Volume 4 – Perpetual Conflict, Chapter 52: Changes
This was, after all, not a good thing for Nighteye. At least, this meant that she wasn’t the most qualified inheritor in the eyes of the Black-Winged Monarch.
A certain vampire girl asked in puzzlement, “Her Majesty Nighteye is a primo. Could it be that there’s someone with an even purer bloodline?”
The hall turned silent after these words were spoken—perhaps most people had already thought of such a possibility, but no one was stupid enough to say it out loud.
Being a primo meant that her awakened bloodline was that of a primogenitor and likely the closest to Andruil’s own. Even descendants who had received the embrace from the great monarch wouldn’t be able to compare to a primo. Nighteye was the only primo among the younger generation of the Monroe family. There were only a handful of primos in the vampire race as a whole and their awakened bloodlines were incomparable to Nighteye’s.
The Black-Winged Monarch Andruil’s strength was ranked near the front even among the thirty second-generation primogenitors. But now, another descendant with Andruil’s bloodline had appeared. As such, Nighteye was no longer the only one, and there would inevitably be subtle changes to her value.
Although Nighteye was standing in front of the window, she had heard the entire discussion of the group of young vampires behind her. After hearing it, she should’ve become distressed or perhaps begun to consider her own future. But for some reason, Qianye’s figure appeared in Nighteye’s tired mind.
She laughed wryly and pressed her forehead against the cool metallic border of the airship window. The fires of war in Evernight Continent had calmed down and Blackflow City hadn’t been included as an attack target up till the very end. In that case… he… was he doing well?
The airship crossed through the void and gradually approached Twilight Continent. Gazing at the great continent occupying the whole window, Nighteye slowly calmed down and buried that person’s shadow deep inside her heart.
The final leg of the journey was particularly calm—Qianye arrived at the city of Serenity without any obstruction.
This was a strong fortress of steel, boasting twenty-meter tall walls irregularly embedded with thick steel plates. Although steel wasn’t considered that valuable as a metal, it was still quite the expenditure to build a city out of it.
Gazing from a distance, the most eye-catching was the heart of every human city, the Perpetual Dynamo Tower. Serenity had a total of six Perpetual Dynamo Towers and, among them, five were constructed around the city, surrounding and protecting the lofty central tower.
A colossal airship was floating in the air above the city. It was almost a hundred meters from bow to stern and seemed like a small hovering fortress from afar. This airship wasn’t flying, but was instead fixed in place by numerous metal chains as thick as a man’s arm.
Gazing at it from the distance, Qianye could see two ship cannons from his viewing angle and a number of long-range binoculars fixed in different positions. Even though he was used to seeing cutting-edge military equipment at the Red Scorpion Headquarters, he couldn’t help but sigh at the boldness of Serenity—they had actually fixed an airship here as a watchtower and firing point.
The metal gates of Serenity were steam operated, and right then was the time of day when they were open. Only half of the gate on each side was pushed back into the city wall, but even so, the width of the passage in the middle already surpassed the size of the entire Backflow City gates. Only while passing through the gates did Qianye realize that the gate actually wasn’t composed of just a single layer, but five layers of metallic doors stacked together.
The population of Serenity was quite high, but there were no signs of war within the city—the streets were wide and clean, the eaves of many buildings were exquisitely decorated, and, from time to time, a magnificent work of architecture would appear that could light up one’s eyes.
The buildings before him grew taller and more magnificent as Qianye walked along the streets and towards the city center. The number of buildings constructed in ancient style also gradually increased. The carved metallic pillars mixed together with the stone walls produced an unusual sense of beauty. Qianye saw restaurants that were a whole seven stories tall, certain company headquarters that were hundreds of meters in height, and vast plazas that could hold thousands of people at a time.
After entering the city center, many shops bearing the insignia of the Swallow Cloud Zhao Clan began to appear. Whether it was a tavern or an arms shop, all of them had something in common—they were exquisitely decorated outside and ornately decorated inside. Even in such a magnificent street, they stood out like a crane in a flock of chickens.
Those walking around in the city center were dressed rather differently, and there were very few dust-laden travelers like Qianye.
He strolled around the street block and then checked into a middle-grade inn at the border of the central district. The price for lodgings here was several times higher than in Weiyang, the largest city in Evernight Continent. This left Qianye speechless.
The maids in this inn were all delicate and pretty, even if it could only be considered a middle-grade establishment in Serenity. Qianye found his room, put down his things, and washed up to his heart’s content before throwing himself onto the large, soft bed. After a long period of running and fighting, this place almost seemed like an immortal peach garden.
Qianye closed his eyes and took a short nap. Afterwards, he got up and observed the facilities in the room. He tried pulling on a certain tasseled rope near the headboard, following which, the cheerful sound of a bell rang out on the other side of the inn.
Moments later, a gentle voice came through, accompanied by a knock on the door. “Sir, how may I be of service?”
Qianye opened the door and said to the maid, “Please bring me a map of Serenity and send over three portions of dishes.”
The maid’s eyes lit up after seeing Qianye’s face, and she revealed a charming smile. “I’ll prepare them immediately! Additionally, I can also serve as your guide if you wish to tour the city.”
Qianye didn’t volunteer any unnecessary replies. The maid didn’t seem disappointed either. She tossed a rather charming glance at him and excused herself. Moments later, the map and dishes were delivered to his room. After eating his fill, Qianye studied the map for a while and finally found the objective of his journey, the Golden Glow Casino.
