The curtain rose on the most anticipated battle of the Veluriyam Pagoda gathering. After a night of tutelage from Emperor Peafowl, Jiang Chen had a much better understanding of the path of demonic slaughter. It made him a lot more confident in his odds. But still, he knew how troublesome his opponent was going to be. Not that his opponent’s style was anything to write home about, but a cultivator who was at the peak of first level emperor realm naturally dominated a majority of the other geniuses. As strong as Zhuang Min was, he probably couldn’t hold half a candle to this Gao Zhan.
The difference between first level emperor realm and the peak of that level was marked. The possibility of stepping into second level emperor realm was present in the latter and absent in the former. Garbed in red, Gao Zhan was like a fiery ball of crackling flame. His wild and fierce eyes stared Jiang Chen down. The corner of his mouth was slightly upturned, its curvature a little uncanny. His entire person appeared unceremonious and unrestrained, filled with a primitive vigor.
“Are you the Pill King Zhen who’s been hopping around lately?” Gao Zhan raised an eyebrow. His voice was as grating as a sharp blade, filled with an uncomfortably spiteful edge.
Hopping around? Jiang Chen snickered internally. He cast a cool sidelong glance at Gao Zhan, his face emotionless. “Is the foremost genius in demonic slaughter as second rate as everyone else? The only things you seem to possess are empty words.”
The foremost genius of demonic slaughter. This phrase was particularly sinister. It goaded Emperor Shura’s entire faction. Gao Zhan was actually the number two genius under his emperor’s command. That notwithstanding, his martial cultivation capably rivaled that of number one in every way. He leered back at his opponent. “Genius or second rate, I only have one goal for coming here… anyone who provokes me shall die under a single stroke of my blade!”
“I’ve heard meaningless statements like those so many times that I’ve lost count.” Jiang Chen casually picked at his ears, his tone playful. “Spit out anything fresh you’ve got. If not, then let’s get to it. Time’s a-wastin’.”
“Very good, very good!” Gao Zhan grinned with fury. “I’ve seen my share of thrillseekers, but I’ve never seen someone so keen to seek out their death. I’ll make sure to satisfy that desire.”
The corner of Jiang Chen’s mouth curled up. “You talk too much.” He drew the Pentecolor Divine Swords as he spoke, his voice’s volume ascending as he did so. “Then I’ll go first!”
He wanted to launch a preemptive strike in this particular battle. “Qi is the origin of the gods, and gods the product of qi. I summon the five thunders with my five attributes. Five thunders of calamity, a divine hymn of my sword!” The forces of heaven and earth congregated at his beck and call. The sky darkened, thunder rang in the firmament, and his sword aura burst forth in the likeliness of a geyser.
It was one of the Divine Five Thunderclap Sword Technique’s most powerful moves, Torrent of Ten Thousand Swords. Whenever it was used, even heaven and earth were moved. The Torrent mixed the five thunders and sword aura into a veritable tempest of thunderous swords. As the primary target of this assault, Gao Zhan dared not underestimate the attack. His expression was serious as he activated a defense glyph. It shimmered into place around him. Evidently, even someone as competent as him was unwilling to face such a force directly.
He clapped his hands together. Billows of red-hot air appeared around him, condensing themselves increasingly with each passing second. Like a geyser of gushing flame, they enshrouded the image of his silhouette within. All of the momentum generated by Jiang Chen’s sword was eaten up at once, consumed by the fiery domain.
“A domain of fire?” Jiang Chen frowned. He hadn’t studied Torrent of Ten Thousand Swords for long. Thus, his level of understanding for it remained at the stage of ‘strong, but unrefined’. He could produce the intended effect the technique was supposed to, but couldn’t yet manage to condense it into a line or a point. It was effective against large groups, but less so against single individuals. In particular, some of its flaws emerged when dealing with stronger opponents. His understanding was rudimentary, after all. In a perfected state, any arbitrary attack from the Thunderclap Sword Technique was lethal.
“Hmph. An attack like this is only good against cultivators who are at half-step emperor realm. It’s completely useless against the ones who possess domain power like us!” A sneer played at the corner of Gao Zhan’s mouth. He rushed forward with remarkable haste, the enormous aura of flame still surrounding him. A malevolent saber materialized in his right hand, the entire length of steel shimmering with a bloody light. As soon as it was drawn, a potent aura of bloodthirst cascaded forth in every direction. It was as if an opening had appeared to the lowest depths of hell, and an atmosphere of demonic slaughter permeated the air.
“What an evil weapon!” The aura of slaughter rammed into him, possessing enough piercing force to penetrate one’s mind and soul. Thankfully, Jiang Chen’s Boulder’s Heart rendered him immune. Though the feeling shook his heart a little, there was minimal actual damage.
“Eat this, brat!” Gao Zhan cackled strangely, his voice as grating as metal scratching against a wall. He flourished his arm a little. The accompanying attack carried no exaggerated motion, but the simple cut made its way in front of Jiang Chen in the blink of an eye. The technique’s speed and simplicity were simply masterful.
