As an expatriate from Myriad Abyss Island and a genius of House Xiahou, the seventh master had never taken the human domain's cultivators particularly seriously. His elite entourage, led by Elders Peng and Mo, far surpassed them in quality. Even Jiang Chen was just an unreasonably lucky brat to him.
In truth, Xiahou Jing fundamentally despised Veluriyam's young lord. However, his consciousness was being disrupted by a glare from the youth's Evil Golden Eye.
Cold sweat beaded down his back.
Being targeted from afar by the Holy Dragon Bow made his hair stand on end. In that moment, an incomprehensible thought popped into his mind: Jiang Chen was able to threaten his life!
It was a possibility only because of the stone golem brothers' encirclement, but even that should have been a far stretch.
In Xiahou Jing's understanding, Jiang Chen was only some emperor realm expert. The difference between them was night and day.
He went so far as to believe that if Jiang Chen were a native of Myriad Abyss Island, the brat wouldn't be worthy to tie the young master's shoes. But his conceptions were being shaken by reality.
"I need to get out of here!" Xiahou Jing felt his thoughts slip deeper into absurdity by the minute.
It was at this time that Jiang Chen gave the command. "What are you waiting around for, Big Stone? Take him out!"
Anyone else from Myriad Abyss Island might have been spared. Jiang Chen was no extremist on most days after all. But an opponent from House Xiahou was destined to be his mortal enemy. There was no need to hold anything back. The more of them that died, the better!
The eight stone golem brothers cooperated to form a terrifying stony field. It was as invincible as a fortress of solid rock.
Xiahou Jing's repeated attempts to break out met with continuous failure.
"How can this be?" He knew how strong the Primordial Stone Golem Tribe was supposed to be, but actual combat revealed the extent of their true strength.
Perhaps a single one of the stone golems was weaker than him. Indeed, they were probably weaker than Elders Mo and Peng. But a combined attack of multiple golem brothers changed the game completely.
Becoming one with his spear, Xiahou Jing drilled his weapon again and again, but spirals of demolishing air blasted in every direction in complete vain.
The stony field had been set up by eight brothers of the Primordial Stone Golem Tribe as a unified entity. Because of this, the defense was one unified system as well. Once formed, it required someone twice as strong as the eight brothers combined to break.
"Water-Rending Strike!" Xiahou Jing's ferocious attacks pounded upon the field. Unfortunately, nothing he did seemed to be of any use against the bind he was in.
"Star-Shattering Pierce!" He changed his tactics, continuing to press the attack. It was no use!
The stone golems' stony field was far stronger than he had anticipated. No matter what method Xiahou Jing resorted to, he failed to make a dent in it.
Jiang Chen stood aloft, Holy Dragon Bow brimming with aggressive intent. His Evil Golden Eye charged up, locking onto Xiahou Jing with unmistakable intensity. He was waiting for a chance to inflict a fatal blow on his enemy.
The stone golem brothers brandished their heavy weapons about, landing blow after blow upon Xiahou Jing. In theory, the latter would have had a hard time remaining unscathed against the former's powerful attacks.
Alas, the young master from Myriad Abyss Island seemed to have activated some sort of talisman, increasing his defense by several levels. He was hit again and again by the stone golem brothers, but a strange force allowed the blows to slide right off with minimal harm.
"As expected of a genius from House Xiahou. He has some pretty remarkable treasures." Jiang Chen had fought many people since becoming a cultivator, but all his previous opponents paled before his current one - the once-domineering Emperor Pillzenith included.
Xiahou Jing was unmistakably the strongest of them all.
Jiang Chen had witnessed the golem brothers' fighting ability before. Against Elders Peng and Mo, they hadn't even mobilized as all eight. Both elders had fallen under reasonably ignoble conditions.
The fact that all eight brothers working in tandem wasn't able to defeat Xiahou Jing was telling in itself. He was pressed, but far from beaten.
The eight stone golem brothers had terrifying battle presence. Every attack was imbued earth-moving impetus that showcased the golems' brutality.
Still, Xiahou Jing was able to maintain relative safety in the situation. He was a far cry from being severely hurt.
