Chapter 227: A New Battle [Volume 4 – Perpetual Conflict]
After crossing the bridge, Nighteye suddenly felt as if an unseen string of fate had been severed. She suddenly felt her mind go blank.
She couldn’t tell clearly just what she had lost but the feeling of emptiness was fairly difficult to bear.
Nighteye sat alone and was deep in thought, hoping to find an answer. She was startled to find that a certain figure had appeared in her mind.
“Could it be him?” Nighteye was surprised, but it seemed as if another voice in her heart was telling her that this wasn’t unexpected.
The squad continued their advance after several hours of rest. A city appeared before their eyes after passing through the dense mist.
The whole city was a land of deathly silence—there was no clamor, neither was there any life. There was dust everywhere. It was unknown just how many years the city had passed in the quiet darkness. The squad searched through a number of buildings and couldn’t find even a single corpse or skeleton. No one found any clues regarding where the citizens had gone.
Within the households, the pots were on the stove, the utensils were on the table, and the sheets in the bedroom were left undone. However, they couldn’t find traces of the master at all.
Their investigation went smoothly. There was an incomparably large shrine at the center of the city—one could hardly miss such a target. Everyone was momentarily shocked by the scene before them after entering the shrine.
It was extremely spacious within the great shrine. However, there weren’t any extra objects at all within this gigantic space hundreds of square meters in area apart from a tall stage erected at its center. There was a crystal sculpture at each of the four corners of this stage. The four ladies had their hands extended toward the same point in the sky as if they were praying for something.
The place where they were pointing to was completely empty, but the same feeling appeared within the hearts of everyone present—there used to be something there.
And the item that had disappeared was likely the treasure they had been seeking persistently.
Maris wanted to fly up to the stage and observe in detail but was held back by Sadieson who pointed toward the ground and said, “Look underfoot!”
Maries glanced down and immediately drew in a breath of cold air.
The floor of the entire hall was covered with crisscrossed carvings which, upon closer inspection, were all interconnected. This had meaning in Maris’ eyes because it was actually an origin array which filled the whole of this shrine.
Glancing at the array beneath his feet and then back at the stage, Maris suddenly came to a realization. “This is a sacrificial altar!”
Sadieson slowly nodded with a serious expression.
The carvings which formed the array were, in fact, grooves which would also serve to carry the medium. Apparently, the driving force for such a large array wasn’t just origin power. And the sacrificial altar, as the name implied, required a sacrifice to display its effects.
Then just what were the offering and medium? How were the two related?
Back at Black Clay Swamp, Qianye did not walk out from the isolated chamber for two days and one night.
Almost all of the arachne blood energy had been consumed, and there was now a small vortex spinning within Qianye’s lower abdomen. It was formed from supremely pure darkness origin power which, according to attribute distribution, was extremely close to the peak of darkness origin.
However, Qianye had no idea that Brahms’ power was derived from his inherent physical strength. The arachne viscount had maintained his half-human state even after he had entered battle for so long and was unable to transform freely between human and arachnid forms like most high ranking arachne. The reason was that his bloodline wasn’t pure enough.
It would certainly cause quite a commotion if the evernight camp discovered that he was able to refine such pure darkness origin power from a mixed and impure origin blood.
However, Qianye was being regretful about another thing altogether. Compared to the scale of daybreak origin power condensation, the quantity of this darkness origin power was somewhat lacking. He wasn’t really expecting an extremely deep darkness origin power, but such an obvious change could hardly be ignored.
The small vortex was still spinning without rest. It seemed like the densest of black clouds, dark and bottomless. One would even feel, after staring at it for some time, the illusion of the boundless darkness suffused by the color of blood.
“Mysterious is he with red amidst the darkness.” This was a record within the Song Clan Ancient Scroll, describing one who had succeeded in cultivating the mystery chapter and was on the verge of entering the next stage.
Qianye sighed in his heart—the final moment was imminent.
After two days and one night, his exhausted daybreak origin power had gradually returned to his usual levels. At this time, daybreak tides were flowing along Qianye’s blood vessels while a dark vortex was spinning in his dantian. How would the darkness origin power, after fully completing its condensation process, react with his native daybreak origin power? The result would become apparent soon enough.
Which would it be—the ice and flames shared not a furnace, as proven by 1200 years of human practice, or the outrageous darkness-daybreak equilibrium as described by the Song Clan Ancient Scroll?
Qianye didn’t ponder too much nor was he terrified about the impending result. In fact, at this point, there wasn’t much of a choice. He would rather bet his life on it rather than watch helplessly as the darkness origin power corroded him.
The revolution of the vortex sped up several times as he guided the darkness origin power through its final cycle. In the end, it contracted violently to form a black crystal the size of a fingertip.
How come such an object appeared? Qianye was astonished. Admittedly, it was good news that the darkness and daybreak origin powers weren’t in conflict, but he hadn’t sensed any form of equilibrium between them either.
The black crystal suddenly shattered before Qianye could extend his consciousness to observe further. From within emerged a stream of golden blood energy so thin that it was hardly discernible.
