After Jian Chen and his group left Lore City, the Xiao family had all gathered within the halls of their clan compound in Huangge City. The head of the Xiao family sat in the topmost position while several dozen youths kneeled down on the other side. If Jian Chen and Tie Ta were here, they would be able to confirm that these youths were the very same ones that tried to kidnap Qiu Yue from the village.
“A report for the lord. We’ve made a concise investigation, and these are the ones that offended the fourth master of the Changyang clan.” One of the bulkier looking men cupped his hands as he gave his report.
The head of the Xiao family, Xiao Yun, stared dangerously at the few men. His frosty eyes made the youths afraid to respond or even look up.
“Your forgiveness, my lord! Please forgive us! We didn’t know that they were men from the Changyang clan. We only knew that a female villager was rather pretty, and we wished to have her wed to the young master. We did all of this with the young master in mind!”
“My lord, please spare us! We won’t dare do such a thing again…”
“My lord, please give us one more chance, please forgive us this once…”
The youths all knew that they had invited disaster upon themselves. Thus they knelt down and wept for forgiveness.
Snorting, Xiao Yun replied, “Drag them out and break both their legs.”
“Yes!” The middle-aged men nearby replied. Then calling for several guards, they dragged out the youths to break their legs.
“Tie them up and prepare them as gifts. We shall head to that village to apologize.” Xiao Yun commanded. For the grand and mighty head of the Xiao family to personally come to apologize to a mountain village, showed just how importantly he viewed this matter.
The Cross Mountains was the Tian Yuan Continent’s largest magical beast mountain range. It traversed across the entire continent, bisecting the continent in two. The mountain range took up a sizeable portion of land.
An endless amount of magical beasts existed within the Cross Mountains. A veritable paradise for magical beasts to congregate at, many of the Class 6 Magical Beasts on the continent lived there. Very few of them lived anywhere else. Furthermore, legend had it that within the depths of the mountains existed several Class 7 Magical Beasts. As a result, the Cross Mountains were designated a forbidden zone for humanity. Any human that tried to enter the Cross Mountains would never find their way back alive.
So, the very depths of the Cross Mountains have existed as a forbidden zone for thousands and thousands of years. Even Heaven Saint Masters were afraid of taking a single step into this land.
At this moment, within the depths of the Cross Mountains, stood a three meter tall middle-aged man. This man had a very stalwart in physique. The veins in his body glowed with a golden color. His copper-like muscles bulged as a sign of well-development, and the only clothes he wore was a single pair of shorts that stopped short of his knees.
Both of the man’s hands drooped down as he stood with hesitation in this area. His eyes flickered with an uncertain light as if unsure of something. Right where he was standing was the common boundary between the abyss of the mountains and the outer world itself.
“The entire Cross Mountains have been searched already, but the Winged Tiger God cannot be found. Even Rum Guinness’ presence has completely vanished. It appears that she has already brought the Winged Tiger God from Cross Mountains a long time ago and into the territory of man. If we wish to kill the Winged Tiger God, then we will have to step into that territory.” The man muttered to himself with knotted eyebrows.
“Rum Guinness has already violated the treaty we have with mankind. Should I reveal this information and let the human experts deal with them?” The man thought for a moment before quickly shaking his head, “No, that won’t do. This involves the ancient mythological Winged Tiger God. A matter like this is far too important to allow humanity to realize the problem. If they find out and find a way to tame the Winged Tiger God while it’s still a cub, then it’ll be a tremendous calamity for the entire magical beast race. It appears that we cannot allow the cub to remain in the human territory; we must kill it, but the moment I step into the human’s territory…” At this the man’s voice began to falter as his eyes began to reveal a deep shade of fear.
After a moment, another gleam that would cause anyone to shiver appeared in his eyes. As if he was finally determined, he growled, “The experts of humanity have all hidden themselves. As long as I am careful, they won’t find me.” With that, the man took a determined step forward across the boundary between the Cross Mountains and the outer world. His body began to glimmer and shake for a moment before shooting off at an inconceivable speed, finally blinking out of sight.
Two days later in the stronghold of the Blue Wind Kingdom, a group of mercenaries could be seen slowly escorting a caravan of goods. Among the crowd were seven Class 3 Magical Beasts traveling at a leisurely pace. Sitting on top of these magical beasts were six males and a single female. Although they wore plain clothes, their presences were regal and unordinary by any sense of word. Even the people around them didn’t dare get too close, and kept a healthy distance as if afraid of unknowingly offending someone of unusual power.
After two days worth of traveling, Jian Chen and his group had finally arrived at the Blue Wind Kingdom Kingdom. After entering the interior of the kingdom’s territory, Jian Chen didn’t stop. They continued on toward Wake City.