"Xiahou Jing isn't necessarily much stronger than Elders Peng and Mo were, but his treasures and trump cards allow his combat prowess to surpass his subordinates." Jiang Chen now had a better understanding of his enemy's capabilities. But he didn't despair. Treasures that increased one's fighting ability were temporary.
As long as the eight golem brothers kept up the attack, Xiahou Jing would go down sooner or later.
As for Jiang Chen himself, he stimulated his consciousness constantly in search of a breakthrough.
He was searching for the sensation he'd felt when killing Elder Mo. If he could find that inspiration once more, this next attack would be even more fearsome than the one that had slain the elder.
He hadn't yet achieved seventh level emperor realm when killing the elder. Because he had stepped over an important threshold, his harmony with the Holy Dragon Bow had also been drastically improved.
This was helpful both to his offensive potential and his search for that spark of inspiration.
This arrow would certainly surpass his last. But actually getting there was easier said than done.
Jiang Chen's consciousness whirred without stopping. The chain seal within was reacting a little with each prod.
Suddenly, a potent power burst forth from the seal. It manifested itself as an unnameable will, granting Jiang Chen a burst of insight.
The arrow was as fast as a comet, bearing down its target in the blink of an eye!
Jiang Chen felt emptied after firing the shot, but his mind was extremely satisfied. He had a hunch that Xiahou Jing was sure to be hit if everything went well.
Moreover, it was sure to shatter the runic defenses on his body. Those talismans were the only reason the eight stone golem brothers' heavy blows weren't able to finish the fight.
Everyone from Sacred Peafowl Mountain held their breath when they saw the fearsome missile.
Some were surprised, others overjoyed, yet others disbelieving. However, all of their expressions morphed into shock in the next moment.
Just as the arrow was about to arrive at its mark, a storm of violet bolts materialized in the air. They snaked about like electric serpents in the clouds, bizarrely tethering onto the arrow.
The arrow tried its best to charge forward, but the violet lightning did the same to force it to remain under their control.
Jiang Chen had scarcely recovered from his own surprise when a giant hand came out of the clouds as well. It slammed down upon the stony field's exterior with baffling momentum.
Both field and surrounding space were ruptured by the mysterious force despite their resilience.
Xiahou Jing's reflexes were quick enough for him to transform into a streak of escaping light, slipping through the cracks of the fractured aura.
Jiang Chen's heart sank. Though another arrow was nocked on his bow, he could no longer find the same frame of mind to fire it.
Before the eight stone golem brothers had time to react, Xiahou Jing had activated a glyph and fled far, far away.
With that, the giant hand that had inexplicably materialized slowly disintegrated.
This precipitous change in circumstances had taken place in the span of a few breaths. When everyone realized what had happened, Xiahou Jing was nowhere to be found. As for the giant hand that had disrupted Jiang Chen's plans, who knew what was behind it?
Jiang Chen's Evil Golden Eye was wide open and alertly searching. "Who was responsible for that?!" He was blue in the face. "Disrupting Veluriyam business on Veluriyam land… are you brave enough to show yourself?!"
He was beside himself with fury. If not for this unexpected intervention, the arrow would have at minimum severely wounded Xiahou Jing. With any remotely serious injury, there would be no escape for him from the eight stone golem brothers.
The violet lightning and disembodied palm had clearly come from the same person. What was more, his energy signature didn't seem demonic. Who exactly was this interloper?
It couldn't have been an expert from House Xiahou. If it was, such an expert would've shown himself a long time ago. Why would he have waited until the present?
Given the newcomer's lack of affiliation in that regard, Jiang Chen was all the more enraged by the unwanted interference. He was irreconcilable enemies with the entirety of House Xiahou. He couldn't accept Xiahou Jing's escape from under his nose!
But there was no one that appeared in the air.
As Jiang Chen sulked, an aged voice came from the ether. "Young man, learn some mercy."
The voice's was imposing and full-bodied, as if it came from someone in a superior position.
"Who are you?" Jiang Chen retorted coldly. "Do you understand that the fortunes of humanity hinged on today's battle? Don't you think you went too far with your ignorant meddling?"
"Calm yourself, young man. If you care about the fate of humanity, then you should know that killing someone from Myriad Abyss Island will only bring disaster to the human domain!" There was a hint of reprimand to the voice. It seemed to be taking Myriad Abyss's side.