Chapter 468: The Pitched Battle Between Origin Realm Cultivators
If one wanted to be entirely accurate, an origin realm cultivator is more aptly named a nascent soul cultivator. Distillation of spirit power allows one to refine a spirit essence from one’s body. This spirit essence is the nascent soul, replete with a form, consciousness, and the ability to materialize outside the body. As a result, the strength of an origin realm cultivator was a qualitative step higher than a spirit realm cultivator.
Jiang Chen’s strength had increased so rapidly precisely because he’d broken through to the origin realm. The speed of his improvement now far outstripped his previous rate in the spirit realm. At that time, he could challenge cultivators a level or two higher than him, but crossing too many levels was quite an undertaking.
If he fought against an earth spirit realm cultivator when he was in the small spirit realm, Jiang Chen could at most pray to defend himself. It was almost impossible to win. But now that he was in the minor origin realm, he had a ninety percent chance of victory when fighting an earth origin realm cultivator.
It wasn’t that an earth origin cultivator was that weak, but that his potential had simply exploded through the gate after entering the origin realm. Like a geyser finally finding an outlet, his breakthrough had led to his techniques improving by a minimum of three to five times over. Some techniques had evolved to an entirely new level, improving ten times over!
Yan Hongtu was well on his way to forming a tyrannical momentum about him, his battle intent whipping around him. He was releasing his origin realm aura without reserve, his intention to skin and eat Jiang Chen alive quite blatant.
It had been quite a while since a physical match had appeared in the Rosy Valley. The dull constancy of sect life lent quite an appealing allure to martial matches. Core disciples from all corners of the valley made their way over to gather around the ring.
No one wanted to miss a duel between core disciples. Followers in particular thronged around the ring, creating several circles of audience members. Although some of the stronger core disciples valued themselves too highly to appear in public, they still kept an eye on the happenings in private.
If one discarded Jiang Chen’s great fame and connection with Sage Dan Chi, he was just a core disciple who’d barely entered the origin realm. As mighty as the rumors had made him out to be, the gap between his strength and Yan Hongtu’s was there for all to see.
When a first level origin realm was matched up against a fifth level, the difference of four small levels was an enormous disparity no matter how one looked at it, not to mention that Yan Hongtu had always been training in the Regal Pill Palace.
No matter how much of a genius Jiang Chen could be, he’d still only been training in a small place like the sixteen kingdoms alliance all along. In the eyes of the audience, the disparity in the level of martial dao between the two was a gulf that could never be crossed.
The Regal Pill Palace was a top sect of the Myriad Domain, and at best, one could describe the Precious Tree Sect as a third or fourth rate sect. The gap was obvious no matter what angle one took to approach the matter.
“That’s odd, so odd! I hear that Yan Hongtu’s already lost to this Jiang Chen in the arena of pills. Does this genius from the sixteen kingdoms have such enormous pill potential?”
“Either he’s too strong or Yan Hongtu is too useless 1. Yan Hongtu has no drive to improve and just cowers in the Soaring Clouds area everyday to play at being king. He’s content at being a frog at the bottom of a well and has completely let himself go!”
“You make sense. Senior brother He, who do you think will win this match?”
“Martial dao is different from that of pills. One can find opportunities to employ trickery when competing with pills, but martial dao is a test of true talent. One’s true skills are the basis that proves a victor. In my view, as low as Yan Hongtu has sunk, if he can’t even take down a first level origin realm, then he can really ram himself to death against a block of tofu.”
“That’s true, it would be the most colossal joke beneath the heavens if a fifth level origin realm couldn’t even triumph over a first level origin realm. Such a humiliating record has yet to appear since the Regal Pill Palace’s founding, right?”
“Heh heh, that’d be hard to say. When Palace Head Dan Chi was young, he also challenged a senior brother in the earth origin realm. However, the person he challenged had just entered the earth origin realm and had yet to consolidate their grasp on their cultivation.”
“Tsk tsk, what right does Jiang Chen have to be compared to Sage Dan Chi? Sage Dan Chi has the highest level of martial dao potential in the last three hundred years of our sect’s history!”
“That’s right, Sage Dan Chi absolutely has the right to be hailed a king or emperor in the future. With him leading our sect, the Regal Pill Palace will absolutely walk forward into an age of glory and construct an empire!”
Dan Chi’s popularity with the young guard was really very high. They all deeply loved and revered him, each viewing him as their idol. On the other hand, they possessed a deeply skeptical attitude towards Jiang Chen. Although he had been personally chosen by Sage Dan Chi, their deeply rooted prejudices posed an immense barrier towards accepting that a small place like sixteen kingdoms alliance could produce a stunning genius.
Jiang Chen had long since tuned distractions out in the ring. His obliviousness was proof that he’d entered his peak condition. Although he had completely seen through Yan Hongtu, the latter was still a fifth level origin realm cultivator. The slightest bit of carelessness would mean the end of the match. Jiang Chen would have to fully exert his battle ability this time. It certainly wouldn’t be as easy as trampling old monster Sunchaser.
“Jiang Chen, stop posturing around!” Yan Hongtu roared loudly as a frosty gleam appeared in his sinister eyes. “Only the strong are revered in the ring. All of your smoke and mirrors are useless here!” He shook his arms when he was done, emitting a long whistle.
The totem of an enormous eagle suddenly formed behind Yan Hongtu’s back. Jiang Chen knew that this was likely the materialization of Yan Hongtu’s nascent soul.
