“There’s a fight going on, but what’s strange is that the offender hasn’t yet fallen to the punishment from the barrier. Why can’t any energy be felt now when it was always prevalent in the cases before?” A middle-aged man spoke in confusion in the middle of a room.
“Don’t worry about that for now. As men of Mercenary City, we should be upholding the laws of the city and stop them from fighting. Let us move out.” An elder in the center spoke before moving to fly out of the place.
But before he could even get ten meters away, the man’s flight had been halted dead away, causing him to float motionlessly in midair.
Sensing the oddity that was happening, the elder spoke in disbelief, “Not good! There’s something locking down my ability to move! Hurry and warn the elders!”
The other Heaven Saint Masters that hadn’t yet moved out had been startled to hear that. Without any delay, they rushed off towards the lord of the city and out of sight.
Not too long later, three elders had made flown out from the city lord’s mansion. Each one of them wore simple clothing, but their faces were kind and amiable in appearance.
The three of them first stared at the fight first with bright eyes before looking to the still deadlocked elder in the air with furrowed eyebrows.
“What is going on?” The elder in the middle asked. The three of them had sensed nothing out of the ordinary aside from the fight going on in front of them. There hadn’t been any strange disturbances in the space around them--even from the elder who was locked straight in midair had nothing strange around him--in the eyes of the three newcomers, nothing was wrong.
The other people around the elder nodded their heads as if to agree with his confusion. One of them spoke with furrowed eyebrows, “Legend has it that no matter how fast one tries to strike another person, they’ll never be able to land a blow. The reason for that is because it is said that the barrier would strike down the offender before the blow can even land. But judging from this situation, the legends does not quite meet the expectations.”
“Yes, this is utterly strange. The two of them have already played cat and mouse for more than several dozen exchanges and caused a tremendous ruckus. Why hasn’t the punishment of Mercenary City befallen him yet?”
“What is going on then? Every single person that has violate the rules of Mercenary City fell to the punishment in the past, have they not? So why hasn’t it happened this time?”
“Perhaps Mercenary City has gone on for such a long time without any incident like this before, causing the people in charge of administering punishment to become lazy?”
The longer this went on, the more and more people realized that something wasn’t right. They talked to one another to speculate just what was happening and to try and find answers to their questions.
Patriarch Shi stared up at the gigantic barrier that spanned across the entire Mercenary City in surprise. Then, looking back to Jian Chen as he fought the other Saint Ruler, he muttered, “What is going on? Jian Chen has already fought for long enough, why hasn’t the punishment befallen him yet?”
In the center of Mercenary City not too far away from the statue of Mo Tianyun, there was a giant palace that was established as the mansion of the city lord. But to uphold Mo Tianyun’s sovereignty even after his departure, a second city lord was never declared and so the palace had been reformed to serve as a connection to the outside world.
Within the palace, several white-robed Heaven Saint Masters floated in midair as they listened to the faraway sounds of battle. Each one of them had signs of confusion on their faces.
“A report for the elders! My-my body can’t move! Not even a single finger!” The voice of the still-frozen elder could suddenly be heard as he cried out in panic.
“Boom!” Just at that moment, an explosion could be heard straight ahead as a giant restaurant came crashing down in the midst of smoke spiralling up into the air. The battle had not seemed to have been weakening in the slightest. Instead, it was ramping up in ferocity.
“There are people fighting there, so why hasn’t the barrier punished the offenders? How peculiar.” One of the elders spoke in confusion. Turning to look at the two elders next to him, he spoke, “No matter who they are, if they dare fight in Mercenary City, they cannot be pardoned. Twenty-third elder, twenty-fourth elder, you two will go over there and handle the situation. I will see what happens from there.” With that, the elder pointed at the stuck Heaven Saint Master in the sky.
The two elders nodded their head before disappearing in a blur of mirror images towards the scene of the battle. But just as they traveled a mere ten meters, their bodies seemed to have made contact with some sort of invisible barrier and caused their forward momentum to come to a screeching halt before being sent flying backwards.
