Thea was hesitant. In the end, as she was fearful of death, she decided against consuming the blood. So, she carefully stored it somewhere else.
In the blink of an eye, a few days passed.
Today was the day of the tournament.
There was an arena in the castle in the middle of the Nashaxi Desert. At that moment, the venue was crowded with people.
The First Blood Emperor appeared in the arena and looked at the crowd, announcing, “Everyone, the Blood Race will hold up its end of the bargain. Whoever emerges victorious shall be awarded the dragon blood left behind by our ancestors a millennium ago. Not only that, but we will also reveal the whereabouts of the dragon!”
“Dragon blood allows one to attain immortality. This is a fact and not a lie. The Blood Race has treasured the dragon blood for a thousand years. Today, we shall offer it to the strongest of all. However, be mindful that you may lose your life in the arena!”
After saying that, he left the arena.
Many people gathered outside the arena. Among the three hundred or so people, approximately fifty of them were Solean martial artists, the vast majority of them being the crème de la crème.
James was acquainted with many of them. He could see his grandfather, Thomas. Behind Thomas were a bunch of masked men, whose identities James could not discern.
Though the First Blood Emperor had left the arena, no one dared step forward.
Standing beside Sky, James whispered in his ear, “Since no one dares step forward, why don’t you take the lead? I’ll be your replacement if you’re defeated. But, I don’t think you’ll be defeated. After all, you’re one of the most powerful, if not the most powerful individual in the world.”
James’ words fed Sky’s ego. However, he was not so foolish as to send himself to his death. If he stepped forward now, he would have to defeat every challenger to emerge victorious.
At that moment, no one dared step forward.
Upon seeing this, the First Blood Emperor furrowed his eyebrows as he returned to the arena once more, announcing. “Since you’re all afraid of dying, why don’t we modify the rules a little? Once a party concedes defeat, the battle will end, and the other party is not allowed to deal the death blow. How does that sound?”
“Let’s go with that!”
Many agreed with the First Blood Emperor. However, even though they nodded in agreement, still no one dared step forward.
The First Blood Emperor’s expression turned grim. This was his final option. He believed that these martial artists would fight to the death to attain immortality.
James had no plans to step forward at the moment. He walked toward Thomas and whispered, “You’re here, Grandpa.”
Thomas looked at him and nodded slightly. “It’s been a year since we last met. How’s your strength now?”
James smiled and said, “I barely improved.”
Now, he could no longer trust his grandfather completely. The fewer people who knew his strength, the better.
“Not telling the truth to your grandpa now, huh?” Thomas looked at him and said, “Once everything’s resolved here, I’ll arrange a meeting between you and your father.”
Upon hearing this, James was delighted, “Really?”
“Of course! When have I ever lied to you?”
James took a deep breath. He had shouldered the burden of hatred for more than ten years. So, after learning that his family was still alive, he was delighted. However, he had yet to meet them even though a long time had passed. Now, at long last, he could finally meet them again.
“Tell me the truth, James. Have you crossed into the ninth rank?”
Thomas lowered his voice and whispered. “I plan to slay the dragon once I learn of its whereabouts. You should tag along. After all, Thea needs the dragon blood to be saved…”
James nodded. “I’m coming along. Inform me when you plan to make a move.”