Seeing the shocked expression on the Grand Elder’s face, Ming Dong laughed giddily, “The Grand Elder is quite keen to be able to see through my strength, but the Grand Elder needn’t lose his manners.”
Before the competition had started, the Heaven Saint Master that was the Grand Elder had been able to place a large amount of pressure on Ming Dong. However now, Ming Dong could be at ease with the Grand Elder without feeling any of the pressure anymore. That was because he was merely a step away from becoming a Heaven Saint Master. If it were not for uncle Tian, then he would have long since made the breakthrough to become a Heaven Saint Master.
The Grand Elder continued to stare at the black robed Ming Dong with his normally peaceful expression. Instead of being clear like water, emotions raged through his eyes, disbelief could be seen within his pupils.
Within the short time span of a year, Ming Dong had made the breakthrough to become a Peak Earth Saint Master from a Great Saint Master. This rate of progression was practically impossible, and the most important fact was Ming Dong’s age. From his appearance, Ming Dong wasn’t much different from Qin Xiao in age. Ming Dong was thirty years old at the very most, for a youth like him to be a mere step away from the Heaven Saint Master realm, this couldn’t be called talented anymore; this was the signs of a genius seen once every millenia. A genius that would make anyone else frightened.
“How is this possible? A year ago you were only a Great Saint Master. Just how were you able to become a Sixth Cycle Earth Saint Master in less than a year? Did you….did you hide your strength before?” The Grand Elder found it hard to keep his emotions in check as even his voice began to quaver in shock.
Seeing the look of shock on the Grand Elder’s face, Ming Dong was delighted. In the past he had been a mercenary of the lowest rung on the ladder, a nobody. He had once looked at the Heaven Saint Masters as a high and mighty position that would never be attained by him. What he didn’t know was that he would somehow have a major life change after following Jian Chen to Mercenary City. In such a short amount of time, he had already made major strides in power and became an entity that even a Heaven Saint Master would be surprised at.
“Haha, Grand Elder, don’t be so surprised. This year I came across a fortunate encounter and was able to make a major improvement in my strength.” Ming Dong laughed.
The Grand Elder quickly regained his calm but the tiniest of shock could still be seen in his eyes as he looked at Ming Dong. This was still something he found hard to believe.
For someone who wasn’t even thirty years old yet to reach the Sixth Cycle Earth Saint Master realm, if this were to be leaked out, the entire Tian Yuan Continent would be shocked.
This was truly too unimaginable. For one to have a gift like this, if it took them ten if not five years to make the breakthrough to become a Heaven Saint Master, they would still be one of the strongest in the continent since Saint Rulers were almost all hermits.
“Ai, I’ve grown old. To think that it was when I was seventy years old when I made the breakthrough to become a Sixth Cycle Earth Saint Master. I didn’t think that a thirty year old would attain such a mastery already. If you continue on like this, then there’ll be a day that you will become a supreme Saint Ruler.” The elder spoke.
Hearing this compliment coming from a Heaven Saint Master, Ming Dong had a pleased look on his face as if he was the carp that had successfully made it past the dragon’s gate.
The Grand Elder looked at Qin Xiao, “Xiao Er, you are Tianqin clan’s shining star of the century. The mission you’ve accomplished for your father, even I feel gratified by it.”
Unlike Ming Dong, Qin Xiao didn’t have his natural attitude toward the Grand Elder and could only speak out, “Grand Elder, when I return home, I shall prepare to make the breakthrough to become an Earth Saint Master, I am certain I will succeed.”
The Grand Elder laughed, “Let us take this matter slowly. You are still quite young, first prepare yourself and wait until you are completely sure that you will be able to become an Earth Saint Master. After all, becoming an Earth Saint Master holds the very first threshold of death. There cannot be a margin of mistake, or else your life is forfeit.”
“Ah, why haven’t I seen Tian Zhou, where is he?” The Grand Elder asked suddenly.
Jian Chen and Qin Xiao both looked dazed for a moment before going silent. Although Jian Chen and Tian Zhou had some disagreements, he didn’t kill Tian Zhou. That didn’t mean someone else might have.
Even Qin Jue began to stuff his mouth with food as if he hadn’t heard the Grand Elder’s words.
“Ai, Tian Zhou had quite the talent, I hope he is still alive.” The Grand Elder spoke as if he knew something and said no more about it to the group.
After the meal, Jian Chen returned to his room. Since Tian Zhou and his three men had not yet returned, the remaining few rooms were given to Yun Zheng and Senior An.
In his own room, Jian Chen called Ming Dong over and the two began to pour over the Heaven’s Stolen Fortune. Although this competition had finished, there was still the individual matches. After Jian Chen had killed both Jiede Wukang and Shi Xiangran, the two groups behind them would surely not let him go. Thus, Jian Chen would need to try and increase his own power which meant learning this Heaven Tier Battle Skill.
Within the “Heaven” set of rooms of an inn in Mercenary City, Jiede Wukang’s body could be seen lying on the floor. Two white haired elders stood next to it with furious faces.
On one side were the two middle aged men that stood trembling by the side after carrying Jiede Wukang.
“Who killed Jiede Wukang,” One of the elders spoke with a dangerous look.
“El…Elder, lord Wu…Wukang was killed by a youth named Ji-Jian Chen.” One of the men quavered.
“Then what of the Duanyun Sword?” The other elder asked with a dreadful look.
The two men both went pale in the face as they spoke no more.
“Speak!” The elder who had asked about the sword commanded with a furious glare.
