Elder Turner turned to glare at Rick, and this was the first time Elder Rick saw Elder Turner use such a merciless expression against him.
That look held a trace of warning as if Elder Rick would be punished on the spot if he continued to intervene.
Elder Turner’s attitude shook Elder Rick of all his confidence.
Elder Turner shifted his gaze and raised his hand to call the deacons behind him.
“I don’t want to listen to any more of your nonsense. You’ve already crossed the line with your antics. Bring him to the reflection hall. As for the punishment, I’ll talk about it with the elders first.”
A few deacons immediately pinned Claude down on the floor. Claude struggled as he continued to cry out, but the deacons stuffed a piece of cloth in his mouth, silencing him from the ‘explanation’ he tried to conjure, save only his muffled cries.
In a few moments, Claude was dragged away. Everyone else merely watched, not knowing what to say. Still, the other elders wanted to ask what Claude had done.
Why was the one punished not Jackie?
However, everyone could tell that Elder Turner was furious at that moment and thus kept their silence.
Benedict, who had been standing behind Claude, was scared, pale, and trembling entirely. Even though he did not reveal Jackie’s origins in front of everyone in Sky Peak Pavilion, he could not deny that he had also joined in ridiculing Jackie.
After Claude was dealt with, he should be next.
Benedict felt like his breathing was starting to get erratic. He could faint at any moment.
Nonetheless, the one dealt with the worst mental blow was not Benedict.
It was Elder Rick.
At that moment, Jackie, who had been silent the whole time, suddenly raised his head and looked at Rick. “Elder Rick, aren’t you disappointed? Why isn’t Elder Turner punishing me for dragging the team down but dragging Claude away instead, you may ask?”
Elder Rick frowned and denied this comment, saying, “What are you saying? Why would I be disappointed?”
Jackie sported a small smirk as he answered, “You don’t have to hide anything. Your grudge against me is quite public, so there’s no need to act like it doesn’t exist. I wasn’t the one who wanted to participate in the tournament, but Elder Rick recommended me, insisting unceasingly.”
The elder in question held his head high. “That’s right-I was the one who recommended you. After all, the tournament has a lot of requirements. There’s an age limit, as well as a restriction on outer valley alchemists. You fit all the requirements.
“Of course I recommended you. Even though you’re a sixth-grade alchemist, I believed that you wouldn’t drag the team down as long as you’re willing to.”
Jackie laughed as he looked at Elder Rick as if he was looking at a dead man. “You recommended me in hopes that Elder Turner would be punishing me. Don’t talk as if you’re thinking for the sake of Phoenix Valley. Back then, I didn’t know how important the tournament was at all.
“The moment I understood how important it is, I realized that benefits were so important for you. You don’t care about Phoenix Valley at all!”
Jackie raised his voice as he said that, revealing Elder Rick’s inner thoughts.
The elder’s face darkened as he immediately denied it.
“Don’t think you can say whatever you want! Just because you’re not punished, it doesn’t mean you can insult me so brazenly!”