Standing awkwardly in the courtyard, Yun Long and Katata were now stuck in a rather difficult situation. The strength of the Flame Mercenaries had been beyond their expectations. If they were to use force now, then their side would be hurt the most. At the same time, if they were to retreat, it would be quite shameful and would serve as a slap to their faces.
With a calm voice, Jian Chen turned to speak to Katata, “Katata, you should turn back. This matter with lord Yun Li is something you should not interfere with. My Flame Mercenaries will make no compromises on this matter.” Jian Chen was not at all close with Katata. However, since they had once fought shoulder to shoulder two years ago during the beast invasion wave in Wake City, Jian Chen did not wish to make things too difficult for him, so he had spoke with a softer voice.
Katata sighed and gave a complicated stare to Jian Chen. “Very well then. Jian Chen, if you are so determined to choose this path, then you leave us with no choice. We’ll leave this for today!” With that, Katata pulled the still ashen-faced Yun Long away. They got onto their magical beast mounts, and lead the group of five hundred soldiers back to Tianlong City.
Still kneeling on the ground, Yun Li’s face was despondent and his eyes reflected his despair as he watched Katata and the other two ride away.
Katata, Katafei, and Yun Long had led five hundred soldiers from Tianlong City to Wake City in order to suppress the Flame Mercenaries. In the end, it was the Flame Mercenaries that had done the suppressing. The mercenaries had forced the group away without achieving their goals. News of this spread across Wake City like fire and caused many of the civilians to begin to reevaluate the Flame Mercenaries.
Without rest, the group from Tianlong City rushed back on their mounts straight to the city lord’s mansion in order to report what had happened. Their story of what happened in Wake City was recounted for the lord to hear. The important parts such as there being four Earth Saint Masters with one of them being a Sixth Cycle Earth Saint Master in the Flame Mercenaries were particularly stressed.
The lord of Tianlong City grew grim after hearing that. Four Earth Saint Masters with one at the pinnacle was an extremely important matter that even the lord had to regard with all due importance.
“How strange that there is such an unknown mercenary group with such a powerful amount of strength. Were you able to find out the background of these people or what power supports them?” The lord asked with concern.
The three shook their heads before Katata said, “My lord, my brother and I once met the captain of the Flame Mercenaries two years ago. At that time, he was only a Great Saint Master, but even then, his fighting strength was simply enough to astound the both of us. When Wake City was in a crisis with the magical beast wave, three Class 5 Magical Beasts came. Shockingly, the three of them were completely killed by the captain! And one of the Class 5 Magical Beast was the Green Scaled Ape!”
Katata’s words were so shocking that even the lord was unable to stop himself from bolting straight up from his chair. Shocked, he questioned, “What was that? The captain of the Flame Mercenaries was able to kill three Class 5 Magical Beasts as a Great Saint Master? Are you sure this is true? Are you lying to me?”
“It is completely true. My brother and I were there to witness it. My lord, the captain of the Flame Mercenaries isn’t a simple person. He cannot be belittled. Even now, he somehow managed to find and bring four Earth Saint Masters into his mercenary group. This is already enough to paint him as a very unique person.” Katata replied in a serious manner. Thinking back to how Jian Chen had killed those three Class 5 Magical Beasts, Katata felt some lingering surprise reappear.
“Since when did such a genius of this aptitude appear within our Blue Wind Kingdom? How strong is the captain of the Flame Mercenaries now?” The lord asked with a grim expression.
“I know not. I wasn’t even able to see his strength.” Katata replied.
The eyes of the lord slid to the other two individuals, “Were either of you two able to see his strength?”
Yun Long and Katafei shook their heads.
The lord’s eyebrows furrowed together as he hummed in thought, “He most presumably used some sort of way to hide his strength. From what I gather from you, the captain is a rather mysterious character. I’d like to meet this person and see just what type of person this captain really is. Very well, you may leave first. This should bear no matter with you anymore.”
A week passed by in Wake City. During these seven days, nothing out of the ordinary that happened after Katata, Katafei and Yun Long had visited. Therefore, Jian Chen and his group had lived for a period of peace.
