“That is only natural. You Yue, your plan is quite impressive. The Flame Mercenaries will use this method from now on to become the strongest in the shortest amount of time possible.” Jian Chen laughed with a happy smile on his face. Then as if thinking of something else, the smile receded from his face, “However before we can develop the group, I still have several things that I need to take care of. Well, we will adjourn here for now. Everyone should go rest, we will continue this talk tomorrow.”
Kai Er had long since had his family prepare the most fanciful of rooms for Jian Chen and his entourage to rest in. Aside from the servants of the Kai family tidying up the broken bits and pieces of the courtyard and gates, only the sounds of the night could be heard.
While Jian Chen and his group slept, news of the events that had transpired within the courtyards of the Kai family quickly made their way around the city. It didn’t take long for the news to reach its way back to the mansion of the city lord.
Within the mansion, the city lord Yun Li could be seen sitting by his table with a cup of tea in hand. If it were any other time, then the lord would have long since retired to his bed for the night, but today was different. He knew that tonight would be the night that the Defiance Mercenaries would clash with the Flame Mercenaries. After tonight, there would no longer be a Flame Mercenaries in Wake City, only the Defiance Mercenaries.
Just then, a black-robed man came scurrying into the room and kneeled on the ground. “A report for the city lord. The captain of the Flame Mercenaries has returned. The Defiance Mercenaries have been killed, and the leader, the One-armed Warrior, has been crippled and captured by them. The remaining Great Saint Masters were all beheaded in their attempt to escape while the remaining members forfeited their Space Belts in order to live and escape in peace.”
“What!? Their captain who hasn’t returned in two years has actually come back? And he’s captured the One-armed Warrior as well you say?” Yun Li was astonished — he didn’t expect this outcome at all.
“Yes, my lord. As of now, all of the Great Saint Masters of the Defiance Mercenaries have been wholly slaughtered. Their mercenary group is no more.” The informant relayed.
Yun Li’s face paled by several shades of white for a moment before he slowly calmed himself. With a wave of his hand, he commanded, “You may leave!”
“Your subordinate will withdraw for now!” The informant immediately disappeared into the palace halls.
After the informant left, Yun Li’s face hardened in worry as his eyebrows knit together. With a slow sigh, he murmured to himself, “Who would have imagined that Jian Chen would actually return at this moment. Truly, the machinations of man are superseded by those of the Heavens…”
The Blue Wind Kingdom was millions of kilometers away from Mercenary City. In just travel time alone, it would take roughly half a year to get from one to the other. That was the reason why no news had made its way from there yet, so the city lord would naturally not know about the events that transpired in Mercenary City.
Early the next morning, all sixty or so members of the Flame Mercenaries gathered in the Kai family’s courtyard. They stood tall and proudly with their eyes gleaming with brightness. In front of them, Jian Chen, Ming Dong, Dugu Feng, Yun Zheng, Senior An, Tie Ta, and You Yue stood carefree.
Jian Chen’s eyes wandered over the group of people in front of him before he worked up an impassioned expression to make a speech. “From today on, our Flame Mercenaries will begin our climb in earnest! Our next goal is to become the strongest mercenary group within the Blue Wind Kingdom as soon as possible, and then the strongest mercenary group within the area. As of now, I will be serious and make an announcement.”
Pausing briefly to take in a deep breath, Jian Chen pointed at Ming Dong, “This is Ming Dong, and from now on, he will be the vice-captain of our Flame Mercenaries. His power will be just below mine, but higher than everyone else’s. Does anyone have any objections?”
“There are none! We welcome our new vice-captain!” Kai Er had been the first to express his approval. Ming Dong may be as young as his son, but after witnessing how Ming Dong had so easily killed the experts of the Defiance Mercenaries last night, he was well convinced of his strength. An Earth Saint Master was one that they could hardly afford to invite, so how could they refuse?
“There are no objections! We welcome our new vice-captain, Ming Dong!”
“Welcome to the new vice-captain!”
One by one, the members of the Flame Mercenaries began to cheer and welcome Ming Dong with jubilant expressions.
Continuing on, Jian Chen said, “This is Dugu Feng. His strength has been made clear to everyone I presume. As an expert of the Earth Saint Master level, he will be given a position as an elder within our Flame Mercenaries.”
This time, Jian Chen’s statement of Dugu Feng’s strength had caused every single member to feel exuberant with happiness. Right now, their loyalty to the Flame Mercenaries in their hearts grew so deep that should the need arise, they would lay their lives down for it. The Flame Mercenaries were even more important than their own families. With the addition of two Earth Saint Masters to their group, just how could they not be happy?
