Absolute in both pill and martial dao. These words were continuously surfacing in the minds of everyone present. The person who had set the record earlier, Sunyu Xiaosheng, also fixed his narrow eyes on the formation below Veluriyam Pagoda. The apathetic expression on his face had shifted to one of bewilderment. The record he had just set had been broken as simply as that. Obviously, he was curious about the person who had surpassed him.
“Sigh, if I’d known, I would have persevered a little more.” He felt a little regretful. He still had a bit of energy remaining when he’d left the formation. He hadn’t wanted to push himself too much, afraid that he would affect his performance in the remaining competition, so he hadn’t tried his best. He felt that he definitely could have persisted for a longer time if he hadn’t held back. Since his record was broken, the on-site discussion only grew more intense.
Now, the only question was, could Pill King Zhen break the record that no one had surpassed for a few thousand years? Could he persist within the formation for six hours? As Jiang Chen sat within the formation, it never occurred to him that he had become a topic of heated debate in the outside world.
Unknowingly, the sixth hour approached.
“Hm? It seems that I’ve come close to six hours. I heard from Brother Ji that for these past few thousand years, six hours has been the highest record. I still have some remaining strength so I might have a chance to surpass seven hours, or perhaps even eight hours. But this is only the preliminary selection. I should quit while I’m still ahead. There’s no need to show off quite so much…” Jiang Chen monitored the time as he decided that he would leave the formation the moment it reached six hours.
When the hourglass indicated six hours had passed, a tidal wave of cheering swept over the outside world. It was clear that in this era, a record of six hours was truly an enormous inspiration. It didn’t matter that he was their competitor. At this moment, everyone was cheering for Jiang Chen.
Jiang Chen also did not dally within the formation. He crushed his jade token and was instantly teleported back to the outside world. In order to avoid showing off, he deliberately stifled his facial expression to a deathly pale shade, as though he had been greatly weakened. Nonetheless, no one really paid attention to those details. Everyone was only concerned about the record of six hours.
“Long live Pill King Zhen!”
“As expected of Veluriyam Capital’s idol! Absolute in both martial and pill dao!” Within Veluriyam Capital, Pill King Zhen was originally someone worthy of idol worship. As of today, his enchanting performance that had broken a millennia-old record naturally won him plenty of support.
Ji San also walked up to him and pounded his shoulder with a fist. “You little brat, you really concealed your power from everyone!”
When Jiang Chen glanced at the joy laced across Ji San’s face, he knew that the latter was delighted for him. He immediately smiled and replied, “It’s not that I was concealing my strength. I just happened to know a little bit about formations. It was a struggle to be honest.”
Ji San laughed uproariously, “Reasons don’t matter. What matters is that you’ve persisted until the six hour mark. I believe that after this selection, the fame of your martial dao will spread to every corner of Veluriyam City, just like that of your pill dao. It’ll even spread to the entirety of the Upper Eight Regions!”
Conversely, Jiang Chen was not overly prideful of his accomplishments. The rankings for the eighteenth batch of cultivators was quickly tallied. Amongst the cultivators here, Jiang Chen was at the top of the list. There was no question about that. The remaining two batches had possibly been spurred on by Jiang Chen. Multiple extraordinary candidates popped up, one even surpassing the six hour mark as well. This grand occasion instantly shook the entire Veluriyam Capital to its core. Who would have thought that even the preliminary round of selections would erupt in such a fiery battlefield of hot-blooded cultivators? After this selection, ninety percent of the one million competitors was instantly eliminated. The hundred thousand people left would officially begin the fight for the ten thousand spots on the New Star Rankings.
“Congratulations to the qualifying competitors. Next, the hundred thousand of you will be divided into a thousand groups, a hundred people to a group. Every group will have ten designated spots on the New Star Rankings. Hence, ultimately a group of ten thousand people will be accepted onto the list.”
“The top one thousand competitors from the preliminary arena just now will not meet each other in battle. They will be split evenly across the thousand groups.”
Jiang Chen had stayed within the formation for six hours and was tied with another person for first. He was the most popular candidate for entry into the New Star Rankings. Moreover, the one thousand competitors who had topped the preliminary competition would be split into a thousand different groups. This way, the top-ranked one hundred geniuses would not run into each other beforehand. This would also ensure that the top-ranked geniuses would not be preliminarily eliminated as a result of a precursory fight.
Jiang Chen’s exemplary performance within the formation placed him into the first group as the arena lord. Naturally, as the lord of this group, he had certain privileges. According to the rules, the arena lord only needed to defeat ten people in a row to advance. The rankings on the New Star Rankings would be decided by the number of victories one held. In the end, the one with the highest number of victories across all the competitors in every arena would be ranked at the top of the list. Every spot on the New Star Rankings would be decided entirely based on the number of victories one held. If there was a tie, the person who performed better on the previous formation challenge would be granted priority in placement.
In the first group, Jiang Chen’s performance in the formation challenge was the best. Hence, if he could secure the greatest number of victories here, he would be ranked first even if there was someone who tied with him here. Of course, apart from the arena lords, the other participants had a fixed number of entries every day. In the end, every competitor needed to guarantee that he had participated in ninety-nine fights. In other words, he needed to ensure that he had fought every other person in his group at least once.
