Yes, a strange stillness had fallen over the proceedings in the blink of an eye.
There were plenty of strong practitioners present. Amongst the dukes, who was not a heavyweight? But now, even they were not sure of what they had seen in that split second.
It was Yan Yiming who had held the upper hand, and he was a finishing move away from beating Jiang Chen into the ground. Jiang Chen had only moved twice in all of this.
He had taken one step forward, and had raised his arm once to stab his finger forward.
It was two simple motions, but it was as if lightning had struck Yan Yiming, and he had fallen like dead weight.
It was an exceedingly comical scene. If it was not for the fact that they had been rattling their sabers and bawling into each other’s faces earlier, those assembled would have almost suspected Yan Yiming of playacting with Jiang Chen. Was he pretending to be a great antagonist to further heighten Jiang Chen’s awesomeness?
But it did not seem like this.
Yan Yiming obviously wanted to make Jiang Chen look like a fool, but he had somehow ended up making himself the fool.
In that moment, different thoughts ran through the minds of all the guests at the banquet.
Those who were friendly with the duke of Jiang Han were naturally happy for him. They had indeed been worried for the son of their old friend earlier, and they would have never dreamed of such a result.
Those who were on less than friendly terms with the duke of Jiang Han, or friendly with the duke of Soaring Dragon were extremely baffled. Some began to suspect that the heir to Jiang Han was a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Had he always been pretending to be a ne’er-do-well?
But the majority were neutral, and they held the attitude of waiting to watch a good show. Of course, they were also incredibly mystified by the strange scene that had developed in front of them.
These neutral parties were the most at ease. As people just watching the show, they were naturally unafraid of things getting out of hand.
Princess Gouyu was the most surprised.
When Yan Yiming had started to execute the hit that was at the peak of perfection, she almost wanted to speak up and stop the sparring.
She did not have the chance to do so before the situation took a 180 degree turn!
At this moment, Princess Gouyu did not give a damn whether Yan Yiming had been actually beaten to death, and had completely forgotten the Amethyst Cloud Palm at the peak of perfection.
There was only one picture in her mind, and that was Jiang Chen’s unfathomable, untraceable point.
Princess Gouyu was quite familiar with the origins of the Eastern King Point. It was another martial arts technique found within the Eastern Amethyst Qi method.
However, Princess Gouyu was unable to fully comprehend the mysteries contained within Jiang Chen’s poke. The point had contained endless enigmas, and it condensed the intricacies of life’s riddles and essence of martial dao on a singular, concentrated point.
What silly meridians true qi and superiority of different realms.
None of that mattered at this moment.
To Gouyu, that poke had spoken of the true meaning of martial dao.
It gave her an incomprehensible feeling. How could this point have been so otherworldly?
“This brat, was it all happenstance?” Gouyu suddenly realized that she did not understand Jiang Chen as well as she thought she did.
She did not think that a coincidental poke could have such remarkable power.
But, if it wasn’t a coincidence, could a dandy, who had not even passed the foundational exams, be able to deploy such an amazing point?
Someone finally broke the frozen atmosphere.
Bai Zhanyun leapt up, “Jiang Chen, did you cheat just now? Yan Yiming is a lofty six meridians true qi and you a mere three meridians. How could you defeat him with one move?”
Jiang Chen’s tone was extremely innocent. “You should ask these sorts of idiotic questions to him. He was beaten by a lowly three meridians true qi, I don’t even know how to comfort him.”
“Huh. You must have cheated. I, Bai Zhanyun, will play with you.”
Bai Zhanyun, the heir to White Tiger, eight meridians true qi, the advanced realm of true qi!
This was a genius character that completely outclassed Yan Yiming.
Jiang Chen did not even blink and was about to speak when Princess Gouyu stood up. “Hold! The heirs who are participating in the Hidden Dragon Trials are free to spar here, but it is a loss to the Trials no matter who is injured. Since you desire to vie for rankings of strength, I have a suggestion to make in my capacity as the main organizer of the Hidden Dragon Trials. This way, we can determine the talent within your meridians without wounding each other.”
“Oh? What grand strategy does Princess Gouyu have?”
“Princess Gouyu is the main organizer of the Hidden Dragon Trials and she expends so much effort and will on it. The princess has our admiration and respect.”
Sycophantic comments poured in like the tide in the blink of an eye. After all, no matter how important the duke of Soaring Dragon was, he was still a duke. Princess Gouyu was the representative of the royal family.
In the current situation, the number of people willing to fawn on the royal family far outnumbered those dancing attendance on the Soaring Dragon dukedom.
Princess Gouyu said lightly. “The royal family had originally intended to advocate the practice of martial dao in holding the Hidden Dragon Trials. The heirs present here have all practiced the founding method of the Eastern Kingdom – Eastern Amethyst Qi. I propose to have each heir present take their turn on stage in demonstrating the accompanying techniques of the Amethyst Cloud Palm and Eastern King Point. As the main organizer of the Hidden Dragon Trials, I can also double as a judge to determine whose comprehension of martial dao is the greatest, and whose realm of training is the highest.”
“Haha, princess Gouyu is truly worthy of the title of royal princess. Such a recommendation is inordinately good. No blood will be shed, and we will be able to determine who is superior.”
“Mm. This suggestion is indeed good. This old duke supports it.”
