The rewarding ceremony continued.
Guided by a Magus of etiquette, Ji Hao stood on the bottom step of the altar while the attentions of millions of people were focused on him. Meanwhile, he could hear the rewards gained by the others who had also devoted outstanding services during the Chi Ban Mountain war.
The ones who were rewarded with enfeoffments were Si Xu, Si Wen Ming, Huaxu Lie, Lie Mountain Kang, Hao Tao and some others.
Si Xi was Earl Chong, and this time, he was directly upgraded to Marquis Chong. Among all ranks of a minister in the alliance of human clans, only Earls and Marquis could have enfeoffments. As Si Xi was now upgraded as Marquis Chong, the area of his territory had increased by a hundred times.
Si Wen Ming and the others were 'Earls' as well. Si Wen Ming didn't seem to be too excited about this, as he was already in a high position and didn't think highly of this new enfeoffment of his.
However, Huaxu Lie and Lie Mountain Kan were so overexcited that they both had been quivering intensively and their faces had even turned a purple-red color.
They were both 'princes,' cultivated by the Huaxu Family and Lie Mountain Family with no efforts spared. Each of them had access to many special rights in their own clans and had been enjoying rather preferential treatments. However, everything they had, came from their clans; their warriors, their territories, all their powers, everything was given by their clans.
Those elders and leaders of their clans could take everything they had away with a single word.
But now, they had made great contributions to the humankind and had attained the noble titles of 'Earl.' Now, they each had their very own territories, and these territories they owned had nothing to do with their clans. These lands were now their very own territories that belonged to no one else but themselves.
They could now store up more warriors who had greater loyalty to them, could expand the scale of their clans as much as they wanted, and have more clansmen who are loyal to their families; they could also have more stable income sources. When competing for the position of leaders against other princes of their families, they now possessed an absolute advantage.
In fact, in addition to these practical benefits, only the title of 'Earls' given by Emperor Shun had already made them different from the others. They could now come into Emperor Shun's meeting hall and could meet the human emperor in person at all times. They were already important officials of the government of the human emperor. Now, they could even be on an equal footing as the leaders of their clans.
Most importantly, the territories enfeoffed in this sky-offering ceremony would be under the protection of alliance of human clans, no one could invade even a little bit of their territories. As long as the alliance of human clans remained existing, their territories would be as solid as an iron block and could be inherited by generations of their descendants.
Huaxu Lie held the conferral scroll with both of his hands, walked down the altar through the stairs step by step, then stood on the left side of Ji Hao.
In a short while, Lie Mountain Kang walked down the altar as well, standing on the right side of Ji Hao.
The two of them standing on both sides of Ji Hao abruptly began laughing in low voices together.
Huaxu Lie laughed and said in a low voice, "I have spent over a hundred years and made countless contributions to our humankind. My contributions accumulated and finally this time I have attained my own enfeoffed territory. Ji Hao, you're at such a young age yet already, you are as same as us."
Lie Mountain Kang gave a laugh as well, then said, "Look at Minister Si Wen Ming. He is older than us and has made more contributions than we have. But as he had been pressed by Lord Si Xi all the time and didn't have much interest in this kind of things, therefore, same as us, this time he finally attained a title of 'Earl.' Ji Hao, you have to treat us and buy us drinks."
Ji Hao grinned, casting a sideway glance at each of them. He was clearly aware that in the future and inside the alliance of human clans, these two men, who were both princes of well-known powerful families and now had both become officials with enfeoffed lands, would naturally be his allies. Ji Hao smiled and said, "You can have as much great wine and delicious meat as you want. But right now, my territory is basically empty. We don't know when you can have your banquet on my place yet."
Huaxu Lie pondered for a short while, then said, "Hm, after the ceremony, let's go meet Minister Si Wen Ming and talk about this. You kid don't even have a single clansman under your command. So incompetent as Earl Yao in this way."
Lie Mountain Kang wanted to say something too, but suddenly, a Senior Magi of the Magi Palace, who was wearing a long black robe, showed up like a ghost and helplessly glanced at the three of them. Instantly, all three of them shut their mouths and obediently lowered their heads, each showing a look of reverence and awe.
