Later that night, Jian Chen and Ming Dong gathered together within a small room.
“Seeing how much better you’re looking now, you must be fully recovered.” Jian Chen commented as he smiled at Ming Dong.
Nodding his head, Ming Dong replied, “It was all thanks to the medicine you left behind. Otherwise, it would had taken much longer for me to fully recover. Thanks to that, I was able to cultivate by myself peacefully and increase my strength by a large amount.”
Jian Chen nodded with praise, “Not bad, you’re a Peak Saint Master now. With your cultivation talent, I suspect that within a month, you’ll make the breakthrough to become a Great Saint Master.”
“As long as there is enough monster cores, then I’ll definitely be able to reach the Great Saint Master realm by three months at most.” Ming Dong’s face was filled with determination. He couldn’t help but feel proud of his training talent. Whenever he thought of Jian Chen, the prideful look on his face was instantly wiped away.
Although his own talent at cultivation was beyond most people, Ming Dong knew that there was an extremely large difference in talent between him and Jian Chen. Jian Chen didn’t look a day older than twenty, but he had already reached the realm of the Great Saint Masters. He himself was already twenty seven years old; several years older than Jian Chen, yet his strength was only at the Peak Saint Master level. With this, it would be more accurate to measure between the heavens and the earth.
Jian Chen held out a dozen Class 4 Monster Cores to Ming Dong, “Continue to increase your strength then. You need not to worry about obtaining any monster cores, just leave all of that to me, but what you need to bear in mind is that cultivation to increase your strength is a step by step process. If you try to rush ahead recklessly, then who knows what hidden dangers in the future will affect your progress.
Knowing how generous Jian Chen was, Ming Dong didn’t dare to argue. Accepting the monster cores handed to him, he said, “Don’t worry, I am well aware of this.”
“Good. Ah! Are you aware of the Gathering of the Mercenaries that happens twice every hundred years?” Jian Chen suddenly asked.
Ming Dong nodded his head, “I’ve wandered around for countless of months, so the Gathering of the Mercenaries is something I’ve heard mentioned before. They mention it as a relatively fierce competition, and those with a low level of strength would do best to not participate. Otherwise, they would find it hard to escape with their lives intact.”
“En!” Jian Chen nodded in approval, “I’ve heard that the chances of dying are quite high, but the rewards offered are also endlessly rich, causing all mercenaries to be driven mad by them.”
Hearing this, Ming Dong’s heart skipped a beat for a moment as he stared with concentration at Jian Chen. “Don’t tell me that you wish to participate in the Gathering of the Mercenaries.”
Jian Chen didn’t bother to deny it, “Correct, that is my plan.”
“It’s best not to go!” Ming Dong exclaimed. “Although I don’t know much about the Gathering of the Mercenaries, I’ve heard that it is filled with danger. If one isn’t at the Earth Saint Master realm, then they shouldn’t participate or risk dying.”
Jian Chen chuckled without a care in the world, “Don’t worry. Although I am not an Earth Saint Master, I can still protect my own life. A Heaven Tier Battle Skill is far too tempting to let me pass up on it.”
Ming Dong’s face grew incomparably serious as he stared at Jian Chen for a while. Finally, after confirming that Jian Chen wasn’t joking, he let out a single breath of air, “It seems that you are resolute on participating in the Gathering of the Mercenaries.”
“Correct, I am determined to go. Tomorrow I will depart from the village, you should go with me. Huang Village is far too peaceful and that may become ingrained in you if you stay here long enough.”
“Fine then. I was beginning to get restless the past few days. If it weren’t for me waiting for you to come back, I would have left this place long ago.”
By the second morning, Jian Chen and Ming Dong both notified the village of their departure. Leaving behind a large amount of food, they left the village.
In regards to Ming Dong leaving, the entire Huang Village was quite reluctant to see him leave, but they all knew that Ming Dong wouldn’t be content to continue living in the village. He would leave the village sooner or later, as long as he treated the world as a place to travel and explore, he would not want to stay where he was now. The village could only hope that both Jian Chen and Ming Dong would come and visit whenever they had time in the future.
After all, Huang Village was deep within the mountain range that was isolated from the rest of the continent. Travelers here were far and few.
Two days later, Jian Chen and Ming Dong both finally walked out of the mountains, and with another day of traveling, both men finally arrived at a Second Class City. From far away, they could see a stream of merchants and mercenaries flowing in and out of the city.
The amount of soldiers at the city gates numbered around three hundred, with each one of them inspecting both merchants and mercenaries alike. Obstructing their paths, they would talk for a moment before letting them pass. Even the walls were filled with troops of elite soldiers from the city who looked down on everyone with intense glares.
