Chapter 365: Chance Encounter [Volume 5 – A Distance Within Reach]
Wei Potian walked down the stairs of the division headquarters and stood nearby, stroking his stubble in a seemingly pensive manner. “If it really is her, then it seems the rumors about her taking up the family name are true.”
Nangong Ling’s expression turned cold, no longer able to care that she was in Wei Potian’s presence. She let out a snort and said coldly, “How can she be worthy of the name Nangong?”
Wei Potian only laughed without saying anything.
The expressions of the greater half of the audience turned odd after hearing the name Nangong Xiaoniao. The third army corps officers kept silent, but the noble ladies had no such reservations. They got together and whispered among each other while shooting occasional glances at the girl.
“Nangong Xiaoniao, where have I heard this name before?”
“Is it the Nangong Xiaonaio highly favored by the commanders of Red Scorpion? Isn’t it said that she has the potential to become both a master machinist and a master array specialist?
“Then, isn’t she really awesome?”
“Not just awesome, but extremely so! It’s said that she has already begun to design new airships.”
“Did you all know that she and the Nangong family have a feud? I heard they nearly came to blows…”
“What’s that all about? Pray tell!”
Nangong Ling felt the peculiar gazes of the noble ladies upon her, and their whispers were still loud enough for her to hear clearly. Her countenance fluctuated between blue and red, but naturally, none of those who dared discuss such a matter in front of her was of inferior background. It was apparently not a good idea to act up here.
Nangong Ling was always looking for ways to approach Wei Potian and, at times, even prevented them from coming into contact with him. These noble ladies had no intention of holding back now that they had found a rare opportunity to anger her. On the contrary, they spoke louder and louder.
Nangong Ling could no longer endure and said coldly, “I’m feeling a bit unwell. I’ll return first.”
Wei Potian hadn’t the slightest intention of comforting her and actually said, “That’s good too.” Nangong Ling was so angry that she stamped her feet and left the seventh division headquarters.
At this time, a lieutenant commander from Dark Flame headquarters rushed over to take over the duty of arranging lodgings for Nangong Xiaoniao and her Red Scorpion warriors.
Zhang Zixing muttered to himself with a frown as he followed the leaving party with his gaze, “This is going to be troublesome.”
The puzzled aide-de-camp beside him asked, “General, even if there is trouble, it should be Red Scorpion’s, right? Aren’t we about to escort the Wei clan heir and the noble ladies back to the Qin continent?”
Zhang Zixing said with some indignance, “When has a Red Scorpion operation ever been free of casualties? How can they have the extra manpower to deal with that little troublemaker? I don’t care about An Shaonian’s survival, but those old men from Red Scorpion will tear my house down if something happens to her! Dammit!”
The aide-de-camp realized Zhang Zixing was in a bad mood and immediately stopped shooting off his mouth. However, Zhang Zixing was already annoyed with him and suddenly said, “Go ask Red Scorpion how long Colonel Nangong Xiaoniao is staying in Blackflow City and where she plans to go afterward. I’ll assign you a battalion and a high-speed destroyer. You will be in charge of escorting her from here on out, and you’ll be held accountable if she loses even a single hair!”
The aide’s expression immediately turned bitter—didn’t this mean he couldn’t return with the battalion? No one was willing to stay too long in a place like Evernight where one almost couldn’t see the sun. But how would he dare oppose the angry Zhang Zixing? He only asked with a sour expression, “General, how… how long will this take?”
“Until she leaves Evernight Continent!” Zhang Zixing threw out those words and buried all of the aide-de-camp’s hopes.
In the days that followed, Blackflow City was peaceful yet busy. The noble ladies who had, for so long, caused a clamor in this little border city were about to leave along with their accompanying troops. This made the entire city feel greatly relieved.
