AGM 0124 - The words of Xiao Lǜ
Qin Wentian stayed overnight at the bamboo lodge and departed early the next morning.
Today would be the second day of the Jun Lin Banquet, and even before the skies had become completely bright, one could see countless silhouettes of people already swamping the Chu Emperor District.
Not only that, Drunken Wonder, the branch of Heaven's Wonder situated somewhere near the Chu Emperor District, was also flooded with people
In the center of the grand hall in Drunken Wonder, there was a huge, square-shaped table carved in the resemblance of a dragon. Although it looked somewhat unsophisticated, it projected a sense of wealth. After all, this was a gambling establishment.
There were 18 positions currently placed on the dragon-shaped jade table. There were also names written in front of each of the 18 positions. These names were none other than those of the 18 contestants who had advanced to the Jun Lin Banquet's second round.
Beside the names, there was a board with the betting rates of each individual written there. Odds of obtaining the top nine rankings, the top three ranking, as well as the top position, everything was indicated there clearly.
"The payout rates for Luo Qianqiu to obtain the championship is actually only 1:2. With such low odds, the recognition that Heaven's Wonder gives him is obvious. I wonder for what reason; why would they place that much importance on Luo Qianqiu?" Many people were silently speculating, but despite the low payout rate, there were still many that bet on Luo Qianqiu, convinced that he would obtain the number one position. After all, the lower the odds, the higher the chance.
But there were also other different school of thoughts. These people speculated that Heaven's Wonder intentionally set this betting rates to induce the majority of the crowd into betting on Luo Qianqiu. If Luo Qianqiu wasn't the champion, the biggest winner would naturally be Heaven's Wonder.
At this moment, two well-dressed young masters appeared next to the square dragon jade table. One of them held a wine gourd that seemed to be filled with good quality wine. Around him, even the crowd was less rowdy, indicating an invisible form of respect. This was because the status of this person was extraordinary. He was none other than the one ranked third among the ten prodigies - Immortal Drunken Wine.
"The payout rate for this fellow is abysmal." Immortal Drunken Wine shook his head as he smiled, gazing at the Qin Wentian's name.
On the betting board, it was clearly written that the payout rate for Qin Wentian - should he advanced and obtain one of the top nine positions - would be 1:4. Should he advanced to one of the top three positions, 1:100. And lastly, the most absurd payout of all, should he advance and obtained the championship of the Jun Lin Banquet, the payout rate would be 1:400.
"Do you think we should bet a little?" The youth beside Immortal Drunken Wine asked.
"Bet on which? Top nine ranking, top three ranking, or him obtaining the championship?" Immortal Drunken Wine drank his wine and laughed.
The exchange of words between the two of them caused expressions of interest to appear on the spectators' faces. There were actually people willing to bet that Qin Wentian would achieve one of the top three positions, and even the championship of the Jun Lin Banquet? Had they gone crazy?
There was still a glimmer of hope for Qin Wentian to advance and obtain one of the top nine positions. Thus, there were still several who bet on him. But as for the probability of obtaining the top three position or the championship, it would just be a waste of Yuan Meteor Stones.
"What do you think?" The youth also laughed.
"I have no idea. You should know that now I can't even afford to drink wine. All I have left are these two measly Yuan Meteor Stones. Alright, alright, I will bet them all. Hmmm I will bet on him obtaining the championship I guess." Immortal Drunken Wine retrieved two 2nd-layer Yuan Meteor Stones and placed them on Qin Wentian's name in the column indicating that Qin Wentian would obtain the championship, amidst the laughter of the crowd.
"Immortal Drunken Wine, are you sure you don't want to leave these two Meteor Stones for you to buy wine? They should be enough to procure enough wine to last you for several months." Someone persuaded, trying to stop him. However, an employee of Drunken Wonder had already recorded his bet and given him a token that indicated what he bet on. If he won, he could use this token and exchange it for Yuan Meteor Stones from Heaven's Wonder.
"Okay then, I shall bet like this. For Qin Wentian obtaining the championship, I will bet 100 2nd-layered Yuan Meteor Stones; obtaining the top three position, 100 2nd-layered Yuan Meteor Stones, and another 100 pieces of Yuan Meteor Stones for him advancing into the top nine positions." The youth beside Immortal Drunken Wine laughed, as the crowd around them all went silent.
