What? Claude helped outsiders and joined them belittling Jackie? He was just there to fill up the numbers! Should they not be talking about how Jackie had soiled the valley’s good name with his poor performance? Why was Elder Turner defending Jackie against Claude?
The elders were baffled by the sudden turn of events.
Meanwhile, Elder Rick’s eyes widened as he stared at Elder Turner. He wanted to say something at that moment, and he even wanted to snatch the merit log from Elder Turner to see what had actually happened during the tournament.
Nonetheless, he knew that he would be overstepping his boundaries if he did that. With Elder Turner’s temper, things would not go well for him. With that, Elder Rick swallowed his words.
Claude shivered as cold sweat started to form on his head, his eyes reddening in the process. He wanted to explain himself at that moment, but he did not have the words to do so, believing it would not be appropriate. He was worried that he would just make matters worse.
With that, the hall fell into silence.
Elder Turner let out a sneer as he coldly remarked, as though he was making a final judgment of Claude. “Do you have nothing to say for yourself? Well, I wouldn’t know what to say, either. After all, nothing you did was right.”
Claude could hear the anger in Elder Turner’s words and quickly prostrated himself. He quickly crawled toward Elder Turner, crying as he did.
“I was triggered, but only at that moment! You can’t blame me for this… Jackie was the start of it all, not watching his words carefully, and that was why I fell out with him!
“It wasn’t what I wanted. I thought he’d” Elder Turner snapped, his lips fixed into a frown, “Shut up right now! These are all excuses. You’re just trying to push responsibility away from yourself.
“Elder Maurice had tried to stop you, but you never ceased with your words, and now you don’t want to accept the consequences. Do you think you can just do whatever you want?!”
The situation had exceeded the elders’ expectations. Elder Rick had been able to listen in quietly, but Elder Turner’s words that followed flabbergasted him entirely.
Why was Elder Turner defending Jackie? Even though they did not know what happened, they were no fools. If Jackie truly had besmirched Phoenix Valley’s name with his individual result, Elder Turner would not have berated Claude in front of everyone no matter what Claude did.
Elder Turner’s attitude was clearly not trying to brush things off, but instead to seek justice for Jackie.
Elder Rick could no longer sit still and watch.
He pretended to clear his throat. “Even though I don’t know what happened, I can’t just listen on silently. Claude doesn’t strike me as a person who’d act rashly. Didn’t he say that before? Jackie was the one who started everything, which is why Claude acted the way he did.”
Elder Rick’s words were not to help Claude, but to target Jackie instead. Nonetheless, Claude felt like he found a savior with the way Elder Rick had spoken.
He raised his voice and said, “Elder Rick is right; I didn’t intentionally say all of that! I just unwittingly revealed when Jackie entered Phoenix Valley. It was just then and acted impulsively.
“If Jackie had just been friendly with me from the start, nothing like that would’ve happened! After all, we’re both on the same side, so how could I betray him?”