Chapter 224: Banquet
The public hearing had just ended when Xiao Feinan came looking for him.
“Well done,” Xiao Feinan said as he patted Su Chen on the back. Was he praising him for doing a good job at the public hearing or for what he had done in Ravager territory? No one knew.
Su Chen faintly said, “How are Instructor and General?”
“Don’t worry about them. Even though the Crown Prince wants to make trouble for them, he has no actual evidence that they colluded with the Ravagers, so he can only do a little bit here or there. They will come back sooner or later, and they will be rewarded.”
“But why does he want to do this?” Su Chen asked.
Xiao Feinan sighed, “You already know the answer, don’t you?”
Su Chen squinted his eyes.
So it was related to Instructor, huh?
That didn’t surprise him in the slightest.
Shi Kaihuang had said before that something like this would happen, but neither of them had expected that tens of thousands of innocents would be involved when it did happen.
Even so, these were nobles. In order to meet their needs, any number of innocent lives was an acceptable number to sacrifice.
Su Chen’s mood was still hazy, but Xiao Feinan chuckled. “Let’s not think too much about it. Since you guys made it back, then we should get together again. My place tonight. Bring some people that you know. Jiangshan and the others want to see you as well.”
This was basically a celebratory party for Su Chen, and Su Chen accepted it.
That evening, at Xiao Feinan’s residence, a large group of Flowing Gold Fort officials slowly began to gather. They had come under the guise of attending Xiao Feinan’s banquet, but in actuality they had come to get to know Su Chen. The current Su Chen was very different to the Su Chen of the past; anyone who could bring the Heavenly Might Battalion alive was worth getting to know.
At the same time, it was time to take sides. The people who had come were basically making it obvious that they supported Su Chen.
“Su Chen, this is the Earthly Fire Battalion’s general, Burning Red.”
Xiao Feinan sat in the main hall, a cup of wine in his hands as he motioned at a bald-headed man by means of introduction.
Su Chen felt as if he was looking at a living flame, just as Burning Red’s name implied. This blazing, brilliant flame burned intensely right in front of him, causing a wave of heat to emerge from the depths of Su Chen’s heart in response.
Burning Red strode towards Su Chen and guffawed. “Well done, kid, well done indeed. You saved the Heavenly Might Battalion and shut that little girl Lin Wenjun up. Really well done!”
This general obviously didn’t care for Lin Wenjun’s status as the Crown Prince.
Most of the generals had been raised on the battlefield and had undergone tempering by blood and fire, turning them into men with real guts. Many times, they allied with people based on whether they liked them or not, not based on a consideration of the advantages and the disadvantages.
However, this man was the first person to directly call the Crown Prince a sissy.
Xiao Feinan frowned. “Be a little more careful when you speak. This place might not be completely free of the Crown Prince’s men.”
“Who cares about him?” Burning Red said with a fierce glare. “He’s a brat with no balls. We can talk once he’s beaten the Ravagers senseless. All he does is hole up in his room and try to scheme against people who are on his side. What kind of hero is that?”
“Well said.” Someone began to clap.
It was the Earthly Peaceful Battalion’s general, Chang Zixin.
This man appeared weak and fragile. His arms were slender and long, but his grip on the cup of wine was firm and stable.
Chang Zixin stood next to Su Chen and said, “Su Chen, don’t worry. With us supporting you, no one will be able to eliminate the contributions you have made. They won’t even be able to think about harming you.”
Su Chen said with a slight smile, “Many thanks, General Chang.”
“That’s right, I noticed that you seem exceptionally composed. Even the military court today didn’t seem to shake you at all. Have you…… reached the Light Shaking Realm?” Chang Zixin asked.
The people around him shivered when they heard this question.
Even though Su Chen had exercised restraint, and his consciousness energy was at a level that was difficult for even Clairvoyants or Spirit Burning Realm cultivators to see through, but Light Shaking Realm cultivators were just different from most people. No matter how hard Su Chen tried to conceal his strength, it would leak out eventually……
His gaze, which contained no hesitation nor impurity, along with his clearly restrained aura, had caught the attention of quite a few people.
However, they had no way of confirming this point, so everyone could only wonder and guess.
At this point in time, it was obvious what the benefit of siding with Su Chen was.
The Crown Prince’s men were unwilling to believe that Su Chen was already at the Light Shaking Realm, so they ignored this sign, just like people who refused to accept an answer that they didn’t like.
On the other hand, the people who did like Su Chen tried to find out the answer, because their mood would not be affected regardless of what the answer was. And even if their mood was affected, it could only get better, not worse.
This was the reason why Chang Zixin was able to ask so openly.
Su Chen glanced around him to confirm that none of the Crown Prince’s people were standing next to him before nodding. “That’s right.”
“How did you ascend?” Xiao Feinan asked as he grabbed Su Chen by the arm.
This answer was too important. After all, it affected the future of the whole human race!
Su Chen said, “I ascended without a bloodline, but unfortunately I have yet to develop a way to replicate this on a larger scale.
Because of Danba, Su Chen could not possibly explain what had happened at Gullan Castle. He could not possibly say that he had ascended because of the Origin Energy Temple, so he could only mention that he had yet to develop a way of replicating it on a larger scale.
Upon hearing this answer, everyone was a bit disappointed.
