At this moment, Jiang Chen’s heart was as tranquil as still water. The formation had indeed impacted him after he’d entered it. However, the heavy pressure that it exerted was clearly intended not to kill, but to test him. It not only put the defensive ability of cultivators to the test, but also examined their willpower and the strength of their consciousness. This formation was not filled with killing intent, nor was it intended to cause despair. As Jiang Chen sat within the formation, his mind was clear and calm. He experienced the immense pressure the formation exerted and slowly adapted to its rhythm.
Not bad, it doesn’t feel like much even after three hours. It seems that using the Nine Transformations of Demons and Gods to refine my body was quite effective. My physical strength should be more or less on par with those so-called half-step emperor realm cultivators. As for my willpower, I’ve seen so many heavyweights from various realms when I accompanied my father in my previous life. Naturally, I will not quake before the pressure of this formation. And with my Boulder’s Heart, coupled with the remarkable power of Psychic’s Head, my consciousness has far surpassed that of an ordinary cultivator. This means that this formation was completely made for me.
If Jiang Chen had only possessed these advantages, he might be able to stay in the formation for a good while, but he could still not surpass those top geniuses from ancient times. However, he was coincidentally incredibly talented at formations. After inheriting the Ancient Crimson Heavens Sect’s prowess at formations, he could adapt to the rhythm of this formation very quickly.
There was still a considerable difference between a genius who understood the art of formations and a genius who did not. Certainly, the Veluriyam Capital carried on the will of the ancient era. Their powerful formations were not ones that Jiang Chen could shatter. However, he could still find ways to counter them. These details could allow him to endure for longer than the others. He actually came to like the feeling of the formation battering against him. The pulses of frightening pressure that this formation exerted on him might be called a test, but in reality, it was also a form of training. Particularly, the longer he stood in it, the harder the formation hammered at him.
“A tidal wave against sand. The formidable pressure of this formation batters not just a cultivator’s corporeal body but also their will and consciousness. It’s like forging steel. The formation is the forge, and I am a sheet of quality steel. I’ll allow this formation to hammer me into shape,” Jiang Chen repeated this silently to himself.
As time passed, the strength of this formation continued to rise. The pressure on Jiang Chen also continuously increased. But his internal mantra allowed him to persevere within the formation.
At this moment, the outside world had fallen into an uproar. The other geniuses of the eighteenth batch had already been expelled from the formation. The only one left within it was Jiang Chen. He was like a small sailboat circling the vast open seas, but was never engulfed by the waves.
“Pill King Zhen still hasn’t emerged. Is he really an omnipotent genius?”
“It’s been four hours. Who’d have thought that Pill King Zhen’s martial talent would be so strong! Since he’s surpassed the four hour cutoff, he would at least be able to break into the ranks of the top two hundred geniuses, right?”
“Extreme respect! I won’t ask for the entirety of Pill King Zhen’s talent but if I had even a third of his skill, I’d be bringing honor to my clan!”
“What wishful thinking. Pill King Zhen is the best in pill dao in our Veluriyam Capital. If you had even a third of his skill, at the very least you’d be comparable to a ninth rank pill king.”
“Haha, I guess you’re right.”
“Let’s guess how long this Pill King Zhen can stay within the formation! Do you guys think he can break the previous record?”
“As long as Pill King Zhen is the one doing it, anything is possible.”
“Right? Pill King Zhen seems to leave a trail of miracles everywhere he goes.” Loud praise erupted from the area surrounding the Veluriyam Pagoda. Some had even abandoned the envy in their hearts, leaving behind only endless admiration and respect. This was because everyone was aware that Pill King Zhen was on a completely different level. Being jealous of him was completely pointless.
Ji San stood within the crowd, surrounded by sounds of various discussions. At this moment, he felt as though the synapses in his brain were failing to connect to each other. Indeed, the shock he was experiencing was comparable to everyone else present at the scene. Everyone knew that Pill King Zhen was a genius in pill dao, the absolute number one. But his martial talent had never been revealed and not much was known regarding it. Even Ji San had been bamboozled. At this point, he could only force out a rueful smile. He didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. “Dear brother, I worried needlessly for you. I didn’t think you’d be able to keep your composure. It’s funny. I even tried to comfort you earlier…”
He was naturally aware of what staying for more than four hours inside the formation meant. One had to know that from the first time this formation had been used to sift for talent until now, just how many people had managed to persist for more than four hours? Of course, some people might be deliberately concealing their talent, but it was obvious that anyone who surpassed the four-hour mark was a top-tier genius. What was more, Jiang Chen was still in the formation. There was still the possibility that he could break the previous record.
“This brat, could he be thinking of breaking the record that Sunyu Xiaosheng had just set?” The idea of this piqued Ji San’s interest. If Jiang Chen put up such an outstanding show even with regards to his martial talent, then the happiest one here would definitely be Ji San. He wasn’t a jealous person. He knew how to be happy for the people around him. If his brother possessed extraordinary martial skill, he would definitely be even more grateful to know that he had a good eye for people.
