“Yes, captain!” Kai Er responded before retreating back into the courtyard. The sight of a large group of soldiers could be seen through the broken down parts of the wall as they slowly neared the compound.
Kai Er, Qingfeng, Mo Tian, and Charcas all stood by the gates with the Flame Mercenaries standing behind them in silent solitude. Each one of them had a grim expression, but there was no worry to be seen.
Not too far away, the disheveled and haggard face of Yun Li had noticed the arrival of the reinforcements from the Blue Wind Kingdom. With eyes that reflected his joy, Yun Li had already begun to think of himself as good as rescued. However, with the cloth still stuck in his mouth, he could not talk; otherwise, he would have long since let out a loud yell.
The five hundred soldiers from Tianlong city came to a stop near the Kai family’s courtyard while three middle-aged men came forward. These three men were Katata, Katafei, and Yun Long who had been ordered by the lord of Tianlong City to go help.
Seeing the tied up figure of Yun Li, Yun Long’s eyes flickered with a furious glint. “How absurd is this group of mercenaries!? To treat the lord of a city in such a manner is unforgivable!”
Katata sighed, “I did not think that the mercenary group that captured the city lord would in fact be the Flame Mercenaries. That makes this situation quite difficult.” Looking to Yun Long, Katata said, “Brother Yun Long, let us wait a little longer before we reach a conclusion. Two years ago, I happened to meet the captain of the Flame Mercenaries and learned a little about him. He is not as simple as one might think he is. Please allow Katafei and I to handle this and ask what has caused this situation to happen. The captain Jian Chen is not an impulsive and reckless person. If he treats the city lord in such a manner, there is surely a reason for it.”
“Fine, I’ll leave it to you. I hope that the captain is as you say he is.” Yun Long spoke apathetically.
With a smile, Katata leaped off his magical beast mount and strode into the courtyards. Smiling to everyone, he said, “If I might bother everyone, please inform your captain Jian Chen that Katata has come to pay a visit.” Katata did not reveal an angry expression at all, but rather a kindly one as he smiled at everyone.
“Haha, it’s been two years since we last met, Katata. You haven’t changed a bit.” Just as Kai Er was about to respond, a single voice could be heard from behind him as the white-robed Jian Chen came out of his room. Right behind him were Ming Dong, Dugu Feng, Senior An, Yun Zheng, Tie Ta, and You Yue in close succession.
Recognizing Jian Chen, Katata smile and cupped his hands in greeting, “Yes, I haven’t changed at all, but on the other hand, Jian Chen, you’ve changed quite a bit. I barely recognized you just now.” As he spoke, Katata’s eyes swept over the men behind Jian Chen. Although he couldn’t tell the actual level of strength of Jian Chen, Ming Dong, Dugu Feng, Senior An, or Yun Zheng, they all looked to be as powerful as himself. When Katata saw those four, his eyes wavered with confusion.
Katata had no way of confirming just what cycle Ming Dong and the others were at in the Earth Saint Master realm, but he could distinctly tell that they were of the same level of strength as him, Earth Saint Masters!
At this result, Katata was extremely shocked. Two years ago, the Flame Mercenaries weren’t nearly strong enough for him to take note of. Aside from Jian Chen, there were no other noticeable figures. However, within a mere two years, four Earth Saint Masters had appeared out of nowhere, that was news of shocking proportions.
“Haha, captain Jian Chen, these four brothers must be your friends!” Katata laughed.
Knowing that Katata was trying to discern the relationship between the four men behind him and himself, Jian Chen smiled. “They are members of my Flame Mercenaries!”
Katata could only grumble to himself in silent pain. If the Flame Mercenaries had four Earth Saint Masters, then his strength had been curbed here. He had originally thought that this would be a simple task, but now that the opposing side possessed such a large strength, Katata felt that he and the others wouldn’t be enough for this task.
Katata showed no emotion on his face other than a faint smile, “Captain Jian Chen, I did not expect the Flame Mercenaries to grow so much in two years; I am truly impressed.”
Jian Chen returned the smile Having no desire to skirt around the issue with Katata, he said, “Katata, you must have come to Wake City for the purpose of saving Yun Li I assume.”
