Chapter 57: Provocation
Zhang Sheng’an was still wearing the same spotless outfit as before. He looked very refined and lofty.
Despite his beautiful garments, however, his expression was incredibly ugly.
It wasn’t just him. Everyone else behind him was the same. Their attire was very tidy and refined, but their expressions looked like they were about to vomit blood.
If they could, they would have preferred to return covered in blood, sweat, and grime. After all, scars and blood were the glory of true heroes.
But they couldn’t do it…… because they hadn’t even had the opportunity to fight a single Vicious Beast.
They had once again returned empty-handed.
It was as if the Vicious Beasts in the Thousand Ashes Gorge had conspired to hide from them. They had completely disappeared from view. No matter where they went, they couldn’t find a single Vicious Beast.
Even if a Vicious Beast did appear, it would disappear without a trace as soon as they headed in their direction.
In the end, they had spent ten days in the Thousand Ashes Gorge without running into a single Vicious Beast.
Of course, it wasn’t like they hadn’t reaped any gains at all.
At the very least, they had found a few herbal medicines, but everyone knew that both medicinal herbs and Vicious Beasts were the main sources of profit for the students. Now that one of them had been directly cut off, their profits had basically been cut in half.
In all honesty, however, this was not very important to them. Those from Bloodline Nobility Clans usually didn’t lack money. They had come here not just to get money, but to also temper themselves.
Without Vicious Beasts, they couldn’t improve themselves!
But that was not the most important thing to them either.
The most important was their reputation.
Because they couldn’t find any Vicious Beasts, Team Soaring’s sales had basically all been medicines.
There were only so many students in the Thousand Ashes Gorge. At this point, they were all acquainted and familiar with each other. Thus, this fact was quickly discovered.
The other students didn’t know that Team Soaring couldn’t find a single Vicious Beast at all. They all believed that Team Soaring was simply trying to avoid Vicious Beasts.
Thus, word began to slowly spread that even though Team Soaring was composed of so many outstanding individuals, they didn’t even have the courage to fight Vicious Beasts. All they had the courage to do was harvest medicinal herbs……
As time went on, everyone began to realize that Team Soaring only did business in medicinal herbs.
Some people even began to call Team Soaring a “team of vegetarians”.
What an extraordinary humiliation this was to them!
Zhang Sheng’an and the others were enraged upon hearing these rumors.
But no matter how overbearing they were, they could not possibly act against all of the students within the Thousand Ashes Gorge.
Upon seeing Team Soaring walk towards him, someone with a sharp tongue already began to laugh and mock them. “Hey, Zhang Sheng’an, how many herbs did you pick today?”
Zhang Sheng’an ignored him.
He could afford to be aggressive in front of Zheng Xia and the others, but here on the Reflection Rock, many were in a higher year or had bloodlines that were more respected than his. He didn’t know what kinds of relationships these people might have. If they dared to openly mock him, they definitely had the support to back it up.
Thus, all he could do was try to endure it.
Some words he could ignore, but there were others that he found extremely difficult to ignore!
Someone let out a sarcastic laugh. “Why carry that bow on your back if all you do is dig out herbs all day? Since you can’t use it, there’s no need to keep it with you. Might as well sell it.”
“That’s right. There’s no need for that Giant Adamantine Ape either; it would be better to just kill it so you can get a Beast Hide.”
“How do you think they even got that Giant Ape? By relying on themselves? I heard that they bought it from someone else.”
“They bought that giant ape? Hahaha, I think I’m going to die of laughter. Did they come all the way to the Thousand Ashes Gorge just to demonstrate how stupid they are?”
“I think you’re onto something!”
These kinds of conversations were going on everywhere, filling the air with mocking and disdain.
Zhang Sheng’an and the others’ expressions changed.
These DAMNED BASTARDS!!!
They had done this kind of mocking and ridiculing to others in the past, but now that it had landed on their heads, they realized that it left a bad taste in their mouths.
Zheng Xia and the others secretly laughed.
Part of the rumors naturally had been spread by themselves.
They used the “sale” of the giant ape to demonstrate their incapability.
What could Zhang Sheng’an do?
Could he go to each and every person to explain that this giant ape had only cost twenty them twenty Origin Stones, so it basically wasn’t bought but stolen? And that they weren’t cowardly pieces of trash but robbers?
