Emperor Peerless was amazed that Jiang Chen was able to subdue the rowdy Jiao brothers with a few simple strokes. He'd witnessed many marvelous facets of the young man already, but every passing moment near the youth showed that he'd still only seen the tip of the iceberg. The young genius seemed to be a natural, inexhaustible goldmine. There was endless treasure to be found within him.
"What do you think, friends? Did I deceive you earlier?" A smiling Mo Wushuang looked toward the Jiao brothers.
Both brothers were ashamed. They cupped their fists. "Brother Mo, we are the ones who couldn't tell wheat from chaff. We thought you were exaggerating, but we were the frogs in the bottom of the well all along. There's nothing more to say. We submit wholly and utterly."
"You know, I have the same kind of pride that you do," laughed Mo Wushuang. "However, I've never regretted joining Sacred Peafowl Mountain. I've only experienced satisfaction and delight since then. I've walked this world thousands of years, never believing that there could be a peerless genius anywhere… that is, until I met young lord Zhen. There are some geniuses in the world that others aren't meant to reach."
Truly, the young lord was a genius.
Here was an emperor realm young genius who could instruct great emperor experts on martial dao! That was jaw-dropping enough to shock the entire world. But young lord Zhen had done precisely that.
No matter how big of an ego the Jiao brothers had originally, they couldn't maintain it in the face of this truth. As the saying went, no matter how good one was, there was always someone better.
Today, they'd had seen the saying in action. Granted, their pride was understandable given their status as great emperors. They'd reached a pinnacle of martial dao, a level unattainable by the vast majority of mankind.
There were as many cultivators in the world as stars in the heavens. Out of that, only a handful was ever visible. Only a handful ever rose to the top. Each and every one who'd managed the feat had done so by wading through innumerable dead. There might not be a single great emperor out of a hundred million!
The Jiao brothers had always had a high level of self-esteem. They didn't especially respect even the biggest factions' head honchos. What was special about those high and mighty guys? They'd just been lucky enough to be born into their circumstances. Their strength and status was backed by their organization's resources.
Wandering cultivators were completely different. They had to fight tooth and nail for each inch of cultivation. Because of the hard work required, they were unable to fully let go their pride. Jiang Chen's singular move had easily destroyed all of their self-pride.
The young lord waved a hand. "All three of you will be strong pillars for Sacred Peafowl Mountain in the future. Please make yourselves comfortable. I have other matters I must attend to. Please excuse me."
Having done all he'd wanted to do, he departed without another word. The point of the exercise had been to display intimidating prowess. He wanted to quash the Jiao brothers' pride in order to integrate them more fully into Sacred Peafowl Mountain. Otherwise, they would pose a problem down the line for the faction as a whole. The others wouldn't accept a pair of arrogant men into the fold, regardless of their strength or expertise.
After the young man left for good, Jiao Yun let out a sigh. "Brother Mo, who is young lord Zhen's master? His martial dao knowledge is terrifying."
"Yes. I know he was an impartial observer, but that fight took place at astounding speed. I'm surprised he managed to grasp as many key points as he did. Even Emperor Peafowl might not have been able to fix the flaws with our martial technique."
Truthfully, it wasn't a possibility but a certainty. There was no way Emperor Peafowl would've been able to pull the same thing off. Jiang Chen's martial dao knowledge was peerless in the heavenly planes. Such ability wasn't something great emperors living in mortal planes could comprehend.
Mo Wushuang chuckled. "Like I said earlier, you're seeing only the tip of his proverbial iceberg."
"What, this is just the tip?"
Emperor Peerless smiled coolly. "What, do you think the young lord is limited to just this?"
The Jiao brothers were at a loss for words. After thinking about it a bit more, they came to the realization that young lord Zhen was far more unfathomable than they'd given him credit for. He had no end to his ability. What among his recent accomplishments could be classified as 'simple'?
For the Vassal Meeting, he had defeated a very prepared Emperor Shura from an unfavorable position.
For the wandering cultivator meeting, he'd pulled out one ace after another, overwhelming the competing Pillfire City with insurmountable advantage - and crushing the other city's face in the process.
At Sacred Peafowl Mountain, he had finagled an impressively large lineup of wandering cultivator emperors to aid him. Killing Emperor Shura had been a painless endeavor, one that'd earned him the brothers' allegiance as well.
And now, he had absentmindedly filled in each and every little problem with the brothers' martial technique. They finally had a chance for a breakthrough!
