Chapter 43: The Final Hunt [Volume 2 – Bloom of the Other Shore Flower]
Qianye reached out toward her hand and shook it, and felt that her hand was still as cold as ice like before, “Your name is rather strange, but also a good sounding one. I am Qianye, and as for my surname… I’ve forgotten.”
“Forgetting even your surname, heh.” Nighteye laughed, but didn’t pursue the matter.
This could be called a formal introduction between the two.
Nighteye looked around, and her sight especially paused for an instant on the stringed hand-grenade trap at the door. “As you can see, someone is pursuing me. If you can, give me something to eat, better if you have drugs, stimulants or anything are fine. Other than that, I need my weapons.”
“Coincidentally, I happen to have all of that.” Qianye felt a little strange.
Nighteye’s attitude was very natural and graceful, but it seemed like she knew everything he had on hand. This feeling of being seen through made him very unnerved.
A while later, Nighteye was seated with Qianye in the bar’s kitchen, earnestly devouring the tableful of food.
In the infertile Evernight Continent, high-calorie food was incredibly precious. The few basins of beef on the table were two months worth of Qianye’s of food stock.
Although that mysterious girl and old man had left him a few dozen imperial gold coins, in this lawless abandoned land, these things weren’t so easy to spend. Even if nobody dared to snatch it from him for the moment, he couldn’t use it to purchase things directly, and could only find underground markets to exchange them.
Because silver was effective against vampires, it was also one of the strategic resources of the Empire. Hence, the so-called silver coins was really only a name with very little silver inside of it, as they were primarily made of a metal called nickel. When the Empire was first setting up its currency system back then, it did use cast-silver, which also had the usage to see if people were infected by the blood of darkness. But as time passed, the amount of silver used in the silver coins decreased.
As for now, Qianye only needed to use a little bit of technique to shorten contact with the silver pieces to an extreme, and hence not be affected by it. If he could, he would rather only have taken several hundred silver pieces instead, which would have saved him a lot of trouble.
Other than food, there were also two large cups of strong liquor on the table. Qianye then took out the little hip flask, and carefully poured its contents into the liquor glass. This time, it wasn’t just one droplet, but rather, he poured nearly half of the flask into each cup.
Nighteye’s eyes flashed, and she picked up the cup, sniffing it. “The Empire Elite Corps’ special combat stimulant? Oh, it’s not pure stimulant, but all of the key ingredients are in it. I heard that this stuff can make a person’s strength increase greatly for a short period of time, turning them into a killing machine. You made this? How did you know its formulation?”
Qianye was secretly shocked at Nighteye’s depth of knowledge, but of course, he couldn’t tell her about his experiences in the past, so he only spoke vaguely, “Someone in my line of work always has their means. Getting such a formula isn’t particularly difficult, just a mere few silver pieces. However, collecting the medicinal ingredients is the hard part. Just by chance, several of the key ingredients could be found nearby, so I made some. Although it isn’t as strong as the original, it lasts longer, as its effects can keep up for several hours. Besides, it also has the ability to suppress the thirst caused by the blood of darkness.”
Nighteye’s eyes lit up, and she grabbed the steel hip flask. “Good stuff! Can you give me the rest of it?”
Qianye, without a single change in expression, took back his flask from her hands, saying, “I need it too, plus I only have this much left in reserve. Ah, right, who exactly is hunting you down?”
Nighteye cut the beef as she nonchalantly spoke. “I am a certain organization’s hunter, specialized in hunting down dark races and then collecting the bounty from the Empire. Right now, I’m being pursued by a group of vampires.”
At first, Qianye merely crooked an eyebrow. In this abandoned land, the status of a bounty hunter was slightly higher than scavengers, but not by much either. After hearing the final line, though, he couldn’t hold it in, “Vampires?”
Qianye’s voice suddenly had an almost imperceptible tremble in it.
“They’re not blood thralls, they’re true vampire warriors. And among them, there’s even one who has aristocratic rank!”
Qianye suddenly went quiet.
He finished the food on the plate in front of him, stood up again to serve up all of the remaining meat in the large pot onto the plate, and then continued to busy himself with the food.
Nighteye looked at him. “I’m about to continue my escape and battle, so I need a lot of energy. Why are you eating so hurriedly? This far exceeds your usual food intake, doesn’t it?”
Qianye mildly said, “I’m going to fight along with you later. I will send you to the dark race-controlled border region to the west.”
Nighteye’s face gained an undisguised shade of shock. “You’re going to fight with me? Don’t joke, those who’re pursuing me are real vampires, you know. With such weak combat strength, are you going just to send yourself to the grave? Let’s see... you’re not even a rank three Fighter, aren’t you?”
Qianye’s heart jumped. Under her eyes, it seemed that any kind of secret was impossible to keep. But he persevered. “I have my ways of dealing with vampires.”
Nighteye furrowed her brows. “But if I am with you, I will be bogged down! I have no interest in moving with a weakling! You’d best stay here, if I make it out, I’ll definitely send you your remuneration!”
Qianye didn’t like Nighteye’s tone at all; it was the kind of scorn and belittling of the weak by the strong, so obvious and deep to the bone. Even though Nighteye was doing it out of goodwill, this kind of attitude made him exceptionally uncomfortable. Moreover, Qianye had other plans, so he directly ignored Nighteye’s attitude and opinion of refusal.
