Chapter 251: Purple Crystal

Chapter 251: Purple Crystal [Volume 4 – Perpetual Conflict] 

There was a certain liveliness to nighttime in the mountainous region. The stars were exceptionally bright—the mountain range seemed even more majestic under the night sky, and the undulating cries of little creatures were faintly discernible.

The meandering river seemed like a silver ribbon under the moonlight. Its crystalline luster was as gentle and leisurely as the flutter of wide-sleeved robes. It seemed as if earth had withdrawn its imposing might and severity of the day as the clouds danced gracefully through the sky. 

It was only now that Qianye regained the mood to admire the scenery apart from the geography. He ran swiftly against the wind until the horizon began to brighten.

Dawn over the Taihang Mountain Range was enshrouded in a faint layer of mist. This area was already past the highlands—the dominant vegetation was no longer the twisted and knotted shrubs or the sparse woods made up of needle trees. The area around the foot of the mountain was covered by a luxuriant meadow.

Qianye turned around and was still able to see the vague outline of the Silentflame Steppes. It was like a deep red patch of raised land that had abruptly collapsed to one side, comparable to the head of a reaper’s scythe that had claimed countless lives.

Qianye slept during the day and traveled at night during the two days that followed. He didn’t immediately enter Zhao clan territory but instead traveled along the mountainous region at its border. He was planning to enter from a point closest to Yingzhou City so as to bypass most of the checkpoints.

Things were peaceful at first, but Qianye felt something off as he got closer and closer to his destination. It was as if a pair of eyes was staring at him from the dark.

He was certain that this sensation of being surveilled had appeared only recently. He hadn’t sensed it when he was deep in the mountainous region. The sensation grew even more apparent after passing through the First Sun Highway. First Sun Highway was the main artery of human transportation on the Western Continent. It was also the longest highway on the continent, passing through most of the major Zhao clan cities.

The wilderness and mountains had always been Qianye’s home-field. He quietly proceeded at his normal rate after noticing this abnormality, but modified his route so that it meandered through the mountains.

One whole day passed like this, but that faintly discernible sensation never disappeared. At this point, Qianye was certain he was being targeted. Random passers-by would never travel through odd landscapes like he did.

However, he was unable to discover the one trailing him despite using many different methods. He couldn’t help but become intrigued. “Seems to be an expert. Quite interesting.”

Qianye stopped by a clear stream at dusk. He washed his face calmly, then caught and roasted some fish. He appeared to be taking a leisurely break, but in his mind, he was pondering the other party’s identity.

Having been trained in Yellow Springs and Red Scorpion, very few opponents were his match in the wilderness. But this time, the other party hadn’t revealed the slightest movements despite Qianye’s intentional probing. This level of skill was already superior to his own. Not only was it possible that the one trailing him was a professional, but it was also likely that his innate gift was related to concealment and tracking.

Who was it? What were his intentions?

Qianye pondered momentarily but felt that there were too many possibilities, and it was too difficult to come to a definite conclusion. He wasn't afraid of trouble, but he hoped to deal with this annoyance before entering Zhao clan territory.

Qianye actually looked forward to meeting this opponent. He was confident that he could take control of the situation as long as he could evade the first wave of surprise attacks. He had already left many openings during his daytime journey but failed to attract the ambush he was expecting. It seemed the other party was exceptionally careful and cautious—he actually didn’t reveal himself despite Qianye’s current situation being quite unstable and his wounds had yet to heal.

Then, was the other party waiting for the perfect opportunity or was he waiting for companions?

The former was a reasonable possibility because those proficient in assassination usually possessed superior patience. Even Qianye himself sometimes had to wait silently for several days straight during Red Scorpion missions just to take that single shot.

If it was the latter, then it wasn’t good news.

After resting and eating his fill, Qianye turned back toward the mountain and set up camp halfway up an isolated mountain peak. Although narrow spaces like caves seemed easy to defend and difficult to attack, there were many things there that experienced assassins could exploit. Chances of a successful ambush weren’t low if the assailant possessed special equipment.

Qianye had given the tracker a choice.

He himself began to cultivate and digest Zalen’s essence blood after placing some traps and alert mechanisms. Although he hadn’t gotten into a direct confrontation with Zalen, Qianye’s origin and blood powers came close to running dry several times during the many days of fleeing. There were also internal wounds left behind due to the extended periods of high-speed running. Now that a great enemy was approaching, he had to grasp this opportunity to recover. 

As the mystery chapter began to circulate, the vast amounts of blood essence transformed into a vortex. Like a millstone, it slowly stripped away the impurities within, leaving only pure darkness origin power. Meanwhile, the blood energies in Qianye’s body began to devour the darkness energy and grow continuously.

After the completion of a cycle, an ordinary blood energy was first upgraded to the second rank. The dark golden blood energy had become slightly stronger, while the purple blood energy, after being nourished for several days, arrived at the threshold of the third rank. 

At this time, the darkness origin power within Qianye’s body had already been divided up, but the purple blood energy was still moving about as if it was still longing for more.

