Chapter 50: A Startling Transformation [Volume 2 - Bloom of the Other Shore Flower]
Qianye circled around the garbage dump and discovered that his Scorpion Needles were thoroughly damaged, essentially turning into a pile of scrap parts. He separated these parts and carefully buried them in different corners of the garbage dump.
The Scorpion Needles were weapons manufactured by the Red Scorpions and were one of a kind. Not even a single part could be casually exposed, or it would attract an endless stream of trouble.
Then it was dealing with the werewolves’ corpses, especially those that had marks of a human bite on their bodies.
However, Qianye was a little puzzled. The werewolf clan highly valued community spirit, and would never allow a clansman’s corpse to be exposed to the wilderness in such a way so easily. Yet with so many werewolves dead in this area and no sign of any new werewolves coming to claim the bodies, it was clear that this area had some complications.
Qianye finally found two spike bayonets used by Nighteye and then washed a dagger used by a vampire warrior. These were all the weapons he had to protect himself with now. The small parts he had originally brought along, and even the Red Scorpion army knife were lost somewhere.
It was deep into the night, and the wind blowing across the wilderness was still icy cold. It could be that there was finally a possibility of the proverbial sharp longsword that was suspended above his head disappearing. As Qianye lifted his head to gaze at the blood-red moon occupying nearly half of the sky, he did not feel even a tinge of bloodthirst. He even felt that the dark red color seemed a little faded, that perhaps the scarlet nights would be over after a couple of days.
Dawn finally arrived.
However, though it temporarily removed the danger posed by the blood of darkness, Qianye still needed to remain on guard and avoid the imperial army, the grand households, and the aristocratic families. They had numerous strong people, and heaven knew who would discover that half of his blood was the blood of darkness flowing in his body.
Qianye had to return to Lighthouse Town first. A quick count revealed that he had not shown his face for about five days, but in a chaotic place like the Evernight Continent, a person’s disappearance would not cause any commotion.
After running for a few hours, Lighthouse Town appeared in within Qianye’s vision. The small town seemed unchanged, but Qianye felt it was a little too quiet. Dawn was approaching, and although the horizon was still pitch black, the sky overhead had begun to brighten, glowing softly. At this time, the scavengers should have been awake and getting the equipment for their journeys ready.
Qianye did not directly approach the large, unrepaired door that was equivalent to a wide open space, but detoured to the side, slowly approaching the city walls.
From Qianye’s position, he could see the bald sheriff sitting on the city gate’s tower, his cap over his face, as if taking a nap. This was a demonstration of how the sheriff had to stand watch the whole night until the city gates were repaired. Although the sheriff constantly appeared drowsy and sleepy, Qianye knew that it was a facade. If he got too close at night, then even with his ability to move stealthily, he would still rouse the sheriff’s attention.
Qianye chose a place that was relatively far from the sheriff and lightly jumped, landing noiselessly on the city walls. Qianye felt the obvious strengthening in his jumping ability with this leap, as he would have directly leaped over the less than five meter wall if he had not controlled it well. He was just about to enter the town, when he suddenly sensed that the sheriff’s sleeping position seemed unnatural. This should be a very uncomfortable position to be in for a long period of time.
Qianye bent low, practically pasting himself onto the city wall as he inched closer. From a distance, he could smell the thick scent of blood. His night vision ability allowed him to clearly see the coagulated blood stains on the sheriff’s chest, along with the already dried blood that had turned black, seamlessly blending into his black uniform.
The sheriff was dead, and sitting on the city wall was merely a corpse.
Qianye’s heart pumped wildly for a moment before he crouched lower, hiding in the shadows.
Although the sheriff was just an official of the lowest rank, he was still a representative of the law in the Empire. His presence signified that this land still completely belonged to the Empire. Even if a foreigner came along who was stronger than the sheriff, he would still not casually kill the latter. Killing the sheriff was equivalent to challenging the dignity of the Empire, and the imperial expeditionary forces were stationed not far from this place.
Qianye glanced towards the town and inhaled deeply, immediately discovering that his awareness and perception of human blood had sharpened. The good news was the smell of human flesh and blood did indeed not arouse any symptoms of thirst or hunger in him.
However, Qianye did not have the time to celebrate, as he sensed that the total blood vitality within the town had been reduced to less than half!
Qianye jumped down from the city walls and first circled around a few familiar households belonging to commoners, confirming that the people sleeping inside were the original owners, before he slinked to his Red Spider Lily bar that was not too far off.
The bar was in a mess; the door that was installed a few days ago was now tilted to one side, not a single window was left intact, and all furniture inside was left in a pile of shattered pieces, with some even sporting ghastly bloodstains.
However, from the direction of the bedroom, rhythmic breathing could be heard that was so loud that it even travelled through the corridor and resounded in the hall.
Qianye did not head straight over, but detoured and entered via the backdoor, then silently walked into the living quarters. There was no movement from the two guest rooms flanking the sides, meaning that the sound came from his own bedroom.
A young man hugging a hunting gun was leaning against the sofa, deep asleep. This fellow was obviously the appointed sentry to stay behind and wait for Qianye to appear.
However, since Qianye had not returned after multiple days, this fellow who stayed behind dropped his vigilance and started to become lazy. But then again, nothing much was to be expected from local ruffians like these.
Qianye used his dagger to lightly pat the man’s face.
