Chapter 416: Viscount [V5C123 – A Distance Within Reach]
The old man sighed indignantly. “Seventh Young Master has shown such obvious hints, yet those old fogeys from the clan are playing deaf and mute. Song Zhongcheng that bastard is still going on about how the Song clan’s prestige is important. Humph! The way I see it, he’s just causing trouble for you. He’s afraid that you’ll cast off your shackles and connect yourself to an influential clan, thereby gaining a powerful ally. This building is already about to collapse, what’s the use of gaining face? Foolish, truly foolish!”
Song Zining said with a soft sigh, “The heavens have never killed people. It’s always people who seek death on their own.”
At this moment, a strong gust of wind blew open the windows and filled the room with extreme coldness. The gale picked up the papers and threw them about, but Song Zining didn’t move in the slightest—his heart, for a moment, was filled with bleakness.
Meanwhile, Qianye was still carrying out his long wait. The giant beast’s heart blood seemed boundless, and the converted darkness origin power flowed on without end.
The purple blood energy was immobile and curled up in one corner of the space. It hadn’t the smallest share in the vast amount of darkness origin power produced by the Mystery Chapter—all of it was being absorbed by the dark golden blood energy. For some reason, the latter was being extremely despotic. The purple blood energy wanted to partake in some of the darkness origin power as usual but was banished by the dark golden one.
The two blood energies engaged in a fierce battle, but the purple lost miserably and was nearly torn and devoured by the golden blood energy. It was badly injured and no longer dared to fight for food. It could only cower into a corner, wait for its rival to have its fill, and then see if there were any leftovers.
Meanwhile, both the Book of Darkness and Wings of Inception were oddly silent this time. They made no move to fight the golden blood energy who thus proceeded to absorb all of the darkness origin power.
After an unknown length of time had passed by, the golden blood energy finally reached a critical point. It began to release streams of blood which attached themselves to Qianye’s heart and formed a dark golden blood cocoon—the advancement had begun.
Qianye did some calculations and was immediately astonished. The darkness origin power absorbed by the dark golden blood energy was equal to a count’s entire store of essence blood.
It turned out that an entire vampire count was only enough for the dark golden blood energy to evolve once. If Qianye still had his body, he would surely have felt his brows twitching. In the past, he had only felt that the Wings of Inception and the Book of Darkness had an astonishing rate of consumption, but now, he had just realized that the true major glutton was the dark golden blood energy.
The dark golden blood energy didn’t stop absorbing darkness origin power even after forming a cocoon. On the contrary, its absorption rate even increased. Moments later, a wisp of dark golden blood energy stretched out from the cocoon and probed into Qianye’s heart—a while later, another strand grew out and entered his heart.
This was yet another long process. A sudden enlightenment entered Qianye’s consciousness as the unceasing stream of darkness origin power from the Mystery Chapter entered the blood cocoon. The dark golden origin power would form a blood core after this stage!
This signified Qianye’s advancement on the Evernight side as he became a formal third-rank viscount—the corresponding imperial rank was a rank-ten champion.
It was just that Qianye could only laugh wryly after seeing the dark golden blood energy’s consumption rate. It had absorbed yet another count’s worth of darkness origin power after forming the cocoon. Adding everything together, it had taken the darkness origin power equivalent of two and a half counts to feed this dark golden blood energy—only then did this forming blood core come into being. With such standards, the next advancement would surely be an unfathomable mission.
However, there existed a theorem common to both the Evernight and Daybreak Factions—under the condition of fixed innate talents, the benefits were directly proportional to the investment. The more terrifying one’s talents were, the more difficult it was to achieve a perfect advancement. However, the sturdier one’s foundations, the more extensive one’s future prospects would be.
Qianye still felt rather apprehensive despite knowing this logic, the only reason being the unreasonable consumption levels involved for advancement. Such a drain might be just right for people like Zhao Yuying or Zhao Jundu, but even they shouldn’t encounter such a rate of depletion under normal circumstances.
The countless dark read threads pierced into his heart and weaved tightly together. The blood energy within the sanguineous cocoon was also in the process of continuous evolution. Qianye’s heart was slowly transforming and being strengthened. During this process, he used up yet another two count’s worth of essence blood.
This continued until the dark golden blood energy finally completed its metamorphosis and broke through the cocoon!
At this moment, Qianye could no longer be considered excited because the equivalent of at least five counts in essence blood had been consumed during this entire process. In other words, a total of five Stukas was required for Qianye to condense a blood core and advance to a third-rank viscount.
The giant beast’s heart blood in the small space had almost been exhausted, and only a thin layer of it remained. Qianye could only sigh emotionally at how exuberant the vitality in the chaotic beast’s essence blood was—it was several times superior to ordinary creatures.
At this very moment, the blood core had already formed under the right conditions. The countless strands of blood piercing into Qianye’s heart didn’t disengage after the dark golden blood energy broke out of its cocoon. Instead, it started drawing out fresh blood from within, causing the heart to condense into a small mass of blood.
Qianye finally felt relieved after seeing this mass of blood. He had originally thought that the golden blood energy would assimilate it completely into the blood core, which was the case for all vampires.
That would’ve dragged the greater half of Qianye’s body toward the Evernight faction. Additionally, many human combat arts past the champion rank required the activation of the heart’s origin power source. The heart was also an absolute necessity if one wished to become a divine champion in the future.
