The Veranda master had dispelled the formation of his own accord for a clearer view of the ugly struggles of cultivators in their death throes. It was obvious that he hated the royal family quite a bit. His hate encompassed even the entire Great Scarlet Mid Region. And of course, he hated Jiang Chen, the unpredictable variable, immensely as well.
The perfect prey had fallen into his hands, so it would be a crying shame if he didn't fully enjoy and play with them after his success. He had spent many years preparing for the moment, and now was when he enjoyed his harvest! The moment the formation was dispelled, the Veranda master made a beeline for Imperial Prince Zhao with a taunting look. He stomped firmly on the prince's face twice.
"Imperial Prince Zhao, is it? Where's your cool act now, hmm? Why are you lying here like a dying dog? How does this feel?"
Prince Zhao had been a proud man his entire life and had never thought that he would succumb to a situation like this today. Flustered and exasperated as he was, there was nothing he could do about it.
"Kill me if you dare, Cui! My royal brother and forefather will absolutely take revenge for me, for you are the enemy of humanity the moment you submitted to the demons! Even if I were to die today, you will never get me to bow my head and make a fool out of myself!" Prince Zhao knew that it was pointless to beg for mercy, so he didn't even bother trying.
"Kill you? Such naivete." The Veranda master laughed heartily. "You can't die even if you want to now. Didn't that kid tell you all to commit suicide earlier? It might have sounded ridiculous, but it was actually the smartest choice. But it's too late now. Both life and death are literally out of your reach, so just wait here like obedient dogs for the lord demon emperor to devour all of you, hahahaha! I'm sure it'll be the time of your lives!"
Prince Zhao cursed him. "What are you so happy for, Cui? No matter how happy you are, you'll never be able to change the fact that your daughter is the royal family's toy. Tell me, can you think of a single lover in your life that hasn't been taken and enjoyed by the royal family? Hahaha, so I may die today, but it's still worth everything you lost! Can you really wash that shame away even if you kill all of us, Cui?"
The Veranda master's face darkened. "Are you trying to get me to kill you? Dream on! Remember this well: I shall return ten times, a hundred times the shame you've inflicted upon me! I'll invade Great Scarlet and murder your forefather and your emperor. Then I'll rape every Yan woman. Once I'm done, I'll cast them on the streets so that every beggar in Great Scarlet Mid Region will get the chance to enjoy them! They'll provide pleasure until they die!"
Only the heavens knew how big a hatred the Veranda master harbored to say such a thing. All color drained from Prince Zhao's face. He knew that the Veranda master would absolutely do what he said if he really could replace the Yan family.
The Veranda master laughed out loud with great satisfaction when he saw that the ashen-faced Prince Zhao could no longer refute him. He left the prince and walked towards the others.
When the Veranda master stopped by Ole Zhang, a half smile danced across his lips. "My apologies, Old Zhang. I knew that you belong to the royal family. I recruited you as my escort to bring you into this trap. If you wish to blame someone, blame yourself for being as naive as you are at your age."
Ole Zhang responded calmly. "The victor is king, so you may say anything you wish since you've won. It is unfortunate that Prince Zhao didn't listen to me, or you may not have been the final victor."
The Veranda master laughed proudly. "The Yan family has always been a bunch of self-conceited bastards. Such is their fatal flaw."
Ole Zhang couldn't say anything at that. He sighed softly, shook his head, and fell silent.
The cultivators of the three great third rank sects turned their heads away and ignored the Veranda master when they saw him walking towards them.
However, the Veranda master wasn't going to let them off. He taunted, "Not so high and mighty now, are you? Why so quiet, hmm? You're cultivators of third rank sects, aren't you? Your eyes normally grow on top of your heads, am I right? Look at you now!"
His audience wore ugly looks on their faces, but they were unable to say anything in response. They knew that nothing they said now could change their situation.
Someone in the fourth rank sect cried out. "Don't kill me, master of the Veranda. I surrender! I've always admired the demons, so can you recommend me to the demon emperor? I would like to serve him."
"Me too, please recommend us, master of the Veranda. We are willing to serve your every whim."
The Veranda master smiled faintly. "It's true that I am lacking in manpower right now, but even then you weak-minded people are beneath my attention."
The Veranda master was even less interested in the fourth rank sects. His next target was Jiang Chen.
A gleeful victor's smile on his face, the Veranda master walked towards Jiang Chen with unconcealed ridicule. "Boy, you were harder to deal with than that idiotic Prince Zhao. If you hadn't ruined part of my plans, I might have wanted to keep you around. Unfortunately, not only did you do exactly that, you even stole my woman…"
Jiang Chen snorted coldly. "Dog of the demon race, what are you so proud about?"
