Chapter 348: Being Watched
Crossing through the Space Gate, Jian Chen found himself in the flower garden once more. Flowers bloomed everywhere within a fifty meter radius, and the pavilion in the center towered over him as if it were bathing within the field of flowers.
Jian Chen wasn’t unfamiliar with this place, he had seen it once before. This was where he saw the Eighth and Thirteenth Elder play chess.
A flying figure quickly made its way toward Jian Chen before falling to the ground. It was a frail looking middle-aged man that seemed quite scholarly, one who enjoyed reading more than anything else. This man wore white robes with grandiose stitching and his eyes shone brightly with liveliness.
Seeing how this man had just been soaring through the sky, Jian Chen could tell that he was a Heaven Saint Master. Without any neglect in respect, the man cupped his hands together and spoke politely, “You must be Jian Chen.”
Quickly swallowing the surprise back down his throat, Jian Chen nodded his head, “Correct, I am he.”
“The elder ordered me to come and collect you, please follow me.” The middle-aged man replied. With a wave of his hand, Jian Chen suddenly felt a formidable amount of energy envelop his entire body before he began to levitate through the air along with the middle-aged man.
“Could this Heaven Saint Master be able to control the energy of the world?” Jian Chen couldn’t help but think about this. Although he was calm on the outside, he was furiously trying to figure out how the energy that was enveloping him worked.
The man was only traveling ten meters above the ground, but the speed in which they were traveling was still very fast.
Not long later, Jian Chen and the man reached yet another Space Gate. Descending down to the ground, the middle-aged man spoke, “You can leave from here.”
Jian Chen returned the way he came: through the Space Gate. He found himself in the plaza where the Gathering of the Mercenaries had taken place. Suddenly, a person came walking out from one of the halls; it was the crane-haired elder. Handing him a badge, the elder said, “This is the emblem of the King of Mercenaries. It is made of a special material and has been interwoven with arrays so that when Saint Force is used to activate it, the vital energy of the world in a ten kilometer distance will be absorbed into it for later cultivational usage.”
Jian Chen’s heart leaped into his throat as he immediately thought about the Flame Mercenaries and Changyang clan. This would definitely be a great boon for the two.
Taking the emblem carefully into his own hands, Jian Chen left the halls under the supervision of the commanding officer and walked out onto the streets.
Jian Chen tilted his head up to look at the sun overhead with a happy expression. After spending a long time within the holy land with no sun, Jian Chen felt comforted by the sun rays basking his body in its light.
By now, half a year had already passed since the Gathering of the Mercenaries had ended and the entire Mercenary City had already gone back to its normal everyday life with the exception of the season being hotter than before. However, the steady stream of people going in and out of the city was still there.
Mercenary City was the holy city for mercenaries and merchants alike. Each of the four seasons was always a busy season and many people traveled to the city.
By now, winter had already passed and summer was fast approaching. With the scorching sun bearing down on the ground, it was already like the top of a burning slab of iron. Since Jian Chen had spent a long time within the dark and damp holy grounds, he quickly found himself dry and thirsty.
Walking to the middle plaza of Mercenary City — the plaza was now a four way intersection for everyone to cross — it was not as lively as it was half a year ago, but it still had many magical beast riders walking on the streets.
As for the founder of Mercenary City Mo Tianyun, his statue stood tall and stared up toward the sky with a real life like figure.
By now, Jian Chen had already stored away some fragments of the profound mysteries of the world within his head. The statue of Mo Tianyun was completely different before compared to his eyes now. To him, the statue seemed to be completely filled with an endlessly profound mystery. Even the seemingly normal hands of the statue were filled with a strange substance that made the statue seem more lifelike. At the same time, it seemed as if the statue was harmonized with the world completely.
After a moment of careful observation, Jian Chen finally regained his bearings and respectfully bowed toward the statue before leaving the area. His understanding of Mercenary City was growing more and more, causing Jian Chen’s respect of Mo Tianyun to deepen as well.
Aimlessly roaming around the streets, Jian Chen finally entered an inn so that he could sit down and eat a meal. After residing within the holy land for so long, he hadn’t a single thing to eat in ages.
It was already afternoon and past the regular eating time, so the inn was relatively clean with Jian Chen as the only customer.
At that moment, three other men came walking in before sitting down at a table. “Waitress, some wine and meat over here!”
Staring at the three men, Jian Chen looked back to his own table and decided on what to eat.
