Chapter 208: Parting (Part 2) [Volume 3 – The Place Where My Heart Feels At Peace]
After some thought, Qianye said indifferently, “These towns it is then.”
“But…” Song Hu gave up protesting after he saw Qianye’s expression and said helplessly, “then I’ll formulate a defensive strategy.”
Qianye pondered for a while after Song Hu left and let out a somber sigh. Even though the current 7th division couldn’t be considered completely disorganized, it was still far from being a cohesive organization. Wei Bainian hadn’t even brought his complete personal guard. Granted that he had the Wei clan’s support, it wasn’t quite possible for the clan to transport troops and resources across several continents.
The young and hot-blooded Wei Potian had made a ruthless move after seeing several conflicts arise in Blackflow City following Wu Zhengnan’s death. He captured all of the latter’s relatives and aides, and as a result, several veterans no longer dared to show themselves and escaped to the nearby territories. The 7th division, in its present state, might need to recruit a large number of troops in order to reestablish its organizational structure.
As such, not to mention two small towns, even Blackflow City might be in danger should the dark race army descend upon them.
That very night, Song Hu once again explained the defensive duties of the mercenary band to another person.
Song Zining, who had just returned after leaving for several days, couldn’t help but laugh after hearing Qianye’s response. “In truth, there’s also another possibility. It could also be that those two towns are merely being used as sentry posts and not strategic points to defend to the death. The line of defense would be shifted inwards once the dark race military strength reaches a certain scale.”
Song Hu, on the other hand, appeared quite comfortable and not the least uneasy. With his ability, he had naturally thought of this possibility. It was just that he had chosen to speak selectively.
Song Zining added, “Uncle Hu, you really don’t need to do things too deliberately. My friend’s a simple person but he’s by no means naive. Sometimes, vague and roundabout methods don’t work too well on him. I’ll have to trouble you during this one-year duration. From here on out, you no longer need to report things from that side.
“As you command.”
This was Wei Potian’s last night in Evernight Continent. He dragged Qianye out and, after going around the streets of Blackflow City, came to a noisy and inconspicuous little tavern. He had planned for them to get drunk here.
Both Qianye and Wei Potian drank silently in the beginning. First two bottles each, then four went into their stomachs.
Qianye’s expression was somewhat hazy. He had been in that state since he finished his second cup all the way until he finished his second bottle. Wei Potian’s alcohol capacity tonight was exceptionally good—his eyes were as clear as the stars and didn’t show the slightest sign of intoxication.
Wei Potian suddenly let out a long sigh and said in a dreary tone, “Little Ye, tell me, why are there so many things in this world that can’t be handled according to one’s wishes?”
“That’s because you’re… not the same as us. You’re an heir. Naturally, there are things you have little control over.”
“Dammit, then what’s good about being an heir?” Wei Potian was somewhat vexed. He banged the table lightly as he emptied the glass in his hand.
“Why isn’t it good? You can do whatever you want if you’re alone. Whether you do well or not is your own business. But you, on the other hand, have to rise to this challenge for the people by your side and for the whole Wei clan. You have to perform well until the day you take over the position of clan head and thereafter carry the Wei clan forward. You should be even clearer than me about the meaning behind the title of heir. With great power comes great responsibility.”
Wei Potian began to ponder deeply as he muttered, “Does that mean the more resources I control, the more I can do the things I want?”
“That’s not wrong. How could we have removed Wu Zhengnan if you weren't the heir? He would probably still be sitting properly in the commander’s seat.”
Wei Potian nodded. “I understand now. It’s similar to what General Bai Longjia said! The night you saved me at Darkblood City, General Bai Longjia said that every statement is a lie unless one has the power to prove it. With my authority at that time, I could only slaughter those cowards ranked major and below but now I can deal with the field officers.”
Qianye was somewhat startled. A bright trace flashed through his hazy eyes, but ultimately, he didn’t reply.
Wei Potian became spirited. He patted Qianye’s shoulder heroically and said, “Very well! I’ll work well in this position and become the head of the Wei clan. The Marquis of Bowang isn’t the end of the road. This daddy here still wants to become an imperial marshal!”
Qianye laughed. “Good ambition.”
“How about you? What plans do you have? Sigh, if not for your condition, you can just go back with me to the Qin Continent. You can easily become a field officer in any of the main army’s corps!” At this point, Wei Potian suddenly realized his tongue had slipped and immediately stopped talking. He hadn’t brought up this matter since Song Zining incinerated Wu Zhengnan’s remains that night.
Qianye was unconcerned about this. He emptied his cup and said with a smile, “I’m doing fine right now.”
Wei Potian habitually scratched his head and said, “You say that but it’s going to be troublesome for you. With your character…”
Qianye couldn’t help but laugh. “I’m not one to reason patiently with someone who comes looking for trouble. You should be worrying more about yourself!”
Wei Potian looked deeply at Qianye and slowly said, “You’ve changed.”
Qianye sighed. “Back in that village, when I saw that the people rushing up were all from the expeditionary army—that they were all humans—my way of thinking changed in many ways.”
Wei Potian became much more relaxed on the spot as he proceeded to fill their empty glasses. He said with a smile, “I was worried you’ll suffer losses in the future but I feel relieved after hearing your words!”
Qianye emptied another glass before glancing at Wei Potian. “You of all people are saying that to me!?”
“Unlike you, I’m not that…,” Wei Potian had to think quite hard for a suitable word, “inflexible!”
Toward this evaluation, Qianye opened his mouth but couldn’t utter a word.
Wei Potian added, “I was taught, as a child, that the Wei clan comes first and your daddy here comes second. If anyone blocks my way, whoever that is and however he claims to have a righteous cause, I should kick him away, and better yet, stomp on the damn person a few times!”
