Chapter 155: Confusion [Volume 3 - The Place Where My Heart Feels At Peace]
Qianye’s wounds were aplenty, and he was completely covered in blood stains, soot, and soil. But although his blood had seeped into Qiqi’s clothes, she didn’t look like she minded at all.
Wei Potian plodded behind Qiqi. There were a few times he almost asked Qiqi to let him carry Qianye instead, but he ultimately decided against the impulse. His instinct told him that Qiqi wouldn’t agree to make a switch even if he asked.
There were some people who followed and spied on them while they were passing through mountain forests and valleys, but they never showed their faces, probably because they knew that they had lost their last chance now that the Wei and Yin Family had joined forces. These pursuers all went away one after another.
Qiqi had just stepped out of a dense forest when she suddenly came to a halt and looked murderous.
Wei Potian was running behind Qiqi, and he nearly ran into her because he didn’t think that she would come to a sudden stop. When he looked up, he immediately glared at his opponents but withdrew the anger that fleeted across his face in an instant. He strode in front of Qiqi and Qianye with a solemn expression on his face, and summoned earthen yellow origin power around his body.
Song Zining, dressed in light clothing and wide sleeves and looking carefree, was standing calmly at the open space in front of the forest. Ye Mulan and two Song household bodyguards were standing behind him.
Just when both sides were about to clash with each other, a clear and melodious crack rang suddenly from the forest beside them. The gunshot was as melodious as the clashing sounds of metal and stone, and its reverberation remained for a very long time. Almost everyone present was very familiar with this unique gunshot. Qianye’s expression changed slightly, and he struggled out of Qiqi’s hold and got off her back despite her insistence.
Zhao Junhong slowly walked out of the forest while he wiped his famous Silver Winged Fantasy with a pure white handkerchief. His footsteps looked slow, but he had arrived at the median line between the two parties in two steps.
Zhao Junhong happened to stand in a position where he was facing the Song household directly. He looked up at Song Zining, but said nothing to him. The atmosphere was still and a little strange.
Song Zining continued to smile earnestly before he spoke suddenly, “What a coincidence to meet you all here! Well, go on with your business, I’ll be changing directions,” He actually did turn around and walk down another direction after he said this. Ye Mulan and the two Song household bodyguards exchanged glances with each other before they quickly chased after Song Zining.
Zhao Junhong stared at Song Zining’s back until the man had vanished completely. Then, he turned around and cast a glance at the still wary Qiqi and Wei Potian. He said indifferently, “Relax. I’m just here to say a few things with him.”
Qianye forced himself to stand up straight and stared quietly at Zhao Junhong.
Zhao Junhong holstered Silver Winged Fantasy behind his back and looked at Qianye, saying, “You are the first person ever to force me into such a difficult situation, but you are too hurt right now. I’ll give you some time to recover, so let us compete again properly after that!”
Qianye was rather surprised by his words. He immediately smiled and asked, “Compete what? Do you want me to switch to a gun with a shorter range and fight you that way?”
Zhao Junhong’s face looked a little stiff as he let out a cough, “I’m not good in sniping in the first place, but sure, we can compete in sniping! Hmph! The Zhao family also has a master who excels in sniping. We’ll be able to compete properly once I’ve trained under him for half a year.”
Qianye was caught off guard by his honesty. He never imagined that this second young master of the Zhao household would admit his weakness so frankly to the point where it no longer felt right to mock him. And so Qianye asked, “What do you wish to compete in, then?”
Zhao Junhong answered, “A fighting tournament follows after the spring hunt, and it is no virtual combat. So? Do you dare participate in the battle?”
Qianye smiled, “Why wouldn’t I dare?”
It was at this moment Qiqi interrupted the conversation, “You’re rank seven and Xiaoye is only rank five, Zhao Junhong. I can’t believe you could even ask a question like this. How about I get a Champion to fight you then?”
Zhao Junhong shot Qiqi a cold look, “Do I look like the person who’ll take advantage of him this way? I won’t go over rank five during the fight. If you don’t like this then get up on stage yourself, Yin Qiqi. I’ll teach you a proper lesson about the Zhao clan’s secret arts!”
At this point Qianye couldn’t quite maintain his standing posture, so he half-leaned onto Qiqi’s shoulders and smiled weakly, “There’s no need for us to fight if you’re just going to lower your origin powers to rank five. I have no interest in battles where I’m certain to win.”
