Jiang Chen soon arrived at Taiyuan Tower on Vermillion Bird Avenue. Taiyuan Tower was co-owned by Jiang Chen and House Wei, where Taiyuan Lodge had been won it off the Majestic Clan in a bet.
Taiyuan Lodge was now occupied by the disciples of the Regal Pill Palace and a few of Jiang Chen's old brothers, such as Liu Wencai and Fatty Lu. Jiang Chen had set up Mu Gaoqi in the young lord residence instead of Taiyuan Lodge. Taiyuan Lodge was now managed by Elder Yun Nie, even though Shen Trifire was in charge in name.
Jiang Chen noticed an abnormality before he even arrived at Taiyuan Tower. Two incredibly lavish pill shops had been erected right beside it. Their signboards were magnificently huge, overshadowing Taiyuan Tower's. This development was startling. What on earth was going on? Which clueless bastard had erected two pill shops right beside Taiyuan Tower? Were they trying to court trouble?
It was widely held that Taiyuan Tower was the best pill shop in Veluriyam Capital. Shops within a 500 meter radius of it had seen a sharp decrease in customers ever since it opened. Opening another pill shop next to Taiyuan Tower was clearly suicide. But it was quite obvious that the owners of these shops weren't suicidal, just here to cause trouble. The shops flanked Taiyuan Tower, seeking to encircle the establishment. However, that wasn't all.
These shops were openly challenging Taiyuan Tower's authority. A pill dao master was giving a lecture on a stage in front of one of the shops, and an enormous audience standing around to listen.
Even though the crowd wasn't as large as the ones for Jiang Chen's lectures, the number of people present was still incredibly significant. Taiyuan Tower's limelight was completely eclipsed by the large crowd. In fact, Taiyuan Tower seemed a little abandoned, especially when compared to the hustle and bustle of yesteryear.
Jiang Chen frowned slightly as he took this in from afar. He was extremely sensitive to such things and instinctively felt that something was amiss. By right, such a scene shouldn't be occurring with Taiyuan Tower's standing in the capital. Everyone knew that this establishment was backed by Pill King Zhen, the Sacred Peafowl Mountain, and even Emperor Peafowl. But these newcomers didn't hold back despite knowing Taiyuan Tower's background, which meant that they had powerful backers of their own as well.
Jiang Chen was infuriated. Taiyuan Tower had seen its fair share of troubles ever since it opened. He'd thought that the defeat of the Majestic Clan would bring an end to all of the troubles. It would seem that wasn't the case. But Jiang Chen wasn't someone who'd let anyone take a dump on his head. Though he was furious, he didn't allow rage to consume him. Instead, he walked up to the shop expressionlessly and listened to the lecture.
After a while, he noticed something peculiar about the contents of the lecture. Even though he didn't know the Capital's pill kings very well, he had a rough understanding of their proficiency in pill dao. The lecturer's foundation in pill dao far exceeded many old pill dao masters in the capital, but he was middle-aged at most. Yet despite his relatively young age, he was giving a pill dao lecture that contained incredibly advanced concepts.
Jiang Chen furrowed his brows. Where is this pill king from? His pill dao knowledge seems to be at the same level as Pill King Bu and Pill King Lu Feng, but he's clearly much younger than both of them.
He was very eloquent and wielded his silver tongue well. His lecture touched on a wide range of topics, yet was also incredibly profound and interesting. From time to time, the audience would ask him questions and he would answer without breaking a sweat.
Jiang Chen was somewhat skeptical about the lecture's authenticity. The questions from the audience was very masterful and profound, yet the lecturer was able to answer them without any pause or hesitation. A great deal of knowledge was needed to do such a thing.
He quickly saw through their ruse. The audience asking the questions were definitely accomplices. They would exchanged glances with each other before asking a well-timed question.
A bystander often had a clearer view of the situation. From his point of view, Jiang Chen could immediately tell that the lecturer was working together with the questioners. The latter was nothing but hired muscle. The questions seemed incredibly profound and high level, but the answers had already been prepared beforehand. The answers were still incredibly detailed and comprehensive, but being prepared beforehand made everything meaningless.
As Jiang Chen continued to observe, he was even more certain of his findings. He grew increasingly disgusted as the pill king went on with his lecture. There seemed to be no end to his eloquent speeches.
