Chapter 648: Encountering a Genius of the Sacred Sword Palace
For some reason, Jiang Chen suddenly felt a little ripple run through him when he saw Jun Mobai’s expression. “Could it be that this Jun Mobai noticed that I’m not really Mu Gaoqi?”
Jiang Chen was slightly puzzled. If Shen Qinghong himself hadn’t noticed anything amiss, then was it really possible for Jun Mobai, a cultivator who was himself a bit weaker than Shen Qinghong, to see through his disguise? That didn’t seem too likely.
Jiang Chen decided not to express anything even though he noticed Jun Mobai’s unusual behavior. This Jun Mobai had once attempted to recruit Jiang Chen back at Rosy Valley. However, Jiang Chen had never really been interested in his offer or Jun Mobai himself. After all, Jiang Chen couldn’t shake the feeling that this seemingly elegant and honest gentleman might not necessarily be as he appeared. As the second round of competition ended, the draw for the third round began.
After the second round was over, the majority of qualified participants were now geniuses from fourth rank sects. Those geniuses who were not part of a fourth rank sect only managed to take a quarter of the seats. The third round was a critical round. Winning the third round meant securing a spot in the Myriad Domain Hidden Dragon rankings. However, after two rounds of ruthless elimination, the weaker cultivators had all been eliminated. All those who remained were the true geniuses. Therefore, the third round was fated to be a most devastating clash. The first seeds aside, everyone had an equal chance to face each other.
Right now, almost all the candidates were praying quietly to avoid a first seed during this critical round. If they did, then the door to advancement would be firmly closed right then and there. The difference between a sage realm cultivator and an origin realm cultivator was just too great. It simply wasn’t a match on the same level.
If there was one exception to the rule though, it would be Jiang Chen. His heart was as calm as a glacial pond, paying no attention to whom his next opponent might be. The first seeds didn’t need to draw lots. Their names were automatically listed from the beginning. The first lot was to confirm their opponents.
All of the geniuses whose names were called during this lot wore a gloomy look on their faces. They were all patently unlucky; their next opponent was a sage realm genius. They were all extremely despondent knowing that their hopes had been completely dashed. Once the first seeds were listed, and their opponents chosen at random, the rest of the participants would have their names shuffled and selected in pairs.
On the Regal Pill Palace side’s, the first person to be picked from the lot was Ling Bi’er. Her opponent was actually also a ninth level origin realm second seed from the Walkabout Sect. This battle would no doubt be desperate.
Jiang Chen’s name was next to be selected. Surprisingly, his opponent was a Sacred Sword Palace genius. His name was Wang Jing, a disciple at the peak of eighth level origin realm. The Sacred Sword Palace cheered loudly when the result of the draw was revealed. Mu Gaoqi versus Wang Jing!
“Haha, junior brother Wang Jing, it’s all up to you now,” a ninth level origin realm Sacred Sword Palace disciple slapped Wang Jing’s shoulders heavily.
Wang Jing was a tall and muscular man who exuded a shocking amount of killing intent. “Senior brother Wang Han, should I kill him, or ruin him? Your wish is my command.”
Wang Han leered sinisterly, flinging Jiang Chen a treacherous glance. The other Sacred Sword Palace disciples were also wearing odd smiles on their faces. When they looked at Mu Gaoqi, it was with a mocking look they usually reserved for prey. “Ruin him. Wouldn’t it be a pity if we gave him a quick death?” Wang Han’s tone was cold. “Junior brother Wang Jing, I’ve heard that your Whale King Sword Aura is extremely potent. Can it invade the inner manor and attack one’s qi sea? The best method would be to break every meridian in this kid’s body and then destroy his qi sea with your technique. This way, he will literally become useless trash!”
