Chapter 337: Melted Ice [Volume 5 – A Distance Within Reach]
As expected, this plan received full approval from Wei Potian and Zhao Yuying, but was firmly opposed by Song Zining. The plan successfully passed with a three to one vote. Additionally, Qianye had no intention to go into details with them because, even if they knew, their intelligence would sharply decline when they were together.
Qianye planned to scout the dark race territory himself before their formal advance toward the west. He wanted to see if there was any change in the military intelligence he had previously received. The objective of this trip was the Silverflow Fjord, a natural barrier at the bend of a big river formed by precipitous cliffs.
These cliffs were hundreds of meters tall, and from atop them, one could see dozens of kilometers toward the other bank. As long as he could ship heavy cannons up there, he could construct an effective network of defense. The dark races had already built a settlement at the summit, but the garrisoned forces weren’t very powerful.
Everyone felt uneasy letting Qianye go alone. Apart from Wei Potian who simply couldn’t extricate himself, Song Zining and Zhao Yuying both wanted to go along with him. However, their notions were declined since even Zhao Yuying was far inferior to Qianye in terms of scouting and fighting in the wilderness. It was safer for him to go alone.
In truth, Qianye also had another destination which he couldn’t tell them. The werewolf tribes William had mentioned were also near their westward route, and Qianye planned to check them out in passing. He hadn’t even decided whether or not he should tell Song Zining of this matter.
During the following days, Qianye was kept busy organizing his baggage and arranging the affairs of the mercenary corps. Upon arriving at the motorcycle garage, he found many people were moving in and out to instal a kinetic pipeline. Deafening sounds of machinery rang out continuously from within the garage.
Qianye was somewhat astonished as he walked in with large strides. This was a small garage used by a number of Dark Flame higher-ups, and most of the vehicles within were two-wheeled motorcycles or light jeeps. The building was normally closed to the public, and only people like Qianye and Song Hu would come here when they needed a means of transport.
How come there were so many people here all of a sudden?
He saw a familiar figure the moment he entered: Zhao Yuying. Despite wearing a worker’s uniform and a sturdy boot, her flamboyant beauty allowed her to be recognized almost immediately.
At this moment, Zhao Yuying was together with an elderly man and seemed to be gesturing at some blueprints. The ten-odd workers near them were hurriedly adjusting a massive lathe, while numerous others were carrying the core components of a small pressing machine toward their designated positions.
Qianye recognized the man beside Zhao Yuying as Dark Flame’s chief engineer in charge of the maintenance and modification of various combat vehicles.
Afterward, the engineer walked to the side with the blueprint and began to study it with his assistants. Meanwhile, Zhao Yuying picked up a box of components and walked toward a half-dismantled two-wheeler.
The workers were almost petrified. The box of components was almost a square meter in size and weighed at least a ton. Normally, it would have to be dragged with a pulley block or moved by numerous strong men. They had never expected Zhao Yuying would actually lift it up with a single hand as though it were a lunchbox.
She crouched down near the motorcycle and began to personally remodel it.
Qianye quietly arrived near her and watched attentively. She apparently possessed a great understanding of the motorcycle's composition—she easily unloaded the engine in just a few adept moves and began to adjust the chassis.
This process demonstrated Zhao Yuying’s strength as a champion. Dark purple origin power gushed out from her hand and turned into light blue flames by means of an unknown secret technique. After softening the chassis with heat, she used her bare hands to turn and pinch certain parts into a completely different shape.
She followed this pattern and adjusted numerous parts in succession. Presently, the vehicle framework had completely changed and could now fit an engine that was two sizes bigger. This entire process took her less than ten minutes.
“I really didn’t think you would know how to modify motorcycles,” said Qianye.
With a screw in her mouth, Zhao Yuying replied disdainfully, “Don’t think that clan disciples only know how to cultivate and make merry. Anything can happen on the battlefield. Don’t tell me I have to wait for an engineer when a weapon breaks down?”
“Ordinary engineers aren’t your match.” Qianye’s words came from the bottom of his heart. The origin flame and the ability to modify parts with her bare hands were virtually impossible to manifest for anyone below the champion level.
“That’s a given! You should know who this mommy is!” Zhao Yuying had no idea what modesty was.
“But is it really useful for you to learn these things?” Qianye had some doubts. Disregarding the time it would take to master machinery, one would still have to save valuable origin power to kill enemies on the battlefield—motorcycles, cars, and even heavy cannons were relatively expendable.
Zhao Yuying pulled out an engine from the component crate and began to install it. “Of course there is, but its primary use isn’t in land battles. Instead, it’s most useful on warships and interstellar airships. Just think about it, how can there be any place for you to land and repair if a malfunction occurs while in space?”
Qianye suddenly understood.
Zhao Yuying snorted and said, “I just know at a glance that you’re a country bumpkin who’s never taken part in an aerial battle!”
Qianye had indeed never participated in a large-scale air battle. Red Scorpion was a special-operations elite unit specializing in surprise attacks, and their battles were mainly fought on the ground. The most advanced warship he had ever boarded was merely a light corvette.
