Chapter 443: Auric Flame Blood [V5C150 – A Distance Within Reach]
Qianye once again shifted his attention to the blood core.
It was pulsing slowly just as before, the crystals on its surface reflecting an intermittent brilliance with every contraction.
The world within the blood core was revealed layer by layer as his True Sight zoomed in. Qianye saw that a drop of golden blood had appeared at some point within the depths of the blood core. It hovered in the air alight with a faint golden flame. When his blood flowed into this chamber, it would bring away specks of golden light from this drop of golden blood and transport them to various parts of his body.
Qianye could feel his body growing stronger little by little as the golden specks continued to circulate. Although the degree of strengthening was almost negligible, his constitution and strength were improving constantly. Moreover, it was a permanent upgrade that would grow to an impressive level over a long time.
A term emerged in Qianye’s mind when he saw the burning drop of golden blood.
Auric flame blood!
The auric flame blood would be born in a vampire’s blood core upon his ascension to the rank of marquis. The energy contained within every speck of golden light it released was hundreds of times richer than that of fresh blood, and with their presence, one’s origin power condensation and regeneration would increase by a significant margin.
Among two combatants with equal strength, the one who possessed the auric flame blood would easily emerge victorious over the one without. This was also the reason why a vampire’s rank and bloodline allowed them to exert overwhelming dominance over those inferior to them.
According to legend, those mighty marquis whose strength were above all other marquis had already transformed all the blood in their body to auric flame blood. Such vampires were different from others down to their innate vitality and could be considered a different form altogether. They already possessed a thread of hope to assail the threshold of a duke.
The dark race feudal ranks matched their strengths. They would escape the ranks of cannon fodder starting from the rank of esquire, and becoming a viscount was a sign that they had crossed into the realm of true experts. The rank of marquis was when they would touch the borders of the pyramid's summit.
However, the suppression exerted by a high-ranking dark race member on a low-ranking one was more obvious than the stratification of human champions. The benefits of Qianye forming the auric flame blood at the viscount rank were quite easy to see.
Qianye was happy about his increase in strength, but he couldn’t describe the feelings in his heart after recalling the origin of his blood energy. Moreover, despite the Song Clan Ancient Scroll, there was no telling when he would lose balance now that his dark side had advanced by leaps and bounds. He wasn’t willing to pay the price of falling into darkness even if he could obtain greater power.
Qianye thought of something at this point. With the auric flame blood’s strengthening effects on his constitution, he might be able to withstand more impact from the origin power tides than before—at least theoretically. That being the case, just how far would he be able to advance with the Combatant Formula?
Qianye had already cultivated the Combatant Formula to forty-nine cycles. Such a progress was only exceeded by Zhang Boqian within the century. But it was already quite difficult for Qianye to reach this stage, and he even had a feeling back then that the next stage of the Combatant Formula would produce a drastic transformation. As such, he didn’t dare take the next step forward.
But now that Qianye had condensed a blood core and produced the auric flame blood, his body strength now rivaled that of a dark race count. In addition, there was an urgent need to balance the darkness and daybreak origin powers in his body. This produced in him the will to advance once more.
Qianye calmed himself down, adjusting his physical and mental status to the optimal state as he gradually circulated the Combatant Formula. The activation of the Combatant Formula had already become second nature to him after cultivating it all this time, and the origin power tides quickly reached twenty without any extra effort on his part.
That was the cornerstone that allowed him to join the Red Scorpions. Recalling the past, it felt as though he were already worlds apart at the moment.
Qianye suddenly sensed a minute difference amidst the momentous tides poised to sweep away the entire world. In the past, there would always be some stagnant areas around his chest and abdomen. This time, however, it traveled unobstructed like a level-road, and it was as though the turbulent areas had never even existed.
His mind fluctuated ever so slightly but calmed down once again afterward. The Combatant Formula surged along his blood vessels like a rotating wheel as unending strands of origin power gushed out from his nine nodes. They all came together within the sea of origin power formed by the Combatant Formula and actuated the superposition of the tides.
Thirty, then forty cycles passed by in the blink of an eye. Qianye was easily withstanding the impact of the tides capable of ripping a human champion to shreds. Qianye’s body began to tremble only after reaching the forty-fifth cycle—he was finally feeling some pressure.
At this moment, he let go of all distracting thoughts, and there was neither grief nor joy as he continued to stack the origin tides atop each other, all the way up to the forty-eighth cycle.
At this moment, the blood core finally reacted to the increased pressure and started to pulse. The auric flame blood being discharged from the blood core also increased accordingly and replaced the ordinary blood energy of the past in protecting his organs from damage.
Qianye passed the forty-eighth cycle with relative ease and finally reached the peak of the Combatant Formula’s forty-ninth cycle.
At this very moment, the origin power within his body was majestic and finally took on the charm of an early origin sea. Many layers of tides rushed on the surface of the sea and finally accumulated into giant waves that reached the skies—the peaks of these waves almost touched the firmament.
Suddenly, Qianye sensed that the area above the sea of origin power wasn’t just empty space, but an invisible dome-shaped barrier. It blocked the giant tides and prevented them from pushing higher.
