On Twilight Continent, Qianye, Nighteye, and Howard were running forward at full speed.
Howard sighed as he muttered, “Castle Midas isn’t my first castle, but it’s one that I built with my own two hands. The Empire and humans didn’t even exist when I settled there. Who would’ve thought my home of a thousand years would be destroyed just like that.”
After running for half a day, Howard’s breathing was a bit strained. He looked up at the sky, saying, “My connection with the blood seal is growing weaker by the day. Are you two sure you want to bring along a useless old man like me?”
Nighteye said, “There’s only one Dark Gospel, the Byrne clan won’t die as long as you’re around.”
Howard took a short break to catch his breath. “Very well, you’ve convinced me.”
To any of the major clans, their earliest primogenitor was the source of all power. A living primogenitor or a great dark monarch was everything to the family. It could be said that the Dark Gospel was more important than any of his clansmen at the moment. This was the vampire race’s traditional standard.
Seeing that Howard was lagging behind, Qianye slowed down a bit and reached out to him.
Howard was a bit hesitant at first, but he soon broke into a wry smile. “I’m already a useless old man. There’s no need to overthink things at this point!"
He grabbed Qianye’s arm and felt a wave of energy enter his body, sharply increasing his speed. Nighteye also sped up accordingly, gliding across the mountains and rivers at great speed. Only then did Howard realize that the duo had been holding back without going at their top speed.
“You two don’t look like dukes at all.” He sighed emotionally.
By dusk, the trio had finally reached Castle Fritz… or what was left of it.
This stronghold was one of the Morway clan’s two biggest castles on Twilight Continent. The lord, Van Cleef, was an earnest vice-duke. He never managed to awaken the ancestral bloodline, but he was a gentle and helpful person who was well-liked in the race.
With the Azure King in deep slumber for several hundred years, the Morway clan was also heading toward decline. There was no lack of dukes in the clan, yet Van Cleef was placed in charge of one of their most important strongholds. This only proved how important he was.
Howard’s Castle might’ve lasted a couple more days if the lord of the Masefield clan hadn’t appeared. There were no signs of a great dark monarch’s appearance here, yet it seemed they didn’t even last a single day.
Some figures could be seen flickering cautiously through the rubble, but none of them could escape Qianye and Nighteye’s notice.
“The demonkin. Looks like they stayed behind to capture vampire scouts and messengers,” Nighteye said.
Qianye pointed into the distance. “Their camp is there, in that half-collapsed building. I’ll go.”
Qianye’s figure flickered away. A field of scarlet gold erupted from the building as it slowly collapsed.
Several demonkin tried to fly out of the domain, but they fell helplessly after flying ten meters or so. All buildings within were reduced to nothingness, forming a sharp contrast against the intact ones outside.
Howard’s brows twitched. “Such a powerful domain!”
The daybreak origin power inside Qianye’s domain was so powerful that even the prince found it dazzling. The former’s Venus Dawn domain was immensely damaging to the dark races.
Qianye retracted his domain after a while and gestured toward the two, who promptly flew over.
There were collapsed demonkin strewn across the ruins, dozens of them in fact. Only the two counts among them were barely sitting, and a single marquis was still able to stand.
All of them gazed at Qianye with eyes full of terror. As the children of darkness, that Venus Dawn domain was something they did not want to experience ever again.
“Where is Duke Van Cleef?” Howard got straight to the point.
The marquis sneered, “You lingering vampire remnants, how much longer do you think you can escape your fate? You can forget about getting anything out of me.”
Howard wasn’t angry. “Then you will know very soon why they call me the Dark Gospel.”
Moments later, a mournful scream echoed through the sky.
“How’s that? Feel like talking now?” Howard never moved from where he was standing, but that marquis had collapsed to the ground, spasming and frothing.
The marquis screamed again after hearing Howard’s voice, edging backward in terror as he did so.
With a wave of Howard’s hands, a cold wave of blood energy bore down upon the marquis and silenced him.
This time, the marquis was no longer stubborn. “Van Cleef isn’t dead yet. He surrendered at the last moment and is being held at Marquis Eir’s castle. They’ll be transferred to the demonkin continents after two day’s time.”
