Within the Changyang clan, Jian Chen gathered Ming Dong, Dugu Feng, Yun Zheng, and Senior An all together around a round table.
Jian Chen looked around the table with a glint before clearing up his thoughts. After muttering to himself, he said, “Now that the problems of the Gesun Kingdom are all but resolved, we all should start to do our own things now.”
Ming Dong’s eyes sparkled, “Jian Chen, are you talking about the Flame Mercenaries?”
“Correct, the Flame Mercenaries is exactly what I’m talking about.” Jian Chen continued, “I returned to the Gesun Kingdom after such a long time, but I also had plans to see just how much the Flame Mercenaries have developed. Yet, with so many problems that got in the way, I had no time to go and check on the mercenaries until today. With everything said and done with, I shall make use of my remaining energy to manage the Flame Mercenaries.”
“Jian Chen, just where did you establish this mercenary group? I have never heard of it before, let alone know how strong it is.” Yun Zheng asked.
“I didn’t create the Flame Mercenaries, I am just merely the second captain. It’s been two years since I left, so if they didn’t change locations, they should still be in Wake City of Blue Wind Kingdom. As for their strength….” At this point, Jian Chen had an embarrassed smile on his face, “Well, wait until you see it, you’ll understand then.”
“Haha, Jian Chen. I’ve heard that you owned a mercenary group, but I have never heard of it either. We should head to Wake City so I can see just what this mercenary group of yours is like.” Ming Dong chuckled.
“When do we leave?” Dugu Feng spoke. Compared to everyone else, he was more detached. Even when he was speaking, his face was expressionless.
Hearing that, Jian Chen muttered, “Before we head to Wake City, I wish to go somewhere else first. You should all stay in Changyang Manor for a while. Wait for me to return, then we’ll head out.”
Afterward when everyone was about to leave, Jian Chen pulled Ming Dong aside, “Ming Dong, you come with me. I want to introduce a friend to you.”
“Alright, where to then!” Ming Dong asked succinctly.
Jian Chen and Ming Dong both left the Changyang clan with Jian Chen carrying him to Kargath Academy.
To the south, there was a forest where magical beasts could be found littered everywhere. This forest was known as the Misty Forest since there was a dense layer of mist covering the forest throughout the entire year. The deeper one went into the forest, the more dense the mist got, making it very easy for a person to get lost.
According to the records left behind by those before, the Misty Forest used to be an ordinary forest with a decent amount of magical beasts residing within it. But a thousand years later, a sudden mist rolled into it for no reason at all. At first everyone had been curious to know the reason why it appeared, prompting plenty of braggarts and strong mercenaries to head into the forest to investigate. From all that tried, not a single one had returned.
The disappearance of anyone that left for the forest did not strike fear into the hearts of the mercenaries. Instead, it had bolstered them and caused even more mercenaries to believe that there was some sort of treasure within the forest.
Spurred by their greedy hearts, plenty of mercenary groups had banded together to form a large-scale attempt to scour the entire forest. After several days, only a meager few heavily injured men came stumbling out from the forest despite thousands of people enter it. All of them had repeated the same shocking information; within the abyss of the forests, there was Class 6 Magical Beasts!
This piece of information was like a clap of thunder to the hearts of every mercenary there. The cities around the Misty Forest were all Second and Third Class cities where a Class 5 Magical Beast was already far too strong of an entity. A Class 6 Magical Beast was an entity they could only look up to. A beast like that could destroy a Second Class city with ease.
All of the surrounding kingdoms had quickly received this information, prompting them all to dispatch plenty of Heaven Saint Masters. They were to rapidly respond to the abyss of the Misty Forest in hopes of killing and extracting their monster cores. On the Tian Yuan Continent, Class 6 Magical Beasts were existences that only lived in the Cross Mountains. In the eyes of humanity, the Cross Mountains were a forbidden zone where anyone beneath a Heaven Saint Master was guaranteed to die there. Thus, Class 6 Magical Beasts were very rare to see outside of it. Whenever one did appear, every nearby party would immediately head out to hunt it.
Every single Heaven Saint Master that had gone into the forest had come out with dismayed expressions without exception. There had been no sounds of battle the entire time they were in the forest, leaving every single spectator,who were looking forward to seeing the Heaven Saint Masters battle, disappointed. The deterrence brought forth by the Misty Forest had multiplied in the hearts of the mercenaries because of this situation. Soon, rumors were spread throughout the land, and although they weren’t enough to shake the continent, practically every single person within hundreds of thousands of kilometers knew about the situation.
