Chapter 55: The Hidden Dragon Trials
A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
One had to walk along the path of training, no matter how long it might be. Only by taking a step forward was there hope of assailing the inexhaustible dao.
This “Moonshatter Flying Daggers” and its accompanying four abilities wouldn’t be trained in the span of a day and night.
However, even if one learned but a crude one out of ten thousandth bit, it would be a layer of extreme protection for the current Jiang Chen.
Out of the four accompanying abilities, “Psychic’s Head” could be temporarily set aside. Before a spirit consciousness was developed for the seven apertures, it would be like trying to catch a fish in a tree for him to train this ability, with no hope of accomplishing anything remarkable.
“God’s Eye”, “Ear of the Zephyr”, and “Boulder’s Heart” on the other hand, could all be practiced as of right now.
Jiang Chen studied assiduously, and immersed himself in the comprehension and training of these three abilities. Even if he only barely reached “minor accomplishment”, it would still be half the effort with double the results when training “Moonshatter Flying Daggers”.
When the manipulation techniques of a unique throwing dagger skill were trained to an utmost, it came down to a contest of vision, hearing, and mental ability!
These days, the sparring partners in the Jiang Han manor were all quite busy.
In order to train his vision, Jiang Chen had the sparring partners continuously release small bugs, such as mosquitoes and flies, and looked for the single small bug that he had marked previously, according to the flight speed, trajectory, and habits of these flies and mosquitoes.
One had to admit, this type of training method neared a consummately intense level.
In the beginning, Jiang Chen basically failed again and again. Even with his eyes continuously staring, he would still be too busy to attend to all the random dances of the several hundred flies and mosquitoes.
However, after persevering for two days, Jiang Chen could basically materialize the probability of one in ten based on his vision alone.
If based on hearing, the probability of one in about twenty would appear.
Training his mental ability was the hardest – the probability there was less than one in fifty.
Three days later, four days later…
Jiang Chen’s improvement was quite apparent. On the fifth day, Jiang Chen could actually reach a success rate of fifty percent based on vision alone.
Hearing had also improved to thirty percent.
There wasn’t much improvement in mental ability, but Jiang Chen wasn’t depressed. He knew that training mental ability would be the hardest, and would need the most amount of patience.
Vision and hearing could be ground out with enough time. But mental ability required being calm and dispassionate, enduring persistently without a single trace of an irritable mindset.
Just as his vision and hearing had improved greatly, so did Jiang Chen’s training of the “Moonshatter Flying Daggers” begin in an orderly way.
With the partnership of strong vision and hearing, Jiang Chen displayed astounding potential and status on the manipulation of throwing daggers.
The initial steps of the “Moonshatter Flying Daggers” were mastered by Jiang Chen with almost no hint of difficulty, and he quickly trained them to the great perfection realm.
“Looks like strong vision and hearing are indeed the biggest guarantee in training throwing daggers. Coincidentally, strong mental ability will allow the unique skills of throwing daggers that follow one’s will.”
Jiang Chen boasted good eyesight and an exquisite sense of hearing thanks to training his vision and hearing, and although his training in mental ability progressed slowly, it caused his entire bearing to become steady and stately, becoming even more confident and at ease.
In the short span of less than half a month, changes that thoroughly remoulded himself had appeared on Jiang Chen’s body again. As his training progressed ever deeper, he could experience gratifying improvement everyday.
And with the passage of time, the final examinations of the Hidden Dragon Trials finally arrived.
On this day, all 108 heirs had arrived in the grand courtyard in front of the entrance to the Hidden Dragon Trials testing site.
Jiang Chen was no exception. He had made so many preparations for these Hidden Dragon Trials that he naturally wouldn’t miss out on such a grand occasion.
This could be labelled as the first meaningful challenge that he had met head on since his reincarnation.
The Hidden Dragon Trials were the first stage in which Jiang Chen would prove himself on. He didn’t want to lose!
All the various heirs were casting complicated looks to judge one another, and even engaging in a contest with each other.
Everyone wanted to forestall one’s opponent with a show of strength on this occasion, no one wanted to be demoralized before things had begun.
Therefore, all sorts of gazes met in a tit-for-tat struggle, and permeated throughout the scene.
Jiang Chen greeted fatty Xuan and Hubing Yue. Fatty Xuan’s six meridians true qi were already quite stable. In his own words, it would be at most two months before he broke through to seven meridians true qi.
As for Hubing Yue, he was already at eight meridians true qi. A hubbub arose after he made an entrance in which he didn’t exercise restraint in displaying his level of training.
After all, eight meridians true qi was absolutely an existence at the level of the ten great dukes!
If Jiang Chen wanted to assail eight meridians true qi, his chances of success were absolutely above ninety percent. But he purposely didn’t do so.
There was no major difference, currently, to him between seven meridians true qi and eight meridians true qi.
They were patently not the only ones who’d been improving. No matter friend nor foe, all the heirs had been making their final sprints before the Hidden Dragon Trials.
Therefore, everyone’s appearance now was more or less accompanied by some improvement.
The heir of Yanmen, Yan Yiming – that catastrophic character that Jiang Chen had crushed beneath his feet twice – had somehow gotten ahold of some miraculous pill medicine and had actually recovered from his injuries, with his training attaining an even higher goal, and breaking through to seven meridians true qi!
“Jiang Chen, you’ve used sneaky tricks to plot against me multiple times. I, Yan Yiming, will find payment from you during the Hidden Dragon Trials. Now that I’ve entered the advanced realm of true qi, do you think your sneaky tricks will still be effective?” Yan Yiming glared at Jiang Chen from afar and privately expressed a great ambition, swearing to ruthlessly torture Jiang Chen.
