“Your Majesty, are you saying to get rid of this group?” The elder inquired.
A hum escaped from the king’s mouth, “I wouldn’t say get rid of. The fact that another strong individual has appeared within the Blue Wind Kingdom is a boon to us as a whole. But I fear if he is an outsider and has come into our kingdom to expand his influence before taking those men and leaving the kingdom. Should that happen, the damages to our kingdom would be huge. We have only just finished a war with the Gesun Kingdom, our weakened kingdom definitely cannot sustain another crippling.”
“Then what does your Majesty believe needs to be done?”
“Master Ke Yun, I’ll be troubling you this time. I hope that you will be able investigate the Flame Mercenaries yourself and see what their goals are. If they wish to stay within the kingdom as they try to grow, then I will of course welcome them. But if they wish to steal away people or anything else that could affect our kingdom negatively, then we must strike them down at once without mercy.” The king spoke.
“Understood, I know what needs to be done.” The elder nodded before turning around to leave.
“One moment, master Ke Yun.” The king called out to the elder. “Master Ke Yun, your king is worried that there will be a Heaven Saint Master within the mercenary group. So before you leave for the Cloud Capital, take some people with you.”
“Thank you for your concern, your Majesty!” A brief smile and bow was given to the king before Ke Yun continued on his way out from the study with his held high.
As soon as the king saw Ke Yun leave the room, a wave of concern washed over him. “Why do I feel so much unease, is it because of this Flame Mercenaries? Will it be this newly made mercenary group that will be a scourge onto my Blue Wind Kingdom?”
He had remained seated where he was with a grim expression, “After the battle of the Gesun Kingdom, the kingdom has lost four of eight Heaven Saint Masters; and even the remaining four are all heavily injured. I hope that this feeling of unease is just a feeling.”
Within the Cloud Capital, discussion had run rampant throughout the next two days. Whether it was the main streets, hidden alleyways, or the restaurants and inns, everyone could be heard talking about the Flame Mercenaries.
The Flame Mercenaries had appeared in the Cloud Capital as if out of thin air. Then with unbelievable speed, they had combined the powers of the first-rate factions into an even bigger entity. News like this would definitely cause a major buzz within the city.
Consequently, this had caused the second and third-rate factions to feel slightly nervous. For the entire day, they had been extremely nervous to the point of having some clans electing to temporarily leaving the city and hide away until the crisis was gone. They were afraid that the hands of the Flame Mercenaries would stretch towards even them. Many--if not all--of the factions did not want to lose the power they had worked for to become a lackey for another.
Of course, not every of these factions had been like that. Some of them had even took the initiative to look for the Flame Mercenaries in hopes of joining it.
When the dozen major clans that had initially joined were given the command from Jian Chen, they began to accept all of the newcomers into the mercenary group without declining a single one.
Right now, the Flame Mercenaries needed new blood to join the Flame Mercenaries. When it came to management, Jian Chen wasn’t concerned. The dozen clans had enough power to lay down the law on their own and could easily manage their own mercenaries too.
From the other side, the lord of the city had not been as happy to see more and more people join the Flame Mercenaries. The more people that joined in fact, the more nervous he became. Nothing could be done on his part to ebb this chaotic maelstrom that was happening within his city aside from standing in silence on the sidelines and hope that someone from the kingdom would come in to interfere.
“It is fortunate that the Feral Mercenaries are all out on a mission, otherwise they might have been annexed into this mess too.” The lord muttered.
In the blink of an eye, the maelstrom had only gotten bigger. Four days had passed now, and the Flame Mercenaries had continued to swallow up even more factions into their folds. News of what had transpired in the city had even made its way across the entire Blue Wind Kingdom. No matter if it was a big or small city, each and every one of them had heard about it.
Whether people believed it or not, the news that they received had sparked a paradigm shift in the Blue Wind Kingdom--the rise of a new powerful faction had come.
A long ways away from the Cloud Capital was the First Class Tianlong City. Within the biggest mansion in the city stood a middle-aged man. Cloaked in white robes, this man stared out at the pond in front of him with both hands behind his back.
This! This was the lord of Tianlong City!
Almost absentmindedly, the lord began to mutter to himself, “Ah, how unexpected! A truly unexpected event it is. The originally weak and piddling mercenary group back in Wake City has suddenly transformed to be strong enough to subjugate the entire Cloud Capital in several days. A change like that is utterly inconceivable.”