Qianye hesitated for a moment, but then he took out the blood crystal containing strands of purple blood energy and held it in his hands. However, he had only begun to absorb it when the blood crystal exploded and massive amounts of essence blood entered his body. Among them were also stands of purple blood energy. The total amount was roughly equal to a third of the vampire viscount’s essence blood.

Qianye felt surprised at how a small crystal could contain so much blood essence. But moments later, he was absolutely shaken! 

The several strands of purple blood energy weren’t drawn into the darkness origin power vortex after entering Qianye’s body. Instead, they actually started swimming up toward his heart and devoured an unevolved ordinary blood energy.

The purple blood energy was alive?!

Qianye was badly shaken. Fortunately, his own purple blood energy shot out at lightning speed and entangled one of the newcomers. Soon, they began to roll around, fighting against each other. The dark golden blood energy was even fiercer. It alone blocked three strands of purple blood energy. The remaining second rank ordinary blood energy worked together to contend with the final purple blood energy. 

Within the blink of an eye, the inside of Qianye’s body became a battlefield—a dozen different blood energies were fighting against each other.

Qianye’s own purple blood energy had long since reached second rank and thus had the advantage in single-combat against the newcomer. Before long, it was tearing off the opponent segment by segment and devouring it.

The dark golden blood energy was actually suppressing the scene despite fighting one against three. It was even beginning to focus its attacks on a single opponent and would tear off parts of the enemy from time to time. It seemed this external purple blood energy would become its meal before long.

The ordinary blood energy was fighting seven against one, and all of them were at second rank. Even then, they were only able to gain a slight advantage. Their attacks dealt little damage to the invading purple blood energy, while the latter would deal obvious damage with each attack.

This major blood energy battle allowed Qianye to understand the true concept behind things like blood poison, bloodline suppression, and the embrace, all of which were quite fuzzy before. He also began to understand why the vampires attached such importance to gift and bloodlines.

Blood energy was the vampires’ source of darkness origin power. The difference between ranks was so great that it was difficult to make up for it with numbers alone. The situation with other dark races, despite the differing manifestations, should be more or less similar.

From this, one could see that the humans were much more balanced. Even a gifted genius might not be able to draw out his innate gifts to their utmost without the support of great amounts of resources far exceeding his own diligence.

This kind of difference, in fact, allowed many people the room to grow. This allowed the extremely hardworking and lucky people to eventually surpass those so-called descendants of the famous families despite their mediocre talents.

This was, perhaps, the greatest difference between humans and dark races. It was also the greatest difference between the Evernight and Daybreak Factions.

After comprehending this point, Qianye no longer sat observing the outcome of the blood energy battle. The external purple blood energy was also a form of darkness origin power. He selected a distant origin node and began to circulate the Glory chapter of the Song Clan Ancient Scroll. He condensed a drop of pure daybreak origin power and ruthlessly bombarded one of the invading purple blood energy with it. 

This purple blood energy was entangled in battle with the dark golden blood energy when it was struck and was almost torn in two. The dark golden blood energy shook its wings and completely tore the enemy apart.

Qianye followed the same pattern once again and struck another purple blood energy.

The battle situation completely changed after two more external purple blood energy were badly wounded and were wiped out within moments.

The dark golden blood energy gobbled up two external purple blood energy but seemed to have lost interest in them afterwards, opting to go back and rest instead. Meanwhile, Qianye’s purple blood energy, which was at the threshold of an upgrade, appeared quite hungry. It devoured three external purple blood energies before withdrawing into the rune and calming down.

What surprised Qianye was that the large number of ordinary blood energy actually didn’t get anything for their effort. Even the external purple blood energy they had tried so hard to injure went into the purple blood energy’s stomach in the end. They could only share the small fragments torn off during the battle.

This was the rule of the Evernight faction—the strong were privileged, even at the microscopic level. Ordinary blood energy would get their turn only after the dark gold and purple blood energies had eaten their fill. If they were short on suitable food, those ordinary blood energy would be devoured in the same manner.  

The world within Qianye’s body slowly recovered its tranquility as the first rays of the morning began to appear outside—a new day had arrived. 

He finally realized why Zalen was carrying this special blood crystal without using it. The viscount apparently understood its special properties. Without the originator or a superior elder nearby, the blood crystal might actually kill him if he was unable to suppress it. 

This indicated that the purple blood was of a more powerful bloodline than the Byrne clan.

Qianye hadn’t walked too far from the cave when he, once again, vaguely sensed that he was being watched. He only laughed coldly and hurried on his way.

At this moment, Qianye’s movements were obviously shaky and rigid. It was the result of the vampire constitution rune being upgraded after the purple blood energy’s promotion. Somewhere in his body, invisible to the naked eye, countless tissues were dying and, at the same time, growing anew with rapid speed. 

Similar to every time he underwent a physical transformation, it would require some time for him to recover perfect coordination. His combat power would undoubtedly be affected if he were to fight someone during this period.

This was also an opportunity for the one spying on him in concealment.

In the distant wilderness, a certain figure was faintly discernible within the dense leaves of a tree crown.

He gazed at Qianye who was just running down from the hill and sneered, “How can someone be wounded so badly from just a night of cultivation? Who are you trying to fool? You want to trick this daddy here with such poor acting skills? You’re still too inexperienced!”

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