Chapter 655: Jiang Chen Takes the Field
Wang Jianyu had always been rude and overbearing. He was the kind of person who would always make something up to justify his own wants, never mind whether he was in the right. This time, anyone who wasn’t blind could see that someone had interfered with the arena battle, and they hadn’t even bothered to hide the fact that they had. Otherwise, why would Jin Feng and Nie Chong suddenly retreat to the edges of the arena for no reason?
Thus, Wang Jianyu had proper reason to be angry this time. However, it was just as obvious that no one from the Regal Pill Palace had interfered with the arena battle. Everyone present for the battle could bear witness to this. There were only so many people that the Regal Pill Palace had brought this time, and the cultivators who were powerful enough to interfere with the arena battle could literally be counted on one hand. They were Dan Chi, Elder Lian Cheng, and the sage realm elders. However, the fact that these people could interfere with the battle didn’t mean that they could do so without being noticed. It was absolutely impossible that anyone from Regal Pill Palace could’ve done it. In fact, even the strongest cultivator in the Myriad Domain, Xiang Wentian, might not have been able to interfere with this arena battle without being detected.
In other words, unless a cultivator possessed the ability to create a double and send it off to a different location, as well as conceal its physical body and all signs of its presence, it was impossible that anyone could’ve interfered without being detected at all. Following this line of thought, there just wasn’t a cultivator in the Myriad Domain who possessed such an ability.
Naturally, the Dark North Sect and especially Honored Master Tian Ming, stood on the Regal Pill Palace’s side. The latter had just obtained the Longevity Pill from Regal Pill Palace after all, and was even more supportive of the Regal Pill Palace than usual.
“Ole brother Wang, the Regal Pill Palace really can’t be blamed for this. How could the Regal Pill Palace possibly interfere with the battle while everyone was watching? In my opinion, we should just forget about this and move on.”
The Great Cathedral had voiced their opinion. The Dark North Sect had also voiced their opinion. Obviously, the remaining Walkabout Sect wanted no part of this. The Sacred Sword Palace suddenly experienced a lonely, miserable feeling. No one seemed willing to listen to them.
Nie Chong had escaped death with inches to spare, so he was drenched in sweat from his back all the way down to the bottom of his feet. His legs were weak as he walked off the ring. Although he had fought in the ring with the determination to fight to the death, he understood that his best efforts would at best have caused Jin Feng a miniscule amount of injury. There was absolutely no way he could’ve taken his enemy down with him. That was why Nie Chong felt extremely relieved and fortunate to be able to withdraw from the arena intact.
When he returned to Regal Pill Palace, Shen Qinghong came over to console Nie Chong a little and give him a pat on the shoulder. But he said nothing to Nie Chong. In the same vein, Jiang Chen would naturally say nothing to Nie Chong. He had rescued Nie Chong purely for the Regal Pill Palace’s sake. He wasn’t trying to show goodwill towards Nie Chong.
Nie Chong might have surrendered this round, but it wouldn’t be difficult for him to enter the next round. He was already at the highest possible level beneath the sage realm, and had been taken out by a sage realm expert. Therefore, even if he lost the match, he could still enter the next round as a substitute, no questions asked.
Although the bizarre scene on the arena remained a mystery, the Sacred Sword Palace still couldn’t recover from their frustration. “Hear this, Regal Pill Palace! If you guys cower like a turtle for the rest of the competition, we’ll wrench open those turtle shells the second we run into you on the arena!”
“Pussies! Bunch of cowards!” The Sacred Sword Palace’s youngsters mocked, ridiculed and hooted at Regal Pill Palace without pause.
Shen Qinghong’s face was livid. As the number one cultivator among the younger generation of Regal Pill Palace, there was no doubt that these words humiliated him greatly. On the other hand, Jun Mobai turned a deaf ear towards Sacred Sword Palace’s hoots. It was as if their swearing and abuse were completely unrelated to him. Nie Chong was gritting his teeth in anger, but he was the cause of all this abuse. What could he say against them?
