Like an iron fist in a velvet glove, Emperor Wellspring's martial style seemed gentle, but sometimes showed glints of steel. However, the fight hadn't gone as he'd imagined. He tensed at the unexpectedly difficult situation.
He started to feel some regret. Why had a usually level-headed man like himself challenged Emperor Peerless? His opponent's cultivation used to be slightly below his own. How had the man's battle prowess become so frightening after a breakthrough?
Wellspring himself wasn't known for his offensive power, but his defense reigned supreme among all six wandering titans. It was his greatest weapon. It often wore out his opponents before an opportune counterattack sealed his victory.
However, Peerless' overwhelming attack had stifled his defense, leaving little room for a comeback.
Wellspring had known his opponent's strength would increase substantially after a breakthrough. He'd taken the worst scenario into account, but reality proved he'd underestimated his opponent even so.
As they fought, Peerless could sense his new increased power. Never had his duels with Wellspring gone so smoothly. Victory wasn't in his grasp yet, but the rhythm of the bout laid entirely in his hands.
"The kunpeng blood's effects are indeed comprehensive. My speed's far greater, to say nothing of my cultivation and bloodline power... This fight is the best test run!" He couldn't repress his excitement.
The six wandering titans often challenged each other, and he'd been always been confident against Emperor Inferno and Emperor Reliance, but not so much against the three others,
Emperor Everviolet, Emperor Sabledeep, and Emperor Wellspring.
None of these three were stronger than the others. Simply put, Everviolet was the most overbearing, Sabledeep somewhat mysterious, and Wellspring the steadiest.
Each had their own specific style, but they'd all been a cut above his former self. However, he was vaguely dominating Wellspring at this moment.
Perhaps the spectators around the stage didn't comprehend all of the fight's subtleties, but Jiang Chen didn't miss them.
"Old Brother Mo's turned from a fish into a dragon. Even a figure like Emperor Wellspring is being suppressed. The kunpeng blood is marvelous indeed!"
He naturally knew the reason for Peerless' change, but the other spectators were puzzled. Most of them would have ranked Emperor Wellspring slightly above Emperor Peerless. However, contrary to expectations, the latter now held the upper hand. How could that be?
"How is Emperor Peerless so strong after his breakthrough?"
"Is Emperor Wellspring going easy on him? Or pretending to be weak?"
"Stop reaching. Emperor Wellspring relies on his dependable defense. He's never been one for trickery."
"Maybe, but look at how cornered he is! Is Emperor Peerless going to replace his ranking among the six titans?"
"Who knows? Can you feel Emperor Peerless' aura? His entire person seems so much loftier than before. Perhaps even Emperor Everviolet and Emperor Sabledeep aren't his match now."
"You're right. If Emperor Wellspring isn't, why would the others be? I'm speechless at Emperor Peerless' improvement."
"Does young lord Jiang Chen truly turn everything he touches into gold?"
The spectators each offered their own thoughts. Some of them admired Wellspring, while some were partial to Peerless. Each had his own supporters.
On the stage.
Although surprised by Peerless' newfound prowess, Wellspring didn't panic. He might be losing some ground, but he hadn't lived millennia in vain. Thanks to his steadfast defense, he withstood his opponent without being immediately routed.
Peerless also knew a clear victory was impossible. Despite his progress, his barrage had failed to produce tangible results, no matter how fierce and spectacular it had been. Afterall, unlike him, his opponent had reached peak great emperor three thousand years ago.
At their level, an easy victory was but a pipe dream. One had to stake one's life and use trump cards to claim victory. Theirs was only a friendly spar. On top of that, they got along well.
After his initial burst, he slowed his tempo, trading blow for blow with his opponent. Neither of them could immediately wear out the other.
With a sweep of his longsword, Peerless turned into a ray of light and flew somewhere else on the stage, laughing wholeheartedly. "How liberating! Old Brother Wellspring, it's been a wonderful fight. But we might not decide a winner even if we continue for another decade. Why don't we call it a draw?"
Wellspring agreed with the proposal. The longer the duel went on, the longer he'd stay on the defensive, making for a disgraceful scene for a man of his caliber.
It was fortunate his opponent's earlier onslaught had eased off. A draw was satisfactory to both sides. No one won, but no one lost either.
Peerless' truce hadn't been motivated by fear. Instead, he didn't want to hurt his friend's feelings. Despite the result, their fight caused a stir.
Everyone was deeply admirable of Peerless' shocking fighting prowess.
Tales of the duel immediately spread across the entire human domain, turning Emperor Peerless into the latest sensation. Everyone knew he'd sworn allegiance out of gratitude for Jiang Chen rescuing him and his dao partner. In retrospect, that decision had proved to be oh so wise.
It seemed he'd surpassed Emperor Wellspring in a short time thanks to resources obtained from the young lord. He might even be first amongst the wandering titans now.
Wellspring may have become a springboard for his friend, but it was a source of motivation for him. The moment he'd decided to stay behind and help Jiang Chen, he'd discarded all thoughts of personal gains. He cared little for fleeting reputation.
True, he'd wanted to measure Peerless' progress, but it'd also been the best opportunity to polish his own skills. In comparison, what did a little gossip matter?
A hundred miles away, astonishment flashed in Emperor Everviolet's eyes. "Mo Wushuang's suppressed Emperor Wellspring in a public duel?"
This greatly took him aback. He'd dueled both of them in the past. Emperor Wellspring had proved a sturdy wall even against his ferocious strength, while Peerless hadn't been his match. However, the situation had undergone a dramatic turn after just a short while. Had Peerless improved so much he'd surpassed Wellspring?
His first instinct was to dismiss it as exaggeration, perhaps propaganda from Veluriyam to promote Peerless.
"Hmph, Mo Wushuang is nothing more than a speedster. His tactics and martial techniques are rather ordinary. I'm more than ninety percent certain of besting him. How can a breakthrough be so drastic? Did it turn him into a brand new man?"
For some reason, he felt a sudden urgency, and even a strange sense of threat. He didn't want to believe the rumor. Wellspring was tied with him, yet couldn't match Peerless? If true, wouldn't his own chances against Peerless be slim?
Inexorable changes had come upon the six wandering titans.