It was likely that before Jiang Chen had fought Xiao Paohui, many arrogant disciples among the great clans were more than willing to be matched up against Pill King Zhen in the Genius Ranking battles. Since Pill King Zhen was exceptionally talented in pill dao, they'd assumed that his talents in martial dao would only be mediocre at best. His sage realm cultivation level also seemed unspectacular on the surface. However, they no longer thought the same after watching his battle with Xiao Paohui. On the contrary, those disciples were now praying that they wouldn't have to cross paths with Pill King Zhen, as they all felt inferior to the large brute. Jiang Chen hadn't been thinking all that much about such matters. The identities of his opponents didn't matter to him.
"Wandering cultivator Ye Tianzuo against Pill King Zhen!" A wandering cultivator was selected as Jiang Chen's opponent in the first round. This made the disciples of the great clans sigh with relief. At least they didn't have to fight someone as insane as Pill King Zhen in the first round.
Ye Tianzuo had a thin physique and spirited eyes that made him look quite intelligent. However, helplessness was written all over his face at the moment. "Pill King Zhen, you may be strong, but this is a martial dao competition. I understand that I am no match for you, but I will still have to give my all. Please forgive me for the offense." He gave Jiang Chen a respectful bow. Even though he was only a wandering cultivator, it was evident that he was still extremely respectful of the foremost expert of pill dao in Veluriyam Capital.
Jiang Chen's heart didn't waver and he returned the bow. They were rivals in the arena. His opponent's words and respect towards him didn't matter. Those were things that only mattered outside of the arena. As long as they were in same arena, both of them would only have one goal—defeat the enemy. Even though his opponent was only at the seventh level sage realm, Jiang Chen still didn't underestimate him. Being able to fight his way into the New Star Rankings was already a testament of his opponent's abilities.
"After you." Jiang Chen cupped his hands. He was now considered a celebrity in Veluriyam Capital. When fighting a wandering cultivator, it was only natural that he would show some graciousness by letting his opponent make the first move.
Ye Tianzuo smiled calmly, "Pill King Zhen, for years I've been wandering the world in my attempt to comprehend sword dao. I have a sword technique called the Four Seasons Sword. I hope that Pill King Zhen can point out my shortcomings. This sword only has four moves. If I am unable to win after four moves, I will admit defeat and continue to perfect my sword techniques."
Jiang Chen looked at his opponent for a brief moment. This man had unwavering eyes. It seemed like he was being sincere. His eyes reminded Jiang Chen of Feng Pao. During the Myriad Grand Ceremony, Jiang Chen had given Feng Pao some pointers in his sword techniques. Later on, he'd saved Feng Pao's life in the Great Scarlet Capital as well. At that time, Feng Pao and Liu Wencai were being auctioned off as slaves. It was Jiang Chen who'd saved them from their predicament. He wondered where Feng Pao was now.
Feng Pao was also a sword dao maniac. He had dedicated his entire life to the dao of sword and was willing to sacrifice himself for the sake of this pursuit. People like him, even though they weren't powerful figures now, had limitless potential as long as they didn't lose sight of their goals. Jiang Chen had always been quite respectful of swordsmen dedicated to the sword dao.
"Four Seasons Sword," Jiang Chen nodded. "Make your move."
A hint of eagerness appeared in Ye Tianzuo's eyes and he cupped his fist, "Then I'll begin." He unsheathed his green, three-foot long sword. His technique didn't contain any flashy or superfluous moves. With his sword in hand, he suddenly began to exude an aura of extreme sharpness. The ordinary-looking sword almost seemed like it had roared to life. Its aura was astounding and full of vigor. It emitted an unconcealed, keen aura.
"First move of the Four Seasons Sword, Suppleness of Spring!"
The sword became increasingly brilliant, flickering endlessly like the fine rain during a shower in the spring. Like vines from a willow tree, it instantly enveloped the arena within a realm of the intent of spring.
Overnight rain in the spring. This was his sword intent. A formidable sword intent didn't always have to encompass extreme sharpness or monstrous killing intent. The realm intent decided the strength of the sword. It was evident that the Suppleness of Spring was a formidable example because it enveloped the surrounding area. Only a truly formidable sword technique was capable of creating such realms.
Common sword techniques were simple and violent, as their only purpose was to kill. They weren't capable of creating a realm of sword intent. Such techniques were only suitable for killing third-rate opponents. Only through sword intent could one gain realm intent, and thereafter attain absolute control of the battlefield. That was a sword intent that all formidable foes would then fear.
Ye Tianzuo had truly achieved great heights in sword intent! A glimmer of admiration appeared in Jiang Chen's eyes. He could tell that his foe had reached this level all on his own. A cultivator that could attain his own sword intent and create a personal sword technique was definitely no ordinary swordsman.
