Chapter 316: Guest at The Doors [Volume 5 – A Distance Within Reach]
Qianye couldn’t help being baffled because this group of adventurers claimed they weren’t natives of Evernight Continent. However, he was somewhat astonished when he saw this group of five—the leader was a rank-eight fighter and the rest were rank-seven. Their levels were quite high, comparable to the small units dispatched by the major clans to handle foreign errands.
The leader, a burly man with a full beard, introduced himself, “I’m called Black Liu, Ole Bearded Blade’s life and death brother. I came over this time because he entrusted me to deliver an item to you.”
Black Liu passed a lead box to Qianye. It appeared simple, crude, and even the lid was welded shut.
Qianye received the item and observed it momentarily. Then, without any instruments, he first tore a slit with his bare hands and then proceeded to open the entire cover.
The strength he demonstrated made Black Liu’s eyes twitch. Thereafter, his attitude became imperceptibly more respectful.
Within the lead box was an exquisite bullet case which held four origin bullets. Their tips were round and lustrous as if they were made of the highest quality jade material. However, Qianye was able to smell a wisp of blood energy from it. This should be the batch of origin bullets made from the blood sucking fangs of a vampire viscount.
Apparently, the great master from Dog Claw Town had completed Qianye’s commission and had shipped the goods via Ole Bearded Blade. These four vampiric fang bullets possessed great destructive potential against humans, only inferior, by a single grade, to the Black Titanium Bullet of Annihilation. A single square hit would kill anyone below the champion rank.
Qianye put away the goods and a certain idea flashed through his mind. “In which area does Brother Liu usually work? What other business do you deal in apart from shipping goods?”
Black Liu replied, “Just call me Big Black. I and my brothers mainly deliver goods between Evernight and other continents, only picking up combat missions occasionally.”
At this point, Qianye realized that Black Liu’s powerful little unit was, in fact, a trade channel. But it was merely a grey smuggling channel.
Qianye pondered for a while and said, “You should’ve seen the situation here when you came in. There's demand for a fair amount of supplies here. Naturally, I also have goods I’d like to trade out. What type of goods do you usually carry?”
A cheerful look appeared on Black Liu’s face. They were all secretly astonished by the scene after walking into the Dark Flame Mercenary Corps’ base and facing Qianye made them feel even more suffocated.
All of them were old veterans who had rolled about the border of life and death for many years and had a keen intuition for danger. Even though this mercenary corps commander was excessively young and not even a champion, the pressure they had felt indicated that Qianye’s strength was far above theirs. The future expansion of such a mercenary corps definitely wouldn’t be limited to a small place like Blackflow City.
Being able to find such a business partner in Evernight Continent was equal to gaining an additional fixed smuggling route. Their risks would be greatly lowered, while their profits would increase exponentially.
Black Liu didn’t do a sloppy job at all. He wrote down two separate lists after asking for pen and paper. “Sire Commander, this is a list of goods we purchase along with their prices. There’s no upper limit. This one is a list of goods we offer, mostly things of limited supply on Evernight Continent. We can also negotiate if you have any special requirements.”
Qianye glanced over the list and found that the items they purchased were mostly ores and various local products and materials from the dark race side, all of them high-level varieties. The goods they marketed on Evernight Continent were mostly weapons and equipment. Among them, origin bullets occupied a major share of the transactions.
Qianye was slightly moved after seeing copper in the list.
During the most recent war on Evernight Continent, Qianye had attacked a small mine occupied by the deserter army as per his agreement with Wei Bainian. Later on, that mine fell under his name. Although the scale of that mine wasn’t very large and the types of ores produced were also somewhat mixed, it did produce copper ore.
Qianye made some simple inquiries and found out that the copper ore produced from Evernight Continent were favored by the corporates of the upper continents due to its high quality. Only at this point did Qianye realize the meaning behind Wei Bainian’s seemingly inadvertent arrangements. The produce from that small mine wasn’t rare at all, but the copper it produced was a staple material that was easily tradable.
To the newly established Dark Flame Mercenary Corps, the ease with which their resources could be converted to cash was of great importance as it would signify a continuous stream of replenishment. Rare resources were, of course, valuable, but their trade restrictions were also significant.
Qianye immediately called Song Hu over to go over the amount of copper ore they had in hand and negotiated the price with Black Liu on the spot. Additionally, he also bought a fair number of spoils from the dark races.
The total value of this transaction reached 3,000 gold coins. Black Liu would require a couple of days to collect the cash for this. Additionally, a part of it would be paid for in origin guns and origin bullets.
Black Liu was a pleasant surprise that Qianye gained in the recent days. However, the people he had dispatched to Black Clay Town to investigate Lu Jianan didn’t bring back any good news.
The town was being rebuilt after the previous great battle, and the expenses were provided by the expeditionary army. As such, the mayor, Hu Wei, felt that he might as well build it into a complete fort. The layout of the buildings was now even more dumbfounding than before, and it was said that reconstruction work should be completed after two months.
“Two months?!” Qianye was startled. The progress was simply too fast.
“Hu Wei recruited a large number of scavengers and obtained most of the building materials from neighboring regions, hence the fast construction speed.”