Jiang Chen was no slowpoke either, however. He casually flipped his Pentecolor Divine Swords upward. “Reverse Heaven and Earth!” The sword light reversed the reality of the surrounding space.
Though the saber looked like it had reached Jiang Chen, it in fact had veered off to the side, missing him by two or three feet. The result of the first-traded blow was that the combatants appeared to be evenly matched.
Gao Zhan was a little surprised. Though his attack had looked simple, he had actually fused his own domain power into the stroke. During the movement, he had placed an ample amount of the space from the stage into his own domain. In this way, he was able to essentially ignore the constrictions of distance. The saber went from far to near instantly, as if it had happened in the blink of an eye. But in the end, such a seemingly simple maneuver like that had been broken by an equally seemingly simple sword strike.
Gao Zhan wasn’t someone who needed to fight over an extended period of time. He usually finished his opponents off in anywhere from one to three saber strokes. It was pitiably rare that he met an enemy who required him to dole out five or more. In other words, anyone that could remain undefeated after five of his attacks meant that he was definitely much stronger than Gao Zhan. The angry saber wielder grinned, revealing a row of humorlessly white teeth. He hadn’t gained an advantage with his first strike, but he was not discouraged. “One more!” he yelled.
A crimson edge rolled backwards off the saber’s physical edge, a jet of bloody air hot on its heels.
“Blood Drinker’s Banquet!” The power behind the attack did not lie with the saber edge itself, but rather, in the profound mystery behind it. The bloody air was thickly seasoned with a consuming power, outright stunning any cultivator with a slightly weak will.
The saber stroke blended splendidly with the air, the entire attack possessing an unbroken form. Feeling the full brunt of the flood of bloody air, Jiang Chen was not cowed in the slightest. His consciousness was more than a match for any emperor realm cultivator in the lower levels. In fact, even mid-emperor realm cultivators couldn’t necessarily beat him in that regard. Fixing his God’s Eye on the boldly oncoming attack, Jiang Chen began to move.
He didn’t avoid the wave of bloody air at all. Like a bird flying to its home, he swept into its midst with his sword. The weapon flashed with light before colliding with the biting edge. Jiang Chen halted for a brief moment, then accelerated his body once more. His left hand pointed several times into the air.
Tss, tss, tss, tss. His Supernova Point sliced towards Gao Zhan’s vitals with powerful, space-slicing force.
The counterattack caught Gao Zhan completely unawares. Normally, the bloody air from his attack would easily drive his opponents aside, even forcing them to flee. His saber edge would then proceed to chase them down to their deaths. But Jiang Chen had done quite the opposite. Rather than fleeing, he had charged towards the air instead. There was no reward without risk. His maneuver aimed to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. Fundamentally, he was willing to go through with such an action because he didn’t fear the bloody air’s corrosive influence.
Because of his misstep in judgment, Gao Zhan was forced into a defensive stance by Jiang Chen’s Supernova Point. Lacerating force after force slashed his body with unbelievable speed. Despite his ironclad defense, Gao Zhan still felt a stream of agitation in his chest thanks to the cuts.
What a pity. If Jiang Chen’s point had been just a bit stronger, he would have been able to cleave his opponent in half with just that move alone… well, as long as his opponent didn’t have any special defensive strength either.
Gao Zhan’s eyes flared with ferocity. All of his savagery was brought to the forefront. He took a few steps back to steady himself, staring daggers at Jiang Chen. He looked as if he could spit out furious balls of flame at any moment. More than anything, he wanted to burn the pill king to a crisp.
“Okay, kid. I’ll admit it. Congratulations on not dying to my attack. Congratulations on making me suffer. But I’ll let you know right now: that technique hasn’t been perfected yet. I originally decided to kill you in five strokes, but I’ve changed. My. Mind.” Gao Zhan’s tone was ominous. He raised his vicious saber high into the air, a sanguine radiance blazing into existence all about him. It was as if something living had awakened from a long slumber. “You did it; you made me angry. I’ll use my strongest blade technique to send you to your grave!”
His voice grew colder and colder, like a demon god freshly emerging out of hell. “Know your place!”
The saber, too, became inexplicably brilliant. By now, it had practically become a living spirit, filled with demonic energy and charm. The giant image of a demonic deity flickered into existence behind it.
“Demon God’s Bloodthirster—Demonic Wrath!”  The weapon struggled like a primordial beast, attempting to break free of its prison. Gao Zhan was forced to use both hands to maintain his grip. At the same time, the image of the demon god accumulated more and more power. It was no longer blurry, growing in both clarity and terrifying pressure with each passing second.
Jiang Chen stared seriously at his opponent opposite him. He knew that his Supernova Point had incited his opponent to anger, resulting in many stages of the battle being skipped. It was time for their most powerful attacks to clash head on.
Have an extra release today~