The color and luster of this newborn blood energy were toward the darker side. Although its aura was extremely weak, it contained an aura which was cold, lofty, and awe-inspiring. It also vaguely contained a certain ancient and desolate air about it as if it had experienced the passage of countless years.
The dark golden blood energy began to move slowly and, like a comet, left a faint trail wherever it went. The trail would only disappear after some time.
Qianye suddenly discovered minute and faintly discernible runespeak symbols within its trail. It was just that, because the golden blood energy was too small and its trail even smaller, he could hardly confirm whether he truly saw something.
The dark golden blood energy first roamed the area filled with fragments of the black crystal. These particles would disappear as the blood energy moved forward. Afterwards, it began to move upwards against the flow of Qianye’s blood, as if it was familiarizing itself with the new environment.
Qianye suddenly felt that the original golden blood energy possessed its own intelligence while the present one was like a newborn baby.
The dark golden blood energy finally arrived at his heart. The eye ability seal hadn’t dispersed after losing the golden blood energy and was still hovering within his heart. The dark golden blood energy was like a curious child—it circled the seal a few times and tried touching it a couple of times with its slender head before shooting right into it. It then curled up and began to hibernate as if it had finally confirmed that this place was its new home.
Qianye saw Song Hu sitting right outside as he walked out of the cultivation room. It seemed he had already been waiting for a long time. There were many things to do after the great battle. It was unlikely that Song Hu would come here to waste time unless it was necessary.
“Has anything happened?” Qianye extended his arms and allowed Lil’ Seven and Nine to change his sweat-drenched clothes.
Song Hu replied, “We’ve already discovered traces of the dark race army’s follow-up squad in the swamp. General Wei wants you to visit him immediately after you finish your cultivation to arrange defensive matters.”
Most of the expeditionary army officers had left by the time Qianye walked into the war room. A number of Wei clan personal guards had also received their missions and were just about to leave.
Wei Bainian was standing in front of the map of the war zone. He turned around after hearing Qianye enter and said, “There’s a good news and a bad news. Which one do you want to hear first?”
“The good news first then.” Since Wei Bainian was still in the mood for humor, the situation probably hadn’t deteriorated to a disastrous state. However, Qianye noticed that the expressions of the officers he had passed by on the way here weren’t exactly good-looking.
Wei Bainian said, “The good news is that the vanguard army we had just eradicated was, in fact, half of their forces in this direction. Furthermore, the price we paid for this victory was extremely small compared to the previous expeditionary army campaigns.”
Qianye nodded and asked, “Then what’s the bad news?”
Wei Bainian smiled ruefully and replied, “The bad news is that, although the dark race army isn’t being reinforced, they seem to have no intention of changing their route. The scouts reported just now that they’ve discovered the follow-up unit within the swamp and the leader is likely Sades Soulsplitter.”
“Soulsplitter? Is it that werewolf tribe?”
“Correct. The Soulsplitter Tribe is one of the ten great werewolf tribes, notorious for their bloodthirst and cruelty. That aside, the problem is that Sades Soulsplitter is also a champion.”
Qianye couldn’t help but frown. “Two champions?”
Wei Bainian nodded with a solemn expression. “Yes, they refuse to change routes even after losing half the army. This war zone is clearly but a mere segment of their military deployment. Dispatching two champions in a direction which can’t be considered an important point probably means the strength of the dark race offensive this time is completely unprecedented.”
Qianye walked toward Wei Bainian and asked while checking the newly marked map, “General, how are your injuries?”
“I’ve recovered more or less. Fortunately, I have brought along a special medicine from my personal stash. I didn’t want to use it at first, but who would’ve expected a werewolf to appear! Sigh, that medicine is worth a grade-six origin gun.” At this point, Wei Bainian shrugged. He seemed rather reluctant to part with it.
Special medicine capable of healing a champion's injuries within a short period was extremely rare. It was a life-saving ace to be used in perilous situations. But with the imminent arrival of another dark race champion, Wei Bainian had no choice but to recover to his peak state as quickly as possible.
Following which, Wei Bainian shifted the topic back to the business at hand. “I’ve already arranged for the urgent transfer of troops from other defense lines and only left enough troops to maintain order. With that, we can at least maintain the advantage in troop strength. Your Dark Flame Mercenary Corps will be in charge of defending this position, an area of 100 meters of the town wall and the three adjacent street blocks.
Qianye pointed toward the map and said, “This area seems a bit too weak…”
At this point, he suddenly felt a slight discomfort in the left hand he had propped on the table and thus moved it every so slightly. With a loud crash, the whole meeting table was broken into countless wooden fragments and even the military map upon it was torn to shreds.
Qianye’s left hand was still pressed on empty air. He was completely stunned.
Wei Bainian was also astonished and couldn’t help but ask, “What just happened?”
“I… that… I think I used a little too much strength.” Qianye stuttered as he spoke.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
This is milestone bonus chapter 2/3 ^_^ Enjoy! And also remember that we'll be moving advance chapter functionality in-house soon!
TL: Legion, ED: Moxie