Sacred Peafowl Mountain's morale grew tremendously after Emperor Peerless and the Geng Brothers joined the faction. The unexpected turn of events made the four monarchs extremely happy.
Powerful experts had joined the faction, yet their own authority and ranks weren't even slightly affected. It was the greatest deal of a lifetime. Only someone as highly revered as young lord Zhen could attract these legendary wanderers to join the Sacred Peafowl Mountain. It was a feat that not even Emperor Peafowl could achieve. Emperor Peafowl could compel much from other people, but it was highly unlikely that he'd be able to get Emperor Peerless to join Sacred Peafowl Mountain without any incentives.
"Alright, since Old Brother Mo has joined our faction, he shall be one of the followers. I trust that nobody has a second opinion?" Jiang Chen asked assessingly as he looked at the crowd.
"None at all." Cloudsoar Monarch was first to declare his support.
"Me neither." A person as cold and lofty as Plumscore Monarch would never oppose to it during such times either. She had a cold personality, but that didn't mean she was a fool. Emperor Peerless' participation would drastically increase Sacred Peafowl Mountain's winning chances. She'd have to be a complete idiot to say no.
Since there were no naysayers, Jiang Chen flashed a grin at Emperor Peerless. "Old Brother Mo, surely you wouldn't detest being called a follower?"
Emperor Peerless responded with a hearty laugh. "Young lord Zhen, do you think I would care about such trifling matters? I'd be fine even if I was called a slave! It's merely a title! I, of all people, know how you treat me."
Emperor Peerless felt a little agitated when he said this. When Jiang Chen had given him the Kunpeng bloodline, he felt a burning and unquenching desire to repay this favor. He understood that Jiang Chen had only given him the blood due to trust. The young lord had plenty of great emperor friends and didn't necessarily have to give the blood to him. It was the biggest reason why he volunteered to join the Sacred Peafowl Mountain.
He was a very proud person, but that didn't mean that he was conceited. He knew when to be grateful to others. It was thanks to his pride that he was able to see how great Jiang Chen was and felt thorough respect for the young lord. But when he received that precious gift from Jiang Chen, he'd made up his mind and resolved to follow the young lord.
He didn't feel that joining Sacred Peafowl Mountain was too brash of a decision. Quite the contrary, in fact. The more he got to know Jiang Chen, the more limitless the young mysterious man's potential seemed to be. He had the feeling that if he served under the young man, he would one day receive an even more unbelievable fortune.
Even if there was no great fortune ahead, the Kunpeng bloodline would already change his life. He was more than willing to let Jiang Chen order him around. After all, the opportunity to ascend to the empyrean realm was something one could only dream of.
Emperor Peafowl and Emperor Pillzenith had been great emperors for thousands of years, but none of them had transcended to empyrean realm yet. One could easily tell from this just how difficult it was to become an empyrean expert. And because of that looming difficulty, Emperor Peerless was able to understand just how significant a single drop of Kunpeng blood was. Jiang Chen had done him a huge favor!
Emperor Peerless' strong resolution warmed the crowd's hearts. They couldn't help but feel even more respect for him. They saw Emperor Peerless as a great man who truly knew how to differentiate friend from foe.
"We need one more follower now that Old Brother Mo has taken one spit. Who is up for the task?" Jiang Chen swept his gaze through the four monarch, the Geng Brothers, Pill King Bu, and Pill King Lu Feng. They were the only suitable candidates present.
Cloudsoar Monarch volunteered. "Young lord, we'll feel bad if you send the Geng Brothers to battle after picking Emperor Peerless. The second candidate must be from the four of us. I'm willing to go into battle."
"Agreed. Us four monarchs are Emperor Peafowl's handpicked subordinates. We'll defend Sacred Peafowl Mountain with our very lives if we have to!"
Pill King Lu Feng laughed mischievously. "Master, why don't you pick me instead? I have no confidence in martial dao, but I'm certain that I can bring us at least one victory in pill dao."
Pill King Lu Feng had learned a lot from Jiang Chen after so many years. The young lord didn't have much time to spend in personal tutelage, but the books he'd provided to them had provided much inspiration, which improved their pill dao knowledge by leaps and bounds.
Jiang Chen pondered deeply. "The second candidacy should be given to the four monarchs. It would a huge disservice otherwise. Moreover, outsiders might start rumors and give them a hard time."
It was the simple reality of things. The four monarchs were Emperor Peafowl's most trusted aides. It'd be most inappropriate if they didn't participate in the battle.