300 pieces of 2nd-layered Yuan Meteor Stones, all on Qin Wentian. 100 stones on each column.
"Are you not afraid of losing everything?" Immortal Drunken Wine laughed.
"Why would you think this way? As long as he advances to the 3rd round, and obtains one of the top nine rankings, I will already make a killing of 100 additional Yuan Meteor Stones based on the payout rate of 1:4. If he advances to the top three, I will win on two of my bets, my total earnings would be a total of 10,100 stones; and if he really obtained the championship, I win everything. At that moment, my earnings would be..." The youth laughed even louder, causing the hearts of the crowd to shudder.
It looked perfect on paper, but upon careful contemplation, how could this be possible? The probability of Qin Wentian advancing to the top three was too miniscule. That was also the reason why the payout rates were that high. How could there be such an advantageous thing in this world? Most likely, out of these 300 2nd-layered Yuan Meteor Stones, more than half of them would be wasted. However, what was the status of this young man? How could he take out 300 stones that easily?
"If it goes according to your prediction, Heaven's Wonder will really cry." Immortal Drunken Wine laughed as he spoke, while the youth beside him was already confirming the bet with one of Drunken Wonder' employees. It seemed that the youth wasn't joking when he really intended to bet 300 stones on Qin Wentian.
"Immortal Drunken Wine, this friend of yours is really humorous." At this moment, a voice rang out. Immortal Drunken Wine turned his head and spotted Qiu Mo.
"Each to his own. This is my friend's business, so there's no need for you to worry about him." Immortal Drunken Wine carefreely replied.
"Your friend is indeed interesting." Qiu Mo laughed, "These 300 pieces of Yuan Meteor Stones, I'm afraid that they've just gone down the drain."
Immortal Drunken Wine also laughed, not intending to continue interacting with Qiu Mo. However, at this moment, a fatty squeezed his way through the crowd. Taking out over ten Yuan Meteor Stones, he decisively roared, "I'm betting!" as he placed a portion of his Meteor Stones on each of the three betting columns.
"Fatty, I remember you only bet 5 stones yesterday. And today, although the amount bet is slightly higher, to think that you still dared to roar this loudly despite the low number of stones you betted." A person in the crowd laughed. Looking at the shameless expression on Fatty's face, the crowd also laughed along.
The Fatty was naturally Fan Le. Grinning, he didn't seemed to mind the ribbing. The most important thing to him was, naturally, earning more Yuan Meteor Stones. Hopefully, that rascal Qin Wentian would put in more effort and create a miracle for him to see.
"Fan Le, you should probably keep these few Yuan Meteor Stones for your own cultivation." Qiu Mo sarcastically remarked.
Fatty inclined his head as he grinned at Qiu Mo. "I know you are jealous of Qin Wentian. Back in the academy, you made use of Jiang Xiu to deal with Qin Wentian, but the end result at the Jun Lin Banquet was obvious to all; Jiang Xiu lost an arm to Qin Wentian. Your credit should be the highest for this result, but to think that your skin is so thick to the point where you seemed not to have waken up from your folly despite your face being smacked. Could it be that you still want me to divulge the matter of you being secretly in love with Mo Qingcheng? Do you still remember how she couldn't be bothered with you and took the initiative to get close to Qin Wentian?"
The expressions of the crowd became increasingly fascinated upon hearing Fan Le's words. Qiu Mo's countenance turned extremely ugly to behold as he coldly snorted. He departed immediately after placing a bet on Luo Qianqiu and Sikong Mingyue.
"Let's go, the Jun Lin Banquet should be starting soon." At this moment, the people in Drunken Wonder finished their bets quickly and departed.
Chu Emperor District. People from the Royal Capital had been preparing today's banquet since the break of dawn. At this moment, the nobles and important guests started to arrive and went to their seats.
Chu Tianjiao's silhouette also appeared once again, sitting on the Azure Dragon Jadeite Seat. The 18 contestants who advanced also appeared on the nine towering platforms. Since the Jun Lin Banquet would be held once every year, the contestants naturally understood the rules of the banquet.
