The dark cloud over the distant horizon moved very quickly. In the blink of an eye, those with better eyesight cried out in shock. That was no cloud; it was an airship fleet! The design of that giant warship at the lead was especially sleek and sharp—terrifyingly beautiful and beautifully terrifying.
Even those from the capital of Zheng had never seen a battlecruiser, or any big warship for that matter. It was, after all, a small country. Not to mention the newest model battlecruiser, they couldn’t even afford an old-model battleship. That was why the Zheng navy’s flagship was only an old cruiser. Even that was a highly cherished national treasure.
Ordinary civilians didn’t think too much, but the nobles felt their expressions changing drastically. They immediately realized why a heavily-fortified city like Expansive would fall in just a few days, and why the second prince’s uncle in Seclusion was killed.
The battlecruiser was at the van, Song Hui’s high-speed destroyer brought up the rear, and the corvettes guarded the flanks. Behind this formation was a dozen or so high-speed transports, all of them armed. Some of them were especially eye-catching because one could tell that they were the Empire’s newest model.
These were the transports Song Hui had brought along to ship ammunition and supplies, leaving them after arriving on the Fort Continent. It was only to be expected that they would become a part of Qianye’s fleet. The Song clan might not be good at fighting, but their armaments were actually quite stunning.
On the throne, Liu Zhongyuan opened his eyes abruptly, unable to maintain that immovable calm any longer. His disciples with sharp eyesight could see green veins popping on his hand; he was apparently restless at heart.
In the bridge of the battlecruiser, Qianye stood quietly with Caroline to his left and a ten-year-old girl to his right. The latter was bright and beautiful beyond comparison. It looked like she had just hit puberty, but she possessed a rather outstanding build and was almost at Qianye’s shoulder.
She observed her surroundings curiously, almost as though she wanted to see through everything and remember them.
Caroline said, “Do you really not need me?”
Qianye said with a smile, “Of course I do, why wouldn’t I? This fleet would be in danger without you.”
Caroline rolled her eyes at him. “You’re getting sweeter and sweeter, did you learn all this from that bad fellow Song Zining? I meant the duel!”
“Just an old man, what’s there to be afraid of?”
“He’s still a divine champion, and for thirty years no less!”
“He’s still a divine champion after thirty years, you think he can be stronger than the Wolf King?”
Caroline snorted. “What are you trying to say? I can’t defeat the Wolf King, either.”
Only then did Qianye remember the issue of short-lived species and their cultivation speed. “Of course, he can’t be stronger than you, either.”
“Now that’s more like it.”
At this moment, the airship was already closing in on the capital. At such a close distance, the exerted pressure was frightening. Many people started to cry out, unable to withstand the imminent threat. “Where’s our fleet? How did they manage to get here?”
More ignorant people echoed the sentiment, but those in the know were all ashen-faced. They had guessed that something bad had happened. There were sparks around the battlecruiser’s main cannon, proving that it had just fired.
The fleet drove until it was a thousand meters away before slowly coming to a stop. This distance was at the borders of the capital’s firing range, and with its height advantage, the battlecruiser could also fire back at the royal capital.
Standing at the bow, Qianye glanced down at Liu Zhongyuan before jumping down. He landed right in front of the old man without kicking up any dust.
Liu Zhongyuan’s eyelids twitched a couple of times, but he remained seated in his chair. “Young man, it seems you do have the means to be arrogant.”
Qianye smiled calmly. “It has been so many days, have you guys not figured out my origins?”
Liu Zhongyuan’s gaze became focused. “Young man, don’t be so ignorant of how vast the heaven and earth are. You might be famous in the past, but you’re still not a divine champion. And this is Zheng, not Great Qin or the neutral lands!”
Qianye broke into a laugh. “Listening to your words, it looks like Great Qin should be the one learning from Zheng.”
“The Empire is vast, but it might not be strong in every aspect. Zheng is small, but we fear no one because the masses are united!”
These words were spoken with great ardor and were powerful and resonating. The people around them broke out in loud cheers.
Qianye felt that the man’s words contained so many problems that he didn’t know which part to reveal first. The fight between the princes had gotten so bad that it was taking place in the city now. United masses he said? And this kind of power struggle wasn’t the first of its kind, but rather something that would play out every decade or so. Since its founding, the country had focused most of its energy on infighting, their strength falling each time.
Zheng wasn’t small, but it only enjoyed treatment similar to an ordinary county. The Empire assessed a country’s strength and contributions, so in its evaluation, Zheng was only comparable to a large county. It simply couldn’t compare to a province.
Zheng’s national strength was weak, and their attitude, strange. Even their Royal Tutor could utter words like the Empire was big but not strong. Qianye had no idea where they were getting their confidence from. Gazing at the white-haired Liu Zhongyuan, Qianye felt deep sympathy for him.