“See how I’ll devour you, Jiang Chen!!” The sharp sound waves of Yan Hongtu’s wild howl gathered into an enormous wave, cresting ever higher as it surged towards Jiang Chen. The mysteries behind the sound wave formed by the howl were quite impressive. It was a simultaneous physical and mental attack.
Jiang Chen didn’t let down his guard as he swiped the air, creating a defensive air current from the magnetic force that wrapped itself around this giant wave of sound. Magnetic force was the most adept at destroying force fields and controlling the other’s strength and tempo.
The defensive air current formed from magnetic force never gave the sound wave a chance to exhibit its true strength, grinding it down until it shattered into fragments with a muted crack.
“What?!” Yan Hongtu was dumbfounded. Although his sound wave attack wasn’t any sort of trump card, it was still nonetheless a very frightening attack.
A mere first level origin realm cultivator had been able to destroy it using a simple forcefield defense? This result was utterly outside Yan Hongtu’s expectations.
“Hmph!” However, his shock didn’t dampen his fighting spirit. Yan Hongtu’s body flashed as his arms seemed to transform into a pair of eagle wings, launching himself into the sky.
“Eagle Rays, shoot!”
Yan Hongtu’s art was one that fully assimilated the form and strikes of an eagle into his techniques, giving rise to a domineering offensive.
He dove from his superior position in the sky with incredible speed, his ferocity and speed increasing his offensive ability with every moment. Jiang Chen continued to unleash magnetic force around him, molding it into a protective forcefield once again.
The impact didn’t seem to faze Yan Hongtu, as he continued to accelerate even more. His speed grew until he became just a trail of light constantly blitzing Jiang Chen’s defense, diving to and fro. Endless silhouettes formed frighteningly fast and strong attacks, a barrage that didn’t even stop for a breath. The mystery that governed this entire offensive was a single concept, “speed”.
Unparalleled speed would break ten thousand arts.
“This won’t do, there’s no advantage in combating speed with such a passive defense!” Jiang Chen was well aware of the shortfalls of his current position. Yan Hongtu’s attacks were so fast that he would likely even find gaps in the Lotus’ perverse defensive capabilities. He was also utterly capable of taking advantage of such opportunities too. His specialty was obviously an offensive that made use of his tremendous speed and overbearing force—a true fifth level origin realm alright!
His thoughts whirling, Jiang Chen formed a counter strategy. He made a hand seal and enclosed himself in boundless magnetic power. Twelve fire and ice lotus vines appeared on the ground in the next moment, and an even stranger scene appeared as the magnetic power flickered.
The twelve vines actually all transformed into replicas of Jiang Chen and dashed to the four corners of the ring.
“What’s going on?” Yan Hongtu had been luxuriating in the feedback of his attacks when he suddenly noticed that multiple Jiang Chen’s had appeared on the ring.
“Hmph, illusions? Trying to scare me off with this little sleight of hand?” Yan Hongtu displayed disdain after a brief pause. A quick flick of his hand brought out more than a dozen throwing daggers.
“Eagle Wings, Timestream!”
The throwing daggers shot unerringly to the twelve figures as fast as shooting stars.
Pfft pfft pfft!
All of the throwing daggers found their target. Yan Hongtu roared with proud laughter as he paused, “Jiang Chen, so what if you have a thousand, or even ten thousand copies of yourself? No matter which one is your real form, being hit by my eagle throwing daggers would only result in your crushing defeat!”
Which Regal Pill Palace disciple wasn’t an expert in pills? Since they were familiar with pills, they were naturally well versed with using poison.
Yan Hongtu’s personality was wily, and seemingly without a bottom line. Of course there was poison on the throwing daggers. This poison was quite vicious in its make, directly invading the consciousness and heart. It would instantly numb the nerves, block blood vessels, and fog one’s mind.
Thus, when he saw that his throwing daggers had pinned down all twelve copies of Jiang Chen, Yan Hongtu knew that he had won for certain. He was very confident in his usage of poisons. What he had to do now was to slowly appreciate Jiang Chen struggling for his life. Yan Hongtu had already made up his mind to kill Jiang Chen in the ring. No matter what his background is, offending me, Yan Hongtu, leads only to death!
How would he continue to solidify his position of power in the Soaring Clouds area if he didn’t kill Jiang Chen as an example?
The light from the twelve figures slowly receded, revealing the true forms of the twelve lotus vines.
The Lotus of Fire and Ice was a spirit entity to begin with, lacking human flesh and blood. The poison was completely ineffective against it. Human poison would never have an effect even if it were to be splashed on tree roots.
Yan Hongtu’s heart suddenly sank. The twelve figures had all been fake! “Then where’s Jiang Chen?!” Since they were all fake, where was the real Jiang Chen? One of the most frightening things in the ring was undoubtedly the sudden disappearance of one’s opponent. The full knowledge that an unnatural ghost aiming for one’s throat was in the vicinity, but also the horrifying lack of knowledge of where it was.”
“Playing with throwing daggers, Yan Hongtu? From where I’m standing, your abilities are closer to that of an unweaned brat!” Mockery suffused Jiang Chen’s tone as his voice echoed from all corners of the ring. There was also a Soaring Eagle form in his Moonshatter Flying Daggers. There were actually similarities between that and Yan Hongtu’s throwing dagger technique, but the lines of Yan Hongtu’s technique were far inferior to the perfection of the Soaring Eagle form of the Moonshatter Flying Daggers.
Besides, Jiang Chen’s true body had never been within Yan Hongtu’s attack range. Even if he had been, Jiang Chen naturally had his ways of striking back.
Yan Hongtu’s face changed greatly as he realized he had no way of determining where Jiang Chen was from his voice!