The atmosphere at the banquet was quite fervorous. Even Princess Gouyu wore an extremely solemn expression on her face. Although she seemed indifferent on the surface, she was still quite shocked at heart.
After all, it was not a good thing for the royal family if the duke of Soaring Dragon became increasingly powerful.
Especially this Long Juxue. If she truly entered the Purple Sun Sect, then her future development would be unlimited. Although Princess Gouyu had been hailed as a martial dao genius in the kingdom, she had never attracted the attention of any of the hidden sects and secluded masters.
Jiang Chen was exceedingly observant, and with just a careless glance, he had deduced most of Princess Gouyu’s internal struggles.
“Heh heh, she’s just a person with a bit more talent, that’s all. The path of martial dao is like scaling an abyss. Those with better potential just happen to climb a bit faster than others. If the slightest mistake is made and a hand slips, they too fall and land in pieces. All is still in vain if one has talent alone and not the right disposition.”
His voice was not loud. It seemed like he was both murmuring to himself, and explaining something to Eastern Zhiruo.
But a listener who listened with their hearts would understand this sentiment. A strange light shot out from Princess Gouyu’s eyes when she heard those words. Her gaze raked across Jiang Chen’s face, and she suddenly thought that this venom-tongued youth was not so distasteful after all.
“No, how could I just forgive this kid just like that?” Princess Gouyu immediately suppressed that little bit of goodwill.
Jiang Chen stretched lazily and pouted, “So, the boasts have been boasted and the awesomeness has been demonstrated, this should be enough right? When will the food be served? I’m so damn hungry that my chest is touching my back!”
He had not suppressed his voice when saying these words. They sounded like the disgruntled rumblings of a young fop.
But, when voiced at such an occasion, they were quite irritating.
Long Zhaofeng had originally wanted to wax eloquent, but felt hard pressed to proceed, when he was interrupted by an ear piercing and unexpected voice.
But, what could he do? He couldn’t very well haul Jiang Chen out for a beating.
This Jiang Chen had never known how to pick the right timing. For someone who had even dared to fart at the Heavenly Rites of Worship, proclaiming those few idiotic statements seemed to be in line with his style.
The duke of Soaring Dragon was a bit relieved when he thought of this. “This kid was born with brain damage. It’s actually a good thing, since the duke of Jiang Han will find it even more difficult to build upon his foundations with such a useless son. It should be easier to convince him to surrender the land with the spirit vein later.”
Zhao Longfeng’s internal discontent was swept away after a round of self comfort. He laughed, “Yes, yes. My apologies for keeping everyone waiting, let’s start the banquet! Everyone be at ease. Please, eat. Drink!”
However, Long Juxue’s gaze raked Jiang Chen. A hidden trace of a conspiratorial smile appeared on that beautiful profile when she thought of the events that had transpired in the Hall of Healing.
“Hold! The house is rarely so full, particularly with the attendance of the main organizers of the Hidden Dragon Trials. There are so many dukedom heirs present today, why not join in the fun? Let us have everyone display what they have learned thus far in life as entertainment for the banquet!”
It was apparent from Long Juxue’s tone that she had already assumed the identity of a direct disciple of the Purple Sun Sect, and had already put herself on equal footing with the main organizers of the Hidden Dragon Trials.
“What a wonderful suggestion!”
“Haha, very good. If we exhibit our talent in front of the future direct disciple of the Purple Sun Sect, perhaps miss Juxue will write an introduction for us to the Sect if she so fancies.”
“That makes a lot of sense! Haha, it looks like we must fully display our talents in front of miss Juxue today.”
“It would justify the efforts of a lifetime if we were graced with a smile from a beautiful woman.”
Armed with the memories of his past life, Jiang Chen had a keen intuition. When he felt Long Juxue’s gaze pass over his face, he knew that the woman was targeting him.
Princess Gouyu was just as sensitive as Jiang Chen. Although she was unaware of why Jiang Chen and Long Juxue were at odds with each other, with her wit and astuteness, how could she not figure out the situation? Long Juxue had not really bothered to conceal her intentions.
She kicked Jiang Chen underneath the table, muttering under her breath, “Brat, be careful! Long Juxue is setting you up.”
Jiang Chen was a bit taken aback. Since when did Princess Gouyu concern herself with his affairs? Did she not yearn to give him a thorough beating?
He popped a fruit into his mouth uncaringly, laughing indifferently. “Why aim for me? How could good-for-nothings like me, who wouldn’t even hurt a fly, threaten someone born with a superior constitution?”
Gouyu felt extremely frazzled upon seeing Jiang Chen’s laziness. You’ll know Long Juxue’s power when she makes a fool out of you later.
Indeed, Long Juxue chuckled and spoke to Bai Zhanyun’s table, “Family friends Brother Bai and Brother Hong seemed to have conflicted earlier with the heir to Jiang Han, Brother Jiang. Why not take advantage of this opportunity to learn something about each other? Us practitioners of martial dao obliterate enmities with a smile. All relationships are built upon our fists. Wouldn’t everyone agree?”
Bai Zhanyun was overjoyed by these words and immediately jumped up. “Yes, Miss Juxue makes the most ample amount of sense. You only form true friendship after a fight. Jiang Chen, what do you say to gaining a better understanding of each other today?”
“Brother Bai, I of the Hong family would also like to get to know Jiang Chen. Why don’t I go first?”
“You two elder brothers, you’re the heirs to the four great dukedoms; you wouldn’t take our duties away from us would you? I, Yan Yiming, have long been fascinated by brother Jiang Chen.”
