As the darkness receded to make way for the light, Jian Chen looked up only to see a large shrine. This shrine was large enough to house 10,000 people, but at this moment, this place was already filled with many scraggly looking men that had all just been brought here along with Jian Chen.
“What type of energy is this for it to be strong enough to transport every single person in that world, could it be a Saint Ruler? Or maybe a Saint King, or perhaps a Saint Emperor?” Jian Chen thought to himself in amazement. The energy that had enveloped him was far too strong for him to even think about defending himself against.
“For those with tokens, please come here to register your name. For those without any tokens, please exit this place immediately; the door is behind you.” At that moment, a loud voice echoed throughout the shrine as an elderly looking man sat by a long table as if he had been waiting there for some time. By his side were two assistants who looked to be around the same age as well.
With those words in mind, many people grew depressed before walking toward the door. After everyone had left, only 200 men remained.
Jian Chen ended up as the most attention grabbing person because his clothes were still intact. Everyone else was in terrible shape and their clothes were not covering up most of their body. Many didn’t even have a single Space Belt and used a bag to hold their things.
From this group, the majority of them were all Great Saint Masters while only a few dozen Earth Saint Masters remained.
Jian Chen looked around himself, from the 200 people here, he recognized no one. Not even Ming Dong or Qin Xiao could be seen.
“It seems that we were all taken outside.” Jian Chen thought to himself.
The two hundred men continued to walk toward the elder and the very first person had begun to take out his tokens from his Space Belt to show to the elder.
The elder swept his eye over the sum and spoke, “Five tokens, verification complete.”
Immediately an elder took out a brush and wrote the number five on a piece of paper before barking out, “Speak your name!”
“Liang Dezhong!” The competitor spoke respectfully.
“You may go.” The elder wrote down Liang Dezhong’s name.
The third elder took away the black tokens.
The three elders worked in a fluid tandem. One would verify that the tokens were real while the second took their names and numbers and the third collected the tokens.
The second competitor came to the table and dropped three tokens on the table.
“Three tokens, verification complete.” The first elder spoke.
Immediately the other elder began to write down the record as the first one spoke a confirmation. After taking his name, the second elder wrote the number three.
Taking down the information was not slow at all and the competitors with a small amount of tokens were quickly weeded out. Rapidly, tens of dozens of men had been fully recorded. So far, the person with the least amount of tokens was two while the most had 80. Not a single person had over 100 tokens, so Jian Chen began to feel some confusion. Just how did these competitors survive the competition, did no one try to rob them? In the later half of the competition, most of the tokens were all within the hands of a few strong experts. Most of the strongest competitors had already a thousand tokens; Jiede Wukang and Shi Xiangran both had a thousand tokens each.
“Could they have just never bothered to fight at all during the year?” Jian Chen thought.
“126 tokens, verification complete!”
After a good amount of men, there was finally a person with over a hundred tokens.
Quickly, after one person had been announced to have over a hundred tokens, another person with 300 tokens was announced; making him the highest.
When it came to be Jian Chen’s turn, every single person immediately turned to look at him with a focused eye. Everyone was curious to see just how much the completely uninjured and intact competitor had collected.
Jian Chen lifted his left hand to reveal the Space Ring on his finger to everyone.
“That’s a Space Ring!” Someone cried out in shock. A Space Ring was the symbol of wealth and meant anyone that wore one was not an ordinary person. For a mercenary to wear a Space Ring, it meant that this person was an extraordinarily strong individual. Because of how expensive Space Rings were, only Earth Saint Masters wore them.
The three elders didn’t have a change in their facial expression as they stared at Jian Chen.
The sounds of a wave of metallic objects crashing into each other could be heard as the black tokens crashed against the table. In a single second, the entire table had a small mountain on it that was almost impossible to begin to count from.
The three appraisers grew startled at this at last and stared at Jian Chen with a shocked expression.
After taking out all of the tokens from the Space Ring, Jian Chen slowly brought down his left hand.
“Is that all?” An elder asked Jian Chen.
Jian Chen nodded his head and replied calmly, “That’s all!”
The group of people standing nearby Jian Chen were all like stone statues from the sheer amount of tokens on the table.
This time, the elder in charge of counting the tokens took some time to count them all before speaking, “1873 tokens, verification complete!”
Hearing that number, everyone sucked in a sharp breath as their hearts immediately skipped a beat. For those who had only collected several or even less than a hundred tokens, this amount was far too gigantic for them to take in. Who would have known that someone that barely looked past the age of twenty would have such an amount.
The three elders attitude toward Jian Chen immediately changed as the one in charge of writing down the name immediately smiled at Jian Chen, “Fellow brother, what is your name?”
“Good, brother Jian Chen, your achievements have really astounded us. I hope you can continue to astound us and have many more achievements in the next round!” The elder smile at Jian Chen before writing down the number “1873” on the paper with his name.
Afterward, Jian Chen left the area without another look back while the mercenaries all stared at him, as he left, in mute shock.
“Jian Chen, that youth is named Jian Chen!” A person spoke out.