When he reached the forty-ninth cycle last time, Qianye’s attention was focused on resisting the massive force of the giant tide and protecting himself from lethal damage. He was able to sense the existence of the formless barrier only after the auric flame blood afforded him the ability to endure the force of the giant tides.
“Could that be the limit of the Combatant Formula?” Qianye reached a revelation.
But Zhang Boqian had used himself to prove that the forty-ninth cycle wasn’t the Combatant Formula’s limit.
As Qianye circulated the Combatant Formula, the giant tides surged into the sky and crashed into the barrier above. The tides were shattered, but the towering barrier remained steadfast. The impact of the waves crashing into the firmament was tremendous—the defenses provided by the auric flame blood were crushed, leaving countless injuries of all sizes on his internal organs. Qianye’s face turned pale as he spat out a mouthful of fresh blood.
However, Qianye was delighted instead of becoming alarmed because he had noticed the firmament waver negligibly during that violent impact.
Qianye wasn't anxious to forge ahead. He controlled the tides and reduced them layer by layer until they returned to their origin node, then pushed them back to forty-nine cycles moments later. After going past the forty-ninth cycle, Qianye controlled the giant wave and struck the barrier once again with great ferocity!
This time, he was well-prepared. His blood core pulsed as it produced a continuous stream of golden radiance, causing almost half his blood to be suffused with raging flames. The backlash from the attack on the barrier was violent, but Qianye was able to resist it with only his face turning pale. The minute damages within his body were healing at a visible rate due to his vampire constitution and powerful regenerative ability.
Qianye didn’t rush onto the next attack but instead allowed the tides to recede and his injuries to recover. He began the next cycle only after his injuries had more or less healed.
This cycle repeated time and again. Qianye was immersed in the cultivation of the Combatant Formula and had long since forgotten the time and date.
Blackflow City was only peaceful for one day and night after the end of the big battle. It became lively very quickly as all kinds of people representing the various powers came pouring in. Messengers, representatives, and even people from their families appeared in person.
Song Zining stepped out of the study and had just sent off a group of guests when several more approached him. “This one is Wang Shanxing, son of Count Jushan. I’ve come especially to call upon the Seventh Young Noble.”
Song Zining nodded with a smile and replied, “I’ve met Uncle Wang once when I was young and received quite a few martial arts pointers from him. Do come in and have a seat. How is Uncle doing lately?”
“My father is in good health.” Wang Shanxing followed Song Zining back into the study and exchanged some routine pleasantries before asking with an anxious expression, “Seventh Young Noble’s name has shaken the entire empire after your display of divine might in this battle. I was wondering if you can transfer some of the military contributions from this battle?”
Song Zining replied with an unchanging smile, “We haven’t finished checking the contributions at this moment and might need a couple more days. It’s fine to transfer some contributions, but there are a thousand repairs waiting to be done in this small place of mine. We still need to plan out the required resources. It’s still a tad bit too early to discuss this matter.”
Wang Shanxing attempted to persuade further, making numerous promises and issuing all kinds of lists. But he was helpless as Song Zining rejected all of them, citing that the time wasn’t right. Fortunately, Song Zining didn’t refuse outright which left them with some leeway to act.
After the departure of Count Jushan’s son, the brother of Viscount Dingbian from the Xingjing area paid a visit. And the discussion was, once again, the matter of contribution transfer. Meanwhile, there were two more groups waiting outside.
Song Zining met seven or eight groups of people that day alone, and all of them had come for military contributions.
At least five viscounts had fallen in this battle, including the first-ranked viscount Luther. Almost a hundred warriors below the baron rank were killed, and others eligible for contribution numbered in the thousands. Casualties among the cannon fodder were innumerable. It could be said that this was the biggest single batch of military contribution under the Iron Curtain.
The contributions basically belonged to Song Zining and the Dark Flame independent division. However, a division couldn’t be reformed into an army corps after one major battle, and it was debatable whether the other border cities were worth investment and expansion. As such, it would be an absolute waste to cash in this batch of contributions for resources and gold coins.
Everyone clearly understood this simple logic.
Those with good information channels had long since understood the siege of Blackflow City quite clearly. Naturally, they also knew that Song Zining had more or less left the Song clan to establish his own. Hence, the clan these military contributions would fall under became a topic of emphasis.
Military contributions became a hot resource since the empire publicized the bloody battle rankings. This was especially true for a large lump sum like the one in question since it could directly affect the sequence of those in the top-ten rankings. How could it not be coveted?
The representative powers around Blackflow City were the fastest to act. They weren’t expecting to obtain all of the contributions, but just half of it would be superior to their best squad’s desperate efforts.
The visitors up until now were mostly minor powers, but it was likely that many high-ranking clans would come knocking on the doors before long. Song Zining was naturally in no rush to make a deal and only listened on no matter what kind of requests or conditions they proposed.
After Qianye went into isolation, Song Zining reverted to his carefree demeanor as the wanton and flowery seventh young master. It was just that no one knew what he was thinking beneath that enchanting smile.
The superficial peace didn’t last very long as a special unit appeared outside of Blackflow City after a mere two days.Previous Chapter Next Chapter