There would always be opportunistic people and those who wished to become famous overnight amongst cultivators. As the arena lord of the first arena, Jiang Chen was of course the best shortcut for these people to become instantly famous. Therefore, he didn’t lack challengers after the short fatty was forcefully swept off the arena. However, everyone quickly realized that their opportunistic thoughts were a massive joke. Two challengers in a row had gone up to the arena after the fatty, but none of them managed to hold out for more than ten bouts.
This truth finally wiped the challengers’ eyes clean—Pill King Zhen didn’t just possess outstanding pill dao. His martial dao was just as monstrous. He hadn’t held out for six hours inside the formation because Emperor Peafowl was helping him cheat. He truly was that capable.
After accepting three challenges in a row, Jiang Chen didn’t grow impatient and try to rush things. Instead, he chose to rest for a moment. According to the rules, it was completely within his power to accept more challenges and even finish ten consecutive victories in a row, allowing him to ascend to the next round. But considering that the Martial Pagoda battles had just begun and that this was just a stage in the New Star Rankings, he found no reason to fight that hard at all. Therefore, he decided to follow his own pace. Jiang Chen’s steadiness won Emperor Peafowl’s praise.
“He has the strength, but he doesn’t try to rush things due to impatience or arrogance. I am growing more and more optimistic about this boy,” Emperor Peafowl smiled leisurely.
Cloudsoar Monarch very much agreed with Emperor Peafowl’s opinion. “There is absolutely no problem for this boy to enter the Genius Rankings. Perhaps he may even qualify to fight for the final Ranking of Young Lords. Unfortunately, his realm is ultimately a fatal flaw. If he encounters a genuine first-rate opponent later, with just the power of seventh level sage realm I fear that…” Right now, this was Cloudsoar Monarch’s only worry.
Emperor Peafowl smiled, “He is the kind of genius who becomes stronger if his opponent is strong. You don’t need to worry about this, Cloudsoar. All we need to do for a genius that appears only once in a millennium like him is to relax and enjoy the show.”
The next day, Jiang Chen continued to accept more challenges. Since he was the arena lord, he was the target of all cultivators. Everyone in the world of martial dao wanted to fight against the strongest opponent. So even though Jiang Chen was very strong, it didn’t stop his opponent from challenging him. Still, his performance on the second day was as steady as ever.
In fact, one might even say that his performance was so boring that one could fall asleep during the battle. It wasn’t that he wasn’t weak, but because he was so steady, it seemed like he would never put on a brilliant, gorgeous display. His performance disappointed all onlookers who were hoping for a fantastic show. They all knew that Pill King Zhen was extraordinarily talented in pill dao, but they also wanted to see him perform brilliantly in martial dao. However, the pill king was always able to take out his opponent without having to execute any unbelievable techniques. A lot of people couldn’t even tell how his opponents lost.
“Simple, practical, and completely unobtrusive movements. This Pill King Zhen is such a difficult man to see through.”
“This is just a stage in the New Star Rankings, so of course Pill King Zhen hasn’t employed his full strength. If he displays his trump cards now, won’t that mean that he’ll be fully exposed?”
“That’s true. A fight at this level is probably just a warm-up to him.”
“Hehe, he’s already accumulated six consecutive wins. There should be no problems for Pill King Zhen to take ten consecutive victories and move on to the next round, right?” No one particularly begrudged Pill King Zhen for moving on to the next round because he possessed true strength. This contest would be a joke if someone with genuine strength like him couldn’t ascend to the next round.
Back at the Coiling Dragon Clan, Ji San had returned to an audience with the clan lord. Three young men were currently standing before the clan lord. Ji San aside, Jiang Chen had seen the other two men before. They were Liuxiang and Ji Zhongtang. These two young men and Ji San were said to be the most hopeful young geniuses to succeed the Coiling Dragon clan lord.
“Ole Third, your friend Pill King Zhen is truly an eye-opener. His pill dao talent is already unparalleled, but is his martial dao talent so monstrous too?” The clan lord had obviously been drawn to Jiang Chen’s performance.
Ji San answered smilingly, “He has hidden his strength well and even I was fooled by this fellow, Clan Lord. If I’m not mistaken, he seems to have set his sights pretty high this time around.”
The Coiling Dragon clan lord let out a soft sigh, “What an enviable genius he is.”
He wasn’t trying to be courteous. Right now the clan lord couldn’t even begin to describe how impressed he was at Jiang Chen’s astounding talents. He was one of those who knew about Jiang Chen’s true identity, and the fact that Jiang Chen had been born in a tiny place like the Myriad Domain only served to impress him even further.
However, Liuxiang was frowning slightly, “Clan Lord, this Pill King Zhen is a little too extraordinary, don’t you think? Maybe I’m overthinking this, but I can’t help but think that he’s a spy planted in our midst by an enemy power.”
Ji San was unhappy with this comment, “Don’t tell me you’re getting jealous, Liuxiang?”
Liuxiang said calmly, “You are overthinking this.”
