Chapter 428: Enigma

Chapter 428: Enigma [V5C135 – A Distance Within Reach]

The wild wolf slowed down its pace dozens of meters away from Qianye’s shelter and let out a series of low growls as though it were hesitating. However, the normal azure of the wolf’s eye was currently suffused with a layer of dark red, and its aura was also much more violent—apparently, it had been affected by the Iron Curtain.

The feral wolf pounced violently toward Qianye, unable to endure its hunger and thirst for blood.

A sudden change occurred at this point. Tens of negligibly thin bloody threads suddenly shot out from Qianye’s body and pierced through the wolf. The bloody threads withdrew immediately after they were shot out, but only one of them carried a red color on its end. Apparently, this feral wolf was already quite short on vitality.

The wolf fell to the ground with a plop, never to move again.

Soon, dozens of vicious beast bodies lay around Qianye in an odd circular shape. The remains of snakes, scorpions, and insects, on the other hand, were innumerable. On this grassy piece of land, there was no creature with life around Qianye.

Qianye finally moved after an unknown length of time and slowly opened his eyes.

He stared blankly at the small patch of grey sky visible through the branches as his senses flowed toward every direction like flowing water. In that short moment, he had already taken in the entire scenery within a hundred meters.

Qianye’s eyes became suffused with a ripple blue color that was even deeper than before. When True Sight was really opened, the world in his eyes changed once again and switched to an origin power aspect. But this time, he could see more things than before—the origin power flow and distribution were even more detailed than before. Moreover, there were some fuzzy things in the air which he couldn’t see quite clearly.

Qianye did his best to clarify what those shadows were, but his visual powers had already reached their limit. The harder he tried, the blurrier they became.

After a momentary daze, Qianye suddenly thought of something. “How come I fell asleep?”

He immediately woke up in astonishment and sat up straight. He was shocked to find the dense stack of beast and insect bodies around him because their deaths were clearly related to him. Qianye collected his thoughts and immediately began to inspect his own body.

His blood core was floating quietly beside his heart and would pulse every once in a while. The trauma it had received last time left no scars, and there were runes swimming in and out of the core without any restriction.

Qianye could recognize his Bloodline Concealment and eye ability runes, but there were two new ones which he didn’t. He touched them with his consciousness and immediately understood the power they contained. One of them was True Sight, but the ability had grown even stronger. The other one was fairly special—it was completely integrated into the blood core. 

The ability represented by this rune was Life Plunder. It was the ability he had obtained at his advancement to the viscount realm.

Once activated, Life Plunder would shoot out hundreds of invisible blood threads at nearby life forms and collect their vitality to complement his own.

This power attack was both attack and defense in one move. Qianye had already experienced its might when he first activated it. Even ordinary viscounts wouldn’t be able to block the focused attack of numerous blood threads. As Qianye grew stronger and stronger, the number, might, and range of his sanguineous threads would increase.

Life Plunder was effective against crowds, but it wasn’t without limits. Once used, the blood core would need to rest for at least a day before enough energy would be restored for another activation. Additionally, Life Plunder couldn’t be used with allies in the vicinity since it couldn’t differentiate between friend and foe. Otherwise, all of them would be wiped out.

Now, Qianye knew how those corpses came to be. Most of the dark race bloodline talents were extremely aggressive, and this world was one where the strong devoured the weak. The degree of Life Plunder’s might and ferocity was rare even across the entire Evernight faction. Now, this was a power fitting of a top-grade bloodline.

Qianye stood up and gradually moved his body. His body was like a rusted machine after so many days of sleep; even the simplest of movements were somewhat shaky. But after a moment of activity, Qianye immediately discovered that every cell in his body contained power akin to a volcano, waiting to break out at a moment’s notice.

He tried taking a step forward but almost tripped over. He subconsciously reached out to prop himself against a large tree, but the tree immediately collapsed as though it were completely rotten inside.

Qianye was deeply astonished after discovering that his limb movements were extremely uncoordinated. He realized that the reconstruction of his body following the blood core’s activation could be considered truly complete only at this point. Knowing that it was useless to rush, he simply assumed a combat stance and began practicing the Military Combat Arts right there in the forest.

Qianye’s body could be considered much more mobile after a set of punches and kicks—at least, he was no longer staggering when he walked. He simply repeated the combat arts time and again in order to acclimatize to his new body.

Qianye finally grasped control of his body after a dozen or so sets. He brought out East Peak and performed the basic sword techniques repeatedly. After several hours of exercise, Qianye finally reached complete adaptation.

He brought out an origin sundial to check the time and direction before deciding to continue toward his original destination. Many days had passed by, and it might already be too late even if he were to arrive. However, he still wanted to go and see because he felt something about this entire business was fishy.

Hundreds of kilometers of complicated landscape was only a couple of day’s journey for the current Qianye. He arrived at the designated location one day later.

The caravan’s assembly point was also within a hidden valley. All that Qianye saw upon his arrival was a field of carnage with corpses strewn across the ground and not a living soul in sight.

