Chapter 267: Array Lock [Volume 4 – Perpetual Conflict]
An indescribable feeling of anger rose in Qianye’s heart after seeing Chen Lu’s disdainful expression.
He said coldly, “So what? You think the rebel army would have had the opportunity to thrive if the imperial warriors hadn’t been busy obstructing the hordes of the dark races? I don’t recall the rebel army fighting the dark races even once. Why don’t they try to achieve something if they’re really so capable?”
Chen Lu’s smile deepened. “Ah, the temper of youth! But it’s useless no matter how angry you get. The imperial soldiers have no choice but to hold the line once hordes descend. So what if you disapprove? If you really hate this so much, why don’t you go and eradicate the rebel army? But with just you? Heh heh!”
Qianye’s expression became even colder. “What of it?”
“You’ll be devoured whole, bones and all, if you tried. What major business can you accomplish when you’re so soft-hearted and sloppy even when silencing witnesses?”
Qianye was slightly distracted because he actually hadn’t expected such an answer. He suddenly recalled having heard from Shi Yan how even Lin Xitang had made little progress when he first arrived on the Western Continent. A large part of that could be attributed to the fact that the rebels were hiding among the civilians and were difficult to differentiate. Marshal Lin refused to utilize a scorched earth policy and hence caused a delay in military progress. He was even summoned back to the empire to deliver a report regarding this matter.
Seeing that Qianye wasn’t speaking, Chen Lu pointed at the main building and said, “You can’t kill off the rebel army. It won’t disappear as long as people like these exist. Little boy, you’ll know when you grow up a bit. Okay, there’s no time to lecture you on these major principles. I’ll accept the goods now.”
Chen Lu reached out to take the boulderheart jade letter, but it was pressed down by Qianye who had just snapped out of his thoughts.
Chen Lu raised her graceful brows and asked, “What’s the matter?”
“So many things have happened. Don’t you feel you owe me an explanation? For instance, what the goods were about?” There was a strand of almost unnoticeable coldness in his unyielding tone.
Chen Lu became silent for a moment. She then withdrew her frivolous expression and said seriously, “You must be young master Qianye, right? Our seventh young master has long since instructed us to answer your questions truthfully, but are you sure you want to wade into these muddy waters?”
Qianye’s heart was shaken—it seemed that Chen Lu’s identity was even higher than he had expected, and she was likely an important character in the Song Clan, or more precisely, Song Zining’s faction.
She must’ve already understood certain things about Qianye. Otherwise, there was no way she could’ve ascertained his identity just from the rescue and the few hours of subsequent interaction. It was just that Lone Ghost had only been able to obtain the courier’s physical appearance and professional ranking, but not his actual identity. From this, it was apparent that Song Zining had already taken certain precautions in advance.
As for the pool of muddy water in front of Qianye, he originally only wanted to hear what Chen Lu had to say in order to get rid of that stifling sensation in his chest. But he was surprised by the instructions the woman before him had just stated. Did Song Zining mean to keep nothing at all from him?
Qianye laughed wryly—Song Zining hadn’t changed at all since their days in Yellow Springs. He was straightforward in a completely different sense and had no restraints at all.
Back in training camp, they were able to trust one another with their backs even in an exam where students were tasked with killing one another. What about now? Qianye suddenly realized that it was probably not Song Zining who needed to think about how to give him an explanation but, instead, it was he who had to think about how he would face the following answer.
Despite the million thoughts running through his mind, Qianye said indifferently with a calm expression, “I’ve already crossed over.”
Chen Lu nodded. “Then allow me to demonstrate.”
Qianye moved his hand away, allowing Chen Lu to take the boulderheart jade letter. Upon instilling it with origin power, a set of numbers and a diagram composed of lines emerged on the smooth surface of the jade.
Chen Lu committed this to memory and then flipped the jade tablet over. A faint origin power glow appeared at her fingertips with which she reproduced the diagram she had seen just now on the jade’s surface. As the final stroke fell in place, the jade tablet split into two halves with a “crack”, and a fingernail-sized crystal disk fell out from within.
Chen Lu took out a set of equipment from a secret compartment in the bookshelf, carefully placed the crystal disk inside, and flipped the switch. The apparatus shot out a beam of white light which illuminated the crystal with a magnificent brilliance.
The radiance changed along as she adjusted the apparatus. Moments later, the picture stopped to form another set of numbers and a line diagram.
Chen Lu once again memorized this and placed the crystal disk on the side. She then extracted another black crystal disk of similar size and shape from the storage compartment at the bottom of the apparatus. She inserted this into the device and manipulated the white light so that it fell upon the black crystal from different angles.
At this point, Qianye’s gaze suddenly froze. He realized that this so-called boulderheart jade letter was only an outer shell which housed the origin array chip inside. Chen Lu was apparently an expert in this field and could use a device to decode and reproduce the origin array.
Chen Lu picked up the crystal disk and compared it with the copy. She then crushed both into fine powder because she had already memorized the array and could make a copy anytime.
She exhaled deeply, put away the device, and turned to Qianye. “That’s it. What you just delivered was an origin array segment embedded within a mother array. Normally, it wouldn’t affect the latter’s functions and would only activate after receiving a special signal.”
Chen Lu paused momentarily, then added, “The function of this segment, when activated, is to disable the mother array and lock down the origin gun.”
A vague premonition arose in Qianye’s heart as he said slowly, “But the origin arrays in mass-produced origin guns come fully formed. Where would you insert this segment?”
