Far in the distance, Zhao Jundu was sneezing. “Is someone plotting something against me?”
Song Zining laughed. “There are too many people plotting against you, but I think there might be more people who want to marry you.”
Zhao Jundu waved his spear, saying, “Cut it out with the meaningless stuff, the fight isn’t over yet. We have to clear out this lair before nightfall.”
Song Zining said helplessly, “Don’t be such a slavedriver! Even if I don’t wait to recover my origin power, I still need to dress my wounds.”
“Why would you need to dress minor flesh wounds? You’ll get injured again, anyway.” With that, Zhao Jundu dragged Song Zining away.
Struggling, the latter pointed at the large body of the six-armed general. “Let’s collect the spoils first, spoils!”
“Others will deal with it, come with me. Your blood will cool down in a bit and the effects will diminish.”
Song Zining kept struggling. “I’m already a divine champion, I don’t have any more ambitions! Go ahead if you want to temper true gold in flames, why drag me along?”
“Training together isn’t bad, even if you’re not true gold.” Zhao Jundu was quite literally dragging the seventh young master.
Song Zining was furious. “Nonsense! My foundations are much better than yours, I’m the real true gold here.”
“Then you need to be tempered.”
Along the way, Song Zining found an opening to grab onto a large tree and wouldn’t let go no matter what. He squealed like a pig about to be slaughtered, “I’m not going! I want to rest, I want to recuperate!”
Zhao Jundu grabbed Song Zining by his legs and pulled him away. “Stop trying to act cute, it’s useless against me!”
Song Zining shouted hopelessly, “I’m a divine champion now, I don’t want to fight, I want to enjoy life…”
The cries slowly receded into the distance and vanished into the beast lair.
At midnight, somewhere deep underground, Song Zining sat with his back against a stone wall, huffing and puffing with his tongue protruded. Zhao Jundu fished out a cigarette and passed Song Zining the rest. “Want one?”
Song Zining waved his hand feebly. “This young master… refuses to smoke such inferior tobacco. Y-You monster…”
Zhao Jundu smiled. “I’m tired, too.”
“Your wounds are still bleeding.”
“Just a bit, I’m used to it.”
Song Zining propped himself higher. “When did you start smoking? Not to mention something so low-quality at that.”
Zhao Jundu said with a smile, “It’s not easy to get cigarettes on the battlefield. It’s good enough if you find one at all. I’ll just stick to the inferior ones, lest I can’t adapt in the field.”
“You didn’t smoke before.”
“I thought I didn’t need to, but I later discovered that it’s good to have some distraction after fighting for your life. Otherwise, the mind remains in the slaughter and can’t calm down. That might just drive people crazy over the long term,” Zhao Jundu replied calmly.
“I say, this method of refining true gold in flames, is it even reliable?”
“The Martial Ancestor did the same thing back then and ruled the world. What do you think?”
Song Zining snorted. “That’s just a wild rumor, you believe that? Besides, even if it is true, you’re no Martial Ancestor!”
Zhao Jundu only laughed without giving a reply. He inhaled deeply on the cigarette and only tossed it away when the flame was close to his fingers.
Song Zining said, “Look at you. You look like someone of poor birth, going all out in order to advance.”
“What’s so bad about that? Only now can I really feel the desperate resolution of those without a way out.”
“No one will dare marry you this way. Who knows when you’ll leave the house and never return.”
Zhao Jundu said in a carefree manner, “I have so many outstanding brothers and sisters, I don’t need to leave a descendant. People like us should live and die on the battlefield.”
Song Zining shook his head. “All of you people from the Zhao clan are madmen on the battlefield. It’s your business if you don’t think this is a problem, but don’t drag others into it. What do you say about Qianye?”
“Since Nighteye came into his heart, there’s no longer space for anyone else. We both know Nighteye’s current situation, and it’s no longer possible for them. I won’t feel sorry if you want to be alone your whole life, but Qianye isn’t you. He can’t be alone his whole life, can he?”
Zhao Jundu stared intently at Song Zining. “Haven’t you already tricked him in the Great Maelstrom? I heard it’s two.”
Song Zining shook his head. “That has nothing to do with me! Don’t speak nonsense.”
Zhao Jundu looked suspicious. “This thing has your name written all over it, no matter how I look.”
“Impossible! I, erm…” Song Zining’s voice grew softer and softer under Zhao Jundu’s gaze. In the end, he sighed. “I wanted to help him. How will he survive in the Empire without a couple of powerful backers? Can he rely on your Zhao clan alone?”
Zhao Jundu snorted. “I don’t think that’s all, is it?”
“Naturally, I got a little something out of it as well. The details aren’t all that important. Plans don’t mean anything if fate doesn’t allow for it. This is the will of the heavens as well. They were destined to be connected. I’m no god, how could I have calculated everything in such detail?”
