Emperor Shura had once been a young man himself. At the time, his sect had gifted him protective treasures like the Imperial Advent Defense Talisman because his development was still incomplete.
Although he'd used such treasures before, his body had always felt overburdened every time the talismans were in use. Generally speaking, a cultivator's physical body was pushed to their limits during use. One seemed to teeter between the boundary of life and death, or having their body threaten to fall to utter pieces at every second. That was why Emperor Shura was puzzled to see Jiang Chen using both the Imperial Advent Defense Talisman and Imperial Advent Onslaught Talisman at the same time, but still cackled sinisterly. "Brat, you're truly suicidal. But do you really think that two talismans are enough to stop me?"
Emperor Shura raised his arm and sent the Shura Rings into dance again. They spun rapidly around him like dazzling stars, completely nullifying the Torrent of Ten Thousand Swords with the rapid oscillation of their defense. Jiang Chen wasn't surprised by the scene. He hadn't expected the Torrent of Ten Thousand Swords to kill Emperor Shura because of the power gap between the two of them. Jiang Chen's golden body glowed brightly once more as a powerful jet of air rose into the sky and transformed into an enormous fire bird.
"Is that the divine vermillion bird?" Spectators were greatly excited by the vermillion bird image. A fireball from heaven itself was blotting out the skies.
"It has to be!"
"Young lord Zhen is so extraordinary! We saw him unleashing the true dragon image earlier, but now he's unleashing the vermillion bird image as well! Just how many terrifying images does he have in his body?"
The members of Sacred Peafowl Mountain were also surprised. They all knew that young lord Zhen was powerful and a genius. However, it was only now that they realized that they'd underestimated him still.
The image shrieked piercingly before swooping down on Emperor Shura. The great emperor was caught off guard as he hadn't expected young lord Zhen to attack him successively. The young lord had always been on defense, so the sudden initiative was surprising indeed.
Still, he was a veteran great emperor. The vermillion bird image might look like fierce and deadly, but it was a threat to his life. As he thought about this, Emperor Shura jumped into the air to face the image head-on. He raised his blade with both hands with an angry roar and threw a fearsome slash forwards with all his strength.
The strong attack slammed into the image and sheared it in half. As the image crumbled, strong air currents scattered in all directions in a fiery imitation of a furnace. Luckily for the spectators, the explosion had taken place quite far away from them, or there would've been many accidental casualties.
"What else do you have, Brat Zhen? Show me everything you've got!" Emperor Shura cackling sinisterly. He was feeling pretty good after successfully destroying the image. He leapt into the air again and once more charged towards Jiang Chen with blade upraised.
Jiang Chen raised both hands and summoned turbulence in the air in front of him. Strong air currents surged to push a true dragon image into the sky. It brandished claws and leered threateningly as it rushed Emperor Shura.
The great emperor snorted coldly. "Well met!"
He swung his weapon. Although the dragon image was extraordinarily impressive, the edge of the blade was even keener. The dragon image was torn apart just like the vermillion bird image had been.
Emperor Shura was about to threaten closer when an ominous feeling suddenly arose. A hunch compelled him to raise and protect his vitals.
Sparks scattered and energy dispersed.
A claw had stretched out of thin air and crashed into Emperor Shura's weapon. A dragon soared into the skies in the next second. It was naturally Long Xiaoxuan. The dragon image moments earlier had just been a distraction so that he would have time to sneak in an attack from his position cloaked, high up in the sky. Even a momentary lapse of concentration would result in injury for the great emperor.Long Xiaoxuan didn't try to attack Emperor Shura after his ambush had failed. Instead, he disappeared into the clouds. Invisibility was one of the talents of the true dragons.
Emperor Shura narrowed his eyes, expanding his consciousness to the utmost with a tight grip on his longsword. He was trying to sense Long Xiaoxuan's position. Jiang Chen's attacks might be negligible, but he dared not underestimate a true dragon. This particular dragon was peak emperor realm. Though the great emperor didn't fear direct combat, hidden ambushes were much more difficult to defend against."Are you running out of tricks, Brat Zhen? You think an immature dragon is enough to impede my steps?" Emperor Shura sneered before light flashed again from the blade, hurtling towards Jiang Chen. He was going to slaughter Jiang Chen even at the risk of being ambushed!
Jiang Chen smiled and moved like lightning, vanishing an instant later into the distance. Emperor Shura's attack hit nothing but an afterimage. Jiang Chen was fast enough to outrun his attacks!
