“There is no need for lord Xiao to be so courteous. This one is Changyang Xiangtian. I came here today to discuss business with the house of Xiao.” Jian Chen spoke in a moderate manner.
However, when the name “Changyang Xiangtian” was heard, everyone from the Xiao family was stunned. Staring in disbelief at the young but handsome face of Jian Chen, their eyes simply couldn’t believe it.
“If this one may ask, are you possibly the very same Changyang Xiangtian as the fourth master of the Changyang clan?” The head of the Xiao family’s voice trembled as he inquired. The name Changyang Xiangtian was equivalent to a clap of thunder to his ears. It was a very famous name in the Gesun Kingdom. Not only was he a genius chosen by the heavens, he also became a Heaven Saint Master just after entering his twenties, and he became an Imperial Protector for the kingdom — a position that even the king himself would not be able to outshine.
“That is indeed this one!” Jian Chen declared.
The faces of even the highest-ranking members of the Xiao family immediately changed. Bowing deeply to the ground, they called out, “We pay our respects to the Imperial Protector!” At this, there were fluctuations to the voices of the men from their respect and admiration. For the Imperial Protector of the Gesun Kingdom to suddenly appear within their home, it was a great honor to the house of Xiao. But what made them worried was that the Imperial Protector had come out of the blue, meaning that it was unknown whether he would bring fortune or misfortune.
“Respectful and honored Imperial Protector, please come and take a seat within our halls. Allow the Xiao family to play host to the best of our abilities.” The head of the Xiao family respectfully but nervously spoke
“That won’t be necessary. Lord Xiao, this one has come to deal with something that requires a discussion. After it is resolved, this one will be leaving.” Jian Chen replied.
“Whatever is the command of the honored Imperial Protector, our Xiao family will do our best to fulfill your endeavors! To accomplish such a task would be a great honor to my family. Even ten thousand deaths would not be enough to stop the entirety of the house of Xiao!” The head fawned without even bothering to hide his attempt to curry favor.
Previously, if one were to inquire which party was the strongest within the Gesun Kingdom, it would without a doubt the Hua Yun Sect besides the royal family. However, after the failed invasion of the Gesun Kingdom by the four kingdoms, the situation had drastically changed. At the current moment, the Changyang clan held the title of the strongest whereas the Hua Yun Sect and the royal family couldn’t even compare.
Even if the half a million strong elite soldiers from the Qinhuang Kingdom were to be excluded from the garrisoned troops at Lore City, the Changyang clan had far more Heaven Saint Masters tucked away within it than the entirety of the Gesun Kingdom at its golden age. The fact that a dozen or so Heaven Saint Masters defeated the ones from the Heavenly Eagle Kingdom was no secret either.
It would be no exaggeration to say that the Changyang clan had already eclipsed the royal family as the strongest faction. Even the Hua Yun Sect could not compare with its three Heaven Saint Masters.
From the Changyang clan, the fourth master, Changyang Xiangtian, played a crucial and very influential role. When the head of the Xiao family heard the name that belonged to the young Imperial Protector of the kingdom, he suddenly felt a little terrified. At the same time, he felt that this would be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to seize the tree that was Changyang Xiangtian and climb to the sky. Through this, the Xiao family would have nothing to worry about and could survey the entire Gesun Kingdom without fear. With a hasty amiable face, the head began to try his best to show the desire he felt for his family to help the Changyang clan.
However, Jian Chen was not moved by the man’s friendly demeanor. With a calm voice, he said, “Lord Xiao, a few men of yours have been making trouble for a woman in my brother’s village as of late. I hope that you will discipline the parties involved. I would hate to have to come back here in the future, and in the case that I do, do not say that I am heartless.” Jian Chen’s voice grew progressively colder as he spoke.
The head of the Xiao family along with the other high-ranking members all grew startled. Already their faces grew ruinous as sweat began to pool on their foreheads.
It was with incomparable terror that the head of the Xiao family knelt on his knees. He said with a quaking voice, “I beg the honored Imperial Protector to quell his anger! A misunderstanding has occurred because of my inability to discipline my family. I, Xiao Yun, will strictly punish those few men and return a satisfactory compensation to the Imperial Protector. This slight from my family will not be repeated.”
“I hope you will do as you say. I will not look into the matters of the past, but there better not be a next time.” Jian Chen icily replied.
“There won’t be a next time, I can guarantee it!” Hua Yun hurried to respond with terror. He was already keenly clear that if the fourth master of the Changyang clan were to act against his Xiao family, then even the Blackwind Sect they had tried so hard to become friends with would be helpless to do a thing for them. Even the Hua Yun Sect, which was many times stronger than the Blackwind Sect, would be unable to go against the Changyang clan; such an act was unthinkable for any weaker sect like the Blackwind.
“Go and apologize to the villagers in person.” Jian Chen spoke.
“Ye-yes. I will do as instructed straight away.” The man nervously bobbed his head up and down without daring to speak back.
Seeing that an agreement had been made, Jian Chen nodded his head in satisfaction. Looking back to Tie Ta, he asked, “Tie Ta, are you happy with how this problem has been solved?”
