Chapter 248: Wings Unfurled [Volume 4 – Perpetual Conflict]
Qianye scuttled out of the water surface hundreds of meters away, still carrying the little girl. They were enveloped in a faint layer of scarlet origin power. The little girl was still clean and tidy, while Qianye was half drenched from the spray. Although Qianye could skip levels to perform origin power discharge, it wasn’t quite stable, not to mention his daybreak origin power was already near exhaustion.
The curious little girl extended a finger to poke at the origin power radiance and watched as her white finger passed through the rosy scarlet light.  Even though there wasn’t any tangible sensation at her fingertips, the origin power crystal within her was trembling slightly as if it was resonating with this young man’s exuberant vitality.
This was a sensation she had never experienced before. It was as if her monotonous world of black and white suddenly became colorful and was gradually blossoming with life.
The little girl pressed her astonished face tightly against Qianye’s shoulder and neck, her soft breathing blowing upon his skin. At this moment, Qianye had no time to notice her little movements. He was constantly searching for a large rock to act as a foothold. Then, he leapt up from the water and fled into the distance.
Qianye’s swift running figure suddenly slowed down when he heard a vague scream of a human from the direction of the waterfall.
“Where are your guards?”
The little girl shook her head. Her strands of hair rubbed against Qianye’s cheek to induce a slight but soul-stirring itch. “I… ran away from home. My family… wants to force me to marry an old man in his fifties!” Her voice was very soft and contained an almost weeping grievance within.
Such a delicate and innocent little girl had actually encountered such a fate. Any young man with a shred of valor would feel infuriated at this.
Qianye went silent for a moment and then asked, “Does your family have a residence around here?”
His question was very logical. The Zhao clan’s nearest city was still over 300 kilometers away. It would be difficult for a young girl without an ounce of origin power to appear here alone even if she could drive a vehicle. But just what kind of family would be strong enough to build a residence in the mountainous boundary between the dark race and human territories?
The little girl blinked hard and pursed her lips at an angle Qianye couldn’t see. This expression immediately added a certain spirit of playfulness that didn’t quite match her original delicate and naive temperament.
At this time, Qianye slowed down his footsteps. He had already left the flowing river and crossed over a series of rising hills. From there on, Qianye deployed some simple warning or misdirecting mechanisms as he ran.
The path he chose was filled with certain shrubs called thorned butterflies. Its needle-shaped leaves would release a certain odd scent capable of driving insects away. This scent wasn’t quite evident to the human nose, but a creature with a highly sensitive sense of smell would suffer significant interference. For instance, a vampire.
Qianye knew that the vampire viscount had already memorized the scent of his blood energy. However, the girl was an ordinary human with a fairly weak aura. Her scent would definitely become untraceable after being flushed by the flowing river and passing through a large thorned butterfly breeding ground. Now, the two of them needed only to run separately and Zalen would completely lose track of the girl’s whereabouts.
About an hour later, Qianye carried the little girl up a small hill with a gentle incline and stopped in front of a cave.
Qianye let the girl down and felt her sleeves. Although she wasn’t drenched by the river water, they were still quite damp. Qianye retrieved some tools from the waterproof compartment of his backpack and lit a bonfire. He then walked out of the cave and began to set up certain traps around the cave.
The little girl stood at the mouth of the cave and curiously observed the busy Qianye.
In truth, they didn’t have much time left. From that miserable scream, Qianye guessed that Zalen had probably encountered some people, but judging from the little girl’s unconcerned expression, they were probably not her guards. Regardless of what had happened at the waterfall, it would’ve gained them only a couple of hours at most.
The only thing Qianye could do right now was to deploy some mechanisms to repel wild beasts and then erase his own traces as soon as possible, hoping this innocent little girl, whom he had dragged into this mess, would be safe after he lured the vampire viscount away.
As for the conflict between the girl and her family, Qianye might have asked her where she wanted to go and perhaps send her there if not for the mortal threat of a vampire viscount. Now, he could only hope the family that dared build a residence in the mountainous region would have guards of corresponding strength to escort her home safely.
After he finished his arrangements around the cave, he walked a fair distance and then ran up and down the peak a few times. When he finished his business and returned to the cave, he found the girl sitting on the ground in front of the bonfire.
The flickering flames were reflecting one side of her delicate outline. Her skin was pure, limpid, and was almost emitting a gentle glow. As she sat still without moving, her lively temperament completely vanished and was, once again, replaced by that sorrowful demeanor while her near colorless lips made her seem almost sickly and frail. It was truly heartbreaking to the beholder.
There were two different sides to this little girl—one when she was active, and another when she was still.
Qianye sat across from the little girl and began to regulate his breathing. His daybreak origin power had reached a dangerously low level. Yet, his senses were fully concentrated on the outside at the moment, and he had no time to recover at all.
“I’m called Xixi, how about you?”
“What shall we do from now on?”
“I’ll draw the vampire far away. You’ll be safe. Contact your family guards once the danger subsides!”
The little girl pouted her little lips as if she was peeved and then buried her head in her knees.
“As for your family, perhaps you should talk to them…” Qianye gave it some thought, then said, “I don’t have a family, so I don’t know what to say.”
Qiqi had used many methods to coax him into dressing up as a woman during the Profound Heaven Spring Hunt. This experience gave him a fair amount of knowledge regarding the fashion of noble ladies. At this moment, Qianye noticed that the little girl’s apparel and ornaments seemed quite simple but were, in fact, not ordinary goods. This kind of low-keyed luxury signified that not only was she from a landowning household, but was also likely to be an important scion from an aristocratic family.