Even though he had long since understood this outcome, he still felt furious after witnessing this scene. What surprised him was that the scene wasn’t cleared away or destroyed. One could see that the caravan assembling here contained over a hundred trucks, and the guard force numbered in the hundreds. But now, all of the guards and mercenaries had turned into corpses.

Qianye saw little traces about the valley—most of the caravan staff and soldiers had fallen with a surprised expression. It seemed they didn’t even have the chance to retaliate.

Qianye frowned as he shuttled through the scene of battle. His gaze eventually fell upon a certain mercenary corpse—this person was an expert while he was still alive, but his expression was frozen in the pain and terror of that moment before his death.

Qianye walked over and examined the mercenary. From the traces of origin power left in his origin nodes, he was likely a rank-nine fighter before his death. Such a person would be a baron on the other side and could already be considered a high-ranking noble, albeit barely. He was very likely the leader of this guard squad, but his expression was as though he had suffered extreme terror and shock before his death.

Just what could’ve made such a veteran soldier lose his composure on the battlefield?

Qianye cut open his clothes and checked his body but found not the slightest bit of injury. He pondered for a moment before activating his Eye of Truth, whereupon he found vague signs of darkness origin power accumulation around the heart.

Qianye cut open the man’s chest with a swing of his dagger. There, he found that the heart had been reduced to a clump of meat paste—the organ seemed to have been crushed and thoroughly fragmented by some immense force.

This power caused Qianye’s heart to beat faster because it was similar to his own eye ability. It was able to penetrate surface defenses and directly attack important organs like the heart or blood core. Directly crushing a rank-nine warrior’s heart meant that the assailant’s control of this power was much better than Qianye’s own.

Qianye checked a number of other corpses and found that basically all corpses rank eight and above died of a crushed heart.

After the post-mortem, Qianye’s gaze fell upon the cargo trucks. He suddenly realized where the feeling of peculiarity had come from—a large number of undamaged cargo trucks had been abandoned here. These vehicles were rare goods on Evernight Continent, and there was no reason to leave them here. Unless, of course, they found it too troublesome to remodel the cars and were afraid of them being recognized later on.

In truth, there were so many grey channels on Evernight Continent. What was this bit of trouble in the face of a fortune? Moreover, they might not want the cars, but what about the goods on them?

Qianye leaped onto a truck, retrieved a crate, and opened it. It was filled with black stone—a common fuel ore and the most abundant mineral on Evernight Continent. It was so common that even ordinary civilians could afford them, and so cheap that no one was willing to excavate the smaller ore veins anymore.

The upper continents mined black stone ore mainly for the accompanying black crystals and other rare minerals.

This caravan, from its trucks to its guard squads, could only be considered grand. So, why was it shipping black stone? Qianye flipped the crate over and poured out all of its contents but still found nothing special. The entire crate was only filled with black stone.

Qianye opened several other crates and found that they were all filled with black stone. There was no need to check further because all of them were surely filled with the same ore—that was why they had been abandoned here.

Qianye checked his surroundings and silently calculated the scale of this caravan. Then, using Song Yinian’s caravan as a reference, he found that at least half of the entire caravan was filled with black stone. This meant that Ningyuan Heavy Industry’s losses had been decreased by half.

At this point, Qianye had also found that something was off. Song Zining had always handled business in a watertight manner. A huge shipment of black stones being used to fill the numbers indicated that this was a trap he had set for someone else. But the proportion was really quite steep—ignoring the others, Song Yinian’s caravan was actually carrying a genuine load of origin guns.

Just who was Song Zining planning to deal with? And which expert was capable of bursting the hearts of so many experts? 

Nighteye’s figure popped up in Qianye’s heart, but he suppressed the notion instinctively. He could only identify her as part of the Monroe clan from the insignia on her clothes. Apart from that, he knew nothing about her—and he didn’t want to know more, either.

There were no familiar faces among the corpses. Song Yinian’s group wasn’t present either—he probably wouldn’t come here to throw his life away unless he was excessively dumb. But the man should’ve informed his comrades after encountering a setback. Judging from the scene here, however, the warning had no effect at all.

There were many suspicions in Qianye’s heart, but there was no way to solve them before meeting Song Zining.

Having finished his inspection of the battlefield, Qianye prepared to leave the place. The implications of this case were simply too great—among those he knew, not only the vampire Monroe clan but even the empress’s family was involved. Qianye had no idea where Song Zining was, but he felt a vague sense of uneasiness.

He had yet to leave when sounds of a confrontation were heard up ahead; it was a standoff between two parties.

One of them was made up of several dozen men. Their apparel was mixed, but it was clear that they consisted of people from the Song clan, the expeditionary army, and mercenaries. Meanwhile, the other party only had ten or so people, a uniform Bai clan combat squad.

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-Legion-'s Thoughts

Sleeping beauty wakes up!


TL: Legion   ED: Moxie

     


Teaser Source: https://dota2.gamepedia.com/Enigma