Emperor Shura felt deeply humiliated after Jiang Chen countered his taunts. He knew that it was foolish to spar words with young lord Zhen, so he settled for a snort. "Young lord Zhen, you're something when it comes to smooth talking, but you need true skill and knowledge to win the competition."
"The fourth round begins. Miss Huang'er of Sacred Peafowl Mountain versus Pill King Hui of Shura Retreat!"
The beast taming part of the competition was a very primitive one. Huang'er didn't have any special attainment in the art of beast taming, so she surrendered after a token appearance. It was already Sacred Peafowl Mountain's plan to give up this round, not to mention that Pill King Hui was obviously well versed in the art of beast taming.
An arrogant smile spilled out of the corners of Emperor Shura's lips when Huang'er conceded without hesitation. Huang'er's surrender made him realize that Sacred Peafowl Mountain was probably completely lacking in the area. They wouldn't have given up so easily otherwise.
"Pill King Hui of Shura Retreat wins the fourth round. The fifth round begins is young lord Zhen of Sacred Peafowl Mountain versus Emperor Shura of Shura Retreat! We will draw straws to decide the match format."
There was much to choose from when it came to beast taming. There were on-the-spot beast taming, summoning contracted beasts to do battle…
The format Huang'er and Pill King Hui had drawn earlier was on-the-spot beast taming. That was what Jiang Chen hoped was the result as well. It would best use his mastery in the ancient beast language, but reality often ran counter to one's wishes. When the result of the draw was out, the match format turned out to be a fight between the participants' contracted beasts. It was the most primitive and direct match format there was. Whoever had the stronger contracted beast would win.
Emperor Shura almost laughed when he saw the match format. He thought that victory was already in his grasp. As a great emperor, the beast he contracted was almost advanced emperor realm. In fact, he had come across this spirit creature by accident.
Everyone knew that the higher the level of spirit creature, the more difficult it was to tame. If Emperor Shura wasn't learned in the art of beast taming and not lucky enough to encounter such a beast, he wouldn't even be able to acquire an initial emperor realm beast, much less a mid realm one.
Encounters like these were completely up to luck. There were a lot of great emperors whose contracted beasts were lower than emperor realm. In fact, some didn't even have a contracted beast to begin with. They weren't lacking in the ability to contract a beast, but the ones they found were either unsuitable or too low level. No one wanted a beast like that.
A beast needed to be either at a high cultivation level or possess great potential. If they didn't have either one of these qualities, there was no point in taming them at all. This was especially true in the case of a great emperor, where a shoddy contracted beast would only be a loss of face.
Emperor Shura's contracted beast had great cultivation and potential. His spirit creature had only been initial emperor realm when he first contracted with it. After a dozen years of care, the beast was now approaching advanced emperor realm.
It was perfectly capable of evolving to peak emperor realm in the future. Whether or not it could become a great emperor was completely dependent on its own luck and abilities.
Emperor Shura was very proud of his own contracted spirit creature. He didn't think that even Emperor Peafowl was his equal in this area, much less someone as young as young lord Zhen. What level was young lord Zhen's cultivation? How powerful could his contracted beast possibly be? Young lord Zhen would have one at sage realm at the most!
Not even sects famous for their beast taming arts could tame a beast at the same level as their cultivators. Thus, it was no wonder that Emperor Shura felt so optimistic. The very first step to taming a spirit creature was to defeat it by force and make it submit with superior martial prowess.
Jiang Chen felt a little depressed when he saw the result of the straw. It was the format he least liked out of all the possible selections. He wasn't afraid of inadequacy, but his mastery of the ancient beast language was completely useless with this format.
Strictly speaking, he didn't have a contracted spirit creature. However, he did have a lot of contracted beast allies. For example, he had Long Xiaoxuan, the Goldbiter Rats and the Astral White Tiger cub.
Of course, he wasn't going to send the Astral White Tiger cub into battle since it hadn't completely awakened. As for the Goldbiter Rats, they had admittedly grown a lot since he first met them, but it was against Ole Gold's nature to ferociously fight Emperor Shura's contracted beast on open ground. In the end, Long Xiaoxuan was his only choice.
It wasn't that he couldn't ask the dragon to do something, but that he really didn't want to reveal Long Xiaoxuan's presence unless absolutely necessary. After all, a true dragon bloodline was extraordinary, and the circumstances of exposing it were unimaginable. He had to discuss the situation with Long Xiaoxuan, so he sent the dragon a message. "Brother Long, I cannot afford to lose this match, so I need your help here. However, there will be consequences after your true self is exposed to the world. I won't blame you if you wish to sit this one out."