“But since you can succeed, perhaps not too long from now you will be able to find a way to ascend, right?” Hong Qianzhu said as he walked over from afar.
This old Commander-In-Chief was not mixed with the crowd of people talking, but his ears were sharp enough that not a single sentence escaped his notice.
Given that his cultivation base was at the Thought Manifestation Realm, second only to the Ultimate Emperor Realm, there were not many humans stronger than him.
At this moment, Hong Qianzhi's voice could be heard, but his figure couldn't be seen. Su Chen respectfully replies, "Yes. Su Chen will do his best to complete it."
Burning Red, however, had no trace of happiness on his face. "If word reaches those guys, I'm afraid you won't have the opportunity to do your best in the first place."
Xiao Feinan sighed, "Unfortunately, we won't be able to keep this a secret forever."
Lin Wenjun could only deceive himself for so long. Even if he refused to see the truth, his subordinates would spot the issue sooner or later. The matter of Su Chen reaching the Light Shaking Realm wouldn't be able to concealed for long.
Su Chen chuckled slightly. "It doesn't matter anymore. There were people who wanted to stop me from spreading the technique for reaching the Blood Boiling Realm in the past. I already have some measure of preparation for this."
"The people who tried to suppress you back then were just common nobles from a different country. Now, however, you are going to be up against countless nobles and the Crown Prince himself," Chang Zixin said.
Su Chen shrugged. "I'm not the same person as I was back then either."
All of the generals glanced at each other, then began to laugh.
Yes, the current Su Chen was not the same as the former Su Chen. Since he was no longer a Qi Drawing Realm kid and could even deal with a Demonic Emperor, would the current Light Shaking Realm Su Chen really need to be afraid of them? In addition, the current Su Chen had many more people supporting him.
"Alright, let's not talk about this for now," Chang Ziyin said with a meaningful glance.
This topic was still a bit sensitive, so the more they talked about it, the more rapidly it would spread.
Everyone understood and dissipated.
Su Chen was once again alone, so he began to wander around. Soon, Duan Jiangshan came walking in his direction.
“Jiangshan, how are you doing?” Su Chen chuckled.
“Same as always.” Duan Jiangshan stopped in front of him. “Not like you - in the span of a year, your reputation has spread far outside of this fort.”
“You could do the same,” Su Chen replied casually.
This was originally a thoughtless sentence, but unexpectedly it seemed to strike a nerve with Duan Jiangshan.
Duan Jiangshan said, “Me? I don’t think I have the ability. Su Chen, do you know how much I envy you?”
“Hm?” Su Chen stared at Duan Jiangshan, perplexed.
Duan Jiangshan said, “You were a nobody during our time in the Hidden Dragon Institute. You never appeared on the rankings, so you never had to worry about the price of fame. Every day, we fought each other in the Institute for higher rankings, for women, for anything we could fight over. You, on the other hand, stayed holed up in that Origin Energy Temple of yours and never walked out the front door. No one took you seriously back then…… until we reached the Flowing Gold Fort.”
Duan Jiangshan sighed, “You endured for ten years, then made a name for yourself all at once. At the time, I thought that was your peak. But I never would have expected that this was only the beginning of your glory days. While we were in the Institute, we were far ahead of you; at graduation, we stood side by side; and now, you are far ahead of me. I have been in the army for more than ten years but have never been anything more than a squad commander. I am also only at the peak of the Yang Opening Realm. But you? You already have the authority to joke around with the other generals, and your strength has advanced to the Light Shaking Realm…… You know, it was really difficult for me to just watch you talking with them so casually.”
His ability to give voice to his envy was more than enough to demonstrate his straightforward and honest nature.
Su Chen thought for a moment, then replied, “You’re wrong about one thing.”
“What is it?”
“I never had to endure a single day during my ten years at the Hidden Dragon Institute. I never had any intention of soaring to the skies in a single moment or surprising people with my meteoric rise. There was no need for me to stay hidden, and I had no heart to do so. My ten years at the Institute were the most enjoyable years of my life. As such, there was no enduring - there was only enjoyment. It’s just that most people won’t understand this kind of enjoyment.”
“Is that how it is?” Duan Jiangshan mumbled.
Su Chen continued, “Every person has different things that they are after. Perhaps you might enjoy being worshipped by millions of people or being looked up to by them, but honestly, that’s not what I’m after at all. I admit that there are lots of people I have left behind, and there are lots of people who look favorably on me, but I have never once sought for either of these things. I only seek the truth, the truth hidden in this world. I want to know what Origin Energy is. I want to know how to better use Origin Energy. I want to know where the future of the human race lies. I want to know what our real history is. I even want to know…… who the person who blinded me is.”
As he spoke, Su Chen’s voice began to dip.
His words were down-to-earth and simple, but the feeling behind them was extremely sincere.
To Su Chen, he had never desired to be put on a pedestal and admired by those around him. Neither was it to find a way to live forever or to be invincible.
He only wanted one thing: to figure out the fundamental truths of this world!
That was what he was really after. As for everything else, they just so happened to be side effects of what he was looking for.
Even Duan Jiangshan was stunned by what he heard.
He had never expected that Su Chen looked down so much on the very thing that he had desired for so long.
After a long time, he finally said, “See? I’ve been left behind by you even in terms of my ideals.”
Su Chen replied, “Don’t compete with others so much. Your life will be much happier because of it.”