Jiang Chen pondered for a moment as he looked at Huang'er. The confidence in her clear eyes tugged at his heartstrings. Nodding slightly, he turned towards Lin Yanyu and Mu Gaoqi. "Huang'er will take the field in this battle. Don't be dejected, the time for both of you to show off your abilities will arrive someday!"
If this had been in the past, Jiang Chen would never have allowed Huang'er to participate in a battle. The Generation Binding Curse flared whenever she used her consciousness or her martial skills, so there was always a chance she could swept away in an irreversible tragedy.
But the Generation Binding Curse no longer plagued her. With her level of abilities, what was there to be worried about? When the insufferably arrogant true disciple of the Ninesuns Sky Sect, Cao Jin, had caused trouble at the Regal Pill Palace, Huang'er had sent him scurrying away with just three moves.
She'd been born in Myriad Abyss Island. Although she was a year or two younger than Jiang Chen, she had reached emperor realm a long time ago. She wasn't on par with Jiang Chen in terms of pill dao, but the foundations of Myriad Abyss Island were bigger and deeper than the human domain's, not to mention that Huang'er had honed her skills in order to treat her own sickly body. She seemed unremarkable in this area because she preferred to keep a low profile, and had never put herself in the limelight through the years of Jiang Chen's journeys. Moreover, she gave off the impression that she was a management talent because shemanaged Jiang Chen's home while he was away. Over time, the people didn't even wonder if she had outstanding martial dao or pill dao talents.
In reality, Huang'er's talents could be said to surpass Jiang Chen's to some extent. If he hadn't been so heaven defying or benefited from so many fortuitous encounters, strength-wise, he was absolutely inferior to Huang'er prior to entering emperor realm. She had kept a very low profile until now. She didn't want to show off her talents, and she definitely didn't want to take Jiang Chen's limelight.
Of course, Huang'er led in terms of martial dao because she had a better background. However, the young woman personally thought that Jiang Chen had far greater potential than her. His level of attainment in pill dao, formation dao and and other areas only impressed her more.
Thanks to her birth, Huang'er's standards were far beyond average. There was nothing a normal man could do to attract her attention. But Jiang Chen had conquered her heart step by step with his own charisma.
Both Lin Yanyu and Mu Gaoqi were extremely impressed with Huang'er. They had interacted with the lady at the young lord residence before, and they both knew that the seemingly quiet and gentle-natured Miss Huang'er was in fact an extraordinary person. Therefore, they had no qualms with Jiang Chen's arrangement.
Everyone else however, was a little caught off guard; even the four great monarchs looked a little surprised. He's sending a woman into battle? Although Huang'er was young lord Zhen's dao partner, none of them knew Huang'er well. They had not heard that she was extraordinarily talented in other areas than management. Is she really the right choice?
Jiang Chen was aware of their doubts. He smiled. "Huang'er normally keeps a low profile, but I can guarantee that she's the best candidate here."
Since the young lord himself had given his word, the four great monarchs had no reason to object. After all, Emperor Peafowl wasn't around right now. It was young lord Zhen's right to have the final say.
Emperor Peerless laughed. "So, young lord Zhen and Miss Huang'er will be taking the field together, hmm? This is a beautiful story in the making."
Everyone laughed loudly in response.
Emperor Shura's faction was a little surprised to hear laughter from Sacred Peafowl Mountain. They shot confused glances in their enemy's direction. How could Sacred Peafowl Mountain laugh at a moment like this?
Jiang Chen didn't care for Emperor Shura or his men's attention. "All candidates come to my side. Everyone else, stay here and be on your guard."
Shura Retreat was almost done selecting their candidates when Jiang Chen went up the stage to report his final list. When both sides appeared on stage with their candidates, a commotion broke out from the surrounding crowd. Both Sacred Peafowl Mountain and Shura Retreat had appeared with more than one unfamiliar faces in their midst.
On Sacred Peafowl Mountain's side, the only candidate the crowd knew of was Cloudsoar Monarch. The other two candidates were an impressive-looking man wreathed in unquestionable might and a spotless beauty. It was obvious at first glance that they were extraordinary people. No one thought that they were just a generic participant.
On Shura Retreat's side, Emperor Shura and Li Jiancheng were also accompanied by two unfamiliar faces. Everyone knew that Emperor Shura's strongest subordinates were Sun Monarch, Moon Monarch and Star Monarch. However, the candidates standing on the stage right now were utterly unrecognizable to them.
Jiang Chen's gaze clashed against Emperor Shura's. They noted the intense heat of judgment in each other's eyes.
In the guest area, Emperor Pillzenith frowned when he saw Emperor Peerless standing behind Jiang Chen. He immediately sent a message to Emperor Shura.
"Shura, that man on Sacred Peafowl Mountain's side is Emperor Peerless of the wandering cultivator community. He isn't qualified to participate in this battle on behalf of Sacred Peafowl Mountain. Watch out."
Emperor Shura snorted coldly after this information, going on the offensive. "Young lord Zhen, the candidates behind you is quite unfamiliar. Since when did Sacred Peafowl Mountain have such personnel? If I'm not mistaken, the man behind you is the famous wandering cultivator Emperor Peerless? Since when was Emperor Peerless affiliated with Sacred Peafowl Mountain? How is he allowed to fight on behalf of Sacred Peafowl Mountain?"
