Chapter 941: There is Always a Better

The audience felt inexplicably shocked when they realized that Pill King Zhen was only at seventh level sage realm. He was much too formidable when compared to other cultivators of the same level! Seventh level sage realm cultivators that hadn’t been eliminated yet were far and few in between at this stage of the ranking list battles. In fact, Pill King Zhen might possibly be the only one left.

Even though Ji Zhongtang’s sword technique was fierce and aggressive, it was evident that it wasn’t something beyond the pill king’s abilities to handle. It didn’t seem like Ji Zhongtang had any advantage over the pill king at all. Ji Zhongtang was fated to lose if this were to continue because the pill king wasn’t only adept at the sword. Ji Zhongtang didn’t seem to have considered all of this; he was completely immersed in his own rhythm. He performed the Coiling Dragon Sword Technique to such an extent that his every move swept up powerful gales that moved the clouds. It was ferocious and powerful, and it seemed as if it would consume all of heaven and earth. The arena was suddenly filled with sword aura that was running amok. It was as though countless ancient dragons were soaring through the arena.

“War of Wild Dragons!”  growled Ji Zhongtang. He grabbed his sword with his two hands and changed into another stance, emitting a monstrous aura. He had immersed himself fully into this sword stance. 

“Good move!” Jiang Chen laughed heartily when he saw Ji Zhongtang charge towards him with his sword. He recited an incantation and activated his own sword technique’s hand seals, “Qi is the origin of the gods, and gods the product of qi. The metallic might of the west originates from the lungs. Using the strength of the gods, I shall move the heavens!”

Divine Five Thunder Sword Technique, strike! Since Jiang Chen possessed the magnetic golden mountain, he didn’t lack the power of metal. He summoned the metallic might of the west, and embedded it into his current attack. A formidable sword arc shot towards Ji Zhongtang’s War of Wild Dragons. It was evident that Jiang Chen wanted to make this a battle between sword techniques, as he hadn’t even wasted a single movement. Only the brave shall be victorious in a war between two enemies! Both their swords were immovable and unwavering. Neither were willing to step aside, and neither were willing to lose its keenness. 

Clang!

The two sharp edges struck each other with extreme force. The formidable cutting power sliced numerous holes in the void, making ghastly cutting sounds in the air as gales of wind battered the arena. All of a sudden, numerous sword marks appeared on the floor and on the pillars of the arena. Even though the arena was fortified by a powerful formation, the sword energy was so intense that the arena was soon riddled with cuts and slices. 

Pfft pfft pfft! Sword aura was flying everywhere, and Jiang Chen and Ji Zhongtang’s clothes were shredded. Strands of cloth flew everywhere like butterflies in the wind. However, Jiang Chen faced the gusts of wind head on, as if he were an immovable mountain. In fact, he had taken a few steps forward instead of retreating. The Golden Body of Demons and Gods engulfed all of the sword aura flying at him.

Ji Zhongtang wasn’t a cultivator of the Golden Body of Demons and Gods. He could only sweep his sleeves around to deflect the violent sword aura. It wasn’t long before one could easily tell who had the upper hand. He looked towards Jiang Chen, only to find that his opponent was looking back at him with a faint smile on his face. It was painfully obvious that Jiang Chen was already prepared to make his next move. Unfortunately, Ji Zhongtang was still busy deflecting sword aura from the previous clash. There was no question that Ji Zhongtang had lost. He was proud, but he wasn’t reckless nor was he a sore loser. Ji Zhongtang sighed softly after regaining his composure. 

“Pill King Zheng, I never thought that you were so formidable in sword dao as well. Even though I still have a hidden trump card that would give me a small chance to defeat you. If I use it recklessly, that sword technique will be a great strain on my body as well. Even if I were to defeat you here, I would not be able to defeat my next opponent because I would be too exhausted from this fight. I would never do that, as it wouldn’t benefit me at all. Thus, after great consideration, I concede the match.” 

He was rather straightforward. There was no way he could win when Pill King Zhen was able to directly battle against him in sword dao. After all, sword dao was his one and only expertise, and his opponent had many more abilities that he hadn’t yet used. To put it more kindly, Pill King Zhen was only practicing with him. Ji Zhongtang might be young, but he knew when he should back off. He jumped down from the arena without looking back. He had no regrets of failing. Even though there was more that he could do, he had already learned a lot from this fight. What he had gained from this battle was more than just sword dao. He had learned that there would always be someone more capable and more powerful than he was. The sky was the limit.

