A draw. The fight had ended in yet another draw! This draw meant very different things to both parties. Over on Sacred Peafowl Mountain's side, everyone except the three monarchs couldn't help but sigh with disappointment.
They'd all seen that Cloudsoar Monarch was slightly stronger than the enemy. Unfortunately, he hadn't been able to gain a big enough lead to turn it into a decisive victory. It was a round they could've taken off Shura Retreat's hands, but after it'd ended in a draw, Sacred Peafowl Mountain's position was more precarious than ever.
On the surface, their score was four wins, three draws and four losses. Both parties were still at a stalemate. However, anyone with their wits about them would know Shura Retreat was the clear favorite to win the competition. First, there was no way young lord Zhen could beat Emperor Shura. Second, Miss Huang'er was a stranger to most. Although she had participated in a couple of matches and claimed a draw for Sacred Peafowl Mountain in pill dao, her performance thus far hadn't exactly been eye-catching. That was why no one thought well of her chances.
First impressions were important for humans. Huang'er had outstanding temperament, but she was completely lacking in killing intent and forcefulness. In fact, many thought that she was uncompetitive, and that Sacred Peafowl Mountain had picked her because they had no other choice. This impression was also encouraged by the fact that young lord Zhen himself was an incredibly young person. He could hardly show off a worthy true disciple when he himself was young enough to be one.
On Shura Retreat's side, the atmosphere was completely different. It was clear from the joyous looks on their faces that they could see the flag of victory waving at them already. There were only two rounds left in the thirteen-round competition. The remaining rounds and the ultimate victory was theirs to take!
"Congratulations, Daoist Shura." Emperor Vastsea beamed as he congratulated Emperor Shura in advance. "It's been a wild ride, but Shura Retreat's foundation is ultimately deeper than Sacred Peafowl Mountain's. I so look forward to hear their excuses after their defeat."
In reality, Emperor Vastsea had been afraid that Shura Retreat would lose. His fear had been especially profound when Jiang Chen had showed off his contracted beast, a true dragon. At the time, the sense of defeat was so strong that he even regretted taking the fight to Sacred Peafowl Mountain. But the ominous feeling had finally departed. He felt a lot more relaxed now that victory was in sight.
Emperor Skysplitter was also smiling as he made his way towards Emperor Shura. He didn't congratulate the great emperor in advance, but was looking pretty optimistic himself. "Daoist Shura, the next two rounds are most likely in the bag."
Emperor Shura nodded and looked at Li Jiancheng. "Jiancheng, I'm going to say this again. Don't underestimate your enemy, and do your best."
Li Jiancheng's eyes gleamed sharply as he nodded thoughtfully in response. He promised, "Don't worry, master. I won't disappoint you."
Emperor Vastsea laughed. "That girl is most likely just a stopgap, not to mention that young lord Zhen himself is no match for you if you perform up to your normal standard, nephew. Victory will be yours!"
"I wish you luck, young lord Jiancheng!"
Li Jiancheng clasped his hands in obeisance before he flew elegantly to the arena. On the way, he called out to Huang'er solemnly. "Miss Huang'er, I'll be waiting for you on the arena."
Li Jiancheng wanted to dominate Huang'er, so the actions he took were very deliberately planned. Meanwhile, the air was tense on Sacred Peafowl Mountain's side.
Cloudsoar Monarch couldn't stop blaming himself, "Young lord, my friends, Cloudsoar is sorry for being useless. I have failed to claim victory for Sacred Peafowl Mountain and pushed us into a most unfavourable situation. I am guilty."
Despite Cloudsoar Monarch's claims, they all knew that it wasn't his fault. None of them were at fault because they had done their best. If someone had to shoulder the blame, then it would be shameless Shura Retreat who'd hired two reinforcements of dubious origins and ambushed them while they were unprepared.
"Daoist Cloudsoar, this really isn't your fault, or anyone's fault for the matter." Plumscore Monarch was normally aloof, but she sounded astoundingly comforting during a critical moment like this. "You've done your best. Everyone has done their best. Frankly, the outcome may have been worse than it is now if we were in your place instead."
"Yes, you don't need to blame yourself." Chronobalance Monarch sighed. "There's no way these bastards could've win anything if His Majesty was still at Veluriyam Capital."
"Yes. If His Majesty was still around, he would've suppressed these savages already." Wildfox Monarch also sighed.
Emperor Peafowl had incredible talents. His skill with talismans was easily the greatest in the entire Veluriyam Capital. The Imperial Advent Defense Talisman and Onslaught Talisman he made were the best around. While Emperor Peafowl's pill dao wasn't exceptionally good, he was still the topmost out of all seven great emperors of Veluriyam Capital, not to mention when it came to formations.
