The distribution of power in the Daluo Territory was a little out of the ordinary. With the exception of the army that the Daluo Territory itself ran, every Lord had its own army. If these Lords wanted to gain a larger territory, they had to use their own troops to seize and annex them in territories outside of the Daluo Territory. Thus, each faction of the Lord-ranked individuals vigorously developed the army under its command to make the faction stronger.
For example, the Asura Palace's Asura Troop, Cracking Mountain Palace's Cracking Mountain Army, Blood Hawk Palace's Blood Hawk Troop…
Of course, although these armies were strong and domineering, everyone knew that the most fearsome fighting force in the Daluo Territory was the army directly under its command, the Daluo Celestial Army—except that this army was not under the control of any Lord. It belonged to the unfathomable Sleeping King, and of course, the mysterious Dominator, who was always difficult to find.
The Nine Nether Troop was an army under the Nine Nether Palace.
However, due to the fact that Nine Nether had been away for many years, and because she was not good at managing the army, when she left, the Nine Nether Troop was considered to be the weakest of the Nine Lords' Armies. Fortunately, Tang Bing was diligent in training the troops in the years of Nine Nether's absence, so the Nine Nether Troop gradually become strong. Although they were unable to match up to the Ashura Troop and other powerful troops in terms of resources, they were obviously much stronger than before.
Nine Nether Palace, Training Ground.
In this vast training ground, there were countless black figures standing in silence. They wore black armor and stood upright like a rock, unmoving. Their breathing was consistent, and their majestic aura was startling, as if thunder and lightning had struck.
On the raised platform in front, silhouettes skimmed through the air as Nine Nether, Mu Chen, Tang Bing, and Tang Rou appeared.
"Our respects to the Palace Master!"
When Nine Nether appeared, the thousand figures, as unmoving as rocks, bowed respectfully with their fists held to their chest. Their voices chorused in unison, reverberating like rumbling thunder.
As Mu Chen stood on the platform, he looked down at the army that resembled a mass of dark clouds, and his eyes were filled with wonder. It was indeed a true army, and it was as if they were breathing as one with their spiritual energy circulating around them, meeting without any resistance.
It was apparent that this had taken years of cooperation and camaraderie to achieve.
"The Nine Nether Troop has always remained at a scale of 1,000 people. We adopted an elimination system. At the end of each year, the last 100 people ranked in the assessment are eliminated and become other forces in the Nine Nether Palace. In the end, rookies who have performed well will replace them." Tang Bing smiled.
Mu Chen was slightly surprised and amazed at the girl's ability. She completely abandoned the advantage of quantity and sought to achieve only quality. This brutal elimination was the main reason for the increasing might of the Nine Nether Troop. Naturally, he could see that everyone in the troop had achieved the level of Three Sovereign Disasters, and the figures standing in the front showed signs of advancing into the Sovereign-state.
In the face of this army, even though Mu Chen had cultivated the Great Solar Undying Body successfully, if they struck together he would have to be cautious and avoid clashing head-on with them.
"You did well," Nine Nether said in commendation. It looked like it had been the correct choice to entrust the Nine Nether Troop to Tang Bing.
"We had to resort to this as our Sovereign Spiritual Liquid could only develop and sustain a troop of this scale." Tang Bing smiled helplessly. She did want to expand the Nine Nether Troop, but due to the limited amount of Sovereign Spiritual Liquid in Nine Nether Palace, expanding the army would only shake the foundation of the Nine Nether Troop instead.
"It has been hard on you." Nine Nether patted Tang Bing's shoulder. During these years, Tang Bing even distributed her own Sovereign Spiritual Liquid to the Nine Nether Troop. Nine Nether was ashamed of her own contribution when Tang Bing had sacrificed so much.
"It's alright." Tang Bing smiled as she glanced at the Nine Nether Troop. Her crisp voice turned colder. "From this day on, Mu Chen will be the Commander of the Nine Nether Troop."
Upon hearing her words, low murmurs sounded from the Nine Nether Troop which was usually as stable as a rock. Everyone looked towards the young man on the platform before becoming silent.
Silence, at such times, was clearly a sign of opposition.
Tang Bing raised her brows as she asked nonchalantly, "Does anyone have any objections?"
A voice finally sounded. Standing at the front of the Nine Nether Troop was a tall man with the stature of an iron tower. He wore black armour and was armed with a metal spear, his expression firm. "Commander Tang Bing, if you were the one who commanded the Nine Nether Troop, I believe none of us would have any objections.
"We are aware of the difficulties that Nine Nether Palace has faced over the years, and you have contributed your own Sovereign Spiritual Liquid and distributed it to us, so we fully respect you. If your earlier words were orders, we would have followed them. But, I am afraid that some of my brothers will not accept it. "
Mu Chen looked at the man who was as sturdy as an iron tower, and was surprised to find that this man's strength had reached the level of a First Grade Sovereign, but judging from his spiritual energy fluctuations, he had yet to cultivate a Sovereign Celestial Body.
This level of ability astonished Mu Chen, as he did not expect to find Sovereign Masters in the Nine Nether Troop.
Mu Chen's gaze shifted and found that to the man's left and right, two figures stood still, and the spiritual energy fluctuations of the two men were not weaker than his own.
