Chapter 292: Victory, Defeat, Survival, and Death

Chapter 292: Victory, Defeat, Survival, and Death [Volume 4 – Perpetual Conflict]

Qianye slowly bent down as if he were picking up something. In truth, his movements weren’t that simple—breaking his actions down into one-second frames, one would find that Qianye’s body was swaying gently at an irregular frequency and that the speed of this movement was fluctuating.

This was an extremely brilliant evasion technique capable of breaking away from a lock-on by a small margin. However, the crosshair in the distance kept itself fixed on Qianye’s forehead all along as if he had never even moved.

Qianye slowly straightened his body and felt his palms grow somewhat clammy; he was actually sweating. Qianye had always displayed an almost suicidal level of courage regardless of how powerful the enemy was, but this time, this sniper who had helped him kill those enemies made him feel a chill which ran deep into his marrow.

Qianye’s corner vision fell on the dark race corpses strewn across the ground and suddenly understood why this sniper had killed them.

That person wanted a clean battlefield—one with only a cat and a mouse. 

The phantom image representing the Wings of Inception dispersed, and a deep oceanic azure once again emerged in Qianye’s eyes. Amidst the omnipresent darkness origin power, the dense purple mist was as eye-catching as a flag. 

Traces of that sniper once again appeared within the monochromatic world of his True Sight. He had changed positions after firing the shot which had killed three enemies, and this time, he had come within 800 meters.

Qianye took a deep breath and ignored the tingling between his brows. He produced a Black Titanium Bullet of Annihilation in plain sight and slowly pushed it into his most powerful gun, the Bloody Datura.

The mass of purple mist in the distance was extremely rare, but it still belonged to the daybreak side. The Black Titanium Bullet of Annihilation was particularly destructive against any creature with daybreak origin power cultivation, regardless of the form. 

However, distance was the greatest barrier here. No matter how powerful they were, the Twin Flowers were only handguns, and their range was no more than 200 meters.

But at this moment, Qianye’s chances of escaping were almost zero. That sniper was over a thousand meters away when it killed the arachne viscount. Even if Qianye erupted with the highest speed in an instant, he wasn’t confident in escaping the other party’s firing range in the time it took for him to charge up and fire. 

It was as if there was only a single path he could take, and that was to go forward.

Qianye began to run—he almost seemed to be warping about with no regular landing point. At the same time, his body was also swaying about lightly. This type of gait was the most effective method to deal with snipers despite its greater energy consumption. 

As expected, the feeling of being locked on by the crosshair vanished momentarily.

Eight hundred meters away, Zhao Jundu was standing within the crown of a towering tree, his footing as stable as he was on solid ground. When Qianye vanished from his rifle scope, he only raised his brows and sent a beam of violet mist shooting straight up toward the sky.

A deep blue color lit up before Qianye’s eyes as if the entire world had transformed into the blue sky. A great sense of alarm emerged in his heart, but there was no time to ponder about this. He could only rely on his instincts and rush forth with greater speed!

In a battle against an expert sniper, it would become incomparably dangerous once one came within a certain distance. With Qianye’s current reflexes, he could evade a shot from a sniper below grade-four at a hundred meters, but this would become uncertain once he arrived within a hundred meters. The stronger the sniper, the wider this zone of absolute danger. 

Qianye judged that the sharpshooter was using a grade-seven heavy sniper rifle and that the danger zone was at least two hundred meters. This just happened to be the maximum range of the twin flowers. This also meant that Qianye only had one shot at this—he would survive if he hit, and die if he didn’t—it was that simple.  

During his all-out sprint, his True Sight outlined the path of an origin bullet. Extending from a distance, there were actually five potential trajectories for this single bullet!  

Qianye’s heart trembled. This, of course, didn’t mean that the sniper could fire five bullets at one time, but that he was currently performing minute adjustments in accordance with Qianye’s position. All five lines were potential bullet paths.

A boom echoed in Qianye’s ears at the decisive moment between life and death. The sounds from the entire world disappeared within that split second, leaving only the muffled whistle of a charging origin array. Time seemed to slow down as Qianye turned, stepped, and leapt sideways to extricate himself from the coverage area of all five bullet trajectories.

In the distance, a strand of astonishment flashed across Zhao Jundu’s face. There was even some frustration within the depths of his eyes as he reached out to remove his glasses. His pitch black eyes suddenly burst into violet flames, and a pair of deep violet eyes actually appeared when the flames later receded. He no longer made any deliberate attempt to aim and only lifted the muzzle and pulled the trigger all the way to the end.

