Chapter 318: Parting Gift [Volume 5 – A Distance Within Reach]
Du Yuanze shouted in a stern voice, “Who dares?!” The expeditionary army soldiers beside him also drew their guns in succession.
However, the Dark Flame officers moved much faster and with greater ruthlessness. Gunshots rang out in the parlor along with flashes of origin power radiance. When the smoke had settled, the smell of blood hung in the air, and there was no longer anyone standing beside Du Yuanze—all of his subordinates had collapsed into pools of blood.
Du Yuanze’s hands and feet were cold. His voice was trembling, and he could no longer even speak in full sentences. “You-you-really dare.”
He had his subordinates draw their weapons just to threaten Qianye and had no real intention to start a fight within Dark Flame headquarters. Presently, all of the forces around the Blackflow City area had already fallen under his control. If only Dark Flame refused to recognize his power, then its only fate was to be besieged by the remaining powers.
Who knew Qianye’s subordinates were actually not in the least apprehensive and committed murder so brazenly. The expeditionary army uniform didn’t have the slightest bit of deterrence.
Qianye’s expression was still undisturbed and he spoke as if he were engaging in idle chatter, “See? I don’t like the path of survival you’re giving me, so I just went and made one on my own.”
Duan Hao approached Du Yuanze with a smile and unceremoniously searched the latter from head to toe, confiscating all weapons. Although Du Yuanze was a rank-seven fighter, he didn’t dare make the slightest move. Duan Hao alone was enough to slaughter him, not to mention all the others in the room.
Qianye passed Dong Qifeng’s appointment order to Song Hu and said, “Deliver this to General Wei Bainian. With this, his transference procedure is completed. Also, advise General Wei to leave Blackflow City before dusk tomorrow.”
Song Hu thoroughly understood this matter and left quickly.
Du Yuanze suddenly trembled after he heard Qianye’s message for the Far East Wei Clan general. The information he had obtained stated that Dark Flame had developed so quickly within half a year because it had attached itself to the Wei clan.
Actually, this was also a major reason why they had chosen to use such thunderous methods to disassemble this mercenary corps. Dong Qifeng had paid a significant price in order to get this appointment and vowed to go all out. What he wanted was a completely obedient administrative region, and as such, the old powers had to be cleared out. Additionally, Dark Flame’s newly constructed base and the mine under its name was also quite enviable.
But how could a mercenary corps depending on the Wei clan for survival dare speak to Wei Bainian in such a tone?
Du Yuanze thought back to the meaning behind Qianye’s words after his initial shock subsided and felt an extremely bad notion emerge within his heart. He said in a trembling voice, “You-you’re going to…”
Qianye didn’t wait for the man to finish speaking. “That’s right. I won’t bother Lieutenant Colonel Du with the transference procedure. We can have a good chat after I capture Blackflow City.
Du Yuanze was a smart man. Otherwise, he wouldn’t have gotten this staff officer’s position. What he relied on the most was that he had already assumed control of the majority of the seventh division. As for the hunters, mercenaries, adventurers, and even the city factions, he viewed them as cannon fodder. It was virtually impossible for these local powers to contend with the organized expeditionary army—not that they would dare.
Hence, Du Yuanze had never even considered the possibility that he would encounter any form of obstruction during his operation of purging Blackflow City. He was even prepared to kill some faction leaders to establish his might.
But his experience with Dark Flame had far surpassed his imagination. Qianye had long since known that they had taken control of the seventh division. However, he seemed completely unperturbed and was actually planning to launch a proactive attack? Du Yuanze smelled a conspiracy brewing and cold sweat dripped down his forehead.
He couldn’t help but say, “This is rebellion!”
Qianye shot a glance at Du Yuanze and said indifferently, “It seems Lieutenant Colonel Du just came from the upper continents and isn’t quite familiar with the rules of Evernight. The territories here are ‘not’ official imperial fiefs. Whoever wins the fight owns the place.”
Presently, the two were speaking face to face and no one restricted Du Yuanze’s movements—he was neither tied nor handcuffed. Apart from having no weapons, he could be considered entirely free. But the more it was so, the more Du Yuanze didn’t dare play any tricks. He was very clear that Qianye dared let him move around freely because the latter was absolutely confident in killing him at the slightest suspicious move.
