Chapter 595: Return to Mercenary City (One)
The distance between the vein of tungsten alloy and the Bloodmoon Mercenaries was not that far apart. It was about fifty kilometers behind the castle. However, this location was surrounded by a hundred kilometers of forest whose environment and wildlife were both vile. Poisonous creatures, swamps, and dangerous beasts all coexisted in this place.
The location of the vein of tungsten alloy was indeed here. At the very center of this forest was a single cave that could only be seen and entered by through a ravine.
Evening around this ravine came with little to no visibility, thanks to the fact that the sun would drop far beneath the horizon and bask the entire forest in darkness.
The darkness was pierced by a single orb of azure and yellow. That orb was Jian Chen and Tynes. They were traveling to the entrance of the ravine with Jian Chen’s flying abilities.
The arrival of the two people flying immediately alerted the figures hidden in the forest below. At the sight of Tynes, they all moved to salute the two, “Captain!”
Tynes turned back to look at Jian Chen, “Imperial Protector, these are all men of the Earth Saint Master level, and are men worthy of my trust to protect the secret of this mine.”
“Satisfactory work.” Jian Chen smiled to each and every single one of the men there.
Laughing, Tynes spoke to his men next, “Scatter yourselves and hide once more. Keep a watch out for anyone else that approaches. Kill them on sight!”
“Yes!” Each person saluted in response before blending in with the shadows. They disappeared out of sight, hiding in the surroundings of the ravine.
“Imperial Protector, the vein of tungsten alloy was completely discovered by accident in this ravine.” Tynes pointed out.
“Come, show me the way.”
Jian Chen and Tynes quickly descended into the rather shallow and narrow ravine. It was more of a gully rather than ravine due to the fact that grass had grown here and there in large quantities.
Surveying the grass from above, Jian Chen slowly closed his eyes. He allowed his presence to encompass the surrounding five kilometers, penetrating any solid wall that might obstruct his way.
Under the strong detection abilities of his presence, Jian Chen was able to see through the boulders and walls as if they weren’t even there. However, when his presence snaked into the area below, Jian Chen couldn’t help but let a sigh escape from his lips.
This place was practically a giant mountain of tungsten alloy with a purity that matched perfectly with Tynes’ description. The tremendous quantity of the tungsten alloy was enough to leave Jian Chen tongue-tied, and with his presence, he was able to dig five meters deep into the ground to probe the area even more. Giving him an even greater shock was that there was even more tungsten alloy than what was initially measured. The extent in which the vein extended was more than enough to leave any man utterly inconsolable even.
Now knowing the situation behind the hidden cave, Jian Chen could finally let out a breath of relief. His heart had been pacing wildly before when he had first started his examination, but now he was back to his original state of mind.
Now that his emotions were completely quelled, Jian Chen began to extend his presence once more. His presence pushed deeper and deeper, investigating just how large this hidden vein of tungsten alloy was.
With the vast speed of his presence extending into the ground, Jian Chen soon reached roughly ten kilometers into the ground. Thanks to his skill with spreading his presence, Jian Chen could conclude that this was a very pure vein all in all. The deeper he went, the purer the vein was. Now that he was ten kilometers deep, Jian Chen could see that the purity of this vein was at least ninety-percent, perhaps even close to a hundred. In other words, this was no longer a mine of tungsten alloy but a subterranean area completely made of tungsten alloy.
Faced with such a discovery, Jian Chen felt hardpressed to quell his emotions this time. His entire body began to shake because of the excitement he felt, but he did not stop his investigation. He continued on.
Soon enough, Jian Chen reached the fifteen kilometer limit that he could extend his presence to. At that point, Jian Chen’s expression took on a startled expressions.
Just slightly beneath the fifteenth kilometer point, Jian Chen could barely detect an abnormally strong surge of energy with his presence. It was almost as if there was a barrier preventing him from detecting anything else underneath the protective layering. Even the immensity of the barrier itself was an unknown variable to him.
“What is that?” Jian Chen murmured to himself. This sudden oddity was far outside his expectations. It was unfortunate that his presence could not reach beyond this fifteen kilometer stopping point since he had no other way to investigate this strange energy.
He then investigated the surrounding area with his presence before finally withdrawing it. He stared down at the ground with furrowed eyebrows as he tried to think. This barrier made him curious, and completely overshadowed the joy he felt from the discovery of how far down the tungsten alloy stretched.
“If only my presence was strong enough. As things stand now, it’s futile to try and see what lies beyond that barrier, but I can at the very least explore it in the future.” Jian Chen thought to himself.
