Chapter 157: Venus Dawn [Volume 3 - The Place Where My Heart Feels At Peace]
Qiqi recalled Ji Yuanjia’s question. Why hadn’t she told him about it? But then again, why should she?
Yu Yingnan had already returned to the army without a hitch, and she was climbing towards her future step by step. Qianye was just a passing traveller to her—that was what Qiqi told herself at least.
Qiqi still hadn’t realized she had constantly pressured Wei Potian to tell her about the relationship between him and Qianye, but never Qianye himself. It was a subconscious act made to avoid a certain potential outcome. Qianye would leave no matter what answer he gave her. After all, a person of the lower continent had neither a past nor a future—they lived in the present, and the present alone.
When Qianye saw that she was starting to daydream, he rubbed her head and smiled, “You came to me afterwards, didn’t you? So why think so hard on this?”
Qiqi slapped Qianye’s hand away and said angrily, “Are you petting a puppy or something?” Qiqi was startled by her own words the moment she said this. She really wanted to kick Qianye off the tree when she saw the smile he failed to hold in.
Qiqi worked to calm herself and quickly returned to normal. “Alright, let’s talk business, shall we? Duke Wei’s steward wishes to see you, and he’ll be arriving right away. Go get yourself ready.”
“Why does he wish to see me?” Qianye frowned. The fact that Duke Wei’s steward had asked to meet a rank five aristocratic bodyguard like him obviously meant trouble.
“Duke Wei would always summon those who performed extraordinarily well after the spring hunt and give them additional rewards. Going by past experiences, most of the chosen candidates are landed gentry.”
Qianye understood Qiqi’s meaning immediately. The spring hunt’s purpose was to maintain the Empire’s militaristic style and unearth new talents. As an organizer of the Profound Heaven Spring Hunt, Duke Wei had the fairest reasons and convenience the make contact with those he fancied. Even if he couldn’t recruit them all as his subordinates in the end, it wasn’t a losing trade to offer some benefits in exchange for a good name. However, the members of hunting teams were all subordinates of aristocratic families, so his targets of kindness were naturally those of landowning households.
“The rewards are normally either equipment or medicines. That’s why they need to inspect the user’s bloodline talents and origin power; they need to make sure that the rewards are suitable for the rewarded,” Qiqi shrugged, “That’s what they say, at least. It’s really just an excuse to check out their targets’ potential and secret technique.”
A cultivator’s origin talents, art and secret technique were all very private things. A misjudgment of the enemy’s secret art in combat might result in death, which was why no one was willing to be inspected from head to toe without good reason. Just the same, the chances that an aristocratic family would use a person of dubious origin lessened the closer the employed position was to the central administration. Therefore, a suitable reward was a good reason to appease the inspected cultivator.
Qianye suddenly smiled, “I know. It’s just like the inspection Elder Du did that day,” Now that he thought of it, the only thing Song Zining had talked to him about on the day they met again after a long period of separation was his physical condition. It was obvious that Song Zining was familiar with the aristocratic families’ methods, and he had predicted the kind of trouble Qianye would face after the hunt had ended. A bit of warmth rose in Qianye’s heart when he remembered this.
Qiqi suddenly felt a bit of guilty conscience as she stared at Qianye’s eyes, as black and bright as obsidian. Although she was worried that Qianye would suffer some invisible damage after that bloody battle, it was part of the plan from the beginning. The medical check up was also a bloodline talent inspection.
Qianye looked at Qiqi and said carelessly, “Alright, I’ll go change my outfit and head over right away.”
A moment later, Qianye followed Qiqi into the main hall and saw a wizened old man sitting on the first seat. His appearance was thin, his skin color was sallow, and there seemed to be no flesh at all between his skin and his bones. He looked as thin as a dried corpse. Elder Du, the old man who had inspected Qianye’s body back at the Yin Family’s side residence, was accompanying him.
“This is Steward Wen,” Qiqi introduced.
Qianye saluted him neither obsequiously nor superciliously, “Steward Wen.”
Steward Wen nodded slightly and spoke in a high pitch, “I heard that this child is born a commoner, but his etiquette looks pretty well formed. You have done well, Qiqi.”
Qiqi smiled, “I spent quite a lot of money on those teachers, you know!”
Steward Wen squeezed out an extremely ugly smile and said, “The Yin Family is one of the best even among the upper rank aristocratic family, and you have the huge tree that is the Song household to lean on. Why would you mind such little expenditure?”
Qiqi winked once at Elder Du before sitting down naturally on the right side of the hall. Then, she revealed a charming smile and said, “That’s nice of you to say, steward, but I am just a little leaf taking refuge under the Song household’s luxuriant foliage. It is also thanks to my father and uncles’ toiling efforts that the Drinking Horse Yin clan’s reputation remains strong. I am just a junior who’s chasing after my seniors’ footsteps and broadening my horizons. Are you feeling well, Steward Wen? I have some specialty product of the Evernight Continent right here that I can part with. Just think of it as a local, backwater prescription that isn’t worth much except its novelty.”
Elder Du immediately passed over a palm-sized box to Steward Wen.
Steward Wen lowered his eyelids and opened a tiny slit with his finger. When he looked into the box through the slit, he saw an entire densely packed row of black crystals of the highest quality. There was no way this was Evernight Continent’s specialty product.
His eyelids jumped once, and he closed the box cover without revealing anything on his face. When he placed a big, withered hand on top of the small box, it immediately vanished without a trace.
Steward Wen revealed a faint smile that was impossible to discern unless someone were paying close attention, “Thank you for your gift, Miss Qiqi. My body really is getting worse year by year, and I cannot stop coughing every time it rains. I’m not sure how many years I have left to serve Duke Wei.”