Ling Bi’er was a woman. Naturally, there was no way she would lower herself to trade insults against the Sacred Sword Palace’s pigs. However, Jiang Chen noticed that Ling Bi’er was looking at him when he looked towards her. Jiang Chen scratched his head and flashed a rueful smile. He had to admit that it would be an immense blow to the Regal Pill Palace if he didn’t say a little something in return despite being provoked by the Sacred Sword Palace like this.
He took a few slow steps forward and swept his gaze unhurriedly across the Sacred Sword Palace crowd, on their feet and hurling abuse at them. He suddenly revealed a strange smile and said, “Do you guys think we’re weak just because we ignored you? Also, cut that petty act of yours and stop instigating a bunch of small fries to do your work, Wang Han. By the way, I heard that you’re the number one genius in Sacred Sword Palace? I wonder if your lackeys would stop yapping if I take you out?”
Everyone’s faces changed the second Jiang Chen’s voice rang out. What did he mean by that? Was he openly challenging Wang Han? The other sects’ interest was instantly piqued. Right now, Mu Gaoqi was the most mysterious person from the Regal Pill Palace. He was even more mysterious than Shen Qinghong. This mysterious Mu Gaoqi had actually stood up to issue an open challenge to Wang Han. Didn’t this mean that a good show was brewing right around the corner?
Wang Han obviously hadn’t expected this to happen either. He raised an eyebrow, his reply chilly, “What do you mean, boy? Are you trying to make a name for yourself or what?”
Jiang Chen smiled faintly, “What if I am?” His expression and tone implied just what he thought of the number one genius of Sacred Sword Palace.
He’s playing the blind man. Everyone was dumbfounded by this conversation. There was no longer any doubt that he was clashing head on against Wang Han, and ‘Mu Gaoqi’ was unwilling to give even an inch of ground to his opponent.
Wang Han shivered inwardly in excitement, but his curiosity was actually piqued by Jiang Chen’s defiance. He stared closely at Jiang Chen and tried to figure out exactly why his opponent was so confident. Was he just pretending, or was he actually confident in his chances? Unfortunately, Wang Han didn’t notice anything from Jiang Chen’s face despite staring at him for a long time.
“Is there something on my face? Am I that handsome?” Jiang Chen’s mouth twitched.
Shen Qinghong walked over to Jiang Chen and spoke in a soft voice, “Junior brother Mu, this Wang Han is powerful and at peak second level sage realm. Do not fall for his tricks.”
Jiang Chen nodded and said, “I know what I’m doing.”
A frosty look crept over Wang Han’s face. He said in a low tone, “So, you want to challenge me?”
Jiang Chen laughed heartily before saying, “Challenge you? You thought too much. I simply thought it easier to cut the bullcrap with a single match, that’s all.”
A single match?
Everyone was stunned by this. Was Mu Gaoqi truly looking to duel Wang Han?
This was enormous news. Mu Gaoqi, a mere seventh level origin realm cultivator was trying to challenge Wang Han, a peak second level sage realm cultivator in a duel? No matter how one looked at it, this was plain suicide. Was Mu Gaoqi overconfident, or was he actually certain of his chances?
Wang Han was so angry that his expression gave way to a vicious grin. Suddenly, he lowered his voice and muttered a few words into Wang Jianyu’s ears. Wang Jianyu’s expression was heavy, and he observed Jiang Chen closely for a short period of time. When Jiang Chen had fought Wang Jing, he’d already thought that this Mu Gaoqi of the Regal Pill Palace wasn’t ordinary. Now, the feeling that this kid was rather queer had grown even stronger.
However, Wang Han’s strength was undeniable. It was simply impossible for a mere seventh level origin realm cultivator to bridge the gap between the origin and sage realm and threaten a peak second level sage realm expert. Wang Jianyu had researched every young genius in the Regal Pill Palace. Even if Mu Gaoqi was incredibly talented in pill dao, his foundation couldn’t be changed. Although he seemed to have improved tremendously during these past two years, it was still impossible for him to achieve the necessary height of power required to win in such a short time. No matter how he played out the duel in his mind, Wang Han simply couldn’t imagine any other outcome but his absolute victory.
