Li Jiancheng was a truly conceited person. He'd always been unparalleled among the younger generation in Veluriyam Capital and didn't think that he was in any form or manner inferior to young lord Fan.
He remained unconvinced of his inferiority to young lord Zhen as well, even though there was sense of defeat. He didn't care that the young lord was unrivalled in pill dao and that he'd comprehended all nine Veluriyam Obelisks. To Li Jiancheng, martial dao ruled the world. He believed that his cultivation was much superior to the young lord.
It was why he refused to admit inferiority, even though he was very jealous of the young lord. After seeing how beautiful Huang'er was, he couldn't resist the urge to take her from the young lord. To him, young lord Zhen was incredibly heaven-defying, but the young lord wasn't going to have a future in the capital. Therefore, he had no issues with trying to snatch her away. It'd be a waste to bury this unrivalled beauty with young lord Zhen. He'd much rather have her by his side instead.
"Miss Huang, I'm not exaggerating in the slightest. If it'd been anyone else, I wouldn't have told you this. I simply can't let someone as charming as Miss Huang'er jump into the fire pit."
Huang'er smiled wryle to herself. She knew that Li Jiancheng a very conceited person, but where on earth was he getting his confidence from?
"Li Jiancheng, is it?" She was well-cultured and would never overtly express her annoyance. "I don't know where you get your confidence from, nor can I see any fortunes in Shura Retreat. In listening to you, I gather that you feel an overwhelming sense of superiority to young lord Zhen?"
Li Jiancheng laughed arrogantly. "I admit that young lord Zhen has great talent in pill dao, but this is a world where martial dao is most respected after all…"
Huang'er smiled blandly. "You can spare me your words. What I'm about to say might hurt your feelings, but I feel obligated to inform you this. You might be vastly stronger than your peers, but comparing yourself to young lord Zhen is something that can only be described with three words."
"What three words?" Li Jiancheng was taken aback.
"Asking for humiliation."
Li Jiancheng's face darkened when he heard that and his tone grew ugly. "Miss Huang'er, I don't know what lies young lord Zhen are feeding you, but I can assure you that his legend will be smashed into pieces after this competition."
"You have a very strong imagination." Huang'er smiled blandly. "Alright, I see little reason to speak about this any further. No matter how superior you think you are, compared to him, you're nothing but a mere bug. You may take pride in your talents, but he's in a completely different league."
Li Jiancheng almost flew into a rage.
"Impossible!" He yelled furiously. "Soon we'll see which one of us is correct! I will make him bow in front of me like a dog, and you shall know which young lord is most superior in Veluriyam Capital!"
Huang'er smiled nonchalantly and said nothing else. However, it was obvious that she thought him an idiot.
Li Jiancheng also knew that any words were useless now. The best thing he could do now was dominate her in the talisman duel. Yes. I'll focus on conquering her!
As usual, there were multiple ways one could compete with talismans. The topic for Li Jiancheng and Huang'er's duel was the most basic of them all, talisman making. It was a duel with heavy emphasis on one's foundation.
Huang'er was sufficiently learned in talismans, but she hadn't spent a lot of time mastering the subject. The Shura Retreat however, was one of the best in this subject. Li Jiancheng in particular had a great affinity for talismans. Thus, she was disadvantaged from the very start. Eager to show off, Li Jiancheng also performed beyond his normal capabilities. It was only natural that he won the matchup.
"Brother Chen, Shura Retreat has very deep knowledge of talisman dao. Huang'er has let you down." Huang'er was a little depressed.
Jiang Chen laughed. "I already predicted the worst in the talisman duels."
Huang'er nodded gently. "Li Jiancheng was incredibly rude and impudent. In the coming martial battle, I'll show him just how big the world is and take him down a notch."
Even someone as meek and reserved as her was enraged. This proved how much of a scumbag Li Jiancheng was.
"For the ninth round, young lord Zhen will be competing against Emperor Shura!"
The competition had moved into the ninth round, with the remaining duels extremely crucial. Crowds that sided with Sacred Peafowl Mountain were very solemn as Jiang Chen walked into the arena.