His gaze went past Liu Zhongyuan and landed in the packed crowd—these people looked like they were here to watch a show, despite the imminent war. Then, he looked at the seemingly impressive but incongruous Royal Capital and couldn’t help but sigh.
Qianye said calmly, “Admit defeat, renounce the title of Royal Tutor, and work for the new King of Zheng. I can give you a good position.”
Liu Zhongyuan was surprised. He broke into a laugh from extreme anger. “What if I disagree.”
Qianye said, “A hundred-year-old divine champion who hasn’t made progress in several decades. It might be a pity to kill you, but there’s not much use in keeping you around, either.”
“Bang!” Unable to suppress the fury in his heart, Liu Zhongyuan crushed the armrest of his throne. He slowly stood up with a serious expression and gazed into the distance.
A small figure fell down from the sky and smashed into the ground like a cannonball. It was the young girl who was standing beside Qianye a while ago. It seemed she wasn’t great at balancing herself since she couldn’t adjust her posture at all during the fall. The girl smashed face-first into the ground, producing a large crater from the impact.
People nearby held their breaths, unable to even cry out in surprise. Even the spectators felt pained by her fall.
Under the crowd’s gaze, she actually clambered up and shook her head briefly. It was as though she only felt dizzy from the fall, nothing else.
The girl glanced around before running to Qianye’s side. Pointing at Liu Zhongyuan, she said, “Is it that old man? Let me fight him!”
Qianye pressed down on her head out of habit, pinning her in place. She swung her arms about and made threatening gestures but couldn’t take a single step forward.
The little fellow said angrily, “I can beat him!”
Qianye didn’t know whether to laugh or to cry. “And how are you going to do that?”
“I’ll spit at him first…” the little girl said righteously.
“You’ll end up killing everyone in front.”
“... That might happen.” The girl looked a bit guilty.
”What might? That will happen!” Qianye knocked on the girl’s head, causing her to clutch her head in an aggrieved manner.
Everyone who had just seen her fall wasn’t about to believe she would feel pain from that.
Liu Zhongyuan was so angry that he was trembling all over. He pointed a finger at Qianye but couldn’t utter anything. As he saw it, this young girl was a tool Qianye had arranged to humiliate him. He had been a powerful authority in Zheng for many years, when had he ever suffered such treatment?
Qianye pressed down the girl in earnest, almost as though he was afraid she would kill too many people. The spectators all felt that this was a deliberate act to humiliate Liu Zhongyuan, a new trick to form a vendetta.
Perhaps only Qianye and the girl thought otherwise.
That tall young girl was naturally Zhuji. She was growing faster and faster, almost completely different after a period of time. Her strength was also increasing at a rapid pace, almost as though there was no end to her growth. The power of her core toxin could be considered terrifying. Even a divine champion wouldn’t have an easy time if they were accidentally sprayed. If they were careless enough to let the poison into their blood, it would most likely kill them.
If even a divine champion could contract the poison, there was no need to discuss ordinary experts. As for those civilians who weren’t even considered experts, they would die without a doubt.
If the wind and weather allowed for it, a mouthful of little Zhuji’s poison mist could probably kill a good chunk of the people at the scene. She was the actual superweapon at Qianye’s side.
Liu Zhongyuan took a deep breath. “Impressive, Qianye. You actually dare to act so arrogantly! How will I convince the masses if I don’t take your life today?”
Liu Zhongyuan roared with a wave of his hand, “Men!” A uniform response arose from around him, but the volume seemed rather insufficient. He looked back in anger to find that only the white-robed men had responded. The Royal Guard and the other squads were all looking at the sky in silence.
Liu Zhongyuan followed their gaze and was deeply shaken when he saw the battlecruiser. He seemed to have forgotten about this big monstrosity in his anger.
If both armies were to fight, Qianye possessed the absolute advantage with his battlecruiser. Zheng’s anti-air firepower would not be able to destroy that warship. The only way was for Liu Zhongyuan to charge into the flagship’s interior and kill the commander. But warships of that grade would surely have defensive mechanisms to counter and cripple boarding-enemies while reinforcing their own men. Liu Zhongyuan wasn’t confident about fighting Qianye under such circumstances.
No matter how he thought about it, Qianye’s one-on-one duel was the most advantageous choice for him.
Qianye dragged little Zhuji behind him and said, “Be good and stay here, don’t move about.”
The little fellow’s eyes darted about. “What if people attack me?”
“Kill or cripple them, do as you wish, but don’t spray poison.”
With Zhuji’s current strength, a mouthful of her poison would turn the place into a land of death, not sparing even a blade of grass. This was Zheng’s most prosperous region, and Qianye had uses for it. Naturally, he wouldn’t let her cause trouble.
After the girl promised, Qianye turned back to Liu Zhongyuan and said, “It’s our turn now.”
Snorting, the old man reached out with his left hand, whereupon one of his disciples presented a two-meter sword with both hands. From a distance, the Royal Tutor was calm, impressive, and almost like an immortal.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
TL: Legion ED: Moxie