Meditating on his bed, Jian Chen tried hard to think of the best way to get rid of this Imprint of Death. If he couldn’t, he wouldn’t be able to leave Mercenary City.
“The Imprint of Death is formed from the three vital energies that can be found in a person. Its importance is the fact that they will leave behind an unerasable mark on the body that can easily be tracked.” Hu Xiaotian’s words came to mind, causing Jian Chen to feel even more grim.
He knew that Hu Xiaotian knew far more about this than he did. If he said that there was no way to erase this imprint, then it was perhaps impossible to really erase the mark the third elder left on him.
If that was true, then Jian Chen had to become strong enough to not fear even a Saint Ruler. Otherwise, he would be helpless to do anything besides stay in Mercenary City if the Saint Ruler from the Shi family came to dispose of him. Even if he used a Space Gate to travel countless of kilometers away, the Imprint of Death on him would make him unable to hide. No matter where he ran, the Saint Ruler would give chase.
Jian Chen’s mind raced to find a solution to his problems. Ming Dong’s uncle, the grand elder of Mercenary City, Tian Jian, came to mind as well as the Saint Rulers from the Qinhuang Kingdom. Right now, only those two factions would be able to help him fight off the Shi family.
However, Tian Jian was unwilling to interfere in most matters. The last time he had helped out with the Huang family was because of Ming Dong. Tian Jian was an extremely respectful figure within Mercenary City, so unless he personally called out to Jian Chen, there would be no way to meet him again for help. Therefore, he was ruled out.
The Qinhuang Kingdom had four other Imperial Protectors and each one of them was a Saint Ruler. Even the Shi family would be afraid of their strength, but the Shi family was not his only enemy. There was still the Jiede clan with their own Saint Ruler. If the two of them were to unite against the Qinhuang Kingdom, then even the Qinhuang Kingdom would feel slightly pressured.
Jian Chen thought back to when two of the Qinhuang Kingdom’s Saint Rulers had met the Saint Ruler of the Sect of Dragon and Tiger and came back with gloomy expressions. This caused some concern for him since he didn’t know what kind of exchange had occurred between the two parties in the first place. Whether it was some sort of invisible pressure or something else of importance, Jian Chen did not know. However, he knew it was just one disaster on top of another whatever the case. Thus, having the Qinhuang Kingdom help him with the Shi family and the Jiede clan was not a desirable option.
Jian Chen spent almost half the day in a grim mood trying to think of a solution. He had no idea just how he would manage both the Shi family and the Jiede clan. Even though he could also ask the patriarch of the Huang family, it would without a doubt add to the troubles of their family. They had more than enough to deal with at the moment with their current feud.
“Am I really going to have to stay within Mercenary City and cultivate until I breakthrough to become a Saint Ruler?” Jian Chen thought as he massaged his temples in frustration. The promise he had made to the little fatty was reaching a year by now with not much time left. If he were to delay any longer, then he would really go over the year long promise he had made with him.
“Ziying, Qingsuo, would you two perhaps know of a way to erase this Imprint of Death?” With no other options, Jian Chen could only hope that the two sword spirits would be able to help. Although Hu Xiaotian said there was no way, Jian Chen was unwilling to give up.
This time, Ziying and Qingsuo did not quickly reply to him. After waiting for a very long time, Jian Chen finally heard Qingsuo’s soft voice, “Master, Ziying and Qingsuo possess the power to erase it, but our current power is far too weak for it to be optimal. The imprint on your body was made from the three energies of a person, and are not just pure energy, which means it won’t be easy. We will take some time to erase it.”
Jian Chen was happy to hear they could erase it, “How long will it take?”
“With our current strength, I’m afraid it will take three months.” Ziying responded before continuing, “There is a second option. If master raises the Chaotic Force to a considerable degree, then it will swallow the imprint. That is because the Chaotic Body is something that will not allow any foreign thing to invade it.”
“We’ll go with the first option then, but I’ll bring up the Chaotic Body another time.” Upon mention of the Chaotic Body, Jian Chen felt a headache. The Chaotic Body was indeed strong, but it was also extremely hard to achieve. The amount of Chaotic Force he needed was immense. A single Ruler Armament was equivalent to a sliver of Chaotic Force. Jian Chen was at a loss for how many Ruler Armaments he needed to refine in order to fabricate the Chaotic Body. If he had to absorb the energy of the world, then it would perhaps be tens of years for him to gain that equivalent sliver of Chaotic Force.