Qianye suddenly felt a moment of weakness as he left the state of time stagnation. Without waiting for him to regulate his breathing, an origin bullet suddenly appeared amidst the lingering blue light. There was no trajectory to it as if it were condensed out of thin air.

It was inconceivably fast and seemed to have reached Qianye right after it left the muzzle.

During the split second where thoughts could no longer function, only a single notion was left within Qianye’s mind, and that was a gun skill which only existed in the legends—“True Strike”.

The origin bullet flew on at an unimaginable speed. It pierced through Qianye’s left leg and bore into the red earth before exploding therein to form a shallow hole.

What burst out of the wound on Qianye’s leg wasn’t fresh blood but, instead, threads of light—it was as if the bullet had shattered a glass doll. Subsequently, Qianye’s body began to distort and flicker before disappearing amidst a shower of luminous specks.

Qianye emerged ten meters away with a pair of fleeing wings behind his back. He staggered and almost fell to the ground.

Spatial Flash!

The Wings of Inception had actually succeeded in activating Spatial Flash at the moment of grave peril. However, Qianye didn’t even meet the minimum requirements for using Spatial Flash and thus could only move a short distance while consuming the greater half of his blood energy in the process. Presently, his dark-golden and purple blood energies were still energetic, however, the nine ordinary blood energy had sunk completely to the depths of his heart and become extremely dispirited.

But the several meters he had traversed with Spatial Flash had effectively countered the legendary True Strike.

At this moment, a shadowy figure was shooting through the sky from a distance. Enshrouded in a purple mist and drawing a comet-like trail behind him, he arrived within a hundred meters in the blink of an eye.  

Qianye instinctively raised his hand and the timber of the Bloody Datura resounded throughout the land.

Zhao Jundu urgently halted his steps, fell kneeling onto the ground, and fired off a shot from the astonishing two-meter long heavy sniper rifle in his hand.

The two bullets actually collided mid-air!

The wilderness erupted into a mass of dazzling radiance, followed by a world-shaking explosion—the light radiated over a perimeter of a hundred meters before gradually weakening. Such firepower was comparable to a blast from a daybreak origin power heavy cannon. It would be lethal even if the shot landed somewhat close by, to speak nothing of a direct hit.

The two were naturally flung away by the shockwaves from the explosion, but it wasn’t a problem at all for Qianye and Zhao Jundu to deal with such a level of impact. At most, the dust and remnant black titanium would cause some discomfort. 

Qianye rapidly pulled back and safely left the explosive area of effect with the exception of some dust on his body. Meanwhile, violet mist flickered around Zhao Jundu’s body. He actually forcefully resisted the shockwaves and landed ramrod straight on the ground. It was as if he could completely ignore the violent impact. 

Qianye finally saw the opponent’s appearance. That person was unexpectedly young and handsome, possessing the grandeur of a dragon and the temperament of a phoenix. The most eye-catching was the rising dark violet mist which suffused the depths of his eyes.

Comparatively, Qianye’s appearance was affected by his vampire constitution—his skin was a sickly white, and his handsomeness was accompanied by a coalescence of pride and determination. But this young man’s external appearance, as a whole, was superior to Qianye’s by a small margin. It was just that he was more neutral, and his gaze, like ice and snow, had a penetrative chill to it.

As the two stood to face each other, it almost felt as if they had already taken the greater share of the heaven’s favor. 

Qianye’s eyes fell on the gun in that person’s hands, a heavy sniper rifle which he had never seen before. Its two-meter long bronze body was decorated with life-like patterns resembling a legendary primordial beast, the wind stallion, and its might was also fitting of its unforgettable appearance.

In comparison, even a remodeled Eagleshot equipped with Resounding Strike was like a child’s toy.

That person held the heavy sniper rifle in one hand as if it were as light as a feather. Apparently, his strength was just as astonishing as the weapon in his hand.

He glanced at Qianye and suddenly revealed a smile. “Zhao clan, Zhao Jundu.”

Qianye was astonished; there was naturally no way he hadn’t heard of this name before. The most illustrious genius among the younger generation of the four clans. Why would such a character appear in a barren land like the Silentflame Steppes? Could it be due to the incident at Darkshore City?

Qianye soon discarded this notion. The incident in Darkshore was neither big nor small, but it definitely didn’t warrant the personal arrival of the Zhao clan’s fourth young master.

However, Zhao Jundu’s current attitude made it evident that he had come here specifically to kill him.

“Why?” Qianye asked.

Zhao Jundu replied, “Either defeat me or be defeated. Then you’ll know.”

