After the four of them had woken up, several of the Flame Mercenaries awoke as well. Sensing that their strengths had improved by a substantial amount, expressions of joy filled their faces. These men were originally middle Saint Masters or high Saint Masters. Now, practically a dozen of them had broken through to become a Great Saint Master after they finished off the Hundred Grass Wine.
A candle’s worth of time later, the last few dozen people finally woke up. When they felt how much their strength had increased, they were so happy that they couldn’t help but let out cries of joy.
Everyone in the Flame Mercenaries was ecstatic by this point. Every single Great Saint had become a Saint Master. Not a single one was below a Saint Master in strength, and even the ones who were originally middle Saint Masters had become Great Saint Masters. The men who were low Great Saint Masters were now high Great Saint Masters.
Not even two hours into the meeting and the strength of the entire Flame Mercenaries had skipped several steps. Even if Jian Chen wasn’t here, their new strength would be more than enough to rule a small city like Wake City. Even the city lord would not be able to gather an equivalent amount of strength.
“A thousand thanks for the captain’s charity!” The mercenaries all bowed down with a grand shout. Each one of them wes especially happy.
Jian Chen smiled, “Although you’ve all grown stronger, your battle strength still needs to be trained, so you can become accustomed to your new strength. I will give you all a hundred purple coins each. Go and purchase the necessities to live in the wilderness. Tomorrow morning, we will head to the Magical Beast Mountain Range and train. You will only be able to return if you can kill three Class 4 Magical Beasts by yourself without help. Kai Er, Mo Tian, Qingfeng, and Charcas, you four will form a group and follow them. You will listen to my requests as well before you four may leave.”
Jian Chen’s words made every single mercenary grow serious. To fight a magical beast on par with them was a very tall order to fulfill. It would normally take about two or three men to kill a magical beast of their strength because their fortitude, muscles, and build outclassed a human. Only the strongest of men would be able to go head-to-head with them, and very few would be able to prevail against one.
When Jian Chen decreed that they all had to kill three of them by themselves, they felt that this would be a mission that they would never be able to accomplish or come back alive.
“Captain, as of now, killing a single Class 4 Magical Beast is hard enough, but for us to kill three of them, isn’t that too much to ask?” Charcas asked.
Jian Chen shook his head, “It isn’t difficult at all. As a Saint, I hunted Class 2 Magical Beasts. As a Great Saint, I hunted Class 3 Magical Beasts. Then as a Saint Master, I fought Class 4 Magical Beasts. If I can do it, then everyone will be able to do the same. This trip to the mountain range is a training trip to increase your battle strength. Remember that when you gain the strength to fight enemies of your own level, then your battle experience, skill, and speed will increase dramatically. Those three points are most critical, so remember them when you go.”
Pausing for a moment, Jian Chen stared seriously at everyone. “I still have something to give to everyone when we arrive at the Magical Beast Mountain Range. It’ll lend a hand in improving your strength, do you all understand now?”
Jian Chen fished out a bag of purple coins from his Space Ring and began to give everyone a hundred purple coins to buy equipment with. Although it wouldn’t need such a large sum for such things, these mercenaries still had families they needed to provide for.
While Jian Chen had handed them all a very serious and worrisome mission, the mercenaries couldn’t help but smile when they saw the shimmering glint of the hundred purple coins.
A single purple coin was worth a hundred gold coins. A few purple coins was more than enough for an entire family to live half a generation of luxury. Therefore, a sum like this was more than enough to spend on an entire lifetime.
After receiving the sum of money, each of the mercenaries departed from the Kai family’s courtyards with happy faces. They were headed to the nearby markets.
“Kai Er, Qingfeng, Mo Tian, Charcas, come with me!” Jian Chen called for the four to follow him to his own personal room.
Kai Er and the others followed close behind until they got to his room. As soon as they arrived, Jian Chen placed a single tattered but simple book on top of the table.
Handing the books over to the four, Jian Chen explained, “There is a total of eight battle skills in here — six Human-Tier Battle Skills and two Earth-Tier Battle Skills. You may take this and learn from it.”
Kai Er and the other three began to shake at the mention of ‘battle skill’. The book in front of them made their blood boil in excitement, and Jian Chen’s explanation brought them such shock that their bodies nearly began to spasm.