“You’re the one who’s overthinking this. Or do you think that your insight is better than Emperor Peafowl’s?” Ji San snorted coldly. Jiang Chen was his brother, and he knew of Jiang Chen’s background. Naturally, he wouldn’t allow anyone to slander his brother. Not even another one of his fellow clansmen.
Liuxiang smiled calmly and turned the question to Ji Zhongtang, “What do you think, Brother Zhongtang?”
Ji Zhongtang’s voice was indifferent, “We cannot determine a definite answer for this, nor do we need to. Our emperor will be the one to decide if this Pill King Zhen is genuine or not.”
Ji San praised him, “You are truly open-minded, Zhongtang.”
The clan lord smiled leisurely, “There is no need for argument. As Zhongtang said, our emperor must have his own plans in mind, not to mention that we are talking about his martial dao talent and not his background. What do you guys think about his performance? You first, Zhongtang.”
Ji Zhongtang pondered for a moment before replying, “Pill King Zhen’s martial dao talent is beyond first rate. In my opinion, he has the qualifications to compete for the Ranking of Young Lords. However, he hasn’t showed any unusual performance in terms of martial dao foundation yet, so there is still much to be seen.”
The clan lord smiled and looked at Liuxiang. Liuxiang was holding a bit of a grudge right now, and he didn’t particularly like Pill King Zhen either. It was because he knew that Pill King Zhen was Ji San’s brother. If Pill King Zhen’s status were to grow higher in the future, then Ji San’s status would subsequently rise as well. Therefore, this outcome was extremely disadvantageous to him. However, right now the clan lord had asked him a question personally. Naturally, Liuxiang didn’t dare shoot off a careless comment. Even if his opinion was biased, he couldn’t let it show too much.
“Liuxiang believes that Pill King Zhen’s foundation is one of the more solid ones amongst the geniuses of Veluriyam Capital. However, his realm is obviously his weakness. Right now it hasn’t posed a problem, but it’s hard to tell if he can win the difficult battles that are to come later. As for the Ranking of Young Lords, I don’t think that a seventh level sage realm cultivator has the right to challenge those young lords. Maybe he’ll be qualified several decades later, but now? Now is too soon.” Liuxiang thought that his commentary was already quite fair.
The clan lord chuckled and looked at Ji San. Naturally, there was a reason behind his decision to ask Ji San the question last.
“Clan Lord, Pill King Zhen is my brother, so it’s only natural that I support him unconditionally. Right now, he hasn’t displayed too many essences of martial dao because his opponents are too weak. Also, preparing for future battles might be a problem if he were to display too much of his real skills, so I think that his choice of tactics is correct. Most importantly, since when has this guy done something that he isn’t confident of success in? He has always been the type of guy who brings many pleasant surprises against all odds and expectations. So this time around, I think he’ll give Veluriyam Capital a pleasant surprise too.” Surprisingly, Ji San didn’t hide his favoritism at all. One did not avoid appointing the wise just because they are related, much less in a mere commentary.
The Coiling Dragon clan lord chuckled and nodded, “You all have your own opinions, and you all have good reasons to think that way. We will know if this Pill King Zhen is a dragon or a snake after this Veluriyam Pagoda gathering.”
As a trusted aide of Emperor Peafowl, naturally the Coiling Dragon clan lord knew of some of Emperor Peafowl’s intentions. He knew that Emperor Peafowl had the intentions of appointing Jiang Chen as the young lord of Sacred Peafowl Mountain. If he were to be honest with himself, the Coiling Dragon clan lord was greatly looking forward to that day.
Competition was exceedingly fierce over the course of two days of battles. Arena lords aside, the rest of the candidates were also battling each other. After all, every candidate was required to fight a total of ninety-nine battles. There were still no surprises during the third day.
Almost all the challengers who had challenged Jiang Chen were defeated in the same way. This outcome made the challengers feel very depressed. Forget defeating the arena lord, it would appear that they couldn’t even force something new from him. Up until this point, none of the nine defeated cultivators managed to hold out for more than ten bouts. No one managed to force out a real trump card from him either. The candidates of this arena quickly realized, to their dismay, that Pill King Zhen was absolutely unbeatable.
“Sigh, forget beating our arena lord, we can’t even force out a new move from him!”
“A genius is a genius. A genius like him should have moved on with special privileges instead of participating in the New Star Rankings, don’t you think?”
One must admit that Jiang Chen had won the general acknowledgement of this arena zone with his strength after a mere three days worth of consecutive battles. He had fought nine battles in three days and won all of them. Almost everyone thought that Pill King Zhen would move on to the next round with ten consecutive wins.
However, at a certain corner of the first arena zone, there was an inconspicuous cultivator observing Jiang Chen in the arena with remote eyes. It had been three days already. The only thing this cultivator did other than fighting his own battles was to observe Jiang Chen.
“Paohui, remember, this is your one and only shot.” A voice cut across the darkness like a blade to a cultivator.
Harsh killing intent fleeted across this cultivator’s eyes.
“Pill King Zhen… you better be him, or else I, Yan Hu,i will be adding another wronged soul to my score.” The cultivator shot an indifferent stare at Jiang Chen.