Chapter 429: War Zone
A beardless, middle-aged man from the Song clan was shouting with an angry expression, “I come on orders of the Song clan elder assembly to conduct official business! Friends, why are you blocking the way? I’m quite familiar with your Bai family’s attendant Bai Lu.”
“Bai Lu?” The Bai clan squad’s leader sneered, “The Bai clan has thousands of such attendants. Who knows which one of them is your so-called Bai Lu? This region is now the Bai clan’s war zone, and no one is allowed entry without permission. This applies even if a heavenly monarch arrives.”
The middle-aged man’s expression sank. “Brother, your words aren’t giving our Song clan face. Let me remind you, an important caravan from the Song clan has encountered an accident up ahead. How come the Bai clan has sealed the area immediately after this happened? Unless perhaps you’re related to this matter?”
The Bai clan leader laughed loudly and said with a smile, “Stop trying to frame this daddy! Your Song clan’s misfortune has nothing to do with our Bai clan. Do you think you can shift the blame just by flapping your mouth? Let me tell you, this daddy here is definitely going to block this road. Go and report this to anyone you want. Start fighting if you’re dissatisfied. Walk over this daddy’s corpse!”
The Song clan middle-aged man was completely livid. He retorted furiously with a wave of his sleeve, “A stately clan member speaking like a bandit!”
“That’s still better than your Song clan cowards who can only yap and not dare take action!”
These words quickly infuriated the Song clan group, but they could only suppress their anger no matter how indignant they were. Not to mention a fight, no one even dared talk back.
In this bloody battle, the direct subordinates of the major clans understood each other’s situation quite clearly, and it was inevitable that the dispatched private soldiers would be differentiated by power. The Zhao clan’s units were the most elite, but the Bai clan’s men were also powerful. Although they couldn’t compare to the Zhao in terms of combat strength, their victories were numerous.
Comparatively, the Zhang clan didn’t quite shine—they were quite mediocre both in number and quality. But no one dared belittle them, especially when it was rumored that the newly ascended heavenly monarch Zhang Boqian had come to Evernight to oversee matters. It was enough to extinguish most of the thoughts certain parties were entertaining.
The Song clan squads were the greatest in quantity, but the percentage of mercenaries was also the biggest. No small part of the teams was assembled on short notice, and the members were mostly mercenaries and adventurers. Such a mixture of good and bad men naturally wasn’t as cohesive during crucial moments as the private soldiers nurtured by the clans.
The Bai clan seemed to have fewer men in this confrontation, but they might not lose if a fight were to break out. Moreover, Qianye had already noticed that the Song clan people were timid and had no will to fight—they wouldn’t be wasting so many words otherwise.
Things had become a stalemate at this point. The Song clan middle-aged man eventually spoke some harsh words and left with his team. Apparently, they looked somewhat dejected. The Bai clan men, on the other hand, broke into hearty laughter without giving them any face and didn’t forget to add some sarcastic remarks.
The squad moved forward along its patrol route after forcing the Song clan unit away. However, they hadn’t gone far when the leader sensed something odd—the surroundings were a bit too quiet.
“Halt and stay alert!” The captain issued such an order, but his eyes immediately widened after turning back. Only half of his men remained, and it was a mystery when the other seven or eight had vanished.
Even the ones standing were wearing lifeless expressions and seemed completely unresponsive to the captain’s orders.
A large bead of sweat rolled down the captain’s forehead, but he managed to calm down with some difficulty. He shouted, “You lot, what’s the matter? Didn’t you hear what I just said?”
“They can’t hear anymore.”
Those soldiers suddenly went limp and fell down gradually, revealing Qianye’s figure behind the squad.
Astonished, the captain drew his gun with a swoosh and aimed it at Qianye. “Who are you? You actually dare touch our Bai clan’s squad? Are you tired of living?”
“Bai clan? Heh, I happen to be looking for people from the Bai clan.”
With a slight move of his hand and a series of afterimages, the origin gun in the captain’s hand mysteriously appeared in Qianye’s grasp. The man did his utmost to pull the trigger but only managed to press empty air—only at this point did he realize that there was nothing in his hands.
What speed! The captain drew in a breath of cold air. Before the captain could even react, Qianye had lifted him up by the neck and smashed him into a giant tree.
Only a muffled groan was heard as the captain’s body disappeared into the tree. The two men were over ten meters away from the tree just now, but Qianye had carried him over in a single step. Merely bumping into the tree would be quite damaging at such a speed, not to mention being directly smashed in.
The captain couldn’t endure this impact despite possessing the power of a rank-nine fighter and being only one step away from becoming a champion. He coughed up a mouthful of fresh blood as dozens of bones fractured throughout his body.
“Why are the Bai clan people here? Who had arrived? Tell me everything you know, and I might let you live.”
The captain was embedded within the tree and couldn’t move at all. He let out a “heh” after hearing these words and shot a mouthful of blood at Qianye’s face. “Kill me if you have the guts. It’s useless to try and get words out of me. If I die here, the experts of the clan will naturally avenge me. At that time, your entire family will die a gruesome death. The men will be cut up and fed to the dogs, while the women will be sold to the black brothels and played to death.”