Wang Jing nodded. He now knew what he needed to do. He cast Jiang Chen a savage glance. How dare you contradict senior brother Wang Han, brat! You will pay a hefty price for your insolence! When the draw wrapped up, every participant began to focus their mind on the upcoming match. Other than those people who were doomed to lose the moment the lot was drawn, everyone else was eager to get started and rise above their opponents in this third round. If they could do so, they would be able to leave their names on the rankings for this year’s Myriad Domain Hidden Dragon Trials! The fifth rank sect geniuses were especially eager. To them, this was a rare opportunity to spread their name throughout the lands.
Generally, the Myriad Domain Hidden Dragon Trials ranking would be monopolized by the disciples of the fourth rank sects. No more than five slots would be left to anyone not of a fourth rank sect. However, this year’s Myriad Domain Hidden Dragon Trials was different. Since the Tristar Sect had suddenly vanished from the ranks of the six great sects of the Myriad Domain, their empty slots were now up for grabs. These empty slots left behind by the Tristar Sect were equivalent to additional opportunities for these sects. Therefore, this year’s Myriad Domain Hidden Dragon Trials really was a rare opportunity for the other sects.
This was especially true for the stronger fifth rank sects with even greater ambitions. They all wished that their geniuses could overperform and fully display the strength of their sect. If they performed well, then their sect’s reputation would skyrocket. Perhaps they would even be in a place to replace the void left behind by the Tristar Sect. After all, every fifth rank sect wished to improve further and become a fourth rank sect. The slots had been full in the past, but now that the Tristar Sect had betrayed the Myriad Domain and left behind a fourth rank sect sized void waiting to be filled, it was only natural that these fifth rank sects would do their best to slash through their enemies and open up the path to become a fourth rank sect.
Wang Jing? A Sacred Sword Palace disciple? Jiang Chen’s eyebrows lifted slightly. He naturally didn’t overlook the taunting stares that were being thrown his way from the Sacred Sword Palace. He also knew that these people saw him as nothing more than a fish on the chopping block, ready to be sliced and diced at any moment. While wearing a faint smile on his face, Jiang Chen shook his head and slowly made his way up to the ring.
However, what was strange was that no one – be it Palace Head Dan Chi or Mu Gaoqi’s’s subordinate – seemed to have given him any advice at all. They were all watching Mu Gaoqi walking calmly towards the arena, apparently without even a shred of worry at all. This bizarre sight surprised Wang Han just a little. Logically speaking, Mu Gaoqi was the apple of the Regal Pill Palace’s eye. A martial arts competition like this, it would be completely natural for them to be worried about his safety. So why did they look rather unconcerned for Mu Gaoqi?
This didn’t quite make sense no matter how one looked at it.
Wang Han might not understand what was going on, but he wasn’t about to let his guard down. He turned to Wang Jing, “Junior brother Wang Jing, this Mu Gaoqi may be a little more eccentric than we first imagined. You must not underestimate him.”
Wang Jing smiled easily and said, “Don’t worry, senior brother Wang. The Regal Pill Palace is our sworn enemy, and thus I have kept on top of their intelligence. I am absolutely certain that I can destroy anyone in Regal Pill Palace other than the four kings of Rosy Valley!”
The four kings of Rosy Valley referred to the four most outstanding cultivators in the Regal Pill Palace; Ling Bi’er, Nie Chong, Shen Qinghong and Jun Mobai. Ling Bi’er and Nie Chong were at peak ninth level origin realm, whereas Shen Qinghong and Jun Mobai had broken through to the sage realm. As confident as Wang Jing was in himself, he knew that he didn’t have the ability to go up against these four people. However, he was absolutely confident in his ability to destroy anyone else in Regal Pill Palace.
After all, Wang Jing’s Whale King Sword Aura often had an advantage against normal ninth level origin realm cultivators, even though he was only at the peak of eighth level origin realm at the moment. Confidence was extremely important in a duel of martial arts.
Although Wang Han wanted to give Wang Jing a few more words of advice, he was also afraid that he might adversely affect Wang Jing’s dao heart. It would be counterproductive if he accidentally said too much and disturbed Wang Jing’s mindset. He patted Wang Jing’s shoulders and said, “Be neither arrogant nor impatient, and perform to your best. Watch out for the enemy’s dirty tricks.”
