Emperor Shura put everything he had into that feverish strike. He'd cut through the lines of the Eight Trigram Boulder Formation, utterly destroying its framework. It was time to attack at last! There was no way that Jiang Chen could instantly restore his defenses. The formation disk needed to be set up once more.
The emperor's murderous gaze locked onto the youth in front of him. He was through. He was through! Coming face to face with one's mortal enemy was an occasion to be red-eyed. Snorting derisively, Emperor Shura rushed in close and delivered a horizontal slice. A flash of steel was drawn across Jiang Chen's torso. The audience collectively screamed in horror.
There was a burst of radiance. In the next moment, Jiang Chen's body flew into the air, cleanly sliced in half. The halves thudded onto the ground, severed with a neat, forceful stroke.
The shocked cries of the audience grew louder. Some closed or averted their eyes in revulsion. They couldn't bear to look at such a gruesome sight. Emperors Void and Coiling Dragon both made for the arena, but Emperor Peerless stopped them.
"Control yourselves." The wandering cultivator emperor shook his head, frowning.
All four monarchs were pale in the face. Their bodies shivered uncontrollably. The grisly scene shattered their nerves and destroyed their mindsets.
Young lord Zhen... dead??
Had Emperor Shura just… cleave the amazing genius into two?
In the vassals' section, Sacred Peafowl Mountain's supporters began to agitate. "Outrageous. A great emperor displaying such cruelty to a young genius!"
"How can a man as violent and tyrannical as him rule over Veluriyam Capital?"
The great emperors in the guest section were just as surprised as anyone else. Emperor Pillzenith's Adam's apple bobbed, but he seemed rather suspicious of what had just taken place.
The Han brothers from the Great Yu Skysword Sect scrutinized the arena with ferocious gazes.
Though her body trembled for a moment as well, Su Huanzhen was the first to see through the ruse. "Impossible. Young lord Zhen is too clever to die like that." She shook her head. "It's just an illusion!"
Hearing those words helped Emperor Pillzenith pick up on something. His eyes were fixated on the arena once more, interested on what would happen next. Truthfully, he didn't want young lord Zhen to die like this, either. He didn't have the Pinecrane Pill yet. If the young lord fell here, how was he going to get his hands on that mythical pill?
He didn't believe that young lord Zhen would teach it to Sacred Peafowl Mountain's pill masters. Even if he had, Emperor Pillzenith would have a very hard time getting his hands on it nevertheless.
However, there was an eruption of cheering from Shura Retreat's side. Li Jiancheng waved a hand with particular vehemence; all his pent-up grief and fury was released in that slice.
Emperor Shura was pleased by the turn of events, but he quickly noticed that something was off. No blood had spurted from either half of the body left behind. That didn't make any sense.
Closer examination revealed no crimson liquid on the ground. The body that had been sliced in half was also gone. Replacing it was an indistinct gray mist, as if he had been dropped into an unformed world.
"Hmm? What is it this time?" The swings in mood that the emperor was feeling perplexed him. Calming down just a little, he suddenly discovered that he was trapped in yet another formation.
"A formation? Again?" Emperor Shura laughed despite his anger. He was at his wit's end. Formations upon formations upon formations… where were they going to end? How many tricks did this kid have up his sleeve, really?
"Let all be reduced to nothingness. Die! I'll cut through everything you throw at me!" Roaring loudly and repetitively, the emperor swung his blade about like a madman.
The gray mist dispersed to make way for a brightened world once more. However, Emperor Shura found the young lord that he'd cleaved earlier standing on the other side of the arena once more, a sneer upon his face. The ambitious emperor felt that he'd been played for a fool.
With a sweep of his sleeves, Jiang Chen produced a few more odd-looking plants.
"Shura, your exasperation and frustration only causes harm to yourself. You can't accomplish anything like this. I've set up another formation for your enjoyment. Are you man enough to brave it?"
Golden light flared all over Jiang Chen's body. Plates of armor formed from magnetic energy glittered all about him, almost blinding in their brilliance. His tempered body grew to more than nine meters tall, in direct comparison to the emperor's own.
It now looked as if two giants were competing in the arena. Thankfully, arenas for competitions at this level were built to be extremely large. Despite both combatants' bodies expanding several times, there was still room available for their bout.
The strange plants were formed from tendrils of the Bewitching Lotus of Fire and Ice. Jiang Chen's control over them had improved with maturity. The 'Bewitching' part in the Lotus's name referred to their transformative properties. They could simulate various different forms via mimicry.
