Chapter 425: Plot
Qianye pondered for a moment but wasn’t able to recall immediately which top-grade noble family was surnamed Li. Li was a big surname common among both nobility and commoners. For instance, Li Pei, who had unfortunately fallen in the Bloody Battle along with his sect uncle, was from the Green Sky Li Family of the Transcendent Continent was also a Li.
But the two reports delivered by Lone Ghost proved themselves useful at this time. Qianye probed, “It seems the present empress is also surnamed Li?”
That man’s voice immediately rose higher. “Indeed! This lowly one is Li Xu. We can be good friends in the future.”
Qianye suddenly laughed. “The Jingtang Li is the Empress’s family. How can such a stately clan be working together with the vampires? Why would such a family rob such a small caravan?”
Li Xu’s expression shifted as he said furiously, “What do you know? It’s not just this caravan.”
Immediately after saying this, Li Xu realized his indiscretion and stopped talking. He then stared fixedly at Qianye and said, “Young Noble is such a young genius. It will be a waste of talent for you to work under me. I’ll recommend you upward upon my return. With your ability and the support of my clan, it won’t be too difficult to soar into the sky—even becoming the empress’s helper is not impossible. As for the cooperation with the vampires, I would suggest Young Noble to forget about it for the time being. This is a subject best avoided, and not something you should know for now.”
This Li Xu was indeed good at talking. He was sensible, reasonable, and sounded rather sincere when talking about important matters. Qianye really might’ve been persuaded if he were a person with no connections whatsoever.
“Do you have anything else to say?” Qianye asked as he produced a small leather bag and proceeded to open it, revealing a dozen or so delicate tools within.
Li Xu’s eyelids twitched after seeing the neatly arranged tools. “These are torture equipment used specifically by the elite corps!”
Qianye was somewhat startled because not many people could recognize these things. It seemed Li Xu’s identity was indeed as he had said.
During the half an hour that followed, Li Xu confessed to everything after just a bit of torture.
It turned out that the target of their robbery was a large-scale caravan carrying enough equipment to outfit a regular army division, and Song Yinian’s group was only one of the sub-caravans. However, the caravan wasn’t the main objective of the person behind Li Xu. They had larger plans, and this robbery was only a small part of the big picture.
But Li Xu’s knowledge was limited. The reason for choosing this target, for instance, and the so-called big plot behind the scene was beyond his knowledge. Li Xu only explained that the current partnership involved the Jingtang Li Clan and a major power on the dark race side. Reportedly, the ancient clan had dispatched a person, and he was an expert of extremely high status.
However, Li Xu wasn’t clear as to who that person actually was and only knew that the vampires referred to her as the princess. Li Xu’s position in the Jingtang Li clan was actually quite mediocre, and he only managed to climb his way up by relying on the kingdom-toppling beauty that was his sister.
Listening up to this point, Qianye knew that he could get nothing more out of the man. But the term Monroe Princess made it difficult for him to breathe—it was like a large stone pressing down upon his chest.
Li Xu stole a glance at Qianye while the latter was deep in thought. He smiled cautiously and said, “Young Noble, this lowly one has told you everything he knows. Can you perhaps let me go now? I still have some meager savings on me, and they’re all yours as long as you spare my life.”
Qianye paid him no heed and was still lost in his own thoughts. The present empress’s family colluding with an ancient vampire clan was, no doubt, an alarming development. Perhaps such matters weren’t limited to the empress’s family—the other major human powers with connections to the dark races probably weren’t few in number either.
This was the first time he had discovered just how deep the undercurrents below the Iron Curtain were. In the midst of all this, Qianye and Dark Flame could easily be torn to shreds if they were the slightest bit careless.
“Sir?” Li Xu asked cautiously.
Only then did Qianye come to. He glanced at the man and said indifferently, “Won’t people arrive to kill me very soon if I let you go?”
Li Xu’s eyelids twitched as he forced a smile. “Impossible. Sire, you jest.”
He hadn’t even finished speaking when his sentence was cut short. With a raise of his hand, Qianye had run a blade through the man’s heart. Despite his reserved manners, this person was cunning and had a sister who was an imperial concubine. Releasing him would only bring endless troubles. Qianye had no intention to leave Song Zining a troublesome enemy.
Li Xu wasn’t strong, but the fortune he was carrying was nothing to scoff at. The ten-odd black crystals he was carrying added a small fortune to Qianye’s empty purse. None of the man’s equipment sparked Qianye’s interest, except that defensive ribbon—not only was it capable of blocking a heavy blow from East Peak, but it could also be recharged and reused. It was even rarer than the high-ranking defensive tools Qianye had seen back at the Song clan.
But the thing was also quite problematic. It would be quite troublesome if the item was recognized by someone. The Li family wasn’t famous in the empire, but they were definitely not simple. Otherwise, how could they push out the Zhao clan’s daughter to ascend the empress’s position? One had to know that it took more than just good looks to secure this seat.
Qianye walked out of the cargo compartment after storing the defensive ribbon into Andruil’s Mysterious Realm. Song Yinian immediately came over and said, “Young Noble, the battlefield has been cleaned up, and all the important captives are gathered over there. Do you want to go and take a look?”
Qianye nodded and followed Song Yinian over. A number of vampire corpses lay in a nearby open space, and all of them were high-ranking vampires above the knight level.
