The grand Ceremony of Bestowing Lordship gradually ended with countless sighs. The many powerful individuals of Daluo Territory had exclaimed in surprise at the outcome. No one expected that Mu Chen, who was a mere Grade Three Sovereign, could emerge as the final winner.
The exclamations were filled with envy and excitement, but lacked the disdain that had previously been abundant. Mu Chen had displayed his true power through combat at the Platform for Bestowing Lordship, shaking the hearts of every powerful individual in Daluo Territory.
His capabilities of a Grade Four Sovereign combined with his identity as an Earth Grade Spiritual Array Grandmaster could rival those of a Grade Five Sovereign. Even within Daluo Territory, where powerful people were abundant, he could be considered among the cream of the crop.
As such, while many were envious of Mu Chen's conferment as the tenth Lord of Daluo Territory, none of them were dissatisfied. After all, might and capabilities were respected everywhere, and Mu Chen's display of strength had earned the acknowledgement and respect of the many powerful individuals of Daluo Territory.
He was no longer the newbie who had just arrived in Daluo Territory, and had just broken through into Sovereign-level.
Furthermore, the Nine Nether Palace backing Mu Chen could not be seen the same as before. They had been the weakest force among the forces of the Nine Lords, and as such, they were despised and neglected. But throughout this year, Nine Nether Palace rose in strength, and their reputation grew day by day. Most importantly, Nine Nether Palace was now the only force with two lords under the command of Daluo Territory!
In this case, Nine Nether Palace would also receive a double portion of resources compared to the forces of other lords. With the support of such substantial resources, it was clear as day that Nine Nether Palace would grow even stronger.
In the future, the strongest force under the command of Daluo Territory could change, which was why provoking Mu Chen and Nine Nether Palace at that moment was the most foolish act possible.
Another winner in this Ceremony of Bestowing Lordship was the Duke of Tianluo City, Qin Zhong, who had received multiple benefits as well. Although he was not conferred a lordship, Mandela had promised to aid him in his breakthrough to Grade Five Sovereign due to his efforts in his conquest for Daluo Territory. What's more, if he could successfully attain Grade Five Sovereign, he would be confirmed as the eleventh lord of Daluo Territory after the Great Hunt.
This blessing had no doubt excited Qin Zhong greatly. The many other powerful individuals were eyeing him enviously, too. Mandela had also promised rewards to those with great merit in the Great Hunt. The worth of the rewards pricked the desire within the hearts of the lords, as well as all the powerful individuals beneath them. The morale of the entire Daluo Territory was uplifted, and their fighting spirit flew high.
Seeing this, Mu Chen could not stop himself from smacking his lips covertly. Mandela's tactic to drive her subjects was perfectly refined. She was indeed the only Ruler of Daluo Territory.
After the ceremony ended, Mu Chen rested calmly in Nine Nether palace, trying to stabilize the surging spiritual energy within right after he broke through to Grade Four Sovereign. Other than that, he used his remaining energy to train the Nine Nether Troop. As the Great Hunt drew nearer, Mu Chen could feel the tense and serious atmosphere around Daluo Territory.
Although Daluo Territory could be described as a top force in North Territory, forces just as strong had been obliterated in past Great Hunts, decimated and divided by other top forces. The powerful individuals under the destroyed forces could only escape or join other forces, and the losers would suffer scorn and jeering wherever they went.
As such, the Great Hunt was crucial to them. To avoid becoming a homeless cur, they had to fight with all their might to ensure the survival of Daluo Territory in the Great Hunt.
That's why the entire Daluo Territory was making preparation for war during that period. The atmosphere was heavy and grim.
Nine Nether Palace was no exception. Although Mu Chen had now been bestowed lordship, he was still in command of the Nine Nether Troop. Through the developments of the year, Nine Nether Troop's scale had expanded exponentially. On top of that, with the abundant resources for cultivation in Nine Nether Palace, the Nine Nether Troop could truly be considered a formidable army. Their strength was several times stronger than compared to a year ago.
According to Mu Chen's prediction, he would require strength from the Nine Nether Troop in the Great Hunt. Therefore, he could not be at ease and needed to improve his compatibility with this army as quickly as possible.
On an enormous training ground in Nine Nether Palace.
The Nine Nether Troop clad in black armor filled the grounds like waves of water. They were all sitting down cross-legged in silence. A dark fighting spirit oozed from their bodies and gathered in the air above them.
The fighting spirit moved like a gushing black sea, sending out indistinct roars, and the heavens and the earth seemed to be shaking slightly.