Seeing that Jian Chen had taken the initiative to speak, Katata minced no words either. Thinking for a moment, he nodded his head, “You are correct. We came here to Wake City on behalf of the city lord all the way from Tianlong City.”
Katata’s face grew stern as he continued to speak to Jian Chen, “Jian Chen, I don’t know what issue was started between you and the lord of Wake City, but your treatment of a city lord has made the lord of Tianlong City startled.”
“Some time ago, my Flame Mercenaries managed to obtain a Class 5 Magical Beast, but a mysterious assailant snuck in and stole it one night. That assailant also killed a senior figure of my Flame Mercenaries unfortunately. This mysterious assailant was found out to be the city lord, Yun Li.” Jian Chen stated calmly.
Katata was silent for a moment before saying, “Jian Chen, even if what you say is true, he is still the lord of Wake City and an official of the Blue Wind Kingdom. You cannot treat him in such a manner. Even if there is a crime, you should have let the Blue Wind Kingdom deal with him; why not release him for now?”
Jian Chen shook his head without hesitation, “Katata, I know that you come from Yun Li. But I have made my decision and no one will be able to change my mind. It would be best for you to return.”
“Jian Chen, have you thought about the consequences of your actions if you do this!” Katata spoke.
“What consequences? I care not for them. I, however, am resolute on executing him.” Jian Chen replied.
Seeing how Jian Chen was still unperturbed about the matter, Katata let out a sigh in his mind. This expression of Jian Chen meant that there would be no point in trying to waste words and energy to convince him.
Yun Long strode forward at this moment, “Flame Mercenaries, release the city lord immediately. If not, then you won’t like the future consequences in store.” Yun Long did not bother to negotiate with Jian Chen nor be as gentle as Katata was. Although he knew that there were four Earth Saint Masters here, he did not have any fear for them at all. With the Tianlong City supporting and championing him as a representative of the Blue Wind Kingdom. People as trifling as a mercenary group was thus far beneath his notice.
Yun Long’s words had caused Jian Chen to knit his eyebrows together in irritation. Smiling coldly, Jian Chen said, “What was that? It looks like I’ll just have to see if my Flame Mercenaries will be able to handle these consequences then.”
Yun Long snorted, “If you wish to die, then don’t blame me. Allow me to experience the ‘might’ of your Flame Mercenaries!” With that, Yun Long materialized a bright-silver sword in his hand as he sent a beam of white light toward Jian Chen. He then transformed into a blurry shadow that shot toward Jian Chen as well.
Seeing the white light, Jian Chen was slightly surprised, “So he is an Earth Saint Master with Radiant Saint Force.”
“But what good is your Radiant Saint Force? Allow me to see what you got.” After Jian Chen spoke, Ming Dong piped up and transformed into a bright ray of azure light that zoomed toward Yun Long.
When the milky-white light of the Radiant Saint Force came into contact with the azure light of the wind Saint Force, an explosive boom could be heard as ripples of energy surged out like water into the surrounding area. The marbled ground began to fracture once more into a series of spider-web-like cracks.
A single strike later, Ming Dong could be seen standing without a change in expression. On the other hand, Yun Long had been sent staggering back several feet with shock and disbelief on his face as he stared at Ming Dong.
“You’ve reached the Sixth Cycle of being an Earth Saint Master!” Yun Long cried out in disbelief.
His words caused Katata and Katafei to feel shocked as well. A Sixth Cycle Earth Saint Master was a paramount existence for all Earth Saint Masters. All they needed was a single step to become a Heaven Saint Master. Such an individual like this was strong enough to be able to fight Katata, Katafei, and Yun Long to a stand still without a problem.
“Wh-what? A Sixth Cycle Earth Saint Master? Im-impossible!” Yun Long was dumbfounded. Compared to a Sixth Cycle Earth Saint Master, a Second Cycle Earth Saint Master was completely insignificant.
Laughing, Ming Dong replied, “And yet you tried to say that our Flame Mercenaries would be unable to handle the consequences with your strength. Hmph, how haughty and arrogant of you.”
Yun Long’s face turned pale-white to pale-green in an unchanging flow of color. Earlier, he had underestimated the Flame Mercenaries. He never would have entertained the thought that the Flame Mercenaries would actually have a Sixth Cycle Earth Saint Master.