Chapter 652: The Fires of Battle Continue
This Envoy Wei was naturally Wei Zikua, who’d traveled to the Tristar Sect last time. Cao Jin had travelled with him had left the Myriad Domain first last time and returned to the Sky Sect, collecting Wu Heng and Shi Zhen to venture into Mt. Rippling Mirage and then perished there. In contrast, Wei Zikua hadn’t left the Myriad Domain. He’d stayed to make his preparations and wait for the arrival of the Myriad Grand Ceremony. The rumors of the so-called Imperial Jade Seal and Guardian Dragon Seal had been his work.
The appearance of these two matters had triggered the ambitions and impulses of the various Myriad Domain sects as well as provoked the Great Scarlet Mid Region, giving them another reason to invade the Myriad Domain again. This was all to give the Sky Sect a reason to intervene in the Myriad Domain. After Great Scarlet made their moves and clashed terrifyingly with the Myriad Domain sects, the Sky Sect would then appear with great fanfare when the two sides were injured and hoist high the banner of mediation. The Sky Sect would be able to do as they wished then.
The Sky Sect had raised the Tristar Sect after so many years in the Myriad Domain, so they’d naturally supported some other powers as well. They’d even arranged for pawns in each of the fourth rank sects. The pawns were just hidden very deeply, and there was no need to use them at non critical junctures. They were all puppets that would be used to control the Myriad Domain. Countless years had gone by as the Sky Sect had set all this up.
Jiang Chen had already opened his eyes from his meditation when the first rays of dawn shone onto the ground. The new day had come.
After a night of rest, the young geniuses had recovered their energy to peak form and was full of anticipation for the day ahead. The geniuses who yet remained were guaranteed spots on the rankings, but geniuses would fight to the very end for any spot on the rankings.
“How is everyone feeling?” Dan Chi walked over and smiled at the youngsters of the Regal Pill Palace.
“Greetings to the palace head.” The youngsters all greeted him in return.
Dan Chi waved his hand, “No need to stand on ceremony. The fights today will be even more heated up. There will be another three rounds today, with four groups formed at the end of them. Those eliminated in the first round will be in the fourth group, eliminated in the second round will be in the third group, the third round will be the second group, and the ones who emerge victorious in the third round will be the first group. Are you all clear on this?”
Everyone nodded in response.
“Qinghong and Mobai, you two are first seed opponents. The sage realm geniuses still will not meet each other in the battles today. Therefore, those who can make it into the first group after today’s battles are mostly sage realm geniuses.”
Everyone was quite aware of these rules. At the end of the day, they were to protect the sage realm geniuses, to prevent the top geniuses from clashing against each other prematurely.”
“However, there are 16 spots open in group one. There are 13 sage realm geniuses amongst the younger generation of the Myriad Domain, which means that there will be three spots going to non sage realm geniuses. There is hope for all of you.”
There had originally been no spots left for those beneath sage realm, but the betrayal of the Tristar Sect had decreased the competition at the Myriad Grand Ceremony and left some quota for others.
Dan Chi smiled, “Everyone, just do your best. No matter what your rank is, I will not fail you as long as you have exerted yourself to your utmost.”
Dan Chi was quite openminded and didn’t purposefully give them any additional pressure. He knew that the Regal Pill Palace had no advantage at all in the ceremony. His eye was set on a goal far in the distance. It would be good to obtain a good ranking, but he wouldn’t overly criticize them if they didn’t. After all, momentary success was inconsequential given the current perilous situation of the Myriad Domain. But of course, it’d be good if the young geniuses performed above their usual level and achieved a heaven defying result.
However, as the palace head, Dan Chi still had a general understanding of the abilities of the Regal Pill Palace geniuses. Apart from Ling Bi’er surprising him with her impending break through to the sage realm, he knew full well how much potential Shen Qinghong and Nie Chong possessed. It was rather Jun Mobai that he felt possessed an extra depth of mysteriousness when compared to Shen Qinghong.
Of course, when it came to the only unknown factor of the Regal Pill Palace, that was Jiang Chen. If Dan Chi had to identify what he was most looking forward to this ceremony, that was Jiang Chen. He was well aware that only Jiang Chen had the ability to soar to the top with one amazing move, that Jiang Chen was a genius with heaven defying future. He also wanted to use this ceremony to plumb the depths of Jiang Chen’s potentials. Jiang Chen hadn’t disappointed with yesterday’s competition, but he’d retained his aura of mystery as he hadn’t used any trump cards at all. This had made Dan Chi completely unable to estimate Jiang Chen’s martial dao potential.
