Chapter 175: Forbidden Deals [Volume 3 - The Place Where My Heart Feels At Peace]
This time, the tavern completely quieted down as everyone hurriedly avoided meeting Qianye’s gaze—they lowered their heads and resumed drinking.
The old man behind the bar said with a wry laugh, “Oi, brat, did you have to be so ruthless? His nose is pretty useful.”
Qianye sat down in front of the counter and replied calmly, “But his brain seems useless.”
“Did you come here only to provoke people?”
Qianye’s expression didn’t change in the slightest. “I came here to do business. However, if someone decides to provoke me, the only thing he’ll get is an outcome like that man’s nose.” He squinted his eyes and replied in a tone which could be interpreted in multiple ways, “I have little interest in the grievances between those hairy bastards and vampires as long as they don’t get in my way.”
The lines on the old man’s face almost seemed to be crammed together. He mumbled something to himself and proceeded to hand Qianye a glass of wine but didn’t continue on this topic.
Qianye received the glass and took a small sip. The spirit burned quite a bit and seemed to be a mixture of several flavors—the result was an ineffable sensation. It lingered momentarily at the tip of the tongue before filling his mouth with a peculiar sweetness.
Qianye lifted the glass, swirled it around and observed as the crystal clear liquor draw ripples upon its sides. A completely transparent liquid was actually able to break down into numerous different flavors after entering the mouth. He silently gazed at the glass in which the blurry figures of most of the guests within the tavern was reflected.
This tavern was more dangerous than it would seem on the surface. After that wretched man cried out, more than half of the people including the old man had actually responded with darkness energy!
These people had either fallen entirely to the dark side or were closely related to the dark races. Of course, there was another type—the blood hunters. These people made a living hunting the dark race. They wouldn’t hesitate to embrace the darkness origin power in order to obtain greater strength.
Such a place actually existed within Darkblood City, and it seemed to have been here for quite some time.
Qianye had always heard of such places, but this was the first time he had been to one. It was, in fact, a gathering place for the Darkblood City’s underground powers. It was a grey area wherein many things one would have trouble finding in the Daybreak or Evernight factions could be found.
It also served as a trading hub between the humans and dark races.
This wasn’t the only one of its kind within Darkblood City—some operated at an even larger scale and handled many more transactions. However, the city, the expeditionary army, and even the empire could only turn a blind eye to these and similar establishments.
On one hand, the amount of trade going through these channels was rather limited, with a large portion of it being information. Some belonged to the dark races, while the others to humans, but the dark races seemed to leak relatively more information. Consequently, these establishments eventually became important sources of information for the human race. On the other hand, certain important tactical resources could be acquired through these channels. However, the amount of such resources flowing out was quite limited under the empire’s iron grip.
The dark races similarly required large amounts of tactical resources such as black crystal, red crystal iron, and black crystal iron. Naturally, the more they could obtain, the better. If they couldn’t obtain such resources from these semi-public sources, they would pursue a different path—Wu Zhengnan for instance. This was also the reason why the upper echelons of the empire wouldn’t tolerate such forbidden deals. These transactions were absolutely shrouded in darkness, and the amount of black crystals leaked through such channels was virtually uncontrollable—everything was driven purely by profit. Quantitative changes would become qualitative changes as time went on.
Qianye swirled the glass and thoroughly destroyed the vague reflections upon it. He raised his head and drank a huge mouthful, letting the fiery alcohol burn all the way into his heart and lungs. Only at this time did the golden blood energy revolving around his heart show some signs of calming down.
The others here would never know that the wretched man had indeed spoken the truth. The golden blood energy had reacted quite intensely the moment Qianye stepped into this place. As the man approached Qianye, it frantically swam out along his veins and began to release traces of origin power.
Qianye had activated his daybreak origin power and released the scarlet origin radiance purely for concealment purposes. The golden specks the wretched man had inhaled were part of the golden blood energy’s aura. Even Qianye hadn’t expected that this uncontrollable golden blood energy was actually so poisonous to people with dark origin power. Even a tiny bit of aura was instinctively able to break down flesh and rob the victim’s energy.
The moment the golden blood energy came into contact with the man’s origin power, Qianye sensed some information via origin power feedback. In the end, he somewhat realized why the both of them reacted so strongly to each other—the wretched man’s darkness origin power attribute actually fell within the werewolf category.
The old man behind the counter appeared to have sensed something just as Qianye finished his drink. The former raised his head and said, “The person you’re waiting for has arrived. Go in, he’s right behind that door.”
Qianye followed the old man’s directions and entered an unremarkable door beside the counter. He walked in for quite some distance and found a little room at the end of the corridor with no doors. Within it sat a thin middle-aged man—his countenance was dignified with a noticeable shadow between his brows.
Qianye walked in without waiting for an invitation and sat down from across the middle-aged man. “I wasn’t expecting to actually see someone with demonkin blood. How do I address you?”