The young man was instantly awakened, and as he was obviously grouchy from being jerked awake from his deep sleep, he started spouting a string of curses before he truly saw who was before him.
Qianye smashed a fist into the young man’s stomach, causing him to immediately arch like a shrimp, lodging the remaining curses in his throat. Qianye then forced his face into the sofa, immovably, and viciously kneed his ribs a few times in succession, only finally stopping when he heard a couple of bones breaking.
Once Qianye let go, the young man wanted to howl, but the chilliness of the dagger at his throat had him swallowing back any screams.
“What happened here? Who sent you here? If your answer doesn’t satisfy me, I’ll cut off your fingers one by one,” Qianye said icily.
When the young man clearly saw it was Qianye, he immediately capitulated and hastened to reply, “I’m working for Tiger Yan. The expeditionary forces sent two squads to Lighthouse Town the other day to hunt for blood thralls. We followed them here…”
“Continue.” Qianye applied more pressure on the dagger, and drew a thin line of blood on his neck.
The young man, having seemingly sensed killing intent beneath Qianye’s calm eyes, immediately shuddered and quickly said, “Sir Qi of Blackflow City is unhappy with you and Sir Zhao. He lost a lot of money because of both of you, and also a high grade origin gun, so he thought of a way and had the expeditionary forces mobilize two squads under the guise of hunting for blood thralls, but in reality, it was to… to kill you and Sir Zhao off.”
Qianye’s heart tightened. He clearly understood what hunting for blood thralls meant to the people of Lighthouse Town.
“Then, how about those people who have disappeared?”
“Most of them have been killed, and some taken away by the expeditionary forces.”
“How about Tiger Yan? Where is he?” Qianye questioned.
The young man trembled and said, “He’s with Sir Zhao.”
Qianye nodded and slowly withdrew his dagger, saying, “Since you were honest, I’ll give you a chance and spare your life. Leave this place immediately, and scram as far as you can!”
“Y-yes! Thank you!” The young man nodded his head like a chicken pecking at rice.
Qianye turned to leave, and just as he crossed the door, he suddenly flicked a spike bayonet from his hand. The spike shot through the air like lightning, and impaled the ruffian’s throat in the blink of an eye!
The young ruffian stared at Qianye, stunned. The hunting gun in his hand had been aimed at Qianye’s back, but it was a pity he no longer had the strength to pull the trigger.
Qianye walked back and retrieved the hunting gun from the ruffian to examine it.
It was a long flintlock gun, but it could use locally produced bullets. As it was crudely made, its precision and power could not be guaranteed beyond ten meters, but it was still considered a rather powerful weapon for killing at close range, at least better than a dagger. Qianye rummaged through the ruffian’s clothes and found ten bullets before tossing the corpse on the floor. He then took one last look at his bar.
The bar was a mess, where each tile of the limestone flooring had been pried away, and every valuable item had been pillaged. The Red Spider Lily which had accompanied him in the darkest stages of his life had gone up in smoke, just like that.
When leaving the bar, Qianye was not furious, but conversely felt calm, even a little excited.
Based on the training in the Red Scorpion Corps, this was the best condition to be in before battle.
Qianye made a beeline for Sir Zhao’s abandoned factory headquarters. It was said that over the last couple of days after Tiger Yan took over control of Lighthouse Town, Sir Zhao had been staying in there.
Daylight still had not broken over the horizon, and the blocks of tall factories ahead casted particularly sinister silhouettes, not unlike a creature which could devour humans at anytime. Among them, only one block of factories had been renovated by Sir Zhao, making it habitable. The rest were in ruins.
The exterior of this block of factories bore obvious battle scars, with empty shells scattered everywhere.
Qianye picked up one of the shells to examine, and his heart sank slightly.
This shell belonged to an assault rifle made by the imperial expeditionary forces, and although it was an antique, a retired rifle from ten years ago, it was still more powerful than any ordinarily manufactured weapon.
Since the other party managed to obtain and utilize a number of weapons manufactured by the military, it was more or less a hopeless case for Sir Zhao.
The factory doors were ajar, but Qianye did not enter through them. Instead, he backed up a couple of steps, then ran and leaped, using the momentum to scale over the outer wall. In the blink of an eye, he was at the top of the factory.
Tiger Yan did not station any men here, allowing Qianye to smoothly pass through the top floor’s exit and enter the inner section of the factory.
The inner section of the factory had three levels constructed against the wall, while the rest remained as the original hall. Inside, there was a huge generator inside, but it had long become scrap metal.
Qianye remembered that the top floor was Sir Zhao’s original living quarters and the middle floor housed the bodyguards and his organization’s elders, while the lowest floor was for his group of followers.
Qianye descended from the top level, and naturally found himself at the third floor. He silently walked to Sir Zhao’s bedroom, and immediately smelled the thick scent of blood which had gone stale.
Qianye hesitated for a moment, then lightly pushed the door open and peered in.
Sir Zhao was on the floor, his body full of wounds, and a section of his lower leg was missing. In his final moments, he had struggled towards the cupboard on the wall, leaving a horrifying trail of bloodstains on the floor. There was a bullet hole blown into the middle of his forehead between his brows, yet his expression showed a slight smile of satisfaction.
Qianye was neither grieving nor delighted as he entered the room and crouched next to Prince Zhao.Previous Chapter Next Chapter