Chapter 417: Conflict
The odd thing about this crystal was that it was actually generating void origin power continuously from within. Qianye picked it up and observed it again and again in his hand—its crystalline body appeared completely natural and showed no signs of having been carved. However, there was a defect on it.
Seeing the shape of this defect, Qianye suddenly recalled the odd piece of crystal he had picked up from Viscount Porter’s treasury. He immediately retrieved it from his spatial necklace and found that its size and shape were a perfect fit for the gap in this rhombus-shaped crystal.
As expected, the small crystal fastened itself perfectly upon insertion, and the entire diamond-shaped crystal erupted with intense radiance. Additionally, a formless wave spread out far into the distance and had soon vanished to god knew where.
The crystal turned dark and lightless after that initial surge of brilliance. However, under the Eye of Truth, the crystal had grown even more cryptic and profound—perhaps this was its original form. Qianye was unable to figure out anything after studying the crystal for the greater half of the day. As such, he put it back into the spatial necklace so that he could have it appraised by a master later on.
Qianye searched through the surroundings once more and finally found the Twin Flowers, but there was no sign of his Scarlet Edge. Apparently, it had been corroded by the giant beast’s bodily fluids. One had to know that the dagger was a grade-five vampiric blade and was far above the Twin Flowers in terms of material quality. However, the two revolvers were indeed extraordinary after being modified by the Black-Winged Monarch’s remnant will—they were actually unharmed.
After such a long time together, Qianye had formed some attachment to the pair of handguns. He couldn’t help but become immediately delighted. It was just that their holsters had vanished entirely, so Qianye could only put the weapons into his necklace. He then produced and changed into a set of clothes.
After making proper arrangements, Qianye began to glance at his surroundings once more in hopes of finding an exit from this odd forest. He suddenly felt that something was off after a moment of observation.
Qianye smashed the earth with his fist. Accompanied by a cloud of dust, the rumbling smash immediately produced a deep pit in the ground which he peered into with the Eye of Truth. However, there was no longer any void origin power seeping out.
Only at this point did Qianye realize that the forest no longer felt the same—the dense, eerie vitality permeating the woods had disappeared. The entire forest seemed to have lost its life and turned into a dead zone. There were no more transformations whatsoever.
A rueful smile appeared on Qianye’s countenance as he recalled how he had entered the Black Forest by accident. “Ah, I’m already a vampire viscount!”
At this moment, his emotions were indeed difficult to describe.
The various bizarre phenomena brought about by the Black Forest naturally dispersed after its death, and the area was no longer a one way land of death. Qianye checked his position and advanced toward a random direction. The current Black Forest was no longer able to interfere with his perception, so he would surely arrive at its border as long as he kept walking.
As for why the Black Forest had suddenly perished, Qianye could only venture some guesses. Perhaps it had something to do with the giant beast’s demise or, perhaps, it was another reason altogether. There was no shortage of legends regarding the Black Forest remnants, but never any stories of its secrets being discovered.
Qianye saw many more peculiarities along the way. There were humans wrapped up in giant cocoons, and others half swallowed by the trees with the remaining half of their bodies struggling painfully outside. Death came to them in many different forms.
There was a giant tree with human faces embedded within it, each of them frozen with painful expressions. They were actually crying, but the tears had crystallized and would forever remain on their faces.
It was just that the Black Forest had already died, and these trees had also lost their vitality. Those who had been devoured would remain eternally locked in this moment of painful struggle. All these people who had entered the Black Forest, mistake or otherwise, became nourishment in the end. Even someone as strong as Nangong Jiancheng was no exception.
Qianye would occasionally find some items under the trees which he checked one by one—there were Nangong family tokens among the many others which belonged to the aristocratic families. There were even some fairly aged tokens covered in rust and well-weathered parchments. These centuries-old objects proved that the Black Forest had existed for at least three hundred years.
At this point, Qianye deduced that yet another Nangong family elite squad had met its end in the Black Forest in order to chase him down. All in all, Qianye estimated that at least over a hundred elites had died in his hands, including two champions and a true expert like Nangong Jiancheng. His enmity with the Nangong family seemed to be growing deeper and deeper.
Qianye hastened his steps. He wanted to leave this place quickly and return to Blackflow City. There was an unerasable worry in his heart. Bai Kongzhao was a vicious and merciless person. There was no telling what she would do now that she had failed to assassinate him after that long, thousand-kilometer battle.
Additionally, he had no idea if Bai Kongzhao’s assault was her own idea or the Bai clan’s intention. If the Bai clan were really involved, Zhao Yuying’s name alone might not be able to ensure Blackflow City’s safety.
The matter at hand was urgent, but he would need to get out of this place first.
In Blackflow City, Song Hu was sitting in his office and feeling distressed as he faced the heap of official documents. The undercurrents within the city were growing stronger as a continuous stream of unidentified people entered the city. With Song Hu’s fox-like sense of smell, he had long since noticed that these people hadn’t come with good intentions. However, he had no way to deal with them at the moment.
Qianye had gone dark after going to battle and had yet to return to this very day. Meanwhile, Zhao Yuying was still recuperating back at the Zhao clan with no way to come over on short notice. At this moment, there wasn’t a single expert powerful enough to hold the fort in Blackflow City.