Any of these things would've made even a great emperor the focus of the human domain's attention. Young lord Zhen was less than thirty by all reports, yet had accomplished all of the above. What other name was there for him other than 'monster'? Or perhaps 'miracle'?
"Brother Mo. Is young lord Zhen… really related to Myriad Abyss Island?" Jiao Yun couldn't help but ask.
"Yes." Mo Wushuang's answer was clear-cut. "However, Myriad Abyss Island has many secrets. I myself am not privy to some information about it, despite my closeness with the young lord. We are all wandering cultivators, so I have a piece of valuable advice for you. Follow young lord Zhen loyally and you'll have a bright future ahead of you. Otherwise, I doubt we'll have much more room to grow. We're already great emperors as wandering cultivators, after all."
The last part of his statement rang true. It was quite unlikely for wandering cultivators to rise much higher than great emperor. The first reason for it was that they lacked the resources available to someone that hailed from a large sect. It was one of the most incontrovertible facts about their existence.
Great emperors of sects always had various routes open to them thanks to their sect's resources. Wandering cultivator great emperors didn't have that luxury, and almost always had a much harder time finding suitable materials and resources.
The Jiao brothers sank into deep contemplation. They no longer questioned the veracity of Mo Wushuang's declaration. They couldn't tell yet exactly how bright of a future they would have under young lord Zhen, but the martial technique improvements they'd just received were enough to double their unified attacking power.
After various tasks came to their inevitable conclusions, the Dragon and Tiger Meet's preparations were finally complete.
The weather of this particular day was sunny and fair. The large square beneath the Veluriyam Pagoda was the staging ground for the event. Honored guests from sects and factions all over were arrayed in areas reserved for them. The wandering cultivators themselves were scattered all over the square, with a large number overflowing into the streets.
At least a million had come for the festivities. Under countless expectant eyes, the much-anticipated Dragon and Tiger Meet finally began. The other great emperors of the city clustered around him, Jiang Chen made a striking entrance into the event.
Special seating was arranged for all emperors and great emperors in attendance, demonstrating the city's respect for wandering cultivator experts. Wandering cultivators below emperor realm weren't allowed to simply pack themselves in either. Every area was subjected to strict supervision and control, ensuring that no crowding and chaos occurred anywhere. The Peafowl Guard was assigned on patrol to remove any troublemakers.
Jiang Chen stood atop a lofty place, backed up by a troupe of great emperors. The group made for an impressive tableau.
"Greetings, everyone. When we first decided we would convene the Dragon and Tiger Meet, every faction in the human domain thought we would fail. They thought that we wouldn't have the clout after our recent issues to draw in enough people. Your presences here has proven how ludicrous they are."
The young lord's rich voice carried into the wind. He had imbued his words with a bit of dragon's roar technique, sending them into the audience's collective ears.
"Some of you came here for the Pinecrane Pill. Some for our pill dao academy. Some for the sake of my own humble self. Some, for 'Myriad Abyss Island'. And of course, some came purely to spectate. No matter your reason for being here, I'd like to emphasize that anyone interested in making trouble should put that away. I'm saying this up front: those who don't will be branded enemies of our city. We will spare no quarter."
Jiang Chen's tone and warning were both extremely stern.
"The Pinecrane Pill, the pill dao academy, the mysterious expert from Myriad Abyss Island: all of those and more will be here. However, the Meet will be far more exciting than that. If the Pinecrane Pill is simply shown off and auctioned, how will our guests be satisfied? How will the uniqueness of the Dragon and Tiger Meet be revealed? Veluriyam Capital has many more things to offer from its coffers than that. Many events will take place at the Meet, and many of you will benefit from each one of them."
His gathering of his audience's hearts proved reasonably effective. The wandering cultivator giants weren't displeased by the speech, but the ordinary ones felt warmth in the cockles of their hearts.
Whether young lord Zhen could fully carry out his promises or not, at least his attitude was there. The low-level wandering cultivators hadn't come for nothing.
"I've never been one for empty words. Allow me to announce the first event. Dubbed 'The Perceptive Eye', it's related to treasure identification. In this round, any treasure that anyone can't identify may be presented. We will be responsible for giving you the knowledge you need to make use of them. You won't be disappointed! There's plenty of gold in the sand we're about to sift through."
Mentioning it was enough to instantly pique many people's interests. Every martial cultivator had an innate curiosity and desire for treasure. That was precisely what Jiang Chen was banking on.