Although Qianye was prepared to face pressure from the werewolves of the upper continents, the reason for their interference was quite an eye-opener.
The werewolves of the primitive tribes had never been recognized because they were backward, ignorant, and possessed limited potential. But once Qianye had pulled them out of primitiveness and led them to a standard accepted by the Summit of Peaks, these werewolves would become “their people.” And those bastards from the Summit of Peaks would never let Qianye rule over “their people.”
This meant that the werewolves of Fort Continent would be left to their fate if no one had stepped in, but the Summit of Peaks would come over to reap the fruits if someone were to take the helm.
Qianye cursed inwardly. And looking at William’s helpless appearance, he knew that it was useless to reason with them.
Qianye said angrily, “Then what do you intend to do with these ‘people’ of yours? What will become of all the resources I invested?”
“What else do you want? You’re already quite fortunate if we won’t prosecute you for slavery! You want rewards? Dream on!” William mocked.
Qianye said calmly, “Then don’t blame me for being rude.”
William laughed out loud. “You finally understand, right? But don’t worry, I’m on your side at least.”
“That doesn’t sound like a lot of help.”
Now, William was angry. “Hey, I’m a powerful character now! Ordinary vice-dukes are not my match at all!”
“You said it, the keyword is ordinary. I’m a vice-duke as well, why don’t we spar?”
“You…” William glared furiously at Qianye, but he didn’t have the slightest intention of fighting. He wasn’t even interested.
William had fought Qianye more than once, so he knew all too well that he could never win against him while at the same rank. Now that the latter was one rank above him, a defeat was inevitable.
Seeing William stifled, Qianye felt just a tad better. After some thought, he didn’t feel that it was that big of a loss on his part. He had gained the entire Storm Territory without shedding a drop of blood, and a powerful helper like the Storm Duke could be considered a great boon, even if it was just for three years. Of course, he would have to pay a price, and that price was being swept into the werewolves’ internal conflict.
The Storm Duke was both a powerful help and a hidden danger. No matter how powerful Qianye’s momentum was, there would surely be a time when he was down. How could he be sure that the duke wouldn’t stab him in the back at that point?
William had long since thought about that. He said to the duke, “Since we’ve agreed, please swear on the spirit of your ancestor.”
The Storm Duke’s expression shifted ever so slightly. “I swear upon the spirit of my honorable ancestor, the late Liziche Tribe Chieftain…”
“Wait a minute.” William interrupted him. “You should be invoking the spirit of the Liziche Tribe’s Great Shaman.”
The Storm Duke’s expression shifted drastically. “You know that too?”
“There are complete genealogy and inheritance records of every bloodline at the Summit of Peaks. That’s why you should forget about playing tricks or things will get ugly.”
The Storm Duke remained silent for a good while before continuing to recite a long oath, and this time, he was solemn and respectful. Qianye could feel a mysterious energy enter the Storm Duke’s body. This cryptic power was rather similar to the one produced by the werewolves’ prayer ceremony. He might not have been able to sense it if his own body hadn’t been transformed by that same energy.
It would seem that this ancestral oath imposed a tangible restriction on werewolves, and judging from the Storm Duke’s reaction, he treated this oath quite seriously.
After this process, the Storm Duke no longer harbored untoward thoughts, and so the vague sense of danger faded away from Qianye’s perception.
The Storm Duke didn’t linger for very long. He immediately returned to his territory to handle the handover affairs. Qianye sought out the aristocratic alliance at their camp and instructed them to stop the assault and avoid sadistic killings in the future.
The aristocratic army displayed stunning combat strength with the elite werewolves in their ranks, winning battle after battle. They had pushed the battlefront almost a hundred kilometers forward and killed close to a hundred thousand of the Storm Duke’s tribal armies.
Of course, Qianye wasn’t going to let these forces remain idle. Once the Storm Duke had completed the transfer process, he would shift them to the front lines and pit them against the Flame Duke. The ancestral school would surely cause trouble for Qianye, and the Flame Duke would be their vanguard.
Qianye had no good impression of the ancestral faction, either. Of course, he wouldn’t mind dealing a blow to the Flame Duke.
The Storm Duke and the Flame Duke had been archenemies for decades, with neither gaining the advantage against the other. This meant that they were not at all at a disadvantage in terms of experts. In terms of troops, the well-trained aristocratic elite soldiers held the absolute advantage over the primitive werewolves.
Now that all the arrangements had been made, Qianye finally found the time to discuss things with William and ask about their progress in the new world.
William smiled wryly. “Things aren’t good in the new world. We’re currently stuck in front of a forest with three holy trees, making no progress while racking up casualties. And that’s the route with the best progress. The other two continents are doing worse since they were caught unprepared. Our defensive force on one of the continents was routed and completely wiped out.”
Qianye was surprised. “Didn’t you guys open the door? You’ve also been amassing troops well beforehand. How did something like that happen?”
