Chapter 1774: Better By a Marked Margin

“Amazing. Simply amazing!” Yan Qingsang punched the chair beside him in excitement.

It was cathartic to see Xiahou Zong taken down a notch. No one had ever fathomed something like this could happen, but deep in his heart, Yan Qingsang had always been hopeful.

Jiang Chen had indeed created a miracle!

Though Xiahou Zong wasn’t yet defeated, he’d been proven to be not as invincible as the stories made him out to be. Maybe he’ll end up like his Infernal Sunflower!

The first prime’s eyes shone brightly. Even someone as experienced as she couldn’t fully contain her excitement.

Anyone with eyes could see the Eternal Sacred Land had been treated unfairly in the competition. She had remained silent for the greater good, but wasn’t about to just let this blow over.

It was a wondrous surprise that Shao Yuan could go head to head with Xiahou Zong to this extent. It renewed her hopes and spirit. She saw a future that was more than a tie between the two youths. There was a possibility that Shao Yuan could achieve something no one had thought possible until now.

Is Shao Yuan a divine gift to us? Anticipation bloomed. She’d been worried that Xiahou Zong would dominate and easily defeat Shao Yuan. Shao Yuan might be even crippled or killed.

She’d considered all possibilities, but never had she expected that Shao Yuan would exceed her expectations to this extent.

Maybe the question isn’t how long he can stand against Xiahou Zong, but if he can put an end to the unbeatable genius’ undying legend!

Contrary to the first prime, Duke Xiaoyao and Xiahou Zhen couldn’t fully mask their anxiety, despite the calm front they put up. Xiahou Ying was stamping her foot in agitation, cursing under her breath.

Meanwhile, the emperor of the nation wore a severely stern look on his face. What was happening greatly shocked and dampened his mood. His paranoid nature kicked in.

Shao Yuan has held back more than anyone expected. Was this all part of the sacred land’s plan?

Geniuses from the other major factions stared at the stage with their mouths agape. If they’d been in Shao Yuan’s place, they’d have broken under Xiahou Zong’s eye art alone. They wouldn’t last long enough for the spirit herb to be deployed.

Even with the endless methods Xiahou Zong had brought out, he’d completely failed to harm Shao Yuan. Moreover, his Sunflower had been obliterated. No youth in the nation had ever struck such a serious blow to Xiahou Zong’s ego before!

Even in the entirety of Myriad Abyss Island, very few in the younger generation could achieve such a feat. Xiahou Zong was the unequivocal top genius in the local hegemony! Was his crown finally going to go to someone else?

Hit with a turbulence of emotions, Xiahou Zong put up layers after layers of Scorching Sun Shields to keep the Bewitching Lotus of Ice and Fire at bay. He tried to push aside his shock and calm himself.

“How dare you destroy my spirit plant! Its poison is potent. You can’t possibly take it!” His tone furiously irritated, Xiahou Zong’s face contorted into a scowl.

He was powerful, and his talent and techniques unparalleled. However, he had one weakness: he’d never known the taste of failure. Those like him had never encountered a major challenge. Naturally, they reacted more strongly to frustration than regular folk.

Xiahou Zong struggled to control his emotions as this was his first ever setback. Despite his ability to, he had a hard time adjusting himself.

Jiang Chen smiled lazily. “You think the world of the poison from your Sunflower, but it’s not at all a threat in my eyes!”

Being immune to all poisons, the plant wouldn’t be able to hurt him even if the powder had hit. Besides, he’d long since used the Lotus to create projections of himself and pulled away from the battlezone to set up a Heavenly Chalice Sword Formation. He was out of the poison’s area of effect.

“What did you say?” demanded Xiahou Zong in a harsh tone. “Talk all you want, kid. You can’t possibly be immune to it.”

Jiang Chen shrugged. “Are you out of tricks already?” He gestured with his hand to prepare the formation for activation and announced coldly, “If you have nothing else up your sleeve, Xiahou Zong, then it’s time that I take your life!”

The Heavenly Chalice Sword Formation ranked on the heavenly level. Even in the ancient times, it’d been lauded for the damage it was capable of inflicting.