“Boom!” The two elders impacted against the walls of the palace ruthlessly, sending a tremendous shake throughout the palace.
“You two! What’s….what’s going on?” The twenty-second elder spoke in absolute stupefaction. He couldn’t believe his eyes on what he was seeing.
The twenty-third and twenty-fourth elder staggered up from the ground in pain as they stared at the empty space of air where they used to be. “That’s-that’s the power of the barrier! The barrier just repelled us! But no….that shouldn’t possible. How could the barrier have that power to stop us?”
“What! You were stopped by the barrier, is that true?” The twenty-second elder gasped out in disbelief.
“It is absolutely true! The two of us have lived in Mercenary City for long enough, do you think that we would be unfamiliar with what the barrier feels like? It was the barrier that stopped us, but, but I don’t know why! Just why is this happening? This can’t be a small matter, we must notify the grand elder!” The twenty-fourth elder spoke with determination. Disappearing into the palace without further notice, he left behind the still confused twenty-third and twenty-second elder.
This sudden development had caused a tremendous amount of pressure to fill the hearts of the two elders. As soon as the twenty-fourth elder left, the twenty-second and twenty-third elder were left immobile in place and could only watch the fight from far away.
The barrier over Mercenary City had served as the city’s patron guardian since it was created. For countless of years, it silently protected the entire city, making it something like a god to some of the inhabitants of the city that could not be offended. Not only was it a part of the long-standing history of Mercenary City, the most important thing about this barrier was that it was created by the one known as the strongest person on the Tian Yuan Continent, Mo Tianyun. This had brought up a completely different feeling for the barrier than previously considered, and many had seen the barrier as something that represented the glory of Mercenary City even.
So when the barrier that had been previously silent as it protected the city before suddenly prevented the elders from stopping this battle, the twenty-second and twenty-third elder had been dumbfounded. For countless of years, they had never seen something like this happen before where even they of the city were stopped.
All of a sudden, the space in front of the two elders began to ripple as if it were water. Then, a fissure formed in the middle of the space to form a dimensional gate for three white-robed elders to step on over through.
One elder was standing up front while the other were stood behind. The one in front was a middle-aged man with black hair and a steadfast face. His eyes were incomparably bright as if they contained all of the stars in the sky. Just by staring at them, it seemed as if it would be possible to be lost in them.
This person was Ming Dong’s uncle--Tian Jian!
The two men behind Tian Jian looked to be around their seventies. With their long hair and time-worn faces, their eyes seemed to look as if it had lived through countless years of living and had seen all sorts of things that happened to the world. As of now, they looked to be men that had rejected the mundane world in order to live a secluded life, and the aura that they exuded around their bodies was anything but ordinary.
“We pay our respects to the grand elder, second elder, and fourth elder!”
The two elders immediately moved to bow their bodies as a sign of great respect. The sight of these three elders were enough to instill both respect and fear into the two.
“What is going on here!” Tian Jian spoke out at once.
“Grand elder, there are people fighting in Mercenary City! The twenty-fourth elder and I have tried to stop them, but the barrier not only stopped us, it threw us back into the palace!” The twenty-third elder spoke.
The three elders that had just arrived had been shocked to hear that. Turning around to look at the scene of the fight, the grand elder had been able to see the situation as if it were happening right in front of him.
“Eh? It’s him!” As soon as the scene was made available to him, Tian Jian let out a surprised sound.
“Grand elder, do you perhaps know the one that is fighting?” The second elder asked.
Nodding his head, Tian Jian responded, “The one fighting the Saint Ruler is called Jian Chen. He’s the one that won the Gathering of the Mercenaries. As far as his talents go, he’s someone that can only be seen once every ten thousand years.”
