Chapter 327: Land of Tigers and Wolves [Volume 5 – A Distance Within Reach]
Wei Potian had just leapt up from the ground when he was startled by the incoming voice. His expression changed completely as he muttered two words from between clenched teeth, “Song! Seven!”
A young man clad in ancient wide-sleeved clothing had walked out from the night, his smiling countenance as tender as the spring rain. His bearing as he flapped the folding fan in his hands was inexplicably romantic, and the calligraphy on it was clearly the work of a great expert.
Wei Potian’s face naturally turned dark and his dislike grew deeper—it was in the dead of the night and the cold breeze had brought about a noticeable chill. Was there a need to use that damned fan?!
Song Zining arrived before the two and extended a hand toward Qianye.
Qianye stood up with his support and turned to look at Wei Potian. At this moment, the heir had a solemn expression on his face, a stark contrast from the sheepish demeanor from just now. Qianye immediately broke into laughter once again. He began to cramp up and couldn’t help but bend over with laughter, almost stumbling in the process.
Song Zining supported Qianye and asked with a smile, “What’s so funny?”
Qianye pointed toward Wei Potian with great difficulty and said, “Ask him!”
Song Zining’s eyes flashed as if he had realized something. He glanced toward Wei Potian and said with a laugh, “It turns out to be the heir of Marquis of Bowang. It’s quite rare for us to meet like this. If you have anything delightful, why not speak out and share the happiness?”
“Song Seven! You’re courting death!” Wei Potian immediately flew into a rage from the embarrassment. He naturally wouldn’t be polite with Song Zining—he raised his fist on the spot and smashed toward Song Zining’s face.
The latter was fairly calm as he took a small step backward and pulled Qianye in front of him in passing. This made it so that Wei Potian’s fist was headed straight for Qianye.
Wei Potian hadn’t expected Song Seven to be so evil. He hurriedly withdrew his fist but the urgent shift in momentum left his qi and blood boiling, causing him to suffer internally.
Wei Potian’s countenance turned ashen. Without a single word, his origin power began to surge, and a hazy yellow light immediately appeared over his body. Numerous illusory mountains began to appear behind him while specks of brilliant origin power began to flicker around his fist.
Seeing that Wei Potian had already brought out the Sky Shattering Bright Fist, Qianye quietly withdrew his laughter and reached out to pat Wei Potian’s shoulder. The half-formed Thousand Mountains immediately dissipated under the indefensible force.
“Stop messing around and let’s find a quiet place to talk. We’ll attract trouble if we cause too much noise.”
At the mention of those noble ladies, Wei Potian’s expression immediately shifted. Song Zining only coughed lightly with a spurious smile on his face. He had already seen, on his way to Blackflow City, the magnificent airship fleet parked at the port.
Qianye considered various locations within the Dark Flame camp but ultimately decided that his room was the only safe place.
Wei Potian refused to live in the external mansions no matter what and insisted that he sleep in the guest room at Dark Flame headquarters. The result was that a continuous stream of noble ladies came to visit him using various excuses. Seeing that Wei Potian was obviously hiding from them, the horde of noble ladies began to scour the Dark Flame base with the excuse of taking a tour. This threw the entire base into a turmoil—there was virtually no place they didn’t dare enter and even the bathrooms weren’t safe.
Meanwhile, Qianye’s bedroom was made up of three layers, and the room outside of his own was where Lil’ Seven and Nine took turns to live. With such a layout, those heaven’s proud daughters found it difficult to charge deeper in.
Song Zining was waving his folding-fan and smiling as he gave Lil’ Nine some instructions. He advised her to wear fewer clothes in the future and told her that she should wear clothes that were thinner and more translucent. Qianye and Wei Potian immediately understood the unspoken words within and secretly lamented, in different words, about Young Master Song’s wise yet despicable nature.
After the three sat down, Qianye gave them a simple breakdown of the circumstances surrounding Blackflow City and Dark Flame Mercenary Corps. He made brief mention of Wei Potian’s purpose of visit but didn’t mention the nightmarish experiences he had gone through during his convalescence.