Charcas’ face was completely red as he spoke with a quavering voice. “Captain, is… is… is this true? Are these really six Human-Tier Battle Skills and two Earth-Tier Battle Skills? And you’re… you’re really giving them to us?”
A battle skill was an extremely precious treasure on the continent. It was far more valuable than cultivation methods, and even thousands and thousands of gold wouldn’t be able to buy one. Even the lowest tier of Human-Tier Battle Skills was extremely pricy so that any mercenary would hardly be able to afford one. Only the strongest individuals or the most influential ones would be able to obtain such battle skills.
Earth-Tier Battle Skills were even more priceless, especially to Earth Saint Masters. Only a small portion of them possessed an Earth-Tier Battle Skill, but Jian Chen had given them a present that contained two. This was a windfall that made the four of them wild with joy.
Laughing at how excited they were, Jian Chen smiled, “It is as you say. You are the senior figures of the Flame Mercenaries. With all the years of suffering you four have undergone for the sake of the development of the Flame Mercenaries, I, Jian Chen, will definitely do my best to train you four in thanks for your loyalty. These eight battle skills are yours to learn. Pass them onto the rest of the mercenaries after you’re done. Those who are not yet Great Saint Masters are only permitted to learn the Human-Tier Battle Skills, the Earth-Tier Battle Skills are not something they are capable of learning yet. The Great Saint Masters are free to learn them if they wish.”
“Captain, for all your efforts in helping to train us, we will make sure that we won’t disappoint you! For the rest of our lives, we will follow you anywhere, to death even with unflinching loyalty!” Kai Er and the other three gratefully bowed.
Smiling at the four, Jain Chen had them rise back to their feet. “Work hard, you four. I will not treat any one of my brothers unfairly. When you become Earth Saint Masters, then I will impart a Heaven-Tier Battle Skill to you.”
Again, the four of them began to tremble violently as they became slack-jawed. The words ‘Heaven-Tier Battle Skill’ were even louder than a clap of thunder to their ears and could make anyone lose their train of thought in a second. For a while, they remained blank before finally returning to awareness.
In their eyes, a Heaven-Tier Battle Skill was a paramount of a treasure. Very few Heaven Saint Masters possessed them, and not a single one of the Heaven Saint Masters in the Blue Wind Kingdom possessed such a battle skill. With Jian Chen suddenly telling them that they would receive a Heaven-Tier Battle Skill when even the Heaven Saint Masters of the Blue Wind Kingdom did not own one, they could hardly believe their ears.
A very long time later, Charcas was the first to snap back to awareness. Shocked, he looked to Jian Chen and asked, “Captain, do you… do you really have a Heaven-Tier Battle Skill!?”
Smiling and nodding, Jian Chen replied, “Correct. I have a Heaven-Tier Battle Skill and not just one either.” By now, Jian Chen did not need to hide the fact that he possessed Heaven-Tier Battle Skills. With his strength, he was more than strong enough to protect them from Heaven Saint Masters at the very least. Not a single person would dare to try to start trouble with him.
Charcas continued to stare blankly at Jian Chen with his mouth wide open. The entirety of what he heard just now was far too unbelievable.
Just then, Jian Chen looked away for a moment with a smile, “An acquaintance has stopped by. Let us go greet him!”
Walking out of the room, Jian Chen was followed by Kai Er and the others with wooden expressions. They were clearly still processing what they had heard back in the room.
Walking into the courtyards, Jian Chen saw the rather regal-looking city lord Yun Li smiling and chatting with Ming Dong.
The moment Jian Chen stepped into the courtyard, Yun Li had discovered him from the corner of his eyes. Immediately smiling to welcome him, Yun Li said, “Aiya, brother Jian Chen! You’ve finally returned. I heard you participated in the Gathering of the Mercenaries two years ago. I felt quite concerned for a good while, afraid that my dear brother Jian Chen would come into danger. But seeing you now, I can see that my concerns were unfounded. How young and promising you are, and how powerful! Even if it’s danger, you are able to turn it into fortune! Seeing how healthy and impressive you are, I can only assume that you’ve made quite the achievement for yourself in the Gathering of the Mercenaries!”
Cupping his hands, Jian Chen smiled, “The city lord certainly has been worried. The Gathering of the Mercenaries has given me a new lease on life. With good fortune, I was able to survive and prosper.”