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In that simple room, Shi Yan looked lost. He stood stunned at the window for quite a while before closing the window.
Going back to his seat, he was in rather low-spirits. He merely focused on drinking and didn’t put his hands on the girls anymore.
“Young Master Yan, was that the Beiming Family troop?” Karl, a Shi Family warrior, asked him casually.
“Yes.” Shi Yan answered bluntly and kept drinking.
Standing by the window, Shi Zhong looked at Shi Yan, frowning with an odd look in his eyes. After some hesitation, he asked, “Brother Yan, the woman on the war horse, you… do you know her?”
Shi Yan nodded and finished the wine in his cup, “Yes, we walked out of the Dark Forest together. As you heard, the demon beasts were everywhere. It was better to be accompanied than be alone.”
Han Zhong was an experienced man. Seeing Shi Yan’s apathetic response, he blinked his eyes and a.s.sumed that something must have happened between Shi Yan and Di Yalan.
Moving near Shi Yan, Han Zhong waved his hand to the girl next to him, “Leave us alone. We need to talk.”
The foxy girls stood up smiling and quickly left the room.
When there were only the warriors left in the room, Han Zhong said, “Brother Yan, I don’t know who that woman is. But it seems that Beiming Ce is quite into her. If she accepts Beiming Ce as well, you should forget her.”
“Han Zhong is right. There are so many women in the world. It’s unwise to offend Beiming Ce for a woman. The Beiming Family is the number one family in the Merchant Union, and they are too influential. Beiming Ce is Beiming Shang’s beloved son. It’s unwise to offend him.” Karl reminded Shi Yan earnestly.
Karl, who was at the Second Sky of Nascent Level, was the leader of the warriors. He tried to comfort Shi Yan as the latter had left a very good impression.
“Old Han, who were those two old men?” Shi Yan didn’t reply to Karl’s statement, but looked to Han Zhong.
“Yin Kui and Jiu Shan have the same teacher, and they are at the First Sky of Nirvana Level now, but no one knows where they came from. They used to serve the family head of Beiming Family, Beiming Shang. After Beiming Ce was born, and considering how he possesses twin Martial Spirits and agile movements, Beiming Shang a.s.signed them to protect Beiming Ce.”
The First Sky of Nirvana Level! Shi Yan was astounded.
Shi Jian, the family head of the Shi Family, was only at the Third Sky of Nirvana Level.
There were millions of residents in the Merchant Union, among which were numerous warriors who trained Martial Arts. But only a small part of them, barely more than ten people, could step into the Nirvana Level.
The two Nirvana-Level warriors stayed by Beiming Ce’s side without doing anything else. The world was his oyster.
“In the Merchant Union, the Beiming Family is much more powerful than the other two biggest families combined. There are many skillful warriors among the Ministers, and talented descents pop up now and then. Plus, Beiming Shang himself is at the Sky Level. It is really unwise to offend the Beiming Family.”
Seeing that Shi Yan wasn’t responding, Han Zhong hastily explained in case Shi Yan acted abruptly.
“Ok, got it.” After being silent for a while, Shi Yan nodded. His expression turned back to normal as he smiled to Han Zhong, “Don’t worry about me, Old Han. I know what to do and when to endure.”
“That’s good for you.” Han Zhong said feeling relieved, “Let the girls in again?”
“No. Not interested. Let’s drink.”
“Great! Let’s drink! Come on!”
The Merchant Union was a very special country which was co-governed by the big families, warriors, mercenaries, merchants and all sorts of NGOs.
There were no formal army, no officers, and no governmental structure.
Instead, there were many big families, hundreds of mercenary unions, tens of thousands of merchants, vagrants and civilians who hated wars...
The Merchant Union never got involved in the wars between the Fire Empire and the G.o.d-blessed Empire, therefore it was a peaceful country.
However, once it was invaded, all the forces in the Merchant Union would unite to fight against the enemy.
Over the history of the Merchant Union, the Fire Empire and the G.o.d-blessed Empire had both attempted to invade it for its wealth, but they were smashed every time by the united army of the big families and mercenary unions in the Merchant Union.
On average days, there were no governors in the Merchant Union, but once it was in danger, its people would fight together to drive back their mutual enemy.
Those big families, hundreds of mercenary unions and wealthy merchants could form an extremely powerful force which could defeat the G.o.d-blessed Empire and the Fire Empire easily.
It’s lucky that the forces in the Merchant Union only came together when the country was in danger, or it could swallow any other country at any time!
The Merchant Union was in a crucial position. The Dark Forest was to its south, the Dead Swamp to its north, continuous Cloud Mountain to its west and the enormous Endless Sea to its east.