Suddenly, he burst into a loud peal of laughter. This interruption was very jarring, as if thunder rumbling on a sunny day. It immediately disrupted the atmosphere around the shop. The guards standing on both sides of the stage immediately rushed towards Jiang Chen to maintain order.
"Where did this scumbag come from? How dare he disrupt the blessed lecture by laughing out loud? Is he looking for a beating?"
"Don't bother with words. Just kick him out!" These guards pounced at Jiang Chen like a pack of ferocious beasts.
Jiang Chen casually brandished his sleeves. A powerful emperor domain exploded forward and swept them off their feet. He smiled coldly and looked sharply at the pill king. "Where did a fame-seeking troublemaker like you come from? Since when did we have someone like you in the capital?"
Jiang Chen wasn't dense or slow. How could he not tell that the pill king and the pill shops were trying to oppose Taiyuan Tower, him, and Sacred Peafowl Mountain? He wasn't going to be courteous to an enemy.
Likewise, the person on the stage wasn't ignorant like a newly hatched bird. When he noticed that someone had come to provoke him, all he did was laugh coldly. "Men! There's a troublemaker! Kick him off our premises!"
Jiang Chen cracked a cold and ruthless smile. Kick me out? With a flash of his figure, he leaped onto the stage and took a stance roughly four meters away from the pill king. Equipped with an emperor level Evil Golden Eye, he stared straight at the pill king and pinned him down.
"Kick me out? Pray tell, how are you going to do that?"
The pill king didn't think that Jiang Chen would possess such incredible speed. The latter had appeared in front him in a blink of an eye! He was so dumbstruck that he could no longer form discernible words.
"Y-you… who are you? Why are you disrupting my lecture?"
"First of all, when did a pill king like you suddenly appear in Veluriyam Capital? I have no issues with your lecture, but you're clearly answering questions that you and your accomplices have prepared beforehand! You're playing the crowd to gain game! I'll not stand by idly after noticing such a thing!" Jiang Chen answered coldly.
"T-that's a pack of lies!" Color immediately drained from that man's face. Anxious and against a wall, he hurled abuse at Jiang Chen. "You slandering brat! You're trying to ruin my reputation! You must've be a hired grunt sent here by those that are afraid of my influence!"
He looked pointedly at Taiyuan Tower, clearly insinuating that Jiang Chen was sent by the competition to cause trouble.
"Everyone, this person with an unknown background has disrupted our lecture! What do you think we should do with this evil-doer?" The man suddenly yelled at the crowd. It was the best way to quickly raise controversy. The audience immediately began to raise a fuss.
"Brat! Who are you? How dare you stir up trouble?"
"How dare you interrupt our lecture? He's just trying to ruin everything on purpose!"
"Go away! Stop disrupting our lecture!"
"Yeah! Nobody cares who you are! If you truly possess skill and knowledge, you can conduct lectures of your own! We'll attend if you're good! Otherwise, scram! Stop monkeying around!"
The crowd was foaming at the teeth. Jiang Chen's sudden interruption was clearly unpopular. They genuinely believed that Jiang Chen was trying to disrupt their lecture and learning.
Humans were truly forgetful creatures. Many of the audience had attended Jiang Chen's lectures in front of Taiyuan Tower before. Like grass easily swayed by the breeze, they now attended a lecture from a pill shop clearly competing with Taiyuan Tower. It was as though the lectures they'd received from Taiyuan Tower had never even existed in the first place. They didn't seem to possess even an ounce of gratitude.
Jiang Chen sighed gently when he saw many familiar faces. He considered revealing his identity as Pill King Zhen, but it would be a little too self-depreciating. He was the young lord of Sacred Peafowl Mountain after all. His social standing was leagues above anyone present. The pill shop might even use his identity to turn the argument in their favor. If he won the argument, the crowd would find that it was a natural conclusion. However, the pill shop might use this fact to further promote their influence.
A pill battle with the world-famous Pill King Zhen was free marketing. Winning or losing would no longer matter. Therefore, Jiang Chen didn't lose his rational even though he was angry. He wasn't going to reveal his identity so that the other side could use it against him.
Jiang Chen was jeered from all directions. Ignoring the crowd, he glared at the pill king coldly and suddenly smiled bizarrely. "Fine. Since you claim that they're not your accomplices, let me dish out three questions. I'll admit defeat if you can answer even one. I'll offer you my sincerest apologies, compensation, and take myself out of your sight!"