Right by Jian Chen’s side, Tynes had noticed the puzzled look on Jian Chen’s face. He asked in concern, “Imperial Protector, what is the matter?”
“Tynes, what is the history behind this valley? Is there perhaps any legends about this place?” Jian Chen asked.
“I have heard no such thing before.” Tynes shook his head after wracking his mind for any pertinent information.
Letting out a sigh in defeat, Jian Chen looked around the entire valley with his presence. About twenty meters beyond the area they were in, the tungsten alloy deteriorated into a purity rate of fifty-percent. By fifty meters, the amount of tungsten alloy was practically nil with just stone and dirt left in its place.
After investigating the entire valley, Jian Chen could finally ascertain that the heart of the tungsten alloy was located within a diameter of a hundred meters of this place. The tungsten alloy at the very heart of the valley was the purest at about eighty-five percent purity.
Now that his investigations were completely over, Jian Chen and Tynes returned to the headquarters of the Bloodmoon Mercenaries.
At the very top of the castle where the Bloodmoon Mercenaries lived, Jian Chen could be seen conversing with Tynes and the other high-ranking members of the Bloodmoon Mercenaries.
“Excavate the tungsten alloy as soon as you can while ensuring that no one learns of its existence. There should be no reason that anyone should learn about it. Tynes, I’ll leave it up to you to deal with this.” Jian Chen commanded.
“But, Imperial Protector, the purity of these ores is already an issue to be considered. Combined with the magical properties of the tungsten alloy that makes it a hundred times stronger than reinforced steel, a year wouldn’t be enough time to make even a single dent in the amount of ores.” A black-robed elder spoke. This elder in particular was an Earth Saint Master and a senior figure of the mercenaries.
“Imperial Protector, I’ve already notified the head of the other six heads. Should we tell them the news as well? Perhaps have them choose a single reliable person to go extract the ore?” Tynes offered.
“Yes, I can agree to that notion. Wait until those six arrive and then tell them the news.” Jian Chen replied.
Half a month later, the rest of the six heads had finally assembled at the headquarters of the Bloodmoon Mercenaries. With all seven gathered, Jian Chen re-engaged in another series of secret discussions. He delegated tasks to everyone to help with the extraction of the ore.
This meeting took a significantly longer amount of time since Jian Chen had to discuss several aspects of confidentiality with seven Heaven Saint Masters. These preliminary matters covered such items as who would extract the ore, who would transport it, and who would refine it in secret.
On the second day, Tynes immediately led five hundred of his most trustworthy men to extract the ore with the pretense of hunting for magical beasts. Simultaneously, the other six leaders dispatched several of their men to different areas of the mountain range for reconnaissance.
With the combined actions of the seven, information of the tungsten alloy was completely suppressed, and the tungsten alloy was finally being extracted. Under the command of Jian Chen, the entire valley was surveyed and mining operations were started.
He still felt very curious about that mysterious barrier several kilometers beneath the earth, but Jian Chen had no way to get close to it because of the tungsten alloy in his way. The only way to get to it would be to dig a path down.
The next few days were very calm and peaceful. Jian Chen was the only one who stayed to oversee the miners along with Tynes. This was to hide the fact that they were extracting tungsten alloy. The other leaders returned to their own territories to avoid any insightful person from connecting the dots and realizing something was amiss. However, the seven had established a means of quick communication with each other. If there was even the slightest deviation from the plans, they would all be notified and would arrive at the castle of the Bloodmoon Mercenaries as fast as they could.
Ten days later, the Flame Mercenaries reached the Bloodmoon Mercenary’s territory. Finally, they garrisoned themselves within the castle. The three Heaven Saint Masters and five hundred Earth Saint Masters were included in the group, making the Bloodmoon Mercenaries stronger than before.
Jian Chen did not hide any information about the tungsten alloy from Ming Dong and the others. He told them about it all. However, Zhan Tian, the other captains, and the Heaven Saint Masters remained clueless about the ore.
When the time came for them to understand the magnitude of the tungsten alloy, each one of them felt so shocked that their jaws dropped wide open.
“A tremendous deposit of tungsten alloy like this is extremely rare on the continent. Should this make its way out, there will definitely be turmoil all over the place. Even a few of the isolated families or the Eight Great Powers would mobilize for such an event. With our strength alone, it would be difficult to maintain this.” Huang Luan grimly remarked.
Equally grim, Jian Chen nodded his head, “I’ve already locked down any communication about this information. If this information does leak, then I will have the Qinhuang Kingdom step in.”
“My Huang family is strong. If there is a need for it, then I’ll have the ancestor of my family step in as well.”