The Lotus was one of his fail-safes. He wouldn't have brought it out without the situation being truly dire. Though the Lotus was strong, it would last only an instant against an opponent at Emperor Shura's level. It was a momentary hindrance at best.
Jiang Chen couldn't rely on the Bewitching Lotus because his own cultivation wasn't at an appropriate level. In actuality, they were a distraction for what would come next. Jiang Chen secretly activated another formation through his disk.
The Ancient Slaughter Formation of Seven!
This formation had three ranks. He was naturally using the highest. The formation was more than sufficient to handle half-step great emperors at its current level of strength. It could also hold up great emperors to a certain extent.
Hand seals at the ready, Jiang Chen waited for Emperor Shura's approach. As long as he could delay Shura a single moment, he would be able to execute the next step in his plan. His goal wasn't to defeat Emperor Shura, but to waste the remainder of the time limit. The battle looked deceptively grim, but everything was completely safe and proceeding according to plan.
But what did Emperor Shura care about the formations before him? His red-eyed murderous rampage left him with only one thought: he wanted to kill Jiang Chen.
"Just die!" he roared angrily. The motion with which he swung his blade had a momentum that threatened to rend the heavens and split the earth.
Smiling easily, Jiang Chen disappeared into thin air. As if on cue, the Ancient Slaughter Formation of Seven whirred into motion, entrapping the emperor within. The formation could simulate seven situations of mortal danger.
The particular one that Jiang Chen was using was death by lightning. Lesser elements would simply not do. Perhaps lightning was the only thing that could postpone him temporarily.
The amount of electricity snaking through the air made it a sight to behold. Lightning rained down upon Emperor Shura relentlessly. All attacks in the world of martial dao were unique in some way, according to their characteristics or attribute. Lightning in particular was an extremely potent kind.
Inside the Ancient Slaughter Formation of Seven, a storm of bolts raged. Most emperor realm cultivators wouldn't hope to make it out alive under such conditions. The density and potency of the attacks meant that they couldn't possibly weather such strikes.
Fortunately for Emperor Shura, the formation was only simulated. If it had been set up properly with flags, even the likes of him would have a lot of trouble emerging unscathed.
A defensive glowing aura flared up around Emperor Shura. Whenever a lightning snake came close, the aura swallowed it up. The emperor had no intention of being trapped for long here. He looked upward with a keen gaze.
"Break!" he shouted, flourishing his blade.
When one reached the pinnacle of martial dao, it was possible to break through formations with pure strength. There was no impenetrable defense in the world. Of course, there was no all-conquering attack either.
There was only relative comparison when power and power clashed. Whichever won in the end would be the superior. In this case, Emperor Shura's blade swing surpassed the Ancient Slaughter Formation of Seven. The formation was destroyed in one fell swoop.
"Let's see how many more formations you've got, kid!" The emperor strode out from the formation's remnants, ready to cut down Jiang Chen with his next slash. However, something was awry when he came out of the formation. He saw countless streaks of golden light heading for his face. They heralded sword-images, violently launching themselves at him.
"The Divine Five Thunderclap Sword Technique?" Emperor Shura felt faint. He raised his head to catch the onslaught of swords coming at him with an uncountable number of sword auras, flooding in his direction in a deluge of steel.
"What kind of sword technique is this?" Though he'd seen it be used a few times before, he only noticed now that it bore no resemblance to any of Emperor Peafowl's techniques.
Emperor Shura was no stranger to Emperor Peafowl's methods. He had studied all of Peafowl's martial techniques thoroughly, including sword related ones. Emperor Peafowl's sword techniques were elegant and refined. This technique, on the other hand, was grander and more torrential. It had a rather different feeling from Peafowl's usual techniques.
The Torrent of Ten Thousand Swords was an attack that even Emperor Shura didn't dare treat lightly. He furiously glared at the tempestuous sword storm before him with gritted teeth.
"Peafowl! You're doubling down hard. You've given the kid an Imperial Advent Onslaught Talisman, too?" Emperor Shura was filled with hatred. He knew that a young genius who was at the initial stages of emperor realm wouldn't be able to unleash such a terrifying attack. The young lord had be using the Imperial Advent Onslaught Talisman. Such an increase to great emperor-level offensive power made the force behind the blow more plausible.
"Is his body made of iron or something? He's using two Imperial talismans at the same time. How can he endure such a thing?" The emperor reacted with shocked outrage.