Zhao Yuying added, “A battle between airship fleets is completely different from ground battles. There, even champions might not have the ability to protect themselves. You have no experience in this, so it’s best you don’t get involved in such battles, lest you become cannon fodder. I’ll take you to the frontlines for a few battles when the opportunity presents itself in the future. Just follow elder sister around and you definitely won’t lose out!”
Although Zhao Yuying’s language was quite offensive, her last words caused an inexplicable feeling to well up in Qianye’s heart.
The Zhao clan members put no one in their eyes and viewed the weak as dirt. But one would find a completely different side to them after receiving their recognition. A pride of lions would only allow another lion to join them—wild wolves that approached them would immediately become food.
As he interacted more deeply with them, Qianye found, to his great alarm, that the sturdiest corners of his heart were actually showing signs of melting. The anger and pain he felt when occasionally recalling the past seemed to be weakening progressively.
Zhao Yuying had prepared this motorcycle especially for Qianye, but he only felt its benefits after entering the wilderness.
Its rear end had been fitted with a luggage frame—on one side was a large bag full of various supplies for use in the wilderness, while the other had East Peak. The motorcycle still had the horsepower to spare even while carrying such weight. Qianye felt that it wouldn’t be a problem even if he had to carry another East Peak. This level of output had even exceeded many of the light-armored vehicles.
Qianye jumped off the motorcycle after traveling a certain distance from Blackflow City and put away the bag and sword into Andruil’s Mysterious Realm. There were even more ammunition and supplies sitting in there.
The motorcycle immediately recovered its full vitality after East Peak was put away. The motorcycle, with its special mufflers, only produced a light hum as Qianye rode through the wilderness, but its speed had already exceeded 100 kilometers per hour. The sound of the wheels grinding against the ground was fairly insignificant since even nocturnal beasts would produce louder sounds when they ran.
The only problem was the shock absorption. The specially modified system could allow him to ride at greater speeds over rough terrain, however, it posed strict requirements on the driver’s physical attributes. Qianye felt that any other person below the champion level would be seeing stars and vomiting uncontrollably if they rode as fast as he did.
This was simply a transportation tool designed for champions.
Qianye’s eyes fell on the engine cover, on which the head portrait of a beautiful lady with a ridiculous cigar in her mouth and a flamboyant expression on her face was painted. Her eyes, brows, and temperament bore a striking resemblance to Zhao Yuying herself. Qianye hadn’t expected Zhao Yuying to play such a move.
A faint smile emerged on Qianye’s face as he looked at this wild and reckless portrait. Evernight was no longer that dark and lonely with these people around.
The motorcycle rushed toward the west and left Blackflow City’s scope of control after about a hundred kilometers. The rapidly flowing Blackwater River could be seen far in the distance.
At this point, he was formally in grey territory where both dark races and humans operated. However, the enemies here weren’t limited to the enemy faction alone. Any life form one encountered in this lawless place could very well be an enemy.
Qianye adjusted his direction and traveled west along the river, arriving at an uneven mountainous region after traveling a short distance. It was here that the Blackwater River would make a sharp turn toward the north. Qianye, on the other hand, turned into the mountains to scout for dark race settlements and the distribution of their towns and cities.
Along the way, he encountered numerous human hunters and adventurers moving in small groups. All of them were astonished after seeing Qianye’s speed. Qianye paid them no mind and just passed by from a distance. In the wilderness, the distinction between friend and foe could change with a mere thought. Sometimes, those of the same race would prove to be even more dangerous than the dark races.
Qianye wasn’t afraid of anyone but was merely too lazy to waste time on them. He also didn’t want to draw his gun on a human unless it was necessary.
Just as he was about to cross over the dark race borders, numerous streams of smoke began to appear at a distance.
Qianye’s extraordinary vision allowed him to see three “hill spider” model light jeeps driving over against the wind, each occupied by three or four adventurers. Most of them were wearing leather armor and had tattoos on their face and bodies. There were also metallic rings pierced through their ears, noses, and even their lips.
Such adventurers were one of the most dangerous groups in the wilderness. They had completely no fear of death and even dared launch attacks on dark race settlements and the expeditionary army convoys when they were in a frenzy.
They were known as the Carrion Vultures. For a piece of rotten meat, or even just for the excitement of walking the line between life and death, they would act with recklessness and without the slightest bit of apprehension.
Qianye slightly changed the direction of his motorcycle to avoid meeting them head-on. At the same time, he raised the throttle to the maximum and suddenly accelerated. He was prepared to bypass the trouble coming in from the front.
On the leading car, a woman with her lips painted black was staring fixedly at Qianye. Her eyes suddenly lit up and said, “Sand Snake, something’s not quite right with that brat’s motorcycle!”
The bald and burly man known as Sand Snake had a sinister snake tattoo on the top and back of his head. The corners of his eyes twitched as he cast a glance at Qianye. “Goddammit! What high-quality goods!”Previous Chapter Next Chapter
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