“Hei Zi, just wait until we finish our mission, then our mercenary group will become a B ranked group!” Another man spoke to the black skinned man who had talked first.
The dark skinned man nodded his head, “Right, we were only a C ranked group three years ago. But three years later, we’ve accomplished many missions and our own merits aren’t bad either. Just wait for this mission to be finished, and we will truly become a B ranked group.”
The three men were seasoned mercenaries. While they ate, they would occasionally talk about other mercenary related affairs while simultaneously looking at Jian Chen every so often.
After some time, Jian Chen had ate and drank his fill. With a satisfied clap, he spoke, “Waitress, is there a room free to stay for the night? I would like to reserve one.” Jian Chen spoke as he placed a purple coin on the table.
“Yes, sir, we’ll prepare a room for you right away, please wait one moment!” The waitress retrieved the purple coin with a smile and immediately left to make preparations.
With a look toward the three other men, Jian Chen had a meaningful smile on his face as he walked over, “Fellow friends, what might your names be?”
Jian Chen’s sudden movement toward them had caught the three off guard, but they quickly recovered and had one man cup his hands with a smile, “This one is called Jian Hua, and these two are my close friends, Hei Zi and Bao Yue. I could tell that fellow brother’s Qi was quite unordinary, what might be your name?”
“I am called Jian Chen!” Jian Chen smiled.
Hearing that, the three men instantly grew shocked. With an incredulous look, the one called Jian Hua turned to look at Jian Chen with doubt, “Could you mean that you are the Jian Chen that won the Gathering of the Mercenaries half a year ago?!”
“I am he!” Jian Chen’s smile had a strange look to it.
“Ah, so you are Jian Chen, how disrespectful of me! Truly disrespectful! Brother Jian Chen’s name is a name that is as well known as a thunder clap to the ears! Who would have known that the three of us would be as fortunate to be able to come across brother Jian Chen today?” Jian Hua boomed outward with a respectful manner as the other two hurriedly cupped their hands in a respectful salute.
Seeing their attitudes, Jian Chen revealed a cold smile on his face, “Fellow friends, spare me your theatrics. Speak of your plans right now.”
Hearing this, the three men looked at Jian Chen with shock and vacant stares. Shaking his crew cut hair styled head, Jian Hua spoke with confusion, “Brother Jian Chen, what are you talking about?”
Jian Chen snorted, “You three have been following me for a good while, do you think that I wouldn’t know? Speak of your purpose, I hate wasting time.”
Still staring blankly at Jian Chen, Jian Hua could only smile as he continued to speak, “Brother Jian Chen is quite the jokester. How would we have followed you? This meeting was a coincidence.”
“If my instinct isn’t wrong, then you three are either from the Jiede clan or Shi family.” Jian Chen’s eyes grew cold as his sharp eyes pierced into them with his gaze.
The three men continued to stare blankly while Jian Hua forced a helpless smile on his face, “Brother Jian Chen, I’m afraid I still don’t understand. Might’ve you mistaken us for someone else?”
Seeing how their faces didn’t seem to be hiding anything, Jian Chen knew that asking anymore questions would be pointless. Without wasting anymore time, he left for the second floor of the inn.
Right as Jian Chen had disappeared, the shocked expressions of the three men instantly grew dark as they leaned closed to each other.
“I didn’t think he would be that vigilant, he already spotted us from far away!” Jian Hua whispered.
“What should we do now?” Hei Zi asked.
“What else could we do? Let’s report back to the elder.”
Afterward, the three men placed a purple coin down and left the inn at a fast pace.
Within a grand looking inn, the furious expression of an elder stared at the three men in front of him as he pointed and shouted curses at them, “Useless! Absolutely useless! All I see is a pile of garbage right in front of me! You’ve let the person you were trailing see you, just what use are you for other than eating?”
These three men were Jian Hua, Hei Zi, and Bao Yue. Each one of them had a pale face as they shivered in fear and didn’t dare to utter a single sound.
“Elder, this isn’t our fault, our target was already extremely careful and far too powerful. Otherwise, we wouldn’t have been noticed.” Jian Hua spoke with a quavering voice of fear in hopes of placating the elder’s anger.
At that moment, the doors to the room opened as another elder came walking in. Upon seeing the three men in front of him, the new coming elder narrowed his eyes and spoke, “Fourth elder, what happened?”
“These three pieces of garbage were easily detected by Jian Chen after his return from the holy lands! With their presences being detected, all of our plans have now gone up in smoke!” The fourth elder exploded with anger as he swore once more.