This finally allowed Wei Potian to breathe a sigh of relief. However, Song Zining had already guessed what had transpired even though he wasn’t privy to the details. He closed his fan and said while rapping it lightly against his palm, “Qianye, you don’t need to hide things for that wild boar. It’s not the first time he’s acted without using his brain. He thinks he can escape from those young mistresses just by running to the forsaken land, haha!”
Wei Potian’s face was like a color palette. It changed from ash to purple and then from purple to red. His expression revealed a killing intent as his momentum rose up gradually.
Qianye helplessly stood between the two and said to Song Zining, “Is there any progress with our military designation?”
Song Zining knew that Wei Potian would explode if he kept on agitating the man. As such, he accepted Qianye’s change of topic and went back to proper business. “Receiving a designation is not a problem at all. It’s just that we have to fight for our right to be designated as an independent division. The business there has been concluded, so I’ll be staying here for some time.”
It turned out that Song Zining planned to have the Ningyuan Group and Dark Flame work closely together. The Ningyuan group’s future operations in Evernight Continent would be entrusted to Dark Flame as much as possible while their own private armies would focus on protecting the merchants and trade routes. As such, he planned to pick a plot of land and construct a Ningyuan Group branch office during his present trip.
Song Zining’s other reason for coming here was because he was greatly interested in Qianye’s westward project. He hadn’t fought alongside Qianye for a long time and it so happened that he could take part in a few battles this time. He also wanted to open up another trade route toward the west if possible.
Wei Potian’s eyes grew wide as he listened on the side. He had administered the military affairs of Blackflow City for a short period and naturally knew that only dark race territory remained to the west of Blackflow City. It was fairly evident who the trade-partners of a westward trade route would be.
If it were any other occasion, Wei Potian would’ve banged on the table and gotten up. But he suppressed his temper after seeing Qianye’s calm demeanor.
Qianye also noticed Wei Potian’s expression. He suddenly recalled the metallic token he had gotten from William which he had tossed into a corner of Andruil’s Space. He couldn’t help but let out a long sigh in his heart and quickly end the discussion about the trade route.
Song Zining observed Qianye, shot a glance at Wei Potian, and squinted his eyes knowingly. However, he refrained from stirring up trouble and shifted the topic to another matter.
He had gotten wind that Dong Qifeng had mustered his family’s private army and would soon land on Evernight Continent. Additionally, it was rumored that the force was quite considerable. Song Zining had already issued a mobilization notice to all of his private forces in the upper continent. However, it seemed that there was already no need for this military expenditure judging from present circumstances.
At this point, the topic once again turned back to the noble ladies chasing after Wei Potian.
Wei Potian understood that Song Zining was mocking him once again, but he only sat to the side with a dark face and didn’t say anything. This time, he had indeed miscalculated. He had never expected those proud noble ladies would actually flock to a place like Evernight Continent, a place most of them viewed as nothing more than a savage wasteland.
Strictly speaking, Evernight wasn’t imperial territory. Moreover, Blackflow City was located at the very border of human-occupied territory where battles could break out at a moment’s notice. It was, indeed, a fairly dangerous place.
It was unknown just how many connections and resources those aristocratic families utilized—they actually persuaded the imperial military to dispatch an entire fleet from the third army corps to escort the ladies. The soldiers on those military airships were also transferred over from various places using their private connections.
And that was how the magnificent and exaggerated lineup before them was formed.
Presently, the area around the Wei clan heir had become an arena where the aristocratic families wishing to form a marital connection were competing with great ferocity. Emerging victorious from this invisible war would prove that the family who won the wedding contract possessed the strength to overwhelm the competitors. In an empire where people paid particular attention to strength, such a prestige wasn’t small.
Additionally, Wei Potian’s reputation in the Broken Winged Angels and his many exploits on the battlefield against dark race viscounts was sufficient proof of his talents and combat strength. His position as the heir was as solid as a boulder. The present Marquis of Bowang might leave office within ten years and take up the position of grand elder, thereby completing the transfer of authority to the younger generation.
