After the end of the New Star Rankings battles and two consecutive rounds of the Genius Rankings, everyone in Veluriyam Capital found their recognition of Jiang Chen's martial dao talents completely refreshed. When it was time to draw lots for the third round, Jiang Chen once again drew a noble youth as his opponent. The latter looked gloomy when he discovered who his opponent was. His cultivation was even weaker than Murong Qiu's, so he knew that he was definitely going to lose to the powerful Pill King Zhen.
This noble youth didn't dare act too wantonly before Jiang Chen. In fact, he acted very gentlemanly and courteous. Jiang Chen knew from his attitude that the noble youth was only hoping to lose the fight with dignity. That was why Jiang Chen didn't put him in a difficult spot for too long. He kept the battle going for almost thirty minutes before defeating his opponent without hurting his dignity.
The three rounds were finally concluded. Other than the first round, Jiang Chen felt that the latter two rounds were rather fruitless. Although the contest had been dry and dull thus far, he didn't let down his guard. The greatest charm of an elimination-style contest was the possibility of sudden elimination. If a contestant was unfortunate enough to draw a powerful opponent, then they might be eliminated in advance. Although Jiang Chen didn't think that there was any participant in the Genius Rankings who could defeat him, he wouldn't allow himself to underestimate his enemy or become arrogant. The contest entered a short period of rest after everyone had fought three rounds.
Originally, the Eternal Celestial Capital had prepared three geniuses to snipe Jiang Chen during the Genius Rankings battles. But after witnessing Jiang Chen's forceful killing of Xiao Paohui, they grew a little hesitant about these cultivators' chances of success. Two of the three geniuses they had sent were obviously inferior to Xiao Paohui in terms of both strength and talent. The last one was at best Xiao Paohui's equal. It wasn't that they had no chance of defeating Pill King Zhen, but the risk was quite high.
Their only advantage was that they were still in the shadows. Now that Pill King Zhen had revealed some of his methods and skills, he was easier to prepare against. Still, there were plenty of disadvantageous elements that might negatively affect the outcome. The brat had an unbelievable amount of tricks up his sleeves, so who was to say that he didn't possess more abilities and trump cards than what he had already shown? Of course, it was still the elimination stages. Everyone's opponents were random. It was only possible to fight Pill King Zhen during the ranking battles that followed the elimination rounds.
The Eternal Celestial Capital refused to accept this outcome, so they ordered their three geniuses to sound out Pill King Zhen's trump cards to the best of their ability without exposing themselves, even if they couldn't beat or kill him. Of course, their own safety was the higher priority.
When the short interlude was over, the fourth round officially began. This time, Jiang Chen drew a wandering cultivator as his opponent. This wandering cultivator was made of stronger mettle, and he refused to concede defeat without fighting. A difficult fight later, the wandering cultivator was ultimately mercilessly swept off the stage.
Jiang Chen knew restraint, however. He didn't use any fatal moves knowing that his opponent hadn't intended to kill him. In fact, he didn't even hurt the wandering cultivator. When the fourth round was finished, only eight hundred were left fighting in the Genius Rankings contest. Once two more rounds had passed, the top two hundred would be decided out of this group of eight hundred. They would then enter the ranking battles.
Jiang Chen smiled wryly when the results of the fifth round's drawing came out. His opponent was a familiar face. He was Ji Zhongtang of the Coiling Dragon Clan. Jiang Chen and Ji Zhongtang weren't close to each other at all. They were, at the bare minimum, acquaintances who'd met each other several times in the past. Moreover, Jiang Chen found himself able to appreciate a character like Ji Zhongtang. At the very least, he was more pleasing to the eye than that Liuxiang.
His opponent's eyes actually glowed with eagerness when he saw that he'd drawn Jiang Chen as his opponent. Although Ji Zhongtang was younger than both Ji San and Liuxiang, he had long since reached the ninth level sage realm. It was true that he was incomparable to the two young masters who were both at the half-step emperor realm, but for someone his age, he was still without a doubt a genius amongst geniuses. Unfortunately, Ji Zhongtang's major focus was in martial dao, and everything else was of little concern to him. He wasn't particularly interested in the clan's welfare or becoming the clan's successor either. He was a man who was extremely faithful and loyal to martial dao.
On the stage, Ji Zhongtang spoke with eyes filled with wild passion. "To be honest, Pill King Zhen, I'd thought that your martial dao talent was ordinary at first. But now, I've realized that your martial dao talent isn't inferior to your pill dao talent in the slightest. It's my fortune to be able to meet an opponent like you, so I will do my utmost to defeat you. I request that you do your best too, and please know that I won't mind it at all if you beat me."
Jiang Chen laughed. "Good man! In that case, let us both do your best and show a good battle for everyone else, shall we?"
Ji Zhongtang chuckled. "That's exactly what I hope to do."
He rushed towards Jiang Chen like a horse free of its reins. When he moved, he did so in an imposing fashion. He lifted a broadsword into the air and swung it at Jiang Chen, as if he was planning on cleaving the world. The slash was simple but mighty. It was the Coiling Dragon Clan's famous sword technique.
The Coiling Dragon Clan's sword technique was direct and fierce. Every hit was as powerful as a coiling dragon. Ji Zhongtang's stance portrayed him as a cultivator who preferred a strong, unyielding martial style. An opponent like this wasn't particularly difficult to fight, but if one only possessed ordinary skill, then they could become one's worst nightmare. It was because opponents like Ji Zhongtang feared nothing and nobody. The moment they entered the zone, they would transform into a war machine who feared neither life nor death. When the broadsword slashed down on Jiang Chen's head, the phantom of a coiling dragon also swiped through the air.
