Chapter 89: A New Day [Volume 3 - The Place Where My Heart Feels At Peace]
A long steam whistle resounded above Darkblood City, announcing the coming of a new day. Although the night had already passed, dawn still struggled just below the horizon. Dawn did not appear during the dark season of the Evernight Continent.
Amidst the gray light of day, Qianye was completely wrapped in an earthy yellow adventurer’s cloak. He stood atop steam pipes a dozen or so meters above ground level overlooking the now completely awake Darkblood City.
It seemed like the city only needed a single night to recover from its wounds. Other than the usually unending flow of humans moving below the tall buildings being slightly sparser than usual, everywhere else was as orderly and calm as ever. Everyone had begun their seemingly familiar yet slightly different day, once again doing what they were supposed to. The smell of merriment, desire, and indulgence permeated every block.
It was as if last night was just an unusually realistic nightmare. Qianye wasn’t completely accustomed to the scene before him.
The only thing that remained was the damage that the intense fighting had left throughout the city. Ruins silently lay as a testament to everything that had happened. The battlefield where Bai Longjia, William, and the human-faced arachne clashed had experienced the worst damage. Not a single intact house could be found in that entire block, and the single-story house Qianye first hid in had also been reduced to a pile of rubble. If one looked at everything from a distance and judged the ways in which the buildings had fallen, they would be able to see where origin power had clashed intensely, where explosions had occurred, and the way in which the fighting surged.
It seemed as though small-scale battles had also happened in several other parts of the city. However, compared to the experience that Qianye had gone through, excluding the repairs that would need to be done on the street’s surface, the amount of blood that had been shed in the smaller encounters could probably be completely worn away with just a slightly larger amount of passing footsteps.
There were many people who spontaneously gathered at the ruins and cleared out the bodies, dumping them outside the city.
On one hand, they cleared out the bodies to prevent epidemics from occurring. Dark races had all sorts of highly dangerous diseases inside of them, and all of them could spread through rotting corpses. On the other, they were also aiming for the spoils of the dead. This was an unwritten rule in the Evernight Continent.
—Whoever cleared out a body that no one claimed would own its belongings as well.
This unwritten rule was the exact reason why the ruins were cleared out unusually quickly. The men quietly and tacitly split the rewards between themselves via an unspoken language. The scene was not chaotic. Plenty of rank one Fighters who even joined in on the cleaning. A rank one Fighter was much stronger than a normal person, and three to five of them could lift a thick metal frame the size of a man’s torso.
There were also a few neatly dressed people standing at the outskirts of the block that had nearly been flattened. They took out all kinds of strange folders, easels, and clipboards, writing and drawing things on paper non-stop. All of these people were representatives of large local companies or financial groups. After the ruins were cleared out, the land would need to be rebuilt. When that happened, it would be yet another piece of business worth a pretty penny. Thankfully, the land wasn’t under anyone’s jurisdiction and intersected with very few networks. This made laying down infrastructure and dealing with reparations easier.
This was the Evernight Continent. This was Darkblood City. It was like an ugly monster that no one cared about, abandoned in a terrible environment, but was somehow full of vitality. Even when it was hurt, it would work hard and rely on its own life force to recover. After all, no one would lend it a hand.
Qianye turned his eyes to the northern block of the city. Beyond the random assortment of buildings with rooftops of varying colors sat a large cluster of greenish gray buildings that made up the expeditionary army’s camp. Qianye smiled silently, the wrinkles on his meticulous disguise seemingly creasing even further. He didn’t think that someone as thick as a steam pipe like Wei Potian would actually be able to recognize him. Unfortunately, it seemed like the day where Qianye collected the favors that Wei Potian promised him would never come.
After observing for a while, Qianye discovered that the amount of expeditionary forces inside the city seemed to be less than he imagined, and the patrols did not look as if they reflected the remainder of that number either. He found a quiet, secluded corner on the ground to jump to, landed, and leisurely walked to a nearby ruin. Then he casually chatted up a few people who had just finished cleaning out a section of ruins and were now taking a break. It was only then he found out that the expeditionary army’s reinforcements from earlier had left first thing in the morning. In fact, they had left without a sound.
Was their departure related to last night’s huge battle? Was there a conclusion? As he thought about this, Qianye asked a few more random questions.
However, the chatty uncle replied casually.
“Who cares about what happened last night? If they died, they were just unlucky. That’s all.”
Only when Qianye thought about it carefully did he understand the helplessness and acceptance behind this answer.
A battle at the level of the one that occurred last night was already far beyond the influence of a normal person. In fact, it was far beyond the ability of someone at Qianye’s level as well. When important characters like Bai Longjia, William, and those of even higher rank appeared, normal people could do nothing but quietly wait for the judgment of fate.
Important characters normally weren’t interested in dealing with ants like them, but if they were unfortunate and got dragged into the fray, then there was no possibility of escape. Therefore, nothing was more important to them than living as best they could. Thinking too deeply about things they could not change would simply add to their troubles.
Darkblood City was the same. It had already regained its vitality the day after a night’s suffering. Perhaps this was the tenacity that the human race possessed, the one that finally helped them escape a destiny of being livestock. Qianye felt as if he were seeing a side of the Evernight Continent he hadn’t known before.
Today’s weather was unexpectedly bright and beautiful. The sun had escaped the snare of the upper continent to shine sunlight onto Darkblood City. As if hurrying to not miss the few sunlit hours of the day, more and more residents surged out of their homes and began their daily activities.
