Chapter 968: The Darkest Amongst All Dark Horses

“A match of speed, eh?” Jiang Chen activated his Golden Cicada Wings and shot into the air. He hid the Featherflight Mirror within his sleeves and aimed it at the disturbances within the void. The Mirror was truly formidable. Zhuang Min’s speed was greatly reduced even though he possessed the Windrider Wings.

“How can this be?” His body suddenly sank due to the great reduction in speed. It was as though a great invisible force was pulling at him. He looked towards Jiang Chen with a solemn expression. He wanted to see how his opponent had managed such a feat. The Windrider Wings’ biggest advantage was their overwhelming speed. With them, he could tear apart the void and summon voidstorms. This was his ultimate move and also his greatest trump card.  Unfortunately, due to the suppression of his speed, he was unable to fully bring out the Windrider Wings’ true might.

Absolute speed was required to tear open the void. Without enough speed, he couldn’t even manage to fulfill this basic requirement, let alone summon any voidstorms. It was evident that Jiang Chen was well aware of Zhuang Min’s thoughts, and that he also clearly knew why the Windrider Wings were so formidable. There was no saying who would end up being the victor if his opponent had managed to slice open the void to produce chaotic windstorms.

I must suppress his speed. I cannot afford to let him summon voidstorms. Jiang Chen remained resolute as he fully acknowledged the levity of his current situation. The formation was activated again, separating the eight statues. He then brought the Golden Cicada Wings to their maximum capacity and barely managed to catch up to the Windrider Wings. This was all done while he continued to shine the Featherlight Mirror on Zhuang Min.

This extremely depressed Zhuang Min and made him incredibly anxious and mortified.

“You bastard! What have you done? How are you managing to prevent me from going my top speed?!” Zhuang Min was now at the verge of vomiting blood. 

This amount of frustration was exactly what Jiang Chen wanted to see. The eight statues would immediately surround Zhuang Min if he slowed down ever so slightly. After a few more attempts at increasing his speed, the great emperor disciple began consuming his inner energy, but he still wasn’t able to reach his apex speed. Maintaining this battle state was a great burden on his body. He was well aware that this could not go on, but he simply couldn’t break free from his opponent’s bindings.

The Featherlight Mirror was Emperor Featherlight’s heirloom, after all. If Jiang Chen could manage to fully utilize its full potential, it could even suppress peak level emperor realm cultivators, let alone Zhuang Min. Because of the Mirror’s effects, Zhuang Min had gone from the aggressor of the battle to maintaining a passive stance. The effects of his overconsumption of inner energy was also evident. After about an hour of battle, his strength was no longer what it had been initially.

Jiang Chen had suffered greatly during the entire clash as well. He had consumed all of the energy within his body just to keep up with Zhuang Min’s speed and to increase the efficacy of the Featherlight Mirror. Fortunately, Jiang Chen had an abundance of inner energy. Moreover, Long Xiaoxuan had been secretly offering his assistance as well.

Even though Zhuang Min had already exhausted his inner energy, Jiang Chen remained spirited and energized; he didn’t seem the least bit drained. The eight statues were becoming more and more coordinated as well. The Eight Trigram Assimilation Formation’s power was fully on display. Zhuang Min was out of options. He no longer had a winning chance unless he was willing to consume his life force to continue the battle.

“Zhuang Min has lost.” Ye Piaoling sighed while shaking his head. “Pill King Zhen is truly a monster. Does Sacred Peafowl Mountain specialize in producing monsters like him? They had young lord Fan back then, and now they have Pill King Zhen. Are they truly the luckiest amongst the seven great emperor factions?”

Ye Piaoling’s comment left a bitter taste in Emperor Vastsea’s mouth. He wasn’t happy that Sacred Peafowl Mountain had come across such great strokes of luck. Emperor Vastsea was allied with Emperor Shura, after all. It would be more preferable if Emperor Shura were to govern Veluriyam Capital instead of letting Sacred Peafowl Mountain continue their reign. If Pill King Zhen were to become heir, he would take over the throne after Emperor Peafowl’s retirement. Wouldn’t that mean that Emperor Shura’s previous work had been all for nothing?

Zhuang Jie’s face was as white as sheet. He kept muttering profanities, as he couldn’t get over his resentment towards Jiang Chen. “This bastard! Damn… even the Windrider Wings are no match for him? No. Brother wasn’t even able to bring out their full potential. Oh how I wish that this is all just a bad dream. Maybe I will still be ranked 20th, and my brother 11th, when I wake up…”

The arena fell silent when Zhuang Min was thrown off the arena by the statues. Clearly, everyone was shocked by the result of the match. Pill King Zhen had put on yet another great show as a dark horse. The pill king was now ranked 11th, while Zhuang Min was ruthlessly sent all the way back to 17th place! He no longer had the chance to fight his way back up the ranks since he was defeated by someone of a lower rank. His ranking was set in stone.