There were rumors flowing within the city about how Qianye had fallen in battle at the Dark Nation. They were naturally spread by people with certain intentions, but these fabrications might move people’s hearts if Qianye failed to appear after a long time.
The best way to deal with this matter was to engage in battle and shift people’s attention. Song Hu arrived before the map on the wall but still couldn’t decide after gazing at it for a long time. He could only let out another sigh.
In the end, he was only a division-level chief of staff and had been badly wounded before. It was quite a strain both in terms of strength and strategy for him to deal with the current situation. If he staked everything in one throw and lost, the situation would immediately destabilize—that probably wasn’t Qianye’s intention when the latter put him in charge of things.
It was at this time that the office door was pushed open and a familiar soldier rushed in. “Officer, things don’t look good. Our men have gotten into a conflict, and many brothers have been killed!”
Song Hu roared with a cold face, “Who did this?”
“It’s still those people from the Nangong squad!”
Song Hu smashed his fist heavily on the table and said hatefully, “It’s them again!”
The soldier gritted his teeth and said, “Sir, this isn’t the first time! We’ve already lost a dozen or so brothers to them. So what if we can’t win? Let’s fight it out with them. Rest assured, none of our brothers are cowards in battle! Since we’re going to die anyway, dying in battle is better than being vexed to death!”
Song Hu’s face twitched hard, but he was hesitant. There were already all kinds of people mixed in within the city, but a large Nangong family combat squad had established themselves here a couple of days ago. The Nangong family was a giant entity to a small border city like Blackflow. They started getting into conflict with the Dark Flame soldiers immediately after their arrival, and every time, there would be a spillage of blood. Later on, they simply started killing people.
No matter how elite the Dark Flame soldiers were, they were still commoners who couldn’t be compared to the true experts of the Nangong unit. As such, they would be badly defeated in every conflict. A number of officers couldn’t take it anymore and brought an entire battalion to demand an explanation. In the end, several hundred soldiers were beaten to the ground following a fierce battle, even leaving a couple of corpses behind.
This Nangong unit was comprised of several dozen men, all of them rank eight or nine experts. They didn’t go to battle after arriving in Blackflow and simply roamed the city every day to pick fights with Dark Flame troops. Conflicts had broken out every day during this short period under the cold gazes of the various bystanders.
Song Hu was also from an aristocratic family and knew the difficulty of this situation. It was useless to report this to the upper echelons—the self-governing tradition of combat divisions dictated that the weak had no way to protect their own domain. Revealing their own weakness might even cause the other fellows who had always disliked Dark Flame to take advantage of the situation and play some tricks.
There were only two ways to deal with this. The best way was, of course, to destroy the opponent. But this method wasn’t feasible with both Qianye and Zhao Yuying absent.
The second was to swarm out in full force and kill them with a sea of soldiers. There was also a drawback to this strategy because, without an expert to oversee the troops, it would be quite difficult to prevent the Nangong squad from breaking the siege. At that time, the casualties would be heavy and the benefits, little. The gains would hardly make up for the losses.
Moreover, experts like Duan Hao and Zhu Wuya were out managing missions at the temporary strategic points. Qianye was also missing deep behind enemy lines. How could he summon them back at such a critical juncture?
Song Hu, as a chief of staff, was adept at handling military affairs, but he wasn’t decisive enough regarding such major issues.
However, the Nangong squad was currently causing a great disturbance within the city. Not only were they causing the citizens to waver, but even the army morale had inevitably become disorganized.
While a distressed Song Hu was pondering over what to do, the door was pushed opened and in walked a smiling man. “Uncle Hu, long time no see. Why do you look so nervous? Do you not even dare to take such a small action anymore?”
Song Hu’s entire body shook as he glanced carefully at the visitor. Both surprised and delighted, he said, “Seventh Young Master! Why are you here?!”
The person who had arrived was indeed Song Zining who said while playing with the fan in his hand, “I was feeling quite restless these days, so I came over to take my mind off things and also to take a look at the situation here in passing. How come I’m hearing about the Nangong family causing trouble the moment I landed?”
Song Hu smiled wryly, “It’s been several days, and over ten of our warriors have died in their hands. But Sire Qianye isn’t here, so there’s no way to deal with them.”
Song Zining closed the fan with a pop and retracted his smile. A killing intent emerged on his face as he said, “Only a group of jumping clowns. It just so happened that I’ve become a champion recently and have nothing else to do. I’ll go over and play with them. You just wait for me here.”
“Seventh Young Master! But…” Song Hu wanted to say something, but Song Zining had already left.
Song Hu had worked under Song Zining before and knew quite clearly that this young, gentle-looking master only appeared accommodating, but was never one to go back on his words. He felt quite nervous and wanted to explain the many pros and cons to him, but he didn’t dare go out since Song Zining had ordered him to stay. He could only pace about Dark Flame’s main gates like an ant on a hot pan.
In the end, Song Zining came strolling back along the wide road leading up to Dark Flame’s main gates. He couldn’t help but break into a laughter after seeing the anxiously awaiting Song Hu on the sentry tower. “Go and make some preparations. The Nangong family men will arrive soon afterward, and I have questions for them.”
Song Hu was astonished at how quickly Song Zining had returned. Had his Seventh Young Master really just gone out to play?Previous Chapter Next Chapter
The badass arrives :D
TL: Legion ED: Moxie