These fellows were giddy with silliness when they heard Long Juxue say that all friendships were formed on a foundation of sparring. They finally had a perfectly justifiable excuse to beat Jiang Chen and severely humiliate him. This was a chance that would not come around again.
At this moment, the other prominent dukes had received their cues from the duke of Soaring Dragon and joined in the jeering.
“Yes yes, the time will pass for us old fogies one day and it will be the younger generation’s turn to take their places. What a rare opportunity for our heirs to learn from each other and strengthen their friendships! This also enhances the atmosphere of martial dao in the Eastern Kingdom. What a great, great thing!”
“Indeed, indeed. The young are the future hope of the kingdom. If they are strong, then the kingdom is strong!”
Around ten dukes had joined the crowd in the span of a moment. They all expressed affirmative opinions, with even more hangers on fawning in agreement.
Yan Yiming was extraordinarily proud and cupped his hands in a phony gesture. “Jiang Chen, we had a misunderstanding before. Why not spar a bit and get to know each other. Perhaps we can even become good friends after a fight?”
He had finally brought his provocation straight to Jiang Chen’s face.
Jiang Chen sighed in resignation and threw down the nuts he held in his hand. He responded in a carefree manner, “Yan Yiming is it? If I were you, I wouldn’t stick my neck out like this. With your position and potential, you are not meant to be the star of tonight. Why bother paving the road for others? If you misstep, you subject yourself to embarrassment.”
“Embarrassment?” Yan Yiming laughed cockily. “Jiang Chen, speak frankly if you’re scared. If you’re willing to bow your head in apology and beg on the ground for forgiveness, I’ll consider forgiving you.”
“Apology?” Jiang Chen stood up lazily. “I, Jiang Chen, don’t even know how to write the word ‘apology’. But you will soon find out how wrong you were. What did you just say? Go for a round of sparring? Then let’s do it.”
Jiang Chen picked a random spot in the empty area next to the main hall.
“Heh heh, keep pretending Jiang Chen! A weakling of three meridians true qi who dares put himself forward, I’m impressed by your courage.” Yan Yiming grinned sardonically and stepped forward. His six meridians true qi surged as he built up an impressive aura, attempting to crush his opponent through aura alone.
“Stop blustering! If you want to attack then do so, I want to eat after the fight. Do you think it’s been easy staying hungry for so long?” Jiang Chen paid no heed to Yan Yiming’s posturing.
“Jiang Chen, you pretend to have an ace up your sleeve when you only have a mere three meridians true qi. You’re asking for death. Eat my fist!”
Since it was a friendly spar and Princess Gouyu was present, Yan Yiming did not call upon his family’s traditional martial arts, but rather deployed the Amethyst Cloud Palm technique of the Eastern Amethyst Qi method.
Six meridians true qi was the highest plane of existence within the intermediate realm. When he activated his six meridians true qi in combination with a magnificent wave of his palm, his aura was thus that it even stirred stirred up loose dust and small rocks.
Yan Yiming leapt upwards, his body light as a feather. Purple light emanated between the movement of his palms and multiple afterimages of his palms appeared. They were like blossoming plum flowers, fluttering to the ground in grand celebration. The sight overwhelmed the onlookers.
“The shadows of the palm fills the sky as birds fly through long grass. The plum flowers fall in flight. Who would’ve thought that Yan Yiming would’ve practiced the Amethyst Cloud Palm to the peak of perfection! How incredibly rare.”
“The heir of Yanmen lives up to his reputation. No wonder he is listed within the ranks of the top ten!”
Plaudits sounded from all over in that moment. Even Bai Zhanyun and Hong Tiantong looked at Yan Yiming with a serious gaze, deep in thought.
The level of their training was mostly likely all on par with each other, simply judging from this display of the Amethyst Cloud Palm. This Yan Yimin was actually something!
“Huh. How dare that Jiang Chen step up just with a mere three meridians true qi.” Bai Zhanyun burned with a need to immediately see Jiang Chen beaten until he spat up blood.
Surrounded by palm shadows that filled the air, Jiang Chen was like a lonely canoe drifting on the current. There did not seem to be a way in which he would be able to avoid being swallowed by the palm shadows.
The smile of a victor’s became increasingly concentrated on Yan Yiming’s face.
And at this moment, Jiang Chen made his move.
To put it simply, Jiang Chen simply stepped forward lightly. Princess Gouyu had been observing the fight with solemn eyes, and this one step caused a strange look to flash through her eyes.
Because, Jiang Chen had stepped out with unerring accuracy and landed in the singular spot in which Yan Yiming’s aura was the weakest, the area in which his attacks were most hard pressed to cover.
This was the tiniest opening, and yet it was as if Jiang Chen had foreseen it and took that marvelous step when Yan Yiming came hurtling towards him.
At the same time, Jiang Chen’s arm raised slightly, and a finger pointed with the movement of his hand.
An ear piercing sound cut through the air like a meteor racing across the heavens.
People did not know from where it came, and where it was traveling to.
A agonizing yell sounded out in the next moment, and the numerous palm shadows suddenly dispersed like damaged branches and wilted leaves. Yan Yiming’s dashing and light body suddenly rushed towards the ground in a severe fall, like dead weight.
A solid thwack!
It was such a hard fall that even the ground vibrated subtlely!
This impact caused even bystanders to feel an itch in their bones. The subject of their stares had most likely fallen even harder.
The other protagonist, Jiang Chen, lightly dusted off his hands and sighed. “For someone who looked down upon us three meridians true qi, I actually thought you were something. But who knew that you would be destroyed by a single poke! Bah, so bad. Disappointing, quite disappointing.”
Silence. A desolate silence reigned.
At this moment, being quiet was far better than making a sound!