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There were several hundred people within the courtyards of the Griff clan, but in this moment, the entire area was completely devoid of conversation. Only the heavy breathing could be heard.
Every single one of them had stared at the ten or so Earth Saint Masters that had been knocked to the ground by the impact with wide-open eyes from disbelief.
Ha Ni and Jasmine had been surprised by Jian Chen’s strength as well since they had no idea just how strong he was. And so even the two of them stared at Jian Chen in silent surprise for a long while.
With a single move, more than ten Earth Saint Masters had been heavily injured. Just what kind of monstrous strength was this?
“Wah! Cousin, you are really strong! Without any effort, even all these Earth Saint Masters were taken care of; is this the true might of a Heaven Saint Master? How amazing!” Suddenly, a loud but excited sound broke the silence that had descended upon the area. Bi Lian had cried out to Jian Chen with such elation that her face had gone red.
Heaven Saint Master! Those three words had been like a sledgehammer that slammed into everyone’s chest and cause them to s.h.i.+ver violently. And now when they looked at Jian Chen, everyone was now appalled at the sight.
None of them could hardly dare to believe their eyes. The twenty something year old youth in front of them was….actually a Heaven Saint Master? A person like this was a golden existence even in the entire Blue Wind Kingdom. Even the king of the kingdom himself would have to treat Jian Chen with the utmost sincerity and manners.
Jasmine and Ha Ni had been dumbfounded in their glances at Jian Chen. It was only right now that they had realized this captain that they had been in contact with had been a Heaven Saint Master this entire time.
Within the entire Blue Wind Kingdom, there were most likely four Heaven Saint Masters left. And each one of them were unrivalled existences that none could even touch.
“So our captain was a Heaven Saint Master this entire time?!” Jasmine and Ha Ni had screamed out mentally. With that thought going around their minds, their hearts had begun to pound faster and faster so that it threatened to leap out from their chests.
The only ones that had managed to keep their cool other than Jian Chen and his group had been Zhan Tian and the other two vice-captains. Those three had already known about Jian Chen’s ident.i.ty and hadn’t been shocked at all.
By now, the Earth Saint Masters that had been struck to the ground by Jian Chen had finally managed to climb back up to their feet. Such a simple task like that had been made a hundred times more difficult from Jian Chen’s strike. But now that they were up, the Earth Saint Masters could only look at Jian Chen with a completely different expression of shock and fear.
“You--you’re a...a Heaven Saint Master!” A middle-aged man with black armor had cried out with a quavering voice--this man had the head of one of the six clans.
Still holding the white tiger cub in his hands next to his chest, Jian Chen stared down the heavily injured Earth Saint Masters with an icy glint in his eyes, but an expressionless look had been on his face as he spoke, “Since you have all decided to form an alliance with one another against my Flame Mercenaries, I will not let you off lightly. Submit to me and prosper, or oppose me and perish. Make your decision.”
The dozen Earth Saint Masters had all looked unwell at his words, but not a single one of them dared to say anything in return. A Heaven Saint Master’s strength was far too much to even fathom, and it was more than enough to force them all to remain quiet in fear. If a Heaven Saint Master wanted to kill them, then it would be as easily as killing an ant. Like how an ant wouldn’t possibly have the strength to defend themselves against a human, these people wouldn’t even have the strength to run away.
With his speech, Jian Chen had managed to bring silence back down onto the courtyards.
A moment later, an elderly man came walking forward before kneeling down in front of him and spoke out respectfully, “O’ revered one, I am called Griff. My Griff clan would find it an honor to serve as your hands and feet and joined into your Flame Mercenaries.”
This elder was an Earth Saint Master himself and was also the master of the courtyard they were all standing in.
Jian Chen smiled as he nodded his head, “Very well. My Flame Mercenaries won’t treat anyone unfairly.
“To be able serve your majesty would be a great honor for my Griff clan. What more could this one ask for?” Griff had spoken seriously. Joining the group a Heaven Saint Master was in was a dream come true for most. Not only did would they earn a mountain as a support, they would earn a symbol of power. While this had meant that they would lose their status as a power holder, joining the Flame Mercenaries would still elevate their status by a tremendous amount.
And so Jian Chen looked to the rest of the Earth Saint Masters. “Have you made your decision yet? I do not have all day to wait.”
Plenty of men had looked on in hesitance. Not all of them were like Griff and could throw away all that they built up for for the sake of having a mountain as support. Many of them had spent far too much time and blood to have what they had today, and so they were unwilling to bow their heads towards him.