Jiang Chen had always cultivated techniques that had been created by others. He'd never created a martial technique on his own. However, his foe was actually using a sword technique that he'd created himself. Jiang Chen was suddenly overrun with feelings of admiration. This was definitely a foe worthy of his respect. Ye Tianzuo was a much more accomplished swordsman than Feng Pao. Feng Pao was dedicated to sword dao too, but he was only immersed with the sword. Ye Zuotian however, was already immersed with sword intent. He'd already begun to detach himself from the apprehension of common swordsmen and started to create his own martial dao by immersing himself in sword techniques and sword intent. He'd begun to form his own comprehension and his own thoughts.
Once people like him attained a grand mastery of their own martial dao, they would establish their own sect or their own clan and thereafter become martial dao grandmasters. Reaching the peak in martial dao was easy;establishing a clan or a sect was difficult. Those who created their own martial techniques were definitely capable of becoming grandmasters in their later years.
Even though Ye Tianzuo was still a young fledgling, Jiang Chen could sense his immense talent in sword dao. Jiang Chen had suddenly become highly interested in him. His sword intent fluttered like a gentle spring rain, leaving no openings in its wake. It was also like the vines on a willow tree, impossibly complex and entangled. The most formidable part of this sword intent was its persistent and chaotic nature. It seemed gentle and non-threatening on the surface, but that was a only a ruse. People would lose their way, never knowing when the lethal strike was going to fall upon them. Jiang Chen shut his eyes and immersed himself in the sword intent. It was as though he'd forgotten about the threat imposed by the foe's technique.
The audience was taken aback when they saw what Jiang Chen had done.
"What is going on? Why did Pill King Zhen close his eyes? Was there some kind of demonic power in the sword technique that could influence a person's mind?"
"Are you kidding me? What's he doing?"
"The young lord is…" Gouyu was frowning as well.
"Everyone, stop worrying in the stead of others. I'm sure senior brother is trying to come up with a counterplan. Didn't senior brother win the previous round despite facing an incredibly strong foe?" Shen Trifire suddenly said.
Indeed, Xiao Paohui was definitely stronger than this swordsman. Everyone stopped fretting upon realizing this. However, none of them could let their guards down. After all, accidents could happen during a clash of martial dao. It was possible for a certain technique to be susceptible to another. One's strength wasn't just dependent on one's mastery over martial dao.
Even though Ye Tianzuo was in a state of hyperfocus as his sword intent raged, he was still taken aback when he saw Jiang Chen shut his eyes. However, a formidable swordsman would never prematurely end their sword intent because of the actions of others. In fact, his sword intent only became even more complex after that.
Jiang Chen suddenly smiled. He shot a golden ray from his eye into the fluttering rain. That was the Evil Golden Eye. The golden ray instantly sawed through the lethal strike within the fluttering rain. It then struck the sword at the blade.
Ye Tianzuo felt his wrist turn numb. The sword in his hand suddenly felt like it had become a thousand pounds heavier. A powerful force was weighing it down. His sword intent quickly crumbled.
Jiang Chen withdrew his Evil Golden Eye once the sword intent had dissipated. He smiled and gave Ye Tianzuo a nod, "Good sword technique. Continue!"
Ye Tianzuo felt chills down his spine. His opponent had defeated his fluttering sword intent without moving, taking only the time to open and close his eyes. He knew that Pill King Zhen was formidable, but after experiencing the latter's prowess for himself, he realized that there was actually no limit to the pill king's strength. And yet, he didn't feel depressed. In fact, his failure only seemed to motivate him even further. "Pill King Zhen, you should be wary of summer's savagery!"
The Four Seasons Sword contained the laws of the four seasons. Spring was gentle whereas summer possessed a ferocity. His sword intent changed forms abruptly. Now, it felt like the arena was being scorched by the heat of ten blazing suns. The temperature began to rise significantly. Ye Tianzuo's sword had also become even more glaring. All of a sudden, the surrounding void felt like it had gone up in flames. The floor became searing hot while the four surrounding pillars in the arena seemed like they were going to spontaneously combust at any moment and collapse.
Jiang Chen was actually quite surprised. He began to think even more highly of Ye Zuotian. It would take incredible talent to be able to drastically switch sword intent within such a short span of time. Common swordsmen typically didn't have multiple drastically different sword intents because they had inherited their sword techniques. However, Ye Zuotian was able to switch between drastically different ones at a whim! Even though the switching method was a little rigid, it wasn't his fault.
The fault actually fell on the Evil Golden Eye that Jiang Chen had used to defeat Suppleness Of Spring. He'd destroyed the sword intent, yet his foe was still able to link the two in an adept manner and switch to a drastically different one. Ye Zuotian's attainments towards sword dao was actually quite startling. Even the seven great emperors were piqued by what was going on in this particular arena. They were paying attention to Pill King Zhen, but soon realized that Pill King Zhen's opponent was actually incredibly talented as well! The seven emperors all agreed that it was a waste to let such a find talent wander about in the outside world. The sword intent of summer was tyrannical, sharp, and scorching. It looked as if it was going to scorch the entire world with extreme savagery.
Endless scorching fires began to gush out from all sides, as though countless pill furnaces of the heavens had been toppled. Immediately following, a violent burst of flames that contained an inexplicably powerful sword aura shot towards Jiang Chen. Jiang Chen couldn't help but admit that his opponent's control was quite astonishing.