As he watched the five youngsters from the Regal Pill Palace walk to the ring in high spirits, Dan Chi suddenly had a flashback to when he’d participated in the Myriad Grand Ceremony in his youth. He’d emerged from the mass as the dark horse in that year’s ceremony, taking the championship and entering the Paramount Realm to further strengthen his dao. He’d gained much from that trip, but he hadn’t run into the type of fortuitous occurrence that would chance his life.
This had disappointed him to a certain degree, as he’d felt that there should’ve been more to the mysteries of the Paramount Realm. Time had been too short and perhaps he hadn’t possessed enough fortune to run into that streak of heaven defying luck. As for the two Grand Ceremonies afterwards, the Regal Pill Palace never again produced another genius on the level of Dan Chi. If there was a dark horse to emerge from them this time, it would only be Jiang Chen and never Shen Qinghong.
The matches on the second day were vastly different from the first day. Ability had been uneven on the first day, and the gaps between the strong and weak had been enormous. They were noticeably smaller today, and apart from the sage realm geniuses far in the lead, there were no more absolute advantages any more.
“Everyone, those of you on the stage today are the top hundred geniuses of the Myriad Domain. There are places for you on the rankings of the Myriad Hidden Dragon Trials.
“Of the three rounds today, fifty will emerge from the first to advance to the next. We will select fortune from the fifty who lose to ascend as well, making for 64 in the second round. You will pair off and fight until the final rankings are determined.”
It made for odd numbers if only fifty advanced from the first round. With sixty four total, they could cut down the numbers from sixty four to thirty two, thirty two to sixteen, sixteen to eight, eight to four, four to two, and the champion determined from the finalists. This also made it easier to arrange for the matches.
“Some of you may have questions on how we might select the fourteen? It’s simple, we’ll base it on cultivation level from those who lose, and if the levels are the same, we’ll base it on their opponents. For instance, if two candidates are eighth level origin realm, whoever faces off with a stronger opponent in the first round will be selected. Fourteen will be selected in this manner.”
The additional list of fourteen was a jolt of security for many, enabling them to relieve the weight on their shoulders. It was obvious that everyone was a bit worried they’d be unlucky and eliminated in the first round if matched against a sage realm genius. However, with the additional list, even the unluckiest had the chance to make it through as long as they were strong enough. This mitigated to a certain degree the unfairness resulting from weaker geniuses being defeated by sage realm geniuses.
“This additional list makes sense.” Although Jiang Chen didn’t fear any sage realm genius, it would be unfair if someone at peak ninth level origin realm, such as Ling Bi’er, rang into a sage realm genius in her first round. After all, apart from the sage realm geniuses being guaranteed not to run into each other today, there were no other such rules. This meant that those at the peak ninth level origin realm wouldn’t be protected during the draw and could also encounter a sage realm genius. With Ling Bi’er’s strength, there was still a difference between her and a sage realm genius.
Entering the sage realm meant that one had truly set foot into the higher levels of martial dao. Those realms beneath sage realm could only count as a foundational level.
“Alright! Let’s begin the draw.”
Apart from the sage realm geniuses being coolly composed, the other cultivators were all feeling very solemn. Although there was an additional list for the losers, no one wanted to end up on it. It wasn’t the most glorious way to ascend. And what if the sage realm genius lost their mind and actually hurt them? How would they fight when injured? Therefore, it was best to not run into a sage realm genius if possible.
Jiang Chen was very composed. He had his ways even if he ran into the top genius, Xiang Qin, of the Great Cathedral. It’d just take him a bit more effort, was all.
“Mu Gaoqi of the Regal Pill Palace versus Li Xin of the Great Cathedral Sacred Wolf family.”
Li Xin, the third ranked genius in the Sacred Lion family, ninth level origin realm, and at least top 40 out of the hundred here. This opponent was much stronger than the Wang Jing before.
“Jin Feng of the Sacred Sword Palace versus Nie Chong of the Regal Pill Palace!”
Nie Chong’s expression immediately changed when he heard this. The second genius of the Sacred Sword Palace whose strength was second to only Wang Han, also a sage realm genius. He’d entered the sage realm before the Pill Battles, a feat even earlier than Shen Qinghong! Nie Chong was naturally quite depressed to be facing such an opponent.