The faces of Kai Er, Qingfeng, Mo Tian, and Charcas in particular were essentially streaming with tears. It was clear to them that the days of suffering for the Flame Mercenaries were finally over. What they would now welcome would be the dawn of a glorious tomorrow.
Jian Chen’s heartstrings began to tug as he looked at the excited faces of everyone. When he saw the deep expressions on their faces, Jian Chen knew that these men were the true pillars of the Flame Mercenaries. Despite their strengths not being that great, these members were true and faithful to the Flame Mercenaries.
Jian Chen took in a deep breath to school his emotions before continuing with his speech, “These three are Yun Zheng, Senior An, and Tie Ta. Yun Zheng and Senior An are both Earth Saint Masters as well. They will serve as the law keepers for our mercenaries.”
Upon hearing that both Yun Zheng and Senior An were Earth Saint Masters, the Flame Mercenaries exploded into a rambunctious cheer. Their emotions flooded their faces at an unprecedented speed.
The excitement continued for some time before Jian Chen held up his palm to calm the crowd. “Tie Ta is a Great Saint Master, but he will hold the same position of power as Kai Er, Qingfeng, Mo Tian, and Charcas. Henceforth, the mercenaries here today will be the core of the Flame Mercenaries. Everything you might need for your cultivation such as funding, living expenses, or anything else required by you mercenaries will be handled by the entirety of the group. The monster cores required for your cultivation will be provided for your strength to be increased.” By now, Jian Chen possessed a mountain of monster cores and a surplus of wealth that could rival an entire nation. To provide for these sixty or so men whose strengths were at the Great Saint Master would be nothing more than a single hair from nine cows.
Furthermore, these men had experienced a trail of fire to prove their loyalty. Hence, they were worth Jian Chen’s time to nurture and train.
Jian Chen’s words caused the entire mercenary group to fly into another frenzy once more. Why did they become mercenaries? Was it not to hunt the monster cores from the magical beasts to cultivate? Was it not for exchanging these cores for money to cover their living expenses? With Jian Chen now handling the expenditures for both monster cores and their costs of living, all of their worries in life practically alleviated. They could dedicate the rest of their time and energy to cultivating. No more would they have to fight with others for monster cores. This alone brought them no small amount of elation.
This tremendous windfall was so sudden that many of the men thought that they had fallen into a dream. The events that were happening in front of them simply couldn’t be real. They had to be an illusion!
Jian Chen took out a white jade bottle from his Space Ring, “This is an unbelievable heavenly resource that money cannot buy in this world. Its name is the Hundred Grass Wine. It has the ability to increase your strength, so I will grant you all a drop.” Jian Chen unstoppered the bottle and allowed a drop of the green liquid to slowly pour out one at a time. Once it was in the air it floated up beside Jian Chen.
After having poured out the rest of the bottle and using his mind to float them in the air, Jian Chen had the droplets delivered to the sixty members, Kai Er, and the other three.
Everyone could only stare blankly at the floating green droplets. Jian Chen’s method of delivery had surprised them. For a bizarre sight like this was something they had never seen before.
Seeing the stunned looks on everyone’s faces, Jian Chen revealed a faint smile, “Hurry and drink it. If exposed too long to the outside world, its potency will decrease!”
As if shaken from their stupor, every single mercenary immediately opened their mouths to swallow the liquid. A surge of boundless energy began to fill the entirety of their being as soon as the green liquid entered their stomachs. It caused the members to feel greatly shocked. Some of them even fell to the ground in a seated position so they could fully dedicate themselves to digesting the raw energy coursing through their bodies.
The thousands of years old Hundred Grass Wine was something that had the greatest benefit on an individual of the Heaven Saint Master level. Jian Chen himself had used the Hundred Grass Wine to increase the power of his mind. In Kargath Academy, it had even been enough to force Khafir through the bottleneck he had been stuck at for many years. From this, it could be seen that the potency of the Hundred Grass Wine was extremely effective. Despite this, Jian Chen was still willing to let each member have a drop of the wine. The Great Saints or Saint Masters strength would substantially increase after receiving such a boundless amount of energy packed in this drop of wine.
An hour later, Qingfeng, Kai Er, Mo Tian, and Charcas were the first four to reawaken. The four Great Saint Master’s eyes flew open and a brilliant light could be seen in them.
“I’ve actually reached the pinnacle of a Great Saint Master. There is just one more step needed for me to become an Earth Saint Master!” The look of shock on Kai Er’s face could hardly be repressed as he spoke with excitement.
“I too have gone from a middle Great Saint Master to a peak Great Saint Master!” Qingfeng spoke passionately. After drinking a drop of the Hundred Grass Wine, the four of them had all reached the very peak stage of a Great Saint Master. From there, it was only a short step away from becoming an Earth Saint Master.