Chapter 231: The Call of Destiny [Volume 4 – Perpetual Conflict]
A gravely wounded Zhang Boqian returned days later—the squad he had taken with him had been wiped out. He didn’t mention a word about the concrete results of the battle, but he was in high spirits upon return and showed not the slightest sign of being in a bad mood.
Zhang Boqian was someone who found it beneath himself to conceal or pretend. Since his mood was good, it was likely that he had a great harvest. People could only make a few guesses from small clues since the results of his battle wasn’t announced. Soon, there was news from the dark race camp. Even two of the 13 great vampire clans had urgently recalled all of their high-ranking nobility back to Twilight Continent, not to mention the smaller clans.
The empire’s gigantic war machine began to rumble into action with Zhang Boqian’s assault as a starting point. All major corps were mobilized in succession. Some were dispatched to reinforce Evernight Continent, while others attacked the dark race territories from different directions, hoping to decrease pressure on the ongoing war.
The war was unfolding on a grand scale. Meanwhile, a certain location in a corner of the war zone was enjoying relative tranquility—Blackflow City.
Blackflow City began to confront the small surveillance unit after the dark race army left. Those outside the city had no intention to attack, and those inside had no plans to leave. Just like that, the situation became a deadlock. As flaming beacons ignited across the whole of the Evernight Continent and battles gradually escalated in ferocity, this place seemed to have become a forgotten corner.
Wei Bainian wasn’t idle during these days of peace. He was working on Blackflow City’s defenses at all time. With each passing day, Blackflow City moved a step closer to becoming a complete fortress.
Qianye wasn’t without things to do either. After confirming the departure of the dark race army from the war zone, he took the mercenary corps toward the mine occupied by the deserters from the previous 7th division.
The 15th division was thoroughly thwarted as the dark race army passed through the borders. Even the number of 7th division deserters from the mine were reduced significantly. The defensive battle which followed could hardly be considered intense—two out of the three leaders were killed by Qianye’s Eagleshot as soon as the battle began. Morale plummeted and quite a few soldiers began to flee.
According to his agreement with Wei Bainian, Qianye was to station the Dark Flame Mercenary Corps at the mine until the end of the war.
The location of this remote mine was rather far from the usual routes of troop movement, and there were only a few hundred inhabitants in the attached village. There was no value at all apart from the meager ore vein. The topography surrounding the mine was complicated and connected to a branch of the adjacent mountainous region. Furthermore, it was just within the flight range of a small airship—holding this mine was akin to ensuring an escape passage for Blackflow City. Although only a select few would be able to make use of this channel, those major characters who were forced to stay in Blackflow City would feel safer and, hopefully, play fewer tricks behind everyone’s back.
Qianye began to scout the surrounding areas alone after occupying the mine. All signs indicated that the invading dark race army had set out toward the depths of human territory without stopping over. This confirmed their previous speculation.
Qianye continued to cultivate in isolation after returning to Blackflow City. Additionally, he continuously underwent intense physical training in order to adapt to his sudden increase in strength.
Compared to the original golden blood energy, this new dark golden one was rather silent. It mostly stayed hidden within the eye ability rune without much movement apart from occasionally scuttling out to devour a strand of ordinary blood energy. It was simply too quiet—the inactivity wasn’t one which made people forget about its existence, but instead made Qianye feel an inexplicable chill as if a boundless ancient aura had brushed past him.
Radiant patterns would flash on the eye ability rune from time to time, its transformations becoming more complex by the day. There were signs of an upgrade or even the formation of new runes.
Qianye was still cultivating the Combatant Formula primarily. The strengthening period of the dark golden blood energy this time was unprecedented, and the benefits were naturally extremely significant. He could already push his daybreak origin power tides past 40 cycles with relative ease. But after going through the condensation brought about by the Song Clan Ancient Scroll, his maximum origin power capacity wasn’t that astonishing. It was merely twice that of other warriors at the same level.
As for the darkness origin power, Qianye had no need to worry about it conflicting with his daybreak origin power for the time being. The blood energy absorbed during his second battle at Black Clay Town all became food for the three types of blood energy in his body. The dark golden blood energy gobbled up the greater half, and the remainder were devoured by the purple and ordinary blood energies.
The delivery speed of various news and information were affected by the unstoppable war. Finally, there was new movement from the expeditionary army headquarters—two official documents passed countless flames to reach Blackflow City.
One was a letter of commendation. The rewards listed in the attached document far exceeded expectations. According to Qianye’s military accomplishments, he alone would receive over 3000 gold coins. This rate wasn’t lower than the per unit bounty for free warriors. It seemed the expeditionary army had only deducted about 20% for military expenditures.
However, they were currently at war. Thus, all rewards would only be granted after it ended. The few remaining channels of transportation had to be left for urgent military use.
The other document was a war order. The document severely reprimanded Wei Bainian’s conduct for his withdrawal. He was ordered to immediately mobilize the 7th division and launch a rear attack on the dark race army wreaking havoc through the Trinity River County, hence relieving pressure on the battle situation as a whole.