Zhao Junhong’s face darkened as he said in a chilly voice, “That’s a bold claim to make. I really hope that you’re as powerful as you claim to be!” After that, he turned and left abruptly without even bidding them goodbye.
Qianye shook his head, “I didn’t realize that the second Zhao young master was such a person.”
Qiqi said, “Everyone in the Zhao family is…” Her words came to a sudden halt as if she couldn’t find the right adjective to use. In the end, she gritted her teeth and uttered, “At any rate, Zhao Junhong is much better than that vile Song Zining!”
Whatever words that Qianye had meant to say were cut off by her exclamation, and when he saw that Wei Potian was also nodding repeatedly in agreement he immediately thought better of saying anything at all.
Deep inside the forest, Ye Mulan ran swiftly behind Song Zining. However, she was unreconciled with the outcome of this manhunt no matter how much she tried to get over it, and so she pulled Song Zining’s sleeve and asked in a soft voice, “Why did we leave earlier, Zining?”
Song Zining answered indifferently, “Brother Junhong didn’t want us there, so of course we have to show him some respect.”
Ye Mulan said anxiously, “Zining! That Qianye now bears a grudge against the Song Family. If we don’t kill him now, he’ll be a constant thorn in our side!” She wasn’t stupid. Even she could see that Zhao Junhong wasn’t there to kill anyone at all.
Ye Mulan was feeling a sense of panic that she herself wasn’t willing to admit, and Wei Potian’s threat had cast a dark shadow in her mind. She didn’t know why that rude and rash commoner was protected by so many people, but her instinct informed her that her troubles would only grow bigger the better he lived.
A gleam flashed across Song Zining’s eyes, and he replied with a voice that revealed none of his emotions, “Relax. There are still a few days before the spring hunt ends.”
“Mm,” Ye Mulan did her best to answer him with the most gentle and obedient expression she could muster. All she could do right now was to hold onto Song Zining tightly.
It was evening, and Qiqi finally managed to carry Qianye back to the Wei Family campsite. The bodyguard who specialized in battlefield healthcare had to use more than half the night to treat all of Qianye’s wounds.
Since the Wei Family bodyguards had all gathered at the Yin Family’s campsite, they decided that they might as well borrow the Yin Family’s tools and resources to build a temporary campsite nearby. During this period, Wei Potian circled around Qianye’s camp countless times, hoping to get a word in with Qianye.
But since Qiqi was unable to pry out Qianye’s past no matter what she tried, she kept butting into their conversation whenever the duo made contact and gave them no opportunities to talk alone whatsoever. It pissed Wei Potian off so much that he seriously wanted to fight Qiqi again.
Qianye closed his eyes in rest and ignored the two of them. As a matter of fact, he wasn’t ready to reminisce with Wei Potian himself. Back in the Evernight Continent, he could never shake off the feeling that he would never be able to come in touch with his former social circle. But after running into one old friend after the other, he suddenly discovered that that was a persistent anxiety deep inside his heart. He didn’t know what would happen if he were to uncover the lid on his past.
The spring hunt returned to its normal track after that day. All aristocratic and household teams had made their way into the most dangerous zone of the hunting field, the black circle. They were beginning to hunt down dark race warriors, and the points on the scoreboard began to grow by leaps and bounds.
But because Qianye had caused the strongest Zhao, Song, Kong and a few other families to lose more than half of their bodyguards to death or injuries, the small aristocratic families that hadn’t gotten themselves involved in Qianye’s manhunt actually started to rise tremendously in both points and ranks. Some were even starting to take over more prominent aristocratic families.
This normal outlook didn’t last long, however. It all started because of the conflict between the Song and Yin Family.
Although Qianye was severely wounded, Qiqi hadn’t sent him away. If the Yin family’s hunting team was willing to carry a burden with them, naturally the other teams had no objections to offer. This was because the camp must be guarded when a heavily wounded personnel was present. Considering that everything inside the black circle—be it the rank six or seven beasts or the dark races—were all deadly threats, the decision could only impact the hunting team’s performance.
During the evening, two days after Qianye was lying in rest inside the camp, he could finally get up and move around. He chose a sniper rifle with a six hundred meter firing range and was putting together and maintaining its components one by one when an extremely sharp noise suddenly rang out outside his tent.