“Hahaha, very satisfied! Changyang Xiangtian, you really do have a great face; I didn’t think that you would be able to solve this problem so easily!” Tie Ta happily laughed. The fact that the problem with the Xiao family had been resolved with barely any energy made him feel very cheerful.
“Now that we’ve concluded this business here, let’s return!” With that, Jian Chen began to will the wind element to carry Ming Dong and Tie Ta up into the air. Within several seconds, the three of them disappeared into the horizon.
The entire Xiao family watched Jian Chen and the other two fly away. They all let out sighs of relief when they could no longer see the three. Standing there with some lingering fear, everyone’s faces were drenched with sweat.
Letting out a sigh to release the tension he felt, Xiao Yun’s facial expression hardened as he looked at the other power-wielding members of the family. He ordered, “I want you all to search for the ones who dared offend the fourth master of the Changyang clan at once! Search them out, and do not let them off!”
“Yes, my lord!” Everyone obeyed with equally serious expressions. They were all crystal clear that this case had given the entire family a giant heap of trouble, in fact, possibly a colossal amount of trouble.
Jian Chen, Ming Dong, and Tie Ta all flew back to the mountains at a fast speed before finally touching down in a vegetation filled area to walk the rest of the way to the village.
After entering the village, Tie Ta excitedly told the villagers the happy news that Jian Chen had resolved their issues. It was with great joy that the entire village began to look at Jian Chen and Ming Dong with feelings of appreciation. For a good while, only thousands of words of appreciation were spoken for the two.
After appeasing the villagers, Jian Chen was pulled in to talking with the other villagers by Tie Ta while his mother went off to the kitchens to cook up plenty of dishes to receive Jian Chen and Ming Dong.
“Hey, Changyang Xiangtian. I recall that back in Kargath Academy, our strengths were pretty much the same. How is it after these few years, you’ve become so strong? Don’t tell me that you have some sort of secret to make yourself stronger, teach me it then!” Tie Ta gave a pleading look to Jian Chen. On the continent, practically every cultivator desired a way to increase their own strength. Even the honest and straightforward Tie Ta was no exception.
With a hearty laugh, Jian Chen replied, “Of course there is a secret, but whether or not you can take the same road I do is unknown.”
“What secret is it? Tell me now. I, Tie Ta, will definitely become as strong as you. Even the head of the Xiao family was bent into submission by you. If I can become just as strong as you, then I could let the village live a generation filled with peace.” Tie Ta spoke with excitement.
“This secret’s nothing complicated, even I could tell you.” Ming Dong spoke first. “Tie Ta, if you wish to increase your strength in a flash, the best method would be to explore the outside world and gain some experience. If you waste your time in a village with your talent, it would only stifle your future. Not only is the outside world brilliant, it will teach you many things and is far stronger than the village here.”
Tie Ta pensively scratched his head, “Really? I guess what you say has some sense to it. Back in Kargath Academy, Changyang Xiangtian wasn’t too far away from me in strength, but after that, he left Kargath Academy to wander the continent. After so many years, I didn’t think that his strength would be so strong as it is now. Could the experience gained from traveling the Tian Yuan Continent be truly that great on gaining experience in a short period of time?”
“Tie Ta, Ming Dong isn’t lying. It’s only when you go out and explore the outside world that your strength will improve quickly. You’ll learn plenty of things that you would never have been able to experience or see. It’s fortunate that I have a mercenary group that I’ll be developing in the next two days. As of right now, I need some manpower to help out, so if you’re willing, you might as well join my mercenary group. In the future we can all venture the continent and develop this mercenary group even more to become the strongest group in the continent.” Jian Chen spoke.
Tie Ta’s eyes began to sparkle with some excitement as he spoke, “Then wouldn’t that mean we would be able to travel together?”
“Of course!” Jian Chen laughed.
“Great then. I, Tie Ta, will follow in whatever you guys will do. Wherever you go, I will go.” Tie Ta responded with an excited face.
After successfully inviting Tie Ta to join the Flame Mercenaries, Jian Chen revealed a happy smile, “Tie Ta, then why don’t you say your goodbyes to the village. Tomorrow, we’ll go back to my home for a trip and then we’ll introduce you to my friends.”
On the second morning, Jian Chen and the two gathered all the villagers to give their goodbyes before leaving the village.
Outside the village entrance, the entire populace of the village convened to give one last farewell to Tie Ta.
“Brother giant, you have to return as soon as possible!” Qiu Yue’s eyes glistened with reluctance as she looked up the giant body that was Tie Ta.
Looking back at Qiu Yue, Tie Ta displayed a rather complicated look on his face. Waving his hands, he said, “Sister Qiu Yue, I’ll come back as soon as possible. Wait until then, and I’ll be able to protect the entire village. If you don’t dislike this coarse person that I am, then wait until I come back with some money. I’ll… I’ll… I’ll come back and marry you.” Tie Ta mustered up the rest of his courage to speak the last phrase, but after he finished speaking, his dark face turned red.
Qiu Yue’s entire body began to tremble as if she had been moved by his words. Wiping a tear from her eyes, she said, “Brother giant, Qiu Yue will await your return…”