It was easy for one to say that one should not discriminate against the poor, but in the world of martial dao, the rich will always triumph against the poor, regardless of the latter’s talent. The reasoning behind this was because the poor did not have the privilege of being born with a silver spoon in their mouths nor did they have any access to formidable cultivation techniques, potent medicinal pills, pointers from formidable elders, and other additional resources. The poor simply lacked far too many things.
The starting line for the poor was already all the way in the back, and there was no way for them to catch up. The odds were extremely stacked against them if they wanted to shorten the distance. The world of martial dao had always been this ruthless. The reality of such truths would manifest itself in the three ranking battles in the Veluriyam Pagoda. The hierarchy and divide between the two would be obvious.
The geniuses under the great emperors need only take part in the Ranking of Young Lords. There was no need for them to take part in the lesser ranking battles, nor would they care to take part. As for the normal geniuses from great families and clans, they need only participate in the Genius Rankings. There was no need for them to fight for a place in the New Star Rankings. There was, in every sense of the word, a clear divide between those from differing levels of social status.
Emperor Peafowl flashed a meaningful smile when he noticed Jiang Chen’s silence towards the matter. “Why? Are you surprised? Or do you feel that it’s unfair?”
Jiang Chen did truly feel that it was unfair, but there was no way he’d voice such an opinion. It might seem unfair at first glance, but one should always be farsighted during their journey in martial dao, as the heavens were always fair. He was not the type to fret over such matters.
“Your Majesty, there is no such thing as absolute fairness in this world. If one strives for fairness, then one should fight for it with their own hands. This junior is not so foolish as to hope that the heavens would bestow fairness upon this world.”
Emperor Peafowl broke into a laugh. “I can definitely tell that you are quite sensible! You’re not fretting over this at all!”
“There is no need for me to fret over such matters. Climbing to the top, one step at a time, will be a good experience. Those geniuses that you speak of have already gotten used to being at the top. They would never be able to experience such a thing.” Jiang Chen spoke from the bottom of his heart. Because he hadn’t been able to cultivate in his previous life, he had no way to experience the pleasure of competing with the geniuses of his previous world. Since he was given the opportunity to do so in his second life, he would cherish this moment incomparably. As the Celestial Emperor’s son, he had already experienced what it was like to be above everyone else. However, he was never given the chance to experience anything else other than that. All he had felt was incomparable loneliness. Why would he complain after being given a chance at a new life? Even if Emperor Peafowl had given him some special privileges, Jiang Chen might not have accepted them.
“Good!” Emperor Peafowl praised. “If this is truly what you believe, then you will surely surpass all those geniuses in the future! However, I must remind you to mentally prepare yourself. Compared to the lower geniuses, geniuses under the great emperors are at a completely different level.”
There was no need for Emperor Peafowl to issue this reminder. Due to the presence of countless young geniuses in Veluriyam Capital, those who stood at the top were undoubtedly the cream of the crop. Jiang Chen would never belittle his enemies. Of course, he would never improperly belittle himself either. They had their advantages, and he had his own. “This junior will bear Your Majesty’s advice in mind. The Martial Pagoda battles are about to begin. Since there are only a few days left, this junior will now return home to prepare.”
Emperor Peafowl nodded. “Go. I look forward to seeing you soar through the heavens in half a year’s time.”
The look of admiration in Emperor Peafowl’s eyes still hadn’t diminished one bit after Jiang Chen was gone from sight. He gently sighed and muttered to himself, “This child is destined to achieve great things. He is so remarkable even though he started out in such a tiny and mundane place like the Eastern Kingdom. I truly cannot imagine the height of his achievements if he had started out in Veluriyam Capital instead.” Emperor Peafowl wasn’t concealing his admiration towards Jiang Chen in the slightest.
Wei Jie was coincidentally just about to exit the building when Jiang Chen returned to Taiyuan Tower. When he saw Jiang Chen, he immediately approached the latter and greeted him in an excited manner. But inevitably, Wei Jie had become a little more reserved in terms of his attitude and familiarity. Jiang Chen was slightly unaccustomed to this.
“Wei Jie, you’re being distant!” Jiang Chen said while smiling.
Wei Jie scratched his head. “You’re now the number one pill dao expert in Veluriyam Capital. My father warned me to not be too casual in front of you. I…”
“Don’t listen to him! We are brothers that have been through thick and thin together. Once a brother, always a brother! By the way, what are your thoughts on the upcoming Martial Pagoda battles?”
Wei Jie sighed. “I’m not required to enter the New Star Rankings battles as I’ve already qualified for the Genius Rankings battles. But reaching the top two hundred on this list is a daunting task. I’m not putting much hope into achieving that.”
“It’s that difficult?” Jiang Chen was slightly surprised.
“It’s impossibly difficult.” Wei Jie forced a smile. “I’ve estimated that I might be able to climb to the top three hundred if I’m lucky. To be within the top two hundred, I’ll probably need the luck of a lifetime.”
“Surely that can’t be true. Are there really so many geniuses?” Jiang Chen was slightly skeptical.
“I’m not exaggerating at all! First of all, there are already thirty-six geniuses under the emperors. That means that there are only 164 places left in the Genius Rankings. There are also twenty-eight clans with multiple outstanding geniuses from each clan. Cultivators from the aristocratic houses can never dream of defeating them. They will take up around a hundred places or so. The remaining places will then be taken up by some of the cultivators from the surrounding lands and additional cultivators from other aristocratic families. There will occasionally be a few geniuses amongst the wandering cultivators… After my estimations, I really don’t have much confidence that I will be able to climb to the top two hundred.” Wei Jie was not being humble. Such was the reality of things.
