Chapter 30: Bait
Both eliminating people from a pool of suspects and picking out a few suspicious individuals from a large group eliminated variables, but the different methods brought about different results.
Without question, the latter was far more effective.
As a result, Su Chen intended to first find a few suspicious targets and use them as the foundation for his further predictions, decreasing the cost required by the Origin Bone Scepter.
However, he couldn’t just blindly search for suspicious individuals. There needed to be an appropriate foundation; otherwise, he was basically trying to win the lottery.
This required everyone to think of possible methods.
Zhu Xianyao pondered for some time but couldn’t come up with anything. In the end, she pursed her lips and grabbed Su Chen’s arm as she said, “You come up with sneaky ideas all the time. Tell me what you think we should do.”
Su Chen laughed. “I only just got here, so I’m not familiar with the people here.”
“I don’t care. You still need to help me think of a way.”
Women were unbeatable when they threw tantrums.
Su Chen was completely helpless and could only nod. “I do have an idea. It’s a bit silly, but it should be quite effective……”
Within the Rong Clan.
Rong Xiangsheng sat on high, his expression deathly calm. “None of you noticed someone sneak into the accounting office?”
A person kneeling on the ground replied, trembling with fear, “That person came under the identity of Steward Liu. If it weren’t for the fact that Steward Liu staunchly rejected the notion that he had come in the morning, we wouldn’t have discovered it at all. This person should possess some kind of disguise technique.”
“It was Su Chen!” someone standing to the side said. “We received word from the Tranquility Hall that Su Chen was able to emerge from Ravager territory unscathed because of this camouflage technique.”
This person’s name was Rong Zibai, one of the Rong Clan’s mid-ranking elders.
Rong Xiangsheng harrumphed. “Those Ravagers are all half-blind anyways. Are you trying to say that the Rong Clan is as well?”
Rong Zibai was a bit embarrassed. “When Su Chen came, it was right before dawn, when Yin was transitioning to Yang…… The others possessed insufficient cultivation bases, so it was impossible for them to see through his disguise.”
“Not even Light Shaking Realm cultivators could see through his disguise?" A voice suddenly floated in their direction from behind them. Surprisingly, this voit sounded very clear and sweet.
Upon hearing this voice, Rong Zixing hurriedly said, "There were a few Light Shaking Realm cultivators present when Su Chen came, but no one washable to detect that he was fake. Perhaps only someone at a higher cultivation realm would be able to see through his disguise."
The voice spoke after remaining silent for some time. "If it's not that this person's illusion techniques are incredibly powerful, then it's that his consciousness energy is incredibly powerful. But regardless of which is true, this means that this person possesses incredible potential and can become a huge thorn in our side. If this person is also smart....."
The voice did not continue to speak, but Rong Xiangsheng's expression paled somewhat.
Su Chen's identity had gradually begun to spread, and his status as the Worldly Sage was gradually taking on real substance.
This person's strength and intelligence were both more than sufficient.
As for his courage and boldness, they naturally didn't even need to be mentioned.
Even Rong Xiangsheng couldn’t help but grow anxious when he considered that Su Chen had somehow slipped into the Rong Clan without anyone noticing and had looked over their accounting logs.
He said to the voice, “This Su Chen won’t be able to run around as he pleases for long. Once the Qian Clan’s soldiers arrive, we will definitely wipe him out.”
“I’m afraid our opponent won’t give us that much time,” the voice sighed gently.
Just at that moment, a Rong Clan subordinate walked in from outside and knelt in front of Rong Xiangsheng, saying, “We just received word that Su Chen left the Zhu Clan.”
“What?” Rong Xiangsheng immediately stood. “Where is he going?”
“He went out the east door and headed for Behind Heaven Mountain.”
“Who notified us?”
“The person stationed in their residence. Su Chen camouflaged himself, but just so happened to be spotted by them, and they already placed some incense on him as a tracker. As long as we use the Incense-Finding Beast, we will be able to find him.”
“Was that person the only one that saw?”
“No, they were with a few of the Zhu Clan’s Young Masters at that point in time.”
Rong Xiangsheng sighed in relief. “That’s good then.”
Rong Zibai said, “Patriarch, I’ll take some men with me right now to take him out.”
“Don’t be in such a hurry.” Rong Xiangsheng took a few steps back, falling into contemplation.
The voice from behind said, “Are you worried about something?”
Rong Xiangsheng sighed. “Yes, I’m worried that the opponent is just baiting us.”
The voice said, “Can you confirm whether or not he is?”
Rong Xiangsheng shook his head. “I can’t. This might be an opportunity, or it might be a trap, but until all the cards are laid out on the table it’s impossible to know which one it is. That’s why I wanted to ask you for your opinion.”
The voice said, “Since you cannot conclude anything from the source, then you can only make a decision by weighing the costs and the benefits. Su Chen is indeed a big problem, and once the Qian Clan comes to support you, you will be able to use force to resolve any problems that might arise. As such, his existence won’t really matter that much anymore.”
Rong Xiangsheng understood what that person meant and nodded. “That makes sense. Since that’s the case, I’ll send Old Third to take care of him.”
The Rong Clan’s Old Third was named Rong Xiangzhan, a Spirit Burning Realm expert, and a high-layer one at that.
Rong Xiangzhan was obviously very unhappy at being sent to kill a Light Shaking Realm junior.
In his eyes, killing a chicken like Su Chen was equivalent to using an elephant to kill an ant.
But since the patriarch had made an order, he couldn’t refuse outright, so he could only grumble and reluctantly set out.