At this time, the Dark Flame base outside the window was bustling, but in an orderly manner—warriors had been mobilized in full force and were assembled on the drill grounds. An unending flow of various weapons and equipment were being brought out from the warehouse.
Du Yuanze heard the sounds of large forces being mobilized, and finally, he couldn’t resist moving to the window and gazing out. The more he observed, the paler his face became. He turned back to glance at Qianye who was silently listening to a Dark Flame officer’s report and felt himself drenched in cold sweat.
At this time, Du Yuanze was already feeling extremely regretful. He shouldn’t have placed excessive trust in those big shots from the expeditionary army headquarters, and he really shouldn’t have relaxed his vigil after seeing the Wei clan’s cooperative attitude. As for the information provided by the expeditionary army, now even a fool would know that it had been tampered with. Had he known this sooner, he would’ve visited Blackflow City personally to check on the situation even if it meant delaying the plans.
The best way to deal with a tyrannical entity like Dark Flame was to first cooperate with them on the surface and then slowly encroach upon their living space. Even if they had to spend more time, it would be much better than the present situation—they were riding atop a proverbial tiger and couldn’t stop midway what they had set in motion. Even until now, Du Yuanze could scarcely believe that Dark Flame actually dared take action!
Song Hu pushed open the door, walked in, and whispered some words in Qianye’s ears.
Song Hu had been quite busy during the past hour. He had personally delivered a message to Wei Bainian and sent information regarding their agreement to Song Zining who had arrived on Evernight Continent two days prior. Finally, he sent word to all the regional powers of Blackflow City and instructed them to maintain their neutrality if turmoil breaks out in the city.
Song Hu didn’t wait for the reply from the various factions within the city because he was very clear about Qianye’s intentions. When they moved out, whoever dared stand on Dong Qifeng’s side would be annihilated without mercy. Qianye wanted to sweep his room clean.
Qianye nodded after listening to Song Hu’s report. He then stood up and instructed his men, “Entertain Lieutenant Colonel Du well.”
Song Hu turned to Du Yuanze with a sinister smile and said, “Rest assured, Sire Qian.”
The latter sensed a cold intent from the distance and suddenly realized that, despite being a rank-seven fighter, he actually felt timid before this rank-six veteran.
The old tavern on Green Leaf Street had existed since the founding of Blackflow City and was quite famous. It had been destroyed and reconstructed numerous times. The entire establishment was new apart from that wooden signboard ridden with scorch marks.
Within this tavern, conspiracies, assassinations, betrayal, adultery, and everything else that could take place in a tavern had already played out before.
There weren’t many customers in the old tavern when Qianye arrived and most of the tables were empty. He chose a corner table and sat down. He then ordered seven portions of their signature roast meat pies in one go and began to enjoy them in a leisurely manner.
The old tavern wasn’t too far from the seventh division headquarters. It was a great place to get together.
Before long, the main doors of the tavern were pushed open as a man walked in, clad in a trench coat with its collar raised high. He scanned the tavern, walked over to Qianye on his own, and sat down beside him.
“Why did it have to be this place?” asked Wei Bainian.
“I heard the food here is great and it’s quite close to your place.” Qianye pushed the extra large plate forward as he spoke.
Wei Bainian unceremoniously grabbed a big piece of meat pie and stuffed it into his mouth. He munched on it quietly and praised, “Not bad. It’s indeed not bad. Quite satisfying.”
Afterward, the two forewent conversation and ate their fill. Soon, the plates which filled the greater half of the table were cleaned out.
Wei Bainian drank a large gulp of wine and said in satisfaction, “Good food. Now, back to business. I received your message, but let me hear the reasons.”
“To avoid suspicion,” Qianye uttered these extremely simple words.
Although Wei Bainian had already anticipated this, his expression still changed after actually hearing it. “Are you really taking action so soon?”
Wei Bainian was very clear about the momentum of Dark Flame’s current strength and development. Any other division commander wouldn’t be willing to see such an external armed force in his territory, and frictions would occur sooner or later. It was just that he hadn’t expected the two parties to reach the point of open battle even before the garrison had been transferred.
