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Jiang Chen wasn’t interested in interfering in the Flora Sacred Land’s internal affairs. He’d done what he came to do.
Wu You was safe and Jiang Chen had obtained a large number of trial orbs from the poison consort in the process. Now, he had nearly a hundred of them.
There were only six hundred of them on the island, which meant Jiang Chen had close to a sixth of them. Only three or four days had passed out of the fourteen allotted.
If he could pick up orbs at this pace, he would be able to acquire over half of the orbs by the end.
Of course, the orbs were more widely distributed for now. Towards the end, he would end up getting much fewer of them.
Jiang Chen understood this perfectly well.
In no time at all, Jiang Chen and Wu You returned to where Gan Ning was.
The young genius who’d stayed behind was completely calm. He hadn’t run into much trouble by following Jiang Chen’s instructions to stay nearby. He was able to retreat into the formation from any opponent he couldn’t deal with. His complete safety meant he was able to find another orb at his leisure.
Wu You wasn't sure what to feel after his rescue. Gan Ning tried to cheer him up. "Brother Wu, losing to the poison consort is nothing to be ashamed of. Don't be too hard on yourself."
“How many orbs did Shi Qinglu take from you, Wu You?” Jiang Chen asked with a smile.
Wu You coughed. “Embarrassingly, I only managed to find one during the first two days.”
Jiang Chen generously took five out of his own stash. “Take these to tide you over for now. When we find orbs later, you two take them first.”
Wu You blinked. He was already very grateful to Jiang Chen for saving him; getting orbs on top of that was a surprise he’d never dreamed of.
His first thought was to refuse.
Gan Ning laughed. “Brother Wu, senior brother Jiang Chen is incredibly generous. You should take the orbs. We’re on his team anyway, so our orb count will be added to his in the end. Considering how far senior brother Jiang Chen has come already, our team might get first place in this competition!”
Wu You was overjoyed when he heard this as well. His prior suffering was rather ordinary considering the kind of trial this was. He had lost fair and square.
Now that Jiang Chen was at his side, Wu You felt as secure as Gan Ning. He no longer feared for his safety during his waking hours.
Though the dynamic duo behind Jiang Chen weren’t particularly strong, they were at least average. They were of some use as sidekicks. Running errands, for example, or looking for orbs on the ground. Jiang Chen didn’t need to resort to doing that himself.
Of course, whatever orbs they could find were theirs. Jiang Chen wasn’t interested in them. His orbs would come from others.
There were sure to be more fools running right into his hands in the coming days.
As expected, he encountered a team in each of the four days that came next. Often, he faced off against multiple teams collaborating with one another.
Jiang Chen wasn’t going to wait for them to take the offensive. He took the initiative by knocking them out before they could do anything, confiscating their orbs in the process.
On the tenth day, Jiang Chen had almost two hundred orbs. Gan Ning and Wu You, for their parts, had about twenty each.
In other words, more than a third of the orbs were in Jiang Chen and his teammates’ hands.
Jiang Chen’s name spread far and wide on the island. Some called him a bandit, while others gave him the moniker ‘Plaguelord’.
Either nickname showed how much the others dreaded being in his path. Many who had formerly considered ambushing him now cowered at the sight of him. They were naturally scared that they’d lose their hard-earned orbs. However, their worries were excessive in some cases.
Jiang Chen was very principled. Those who didn’t intend to harm him were skipped past. He didn’t actively rob every passerby.
Those that he did take from were only targeted for their hostility.
In the last few days, Jiang Chen noticed that he had far fewer business that came knocking. Anyone that saw him ran far, far away, and absolutely nobody aimed to attack him anymore.
He wasn’t quite sure what the correct reaction to this was. Should he laugh or cry?
Regardless, Wu You and Gan Ning felt immensely proud. As fellow geniuses of Eternal, they’d never enjoyed the feeling of being feared.
Yes, they were taking advantage of their teammate’s frightening reputation, but the sensation was much the same.
On the twelfth day, Jiang Chen instructed Wu You and Gan Ning as to their final plans. “Friends, the number of orbs we have should easily win us first place. I’m guessing the entire island knows about us already, so I doubt anyone will be blind enough to come at us over the next few days. Take the last three days to find whatever orbs you can - the ones that haven’t been dug up yet.”
“Everyone is circling around you, senior brother,” Wu You nodded. “If even the poison consort’s lost, who’s dumb enough to come?”
“I think all the orbs have been found already. I just wonder how they’ve been distributed.”
A set of hurried footsteps could be heard mid-conversation.
“Huh?” Wu You was taken aback. “I guess I was wrong. Is that an intruder I hear?”
He glanced into the distance, but the newcomer was a familiar face. It was Sir Wei Yong, fourth of the Five Great Gentlemen.
This Wei Yong was on the same team as Sui Chen, in more ways than one. Because of this, he rarely interacted with Jiang Chen. Why would he, given the indirect antipathy?
Wei Yong was on pretty good terms with Wu You though.
“Why are you alone, Wei You?” Wu You looked at his anxious acquaintance confusedly.
“It’s a long story, Brother Wu. I came to ask for help.” Wei Yong was a bit embarrassed. He turned with pleading hesitation toward Jiang Chen.
Wu You didn’t immediately reply. Senior brother Jiang Chen was the leader of his team, after all.
Though Wei Yong didn’t ordinarily show Jiang Chen much respect, he was very different in this hour of need. “Senior brother Jiang Chen,” he addressed, “your junior brother greets you.”
The Five Great Gentlemen were all older than Jiang Chen in terms of age. Wei Yong would never call himself a junior, and the fact he was doing so now meant that he’d encountered some serious trouble he couldn’t handle.
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