“There’s a reserved slot within the origin array of each and every gun sold to the rebels by the Ningyuan Group, and I’m the one who will insert this segment into them.”
Qianye suddenly understood—Chen Lu was the technical officer and as such the maintenance and remodeling of all origin guns was in her hands. The origin guns sold by Ningyuan group’s channels had no problems originally but would become problematic after being maintained by Chen Lu.
Once the percentage of such origin guns had expanded to a certain level, a middle-ranking fighting force capable of using origin guns would be caught off guard in battle and face inevitable defeat.
Qianye broke into a frown. This sounded quite good, but the implementation period was long and the risks were great. Just like this time, if Lone Ghost had gotten its way and revealed Ningyuan group’s trade with the rebel army, Song Zining might not have been able to escape the implications. As for the true reason behind this trade, those with evil intentions would make sure not to let them see the light of day.
There were many other methods to strike at the rebel army, so why did Song Zining choose such a convoluted method? What would he do if he encountered an accidental setback? There was no way that Song Zining hadn’t foreseen the dangers in this endeavor if even Qianye could see through them. This really didn’t feel like his way of doing things.
“Who’s Song Ziqi? Was he the one who hired Lone Ghost to disturb this transaction?”
“Song Ziqi is the third young master of the Song Clan and is ranked fourth among the successors to the clan lord’s title. These high-ranking young masters not only fight ferociously among themselves but also attempt to form alliances everywhere. The seventh young master had always maintained a neutral position and his family branch only slightly leaned towards that of the eldest young master. Originally, he was able to live together with everyone in harmony, but the old ancestor of the Song clan began to show favor towards him at one point and it became increasingly difficult for him to conceal his rapidly increasing strength. This caused many others to view him as a threat and Song Ziqi was one such person.”
Chen Lu sneered, “This time, Song Ziqi wanted to seize evidence of the trade between the Ningyuan Group and the rebel army. This crime would be sufficient for the seventh young master to be expelled from the family or even suffer a secret execution. In truth, they would secretly assassinate the seventh young master as soon as he was captured in order to consolidate this crime. Their ambitions aren’t limited to just toppling the seventh young master’s branch, either. They have plans to utilize this incident to attack other people.”
Qianye inhaled deeply and said while disguising the killing intent in his eyes, “I heard that the Drinking Horse Yin Clan is related by marriage to a branch of the Song Clan?”
A strand of confusion appeared on Chen Lu’s face, but she soon understood the question. “You must be referring to the second young master Song Zian’s connections. They once used the Profound Heaven Spring Hunt to suppress seventh young master’s evaluation. But Song Ziqi and Song Zian aren’t on the same team.”
Qianye nodded and then told her about Ma Zhong’s verbal confession. “I feel that it’s not just Ma Zhong who had incidentally discovered this secret. I think there might be problems with the people on Zining’s side.”
A stern expression flashed across Chen Lu’s eyes. “Of course, it’s not that spineless bastard! Song Ziqi got wind of the trade between Ningyuan Heavy Industries and the rebel army from sources outside of the Western Continent. I’ll definitely report this matter to the seventh young master after returning. We have to perform a thorough cleanup of personnel both on his side and the Western Continent.”
“Are you returning to the rebel army?”
“The important characters here are all dead. Naturally, whatever I say is the truth.” Chen Lu continued with great confidence, “It wasn’t easy to form this trade route. How can we just throw it away? Meanwhile, the fact remains that Song Ziqi had hired Lone Ghost to destroy one of the Egret Corps transaction points. This news must be made known to the rebel army dignitaries.”
Qianye immediately understood Chen Lu’s intention to shift the blame, but he himself had little to comment on such schemes. “I’ll take my leave now since there’s nothing else on your side.”
Chen Lu stood up and asked, “Will you return to Evernight Continent? Is there anything else you need here?”
Qianye muttered to himself momentarily, then said, “I can’t ship away all those things in the car. If possible, introduce me to a reliable channel so that I can sell them off.”
“Wait for me.” Chen Lu left the room and came back after mere moments. She tossed Qianye a ring and said, “Take this token and visit chief auctioneer Zhao Runshui in Serenity. He will give you a fair price.” She shrugged and said, “The Zhao clan has never cared about one’s affiliation so you should be safe back in the city, but it’s never wrong to exercise caution.”
Qianye fiddled with the ring and said with a smile, “This batch of origin guns won’t drift into the hands of the rebel army, will it?”
“It’s hard to say. However, the auction in Serenity belongs to the Zhao clan. You should be seeking them out if, in the end, these guns land in the hands of the rebel army.”
Qianye nodded and said, “Many thanks. Then I’ll take my leave.” After some thought, Qianye decided to follow Chen Lu’s channel and also observe the situation in Serenity. Additionally, his luggage was still in the small inn. Although it wasn’t that important to him, he would still need to replenish some supplies for use in the wilderness if he planned to visit the place housing the Black-Winged Monarch’s Treasure.
Chen Lu finally revealed a charming expression and smiled much more normally. “You saved me this time, so I’ll help you modify your weapons free of charge. Anything below grade six, I can modify or upgrade. But you’ll have to pay for the materials yourself. I’m not rich!”
Qianye smiled faintly. “Got it.”
He immediately saw Lu Yalan as he walked out of the room. She had just finished bathing and even her hair hadn’t yet dried completely. She was sitting blankly on the sofa and gazing out the window.
Qianye momentarily felt somewhat distressed.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
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