Chapter 278: Trial [Volume 4 – Perpetual Conflict]
Qianye was extremely astonished after witnessing this scene and suddenly recalled the first glimmer of daybreak which had appeared during the disintegration of the Song Clan Ancient Scroll’s General Principles chapter.
As if something had slammed into his world, Qianye was suddenly jolted awake and soon recovered all of this senses after withdrawing from the state of emptiness. His hand was still on the book stand, but the black tome had completely vanished.
He pensively checked the inside of his body. As expected, he found a new conscious space within, and the Book of Darkness: Genesis was floating in it.
Qianye took a deep breath and tried hard to calm down his chaotic emotions.
The Genesis chapter described the birth of the world, while the Song Can Ancient Scroll recorded the first opening of the heaven and earth. However, the differences between them were too significant. Why did the dark race and human race have different concepts regarding this same world?
The “Glory” and “Mystery” chapters which he had successfully cultivated were vastly different in their methods, but after careful thought, they probably weren’t completely unrelated. “Glorious is he who breathes fire but conceals his luster”, “mysterious is he with red amidst the darkness” —Qianye seemed to have grasped some clues. Yet, he was seemingly separated by a thin veil and couldn’t see through everything clearly.
Just at this moment, the familiar aura of a certain colossal consciousness swept through Qianye’s mind.
“You who are descended of the same bloodline as I, it greatly surprises me that you were able to absorb the Book of Darkness. It seems the long vicissitudes ultimately cannot wipe away our hallowed ancient bloodline.”
Qianye frowned and maintained his silence. He didn’t know why the Black-Winged Monarch had always believed him to be his descendant, however, it made little sense to deny things under such circumstances.
“It seems you’re bloodline isn’t, at all, inferior to my own and is extremely close to that of the ancestor we share. As such, you can already be considered my peer according to the oldest sacred blood traditions. You are, without a doubt, extremely weak at the moment and powerless to shoulder this responsibility and mission. Unfortunately, however, neither you nor I have the time.”
Qianye asked, “Where are you?” He had no interest at all in the vampire race’s mission and responsibility. However, he vaguely realized that something beyond his control had already occurred and that everything had already been set in stone. This kind of sensation made Qianye somewhat frustrated.
“I’m within the Wings of Inception and also within the Eye of Truth. There are fragments of my consciousness left within them. I will guide you on how to obtain them, but before that, you’ll face some trials.”
“I feel I’ve been through enough trials.”
“That is an accident and not my original intention.”
“I left some riches around the altar, things that are considered treasures to those of the secular world. I had originally intended to gift them to my loyal servant, Lu Jianan. You may take a portion of it and then give a suitable share to his descendants. Excessive wealth isn’t necessarily a good thing for ordinary people. On the contrary, it might spell their eventual doom.”
“I will find his descendants,” Qianye promised. Lu Jianan’s progeny should have been living in Black Clay Town. Back then, there was no way for him to search, among the multitude, for an old man who lived alone. But now that he knew the man’s name, he might be able to try again. However, chances were slim at best since that place had just been baptized by the flames of war.
“I have a crystal key that’s been split into three fragments. I left one with my devoted servant and another with my loyal guard. After combining the two with the third, it will open a different secret chamber. I prepared some presents within for Nangong Yuqing, my lover during my time amongst humans.”
At this point, Qianye was astonished. This was the first time Andruil had personally admitted that he had once lived amongst humans. The surname Nangong was also quite familiar—could she be from the Nangong family, one of the empire’s top aristocratic families?
Although he was extremely surprised, he agreed after some thought. It was at this moment that the two crystal fragments in his pocket suddenly began to throb, and a beam of light shot out through his clothes. Qianye brought it out and found that the two fragments had already fused together and was emitting a beam of light toward a certain direction.
That was the location of the third crystal fragment. It seemed that the crystal key fragments wouldn’t activate unless one agreed to Andruil’s request. At this moment, Qianye was utterly convinced by the Black-Winged Monarch’s mysterious powers. He couldn’t even begin to imagine how Andruil had managed to do all this.
At this time, Andruil seemed to have spoken something but his voice suddenly became distorted and noisy as if affected by an intense interference.
Somewhat startled, Qianye waited for some time but the Black-Winged Monarch’s consciousness didn’t appear again.
He looked around the place and decided to complete his initial promise first. The fortunes around the altar mostly consisted of gold coins, gems, and a number of exquisite little boxes. Qianye opened them one by one and found that they were all filled with blood crystals. It was just that, due to the passage of time, the energy contained within them had all dissipated and only empty crystals were left behind.
These crystals could be instilled with fresh blood power, but empty crystals could also be used interchangeably with the dark race’s crystal coins.
The value of the treasures around the altar could be counted in the hundreds of thousands of gold coins, but it would be almost impossible to move out the hundreds of kilograms of treasure with powerful enemies lurking around.
Qianye collected two small boxes of rare materials and headed toward the direction of the third crystal fragment.
At some point, a number of pathways had emerged on the four walls of the hall. Qianye followed the guidance of the beam of light being emitted from the key and entered that passage. There weren’t any traps or mechanisms along the passage, and as such, he arrived at the end without any problem at all. It was a side-chamber.
But as he walked into the hall, Qianye realized why there weren’t any defensive mechanisms in such an important place. Atop a black steel seat within the side-chamber sat a high-ranking vampire—the insignia on his black robes signified that he was actually a marquis of the Monroe clan.
