The top twelve in the Ranking of Young Lords were all emperor realm geniuses. Zhuang Min was a feminine name, but the person was not the least bit feminine. He was a very meticulous and far-looking strategist. His wits were only complemented by his power, making him heads above his younger brother in strength. His younger brother viewed this battle as a chance for revenge, but Zhuang Min was able to keep his calm. He wasn’t arrogant, nor did he think that he’d definitely win due to his emperor realm cultivation.
No. He was being extremely cautious instead. He’d been paying close attention to the pill king ever since his brother had been eliminated. The closer he tried to look, the more mysterious the pill king became. He couldn’t afford to underestimate the enemy even though he was already an emperor realm cultivator.
“Next match, Pill King Zhen versus Zhuang Min! Please take your places in the arena!”
Zhuang Min leaped from his seat and landed on the arena after the judge’s announcement. Jiang Chen followed suit and climbed up the stairs to the arena. Jiang Chen already knew that Zhuang Min was Zhuang Jie’s elder brother, and that Zhuang Min was at the first level emperor realm.
It was common knowledge that a first level emperor was at least twice as strong as a half-step emperor. It wasn’t difficult for a first level emperor to defeat two half-step emperors. In fact, three might not pose a problem either. However, one couldn’t just rely on theory alone to measure one’s winning chances in a martial dao exchange.
Jiang Chen felt a glare as soon as he stepped into the arena. The glare contained a strange intent within it. It was like a formless air current, making him feel as if he were walking inside of water. There was an invisible force hindering his movements. Hmm? Since Zhuang Jie had an innate water constitution, his older brother Zhuang Min must have the same bloodline as well. Can it be…
He instantly realized that his opponent was trying to put on airs. Thankfully, Jiang Chen was no longer a weakling that could be shoved around by others. He criculated his inner energy throughout his body. The speed of his footsteps increased instead of slowing down.
Zhuang Min remained calm when he noticed that Jiang Chen had broken through his Oscillating Ripple technique. He’d only wanted to show his superiority through his technique, not take down his enemy. It was impossible that the opponent could eliminate his brother if he couldn’t even handle such a basic ability. His blue eyes were like deep chasms. It made him seem extremely nefarious. He stared at Jiang Chen meaningfully and gave a half smile. “Pill King Zhen, I’m surprised that you’ve made it this far. I believe you know who I am. Do you still think that you have a chance to win?”
Jiang Chen understood that his opponent was only attempting to attack his heart. He smiled back faintly without the slightest hint of fear. “I will only know that after a fight. If I can defeat your younger brother, I’m sure I can do the same to you.”
“Hahaha!” Zhuang Jie burst into raucous laughter. “I bet you’ve yet to realize the disparity between a half-step emperor and a true emperor!” He nodded before continuing. “If that’s the case, then let me put an end to your consecutive victory streak! I’ll admit that you’re a dark horse in this tournament, but everyone knows that a dark horse never makes it to the end!”
Jiang Chen’s dao heart was already as solid as a boulder. A few jeering words from Zhuang Min would never work on him. He snorted with laughter. “Zhuang Min! You might have a slightly higher cultivation than your brother, but you are truly no match for him in the art of ridicule!”
At their level, the confrontation between words was no longer mere child’s play. It was an intense conflict for superiority.
Zhuang Min wasn’t depressed when he failed to gain the upper hand. All he did was smile noncommittally and applauded. “I’m impressed. What a sharp tongue.” A hint of arrogance appeared in his eyes. “Since you’ve challenged me, I’ll let you make the first three moves.”
He was truly making full use of the situation. He’d shown his magnanimity as an emperor realm genius by giving his opponent the first few moves. It was also a way for him to deride and trample on his opponent.
Jiang Chen grinned when he heard this and didn’t back down. “Only three moves? How miserly! How about this? I’ll give you the first ten moves!”
Zhuang Min’s face darkened and his brow arched. “How delusional.”
Jiang Chen laughed. “Not true. My mind is clearer than ever before. Make your move! Ten moves was what I said, so ten moves is what I’ll give! However, that’s under the assumption that you can make it past ten moves.”
“Such arrogance!” A hint of rage had appeared in Zhuang Min’s eyes despite his calm demeanor.
The arena had fallen silent. The audience couldn’t believe their ears.
“Pill King Zhen is letting Zhuang Min make the first ten moves? Is he for real? It doesn’t sound like a joke.”