Qianye dodged, and his brows rose slightly as he said with a cold voice, “You’re unexpectedly quite tenacious. But unyielding people only tend to die a slower death in my hands. Since you hate me so much, then I’ll let you continue for a while longer.”
With that, Qianye reached out to pat the captain’s body a couple of times, causing the man’s face to immediately turn red. He shouted frantically, “You shattered all my origin nodes! You’ll die a horrible death!”
Qianye casually snapped off a piece of wood, rammed it into the captain’s mouth to stop his crazed swearing, and then left. But he didn’t go very far. Instead, he found a lush, ancient tree and leapt into its crown where he waited in hiding for more Bai clan people to arrive.
This little squad had a fixed patrol path. There would surely be people coming to investigate now that the entire unit had gone missing. It was fine even if the new arrival was too strong and Qianye couldn’t take action against them. This captain’s origin nodes had all been shattered, and he would probably live only another day or so—it was useless even if they rescued him.
As expected, another Bai clan unit appeared about an hour later. This squad contained about twenty men, and the leader was a champion.
His rapid steps came to a sudden halt as he glanced toward the crown of an ancient tree. That was where Qianye had been hiding a moment ago, but the tree was completely empty when the champion glanced over and there wasn’t the slightest bit of movement.
“You two, go over there and check. You three, climb up that tree and search for clues.” That champion didn’t let go of the abnormal sensation and assigned several soldiers to fan out toward every direction.
The climbers returned very soon and naturally had nothing valuable to report. Only a soldier who specialized in smell reported that there was a peculiar odor on the treetop, but he couldn’t tell what it was.
The champion’s expression turned serious. This information was worthless because any bird could’ve left behind a smell, but there had been a faint uneasiness in his heart since the very beginning. He felt that there was something odd about that tree top.
At this moment, the champion realized that the soldiers he had sent forward hadn’t reported back. He immediately turned back with a solemn expression and said, “Prepare for combat!”
Upon turning back, however, he realized that most of the soldiers behind him had collapsed, and the ones still standing followed suit as a shadow flickered around them.
After dealing with these soldiers, Qianye appeared beside the champion like a ghost and delivered a palm strike. The man was actually quite fast with his reaction as he raised a shield to meet Qianye’s blow.
Qianye’s eyes were a deep blue at this moment. The champion’s movements in his eyes were significantly slower, and his flow of origin power was completely visible, along with the hundreds of openings all over his body. Moreover, even if there weren’t any openings, Qianye was quite confident that he could produce some in melee combat.
But Qianye was too lazy to use any special moves against this weak champion with a shaky foundation. His hand didn’t deviate at all and slammed right into the shield, poised to suppress the enemy with his peerless strength.
The champion’s legs gave way as he fell kneeling to the ground with blood spurting out of his mouth. His shield arm was still raised high above his head—it wasn’t that he didn’t want to put it down, but that his body was already petrified and couldn’t move at all.
Qianye’s left hand turned into a fist, from which a slender finger flicked out. The air was suddenly filled with the crisp sound of thunder as several indiscernible air-shots flew toward the other Bai clan warriors who had come running from the side.
The soldiers were all wiped out without exception, leaving only the champion.
Qianye stood firmly before the man and reached out to pat his shoulder. “Now, answer my questions and I might just let you live.”
The man’s face was initially full of dread, but he became much calmer instead after discovering that all of his men were dead. A faint hope for survival appeared within his eyes. It turned out that Qian Bo was an expert with neither background nor status who had submitted to the Bai clan along the way. Being able to break through to the champion rank was already a heaven-defying fortune.
He wasn’t as loyal to the Bai clan as the previous captain. Qianye hadn’t even threatened the man when he spilled all the beans and told him everything he knew. Very soon, Qianye heard a rather unexpected name.
“Bai Longjia? He’s here?” Qianye was a bit startled. With Bai Longjia’s rate of advancement, he was probably past the Iron Curtain’s safe line by now.
“General Bai will take charge of military affairs in this war zone. That was an order we received just a while ago.”
“War zone?” Qianye frowned ever so slightly.
“It is, indeed, a war zone, and it was designated very recently.”
Moments later, Qianye let Qian Bo leave after realizing that there was nothing more he could glean from the man. Just as Qianye had expected, the champion didn’t return toward the Bai clan base but instead headed in the opposite direction, apparently to escape punishment. With his strength, he could easily find another powerful backing on the upper continents and live a comfortable life.
The present situation had grown even more complicated. The Bai clan had set up a war zone at this exact time, and they had even transferred Bai Longjia over. It was unknown whether this was on the imperial military’s orders or the Bai clan’s own movement. Regardless of that, a mere Ningyuan Heavy Industries caravan was definitely not enough to pique their interest.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Note: There will be one more chapter today!
TL: Legion ED: Moxie