“There are no werewolves among those in charge of opening the doors.”
“How exactly were those doors opened?”
“I don’t know,” William replied frankly.
Qianye hadn’t imagined that the werewolves would be so marginalized that they couldn’t even take part in something so important. It looked like their status as one of the four major races was in grave danger. The temporary halt to the holy war didn’t do much to improve the werewolves’ situation. On the contrary, it deprived them of the right to speak in high-ranking military matters.
It was no wonder that William would help Qianye subdue the Storm Duke and put ten million werewolves in his hands.
Apparently, the opening of the new world had truly agitated the Summit of Peaks, so much so that they had decided to get rid of the internal plague that was the ancestral school.
Qianye’s position was now rather awkward. Was he to help free these werewolves of their binding and guide them to prosperity? Werewolves were, after all, long-living species, one of the four major dark races and an enemy to the human race. It didn’t sound all too wise to nurture the enemy.
The situation of the werewolves on Fort Continent was special. Qianye’s initial plan was simply to give them food so that they wouldn’t need to sacrifice the old and weak for survival. Without outside intervention, elevating the werewolf society on Fort Continent to the level of the upper continents would take a very long time. After all, Qianye possessed neither the means nor the intention to bring about an evolution in their systematic strength. Things would be completely different, though, if the upper continents were to intervene.
To Qianye, there was no middle option. He could smash the chains binding the werewolves of Fort Continent and face a future he couldn’t control, or watch as they continued to struggle against fate.
At the very least, the werewolves of the great corridor and Jade Sea were truly loyal. They not only followed his orders on the battlefield but also considered him half a god. The mysterious power from the werewolves’ prayers was the truest form of feedback.
Qianye shook his head inwardly and continued listening to William’s explanation of the werewolves’ condition. Because they had been left out during the opening of the new world, their subsequent information sharing wasn’t really sufficient. All they knew was that they needed to amass troop strength, but not where.
The overlord of one of the three werewolf continents was an extremely arrogant individual. Not only did he reject gathering troops, but he also didn’t construct enough defensive structures or assign a full array of troop types. In the end, their forces suffered grave losses during the first wave and were completely routed by the second.
The worst part was that the commander of these forces belonged to the ancestral faction, but the subordinates came from the progressive tribes. Some of the older, more conservative elders from the Summit of Peaks had yielded the position as a compromise. After all, the ancestral school was also full of powerful experts. Who would’ve expected such an outcome? Close to a hundred thousand elite soldiers were wiped out entirely.
Qianye asked about the details of the battle and found that the key culprits were a shortage of soldiers and lousy command.
That ancestral faction commander was furious after the first defeat. He marshaled the remnant troops for a second battle with no consideration of aerial and rear defenses. In the end, their main firepower in the rear was completely annihilated by a massive swarm of aerial beasts.
Although the Summit of Peaks took immediate action and managed to stabilize the situation, their pioneering efforts were greatly delayed. The number of soldiers they could send into the new world was too limited.
The werewolves' situation in the new world wasn't any better than Qianye's when he had just entered. They could only obtain a limited amount of information from the other three races, so they had to rely on themselves to fumble about. After several fierce battles, their forces had grown weak and weary.
Something surprised Qianye quite a bit. That was the fact that the six-armed creatures in the forests were all awake when the werewolves attacked. Add to that the assistance from the beast army and their environmental advantage, the werewolf experts suffered grave losses while killing each commander.
Qianye understood all too well how terrifying a sober six-armed general was. Only now did he truly realize just how lucky he had been. Not only had he caught the generals in a dormant state, but he had also discovered their weak point. He was able to sneak attack and injure them at the first exchange. Then, he would destroy the beast troops and focus fire on the six-armed general's host. The general would once again suffer heavy injuries during this process. Even a god wouldn't be able to take a double blow like this.
The werewolves, on the other hand, had to face a fully active six-armed general. With no other tricks up their sleeve, they could only fight the enemy head-on. It was no wonder their progress had been so difficult.
Qianye hesitated for a bit but ultimately decided against telling him the creature's weakness. After all, the werewolves were a powerful enemy force, a force they might have to fight after a certain degree of exploration. The relationship between Qianye and William was rather subtle. He had always maintained a friendly stance, yet he couldn't represent the entire tribe.
After seeing William off, Qianye returned to the duke's residence at Cerulean Wave City. That was Qianye's residence, so ordinary people weren't allowed to enter without special permission. Qianye never had the time to renovate the place after taking over the city. The entire structure remained largely in its original state, with dark corridors.
Qianye's footsteps echoed through the long, empty corridor. When he walked past one of the torches, an unnatural distortion appeared in his shadow.
Qianye stopped, saying, “Come out on your own, it’ll be bad if I have to take action.”
A shadow walked out from the darkness, arrived behind Qianye, and blew softly on his neck. “What? Do you not welcome me?”Previous Chapter Next Chapter
TL: Legion ED: Moxie