From that moment on, every mercenary knew that there was something hidden within the Misty Forest that scared even Heaven Saint Masters away. While many mercenaries would still hunt for magical beasts in the Misty Forest, they would stay in the outer area. No one dared to go deeper in it.
Aside from the Heaven Saint Masters who entered the forest, not a single person would be able to imagine that hidden within the deepest parts of the forest would be a giant building. There were several other buildings built around it, but the mist never reached into the area of these buildings.
Within the center of these buildings, there was a single tower that was about a kilometer in height. On the first story, several elders could be seen smiling and chatting. Among this group were the elders Feng and Yun from the Huang family.
“Elder Feng, Elder Yun, it is rare to see the two of you come by my Huanggu family. Why don’t you stay for some time within my household?” A crane-hairstyled elder spoke. This elder wore a plain white robe, but there was the air of a scholar to him.
“Lord Jiang, the two of us always come by here for a reason. This time, it is for an important matter.” Elder Feng spoke with a difficult expression as if he found what he was about to say quite embarrassing.
“Haha, just what matter could it be for you two elders to personally come running over? Did the Hongfu clan do something new?” The head of the Huanggu clan asked.
Elder Feng shook his head before taking out a letter from his Space Ring to give to the head, “Lord Jiang, please take a look.”
The head of the Huanggu clan took the letter and opened it up. When he saw the inner contents of the letter, the smile on his face was wiped away, forming a difficult expression. With a low voice, he said, “Your Huang family has decided to absolve the betrothment? Elder Feng, Elder Yun, just what is the meaning of your Huang family?”
The two elders revealed apologetic smiles as they cupped their hands, “Lord Jiang, please calm yourself. This decision came from our ancestor himself.”
Upon hearing mention of the ancestor, the face of lord Jiang grew even more serious. Tossing the letter onto the table, he spoke with a still difficult expression, “Elders, what does your ancestor mean by this! This betrothment was suggested to us by him, and now he wishes to cancel it, does he see my Huanggu clan as something to tease?”
“Lord Jiang, we truly are sorry. There is already another in the heart of our young miss, so our Huang family does not wish to forcibly break her heart. Thus, this betrothment should be dropped. If we offended the Huanggu clan in anyway, please forgive us.” Elder Yun spoke apologetically.
“Hmph, what kind of young lord could your young miss possibly fall in love with that would have your ancestor break off this betrothment?” The head of the Huanggu clan inquired.
“The man our young miss has taken a liking to is the Imperial Protector of the Qinhuang Kingdom.” Elder Feng spoke with a faint smile. His heart could already predict just what type of expression the head of the Huanggu clan would make.
Sure enough, upon hearing mention of the Imperial Protector of the Qinhuang Kingdom, the face of the man showed some fear run through it. Then he revealed a cold smile, “Is that so. So your Huang family has found the tree known as the Qinhuang Kingdom to climb. Indeed, with the Qinhuang Kingdom, your Huang family wouldn’t fear the threat known as the Hongfu clan.” There was fury that could barely be contained within the lord’s heart. The young miss Huang Luan possessed an exceptional talent. At the age of twenty she had already reached the realm of an Earth Saint Master. This was something the Huanggu clan had highly favored. They had tried an infinitesimal amount of ways to get her into their clan, but the Huang family had constantly rejected them.
It was finally after half a year when the Hongfu clan greatly changed that caused the Huang family to feel pressured. It had been so much that they had taken the initiative to try and link their family to the Huanggu clan by marriage in an attempt to combine their power to deter the Hongfu clan from starting anything.
This proposal had been something that the Huanggu clan had been all too happy to accept. If their Huanggu clan could join with the Huang family, then their combined power could plateau with the Hongfu clan and scare them away from attacking. In the case that a fight broke out while the two sides were of equal strengths, then it would only lead to an internecine aftermath. There was no way the Hongfu clan would dare risk that.
It could be said that this marriage between the Huang family and the Huanggu clan was for the sake of military deterrence and not for actual warfare with the Hongfu clan. For that reason, the Huanggu clan had been delighted to agree to this marriage. Now that the Huang family had decided to break off this marriage, the leader of the Huanggu clan was all too displeased. They had valued Huang Luan quite highly and the person she was supposed to be married to was the dearly loved son of lord Jiang. There was no way he wouldn’t be angry about this.
“Elders, please excuse yourselves. I must bring this matter to my ancestor to report so that he may speak to your own ancestor for the reason.” Lord Jiang waved his hand with a temperament similar to the way an emperor would expel foreigners from his lands.