The prestige of the Flame Mercenaries had constantly grown throughout Wake City by the words that came from the mouths of the civilians. Practically everyone within a thousand miles knew about the Flame Mercenaries, which helped give rise to their reputation in the Blue Wind Kingdom.
Within the courtyards of the Kai family, a half meter tall scaffold could be seen. The haggard and disheveled figure of Yun Li could be seen kneeling over the scaffold. Beside him was a strong-looking man with a huge blade towering over him.
Today was the day Yun Li’s execution. The entirety of the Flame Mercenaries had gathered here, and even more curious passersby were standing around to point at Yun Li and gossip.
Yun Li displayed a face that was sallow and despondent. His eyes were completely devoid of life, and his hair was so disheveled that he looked more like a beggar than his known image as the high and lofty lord of a city. His Saint Weapon had long since been destroyed by Jian Chen personally, but his life had been kept intact. As of now, he had already degenerated to a cripple that could not fight. All of the precious Saint Force he had spent years cultivating had been ruined without a chance of returning, and now even escape was impossible.
“Ladies and gentlemen, today I, Kai Er will declare the sins that Yun Li is guilty of…” Kai Er began to recount the tales of Yun Li’s crimes with the Flame Mercenaries for everyone to hear once more. Everyone had already heard the story in clear detail, so Kai Er was merely just saying this as a formality without trying to invoke the reactions of the audience.
Having finished speaking Yun Li’s crimes, Kai Er knew that the time was nigh. He said in a loud voice. “And now is the time. Let the blade fall!” At his order, the man holding the cleaver brought his hands straight up into the air. In front of the thousands of eyes of Wake City, he slashed off the head of Yun Li with a splurt of blood flying from his detached neck. As if offering a sacrifice, the blood of Yun Li splattered on the memorial tablet of Duo Kang.
With Yun Li’s death, Duo Kang’s revenge had been absolved as well. However, there was still a feeling of mourning in everyone’s hearts. No one was happy. Even though Duo Kang’s revenge had been fulfilled, Duo Kang would never return to them. Thus, they would never see him again.
Yun Li’s death had given rise to talk throughout Wake City for only a moment before dying back down. Although Wake City was now without a lord, the business and everyday life was completely unaffected. It continued as usual. Commander Duo Li was now in charge, and had rarely been seen in the city. Ever since Katata and the others left Wake City, he knew in his heart that even Tianlong city was mindful of the Flame Mercenaries. Hence, he had never bothered to ask about the matters regarding the Flame Mercenaries.
The day after, the members of the Flame Mercenaries followed Kai Er and the other three into the Magical Beast Mountain Range as per Jian Chen’s instructions. Everyone left the Kai family’s compound, and only a few servants and artisans were left behind to hurriedly repair the place.
Jian Chen had sent Yun Zheng and Senior An with the Flame Mercenaries to protect them while they were training in the Magical Beast Mountain Range. In the case that someone’s life was in danger, they would intervene. These men were after all the most loyal of mercenaries, and Jian Chen had no wish to see them come into any danger during their training. With the strength of the Flame Mercenaries revealed, if some Earth Saint Master came to fight with them, Yun Zheng and Senior An would be enough to fight them off or bide time for Jian Chen to arrive.
While the Flame Mercenaries were off training in the Magical Beast Mountain Range, Jian Chen and the others left Wake City as well on top of their Class 3 Magical Beast mounts.
The dark-skinned but straightforward Tie Ta sat on top of his newly confiscated mount. Weighing on his mind was the events of yesterday’s execution of the lord Yun Li.
Having only just begun his journey on the Tian Yuan Continent, Tie Ta had never yet experienced the rules of survival that the Tian Yuan Continent followed. Although he had killed plenty of magical beasts, this was the very first time he seen a person die. Yesterday’s sight remained a heavy shock in his mind to the point where he was still perturbed.
Jian Chen understood what Tie Ta was feeling and went to comfort him. “Tie Ta, the Tian Tuan Continent is a world where the weak are the food for the strong. The future will remain like this in almost a daily experience. Wait until you have the strength and you’ll learn to adapt.”
“The Tian Yuan Continent is a cruel place.” Tie Ta muttered.
Jian Chen laughed. “Let’s go to Fengyang City. You’ll learn plenty over there perhaps.”