You Yue could more or less see what each one of them was thinking about when she saw their hesitation. “Be at ease, upon joining the Flame Mercenaries, we will not strip you of your authority. As long as you remain a part of our group, you will maintain the power you have now.” She spoke.
Everyone’s eyes had lit up at the sound of that and looked to Jian Chen for confirmation.
Smiling, Jian Chen replied, “Correct. Upon joining my Flame Mercenaries, I will not take away the authority you hold over your clans and sects. You may lead them as you would in the past; however, you will now place more emphasis on the benefit of the Flame Mercenaries. You will not do anything that will lead to the detriment of the Flame Mercenaries, or try to betray the Flame Mercenaries. If you do one of the such things, then I’m sure I won’t need to explain the consequences for you to figure out.” Jian Chen’s eyes gained a heavy glint as he spoke the last line.
“Very well then, my Solar sect will join your Flame Mercenaries then. I hope that you will not eat your words and allow me to keep jurisdiction over my sect.” An elder replied at last.
“But of course. This is a guarantee I am willing to make.” Jian Chen promised to help rea.s.sure everyone.
Having Jian Chen’s promise, the other leaders had no longer any more qualms. Even the head of the six clans had ultimately decided to join the Flame Mercenaries.
With everyone now willing to join his Flame Mercenaries, Jian Chen had been satisfied. Now that he had these men and their factions in his group, the Flame Mercenaries had grown exponentially. Combined with Zhan Tian and the other four, the mercenary group now had twenty or so Earth Saint Masters.
And now, the Flame Mercenaries were a powerhouse to be reckoned with. Naturally, this was only in perspective to a small kingdom like the Blue Wind Kingdom. For the entire Tian Yuan Continent, they were still nothing more but a small child.
“When you go back, you will throw out your old signboard and replace it with the banners of the Flame Mercenaries.” Jian Chen had commanded.
“Yes!” Each of the leaders had replied out at once. They were all smart people, now that they were in the Flame Mercenaries, they knew where they stood.
“I will give you all some time to recover from your injuries. But make sure to take care of whatever needs to be done within your households, for as soon as you are all healed, we will be leaving the Cloud Capital.” Jian Chen spoke.
These words however had caused everyone to be startled.
“If we leave the Cloud Capital, then the power we’ve built up within this city will…..” One of the elders had been unwilling to leave behind the powerbase he had built up with his blood and sweat for so many years.
“A tiny amount of power like this is enough for you to be reluctant? How short-sighted you are; follow our captain and he will guide you all to greatness. The power you all wield here in this tiny city pales in comparison to the future power our captain will bring us all!” Zhan Tian had barked out.
And so the doubt in everyone’s heart gradually began to melt away.
Now that Jian Chen had given them all their respective tasks, everyone had split ways to go off and do as they should. Not a single one of them had remained behind--even Ming Dong, Zhan Tian, and the others had left as well.
Now that the major six clans and several other factions had been recruited into his Flame Mercenaries, there wasn’t anything else within the Cloud Capital that appealed to Jian Chen. In just three short days, Jian Chen had completely monopolized the entire power of the city.
“Wah, brother, you’re so strong! Each one of those people were joined the Flame Mercenaries without question! If this was Fengyang City, not a single one of those groups would be as strong as the top three clans!” Bi Lian spoke excitedly. Everything that happened today had been something that she couldn’t even possibly imagine even in her dreams.
Jian Chen had a kind smile on his face when he saw the excitement that was on Bi Lian’s face. The fact that she had called him brother had given Jian Chen a rather warm sensation. Aside from his duty to protect Bi Lian from harm, Jian Chen now felt that he had a duty as an older brother to make her happy.
“Bi Lian, since you haven’t condensed your Saint Weapon, you must make sure you keep hard at cultivating. As long as you are strong, you will be able to do what you set your mind to. If you need some monster cores to cultivate, then feel free to ask me for them.” Jian Chen spoke.
A sour look had immediately spread over her face, “Brother, it’s not as if I’m not trying hard enough. It’s because my talent at it isn’t like yours. No matter how much I try to cultivate, my speed is exceedingly slow. I’m eighteen years old and I’m barely at the sixth layer of Saint Force. There’s still a very long time until the tenth layer I’m afraid.” But then a sweet smile appeared on her face afterwards as she laughed, “But that’s not important. As long as I have a brother like you to protect me, no one will dare bully me.”