On any other day, Daluo Square would be closed. It was opened only for a handful of important events, such as the Ceremony of Bestowing Lordship. The Square was packed with people on this particular day.
The people were talking excitedly, their voices filling the air. In fact, the entire Daluotian was bustling with people. This was not surprising, as after all, Daluotian was very a popular place within the Daluo Territory!
A huge stone platform was at the center of the Square. The people in the Daluo Territory called it the Platform for Bestowing Lordship. Every new lord in the Daluo Territory would emerge from this platform.
As the people were talking, shadows kept darting toward the Square from afar. Several stone seats, arranged in descending order, were in front of the Square. They were arranged according to the different levels of those who would be seated in them. The seat at the highest level was golden in color, and it was glittering under the sunlight, exuding a majestic aura.
When Mu Chen and Nine Nether appeared in the sky, many people turned to look at them. Nine Nether Palace was no longer the same. The weakest power among the lords had risen in power again. When the top powers in the Daluo Territory saw Nine Nether and Mu Chen, they turned grave.
Within a year, Nine Nether Palace had become increasingly famous. Many top powers looked at Nine Nether, then turned their gazes to Mu Chen, who was standing beside her. They sized Mu Chen up, as his name had become quite well-known in the entire North Territory recently.
The veteran top powers in the Daluo Territory were shocked with Mu Chen's achievements in the Dragon-Phoenix Rift. They knew that Mu Chen had been in the Daluo Territory for less than a year. Given some time, he would most certainly become a prominent figure in the Daluo Territory.
Nine Nether and Mu Chen ignored the looks of the people, landing toward the direction where the men of Nine Nether Palace had gathered. They then waited patiently for the ceremony to begin.
As Mu Chen stood beside Nine Nether, he looked around the Square. The other eight lords had arrived. Each of their presences showed how much they valued the Ceremony of Bestowing Lordship.
As Mu Chen was looking around, the other eight lords were looking at him as well. Lord Asura, Lord Mountain Cracker, and the rest looked at him with great admiration. It was obvious that Mu Chen had not only gained the respect of many young top powers in the North Territory, but also even the respect of the veteran top powers.
Lord Blood Hawk, who held some grudges against Mu Chen and Nine Nether, looked pale. He gritted his teeth. When Mu Chen first stepped into the Daluo Territory, he was nothing but a small fry. However, that small fry had somehow managed to humiliate Blood Hawk Palace!
Within a year, that same small fry had grown to a level that Lord Blood Hawk had become wary of. Although he was confident of suppressing Mu Chen, he had to admit that he would have to pay a price in order to do that. Mu Chen was no longer the tiny ant that he had once known.
Lord Blood Hawk was unhappy with the change in Mu Chen's status. However, he dared not lay his hands on Mu Chen.
Everyone in the Daluo Territory knew that Mu Chen was close to the Dominator. So, with the Dominator to back him up, even the Spiritual Pupil King, whom Lord Blood Hawk had submitted himself to, dared not touch Mu Chen. Thus, Lord Blood Hawk could only keep his unhappiness to himself.
As the lords were sizing Mu Chen up, there was a sharp whizzing sound that came from the horizon. A powerful spiritual energy swirled out, causing many people to turn to look at it.
"Qin Zhong…he has finally arrived!"
"Hahaha, I knew that he would not give up!"
"I wonder if he will become lord."
When the people saw Qin Zhong, they started to talk among themselves.
Is this really Qin Zhong, duke of Daluo City? Mu Chen's eyes glittered.
Qin Zhong appeared above Daluo Square, then came down halfway. He cupped his fist and smiled at the crowd.
Mu Chen looked up and saw a burly middle-aged man. His eyes were bright, and he was smiling. He seemed surprisingly approachable.
A powerful spiritual energy fluctuation was looming around him. From what Mu Chen could see, Qin Zhong's strength was comparable to the Prince of Netherworld's.
"After so many years, this fella does not seem to have improved," Nine Nether looked at Qin Zhong and said.
Mu Chen looked at Nine Nether in shock. Judging from her tone, she and Qin Zhong seemed to have been friends at one time.