“It doesn’t matter if he’s serious! It takes great courage to provoke an emperor realm genius!”
“An eighth level sage realm cultivator is giving an emperor realm genius ten moves? Only the pill king is capable of saying such a thing.”
“That’s true. No other sage realm genius in Veluriyam Capital is capable of this except for the pill king.”
“Tsk tsk. I truly am impressed by his audacity.” The crowd was hot in discussion.
Zhuang Min was genuinely tempted. His instincts were telling him to make a move. However, logic stopped him dead in his tracks. If he won after accepting his opponent’s offer, people were going to say that he’d taken advantage of the situation. He wanted to win, but didn’t want to have a flawed victory. A grave expression appeared. “Pill King Zhen, I’m worried that you’ll no longer have a chance to make your own move after I’ve made mine.”
Jiang Chen smiled. “Is that so?
“Want to try?” Zhuang Min replied coldly.
“I don’t see why not? Give me your best shot!” Jiang Chen retorted confidently.
Zhuang Jie nodded angrily. He lifted his hands and started flicking his fingers. Whoosh! The sound of rushing water appeared out of the thin air. Steam began to appear in between his fingers. It transformed into strange, transparent water droplets upon touching the air. The water droplets began to bounce around the air like tiny marbles. The transparent marbles flew rapidly through the air, sealing off the area.
Jiang Chen was slightly bewildered by the sight before his eyes. However, his instincts told him that these weren’t ordinary water droplets. He brandished his sword and summoned multiple torrents of air currents to disrupt this motion. Sword light emerged wherever the sword traveled to and shot towards the water droplets.
These water droplets were incredibly strange. They deflected any light they came in contact with, deforming slightly and then bouncing away. They were like indestructible marbles that possessed very strange trajectories. The sword didn’t seem to affect them in any way. A barrage of sword intent was able to knock them off their trajectory, but it wasn’t able to thoroughly destroy them. Whenever Jiang Chen slightly slackened his sword intent, the water droplets deviated from their trajectory and shot straight towards him.
Zhuang Min’s fingers were moving nonstop while this was happening, creating even more tiny water droplets. The arena was soon filled with thousands of flying water droplets that were incredibly difficult to see with the naked eye.
There was no order or rhythm to their trajectory. Jiang Chen was in a difficult spot. All he could do was try to deflect the droplets with his sword aura. Their trajectories were simply too chaotic. His ‘Reverse Heaven and Earth’ wasn’t able to effectively disrupt their trajectory. It was like pushing water uphill with a rake. His feet suddenly sank into the ground. A fist-sized water drop had landed on his feet. It was so monstrously sticky that it’d stuck his feet to the ground. His heart sank. He tried moving a little, but even more water swarmed towards him and stuck to his right foot. Water drops continued to swarm towards his arm, shoulder, and didn’t stop until his entire body was enveloped.
The water drops seemed inseparable. They continued to congregate until they became a veil of water. Jiang Chen had seen someone use a similar water cloak technique when he visited the wood spirit spring. Wei Wudao, an elder from the Walkabout Sect of Myriad Domain, had used a Skywater Talisman to form an aqueous prison. However, Wei Wudao’s Skywater Talisman was much weaker than the one Jiang Chen was currently facing.
Back then, he’d used his Bewitching Lotus of Fire and Ice to tunnel into the ground and escaped from the imprisonment. Zhuang Min’s Waterveil Prison was incredibly formidable. Water continued flooding towards Jiang Chen. His entire body was soon enveloped by its mysterious power. Escaping by tunneling into the ground was out of the equation since there was no gap in the water.
The power of water origin operated on very mysterious laws. It was as though it could permeate into the body and form a mysterious power of enchainment. Jiang Chen’s body suddenly felt a thousand times heavier. He couldn’t break free from the water imprisonment no matter how hard he tried to struggle.
Zhuang Min smiled with both his hands linked behind his back. It was as though he’d already won. He stared upon his creation with a big delightful smile on his face. Zhuang Jie was celebrating below the arena as well. He was obviously very liberated by the scene. So what if the pill king is a dark horse? So what if he’s ranked 17th? He’s nothing but a bug when facing the domain of an emperor realm expert! The emperor’s domain rules over all! The audience had begun to lose hope. In the end, even the greatest genius was helpless when facing such a great discrepancy in cultivation.