8 The Holy Clothing Shop
They reported the next ten-odd disciples' results, whose prey were all soldier level beasts; only the number differed. The situation remained the same until it was Jiang Jian's turn.
"Sixteen soldier level beasts, and one general level beast."
Jiang Jian looked pretty proud of himself when he heard his achievement, and received great attention as he had expected. Everyone was excited at the news since a general level beast was still beyond reach for them. They didn't even dare provoke such a beast.
But Jiang Jian had killed one! Although it was possible that he did it in collaboration with others, it was him to whom people attributed this feat. It was natural that he would get more awards when he went back.
In this way, Jiang Jian ranked first.
The process continued when the noise finally died away. Jiang Chen became the center of attention when it was his turn. Jiang Jian whistled and smirked. "Jiang Chen looks like a mess, as if he had had three desperate fights. I can't wait to know his result."
"He might just have rolled on the ground," Jiang Jun, who was punched by Jiang Chen earlier, said sarcastically. The disciples of the west courtyard burst into laughter on hearing him speak, which sounded harsh.
In the meantime, the disciples of the east courtyard lowered their heads. On their faces appeared a mixed expression which was difficult to read. The two guards who had protected Jiang Chen looked at each other. Then one of them took one step ahead and reported seriously, "Twenty soldier level beasts and five general level beasts!"
The smirks on many people's faces were frozen instantly. They couldn't believe what they had just heard. But the guards sounded so sonorous and forceful. They couldn't be wrong.
The news set everyone on fire. The achievement of killing twenty soldier level beasts was already amazing, but it was neglected. What excited people was the second part of the guard's report.
Five! Five general level beasts! What does that mean? It was already amazing that Jiang Jian killed one general level beast in collaboration with others. But Jiang Chen killed five general level beasts alone! It was unimaginable.
"It's impossible. The Wind Move Guard must have helped him. Otherwise it is impossible…" Before Jiang Jian could finish this sentence, he had already felt the severe look from the Second Elder and other guards. He realized how inappropriate his words were and shut up immediately.
However, he was unwilling to throw in the towel, since his father was expecting great news from him. He approached challenging him in a new way. "Jiang Chen, do you dare take a punch from me? You killed five general level beasts, so I suppose you shouldn't be afraid of my punch."
The atmosphere became awkward. The disciples looked at Jiang Jian confusedly. The difference between two cloud levels was as much as a bull's force. Especially when it came to palm against palm, Jiang Chen was in an unfavorable situation. Jiang Jian was obviously being a bully, and he knew that. That's why he didn't say that this was a contest.
Many who were as doubtful as Jiang Jian about Jiang Chen's achievement looked over to him, curious to see whether he would take the challenge. It looked like that if Jiang Chen denied, his achievement would be questioned and his effort of that day would be totally wasted.
"Fine. I'll take a punch from you."
Jiang Jian was sneering inside. If he won by this punch, he would get the chance to make a fuss. "Don't worry. I won't make too much of an effort."
"Well, you should."
"Don't try to bluff me."
Jiang Jian jumped into the air and flew over to Jiang Chen, throwing a haymaker. As soon as his vigorous genuine Qi started to function, all grass and leaves along his way were blown down.
Jiang Chen started to attack at the same time. Both the guards and the Second Elder found the air stirred by Jiang Chen's arms very unusual. It was whirling. They didn't understand why.
When their two palms hit against each other, the complacent expression on Jiang Jian's face was frozen instantly, and then he turned pale. The next thing he knew, he was thrown into the air.
The result was decided in just one punch, but it was Jiang Jian who lost. Why? Why had the one in the lower cloud level won? Many rubbed their eyes to make sure what they saw was real. When they found it was real, they were left speechless.
Jiang Chen smiled. That was the power of spiral Qi.
Jiang Jian wasn't injured. He continued their war of words after he got up. "No big deal. You have been able to beat me since long ago. You've had no progress at all."
"Well, better than you. I'll break your legs if you break into the east courtyard again!" Jiang Chen scolded.
Jiang Jian said coldly with a livid face, "You can only show off here. That's all. You won't get so lucky when the spring festival comes."
"You think so?"
Jiang Chen didn't take it seriously, which made Jiang Jian angry. However, it did matter to Jiang Chen, although he pretended it didn't. Among these disciples, Jiang Jian was in the highest level. If that represented the best ability of the new generation of the Jiang Mansion, they wouldn't be able to survive in the Hundred Thousand Mountains.
The thing was, those elder excellent disciples were no longer hanging out with these babies. They were having adventures in the Hundred Thousand Mountains and had found some fame. For example, Jiang Jian's brother, who was one of them, was studying in Cangnan Institution in the Hundred Thousand Mountains.
The winter hunt signified the start of winter. A few months later it would be the spring festival. The travelling disciples would all return by then. In addition, many strong men who were travelling around would come to the Jiang Mansion to join the celebration.
That was why Jiang Jian was so arrogant. Even though Jiang Chen could have gone back to Cloud Nine by then, he hadn't had any real progress in the past year.
Looks I have to try harder.
The winter hunt wasn't enough to reignite his grandpa's confidence in the east courtyard. Jiang Chen had to do better.
The spring festival would be the best opportunity.
There are still three months left. It should be easy for me to achieve the Gathering Yuan State by combining the use of a method and the holy pulse. Jiang Jian's face will be funny then.
Jiang Chen felt great on his way back. It was an amazing thing to acquire others' admiration and respect by displaying your actual strength. He didn't rush to go back to the east courtyard. Instead, he decided to wander about downtown.
He hadn't paid much attention to this place since he arrived in the Nine Heavens Continent. But Jiang Chen had travelled to many places in the Sacred Zone and had seen many brilliant and rare landscapes. This small mountain town didn't look interesting to him at all.
He didn't realize he was already in the east courtyard's area until more and more people on the streets were greeting him. No matter what happened to the east courtyard, there were always some kindhearted people who respected him sincerely.
That was because his father was a great man. The east courtyard had earned a lot of money during these years, but the taxes they levied on citizens was the lowest, which was almost a miracle.
"Child Chen, the west courtyard is making a scene in the Holy Clothing Shop. Would you like to go and have a look?"
The west courtyard kept making all kinds of excuses to take over the east courtyard's properties. Jiang Chen was informed of this, but hadn't seen it in person. So he went to the Holy Clothing Shop. As expected, many people were gathered outside of the shop. Quarrels could be heard from outside.
"Li Hong, what are you up to? This is the east courtyard's shop. Why should you people take it over?" It was Fan Tu's voice. It was difficult not to identify his loud voice.
Li Hong? He is one of the stewards of the west courtyard. He and Fan Tu are enemies. Jiang Chen knew this wouldn't end well.
The Holy Clothing Shop was a clothing shop, not to be belittled. It possessed several textile dyeing factories. All clothing textiles in the Southwind Ridge came from this shop. The winter had come. People would need to buy new clothes. It was expected that the business would keep growing during the next a few months. The west courtyard chose this occasion to scramble for it, so that they could kill the goose that laid the golden egg.