Nighteye made a short introduction, “This is His Highness Howard the Dark Gospel. This is Qianye. I’ll head out to deal with the battle outside.”
Progia had already retreated, but his escape was so fast that the council’s armies were still fighting ferociously. Nighteye’s plan was to charge into the central army and finish off the experts commanding the forces.
After her departure, things turned a bit awkward as Qianye and Howard were left in the great hall.
Qianye was in a weakened state after firing two consecutive rounds and forcing Progia away. He leaned against the wall with his eyes closed, looking somewhat drowsy.
Howard, on the other hand, had been forced to fight a powerful enemy before finishing his awakening procedure. His skeleton-like body was currently unclothed, and the destruction from before had wiped out everything in the vicinity.
Howard let out a cough. “I couldn’t see through that last shot. I don’t think I’ve ever seen that kind of origin power.”
“I was in too much of a rush, I should’ve used a Venus Dawn bullet. It’s a shame I only managed to form one bullet along the way,” Qianye replied honestly.
A great dark monarch’s opening wasn’t easy to grasp. If it wasn’t for the cramped space and Qianye’s Bloodline Concealment, the two shots wouldn’t have gone off so smoothly.
Howard said pensively, “I didn’t sense how powerful that type of energy was, perhaps because I’ve never seen it before. But judging from Progia’s reaction, the second shot seemed even more powerful than Venus Dawn. This is inconceivable.”
The attacks outside had ceased during the span of this short conversation. After one of the airships burst into flames and crashed to the ground, the others simply left. The soldiers still fighting on the ground were left to their fate—death.
Nighteye appeared in the hall once more, her clothes torn in many places and some blood trickling down her neck. However, her vigor was still intact.
“I drove the commander, Grand Duke Philip, away. He probably needs about ten years of recuperation before he can fight again. Your Highness Howard, make arrangements for your clansmen. We should leave soon.”
“You probably can’t send a second letter in a short while, can you? The communication apparatus here has been destroyed, and your reserve blood ponds have been poisoned. The castle itself won’t hold much longer, either. The council troops probably won’t return, but we should head over to the Morway clan right now. Reynold has fallen, but I want to save his family.”
“Reynold has fallen?!” Howard was shocked. He glanced at Nighteye’s expression and realized that it was the truth, although he couldn’t sense the passing for some reason.
Howard didn’t move just yet. He pointed above and said with a wry smile, “If you can sense the River of Blood, you’ll know my condition.”
“River of Blood?” Nighteye stood there with her eyes closed, her aura rising sharply until it was an entire rank higher. The quality of her bloodline also rose step by step.
At the ends of the void, the River of Blood began to surge in response to her calling, slowly unveiling itself once more.
Nighteye’s aura stopped at the extremes of the grand duke rank; she had traversed one complete rank right under Howard’s eyes.
After reaching the grand duke rank, Nighteye’s temperament transformed once again. An abstruse aura gradually arose around her, and her every move was accompanied by resounding thunder.
She gazed at the void. Her vision passed through countless obstructions to arrive on the River of Blood.
Nighteye’s breakthrough had awakened the River of Blood, dragging it out from a hidden state. It was no longer difficult to sense like before, but all three of them sensed a problem at the same time. Nighteye had awakened the River of Blood, but none of the other vampires could sense it.
The River of Blood had been asleep for a long time. Habsburg igniting his blood seal was once considered the beginning of the river’s rejuvenation. The river did awaken a couple of times after that for reasons unknown, but even the major characters above the duke rank couldn’t figure out the source. They only knew that someone was breaking through.
If Qianye were to find out about their puzzlement, he would discover that those times were probably caused by him.
No one had discussed this issue openly. Even the second-generation primogenitors hadn’t talked about it amongst themselves. The main reason was that this dialogue would touch upon a horrible conjecture. Even if the river was awakening, it had nothing to do with most vampires. The river had been out of reach and unresponsive to them for several millennia. The only exceptions were the primogenitors and extremely powerful experts.
It was only natural that Nighteye, Howard, and Qianye wouldn’t discuss this matter now.
Nighteye continued with her advancement.
Qianye shared a close relationship with the River of Blood, to begin with. So, he cleared his thoughts and focused all of his attention there.
This was a good time to observe the river. Its previous flare-ups were in response to Qianye’s breakthroughs. Immeasurable amounts of knowledge would descend upon him each time, so much so that he could only try to absorb as much as he could. There was no time to care about anything else.
Only at this moment could he go upstream and experience the river to its fullest.