Xiahou Zong might be a great genius, but only in this current time period. If he’d been from the ancient times, he’d still be considered a genius, but definitely not among the top. Moreover, any one of Jiang Chen’s numerous past disciples could rival Xiahou Zong in talent.

Golden currents rippled through the stage as Jiang Chen readied himself for an attack.

Xiahou Zong huffed coldly. “You have some unusual tricks, kid, but do you think I’ve depleted all my techniques? That’d be far too naive!”

His eyes blazed as he placed his hands together before his chest and moved them outward. He spread his right hand out, upright, and poked at the air above it with his left. Illusive pictographs rose from his palm like smoke.

“Divine demons, answer my call. Wind and thunder bend at my will...” As he incanted, a strong ray of light shot from his eyes. The shapes flickered and slowly turned concrete.

“A demon god summons?” Jiang Chen sucked in a breath. That was a remarkable technique by all standards. Xiahou Zong couldn’t have known the method if he wasn’t a god incarnate.

Normally, the entities one summoned wouldn’t surpass one in cultivation. They were merely projections formed by demon gods’ consciousness.

But once a projection gained physical form, its power grew formidable, and its cultivation would approach the summoner’s, if not reaching the same level. A couple projections wasn’t much of a threat, yet a group of them? That was difficult to deal with.

The top genius has a lot of unusual tricks alright. Most geniuses would be nothing but sitting ducks given the demons he summoned.

Jiang Chen kept his surprise to himself. From Xiahou Zong’s bloodshot eyes and murderous expression, he speculated that this was his opponent’s ultimate move.

Xiahou Zong knew more techniques than the ones he’d utilized, but since the fight started, he’d been using his most powerful techniques—namely the Scorching Sun Eye, Infernal Sunflower, and demon summoning—and forgone his more regular skills. And now, he’d summoned four demon gods at once!

It was clear that the summons had depleted most of his consciousness. He was weakened, but his grimace deepened even further.

“The demons will send you on your way, Shao Yuan,” Xiahou Zong spat resentfully. “I have to admit you’re the most difficult foe I’ve ever faced. That’s why I’ll give you a painful death!”

Jiang Chen sniffed, maintaining the formation but refraining from activating it. He backed away swiftly, a faint smile tugging his lips.

“You do know a lot of tricks, Xiahou Zong,” he sneered. “However, you’ve yet to master the summoning. Do you think a few demon gods will be able to defeat me?”

“There’s no use in running your mouth off, kid,” Xiahou Zong responded with great confidence. “Do you think four great demons won’t be able to crush you? What do you think you are? A god?”

“Wind gather!” one of the demons intoned. A strong gust of wind swept through the arena, churning dust and rocks into the air.

“Clouds roil!” An ominous layer of dark clouds descended and settled heavily above the stage.

“Lightning strike!” Another demon smashed the stage floor with the hammer of the thunder god, sending sparks flying. Countless threads of lightning snaked through the air.

“Now die!” The last demon brandished his terrifyingly enormous sickle, ready to reap Jiang Chen’s life.

Jiang Chen snorted as he threw the magnetic mountain into the air, covering the entire ring with a series of magnetic storms, filling the space with turbulent air.

Without hesitation, he summoned the diagrams for the Nine Labyrinth Formation and expanded it with a flick of his wrists, fully opening his treasure box of techniques.

At the same time, he snapped his fingers and deployed one… two… three… four Confounding Puppets to face the demons. He had seven in total, but for now, it was too difficult for him to manipulate them all at once. Four he could manage with ease.

What? Once more, shock rippled through the audience. It had already been ludicrous when Xiahou Zong summoned demons to the stage. And yet Shao Yuan was able to retaliate in kind!

Had he been sent by heaven itself to defeat Xiahou Zong?

Shao Yuan always seemed to counter Xiahou Zong with a similar method and in fact, come out on top!

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etvolare's Thoughts

These demons aren't the big bad villain we know down in the human domain, but general demon gods aka unholy/evil gods. Remember, the demon race is just a fairytale, if even that, in MAI.