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Chapter 218 – Shaking Hands
Thud. Thud. Thud.
The crisp sound of footsteps echoed from outside the Council Hall before a young man in a black robe strode in confidently.
The young man had a handsome face and a pair of dazzling eyes. His back was straight and upright, like a tall pine. He had the demeanor of a young and ferocious tiger.
Upon entering the hall, he immediately greeted Ye Xiaotian who on the first seat.
Jiang Bianyan squinted his eyes, as he could barely recognize who the young man was.
He tilted his head and tried to recall where he’d seen him. It took a while before he came to realize that this man was the one he had encountered at the opening of the Tianxuan Gate.
The guy who was holding the plates?
Reminded of that, Jiang Bianyan had an awkward expression on his face.
Although this man had lost his ability to fight after being struck by thunder, he was still a grandmaster after all!
How was there such a person amongst the Inner Yard Thirty-three?
How could Chen Xingchu be fighting with him?
Although Chen Xingchu was quite a talent, even he would not risk challenging someone who was of a higher rank than him. It was a battle between one at the Peak Innate Stage and a grandmaster—it would prove very challenging.
Chen Xingchu looked a bit troubled as well. He had been observing the Inner Yard Thirty-three, and there was no such person of this rank among them.
“Senior Ye, so he’s the one I am fighting?”
“I am just at the Innate Stage rank. How could I go up against a grandmaster? This is so unfair!”
Chen Xingchu was extremely disappointed. This meant that Tiansang Spirit Palace did not actually want to have a duel with them and sent out an expert, albeit one who was not at the top of his game.
Why weren’t they even trying to call up a good opponent for the duel?
And to call in a grandmaster—such a blatant trick. Who are they trying to fool?
Ye Xiaotian and Qiao Qianzhi were both taken aback by Chen Xingchu’s outburst. Even Zhao Xidong was rather surprised by this young man.
What kind of idiot would go all out to seek a duel? Was he trying so hard to challenge himself?
When he was still in the Inner Yard Thirty-three, n.o.body had dared to be so arrogant!
Is this boy an inexperienced “virgin” who has not experienced the trials and tribulations of society?
The antics of Xu Xiaoshou already piqued Zhao Xidong. And he was now further provoked by Chen Xingchu’s hostile words. He would tolerate no one showing such arrogance toward the spirit palace.
His eyes wandered to the young man before him, and he gave him the once-over, then said, “Huh, you want to duel with me?”
“First, go back and train for another ten years!”
Zhao Xidong’s rebuke infuriated Chen Xingchu.
Where did this arrogant dude come from? Does he think he is invincible, just because he is a grandmaster? Is he letting his rank go over his head?
Just you wait, five years later…
No… three years!
Zhao Xidong waited for a while, but Chen Xichu still could not come up with a riposte. In the end, he laughed and said, “Why are you silent?”
Chen Xingchu could not say a word, but only clenched his teeth.
Is everyone in this spirit palace this toxic?
Ye Xiaotian, a blind man, and now a grandmaster pretending to be a newbie. Are they all here to mess with me?
“Zhao Xidong, that’s enough!”
Ye Xiaotian, observing from the first seat, raised his hand and admonished Zhao Xidong. He then looked at Jiang Bianyan and suppressed his urge to smile as he spoke.
“Hallmaster Jiang had misunderstood. This man is merely the usher and not the actual fighter.”
Jiang Bianyan was quite puzzled.
Cheng Xingchu was confused as well.
The two were left speechless. Then why did this grandmaster look so impetuous, as if he was going to fight? He looked like he was going to beat the house down!
Wasn’t he only supposed to lead the fighter in?
Why was he so riled up? Did someone provoke him?
Zhao Xidong was exasperated and still seething as he made his way to Qiao Qianzhi’s side to take his seat.
Jiang Bianyan shrugged and looked a little confused as he stared at Ye Xiaotian. “So, the actual person is…?”
Ye Xiaotian did not reply. Instead, he looked over at Zhao Xidong.
“What happened to you?”
Qiao Qianzhi also turned his head and realized there was blood on Zhao Dongxi. He kept his voice low and asked, “Where’s Xiaoshou? Was there an accident?”
Zhao Xidong took a deep breath and looked down the hallway and called out, “Come in now!”
Everyone looked in that direction and waited for a while before they saw a head sticking out from the side of the door.
Everyone was speechless.
Ye Xiaotian looked visibly annoyed. He couldn’t help feeling that this boy was such a disgrace for the spirit palace. Why couldn’t he conduct himself with more decorum?
With such a timid demeanor, how could he make it in life?
“Xu Xiaoshou, come in now!”
“Stared, pa.s.sive points, +6.”
“Taunted, pa.s.sive points, +1.”