The Class 3 Magical Beasts continued to move at a rapid pace through the lands. They left behind a trail of dust that looked like a single dust dragon from far away.
By the end of the day when the moon had started to rise, Jian Chen’s group finally arrived at Wake City. The horizon was already growing a dusky light with the last half of the sun nearly out of sight. The light that radiated from the sunset was enough to illuminate half of the sky.
There weren’t many travelers moving to and from the gates of Wake City, so only several dozen weary soldiers were guarding the gates.
Jian Chen’s group of travelers slowly made their way to the gated entrance of the city. Seeing the battleworn city walls, Jian Chen felt a complex emotion arise on his face as if reminiscing about something.
Wake City was a tiny Third Class City. In this place, Jian Chen had struggled with no small efforts to survive. His struggles had left deep impressions on him. Each step he took here seemed to link to yet another memory fragment in his mind.
Ming Dong stared curiously at the old-fashioned walls of Wake City before speaking up, “Jian Chen, your mercenary group is staying in this city?”
Jian Chen nodded “Once. But it has been a long time, I’m not quite sure if they’re still in Wake City.”
With that, Jian Chen and the others entered the city. Stopping a passerby, Jian Chen questioned, “Hello there brother, are the Flame Mercenaries still in Wake City?”
“What a strange question. The Flame Mercenaries have always been in Wake City. Where else would they be if not here?” The man stared strangely at Jian Chen.
Jian Chen was overjoyed to hear that, “Wonderful. I didn’t think that the Flame Mercenaries would still be here. I was worried they would move to another location. Brother, do you happen to know where they’re located at?”
“At the Kai family’s compound in the southwest part of the city.” The man replied.
“Many thanks!” Jian Chen clasped his hand together before urging his mount forward, bringing the other six to where he remembered the Kai family’s location was.
At that moment, there were already a large group of sturdy-looking men gathered at the gates to the Kai family’s home. Each one of them possessed a murderous air to them, totalling to over two hundred people.
Right in front of them were three middle-aged men and a single elder standing side by side in a single line in front of the gates. Standing behind these four was yet another large group of people with frosty glares of their own.
“One-armed Warrior, your Defiance Mercenaries are intolerable with your bullying. Although our Flame Mercenaries may not be as strong as we once were, that doesn’t make us easy targets. Do you really think we’ll stand for the annihilation of our group? We’ll ensure that your Defiance Mercenaries lose just as much as you gain.” The elder standing in front glared dangerously at the group in front of him.
Standing at the very front was a man with a single arm. Laughing, he spoke, “Flame Mercenaries, if this were the past, then your group would have the strength to go against my group. With how things stand now, I, the one-armed warrior, really don’t see you as a threat. If you don’t want to die, then cooperate with us. Join with my Defiance Mercenaries and we won’t treat you unfairly.”
“Hmph. Hoping to annex the Flame Mercenaries into your Defiance Mercenaries is nothing more than the dreams of a madman. The brethren of the Flame Mercenaries are not cowards. We will not accept this.” A middle-aged man spoke from in front of the gates.
“Qingfeng, I know that you are not cowards. You are a man in the truest sense of word and thus I respect you. However, your Flame Mercenaries cannot compare to my Defiance Mercenaries in battle, so why not join with us and help expand the Defiance Mercenaries? When we become the Blue Wind Kingdom’s strongest mercenary group, I will award you all for your services. From here on out, endless glory and splendor will await us. What is there to disagree with, eh? It’s not worth your life to squabble over this.” The one-armed man laughed.
“Hmph, if not for the absence of the captain of our Flame Mercenaries, then your Defiance Mercenaries wouldn’t even have the chance of going as you please in Wake City. You’d be thrown out before you’d start.” Mo Tian gnashed his teeth.
“The captain of the Flame Mercenaries? Ah, you must be talking about Jian Chen. I’ve heard about him before; a single man who destroyed the Zhou Mercenaries and the Zhou clan by himself before also eliminating the Tianxiong clan in Wake City. Then, he even fought with a Class 5 Magical Beast with his skill. Tut tut, what a strength he has. Not bad, not bad at all; even I have no choice but to admire him.” By this point, the one-armed man had a taunting look on his face as he continued to speak. “But what a shame; your captain isn’t here. He went off to participate in the Gathering of the Mercenaries. Hmph, what a egotistical brat with no knowledge of the world. With just the small amount of fame he achieved in this small city, he thought he was undefeated in the world and joined the Gathering of the Mercenaries. He should have realized that area is a world that only Earth Saint Masters can survive in. Without that strength, just how could he participate in it. He most likely died in Mercenary City, so how could he even come back to Wake City!”