The closer he was to the source, the more difficult it was to proceed. This wasn’t a place a duke could approach, but Qianye managed to do just that by relying on his connection to the river. Approaching the place was already his limit.
Here, Qianye could vaguely sense several sources of energy. Each of them was different, but they were all equally pure.
This was the true appearance of the seals in the river.
Qianye was stunned, so much so that he was almost ejected from the river. The seals he could sense here were completely different from the ones he had seen before.
Sensing the corresponding energy was the first step toward igniting a blood seal. This was common knowledge among vampires, but it was something most vampires could never accomplish.
The twelve major clans possessed bloodlines that gave them an advantage in sensing the corresponding blood seal. This was the root of vampire inheritances. Even with a bolstered bloodline, it would become exponentially difficult to reignite a blood seal once it had been extinguished.
Qianye sensed eight seals at the source of the river, and some of them were exceptionally distinct. How could he not be surprised? He even felt that his senses were deceiving him. This level of clarity meant that he would be able to ignite one of them after sufficient accumulation.
And throughout history, it would seem a blood seal could only be ignited by one person at any time. If Qianye were to ignite one, wouldn’t he be depriving one of the old clans of a crown prince? What would he become if he could accumulate sufficient power to ignite two seals? A double-crowned expert?
This was so surprising that Qianye had to reconfirm the situation several times. Although whether or not he could ignite a seal was a matter for the future, he wasn’t about to give up on this opportunity to observe the river’s source. Every seal represented a different path of origin power. Simply studying their laws would bring him great benefits.
Qianye matched these seals against the information available to him. He quickly identified eight seals, five of which were publicly known as extinguished.
The other two, however, were rather surprising. One of them belonged to a vampire who had been asleep for six hundred years, the Death Penance Moray. Could it be that he had passed and news of his continued hibernation was fake?
The other one was the thorns and castle seal of the Lightless Monarch Medanzo. The man was still alive, so why did Qianye sense his seal?
Puzzled, Qianye observed the final seal. This one was much weaker to his perception than the others and barely discernible. He might not have sensed it if it wasn’t for an invisible connection between him and the seal.
Qianye found, to his surprise, that this seal actually didn’t belong to any clan in his knowledge.
A thirteenth seal?
Qianye observed it repeatedly and finally confirmed that this seal was completely new. There were no records of it at all.
It was at this time that the River of Blood began to recede into the void. That mysterious connection between Qianye and the seal was also cut off.
Nighteye glanced at Howard. “Your blood seal has been extinguished?”
Howard laughed wryly. “I had a bad feeling, so I woke up a while ago to confirm the situation. Now that I was rushed awake, it’s only a matter of time before it’s completely extinguished.”
Nighteye said, “I saw you send Lilith a letter, did Medanzo really intercept it?”
“Medanzo! Who else can it be?!” Howard couldn’t help but gnash his teeth at the mention of this name.
“Medanzo…” There was no change in Nighteye’s expression, but Qianye knew this information would come as a shock to her.
Dawn gradually arrived in the blink of an eye.
Qianye, Nighteye, and Howard stood atop the mountain, looking down at the ancient castle.
At the base of the mountain, a dozen or so raging flames could be seen burning in the clearing. A steady stream of people was moving back and forth, tossing corpses into the blaze. There were council soldiers among them, but most of them were vampires.
There were fires in many parts of the ancient castle. Some of the flames ignited by special methods hadn’t been extinguished just yet. Qianye observed the entire stronghold from where he stood. Even without looking, he could tell just how fierce some of the battles here had been.
Howard was relatively active, so Castle Midas had thrived for over a thousand years. Close to a hundred thousand vampires lived in and around the ancient castle. It was truly an ancient city.
The rise of humans sufficiently demonstrated to the dark races that ordinary civilians were the foundation of civilization. Although there was a fundamental difference in the way Daybreak and Evernight inherited their power, it was only after the Empire’s establishment that every race began to attach more importance to ordinary civilians.
Just like how Nighteye had awakened as a primo from a fairly distant branch family, she would never have been taken seriously during ancient times. The vampires and demonkin were the most progressive in this regard, and the werewolves were the most stubborn. As for the arachne, they were still trapped in the method of multiplication.
The council soldiers who had been airdropped into the castle naturally killed all vampires on sight—young, old, commoners, and soldiers. Hence, scenes of a civilian massacre took place under the illumination of raging flames.
The flames of war had never broken out in the core ancestral lands in a millennium. Even the holy war wouldn’t extend to the clan castles. The civilians here were completely inexperienced, so they weren’t a match for those well-armed elites.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
TL: Legion ED: Moxie