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“Gone, they don’t exist anymore!” Jian Chen spoke honestly. As long as he was in Mercenary City, he didn’t fear any Saint Ruler.
“What? Gone? They don’t exist anymore?” The Saint Ruler from the Jiede clan had found it hard to remain his calm and had looked confused. His eyes were narrowed coldly as if he was staring daggers at Jian Chen.
A Ruler Armament was far too important to them. Not only was it something more than just a family treasure, it was also an extremely powerful weapon.
“Correct, the item you want back no longer exist.” Jian Chen smiled.
A series of emotions flickered through the two Saint Ruler’s faces, but they had quickly calmed down. They hadn’t believed that Jian Chen had managed to destroy the Ruler Armaments since Jian Chen was only a Heaven Saint Master, and a Heaven Saint Master wouldn’t even be able to put a scratch in it with even a Heaven Tier Battle Skill. They were after all items that a Saint Ruler left behind. How could it be that easy for it to be broken?
Sneering, patriarch s.h.i.+ spoke, “Jian Chen, I can see that you’re not willing to give back our items. Then let me tell you, the Seal of Treasure Mountain has gone through many years as a bonded item to the s.h.i.+ family. Only those who possess the bloodline of the s.h.i.+ family would be able to use it. You are not of my family, and neither are you a part of my bloodline. Even if you used some secret method, it would be useless. The item serves no use to you and only adds to your troubles. Why not return it to us and we’ll wipe away this grudge. My s.h.i.+ family won’t send anymore people to come kill you after.”
“That is right. Jian Chen, I must insist on the return of the Ruler Armament. Take advantage of when I am willing to negotiate with you to return the Ruler Armament to me. My Jiede clan will write off our debts as well and cause no more trouble with you. You won’t need to stay within Mercenary City your entire life.” The Saint Ruler from the Jiede clan spoke prudently.
While Jian Chen was sitting right in front of the two Saint Rulers, even they wouldn’t move a finger to hurt him in Mercenary City. If Jian Chen stayed within the city without leaving, then they would be powerless to retake the Ruler Armaments. Rather than to wait around in vain, they would rather take the suave approach and try to reclaim it that way.
“My apologies, but what I just said should explain it all. The items you want are no longer on my person.” Jian Chen spoke, unmoved by their attempts.
The Saint Rulers had a cross look on their faces. To them, this was a terribly bad situation since they were now worried that their Ruler Armaments were now in the hands of another great faction. If that was the case, then it would be a very hard matter to reclaim it.
“Then who has the Seal of Treasure Mountain!” Patriarch s.h.i.+ boomed.
Pointing up into the sky, Jian Chen replied, “No one has it. It has already been lost to this world. Or perhaps to say, it has already become a part of me.” The Duanyun sword and the Seal of Treasure Mountain had already been turned into Chaotic Force to temper his body, so he had found this way of saying it to be quite fitting.
But Jian Chen’s words had been like a clap of thunder to the two Saint Ruler’s ears. Confused and stunned, they stared at him.
“What? The Seal of Treasure Mountain has become a part of you? Have you fused with it?” Patriarch s.h.i.+ shot straight up from his seat and gave a wide-opened stare at the other Saint Ruler in disbelief.
Jian Chen’s heart skipped a beat when he saw their reactions and heard their question. From this, he realized that there was some sort of use for the Ruler Armament.
“Could it be that a Ruler Armament can be fused with the body?” Jian Chen thought to himself. This piece of information was rather valuable since he lacked a weapon at the moment. If he could truly fuse with a Ruler Armament, then if he forged it with the Azulet swords, he could perhaps find a Ruler Armament compatible with the Light Wind Sword.
Unfortunately, while he now knew that the Ruler Armament could fuse with the body, he didn’t know the specific method for it. The two Saint Rulers in front of him knew, but Jian Chen couldn’t simply ask them since it would be a complete fail to do so. Moreover, even if he did know, finding a Ruler Armament that was compatible with the Light Wind Sword would be a very hard task. Thus, Jian Chen knew that this thought that had only just popped up would not be something that he could accomplish in any reasonable amount of time.
“No, that can’t be possible! The Ruler Armament is something that a Saint Ruler left behind. In order to fuse with it, one would have to be a Saint Ruler at the Ninth Heavenly Layer! You are nothing but a Heaven Saint Master, how could you fuse with a Ruler Armament? Jian Chen, do you take us for a three year old child that knows nothing better about the world?” The Saint Ruler of the Jiede clan shook his head. In his mind, he was secretly aghast. If his Ruler Armament was truly fused with Jian Chen’s body, then it would be forever lost to him.
The words of the Saint Ruler of the Jiede clan had made Jian Chen sigh. If he wanted to fuse with a Ruler Armament, he would need to be a Saint Ruler of the Ninth Heavenly Layer, and that was still quite a distance away.