Qianye frowned. The two were a mere ten meters away, a range which happened to be optimal for the Twin Flowers, while Zhao Jundu’s heavy sniper rifle was no longer suitable for use. He put away the Bloody Datura, flexed his fingers, and then gradually formed a fist.

Zhao Jundu smiled and inserted his heavy sniper rifle into the ground. He then spread his arms wide as if he were spreading a pair of wings. Surprisingly, it was the Soaring Wader Stance.

Qianye had long since experienced the Soaring Wader Fist in his fight against Zhao Youpin. Back then, he had disrupted the man’s stance with a single strike and followed up with a tempestuous assault momentum. The other party didn’t even have the opportunity to retaliate.

However, would this same Soaring Wader Fist be the same in Zhao Jundu’s hands?

Qianye advanced in large strides and pushed the Combatant Formula to the 35th cycle, the tides resounding like thunder.

When they were only meters apart, Qianye let loose his voice and broke into a sprint at extreme speeds. A leg swept toward Zhao Jundu accompanied by the sound of wind and thunder.

This kick was delivered at Qianye’s full strength, leaving no room for any change. Only this kind of brute force suppression was effective against the Soaring Wader Fist whose advantages lay in its grace and agility.

Seeing Qianye’s incoming kick which would likely break even a giant tree trunk, Zhao Jundu raised his hands and held them together in the air like a wader holding its wings together. The next moment, he smashed his fisted hands downward with the great strength and boldness of a lightning storm.

The interlocking punch and kick caused a clap of thunder to resound through the clear skies as both combatants were thrown back. This exchange was actually a pure contest of strength without any fancy moves.

Qianye flipped around mid-air and landed firmly on the ground, his legs suddenly digging deep into the soil and transmitting the remnant shockwaves into the earth as two long ditches appeared in front of him. Zhao Jundu, on the other hand, stepped back continuously and only stabilized himself after four or five steps, each leaving a deeply chiseled foot imprint on the ground.

The result of this forceful exchange apparently far surpassed the expectations of both parties. The two opponents gazed at each other with surging killing intent and cold gleams flashing through their eyes.

A reckless bird just had to fly over their heads at this very moment. In the end, it plummeted mid-flight and burst into a mist of blood before even reaching the ground. Following which, half of this bloody mist burst into golden flames, while the other was immolated by a purple blaze.

The violet intent in Zhao Jundu’s eyes surged. “Very good. Once more!” 

Qianye didn’t say anything else and rushed forward directly. Every step was accompanied by the sound of fluctuating tides, and a scarlet radiance weaved over his forearm as he chopped down like an axe. Zhao Jundu swept out with his palm like a divine bird flapping its wings and materialized myriad phenomena with a single strike as if the entire jade mountain was being toppled over!

Another peal of thunder resounded as the two exchanged blows once again.

Qianye’s attacks were all from the Military Combat Technique and, at times, would completely abandon all form to launch an earth-shattering brute force attack. On the other hand, Zhao Jundu was still wielding the Soaring Wader Fist. But, in his hands, every move from this secret art known to all core descendants possessed such power and momentum that it could shatter the land. There wasn’t the least bit of emptiness in it.

The moves used by the two were swift and distinct, yet every exchange was akin to colliding mountains and submerging continents. As the battle progressed, the two eventually forewent blocking and evasion. They traded blow for blow and collided in melee range, each consuming vast amounts of origin power.

The more simple and violent the blows, the greater its might.

After a long battle, Qianye could no longer catch his breath and was smashed back by Zhao Jundu’s fist. Finally, he couldn’t help but spit out a mouthful of blood and collapsed to the ground.

With a wave of his hand, the Blue Firmament left the ground and fell into his hand. With one hand, he pointed the gun at Qianye’s chest and said, “Were you the one who killed Zhao Youpin?”

Qianye replied candidly, “It is I.”

Zhao Jundu suddenly smiled and said, “I’ll let you live if you’re willing kowtow, apologize, and work for me. What say you?”

Qianye closed his eyes and said indifferently, “There’s no need. Since I’m inferior in skill, my fate is to die after being defeated.”

Zhao Jundu nodded and pulled the trigger.

“Click!” went the sound of trigger pushing against the firing pin.

Qianye opened his eyes, his limpid eyes gradually surging with anger. “Do you find this amusing?”

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-Legion-'s Thoughts

4/7 of the week. Enjoy ^_^


TL: Legion 

ED: Moxie


Teaser Source: https://dev.dota2.com/showthread.php?t=283076