Afterward, Jian Chen discussed the process of getting rid of the Imprint of Death with Ziying and Qingsuo. He remained oblivious to the fact that his feat of killing four Heaven Saint Masters was already spreading all around the land with frightening speed. Many people and factions were hearing of Jian Chen’s achievements, so his name was spreading further and further on the continent.
At this current moment within a mountain range, there stood a giant building made of wood. In the center of one of the rooms, a giant beast could be seen sitting peacefully on the ground. Also in the room were several men of considerable age seated to the side.
“Everyone, I’ve just received some unfortunate news. The third elder and the ones with him have all died.” One of the elders with long hair spoke in a sorrowful tone.
Everyone was startled upon hearing the news.
“What? The third elder is dead? My lord, how could that have happened? The third elders and the others were all killed?” One of the elders asked in agitation. There was clearly some relationship between him and the third elder.
The man seated at the very front of everyone else sighed in sorrow. With a low voice, he said, “I am sure everyone remembers the one that stole our Ruler Armament, the Seal of Treasure Mountain.”
“Of course! That man is the first ranker of the Gathering of the Mercenaries, Jian Chen. But he was killed by the combined efforts of the third elder and the ones from the Jiede clan. Even now, he has hidden the Seal of Treasure Mountain from us. We haven’t found hint nor hair of it ever since. We even used countless of methods to try and forcibly recall it, but everything ended in failure.” One elder spoke with clenched teeth from his hatred of Jian Chen.
“My lord, why did you mention Jian Chen? Could the third elder’s death relate to him?” Another middle-aged man asked.
“Correct. It has to do with Jian Chen.” The lord of the Shi family continued with a serious expression. “Yesterday, I received a report from the third elder using our closed line of communication. The Jian Chen who stole the Seal of Treasure Mountain is still alive. Furthermore, he showed up in Mercenary City once more. We had four elders go with the third elder to help him capture and reclaim the Seal of Treasure Mountain, but what I learned just now was very startling to hear. The third elder and the other four are all dead. It was at a great cost that the third elder used his life to place the Seal of Death on Jian Chen.”
After the man finished speaking, everyone remained deathly quiet. All of them were far more than tongue-tied. They simply couldn’t believe their ears. It was truly hard to believe that the third elder and the other four had all been killed by Jian Chen. They had heard of Jian Chen’s strength before, but hearing about his strength now was beyond their scope of prediction. His future potential was just that dazzling.
“That Jian Chen is far too talented. That talent of his allowed him to kill five Heaven Saint Masters! It’s only a matter of time before he becomes a Saint Ruler. My lord, our blood debt with Jian Chen is irreconcilable, we must not let this person live.” An elderly voice rang out, breaking the silence of the hall. The one who had spoken was an elderly old man with wrinkled skin.
“Yes!” The leader of the Shi family nodded. “That’s right. Jian Chen cannot be allowed to live. Otherwise, he will come seeking our family for trouble the day he becomes a Saint Ruler. We must take advantage of the fact that he is still within our scope and exterminate him with the speed of lightning itself. Notify the Jiede clan of this information. Have them bring some men so that they can stop anyone that Jian Chen might invite. We must lessen the damage on our side as much as possible.
“Second elder, fifth elder, sixth elder, elder Shiqing, elder Shiming, elder Tianhe, and elder Gumu, prepare yourselves. Notify us when the men of the Jiede clan are here, and we will go off to capture Jian Chen.”
“Yes, my lord!’ The aforementioned people responded.
“We will adjourn our meeting here today. Everyone may leave.” The leader announced, allowing everyone to leave the halls.
Just as they were about to exit the halls, a monumental amount of energy suddenly manifested within the area. It was almost as if some sort of malevolent beast of antiquity had awakened from its slumber, basking the entire world with the power it brought. It squashed the air of the Heaven Saint Masters back into their throats.
“That’s the aura of the patriarch! The patriarch has broken through!”
“The patriarch has broken through to the next layer!”
“Fantastic! At our time of need, the patriarch has overcome his obstacles!”
The elders of the Shi family felt stunned by this change of events, but their confusion quickly gave way to joy.