“It…it must have been taken by Jian Chen.” One man stuttered out.
Slamming his fist onto the table, the elder broke the table into pieces before yelling, “Worthless! Absolutely worthless! What use are you two?!” His fists came up in an attempt to strike at them.
Immediately the other elder’s face twitched before blocking him, “Third elder, calm yourself. Don’t forget where you are, we cannot make a move here.”
The third elder slowly lowered his hands with some reluctance before growling, “You two. Go and find the whereabouts of Jian Chen immediately. We must find him and take back our Ruler Armament.”
“Yes, yes! Third elder, we will go right away!” The two men bowed before running out the door.
At the same time another inn, three elders and a middle aged man were waiting impatiently.
“The time has long since passed, why hasn’t the young lord returned yet, did something happen to him?” The middle aged man said as he paced around the room impatiently.
The three other gray robed elders didn’t say a word, but worried looks adorned their faces. One of them finally spoke up, “Let’s wait a little longer, the fourth elder went to find the young lord, I am sure he’ll return soon.”
“Elder Cai, do you think Lord Shi Xiangran has come across some trouble? Otherwise, why is it taking so long?” The man blurted out.
Even the three elders grew apprehensive at his words, but one managed to say, “Don’t be nervous, just wait and see.”
Time quickly passed by as three days and three nights flew by before a letter simultaneously made its way into Jian Chen, Ming Dong, and Senior An’s hands. The three had made it to the next round, and the notice had already been posted in the city itself. The names of 500 people were written down with the number of tokens they collected.
The very first thing that Senior An and Yun Zheng did that day was to buy a copy of the rankings for Jian Chen.
When Jian Chen looked at the rankings, he couldn’t help but narrow his eyes. Even with 1873 tokens, he was only in fourteenth place. The first place person was someone named Caraga. The amount of tokens he had collected had been 3712 tokens, which was nearly 2000 tokens more than Jian Chen.
The second place person was a person Zhar who had collected 2700 tokens, another unfamiliar name.
The third place winner was Ka Zhafei with 2500 tokens.
The fourth place person had a strange name. He had only had the name “Jue” and had 2300 tokens.
Fifth place was a familiar name. It was Qin Ji who had amassed 2100 tokens.
Sixth place was Dugu Feng with 2030 tokens.
Seventh Place was Tianmu Ling with 1965 tokens.
Eighth place was Huang Luan with 1964 tokens.
Ninth place was an unfamiliar person named Bali Tong with 1952 tokens.
The tenth place person was a person named Zhuge Xiao Xuan with 1931 tokens.
The next three names were also unfamiliar. It was only until fourteenth place that Jian Chen had seen his name. Under him were Ming Dong and Senior An with 1500 tokens each.
The following men after them all had a small amount of tokens. The very last place person had around 300 tokens.
This ranking list caused Jian Chen to be silent for a long while. While he knew that this survival competition would have more than just the Five Experts, he didn’t think that so many hidden experts would exist. For him to suddenly see an expert like the one who collected almost 3000 tokens in this competition, it had truly shocked him.
“I wonder how strong they are.” Jian Chen muttered. Although he was fourteenth place on the rankings, it was not an accurate testament of his strength.
“Jian Chen, who is this Caraga? I’ve never heard of his name, but he was able to collect so many tokens, he must be extremely strong then.” Senior An spoke with narrowed eyes.
Jian Chen shook his head, “I don’t know either. It seems that we were too narrow minded. With the continent so large and filled with so many experts, the amount of experts in the Gathering of the Mercenaries should be large as well.”
“En, yes, that’s right. In three days the finals will start. By then, we’ll be able to see just how strong they are. This one is sure that the three men with Radiant Saint Force are among the top ten.” Senior An spoke cautiously.
After talking for some time, Senior An left the area which allowed Jian Chen to continue to research the Heaven’s Stolen Fortune. The Heaven Tier Battle Skill was unmistakably deep, and even with Jian Chen’s strength, he had barely got past the introduction. He had only a small grasp of the fundamentals, but he was still able to manage to barely increase his strength by three times. Though, it was still extremely hard to control he absolutely needed to master this battle skill as quick as possible so he could use it.
The Heaven Stolen Fortune had a total of eight layers. The first layer was nothing more than an introduction, and after the first layer, the person would be able to multiply their strength by three times. The second layer would allow them to multiply it by four, and the third layer would allow them to multiply it by five. By the eighth layer, it would be possible to increase one’s strength ten times.
While the Heaven Stolen Fortune was quite terrifying, the amount of energy used was immense. Increasing one’s strength would use an equivalent amount of energy. While a person’s strength could suddenly skyrocket, the amount of energy lost would skyrocket as well.
Jian Chen meticulously studied the Heaven Tier Battle Skill along with Ming Dong. Only Qin Xiao would occasionally play around with them, but not once had they seen the Grand Elder afterward.
Today, two white robed elders along with two middle aged men with dark expression walked into the inn where Jian Chen was. Arriving at the third floor where Jian Chen’s room was, one of them placed his leg on the door before ruthlessly kicking it open.
Sitting on his bed with the Heaven Tier Battle Skill out, Jian Chen slowly opened his eyes before staring at the dangerous looks on the two elder’s faces. He had long since felt them come in.
The two elders looked at Jian Chen dangerously as one person asked, “Are you Jian Chen?”
Jian Chen didn’t have any fear as he responded, “Correct, I am Jian Chen, what may I call the two elders?”