Sovereign of the Three Realms - Chapter 1974: Meeting An Old Acquaintance
Jiang Chen knew what the first prime meant. The Flora Sacred Land’s affectations hinted at ulterior motives. Clearly, it also wanted to become the leader of the sacred land alliance.
However, he believed that a few inconsequential gifts during this selection of geniuses wouldn’t ultimately help it to win the leadership.
The fact that it was openly courting them with lavish presents and promises was far too eye-catching for its strategy to have any success. It was equally likely that it would become the psychological enemy of the other sacred lands.
“Elder Ziju, I’m not so sure we should take such an elevated stance during this drafting process. The Flora Sacred Land’s behavior will only attract the others’ ire. We don’t exactly need to oppose them. If they want to draw fire to themselves, then so be it.”
Jiang Chen didn’t lose his reason, but Ziju Min was rather more anxious. “The first prime is worried that they’ll only amplify their efforts later on. What if they get all of the best geniuses?”
“Don’t worry. There’s not too much of a difference in talent between those ranked in the top ten and at a hundred fifty. Some simply had access to more resources or came to an earlier understanding of the dao. I think we need to take a more holistic approach and examine the finer details that others might miss. Only looking at the rankings is a sure-fire way to make mistakes.”
Jiang Chen patiently instructed. He absolutely didn’t want the Eternal and Flora Sacred Lands to compete in such a meaningless way. There was no commensurate return from expending more than necessary here.
Fewer than twenty among these hundred fifty were actually worth gathering to one’s side. Among these, the especially remarkable were virtually nonexistent. As they spoke, it came to the genius number 65.
He was already introducing himself. “I am Su Tong, a junior cultivator from Tranquilcloud Island.”
Suddenly, Jiang Chen scrunched up his face. A hint of a smile curled at his lips. He hadn’t paid much attention to this man before, but he now noticed that he knew the genius.
Though the genius was wearing a disguise, he had a strong hunch that this was an old acquaintance of his.
“Elder Ziju, what kind of place is Tranquilcloud Island?” Jiang Chen asked with some curiosity.
“Haha, Tranquilcloud doesn’t exactly have a pristine reputation. Truthfully, it’s a pirates’ cove with a smattering of gangs. A pretty chaotic place, all told.”
“Oh?” Jiang Chen watched the scene with some interest. As soon as Su Tong declared that he came from Tranquilcloud, the ten sacred lands collectively fell silent.
“Is our sacred land not interested in him?” he asked Ziju Min.
“Not at all. Cultivators from Tranquilcloud often have murky pasts. Rather than mount a difficult investigation, it’s best if we skip potential trouble.”
This seemed to be the common sentiment from every sacred land. They didn’t like young geniuses with troubled pasts. Gangs were much more profit-oriented than houses and sects.
Sects were held together by a common faith and heritage, while houses were tied by bonds of blood.
Since gangs were formed purely on the basis of gain, it was difficult to sort out the complex web of relationships, grudges, and favors.
Jiang Chen could tell that Su Tong was spending a great deal of effort on self-promotion. Obviously, he desperately wanted to be chosen by one of the sacred lands.
Alas, the ten sacred lands cared too much about their own prestige. They were uninterested in someone from Tranquilcloud Island.
Jiang Chen smiled before opening his mouth. “Your name is Su Tong?”
“Yes.” Su Tong replied with great sincerity.
“I know you,” Jiang Chen chuckled. “Are you interested in serving me?”
Su Tong blinked. He knows me?
He looked askance with some shock. The name of the young lord Jiang Chen resounded across the world like thunder. He was just a youth from a den of pirates; how would the famous young lord be acquainted with him?
Can it be?
Suddenly, Su Tong remembered his experiences before arriving at Tranquilcloud. It had been many years since then.
Once upon a time, he had been a puppet upon Winterdraw Island. Amid the tumult there, a genius named Jiang Huang had been listed as one of the wanted targets for a number of Polylore’s first-rate houses, alongside himself.
Su Tong’s heart skipped a beat. His eyes considered Jiang Chen’s visage seriously, pondering what the depths of his eyes meant. His recollections stirred a little.
Su Tong had not always been called this. Long ago, his name had been Su Hong.
Jiang Chen smiled in return. “Do you need to think for so long? Honestly, I think you should be in the top ten, not number sixty-five.”
As soon as he said this, there was an uproar among the crowd. Su Tong didn’t seem like a genius that would rank so highly at all. Was Eternal’s young lord mouthing blatant falsehoods?
Someone from the Flora Sacred Land immediately snickered. “Is your word supposed to be proof, eh? You’re not the one in charge of ranking these geniuses.”
The speaker was very young himself, probably one of Flora’s own best geniuses.
Jiang Chen shot him a cold glare. “I don’t explain myself to the ignorant. What are you blathering on about?”
Su Tong had half a mind to comply already. “I am willing to follow you to the ends of the sea, young lord Jiang Chen.”
Men were willing to die for those who truly appreciated them. Perhaps Jiang Chen was just being polite, but Su Tong felt a sense of approval in the most visceral way.
More importantly, his escape from Winterdraw had owed a tremendous deal to that Jiang Huang – likely the very same man as this young lord Jiang Chen. In other words, the person holding out an olive branch right now had also saved his life back then.
The genius from Flora secretly despised Jiang Chen’s retort. “Looking at the undesirable leftovers you’ve taken an interest in, it’s obvious where your tastes lie.”
This was a rather blatant insult. Only a capable genius from a lofty background would possibly resort to such a brainless statement.
Everyone Jiang Chen had chosen so far turned a baleful eye upon the foolish genius. If this antagonizing rascal wasn’t an important member of a sacred land, they would have cursed him on the spot.
Jiang Chen’s expression darkened. “I choose only those I know to be suitable. In ten or twenty years, it’ll be obvious which one of us was the short-sighted one!”