The manifestation of a true dragon made an unforgettable impression in everyone's hearts. It was a scene to be remembered for a lifetime. They all found it difficult to recover from their state of utter shock.
In the arena opposite of Jiang Chen's side, Emperor Shura was the most astonished of all. His face was as dark as the night sky as he watched the fight between the true dragon and his black winged drake.
The drake was slightly superior in terms of level of cultivation, but every other characteristic was inferior. Whether it was aura, demeanor, or any other attribute, the drake couldn't claim pre-eminence before the dragon. It was as if it had met its long-lost ancestor, before whom it couldn't exert a tenth of its natural ferocity.
The true dragon race had a natural mighty presence. It was a trait passed down through its bloodline, demanding mandatory respect from all lesser relatives. The black winged drake had very little vestigial dragon bloodline to speak of. Though it was a crossbreed between a dragon and a fanged beast, it was significantly more bestial than draconic.
Still, the dragon part's existence could not be denied. Before a member of the true dragon race such as Long Xiaoxuan, it couldn't act out at all. This wasn't done not out of will, but out of natural instinct.
As long as it couldn't unleash its nature, its fighting abilities were kept in check. Though Long Xiaoxuan was only initial emperor realm, all of his racial methods combined allowed him to fight on an even footing with advance emperor realm entities. Moreover, the dragon had learned many fighting techniques from Jiang Chen during their time together. In particular, he knew how to abuse the unique advantages available to a dragon.
In less than fifteen minutes, the black winged drake whimpered, on the edge of being beaten.
Its fleeing form delivered a thousand cuts to Emperor Shura's heart. Self-esteem bled out with every passing second. He'd had the drake as a pet for a hundred years or so, and had seen it bully many other spirit creatures during that time.
This embarrassing performance, however, was a first. The panic with which the drake moved was like a child's, attempting to avoid a disciplinary lashing from his parent. Emperor Shura had never seen such behavior before. It felt like Jiang Chen was delivering a series of deliberate slaps to his face.
Before the true dragon had made its power evident, he'd shamelessly proclaimed that his opponent didn't have a chance. But things were different in the blink of an eye! Young lord Zhen had called him a frog at the bottom of a well. Well, he really did fit that description now.
The true dragon race… Emperor Shura's face was pale. He wanted more than anything to dive into a fissure in the ground. He was anxious, envious, reluctant, even a little afraid.
The conversations below were audible to him. The words "heir of the dragons" severely wounded his dignity.
Heir of the dragons? So what if young lord Zhen had a true dragon? He didn't believe a word of it. He had to win no matter what! Madness filled his eyes as the emperor stared Jiang Chen down. "I'd really like to know where you're from, Zhen!"
Jiang Chen saw what Shura was getting at very easily. He wanted to dump another bucket of dirty water on the young lord. But the emperor was foolish to do so at such a breathtaking moment. Everyone was enthralled by the true dragon's performance. Even if he admitted that he wasn't a native of the city, people would flock to make excuses on his behalf.
Who actually cared about his origins? As long as he wasn't a demon or traitor, most wouldn't mind if he even came from another plane. The show that Long Xiaoxuan had put on shook the audience to their cores. The sheer splendor of it all was enough to brainwash them on the spot, leaving an indelible mark in their collective hearts. In that instant, Jiang Chen gained a crowd of staunch followers. Emperor Shura couldn't do anything even if he shouted himself hoarse.
The beasts' fight didn't last very long. Under Long Xiaoxuan's 'discipline', the black winged drake fell over in pretend death, unwilling and unable to get back up. Luckily for the creature, Long Xiaoxuan didn't pursue his victory. Instead, he soared into the air, proudly holding his head high while circling the firmaments. He was fueling Jiang Chen's momentum.
"That's enough, Brother Dragon!" Jiang Chen waved to his scaly friend. Instantly, the dragon turned itself into a ray of light. He shot toward Jiang Chen for only a moment before disappearing into thin air, little evidence of his presence and parting. There was another wave of surprised cries at the superb display of wondrous concealment.
Jiang Chen had expected all of this to happen. True dragons had almost never appeared in this world before. Thus, their exaggerated reactions and more were understandable. When someone's expectations were entirely overturned, no matter who that person was, they tended to experience a period of blankness. A few moments were required to take in all that they'd seen.