The results of this battle caused a great commotion. The news of Jiang Chen’s victory instantly spread throughout Veluriyam Capital. A miracle rarely seen throughout the history of Veluriyam Capital of a sky sage realm cultivator defeating an emperor realm cultivator had just occurred! Winning or losing in itself didn’t really matter, seeing as how it was just a difference of ranking in the end. However, watching a sky sage realm cultivator defeat an emperor realm cultivator in spite of the odds was no doubt the most sensational thing ever.

Pill King Zhen had created a legend for himself within Veluriyam Capital yet again. He always seemed to be accompanied by some sort of miracle. While still anonymous, he’d foiled the Majestic Clan’s plot, which in turn ended in their expulsion from Veluriyam Capital. With that, he was able to end the argument regarding which clan was the foremost in Veluriyam Capital.  After that, he took on the identity of the owner of Taiyuan Tower and defeated Pill King Ji Lang on behalf of Sacred Peafowl Mountain. Having done this, he was able to put an end to Pillfire City’s undefeated legend.  And now, he’d made triumphant progress in the Martial Pagoda battles as well. He was able to fight all the way to 11th place on the Ranking of Young Lords. Even the word ‘miracle’ was no longer adequate enough to describe the vast amount of heaven-defying feats that he had managed to achieve.

“Liuxiang, you felt somewhat resentful over losing to Pill King Zhen right? What about now?” Ji San asked sarcastically. 

Liuxiang snorted. “It’s not like you’re the winner. Besides, what right do you have to lecture me when you don’t even have the courage and bravery to continue fighting after making it into the rankings?” 

He was very frustrated due to his poor performance in the Martial Pagoda battles. Because of this, the words that he had bottled up inside suddenly came bursting out. He no longer maintained his usual courteous front.

Ji San would’ve called Liuxiang out for getting angry, but this time around, all he did was continue laughing. “How can a sparrow know of the greatness of a swan?” 

Liuxiang snorted and laughed coldly. It was obvious that he was irked by how Ji San was tooting his own horn. The Coiling Dragon clan lord’s eyes were glued to the arena. He seemed to be deep in thought. Jiang Chen had surprised him time and time again. He was now convinced that the pill king was fully capable of concocting the Pinecrane Pill. After all, Jiang Chen was the very personification of the term ‘miracle’ itself. The Pinecrane Pill no longer seemed too far a reach anymore.

Emperor Peafowl’s faction were also very astonished by Jiang Chen’s performance.

“Your Majesty is truly far-seeing. Your subordinate is now thoroughly convinced.” Cloudsoar Monarch was also flabbergasted by Jiang Chen.

Emperor Peafowl burst into laughter. “Cloudsoar, you’ve been wondering if Pill King Zhen is truly up to the task of becoming the heir of Sacred Peafowl Mountain. I’m sure that you no longer possess such doubts?”

Cloudsoar Monarch was remorseful. “Truly. I am sure my other three fellow daoists have the same opinion as well?”

He was referring to the other three great emperor realm experts of Sacred Peafowl Mountain. They were Chronobalance Monarch, Plumscore Monarch, and Wildfox Monarch. These four were the four great protectors of Sacred Peafowl Mountain and also Emperor Peafowl’s most trusted advisors. Emperor Peafowl naturally hoped to gain their approval in the matters of his heir. It wasn’t because he had no authority, but because he didn’t wish that the four monarchs would disapprove of his heir. 

Wildfox Monarch flashed a witty smile. “The child seems to possess bottomless talent. There’s no end to the surprises that he brings. It’d be our loss if we don’t make him the next heir.” 

Chronobalance Monarch nodded in agreement. “That is true. Nobody can ask for a better successor than him. If we miss this opportunity, others might snatch him away from us.”

This was no exaggeration. The amount of skill and potential that the pill king had revealed was more than enough to influence the structure of Veluriyam Capital’s future. Every faction would be more than willing to accept such a talent under their banner.

However, Plumscore Monarch, the only woman amongst the four monarchs, had her doubts. “Pill King Zhen truly has limitless potential. However, this also makes him incredibly suspicious. Your subordinate can’t help but have some doubts. Since his background is still a mystery, I wonder if this child is truly reliable?”

She was a towering figure amongst women. She had always been a cold and incisive person, someone who always spoke her mind. She didn’t hesitate to voice her concerns.

Emperor Peafowl smiled gently. “Everyone need not worry about this child’s background. In my opinion, you can only encounter such talent once in every three thousand years.”

Emperor Peafowl was referring to young lord Fan. In truth, the loss of young lord Fan wasn’t really a pity at all. Emperor Peafowl had recognized the young lord’s demon bloodline, but he wanted to use the opportunity to test the four monarchs. Unfortunately, not a single one of them managed to realize the truth. This had made Emperor Peafowl give up the notion of handing any of them his governing power.

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