Qianye let down his guard too soon.
Sousa was cautious enough not to chase after him, but a consciousness bearing intense hatred crossed the great distance to fall upon the Martyr’s Palace.
Qianye was greatly startled. He hadn’t imagined that Sousa would have such a trick up his sleeve. He had learned from the River of Blood that experts at the heavenly monarch and great dark monarch level could not be underestimated in a clash of willpower. Serious attacks would damage the soul, while light attacks could serve to reveal the target’s status.
Sousa’s consciousness slammed down like a massive wave. Qianye controlled the Martyr’s Palace to erect a hazy barrier that protected the entire vessel from Sousa’s will.
The clash of these two powerful consciousnesses should’ve been silent, but in fact, the impact produced a great commotion. Countless sparks erupted from the airship’s barrier, resulting in lingering flames.
The fire died out only after a while, and the airship itself had also dipped a few meters during the impact. From this, it was easy to see how terrifying Sousa’s consciousness was.
A deep, imposing voice rang out in the sky, “I will find you, Qianye!”
Qianye paid him no heed and simply drove the Martyr’s Palace away. Of course, he couldn’t respond even if he wanted to. All he could do was borrow the Earth Dragon’s consciousness to barely defend against the assault; there was no way he could project his consciousness that far.
Far away outside of the Moorland “door,” a werewolf clad in traditional hunter’s clothing was standing in the air above the rubble. Sousa slowly opened his eyes and found countless werewolf experts kneeling around the wreckage. They had taken up such distant positions, not out of disrespect, but because Sousa’s spirit storm just now was too terrifying. No one dared to approach.
The overlord glanced at his many subordinates, then at the burning fortress. “Build a new fortress at half the size, all of you will stay here to help. Also, transfer a couple of warships here and see how long they can last.”
Sousa’s voice was calm, but his subordinates knew that this was his scariest state. It was better if he were stamping about furiously because he would rarely kill random people in that state.
The werewolves were naturally blunt, but these experts had followed him long enough to act intelligently. No one asked about the results of the distant battle of wills. Sousa hadn’t made the slightest mention about the battle after stirring up such a storm, so the results probably weren’t great. Whoever was dumb enough to provoke him now was courting death.
Some of the true experts were curious, but now, they knew that it was Qianye who had attacked. The boy was still a little brat when he became known in the Iron Curtain blood battle a few years ago, so how come he could arm-wrestle with Great Dark Monarch Sousa now?
They sneaked a glance at the vice-duke from before since he was the only one who had crossed paths with Qianye. However, this vice-duke remained expressionless and never met his comrades’ gazes. It was as though he was resolved to receive his punishment.
The other werewolves couldn’t help but feel a bit angry and gave up any thought of pleading leniency for him. They were also rather curious about what this vice-duke had experienced, something that had left him with nothing to live for.
Sousa didn’t stay too long in the new world before returning to Moorland. After returning to his palace, he drove everyone else out and headed toward the ancestral altar. This was a common occurrence because Sousa liked to cultivate before the altar, sometimes locking himself there for years on end.
At close to two hundred meters tall, the ancestral hall was the most majestic structure in Sousa’s palace. Such a grand architecture was enough for a void colossus to rest within. There was a giant hundred-meter statue at the end of the hall, depicting the first ancestor who had opened up the path to the werewolves’ rise to power—their former supreme on the Sacred Mountain, the Lupine King.
Sousa stood for a good while in the hall before eventually calming down. The surprising thing was that he had encountered a tremendous consciousness, the likes of which he had never run into before.
This consciousness wasn’t a pool of stagnant water. When his consciousness became aggressive toward the obstructing will—wanting to destroy or damage it—that was when he suffered the real counterattack.
Akin to a reef, a mountain peak, or a cliff, Sousa had shattered his wave of consciousness upon the entity but couldn’t so much as stir it. The feeling was akin to facing a giant—the werewolf overlord had finally woken it up with repeated provocations, but all it did was shoot him an indifferent glance.
The apathetic glance was similar to a void colossus looking at a naughty child making threatening gestures.
Sousa still couldn’t forget that feeling. He took a deep breath to calm down and muttered to himself, “Qianye, Martyr’s Palace… interesting, interesting!
As Qianye saw it, the contention just now was between Sousa’s consciousness and the Earth Dragon’s remnant will. A void colossus was so terrifying that it wasn’t inferior to Sousa even after its death. None of them could best the other in such an intangible contest, that was unless Sousa could find a way to break Qianye’s connection to the Earth Dragon’s will.
Considering the great distance between the Moorland door and Qianye’s base outside the four-holy-tree woods, a slight deviation would send them entirely off course. Qianye wasn’t afraid the werewolves would come chasing after him since all traces of his route would be destroyed by the environment in the new world.
In the Evernight World, great dark monarchs could exert their might wherever they set their sights. Things weren’t as simple in the new world where danger lurked in every corner.
