Jiang Chen could only say candidly that his spot had long since been locked in by the fourth prince.
“That little monkey Ye Rong?” A hint of a crafty smile appeared on Dan Fei’s radiant face. “What if I convince Ye Rong to give your spot to me?”
“Um… forming parties and groups are allowed in the Maze Realm Autumn Hunt?” Jiang Chen was rather curious.
Dan Fei rubbed her head. She discovered that Jiang Chen was naive to the point of being completely ignorant.
“Duh. Of course parties and groups can be formed for the Autumn Hunt. What’s the point of these spots then?”
Jiang Chen still didn’t understand, “Sister Dan Fei, with your status, it shouldn’t be at all hard to find a few practitioners with an even higher level of training. Why does it have to be me?”
Dan Fei giggled, “That needs to remain a secret for now.”
“Not even the right to know? I’m not going!” Jiang Chen shook his head, he was quite dissatisfied.
“If you don’t go, do you believe that…” Dan Fei extended a slender hand and made a downward chopping motion. “Do you believe that I’ll do to you what was done to the Phoenix-Dragon? Snip snip… huh huh!”
Jiang Chen hadn’t thought that the usually pure and fresh Dan Fei would suddenly erupt with such fierce words.
“You don’t need to be that vicious, do you?! Why do I feel like you’re a human trafficker that deals in young men and boys?”
Dan Fei smiled sweetly. “Good, be afraid! And don’t flatter yourself, I wouldn’t be able to stomach you.”
Jiang Chen was resigned, “I hope that Prince Ye Rong will be able to protect his integrity and avoid falling victim to the snares of a beautiful woman, swapping me out as a result.”
“Don’t even bother thinking about that! That little monkey Ye Rong won’t be able to escape from the palm of my hand.” Dan Fei stood up after saying these words and walked leisurely outside, her footsteps ringing out softly.
“Jiang Chen, it’s settled then. Remember, I’m not joking. I’ll give you the Phoenix-Dragon treatment if you stand me up!”
Jiang Chen’s brow creased as he watched this woman with greatly shifting personalities. He discovered that this woman was really a bit tough to handle.
She was occasionally demure and occasionally playful, sometimes fierce and sometimes crafty. She could be kind, and she would sometimes display a disposition that was a bit like a little devil.
“Honored Tutor Ye, how did you cultivate such a unique woman? Did you send her here purposefully for me?” Jiang Chen slapped his forehead. “Gouyu, massage my shoulders!”
He turned his head to discover that Gouyu had walked away huffily.
“No way, both sides hate me now?” Jiang Chen wisened up to the status of the situation to his great dismay.
What Jiang Chen hadn’t anticipated was that Dan Fei had actually left to go find fourth prince Ye Rong. Ye Rong did not put up much of a resistance and gave Jiang Chen to Dan Fei.
Ye Rong smiled in his manor, “Jiang Chen, you really can’t blame me for this matter. I really didn’t want to. However, you know that I’m unable to hold up beneath the onslaught when Dan Fei loses her temper.”
Tian Shao smiled, “Younger brother Jiang Chen, it is to your advantage that this matter has yet to be circulated in the gossip mills. You’d be condemned by the public if word got out. Miss Dan Fei has participated in the Autumn Hunt twice in the past. A lot of noble youths wanted to form teams with her in the past, but do you know what happened?”
“Miss Dan Fei didn’t approve of anyone and she went at it singlehandedly each time, being a lone beauty. Do you see how bitterly disappointed the young men who wanted to demonstrate their strengths in front of Miss Dan Fei were? You’re a character alright. You’ve been handpicked by Miss Dan Fei, but you wear a woebegone expression. Wouldn’t you say that you’re not appreciating the happy life that you enjoy?”
Ye Rong also smiled, “Jiang Chen, I actually somewhat admire you. Although us princes had many chances to see Miss Dan Fei every month when we were learning from the honored tutor, of all the chances we’ve had to spend some time alone with Dan Fei as we grew up, their combined total still doesn’t match up to the amount of time for an Autumn Hunt.”