Qianye was instinctively cautious, but later on, he discovered that the vampire marquis sat peacefully without any movement at all, his falcon-like eyes staring at a point one meter in front of his feet. He had long since lost all signs of vitality.
Qianye advanced slowly and saw that there was a dark bloodstain on the marquis’ chest. It had blended in with his black robes and thus wasn’t evident without careful observation. That place was where the blood core resided.
The vampire marquis’ body collapsed into a pile of fine sand and fell to the ground as Qianye approached, perhaps because the vibrations from his footsteps had broken the fragile balance.
This vampire marquis should also be one of the guardians Andruil had deployed here. It was unknown, however, whether such a powerful expert had turned into a puppet-like guardian before or after his death. It was also a mystery regarding who had come to the Black-Winged Monarch ruins before and killed this vampire marquis.
Qianye looked down to find a crystal fragment on the ground in front of the tall throne and a skull beside it. The cut surface on the neck bone was as smooth as a mirror. It seemed he was decapitated by a sharp weapon.
Qianye heard that voice again as soon as he saw the skull. “You’ve already found my head. Well done! Now bring it to me and you’ll obtain a generous reward. Do not doubt the power and prestige of Andruil. Bring it to me, now!”
This sound seemed to have some sort of magic power which made Qianye subconsciously reach for the skull. But at this moment, he realized something was wrong. As his spirit jolted awake, the purple blood energy suddenly scuttled out from the ability rune and rapidly spread throughout his whole body. This drove the voice out of his consciousness and made it sound fairly distant.
Two Black-Winged Monarchs?
Qianye could already confirm that the colossal consciousness and the voice constantly demanding his head wasn’t the same person.
The situation seemed increasingly bizarre.
Qianye stared fixedly at the skull for a moment and then decided to pick up the crystal fragment first. The three fragments merged together upon contact and formed a complete crystal disk.
He pondered for a moment and then picked up the skull. Afterwards, following the guidance of the crystal disk, he traveled deeper along a passage and finally arrived before a great bronze door.
There was a depression at its center which was an exact fit for the crystal disk. The origin arrays on the door flickered and lit up as the door gradually slid to one side.
Behind the door was another side-chamber, and this time, there weren’t any guardians. Only some beams of various dazzling colors would shoot through the air from time to time.
A sense of extreme danger emerged within Qianye’s mind. He had obtained some knowledge of space after obtaining the Book of Darkness. He knew that these beautiful and illusory beams of light represented the presence of unstable spatial rifts. A part of his body would fall into the space if he were to bump into them carelessly.
The most eye-catching within the side-chamber was a weapons rack placed against the wall. Displayed upon it was a full array of weapons and defensive equipment—from daggers to full sets of armor. Judging solely from their material and origin array patterns, none of them was less than grade-five.
And within this side-chamber, there were several dozens of such equipment. This was indeed a large fortune.
But Andruil had especially mentioned that the equipment within this chamber were the cornerstones of this secret chamber and couldn’t be taken away. The item he needed Qianye to bring to Nangong Yuqing was on a table nearby.
Qianye turned away and walked toward the roundtable at the center of the chamber. On it, there was an origin gun, two daggers, and two golden boxes.
The gun and blade were premium products made especially for use by humans. The gun was a grade-seven origin gun, while the two daggers were grade-six. One of the golden boxes was filled with physical origin bullets crafted of mithril. The method of production was extremely rare—the bullets would deal significant damage to members of the dark races even without the instillation of origin power. The other golden box was actually filled with liquefied mithril.
Not to mention the value of the gun and blade, just the value of the two boxes and the high-purity mithril contained within them would rival that of a small clan’s entire treasury.
But Andruil had stated clearly that these items were to be handed to Nangong Yuqing or her descendants. Qianye had no designs of them. He would respect the words he had given regardless of who the other party was.
Qianye sorted out the items and placed them in his backpack. The bronze door closed on its own behind him as he walked out, and the crystal key was ejected into his hands with a click.
Andruil’s will appeared once again in Qianye’s consciousness. “Congratulations on passing another trial.”
As it turned out, the armaments within the secret chamber were indeed its cornerstones. The defense mechanisms would have kicked in if he had failed to control his greed and had collected them. The brilliant beams of light would expand, and the gigantic spatial rifts would tear apart everything in the room, including Qianye.
Qianye was in a bad mood. Setting foot in such an accursed place was like launching a one-way automatic airship. Unless it crashed in the middle, there was no way to turn back once he reached his destination. He didn’t like this kind of feeling.
The familiar voice once again rang out in his ears when he returned to the main hall.
“Well done! You’ve brought my head as you promised. Now, return it to its rightful place and you will obtain the great Black-Winged Monarch Andruil’s gift and protection! You’ll be able to found a clan and its name will rival that of the 12 ancient clans. So much that you might even be able to inherit the surname of the 13th clan which had already broken its line of succession!”
Such a series of promises which would probably cause huge tidal waves within the dark races might perhaps cause a true vampire’s blood to boil with passion. However, Qianye felt nothing from it. Even though Andruil himself had admitted to the purity of Qianye’s bloodline, the latter had consciously avoided this issue.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Chapter 4/7 of the week. Enjoy ^_^