Chapter 1580: Image Against Image

Xie Wushang refrained from explaining himself. “Just keep watching if you don’t believe me.”

He had no concrete basis for his opinion. It was simply the intuition of a powerhouse, an appraisal born from sheer instinct

Su Hong wasn’t half bad and did indeed deserve his spot among the island’s top young geniuses. Even so, his demeanor fell short compared to this mysterious youngster surnamed Jiang.

The city lord had paid Jiang Chen little heed before his sudden rise. But when he focused attention on the youth, he’d noticed innumerable shocking things about the youngster.

Xie Wushang even had the impression that his empyrean subordinates might not be enough to cope with the power hidden inside the young man. Of course, that was nothing but intuition. He had no definite evidence.

The last round had finally arrived.

The face-off between Jiang Chen and Su Hong was last, a clear indication of the importance of their match. Since it was widely recognized as the strongest fight, saving it for last made for a powerful climax and a fitting conclusion to today’s events.

The seven first duels were all the more disputed given Jiang Chen and Su Hong’s absence. Many would’ve given up against these two superstars. But now they could see the light of hope without the twin disruptions. As a result, they fought to the bitter end.

No one showed fear or pulled their punches against opponents of the same level. They all had the same idea in mind: to give it their all and crush the opponent. The esteemed position would be theirs for the taking!

This drive drove every participant to peak performance, making their contests so much more spectacular than the previous rounds. Of course, it also brought out new levels of ruthlessness.

Jiang Chen paid little heed to them. His only opponent was Su Hong, why should he observe non-potential opponents? Fights of this level weren’t worth his attention.

Su Hong must be outstanding in certain aspects to be such a hot candidate. But it seems he’s not as composed as he appears.

Jiang Chen smiled coldly to himself. Su Hong had secretly looked his way more than once. The man wouldn’t have made these furtive moves if his confidence wasn’t merely for show.

I hope you won’t disappoint me. Otherwise, this selection would really be too boring. The young lord hoped Su Hong could bring some spice to the fight.

Of course, very little would surprise him in a fight between great emperors, but this last fight might produce a worthy memory at least.

Duels followed each other, verdicts delivered after bitter fighting. Every winner walked down the stage riddled with wounds. The first four duels ended up as hard-fought victories, but the fifth one was a one-sided affair. Another acclaimed candidate crushed his opponent with relative ease.

The sixth one was again a bitter victory, and so was the seventh!

“Tsk tsk, the third round is as intense as I thought. But there’s still the most anticipated duel left. It’s probably going to be the most ghastly fight? I wonder who’ll win.”

“Of course it’ll be Su Hong. Do you even need to ask?”

“Su Hong’s one of the greatest geniuses of the young generation. How would he ever lose?”

“Who knows? Number six isn’t to be trifled with!”

“How so? Does he have three heads and six arms?”

“Hehe, Su Hong easily won his previous matches, but it’s the same for number six. It’s hard to tell who will be the final victor!” 

The spectators were too many to count as the selection neared its end. Almost all the city’s elites had come to join the fun. 

“This is the last round. Both of you, please come on stage!”

Sharp lines drew Su Hong’s face, framing his brilliant, starry eyes. His well-proportioned body gave off a feeling of utter perfection. Therein lay the reason for his fame in the city.

A sea of cheering greeted him as soon as he appeared. “Su Hong, we’re with you!”

“Su Hong, you’re the best! Remember, you gotta crush that kid!”

“Su Hong, we won’t forgive you if you don’t stomp him!”

The whole populace seemed behind Su Hong, but this level of support wasn’t surprising given his popularity.

Jiang Chen remained stoic, undaunted by his opponent’s supporters. This was merely the last fight of the selection. What did he care about Su Hong’s legion of fans?

Su Hong glanced indifferently his way, his graceful posture laced with icy arrogance. “Friend, your strength’s commendable, but you stand no chance against me.”

A aggressive challenge, simple and straight to the point. He was trying to forestall his opponent with a show of strength.

Jiang Chen laughed abruptly. “Chances in battle never come from the opponent. Stop waggling your tongue and show me your skills.”

Su Hong’s face clouded over. “Fine, be careful of what you wish for!” Exploding forward, he pounced at Jiang Chen like an eagle. “Thunder Claws!”

He soared into the sky, his figure transforming into an eagle amongst the clouds. A giant claw streaked down like a bolt of lightning towards Jiang Chen, crushing the sky and rumbling the very air with explosive booms that scared people witless. 

Jiang Chen smiled coldly. An image art! An eagle, is it?

He was no stranger to attacks via images. Rather than being cowed, he found Su Hong’s move strangely laughable.

Jiang Chen wavered as he rose against the wind. His frame enlarged more than ten times its size under the Golden Light of Demons and Gods. A titanic hand slapped the enormous eagle, shattering the image into clouds of light that vanished without a trace.

The latter was faintly surprise at the destruction of his image, but he sneered when he saw Jiang Chen’s image. “A golden body? Do you think I won’t be able to break that?”

He shook his arms, gathering rays of blue light on his back. In the next moment, the image of an enormous blue eagle surged from his back like an ancient totem come to life. Its presence was that of an ancient god suddenly awakened. The entire world shook under its power; heaven and earth seemed to wail in lament.

“Ancient Divine Eagle, Sovereign’s Descent, devour!”

The eagle dove with a screech, shading the sun and shrouding the entire ring in its shadow. Its wings kicked up countless gusts that darkened the sky in a swirl of sand and gravel.

Jiang Chen was a small skiff on the verge of capsizing inside the giant maelstrom.

“Su Hong is too terrifying! He’s not a top genius for nothing!”

“That kid’s done for. Too bad he drew Su Hong, or he would’ve grabbed one of the eight spots with his strength.”

“Alas, he was too unlucky and faced Su Hong!”

Jiang Chen’s situation seemed hopeless to the spectators. After all, the divine image’s power shrouded the entire stage. The kid’s figure was enveloped by the oppressive aura.

Even the officials started doubting the city lord’s words. Wasn’t Su Hong supposed to stand no chance?

Where are the kid’s shocking methods? He didn’t even dispel Su Hong’s attack.

Then again, what kind of method a great emperor could come up with against an attack of this magnitude?

Su Hong’s offensive power was almost exceeding the limits of his realm.

At that moment, a loud chant arose in the midst of the storm. 

Yes, a chant.

It was near inaudible at the beginning, but reached everyone’s ears in the next moment. It was indeed a voice lifted in chant! It brimmed with majesty, undaunted by the endless maelstrom and the colossal gusts.

And then!

A crack appeared inside the boundless tempest, followed by a sharp ray of light piercing the storm. An astounding current erupted to the clouds. 

Boom!

The current lifted a blinding pillar of light!

A dragon! A true dragon!

To be more precise, the image of a true dragon! Enormous currents revolving around its body, it ripped apart the storm created by the eagle. Showing no mercy, its fangs tore through eagle’s meticulously orchestrated attack as if the latter was paper!

A roar exploded from the dragon’s mouth.

Dragon roar!

Image against image, true dragon tearing through giant eagle!

An encounter on a narrow path leaves only the brave standing!

The divine eagle was a decent fearsome existence, but a dragon was a cut above in every aspect. The latter was one of the four ancient divine creatures, a noble among its kind!

With domineering momentum, the dragon crashed into the eagle, their figures tangling together.  Under the impact and a ferocious tear, the eagle image shattered with a loud rumble!

That seemingly peerless divine eagle had been torn to pieces, a flawless victory!

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etvolare's Thoughts

We've officially maxed out the empyrean tier today at 50 advance chapters!