Emperor Peafowl was superior to Emperor Shura in every way. If he was present, Shura Retreat would be lucky to win three to four rounds out of thirteen. The rest would be won by Sacred Peafowl Mountain because Emperor Peafowl alone could take four to five rounds off Emperor Shura's hands. Even young lord Zhen was capable of winning three to four rounds on his own. The rest of them only needed to stand by and put on appearances.Emperor Peerless was powerful, but he was only powerful in the area of martial dao. As a wandering cultivator, the great emperor simply couldn't afford to study the other fields even if he felt like it. However, Jiang Chen was a little displeased by the four monarchs' attitude.
"The fight isn't over yet, so why are you all acting like we've lost already? Emperor Peafowl elected you all as his aides because he trusted in your abilities. But why do I feel that your mental fortitude is extremely questionable?"
He was fine with them missing Emperor Peafowl, but the monarchs kept spouting pessimistic nonsense before the competition was even over. Naturally, as the young lord of Sacred Peafowl Mountain, he was displeased with their attitude.
The four monarchs realized that they had made a terrible mistake. They hurriedly apologized to Jiang Chen for their slip of the tongue.
"We are sorry, young lord Zhen. We have said something we shouldn't."
"Yeah. Please tell us your punishment, young lord."
Jiang Chen snorted coldly and kept quiet. Although the four monarchs had expressed their loyalty to him multiple times already, they couldn't help but doubt him because of his young age. It was a subconscious reaction that they had no control over. Although Jiang Chen could understand their feelings, he didn't want to see Sacred Peafowl Mountain crumbling internally before they even finished the fight. If they lost, they would at least lose with dignity. Laments and sighs from the four monarchs before everything was done was absolutely not the kind of reaction a member of Sacred Peafowl Mountain should display, or the atmosphere that should be fostered.
It was at this moment Huang'er spoke up with a smile. "That Li Jiancheng has his head in the clouds. I'll meet him in the arena."
Huang'er was feeling a little angry herself. One, Li Jiancheng's arrogance and frivolous remarks had enraged her. Two, the monarchs' despondency made her feel slighted. While Huang'er didn't mind being scorned, it was a different story when the target of their scorn was Jiang Chen. Even if they weren't doing it on purpose, Huang'er wanted to show the entire Veluriyam Capital that young lord Zhen was capable of holding Sacred Peafowl Mountain together even after Emperor Peafowl was gone.
Jiang Chen nodded. "Go teach him a lesson, Huang'er. He's been way too arrogant. If he goes overboard, feel free to cripple him."
Everyone on Sacred Peafowl Mountain's side felt surprised when they heard this. But Huang'er simply nodded and flew into the arena with one quick motion.
"The twelve round is Miss Huang'er from Sacred Peafowl Mountain versus young lord Li Jiancheng from Shura Retreat."
Li Jiancheng's true strength was a mystery to most people in Veluriyam Capital. In the past, Sacred Peafowl Mountain had a young lord Fan who was famed as the greatest young lord of Veluriyam Capital. Li Jiancheng hadn't been able to overcome young lord Fan at the time. But when young lord Fan passed away, Li Jiancheng naturally became the greatest youth of his generation.
However, it was rumored that Li Jiancheng had been cultivating an extremely powerful and deep secret art of the Shura slaughter dao. Supposedly, not even a reborn young lord Fan would be able to defeat him after his cultivation was complete.
The rumor couldn't be verified because young lord Fan had passed away first. Later on, a few young cultivators, including Sacred Peafowl Mountain's Zhou Yan, had tried to defeat Li Jiancheng during the Ranking of Young Lords, but everyone who'd challenged him had fallen short of beating him. Moreover, Li Jiancheng had fought them regularly without using any secret arts. As a result, he seemed shrouded in mystery.
"Will Li Jiancheng use his secret arts this time? Li Jiancheng's techniques are forceful and domineering. Will this sweet Miss Huang'er be able to hold out for more than a couple of exchanges?"
Everyone who'd fought Li Jiancheng before knew that his fighting style and technique was incredibly forceful and oppressive. It was painful experience to fight against Li Jiancheng to say the least. In fact, many geniuses who challenged Li Jiancheng to battle wasn't able to launch a single counter attack before they were struck down first.
Even Sacred Peafowl Mountain was feeling afraid for Huang'er's sake as they looked back and forth between Li Jiancheng and her. Not everyone was feeling as pessimistic though. Emperor Peerless looked thoughtful as he stared at Huang'er's elegant and lithe figure.
"We meet again, Miss Huang'er." Li Jiancheng chuckled in the arena. "Last time, my skill with talismans was slightly better than yours. This time, I would suggest that you watch out for yourself. Jiancheng doesn't want to hurt a delicate flower like you, but accidents do happen in a martial battle. Please give me a warning if you find yourself in a pickle. Jiancheng will do his very best to preserve your dignity."
Obviously, he was telling Huang'er that he would give her the chance to surrender any time she wanted. He wouldn't force her to the point where surrender was impossible. He was very conceited to say the least.