The handbell exerted a sinister influence upon the several thousand meters of space in the arena. A sense of disgust was universally felt; nausea, blindness, and a generally nameless malaise. A shadowy haze seemed to set in over the arena. The bright sun and blue sky were no longer, obscured by a billowing gray. Mie Chenzi raised his left hand high into the air and shook the bell.
Ring, ring, ring. The sound was best described as bizarrely magical. It resounded outwards from the stage. Nothing unusual about the noise appeared at first hearing. But when it echoed and resonated with the material of the arena itself, the reverberations created a strangely mesmerizing tune that filled up the space. The flow of air itself was altered. The atmosphere filled with a kind of disorientation and bafflement that couldn't easily be described.
Though he was both airborne and well-hidden, Jiang Chen nevertheless fell into a brief daze. His face colored in the next moment. The sound of the bell had the power to attack a person's consciousness! It brought discord to its listeners' hearts. It wasn't merely a mental attack, either. The clinking metal also disrupted its audience's biological functions. Even someone as composed as Jiang Chen had been affected by uncontrollable confusion! Many parts of his body simply became unresponsive. Steeling his heart with cold resolve, Jiang Chen brought his Boulder's Heart to bear in order to counteract the demonic percussion's effects.
The bell's cacophony was quite potent. It wasn't limited to merely disrupting one's body or consciousness. It also attacked one's dual nature, assaulting flesh and spirit both. For the typical soft-minded genius, the first attack would have been sufficient to confuse them completely. Once they were thrown into disarray, they would become a member of the living dead, entirely at their conductor's disposal. In order to combat the sound, Jiang Chen exerted the Boulder's Heart to the fullest of his ability. In the meantime, he had a few reservations. Mie Chenzi has come amply prepared. A mere wandering cultivator couldn't possibly possess a bell like this. A treasure that can attack both the body and mind is hard to come by. He must be a genius from one of the top sects, and I am his goal. This revelation incensed Jiang Chen.
"Mie Chenzi, your sonic attack might work on others, but you'll have no such luck with me!" A faint humming from his mouth turned into a full-fledged roar. In the next moment, he pushed his bloodline to the maximum, making the image of an ancient dragon erupt from nothingness. It hurtled into the firmament, carrying rain and wind in its wake. The sounds of his roar became deeper and more intense with every passing moment. It was as if the dragon itself was roaring.
"Is that really the roar of a dragon!?" Ceaseless and piercing, the draconic cry evoked surprise from every observer present. Their expressions of amazement from the shift in the battle turned into shock. A dragon's roar!
Only a true dragon could produce such a feat. Jiang Chen's dragon image had already been quite startling, and there had been suspicions circulating whether he truly possessed the bloodline or not. This deafening display was far more substantial. It was as if a true dragon had descended onto the earth, as a resounding cry permeated the air surrounding the Veluriyam Pagoda.
Like a small stream being taken as tributary by a larger river, the sound of the bell was swallowed whole. A dragon's roar reigned over all, suppressing all. Mie Chenzi looked absolutely horrified. Having just unleashed his trump card, he felt as secure as Mount Tai. He was sure that his Souldrain Bell would guarantee him victory. There had never been anyone who could resist the Bell's lure, especially when used as an ambush. Certainly, anyone on or slightly above its level had no chance of resisting whatsoever against it. The Bell was a timeless treasure of the olden ages. Alas, Mie Chenzi's calculations were awry this time.
His opponent hadn't lost himself under the Bell's influence. Neither consciousness nor flesh had been destroyed, or even damaged for that matter. That such a stalwart defense had been conjured up in a mere split-second… how could Mie Chenzi not be surprised? His opponent's instantaneous counterattack was what scared him the most, though. The overwhelming din of the roar ate up the tinkling of the Bell perfectly. The Souldrain Bell's strength lay in the peculiar cadence of its percussive notes, and it relied on these notes to disorient and distort. The instrument itself couldn't produce any kind of sound waves that rivaled a dragon's vocal chords.
Pill King Zhen's draconic roar was like a tsunami, encompassing and incorporating everything in its wake. It broke up and devoured the Bell's own sounds completely. The worst thing was that the roar itself was becoming a mounting threat. His eardrums and consciousness were both continuously assaulted by the strident barrage.
The pressure that came with the roar was dignified and grand, as broad and all-encompassing as the heavens and the earth themselves. A lofty sense of commanding contempt filled the space. Compared to this roar, the ringing of the Souldrain Bell was wretched, almost clownish. Though he'd ridiculed how outlandish his opponent was, Mie Chenzi was the one that felt like a clown after contrasting the two. He didn't have the time to think about much more than that. If he didn't respond now, the force of the roar would totally consume him, ripping his body and consciousness to shreds.