“Mm.” Wang Jing was in high spirits as his tall and sturdy frame took off at a dead run towards the arena. Although this guy wasn’t as ridiculously built as Tang Hong, he wasn’t too far behind. His footsteps caused the floor to rumble each time they impacted the ground, seeming very much to be able to shake the earth and topple mountains. When Wang Han saw this, he waved a hand and said, “Now, let’s all attend to our respective matches.”
Over at Regal Pill Palace’s side, some of the elders from the Hall of Might still somewhat disapproved of Mu Gaoqi’s participation. While they couldn’t claim that there were countless young cultivators who were stronger than Mu Gaoqi in the Regal Pill Palace, there were still ten to twenty or so disciples who were better than him. However, none of them had been chosen for the competition because Mu Gaoqi had seemingly slid in the back door to be included. This made Elder Lian Cheng feel as disgusted as one would if they’d eaten a fly.
At first, Elder Lian Cheng thought that Palace Head Dan Chi lauding the Hall of Might as the first hall of the Regal Pill Palace since rising to power was a sign of the palace head’s high regard for him. Now, it would seem that it was just an illusion. The palace head had been growing closer and closer with Herbal Hall’s Elder Yun Nie as of late, and they looked very much like they were conspiring to shunt him off to the side. He was especially fed up with Mu Gaoqi’s participation in the Myriad Grand Ceremony. The fact that Palace Head Dan Chi had allowed such a flagrant act of nepotism just went to show exactly how much Palace Head Dan Chi was biased towards Elder Yun Nie.
“Palace Head, is this Mu Gaoqi really… capable?” Elder Lian Cheng cast a glance at Palace Head Dan Chi, and he couldn’t help but voice his thoughts, “If he’s not, then maybe self preservation may be the better choice. Wouldn’t it be a pity if his talent in pill dao is destroyed at the hands of a Sacred Sword Palace genius?”
Elder Lian Cheng’s words were both half truths and half lies. It was undeniable that his concerns was a little insincere, but his wish to protect Mu Gaoqi’s innate wood constitution was real. After all, a talent like that had the potential to bring the sect hundreds of years of fortune. It might even lead the sect towards a glorious new age. In Elder Lian Cheng’s opinion, a cultivator with great talent in pill dao should just focus on pill dao. Why bother getting involved in the battle of martial arts?
Palace Head Dan Chi simply smiled and said, “We’ll see. If he isn’t, he’ll know when to back off.”
Elder Lian Cheng didn’t bother remonstrating further, he didn’t need to invite anymore snubs. Palace Head Dan Chi clearly had no intentions of explaining further. Nevertheless, he was extremely disapproving of this on the inside. Know when to back off? So what if Mu Gaoqi knows when to back off? The Sacred Sword Palace and the Regal Pill Palace are sworn enemies. If the enemy does not know ‘when to back off’ and seeks to land a killing blow, can you guarantee that Mu Gaoqi will be able to retreat in time? What if the enemy turns berserk and destroys his dantian and qi sea? His innate wood constitution would be completely destroyed.
That being said, if the palace head himself wasn’t worried for Mu Gaoqi, naturally Elder Liang Cheng wouldn’t raise an objection. Now that he thought about it, it wasn’t a bad thing to watch Elder Yun Nie’s disciple suffer a setback. It would all be because Palace Head Dan Chi had been obstinate in sending out Mu Gaoqi to battle anyway. If any accidents occurred, the only person on the hook for an explanation was Palace Head Dan Chi.
Suddenly, Elder Lian Cheng’s grudges transformed into anticipation. It would be nice if a little accident happened to Mu Gaoqi. As the thought settled into his mind, Elder Lian Cheng immediately began to stare closely at Jiang Chen with a look of feigned seriousness. He couldn’t even be bothered to care about his direct disciple, Shen Qinghong’s match.