All four of the great emperors were battle-hardened veterans. With Jiang Chen's orders, they led their elites to each of their assigned positions outside the formation. The young lord remained in the center to oversee the affair.
"Old Brother Mo, attack the eastern gate first. Beware of lightning strikes.
"Vastsea, take the western gate. Watch out for chaotic astral winds!
"Jiao Yun, Jiao Feng, ready yourselves to attack the north and south gates at any time. Listen for my command, and note well that these two gates conceal threats of water and fire."
With a thunderous rumble, Emperor Peerless led the attack. He pushed both fists in a single stretching motion, sending two aureate peaks towards the eastern gate.
The emperor kept Jiang Chen's reminder about the lightning strikes at the forefront of his mind. That was why he had elected to forgo metallic weaponry, choosing to attack great emperor level boxing auras instead.
Emperor Vastsea was determined not to be outdone. This was the first time he had a chance to do anything for Jiang Chen! He poured a hundred twenty percent into the effort and rained a storm of blows upon the western gate.
The Jiao brothers followed suit at the northern and southern gates.
The palace's inner courtyard was plunged into hysterics. The agitations from the attacks on the formation made those inside feel like they were on a vessel in a turbulent sea. The possibility of capsizing at any moment was panicking everyone.
They knew that the inner formation was very powerful, but the posturing behind the attacks seemed even more impressive. No one was sure that the formation would hold against such phenomenal blows.
"Forefather, have… have they seen through the secrets of our formation? How can they know that they're supposed to attack all four gates at once? Is that Jiang Chen kid really some ridiculous formation master?" Great Scarlet's emperor felt his heart twist in a knot. His face was bloodless and pale.
"Hmph, so what if he has? The formation will hold for a while yet! Take over operating the formation and try to draw their attentions this way. I'll look for an opportunity to attack that Jiang Chen kid. I'll take him out in a single swing!" House Yan's forefather was grim.
"Be careful, forefather." The family's forefather was the emperor's only bulwark. He didn't want anything to happen to his last bastion of defense.
"Hmph! Since we're at this point already, we can only charge forward the face of adversity. This is our only option, regardless of how slim the chance. I think we have a fifty percent chance of coming out of this alive anyways." The forefather was confident.
Outside the palace, Jiang Chen oversaw the four battling great emperors from a high vantage point. He marveled at the remarkability of the inner palace's formation. Despite a concerted strike from four great emperors and his superb leadership, destroying the formation still proved difficult.
As more and more attacks pounded into the formation, so too did more and more of its hidden features come to light.
Lightning crackled, thunder rumbled, and electricity snaked across the firmament.
An ocean of flames roiled, fiery tongues licking the sky.
A crashing wave threatened to swallow up all in its wake.
A roaring tempest sent currents of turbid air in every direction.
The four-attribute formation would be significantly more fearsome without the four great emperors suppressing its strength from all four directions.
The great emperors in question respected Jiang Chen all the more for his foresight. They'd been a bit confused about the young lord's caution a few moments prior, but personal experience now informed them of the formation's hidden potency. They realized that the young lord's eye was keener than theirs after all.
If they'd charged headlong into the formation and triggered its restrictions, they would've suffered rather painful injuries - if not outright death.
"The formation is strong, but it costs a lot of spirit stones to maintain. Great Scarlet doesn't have stones that are particularly pure, which is an intrinsic flaw they cannot overcome. They won't be able to utilize the formation's power to its fullest. Make sure to put your own safety first. We will break the formation apart bit by bit!"
Jiang Chen uttered a reminder to the great emperors. He didn't want them to act in haste. As he concentrated on the battle, his Psychic's Head triggered an uncomfortable notion. In the next moment, he felt a piercing pain in the ring seal located in the ocean of his consciousness. Was it warning him of something?
"Hmm?" Though Jiang Chen was still curious about what the restriction actually was, he always trusted the seal's premonitions implicitly. There was always something afoot when he received one.
The Great Scarlet capital was already under his control. The imperial family was presenting some futile resistance still, but Jiang Chen believed that they had no chance of escaping. The entire capital had been surrounded by Goldbiter Rats. Everything was proceeding as he had expected. So why then, had he received a warning?
His considerations didn't delay his physical actions. He grabbed at his Crimson Heavens formation disk without hesitation, concealing himself within an Eight Trigram Boulder Formation. Simultaneously, he opened up his senses and probed for any slight differences in the fabric of space.
He felt a faint current beneath him, almost imperceptibly so.