As the lord, Jiang Chen’s greatest advantage was that as long as he achieved ten victories in a row, he could advance forward. As for the others, their chances of advancement were solely dependent on their final number of victories. However, if the lord could not achieve a record of ten straight victories, then he would be judged just like the rest, based on total victories. Ultimately, this rule was still advantageous towards the arena lords.
As the arena lord, Jiang Chen was naturally part of the first battle. He stood on the elevated arena granted to the lord and swept his eyes across the ninety-nine opponents beneath him. Some of their gazes were veiled, making it difficult to tell what they were truly thinking about. Others’ gazes were filled with heated passion, as though they were about to jump onto the arena and challenge him straightaway.
Everyone here hoped to use this as an opportunity to gain renown. However, not everyone would have the chance to challenge the lord. Within a day, the lord would generally only have to accept three challenges. Of course, if the lord himself was willing, continuing to battle was completely fine.
“Let me take on the illustrious Pill King Zhen of Veluriyam Capital!” Suddenly, a short and fat fellow yelled out from beneath the arena. The fat covering his body made him look like a meatball. He bounced directly onto the arena. Jiang Chen glanced at the fellow.
This newcomer’s cultivation was not low. He had already reached the fifth level sage realm. However, as he watched Jiang Chen’s reserved behavior, he could not see through the latter’s level of power. Hence, a seed of wishful thinking sprouted within him, that he might actually make his name known through this single match. The moment Jiang Chen spotted the sneaky smile that had snaked across this guy’s face, he knew that the latter was an opportunistic fellow.
“Hehe, Pill King Zhen, everyone knows that you are number one in pill dao within Veluriyam Capital. As everyone’s idol, don’t be too harsh on me!” The fellow might act jovial and agreeable, but his eyes carried hints of craftiness in their depths.
With just a glance, Jiang Chen could tell that this person was someone who would distract him with honeyed words while slipping a sword into his back. He immediately schooled his face. “After you.”
The short fatty suddenly grinned nastily before Jiang Chen finished speaking. With a flick of his sleeves, two concealed weapons arched through the air in inky streaks as they hurtled directly towards Jiang Chen. The appearance of these concealed weapons was too sudden and their technique was extremely clever. Clearly, this short fatty had used this trick to plot against countless people in order to have trained to this level of proficiency.
Immediately, a series of hisses and boos emanated from beneath the arena. This short fatty’s tricks had obviously not been well-received by the spectators. There were no rules that prohibited concealed weapons on this battlefield arena. Nonetheless, everyone was aware that even if one wished to use concealed weapons, one should at least wait until the match had officially started.
Jiang Chen had only just agreed to the match before this fellow had unleashed such a sudden attack. This was definitely not morally upright. Nonetheless, this short fatty didn’t seem to mind at all. With a chuckle, he curled his hands around the shaft of a deadly-looking scimitar. Waves of intense and savage blade aura broiled in the air. This sinister aura immediately stirred up pulses of miserable cries, like the howls of ghosts and wolves, engulfing everything around it.
Jiang Chen’s heart grew cold. As expected, his judgment had been correct. This short fatty might appear genial, but behind that facade, he was incredibly crafty. However, it was too naive for a mere fifth level sage realm to even think about ambushing him.
Jiang Chen lightly flourished his sleeves, silently activating his Featherflight Mirror. With a light brush, the two concealed weapons slowed down greatly as though they had met with some invisible resistance in the air. He chuckled coldly before he flicking a finger.
Pop pop! With two consecutive popping noises, the two concealed weapons made a complete turn around before they crashed back towards that short fatty.
The short fatty had trained his attack to perfection. His concealed weapons had never once failed him. As he suddenly saw the two weapons make a sharp turn and shoot back towards him, he was completely dumbfounded. His scimitar glinted in the light as it raised a mighty tidal wave to stop these concealed weapons. However, unexpectedly, he felt a titanic weight press against his palms. The next moment, the power flowing through his scimitar had only built halfway before its effect completely dispersed. It was as though some unseen force was suppressing his hands.
“Not good!” The short fatty’s face instantly turned green. Everything happened in a single second. In an instant, the two concealed weapons plunged into his own chest.
Bam bam! The two concealed weapons instantly detonated, blowing up the short fatty’s chest in a shower of flesh and blood. Fortunately, this short fatty was incredibly scared of death and had equipped himself with a set of rather overpowered defensive armor. But even so, the explosive power behind these weapons was akin to an all-out assault from a sky sage realm practitioner. As the short fatty’s blood spurted into the air, he instantly lost the strength to keep fighting. He collapsed soullessly to the ground, his face ashen in defeat. A venomous glare flashed across his eyes. He was obviously uncomfortable with the way he had disgraced himself before spectating eyes.
“Haha, he got what he asked for, didn’t he?”
“I’ll accept his use of concealed weapons but he actually attacked while his opponent was still speaking. Despicable! We should all be mindful of this fatty.”
“Get off the arena, you disgrace!!” Waves of condemning voices rose and fell from the cultivators beneath the arena. It was clear that everyone was against the use of such ambushing tactics.
“The winner of the first match is Pill King Zhen!”