Chapter 542: Crisis of the Flame Mercenaries
The one-armed man’s words caused the four men standing in front of the Kai family’s gates to harden their expressions. Qing Feng had been the first to fire back, “One-armed Warrior, bite your tongue. Just how could the immensity of our captain’s strength be explained by you?”
“Haha, true enough. I feel that this Jian Chen’s strength is nothing more than hearsay. Whatever his true strength is, I have never seen it before. What I am sure is that he is still not yet at the strength of an Earth Saint Master. If he wasn’t one before he went to Gathering of the Mercenaries, then he’s certainly looking to die an early death. It’s been a long time since the ending of that event anyways. If your captain Jian Chen was still alive, then why hasn’t he returned?” The man sneered.
Seeing that no one could reply, the one-armed man continued on, “I bet you’ve all already reached an answer. You’re just not willing to accept it. Then why don’t I say it for you? Your captain died in Mercenary City. He will never come back here alive.”
The man’s words caused every single mercenary from the Flame Mercenaries to blanch, but they quickly schooled their emotions.
At this, the man could only shake his head in disappointment. He had originally planned on striking at their morale to influence them all over to his side. In the end it had been fruitless.
How would he know that the hundred member strong Flame Mercenaries were all previously the mercenaries under the command of the Great Saint Masters Qingfeng, Mo Tian, Duo Kang, Charcas, Seth, Kai Er, and Weiss. In their hearts, these seven men were the leaders that they would die for; men that they would continue to follow with unflinching conviction.
“One-armed Warrior, don’t bother wasting time with this scheme of yours. We will follow our captain to the death. You may as well give up; our Flame Mercenaries will never join your Defiance Mercenaries. If you still wish to continue with this thought of yours, then we may as well waste no time and get to fighting.” Kai Er spoke. Although they weren’t as strong as they once were in the past and were just below the Defiance Mercenaries in strength, the final outcome between the two would be disastrous.
The one-armed man’s face darkened as he bit his lip, “I’ve given you a chance, but you were unfortunate enough to not cherish it. If this is it, do not blame me for being ruthless now. Brothers, let us fight!” At his command, every single man behind him began to take out their Saint Weapons one by one.
“Brothers, let us fight!” Kai Er and the others called out, unwilling to lag behind. As soon as they spoke, several dozen men from within the Flame Mercenaries took out a bottle from their Space Belts and smashed it onto the ground. Soon, the courtyard was filled with a light-green smog of smoke after the bottles had been broken. The smog obscured the sight of everyone.
The actions of these these man confused the surrounding Flame Mercenaries. Flabbergasted, they all looked around without any understanding of what was happening.
Noticing the commotion going on behind him, Qingfeng turned around only to discover the light-green smog of smoke gradually dispersing into the open air around them. Stunned for just a brief moment, Qingfeng immediately snapped back to focus with a cry, “Poison! Everyone hold your breath!”
“Hahaha, it’s too late for that.” The one-armed man laughed in an unrestrained manner from outside the courtyard.
“You…!” Mo Tian furiously glared at the man with a frightening expression. His eyes gleamed with a furious and unrestrained killing intent as he ground his teeth, “One-armed Warrior, I took you to be a man. To think that you’d actually use such a two-bit method; I’ve misjudged you.”
“Hahahaha, what method isn’t useful? Let me tell you, as long as a method brings you victory, then it is a good method! If you want to survive on the continent, then you can’t afford to be inflexible! Otherwise, you won’t survive for long.” The one-armed man laughed.
“Take an antidote, now! Kill the traitors in our ranks!” Kai Er whirled around to command the Flame Mercenaries.
Needless to say, the members of the Flame Mercenaries had already taken out several antidotes from their Space Belts. Administering them, they turned to face the traitors that had tried to poison them with infuriated glares and murderous auras.
After taking several steps forward, each one of the mercenaries had paused with a pained expression on their faces. Coughing, they all began to cough out blood from their mouths as the poison within them finally took effect.
Kai Er, Mo Tian, Qingfeng, and Charcas were startled by this sight, “What a strong poison!” One of them couldn’t help but cry out.
Pleased with himself, the one-armed man smiled, “Of course! This is a poison I synthesized after paying a heavy price. It isn’t any normal type of poison, it has two steps to it! The first step is to use a type of poisonous seed that’ll hide itself within your body without detection. It’ll slowly germinate and grow within your body bit by bit without any of you ever noticing. Then, after using a special method, the seed will begin to rapidly unfold and cause a tremendous amount of pain. This poisonous smoke was the trigger for the poison to activate within your body!”