An aged figure standing beside Chu Tianjiao spoke, "Congratulations to all of you who advanced to the second round of the Jun Lin Banquet. Although all of you already know the rules for the banquet, I, this old man, will still have to reiterate once more. On the nine platforms, each of the contestant may choose to clash against any of the other 17. Those who lose in the first clash will become a 'challenger' and will be given a chance to challenge the victors. If the challenger loses again, he or she will be eliminated. But if the challenger wins, his opponent will be eliminated.
"Remember, for those who lose in the first battle, they will only be given a single chance to challenge others. If they win, they will remain on the platform but can only passively accept the challenges of others. Those that lose for a second time will be eliminated from this second round of the Jun Lin Banquet."
"You can freely choose your opponents, but one last thing: if you win the first battle, you cannot seek out the same person you fought before for your second battle. These are the rules for the second round, and the remaining nine contestants after this will advance to the third and final round of the Jun Lin Banquet."
The spectators went silent, but they all understood in their hearts. The second round of the Jun Lin Banquet was several times crueller when compared to the first.
The rules were set as such for the sake of fairness. If not, if contestants like Luo Qianqiu and Sikong Mingyue deliberately targeted someone, that unlucky person would surely be eliminated. That was why each contestant still had an additional chance to claim victory.
Not only that, a 'challenger' could not be challenged again by the contestant that challenged him or her before.
Naturally, if two powerful contestants were to join forces to deliberately suppress one person, that person could only cursed his own fate for being unlucky. However, the probability of such a thing occurring was extremely low. Most of those powerful contestants would rather take a break on their own platforms than do such a thing.
Of the nine towering platforms, each one respectively held two contestants.
And the contestants standing on the ninth platform were none other than Qin Wentian and 7th Night.
At this moment, the crowd was thinking: the cultivators of Chu and Snowcloud were contending against each other in this Jun Lin Banquet. Although both countries had conflicts in the past, the cultivators of Snowcloud would not band together to suppress the cultivators from Chu, right?
After all, this place was the Chu Country.
Atop the fourth platform, Orchon shifted his sharp gaze over as he stared straight at Qin Wentian.
The hatred he had towards Qin Wentian had been boiling in his heart ever since a long time ago. Now that Qin Wentian had advanced to the second round, his chance to fight against Qin Wentian naturally arrived.
However, Qin Wentian's strength level was no longer the same as before. As evident from Jiang Xiu's defeat, his might could not be underestimated. Even Orchon had to be cautious when fighting against him.
"Qin Yao, do you want to sit over here with me?" At this moment, a voice drifted over from the seats located beside the Chu Emperor Seat. Xiao Lǜ abruptly spoke, his gaze on Qin Yao.
"No need." The countenance of Qin Yao changed slightly, becoming somewhat unsightly.
Xiao Lǜ laughed, as he continued insisting. And at this moment, on the first towering platform, Sikong Mingyue turned around, his robes fluttering in the wind. He had an exceptionally bright glow in his eyes as he regarded the figures standing on the other towering platforms.
"I had long heard of the famous name of Miss Qin's brother, Wentian. I guess it can be considered my good fortune to actually meet him in person today. I wonder if any elites from our Snowcloud Country will be willing to battle against him, thereby allowing me to admire the splendor." Sikong Mingyue's slow voice was filled with a sense of tranquility.
As the sound of his voice faded, bewilderment and puzzlement appeared on the faces of the crowd. Although the words of Sikong Mingyue sounded polite, the actual meaning hidden in them was extremely rude. Not only that, he couldn't be bothered to deal with Qin Wentian himself.
But why would he say that? Were there a hidden message in the words Xiao Lǜ spoke to Qin Yao?
Why did Sikong Mingyue want to deal with Qin Wentian?
Although he wanted to 'deal with' Qin Wentian, Sikong Mingyue was unwilling to take action personally. Filled with contempt towards Qin Wentian, his heart was too proud. After all, in the entire Snowcloud, only he had the qualifications to share the same namesake as Xiao Lǜ - being part of the Duo Prides.
Naturally, the relationship between Xiao Lǜ and Sikong Mingyue was also incomparably deep, akin to blood brothers!
Reminder: Xiao Lǜ (Crown Prince of Snowcloud)