Smiling, the second elder spoke, “Haha, if the grand elder is able to praise him, then this Jian Chen is surely quite the person then. But this youngster is far too rash if he’s starting a fight in Mercenary City. Does he not know the consequences of fighting in Mercenary City? Still, it’s strange, why hasn’t the barrier punished him yet?”
“I find that strange as well. But we must move to stop him. If we allow this to continue, we may see the death of such a talented genius happen. That would be far too unfortunate.” Tian Jian commanded before urging his body to move out towards the scene of the battle.
“Don’t move! You shall not pass!” Suddenly, the voice of a young woman made its way into the elders ears. Tian Jian’s body had immediately seized up before he looked around the place with astonishment.
“Are you the spirit of the barrier?” For a good while, he did not speak. But then when he did, his voice had been filled with shock. Even as he asked, he felt as if his ears were deceiving him.
“You can say that. But you still can’t go there. Don’t bother with what’s happening, or Little Spirit will hurt you.”
Little Spirit’s words had caused Tian Jian and the others to become as silent as a statue. When it came to status, they were the leading figures of Mercenary City and could make use of the city as they saw fit. When it came to power, they stood at the very top of the power pyramid of the continent. So to have what seemingly felt like a young woman threaten these powerful men, they didn’t know whether to laugh or cry.
But neither Tian Jian nor the second or fourth elder had felt discontent at her words. As if everything was as right as rain, they had decided to stand there obediently to observe the situation without interfering. From there, they could watch Jian Chen violate the rules of Mercenary City without being able to do a single thing about it.
That was because the spirit of the barrier had an extremely unique status in Mercenary City!
“Spirit of the barrier, I never would have imagined that I would hear it speak. The legends are true after all. The barrier that protects Mercenary City is sentient!” The twenty-third elder remarked passionately.
The fourth elder sighed in response, “I’ve lived in Mercenary City for four millenniums now, but this is the very first time I’ve heard the spirit of the barrier speak. Haha, this is truly an honor to me. What year did I think that it would be before I could hear the legendary spirit of the barrier. Even if it is just the voice, I am satisfied with this.”
“To what I know, the spirit of the barrier hasn’t been seen or heard for ten thousand years already. But it has appeared this time with the appearance of Jian Chen and has forbidden us to take action. Perhaps there is a connection between the two? Otherwise, for what reason would the spirit of the barrier protect Jian Chen to the extent where no punishment has been inflicted?” The second elder murmured with confusion and disbelief. Jian Chen and the spirit of the barrier had a connection? That was quite hard to believe.
“I am curious about this matter as well. It would seem that Jian Chen isn’t as normal as I thought.” Tian Jian spoke questioningly.
Continuing to pursue the Saint Ruler, Jian Chen had without failed tried to attack the man to the surprise and discussions of everyone else around them on the streets. Each one of them were extremely curious on how Jian Chen had managed to escape punishment.
“What’s going on? Why hasn’t the spirit of the barrier punished you yet? Has the barrier lost its power, or is the punishment no longer in place?” The Saint Ruler could finally hold it in no longer and cried out in frustration.
Patriarch Shi’s eyes light up with a strange light as he listened to the Saint Ruler, “The barrier has to have lost its power! That’s why it hasn’t punished him yet. Jiede Tai, what are you worried about, attack him!” With that, patriarch Shi had immediately moved into action to send a palm strike at Jian Chen.
Following the palm strike, the space around Jian Chen seemed to solidify as Jian Chen’s body was suddenly rendered unable to move. As if he was stuck under water, not even a finger of his could be moved and made dodging impossible.
Around the patriarch’s palm was a strong amount of Saint Force that continued to grow faster and faster. Even around the palm itself, the space began to distort and tear as if threatening to open up a hole in space itself.
The power that was in this palm strike was far stronger than what a Heaven Saint Master could equal to even if they used a Heaven Tier Battle Skill.
But just half a step before the palm strike could make contact, a sudden beam of light came flying down from the heavens to strike him down with the speed of lightning.