Although that was the truth, Jiang Chen’s mood wasn’t improved by their words. The young men of the capital wanted to form a team with Dan Fei because they wanted to show off their abilities in front of Dan Fei and and obtain her favor. This was because Dan Fei was their goddess for one, and they also wanted to gain the honored tutor’s favor through Dan Fei for another.
However, Jiang Chen absolutely didn’t have these sorts of twists and turns in his thoughts. He had no desires or requests to make of the old tutor, and he had absolutely no thought of purposefully currying favor with him.
Although Dan Fei was a beauty, Jiang Chen hadn’t lost his mind and soul or been thoroughly mesmerized by her looks.
If Jiang Chen was someone who lusted after sex, to speak frankly, before he’d met Dan Fei, whether it was Princess Gouyu or Eastern Zhiruo, neither one of them would have a reason to turn him down if he’d nodded his head.
But, Jiang Chen wasn’t someone who immersed singlemindedly himself in the pursuit of the fairer sex. Although Dan Fei was quite excellent, ladies who were as accomplished and as perfect as her were often full of thorns.
Jiang Chen was participating in the Autumn Hunt to train and better himself. He actually didn’t want to be tied to the side of a beauty.
Particularly when that beauty’s thoughts were so difficult to grasp.
“Jiang Chen, I still have two spots. Do you need them?”
Jiang Chen debated briefly and nodded. “I’ll take one.”
He’d wanted two, one for Xue Tong and one for Gouyu. But when he considered that Gouyu was about to go into closed door cultivation soon to assail the spirit realm, she would be unable to make it in time.
Not to mention, Gouyu and Dan Fei didn’t seem to get along. If he was deployed to Dan Fei’s team and brought Gouyu as well, it’d be rather inconvenient if the two of them met in the Maze Realm.
After debating back and forth, Jiang Chen still decided to give Xue Tong a spot.
Xue Ting’s potential for martial dao was incredibly high. He was an unpolished jade that had yet to be carved.
Someone who’d been living under someone else’s roof and hadn’t been able to receive the resources needed for training had seen the level of his training suddenly shoot upwards in the short year that Jiang Chen had taken him in. Xue Tong had entered the realm of true qi masters and Jiang Chen held great expectations for him.
When he returned from the fourth prince’s manor to his own, Jiang Chen summoned Xue Tong. After Xue Tong had broken through the ranks of true qi master, he’d been solidifying his training during this time.
He would take the Rare Jade Fruit when his level stabilized and push on without stopping to assail eleven meridians true qi.
Xue Tong had been filled with vigor during this time. He felt that the world was filled with beautiful colors and that his world had become so exciting because of his older cousin Jiang Chen.
“I owe a debt of being understood and well treated by elder cousin. I must train hard and become his most reliable underling and help him with his burdens and worries. I, Xue Tong, had no parents since I was young. I lived under another’s roof, and if it wasn’t for elder cousin Jiang Chen selecting me to be his personal guard, I would most likely still be in the Yinglan Tribe of the Jiang Han territory at this moment, still being bullied and humiliated by his uncle’s son, Lan Yizhou. I’ve now soared into the skies with one astounding feat and become a true qi master, whereas Lan Yizhou should still be wasting his life away in the Yinglan Tribe. At the heart of it all, elder cousin Jiang Chen has given me a second life…”
Xue Tong’s thoughts traveled down this path as his footsteps brought him to Jiang Chen’s door.
“Young master.” Xue Tong really respected Jiang Chen.
“Xue Tong, you’re my younger brother. When there’s no one else present, you can call me young Chen. Elder brother works as well.”
“Elder brother.” Xue Tong was a bit nervous. His parents had passed on when he was young. Eking out survival in the cracks beneath that fop Lan Yizhou’s oppression had more or less caused him to be a bit timid and self conscious. Even Lan Yizhou didn’t allow Xue Tong to call him elder brother, much less than Jiang Chen.
Therefore, out of an inferiority complex, Xue Tong had never dared call Jiang Chen “elder brother.”