“Brother Chen, look over there, the heirs of the four great dukes! Tsk tsk, the four great dukes get a sweet deal alright. They can have two candidates, that is some special privilege.” Fatty Xuan’s tone held some envy.
According to the rules of the Hidden Dragon Trials, if a duke was ranked in the top four, then they could have two candidates in the Hidden Dragon Trials, with the more optimal score being recorded.
This was equivalent to another layer of insurance that allowed the strong to become stronger.
The four great dukes were respectively the duke of Soaring Dragon, the duke of White Tiger, the duke of Vermillion Bird, and the duke of Black Tortoise.
Jiang Chen threw a faint glance in that direction when he heard those words.
The disciples of the four great dukes all knew how to put on a display alright – the heirs to Soaring Dragon in particular acted like they were the main protagonists.
The female one was naturally the hot topic of this time’s Trials, Long Juxue.
The male one was Long Juxue’s brother, Long Yinye.
Long Yinye was as his name implied, frosty and arrogant, suffused with a wild temperament. His entire being was like a dragon that overturned seas and rivers, full of a wild aura.
Although this man’s reputation wasn’t as renowned as Long Juxue and her azure phoenix constitution, he was even more mysterious. It was said that his true level of training wasn’t less than that of Long Juxue, and that his capabilities in combat were even more than hers.
This was to say that the son and daughter of the duke of Soaring Dragon were practically double insurance, absolutely ensuring that the champion of the Hidden Dragon Trials wouldn’t fall into other hands.
The first duke of the kingdom had their capital and their pride.
In contrast, whether it was the heir of White Tiger, Vermillion Bird, or Black Tortoise, all paled a bit in comparison.
When the eight of them walked together, although they all had the characteristics of being a phoenix or dragon amongst men, Long Juxue and Long Yinye gave off the feeling of being head and shoulders above others – like a crane standing amongst chickens, rising above the common herd and allowing others to identify them with one glance.
“Damn it, what are you so cocky about? Sooner or later, I’m going to beat you down one by one.” Fatty Xuan showed naked admiration, jealousy, and hatred.
It wasn’t that he was narrow minded, but that these people had never treated him as a human being. This was the mindset of revenge developing from fatty Xuan after he’d been looked down upon by these people.
Jiang Chen closed his eyes after flicking a glance. He was wholly uninterested in these gestures that pretended to be aloof and lofty.
These four great dukes had purposely built themselves up to be one above everyone else. This was undoubtedly a demonstration of strength to the other heirs, and a warning to them not to lightly undertake the challenge to their position.
This was an instinct to protect one’s territory, but Jiang Chen turned up his nose at it.
If any of the dukes down below truly had great power, they would never give up the opportunity to challenge the four great dukes due to their display.
A duke’s position was won on the basis of battle, and not through a presentation.
This time, it was the heir to Vermillion Bird, Hong Tiantong, who spoke first.
“Jiang Chen, I’ve heard that great happenings have occurred in your Jiang Han manor. What are you doing here?”
Bai Zhanyun was enlightened now, and was no longer Long Juxue’s striker. Hong Tiantong had naturally and happily accepted this glorious misison.
“Who are you? What does my brother Chen’s business have to do with you?” Fatty Xuan didn’t give a damn whether you were the four great dukes or not. In his eyes, if you weren’t one of them, then you were a bad guy!
“Damn fatty, didn’t your old man ever teach you the manners of nobility?” When faced with such a character as fatty Xuan, Hong Tiantong displayed an instinctive contempt.
Jiang Chen raised his brow as a cold glance swept in front of Hong Tiantong. “Are you provoking me? Then challenge me. If not, scram!”
“Jiang Chen is it?” Standing beside Long Juxue, Long Yinye stared at Jiang Chen with a pair of swift and fierce eyes. That wild killing intent surged without concealment at Jiang Chen.
“I’ve heard of you, you seemed to have given that worthless Bai Zhanyun a lesson? Very good. I hope you don’t disappoint me when it comes down to it.”
Bai Zhanyun wasn’t standing that far away, and his face convulsed when he heard Long Yinye publicly deride him as worthless, but he controlled his temper at the end.
Jiang Chen, on the other hand, had an obviously much more steady and stately demeanor after training his mental ability.
His eyelids didn’t even jump when faced with such a condescending tone from Long Yinye. “A bunch of flies, clamorous!”
“Nice one! Show us what you’ve got on the Hidden Dragon Trials. Who the hell do you think you are, flapping your lips here?” Fatty Xuan also had a face full of contempt.
Long Yinye’s face turned frigid and was about to open his mouth when, in the middle of the courtyard, a beam of astonishing sword aura suddenly descended as if from the heavens. Princess Gouyu’s lithe figure suddenly appeared when the rainbow sword aura landed on the ground.
“Rainbow true qi? Eleven meridians true qi master?” The scene was in an uproar as the gazes towards Princess Gouyu were tinged with more fear and respect.
The Eastern Kingdom also had a few true qi masters, but these true qi masters were mostly ten meridians true qi.
Those who’d trained to eleven meridians true qi could be counted on one hand.
And Princess Gouyu had just joined the ranks of the eleven meridians true qi masters at the age of just over twenty, how could this not astonish and astound people?
Even Long Yinye’s wild eyes darted to and fro on Princess Gouyu’s body, actually forgetting his conflict with Jiang Chen for a moment.
As for Long Juxue, an undetectable hint of killing intent flashed through that beautiful face. The lips of her mouth immediately resumed a faint sliver of a smile as soon as the killing intent had flashed by.
As if eleven meridians true qi was nothing much to her.