“Cursed, pa.s.sive points, +1.”
“Remembered, pa.s.sive points, +1.”
Xu Xiaoshou had sensed that something was amiss the moment they summoned him and by eavesdropping outside the door he understood what the matter was about.
When he stuck his head out to observe what was going on, he captured the information he needed to form a better idea of the situation.
The taunt likely came from that young man clad in a fancy robe. He knew the curse was from Zhao Xidong, while the reminder came from…
Xu Xiaoshou looked over at the girl, who was sitting in a corner. She was still wearing a veil but looked much more haggard than when he first saw her.
She did not seem to be too well today. She barely uttered a single word and did not make her presence felt throughout the conversation.
But she was Xu Xiaoshou’s center of attention!
His Sense was detecting something from those mesmerizing starry eyes, and the signals were too strong to ignore.
It had been a long time since Xu Xiaoshou felt something so strange about a person.
The last time he felt this way was during the finals of the Windcloud Compet.i.tion as he was battling it out with Momo.
As a result, something significant happened afterward. It even brought out the grey mist figure and the demon beast, and it turned out to be very troublesome.
With that in mind, Xu Xiaoshou paid special attention to her.
“I surely felt nothing strange about that girl the other day. Why am I detecting these weird vibes today?”
“Could it be that… she didn’t rest well?”
Xu Xiaoshou frowned. He made some quick deductions in his mind before walking into the council hall.
“h.e.l.lo, Mr. Dean and Elder Qiao.”
The two of them nodded with smiles, as it was rare for Xu Xiaoshou to be so polite. And it was indeed a rare sight!
While the seemingly civil young man had greeted the two heads of the spirit palace, he glaringly ignored Zhao Xidong at the end of the row and looked the other way.
“This is the hall master of the side hall of the Holy Divine Palace from Dongtianw.a.n.g City, Jiang Bianyan. You can address him as senior Jiang,” Qiao Qianzhi said, making the introduction.
“Greetings, senior Jiang!” Xu Xiaoshou was still very polite.
Jiang Bianyan nodded and thought that this boy was pretty dense. He could have just greeted everyone all at once, but he had chosen the harder path.
Considering his act of eavesdropping by the door, he could not see how this lad could ever be a spiritual cultivator who aimed to achieve the great path.
Inwardly, he had already given Xu Xiaoshou a big red cross.
This boy will not make it!
Chen Xingchu leaned to one side of his seat and did not want to get up at all. As it turned out, he had just been waiting for this boy, merely a beginner Court rank.
Tiansang Spirit Palace was not just playing dumb; they were truly dumb!
Did they send someone of this lowly ranked person to compete with him?
To his chagrin, Xu Xiaoshou walked right past him as if he was an invisible man, then greeted Yu Zhiwen, who was a little surprised.
“May I ask for your name?”
Chen Xingchu was shocked.
Did this boy just ignore me?
“Cursed, pa.s.sive points, +1.”
He laughed mirthlessly and realized that Xu Xiaoshou was probably well-prepared for the match. He probably knew that he was up for a tough fight.
It seemed to him the battle had already begun with this display of posturing.
Looking at Xu Xiaoshou’s extended hand, he mocked him inwardly and expected that Zhiwen would never shake hands with such a lowly person.
You are eyeing someone you can never lay your hands on!
Zhao Xidong also observed keenly, but with not the best of intentions. For she had rejected his advances the other day, and as he thought Xu Xiaoshou look was worse than him, there was no way she would accept his handshake.
He wanted the satisfaction of seeing Xu Xiaoshou fail at least once. If for nothing else, it would at least quell the anger that had built up within him since fetching the lad earlier.
The seat creaked slightly and echoed in the quiet hall when she pushed it back as she rose from her chair. But to Zhao Xidong’s ears, it was deafening.
Yu Zhiwen was blus.h.i.+ng from ear to ear, embarra.s.sed by the sound she created by her hurried attempt to stand up. But she quickly recovered and bowed gracefully before shaking hands with Xu Xiaoshou.
It was a gentle handshake, but a meaningful one.
She spoke with her lotus-like voice, a little bashfully. “Yu Zhiwen.”
“But Senior brother, you can just call me Zhiwen.”
The eyes of the two who awaited Xu Xiaoshou’s fall from grace popped, and it visibly infuriated Chen Xingchu.
How could this be possible?
He could not even shake hands with her. Why would she shake hands with this random boy? He even made her get up from her seat!
“Envied, pa.s.sive points, +2.”
Xu Xiaoshou smiled immediately.
“Yu Zhiwen, what a nice name!”
He was not stingy with his compliments and went on to introduce himself. “I am Xu Xiaoshou, ‘Shou’ for gongshou!”
The entire hall fell into a dead silence.
The starry-eyed girl was stunned.
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