Jiang Chen’s battle with this mysterious brute had attracted a lot of attention. The intensity of their fight had exceeded everyone’s expectations. Originally, they’d thought that Pill King Zhen would easily achieve a streak of ten victories. There could be no doubt about it. Who would have thought that such a mysterious brute would pop up out of nowhere? This brute’s imposing manner and his cultivation skills had all appeared out of the blue. As the saying went, “While the connoisseur recognizes the artistry of the fight, the layman simply enjoys the show.”
From the moment he’d appeared, this challenger’s aura had been completely different from that of other candidates. As of now, his combat ability had also caused the people around him to suck in a breath of cold air. As Cloudsoar Monarch watched this bitter fight, he was immediately at a loss for words. “Your Majesty, just where did this prodigious cultivator come from?”
Emperor Peafowl was watching the fight with a meaningful gaze. He also appeared to be deep in thought. “Every movement of this cultivator has the bearing of a disciple from a large sect. Although he had been concealing his strength all along and although he simply appears to be displaying boorish violence, there is actually a rhyme and reason to his every action. Everything he has done so far has been meticulously calculated. I believe he was sent here to directly target Pill King Zhen.”
“Oh?” Cloudsoar Monarch was a little shocked. “Directly target Pill King Zhen? You don’t mean…”
Emperor Peafowl’s tone was grave, “Pill King Zhen has been too carefree up until now. This will be a good test for him. If he can clear this stage, there will be hope for him to make it onto the Ranking of Young Lords.”
“This stage is that difficult?”
“Extremely so. His opponent presents a thornier problem than what you might expect,” Emperor Peafowl sighed lightly.
Cloudsoar Monarch could also see that this opponent was not an easy one to handle, but he had not thought that it would be as bad as his liege had described. He couldn’t help but inspect the challenger a little more closely.
On the stage.
The brute howled at the sky. His voice crescendoed like a tidal wave, as though it was heralding the onset of an imminent thunderstorm. In that moment, the entire stage was enveloped by a heavy pressure. Numerous dark clouds weighed down upon the arena. One by one the strands of the challenger’s wild mane stood up like copper needles.
“Brat, again!” With a ferocious roar, his powerful legs pushed forwards as he hurtled towards Jiang Chen with heavy footsteps. He twisted his body like a high-speed spinning top. His immense arms swung in a circle and swept towards Jiang Chen.
“Fine by me!” Jiang Chen licked his lips, a cruel smile appearing on his face. It had been a long time since he had been able to let loose so carefreely against an opponent. While his Golden Body of Demons and Gods took effect, his fists pounded again and again on his opponent like an unrelenting downpour.
Their shadows collided rapidly, growing even faster and wilder as the fight dragged on. In the end, their figures blended together into two streaks of lightning-fast movement. It was impossible to tell which one was Pill King Zhen and which one was the challenger.
Bambambam! The sounds of battle raged around them, burning the space surrounding them with pulses of ear-splitting whistles. This was how intense their battle was.
“Who’d have thought that the elegant and scholarly Pill King Zhen would be this strong at hand-to-hand combat. He’s actually going toe-to-toe with a genius who obviously trained specifically in martial arts. Amazing!”
“Hehe, aren’t you too naive? Previously when Pill King Zhen was the judge for the Pill Pagoda battles, he taught everyone how to refine a type of strengthening pill. Do you know what this means?”
“You still don’t get it? It means that Pill King Zhen is also an expert in physical arts. Otherwise, why would he be so interested in body-strengthening pills?”
Jiang Chen had previously provided the recipe for the Hundredfold Marrow-Cleanse Pill for free. This had created quite a stir. Thereafter, everyone had begun guessing at his background. Currently, every candidate within thirty meters of the stage had already retreated out of the fight’s range. The intensity of the battle raging on stage had spread in all directions, causing the weaker cultivators to feel a little uncomfortable.
“Pill King Zhen, I never imagined that you’d be this talented at close combat. This is unexpected. I admit that you’re an interesting opponent. But if this is the limit of your abilities, then prepare to perish before what’s coming next!” The brute brandished his steel-lined hands to the extreme. He emanated a dominating aura, sometimes resembling the might of ten thousand stampeding horses, other times embodying the destructive capability of a catastrophic landslide as he roared his intent at Jiang Chen.
If Jiang Chen’s consciousness had not been resolute or if his willpower had not been sufficient, he would have quailed and his spirit would have been shattered under the sheer pressure exerted by his opponent. Under the overwhelming force of his lion’s roar, a normal cultivator would’ve been done for if they’d showed even the slightest crack in their resolve. However, he wasn’t even slightly moved by this display. It wasn’t as though he’d never been in a more ferocious, more bloodthirsty situation than this. Naturally, he would not be scared of his opponent’s mere aura. Jiang Chen sneered thinly, “If the winner of this competition was determined by how big you can talk, you’d be the uncontested number one.”
How would he be unaware of his opponent’s psychological tricks?
“Hah, little brat, why don’t you eat three more punches?” The brute viciously clawed at the air. As his fingers sliced through the air, arcs of electricity gathered at their tips and then shot directly at Jiang Chen like crackling lightning,
“Lightning attribute?” When Jiang Chen saw the brute’s lightning-coated fists, he knew that the incoming punch would be no ordinary attack. He silently cursed at the the challenger’s craftiness. His opponent’s attacks may look straightforward, but in reality, the rhythm of the battle had already shifted. Aside from raw power, the punch was also suffused with thunder and lightning. This attribute may not look too conspicuous on its own, but once it entered his body, it would immediately paralyze him from head to toe.