Wei Potian was still in a bad mood. Dark Flame’s military intelligence had reached his hands—Qianye’s Western Expedition was fairly successful, and he had even badly injured Count Stuka in the most recent battle. But he had led his troops toward the werewolf viscount’s territory afterward, and it seemed impossible for him to rush back within two days.
Meanwhile, the unpredictable Song Zining had appeared once again after disappearing for a number of days. Reportedly, he had settled matters with the expeditionary army headquarters, and all that remained was to follow various procedures in order to legalize Dark Flame.
Wei Potian was, on one hand, happy for Qianye but, on the other, was displeased with Song Seven’s spirited countenance. He began pondering whether he should find a way to drive the latter away and suppressed the notion only after recalling that Qianye was just starting out with everything. Moreover, his Zhao clan identity and what he had gone through in Red Scorpion were still hidden concerns.
Song Zining paid no heed at all to the Wei clan heir’s depression. He was in a wonderful mental state after settling Dark Flame’s matters and hid himself behind closed doors to engage in art and calligraphy, improving his mental realm cultivation by leaps and bounds.
Today at dawn, his brush was flying about as though he were assisted by the gods. The image of a mountain journey took shape in one go, and in a flash of origin power, the scene on paper seemed to have come alive. Frosted red maple leaves danced along the stony path meandering toward the clouds.
“Dark Twilight.” Song Zining’s Three Thousand Flying Leaves art had entered the sixth realm of the middle rank.
At this moment, Wei Potian was observing the painting from behind. The Wei clan heir immediately recalled the chest guard he had made for Qianye when he saw those specks of light condense into maple leaves. His countenance immediately turned dark. He suddenly extended his hand—yellow lights formed the vague outline of a perilous and lofty ridge which pressed down on the world in the painting.
Song Zining was unaware of the reason, but he became even more delighted after seeing Wei Potian’s unsightly countenance. Ignoring the fate of his painting, he allowed the two origin powers to clash, turning the fine paper into a pile of powdery fragments. He was just about to make fun of Wei Potian when a commotion came through from the outside.
The two were startled and turned to look out the window at the same time. They were in Qianye’s office at the Dark Flame headquarters where the southern window overlooked the large drill grounds connected to the main gate. Presently, a group of people had gathered there.
Today was the day Nangong Xiaoniao was set to leave for Darkblood City, but a Red Scorpion warrior had mentioned that the Blackflow City Lord and Dark Flame’s commander had previously brought back an origin array which no one had been able to crack. They had even come to ask the professional staff from Red Scorpion and the third army corps about the situation.
The young girl was most interested in such things. She checked the time and, seeing that there was still an hour until her flight, decided to visit Dark Flame for a while. She had just walked into the main gates when she saw a group of people following a noble lady. It was precisely Nangong Ling.
Nangong Ling hadn’t expected to bump into Nangong Xiaoniao either. She was momentarily startled, but her expression fell immediately and said, “Out of the way.”
Nangong Xiaoniao’s heart-shaped face puffed up. She was apparently angered and said while clenching a fist, “Who are you asking to get out of the way?”
“You, of course. Is there anyone else?”
The main gates of Dark Flame were designed for the passage of combat vehicles. Not to mention two young ladies, even two armored combat vehicles can move through side by side. But the two Nangong ladies stubbornly stood face to face, unwilling to move a single step.
“Why must I make way for you?” Nangong Xiaoniao asked furiously.
Nangong Ling’s brows rose. She walked slowly toward Nangong Xiaoniao and said, “Because of my identity. Because yours is but a humble family and not even a landowning household!”
Nangong Xiaoniao cried out, “If you lot hadn’t plotted and set us up, how could my grandfather…”
Nangong Ling cut her short, “Such a distant matter. Who knows what actually happened back then. Moreover, what does that have to do with me? Nothing! So now, I’m telling you. Make! Way!”
Nangong Xiaoniao’s face was completely red. It seemed she was no match to Nangong Ling in terms of verbal combat—a few words from the latter had almost caused her to burst into tears.