No matter if it was the Dead Swamp, the Cloud Mountain, or the islands in the Endless Sea, there hid all kinds of abundant resources, such as minerals and magical medicines. As a big trading nation, the Merchant Union took advantage of its geographical location.
However, despite the exuberant resources in the Dead Swamp, the Cloud Mountain and the Endless Sea, there was also incredible danger.
Demon beasts, poisonous fog, miasma, hideous tribes, and disasters...
That’s why one needed to be very capable to travel in these areas. Luckily, the Merchant Union never lacked skillful mercenary unions and warriors.
There were seventeen cities in the Merchant Union, and the Tianyun City was the biggest among them.
Tianyun City was located in the center of the Merchant Union, with eight small cities around it. It covered a large area which almost equaled the eight small cities combined, as did its population.
Therefore, Tianyun City was like the capital city of the Merchant Union, which was the main territory of those biggest families.
The Shi Family was amongst them. Though they had properties and gardens in every main city, the Shi Family was rooted in Tianyun City.
The Shi Family was located in the northern part of Tianyun City. It covered one hundred miles and had thousands of buildings in it. Artificial lakes, rockeries, gardens and brooks were everywhere. The Shi Family descendants lived in the serene back garden, where there was an artificial lake in the middle, with beautiful pavilions surrounding it. Behind the pavilions were the training fields, gravitational rooms, and suffering palaces...
There were not many direct Shi descendants, but its branches and ministers could easily reach one hundred. Considering those servants and escorts, there were almost one thousand people in Shi Family.
Early every morning, the Shi Family members, ministers and warriors would train hard in within the training grounds.
On that day, just as the rooster crowed and the sky began to turn bright, many warriors had already gotten up and started to train.
Shi Jian walked out of the Rock Room and shouted below into Yang Hai’s pavilion. Then they walked toward the gate together.
During their walk to the gate, the warriors bowed to them. Shi Jian nodded indifferently without slowing his steps.
A short time after they reached the gate, Han Feng appeared behind them. He began to observe the corridor out the gate as he stood next to Shi Jian silently.
“According to Han Zhong’s message, they should have arrived home last night. Since they didn’t, they must arrive today.” Shi Jian frowned and mumbled, “I waited till dawn to see if that boy has really reached the Third Sky of Nascent Level. But that b.a.s.t.a.r.d didn’t come home...”
“Maybe they were held up by something on the road.” Though Yang Hai was cursing in his mind that Shi Yan was too impolite, he still explained for him.
“Dammit. Is it possible that Han Zhong sent the wrong message?”
Shi Jian looked back to Han Feng in confusion, “I have met someone whose Martial Spirit awoke as a teenager, so I’m not skeptical about that. However, that kid has never trained in martial arts before turning seventeen, but now he is suddenly at the Third Sky of Nascent level, that is just unbelievable! I have been pondering upon it for several nights but I still can’t figure it out. What do you think?”
Han Feng pouted, narrowed his eyes and said, “Though Han Zhong is not a serious man most of the time, he is quite cautious on major things, so I don’t think he would dare to lie about this. I can’t explain it either, but I think it might be true.”
“Well, I can only hope so. That b.a.s.t.a.r.d has let me down these past seventeen years, I hope this time he will be different.”
Many warriors came out after them in curiosity after they had breakfast, as they heard that the family head was waiting at the gate. They gathered together and were discussing boisterously.
No one knew who was coming. The most likely people were those of the Beiming Family or Zuo Family, or Shi Jian wouldn’t be there.
Yet, after a long long time, no one showed up. The warriors turned impatient and began to curse amongst themselves at the arrogant person who had made Shi Jian wait for so long.
As the sun rose higher and higher, they still saw nothing. Shi Jian was becoming worried as well, as he said to Yang Hai next to him, “It’s been so long. What happened?”
Yang Hai shook his head with a bitter smile implying he didn’t know either, while he sighed secretly to himself.
Though Shi Jian mentioned Shi Yan now and then, he never really cared for him.
He remembered Shi Yan only after Yang Hai’s reminder that Shi Yan had disappeared in the Dark Forest.
Upon hearing Shi Yan had reached the Third Sky of Nascent Level, Shi Jian asked about him every day, and even came out early and waited for him...
Shi Jian’s att.i.tude switched too much, which made Yang Hai a little uncomfortable.
Hours later, it was approaching noon as the sun was directly above them in the sky., a fat ground dragon slowly appeared from the corridor.
Two persons were leisurely leading while chatting happily. They were Shi Yan and Han Zhong.