Chapter 216: Diary [Volume 4 – Perpetual Conflict]
The blood knight’s equipment was geared toward stealth and ambush. He carried two small firearms—one of them was the high power pistol which ultimately failed to fire, while the other was a suppressed handgun. This was an extremely rare special effect.
Both of them were grade-four origin guns with a special insignia engraved on the grip. It was the symbol of a vampire smith, indicating the creator of the weapon. Only high ranking smiths possessed the qualifications to leave symbols on their wares. For instance, these special pistols with the smith’s symbol on them weren't at all inferior to ordinary grade five origin guns both in terms of might and value.
Additionally, Qianye found a longsword and a dagger on the blood knight’s body. The longsword was grade three. A melee weapon at this grade was equal to a rank four origin gun, so it was nothing much. But the dagger was actually grade four! This was rather uncommon because grade four melee weapons would usually be in the hands of a champion rank expert, and normally only vampire viscounts would be able to use them.
The internal armor the blood knight was wearing under his disguise was also a good item. It was unknown which giant beast skin it was made from, but there were a whole three origin power arrays sewn into it. Qianye activated it and found that two of them were used to increase defense while the third actually caused vision to warp around the wearer within a certain time frame, achieving a semi-invisible state.
Qianye couldn’t help but become curious about this blood knight’s identity. He began to flip through the latter’s backpack and the exquisite little tool bag within his pocket.
His backpack mostly contained various supplies and equipment required for outdoors travel. There was also a notebook and over a dozen blood crystals. These items were important supplies for high ranking vampires and were a solidification of fresh origin power-rich blood. Ordinary vampires would never be able to get their hands on such blood crystals. They could only suck blood to replenish their energy and fresh blood power.
Within the tool bag, Qianye found a crystal disk wrapped up in a soft beast skin. This sky blue item, the size of a palm and as thick as a finger, appeared to be the remnant of a certain equipment. There were undecipherable lines engraved upon it somewhat resembling enchantments.
Qianye didn’t recognize the words on the crystal remnant but they appeared to belong to a certain ancient language called runespeak.
Runespeak was an ancient language passed among the dark races. Its history was much more distant than the human race’s ancient languages. Reportedly, runespeak was a type of language containing mysterious powers—the characters themselves could form structural components of many types of origin arrays. Every character of true runespeak could be considered a complete origin array. According to their representative origin power, they were further classified into dark runespeak, daybreak runespeak, and neutral runespeak.
Qianye naturally couldn’t tell which attribute the runespeak on the crystal disk remnant belonged to. However, any object in dark race hands related to runespeak was probably an antique handed down since ancient times. He had only ever seen one item with runespeak on it, and that was in the Red Scorpion’s display room. It was a cane carved from a single piece of black crystal with a ring of runespeak at its crown.
Back in the day, that cane belonged to a powerful demonkin wizard who had killed countless imperial soldiers. Later on, all the Red Scorpion leaders of the time simultaneously took action and ambushed him. After paying a heavy price of near annihilation, they finally killed this high ranking member of the Evernight Council. They brought back his cane as a trophy and placed it in the display room.
Today, a remnant crystal disk with runespeak carved on it actually appeared in the hands of a blood knight.
Qianye picked up the notebook and observed his surroundings once more before flipping it open. The Black Clay Swamp was, as before, pervaded by an obscure and dangerous silence. The lingering aura from the death of the horned snake and the blood knight exerted a deterrent effect on the creatures of the marsh in the area, saturating the air with a deathly stillness.
Qianye began to tread through the blood knight’s notes—upon the pliable and waterproof papers were decorated cursive words penned in a special dark green ink. Every stroke carried elegance and complexity, portraying the characteristics of the vampire race.
Fortunately, it was a diary and the words within were quite simple and direct. It was written mainly in present-day common language of the dark race and there weren’t any particularly abstruse words apart from a few vampire-specific terms. Hence, Qianye was able to understand most of the vocabulary.
The notebook recorded this high-ranking vampire’s adventures of the past few years. His tracks were quite broad, having tread across several continents. Qianye found some interesting contents in one of the pages.
“I, Deryl Kurlas, a baron of the grand and ancient Kurlas family actually received a conscription order!? My goodness, it’s Evernight Continent, the gathering place of those lowly bloodlines! Why was I so unlucky as to return at such a time? Had I known beforehand, I would’ve postponed the journey for three more months. The scenery in Azure Gold Continent is still extremely enchanting.”
Qianye checked the date and discovered that the diary entry was written nine months ago. Could this mean that the dark races had already been planning this large-scale war since over half a year ago? And it was on Evernight Continent?
But Qianye hadn’t heard of any war of similar scale in Evernight Continent during the past period. At least there were no wars that warranted a blood race conscription order from the upper continents. That left only one possibility—this blood knight was conscripted for the imminent battle—this was a total war!
The conscription order was issued at least nine months earlier. Considering the time spent in secret planning, perhaps the major characters of the dark race had already been working out a strategy since nine months ago.
Just what was it that had attracted the vampires that they were willing to pay such a great price to start a war on this barren Evernight Continent? The reasons for a war couldn’t be anything else but resources, territory, and population, etc.
Was it for territory?
It was completely meaningless. The Great Qin Empire wasn’t very ambitious regarding territories on Evernight Continent. Otherwise, they wouldn’t have abandoned it after occupying the Qin Continent. Although for some reason, they established the expeditionary army later on and still maintained a certain range of power in Evernight Continent, the latter was largely ignored both in terms of equipment and strategic supplies.
Was it for the population?
