Chapter 220: Evacuation [Volume 4 – Perpetual Conflict]
Qianye was moved. He observed the map and found some simple numbers beside the mine’s symbol, explaining its yield. If he could take this place in addition to those mines Wei Potian had gifted him before, he would gain a regular profit of thousands of gold coins each year. This would be sufficient to expand Dark Flame to a thousand-man scale or he could maintain a 500-man scale but with equipment and remuneration equal to that of the regular imperial army.
“However, this mine isn’t so easy to claim. There should be over a thousand men in there, led by a colonel of the previous 7th division. Additionally, the location is quite close to the 15th division’s defensive area, closer than the distance they offered as compensation back then.”
Qianye nodded gently but showed no changes in his expression. “Is the colonel rank seven or eight?”
Wei Bainian replied, “Seven. However, that man is a veteran with eight years of service. Achieving the rank of colonel and the eight years of service in the expeditionary army signifies that his combat experience is definitely abundant.”
Qianye nodded and replied calmly, “It won’t be a big problem if that’s the case.”
A smile flashed through Wei Bainian’s eyes as he asked, “The 15th division…”
Qianye shrugged. “They promised not to get involved again if I remembered correctly. The one-year agreement still hasn’t expired. If their lesson last time didn’t leave a deep enough impression, then I don’t mind repeating it.”
Wei Bainian nodded with a smile. “Very well. I’ll help you hold off the pressure from other areas.”
After reaching an agreement about the mine, Wei Bainian had someone bring over the local map of the region surrounding Black Clay Swamp. He compared it to the map drawn by Qianye and began to study how to deploy the line of defense.
A clamor was heard outside of the window at this time. There were sounds of quarrel, cries, curses, and even a few gunshots.
Qianye walked to the narrow window and glanced outside only to witness a large batch of expeditionary army soldiers driving away the scavengers and tramps living on the streets.
Hu Wei stood on high ground, shouting hysterically, “I’ll give you 30 minutes to get out of town! We’ve already prepared a camp for you there! Listen up, you have only 30 minutes! Only a whipping awaits if any of you appear in front of this daddy after 30 minutes! Anyone who dares remain in town after an hour will be executed on the spot! Don’t test my patience!”
Qianye frowned slightly, but soon his expression became calm. Driving away the scavengers wasn’t just to make space for Wei Bainian’s army. Many defensive measures had to be built immediately. There was simply no place for wanderers on the battlefield.
The scavengers clambered up rather slowly. Some remained lying in their original places, unwilling to move until the expeditionary army’s whips arrived. Some scavengers got into a clash with the expeditionary army for some reason and became increasingly agitated. They suddenly pushed a soldier down on the ground and began to rob him of his gun and blade.
After seeing this, Hu Wei immediately jumped down with unexpected agility, snatched a gun from the hands of an expeditionary army soldier, and pulled the trigger repeatedly without any hesitation. His aim was surprisingly good, and although it was only a gunpowder weapon, every bullet struck a vital area as he shot those scavengers one by one.
The boiling red blood and fresh corpses extinguished the dangerous flames within the scavengers’ eyes.
One of Wei Bainian’s personal guards also arrived near the window and suddenly asked, “There are passable soldiers among these people. Why not distribute some weapons and assign them to a defensive squad?”
This person was a someone who had accompanied Wei Bainian here from the upper continent. He was now wearing the rank of an expeditionary army lieutenant colonel, but his every movement exuded the demeanor of a classical regular army soldier, likely one with a long military service record.
Qianye exhaled lightly and replied, “This is Evernight. These people are scavengers with absolutely no sense of belonging,” he paused momentarily before continuing, “much like hyenas in the wilderness. The moment they discover that you’re not intimidating enough, they’ll turn to bite you at any given time, and obviously, the dark races are more frightening than us humans.”
The guard turned silent after catching on to Qianye’s meaning, but he probably couldn’t comprehend everything immediately.
One would only be able to truly understand the meaning of this abandoned land after living in it for a certain period. Those abandoned by the empire had, naturally, also abandoned the empire’s hopes and beliefs.
The days that followed passed by in bustle and tension. Wei Bainian’s great army deployed itself with Black Clay Town at its heart and constructed an uninterrupted battlefront which completely blocked off the dark races’ marshland exit. The army also dispatched scouts deeper into the marsh, relieving Qianye of this duty.
Wei Bainian handed part of the defensive line deployment to his assistant after completing the overall tactical plan. He himself entered an isolated room to cultivate. As a division commander, he would need to face the dark race champion when the great battle began. It could be considered the most perilous duty.
Qianye also delegated the matters regarding the mercenary corps to Song Hu while he made an all-out effort toward cultivation. He finally emerged from the isolated room after cultivating several days with neither sleep nor rest. Just now, he was struck by a sudden sensation—it felt as if a giant dark tidal wave was sweeping in from the southwest, which was also the direction of Black Clay Swamp. Qianye’s daybreak origin power was continuously being purified and condensed since he started cultivating the Song Clan Ancient Scroll. Although his current origin power capacity wasn’t two or three times that of his peers, its strength was found to be increasing in repeated tests. At the same time, his perception toward danger was also becoming much sharper.