The great emperor's heart sank. "He's really fast!"
Refusing to believe that he couldn't keep up with Jiang Chen, Emperor Shura thrust forward in another attempt. Jiang Chen instantly activated his escape art and vanished into thin air yet again. Emperor Shura's attacks couldn't keep up at all.
One stroke was followed by another, and another… until more than a dozen attacks were fired off in short order. Although the great emperor's attacks were speedy, Jiang Chen was always just a bit faster and remained elusively out of reach."How can this be?" Emperor Shura's fighting spirit took a severe hit when his ultimate attacks weren't hitting his enemy at all.
He'd called upon Shura hellfire to forcefully bring out his potential. This was his strongest form, and it was one that hurt him just as much as it threatened his enemy. It wasn't a situation that could drag on.
Although he'd definitely made some sacrifices, he'd failed to touch even a hair on Jiang Chen's body. The tremendous failure further widened the crack in Emperor Shura's dao heart.
Jiang Chen's speed had already rivaled Emperor Peerless' when the young man was mere sage realm. Speed was the attribute that the great emperor was most proud of. After Jiang Chen had ascended to emperor realm, his understanding of the Kunpeng Meteoric Escape deepened further and made him even faster than before.
As expected, Emperor Shura was completely caught off guard by the unbelievable speed. The great emperor couldn't think of any way to stop him. No matter how angry or powerful he was, he couldn't land a hit onto Jiang Chen.
"Do you only know how to run, brat?" Emperor Shura roared angrily. He'd completely lost the dignity of a great emperor and the genteel demeanor of the second greatest man in Veluriyam Capital. He seemed more like an infuriated, vulgar commoner who was a disappointment to even the vassals spectating this fight.
Their shock at young lord Zhen's extraordinary performance was proportional to their disappointment at Emperor Shura's poor performance. Emperor Peafowl wasn't around, so Emperor Shura was technically the greatest man in Veluriyam Capital. However, he looked nothing like the great leader he should be.
It was already bad enough that Emperor Shura wasn't able to take down young lord Zhen immediately. Young lord Zhen simply had too many trump cards and was performing too well. However, the great emperor's inability to let go only disappointed them further.
If Emperor Shura gave up the round and admitted defeat at an opportune time, he would've appeared magnanimous at the very least. There was nothing wrong with giving up if a matter couldn't be forced. In fact, it would be a wise decision to do so.
But instead, he'd completely lost his cool and was chasing after young lord Zhen like some gangster on the street. Worse, he was doing everything he could, but still unable to touch young lord Zhen. Now, he couldn't even catch up to the young lord's shadow. How could this sorry-looking man possibly be their great emperor?
Even Emperor Skysplitter was silently sighing sadly. He too knew that Emperor Shura had already lost.
Meanwhile, everyone in the Sacred Peafowl Mountain camp was staring intently at the battle. As Jiang Chen deftly avoided Emperor Shura's attacks again and again, they saw the rise of immense hope and the light of victory dawn before their eyes.
"Unbelievable, unbelievable… to think that young lord Zhen's martial dao talent is this impressive. I've truly underestimated him." Wildfox Monarch sighed quietly.
"Fate is with Sacred Peafowl Mountain. Young lord Zhen is without a doubt the best successor Emperor Peafowl could have! He's won me over completely today." Chronobalance Monarch exclaimed.
"Me too," Cloudsoar Monarch stated simply.
"I'm in full agreement. From hereon, anyone who disagrees with young lord Zhen will have to go through me first." Plumscore Monarch voiced her thoughts as well.
The battle on the arena didn't continue for too long. When all the sand had trickled to the bottom part of the hourglass, the fight that'd run for four hours long was finally over.
A loud gong strike signalled the end of the round and the utter destruction of Emperor Shura's fighting spirit. Wearing a cool smile on his face, Jiang Chen abruptly stopped his motions and landed on the opposite side of the arena.
"Time is up. This round is a draw." Emperor Petalpluck declared expressionlessly.
A tidal wave of cheers crescendoed from Sacred Peafowl Mountain's side. A draw meant that they had taken the overall victory! The competition that'd lasted a whole thirteen rounds was finally over. Everyone had thought that defeat was inevitable before the final two rounds. But in the end, their side had held fast and claimed the final victory.
A murderous gleam exploded in Emperor Shura's eyes. He abruptly raised his weapon and, without forewarning, flung a mighty slash towards Jiang Chen on the other side.