Jiang Chen laid prostrated on the back of one of the Goldwing Swordbirds, and had refrained from using his true qi up until now. He was currently absorbing the medicinal effects of the Heavenly Karma Pill and Vast Ocean Pill in order to recover from his injuries and to recover the true qi within his body.
That situationally-reversing blow just now, had expended too much of his true qi, and had overloaded his meridians and body beyond their capacity.
Through the aid of these two pills, Jiang Chen’s injuries were finally mostly healed.
He knew that Yu Jie had continuously refrained from making a move, not because he didn’t want to, but because he was injured. The injuries within his body made him cautious in taking action, and made him hold back from using his full strength.
If it wasn’t for Xu Zhen crying out for help, Yu Jie would have likely continued stalling for time.
However, Jiang Chen wouldn’t let Yu Jie stall any longer.
He crouched on the back of the Goldwing Swordbird, both to absorb the effects of the pills, and to construct a strategy. He knew that even with the Eight Trigrams Assimilation Formation, the Swordbirds were deploying it as they learned it — and could only bring into play the merest bits of the formation.
If it wasn’t for the Goldwing Swordbird’s overwhelming strength in numbers, Jiang Chen would have absolutely no advantage in confronting two spirit dao practitioners.
Therefore, Jiang Chen didn’t wish to delay and cause undue troubles.
He had to first eliminate one of the two spirit dao practitioners, and prevent them from working in collusion.
If he had eight or ten days to practice the “Eight Trigrams Assimilation Formation”, that would be more than enough to take on Yu Jie and Xu Zhen with his numbers in Goldwing Swordbirds.
But deploying a formation that they had just learned… it would be difficult to avoid having flaws appear if their opponent rushed against it.
Killing a spirit dao practitioner sounded quite incredible. If any other practitioner within the Eastern Kingdom had this thought, then it would’ve been because they’d gone completely mad.
But, Jiang Chen wasn’t the same as other people.
He had the ability to, and his trump card.
The first target he wanted to kill wasn’t Yu Jie, but Xu Zhen.
He could tell that Xu Zhen’s level of training was lower than Yu Jie’s, and at this moment, he was already embroiled in the center of the formation. Xu Zhen was flailing about wildly trying to handle the waves of attacks.
Jiang Chen knew that he was still a bit far off from killing Xu Zhen through his own attacks alone. But he had more than sufficient ability to distract Xu Zhen.
When Yu Jie’s Autumn Water Sword was readied to strike at him, Jiang Chen suddenly stood up and released his already prepared bow.
The arrow was like a shooting star as it flew towards Xu Zhen in the middle of the formation.
At this moment, Xu Zhen was already complaining incessantly to the high heavens. He hadn’t ever thought that he would run into danger in a common kingdom, and fatal danger at that.
Before he’d left the sect, Xu Zhen had set off with a mindset of throwing his weight around in a common kingdom, and stepping on others. He felt that when a sect disciple arrived in a common kingdom, everything should be easily crushed as easily as breaking away dead branches.
Except, the scene in front of his eyes filled him with remorse beyond words. He really did regret getting involved in this mess. Why had he come with Yu Jie to this forsaken place?
Just to curry favor with a future genius?
“Senior brother Yu, I’m going to go down if you don’t make a move!” Xu Zhen ignored the pride and dignity of a sect disciple, and called out loudly for help.
It was at that moment that a frightening sound broke through the air, and sounded by his ear.
“Ambush?” Xu Zhen was already unable to cope with the situation, and was in a quandary. The waves and waves of attacks had left him greatly weary.
Although he heard the sound breaking through air, he also knew clearly that if the rhythm of his movement changed, even slightly, he would be ground to death by the waves of attacks.
There was nothing for him to do but to grit his teeth, bend slightly to the side and take the blow from the arrow.
Xu Zhen knew that this sound was absolutely a result from Jiang Chen attacking with a bow and arrow. He had once destroyed one of Jiang Chen’s arrows when they’d fought one on one before.
Except, the current Xu Zhen tragically didn’t even have the opportunity to dodge.