The rewarding ceremony carried on. Only eleven to twelve people had attained enfeoffed territories because of the contributions they made during the war. After them, the others who had also made their contributions were rewarded with slaves, livestock, jade coins or armaments, or a few mines or rangelands. But no one else gained as much as Ji Hao did, with a piece of land with a radius of a whole million miles.
Except for rewards in money and properties, warriors who performed outstandingly in battles were all promoted to more important positions by Emperor Shun.
The trophies gained through Chi Ban Mountain war were extremely rich, and large amounts of supplies had piled up in the storage like mountains. Therefore, Emperor Shun announced that the army stationed in Pu Ban city that was under direct command of the human emperor would be enlarged. Those outstanding warriors who had been promoted all became warrior commanders, who now had thousands or tens of thousands of warriors under their command. These warriors had now become the core of the newly expanded army.
The rewarding ceremony has lasted for an entire day. When the sun began to set over the land, and the sky started getting dark, Emperor Shun finished the rewarding to the last small clan, which had taken part in the Chi Ban Mountain war.
The Blood Mouse Clan came from the most western side of Pu Ban city and had a population of only three-hundred-thousand. This time, this clan had sent thirty thousand warriors to the war, and these warriors had attained quite a lot battle achievements. Emperor Shun rewarded them with a piece of land that was eight-thousand miles in radius, and fifteen-thousand slave warriors, eighty thousand slaves and ten-thousand sets of armors and matched armaments.
The reward attained by the Blood Mouse Clan was not even as much as Ji Hao had gained as an individual, yet, the leader of this clan was already thrilled by it. He even jumped up with joy and shouted out cheeringly, and directly began dancing and laughing loudly on the altar. For small-scale clans like Blood Mouse Clan, this reward was just way too much. It was enough for them to improve the power of their clan by five to six times within the short time span of around ten years.
Si Wen Ming, who was standing in front of Ji Hao, abruptly turned around, smiled at Ji Hao and said, "This time, we have won the war. All clans have an infinite joy, even small clans like Blood Mouse Clan have attained a great amount of benefits…However, did anyone think that if we were defeated and the Evil Dragon Bay defensive line was truly broken by the non-humankind…hehe…"
A fierce coldness attached directly on the hearts of Ji Hao, Hauxu Lie and Lie Mountain Kang, all three of them remained silent.
If Dishi Yanluo's elite army truly broke the Evil Dragon Bay and march straight into Chi Ban Mountain, warriors sent to the war by small clans like Blood Mouse Clan would have all been gone by now, without even leaving as much as ashes. A big half of those troops sent by those clans, which had their leaders walk to the top of the altar and accepted rewards, would have been wiped out for good.
Countless human clans in the north side of Pu Ban city would be suffering a bloodbath started by the non-humankind. If that truly happened, those people, who had now been cheering and laughing in joy, would certainly be wailing and crying while kneeling in front of Emperor Shun and begging for rescue.
"Fortunately, we have won." Ji Hao murmured to himself in a low voice.
"That's why you have attained the first prize!" Si Wen Ming patted on Ji Hao's shoulder and said, "The banquet is happening soon, enjoy as much as you can…Many girls have already had their eyes on you, my Earl Yao!"
Ji Hao laughed out loud. He wasn't even slightly shy because of Si Wen Ming's teasing.
Si Wen Ming cast a glance at Ji Hao in surprise, then grinned and said, "Don't tell me that you're actually an old hand with women, are you? I can't see that…Hm, the man hanging outside your door, let him be hanging in there. I will support you for this, not even Wuzhi Qi can put him down, not even if he goes to find you himself."
Ji Hao instantly loosened his tightened nerve. He knew that Si Wen Ming had now carried the burden up for him.
He immediately took out the unreasonable contract given by Dark Cloud from his sleeve and thrust into Si Wen Ming's sleeve. Ji Hao was preparing to fight against Wuzhi Qi till the end, and would like to find out if Wuzhi Qi could hold on to the end.
All of a sudden, the chime bells and war drums rang all together, along with which, Emperor Shun's voice resounded across the entire space.
"My people, the banquet is ready. This time, we have won a landslide victory. Just enjoy the banquet as much as you like!"
Countless people raised their arms high and cheered out.