The humans living and multiplying on Evernight Continent were the lowest rung of human society, struggling on the fine line between life and death. Most of them would never awaken origin power in their lifetime. Most of the fastidious pure-blooded vampires wouldn’t be interested in drawing such poor man’s blood unless they were in extreme hunger. The grime and odor on these people were sufficient to destroy any and all appetite.
These people were even inferior to the humans raised by the dark races. What use could they serve even if they were captured in large numbers?
But Qianye being unable to find a reason didn’t mean the dark races were stupid. In truth, most of those old geezers from the Evernight Council had lived for thousands of years and had experienced too many things during their long life. Due to their experience and strength, they make virtually no mistakes. The foolish things they sometimes did were out of boredom.
Qianye withdrew his thoughts and continued flipping through the book. Although he had guessed, from the spoils of war, that this blood knight was one of extraordinary origins, he never expected him to actually be a baron from the upper continent who had been conscripted here.
Very soon, Qianye found another interesting entry.
“I have to admit that I’m now somewhat interested in this conscription order. According to Mills, it seems the war this time has something to do with a treasure left behind by the Black Monarch. This guy has never been reliable but I admit I’m inclined to believe him this time. As to why I am, I can only say that it’s the intuition granted to me by the primogenitor. This fellow, Mills, has made so many mistakes. He’s got to get it right at least once, right?”
Black Monarch? Qianye wasn't at all familiar with this major historical character of the dark races. However, someone who could use such a name was possibly a great dark monarch, and even the items left behind by the weakest of great dark monarchs would interest a marshal of the empire.
From there on, Qianye slowed down his browsing speed and, as expected, saw many shocking contents.
“Black Monarch? Which Black Monarch? Those frightening and repulsive old geezers of the council want to cover up all history. But that won’t pose a problem for me—I, Deryl Kurlas, may only be a baron, but at the same time, I’m also a great scholar and adventurer!”
“There’s only one monarch who matches the conditions in the most recent thousand years of history—the second generation vampire progenitor, the terrifying Black Winged Monarch Andruil!
“He disappeared not long after the War of Daybreak and his fate was unknown. There was no explanation all this time for his disappearance. I personally believe that a better solution is to investigate the world outside of the 27 continents. After all, the vampire progenitors have a natural advantage in this respect… it seems I’ve gone off-topic?”
The sudden disappearance of a second generation vampire progenitor? Qianye silently memorized the name Andruil. He hoped to collect some information related to the Black Winged Monarch should the opportunity present itself. But at present, he needed to survive this war first.
The remaining diary entries were all related to Deryl’s activities after arriving in Evernight Continent. The requirements of the dark race conscription order were quite relaxed. It was evident from this that they had no specific target to plunder. As a baron and also as an expert in stealth and ambush, Deryl basically possessed complete freedom of action as long as he entered his designated war zone when the conflict began.
The length of this section wasn’t short either—Deryl was someone who just couldn’t stay idle. He had spent almost half a year’s time exploring various places in Evernight Continent. However, he hadn’t taken part in any proper battles. According to his own accounts, he only set about killing people after his identity was seen through.
He had only raided a human settlement once in a state of intense starvation on his return from a dangerous exploration trip lasting over ten days without blood.
As for the results of the raid, he only played it down with a few words, “Even the blood of seemingly young girls and tender children tasted incomparably coarse. As expected, this continent is only suited for the lower species of inferior bloodlines to live. Additionally, one should always wash the food before every meal. This is especially required in Evernight Continent.”
The corner of Qianye’s eyes twitched slightly as he read on. This was the true relationship between humans and the dark races. This adventure-obsessed Deryl could already be considered quite mild, although his mild behavior stemmed from his pride and his contempt for the human race as a whole.
Among his adventures in Evernight Continent, there were mentions of certain mysterious places even someone like Deryl was temporarily unable to enter—Twilight Woods, Polar Fissure, Noctilucent Ridge, etc. Qianye was intrigued by these names which he had never even heard of before. He had long since known that this continent he had been staying in for the longest was extremely vast. However, he had never known just how vast it was. Perhaps he could go everywhere to take a look after growing stronger in the future.
Suddenly, a certain passage attracted Qianye’s attention.
“Today, I found an extremely ancient document. Its contents are truly astonishing! Who would’ve imagined Andruil had actually been living secretly in Evernight Continent for decades!? No one actually knew that the great Black Winged Monarch had come to Evernight Continent! Perhaps this was the truth those Evernight Council geezers had been concealing at all costs! Some among them are, in fact, characters from Andruil’s era. I absolutely refuse to believe that they’re not aware that Andruil came to Evernight Continent and even lived here for so long.
“Ha! This is truly a good day! I finally found evidence of Andruil’s former movements! Perhaps I might be able to discover something from this.
“A whole week of effort wasn’t wasted! I simply can’t believe what I found! A remnant disk with runespeak engravings! Even though two-thirds of it is missing, judging from its unique style, this must be a key. The key to opening the Black Winged Monarch’s treasure! Perhaps I should keep this item. It is most appropriate for a vampire to inherit the treasure of a vampire progenitor.
“I’ve finally obtained new rewards after two months. I found my target in an indescribably small human town across this foul-smelling marsh—an old man on his deathbed whose ancestor had once waited upon Andruil. That was naturally during the time the Black Winged Monarch had stayed in Evernight. I only needed a few tricks to get all the relevant information. His ancestors did indeed leave words for his descendants, telling them to bring the remnant disk to the Forgotten Mountain Range on the Flaming Beacon Continent. There will be a gift for them therein as a reward for his 30 years of loyal service.
“The problem right now is this damned conscription order. I have to wait till the war is over before I can go to Flaming Beacon Continent!”
There was only a single entry on the last page.
“A young human had actually seen through my disguise? This is interesting. Perhaps I should make him my descendant.”
Here, the diary came to an end.
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