It was currently still afternoon, so he took another nap to revitalize his spirit and regulate his condition to its peak state. Only then did he prepare his equipment and leave the inn.
The curtain of the night was descending upon the city of Serenity. The street lamps were beginning to light up, but the number of pedestrians wasn’t any less than during the daytime.
Qianye hurriedly walked in the direction of the Golden Glow Casino. The establishment, a three-storeyed building, was located adjacent to the central district. Although its exterior was a dazzling sight to behold, it was already showing signs of aging and some parts of its neon signboard were dark.
As was usual for such establishments, there was a number of burly men in black clothes standing in front of the building’s doors. These strong and vigorous men were releasing an origin power aura that wasn’t at all weak. With expressionless faces, they swept their eyes over the people that were entering and leaving.
Qianye followed the flow of people and arrived at the casino door, whereupon a young lady immediately arrived to receive him with a smile. “How may I be of service, sir?”
This young lady was pleasant and beautiful, but was still a grade inferior to the ladies from the large casino two streets away. This was also the difference between the two establishments. Additionally, the backing behind that casino named Swallow Hill was the Zhao clan.
Qianye produced ten imperial gold coins, placed them in the girl’s hand, and said, “Exchange this into chips for me and bring me to the blackjack section.”
The lady revealed a sweet smile and immediately exchanged the chips for him. She then brought Qianye to a medium-sized gambling hall on the second floor. There were a dozen-odd players within this elegant and tranquil environment, along with several maids traveling back and forth in service of the customers.
Ten gold coins happened to give Qianye the qualification to enter this gambling hall and also put a sweet smile on the young girl’s face. But if he wanted an even more charming look as well as some minor ambiguous advances, ten gold coins weren’t quite enough. He would have to exchange at least twenty gold coins. If he had exchanged fifty, he would have gained the qualifications to head to the third floor and also bring this young girl into his room.
Qianye wasn’t interested in such entertainment, however. He came here only to contact the recipient of the boulderheart jade letter. He looked around and then walked towards a certain table.
Blackjack was an easily-learned card game.
Qianye sat at the gambling table, asked to be dealt some cards, and casually played a few rounds. He won some and then lost some. At the seventh round, he turned his cards horizontally. This unremarkable movement could easily be overlooked as many gamblers had their own habits. The banker only shot him a simple glance, but paid no more attention.
Numerous rounds went by, and soon, another seventh-round arrived. Once again, Qianye carelessly placed his cards in a horizontal position, and once again, the banker’s gaze passed by him before the man continued his usual routine of dealing cards and handling chips.
At the third seventh-round, Qianye placed his cards horizontally once again and lost that round. At this time, he had already lost the greater half of his ten gold coins worth of chips. Qianye pushed away his cards and got up as if he were upset. After he left his seat, an impatient player immediately came over to take his place.
Qianye walked around the gambling hall for a moment and, finding nothing else of interest, began to walk towards the exterior.
It was at this time that a strand of delicate fragrance arrived, accompanied by a gentle voice close to Qianye’s ears. “We still have some other special games. Are you interested?”
Qianye had long since noticed someone approaching him. He turned around at this time and saw that the speaker was a woman dressed in black. Her appearance could only be considered graceful, but her skin was as fair as snow. Especially since, at the moment, she had her head lowered, revealing a segment of her spotlessly white collarbone which formed an almost dazzling contrast with her black dress.
A thought flashed through Qianye’s mind. “I only play Blackjack.”
The young lady smiled alluringly and said softly while extending her hand towards Qianye’s shoulder, “We have three types of Blackjack.”
This was the designated password. Qianye nodded and said without any change in expression, “Very well. Bring me to take a look.”
The lady in black dress immediately led Qianye through another gambling hall and into a silent corridor. She then stopped abruptly and pressed on the wall, whereupon a secret door actually appeared on its smooth surface. The lady swiftly pulled Qianye inside—beyond the secret door was a spiral staircase. They descended one floor and then pushed open another secret door on a seemingly empty wall.
At this time, Qianye found himself standing in a dark alley behind the casino. There were no lights here, and the two sides were blocked off with high walls. Perhaps this wasn’t even a passage at all and merely a narrow space between two large buildings. The dark alley was currently quiet and dark, with only the faint light coming through the casino windows illuminating it ever so slightly.
“Follow me,” The lady dressed in black gestured to Qianye as she walked towards the end of the alleyway.
Qianye followed her through the dark and narrow passage for about ten minutes, until they finally arrived at an old and dilapidated two-story building.
Only a couple of windows on this old building were still intact, but there should be residents inside, since a faint glow could be seen in some of them. The main door was left unlocked with rust creeping all over what was supposed to be a sturdy metallic door.
The lady in black took a step back to arrive beside Qianye and said gently, “The person you’re looking for is inside. Please enter.”
Qianye glanced towards the building and found the floor completely dark. Not even through the crack in the doors did any light seep in. A faint red glow flashed through the depths of his eyes as he stepped forward and arrived before the door.
He didn’t push it open immediately, but instead turned to ask, “Do I go in alone?”Previous Chapter Next Chapter
4/6 of the week. Enjoy ^_^ There were quite a lot of interesting theories in the comments yesterday.
Teaser Source: http://www.cityam.com/227114/which-bond-is-the-biggest-gambler-daniel-craig-sean-connery-roger-moore-pierce-brosnan-timothy-dalton-and-even-george-lazenbys-007-wagers-and-winnings-compared