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Chapter 593: A Vein of Tungsten Alloy
Jian Chen had to think about Dugu Feng’s proposal for a brief moment. He knew that there were plenty of mercenary groups that managed to construct their own cities after gaining enough power. It was only when a mercenary group founded their own city that they had the right to say they were someone important on the Tian Yuan Continent.
Mercenary groups that owned a city were extremely strong, and the Flame Mercenaries paled in comparison to the majority of mercenary groups in power.
Although they had well over a hundred thousand members, the amount of people that were strong enough to a.s.sume responsibility over any single jurisdiction were far too few. Aside from Jian Chen, there were only three other Heaven Saint Masters. If they were to try to construct a city like this, it would be insanely difficult to maintain their power. They would end up as the losers if their city was besieged.
Not only was it a common for kingdoms to fight with another for power, mercenaries would often times move into cities and attempt to seize power almost as often.
With those factors in mind, Jian Chen finally made up his mind and said, “Our Flame Mercenaries might be strong in our area, but our strength is still limited to just this small area. We are not quite yet strong enough to attempt to build a city, so we should hold off for now.”
“I agree. Our group, the Flame Mercenaries, is quite strong, but there is still a huge threat of internal danger. Therefore, we should refocus our efforts in trying to resolve the matters with all of the members. We must ensure that the relations.h.i.+p between each and every mercenary is as tight as a twine of rope. Otherwise, the Flame Mercenaries that we built up with will crumble at the base and collapse sooner or later.” You Yue added her insight.
“Is that so? Then why don’t we spend the next period of time listening to you when dealing with internal matters. You Yue, Bi Lian, I’ll leave this to you to handle. If there is anything you need from me, go ahead and ask.” Jian Chen replied. In this short moment of time, the Flame Mercenaries had been left up to You Yue and Bi Lian to administrate. After being tested for an entire year, Jian Chen had seen more than enough to be convinced that the two of them were talented in this aspect.
Bi Lian’s cultivation talent was not unique. She hadn’t even managed to form her Saint Weapon yet, but her keen wit and intelligence was unbelievably sharp. It was better honed than You Yue’s intelligence in several aspects. It was almost as if she was born to be a superior administrator.
“A report for the captain, we’ve received a letter to give to you!” At that moment, a single voice called out from outside.
“Hand it over!”
“Yes!” The flaps of the tent blew open as the white-robed Ha Ni came walking in. In his hand was a snow-white Lightning Bird.
Taking the Lightning Bird from Ha Ni into his own hands, he untied the letter around its leg. He then unfurled it to read.
“Important! Return to Changyang Manor!”
Only a meager few words had been scrawled on the letter, causing Jian Chen’s expression to become very grim.
Taking note of the sudden change in expression, everyone nervously tensed up. It was You Yue that finally asked out of concern, “Jian Chen, what happened?”
Jian Chen studied the letter once more to verify that it wasn’t a fake message. Then, slowly tearing it into several pieces, he explained, “A letter came from back home telling me to return to the Changyang Clan. We’ll have the mercenaries stay here for now and wait for my return. If something urgent happens, notify me by the twin jade stones.”
Bidding farewell to You Yue and the others, Jian Chen went and found the other three Heaven Saint Masters to give them their instructions. Afterward, he flew with great speed through the air back to Changyang Manor.
By the time he arrived, it was already nightfall. As he began to descend to the ground, the Chang Wuji immediately made himself known. He was able to pinpoint him the moment he touched solid ground.
“Fourth master, you’ve returned rather quickly I see.” Chang Wuji smiled.
Jian Chen let out a secret sigh of relief when he saw the relaxed face of Chang Wuji. From the very start of his rush back home, he had been worried that something had happened to the family.
“Chang Wuji, what has happened for you to ask me to come home at once?” Jian Chen asked.
“I do not know the details, but men from the Heavenly Eagle Kingdom came with a very important message to tell you. They said it was a matter that couldn’t be delayed. Your father sent a message for you to return right away.” The elder explained the best he could.
“Heavenly Eagle Kingdom? Did that kingdom not cease to exist?” Jian Chen tilted his head in confusion.
Unable to stop himself from chuckling, Chang Wuji smiled at Jian Chen, “Perhaps I should have phrased it differently. The seven heads of the territories that once belonged to the Heavenly Eagle Kingdom came here with an important message for you. Fourth master, they are currently in the discussion hall. We should head on over.”