That was why Qianye had been repeatedly commanding the dark golden blood energy to condense a new, separate blood core. It was just that he had no idea whether the blood energy would listen to his order. After all, Qianye never had any real control over it.
Fortunately, the golden blood energy was exceptionally obedient. It actually complied with Qianye’s demands and formed a new blood core.
The sanguineous mass wiggled continuously and continued to absorb darkness origin power. Only when the giant beast’s remaining heart blood was reduced to a trickle did a new blood core appear beside his heart.
It was just that Qianye couldn’t help but become baffled after seeing this new blood core. Is this really my blood core?
He had killed no small number of viscounts and seen his fair share of blood cores. He had even seen a marquis’ back at the Red Scorpion array chamber.
At this moment, the newly formed blood core beside his heart was the size of a fist. It was far bigger than that of an ordinary viscount and closer to a first-rank viscount’s in terms of size. This was still understandable since, after all, it had absorbed so much essence blood during the advancement; being somewhat stronger than an ordinary viscount was only natural. However, Qianye’s blood core wasn’t made up of purer flesh and blood—there were many dark golden crystalline granules embedded within it.
Legends described how a vampire’s blood core would undergo a transformation once he had progressed past the level of a duke and stepped toward that of a grand prince. The blood core would become completely crystallized and turn into what was known as blood amber. This process, however, could only be found in written records since most people would never have the chance to see a grand prince’s blood core in a lifetime.
Vampire grand princes were incomparably powerful. They were only one rank below great monarchs and possessed virtually unlimited lifespans. It wasn’t strange at all for them to live thousands of years. Most of those famous vampire grand princes were even older than the empire’s history. Who could kill such characters and bring out their blood core for a look?
Then how was one able to categorize Qianye’s current blood core? Half-crystallized?
Feeling greatly distressed, Qianye decided he might as well push these problems to the side for now. He had successfully condensed a blood core at the moment, and the most direct benefit it afforded him was the ability to reform his body. Vampires possessed an extremely tenacious vitality and could be reborn as long as their blood core remained—all that was required was to place it within the clan’s blood pool with some investment in time and resources. That was the reason why one had to destroy the blood core when killing high-ranking vampires.
The blood core, after its condensation, started to beat rhythmically like a heart. The dark golden blood energy appeared tired. It dived straight into the blood core and refused to budge. Only at this point did the cowering purple blood energy started to show signs of movement. It swam around the blood core for some time but didn’t dare enter. It could only return to the heart with its ability rune in tow and proceed to hibernate therein.
When the blood core was first activated, Qianye’s consciousness felt as though it had landed on solid ground. It had fallen into the blood core from nothingness. Then, with a single thought from Qianye, the blood core immediately shot out thousands of sanguineous threads which tore through the surrounding space and pierced into the giant beast’s remaining flesh and blood. He then began the simultaneous process of absorption and reconstruction.
Qianye calmed down and devoted himself to the reconstruction of his body.
In the Black Forest, the invasive flesh that was extending in every direction and devouring everything in its wake suddenly halted its advance and became strangely stationary. It started to contract moments later, leaving behind only the corroded, scorched earth.
But the soil that had been shaved off by the passing flesh actually started moving as though it were alive—the earth swelled gradually, and the trenches therein soon filled up on their own.
After some time, green shoots began to sprout on the ground and started to grow at a visible rate. A grove of tall trees several meters in height had appeared within the short span of a single day. They stopped growing at this point. The withered yellow leaves fell like rain while the branches and trunks gradually turned dark and twisted, slowly transforming into that eerie forest landscape.
The flesh and blood that had already covered thousands of meters in diameter were contracting at this moment. Moreover, it was drying up progressively as though its essence was being drained without a pause. In the end, it started to wither from the periphery; the flesh completely shriveled up and eventually transformed into dark grey rocks.
After an unknown length of time, Qianye tore open the blood membrane surrounding his body and stood up. The first thing he did after rising was to touch his chest. There, he found more than just a beating heart—something that wasn’t there before—a blood core.
Qianye then observed his hands. His limbs had grown more slender, and, much like a work of art, there wasn’t a single blemish to be found. If one must point out a defect, it was that his skin was pale—so pale that there was a certain morbidness to its beauty.
However, these seemingly delicate hands held a disproportionate amount of terrifying power. Qianye glanced at his surroundings and found a broken sword nearby. The blade was brought into his hand with a single summoning gesture.
This sword was Nangong Jiancheng’s weapon. The giant chaotic beast had swallowed the man whole after his death, and even his weapon was corroded with only half the blade remaining.
Qianye glanced briefly at the broken sword before wringing it quite casually—the sharp blade was actually crushed like twisted dough. This kind of strength had far surpassed vampires of the same level and was quite sufficient to tear fine steel apart.
Qianye flung what remained of the blade to the ground and then glanced at his own hands. Only afterward did he turn his attention to the surroundings. He was standing at the center of a completely empty space thousands of meters in diameter. There was virtually nothing here apart from a thick layer of odd rocks and the necklace by his feet. It was precisely Andruil’s Mysterious Realm.
As expected of a core treasure left behind by the Black-Winged Monarch, the necklace was completely unharmed. Qianye picked it up and wore it on his neck once more.
At this moment, a flickering light nearby caught his attention. He walked over to take a look and found that it was an odd diamond-shaped crystal the size of his palm.