“How straightforward!” Qianye was somewhat stunned. He had never expected an aristocratic family to train their heir like so.
“Of course, they didn’t say it so blatantly but that’s the meaning I got after figuring things out.” At this point, Wei Potian moved to refill his glass only to find that the battle was, once again, empty.
Looking at the rowdy crowd around them, the worn-out surroundings and the empty bottle, Wei Potian suddenly felt sad for some reason. “Little Ye, I don’t know when we’ll meet again after this parting. But I reckon it’s no longer possible to find another brother like you. You and I have our own ideals, but this world is too damned chaotic! Only by grasping the whole realm in our hands can we make it operate according to our thoughts. That’s why Little Ye, let’s work hard together and stand at the apex of this world. Let’s grasp all the continents in our hands!”
“What grand aspirations!” Qianye broke into a laughter.
“The heart is only big enough when it can accommodate the whole world!” The Wei clan heir’s heroic spirit was still surging toward the skies.
Qianye didn’t say anything, however, a certain flame was gradually ignited in his eyes. The glass of strong wine in his hands seemingly turned into a fiery stream which flowed into the throat and fell into the abyss where it rose up again as raging flames!
By the time they left the small tavern, it was already deep in the night and the moon was hanging high in the sky.
Blackflow City was still bustling with activity—mercenaries, adventurers, and hunters were busy spending large amounts money they had risked their lives to earn on women and alcohol. There was no heartache at all.
During this period of imminent crisis, no one could be certain they would live to see the coming dawn.
War was drawing near. The news had long since been circulated among the upper classes, but basic classes also have their way of finding out certain clues. For instance, they witnessed many wealthy people evacuating one after another, weapons and foods prices rising continuously, and large batches of soldiers being mobilized. Additionally, those violent aristocratic scions who liked to throw their weight about seemed to have disappeared.
Evernight was at the bottom of the whole empire. Those at the bottom of Evernight neither had the ability nor the opportunity to leave this place. They could only stay here and leave their fates to the heavens.
Both Qianye and Wei Potian turned silent after seeing the city being permeated by an atmosphere of final merriment.
Finally, Wei Potian said softly, “I’m leaving now.”
“Don’t forget our promise just now!”
Wei Potian grinned and broke into a laughter after seeing Qianye’s nod. “It’s settled then. You have to survive for our reunion! Be careful or you’ll be crawling under my Thousand Mountains next time we meet!”
Qianye was never one to shrink back from such a challenge. He sneered. “It’s not a problem for me to smash your turtle shell no matter how many times we meet! I told you, just worry about yourself!”
With that, Qianye faintly released his origin power aura. Six origin power nodes lit up within Wei Potian’s wide eyes and almost blinded him!
“You… you’re already rank six!”
Qianye laughed. “Merely an accident.”
“But, you actually reached rank six just like that!?” Wei Potian scratched his head intensively. He simply couldn’t imagine the outcome of fighting with Qianye. But afterwards, he smiled happily and said, “That’s quite good. At least I can go with my mind at ease. If any of those bastards come to provoke you before reaching rank eight or nine, they’ll be in for a big surprise.”
Wei Potian opened his arms and gave Qianye a big hug before preparing to leave.
He had just turned around but, sensing something, he suddenly lifted his head and looked toward the side.
It was unknown when Song Zining had appeared on the roof of a nearby building. His footing was quite stable despite standing on the ridge. It was at this moment that the thick clouds moved away in the sky, allowing the clear and cold moonlight to shower down onto his body. It seemingly enshrouded him in a clear layer of light or a faint cloaking of rising mist.
This dignified and picturesque scene appeared extremely offensive in Wei Potian’s eyes. He immediately glared at Song Zining—hadn’t this skirt-chaser already gone back to the upper continents? Why would he appear at this time? And he was standing up so high in a coquettish manner with no fear of falling and breaking his neck!
Song Zining waved at Qianye with a smile, but by the time his gaze turned toward Wei Potian, the smile had already transformed into a sneer. His mouth opened slightly—it was obvious, from its movement and shape, that he was saying what he frequently said to Wei Potian: “Idiot.”
Wei Potian was much more straightforward. He spat toward Song Zining since he couldn’t be bothered to talk with the latter.
Song Zining didn’t hang around for very long and soon turned around to leave, his figure gradually disappearing under the moonlight. It was also time for Wei Potian to say his farewell. He only waved his hand since everything he needed to say had already been said. He didn’t care where the governor's residence was and simply picked the direction opposite of where Song Zining was heading. One went east and another headed west—showing clearly that they absolutely weren’t willing to walk the same path.
Qianye gazed at his two friends’ behavior and began to laugh involuntarily. He knew Wei Potian would leave Evernight sooner or later. This abandoned land was not where the Wei clan heir belonged. Song Zining’s appearance, on the other hand, was a surprise. The Song seventh young master’s movements had always been a mystery. Last time, when he said that he would be leaving to patch up the identity the Yin family had given Qianye, it was already considered a farewell. Unexpectedly, he hadn’t left Evernight yet.
Within the blink of an eye, only Qianye was left standing at his original spot.
The wind suddenly kicked up that night and the chill within cut like a knife.
In the depths of the night, with this unremarkable Blackflow City as the origin, three people set out on their different paths to explore the worlds they each belonged to.
Perhaps they would return to this familiar place after many years, but by the time they meet once more, they might have become characters who could lift up a part of the sky. Maybe some of them would forever remain on the path and only offer his friends fond memories to recall...
This was a world that belonged to an era of war and every parting may very well be eternal. Worries and concerns were a form of luxury because most of the people were often powerless to change anything.
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Mini-mass-release to celebrate the end of volume 3!
TL: Legion, ED: Moxie