Besides the dragon chariot, Heavenly Prince Di Jing and the princes were present other than experts of the Heavenly Court.
The arrival of the dragon chariot brought majestic coercion over the Terrace of Heaven.
“Greetings, Your Majesty!”
The Heavenly Court’s soldiers and marshals knelt uniformly in salute, their armors glistening under the sunlight.
Apart from Emperor Realm experts, everyone at the plaza knelt in salute. Then again, proud as Emperor Realm experts, they still lowered their heads and bowed to the Heavenly Emperor.
“En?!” Suddenly, the Heavenly Prince Di Jing looked over to the Fortune Emperor Palace’s group. He saw that Huang Xiaolong had remained standing along with the two odd monsters behind him. The three figures stood out from the rest in more than one way.
The princes that followed behind the dragon chariot also spotted the three standing figures a beat later.
“His Majesty is here, and you did not kneel in salute!”
The experts around the dragon chariot yelled at Huang Xiaolong.
Huang Xiaolong was not an Emperor Realm expert. According to the rules, he was required to kneel in salute to the Heavenly Emperor. However, not only Huang Xiaolong did not kneel and salute, but he didn’t even bow.
In the Heavenly Court’s experts’ eyes, this was an act of contempt to His Majesty. A contempt to the whole Heavenly Court!
This was a crime punishable by death!
According to the Heavenly Court’s law, Huang Xiaolong could be beheaded on the spot!
“Kneel now! Beg His Majesty for amnesty!” One of the Heavenly Court’s marshals suddenly exerted pressure on Huang Xiaolong with his palm, intending to force Huang Xiaolong to kowtow in salute.
This Heavenly Court Marshal was the right-hand man to the Heavenly Emperor, called Yan Tianchen. Yan Tianchen was a late-Tenth Order Emperor Realm expert.
The force of this palm strike was akin to a chaos divine mountain slamming down on Huang Xiaolong.
Just one fraction of a million of this palm force could pulverize an ordinary Heavenly Monarch Realm disciple to dust.
Even Zhao Lei and Li Shan, who were by Huang Xiaolong's side, felt like heaven itself was falling on them. Their faces turned deathly pale. It had never occurred to them that Huang Xiaolong wouldn't salute the Heavenly Emperor.
Han Qing, Gudu Wuyi, Chen Jianwei, and a few others watched excitedly from a distance.
The chaos divine mountain size palm imprint was seconds from reducing Huang Xiaolong to dust. Right at this time, one of the odd beasts behind Huang Xiaolong moved.
The odd beast's claw collided directly with Yan Tianchen's palm in midair.
Thunderous booms shook the sky.
The crowd's mind buzzed as if the explosions had taken place in their heads, and they lost their senses momentarily.
Terrifying aftershock waves swept out across the plaza.
At the same time, the mighty Heavenly Court's Grand Marshal Yan Tianchen staggered back unsteadily. On the contrary, the odd beast behind Huang Xiaolong did not even budge an inch.
This result shocked the Heavenly Court's experts.
A golden glimmer flickered across the Heavenly Emperor Di Jun's eyes at this was an unexpected result.
Another late-Tenth Order Emperor Heavenly Court's Grand Marshal, Xiao Yi, raised his arms and helped steady Yan Tianchen's staggering figure. The two of them had cooperated many times, and with one look, both leaped forward with four fists aimed at the odd beast behind Huang Xiaolong.
The odd beast sped forward towards them at lightning speed.
Thunderous booms rang again as the plaza quaked violently.
Both Xiao Yi and Yan Tianchen were sent backward in the air, whereas the odd beast merely retreated one step back and immediately regained its balance.
Jaws dropped at this sight.
"What?!" The Heavenly Court’s experts were in a furor. Xiao Yi and Yan Tianchen were two of the top Heavenly Court’s experts. But even with their combined strengths, they were repelled by Huang Xiaolong’s monster!
The shock was written all over Xiao Yi and Yan Tianchen's faces. When they had heard that Huang Xiaolong had two powerful monsters by his side, they had simply scoffed it off as a rumor. But now, it was clear that what they had heard was true.
Their blood was still chaotic from that attack, and the sweet taste of blood at the back of their throats was real enough.