At the side, Elder Du stroked his beard and smiled, “But I notice that your powers have become even more consummate than before, Brother Wen. You’re probably going to climb to greater heights in a few years’ time at most, aren’t you? I guess I’m going to be left behind even further after that.”
Steward Wen waved his hand once and sighed, “At our age, even a single step forward can be as difficult as climbing the heavens itself. I will tell you that I have shed the thought of growing stronger. Alright, Duke Wei’s men are waiting for my news, so let us hurry up this kid’s inspection!” He looked at Qianye and beckoned him closer, “Your surname is Qian, isn’t it? Come closer.”
Qianye walked forward and stopped three steps before Steward Wen.
Steward Wen flicked his crooked left fingers continuously and fired out wisps of invisible cold energy as if he were shooting needles all across Qianye’s body. Not only did Qianye’s Daybreak origin power begin billowing in resonance, even the tricolored blood energies hidden inside his heart started to grow restless, so much so that even Bloodline Concealment was starting to lose control.
But Qianye was unusually calm. He had thought up a plan while he was changing his clothes, and now was the time to put it into implementation. As expected, the gold blood energy responded to his thoughts as if it were an extension of his arm and swam out of the rune it was entrenched in. Then, it swam out and circled around the heart lazily in patrol.
The second the gold blood energy showed up, every other blood energy immediately stopped their restlessness in obedience. Even the purple blood energy laid quietly in its ability rune like it was facing a dangerous enemy.
When Steward Wen was done firing the first round of finger force, but saw no change in Qianye’s appearance at all, he couldn’t help but look moved as he nodded, “How rare to find a child whose origin power foundation is so firm! No wonder you could surpass the difference between rank and defeat your opponents.”
Steward Wen’s left fingers glowed with dim blue light, and this time the finger force he fired glowed a little blue as it penetrated every part of Qianye’s body like thin needles. These manifested origin auras of immeasurable chilliness and sharpness appeared to have gained a physical form of their own as they easily penetrated Qianye’s body and swam up and down his veins.
This time Qianye couldn’t control his origin power, and as a soft boom that sounded like thunder crackled beside his ears, every ounce of origin power he possessed erupted like a tsunami at once!
The gold blood energy was completely unaffected despite the violent tides as it maintained a constant orbit around Qianye’s heart. The only time it broke its orbit temporarily was when Steward Wen’s blue yin energy flowed near. It would pounce at the energy immediately and consume it in a few bites as if it were delicious food, just like how it usually devoured the normal blood energies.
Right now, Qianye’s eyes were shut tight as he shook all over. He glowed faintly with origin power as bits of golden dots flickered amidst what seemed like a thin mist of dark red.
Steward Wen’s expression was serious, and he actually leaned forward subconsciously as if he were about to take off from his seat. His gaze was completely locked onto the golden dots, while Elder Du thought hard and deep until something surfaced from his memory and shocked him greatly.
Steward Wen fired off another round of finger force before he suddenly withdrew his hand and let out a long sigh.
Qianye let out a muffled groan as the origin light around him slowly disappeared. Two trails of blood flowed down his nostrils, however.
Steward Wen looked at Qianye, pointed at a lower seat and said with unusual kindness, “Sit there and rest for a while. My art does hurt a little, but most people recover in just a night’s time. You have a special constitution, so you’ll recover in just a few hours.”
Qianye nodded slightly and sat down at the side.
Elder Du stroked his beard in ponderment before he finally asked in a serious tone, “Brother Wen, if I am not mistaken just now, that light is…”
Steward Wen nodded, “You are correct. It is one of the three greatest Daybreak powers to ever exist: the Venus Dawn!”
The glimmer of dawn brings light to the world. When Venus appears, all things shall bathe in light.
Elder Du looked emotionally moved all of a sudden before a wave of pity took over his expression. He sighed, “You—hah, what a pity! What a pity it is!”
Both Qiqi and Qianye looked astonished. The word “greatest” had explained their reactions already. None of them had expected this outcome.
Qiqi’s eyes burned with curiosity as she stared straight at Qianye. If Steward Wen wasn’t present right now, she might have unveiled her true form and gone over to tease Qianye already. Qianye’s surprise was a little different. When he recalled Song Zining’s expression at the time, he knew that that fellow must have known about the phenomenon of Venus Dawn. He never knew that Song Zining would be so bold as to let him fake having this top-grade talent.
Qianye had been paying attention to Steward Wen all this time, and he noticed that the corner of the steward’s eyes never strayed away from him even though he wasn’t looking at him directly. Qianye himself couldn’t help his surprise when he heard that his talent was of the greatest kind, even though he guessed that letting the gold blood energy loose would result in a similar phenomenon.
Steward Wen said slowly, “Not necessarily! This child may have exceeded the best age to forge his foundation, but it is still possible for him to ascend to Champion rank if he switches over to a suitable cultivation art and is supplemented with sufficient rare medicines.”
It was all empty talk, however. Even if the Yin Family was wealthy enough to not be lacking in such medicines, no one knew what kind of art it would take to fill up the hole that was missing the best timing to cultivate a legendary grade talent like the Venus Dawn.
Steward Wen stood up. “It’s getting late, and we’ve seen all that is to be seen, so I shall be leaving. The maker of origin formations, Master Lu, is waiting for me!”
Qiqi and Elder Du immediately got up and sent off Steward Wen rather respectfully.
Qianye hadn’t stood up. In fact, he was immobile on the chair ever since he sat down. He looked like he hadn’t recovered from the invasion of the origin yin energy yet. Steward Wen paid his loss of manners no mind and even patted his shoulder with unusual friendliness before he exited the door.
It was only when their backs had completely vanished from the entrance that Qianye’s face completely darkened and a wisp of fierce killing intent flashed past his eyes.Previous Chapter Next Chapter