Before Mu Chen could ask her to confirm this, Qin Zhong darted toward them and laughed loudly. "Hahaha, little Nine Nether, how have you been? I thought you had failed in your evolution, since you disappeared for such a long while!"
"After so many years, you have still not broken through to Grade Five Sovereign. Given your lack of progress, are you not ashamed to come for the Ceremony of Bestowing Lordship?" Nine Nether said. She obviously did not show any respect to him.
Qin Zhong was silent for a while, then said, "I helped you before. Don't attack me this way."
Mu Chen could not refrain from laughing. Qin Zhong seemed to be a very interesting person.
When Qin Zhong heard his laughter, he turned to look at Mu Chen. He smiled and said, "You must be Mu Chen. The people in the North Territory have been talking about you recently. You are quite capable, it seems. You are so young, but you have reached such an amazing level!"
"Thank you for your compliments, Duke Qin Zhong."
Mu Chen cupped his fist and smiled. Qin Zhong had left a good impression on him during this first encounter. He could sense that Qin Zhong was a candid person by nature. From the way the top powers had looked at him, Mu Chen could also tell that Qin Zhong was popular among the people in the Daluo Territory.
"Don't flaunt your seniority. I am sure that you will not be selected as lord," Nine Nether smiled and said, speaking directly to Qin Zhong again.
Qin Zhong was stunned. He looked at Mu Chen and said with a smile, "It is all right. After all, I have failed so many times. It doesn't matter if I fail again. However, if I were to fight, I would give it my best. I would like to see how powerful the number three young top power in the Dragon-Phoenix Record is."
As Mu Chen was about to say something, he suddenly looked up. Qin Zhong and Nine Nether lifted up their heads as well. Black smoke suddenly whizzed toward the Square, coming from the blue horizon. The black smoke was like a meteorite, its coldness causing one to freeze.
As the black smoke dissipated, the crowd saw a man in black standing in the air. The man was good looking, but he looked unfathomable. His thin lips were like blades, causing one to shiver at the sight of them.
He was smiling at the crowd. He cupped his fist and said, "How is everyone? I am Qiu Taiyin of the Ghost Clan."
The crowd responded to him immediately. Qiu Taiyin was reputable among the veteran top powers in the Daluo Territory. He was known to be the next candidate for the lordship in the Daluo Territory. He seemed determined to be the tenth lord.
Qiu Taiyin smiled and landed on the ground. Many of the top powers approached him and were friendly towards him. He seemed to be popular among the people as well.
Qin Zhong looked flatly at Qiu Taiyin, then folded his arms before his chest. Mu Chen could sense the spiritual energy fluctuation in Qin Zhong's body. This was clearly a meeting of the two top powers.
Is he Qiu Taiyin, leader of the Ghost Clan? Mu Chen looked at Qiu Taiyin and frowned. He could sense that Qiu Taiyin was a dangerous person.
Qiu Taiyin had lived up to his reputation in the Daluo Territory. Hence, it would not be easy to stop him in the Ceremony of Bestowing Lordship.
As Mu Chen's eyes were glittering, the bell tolled. The top powers lifted up their heads to see a small figure appearing on the golden seat. The three kings appeared below the golden seat as well, watching the top powers of the Daluo Territory from above.
The top powers cupped their fists and welcomed the Dominator. Mandela waved her hand, as she looked flatly at the top powers. She looked at Qin Zhong and Qiu Taiyin, then finally rested her eyes on Mu Chen. Her voice was gentle, but it was filled with authority.
"For this Ceremony of Bestowing Lordship, three people are qualified to fight for the lordship."
The entire place was in total silence. As Mandela's voice resounded in the heavens and the earth, all of the top powers looked tense. One could fight for the position of the tenth lord only with Mandela's approval.
"Qin Zhong, duke of Tianluo City."
"Qiu Taiyin, leader of the Ghost Clan."
Many people were sighing with disappointment in the Square. However, most of them were not surprised at their choices. These two people were the most qualified ones to become lord.
After pausing for a while, Mandela spoke again, announcing her third choice.
"Mu Chen of Nine Nether Palace."