Jiang Chen had thoroughly flabbergasted the audience yet again. Everyone knew that Pill King Zhen was a martial dao genius after watching his battles. Even so, Jiang Chen’s heaven-defying abilities never seem to fail at shocking the audience time and time again.
Jiang Chen had made a truly risky move just now because he trusted Long Xiaoxuan. After all, Long Xiaoxuan was capable of instantly killing Zhuang Jie, as he’d already broken through the emperor realm. If Long Xiaoxuan said he could do it, then he definitely could. There was an unconditional trust between them. It was a small gamble that worked out incredibly well in the end. Jiang Chen was overjoyed when he saw the horrified look on Zhuang Jie’s face. He hadn’t just physically defeated Zhuang Jie, but mentally as well. The overweening young lord was obviously taken aback when his water pillars were devoured. He tried very hard to hide this fact, but the sense of defeat was already deeply ingrained into his mind.
Just as Jiang Chen had expected, Zhuang Jie’s attacks were no longer as powerful after a crack had appeared in his dao heart. His attacks were still very ferocious, but they were no longer as effective as before. It didn’t matter how strong his water elemental abilities were, as they were all nullified by the heaven-defying Long Xiaoxuan. His strongest attacks were no longer of any use. Without any other choice, he had no choice but to rely solely on wind elemental attacks. The fundamentals of wind elemental attacks lay in speed. Blinding speed.
However, Jiang Chen had never been concerned when it came to a competition of speed. His Featherlight Mirror was the archenemy of all speed cultivators. Zhuang Jie wasn’t able to fully utilize his two killer abilities. The battle between the two geniuses had become lopsided all of a sudden. Zhuang Jie grew incredibly frustrated as the battle continued. There was no doubt that he had his own special abilities, as he was a true disciple of a great emperor. He’d lived through thousands of battles, big and small. However, this was the first time he’d ever encountered such an opponent.
His original plan was to crush his enemy though the use of his incredibly powerful abilities, but things had gone out of his control. His opponent seemed to possess a counter to every single move he made. He had no doubt that his enemy was the bane of his existence, an emissary sent by the heavens to destroy him. His confidence was shredded to pieces after such a one-sided battle.
Emperor Vastsea frowned when he saw what was happening. He never imagined that his third-ranked true disciple would meet such a potent adversary.
“Honored master, what is Pill King Zhen’s background? Why do I sense such limitless potential in him? Even Junior Brother Zhuang is about to lose to him.” The person who had spoken was Emperor Vastsea’s foremost true disciple. He was amongst the top five of all the true disciples of the great emperors.
Emperor Vastsea frowned slightly. “The pill king’s true identity is still a mystery to Veluriyam Capital. I’ve tried asking Emperor Peafowl but he wasn’t willing to disclose the truth. I highly suspect that he is a chess piece planted by Emperor Peafowl long ago to be used as a replacement for young lord Fan.”
“A replacement for young lord Fan?”
“Yes. Emperor Shura even theorized that Pill King Zhen was Emperor Peafowl’s true successor. Young lord Fan was merely a front so that Peafowl could nurture his true successor away from everyone’s sight. He was the genius that Emperor Peafowl had truly wished to nurture all along.”
Emperor Vastsea’s subordinates were flabbergasted when they heard what he’d just said. This was simply too much! Emperor Peafowl’s would need to have powers of extreme foresight to plan such a thing. It was beyond what was humanly possible.
Young lord Fan had been an incredibly talented genius back then. However, some unknown occurence had claimed his life. The reason for his death was still a mystery to this day. Many had conjured their own theories to explain young lord Fan’s death, and a majority of them had blamed Emperor Shura. Everyone knew that Emperor Shura was trying to overthrow Emperor Peafowl. He had every motive to murder Emperor Peafowl’s incredibly talented successor.
As Emperor Shura’s greatest ally, Emperor Vastsea was certain that Emperor Shura had nothing to do with young lord Fan’s death. Young lord Fan was such a genius that he’d dominated every other great emperor’s disciple. His death had caused a great deal of commotion amongst all the other disciples. Many were secretly glad that the great mountain on top of their heads was finally gone. These people suddenly realized that another frighteningly powerful mountain replacing young lord Fan had arisen under Emperor Peafowl’s side once again.
