Qianye stood perfectly still, not even looking back. “You clearly know the answer, why the extra effort?”
She said, “But you didn’t attack, did you? That means you still want to listen to what I have to say.”
“Not inviting me for a drink first? I came with good intentions, you know.”
Qianye finally turned back. The person in front was clad in a black gown, but that did poorly to hide her lithe figure. Those eyes of hers possessed an exceptional reflection of her wild nature as well as a familiar beauty.
“Twilight, this isn’t the Empire, but I have no good impression of you. Since you’re here, I hope you’re prepared to never return.”
Twilight chuckled. “You’re not that heartless. Besides, it’s not that easy to keep me here, is it?”
She hadn’t finished speaking when Qianye grabbed her throat and lifted her into the air. This move was as swift as lightning—she had seen his actions, but her entire body was limp and sluggish. She could do nothing but watch as she fell into Qianye’s hands.
That kind of feeling was an absolute bloodline suppression from a superior expert, something that would only appear against a grand duke or a prince.
“Duke!” Twilight cried out.
Qianye paid her no attention. He dragged her into the nearby guest room and flung her onto the sofa. He himself dragged a chair over and sat down, saying, “Speak and we’ll see if I’ll let you off.”
Twilight sat up but lay back down after seeing Qianye’s glare. Her eyes shifted about as she switched to a different position and opened her robe, revealing a large area of her collar. “Did you want to see me this way?”
“Not the least attracted.”
Twilight’s glance was fluid. “You don’t need to hold back. You can try and see the difference between a human and a pureblood member of the twelve ancient vampire clans.”
“It’s really different!”
Twilight suddenly lost interest under Qianye’s cold gaze. She sat up straight and said self-deprecatingly, “I’m a primo too! Am I so unattractive?”
“I’m only a half-vampire.”
“That’s not the real reason, is it? It’s Nighteye, right?”
Qianye remained silent in tacit agreement. He had no intention of beating around the bush since Twilight was being straightforward. “How’s she doing?”
“I don’t know.”
“Do you not know, or are you unwilling to talk? If you know nothing, then you are of no value to me.”
With a sigh, Twilight put her hand on Qianye’s, grabbing on tightly as he pulled back. “What do you know? You can speak now.”
“I really don’t know. All I heard was that she had returned and was taken away by the Evernight council. Reportedly, several veteran members welcomed her personally in a show of extravagance.
It didn’t show on his face, but he believed most of what she said. Nighteye’s power was unfathomable after the second awakening. She was, after all, a true powerhouse.
Qianye felt that Twilight wouldn’t know much anyway. He pulled his hand back and asked, “What are you here for?”
“To join you, of course!”
“Are you so bad at humor?”
Twilight looked rather aggrieved. “You can even take in werewolves, why are you so biased toward me? Don’t forget that you have our clan’s blood.”
“Those werewolves submit to me wholeheartedly. The same can’t be said of you.”
“I’m sincere as well. Look, I’m even willing to give myself to you. Is that not enough?”
A plume of sanguine flames lit up on his fingertips, which he brought closer and closer to Twilight. “I don’t trust you. Say what you have to say because my patience is running out.”
Twilight sighed. “So boring. Fine, I heard you’ve been doing really well on Fort Continent and have made some progress in the new world as well. I’m guessing you’ll need a large number of resources and equipment. That’s why the elder assembly sent me to see if we can make a deal.”
“Deal? What can you give me and what do you want?”
“Vampire weapons are famous throughout the world, be they origin guns or blades. Additionally, we can sell you a batch of slaves, most of them are vampires with blood pacts.”
A vast number of vampires also become slaves for various reasons. Some were traitors, some had been defeated in battle, and others owed massive debts. Vampire slaves with blood pacts usually made for good fighting power, the best kind among mercenaries and cannon fodder. As long as the owner possessed the contract, there was no worry of them defecting.
Qianye hadn’t expected the vampire race to come knocking on his doors. “Why me?”
“Equipment, essence blood, slaves, castles, and blood ponds, all of them require money. Those old bastards in their blood ponds worry most about being unable to wake up from their hibernation. Their desire for eternal life is stronger than anything else. As long as they can earn more money for that cause, there’s no bottom line that they won’t cross. News of your recent purchases has even reached our faction. They aren’t about to let go of such a big spender.”
Twilight was mocking those people the entire while. In the end, she added, “You’re not the only such bankroller, either.”
“What do you want?”
“The best would be water from the holy tree lake and ore from the island.”
Qianye shook his head. “I don’t have a lot of lake water, either. Island ore? What’s that?”