Emperor Shura cupped his hands at Emperor Petalpluck's direction. "Daoist Petalpluck, it is so disappointing to see how far Sacred Peafowl Mountain has fallen. I suspect that Daoist Peafowl is no longer with us, and that Sacred Peafowl Mountain is under the control of an outsider."
A traitor's bite went deep. Emperor Shura was clearly talented in talking up a storm.
Emperor Petalpluck frowned and turned to look at Jiang Chen. He was waiting for an explanation.
Ridicule filtered through Jiang Chen's expression as he smiled at the two unfamiliar candidate standing behind Emperor Shura. "Look at you trying to shift blame away from your guilty self. Are you telling me that the two standing behind you belong to Shura Retreat as well?"
Emperor Shura said coldly, "I will explain myself after you explain Emperor Peerless' presence."
In response, Emperor Peerless smiled proudly with disdain. "Shura, are you truly planning to seize the seat of power with your level of knowledge and experience? How amusing. They all say that you're ill-informed and narrow-minded, and personally, I think you should believe it. Young lord Zhen saved my life some time ago, so the thought of joining Sacred Peafowl Mountain has been present for quite a while. I'm an esteemed guest elder of Sacred Peafowl Mountain now. So tell me, am I qualified to fight on behalf of Sacred Peafowl Mountain?"
What? His words were a thunderbolt that struck Emperor Shura right on the forehead. His mind was buzzing with disbelief. Emperor Peerless has joined Sacred Peafowl Mountain?
This wasn't good news at all. In recruiting a great emperor almost as famous as Emperor Shura, the gap left behind by Emperor Peafowl was nearly completely refilled. It was undoubtedly a disastrous blow to Emperor Shura's plans to seize power.
Esteemed guest elder? Everyone from the great emperors to the vassals were completely stunned. Emperor Peerless was a wondrous figure, yet he would lower himself to join a faction like Sacred Peafowl Mountain? Didn't this mean that Veluriyam Capital had gained a new great emperor, and an incredible one at that? Even Emperor Petalpluck was speechless for a time.
Emperor Shura thought rapidly and responded with a cold snort. "Do you think you can join Veluriyam Capital however you like? Who knows if you're just joining us temporarily? Who knows if you'll leave once this is all over? If you can join Veluriyam Capital however you like, then I can recruit ten or so great emperors myself!"
He certainly had quick reactions, and seized on a supposed weakness. Emperor Vastsea also shouted from the stand. "You must be fair, Daoist Petalpluck. Sacred Peafowl Mountain is playing a trick that completely shames the rules set for this battle!"
"What a joke, what a joke!" Emperor Skysplitter was shaking his head as well.
But Emperor Peerless suddenly laughed loudly. "Shura, you're not half bad at making things up. Who told you that I'm joining Veluriyam Capital temporarily? Who told you that I'm going to back out once all this is over? I see many heroes present today, so I might as well make the declaration now. From hereon, I, Mo Wushuang, am the esteemed guest elder of Sacred Peafowl Mountain. I will not leave Sacred Peafowl Mountain unless I'm dead, and I will carry out all of young lord Zhen's commands. I'm not going to tell you the details, but young lord Zhen saved me and my wife from death. Therefore, he is a worthy master to die for. You lot may imagine the reasons behind my decision however you like, be it to repay a favor or climb the social ladder, but my joining of Sacred Peafowl Mountain is one fact that will not change. If I ever go against my word in the future, may the heavens smite me."
His loud, resounding reply silenced Emperor Shura and Emperor Vastsea entirely. Before the Emperor Shura could gather himself for a reply, Jiang Chen stared coldly at the two cultivators behind him.
"Emperor Peerless has willingly joined Sacred Peafowl Mountain. He will never betray us. However, I'm not so sure about the two behind you. Why don't you introduce them to us, Emperor Shura? If I'm not mistaken, their backgrounds are pretty sketchy, aren't they? Do they hail from Eternal Celestial Capital, or do they come from Pillfire City?"Jiang Chen had no intentions of mincing words with Emperor Shura. Ever since seeing Emperor Pillzenith, he'd had a feeling that something nebulous was going on between Emperor Shura and Emperor Pillzenith.
If it was just Emperor Shura, then Emperor Peafowl had every way to turn the tables once he returned to Veluriyam Capital. But if Pillfire City was involved, then the outcome wouldn't be as clear as he hoped.
If Emperor Pillzenith really did manage to gain a foothold in Veluriyam Capital and entrench himself, then not even Emperor Peafowl would be able to turn back time. Therefore, he mustn't allow Emperor Shura to succeed no matter what.
Since they were now completely at odds with one another, Jiang Chen had no reason to hold anything back. He voiced his doubts directly, questioning their backgrounds and even bringing up Eternal Celestial Capital and Pillfire City. As expected, the crowd immediately exploded into a furor.
Although Emperor Peerless was a famous great emperor, everyone knew that he was a wandering cultivator with no sect or foundation to support him. There was no reason to suspect his intentions for joining Sacred Peafowl Mountain because wandering cultivators normally had spotless backgrounds.
However, Eternal Celestial Capital and Pillfire City were a different story altogether. Bluntly speaking, they were the enemies of Veluriyam Capital. Things would get very complex if factions like these were involved in Veluriyam Capital. Emperor Shura would certainly be despised by the entire capital if he had recruited the aid of enemy cultivators.