"Who's there?" Jiang Chen glared downward, golden rays blasting out of his Evil Golden Eye. The aureate light expanded to fill the surrounding place, revealing all concealed objects and persons.
"Hehehe, lie down, kid!" There was a snicker from the middle of nothingness. A person tunneled out from a patch of thin air immediately beneath Jiang Chen, as if he had torn through space to get there.
It was a white-haired man with an impressive presence. His outstretched, wrinkled palm projected an enormous version of itself in a grasping motion toward Jiang Chen. The momentum behind it was as stupefying as a thunderclap.
"A great emperor domain?" A bit shocked, Jiang Chen called upon his Eight Trigram Boulder Formation for aid.
Everything happened in only an instant. If Jiang Chen had been half a second slower, the assailant would've grasped a hole in the middle of his chest. As the grasp clutched towards the young man, the formation rumbled into motion.
A wave of cracking sounded all around the formation. Rifts appeared in its runes, created by the forcefulness of the hand alone. Thankfully, the latter was stopped in its tracks in the process. The hand clattered to a halt just one yard away from Jiang Chen. The assailant was none other than House Yan's forefather!
He had borrowed the wind and lightning of the formation to conceal himself and sneak out. The four great emperors hadn't detected his presence because of this. Drifting here on the chaotic currents of the formation, he had hidden himself like a gust between the spaces. His sole objective was to land a lethal blow upon Jiang Chen.
As he delivered his attack, the old man thought that he had already succeeded. Alas, he had underestimated Jiang Chen's alertness and reflexes in the end. The Eight Trigram Boulder Formation had managed to block his grasp.
The forefather was stunned, but knew that he couldn't lose the opportunity by delaying. He pushed forward aggressively, pouncing upon Jiang Chen like a huge eagle. A sizable pair of shears appeared in his hands.
Like an enormous, bestial maw, the shears carried rows of jagged teeth upon its edges. It swept through space toward the young lord's position. The shears moved with frightening speed and ferocity. They could seemingly cut up even a mountain that stood in their way.
But how would Jiang Chen be hit by the second attack after neutralizing the first? He instantly dove into the Kunpeng Meteoric Escape, disappearing from his original location.
As he did so, he tossed something into the air. It turned into a stream of golden light, expanding almost instantaneously. It was his magnetic golden mountain!
"Down with you!" Though Jiang Chen hadn't tapped into all the powers of his magnetic golden mountain, he could use it to good effect to hinder the old man's attack.
Deep down, Jiang Chen was astounded. He hadn't thought that Great Scarlet would have a great emperor in his wildest dreams.
Even the three sect heads hadn't heard of such a thing.
However, there was no reason for him to panic. This expert of the imperial family was plenty strong, but not nearly to the same degree that Emperor Shura had been. Having successfully dealt with the latter, Jiang Chen wasn't scared at all of the former.
The mountain's crushing weight bore down furiously upon the old man, who was glaring daggers at it. He swept his sleeves at the mountain in an attempt to swat it aside, foregoing everything to propel himself closer to his young target.
Unfortunately, he found that a strange force had slowed his sweep. In the next moment, currents of invisible, turbid magnetic forces made his entire person sluggish.
"Hmm? What the hell is this?" The old man was astonished. Finally, he understood why such a young kid had been able to become Veluriyam Capital's young lord. That someone of his age had been able to evade a great emperor expert's repeated attacks without breaking a sweat… this was truly appalling news!
"I must kill that kid. House Yan faces certain destruction with him around!" The forefather became even more determined to kill Jiang Chen after his shock.
Not that he had much chance of succeeding; his initial strike had had the highest likelihood of success. It was all downhill from there.
The old man twisted free of the magnetic golden mountain's restrictions, only to be met with a giant claw from space. Five finger-talons, sharp as knives, shot toward the top half of his head.
A true dragon was behind the claw!
House Yan's forefather felt his blood run cold.
Emperor Peerless was the first to react. He abandoned the formation, leaping to the young lord's aid.
"I am here, young lord."
Emperor Vastsea instantly dropped everything to arrive at Jiang Chen's side as well.
"Excellent timing," Jiang Chen smiled coolly. "Capture this old man. If you can't, kill him on the spot!"
Emperor Peerless looked meaningfully toward Emperor Vastsea. With a tacit understanding between the two, they both activated their great emperor domains, locking down the nearby space.
The Jiao brothers blocked the two remaining directions, taking the front and rear respectively. Their own great emperor domains were deployed to the maximum as well. The four great emperors acting in unison created a harmonizing effect between their domains. The amazing presence exerted obstructed any possibility of escape for House Yan's forefather.