A dragon's roar didn't only attack through sound alone. There was another frightful component: its draconic aura, and the terrible, destructive energies contained therein. It was fortune among misfortunes for Mie Chenzi that Jiang Chen hadn't actually practiced the technique. He had acted on Long Xiaoxuan's suggestion alone when he'd been forced into a corner by the bell. However, he did possess the blood of a true dragon. With this, even this inaugural roar shook its hearers to the core.
People several thousand meters out felt a mountain weighing down on their chests. They couldn't help but back off in order to avert some of its crushing weight. At the center of the storm, Mie Chenzi was fully surrounded by the dragon's roar. Since Jiang Chen was using the ability for the first time, it lacked both offensive and staying power. Still, it was a fearsome ability to contend with.
When it came to true dragons, even an ordinary ability was much more potent than anything that the average cultivator could muster. The true dragon race was one of the strongest races that had descended from ancient times, reigning above most others! True dragons could move unfettered throughout the entirety of the heavenly planes. A place as small as the Divine Abyss Continent couldn't hold a candle up to that.
Now that Jiang Chen had surpassed his opponent in terms of presence, it was time to press the advantage. With a few movements of his hands, the Pentecolor Divine Swords reappeared in the air. He began to chant once again. Verse called upon sword, and thunder rolled behind the clouds. The Divine Five Thunderclap Sword technique conjured a rainstorm of rushing swords, raining down on Mie Chenzi with a frightening vehemence.
Jiang Chen held nothing back this time. When he previously mobilized the strength of ten thousand swords against young master Liuxiang, Jiang Chen had kept some of his power in reserve. He'd given his opponent the option of withdrawing in the face of adversity. There was no such grace shown this time. He was going to utterly crush his opponent in a candid and forthright way! The roar and the Thunderclap Sword were both incredibly straightforward and aboveboard methods.
A terrifying sword aura flew out in every direction, cutting off all means of escape, all hope of life. Thunder and lightning served as the scene's backdrop. Like a hundred thousand divine warriors, the swords were overwhelming and relentless.
Having witnessed the restrained version of the sword technique used on Liuxiang, Mie Chenzi had judged it to be flawed and incomplete. He felt that Jiang Chen hadn't trained to the level of true perfection yet. He laughed to himself upon seeing Jiang Chen use the technique once more. It was a superb chance for him to reverse his odds. However, he quickly discovered his naiveté.
When Jiang Chen used the technique on him, the flaws he had observed earlier were no longer apparent. There were no weaknesses, be it big or small, that he could exploit. No matter which direction Mie Chenzi wanted to escape to, every path was closed off to him. The streaks of sword aura were absolutely endless; they became a network of interlocking blades, carrying lightning and thunder in their wake. Every side and corner combined to form an immaculate whole. He could find no advantage, no matter which place veered towards.
Mie Chenzi colored in fear. He knew that he couldn't evade the sword technique any longer. Hastily, he activated a talisman, crumbling it in his hand. Reddish-copper rays lit up over his entire body. In the next moment, a suit of armor appeared, covering his entire physique with iridescent fish-scales in defense.
"Facing it head on is the only option!" Mie Chenzi had a lot of confidence in the talisman. Though he'd rushed to activate it, he made it in time in the end. The countless streaks of sword aura plunged onto his body in the next instant.
Ping ping ping… Endless sounds of collision could be heard around Mie Chenzi, brutal in severity and volume. Sword aura sent him flying every which way, but the talisman's defensive fortitude was undeniable. It might not have been as effective as the Imperial Advent Defense Talisman, but it wasn't far from that. Despite being immensely powerful, Jiang Chen's blitz of a countless number of sword strokes failed to penetrate the glyph-armor. Mie Chenzi was now coughing up blood at an alarming frequency, but his internal organs hadn't been pierced. His vitals were mostly in fine shape. However, his injuries were definitely serious enough to make him suffer.
Jiang Chen furrowed his brow at his opponent's strong defense. His hands didn't remain idle. He activated his formation disk once more, the eight statues within came blitzing out in a renewed assault. He'd taken the eight statues from the Prince of Shangping. Jiang Chen's modifications had brought out more of their abilities, further increasing their combat strength. The best thing about them was that there was no need to devote any resources to defense.
Controlled by Jiang Chen's formation disk, the statues encircled Mie Chenzi A little winded from the onslaught of sword strokes, Mie Chenzi had expected a window to retaliate. Unfortunately, the aggression he faced was dogged and implacable. No matter what he did, he was unable to free himself from the mob of statues. Most concerning was they they entirely ignored his attempts to damage them. Like mad tigers and frenzied hounds, they nipped at him, awaiting the moment to strike a finishing blow.