Chapter 423: Caravan
The aide said, “Elder, the clan lord position must be filled by someone with virtue and ability. This subordinate believes you’re the only one suited for this job!”
Nangong Yuanwang said after a lengthy silence, “That may be the case, but the situation is like a notched arrow. Even if we are to impeach Old Three, it has to wait until the matters here have been settled. Although our current strategy is to ‘urge the tiger to swallow the wolf’, we can’t just stand by without doing anything. Dispatch some men to Blackflow City and have them keep an eye out for opportunities to exploit.”
The aide affirmed the order and said toadily, “How many battles can that hatchling, Song Zining, have fought? With you personally taking action, everything is easily yours for the taking. You’ll return in triumph when the time comes, and everyone throughout the clan will be converted!”
Nangong Yuanwang felt happy to hear this and couldn’t help but smile while stroking his beard.
Qianye ran all the way and soon exited the mountainous region to arrive at the border of the war-zone. Hearing the rumble of engines as he was passing a certain valley, Qianye immediately hid his aura and sneaked over. There, he discovered a rather large motorcade advancing slowly along the valley.
The caravan consisted of over ten heavy trucks, but there was no way to tell what they were carrying because the goods were tightly covered in tarpaulin wraps. The accompanying combat vehicles numbered close to twenty, even more than the cargo vehicles. The guard force was also fairly sizeable, and the warriors weren’t weak. Judging merely from the escort strength, it was obvious that the shipment was of extraordinary value.
The bloody battle was an incomparably chaotic war-zone where battles could break out at a moment’s notice. There were no rules or apprehensions here, and neither was it bound by any law. This caravan appearing in the middle of the war-zone was really too bold and risky. Even a robbery from the empire’s side could be blamed on the dark races. No one would be in the mood to investigate the truth during the bloody battle, and they probably wouldn’t find anything even if they did.
That was why the caravan was moving quite cautiously despite having three times the usual escort power and choosing the most hidden routes wherever possible. Qianye naturally had no special thoughts about this caravan and didn’t want to get involved either. He began to edge back slowly.
However, Qianye suddenly felt that the vehicles in the caravan looked somewhat familiar and soon figured things out after a closer inspection. Despite the disguise and removal of insignias, the trucks still retained a lot of their characteristics. Qianye recalled that Song Zining’s Ningyuan Heavy Industries had a large batch of such heavy trucks. The model was fairly new and definitely not a common sight in Evernight Continent. But the guards weren’t from the Ningyuan Group and were split into three different squads, quite possibly mercenaries hired at the last moment. That was why Qianye hadn’t recognized them.
Qianye didn’t approach the secret caravan to avoid misunderstandings. Instead, he continued on his way south. He wasn’t traveling very fast because a good part of his attention was inside his body—the new blood core had entered a state of dormancy after its formation and showed no signs of movement.
The vampire blood core was supposed to take over the heart’s function completely. Under normal circumstances, it would pulse slowly and drive the flow of blood around the whole body. Qianye had never heard of a hibernating blood core—but then again, he had never seen one with embedded crystalline granules either.
Qianye tried to activate the blood core many times along the way and found that the blood core would show some signs of movement when instilled with more origin power. Qianye formed an speculation after many attempts—could it have entered a dormant state because there wasn’t enough essence blood during its formation?
Qianye could only laugh wryly at the thought of this. The terrifying consumption during the formation of his blood core was already enough to shock him. In the end, this frightening amount was actually not enough and forced the blood core into a hibernating state.
The vampire blood core didn’t just substitute the heart but was also the source of many powerful abilities. But now, Qianye still had no idea just what power this new blood core had brought him. The only tangible upgrade was the strengthening of his vampiric constitution, which had reached a completely new realm. But it would surely be a let down if that were all, considering the terrifying consumption involved in this process.
Qianye walked for a long while and finally reached the border of the Iron Curtain. There was a thread of clear sky far off in the distance. At this point, he had reached the traditional human territory—the dark races were far from being able to fight their way here.
The bloody battle was still in its early phases. The Dark Races weren’t as well prepared and had taken quite a loss during this period. However, the Dark Nation’s overall strength was far superior to the empire’s, and the battle would only grow more intense as they continued to pour in the manpower. The tranquility of this region was hence only temporary.
Another unit soon appeared over the distant horizon. This squad was made up of a thousand well-equipped men. The dozens of military transport vehicles carrying them, similarly without any insignias, were rumbling toward the war zone.
Qianye hid himself in a nearby forest and waited for this unit to pass by. There was definitely an expert overseeing the motorcade. A gaze so sharp that it was almost tangible seemed to pierce through the woods. Qianye only felt a chill flit past his body. He became somewhat alarmed and retracted his blood energy even deeper.
That expert scanned the forest a couple of times but, finding nothing abnormal, eventually marched past the forest with the convoy.
Qianye emerged from the woods after the squad had left. He gazed at the rolling dust with a frown. In that short moment just now, Qianye had keenly sensed blood energy from that expert. There was no way to hide it from Qianye’s True Sight despite the good concealment. Qianye proceeded to observe the convoy attentively and found, to his shock, that there were over a hundred high-ranking vampire warriors hidden within the squad.
Such a squad of humans and vampires appearing around the borders was extremely abnormal and hence deserving of extra attention. Judging from their route, they would soon encounter the caravan of mysterious cargo trucks, and that was very likely their objective.