“You can do it!” Ji San clenched his fingers into a fist and pumped it into the air in support of Jiang Chen.
On the side of Emperor Shura, Moon Monarch’s brows had furrowed into deep ridges.
“Your Majesty, as expected, this brat possesses some crafty technique. He’s actually already surpassed Chu Jianhuan’s record. It seems that he’s targeting Sunyu Xiaosheng’s record of twenty quarter-hours.”
Emperor Shura’s remained impassive as he replied without inflection, “If the person chosen by Emperor Peafowl couldn’t even endure for four hours, that would be the biggest joke of all. You saw during his confrontation with Pill King Ji Lang that this child wasn’t ruffled at all. At the very least, that proves the degree of his mental fortitude. This kind of person with such a strong resolve would definitely not be lacking in martial willpower. As long as his innate skill isn’t too bad, his martial skill will be fairly successful. What’s more, he can still fall back on that skill in pill dao he was blessed with.”
For an ordinary martial genius, even if he had some innate skill in pill dao, there was still a limit to how much he could use pill dao to complement his martial talent. But this Pill King Zhen was different. The extent to which his heaven-defying level of pill dao complemented his martial dao was alarming. Historically, there was no lack of powerful pill dao masters who used their unnatural talent in pill dao to artificially expand their ordinary martial skill, hence becoming top-ranked martial dao masters.
The frown on Moon Monarch’s face had not dropped. It was obvious that he was more and more unwilling to accept Jiang Chen’s unnatural performance. His enmity with Jiang Chen had been unconcealed all this time. From his point of view, the culprit behind the destruction of the Majestic Clan was this Pill King Zhen. Some parties rejoiced while others fretted. As for Emperor Peafowl, he remained completely calm, as though Jiang Chen’s development was within the sphere of his predictions.
Conversely, it was Cloudsoar Monarch who exclaimed upon seeing Jiang Chen’s performance, “Your Majesty, your subordinate has once again been subdued by your eye for talent! Who would have thought that this Pill King Zhen’s martial talent would be this extraordinary?!”
When he recalled the time when he’d questioned Emperor Peafowl’s judgment of Jiang Chen, he couldn’t help but flush with shame. He suddenly understood why Emperor Peafowl was so adamant in instating Pill King Zhen as the young lord of Sacred Peafowl Mountain. It seemed that it was still the emperor who possessed the most foresight.
“Cloudsoar, how long do you think Pill King Zhen will be able to endure the formation?” Emperor Peafowl suddenly broke into a small smile.
Cloudsoar Monarch contemplated briefly before he spoke up, “Perhaps, he’s hoping to break the record Sunyu Xiaosheng set just now? Twenty quarter-hours?”
“Haha, it’s not just pure hope that he can break twenty quarter-hours but rather, it’s a fact that he will.” Emperor Peafowl smiled blithely. “What this emperor is curious about now is, will he able to surpass six hours?”
“Six hours?” Cloudsoar Monarch was at a loss for words. “Your Majesty, the last time this record appeared was two or three thousand years ago, wasn’t it?”
“Is it not precisely because it’s been so long since we last saw it that we should eagerly anticipate it?” Emperor Peafowl said with deliberation.
Cloudsoar Monarch seemed to have come to a realization as he stared at Jiang Chen with thoughtful eyes. There was both amazement and admiration in their depths. If this young man could really set a record unseen in the past three thousand years, then he would truly be qualified to reach the same level as that of the geniuses from the ancient era. For this kind of genius, there was no need to even mention entering the top two hundred rankings. There was even the possibility that he could contest the ultimate ranking of the top thirty-six. Once Pill King Zhen entered that ranking of the thirty-six young lords, Emperor Peafowl could then legitimately establish him as the young lord of Sacred Peafowl Mountain.
Cloudsoar Monarch finally understood why Emperor Peafowl had insisted that Pill King Zhen claw his way up from the bottom instead of granting him any special privileges. As it turned out, His Majesty was hoping that through a series of events, Pill King Zhen would publicly display his martial talent to others so that the entirety of Veluriyam Capital would recognize his skill. This had all been done in preparation for the next step.
“Your subordinate bows before Your Majesty’s foresight.” Unexpectedly, Cloudsoar Monarch was not jealous of this youth. He had served Emperor Peafowl since the beginning and as a long-time follower of the emperor, he had never once hoped to become his heir.
After all, the four monarchs had also grown old. They couldn’t be considered viable long-term choices. He had worried about the matter of Sacred Peafowl Mountain’s heir for a long time. He didn’t want Sacred Peafowl to become marginalized in the future and to be roughly jostled out of power by Emperor Shura. And now, he gazed upon the new person chosen by Emperor Peafowl, a person with raw talent comparable to young lord Fan. This caused Cloudsoar Monarch to feel at ease.
“Twenty quarter-hours… As expected, he surpassed twenty quarter-hours. Your Majesty, Zhen’s talent in both pill and martial dao are absolute. He’s a genius descended from the heavens!” Cloudsoar Monarch stared at the time and could not help but exclaim in wonder. This was a heaven-defying development of events.