"Hahaha, the victor is king, and the loser is nothing. I'm the king, so why shouldn't I be proud of myself? The demon race, the human race. Are they really all that important? In the martial dao world, the law of the jungle is the most important!"
"So, you mean to say that victory is in your grasp, is that it?" A hint of ridicule escaped the corners of Jiang Chen's mouth.
"What , am I wrong?" The Veranda master countered with a cold snort.
Suddenly, Jiang Chen leapt from the ground, activating the formation disk in his hands. The moment he did so, the Ancient Slaughter Formation of Seven instantly wrapped around the Veranda master.
The sudden action stunned the Veranda master greatly. It was unfeasible to him that someone stripped of all fighting ability could summon such explosive strength without warning.
Long Xiaoxuan also acted when Jiang Chen activated the formation, trapping the Veranda master inside a dragon domain. Then, Jiang Chen fired the Featherflight Mirror at the Veranda master in succession and without mercy.
In just a breath's time, the young man had executed three moves at once: the Ancient Slaughter Formation of Seven, the dragon domain, and the Featherflight Mirror.
All three techniques were entrapment moves.
As strong as the Veranda master might be, he was caught on the back foot after being caught completely off guard. Not reacting in time, the three successive moves had him completely trapped before he could recover his wits.
Long Xiaoxuan might have just entered emperor realm, but he was still a true dragon. As an initial emperor realm cultivator, he could fight an average high level emperor head on.
The Veranda master was just sixth level emperor realm. He cultivated the demonic arts, but Jiang Chen hadn't given him a chance to transform. As a mere human, the Veranda master couldn't struggle out of the shackles that held him in place.
Jiang Chen immediately formed the Vermillion Bird image and sent it flying towards the Veranda master. Long Xiaozuan also executed the Claw of Crushed Mountains and Rivers and swiped at the Veranda master's face.
The schemer cried out in pain when the attacks hit him. The dragon's attack hit the Veranda master in the head, exploding the latter like a crushed watermelon. The Veranda master barely managed to form a single thought of hatred before he was completely wiped off the face of the earth.
Those outside had no idea what was going on inside the Ancient Slaughter Formation of Seven. All they saw was the blurry outline of the formation. No one saw Jiang Chen and Long Xiaoxuan working together to kill the Veranda master in the blink of an eye.
They only knew that something had happened, and that the Veranda master seemed to have encountered a bit of trouble. Faint hope rose in everyone's hearts. Although they had been chasing Jiang Chen just now, they all hoped that Jiang Chen would be the victor instead of the Veranda master.
Long Xiaoxuan hid himself when the formation dissipated. A distant-looking Jiang Chen walked out of the air and stood before Imperial Prince Zhao and the others. The prince hadn't imagined that the young man would be the one to walk out of the fight instead of the Veranda master.
"Hmph. Have you come to ridicule me like that Cui, boy? Kill me if you want. I'll be a damned coward if I beg you during the process!"
Jiang Chen smiled indifferently before ignoring the prince completely, dashing straight outside instead. Currently, the most pressing thought in his mind wasn't the demon emperor, but the earth attribute treasure.
The Veranda master had done one good thing prior to his death, and that was to dispel the sea of fog so that he could taunt his enemies. As a result, Jiang Chen could observe everything around him with ease. He swore to find the treasure even if the demon emperor were to awaken from his slumber in the next instant.
They were still all underground. After expanding his consciousness to its fullest, Jiang Chen quickly found the place with the richest source of energy.
"This is it!" Jiang Chen's eyes lit up. When his consciousness swept across this area, he discovered a pouring fountain of earth elemental energy.
Jiang Chen immediately summoned the Goldbiter Rats.
"Head down there and take a look, Ole Gold."
The Rat King had no choice but to comply. Luckily, the pulse of the earth treasure wasn't too powerful even though it was overflowing with energy. It didn't take long for him to hop back up. "Sir Chen, there are actually several levels to this underground world. For example, there's another space beneath here that enshrines a single pearl. All of the elemental energy we're sensing comes from it."
"Oh?" Jiang Chen's eyes lit up. "Let's head down and take a look then."
He immediately went down to the floor below with the Rat King. There were many giant rock pillars inside this layer. They looked like pillars supporting this underground world and were quite fantastical.
An enormous rock sculpture of a giant stood at the center of the rock pillars. Surprisingly, the giant had only one eye. Its eyeball was none other than the pearl the Rat King had glimpsed. Even from afar, Jiang Chen found the giant incredibly imposing.
"Is this the pearl?" Jiang Chen looked contemplative for a moment. He first scanned his surroundings to make sure that these giant rocks wouldn't suddenly come to life and attack them. Then, he summoned the Bewitching Lotus of Fire and Ice for it to grab the pearl with its vines.