Qianye couldn’t ignore the mysterious caravan since it was probably related to the Ningyuan Group. With a cold laugh and a surge of killing intent, he began tailing the unit led by the vampire expert and followed them all the way.
This mixed squad moved rapidly and soon intercepted the caravan in the hilly regions outside of the valley’s exit—it seemed they had obtained accurate information about the latter’s route. Otherwise, they wouldn’t have been able to go straight for the target like this.
The caravan fell into momentary disarray after seeing the charging attack squad. A middle-aged man in the caravan said with an ashen expression, “How can there be interceptors here? Goddammit, we’ve been betrayed!”
The people around him wore ugly expressions. It was easy to see that the distant squad was above the caravan in terms of combat strength.
The middle-aged man jumped onto the roof and shouted in a loud voice, “Don’t think about running. There’s no way you’ll make it. The enemy won’t leave survivors! Everyone, prepare for combat. We must fight it out with them!”
The mercenaries of the caravan could be considered well trained. They were able to mobilize rapidly despite belonging to several different squads. The caravan was protected in the innermost part while the military transports formed an outer defensive perimeter. The middle-aged man opened the cargo compartment on one of the vehicles—it turned out to be a mobile heavy cannon disguised as a cargo truck.
A fierce battle ensued in the blink of an eye as the heavy cannons began to rumble. The suppressive sound waves echoing across the battlefield were especially shocking. A large swathe of soldiers would fly out every time the heavy cannon shells landed. Even the high-ranking vampire warriors would be heavily injured or die on the spot after taking a direct hit.
At this moment, at the center of the mysterious squad, several figures were standing atop a combat vehicle and gazing at the distant battle. Most of them had pale faces and were clad in magnificent ancient apparel. The rolling sanguineous hue in the depths of their eyes made it clear that they were high-ranking vampires, the leader being a third-rank viscount. Apart from the vampires, there was also a human. At rank-eight, he couldn’t be considered powerful, but the two vampire viscounts were fairly polite toward him. Apparently, his identity was special.
Listening to the continuous rumble of the heavy cannons and seeing the assault vehicles explode one after another, the middle-aged man nodded slightly and said, “Such a heavy escort is several times more than the norm. This caravan should be the real one. It seems the news we’ve obtained is unmistaken.”
The leading vampire viscount said with a sinister laugh, “It’ll be clear once we see the goods.”
With that, he performed a hand gesture, prompting another vampire viscount to immediately charge out. The latter’s speed was abnormally fast as he cut through the battlefield and charged into the caravan’s defensive line. He tore open one of the cargo compartments, picked a random crate, and rushed back at lightning speed, tossing the crate onto the ground upon his return. He had entered and left through the flames of battle as though the caravan’s defensive perimeter didn’t even exist.
This scene caused the mercenaries to despair. They could only shout at the top of their lungs and pour out more firepower in order to slightly reduce the terror in their hearts.
The crate was duly opened to reveal rows of neatly arranged gun barrels. The human male picked up one of them and observed it in detail before nodding. “This is a barrel for grade-two origin guns. It’s confirmed, these are the goods.”
The vampire viscount laughed maliciously and said, “Then what are we waiting for? Time to feast!”
The viscount was just about to give the order when the human said indifferently, “Viscount Karsi, please send the news back first. The sire is still waiting to make a decision!”
Karsi was evidently displeased at being obstructed but still gave some commands accordingly. Moments later, several blood falcons with bright red wing tips soared into the sky and flew swiftly into the distance.
Qianye looked up at the blood falcons flying overhead and quietly took note of their direction before continuing his hidden advance toward the battlefield. It was already within sniping range, but Qianye didn’t stop there and kept on going forward. It was only when he was within 500 meters that he produced the vampire sniper rifle and fired with a raise of his hand.
There was no need to aim too carefully at such a distance since it was impossible for one of Qianye’s caliber to miss. The group on the combat vehicle was alarmed, but it was too late to evade. All they could do was activate their defensive abilities.
The origin bullet arrived screaming, but the target of this ambush was rather surprising. Quite unexpectedly, it wasn’t Viscount Karsi and neither was it that seemingly important human. Instead, it was the vampire viscount who specialized in speed.
That vampire viscount let out a muffled groan as his blood energy was blasted open and a fist-sized wound appeared on his leg. Such injuries were nothing to vampires, but his speed would be more or less affected.
Qianye strode forward after a successful shot and fired once more. But Karsi was well prepared and sidestepped the bullet. It was just that he had failed to protect his subordinate despite saving himself—a vampire knight behind him was sent flying from the assault vehicle.
Qianye fired two more shots along the way, but none of them struck Karsi. The latter utilized the vampire race’s highly unpredictable movements to the utmost, evading three of Qianye’s shots successively on the small car roof. This went to show just how powerful he was.
However, Karsi suddenly felt that something wasn’t quite right. He glanced back and found that only the human male and another viscount remained. All of his other subordinates had been blown away, their fate unknown.
At this moment, Qianye was only dozens of meters away from the assault vehicle. He sprinted once again and arrived before the car like a phantom. East Peak’s momentum was comparable to a mountain as it hacked down!Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Came out a bit late, sorry!
Note: There's was a line in the previous chapter taken from a Song Dynasty poem. I did my best to translate it after a good hour of research. Feel free to go back and take a look if you're interested.
TL: Legion ED: Moxie