Twilight gazed into his eyes, saying slowly, “It’s fine if you don’t have the ore. Can you share some lake water with us? Ten thousand soldiers’ worth should be enough. You can trade the rest for dark golden sandstone.”
“Dark golden sandstone isn’t that useful to your people, is it?”
“There are uses. Some giant statues require strong metal alloys, and dark golden sandstone is the perfect ore for that.”
Qianye said after some thought, “I agree.”
This deal was beneficial to both parties. Qianye would obtain a considerable amount of resources that would increase his fighting power and a vampire squad that was entirely loyal to him. All these things could be invested into the new world and immediately prove their worth.
The vampires, on the other hand, would obtain some strategic resources and luxury goods. This deal posed little threat to Qianye in the short term but would grant him significant profits in the long run.
The knowledge Qianye had gained from the River of Blood contained some information about the blood ponds of the ancient vampire race. In order to maintain the effectiveness of these ponds, they would need to add a constant supply of rare medicines and the blood of wild beasts, even colossi. Simply maintaining them every day involved astronomical costs. Twilight’s words hence made sense.
In addition to that, the vampire race also wanted wood from specific trees in the forests. As Qianye saw it, those were just trees that had lived relatively longer. The vampire race also passed a fairly important piece of information.
Qianye didn’t agree immediately. He only said that he would consider it, and that, if he were to agree, he would have them prepared by the time the vampire race’s transports arrive.
Having completed her mission, Twilight made an appointment for their next meeting and left.
Qianye headed into the new world after she was gone. He went around the first forest and discovered a fair number of trees that matched the vampires’ request. He ordered his men to cut down some of them and sent them back to the Evernight World for an analysis.
The results came out rather quickly—the wood from these trees was light and sturdy, somewhat similar to those in the Great Maelstrom. They were highly compatible with origin arrays and made great material for large origin arrays.
Such wood was valuable but not especially expensive. There were better resources of this sort in the Great Maelstrom, but they weren’t extracted in the end. It wasn’t worth transporting such a commodity with the highly limited shipment capacity.
There was no such problem in the new world—they could extract the wood in large quantities and send them back through the door for a fairly reasonable cost. The production capacity in each forest was limited, while the demand was endless. The best application for this wood was foundational material for airships.
Having come to a conclusion, Qianye entered the new world again and toured all of the forests under their control. The number of ancient trees was evidently greater in the forest with four holy trees. The oldest batch among them was extremely strong, almost on par with the ones in the high-gravity region of the Great Maelstrom.
Qianye immediately gathered people to fell a batch of trees for the Martyr’s Palace. These resources would accelerate the palace’s remodeling process—the internal structure and external body would finally take shape, leaving only the internal details to be figured out.
As for the vampires, there was no way he would let them have such top-grade materials. After pondering for a while, he asked his men to harvest a batch from the most ordinary forest for the deal.
Fort Continent had turned fairly busy in the past two days with airships coming and going frequently. Large cargo ships weren’t a rare sight, either, which served to attract a lot of pirates.
These outlaws traveled great distances only to find that every cargo ship belonged to a colossal power. Just the escort warships alone weren’t the kind these pirates could handle, not to mention these powers would seek revenge after the robbery. Additionally, they could see the shadows of Imperial patrols along the flight paths.
Qianye had wanted to take the other forest with three holy trees at first, but he was tied down by secular affairs on Fort Continent.
The Storm Duke moved quickly, announcing that Qianye was the true son of darkness and that the werewolves of the Storm Territory would merge with the Jade Sea. This news shook the entire Fort Continent. Before the major powers could react, Qianye had arranged for the aristocratic armies to capture all the major crossroads around the border of the Flame Duke’s territory.
As expected, the Flame Duke openly declared that Qianye was a fake and led an all-out attack against Storm Territory the next day.
However, the hundred thousand soldiers he had mustered crashed right into the steel wall that was the aristocratic alliance. These werewolves who knew little besides charging in a group suffered grave losses in the face of the unprecedented defensive firepower. They were mowed down in droves; the massacre was so fierce that the alliance soldiers felt their arms growing tired.
The flame werewolves stormed the battlefront for an entire day, but they produced little change except for the corpses they left behind. They couldn’t even charge past the defensive line.
The storm werewolves guarded the flanks vigilantly. In just one day, over half of the attacking army had fallen. The furious Flame Duke charged to the front lines but was duly intercepted by the Storm Duke. The two fought a fierce battle, which ended in a draw just like before.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
TL: Legion ED: Moxie