In front of them, on top of a statue of a giant lion, Mu Chen sat cross-legged. His eyes were closed as he formed a seal with both hands. A gush of spiritual energy shot out from his body and dove into the immense sea of the Nine Nether Troop's fighting spirit.
His spiritual energy swam freely within the cloud of fighting spirit. Mu Chen wanted to control that fighting spirit, so he needed to prevent any possible rejection from the Nine Nether Troop's fighting spirit.
Previously, Mu Chen's compatibility with the Nine Nether Troop was impeccable. However, after dealing with the Dragon-Phoenix Rift and the Ceremony of Bestowing Lordship, along with the expansion in scale of the Nine Nether Troop, the compatibility had obviously deteriorated. With time on their hands now, he clearly had to take this opportunity to improve their compatibility.
Mu Chen continued to cultivate and nurture his compatibility with the troop for about four hours. As he finally opened his eyes, he saw the Nine Nether Troop was like a black sea. Above them in the sky, their dense fighting spirit was like thick black clouds. Indistinct howling resonated like thunderbolts, terrifying people's hearts.
Perhaps the strength of a single Nine Nether Troop soldier would not be feared by Mu Chen, but their combined fighting spirit could even make Mu Chen feel pressured.
According to Mu Chen's prediction, as a Grade Four Sovereign, coupled with the fighting spirit of the Nine Nether Troop, even experienced Grade Five Sovereigns could be easily overpowered by him.
While Nine Nether Troop is strong, there's still an enormous difference between them and the Daluotian Army. Mu Chen gave out a sigh while he observed the Nine Nether Troop. Although the Nine Nether Troop was getting stronger, there was still a huge gap in power between them and the strongest army in Daluo Territory, the Daluotian Army.
However, due to the Daluotian Army's strength, Mu Chen understood that controlling their fighting spirit would be no easy feat. Mu Chen guessed that even the commander of the Daluotian Army, Huo Mei'er, would have difficulty controlling their fighting spirit perfectly.
The Daluotian Army consisted of several thousand Sovereign-level individuals. If their terrifying fighting spirit could be controlled, perhaps only Mandela and the Three Kings could suppress them.
"Perhaps it's time for these armies to do their part in the Great Hunt," Mu Chen talked to himself in a low voice. In the Great Hunt, the power of individuals would be insignificant, unless one were as powerful as the Three Kings. Otherwise, no one person could turn the tide of battle. As such, the combined power of armies was required to alter the outcome of a war.
We can't let our guard down in this Great Hunt.
Mu Chen looked up, and staring beyond the Nine Nether Palace, he could not help but sigh. He could feel the atmosphere change in Daluo Territory as the Great Hunt drew nearer. The armies under the command of the lords trained daily, and their bloodthirsty aura could be felt even from afar. Even Nine Nether had secluded herself for training and cultivation, and the many affairs of Nine Nether Palace fell onto his shoulders. Thankfully, Tang Bing, the "housekeeper," came to the rescue. If not for her help, Mu Chen would definitely have thought of escaping.
But it could be seen from this situation how cruel the Great Hunt would be. Even Daluo Territory was riddled with danger, as no one could guarantee the existence of Daluo Territory within the North Territory after the Great Hunt.
At the thought of this, Mu Chen's heart sank heavily. Although he had offended quite a number of people in Daluo Territory within the past year, he did receive their protection after all, which led to his speedy improvement in capabilities. As such, he was grateful to Daluo Territory.
Not to mention that Mandela was the Dominator of Daluo Territory. Mu Chen had a rather good feeling toward this little queen, who was absolutely adorable but inwardly violent. After all, she really had helped Mu Chen a lot throughout the year. Most importantly, of course, was that Mu Chen did not feel like he was treated as a subject by Mandela. Their relationship had exceeded their respective statuses to a certain extent.
So if Daluo Territory was destroyed and divided in the upcoming Great Hunt, it would be a hard pill for Mu Chen to swallow.
It looks like I have to do my very best. Mu Chen laughed bitterly. Considering his terrible relationship with Xuan Tian Hall, Liu Tiandao would not let him go lightly if Daluo Territory disappeared.
Mu Chen shook his head, then with a wave of his hand, he was about to order the Nine Nether Troop to continue their training.
But as his palm came down, he saw the space before him fluctuate. A dusty, petite figure emerged from the fluctuating space. The figure waved her arm, and ten alabaster jars flew towards Mu Chen.
As the alabaster jars flew, her childish voice was filled with loathing and echoed as she said, "Here, take your ten Divine Beast Blood Essences. Darnit, to gather them all for you, I had to go to every big auction in North Territory!"