Emperor Pillzenith's tone was unkind. As an overlord of his time, he couldn't bear the spread of news that he'd been humiliated by a young man. It would damage both his dignity and Pillfire City's authority.
Emperor Peerless frowned. "We've given you face already, Pillzenith, not to mention you aren't welcome here in the first place. You're only humiliating yourself further with this nonsense."
While Shura had hated Jiang Chen the most out of those present, Emperor Peerless topped the list for Pillzenith. When his former love rival stood up to defend Jiang Chen, Emperor Pillzenith cackled strangely.
"You again. Do you live your life going backwards, Mo Wushuang? I still remember your pretentious tone when you turned down my offer to join Pillfire City and when you scrabbled against me for a woman. And look at you now, the more pathetic the older you get. How does it feel to be Veluriyam Capital's dog?"
If it'd been in the past, Emperor Peerless would've flown into a rage. But now, the great emperor merely looked back placidly as he responded, "I can only say that you're as naive as ever if you think you can provoke me with such words. We're both several thousand years old already, Pillzenith. I know what you want, where your ambition lies, but you may not know what I want now. We walk different paths. If you're smart, you'll leave and busy yourself with your own things. If you refuse, well, I'm sure the Upper Eight Regions will love to hear about your death in Veluriyam Capital."
Mo Wushuang spoke frostily, his tone tinged threateningly. The grudge between him and Emperor Pillzenith was insurmountable, and he wouldn't mind at all if he killed his rival here and now.
But at the same time, he was aware that his cultivation was still weaker than Emperor Pillzenith's. However, since almost all of Veluriyam Capital's great emperors were gathered at the moment, they might be able to eliminate Emperor Pillzenith if they attacked together. But that was a patently unrealistic daydream.
Emperor Pillzenith laughed heartily. "My death?"
He swept his glance over every great emperor present. "It's not that I'm boasting, but I doubt that the likes of Veluriyam Capital are able to kill me even if Peafowl was around. What do I have to fear from rabble like you lot, even if you come at me together?"
He really wasn't afraid of them. He might not be a match if all of them attacked at once, but he was confident that he could escape their clutches with flair.
Jiang Chen's forehead creased as he responded indifferently, "It sounds like you actually want to give it a try, Pillzenith. Shall I fulfill your wish then?"
The young man then pointed at the arena around them. "I knew that there'd be many complications during the Vassal Meeting, so I purposely set up a sky rank formation beforehand. Since you're so confident, why don't you give it a try?"
What? Emperor Pillzenith lost some of his bravado. A formation? A sky rank formation?
Emperor Pillzenith had witnessed the battle between Jiang Chen and Emperor Shura. Even he had to admit that the brat's foundation in formation dao paralleled the kid's mastery over pill dao. If Jiang Chen really had set up a sky rank formation in this arena, then his safety was precarious to say the least.
The more Emperor Pillzenith thought about it, the less confident he grew. Veluriyam Capital and Pillfire City were practically on opposite sides of the Upper Eight Regions, and he was the one on foreign turf. As powerful as he might be, he couldn't truly unleash his full strength here. That was the reason behind 'the strong dragon cannot suppress the local snake'.
At this point, Emperor Pillzenith knew that it was impossible he could somehow get the Pinecrane Pill from Jiang Chen. Not today, at least. Chuckling, the great emperor abruptly vanished into a streak of black light. His voice reverberated in the air. "I won't forget you, young lord Zhen. I'll repay ten times over the matters of today!"
He'd bowed out.
Jiang Chen smiled as he eyed a particular spot in the sky with the God's Eye and Evil Golden Eye. "Why are you running away if you're as bold as you claim, Pillzenith? Cut the ten times, hundred times nonsense. It's not like I haven't been to your Pillfire City. It's no dragon's den or tiger's lair. Cut the boasting and stop talking as if Pillfire City is invincible."
He didn't like shooting his mouth, but this was exactly the kind of moment when it was necessary. Publicly, Emperor Pillzenith was a top rate great emperor as famous as Emperor Peafowl. Not only was he Emperor Peafowl's match in terms of cultivation, status, reputation and authority, he even appeared to be gaining momentum. Jiang Chen had no doubt that a threat from someone like him would leave a black mark on the hearts of Veluriyam Capital's people. As young lord, he had to forcefully and confidently respond to the threat. Young lord Zhen wasn't afraid of Emperor Pillzenith! Therefore, Veluriyam Capital shouldn't be afraid of Pillfire City either, even with Emperor Peafowl absent.
Jiang Chen's handling of the minutiae was very effective. The vassals felt quite vindicated. After all, if Emperor Pillzenith really was as scary as he pretended to be, why had he fled the moment he heard about a sky rank formation? He just wasn't invincible in the end!