“Eir, the last time I saw him, he was just a child. He’s already a marquis now? Who would’ve thought even he has joined the demonkin.” After a moment of deep emotions, Howard said, “We’ve already seen the war. I think we need to find out the reason for it and why so many have submitted to the demonkin.”
Qianye said, “Perhaps it’s out of fear. Three werewolf and vampire marquises surrendered to me back in Blacksun Valley. There are even more on Fort Continent.”
Howard shook his head. “Long-lived races fear death, but that doesn’t apply to everyone. Besides, your real identity on the battlefield is a third party. This subtle difference leaves ample room for surrender and ransom. These traitors are different. I know some of these fellows quite well, they are fairly opinionated and dependable, not the type to bow to threats. That’s why we should figure out what made them follow the demonkin, going so far as to betray the Queen of the Night and the river.”
Qianye nodded pensively. Few things could really attract a member of the long-lived races, especially those who had no fear of death. It had to be either authority or strength. As for faith, there wasn’t much to discuss. The River of Blood was their religion. If they could even abandon the river, what faith would they have left?
After listening to Howard’s thoughts, Qianye felt that the reason behind all of this was indeed a critical factor. He regretted killing Lynch too quickly without questioning him further. Back then, the two didn’t think voluntary submission was a possibility.
Lynch was no longer there, but Eir would also be a good candidate. It was just that Van Cleef had already surrendered. Was there any value in saving him? Qianye cast a questioning glance toward Nighteye.
The latter thought about it for a while. “Reynold doesn’t have any more direct descendants. Van Cleef is his sister’s descendant and his closest relative. Let’s go take a look no matter the case.”
“Very well.” Qianye nodded.
Zhao clan territory.
Serene Pass was the foremost line of defense at the junction of three territories belonging to the Empire, the rebels, and the dark races.
Dark clouds of war were accumulating in this majestic stronghold.
At noon, the Zhao clan’s defensive systems discovered a duke-grade airship fleet over the rebel provinces of Serene South and Desolate North. Some of these vessels had the Evernight Council’s insignia on them.
From a perspective of airspace safety, that fleet wasn’t close enough to threaten the Empire, but it was not too far off.
The Imperial forces went on high alert. Although the movements were kept secret, all family heads and officers above the lieutenant general rank were on standby. Lieutenant General Zhao Ruqin, the commander of Serene Pass, was also among them.
The man was adept in defensive warfare and strategy.
There have been reports of instability and infighting among the dark races, but Zhao Ruqin didn’t just ignore the matter. He personally boarded an airship to patrol the void.
After returning to the ground, he immediately dispatched a messenger back to the Zhao clan.
The Zhao clan reacted quickly. An hour later, a high-speed airship arrived with Zhao Jundu on board.
Zhao Ruqin was surprised to see Zhao Jundu. He had heard that the latter was recuperating at the Imperial Capital. Who would’ve thought he had returned to the Western Continent?
Zhao Ruqin stepped forward to welcome the guest. “Welcome, Fourth Young Master. Have your injuries healed?”
Zhao Jundu returned the gesture, saying, “Northridge Monarch is at the main branch. We were just talking about an abnormal fluctuation in the void when your letter arrived. That’s how I ended up coming to take a look.”
“Unknown fluctuation?” Zhao Ruqin was stunned. How powerful was a heavenly monarch’s perception? Yet even he couldn’t figure out the source.
Zhao Jundu followed Zhao Ruqin onto the city wall. From the corner of the ramparts, they could see the distant Serene South City. “Have you informed the men?”
Zhao Ruqin was just about to reply when two Imperial airships arrived at great speed. Without waiting for the vessel to land, two figures jumped out from the airship and flew toward the wall.
One of them was a handsome young man. He was the vice-commander of the western theater, Zhao Junhong.
This time, Zhao Ruqin didn’t need to explain things anymore. Zhao Jundu exchanged greetings with Zhao Junhong and cast his gaze at the second person. The other party was also clad in an Imperial uniform; only the badge was different.
Zhao Jundu found him somewhat familiar but couldn’t remember the name. Seeing this, Zhao Junhong made some introductions, “This is Major General Lin Wu, the current supervisor of the Northern Legion.”Previous Chapter Next Chapter
TL: Legion ED: Moxie