Qianye walked into the Home of Hunters. Old 2 seemed to be feeling pretty good as he sunbathed in the courtyard. There was a purple sand wine jar and a few small dishes on a table next to him.
When Old 2 saw Qianye, he beckoned for him to come closer and said, “Come! Drink for a bit and listen to the ramblings of this old man, will you? Just think of it as respecting your elders!”
Qianye nodded silently and sat at the other side of the table.
As he watched Qianye pour a cup of wine for him, Old 2 suddenly fished out a flattened silver pot and said, “Add a little bit of this. It’s just as good as the one you brew.”
Qianye immediately took the pot and poured some of its intense, aromatic liquid into his cup. Then he took a huge mouthful of the drink, held it in his mouth for a moment, then swallowed and said, “It’s good.”
Qianye didn’t seem to notice that Old 2 had been paying attention to his reactions from beginning to the end. Only now did Old 2’s expression soften slightly.
“You participated in last night’s battle, didn’t you?” Old 2 suddenly asked.
After pondering for a moment, Qianye suddenly came to realization. An expert would obviously be able to distinguish the unique sound of an Eagleshot’s fully powered shot from last night, and the amount of Eagleshots in all of Darkblood City could probably be counted on one hand.
Old 2 did not wait for an answer from Qianye and just smiled, saying, “Old 1 told me that you recently sold quite a bit of good stuff to him, especially those vampire warrior fangs. The vampires that those fangs belonged to were no ordinary vampires. You also bought a very impressive item.”
“I have a little bit of experience when it comes to dealing with vampires.”
Old 2 nodded and sighed. Then he said, “You are still young, and I am already old. I have experienced dozens of cities and seen countless wars and slaughter. To me, the world has solidified. There is no longer any possibility of change. You are different. To you, every day is a new day filled with possibilities and new hope. This is the difference between a young man and an old one.”
Qianye listened quietly. The weight of time and the force of change filled Old 2’s voice, but he couldn’t really understand the meaning of the words he said.
“Do you know what the common theme of every war ever since the War of Daybreak has been?”
This sudden question kind of surprised Qianye. To him, the answer was so clear that it didn’t need to be discussed so seriously. The theme of every war was slaughter, to kill the enemy in the fastest, most direct, and most effective way. That was war.
Yet Old 2’s answer was something that Qianye had never considered before.
“The common theme of every war… is sacrifice.”
Qianye didn’t really understand. Every war had its sacrifices, and it was as rote as the passage of time.
“Not just the sacrifice of life, but also the sacrifice of change. Some people sacrifice their time. Some people sacrifice their lives. Some people sacrifice their fates. People have their entire lives changed by war, just like this city. On the surface it appears to be full of merriment and prosperity, but if you sat here for for a long time, day after day, you would notice a lot less familiar faces and a lot more new ones.”
Qianye suddenly recalled comrades from the past.
The death of every one of his comrades added to the responsibility that weighed upon Qianye’s heart. As he currently was, Qianye needed to fight the dark races to the death the moment he saw them. That had long since been engraved into him. Qianye would have to kill god knows how many warriors of the dark races just to avenge past comrades alone. If he were still in Red Scorpion, there would have been a day he would become a responsibility and burden of his comrade’s as well.
It was at this moment that Old 2 said, “In reality, humans aren’t the only ones making sacrifices. The dark races make sacrifices as well.”
This was a view that Qianye had never heard in his life. From the moment he could learn things, the education he had been given was about how the dark races were cold, cruel, and saw humans as their food. Every member of the dark race was the epitome of filth, rot, and blood. In short, nothing good was ever associated with the dark races.
Did the dark races even deserve a word as noble as sacrifice?
However, Old 2 did not continue the topic. He finished the wine in his cup and said, “The world is not just Daybreak and Evernight. There is a wide area between them that contains other colors beside gray. If you try harder to look at other colors, you may even see a rainbow. Dont’ pull the trigger lightly. That is not a good habit. It will make you to miss out on many, many things.”
At that moment, a hunter came in to turn in a mission. Old 2 got up and entered the house, but the last thing he said left Qianye thinking for a very long time. Qianye still couldn’t really understand it. From his perspective, the world was both complicated and simple. Dark races needing to be killed on sight was one of the simplest kinds of truth.
When Old 2 left, he also left behind news that was neither good nor bad. Sky Snake had sent word. He wished to make peace with Qianye. This outcome wasn’t too surprising, since the shot fired by the Eagleshot from a distance of a thousand of meters must’ve made a deep impression on him. Unfortunately, making peace was not a part of Qianye’s original plan. Since the opponent had passed the initiative to him, he could take some time to consider it.
By this point, the sky had already begun to grow dark. During the Evernight Continent’s dark seasons, daylight was always scarce. After Qianye left the Home of Hunters, he wandered through the streets. When he lifted his head, he suddenly found himself standing at Yu Yingnan’s doorstep.
Qianye did not know how he made his way here. The purple sand jar from earlier had held rice wine. The one that Old 2 personally brewed was considerably sweeter than the one sold on the market. Adding the extra substance from the silver pot, drinking it was like drinking a ball of fire that didn’t burn yet had delayed, incredibly potent aftereffects. Right now Qianye felt a little dizzy, and a part of his mind had become slower. In spite of that, some of his instincts had become faster and more direct.
Qianye pushed open the tightly shut brown door before him. In his mind, Yu Yingnan’s house was never locked.
The alcohol had made him a bit rash and bold. Of course, the more important factor was that he had never sensed danger here.
But tonight was obviously different.
A bare foot suddenly flew out of the darkness, sweeping toward Qianye’s face.Previous Chapter Next Chapter