In House Wei, Wei Jie was the most outstanding person amongst the younger generation, but Veluriyam Capital was simply too gargantuan. There were too many outstanding geniuses here. Most importantly, the Veluriyam Pagoda gathering was open to not just Veluriyam Capital citizens. The geniuses from surrounding regions were also allowed to attend. House Wei wasn’t just competing with the elites of Veluriyam Capital.
“What does House Wei expect from you?” Jiang Chen asked curiously.
“They expect me to be in the top two hundred of course. If I manage to enter the Genius Rankings, my place as the heir of House Wei will be solidified.” Judging from Wei Jie’s expressions, it was obvious that he wasn’t too confident that he could achieve such a feat. He had only been at the seventh level sage realm when Jiang Chen had first met him. He’d since broken through and was now at the eighth level sage realm. Unfortunately, he was still one step away from the peak ninth level sage realm. To compete for a spot within the top two hundred was quite an enormous task. After all, for a stage of this level, sage realm geniuses were probably not a rare sight.
That especially held true at the peak of the Genius Rankings. Those who could manage to enter the Genius Rankings were likely not beneath the ninth level sage realm, unless they were ridiculously strong like Jiang Chen. In fact, some of them were only half a step away from the emperor realm. There were even a few that had already taken half a step into the emperor realm, and were as powerful as emperor realm cultivators. Jiang Chen didn’t inquire as to who they were, nor was he planning to do so in the short term.
Noticing Wei Jie’s predicament, Jiang Chen suddenly remembered that he still had one Sage Smile Pill left, a pill which would help a sage realm cultivator break through to the next level without any side effects. He’d received two in the past and had already consumed one pill.
“Young master Wei, I still have one Sage Smile Pill with me. This will help you break through into the ninth sage realm level. That’s all I can do to help you.” Jiang Chen wasn’t a stingy man. Moreover, the Sage Smile Pill was already useless to him. It would bring him no benefit if he used it, so he might as well give it to Wei Jie. He wouldn’t feel a sense of loss if it would help Wei Jie in his time of need.
Wei Jie was so taken aback that he stood there with his face aghast. He didn’t dare to reach his hands out to take the pill. Jiang Chen reached for his hands and handed it to him directly. “Just take it. Since you don’t have to enter the battle for the New Star Rankings, you should have enough time to cultivate and break through into the ninth sage realm level. Remember, you must enter the Genius Rankings. Don’t waste the Sage Smile Pill that I just gave you.”
Wei Jie felt his nose sting with gratitude.
“Brother Zhen. I…” Wei Jie wanted to say something in a refined manner, but the words were stuck in his throat.
“You deserve this.” Jiang Chen patted Wei Jie on the shoulder. “If it weren’t for you, I would never have been able to enter Veluriyam Capital, nor would I have had the pleasure of being your friend today.”
Wei Jie nodded. “I will forever remember Brother Zhen’s magnanimity. I won’t be able to part the seas, but if you ever need me or my family’s help, just say the word and I will come to your aid without even the slightest frown, even if I have to cross a mountain of daggers and an ocean of flames. Otherwise, may the heavens and earth shall condemn me to death.”
Wei Jie wasn’t the kind of person who would abandon his previous allies after achieving his goal. He was an honest and loyal person. If it weren’t for that fact, Jiang Chen would never have created a partnership with him in the first place. Even though they’d been partners for a long time, Wei Jie remained incredibly honest. Moreover, he was also a very tight-lipped person. He hadn’t told a single soul about Jiang Chen’s position at Regal Pill Palace or Taiyuan Tower, nor did he ever inquire about anything else. Jiang Chen was quite fond of people like him. Thus, he didn’t feel even the slightest regret when he gave the Sage Smile Pill to Wei Jie.
“Time is of the essence. Go. Break through to the ninth level and enter the Genius Rankings. Let the entire House Wei know that you are the most outstanding heir. Nobody can ever stand to replace you.”
Wei Jie was also incredibly excited. He would never have imagined that he would be able to get his hands on such a miraculous pill like the Sage Smile Pill. Not even in his dreams. But today, he’d gotten his hands on one at an incredibly crucial timing! This Sage Smile Pill meant the world to him. Other than simply raising his cultivation by one level, it gave him the opportunity to fight his way into the Genius Rankings so that he could solidify his position as heir to House Wei and silence those who opposed him. This was the greatest significance of the Sage Smile Pill.
Seeing Wei Jie leave in high spirits made Jiang Chen very happy too. He had no intention of wasting the few final days he had left to prepare. He consolidated his own cultivation realm,practiced various martial methods, and prepared his various equipments, being as thorough as possible.
The Martial Pagoda battles officially began five days later.
On that day, all employees from Taiyuan Tower were allowed a day off so that they could go cheer Jiang Chen on. The famous Pill King Zhen was going to participate in the Martial Pagoda battles. News of this spread like wildfire, and it didn’t take long before all of Veluriyam Capital had heard of it. In the beginning, everyone thought that Pill King Zhen would be given special privileges in the Martial Pagoda battles.
But news soon spread that Pill King Zhen hadn’t been given any special privileges at all! Like other wandering cultivators, he would have to start from the very bottom and fight for a spot out of the ten thousand available in the New Star Rankings. Even the cultivators from surrounding lands were taken by surprise, not to mention the normal cultivators from Veluriyam Capital. With Pill King Zhen’s fame, nobody would ever deny him any special privileges if he’d asked for it. However, he didn’t want any special treatment and was willing to fight his way up from the very bottom!