The Eternal Sacred Land was more than qualified to hold the pill dao festival with the strength and foundation they possessed.
One of the most secluded secret realms in the sacred land was selected as the event ground. The guests invited had to go through a series of careful checkups to verify their identities before entering.
It was called a festival, but only a few selected factions could participate. Every nation was given twenty to thirty spots. Only a few from the ones in Eternal Divine Nation had been invited. The rest came from pill dao figureheads located in second tier islands and nations in Myriad Abyss, but limited to those who had a friendly relationship with the sacred land.
In total, the participants amounted to less than five hundred people. The exclusivity was exactly what signified the festival’s prestige.
The three primes personally led the contingent from the Eternal Sacred Land. Jiang Chen had a place after Ziju Min and a few other pill dao seniors, a low profile and calm demeanor his modus operandi for the festival. With him was Yan Qingsang, his assistant for the event’s duration.
Considering Yan Qingsang’s status in the sacred land, he wouldn’t have been allowed to participate. There were many young geniuses more remarkable than he, and he was a recent addition to boot. Jiang Chen had requested a spot to allow him to make an appearance. It was a great opportunity for the young man to show his face.
The festival was clearly divided into different regions, with strict rules regarding where each faction and guest should go. Once the guests entered, they were led to their seats in an orderly fashion by disciples of the Eternal Sacred Land.
Everyone arrived after a while. Their curiosity was piqued when they saw how the Eternal Sacred Land had organized the festival.
During this period of time, they’d devoted themselves to studying the Taiyi Skymender Pill. They were all amazed by it and wanted to gain some more insight.
However, the pill was more complicated than they anticipated. No matter how hard they tried, they couldn’t find out more about it.
They knew Taiyi Dragonscale Fruit was the main ingredient, but that alone wasn’t enough for them to find out more. Thus, the pill dao heavyweights came to the festival with great curiosity and a desire to learn.
The three primes walked out of the host’s area with an entourage trailing after them. Jiang Chen stayed behind Ziju Min with a relaxed and almost meditative expression, paying no heed to the hundreds of guests present.
Suddenly, his eyebrow twitched. He could feel a highly invasive consciousness targeting him, coming from some corner. He opened his eyes and cast them to the source.
A young man and lady whispered among themselves. The man was elegantly handsome, his eyes bright like the stars. He considered Jiang Chen with an icy gaze. The lady was Xiahou Ying.
The man bore some resemblance to her. His lips quirked slightly, an air of superiority and roguishness to him. It was as if no one in the entire world was worthy of his attention.
A name came to Jiang Chen’s mind. Xiahou Zong.
Jiang Chen looked back and assessed his opponent with indifferent eyes.
When Xiahou Zong noticed that Jiang Chen was sizing him up, he was surprised by the vaguely provocative glint in the latter’s eyes.
He was highly put out. As the top genius of the younger generation, he was unrivaled in Eternal Divine Nation. No geniuses even dared look at him wrong, to say nothing of meeting his eyes in a challenging manner.
Not even the Five Great Gentlemen from the sacred land might be bold enough to do so.
The Xiahou genius’ star-like eyes shone brightly, shooting out a violent beam of light, accompanied by a harsh crush of consciousness.
How dare the young man challenge his authority?! Offended, Xiahou Zong decided to teach Jiang Chen a lesson. This wilfulness had always marked his character. The fact that he was in sacred land territory didn’t even give him pause.
His eye techniques were well known throughout the nation. They contained the powerful scorching consciousness of the sun that he’d been born with, making the attack as explosive as a supernova. His eye and consciousness combined made for a formidable force.
That was why his lips twisted into an angry smile when he noticed Jiang Chen’s taunting look. The kid’s obviously courting death.
His explosive attack was highly aggressive. Once it landed, it’d penetrate into the target’s consciousness and burn it. It wouldn’t be fatal, but absolutely enough to inflict some serious damage.
However, things didn’t go as expected. When his gaze shot through the air, a powerful force of consciousness shot from Jiang Chen’s eyes as well, its energy just as powerful.
The two rays of consciousness clashed in the air and dispersed. To both their surprise, neither of them came out on top.
Even Jiang Chen was startled. He’d never considered Xiahou Zong much of a threat, but here he was, meeting an equal in eye arts for the first time.
Xiahou Zong’s trained in eye techniques as well, and his are as powerful as my Evil Golden Eye!
It was their first face off. Neither had said a word, and the opening round of an intense duel already carried out through a single glance.
The result startled Xiahou Zong even more so. Not only had his art been ineffectual, but it’d been dispersed by a countering gaze!
He’d never failed in a match of eye techniques before. Anything less than winning was essentially a defeat in his book.
His Scorching Sun Eye rivaled many of the arts displayed by his seniors, and in fact surpassed them. It was unstoppable. Even opponents more powerful than he sometimes fell victim to it.
And yet, a young nobody from the Eternal Sacred Land had proven him wrong today.
Xiahou Ying whispered by his side, “That’s the one I was talking to you about, brother. Look at how cocky he is! He think he’s better than anyone else! Hmph, how dare a former wandering cultivator be as reckless as him?”
Xiahou Zong stayed uncharacteristically quiet, a trace of surprise flashing through his eyes. He threw Jiang Chen another glance and was met with a meaningful smile—one tinted with derision and mockery.
Xiahou Zong burned with rage. Everything from Jiang Chen’s eyes to his expression seemed to be taunting him.
“This is the Eternal Sacred Land, Zong’er!” one of the Xiaohou elders snapped in a low voice. He’d noticed something was amiss with Xiahou Zong. “Don’t get into petty conflicts.”
Xiahou Zong huffed, but managed to suppress his emotions. He knew he mustn’t go overboard here. It wouldn’t end well for him if he angered the three primes.
“Brother, that guy... ”
“That guy’s an interesting one, Ying’er.” Xiahou Zong smiled, his anger controlled and contained. “He’s also trained in eye techniques, and his gaze almost rivals mine. How unusual… Since when was there a talent like him in the sacred land?”
“Hmph, so what? He should pray he doesn’t meet you during the sword competition, or he’ll suffer a terrible defeat!” Xiahou Ying scrunched up her nose and pursed her lips, her tone bitingly angry. “Aren’t I right, brother?”
“Of course,” Xiahou Zong responded coolly.
Ziju Min was right beside Jiang Chen. Naturally, he’d felt the conflict between two youths. He was shocked by the outcome as well.
Shao Yuan had daringly taunted Xiahou Zong and come out undefeated! The short match ending in a draw was a startlingly impressive feat.
Before Shao Yuan, no one in the sacred land could even tie with Xiahou Zong. None of the Five were able to go against him either. This had always been a great source of concern and shame for the sacred land.
As the proclaimed wielder of authority in the Eternal Divine Nation, the sacred land should’ve, in theory, produced the best and most geniuses. And yet House Xiahou was an exception, causing all of the young geniuses in the sacred land to lose their confidence.
Xiahou Zong made every genius in the sacred land pale in comparison, making them unremarkable. In some sense, he was dulling and suppressing their shine. Naturally, the sacred land wanted the situation to change.
Therefore, the three primes had high hopes for Jiang Chen. They had sensed the clash between Jiang Chen and Xiahou Zong as well, but as seniors, they weren’t going to mention the fight between the young folks.