Chapter 243: Unavoidable Confrontation

Chapter 243: Unavoidable Confrontation [Volume 4 – Perpetual Conflict]  

The old man suddenly raised his head and glanced at the captain. “Ole Bearded Blade won’t lie to us.”

The captain sighed in relief and shrugged toward Qianye. The latter didn’t fuss about it and only responded with a smile.

The old man picked up the Twin Flower and mumbled while gently stroking each pattern. “There are only two types of people in our eyes: those on our side and those who aren’t. Even being a true vampire won’t be a hindrance in becoming one of our own.”

Qianye couldn’t help but raise his brows after hearing this but didn’t say anything.

The old man studied the gun over and over before saying, “There should be another one, right?”

Only then was Qianye somewhat moved. He produced the other revolver and placed it on the table. This time, the old man only looked over the left-handed revolver casually before returning it to Qianye.

The old man began to rummage through the heap of bits and bobs on his workstation and finally found a rusted iron box. He placed the container under the crystal lamp and properly adjusted the angle before opening it slowly. Judging from his serious behavior, it seemed as if the box contained the most valuable gem in the world.

The box was opened to reveal a yellow silk cushion seemingly as old as the exterior of the box. Upon the silk cushion was a single silver bullet.

The craftsmanship of this bullet was exquisite, its deep silver-colored shell emitting a flowing radiance. It was actually mythril. Its surface was covered with a dense network of complicated patterns. Some of it patterns even resembled runespeak.

When Qianye merely saw the patterns, he was surprised that a Mithril Bullet of Exorcism would appear in such a small place. But the addition of these runespeak symbols made him quite suspicious.

Those who could incorporate runespeak symbols into an origin array had surpassed the master level. There was only one such smith even in Red Scorpion. Qianye glanced at the old man and then at the surroundings. He was finding it rather difficult to believe this old man was a great master who could use runespeak arrays.

The old man had no interest in Qianye’s secret criticism. He wore a zealous and sacred expression as he stared at the silver bullet with bated breath. Then, he suddenly raised his head and pointed toward the silver bullet as the following words poured out of his shriveled mouth, “This thing is called a bullet.”

Qianye momentarily felt the urge to cough up blood. Of course, he knew it was a bullet! Furthermore, he could even go into the details—for instance, this was a physical Mithril Bullet of Exorcism.

But seeing the old man’s unshakable expression, Qianye helplessly lowered his stance and said, “Very well, a bullet it is.”

“It’s yours now. Remember, use it only to save someone’s life.” With that, the old man closed the box and handed it to Qianye with both hands.

Qianye was still pondering, even after leaving this small town called Dog’s Claw, about how this single bullet was worth 100 gold coins.

This was an outrageous price, but under the old man’s gaze, Qianye muddle-headedly paid for it along with the other pre-ordered ammunitions. If one were to appraise it, the value should lie in the patterns and runespeak symbols upon it. It might even have some artistic value if the veins were a bit more exquisite. 

Qianye laughed ruefully as he felt his chest. The bullet was currently placed within his shirt pocket.

No origin power fluctuations were felt from the iron box. This rusted container naturally wasn’t a crystal box capable of origin power isolation, neither was it an origin bullet cartridge from the imperial corps. This box didn’t have any barrier effect at all. Thus, there being no origin power fluctuations from the bullet could only mean that this was a blank physical bullet which needed to be filled with origin power.

Qianye shook his head in an attempt to forget about this small interlude. There were limitations on how much ammunition one could carry when riding intercontinental airships. At the very least, he was able to restock in such a desolate location.

Additionally, the rest of the gunpowder and physical origin bullets seemed quite normal. As for this mithril bullet, regardless of whether it could really perform an exorcism, its mithril quality was indeed up to par. So, the outcome wasn’t really that bad. Although Qianye was still a bit suspicious if this flowery origin bullet could really be filled with origin power...

Qianye recalled asking the old man how he should be addressed. In the end, the old man replied, “Just call me master.”

What a blunt reply! Qianye turned the motorbike accelerator while thinking of this. The rumbling of the engine intensified as the senile Thunderous Tiger trembled and gasped. It frantically dragged its heavy body and sped into the distance.

The Thunderous Tiger, although very old, could be considered quite durable. It drove hundreds of kilometers before it began to spit out black smoke, almost as if it was threatening to go on strike.

The Silentflame Steppes was a branch of the Blue Dream Mountain Belt with a unique landscape. Due to its topography, it rarely rained in this region. The land was incomparably arid and appeared lonely and barren.

But after crossing over the barrier-like mountain range, one would arrive amidst the magnificent scenery of the Taihang Mountain Range. There were actually many underground rivers flowing between the sides of the mountain range. This was the source of life for those colossal trees growing in the wilderness. Additionally, there would always be a small oasis around them.

Qianye gazed forward and found a giant tree with a crown akin to an imperial canopy. He adjusted his direction and headed straight for the giant tree.