Qianye entered the bathroom and showered. He then glanced at his legs in the full-body mirror—his legs had been tingling for almost a month since he ignited his sixth origin power node. Although it didn’t affect his movements, the deep-seated sensation was still quite uncomfortable.
This physical constitution in the area was being strengthened continuously. Before igniting this origin power node and barring that special place on his chest, Qianye had never experienced such a protracted remodeling. But the longer this process went on, the stronger his body would be upon completion.
Right now, the modification process had been completed—Qianye felt every inch of his legs filled with an explosive energy. He walked to the corner of the room wherein lay the two barbells he usually used for strength training.
They were items used for training his arm strength. For others, barbells weighing hundreds of kilograms were normally used for training the entire body’s strength.
An idea lit up in Qianye’s mind as he gazed at the pair of barbells. He extended his foot and lightly flicked it, sending a barbell flying into the air with a swoosh. It stopped right before touching the ceiling and proceeded to fall back down.
Qianye extended his right leg and caught the descending barbell. The heavy item stopped steadily in the air while Qianye’s leg only sunk slightly. This deviation, only as wide as a finger, definitely wouldn’t be noticed without careful observation.
After muttering to himself for a moment, he lightly flicked his extended right leg and raised the barbell slightly before switching to his left leg. This time, his left leg caught the barbell without the slightest movement. It seemed the active origin power node was in his left knee, resulting in a slightly greater strength on that side.
Qianye slowly lowered his left leg and lightly kicked the barbell back into place.
This kind of strength had far surpassed Qianye’s imagination, so much that he still wasn’t quite accustomed to the sudden increase in strength. It seemed a period of targeted training and some real combat experience would be required before he could completely control and adapt to this new body.
Qianye examined himself once again in front of the mirror and suddenly felt the man in the mirror was somewhat unfamiliar. Humans had always been inferior to the dark races in terms of physique and strength—Qianye had long since gotten used to long range kills and a close quarter fighting style which involved speed and technique.
His physical strength right now, however, was sufficient to completely suppress a vampire of the same level. He held an advantage in many aspects even when compared to werewolves of the same level. However, Qianye wasn’t quite sure where this strength came from.
Now wasn’t the time to look into these things. First, he had to face this imminent war.
Qianye called over the mercenary band’s smiths after exiting the cultivation room and had them check the werewolf and arachne armors he had previously brought back.
The armors of the werewolves and arachne were extremely crude and not one bit aesthetically pleasing but the materials were, in fact, top notch. The armors Qianye brought back were all cast from black iron alloy by demonkin or vampire smiths, stronger than even the highest grade steel alloy produced by humans.
These armors almost had no style to speak of and appeared like large pieces of raw material at first glance. With only minor modifications, one would be able to produce armor suitable for the human body type. Werewolf armor could be remodeled into leg armor, while arachne armor, which originally consisted of six pieces, could have any two of them used to construct a breast and back plate. The smiths needed only to install some leather attachments. It was fine as long as Qianye could strap them onto his body.
The modification process took the whole afternoon. Qianye felt exceptionally satisfied after donning the new armor and trying out a few combat moves. He could still wear the internal armor he got from Deryl inside his warrior apparel.
Many of the smiths and mercenaries watching from the side felt their faces turn green. The smiths had personally modified this set of armor and knew full well how heavy each part was. The mercenaries had also stepped out to weigh the dark race armor in their hands. They had never expected someone would be able to equip a set of armor weighing almost 200 kilograms without even activating origin power, much less move around unimpeded like so.
Qianye slightly circulated his origin power and immediately sensed the origin array in the armor being activated. This made him feel relieved. After obtaining a suitable darkness origin power cultivation method from the Song Clan Ancient Scroll, he finally completed a complete cycle of the introduction. One of the advantages was that his fresh blood aura was no longer too prominent despite the detectable darkness attribute origin power during activation.
This was a great way to disguise his abnormal constitution. Human origin power was likely the most diverse in this world—having a minor darkness attribute wouldn’t pose much of a problem.
The arachne and werewolf armors prevailed in terms of thickness and weight, but their origin arrays weren’t bad either. If the origin arrays on these third-grade armors were fully activated, they would be able to reduce the impact from a rank five origin gun down to a rank two level. Such a defense could be considered a mobile fort on the battlefield.
That night, Qianye discovered that his instincts were on point.
The scouts dispatched into the depths of the swamp returned and reported that they had discovered the dark race main forces. They hadn’t brought along any fodder this time because they had to march through difficult marshland terrain. The army consisted uniformly of regular warriors along with a few support types.
According to their current marching speed, the vanguard would likely appear in the vicinity of Black Clay Swamp at dawn the next day.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
3 bonus chapters will be delivered this week to celebrate our first patreon goal. Another chapter will be released later today.
We will be moving advance chapters to in-house over the course of MAY, I'll keep everyone updated on the details.
3/6 of the week. Enjoy ^_^
TL: Legion, ED: Moxie