Chapter 288: Disengage [Volume 4 – Perpetual Conflict]
“Don’t move! Hands in the air!” the city guard warrior shouted with his gun aimed at Qianye.
Qianye slowly raised both hands and edged back in silence until his back was pressed against the wall.
An entire group of city guards poured in from the entrance of the alleyway. Agents also appeared on the rooftops on both sides.
Qianye’s eyebrows twitched slightly—he had seen the two snipers hiding on a rooftop about 200 meters away, and the black muzzles aimed at him from the front were mostly from origin guns. This indicated that there were a fair number of fighters in this unit.
This ratio allowed Qianye to understand the strength of a clan’s private army. Even the troops distributed to a small border city like Darkshore wasn’t inferior to the imperial regular army.
A large burly officer jumped down from the jeep and swept his gaze over the corpses on the ground. “What happened here.”
“I’m not sure either. These people suddenly jumped out and attacked me,” said Qianye. “Oh, that fellow calls himself Triblade Ma.”
The bearded man waved his large arms and said, “No matter what happened here, I can figure it out. Right now, remove all the weapons on your body and come back with me to the city guard headquarters along with that Triblade Ma person. We have to make things clear.”
Qianye frowned slightly. As an officer of the city guard, this bearded man’s decision seemed quite normal, but Qianye could sense an inexplicable enmity and killing intent coming from him.
It was at this time that Qianye heard that odd whistling sound again. This time, he finally recalled what it was—it was the sound of a charging origin array!
Qianye instantly reacted by pushing himself backward with all his all strength. The brick wall simply couldn’t bear the impact—a huge hole immediately appeared amidst a cloud of dust, and bricks rustled down one after another as Qianye rushed into the room behind it.
A series of rumbles rang out within the alleyway as numerous origin bullets whistled over and bombarded Qianye’s previous position. A characteristic muffled sound was also heard amidst the explosions. That was the timber of a large caliber sniper rifle. Even his vampire constitution wouldn’t be able to endure the concentrated fire had Qianye kept on standing where he did. He would, no doubt, be injured quite badly.
A number of soldiers from the city guard rushed toward the hole in the wall in response to the bearded officer’s shouts. But suddenly, a number of green melon-sized grenades rolled over through the dust cloud. 
“Origin grenades!” The group of city guards were frightened out of their wits and began to scramble in all directions.
The grenades traversed the alleyway and bumped into the opposite wall but didn’t explode.
“Goddammit, they’re dummies!” The bearded officer’s face turned ashen as he proceeded to personally lead the group forward.
At the same time, Qianye’s figure burst through the roof, knocking out the soldier therein and snatching his assault rifle in passing. He then plucked the string of grenades from the man’s waist, pulled the safety, and tossed them into the room below.
The room beneath his feet shook violently amidst the series of continuous explosions, accompanied by the bearded officer’s roars and curses. These gunpowder grenades possessed limited firepower. They were fairly effective against ordinary people, but it would be rather difficult to blast a rank-five fighter like the bearded officer to death. However, encountering a string of them in an enclosed space would still cause an episode of confusion.
Qianye felt extremely depressed despite having gained the advantage. He couldn’t help but want to spew out ruthless profanities.
The city guards had apparently come with malicious intentions. It would be quite troublesome if they were working together with the group in the alleyway. Breaking out without killing anyone would be fairly difficult since the other party held the advantage in numbers.
But the outcome would be grave if he were to kill the city guards. No clan would let off someone who had killed their people; they would inevitably chase him down regardless of the reason.
While Qianye was still hesitating about killing the soldiers, a sudden feeling of alarm arose in his heart. Stepping sideways, he narrowly avoided a number of bullets which whistled past his body.
Qianye’s expression was indifferent. He raised the assault rifle, aimed it at the sniper on the distant roof, and pulled the trigger all the way to the end.
The assault rifle spat out tongues of flame and was emptied within mere moments.
There were an entire 200 meters between Qianye and the sniper. Although he was within the range of the assault rifle, the sniper refused to believe Qianye could hit him while strafing from such a distance. In his eyes, the other party was just venting without a thought.
The rain of bullets flew out and landed more or less within a meter of the sniper. The sniper let out a loud scream and was flung away with dozens of bullet holes added to his body.
Qianye calmly swapped out a cartridge and fired toward a different direction. The second sniper also took ten-odd bullets and fell off the building, screaming.
Qianye swapped out the final cartridge and mowed down everyone else who dared poke their heads out. He then discarded the assault rifle, leapt off the roof, and soon vanished into the distance.
Only after Qianye had left did the city guards dare to clamber up and glance around cautiously. The bearded officer emerged from the half-collapsed wall with an ugly expression.
At this moment, a chubby figure appeared from within a nearby alley. This was precisely the manager of Xinglong Trade Company, Wang Youyuan. He saw the whole area in disorder and couldn’t help but feel his face twitch with large beads of sweat rolling off his shiny bald forehead.
“How… how did this happen?” Wang Youyuan stammered as he spoke.
“Save… save me!” A faint voice was heard from nearby.
Wang Youyuan turned around and saw Triblade Ma leaning on a nearby wall with one had pressed upon the continuously bleeding wound on his abdomen. Wang Youyuan’s expression suddenly turned gloomy as he shot a meaningful glance at the bearded officer.