Qianye recalled the fatty mayor whom he had met when he first arrived at Black Clay Town. He already had some impression of the man back then, but now it seemed he was even more talented. Perhaps the management of a single town wasn’t enough to sufficiently display his abilities.
But news regarding Lu Jianan was quite disappointing. Black Clay Town was abandoned during the war on Evernight Continent. The place was trampled over by the dark race army soon afterward, and almost all the scavengers there were utterly destroyed by the famished servspiders.
Additionally, Black Clay Town had been destroyed and rebuilt three times during the past hundred years. The residents had changed several times, and all of the relevant documents had been lost. There was simply no way to make inquiries.
At this point, Qianye could only let out a sigh.
The vampires might have certain methods incomprehensible to humans with which they could identify the blood energy of certain clans. It was quite possible that the vampire knight had found Lu Jianan’s descendant back then and killed him after obtaining the crystal fragment. It was unknown where he had disposed of the corpse. However, it was probably impossible to confirm this theory because the vampire knight had already died in Qianye’s hands.
During this relatively peaceful daily life, the atmosphere around the Blackflow region was slowly growing tense. Of course, this had nothing to do with ordinary civilians.
Qianye received news from Wei Bainian that the negotiations between the Wei clan and the expeditionary army had ended, and that the compensation received by the Wei clan was acceptable. From another perspective, this indicated that the aristocratic family who wanted to take over this place had made a steep investment.
Additionally, Wei Bainian also gave Qianye some more information. Although the new division commander hadn’t yet taken office, this person had already arrived in advance and was beginning to make contact with a number of strong officers from the seventh division.
Perhaps some of the local powers in Blackflow City had already received such visits. The hunters association, a number of major adventurer guilds, as well as some of the poorly-backed trade establishments, were clearly becoming restless.
It seemed this aristocratic family had its own way of doing things. This new division commander hadn’t even made an appearance but was already setting out to make certain administrative arrangements in the defensive region. Wei Bainian naturally turned a blind eye to all of this. He was only waiting for the other party to perform a formal handover and then he would return to the upper continent. But this didn’t stop him from providing Qianye some help.
No uninvited guests had yet appeared before Dark Flame’s doors. But as one of the most powerful local power in Blackflow City, Qianye and the other core members of the corps had already sensed the abnormal atmosphere in the city. As such, they had discussed this matter a number of times and confirmed their policies.
Qianye didn’t have to wait too long before a visitor appeared just as expected.
At noon this day, a number of rumbling armed jeeps rushed straight toward the gates of Dark Flame’s camp. The vehicles were all armored, outfitted with heavy machine guns on top and had the expeditionary army’s insignia painted upon it. Such vehicles with powerful defense and flexibility were considered elite equipment even among the core divisions of the expeditionary army.
The sentries from Dark Flame immediately sounded the alarm as the armed jeeps drove straight toward the camp gates. The two large-caliber anti-aircraft machine guns mounted on the guard towers on each side of the gate turned and aimed toward them at almost the same time.
The guard at the camp gates picked up the microphone and shouted, “Halt! Report your identity or we will open fire!”
There was a gloomy looking officer seated in one of the jeeps. He shot a glance toward the front and frowned. He had some documents on Dark Flame in his hand, but apparently, the information there had already become outdated. The scale of the other party’s encampment had far surpassed what was described therein.
He sneered after hearing the guard’s shout and said, “Charge in! Run over whoever dares block the way!”
The jeep engines rumbled as they accelerated instead of slowing down and charged straight toward the main gates. The Dark Flame sentinels turned pale—they took aim but didn’t dare pull the trigger.
The jeeps were clearly painted with the expeditionary army’s insignia. Attacking them was tantamount to attacking the expeditionary army. These sentries had been ordinary hunters and adventurers until recently, so how would they dare offend the expeditionary army?
Atop the gate tower, a military officer with a dark complexion and iron-like muscles frowned. He quickly pushed the sentry aside, held onto one of the heavy anti-aircraft machine guns and opened fire at the jeeps rushing toward them.
Tututu! The muffled sound of a machine gun rang out as powerful anti-aircraft bullets struck the road, kicking up meter-tall clouds of soil and debris. In this way, he drew a clear bullet trajectory which extended rapidly toward the incoming jeeps.
The expeditionary army warrior behind the steering wheel was well experienced. Under great alarm, he rapidly turned the steering wheel, and the five jeeps shifted toward the two sides of the road.
The four jeeps at the front barely evaded the machine gun’s line of fire but the last vehicle was a moment too slow and swept through. Its armor was immediately struck flying, and a small part of its back compartment roof was completely torn open. This sent a number of expeditionary army soldiers flying out, and one of those unlucky fellows was even missing an arm.
The jeeps swerving toward the side weren’t completely unharmed either. Two of them had clearly lost balance and were on the verge of flipping over.
A door on one of the jeeps flew out with a bang as the officer who had given the order to charge leaped out just as the car was about to flip.
His face was full of anger as he shouted with a stern voice, “I’m a lieutenant colonel of the expeditionary army! You dare open fire against me? Do you have a death wish?!”
The officer on the gate tower sneered. He dragged over a new crate of bullets with his foot, connected the ammo belt to the anti-aircraft machine gun, and aimed at the lieutenant colonel. Immediately, tongues of flame began to gush out of the muzzle.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
7/7 of the week. Enjoy!