Inside another room in the same mansion sat Katata and Katafei. Seated at a table, the two of them were discussing with one another over a bottle of wine.
Having rained his cup, Katata spoke to the other, “Katafei, you ought to know what happened back in the Cloud Capital too. Do you think that the Flame Mercenaries there are the very same ones from Wake City?”
“I do!” Katafei spoke. As the stoic one of the two, he cherished his words as if they were gold and did not dispense them easily.
“How are you so sure?” Katata pressed on.
“Jian Chen’s strength is an unknown to us, but to have a Sixth Cycle Earth Saint Master at his beck and call? It is him.” Katafei spoke. There had been suspicion and confusion to be in his mind, but his face betrayed none of those emotions.
Draining the rest of his cup in one single gulp, Katata sighed. “It really is hard to believe that Jian Chen has accomplished so much in just two years. Two years ago he was said to have joined the Gathering of the Mercenaries, did he receive some sort of boon while he was there? It’s a tremendous pity that Mercenary City is nearly worlds apart from our kingdom, only the most important news would make it way here.”
Jian Chen was at this moment sitting on top of his bed within the inn of the Cloud Capital. As he was trying to cultivate, Xiao Bai continued to roll around on the covers of the bed for amusement. It had been fortunate that the cover was a very simple and inexpensive one, for it had already been torn to shreds by the claws of the tiger cub.
Jian Chen had not left the inn for several days and spent his time cultivating in his room to wait for everyone else to fully recover and finish what was left before embarking on their trip out from the Cloud Capital.
“Captain of the Flame Mercenaries, make your way to see us at once.” Suddenly, a voice like thunder had boomed through the skies. The speaker’s voice had been so strong that it seemed to shake the world itself. The streets shooked and the buildings quivered--even the clouds had been blown away to reveal the sun behind it--everyone had heard the voice to what very well might belong to a god.
For a moment, the entire Cloud Capital was quiet before suddenly erupting into a cacophony of sound. Everyone had turned their heads to the skies as if trying to find the origins of the voice.
“I see them, look! Over there! Two men in the skies! Those are Heaven Saint Masters!” Suddenly, an excited middle-aged man pointed erratically at a point in the sky with a loud cry.
The heads of everyone in the city turned to look where the man was pointed at--and indeed--there were what appeared to be two tiny ant-like dots up in the sky. While small in figure, the might that exuded from them made them look more like gods descending upon the mortal world.
“Those are two Heaven Saint Masters! They have to be here to fight the Flame Mercenaries, it’s all over for them now.”
“What a calamity for the Flame Mercenaries. With two Heaven Saint Masters here, they’re ruined for sure.”
Everyone had been furiously discussing this topic with some hidden glee. But those who had joined the Flame Mercenaries already had gone pale in the face.
The lord of the city came scrambling out from his mansion to stare out into the skies at the two Heaven Saint Masters. “Two Heaven Saint Masters? His Majesty has sent two over them over? Great! This is fantastic! The Flame Mercenaries are definitely ruined now!”
From every part of the Cloud Capital, several dozen factions that had aligned with the Flame Mercenaries came filing out. When they saw the two Heaven Saint Masters floating high in the sky, their faces had gone pale. Those who had been forced into joining had a happy look on their faces, but those who had willingly joined had felt a fearful look spread on their faces.
A single Heaven Saint Master was already enough to worry them. But two Heaven Saint Masters was a tremendous amount of pressure on them.
From within his own room, Jian Chen slowly opened his eyes to look up.
At the same time, the doors to his room opened to reveal Ming Dong and the others.
“Jian Chen, two Heaven Saint Masters are here--how rambunctious they are to strut here and there on the skies--do they think no one knows who they are? Hah, if they’re willing to try it, I’ll beat them black and blue until they run away.” Ming Dong laughed. In his eyes, a Heaven Saint Master wasn’t some sort of unreachable entity he could not chase up to.
“Captain of the Flame Mercenaries, come on out at once.” Don’t think that hiding away in the city like a tortoise will help you.” This time, another voice had exploded out from the skies with a reverberating echo.
The loud voice had angered Ming Dong, “Who the fuck is that to be so aggressive-sounding?”
A cold smile appeared on Jian Chen’s own face. “Stay here, I’ll go out to greet them myself!” As soon as he spoke, a single hole had suddenly appeared on the top of the roof, revealing the bright azure skies beyond it. Not even a second later, Jian Chen had already disappeared from his bed into the skies.