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The next afternoon, Jian Chen sat on the golden throne in the middle of the Heavenly Eagle Kingdom’s palace. By his two sides were Qin Wuming, Qin Wujian, Khafir, Ye Ming, and several other Heaven Saint Masters. Down below, two rows of soldiers from the Eastern Deity Swords stood on standby; each one of them was an Earth Saint Master in strength.
At that moment, several Imperial Advisors from the Qinhuang Kingdom came in with the seven captive Heaven Saint Masters from the Heavenly Eagle Kingdom. Stopping in the center, the ten Imperial Advisors stood in a calm line behind the seven captives. Not a word was spoken, but each one of the seven captives felt a tremendous amount of pressure stifle their hearts.
Over twenty Heaven Saint Masters were congregated in this palace hall. Despite not a single word being spoken, the quietness of the palace made the atmosphere overwhelmingly oppressing.
Although the seven men from the Heavenly Eagle Kingdom were reduced to being prisoners, they were still ultimately Heaven Saint Masters. From their bones, a strong and proud power could be felt leaking out. Each one of them had their heads held high, and it was only when they looked at Jian Chen that a complicated look appeared on their faces.
From his talks with Hu Ba from the Sect of Dragon and Tiger, Jian Chen’s ident.i.ty had already been revealed for everyone to hear. The Heaven Saint Masters fortunate enough to survive all now understood Jian Chen’s status, but it had still been very hard for any one of them to believe that this was true and accept such a fact.
Calmly looking at the seven captives, Jian Chen didn’t reveal any domineering aura from his body. He seemed like an ordinary person sitting there, and it was only after a moment that he finally broke the silence in the palace.
“Out of the fifteen Heaven Saint Masters of the Heavenly Eagle Kingdom, only you seven are left.” Jian Chen’s stated.
None of the seven Heaven Saint Masters said anything. The reason why they had surrendered in the first place was because they had no desire to throw away their lives in vain. After all, they had nothing to do with the anger that existed between the Gesun Kingdom and the Heavenly Eagle Kingdom. Because they were dragged into this, they were all afraid of saying something that may cause Jian Chen to grow angry and lose their life.
The Imperial Protector of the Qinhuang Kingdom far surpa.s.sed whatever ent.i.ty they could safely anger. He was like a gigantic mountain that they wouldn’t even be able to blow wind on. It was only because of the support of the Sect of Dragon and Tiger that they had been brave enough to fight the Qinhuang Kingdom. With the Sect of Dragon and Tiger gone, there was absolutely no way that they would fight against the Qinhuang Kingdom now. All that would remain to them on that path was death.
Seeing that no one was talking, Jian Chen continued to speak, “Does everyone know why this one called you all here today?”
“Honored Imperial Protector, please explain!” One of the individuals respectfully cupped his hands together with an expression that revealed no dissatisfaction.
“The Heavenly Eagle Kingdom is currently occupied by us. I will speak the truth to you, the Heavenly Eagle Kingdom will not survive. The name needs to disappear from the Tian Yuan Continent. To prevent the Sect of Dragon and Tiger from taking control, we will dismantle the Heavenly Eagle Kingdom.” With this, Jian Chen stopped speaking for a second and awaited the responses from the seven.
Sure enough, each one of the seven Heaven Saint Masters blanched. Looking at each other, expressions of worry overcame their face, but no one dared to say anything.
“You seven, you each must belong to a different faction, I a.s.sume.” Jian Chen spoke.
The seven hesitated for a while before one of them finally spoke, “The honored Imperial Protector speaks correctly. We seven all belong to a different sect or clan.”
“Now then, have the seven of you decided what you will do in the future? Will you pick death? Or will you continue to live?” Jian Chen asked.
“We hope that the honored Imperial Protector will point to us the path of life.” One of the individuals spoke. To bow and sc.r.a.pe their knees for a youth in his twenties was rather embarra.s.sing, but when under a roof, one couldn’t help but bow their head.
“Then, I will tell you my plan. I hope that everyone will find it fitting.” With that, Jian Chen took out a map from his s.p.a.ce Ring and gave it to the seven. “Now, I will split up the Heavenly Eagle Kingdom into seven regions for you seven to control. Each person will be responsible for their own region, and from here on out, there will be no such thing as the Heavenly Eagle Kingdom. There will only be the regions that you seven will have jurisdiction over.
Hearing this, the seven of them had looks of disbelief on their faces. Some were pleasantly surprised, some were confused, and some were doubtful. They all knew in their hearts that the Heavenly Eagle Kingdom covered a vast amount of territory. If it were to truly be split up into seven regions for them to control, then they would each find their own power and influence increased several times over. This to them, was an incredibly huge surprise.
Although they all belonged to clans or sects that could be considered to be the strongest of the Heavenly Eagle Kingdom, the amount of territory they controlled wasn’t exactly large. The fact that the Heavenly Eagle Kingdom had fifteen Heaven Saint Masters and because of the kingdom’s meticulous planning, each family only had enough influence to cover about the size of a mountain, and it was incredibly hard to increase that influence. With Jian Chen’s actions, it was as if he had delivered a free meat pie for them to eat and increase their power.
However, the seven individuals were old and experienced. They knew that Jian Chen wouldn’t so freely send them such a delicious treat. In an instant, they guessed Jian Chen’s plan.
“Honored Imperial Protector, do you mean for us to swear our allegiances to you?” One of them asked.
Jian Chen laughed, “You are half-right. Correct, with such a great benefit, how could I just give this away to you for free, especially when you first tried to be enemies to the Qinhuang Kingdom?”
Jian Chen’s later half of his speech caused the seven to blanch once more, but before they could say anything, Jian Chen continued, “I’ll not mention what happened in the past for now. I’ll say what I plan on doing. My request is rather simple. I wish for you seven to handle the work for the Qinhuang Kingdom and swear loyalty to the Qinhuang Kingdom to become external members of it. Would you agree to this request?”
Although Jian Chen wanted them to swear loyalty to himself, his current strength wasn’t enough to make the Sect of Dragon and Tiger cower in fear. By tying these seven to the Qinhuang Kingdom, the Sect of Dragon and Tiger wouldn’t act so rashly in case their plans backfired on them. Otherwise, he would be afraid of walking by himself and having the person behind the Sect of Dragon and Tiger interfere with the Heavenly Eagle Kingdom matter.
Plus, these seven swearing loyalty to the Qinhuang Kingdom or to Jian Chen wasn’t too different. After all, his status as an Imperial Protector wasn’t just for show. It was only that for the Sect of Dragon and Tiger, the might of the Qinhuang Kingdom was far more prominent than an Imperial Protector at the strength of a Heaven Saint Master.
“Fine, I agree. From today henceforth, my Returning Cloud Sect will swear loyalty to the Qinhuang Kingdom and handle its affairs.”
“My Bucashana Clan agrees to swear loyalty to the Qinhuang Kingdom.”
“The Hilo Clan agrees to swear loyalty to the Qinhuang Kingdom.”
This time, none of the seven members hesitated to respond. With a crisp response, their faces couldn’t hide their excitement. Although they knew that Jian Chen wished to use this method to control the Heavenly Eagle Kingdom, it wasn’t too important to them. The more important thing was that they had a robust pillar of support behind them. Furthermore, being connected to the Qinhuang Kingdom was something that many kingdoms wouldn’t be able to get even if they tried.