The ruckus they were causing at Dark Flame’s main entrance immediately drew a lot of attention. The Dark Flame warriors had long since gotten scared of these noble ladies and only watched from afar without daring to approach.
Meanwhile, the young noble misses who just had to visit the Dark Flame camp with Song Zining and Wei Potian began to emerge from every corner. They began to point fingers and make secret comments. Naturally, they had no intention to calm the situation and were only thinking about how to fan the flames.
Nangong Xiaoniao suddenly wiped away the tears that were on the verge of rolling down. She then stared fixedly at Nangong Ling and spoke word by word, “I’m. Not. Moving!”
Nangong Ling suddenly broke into a laughter. “How audacious of you to use the Nangong family name. You don’t even know the slightest bit of manners. Then let me teach you some today!”
Nangong Ling suddenly swung her hand toward Nangong Xiaoniao’s face in a slap. Perhaps because she was lost in thought, or perhaps because she hadn’t expected Nangong Ling to attack so suddenly, Nangong Xiaoniao failed to react immediately and was struck on the cheek with a resounding bang.
This time, the noble ladies on the side were all startled. Even Nangong Ling herself was fairly surprised—she had only intended to put on an act and make Nangong Xiaoniao move away. She hadn’t expected that the slap would actually connect so squarely.
Nangong Xiaoniao’s face immediately swelled up, and a handprint appeared clearly upon it. She covered her cheeks and glanced at Nangong Ling. Her expression turned incomparably calm at this point and said slowly, “You hit me?”
The Red Scorpion soldiers behind her weren’t as calm, however. After a moment of astonishment, a number of them strode forth with weapons drawn.
Nangong Ling’s heart trembled. The Red Scorpion warriors were all veterans who had killed on the battlefield. Although their levels weren’t especially high, their imposing momentum seemed to carry a thirst for blood. Since things had developed to this point, how could she cower in front of so many people? She clenched her teeth and said, “So what if I did? Who told you to block my way?!”
Nangong Ling’s maids and guards also swarmed over and blocked her front. A maid shouted, “Why aren’t you moving away yet? Imperial laws clearly state that those of humble birth must give way to those from a noble family. What? Do you want to break the law?”
Nangong Xiaoniao ignored the maid entirely. She only stared at Nangong Ling and repeated, “You hit me?”
Nangong Ling’s expression froze. However, she was absolutely unwilling to back down. Concession was a small matter, but she would be throwing away the entire Nangong family’s face.
The Red Scorpion warriors who had been stopped by Nangong Xiaoniao wore expressions of fury and were surging with killing intent. They might take action at a moment’s notice. The army was full of suicidal soldiers who cared little about Nangong Ling’s identity, and once angered, their blades would draw blood all the same. If worse came to worst they need only pay with their lives.
One of Nangong Ling’s followers realized that the situation wasn’t good and began to retreat secretly. Although aristocratic family guards thought highly of themselves, they didn’t dare act carelessly while facing an elite special unit. This person was rather clever and had gone to find their family’s experts.
The spectators also noticed that things were deteriorating fast and hurriedly dispatched people to find Wei Potian, Song Zining, and Zhang Zixing. It would become a major issue if, by any chance, Red Scorpion and the Nangong family started fighting. These spectators would also find it difficult to extricate themselves once things had truly gone out of hand.
All eyes were on Nangong Ling. This made her feel quite pressured, but after recalling the attitude of her clan elders, she raised her head high and said, “Still not moving? I’ll slap you again if you insist on blocking the way!”
The maid reached out to push Nangong Xiaoniao while shouting, “Move! You lowlife from a poor family.”
However, at this moment, an ostentatious voice rang out outside of the gates, “Oh my! So many people. Are all of you here to welcome me?”Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Who could that voice be? How will the fight between two Nangongs turn out?
Chapter 7/7 of the week.
TL: Legion ED: Moxie
Teaser Source: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/208924870192410807/?lp=true