After reading the order, Wei Bainian let out a cold laugh and tore the document to pieces in the presence of Qianye and the other officers. He then raised his withdrawal tactic to its peak—every wide street in the city was filled with barricades and fortifications. Hidden sentries and sniper nests were built everywhere.
Wei Bainian lifted the restrictions on the city after it was proven that the surveillance unit outside Blackflow City had no intention of taking action no matter how many citizens or soldiers left the city. He did not require the guards to perform any form of special inspections on those entering or leaving the city, only imposing a strict schedule for the opening and closing of city doors.
News would naturally spread once there were people leaving the city. Generally, there was no shortage of dark race agents and spies in human cities, and Blackflow City was no exception. The status of defenses within the city was soon leaked out which served to fulfill Wei Bainian’s intentions. He wanted to let the dark races know how difficult it was and how much of a price they would have to pay to take down Blackflow City.
Qianye’s daily life wasn’t dull in the least. It was, at most, a bit uninteresting. After settling down the mercenary corps and returning to Blackflow City, he spent his time cultivating almost every waking moment. Although the city itself was peaceful, the whole of Trinity River County and even the whole of Evernight Continent was in grave danger—if the human race was completely cleared out of Evernight Continent, the tiny Blackflow City naturally wouldn’t be able to stand alone. Once the dark race army appeared again below the city walls, that would be when the city falls.
After completing a whole hour of strength training, Qianye walked out from the training room and entered the bath. He felt a comfortable sensation gush out from all of his pores as the scalding hot water sprayed onto his skin. It was at this time that he suddenly heard a voice, “Approach me…”
Qianye was shocked and immediately entered a combat state. Dark red origin power rushed out from his body and intersected with the steam which suffused the whole room. The scene was comparable to a mountain peak enshrouded in rosy clouds at dawn.
The bathroom wasn’t large and could be fully observed without turning one’s head very far. There was no one apart from Qianye—there wasn’t even a single bug.
Qianye turned off the tap and attentively listened, but found that it was similarly quiet outside. However, he was sure he had clearly heard the voice. With Qianye’s sharp senses and resolute temperament, how could there be any auditory hallucinations or mishearing?
Qianye spread out his consciousness and swept through the bathroom and building once again. After confirming that there was nothing out of the ordinary, he calmly walked out of the bathroom and began to change his clothes. The Radiant Edge was habitually placed within arms reach.
Nothing odd happened after that.
Qianye picked up the stack of documents and letters from atop the table and began to work on general affairs. He added his thoughts to the two reports sent by Song Hu and proceeded to write him a reply letter.
Qianye momentarily hesitated after finishing up his business. During this period, he had formed a habit of replacing sleep with cultivation. But currently, he was feeling rather ill-at-ease, perhaps due to the frequent military matters and cultivation. His body was feeling fine, but his spirit felt overly fatigued.
Qianye even felt the long-absent sensation of happiness as he lied down on the bed. Sleep came over him and he quickly entered dreamland.
Qianye suddenly felt a jolt in his consciousness—it was as if the whole world was swaying. He opened his eyes and found himself in a world of haziness. Not to mention the furniture, he couldn’t even see the bed beneath him. The mist rolling around him was so thick that it felt tangible and almost sentient.
Qianye performed a scooping action and actually “tore” off a large chunk of mist. A sensation of moist cotton was transmitted from his hand.
What’s going on? Qianye was extremely astonished.
He lowered his head to glance again and suddenly found himself no longer in the room. He was now standing on solid ground. The dark and oily ground seemed rather fertile but no signs of life could be found. There was neither grass nor bug—no signs of life—there was nothing.
He raised his head and found a similarly hazy grey sky. It seemed boundlessly lofty but was also completely empty.
Within this bizarre world, there was seemingly nothing else apart from the grey mist.
Qianye checked himself. He was clad in a simple flax robe which he never remembered owning. The style was similar to the common apparel of low-level vampires.
Qianye extended his hand and found that there was color on it. The other parts of his body exposed outside of his clothing also had normal color on them. However, it felt extremely out of place within this grey world. That was because he was the only existence with color.
Qianye suddenly understood that it was a dream, but this dream was simply too realistic.
It was at this time that the voice rang out once again, “Approach me…”
Qianye heard it very clearly. The voice was faint and barely discernible, and it was difficult to ascertain the speaker’s gender from its tone. However, its general direction was still distinguishable.
He tried moving toward the source of the sound. It was a long journey—he walked at least a whole half hour. The surroundings didn’t change in the least and remained exactly the same. Qianye glanced suspiciously at the grey mist around him. Why did he feel that even the patterns on the rolling mists seemed the same as those at his point of origin? Was the whole world moving forward along with him?
Qianye couldn’t help but halt his steps. The voice rang out once again this time with seemingly less clarity. Additionally, there seemed to be some words after the initial three. It was just that they weren’t clear.
Qianye continued onward after some thought. And this time, it was a whole hour before he heard the voice again.
“Approach me… bring me my head… grant me eternal peace.”Previous Chapter Next Chapter
This is 5/6 of the week. Enjoy ^_^
TL: Legion, ED: Moxie