Although he might only be briefly immobilized, on a battlefield even a second of carelessness would mean the difference between life and death. Jiang Chen smirked, completely unfazed. Not only did he refuse to activate any techniques, he charged straight at his opponent, leaping fearlessly towards that fully-charged fist.
A second away from impact, he suddenly twisted his body to the side. The brute’s enhanced punch slammed heavily into his shoulder. At the same time, Jiang Chen brutally rammed his own fist into his opponent’s chest!
Bam bam! Both of them had taken each other’s punch. The challenger’s body curled backwards. An almost imperceptible smile appeared on the corner of his lips. The next moment, his stomach contorted before he vomited out a spurt of fresh blood.
Jiang Chen’s punch had not been inferior to the power of an emperor realm cultivator either. Even with the brute’s martial training and his set of high-grade protective armor, he had still been pummeled to the point of coughing up blood. However, silent glee bubbled up within the brute’s heart. Evidently, he had anticipated this punch. His goal had been to exchange blows with his opponent. His body suddenly stopped as the brute screeched to a halt. His gaze was deadly as he glared at Jiang Chen and bared his teeth into a smile, “Brat, you’re courting death.”
Jiang Chen stood his ground as though he had been completely frozen. He didn’t move a muscle. A look of astonishment was plastered on his face, as if he had been shocked to a standstill. The brute roared with laughter, aware that his opponent had been momentarily immobilized by his lightning-covered punch. Since he knew this, the brute would naturally take advantage of the moment. With a curl of his fingers, an enormous spear appeared in his hands. The tip of the spear shot towards Jiang Chen’s jugular, akin to a venomous cobra striking from the darkness of its lair.
A fatal strike! The spear shot forth like a pouncing dragon, reaching Jiang Chen in the blink of an eye. Jiang Chen remained motionless. The brute’s lips curled into a triumphant grin. He knew that if this spear collided, even if his opponent was an emperor realm cultivator, his death would still be unavoidable.
“How did this happen?”
“In the end, it was Pill King Zhen who underestimated his enemy.”
However, in the second that followed, the brute’s line of vision suddenly became unfocused. He abruptly felt as though his spear was coming to a stop. His opponent, whose death he’d thought was certain, blurred into motion again.
This is bad! A hint of alarm entered the depths of the brute’s eyes.
“Lightning attribute? Too bad, that’s not enough,” a cold voice whispered into the brute’s ear. The next instant, another powerful punch smashed into his stomach.
Bam! This punch was even more powerful than the previous one. It battered against his stomach without the slightest warning. Previously, he had deliberately eaten Jiang Chen’s punch and had been mentally prepared to activate his defenses. Moreover, the impact of his own punch had canceled out his opponent’s power to a certain extent. Therefore, although that punch had hurt him to the extent that he spat out blood, he had not suffered any severe injuries. But with this punch, another heavy impact crashed into the area where he’d been injured. The formidable true origin energy coating his opponent’s fist coursed past his defenses, directly striking his most vital organ, his heart. The brute was scared witless as he instinctively put up his defenses to guard against this unforeseen punch.
Wah! The brute coughed up several mouthfuls of blood. His complexion had instantly paled to a sickly white. But even so, he didn’t dare let down his guard. His hands were still curled tightly around his spear. He affixed his gaze at Jiang Chen, ignoring the wounds that covered his body. Obviously, he was more afraid of his opponent’s follow-up attacks than his current injuries.
When Jiang Chen saw his opponent maintain his battle stance in spite of his condition, he knew that any subsequent attacks would be unable to bypass the latter’s defenses. He immediately restrained his steps and gazed meaningfully at the brute, “How did that taste?”
The brute spat viciously on the ground. “Brat, you damn cheat!”
Jiang Chen replied indifferently, “And you think your punch was so noble? You call me a cheat but I’m just following your rhythm and using a few tricks of my own, that’s all.”
Previously, Jiang Chen had seen his opponent suffuse his fist with electricity and instantly predicted the latter’s actions. He had only seized the opportunity to trick his opponent into thinking that he had been momentarily immobilized by the lightning attribute so that the latter would let down his guard and launch an impulsive attack. It was because of this that he had the chance to land a heavy blow when his opponent was least expecting it. After Jiang Chen had refined the Golden Cicada Bloodline, not even a hundred poisons could invade his system nor could a thousand weapons injure him. He would remain unfazed even in the face of a torrential thunderstorm.
That brute’s stomach twinged with pain. He knew that that he had been too careless this time. Not only had he failed to take down his opponent, he had suffered quite a heavy injury. However, this only served to send another rush of hot blood through his veins. He bared his teeth into a grin. His gaze turned frigid as he said, “Brat, you’ve successfully roused my ire. Your cultivation efforts have not been a total waste. Next, I’ll use all of my power to send you on a trip to the underworld!”
Every bone on the brute’s body crackled and popped like hot oil in a pan. It was as if every bone and tendon in his body were simultaneously resonating with one another.