Chapter 2033: A Promise of Three Moves

Jiang Chen’s heart was as calm as water. He stood in midair, motioning for the Vermilion Bird and the others to back off slightly.

The Black Tortoise began to shrink rapidly, transforming amid the waves. Moments later, a brutish man wearing scaled armor appeared in front of them. 

This was the tortoise’s human form, tenacious and virile.

“I’m going to be fair, human. I’ll fight you at this size.” Though now humanoid in size, it had become even bolder and more intimidating.

Jiang Chen’s expression remained calm. “Alright.” He nodded. “Please go ahead.”

As soon as he said this, he activated every ability at his disposal to its maximum. He needed to throw everything he could at the Black Tortoise.

The Earth Bodhisattva Orb was an earth attribute treasure of unparalleled value. It was a must when facing off against the tortoise.

The Bewitching Lotus of Ice and Fire and his magnetic mountain would be brought to bear as well.

Finally, the golden bell was Jiang Chen’s main weapon of choice right now, both for offense and defense. It was extremely reliable.

Forefather Goldenbell had barely extracted a tenth of his old weapon’s strength. In truth, this bell was a divine instrument of ancient origins. The runes upon its surface revealed a potent ancient restriction.

Since Jiang Chen had a superior understanding of them, he wielded the bell to much greater effect than the forefather had.

“Ready?” the Black Tortoise roared, then jabbed his fist forward suddenly.

There was nothing special about the strike at first glance, but the aura around it tore through the fabric of space.

Jiang Chen felt like he was surrounded by a thousand waves. Power surged at him in every direction, threatening to crush the pocket of space that contained him.

Undeterred, he reinforced his tempered body with as much magnetic energy as he could muster. The golden bell rang out incessantly, flaring up with a golden protective barrier all around him.

Amid this aureate shield, the countless tendrils of the Bewitching Lotus wove themselves into a latticed wall. This multilayered defense was incredibly sturdy.

Boom!

The force of the Black Tortoise’s fist slammed against the golden bell’s barrier.

The instrument keened harshly in response, flickering and dimming a few times.

It had been sorely tested by the impact just now, but had survived admirably. He had passed the first blow

“Well done, young master Chen!” the Vermilion Bird cheered from afar. “As expected of a genius chosen by heaven. Even an attack from a god can’t harm you!”

Though this appeared to be simple congratulations, it was a mental tactic to interfere with the Black Tortoise’s decision-making as well. The bird had far more confidence in Jiang Chen now.

Jiang Chen felt mildly inspired. He glanced back at the golden bell, which trembled still. He didn’t have time to think much—he needed to act.

He focused his inner energies into the bell once more. The instrument needed some time to recover, but he couldn’t afford that same period of recuperation. Even if he had to overtax the bell, he needed to stand firm.

“Not bad. To be able to withstand my punch like that… you have a bit of skill, kid. But, just like you said, I have a devouring ability. That will be my next move. It won’t be as simple this time! Prepare yourself.” The Black Tortoise feigned generosity.

Jiang Chen laughed. “Come at me. I’d like to witness this ability of yours for myself.”

The tortoise’s eyes glinted with a hint of respect. It was rare for a young human to have so much courage. Compared to the human cultivators he’d met before, this youth was completely different. Unlike them, he was no coward.

Moreover, he’d eaten one of the tortoise’s straight punches. Yes, it hadn’t been with the fullness of its strength, but sixty or seventy percent was still pretty good.

Yes, almost incredible, given that a young human had blocked it!

The devouring ability he was going to use next was his most adept ability. Of course, he wasn’t going to use all of his strength this time either. 

Seventy percent was enough. The tortoise was a god! If a god had to use his full power against an empyrean youth, that would be far too ignoble.

Though dragons possessed a similar ability, theirs differed from that of the Black Tortoises’.

The tortoises’ devouring ability used incredible amounts of mass as the basis. In other words, it was a sort of gravitational phenomenon that the tortoise bloodline amplified.

Jiang Chen’s scholastic pursuits in his previous life had prepared him well. He wasn’t at all anxious.

“Fuuu…” The tortoise opened its mouth. Its humanoid body began to change, flickering between its original form and its current one.

Its mouth grew bigger and bigger all the while. Like an endless black hole, it gained in pressure until it threatened to swallow up heaven and earth. A fearsome ability, to be sure.

Jiang Chen gestured and made hand seals all the while. One, two, three…

He was drawing suspended runes in the air. He had enough faith in this skill learned from the Six Palaces to rely on it in the present conflict.

Jiang Chen was unsure whether his defenses alone could withstand the devouring ability.

If he cut space up into smaller pockets with suspended runes and laid out sheets upon sheets of fragmented dimension in front of him, he could avoid being swallowed up.

He brought the Nine Labyrinth Formation to bear as well, it being another treasure that could affect the layout of space.

The laws of space were what he precisely needed to rewrite to counter the incoming attack.

“Aouuuuuu…” The Black Tortoise’s roaring grew louder and louder, causing the very colors of existence itself to pale. The oceans frothed, the sky turned, and the stars seemed almost to be attracted to the ground.

Jiang Chen disregarded these sights. He carried on drawing as many suspended runes as possible, slicing space into ever smaller bits and pieces. This was the perfect disruption against the tortoise’s devouring ability.

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