"Does this need to continue, Shura?" The young lord of Veluriyam looked over at the emperor with a half-smile.
Emperor Shura looked agape at the black winged drake on the ground. He could see as well as anyone else that it hadn't sustained injuries anywhere close to being life-threatening. Rather, it had been scared witless. It'd been traumatized and it no longer had the will to fight. The black winged drake was normally a ferocious beast. But the appearance of a true dragon was enough to terrorize it into playing dead on the ground, preferring that to actually fighting. His loss was as plain as day.
Emperor Shura was red in the face. The most he could do was gnash his teeth. "You've brainwashed everyone, Zhen. Still, I maintain my previous statement. Your origins are unknown. Who knows why you've come to Veluriyam Capital? Who knows if you have ulterior motives?"
Jiang Chen roared with laughter. "Your magnanimity knows no bounds, Shura. No wonder Emperor Peafowl always said you had poor vision and a tiny heart. This is only round four, and yet you're already angry at losing. Do you want to continue? Do we need to?"
"Your tricks have led to you winning this round," harrumphed Emperor Shura. "You're getting too full of yourself, kid! The results so far are two wins, two losses, and a tie each. You have no advantage over me."
"Tsk tsk, you make it sound like you're the one that does, huh?" Jiang Chen retorted. It was true. The two sides had identical scores. By now, Emperor Petalpluck had recovered himself from his bewilderment. He examined Jiang Chen with a meaningful look.
"The fifth round goes to young lord Zhen, of Sacred Peafowl Mountain!" The kindly emperor announced.
There was instantly thunderous applause from all around. Not only did young lord Zhen's initial voters clap, but many of the neutrals and a few Shura supporters as well. The participants did so with great passion, awed by Jiang Chen's impressive demonstration.
A young genius from Sacred Peafowl Mountain had beaten Emperor Shura soundly in both pill dao and beast taming! This alone was enough to leave his name in history. It certainly earned more than sufficient respect from the entire crowd. Now that the bet was at this point, what did it mean if Emperor Shura won? He had the advantage with regard to martial dao, but there was serious suspicion that none of his other skill sets matched.
Even if the excuse was made that young lord Zhen had fame-making levels of expertise in pill dao, he had still differentiated himself with his beast taming prowess. Taming a true dragon wasn't something that could be chalked down to dumb luck. The young man's exceptional control over his companion was living evidence of that.
The dragon had come and gone at the smallest beck and call. This was real unity between man and beast. Meanwhile, Emperor Shura's black winged drake was splayed on the ground in a poor imitation of death. Anyone with half a brain could tell whose mastery was superior. Thus, the two beast taming rounds ended again with one win and one loss.
The two sides were still tied after these rounds. Neither had the advantage. Still, the atmosphere was filled with dragon-related euphoria. It took a long while for the crowd to recover from their reverie. The stupefaction was simply a bit too much. The people looked at Jiang Chen now with different gazes.
Even those on Sacred Peafowl Mountain's side beheld him with respect, admiration and whole-hearted reverence, the four monarchs included. They all looked at Jiang Chen with the same look they gave the Emperor Peafowl of yesteryear. It was at this moment that they began to worship him.
The shock that Jiang Chen had delivered to them today surpassed Emperor Peafowl's many times over. They had known for a long time of the emperor's supreme planning skills and methodologies. But even so, His Majesty had never brought them so many moments of epiphany and amazement.
That young lord Zhen was able to do so again and again distinguished him even more in the Sacred Peafowl Mountain supporters' eyes. It enkindled their hearts like never before.
Over with Emperor Shura, there was a significant drop in morale. Emperor Vastsea, previously the most active man present, lost much of his interest and energy. His eyes became turbulent.
But the show had to go on. It was time for the next round in the competition. Emperor Shura was stuck between a rock and a hard place. There was no getting out of this sticky situation.
After pill dao and beast taming were done, the next round belonged to formations. This, too, was an area of excellence for Jiang Chen.
As there were two rounds, Emperor Peerless volunteered for the other spot. He didn't specialize in them per se, but as the strongest cultivator present, he had the largest wealth of martial dao experience. Therefore, he had a better chance than almost everyone else.
On the other side of things, Emperor Shura brought out Pill King Ce.