People could choose to expand in any direction from their door. Knowing Qianye and the Martyr’s Palace was in this direction, the wisest choice for the Moorland werewolves was to expand in another. They could think of what to do when they had accumulated enough power.
But as a great dark monarch, Sousa was notorious for being temperamental. Qianye wasn’t about to bet his safety on logic.
After some thought, he decided to hasten his expansion progress, taking the opportunity to conquer a couple more forests and gather resources. If things didn’t go well, he could seek reinforcements from the Empire and share the benefits with them.
The Empire wasn’t having an easy time with their expansion, anyway. The heavenly monarchs would have to come in sooner or later once the major factions started fighting at close quarters. Judging from his encounter with the Moorland werewolves, that day wasn’t too far off. That was the case even though he had adapted better to this new world and could move much farther than everyone else.
Having decided on a plan, Qianye drove the airship back and switched duties with Caroline. She was to lead the expansion effort from now on. He reminded her to seek him out if she encountered a forest with three holy trees before heading back to Fort Continent.
Once he was back, Qianye locked himself in the study to write a letter. He held the brush in the air for some time before writing the words Ji Tianqing.
He shook his head, feeling that the address was too stiff, not like a close friend at all. Even if they didn’t share an intimate relationship, they were comrades who had shared life and death in the Great Maelstrom.
He wrote down “Tianqing,” then tore the paper because it didn’t feel right. He repeated the process several times just to decide on how to call her.
Slowly, the amount of paper on the ground increased, and the thick stack of papers on his desk started to thin out. The entire afternoon was spent writing and tearing letters. He finally finished writing in the evening, but the process left him sweating. A letter with just a couple of hundred words was more tiring to produce than fighting a battle.
He glanced at the completed letter and sighed when he noticed some corrections in the writing. He really didn’t want to copy it again because he would want to modify the contents in the process. When would this ever end?
His sentiments regarding Ji Tianqing were extraordinarily complicated. It could be said that Ji Tianqing had treated him with great kindness, having done things that she should and should not have. On the other hand, Qianye couldn’t figure out what she was thinking or planning.
It was as though she was living in a mist, and her appearance most of the time wasn’t even real. How was he to face this familiar stranger, someone bearing his child, a relationship he couldn’t cut off?
This letter should’ve been simple. Qianye had encountered the Moorland werewolves and Overlord Sousa, so he wanted to hear Ji Tianqing’s opinion.
She was extremely intelligent despite not being famous for her strategy. Her thoughts on this matter would help Qianye greatly. On the other hand, Qianye wanted to probe the Pointer Monarch’s stance on this matter.
Currently, Qianye had no way to face Sousa head-to-head. That was a matter for people at the heavenly monarch level. The pioneering of land in the new world was so important that even someone like the Pointer Monarch couldn’t sit by and do nothing. It would be more than welcome if he could step in for a bit.
Qianye was no expert in asking for help, and his relationship with Ji Tianqing was a bit awkward. Yet, he could think of no better way than to contact her.
Prince Greensun was the best candidate, but he had always operated alone and his whereabouts were uncertain. Qianye wasn’t too familiar with the Zhang clan, either, so he didn’t have a secure channel to contact the heavenly monarch. Especially after the war on the void continent, Prince Greensun rarely made an appearance in court. Many people were guessing that this young heavenly monarch might be about to break through again.
Of course, one’s tone of voice should always be soft when asking for help, let alone someone who shared a different relationship with him. But every time he held the pen, Qianye would see Nighteye’s face flashing through his thoughts.
Even though she had already left, though her spirit was now entirely different, Qianye wasn’t willing to give up that last strand of hope. He wasn’t willing to speak intimately with other women in her absence.
In the end, it was still a stiffly written letter.
Qianye didn’t want to modify it anymore, so he placed it in the envelope, applied a sealing array to it, and signed his name. He then walked out of the study and ordered an aide to deliver the missive to Ji Tianqing of the Pointer Monarch’s residence.
The aide affirmed his order and left, walking past Yin Qiqi as he did so. The latter watched the aide leave pensively before walking into the study.
“Do you need me for anything?”
“Can I not come otherwise?”
“Of course not, you can come anytime.” Qianye hid his emotions with a smile.
Yin Qiqi stared intently at him until he was uncomfortable. “Is something troubling you?”
“Fine, if you say so. I brought something for you to see, I think you might be interested.” With that, she placed a document in front of him.
Qianye opened up the paper to find an armor design, with numerous descriptions on the plates. This armor was actually made of wood from the new world.
“The smiths from my family have discovered that soaking the wood in diluted holy-tree sap and coating them with a special paint will greatly increase the strength of the material. It’s not inferior to high-grade alloy and can be easily used to make armor. It’s also a lot lighter. The greatest benefit is that the wearer will be able to adapt to the new world much easier.”
Qianye thought he understood. “So the key is in the holy-tree sap?”
“No, it’s actually the paint.”Previous Chapter Next Chapter
TL: Legion ED: Moxie