Under the leading of the Incense-Finding Beast, Rong Xiangzhan very quickly arrived at Behind Heaven Mountain and found a lonely figure standing there.
The figure stood there with a cloak on, completely motionless.
As if the figure sensed the motion in the air, it raised its head to look at Rong Xiangzhan, revealing a young, tender face.
Rong Xiangzhan barked, “Su Chen! I’m here to take your life!”
He launched a fist at the figure.
The fist descended on that person like a mountain, scattering brilliant light in all directions. The boundless energy from the punch continued through the figure and carved a deep gash in the ground that stretched for hundreds of meters.
However, after the residual energy from the punch had cleared, no chunks of flesh or blood could be seen anywhere.
Rong Xiangzhan felt no resistance to his blow, and the person who was just standing in front of him had disappeared without a trace.
What was going on?
Su Chen just disappeared?
Rong Xiangzhan was stunned. He whirled around, searching his surroundings, but found nothing out of the ordinary.
Suddenly, he heard the sounds of people descending rapidly behind him. It was Rong Xiangsheng and his group of subordinates.
“Patriarch? How come you’re here?” Rong Xiangzhan was stunned.
Rong Xiangsheng stared at the surroundings with a steely expression.
He had come naturally to prevent the Zhu Clan from catching them in a trap. He had allowed Rong Xiangzhan to be the bait, and if the Zhu Clan had placed an ambush here, he would have taken advantage of the opportunity to slaughter them.
Even so, the outcome of the situation exceeded his expectations.
That Su Chen was indeed not Su Chen, but the ambush he had been expecting didn’t come either.
Everything had disappeared and returned to normal, as if it was all just a small prank.
As Rong Xiangsheng glanced around at the desolate surroundings, he muttered, “Su Chen, what exactly are you up to?”
Within the Zhu Residence.
Su Chen calmly said, “The clone at Behind Heaven Mountain died. Rong Xiangzhan was the one who killed him.”
“Behind Heaven Mountain?” Zhu Xianyao trembled. “You mean to say...... it was my younger sister’s doing?”
Su Chen had used a very simple method to find a group of suspects. He had purposefully caused his clones to appear in front of the appropriate group of individuals, then sent his clones to different locations.
As long as one of the clones was attacked, Su Chen would be able to more easily determine who might have revealed his movements.
Su Chen couldn’t possibly assign a clone to every member of the Zhu Clan because of how many there were, so this method was only able to deal with groups. Even though it wouldn’t allow him to precisely determine who was the person selling out the Zhu Clan, he could at least get a general sense of that person’s identity.
The clone that had gone to Behind Heaven Mountain had appeared in front of Zhu Xianling, Zhu Shaojie, and a bunch of other Zhu Clan juniors.
“I can’t confirm that yet. Also, didn’t you say that Zhu Xianling didn’t know about the matter of the Zhu Clan’s bloodline getting stronger?” Su Chen replied.
Zhu Xianyao replied angrily, “Who else could it have been? She must have found out from someone who just couldn’t keep quiet and then used it to sell out the clan.”
“We’ll know whether or not it was her if we give it a try,” Su Chen said as he pulled out the Origin Bone Scepter and the sacrificial altar, placing a sacrifice on it.
This was the first time that Zhu Xianyao was witnessing Su Chen harness the power of time. When she sensed the incredibly vast power emanating from the scepter, she couldn’t help but feel slightly weak. “Is this the power of an Origin Beast? Even though it’s already been dead for tens of thousands of years, the bone still possesses such extraordinary power.”
“Yes, but not every one of its bones is like this. This one happens to be the essence bone,” Su Chen corrected. He was still somewhat unwilling to acknowledge that a powerful existence could continue to influence the world long after their death, so even though that kind of a notion seemed pretty awe-inspiring, it was totally useless to Su Chen. After all, his goal was to increase the strength of the human race and surpass the Beast Race’s might one day. If any single bone from an Origin Beast could be this powerful, then the human race really would be out of luck.
Even though this Origin Bone Scepter was very powerful, it wasn’t just because it was a bone from an Origin Beast, but also because it had obtained lots of resources and nourishment from the sacrifices offered to it throughout the years. Otherwise, why wouldn’t those from the Gu Clan who had awakened their Origin Bloodlines accomplish similar feats?
In any case, even this broken power was of limited in use in Su Chen’s eyes and needed to be surpassed at some point. Otherwise, he would lose his purpose for living.
Su Chen had the mindset of an experimenter and wanted to see how much he could save by cutting down on some variables, so he started with a very cheap sacrifice and prepared to make multiple sacrifices.
Unexpectedly, an illusory image appeared as soon as he placed the sacrifice on the altar.
He had succeeded in one try?
The two of them watched as, in the hazy image, Zhu Xianling was kneeling on the ground, being interrogated by the Zhu Clan.
There were no voices, and the image was a bit blurry. Zhu Xianyao had no way of confirming what they were saying, but she still began to yell with excitement, “So it was her! This damned woman was selling out our clan! I’m going to go tell my mother right now.”
As she spoke, Zhu Xianyao hurried over to the clan’s main hall.
Su Chen wanted to call her back, but as he watched the scene continue to play out, his heart trembled slightly. In the end, he kept his silence and watched Zhu Xianyao walk away.
After some time, the sacrifice on the altar had disappeared, and the illusory image faded away.
Su Chen lowered his head in thought for some time before heading over to the Zhu Clan’s main hall.
In that short period of time, the Zhu Clan’s main hall had exploded with activity.