A bona fide regional marquis less than thirty years old! This also meant that Wei Potian had a wider space for development and growth. With such potential benefits, the various aristocratic families could no longer care about being reserved and thus ensued an undisguised contest over this marriage.
The noble ladies had also put down their aloofness and were going all out. What was a little bit of face compared to the position of a regional marchioness? Had they been allowed to use force, there would be no telling how many times the Wei clan heir would’ve been pushed down.
The one who was feeling the most discomfort was naturally the one at the center of this entire business, Wei Potian. In the Wei clan eldest young master’s own words, it was like being the only lady in a room full of brothel-patrons. He was about to go crazy just from their big hands reaching out to touch him here and there for no reason.
Qianye suddenly spoke, “Potian, there are so many ladies here, and all of them look quite good. Which one do you actually prefer? Make a decision quickly and be done with this.”
Wei Potian’s face suddenly turned a swollen red color and began to hem and haw once again. He wasn’t willing to speak even if his life were on the line.
Song Zining shook his fan and calmly threw out a rotten idea. “As I see it, why not take them all since you can’t make a choice? When the ‘raw rice becomes cooked rice’ and they all become pregnant, those old fogeys will have no choice but to recognize that what’s done is indeed done. In any case, you can take more than one main wife!”
Wei Potian was immediately enraged. Song Zining was clearly digging a trap for him to jump into. It was already inexcusable to have two wives of the same status. If he were to take seven or eight of them, what difference would there be between them and maid concubines? At that time, not only would the Wei clan not gain multiple marriage alliances, but would instead come under siege from all of them.
Wei Potian wanted to retaliate, but he knew that he couldn’t win againt Song Zining in a verbal spar. Many painful experiences had taught him that the more he spoke, the deeper this no-good fellow would drag him into a pit. He circulated his qi and let out a cold snort, saying, “Fanning himself in the middle of the night, as expected of a sissy!”
Song Zining began to laugh loudly after hearing this. It seemed he had taken this as a compliment instead of an insult. He then opened and closed his fan repeatedly to showed off both sides. “This treasured ink painting is the work of a great expert. I paid a considerable price to get my hands on it, so I should display it more often in public. Anyone who’s even slightly knowledgeable about these things will know that I’m rich after seeing this fan. There’s no need for me to explain needlessly. This is the fan’s true significance, haha, haha!”
For a moment, Wei Potian couldn’t find any place to vent his stifled anger.
Although he was mocking Wei Potian, Song Zining’s actions made it clear that he didn’t dare provoke these heaven’s proud daughters either. During the following period, Song Zining led his people from the Ningyuan Group to find land and construct a branch organization here. He almost never came into contact with those ladies.
Qianye, on the other hand, discarded the code of brotherhood and decided to continue with his present work. He spent most of his time entrenched within his office at the seventh division headquarters or within his cultivation chamber. Thanks to the third army corps stationed there and the location being clearly labeled as the expeditionary army headquarters, the noble ladies showed little interest in visiting this crude office building and army camp.
As such, during this period, Wei Potian was unceremoniously abandoned amidst the pack of tigers and wolves.
Song Zining left most of the work to his subordinates after making the foundational arrangements for his branch organization. He then came back to Qianye to continue making plans for their westward campaign. The two no longer gave any thought to Dong Qifeng—it could be reasonably assumed that the Dong clan wouldn’t be so stupid as to assault the city while Wei Potian and the group of noble ladies was here. The expeditionary army definitely wouldn’t wade into such muddy waters.
However, Song Zining himself had forgotten that he had told Xiao Lingshi that he had best block Dong Qifeng’s sources of information. General Xiao was a man of his word and a very reliable partner.
At noon this day, a massive fleet of airships appeared over a hundred kilometers away from Blackflow, and they were exactly headed toward this tranquil yet lively city.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Chapter 4/7 of the week. The recent chapters are simply delightful :D
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