The importance attached to these aristocratic scions was usually decided by their talent and ability. Since this young girl was taken care of so well despite having no origin power, her family head probably wasn’t completely unreasonable.
The little girl was startled, “You have no family?”
Qianye suddenly leapt up with a solemn expression. He removed the Radiant Edge from his waist and stuffed it into the girl’s hand. “I’m so sorry. I’ve drawn you into this mess. Take this!” Afterwards, he reached toward her waist and retrieved the beautiful but ancient-looking handgun therein.
The little girl finally let out a cry of surprise. “What are you doing?!”
“Stay here. Don’t come out no matter what happens!”
“You can’t use that gun! It’s…” The girl didn’t even have time to stand up. The corner of Qianye’s clothes brushed past the tip of her helplessly extended hand before he disappeared in the form of a faint shadow.
Qianye exited the cave with great speed. However, he didn’t continue onto the gently sloping hill up front and, instead, climbed up a steep cliff from the top of the cave according to his predetermined route. Very soon, he arrived at the back of the peak.
A dense forest of mixed trees and creeping shrubs grew therein. The elevation was quite high—one could see quite far through the gaps between the leaves.
At this moment, the sky had completely darkened, but the night’s curtain at the edge of the horizon still hadn’t closed completely. There was still a narrow line of glimmering light against which one could see a faint black shadow flitting across the peaks above the mountainous terrain.
Qianye ran down from the side of the mountain while sensing the fluctuations from the small devices he had scattered throughout the wilderness. Everything was still going according to plan—the vampire viscount was still chasing along the path he had laid out. However, he had to let Zalen truly capture his traces or else the viscount might become alert or even deviate from the path.
Qianye held the magnificent old handgun. He had only heard half of the little girl’s words, but he knew what she wanted to say.
This was a Red Spider Lily replica. As one of the ten grand magnums obtained earliest by the human race and as the grand magnum with the most mysterious power, it received the favor of many young nobles. As such, replicas of the Red Spider Lily were quite fashionable. During its peak, one might see several such guns in a single banquet. Considering the girl was an ordinary person, it was likely that this replica was merely a grade-one origin gun and not even grade two.
However, what Qianye currently required was a grade-one origin gun because his origin power was already insufficient to activate the Twin Flowers. It wasn’t important whether a grade-one origin gun could wound Zalen or not. He only needed a medium range weapon with which to draw the vampire viscount away for a sufficient distance. It would be a welcome bonus if he could seize this opportunity to deliver a tiny bit of blood poison.
The next hill was the first predetermined catch-up point. He leapt up without any hesitation and pulled the trigger at Zalen who was rushing toward him from afar.
The hammer in the old-fashioned gun let out a clicking sound as it rose and fell. The flintlock-like barrel became completely transparent as an indistinct glimmer appeared at its center, so faint that it resembled the wick of an old oil lamp.
Qianye suddenly discovered that the whole world had vanished—the only thing left was that hammer made of rose gold swinging past its highest point like a pendulum and falling forward.
A bottomless abyss appeared where the hammer struck.
An undefiable absorptive power activated all of Qianye’s origin nodes. His previously exhausted and dim nodes were set ablaze like a raging inferno. It almost seemed as if the origin nodes themselves were ignited. His near exhausted daybreak origin power suddenly surged like tides, coming together to form a soaring wave which poured into the deep abyss.
At this moment, Qianye could no longer feel anything. It was as if the only thing within his consciousness was the all-devouring and bottomless abyss.
After his whole world was swept away, a speck of vitality sprouted in an unknown corner of his being. There wasn’t any radiance at all. Only an aura of blossoming life began to spread outwards in silence.
The dark golden blood energy had scuttled into his heart to hide since the daybreak origin power tides began to surge. But at this moment, it suddenly rushed out into the empty world and expanded thousands of times in the blink of an eye. Golden light burst out from every corner, mixed with a faint scarlet hue akin to the first rays of dawn falling upon the great land.
There seemed to be something gradually forming within the light, and it became clearer in the blink of an eye. It was a ball of golden flames.
At a location Qianye couldn’t see, the girl who called herself Xixi appeared on a mountaintop an ordinary person simply couldn’t reach and was signaling with her hands in the air. But soon, her anxious expression turned into one of disbelief as a pair of giant golden wings were reflected in her wide open eyes.
Scarlet mist rose in the wilderness, with specks of golden light floating in their midst. They weren’t that dazzling at first, but the glow gradually became brighter and brighter akin to the advent of a morning star. Qianye was still in his previous posture with the gun held in both of his hands. His countenance was concealed within the flickering lights and couldn’t be seen clearly.
The night wind carried the soft timbre of a gun through the air. That “pop” was so faint that it was almost indiscernible. It was as if a flower in a certain corner had burst into bloom and one would soon smell its fragrance.
Xixi might’ve even missed the sound if she wasn’t extremely familiar with it.
A strand of faintly discernible light slid through the air. It was almost invisible in the darkness of the night.
Meanwhile, the scarlet mist surging around Qianye abruptly disappeared, and the specks of golden light suddenly erupted into a dazzling radiance. After the initial blinding moment passed by, that which hung in the air was actually a pair of gigantic wings—each of its feathers was a golden flame!
 The raws said “as white as a scallion tip”, but scallion tips are green! He must've mistaken it for the scallion stem? So, I removed it.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
4/6 of the week. Enjoy! I worked hard and finished the chapter a little bit earlier today! ^_^