Just as Xiao Yi and Yan Tianchen were about to attack again, the Heavenly Emperor Di Jun stopped them with an inviolable tone, “Enough!”
Xiao Yi and Yan Tianchen’s hearts tightened nervously, but they still complied respectfully, “Yes, Your Majesty!” Both retreated to their positions swiftly.
The Heavenly Emperor Di Jun looked fixedly at Huang Xiaolong as he spoke, “Huang Xiaolong is preliminary round’s first-place winner. Therefore he won’t need to kneel in salute to me.”
“As per Your Majesty’s edict!”
The Heavenly Court’s soldiers responded stiffly.
Huang Xiaolong cupped his fists at the Heavenly Emperor Di Jun and uttered a word of thanks. However, it should be noted that he did not refer to the Heavenly Emperor Di Jun as His Majesty. Huang Xiaolong did not kneel in salute to the Heavenly Emperor, nor did Huang Xiaolong address him as His Majesty. This was not because Huang Xiaolong was arrogant, but because his status was the same as Di Jun since he was the King of Hell, the lord of Hell’s three worlds. How could he kneel and salute to Di Jun?
However, Huang Xiaolong’s actions were madness in others’ eyes, especially Han Qing, Gudu Wuyi, and Chen Jianwei.
Han Qing sneered and gloated inwardly, Huang Xiaolong ah Huang Xiaolong, such arrogance. You even dared to slight the Heavenly Emperor. You’re literally crashing into the path of death!
“Everyone rise.” Heavenly Emperor Di Jun’s deep and majestic voice reached every corner of the plaza.
“Thank you, Your Majesty!”
Only then did everyone rise to their feet.
Zhao Lei stood up anxiously and ‘admonished’ Huang Xiaolong through voice transmission, “Kiddo, you, really…! Look at the situation! What should I say about you?! Even if you won first place in the preliminary round, if the Heavenly Emperor wants to kill you, it’s only a matter of an excuse.”
Huang Xiaolong laughed calmly, as he reassured his Master Zhao Lei, " Don't worry, Master, it's fine."
This is called fine?
Zhao Lei rolled his eyes and ultimately gave up. He didn’t have the energy to waste saliva on his disciple anymore.
This disciple of his, sigh~!
The Heavenly Emperor Di Jun soon arrived on the high stage at the center of the plaza.
A while later, one of the Heavenly Court’s Grand Marshal began reading out the semi-finals’ rules as well as the rewards after obtaining the Heavenly Emperor’s permission.
The rules of the Battle of the Heavenly Court’s semi-finals were slightly different this time, but there were no significant changes.
As for the rewards, on top of the usual rewards, there were a few newly added ones.
After the rules and rewards were announced, the Grand Marshal looked at the Heavenly Emperor Di Jun. Upon obtaining Di Jun’s nod as a sign of approval, he announced, “The semi-finals begin!”
Immediately, the qualifying disciples went forward to collect their participation numbers.
According to the rules, the top ten disciples from the preliminary round had automatically entered the semi-finals rankings. Hence, in the first few matches of the semi-finals, Huang Xiaolong didn’t need to battle until it was time to determine the top one hundred rankings.
After all the qualifying disciples had gotten their numbers, more than ten thousand battle stages rose to the surface at the center of the plaza. Each battle stage was a hundred square meters in size.
Peng Xiao got number thirty-six, and her opponent was a disciple from the Golden Imperial Emperor Palace that ranked forty-second among the Emperor Palaces. The Golden Imperial Emperor Palace’s disciple was only a Ninth Order God King, and he was not an overly powerful opponent.
The Fortune Emperor Palace had thirteen disciples who made it into the semi-finals, including Huang Xiaolong and Peng Xiao; however, two disciples lost their first matches.
Match after match, the battles progressed in an orderly manner.
When all the disciples had finished their first match, only five hundred thousand disciples were remaining. After the second bout of matches, half of them would get eliminated, and so on in the third and fourth bout, until only ten thousand remained.
When only ten thousand disciples were remaining, Peng Xiao drew a number once again, and her opponent was determined. Her opponent on battle stage number twelve was the Grandmist Emperor Palace’s disciple named Wu Yanxi. He was a peak late-First Order Heavenly Monarch.
Seeing this, Han Qing smiled delightedly, and her eyebrows were bent into crescent-shaped.