Zhao Jundu said, “Those people you’re working with aren’t easy to push around, so good luck. Just don’t drag Qianye down if something happens to you in the future.”
“Zhao Jundu! We’ve fought so many battles together, how can a friend say things like that?”
“We’re not friends.” Zhao Jundu gave him no face.
He stood up and, picking up his spear, walked toward the giant core of the lair.
“What are you doing?”
“I’m going to try subduing it.”
“You’re mad! That’s a contest of willpower. Look at that giant thing, how can you…” Song Zining was just about to stop Zhao Jundu when a prismatic bridge of origin power appeared between him and the core.
In the blink of an eye, Zhao Jundu began to tremble and his entire body was covered in sweat. All of his wounds burst open, drenching his combat robes in blood.
Song Zining stood up but slowly sat down again. He grabbed his head with both hands, muttering, “True gold tempering only refines the body, not the will. Goddammit! Trying such a thing in this goddamn place! Now I have to avenge you if you go and get yourself killed, how troublesome… damn! Why didn’t I pull him back?!”
Song Zining knew he could do nothing else at this point but wait for the results of the battle. Even if he were to separate them by force, the backlash would deal tremendous damage to Zhao Jundu’s spirit, causing him to become an idiot in the best scenario. Besides, experts suffering grave injuries in the new world were sure to die. No amount of medicines could save them in time.
He didn’t even dare watch.
Just as he was blaming himself constantly, someone patted him on the shoulder. “What are you mumbling about?”
The shocked seventh young master jumped to his feet. Seeing the young man standing in front of him, he said, “Done so fast?! Wait… you actually won?!”
“That’s not right! I don’t mean to say you shouldn’t have won… but damn, you shouldn’t have won, and so fast at that! How did you do it?”
“Simple, I said I’ll poke it full of holes with my spear if it doesn’t submit.”
Song Zining scoffed. “You’d be dead if you had lost. How are you going to poke it?”
Zhao Jundu said, laughing, “They only possess simple intelligence, so it’s not hard to lie. You can try next time.”
This time, it was Song Zining’s turn to look at him suspiciously. “Nope, I’m not an idiot.”
Zhao Jundu laughed. “Of course you’re not an idiot, you’re too smart in fact. I might’ve been the same as well, but now, I’ve noticed the problem.”
“Did you get any from subduing it?”
“What did you get?”
“For instance, it gave me some information. Our location is only the surface of the new world. The true entrance lies in the central region. It’s not so far away, but we’ll have to pass through a forest with four holy trees along the way.”
“Four holy trees… that won’t be easy.” Song Zining became solemn.
“We don’t need to worry about the six-armed general. It told me just now that the forest has already fallen to an outsider and the core has been subdued.”
“Outsider? It can’t be Qianye, can it?” Song Zining was startled.
“It’s probably not Qianye. According to its description, they’re likely demonkin.”
Song Zining heaved a sigh of relief. “Now that makes things easier. I like the demonkin.”
“So do I.”
The two exchanged glances.
“Let’s go, I’m feeling uncomfortable here. Are you okay to walk or do you need me to carry you?”
Zhao Jundu glanced at Song Zining. “You? Carry me? Even your weapon is so light. What else can you carry but women?”
Song Zining wasn’t angry. “Would you say these things if you aren’t strained? Is your spear feeling too heavy now?”
Zhao Jundu snorted after being poked where it hurt. He simply kept walking without continuing the conversation. The duo started their slow climb toward the surface. There was no telling how long it would take at this rate.
Song Zining complained, “Do these creatures have nothing better to do? Why dig so deep? Speaking of which, I still don’t understand how their system works. Can these cores communicate with one another remotely?”
“Not all, only the adjacent ones.”
“That’s more like it. They’re relaying information from one to another.”
“That’s indeed the case.”
“Let’s return to the Qin Continent first. The latest intelligence reports should’ve arrived by now, and we also need to switch out our troops. Fighting beasts is different from fighting the dark races.”
“Fine, I also want to invite some dukes over to help out. The demonkin should have needed at least three dukes to conquer the forest with four holy trees, and we still don’t know who’s holding the line. You and I are far from enough.”
Song Zining glared at him. “So you do know some limits. I thought you’d keep tempering yourself by challenging three dukes.”
“I might just do that after some time.”
Song Zining became alert. “Do that yourself, don’t drag me into it.”
“Of course, you need to join. Otherwise, it’ll be too boring.” Zhao Jundu laughed out loud.
Song Zining was angry, but he couldn’t do anything except clench his jaws. “Oh, I heard that idiot Wei Potian is here.”
“Yeah, I sent him to take down a forest with one holy tree.”
“Not a bad idea, let him stay there for a couple of months.”
“We might see him by the time we get back,” Zhao Jundu replied.
Song Zining was skeptical. “Someone like him?”
“Don’t forget that the dumb have their dumb luck.”
Song Zining had no retort for this.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
TL: Legion ED: Moxie