It was the sound of a sharp weapon cutting through air, and it sounded so fearsome that it was as if an entire army were charging into their camp. Before Qianye could even jump to his feet, the tent above his head was blown away amidst a loud bang. A powerful air current borne of an origin power explosion had blown everything away.
There was a soft noise, and countless water droplets joined together to form a curtain of rain in front of Qianye. It completely isolated the flames that threatened to engulf him. Ji Yuanjia’s short sword clashed against a bronze colored, square edged and flat headed spear about three meters long countless times in the blink of an eye before the duo finally separated from each other. Blood was dripping off Ji Yuanjia’s sword hand.
The spear was actually clutched in Song Zining’s hand!
“Song Zining! What are you doing?!” Qiqi’s voice came from afar and approached within moments. The Yin Family hunting team that had gone out a long time ago had just happened to return at this precise moment.
By now Song Zining was already retreating at high speed, and he instantly made his way out of the Yin Family’s camping zone and returned to Ye Mulan and the Song household bodyguards. It was only then he said innocently, “As you can see, this is a camp raid.”
Qiqi looked absolutely furious. Camp raids were within the rules of the spring hunt, but she just couldn’t swallow this attack no matter what.
Song Zining continued, “I didn’t think that you would leave Ji Yuanjia behind, though. You sure aren’t afraid that it’ll affect your performance,” Ji Yuanjia was more or less the strongest expert in the entire Yin Family hunting team, so of course his absence on the field would impact their performance.
Qiqi immediately realized that the Song household had come for Qianye. If the person she had left behind had been even a tad weaker, they wouldn’t have been able to block Song Zining’s spear attacks at all. She shot an angry glare at Song Zining before she caught a glimpse of Ye Mulan’s expression. She couldn’t help but feel that her smile was full of malice.
“You dare harm my men, Song Zining?!”
Song Zining smiled and said nothing.
Qiqi suddenly calmed down and said in a chilly voice, “Seventh cousin, great grandmother doesn’t favor you only, you know.”
Song Zining suddenly looked to his left. Wei Potian and two bodyguards were rushing their way from behind the trees. It was obvious that the Wei Family, located just several hundred meters away from the Yin Family campsite, was alerted by the commotion as well, and so he said nothing and retreated with a smile on his face.
Qianye was experiencing a massive headache right now. He knew Song Zining well enough to know that he was angering Qiqi on purpose, but he couldn’t figure out the reasoning behind it.
Ji Yuanjia noticed that Qianye had been standing without doing anything for a long time, and that his expression looked different from the norm. Therefore, he asked with a bit of worry, “Are your wounds doing well, Qianye?”
Qianye shook his head and glanced at Ji Yuanjia’s bloodied right hand.
Ji Yuanjia smiled. “It’s just a scratch.”
As expected, there was only a faint scratch on his arm after he rolled up his sleeve and showed it to Qianye. There wasn’t even a need to bandage it; the wound would naturally close up after the bleeding was stopped. He explained, “The technique used by the seventh Song young master is a Song household’s famous combat technique called the ‘Fueled Fire Spear’. ‘Fire burns one fuel, and spreads to another, and so it is ceaseless and unending’. Unless the fighter is able to suppress the user of this technique completely, they will be hit no matter what.”
Two Yin Family bodyguards walked in and began helping him tidy his camp and his floor of scattered items. Ji Yuanjia was just about to return to his own tent when Qiqi suddenly came over after sending Wei Potian away.
She stared blankly at Qianye’s busy back and asked in a soft voice, “Yuanjia, was I wrong about Qianye?”
Ji Yuanjia was quiet. It was a while before he answered her gently, “This was your decision from the moment you sent out that mission, wasn’t it?”
Qiqi’s “lover” hadn’t started with Qianye. There were a lot of people who left the stage due to all sorts of reasons or even injuries. Qianye was to be used as an obvious pawn to begin with, so right and wrong never came into the equation to begin with. Them making an enemy out of Song Zining during this spring hunt was in fact just an amusing accident.
A lost, girlish look appeared on Qiqi’s face.
Ji Yuanjia said softly, “Miss, you never told Qianye why you mobilized the 60th Division to save him, did you?”
When Qiqi had asked for the troop deployment writ from Jia Yuanjia back then, what he told him was that she had a promise with Yu Yingnan to protect Qianye once no matter what kind of danger he was in. But after that, she never told Qianye about the promise. It was as if that reason never existed in the first place.Previous Chapter Next Chapter