The arrow penetrated Xu Zhen’s back with strong momentum.
Much of the powerful true qi was dissipated by the spirit armor, but a small amount still poured into his body, making Xu Zhen’s internal organs tremble and vibrate.
“What? There’s more?” Just as Xu Zhen was heaving an easy sigh of relief, he suddenly discovered that the sounds of breaking air hadn’t stopped.
Another arrow, with the same tempo, the same curve, and the same path.
“This is bad!” Xu Zhen abruptly realized that Jiang Chen actually had ingenious control over his rapid fire arrows. The second arrow had been concealed behind the first arrow visually, auditorily, and even by feeling, making even an expert like Xu Zhen overlook it.
The second arrow arrived just when Xu Zhen felt things had taken a not too encouraging turn.
Another arrow landed squarely, in the same position.
Although the spirit armor afforded great protection, the destructive power of a blow landing in the same place twice was drastically different.
Hiss. Xu Zhen hastily sucked in a breath. When the true qi invaded and attacked his body, he almost wanted to vomit immediately.
Although the attack wasn’t fatal, it made his body suddenly withstand an exceedingly great amount of pain in an instant.
It was this momentary pause that allowed a streak of golden colored light to descend upon, and blast into Xu Zhen’s chest.
He was finally unable to evade the more terrifying blow.
Xu Zhen spewed out fresh blood as his eyes went bloodshot, the chain knife in his hand flying furiously as he roared out madly, “You want to kill me? You feathered animals and creatures like ants dare to kill me, a spirit dao practitioner?”
“Die! Yin Yang Lotus, cleave through all in the air!”
Xu Zhen’s chain knife whirled furiously like a mad demon, the intention to fight to the death having been goaded out of him. Although he’d taken a blow to the chest, it had stimulated his bloodthirsty fighting tendencies as well.
When Jiang Chen saw this, he wasn’t surprised, but was rather happy.
If it was a fight between single opponents, Xu Zhen’s brutal counter attack could shock his opponent’s heart, and have a slight deterring effect.
But within this attack formation, Xu Zhen wasn’t facing a single entity, but hundreds of Goldwing Swordbirds that didn’t even have human emotions.
The violent natures of these Goldwing Swordbirds were thoroughly stimulated when they saw their own kind being slaughtered ceaselessly.
So when they saw Xu Zhen’s counter attack, these Goldwing Swordbirds didn’t retreat. Their violent natures were in fact heightened, as wave after wave of concerted attacks rained down endlessly.
Xu Zhen’s counter attack in his death throes didn’t even have the chance to fully gain steam, before he was drowned in a sea of formation attacks.
Another wave of attacks landed on Xu Zhen.
The boundless attacks tossed Xu Zhen back and forth like a ball.
“Ah…” Xu Zhen’s ghastly screams sounded out continuously, nursing resentment and hatred. He had nowhere to expend his strength in the face of this formation. His dire cries grew lower and lower beneath the waves of attacks.
At this moment, Yu Jie’s attacks still hadn’t penetrated the formation from the outside.
The “Eight Trigrams Assimilation Matrix” could both attack and defend. When Yu Jie was mobilizing his attacks from the outside, Jiang Chen had already adjusted the formation structure. Four sectors would attack and four sectors would defend.
Within the main inner attacking sectors, they would increase the frequency of attacks with the goal of coming to a quick resolution and getting rid of Xu Zhen.
For the main outward defending sectors, they were to prevent Yu Jie from fighting into the interior at all costs.
All of this had been within Jiang Chen’s calculations, and his successive arrows had been adding fuel to the flame, hastening the speed of Xu Zhen’s demise.
When Xu Zhen’s body flopped, and fell from the sky, a weight was lifted off of Jiang Chen’s heart.
Although this fight had been dangerous and chancy, he could now at least be assured that he wouldn’t be defeated.
Within the formation, Jiang Chen pulled on his bow and shot an arrow towards Yu Jie on the outside.
“Yu Jie, this is the performance of you sect disciples? You sent your peer up to spearhead the attack, whereas you were cowardly and afraid of death, cowering in the back.”