Even though he was incredibly talented in sword dao and the clan lord had even evaluated him as the foremost expert in sword dao, Ji Zhongtang understood that there wasn’t much meaning in gaining recognition from just a single person. After all, there were many sword dao geniuses under the seven great emperors. Furthermore, there were probably another few additional sword dao geniuses within the other great clans. His battle with Pill King Zhen today had widened his horizons. Because of that, he wasn’t the least bit depressed after the loss. There was no doubt that Pill King Zhen was stronger than him.

Even though he had received some treasures and equipment from the clan lord, there was no way he would use them. His opponent was Pill King Zhen after all. Moreover, he would not stand to gain much after using such treasures anyways, as it would also cause a great strain to his own energy. There was no way he could make it to the top two hundred even if he’d won. It was only logical to admit loss. Pill King Zhen was obviously a strong contender for a place in the top thirty. There was still a possibility that he could gain a second chance.

The clan lord was no longer feeling as conflicted after Ji Zhongtang’s loss too. This matchup had caused a great amount of turmoil within him. On one hand, he hoped that his clan’s disciple would gain the chance to showcase his incredible talent on the arena. Yet at the same time, he was worried that if Ji Zhongtang had won, Pill King Zhen would refuse to give the Pinecrane Pill to the clan lord. However, there was no way the clan lord could ask Ji Zhongtang to deliberately lose. Thus, he was most glad that the battle had ended this way.

At least Ji Zhongtang had been able to perfectly unleash his sword techniques. The fact that he couldn’t win against Pill King Zhen was only because the pill king was simply too strong. He needn’t feel much regret for losing to such a formidable opponent. He would never have admitted his loss otherwise. Ji Zhongtang might’ve lost, but there was still a chance that he could come back.

As long as they grasped this opportunity, there was still a possibility for all three successors of Coiling Dragon Clan to gain a spot in the final top two hundred. The clan lord breathed a sigh of relief upon that realization. Entering the top two hundred meant that they would qualify for the Ranking of the Young Lords battles. Earning a spot in these rankings would be an extremely difficult task. However, he too was a person with great ambition. He would need to have one disciple enter the rankings if he wanted to become the eighth great emperor faction in Veluriyam Capital. However, the decisive factor was still himself. If he could advance to the next level and successfully transcend from half-step great emperor realm into great emperor realm, his clan would becoming the eighth great emperor faction. In the end, Pill King Zhen was his only hope of achieving this.

With the fifth elimination round coming to a close, Ji San, who had been relaxed the entire time, began to feel some pressure as well. The pressure he felt didn’t come from his opponent, but rather, from the last round of sorting. The last thing anyone would want was to have two powerful foes battle each other too early on in the contest. A top genius would have to be disqualified if that happened. Even if there was a possibility for a comeback at the end, nobody would want to humiliate themselves in such a way. After all, entering the top two hundred via a second chance wouldn’t wipe away the humiliation from a loss. A loss was a loss. Even if one were to come back and successfully enter the genius rankings, there would be a crack in one’s own dao heart. The best thing that could happen was still to win every round consecutively. 

Wei Jie had been quite fortunate for the previous five rounds, as he hadn’t encountered any particularly strong foes. One could even say that he’d had incredible luck during the sortition. He now only needed one more victory to enter the top two hundred. Even though it didn’t guarantee him a spot in the Genius Rankings, it still acted as a safety net of some sort. After all, there weren’t all that many strong opponents that were waiting for a comeback. Even if there were a few, they might not actually choose to challenge Wei Jie. What were the chances that Wei Jie was the weakest one amongst the top two hundred?

The atmosphere had gotten a little heavier because this was the last round. The averagely-skilled cultivators were now feeling a mountain of pressure. Lose, and they would possibly have to return home, all their efforts effectively going down the drain. Win, and it might not guarantee them a spot in the rankings, but at least there was still a seventy to eighty percent chance of them obtaining a spot. Those who weren’t too confident in their own abilities were calculating and theorizing whether it would be better to admit defeat or try and win the round. They couldn’t admit defeat either if they were paired against someone that was only slightly stronger than them. An opponent that was only slightly stronger than them was unlikely to place in the top thirty. Therefore, they would still have to give their all unless they were paired against an opponent that was incredibly strong. If the latter really did happen, giving up wouldn’t actually be a bad decision.

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etvolare's Thoughts

This chapter is in honor of all my Sovereigns and patrons in general. I can't thank you guys enough for your support and all the lovely comments from the readers as well. <3 Recently got some epic length comments on ROS as well and it's just made me very thankful how nice everyone is. Here's to all of you!

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