“We’ll advance according to the path, staying at a distance from one another. We’ll move independently, and won’t interfere with each other.” Qianye creased his eyebrows as well.
Nighteye spoke out. “If you do that, aren’t you just becoming my bait?”
Qianye laughed as he spoke. “Even if I am a bait, those bloodsuckers need to make sure they can swallow the it down!”
Nighteye took a deep look at Qianye, and then the vacant look in her eyes disappeared, finally revealing the haughtiness and iciness hidden behind her gaze, “It seems you’re very confident in yourself. But in my eyes, this kind of confidence is no different from foolishness! In the eyes of an upper class vampire, merely a rank two Fighter is but an ant that they could squish with the slightest bit of effort. If you truly wish to come along, then so be it. I can only tell you, that the current you following me will merely guarantee your death.”
“People have foretold my death since long ago, but not only have I lived, but I’ve lived very well.” Qianye’s voice also grew increasingly cold.
Nighteye creased her eyebrows. “If you’re trying to earn back your dignity and face in front of me, and trying to woo me in this way, then you honestly don’t have to. Because the weak have no dignity to speak of at all, and I will never be moved by the weak. Don’t die a dog’s death. This is my final advice I’m giving you, seeing as you saved me.”
Qianye knocked on the table, “I do not have an ounce of interest toward you, I merely want to destroy those damnable bloodsuckers!”
“Then do whatever you want.”
Just like this, their conversation ended rather unpleasantly, and the two of them finished off the table full of food in silence. Qianye then laid out a paper map on the table and sketched out a westward route.
This was a meandering path with twists and turns, and the journey took them past two valleys, past a mountain peak, a vast stretch of forest, and then past an abandoned industrial area as well as the skeleton of an interstellar battleship’s wreckage.
“This is the route to the west.”
“Why so complicated?” Nighteye couldn’t help but ask.
“The complexity of the route will help us to end those bloodsucking bastards who are following you,” said Qianye, and he dotted one of the mountains on the map. “Our final destination is here. There should be a secret vampire gathering ground here, and there were sightings of a high-level vampire here. From their insignia and their methods, they should be the ones who people call the ‘Neos’ Among the vampires, their way of actions are relatively moderate, and perhaps you’ll have a chance to receive the Embrace, and become one of theirs.”
The look that Nighteye gave Qianye finally had a hint of excitement. “You even know about the ‘Neos’, it seems that you don’t have a simple past, either! You can’t have always been the little keeper of this bar, can you?”
“These informations are no secret, many in the Empire know about it.”
“But there aren’t many who are able to find the vampires’ secret gathering spot without being discovered. A rank two Fighter that can do so is more so one of its kind.”
“That’s not important. What is important, is that you perhaps will be able to receive The Embrace, and continue to live on. If you become one of the ‘Neos’, then the chances are that we’ll have less opportunities to meet on the battlefield.”
As he finished, Qianye tapped the map sharply and said, “Remember the route. I’m going to burn the map in a moment.”
He looked at the time. “We leave in twenty minutes!”
Suddenly, it was as if Qianye had returned to the time when he was in the Red Scorpion, unwaveringly cutting the enemies down.
While Nighteye looked at the map Qianye had brought out, as well as his choice of route, and even him pointing out the vampires’ secret gathering ground, she finally began to feel curious about Qianye.
Could it be that this little fellow who was so weak that it was pitiful, actually be able to do something?
Time passed quickly, and when the 3 A.M. bell rung, the bar’s back door was discreetly opened. Nighteye left alone, quickly vanishing into the night.
Nighteye would leave ten minutes before Qianye. And as to who would be whose bait, it would depend on what happens then.
Nighteye gradually revealed her arrogant character, completely unwilling to move with Qianye. Meanwhile, Qianye too had many secrets that he didn’t want her to see either, hence they had this weird, one in front and one in the back kind of lone hunter movement pattern.
In the wilderness, this was one of the classic tactics of the Red Scorpions. Two experts with a tacit cooperation could do in a dozen of dark race warriors of similar strength over the course of several days of mobile warfare.
Qianye waited until Nighteye had left and dug open the floorboard in the center of the hall, revealing a stone slab with a ring handle on it. Pulling open the stone board, he took out an approximately one meter long dark red briefcase from within.
Placing the briefcase on the floor, Qianye carefully input the pin code, and after hearing the light click, he finally relaxed his expression and opened the box.
Within the case were shockingly the main parts of an origin rifle and its various accessories!
The rifle’s body was bulky and rather clumsy. On it, many origin power circuitry were inscribed and masked with a special black paint. This special black paint could mask the light that shone from these circuitry when they were active, yet not affecting the origin power circuit beneath it from absorbing free-moving origin power from the environment. Just this coating alone was worth more than the cost of an entire traditional high-accuracy sniper rifle.
Qianye retrieved the gun and with abnormally well-practiced hands, he soon assembled a field rifle that was almost half as tall as his body. This gun was entirely coated black, and various accessories needed were all there. It’s craftsmanship was extremely exquisite. Just sitting there quietly, it faintly exuded a murderous aura.
Qianye had always wanted to take revenge for his Red Scorpion teammates for that fateful night, but now that the blood of darkness was becoming hard to control, he knew that he was running out of time. A year was too optimistic; he at most had a few more months.
So now, Qianye only hoped that before he fell to the darkness forever, he could take a few more bloodsuckers down with him.Previous Chapter Next Chapter