Rivers and seas were also being overturned in Yu Jie’s heart at this moment, and his mind was completely upset and confused.
He hadn’t thought that they would meet such an obstacle on this trip to the Eastern Kingdom — an obstacle big enough that junior brother Xu Zhen had lost his life.
Although Xu Zhen’s potential and strength had been ordinary, he had still been a disciple of the spirit dao and of the sect. If word got out that he had been killed in the common world, he would likely become a joke amongst the sects.
Jiang Chen’s mockery also made him unable to voice his bitterness.
He hadn’t truly wanted to send Xu Zhen to his death. His original intention had been for Xu Zhen to distract the Goldwing Swordbirds so that he could kill Jiang Chen in peace, without fear of intervention.
Except, he hadn’t thought that Xu Zhen would make his way into a death trap with this move.
Who would’ve thought that these feathered and clawed beasts would understand attacking in unison — Would understand the dao of formations? Even sect disciples would find this point incredulous.
“How is this Jiang Chen an ordinary practitioner? Is this kid a wolf in sheep’s skin, a spy from another sect in the common world?”
Yu Jie almost gave birth to this misconception.
How could a common practitioner be so strange and bizarre? Yu Jie couldn’t believe this at all, and wouldn’t accept this at all.
He could come up short in front of other sect disciples, but he would never accept being disadvantaged by a common practitioner.
“Jiang Chen, I swear I’ll kill you!”
A great change had taken place in Yu Jie’s mindset. Hatred and shame intertwined and churned continuously in his mind.
It was as if Jiang Chen’s every move and gesture, every blade of grass and tree in this Second Crossing was mocking him, jeering the high and mighty sect disciple.
“Autumn Waters Fill the Sky, cut!”
“Qi of Heaven and Earth, explode!”
One had to say, Yu Jie’s strength was more than double Xu Zhen’s. It was truly astounding when his divine abilities were continuously deployed.
A domineering sword aura filled the air, cutting so that the empty air trembled, the clouds scuttled away, and the fog scattered.
But, the “Eight Trigrams Assimilation Formation” grew stronger when it met stronger opponents. Under Jiang Chen’s continual guidance, the Goldwing Swordbirds’ confidence grew continuously, as they comprehended more and more of the formation. Their teamwork grew more and more well practiced.
In this way, the battle strength that had grown manifold as a result of Yu Jie’s explosion, was dispersed and negated by the continual increase in formation strength.
Yu Jie became more alarmed the more he fought.
He wasn’t even thinking of avoiding injuries, damage to his meridians, and negatively impacting his future training anymore. The fighting capability that was exploding out of him was absolutely at least three times Xu Zhen’s.
However, even such frightening destructive power and divine abilities were unable to break through the weird formation that the Goldwing Swordbirds had created. He was unable to rush into the formation and kill Jiang Chen.
In actuality, Yu Jie had continuously revised his expectations. He didn’t even want to be further entangled with these Goldwing Swordbirds anymore. He only wished to rush into the formation and annihilate Jiang Chen, so that he could offer an explanation to Long Juxue and for the dead Xu Zhen.
He would also have an acceptable explanation when he returned to the sect.
However, he discovered tragically that he couldn’t even rush through the outward defenses of the formation, not to mention dashing to the center to kill Jiang Chen.
“This Jiang Chen is so strange, that if he is allowed to develop further, he’ll become a thorn in the side of my Shuiyue line. I’ll find it hard to sleep and eat at ease in the future, if I don’t kill him.”
Yu Jie had thought through his emotions by now, but he’d reached the limits of his power unless he threw caution to the winds, and used his blood essence to trigger the secret arts.
Triggering the secret arts could increase his fighting capabilities by another level.
However, the price of triggering the secret arts was also astounding. It would certainly cause grievous injury to him, not to mention impacting his future training.
If even the secret arts couldn’t break through this formation, then even a true qi master would be able to take his life when he was so injured.
Deploying the secret arts meant gambling with his life, and his future.