“Jorgen. You can also call me Blackowl. This name is more widely known.”
“Mr. Blackowl, I heard you can provide me with the necessary assistance?”
“That depends on what you need. Allow me to see your token before we continue onto the… finer details.” Blackowl extended his hands. “One can never be too careful in this line of work, you know. Else I would’ve died countless times already.”
Qianye removed the simple jade ring from his middle finger, placed it on the table and pushed it toward Blackowl.
Jorgen cautiously picked up the item and injected a strand of origin power. Two lines as thin as gossamer lit up on the inner surface of the ring while an image appeared on its surface—the head of an eagle holding crossed swords within its mouth. Jorgen’s tone of voice relaxed as he pushed the ring back toward Qianye. “It is indeed the highest grade executive token of the Far East Wei Clan. Very well, I understand. I’ll provide you with all the assistance I can within the scope of my abilities.
Qianye calmly placed the ring back on his finger. Wei Potian had sent someone to deliver it before he left the Qin Continent, along with information describing several such locations including this tavern. Only now did Qianye realize that the Wei Clan had sufficient influence here even if the trading hub didn’t belong to them.
“I want to investigate some transactions and deals with the dark races,” Qianye said.
Qianye’s words made Jorgen rather nervous. He moved his crossed fingers and asked, “With whom? What type of transactions?”
“Blackflow City, seventh expeditionary division. Forbidden deals.”
“Forbidden deals!” Jorgen faintly drew in his breath and replied slowly, “You should be clear about the kind of people behind these forbidden deals. Do you really want to continue?”
“Yes.” Qianye’s tone was calm but resolute and decisive.
“What a coincidence. It so happens that I know about the most recent one.” Jorgen brought out a paper and started drawing on it with great swiftness. Very soon, the outline of a map appeared. A certain place on it was marked, and a date was written beside it. He passed it to Qianye and allowed him to look. He then proceeded to ignite the paper and watch as it burned to ashes.
Qianye had already memorized all the details. He fished out a piece of black crystal, handed it to Jorgen who placed it unceremoniously into his pocket, then said, “I wish you good luck.”
Under Jorgen’s instructions, Qianye left through the rear door and disappeared into the night.
Qianye passed the following couple of days in relative peace. He fully occupied himself with cultivation and seldom left the house until the day he received news from the Home of Hunters.
Jorgen had provided him with the time and precise location of the deal. The information from the Home of Hunters was relatively vague and inconsequential, however, it allowed Qianye to understand parts of Wu Zhengnan’s past.
Wu Zhengnan’s seventh division had been trading with the dark races for many years now. Qi Yue’s transaction which Qianye stumbled upon certainly wasn’t the beginning—they were merely opening up a new channel of trade. Wu Zhengnan’s main business wasn’t dealing with goods of great importance to the human race nor was he trading equipment or information. He was trading in luxury products of vampire origin. Luxury goods brought Wu Zhengnan and his allies much greater profits despite having no actual effect on the combat strength of the human race.
Qianye compared the two pieces of information and confirmed that the information regarding their next forbidden deal was, in fact, true. The location wasn’t too far from Blackflow city, which was only about 200 miles out.
Qianye thought about it for a while and decided to personally head over to observe the contents of their transaction.
Wei Potian had made an appointment with Qianye. He would bring his men over to the Evernight Continent within a month’s time and drag Wu Zhengnan down from his position as a division commander. Naturally, there was no need for the Wei Clan heir to worry about how this goal would be met. The Wei Clan would allocate certain strategists proficient in such operations, and there would also be people to draft the whole plan for him. Wei Potian only needed to give a symbolic nod.
As a result, it was Qianye who was still undecided about how he should support the Wei clan’s operation. One thing, however, was certain—they needed proof of Wu Zhengnan’s forbidden deals. In fact, the more the better. That way, he wouldn’t even be able to think about escaping persecution for misconduct.
Qianye boarded an airship headed toward Blackflow City the following morning. He arrived in the afternoon and left for the wilderness while carrying a large backpack.
Clamor rose within Blackflow City not long after he left. A whole team of fully armed soldiers rushed to the city gates to interrogate the sentries but later left angrily after failing to obtain any concrete information.
Qi Sicheng sat within his study with an ugly expression as he listened to the soldiers’ reports. He flew into a terrible rage the moment he heard that they failed to capture anyone. He drove them out of the room with a torrent of abuses.
After the study regained its calm, Qi Sicheng stared at the unfurled map on his desk and muttered to himself for some time. The tip-off he had received was rather vague—not being able to capture the person was also within expectations.
“Who could be so interested in our transactions? But not just anyone can afford to get involved with such things. Be careful or you’ll break your meddling hands!”Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Yesterday's Teaser. Image Source: https://shadowyingzhi.deviantart.com/art/The-Illegal-Transaction-207873578