“What’s going on? Just why are there so many soldiers, I don’t recall it being like this before…”
“I can only assume that something major has happened. I was in Antelope City yesterday and the guards there were plenty as well. The entire city has soldiers moving about everywhere as if they’re searching for someone. What an uproar…”
“Don’t you all know? My cousin in a nearby city is the captain of the soldiers, but I heard that a spy from the Gesun Kingdom has infiltrated our Blue Wind Kingdom. Even the three hundred soldiers of the elite Storm Troop were killed. The spy took all of the monster cores and ran, making even his majesty furious. Right now, every single person in the kingdom is looking for the spy…”
Many people were talking among each other by the gates with great pleasure. Though, as Jian Chen heard this topic, he couldn’t help but smile coldly. It was almost definite that the loss of all those monster cores was an unbearable loss for the kingdom.
After waiting for half the day, everyone in front of them had entered the city, making it Ming Dong and Jian Chen’s turn to be inspected.
“Halt, what is your purpose here?” Immediately, a few soldiers stopped the two and asked them a question.
Jian Chen gave a faint smile, “Fellow brothers, we are two mercenaries that wish to stay here for a while and replenish our essentials.” Jian Chen held his mercenary emblem for the soldiers to see.
The soldiers inspected the emblem given to them for a small moment before looking over at the two mercenaries, “You two don’t look like spies, you may enter!”
Jian Chen and Ming Dong both walked into the city unobstructed. Afterward, Jian Chen walked down the streets only to realize that portraits had been plastered everywhere throughout the alleys. The person described on the portrait was similar to Jian Chen in stature, but the strange thing was that his appearance was not described at all.
“With a portrait like this, just how are we supposed to find the spy? We don’t even know what this spy looks like, so how could we find him…”
“We don’t know what the spy even looks like, even if he was standing right in front of us, we wouldn’t know! Ai, why couldn’t they just draw up a portrait so we would know just what we need to look for?”
With so many people looking at the portrait, everyone could only grumble at the descriptions on it.
“Heh, the ruler of the Blue Wind Kingdom truly wishes to find me with a portrait like this? This is nothing more than a fool’s journey. There are many people with a physique like this, hell, the entire street is filled with people that match such a description. Could they want to just capture every single person with this description?” Jian Chen chuckled to himself as he looked at the portrait.
“Right, without knowing the appearances of this spy, this portrait is nothing more than decoration.” Ming Dong replied by his side.
Leaving the area, they both walked deeper into the city where plenty of magical beast stables were gathered near the market place.
The magical beast stables were an unfrequented place. Almost as if it were a big shack, there were only thirty or so magical beast mounts laying about.
The magical beast mounts at the stables were of the more docile type without the ability to fight at all. Their prices reflected this because they were quite steep, making very few people unable to afford one, thus, very little people came by the stables.
Within the stables, Jian Chen had spent around five hundred purple coins in order to purchase two Class 3 Magical Beasts adept in long distance traveling before going to an inn to rest. By the next morning, they were ready to leave the city.
Right now there was only half a year until the Gathering of the Mercenaries began. In such a short time span, the two would have to hurry up and travel without any breaks. The distance between Mercenary City to where they were currently at was far too wide. They would have to cross multiple kingdoms and travel hundreds of thousands of kilometers.
Jian Chen and Ming Dong both rode their Class 3 Magical Beasts off on the official roads at a rapid pace. Dirt and mud splattered behind their trails like a long dragon made of dirt. Many merchants and mercenaries cried out in annoyance as Jian Chen and Ming Dong blew past them. After seeing their Class 3 Magical Beast, they knew better than to provoke them.
Two days later, Jian Chen and Ming Dong left the Blue Wind Kingdom and continued on their journey.
During the daytime, they would travel as much as they could while at night the two would continue to cultivate. They continued this pattern for half a month, and like this, they made their way past the third kingdom and had already traveled several thousand kilometers.
In the plains, Jian Chen and Ming Dong stopped by the side of the road to rest for a while. Jian Chen held a map in his hand as he tried to make sure of his position and destination.
“Ming Dong, judging from the symbols on the map, there’s a First Class City fifty kilometers ahead. We should head there and rest for a while and see if there’s an even better magical beast mount to be found.” Jian Chen mentioned without lifting his head from the map.
Opening up his canteen to take a sip, Ming Dong replied, “Good. Since you’re not lacking money, then changing our mounts will be a good thing. Although a Class 3 Magical Beast is quite fast, if we continued on to Mercenary City like this, then it’ll take us another two or three months.”
Shortly after stopping, the travel weary Jian Chen and Ming Dong entered the city called Walaurent City.
Walaurent City was a First Class City that expanded over a large area. The entire city was filled with bustling activities with streets so wide that several chariots could ride through them at the same time. There were multiple restaurants of varying sizes by the streets with merchants and mercenaries walking together, chatting.
Walaurent City was fairly decent, with its wide streets with no trash or garbage to be seen, it was far more orderly. Wake City in comparison had many mercenaries with their stalls cluttered together by the side of the streets. From this, the difference between a First Class City and a Third Class City could clearly be seen.