Three Sovereign Masters.
"The three of them were the strongest and most prestigious of the Nine Nether Troop, and they all had high hopes of being promoted to Commander." Tang Rou stood beside Mu Chen as she introduced the three men to him softly. "The man who spoke is Qiu Shan, standing on his left is Bei Mo, and to his right is Lan Hai.
"They were originally wandering practitioners, but after offending a sect, they were hunted down and eventually saved by me. I then let them join the Nine Nether Troop, and in these years, they have been very loyal. Despite Blood Hawk Palace offering huge sums of money to tempt them to leave, they chose to remain here," Tang Bing commented.
Mu Chen nodded. Being able to join the Nine Nether Troop was considered a pretty good outcome for ordinary wandering practitioners. At least they could obtain free Sovereign Spiritual Liquid here. However, the fact that they could resist the bribery of Blood Hawk Palace surprised Mu Chen as he thought, Looks like these three men do know how to repay the kindness shown to them.
"If you want the Nine Nether Troop to truly respect your command, it's up to you to prove your worth to them," Tang Bing said softly. Although she could command the Nine Nether Troop to follow orders, that would result in the Nine Nether Troop growing resentful and harboring thoughts of resistance. Thus, it could only depend upon whether Mu Chen could tame these recalcitrant guys.
Mu Chen smiled as he walked forward, appearing in the training ground.
"You all refuse to respect my command?" Mu Chen asked as he approached the three figures standing in front.
The three men did not speak as they glanced at Mu Chen nonchalantly. It was apparent that they did not hold much respect for him. They could tell that Mu Chen's ability was that of First Grade Sovereign, and probably stronger than they were, but that was not enough for them to thoroughly respect him.
"Just attack together. If you want to express your dissent, at least let me know if you're qualified to do so," Mu Chen stated calmly.
Rage surged in the three men's eyes as they stated in a low timbre, "We have yet to cultivate the Sovereign Celestial Body."
The implication was that if Mu Chen used the Sovereign Celestial Body to suppress them, there was no way he would gain their respect.
"I will not use the Sovereign Celestial Body," Mu Chen stated nonchalantly.
The three men's gazes suddenly turned sharp and with no hesitation, they stepped out, and three specters surrounded Mu Chen. Their palms dealt blows with the force of thunder and were as swift as lightning, sweeping towards Mu Chen's vital parts. The moment the three men moved, they exhibited a chemistry in their cooperation.
The magnificent spiritual energy of the three men encompassed the might of wind and thunder as they dealt their blows.
Mu Chen remained motionless but clenched his fists tightly. His skin turned silver at an astonishing speed, and a low rumbling sound thundered as if it were ringing through the bones.
In the face of such a fierce attack, he remained still.
The aura of the three men's blows landed heavily on Mu Chen's body as astonishing spiritual energy erupted due to the impact. The earth beneath their feet immediately disintegrated, forming a huge crack.
The surface of Mu Chen's body rippled with waves of impact that were clearly visible. His body was a resplendent silver, and even his eyes had become silver bright. Thunder circulated on his body, and he resembled a thunder god who had descended onto the earth.
Qiu Shan and the other two's faces twisted in shock as they could feel that their blows had landed on an indestructible rock that had been hardened by the impact of thunder and lightning striking it countless times.
"What a powerful physical form!"
Shock flitted across the three men's hearts as they had also cultivated a physical form, but it was no match for Mu Chen's.
Sparks of thunder burst out from Mu Chen's silver eyes. As thunder surged and spread, a terrifying spiritual energy wreaked havoc, causing the three men's bodies to shake violently as they fell in a state of embarrassment. Their feet left deep trails as they scrambled on the ground.
Low gasps of shock came from the Nine Nether Troop, as many men were overwhelmed at the scene before them. They did not expect that the alliance of Qiu Shan and the other two would fail to scratch the young man even in the slightest.
"That's awesome," Tang Rou gasped loudly, with astonishment in her eyes.
Tang Bing nodded as she glanced at the tall and slender figure standing before the Nine Nether Troop. That figure had such a majestic aura, it made everyone focus their attention on him. This young man seemed to have such a unique charm. No wonder Sister Nine Nether valued him so much.
"If you are not convinced, feel free to challenge me again." Mu Chen's silver eyes gazed at the three men nonchalantly.
Upon hearing this, Qiu Shan and the other two smiled bitterly as they shook their heads despondently. The gap between them was too insurmountable. Their joint attacks had failed to even scratch Mu Chen's physical form, and this confrontation proved that they were not in the same league as Mu Chen.
Upon seeing this, the silver light surrounding Mu Chen gradually dissipated. The lightning runes on his chest, which had been concealed by his clothes, also faded silently. Upon closer inspection, there had been the maximum number of ten lightning runes.
Unknowingly, Mu Chen's Thunder God Physique had reached its maximum potential.
No wonder he dared to resist the three men's brutal attacks using his physical form.
"Commander Mu Chen."
Qiu Shan and the other two retreated a step as they clasped their fists in respect. Under Mu Chen's crushing, dominating strength, they were thoroughly convinced of his ability and hence respected him fully.