Emperor Coiling Dragon chuckled before asking Jiang Chen in hushed tones, "Young lord, did you actually set up a sky rank formation?"
Jiang Chen broke out in laughter. "Of course not."
The setup of a sky rank formation wasn't nearly as easy as he made it out to be. It wasn't something that could be completed in a day, and the amount of spirit stones it would cost was astronomical. He wasn't nearly so rich that he could set up a sky rank formation anytime he wanted to, not to mention that he had better ways to spend his time.
"So, that was just a bluff?" Emperor Mountaincrush rubbed his nose with a wry smile.
"Not really. He's just one man and hasn't reached empyrean realm yet. He's also afraid that all of us will charge forward together. Ambitious folks like him are especially afraid of death, despite the invincible mask they wear." Jiang Chen kept tearing Emperor Pillzenith down so he decrease the shadows and level of wariness in everyone's hearts.
No matter how powerful Emperor Pillzenith was, he was still just a great emperor. He remained vulnerable as long as he hadn't reached empyrean realm. The power gap between Pillzenith and the great emperors of Veluriyam Capital wasn't completely unbridgeable, either. Even if Pillzenith hadn't fallen for the bluff, Jiang Chen doubted that the great emperor would dare erupt in open hostility.
Veluriyam Capital might have lost Emperor Peafowl, Emperor Shura and Emperor Vastsea, there were still six great emperors present. If Jiang Chen, deploying strength close to great emperor, the Han brothers from Skysword Sect, Su Huanzhen and Sect Head Xia from Celestial Cicada Court were added to that count, then Emperor Pillzenith would be facing ten great emperors and one pseudo-great emperor. No matter how powerful Pillzenith might be, he wouldn't be able to face everyone on his own. It'd be committing suicide.
The Eternal Celestial Capital emperor chuckled drily when Emperor Pillzenith laughed. "Since the Vassal Meeting is over, I shall be taking my leave, young lord Zhen. Goodbye."
Then, he left without a backwards glance.
The emperor of the Eternal Celestial Capital! Jiang Chen leveled a cool, murderous glare at the departing figure. Neither of them had broken out in open hostilities just yet, but the emperor of the Eternal Celestial Capital had to be aware that young lord Zhen was Jiang Chen at this point.
Earlier, Jiang Chen had been forced to unleash the Bewitching Lotus of Fire and Ice in his duel against Emperor Shura. That was a tremendous hint about his identity. The Eternal Celestial Capital had to have picked up on that. They had an irreconcilable grudge with Jiang Chen and was sure to have made a thorough study of the young man.Even before the Vassal Meeting took place, the Eternal Celestial Capital had already suspected that young lord Zhen was none other than Jiang Chen himself. After the faction leader saw the Bewitching Lotus of Fire and Ice unleashed, he finally knew that their suspicions had been right all along. Assailed with emotions, he'd hoped that Emperor Shura would throw caution to the win and openly attack Sacred Peafowl Mountain. When both sides were sufficiently injured, he would incite Emperor Pillzenith into eliminating the hidden threat that was young lord Zhen once and for all.
But things hadn't turned out that way. After Emperor Pillzenith escaped with his tail between his legs, the Eternal Celestial Capital emperor feared for his own life. He was weaker than Emperor Pillzenith, and there was nothing he could do if Jiang Chen decided to make use of the collective strength and kill him here and now.
The Eternal Celestial Capital wouldn't even be able to complain if blame for Emperor Peafowl's disappearance was given as the reason. The Upper Eight Regions wasn't a place of reason or sense to begin with. Who would stand up for him if he was killed? The Eternal Celestial Capital was inferior to Veluriyam Capital. The faction would fall into disarray if he died, so what use was any talk of revenge then?There was nothing he could do now but flee. The killing intent in Jiang Chen's eyes lasted only for an instant. Veluriyam Capital was finally safe after Emperor Pillzenith and the Eternal Celestial Capital's departure.
"The Vassal Meeting is concluded. Please return to your accommodations, everyone. Arrangements for the pill dao school must be discussed further before we can proceed, so please gather here tomorrow so we that may take in your suggestions. When it's time, please don't be shy and offer as many helpful suggestions as you can."
The Vassal Meeting was over, but the excitement in Veluriyam Capital hadn't abated. Details of the gathering quickly spread to every corner of Veluriyam Capital. Everyone was taken aback by Emperor Shura's departure, but young lord Zhen's legendary exploits came as an even greater shock.
They were first sad that Emperor Shura was gone, but when the young lord Zhen's miraculous feats were mentioned, the continued presence of the great emperor seemed negligent. Emperor Shura hadn't contributed much to Veluriyam Capital despite living there for several thousand years. On the contrary, young lord Zhen had achieved many great things just a few years after rising to prominence.