The four monarchs were especially anxious. Out of eight rounds, Sacred Peafowl Mountain had brought home four losses, three wins, and one draw. They were in a very precarious position. If they lost the ninth round as well, that would be five losses total. The consequences of that would be brought over to the four martial dao duels.
Even though everybody had a lot of faith in young lord Zhen, the four monarchs didn't believe that their young lord would be able to defeat Emperor Shura. To the four monarchs, that duel was a definite loss and would raise the total number of losses to six. Moreover, they didn't know much about Miss Huang'er's battle prowess. She didn't seem like she'd be able to defeat Li Jiancheng in the martial dao duel.
Adding up all these factors, Sacred Peafowl Mountain really did seem to be in a tough spot. The only thing they knew for certain was Emperor Peerless' victory in the martial dao duel. There was little chance that the rest of the duelists, including Cloudsoar Monarch, would win.
If Cloudsoar Monarch fought hard, there might be a chance that he'd end up in a draw. But a draw wouldn't be enough to significantly affect the results. Sacred Peafowl Mountain was in a great disadvantage no matter how one looked at things.
Don't lose this match! The crowd from Sacred Peafowl Mountain quietly prayed. However, could young lord Zhen really defeat a talisman master like Emperor Shura? No one knew for certain.
Everyone would have more confidence in young lord Zhen if the duel was related to pill dao or formations. However, they really didn't have much faith when the duel was related to talismans.
Jiang Chen was as calm as ever. His goal was clear. He'd make this round a draw. But even if he failed, it still wouldn't be the end of the world.
Emperor Shura was extremely confident this time as well. He was rather well-learned in talismans.
"Young lord Zhen, has it occured to you yet that if you lose this round, Sacred Peafowl Mountain's loss will essentially be guaranteed?" Emperor Shura's words hadn't come out of nowhere. If Jiang Chen lost this duel, his faction would possess five losses, three victories, and one draw. There would be a lot of pressure in the successive martial duels.
Of course, Jiang Chen was the kind of person that performed his best in stressful situations. He kept a straight face despite Emperor Shura's provocations and mocked back without reservation. "You should keep your mouth shut until you finally win. You've been boasting again and again, but if I remember correctly, you haven't won a single round against me yet, have you?"
Emperor Shura's face darkened. Indeed, he hadn't won in either pill dao, beast taming, or formations. He'd been certain of his victory in beast taming, but an unexpected turn of events had blindsided him. He no longer dared to be too confident of his victory.
The topic for the next duel was drawn, revealing itself to be etching of talisman runes. They had to draw ten talisman runes within a given timeframe. This was a pleasant surprise for Jiang Chen.
"Remember, the party who completes the most runes within the given time is the winner. If both parties are able to complete the task, the first to finish is the winner. If both parties finish at the same time, it shall be a draw." Emperor Petalpluck announced the rules.
Jiang Chen felt a great boost in confidence when he heard the topic. Rune etching was the most fundamental part of creating talismans. The runes etched onto talismans were very similar to the ones found in formations. These runes formed the backbone of talismans and provided large amounts of energy.
There were some differences between a talisman rune and a formation one, but some similarities as well. Rune etching was part of constructing a formation and took up only one tiny segment in the layout. But for talismans, rune etching was the most essential step.
In order to create a powerful talisman, one had to draw the runes before they could transfer their energy into it. The process was the same for any talisman. If the runes were drawn incorrectly, the entire talisman would be nothing but a waste of paper.
Jiang Chen already possessed some knowledge on talismans and was extremely knowledgeable in formations. A competition in rune drawing was definitely most advantageous for him.
He went into a state of deep concentration as soon as the duel began. He was a little rusty at the beginning, but grew better after completing the first two talismans. By his third talisman, he'd found his groove and temporarily entered a trance. As though aided by a deity, he grew faster and more skilled as he went on. The knowledge from his previous life soon came into play. Inspiration flooded endlessly into his mind.
The crowd from Sacred Peafowl Mountain kept their eyes glued to the arena. They were so incredibly nervous that their hearts had leaped into their throats. There was no room for any error. The enormous stone weighing down on their hearts grew heavier and heavier with the passage of time. The stress was almost debilitating. Jiang Chen was the only one immune from all of this. He was so focused that he'd completely forgotten that the fate of the entire capital was in his hands.