored tutor, trying to elicit the sympathetic reaction that the two were of the same kind.
The old tutor smiled faintly and looked meaningfully at Ye Dai. “The trend of the world is that those separate for long must unite, those united for long must separate. Separations and unifications follow the greater picture. When the timing is ripe, things will naturally come together. When the timing is not right, it’s better to remain apart than together. I have considered this question as well for the first half of my life. As it stands now, not only is the impetus from greater momentum needed, the existence of a fierce and ambitious person is needed to decide whether remaining apart or together is the way forward. The two conditions must be present at the same time. Without both of them, all discussion of united the sixteen kingdoms is but empty talk.”