“Jian Chen, I’ve heard this name before! His name was recently made known. I’ve heard that he and the five experts are close friends, and that his own strength isn’t weaker than theirs.”
“So it’s like that? It’s no wonder he was able to collect so many tokens if he is able to be compared against the five experts.”
After walking out of the hallway, Jian Chen suddenly found himself in a giant place that was arranged like a courtyard. Four giant hallways could be seen in every cardinal direction, and the hallway he just walked out from was one of the four. Many other miserable looking competitors could be seen hobbling out of the other hallways. In the middle of the courtyard like arrangement was a single wide space which was filled with people. Among the crowd was a single large Space Gate that shined brightly overhead. On the other side of the Space Gate was a stone statue that was familiar to everyone.
“Jian Chen, we’re over here!” A loud cry came out from far away as Ming Dong waved his hand at him. By his side, Huang Luan and Dugu Feng could be seen standing there.
Seeing his friends standing there, Jian Chen had a pleasantly surprised smile on his face. He had originally thought that everyone was sent to different places, but they were still all here.
Everyone quickly converged together with a happy smile on their faces.
“This Mercenary City is quite strong for it to be able to have such an expansive area.” Ming Dong said.
Jian Chen’s heart skipped a beat, “Could we be in some sort of empty space then right now?”
Ming Dong nodded his head, “Correct, right now, we are in an isolated space. It seems that this Space Gate will allow us to return to the Tian Yuan Continent.”
Jian Chen wasn’t too surprised, he could already guess that they were no longer within Mercenary City. What he didn’t expect was to hear that they were currently in an isolated space.
“We should head on out, the Grand Elder is most likely waiting for us.” Qin Xiao spoke.
After talking, the group walked toward the Space Gate, and when they walked out from the other side, they were standing back in the vast area in Mercenary City. Not too far was the giant stone statue that remained vivid and lifelike almost as if it were a human filled with grace. His head continued to stare off into the sky almost as if trying to stare a hole into it.
“Although I wasn’t born in Mo Tianyun’s time, I’ve heard of his legends many times. In his year, the creator of Mercenary City was matchless. No one under the heavens could fight him and he was even able to drive back the strongest of the Bai. The continent was left safe, but what a shame that he couldn’t withstand the corrosion of time!” Dugu feng spoke as he looked at the statue.
Huang Luan looked at Mo Tianyun’s statue for a moment as well before turning to speak to Jian Chen, “I’ll be leaving first. I hope that I’ll see you again in the finals.”
“Take care of yourself! Be careful of Shi Xiangran’s clan. They’ve come prepared, your uncle Tian and uncle Yun will have quite the headache.” Jian Chen spoke seriously.
“No worries, they won’t dare make a move in Mercenary City!” Huang Luan spoke before turning her head and walking away.
Jian Chen turned to look at Senior An and Yun Zheng before cupping his hands together, “Fellow friends, we will be leaving as well, until next time!”
“One moment Jian Chen, I think I heard Ming Dong say that you’ve established a Mercenary Group. Is that true?” Senior An asked as he looked at Jian Chen with a curious expression.
Hearing this, Jian Chen’s heart skipped as beat as he said, “That’s correct, I’ve made a Mercenary Group, did Senior An want to join?”
Senior An laughed out loud before scratching at his bald head, “That’s right. I’d like to join you if that is possible. Your strength is quite strong and you are a genius as well, I can bet that my future will shine brightly with you.”
“Of course then, I would naturally accept you.” Jian Chen had a happy smile on his face as he replied quickly before looking at Yun Zheng, “Did brother Yun Zheng wish to join as well?”
With a small smile, Yun Zheng replied, “If brother Jian Chen asks, then I, Yun Zheng won’t dawdle. Senior An is correct, I too believe that traveling with you would lead to a bright future.”
The addition of these two was what Jian Chen was hoping for. Right now the Flame Mercenaries required experts, so the addition of two Earth Saint Masters was what Jian Chen needed most.
“Haha, then all is fine now. Our Flame Mercenaries have expanded once more. I believe that our Flame Mercenaries will shine throughout the continent now.” Ming Dong laughed.
Afterward, everyone left to find an inn. Qin Xiao had already made agreements with the Grand Elder from the Tianqin clan who was waiting for them at an inn.
Dugu Feng wasn’t with Jian Chen’s group since the Dugu clan had elders waiting for him, he had to go back for now.
Jian Chen and Ming Dong brought Qin Xiao, Senior An and Yun Zheng to the inn where the Grand elder was waiting for them at a table with several dishes nearby.
The Grand Elder looked at everyone before sweeping his eyes over to Qin Xiao and Qin Jue who were both healthy with an excited smile. “Come and sit down, I’ve already ordered some delicacies. Just wait in the safety of my company.”
Ever since Jian Chen had first seen the Grand Elder, this was the very first time he had seen him smile or say a word. Even Qin Xiao was no exception, in that moment, Qin Xiao and Qin Jue both felt uncomfortable.
“Our apologies for worrying the Grand Elder.” Qin Xiao cupped his hands in respect before sitting down at the table with everyone.