"To die?" Jiang Chen laughed despite himself, derision seeping from his voice. "Are you that confident you can kill me and conquer my city?"
Xiahou Jing proudly said, "Why wouldn't I be? You're just a mundane brat with better luck than most."
"True, I come from the mundane world. And what about you? What noble identity lies beneath your mask and cloak? Too bad you're a coward afraid of revealing his face." Jiang Chen mocked to his heart's content. "I know where your sense of superiority comes from! Sadly, it's a mere joke in front of me."
"You'll see very soon who's the real joke!" Xiahou Jing sneered.
"Oh? Do you still have an ace in the hole?" Jiang Chen smiled faintly. "I have eight great golem warriors. If all of them attack you at the same time, how likely are you to win?"
Despite his brave front, Xiahou Jing paled imperceptibly. With Elder Peng and Elder Mo back, he was confident he could cope with the golems. But to fight eight golems all by his lonesome? That was asking for trouble. Even his life might be forfeit!
With a wave of the hand, Jiang Chen ordered, "Big Stone, this supreme lord seems to be looking down on us. You brothers teach him a lesson!"
Big Stone grinned. "Hehe, let's do this!"
The eight golems turning into streams of light locked down an area several dozen miles around Xiahou Jing.
The latter gasped. Jiang Chen's presence had thrown all his plans into disarray. He'd planned on delaying until the elders came back. But the brat just had to order the golems to attack so decisively without leaving him any leeway. Even retreat was no longer an option now.
As one of the greatest geniuses of Myriad Abyss Island, his reserve of energy and fighting capability surpassed Elder Mo and Elder Peng, even if his cultivation was below theirs. After all, he held many trump cards from his clan.
So, though startled, he showed no fear. He threw Jiang Chen a withering glance. "Kid, remember, this is the difference between us. You'll forever be an ant relying on his subordinates, while I'm a true genius. I've built everything from scratch with my own hands!"
Jiang Chen replied indifferently, "Trying to show off? From scratch? Then what about the empyrean masters at your side?"
Xiahou Jing stiffened. "What do you mean?"
Jiang Chen smiled mysteriously. "And what of the dozens of great emperors? Do these elites not count either? Doesn't your superiority stem from these men?"
Xiahou Jing blanched, shocked to the core. This was his greatest secret, one that even the protector kings and elders weren't aware of. This was the ultimate trump card he'd brought from Myriad Abyss Island.
So how did Jiang Chen know them? If he'd taken a detour on the way back, how would he know about Elder Peng and the others?
A terrifying possibility suddenly crossed his mind. Had the two elders been defeated?
But even so, they should have returned ahead of Jiang Chen. Why were they late when Jiang Chen and the golems were already back?
"Xiahou Jing, stop daydreaming. You won't be seeing your shock troops again anytime soon." Jiang Chen's words smashed into the supreme lord's chest like a giant hammer.
The face behind the mask turned pallid. Won't be seeing them any time soon? What did that mean? Were the two elders… dead?
No, no! With the elders' strength and the Soulless Powder, it was impossible for Jiang Chen to escape unscathed! What on earth had happened?
Xiahou Jing turned frantic. Secure in the knowledge he'd planned for every possibility before coming, he'd enjoyed the feeling of holding everything in his grasp. He'd been confident he could conquer Veluriyam without shedding a drop of blood.
But nothing had gone as expected.
Not only had Elder Mo and Peng's elites been of no threat to Jiang Chen, but they might even have been wiped out!
It was enough to drive a man mad if true. He'd created the Order of Wind and Cloud by himself and made it the unparalleled existence it'd become. However, using enslaved human cultivators might have been a shortcut to power and fame, but carried with it inherent dangers.
He needed a personal force he could trust and build on, and that precisely the elites led by Elder Mo and Elder Peng.
"Jiang Chen, don't ever forget you're a mundane dog! I don't know what kind of luck allowed you to escape safe and sound, but you've used it all up now!" Xiahou Jing was a tad hysterical.
Jiang Chen smiled contemptuously. "You better worry about your own luck. You barely made it from that place. If you're to return utterly routed, what do you think will be the fate awaiting even if you do survive? Remember, you'll be less than a dog's fart if your surname isn't Xiahou!"
The young lord added viciously, "But your name doesn't bloody matter today! Xiahou Jing's bleached bones will be buried in Veluriyam!"
The supreme lord shook all over when he heard his name uttered in public. His eyes brimmed with incredulity. How had Jiang Chen so easily discovered the identity he'd worked so hard to keep secret?
Disorientated, his head swam. Jiang Chen even seemed to know much more about him than his name.
Are Elder Peng and Elder Mo… Xiahou Jing finally panicked. Did his most relied-upon elites die just like this?
How on earth did Jiang Chen do this? Xiahou Jing stared in utter disbelief. Had the brat killed them all despite the elders' power and the Soulless Powder? Impossible!
But when facing Jiang Chen's confident smile, he could no longer scrounge up a single shred of confidence.
Seeing that events had taken a turn for the worse, he shouted decisively, "Listen up, men of the Order! Attack Veluriyam! When we're the city's masters, all the secret arts and pill recipes are yours to plunder. All the treasures and women are waiting for you to take! Make Veluriyam's cultivators your slaves! Attack! Show them what you're made of!"
In fact, he cared nothing about Veluriyam. He'd only inflamed his men to create enough chaos to shield his exit. But how would Jiang Chen give him such an opportunity? He pulled the Holy Dragon Bow taut.
Streaks of light shot forward. Whoosh whoosh whoosh!
They struck three Celestial Stars in quick succession. The elders' bodies spontaneously exploded, becoming fleshly paste that sprayed everywhere.
All three elders had been great emperors, even if they had been mere initial stage ones. The crowd burst out in raucous cheers at the instant kills.
"So amazing! Long live young lord Jiang Chen!"
"Young lord Jiang Chen, young lord Jiang Chen!"
Even Jiang Chen himself was stunned. The bow was displaying more and more of its potential as it bonded with its master.
After reaching seventh level emperor realm, perhaps he could've injured or killed a great emperor with an ambush.
But with the leap forward in his strength and cultivation after his breakthrough, added to a greater understanding of the bow, allowed him to feel how much more formidable the weapon had become. He'd felled three great emperors in three shots!
The Order's followers, including the Celestial Stars and Earthly Fiends, were a ragtag bunch of misfits. Apart from a minority of zealots, very few had joined the Order voluntarily. They were brave when they held an overwhelming advantage, but their morale was easily broken, especially in such a situation.
Three great emperors had been killed instantly. And the eight golems hadn't even attacked yet! Anyone who preserved their fighting spirit still was either the supreme lord's die-hard supporter or brain-damaged.
Of course, these cultivators' brains still functioned!
Under the Holy Dragon Bow's threat, most had already slowed their advance, even hiding in the crowd, unwilling to lead the charge.
Xiahou Jing shouted in exasperation, "What are you hesitating for? Charge, damn it! He only has so many arrows, how many total do you think he can kill? Charge, conquer Veluriyam, you'll be heroes! Those who cower, do you still want the antidote? Do you still want a better future?"
Smiling faintly, Jiang Chen watched the man mix promises with threats. "Xiahou Jing, what are you shouting for? Are you expecting anything out of this mob? Future? Do you think you still have the luxury of talking about the future?"
As his words fell, he leisurely aimed the bow straight at Xiahou Jing.
The latter froze. Despite all his skills and power, his consciousness shrank back as the might of the Evil Golden Eye landed on him, trembling as the terrifying invasiveness rippled across his mind.