“I’ve said it before. If you two don’t believe me, then my apologies. Your junior still has some matters to take care and cannot accompany you any longer. Goodbye.” Jian Chen had no longer felt inclined to talk to them any longer and stood up from the table to walk back to his room. In no time at all, he had disappeared from the eyes of the two saint Ruler.
The two Saint Ruler had stared at the back of Jian Chen until he had disappeared away from sight. For a good while, neither of the two responded. Ever since they became Saint Rulers, this was the very first time they had met a Heaven Saint Master that did not show them courtesy.
Finally, patriarch s.h.i.+ clenched his fists tightly as he stared at the spot where Jian Chen had last been before disappearing. Clenching his teeth as well, he spat, “Jian Chen, if you refuse the carrot, then you’ll not be spared the whip. Do not blame us.”
The other Saint Ruler had sighed at his words, “It’s unfortunate that this is Mercenary City. With just ourselves, we have no way of touching him. Neither do we know where the Ruler Armaments are, just why can we not sense them if they are so close?”
“They have to be on his body. He must have used some sort of secret method to separate the connection between our Ruler Armaments and us. But what can we do about it? Hmph, he still has the Imprint of Death on his body. No matter where he runs off to, we’ll be able to find him. That is, unless he stays within Mercenary City his entire life.” Patriarch s.h.i.+ spoke under his breath before leaving the inn with the other.
Not too long after the two Saint Rulers left, a good portion of the patrons within the inn had done so as well. Each one of them were from many different factions and had been there to spy on the meeting before reporting back to their respective factions.
In a corner of the inn, Hu Xiaotian had been eating a platter of barbecued meat by himself. Giving only a vague soliloquy to himself, he spoke, “Even after that loud conversation, not a single bit of it could be heard. That must be the power to control s.p.a.ce itself. Only a Saint Ruler could do magic like that. It seems that the enemies of Jian Chen aren’t unordinary themselves. Should I help him, I wonder?”
After a moment’s consideration, Hu Xiaotian sighed, “The clan has never once meddled with the affair of the continent. And with my strength as a heaven Saint Master, I’m powerless to help.”
For the next series of days, Jian Chen spent the entire time within the room having the sword spirits try and remove the Imprint of Death on him. Not once did he ever step out from the inn.
In this time, plenty of people from plenty of factions came to seek out Jian Chen with greetings and promises to help Jian Chen out with his problem. Each one of them had the condition that Jian Chen join their faction, and some of them had been extremely generous so that Jian Chen would be tempted. But Jian Chen had no desire to join them as he did not want to owe any person anything.
As more and more factions began to try to recruit Jian Chen into their ranks, the s.h.i.+ family and Jiede clan grew more and more worried. These factions that wanted to recruit Jian Chen weren’t too much weaker than they were, and some of them were people that even the two of them were afraid of. Up against this deadly situation, the two of them had no other solution but to watch in silence.
Although the two of them had plenty of connections in their own right, they both knew that even if they tried to call upon those connections to fight Jian Chen, it would be useless.
Several days later, the third prince of the Qinhuang Kingdom, Qin Ji, and several other Imperial Advisors had came to Mercenary City to find Jian Chen. He and the other four had given Jian Chen a message that allowed Jian Chen to stay even longer in Mercenary City and to not make any more enemies for the Qinhuang Kingdom.
Qin Ji hadn’t stayed within the city for long, he and Jian Chen had only given a few spa.r.s.e words of conversation before the prince left. He had been in a hurry, giving Jian Chen a bad feeling that something was about to happen to the kingdom.
In the blink of an eye, two months had pa.s.sed. In these two months, Jian Chen had spent day and night trying to remove the Imprint of Death. After these two months of vigorous work, the Imprint of Death had two-thirds of it successfully removed. In the case that it was completely removed, then he wouldn’t have to worry much anymore and could think of a way to escape the s.h.i.+ family and Jiede clan and gain a new leash on his freedom.
In an inn not too far away, the two Saint Rulers were currently watching the window to where Jian Chen’s room was. The Ruler Armaments were far too important for them to give up, so they could only spend their time observing him themselves without letting him escape.
“It’s been well more than half a month since his last step out of his room. I’ve heard that he once managed to escape detection while under close watch. s.h.i.+ Qing, Jian Chen has the Imprint of Death on him thanks to your family, so why don’t you check up on it? We should avoid to have a situation where he escapes from under our noses.” The Saint Ruler spoke.
Patriarch s.h.i.+ nodded his head and closed his eyes to sense the Imprint of Death. But as soon as he did so, his eyes flew open in disbelief, “The Imprint of Death is weakening! It’s practically gone--he’s managed remove most of it in such a short amount of time!”
Even the Saint Ruler of the Jiede clan was surprised, “What? He has a way to remove the Imprint of Death? We have to hurry then, once that’s gone, making sure he’s around will be significantly harder.”