“This smoke isn’t anything special in terms of toxicity. It’s only function is to activate the poison inside you since it doesn’t require to be breathed in. As long as the body is in contact with it, then the poison will be triggered. Its effects are so strong that in four hours, you’ll find yourself waking up by the Yellow Springs!” By now, the one-armed man was laughing out loud. “There’s one more thing I forgot to tell you, the antidote to this poison can’t be bought! So don’t waste your time taking those antidotes won’t help you here. At most, you’ll alleviate some of the symptoms, but you won’t be able to cure yourself of my poison.”
“One-armed Warrior, so you’ve been planning this for all this time! A month ago, you must have had those traitors of ours plant the poison in our food!” Kai Er roared with fury. The poison in his body had already started to activate as blood started to leak from his mouth.
“Correct! But that can’t be blamed on me. Who told you not to surrender the Flame Mercenaries to me? If you only just surrendered earlier, then this wouldn’t have happened to you.” The one-armed man laughed before taking out a palm-sized bottle. “You have four hours. Follow me and prosper, or defy me and die. You have a choice between life or death, and I have only a limited supply. Whoever comes first gets some. Otherwise, pity will be given for the ones that have none.”
The entire Flame Mercenaries grew quiet now as the poison within their bodies continued to get worse. By this point, everyone’s faces were deathly pale as blood streamed from their mouths.
“One-armed Warrior, don’t even think you can persuade us with your two-bit methods! I, Mo Tian, will never let you live easily for this life of mine!” Mo Tian barked as he took out his Saint Weapon. Just as he took a single step forward, a coughing sound came from his mouth and blood erupted from it.
“If I may offer you some advice; don’t try using your Saint Force. It’ll only serve to increase the growth of the poison even more and accelerate your death.” The man spoke with a smile. His eyes turned to the men behind Mo Tian, “Take use of the opportunity that the poison hasn’t yet reached your hearts. If you wish to live, then hurry up and swear allegiance to my Defiance Mercenaries. Otherwise, the poison will reach your heart by nighttime. By that point, this antidote of mine will be useless to help you. I only have a limited quantity of this antidote, so choose quickly and don’t regret the choice you make!”
After a moment, there were finally several mercenaries that didn’t wish to die. One by one, they slowly walked out of the compound.
Watching those men leave their ranks, Kai Er and the others could only sigh to themselves. They couldn’t blame them.
Soon, more and more mercenaries decided to live and serve the Defiance Mercenaries rather than die. In the end, only sixty or so men were left from the original hundred plus men.
The one-armed man glanced at Kai Er and the other three with a chuckle, “Kai Er, Qingfeng, Mo Tian, Charcas, what do you think? There’s not many antidotes left, but if you choose to enter my Defiance Mercenaries now, I won’t mistreat you.”
“The might of the One-armed Warrior is far too inadequate for us four to join you.” Mo Tian snarled in disdain.
Slowly taking up his giant sword, Charcas turned back to look at his sixty or so pale-faced brothers. Heroically, he spoke, “My brothers! I am proud of you all, for you are men among men, men born from steel itself! Death is not something to fear! If death is all that we face, then let us pick up our weapons and defend our honor. If we are to die, then we will die magnificently. If we are to die, then we will take with us a sacrifice. We will not let the Defiance Mercenaries walk away unharmed!”
Qingfeng raised up his long sword with a heroic aura, “Brothers! Let us fight side by side in this final battle!”
“For battle! For war! For glory!” The remaining members of the Flame Mercenaries roared out to the heavens one after another in response to Mo Tian and Qingfeng. Although they were all pale in the face and were bleeding blood from their mouths, their eyes remained unwavering and unafraid of death. They had already given up their fear of death.
At this sight, the one-armed man’s face darkened. Snorting, he spoke, “If you wish to die, then I’ll grant you all that favor! Kill them all!”
The group of men behind the one-armed man began to let loose a bestial and bloodthirsty amount of killing intent before charging toward the men in the compound.
Suddenly, a red glow of light exploded into view as a single flaming longsword came flying at tremendous speeds from the other end of the road. In an instant, it impacted the ground in front of the compound. With a tremendous explosion of energy, the men from Defiance Mercenaries were immediately reduced to a pitiful state.