Shortly after that, Jian Chen and Chang Wuji entered the manor and headed straight for the main halls. On the way, plenty of guards saluted him while the maids and servants bowed down with the most respect they could muster.
It did not take long for Jian Chen to enter the halls themselves. He noticed that plenty of people were already gathered here. Most noticeable was his father and mother, the other important elders of the Changyang clan, and a st.u.r.dy-looking middle-aged man who was currently in deep discussion with someone else.
The arrival of Jian Chen was apparent to everyone. They lined up shoulder to shoulder and bowed to cordially greet Jian Chen. At this moment, everyone in the halls was filled with respect for him.
The middle-aged man that had been discussing stuff with everyone else came forward to bow and greet Jian Chen personally, “Captain of the Bloodmoon Mercenaries, Tynes, pays his respects to the Imperial Protector!”
After the Heavenly Eagle Kingdom dissolved, it had been split into seven part.i.tions. The Bloodmoon Mercenaries had subsequently become the overseers of one of those seven part.i.tions.
Regaling the man, Jian Chen said, “Tynes, what important matter was it that you needed to inform me of? What can you tell me about it?”
Looking around the hall, Tynes hesitated to speak, “Imperial Protector, this is a matter of utmost secrecy, so&h.e.l.lip;”
Understanding his intentions, Jian Chen replied, “If that is so, then we shall speak in my own residence.”
“Yes, Imperial Protector!”
Looking to his father, Changyang Ba and his mother, Bi Yuntian, Jian Chen said, “Father, mother, your son has matters to take care of. I will be leaving first.”
“Xiang’er, captain Tynes has trekked countless of kilometers to run to the Changyang clan. If it is a serious issue, you needn’t worry about your parents, go and take care of what you need to do!” Changyang Ba laughed.
“Xiang’er, time is of the essence, go and do what you must.” Bi Yuntian softly replied. A son that was as outstanding yet filial as Jian Chen was a son that she felt an exorbitant amount of pride in.
Exchanging several more words of greeting to the other members in the hall, Jian Chen led Tynes back to his own building.
“Tynes, what important matter do you have to tell me? Has the Sect of Dragon and Tiger decided to mobilize against you?” Jian Chen inquired with a solemn expression.
Tynes shook his head and looked carefully around the place. Then, speaking into Jian Chen’s ear, he whispered, “Imperial Protector, we have discovered a tremendous deposit of tungsten alloy.”
“What? A tremendous deposit of tungsten alloy?” A spark glinted in Jian Chen’s eyes as he murmured to himself. Tungsten alloys were extremely spa.r.s.e on the continent and worth several times their weight in purple coins. A single kilogram was already worth ten kilograms worth of purple coins.
“Yes, Imperial Protector, our Bloodmoon Mercenaries came across this vein in one of the mountains by pure accident. After further investigations, we’ve found an even larger vein. Based off a shallow investigation, we concluded that the purity of the ore is at least eighty-five-percent.” Tynes’ voice quavered.
Jian Chen felt a gasp escape his lips, and his heart began to beat even faster. A purity rate of eighty-five-percent meant that out of a hundred ores, eighty-five of them could be smelted into tungsten alloy.
“How many people know about this place?” Jian Chen suddenly asked.
“I’ve killed off all those that knew this knowledge outside my group, meaning there’s only fifty or so people that do. They are all confidences of mine, and I am sure that they will safeguard the secret of this vein as strictly as I.” Tynes replied seriously.
A sigh of relief escaped Jian Chen’s mind. A vein of tungsten alloy was practically an immeasurable source of wealth since a single kilogram of tungsten alloy was worth ten times its weight in purple coins. If news of this got out, then there would definitely be bloodshed over it.
“Imperial Protector. This vein of tungsten alloy is extremely precious and tempting for any faction to give up. If news of this were to leak out, then we would have no power to protect it. Imperial Protector, how do you propose we handle this situation, should we have the Qinhuang Kingdom oversee it?”
After a careful moment of consideration, Jian Chen replied, “If news of the vein has not been leaked out, then let it remain a secret in the meanwhile. Tynes, hurry back and see over it yourself for now. Have the other seven factions join with you to protect it in secret and extract it in secret. Remember, the less people that know about this, the better. News of this cannot be divulged at any costs, I’ll figure out what to do after.”
“Yes, Imperial Protector.” Tynes bowed and cupped his hands in salute.
“There’s no time to waste, hurry back over.”