That wouldn’t help their case at all.
All they could do was endure.
Du Qing laughed the most merrily. Her bitterness and anger at having been robbed received swift relief today. The angrier Zhang Sheng’an and the others were, the happier she was.
Perhaps because she laughed too merrily, Golden Cicada Hong Wu noticed her.
His eyes squinted slightly before he leaned towards Zhang Sheng’an’s ear and muttered a few sentences. Zhang Sheng’an began to walk in their direction.
He took large strides towards Du Qing and the others.
Upon arriving at Su Chen’s side, he stopped and said, “You find this quite amusing, do you?”
The smile remained on Su Chen’s face. “What? Prince Zhang? Do we not even have the right to laugh here anymore?”
Zhang Sheng’an stared fiercely at Su Chen.
He said in a low voice, “Are you doing something to the Vicious Beasts?”
None of them were idiots.
If they hadn’t run into Vicious Beasts for a few days, they could chalk it up to their bad luck, but for it to happen ten days in a row meant that luck was no longer a factor.
The moment that Su Chen had suddenly appeared to talk with Jin Ling’er was still fresh in his mind. Zhang Sheng’an had already been suspicious for a while that Su Chen was the reason why they hadn’t encountered a single Vicious Beast..
However, he had no evidence. It was just suspicion.
But today, his patience had been pushed to the limit. He could no longer restrain himself.
When faced with Zhang Sheng’an’s questioning, Su Chen continued to smile. “I don’t know what you’re talking about, Prince Zhang. Could you be a little clearer? Or does Prince Zhang feel that our team is the weakest out of all the teams here, so you are planning on teaching us a lesson to show off?”
Although this wasn’t the Hidden Dragon Institute, the Reflection Rock was a place where everyone did business. There were many unwritten rules that people tacitly agreed to follow.
No one wished for violence to spread in this place of business. Otherwise, there would be no way for them to continue doing business.
Any person who tried to attack someone else here would be cut off and looked down upon, or even teamed up against.
Zhang Sheng’an wasn’t stupid enough to try to attack Su Chen here. However, he stared unwaveringly at Su Chen and said, “You can try to deny it, but I know that it’s definitely you. I’m warning you, immediately stop what you’re doing behind the scenes and I can forgive you. Otherwise, I’ll give you something to think about.”
Su Chen glanced at Jin Ling’er.
She remained silent, her face deathly pale.
Su Chen understood.
He turned around and looked at Zhang Sheng’an. “Do you want to get out of your current situation? I’ll give you a piece of advice.”
He pulled out twenty Origin Stones. “Return the Giant Ape to me and everything will return to normal.”
Zhang Sheng’an harrumphed. “In your dreams!”
He twisted around in place and left.
The people following behind him all glared at Su Chen with killing intent in their expressions.
Sword Rhinoceros came up to Su Chen and shoved him as he said, “Brat, don’t let me see you outside again. Otherwise, you’ll die a gruesome death.”
Su Chen shrugged his shoulders. “What is the point of doing this? I’m telling you the truth. As long as you are willing to return the giant ape, everything will return to normal.”
He really was telling the truth – the medicinal powder was placed on the giant ape’s body in the first place, otherwise it would be too easy to notice.
Unfortunately, no one listened to him.
Guan Shanying also came over, but it was to talk to Wang Doushan. “Fat Crane, don’t blame me in the future for not warning you. Staying around them won’t benefit you at all.”
Wang Doushan shrugged him off. “You’re going to bother me about who I chose to play with?”
“You don’t know what’s good for you!” Guan Shanying harrumphed as he left.
Team Soaring finally departed.
Team Bright burst out into cheerful laughter.
But hidden behind their laughter was a deep anxiety.
“Hey, do you think they’ll try and make trouble for us?” Du Qing asked Sun Jizu.
“Since our hostilities have reached this point, they should come for us,” Sun Jizu sighed, anxiety written on his face.
Su Chen said, “If you are scared, you can immediately choose to leave here and return to the Institute. In any case, everyone has already spent the entire day working, so it’s about time for them to rest anyways.
“What about you? You’re not going to go?” Zheng Xia asked.
“Me?” Su Chen laughed, revealing his white teeth. “If I leave, won’t it get boring?”