It was impossible for these dukes to publicly oppose this suggestion now that princess Gouyu has voiced it. Disagreeing with princess Gouyu meant disagreeing with the royal family.
They would then most likely die a humiliating death in the Hidden Dragon Trials.
Jiang Chen shrugged his shoulders, directing his words at Bai Zhanyun. “Looks like you’re much luckier than Yan Yiming.”
Bai Zhanyun’s face darkened, “What do you mean?”
“How can I not call you an idiot? Do I have to spell everything out for you? You don’t understand? Ponder on it if you don’t understand.”
Jiang Chen could not be bothered with Bai Zhanyun after those words and walked back to his seat.
Eastern Zhiruo giggled. “Brother Jiang Chen, you looked so good just now.”
“Is that so? I think so too, haha.” Jiang Chen was in a great mood as he flicked a meaningful side glance to Gouyu.
Princess Gouyu snorted. “I merely didn’t wish to see anyone hurt before the Trials, and I wasn’t protecting you. Don’t think too much of it.”
“I think you’re thinking too much.” Jiang Chen laughed. “Can’t you see that I’m really annoyed at you? This Bai Zhanyun has ticked me off several times, and I finally had the chance to beat him up. Was your proposal meant to protect him?”
Gouyu was completely speechless. This… this BRAT is ridiculous. Does he not know that being part of the advanced realm of true qi, Bai Zhanyun could beat someone in the initial realm into a meal pie with one punch?
She cursed inwardly, “This princess was obviously protecting you from being beaten to death by one fist from Bai Zhanyun. You damned ungrateful brat!”
With Princess Gouyu’s proposition and the supportive efforts of those in power, it looked like the start of the banquet would be delayed yet again.
All the respective heirs of their dukedoms were high spirited and they were itching for action on the demonstration stage in the Soaring Dragon manor. They all wanted to use such a gathering to make a name for themselves.
Princess Gouyu’s voice sounded and it was as clear and cold as jade. “Everyone, many heirs of their respective dukedoms have been gathered here today. As the main organizer of the Hidden Dragon Trials, I would like to take advantage of this opportunity to review their progress in practicing the Eastern Amethyst Qi. Do not feel the need to hold back and display your full potential, understanding and talents!”
To be honest, all the heirs were chomping at the bit even without princess Gouyu’s encouragement. Who would want to miss the opportunity to leave a good impression on the main organizer of the Trials, and demonstrate their talents as well?
All martial dao methods were divided into the achievement levels of “minor achievement’, ‘skillful’, ‘perfection’, ‘flawless’ and ‘great perfection”.
Under the personal observation of Princess Gouyu, several heirs quickly presented themselves for a demonstration. Some chose the Amethyst Cloud Palm, and others chose the the Eastern King Point.
One had to say, no mediocrity existed amongst the heirs to the 108 dukedoms.
Those who dared step onto the stage all possessed decent potential and were quite confident in the level that they had trained to.
Jiang Chen squinted his eyes as he sat below the stage, there was an absent-minded look on his face. He would occasionally nibble at some nuts, or make fun of Eastern Zhiruo every now and then.
A trace of an amused smile clung to his face as he sometimes flicked a glance at the busy hustle on the stage. It was obvious that he did not think much of the demonstrations by the heirs.
However, a fellow then stepped onto the stage that perked Jiang Chen’s interest.
This youth was well built and took solid steps. He was the heir to the Hubing dukedom, Hubing Yue, and one of the few best friends that Jiang Chen had in the capital.
Jiang Chen was inwardly resigned as he watched Hubing Yue walk onto the stage. With his temperament and characteristics, neither the ethereal Amethyst Cloud Palm nor the unpredictability of the Eastern King Point were suited for him.
Therefore, Jiang Chen was a bit surprised that Hubing Yue had put himself forward.
But, what surprised those below the stage was that the heir to the unassuming Hubing dukedom, ranked middle out of the 108 dukedoms, possessed a strong martial dao foundation. Seven meridians true qi roared like dragons within his meridians. He was in the advanced realm of true qi with seven meridians true qi!
This astonished even Jiang Chen.
One had to know, even Yan Yiming, the heir to a top ten dukedom, possessed merely six meridians true qi.
But the Hubing dukedom was ranked towards the bottom of the 108 dukedoms. Was its heir going to vault to new heights through the Hidden Dragon Trials?
Seven meridians true qi were indeed extraordinary. They were great dragons accompanied by the sound of thunder when deployed.
However, the Amethyst Cloud Palm seemed to lack a bit of true meaning, a bit of elegance, when demonstrated by Hubing Yue.
“Hahaha, Hubing Yue, is that the Amethyst Cloud Palm? This is chopping wood!”
“Amethyst Cloud Palm is elegance personified. This Hubing Yue looks like a farmer plowing his fields when he demonstrates it. I can watch no longer.”
Some audience members mocked him immediately. Although their words were jeering, they were not without some truth.
This also fit in with Jiang Chen’s earlier conclusion. The Amethyst Cloud Palm was not a good match for Hubing Yue’s style.
However, it was not as if there was nothing that could be gleaned from Hubing Yue’s version of the Amethyst Cloud Palm. At least his foundations were solid, and it was much more practical than some of the other flowery versions that were demonstrated earlier.
Princess Gouyu recognized his steadiness and stability, and pronounced a judgement of “peak of skillful”.
The identity of the heirs who followed him were even more outstanding.