“Don’t stand on ceremony. We’re brothers first and then master and follower. Oh right, there’s a trial coming up this time called the ‘Maze Realm Autumn Hunt’. I’ve obtained a spot for you, are you interested?”
“Trial?” Xue Tong’s eyes lit up. He knew that trials existed in the world of martial dao. Such an environment had existed in the Eastern Kingdom during the Hidden Dragon Trials.
However, only the sons of dukes had such unique treatment. Ordinary practitioners had no right to participate in any such trials.
“Xue Tong, your potential for martial dao is quite good and you’ve grown quickly in all areas. But now, you lack the trials of life and death experiences and thus, you lack a bit of killing intent and aura.” Jiang Chen pointed out Xue Tong’s problems. “The Autumn Hunt is a great chance to train, but it also encompasses certain risks. What are your thoughts?”
“I’m willing to give it a try.” Xue Tong was quite resolute.
“Alright, it’s settled then.” Jiang Chen nodded and gave his reminders. “There’s still half a month left. With the aid of the Rare Jade Fruit, you’ll be able to make an attempt for eleven meridians true qi master. The stronger you are for a trial like this, the more of an advantage you’ll have. What levels have you trained the God’s Eye and Ear of the Zephyr that I passed onto you to?”
“The two arts have already been trained to the third level. If I practice hard in this half month, I should be able to make it into the fourth level.”
Jiang Chen nodded his head with satisfaction. Xue Tong’s potential was truly perversely out of the ordinary alright. With the experiences from Jiang Chen’s past life building him up, even as a reincarnated son of the Celestial Emperor, his training speed was only about the same as Xue Tong.
To speak candidly, if Jiang Chen’s body hadn’t been reforged, he’d have only ordinary potential. His potential was better than average only after being reforged.
Xue Tong however, hadn’t gone through any reforging and he had trained himself since young, under conditions that lack resources and cultivation.
It could be seen from this how perverse Xue Tong’s potential was.
In terms of potential, Xue Tong’s was absolutely the highest amongst the eight personal guards. His potential was even higher than Eastern Gouyu’s.
If one were to talk about gold being buried in the sand, then Xue Tong was truly gold buried in the sand.
As for Tang Long’s family, they were silent as they took his younger brother home. They only thought that today’s events were simply too farfetched.
They made their way home as Tang Long thought that the matters had been odder and odder.
“Brother, my calf seems to be having a reaction. Help me up to walk around, I really do feel something!” Tang Zhong, suddenly cried out loudly as he sat in the wheelchair.
“What!?” Tang Long had been in a stupor when he leapt up after Tang Zhong’s words. His facial expression was agitated. “Tang Zhong, do you really mean it?”
“Yes, yes! I feel that my two legs can stand up and walk for a bit. Brother, help me up to take a few steps.”
Tang Long hastily walked forward to hoist Tang Zhong up.
Tang Zhong’s legs extended as he made his way up. However, his legs were a bit weak from sitting in the wheelchair for so long and he didn’t have much ability to find his equilibrium.
His movements were quite uncoordinated as they moved.
“Brother, do you see this!? I can walk, I can walk!” Tears flowed down Tang Zhong’s face as he hollered and yelled.
Tears also flowed out of Tang Long’s eyes, “Yes, yes! You really can walk. This means they’ve truly cured you.”
Tang Long’s fiance, that honest young lady, also kept wiping tears away from her eyes on the side.
After making a few rounds, Tang Zhong began to find more and more of his footing, but he was a bit tired.
“Tang Zhong, you’ve just started to have the feeling back in your legs again, don’t be in a hurry. The function of your legs will slowly recover after you take medicine, and you’ll be able to walk like a normal person.” Tang Long comforted his brother.
“Brother, I’m overjoyed. How do you know such amazing friends? Where are they from? Why is it that all the doctors had no idea of what to do, but he cured me with a few pokes and prods from golden needles?” Tang Zhong was quite curious and very excited. Their family was born of the lower levels and they’d only ever come in contact with the lowest levels of society. When had they ever made the acquaintance of such strong friends?