After a moment’s thought, Wang Jianyu nodded and immediately informed the referees of every sect, “Everyone, I am sure that you are all privy to the grievances between our two sects. Since the Regal Pill Palace is so full of hope, why don’t we fulfill them by taking out their names from the lot and grouping them together as a pair? The winner of the duel can proceed to the next round. I request the referees to permit this!”
The next round would determine the top thirty two participants of the competition. It would be a bit of a shame if Mu Gaoqi was disqualified during this round. With the level of strength he had displayed so far, it was entirely possible for him to become a top thirty two contender. Meanwhile, as a sage realm genius, Wang Han was destined to become a top sixteen contender. It would be an enormous loss to either party if they were to be matched up during the second round and disqualified.
The referee committee cast a glance at the Regal Pill Palace. It was obvious that they were asking the Regal Pill Palace’s intentions. If both parties were fine with this arrangement, then of course they could make an exception for this case.
Palace Head Dan Chi gave Jiang Chen a meaningful look. Then, he smiled suddenly, “If the young man himself is confident of his chances, then naturally I have no objections.”
Dan Chi is fine with this? Everyone almost doubted their own hearing. Wasn’t this Mu Gaoqi born a high rank innate wood constitution? So why was Regal Pill Palace so indifferent about him to the point where it seemed that he was born from a stepmother? Why did they do nothing to stop him from committing suicide?
Was Dan Chi really a sect master?
There were plenty of people who actually started to pity Mu Gaoqi. In fact, they wondered if Dan Chi was intentionally throwing Mu Gaoqi under the bus. After all, Mu Gaoqi versus Wang Han, a peak second level sage realm expert, looked like suicide for Mu Gaoqi no matter how they craned their necks to look at it. It was smashing an egg against a rock.
It was true that Mu Gaoqi had performed well earlier, beating Wang Jing and forcing Li Xin to forfeit. However, those cultivators were all third rate opponents. They couldn’t even be counted as second rate. At minimum, a second rate genius had to be a peak ninth level origin realm expert.
Li Xin was only at the ninth level origin realm. Wang Jing was even worse at the eighth level origin realm. While a ninth level origin realm and second level sage realm seemed quite close to each other, there was in fact a huge gap between the two realms. The difference of strength was no different than that of heaven and earth.
Back then, had Shen Qinghong not risen to Wang Han’s provocations when he was still at peak ninth level origin realm? He understood that that he had no right to challenge Wang Han until he reached the sage realm. If he had accepted the challenge back then, then he would’ve become the architect of his own death.
But now, seventh level origin realm Mu Gaoqi had actually stood up to challenge Wang Han instead of Shen Qinghong. It was impossible for the crowd not to be taken aback.
Yet, by this time, everyone had a guess that Mu Gaoqi had most likely hidden his true strength, given that he hadn’t used any trump cards, or even finishing blows in his previous battles. However, despite their suspicions, no one could truly discern how powerful he was. Even someone as powerful as Wang Jiangyu wasn’t able to decipher Mu Gaoqi’s true level of cultivation. He was thwarted every time he attempted to peer through the veil. Mu Gaoqi had done very well to hide his true strength. On the surface, he looked just like a seventh level origin realm cultivator.
The Sacred Sword Palace was fine with the arrangement. The Regal Pill Palace was also fine with the arrangement. Naturally, no one else had any objections to this fight. After all, the point of the Grand Ceremony was to spar in martial dao. Whatever the format of the exchange might be, no one would voice an objection unless it departed from this spirit. Besides, who wouldn’t want to watch a good show like this?
“Mu Gaoqi, I have to admit that I’m a little impressed by your courage. However, I have to ask, was your head caught in a door when you were a child?” Wang Han didn’t bother to conceal his ridicule for Mu Gaoqi at all.
“The state of your head is far more dangerous than mine, I would think. I haven’t seen anyone place the bar this high when it comes to cheapness. I slapped you once, I slapped you twice, and you’re still sticking your face over for a third and fourth time. How cheap are you, really?” Jiang Chen smiled faintly. He had already made up his mind to settle all the various matters with this one battle.