Jiang Chen smiled faintly. "Well met!"
Dragon-wise, Ji Zhongtang's coiling dragon was far inferior to Jiang Chen's own. His true dragon image didn't just possess the presence of a dragon, but also its blood and aura. The draconic phantom accompanying Ji Zhongtang's sword slash was just a supplement to the sword technique. Since he didn't possess the bloodline of true dragons, there was also no trace of the will of a true dragon in his attack. Naturally, a phantom that lacked the will of a true dragon couldn't pose a threat to Jiang Chen. However, despite being at the ninth level sage realm, Ji Zhongtang's special constitution and fierce martial style gave his sword technique power equivalent to Xiao Paohui's attack.
But that Xiao Paohui was already at the half-step emperor realm.
He truly is the noble youth of a great clan. The strength of this sword technique alone is as threatening as Xiao Paohui's attack. As a ninth level sage realm noble youth of a great clan, he certainly hasn't brought shame to his own clan. Jiang Chen praised Ji Zhongtang silently.
That being said, praise was no reason for Jiang Chen to let down his guard. Ji Zhongtang possessed extraordinary martial dao talent, and if he were to underestimate his opponent, he might actually suffer a regrettable loss. Seeing the ferocity and swiftness behind Ji Zhongtang's sword, Jiang Chen felt his interest piqued. He raised his Pentecolor Divine Swords and actually began dueling Ji Zhongtang.
Earlier when he'd killed Xiao Paohui with a single sword strike, he had only scratched the surface knowledge of the Divine Five Thunderclap Sword Technique. Therefore, his strikes were powerful but lacking in depth. His understanding of the Divine Five Thunderclap Sword Technique had since improved by leaps and bounds. It was why he was hoping to fight Ji Zhongtang in a duel of sword technique.
The Divine Five Thunderclap Sword Technique was without a doubt more sophisticated than the Coiling Dragon Clan Sword Technique. However, Ji Zhongtang had begun training in the Coiling Dragon Clan Sword Technique since he was child, so his understanding of the technique must have reached a legendary level. Meanwhile, Jiang Chen's understanding of the Divine Five Thunderclap Sword Technique was average at best.
Beams of light and sword auras cut through the air. Both combatants were executing grand and fierce sword techniques, so it almost felt like two warrior gods were fighting on stage. Tremendous sword auras charged to and fro, and the brilliant light and power behind them made the battle look absolutely splendid. This battle was just as entertaining as Jiang Chen's fight against Xiao Paohui. In fact, the entertainment value of this battle was almost unparalleled to some sword dao geniuses. Even Ye Tianzuo's battle against Jiang Chen paled in comparison to this battle.
Ye Tianzuo had only executed three sword moves that day. All three sword moves had unique strengths, incredible depth, and intoxicating points. But many had failed to understand how wonderful those three moves were. They thought that those moves must be weak since Pill King Zhen had defeated all of them. No such thing existed in this battle, however.
Ji Zhongtang was a well known sword dao genius of the Coiling Dragon Clan. He cultivated the Coiling Dragon Sword Technique, and it was rumored that the clan lord privately praised Ji Zhongtang as the best sword dao genius in the clan for almost a millennium. No one knew that Pill King Zhen was also a sword dao genius until today.Although Ji Zhongtang had executed the Coiling Dragon Sword Technique to an unbelievable level, he was still unable to take down Pill King Zhen.
Pill King Zhen was also deploying a sword technique, but the depth of this sword technique seemed to exceed even that of the Coiling Dragon clan technique. However, it would appear that Pill King Zhen wasn't able to execute the sword technique perfectly just yet. What they saw was but the tip of the iceberg. Still, the tip of this technique was so powerful that it drew everyone's attention.
"I didn't think that Pill King Zhen would be a sword dao genius too. Amongst the youths of Veluriyam Capital, there has been almost no one who could compare to Ji Zhongtang in terms of sword dao for many years, right? Excluding the geniuses of the seven emperors, Ji Zhongtang is undeniably amongst the top three cultivators out of all the great clans and aristocratic families, no?"
"Top three? According to the Coiling Dragon clan lord, Ji Zhongtang is the absolute number one sword dao genius amongst the youths of all worldly powers in Veluriyam Capital."
"That isn't necessarily true. It's true that his sword dao talent is extraordinary, but he is young and lacking in foundation. It's not unlikely for various sword dao geniuses to crush him with brute force."
"That is true. Ji Zhongtang hasn't reached the half-step emperor realm yet after all."
"Hehe, speaking of geniuses, shouldn't we praise Pill King Zhen? He's only at the seventh level sage realm, you know, but he's actually managing to fight the ninth level sage realm Ji Zhongtang head on without falling behind. Now this is a true genius!"
"That's true. This should have been a battle where Pill King Zhen attempts to surpass the gap of cultivation and challenge his better, but why do I feel like Ji Zhongtang is the one who is challenging his better?"
It was as the last person had just said, Jiang Chen's consecutive victories and in particular, his forceful killing of Xiao Paohui, left everyone under the impression that he was an unchallengeable expert. This was why they subconsciously categorized him amongst half-step emperor realm experts. They subconsciously thought that the ninth level sage realm Ji Zhongtang was the one who was challenging his superior. It was only now that they realized in a daze that Pill King Zhen was only at the seventh level sage realm.