Qianye summarized Dong Qifeng’s military announcement and said, “It’s quite clear that this General Dong has no intention to interact peacefully with me. That being the case, I’ll seize Blackflow City first and then sit down to negotiate with him.”
Wei Bainian nodded. Any discussion, regardless of the topic and method, would require sufficient bargaining chips. And the controlling rights to Blackflow City had a lot of weight.
This was Evernight, not the upper continents of the empire. Here, the strong made the laws and even the expeditionary army couldn’t control everything. Otherwise, there wouldn’t be so many grey areas and grey factions. In truth, the expeditionary army itself was shrouded in a layer of grey. As long as Qianye was strong enough, he could make the changes in Blackflow City become facts.
Wei Bainian pondered for a moment and said, “Dong Qifeng’s command is indeed a weakness. A complaint can be filed against it. Although I can’t make a direct appearance, I can find some connections in the military to help you. The caveat is that you have to win the battle first.”
In theory, the expeditionary army division commander possessed all rights in his defensive region. However, Dong Qifeng’s manners were too unsightly—apart from the seventh division, he wanted to scrape a layer of grease off of all the regional powers. Even division commanders who rose to power from the grassroots would scarcely do something so short-sighted. It was comparable to draining a pond to catch fish.
An accuse of misconduct had little effect on those civilian-born division commanders, but the Dong family was, at any rate, still a middle-ranked aristocratic family. Even if Dong Qifeng was shameless, his main family couldn’t afford to throw away their prestige.
But whatever he planned to do, the first step was to seize Blackflow City. Only then would he have the corresponding authority to speak. No one would be interested in the voice of the weak.
After swallowing Blackflow City, Qianye naturally wouldn’t cough it up easily. As for what Dong Qifeng had to negotiate, that was a matter for the future.
Qianye gazed at this general from the elder generation and felt fairly thankful. He smiled and said, “To speak the truth, I have a plan regarding this matter. I have a friend who will talk to some of the expeditionary army’s big shots.”
“Then why don’t you want me to stay back? With me and my men, you’ll have an easier time suppressing the seventh division.”
“Seizing Blackflow City is just the beginning. This matter won’t end so easily. Since the Wei clan has already made an agreement with the expeditionary army headquarters, it’ll be tantamount to open conflict with the expeditionary army if you and your men take part. The Wei clan’s focus on Evernight isn’t profit and there’s still a war going on in Far East Province. I don’t wish for the clan to gain another enemy because of such a minor business.”
Wei Bainian’s eyes flickered as he glanced at Qianye—no one knew what he was thinking. He suddenly let out a long laugh and said, “Very well! Since you have the confidence to handle this business, then I won’t take part anymore. It seems people from our generation are indeed growing old.”
Qianye said with great sincerity, “General Wei, thank you for all the care and advice during this period.”
Wei Bainian waved his hands in response. He then brought out a map and placed it on the table—it was a defensive map of the Blackflow City region.
He pointed to a number of places and said, “These three places are the main camps of the seventh division. Their troop distribution and defense situations are all written here in detail. After going back, I’ll declare tomorrow as a holiday but forbid them to leave camp. Additionally, I will allow them an extra meal and lift the ban on alcohol temporarily. This place is my Wei clan private army camp. All my men will withdraw before dusk today, but the heavy weaponry, ammunition, and supplies will be left behind.
Qianye had already seized Du Yuanze. As such, even if the Dong family had other men around, there shouldn’t be anyone authorized to give commands. At least for tonight, Wei Bainian’s orders will be effective.
Qianye understood clearly that this arrangement was Wei Bainian’s parting gift to him.
Wei Bainian stood up and reached out a hand to Qianye. “I wish you success!”
Qianye shook the general’s hand with a smile and replied, “I will definitely succeed.”
Wei Bainian suddenly realized that the temperature of Qianye’s hand was slightly lower than normal people, but his grasp was extremely firm and powerful. It felt as if he had gripped a solid block of stone.
There was no longer a significant difference in the power represented by the two hands.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
2/7 of the week. Enjoy ^_^
Teaser Source: https://giphy.com/explore/this-is-sparta