Qianye searched the corpses briefly and found an engraved token on Karsi’s body. It was an item commonly used to represent the owner’s status among the dark race nobility. It was just that the flower carved upon it was as elegant as an angel’s bugle, yet at its stalk was a depiction of hellish thorns. Qianye felt an indescribable heaviness in his heart.
Datura, the flower of terror, was the insignia of the Monroe clan.
Qianye wasn’t afraid of the Monroe clan. It wasn’t as though he had never killed descendants from the Twelve Ancient Clans before. However, the insignia inevitably reminded him of the same design he had seen on Nighteye’s weapon and clothes. Moreover, there was no telling whether or not she knew this Karsi.
As Qianye and Nighteye’s strength gradually increased, their paths were bound to gradually intersect at one point—but that intersection would likely be on the battlefield.
These people didn’t have a lot of things that interested Qianye. The only thing he needed at the moment was a vampiric blade. Karsi was born of the Monroe clan, while the other viscount, Norris, hailed from a small family. The vampiric blades on them were both grade-five, but Karsi’s weapon was much higher in quality. But after seeing the eye-catching datura symbol, Qianye opted for Norris’s instead.
Song Yinian waited patiently on one side and came over only after Qianye had finished his business. He shot a glance at the nearby vehicle and asked with a whisper, “Young Noble, how is that person?”
“He’s dead,” Qianye replied indifferently.
Song Yinian’s expression changed slightly but soon recovered his composure. “Then how should we deal with him?”
Qianye pondered for a moment and said, “This person has a great background. It’ll be for the best if we act as though he has never appeared. Do you understand?”
Song Yinian was a sly man. He immediately replied, “Understood! I’ll clean up all the traces and make sure the men don’t speak irresponsibly.”
Qianye nodded. He didn’t stay for long and left quickly.
Song Yinian watched Qianye disappear from his vision before turning back. A trusted aide approached and asked, “Sire, what shall we do with those captives? They’re quite troublesome!”
Murderous intent flashed past Song Yinian’s face. He chopped his hand through the air, indicating that they should all be killed.
Qianye changed his route slightly and headed toward the designated cargo distribution center. Song Yinian’s caravan was only a small part, which meant that this caravan was much bigger, and the goods they were carrying might even be the entirety of Ningyuan Heavy Industry’s fortune. If there were any mishaps, Song Zining’s many years of hard work would go down the drain.
Moreover, Song Yinian was intercepted at such a secret route. This meant that the other rendezvous points were no longer a secret.
But while Qianye was running, he felt his blood core’s pulsations grow sluggish. He was soon overcome by an unstoppable sleepiness, and his eyelids felt as though they were a thousand tons in weight.
“This is bad!” Qianye suddenly cried out in his mind. He recalled that hibernation was a means to accelerate regeneration for the dark races.
Qianye was ambushed by Li Xu’s subordinate, and his blood core was injured. This awoke a terrifying ability which killed everyone in the vicinity and used their essence blood to repair the wound. Apparently, the blood core had decided that it needed to stay dormant to facilitate recovery.
This was really not the time for sleeping, but the weariness was different from pain in that it greatly impaired his willpower. Moreover, as his second heart, the blood core’s effect on his body was rather significant. He simply couldn’t resist the urge to sleep. He had no choice but to find an isolated place as quickly as possible—there, he lay down and fell asleep immediately.
At this moment, the blood falcons released by Viscount Karsi had traversed hundreds of kilometers to arrive above a dense forest. There was a camp in the middle of the woods, but it was well-disguised and noticeable only after approaching.
The specially trained blood falcons descended one after another after recognizing their trainer’s aura. The message they had brought were also removed by specialized staff and sent into the large, central tent.
There, several people were discussing official matters. A short-bearded middle-aged man scanned the secret message and said, “Viscount Karsi sent word that the goods on his side are real.”
Everyone’s expressions relaxed slightly. Another person spoke at this point, “Since the goods on that route are real, then the others naturally won’t be fake, either. Presently, three caravans have arrived at the rendezvous point, and the remaining one isn’t far off. I think we should make our move immediately, lest more troubles arise.”
Another person said with a frown, “I think we should investigate more. That Song Zining is notoriously crafty. There must be something wrong if things are going so smoothly for us.”
The previous man sneered, “Colonel Gu, it’s because of your suspicions that we’ve taken the time to intercept that last caravan. This has already caused quite the delay. Now, you still think it’s not appropriate? There are so many big shots here with heaps of important things waiting for their attention. When was it the turn of a small colonel like you to give orders? I’ll drive you out if you keep being long-winded!”
The person being reprimanded was Gu Liyu. As an imperial army colonel being rebuked so mercilessly, the man’s face was shifting between white and blue—and inexplicably ugly.
However, he could only maintain his silence. It was just as that other person had said. Everyone standing here came from shocking backgrounds, and only he was from a landowning household. Not to mention a colonel, they wouldn’t treat him well even if he were a brigadier general.
Gu Liyu’s previous insistence had led to Viscount Karsi and Zhao Xu being mobilized to rob one of the caravans. They would see if that caravan was real before deciding on the follow-up plans. Now that it had been proven that Gu Liyu’s judgment was incorrect, these aristocratic descendants naturally wouldn’t give him any face. Their stance remained the same despite knowing he had some background support.
Which shocking character from a major clan didn’t have some thugs like Gu Liyu?Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Just what is everyone plotting?
TL: Legion ED: Moxie