"You should discuss among yourselves to decide who'll be the most suitable candidate." Jiang Chen didn't name any names because he knew that he'd disappoint the other three. Having them discuss among themselves was the easiest way to pick the most suitable candidate.
After a brief discussion, Cloudsoar Monarch was elected. He didn't have a significant advantage over the other three in martial dao, but he was significantly better in pill dao. He was also slightly more well-rounded. Now that Cloudsoar Monarch had been chosen as the second follower, one personal disciple was needed for the competition.
The candidacy for this spot was much harder to fill. Jiang Chen had a few direct disciples, but Pill King Bu and Pill King Lu Feng were both too old. The only suitable candidate left was Lin Yanyu.
Mu Gaoqi was Jiang Chen's fellow disciple from Regal Pill Palace and could be technically be sent into battle as his direct disciple, but both Mu Gaoqi and Lin Yanyu were a little wanting in martial dao. There were four martial dao matches in total, with each candidate having to attend one. Sending them out to battle seemed a little too dangerous.
"Esteemed master, please send this disciple to battle." Lin Yanyu stepped forward to volunteer.
"Brother Lin, let me instead." Mu Gaoqi volunteered too.
Other disciples such Gouyu and Xue Tong didn't add to the chaos as they were no match for either Lin Yanyu or Mu Gaoqi.
Jiang Chen had some reservations as well. Lin Yanyu and Mu Gaoqi were the obvious candidates, but they were truly a little too inadequate in martial dao. There were only three pill dao matches in total. Lin Yanyu and Mu Gaoqi would definitely dominate everyone in their age group, but they were still a little too young to go up against seasoned pill kings that were on the same level as Pill King Lu Feng and Pill King Bu. After all, Shura Retreat might not have Li Jiancheng participate in those matches. The two possible choices were incredibly talented, but too young. They weren't able to shoulder the pressure yet.
Suddenly, Ji San appeared from behind Emperor Coiling Dragon. "Young lord Zhen, maybe I can be your final candidate? I dare not be confident in other disciplines, but I can definitely defeat Li Jiancheng in martial dao."
Ji San's sudden request shocked everyone. Emperor Coiling Dragon was wide-eyed with disbelief. "Stop fooling around! Everyone knows your identity! How can you represent the Sacred Peafowl Mountain?"
Ji San explained himself. "Our clan was once directly under Sacred Peafowl Mountain. I should be able to represent the faction!"
Jiang Chen made a sweeping gesture. "Brother Ji, since Emperor Coiling Dragon has already founded his own faction, you're no longer directly under us. I appreciate your good intentions, but I cannot let you to represent us. Your status prevents me from doing so."
Ji San's mouth trembled a little, but swallowed his words once he saw the determination in Jiang Chen's eyes. He knew that there was nothing he could do to change Jiang Chen's mind once it was made up.
After receiving the drop of true dragon's blood from Jiang Chen, Ji San had attained sudden enlightenment which had improved his cultivation by leaps and bounds. His bloodline powers had awakened after he ascended to the emperor realm, and he was now in a cultivation growth spurt. If he hadn't heeded Jiang Chen's advice and kept a low profile, news of his rapid progress would have likely taken the capital by storm. Ji San was actually thirsting for battle. He badly wanted to crush Emperor Shura's number one disciple under his feet.
So Ji San was an inappropriate candidate while Lin Yanyu and Mu Gaoqi were both too green behind the ears. Things were in a quandary yet again. Jiang Chen looked at Lin Yanyu and Mu Gaoqi and was about to make a decision, but pleasant laughter suddenly echoed in his ears. "Why don't you let Huang'er try?"
A beautiful and elegant silhouette approached him from the side. She was breathtakingly beautiful, like a lotus that had just bloomed radiantly amongst the crowd. The crowd was struck by awe when they saw her presence in the group.
"Huang'er, you…?" Jiang Chen was also a little dumbfounded. Her words had truly caught him by surprise.
"Hehe, am I not a suitable candidate?" Huang'er smiled sweetly. She seemed to emanate an aura that made her accepted by others.
All eyes were on the girl. Everyone knew that she was young lord Zhen's dao partner. However, nobody expected that this young, kind, and generous lady would suddenly volunteer to take part in the battle.
"Just let Huang'er try!" Huang'er looked at Jiang Chen lovingly. "I definitely won't have you lose face!"
She wasn't used to speaking out in public like this, but she knew that she'd never forgive herself if she didn't help her beloved in his time of need. Lin Yanyu and Mu Gaoqi's foundations were simply too shallow. Huang'er knew that if she didn't volunteer, Jiang Chen would be forced to send someone that would drag the team down.