The bearded man walked up to Triblade Ma, raised his origin gun, and fired ruthlessly toward the man’s heart. The explosive force from this shot almost penetrated his body.
Triblade Ma used struggled to speak with his last breath, “Why…?”
“No reason. You lost and you know too much,” Wang Youyuan said lightly.
“You…” Triblade Ma only spat out this word before collapsing in endless resentment.
Wang Youyuan wiped away the sweat on his forehead and said to the bearded man, “I’m going to meet sir Zhao right away. I’ll leave the situation here to you. You must catch that brat at all cost or we’ll have no way to explain all this!”
The bearded man nodded and gestured toward a number of warriors. “You lot, immediately head toward each city gate and ensure that the people passing through are strictly inspected. We have to prevent him from escaping even at the risk of mistakenly detaining some people!”
Moments later, alarms went off throughout Darkshore City as squads of city guards rushed out from the military camp and began to search the city. A unit charged into Qianye’s hotel room and flipped over all of his belongings, but found nothing apart from a change of clothes.
Meanwhile, in West Pole City, the main residence was extremely peaceful. Zhao Jundu stood on the waterside balcony gazing at the misty waters of Lake Profound before him. His expression was vacant—he seemed to be pondering deeply yet also seemed as if he was thinking of nothing.
The chimes hanging from the eaves began to jingle, indicating the arrival of a guest.
Zhao Jundu entered the study and found that it was Uncle Wang. He was somewhat surprised, but still offered him a seat with due politeness.
Uncle Wang was an elder Princess Gaoyi had brought along when she married into the Zhao clan. Due to her illness, the princess lived in a separate courtyard all year round and Uncle Wang was in charge of all contact with her four sons and one daughter. After the four young masters reached maturity in the recent years, Uncle Wang had been staying at Zhao Ruoxi’s side for the most part.
Uncle Wang’s expression was grave—he got straight to the point and said, “Fourth Young Master, this old servant has been pondering a certain matter repeatedly, which I feel needs to be brought to your attention.”
Zhao Jundu was was somewhat startled. Instead of asking what the matter was, he said, “I heard Ruoxi has gone to visit mother?” What was it that Uncle Wang had to tell him behind Zhao Ruoxi’s back? The latter’s temperament was such that she disliked others interfering with her business, even if this other person was her own brother.
As if he knew what Zhao Jundu was thinking, Uncle Wang immediately said, “This old servant and Zhao Kai were both present when the matter took place. Back then, the young miss had requested that we not utter a single word about this matter. However, not only is this related to the inheritance of the Red Spider Lily, but that person might be… related to past matters…and the young miss…” At this point, Uncle Wang paused as if he were trying to find the correct words before continuing, “Young Miss knows very little about the matters of the past.”
Zhao Jundu’s brows slightly knitted together. Matters of the past? What kind of past matter was on the same level as the Red Spider Lily’s inheritance? While pondering on this matter, he had his servants deliver tea and then had them leave the portico. He also instructed them not to allow anyone else to approach.
Zhao Jundu watched as the doors closed before reaching out to press something under the table. Numerous origin arrays came to life on the windows and walls, isolating the entire study from the exterior. Then, he personally handed Uncle Wang a cup of tea and then poured one for himself. Only after this did he sit down calmly and waited for Uncle Wang to explain everything.
Uncle Wang had been mulling over this matter repeatedly during the recent days. Although his account was short to the point, he didn’t leave out any of the important details. He quickly described Zhao Ruoxi’s encounter with Qianye and the ensuing feigned pursuit, fully describing how Qianye had manifested his talents in the form of a luminous wing and activated the Red Spider Lily, killing the vampire viscount in one shot.
Zhao Jundu’s expression changed numerous times, and he only spoke after a moment of silence, “Up to this very day, the empire’s research into the Red Spider Lily has yielded no insight into its mechanism of inheritance. After Xixi became its wielder in this generation, anyone with pure Zhao clan blood can, with great effort, successfully fire a shot. But it’s impossible to activate the ultimate skill.”
Although it was said that any Zhao clan descendant with a pure bloodline could use the Red Spider Lily, Uncle Wang knew that Zhao Jundu was the only one who had successfully charged, activated, and fired it; the others were only able to complete the first few steps. Even then, Zhao Jundu’s shot was equal in firepower to a corresponding origin handgun, a far cry from Zhao Ruoxi’s ultimate skill, the River of Forgetfulness.
“Luminous wings? The Feathercloud Art?” Zhao Jundu’s expression turned increasingly solemn as he got up and paced around the room. He then paused and shook his head, saying, “That’s not possible. We’ll definitely have heard of it if there was a second inheritor to the Feathercloud Art in the Bai clan.”
Uncle Wang spoke unhurriedly, “The reason this servant is concerned about his identity isn’t just because his aura is similar to the Young Miss; there’s also another matter. I was in the Young Miss’ company when she went to Evernight Continent two years ago to attack that Evernight Council member. There, we encountered a youth in the tavern of a small town who had a very eye-catching scar on his chest.”
Elder Wang paused for a moment. “The two look extremely similar. It’s likely they are one and the same.”
Bang! The teacup in Zhao Jundu’s hand suddenly shattered.
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