The young lords had occasionally talked about Jiang Chen when he participated in the Martial Pagoda battles, but none of them had taken him seriously. Jiang Chen still hadn’t attracted their attention even after his series of victories consolidating his position in the New Star Rankings. After that, he became the champion yet again in the Genius Rankings. The high and mighty geniuses of the Ranking of Young Lords no longer had a choice but to notice the champion of both rankings. They’d begun to notice him, but they still weren’t concerned about the threat he posed.
They were cream-of-the-crop geniuses! Every single one of them possessed incredible talent and a superior cultivation base. They owned trump cards and battle techniques that no one else had. However, their confidence and pride had begun to crack a little as they watched the current battle. They still didn’t believe that Pill King Zhen posed any sort of threat to them, but they had no choice but to admit that he was at least qualified to challenge them. The fact that he could dominate Zhuang Jie in battle was proof of that. The result of a battle was normally set when one side was dominated by another side.
Zhuang Jie put up a struggle to the very end, but he still eventually lost. There was now another successful challenger in the Ranking of Young Lords! Ji San leapt with joy. He was even happier than the time he’d won the challenge himself. There wasn't any other upsets from the challengers in other groups. The young lords behind the rankings were slightly weaker, but only in comparison to the other young lords. They were still unapproachable existences to the cultivators from the Genius Rankings. All challengers apart from Ji San and Pill King Zhen failed in their attempts in the Ranking of Young Lords.
The only exception to this was Mie Chenzi. Everyone believed that the mysterious cultivator was capable of challenging the young lords. However, he had withdrawn from the challenge and disappeared without a trace. With that, the thirty-six finalists of the Ranking of Young Lords were set.
Next were the battles. Everyone was given a short two week period of rest before the ranking battles. This two week period was incredibly important for Jiang Chen. He'd gained a lot ever since he’d joined the formation trials and fought through the many battles to become the champion of both the New Star and Genius Rankings. Now, he had finally claimed a spot in the Ranking of Young Lords. He felt signs that he was now ready to break through to the eighth level sage realm. These two weeks would be a perfect time to do so.
He'd basically shown all of his available trump cards in the previous battles. The remaining ones were either off limits or too heaven defying to be shown, like the palace. Every single battle was going to be extremely challenging from now on. He wanted to continue fighting and moving up the ranks. However, the advantage his trump cards gave him was becoming smaller and smaller. He would have to rely on his abilities and foundation in martial dao to achieve victory from now on. Innate strength was going to be very important from this point onwards.
His cultivation level was without a doubt the lowest amongst the geniuses in the Ranking of Young Lords. This wasn't his fault, as he had a lower start in position than most, not to mention that he was also younger than all of them. It hadn't even been ten years since he’d reincarnated in the Eastern Kingdom. Becoming an eighth level sage realm cultivator from the true qi realm in such a short time was already incredibly heaven defying. His body’s original foundation in martial dao was extremely weak. His knowledge and foundation of martial dao from his previous life was the only reason why he was able to become what he was today. Because of that, Jiang Chen wasn't too critical of his own achievements.
Even though the difference between his cultivation level and the young lords’ cultivation levels was quite big, he was comforted by the fact that they were cultivators who had grown up with a golden spoon in their mouths. They had a hundred or perhaps even a thousand times more resources than him. Jiang Chen was very satisfied with his own achievements after putting all of this into consideration. He could definitely climb the ranks for a better ranking if he broke through to the eighth level sage realm.
He wasn’t terribly concerned about his rank. He was more worried about being able to have a clash with the top geniuses of this world. He was finally able to encounter the strongest geniuses now that he’d climbed to the top of the rankings. He could finally validate the essence of his cultivation through these geniuses!
Jiang Chen enclosed himself in a secret room for the entire two weeks of interlude. He was going all out to break through to the eighth level sage realm. He had a sufficient number of Heroic Sage Pills, but they were no longer enough to satisfy his cultivation appetite. His primary source of inner energy now came from Long Xiaoxuan’s dragon crystals. The Heroic Sage Pill was used as a supplement instead. Jiang Chen had many sources of energy; there were many heaven-defying treasures and sources of energy in his possession. There was a large possibility that he would successfully breakthrough to the eighth level sage realm since he had accumulated a large number of Heroic Sage Pills and also possessed dragon crystals.