As expected, a small oasis came into view and there was even a tiny clear spring in the middle. Qianye’s spirits rose after seeing the spring water. His weariness was swept away as he pounced toward the spring and began to drink the cold water in large gulps.

Afterwards, Qianye wiped his face, filled the Thunderous Tiger’s radiator with water, and added sufficient black stone powder to the kinetic furnace. He was prepared to rest here for the night before continuing his journey on the morrow. Judging from the map, he would need to travel one more day through the arid wilderness before entering the Taihang Mountain range.

The Great Qin Empire, dark races, and the rebel army existed together on the Western Continent. Especially in the recent years, the flames of war burned continuously and the situation had become quite chaotic. There were battles everywhere. Due to the presence of rebel forces, every checkpoint in the imperial territory had to perform stringent interrogations to prevent spies from entering.

Qianye entered the Western Continent from Silentflame Steppes via a grey channel. It was an excellent shortcut. Additionally, it was an ownerless land before crossing over the Taihang Mountain Range. Naturally, there were no sentries. 

Of course, he had still brought along the set of identification documents Song Zining had prepared for him. These documents described Qianye as an officer of the imperial regular army who had retired after being wounded in action. The documents came complete with the relevant origin power seals which even experienced people would have a hard time finding fault with.

As for verification, it would be difficult for even the imperial family to confirm the background of such an insignificant officer in an era where armies maintained their own documents. The only way to do this was to request a formal dossier from the original army. But drawing from his previous experience as a junior officer in Yin Qiqi’s 17th corps, perhaps this set of military documents might already be within the original army’s archives. 

Qianye’s fingers drew an arched line on the map, passing through the mountainous region and toward the Zhao clan territory. Several provinces on the Western Continent were wrested from dark race hands by the successive generations of the Zhao clan. Additionally, they constructed the majestic Swallow Cloud Pass at the border to defend against external enemies. These provinces became inherited territories of the Zhao clan according to the imperial system, thus cementing the family’s position as a major clan after a thousand years of inheritance. 

The Forgotten Mountain Range described in Deryl’s diary was likely the name used by the dark races to mark the Taihang Mountain Range. And the legacy’s location was quite close to one of Zhao clan’s core cities.

Qianye closed the map and removed his luggage from the Thunderous Tiger, planning to pitch a tent here to spend the night. His heart suddenly trembled—he stood up and took a deep breath facing the night wind.

There was a characteristic aura in the night air of the steppes. It was likely due to the heat of the Silentflame Steppes combined with the lively scent emitted by certain plants from the other end of the mountain range. However, what caught Qianye’s attention was a certain sweet fragrance which, after entering his nostrils, gave rise to intense craving and hunger.

It was the scent of fresh blood—pure, sweet, and full of energy! 

Qianye’s first thoughts weren’t actually to hide or run away but to attack and devour this delicacy. Immediately afterwards, he extricated himself from the urge and flashed behind the great tree. His eyes began to glow a dark red as he activated night vision.

A group of warriors in dark clothing emerged through the night. There was a certain unrestrained and fearless quality in their movements. They didn’t bother to restrain their aura at all—the leader was actually a champion, and the weakest among them were above rank five. 

This group of ten were all vampires, but they were wearing imperial military uniforms. This kind of disguise could hardly deceive expert eyes as long as they entered visual range. But it would, indeed, reduce a fair amount of unnecessary trouble while passing through human territory. 

They saw the giant tree from afar and thus adjusted their direction and ran over here.

Qianye’s heart jolted. He immediately knew the situation wasn’t favorable. The oasis was quite small and there were no hiding places in the vast wilderness. Furthermore, he had no time to clear away the traces he left while drawing water and setting up camp.

He made a prompt decision. Tossing his luggage onto the Thunderous Tiger, he started the antique motorbike and fled toward the depths of the steppe. 

The rumble of the Thunderous Tiger was transmitted far and wide through the night, immediately drawing the vampires’ attention. All eyes swept past toward it in the blink of an eye. The warriors, both strong and weak, noticed a speck of light drawing away from their destination. 

“Sir Zalen, it's a human. It seems he’s already discovered us,” said a young vampire knight.

The viscount leader’s face was gloomy. He said with an impatient expression, “A small inconvenience. The two of you will pursue and kill him. The others will rest at the oasis. We move out in one hour.”

The two vampire knights moved out after receiving their orders. They turned into strands of vague mist as they chased swiftly after Qianye.

Moments later, a small camp was constructed around the oasis. Zalen didn’t rest at all—he stood pondering in silence before the clear spring. 

The female knight walked up to him and whispered, “Sir Zalen, what is our actual objective this time?”

Their unit had been traveling through the highlands for many days, seemingly without aim. They would occasionally encounter some humans and would spare them as long as they weren’t discovered. This was quite different from Viscount Zalen’s usual temperament.

Zalen retrieved a red crystal pendant and injected his blood energy into it. The pendant was immediately activated, projecting a palm-sized holographic map in the air. A certain area therein was marked out in an eye-catching red color.

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-Legion-'s Thoughts

5/6 of the week! 

TL: Legion 

ED: Moxie