Jiang Chen didn't want to use high-falutin' principles to coerce Long Xiaoxuan into helping him.
The dragon snorted coldly. "Will you stand by and do nothing if I'm being hunted?"
"What kind of question is that? Of course I won't! You and I have been brothers for so long!" Jiang Chen was quite annoyed by the stupid question.
"That's exactly my point." Long Xiaoxuan said indifferently, "It's only a matter of time before my existence is revealed anyways. It's also rather irritating that a noble true dragon is forced to hide from the world."
In the beginning, Long Xiaoxuan had been shy and afraid of the world because he knew nothing about it. He was much more familiar with it now and had formed his own opinions, long since shedding his initial worries and fears. Moreover, he was gradually awakening all the memories and natural pride of a true dragon. He didn't want to hide from the world forever either. In his opinion, it was practically blasphemy to his heritage.
"You must think carefully about this, Brother Long." Jiang Chen reminded again.
"There's no need. The crouching dragon must eventually soar in the skies one day." Long Xiaoxuan responded indifferently but firmly.
"So, you've truly made up your mind then?" Jiang Chen sucked in a deep breath.
"You are so long winded." Long Xiaoxuan sounded quite pompous, but it was also a clear indication that he didn't mind exposing himself to the world.
Jiang Chen could understand him. The Long Xiaoxuan today was a far cry from the Long Xiaoxuan who'd just entered the world from the wood spirit spring. Since he'd entered emperor realm, his strength and his memories had been growing nonstop. It was only inevitable that Long Xiaoxuan's restlessness would reach its breaking point one day, not to mention that the dragon was likely bored to death with living like a rat day after day.
Let them come then! A burst of passion rose in Jiang Chen's heart.
"You may surrender now if you're afraid, young lord Zhen. Don't keep me waiting any longer." Emperor Shura's arrogant voice came from afar.
A large, fearsome, and pitch black spirit creature was standing behind the great emperor. It looked like it had just crawled out of hell, and a cross between a beast and an avian creature. Not only did it possess powerful limbs, but it had a pair of flesh wings that were big enough to cover the skies. Nearly half the arena was covered by its exceptionally large wings. The creature was completely black, but there was a green light shining from its forehead. Its glinting green eyes looked more like they belonged in the head on of a hell wraith.
The beast suddenly flapped its fleshy wings, creating a turbulent wind to kick up a wild gale of sand and rocks. The skies darkened and thunderclouds loomed. A change seemed to come about the land. The shrill cry it let out seemed capable of penetrating a cultivator's soul. Be it in terms of physical qualities or presence, this creature was both eerie and intimidating.
Jiang Chen was surprised by the black creature. "Is that the black winged drake?"
The black winged drake wasn't a natural species. It was a mixed race that originated from the ancient times. Some people claimed that it was the offspring of an ancient dragon and a fanged creature, one of the fiercest in the world.
The authenticity of the rumors aside, there was no doubt that the black winged drake was as fearsome as the legend said. An average cultivator couldn't command a creature like this. Its tamer had to be a great emperor well versed in the art of the Shura and murder like Emperor Shura. Temperament wise, the black winged drake was extremely compatible with Emperor Shura. No wonder it didn't look unwilling or unhappy to have a master like Emperor Shura.
Emperor Shura mistakenly thought that Jiang Chen was stunned by his contracted beast when he noted the complicated look in the young man's eyes. Pleased beyond words, he taunted proudly. "You had quite a smart mouth earlier, didn't you, young lord Zhen? What's wrong? Are you so scared that you can't move your legs?"
The black winged drake undoubtedly had a fearsome appearance and presence. But Emperor Shura was dreaming to think that this was enough to scare Jiang Chen.
Completely unmoved by the creature's imposing appearance and presence, Jiang Chen slowly climbed up the arena steps with an indifferent look on his face. He taunted openly. "It has a strong apperance, but nothing more. You want to frighten me with just this, Shura? How naive."
Emperor Shura laughed sinisterly. "Still unwilling to admit defeat, I see. I wonder how you'll possibly fight my contracted beast?"
Jiang Chen tsk'ed scornfully. "You must feel so very pleased with yourself. You think that victory is already in your grasp, isn't it?"
"But of course." Emperor Shura replied leisurely. He did believe that victory was already in hand. He didn't believe that there was anything Jiang Chen could do to win despite the counter question because of his confidence in the black winged hunting drake's abilities. If the drake's violent nature was fully aroused, it would exude a presence several times stronger than the enemy's. Even peak emperor human experts would have to be on their guard. This enabled it to beat enemies stronger than itself!