Chapter 370: Aura of an Old Friend [Volume 5 – A Distance Within Reach]
The room was fairly messy with components and tools scattered everywhere like an old arms workshop. It was a wonder how she had brought so many things into the room.
Qianye heard some movement in the bathroom and thus walked over to take a look. There, he saw Nangong Xiaoniao standing before the mirror muttering irresolutely to herself, “Third button, third button.”
Qianye was worried after seeing her in this state and couldn’t help but call out, “Xiaoniao?”
“Eh?!” Nangong Xiaoniao turned around like a whirlwind, her face pale and clearly startled. When she saw that the one standing before her was Qianye, she immediately began to sway and could hardly stand straight.
“Are you alright?” Qianye was even more worried now.
“I-I…” Nangong Xiaoniao’s brain seemed to be filled with gears at this moment, and all of them were creaking and groaning. It was a mystery just what kind of conclusion they had churned out. She suddenly pulled open her third button and said to Qianye, “I’ll undo it!”
Qianye was deeply affected after seeing Nangong Xiaoniao’s almost bursting cleavage. Nangong Xiaoniao was still the sweet and adorable little rookie from back then—the impact of her childish face paired with such a bosom was indeed incomparable.
“Xiaoniao, don’t do this. The button…”
Qianye hadn’t even finished speaking when Nangong Xiaoniao spoke once more, “I’m undoing it!”
Helpless to do anything else, Qianye shouted, “Rookie! Attention!”
One order, one action—Nangong Xiaoniao stood to attention out of reflex. Unexpectedly, her nerves were tense and her movements were too forceful, nearly causing her chest to pop out of her clothes. Nangong Xiaoniao glanced down at her chest and then at Qianye. A different implication appeared in her bewildered eyes as though she had understood something.
Qianye was overcome by the urge to put his palm to his face. He did his best to maintain a straight face and shouted, “Rookie, button up your clothes!”
Nangong Xiaoniao asked innocently, “You don’t need me to undo one more?”
Qianye’s vision grew dark, and he finally realized that perhaps the rookie had grown up all of a sudden. In the end, he decided that this matter couldn’t continue—he forcefully pulled up Nangong Xiaoniao’s clothes and did all of her buttons one by one. But Qianye immediately regretted his decision when his fingers came into contact with the skin on her chest. It was inexplicably exquisite and the elasticity was astonishing.
“Enough, Xiaoniao, let’s get back to proper matters. I might have to go to on campaign in the near future. What do you intend… Eh? Wait!” Qianye suddenly felt a familiar aura. It was extremely faint, but the familiarity became exceptionally clear after taking notice of it.
His heart skipped a beat. He fully activated his perception and discovered a wisp of blood energy, one that was extremely faint and unassimilated by the darkness origin power in the environment.
Qianye was indeed incomparably familiar with this strand of blood energy because he had once possessed it. However, the golden blood energy was purified and transformed into the dark golden blood energy after he gained major success in the Song Clan Ancient Scroll. That blood energy was devoured by the terrifying origin power vortex.
Presently, he had once again perceived the smell of this blood energy and immediately detected this barely discernible presence. This blood energy reminded him of a certain person, a person he thought he would never see again—Nighteye.
Qianye’s eyes swept through the messy room and found the source of this blood energy. It was an opened metallic sphere with its internal compartment exposed. The compartment was silver and just as smooth as its outer shell with a number of small holes lining its upper half.
Under his true vision, Qianye saw that the origin power in the surrounding environment was exceedingly active and flowing into the internal compartment continuously. Meanwhile, a strand of extremely faint blood energy was flowing out from the small holes above.
“This is the core of the origin array. You managed to open it?” asked Qianye.
Nangong Xiaoniao nodded. “It wasn’t so hard. I managed to open it after a few tries. But we need to open the internal compartment to know exactly what it’s used for.”
“Can you open it now?” Qianye was eager to know more.
“Let me try!”
Nangong Xiaoniao flipped through the metallic components and whipped out a number of oddly-shaped special tools. She first fixed the silver component on the workbench and then brought out a set of slender metallic needles which she carefully inserted into different parts of the internal compartment.
The silver compartment was as bright and clean as a mirror, and even Qianye couldn’t find any openings apart from the small holes. It was unknown just how Nangong Xiaoniao managed to pierce all the needles in after feeling the surface carefully with her hands.
Nangong Xiaoniao produced a special golden needle once the ten odd metallic needles were in place. She tried out a couple of places and then chose one to probe into the internal compartment. She then flicked lightly when the needle was halfway in.
Suddenly, numerous origin array patterns lit up on the originally bare needle and rapidly extended to cover the entire compartment. A number of gaps emerged on the surface of the internal compartment amidst minute snapping sounds and weaved together before opening up like a blooming flower.
The process of opening the internal compartment was a new experience for Qianye. He had never imagined there would be such an exquisite mechanism on earth.
Moreover, the internal compartment was opened in less than three minutes in Xiaoniao’s hands. One had to know that many famous Red Scorpion array specialists had worked on it for quite some time, but failed to tackle even the outer shell, not to mention the internal compartment. From this, it was quite reasonable that the old men from Red Scorpion were willing to offend Nangong Yuanbo for her.
Qianye’s eyes fell on the opened internal compartment. It was lined with dense array patterns which formed an incomparably exquisite three-dimensional structure—it was almost like a work of art. There was a dark fingernail-sized crystal planted at its center, and one could vaguely make out a thin strand of blood within it.
The aura of the sanguineous thread abruptly grew stronger after the internal compartment was opened, a clear indication that the crystal had no sealing properties. On the contrary, its function was to nurture and disseminate its aura. Qianye was finally certain that this wisp of blood was Nighteye’s.
Why would her blood appear here?
Qianye asked in contemplation, “Xiaoniao, what is this origin array used for?”
Nangong Xiaoniao replied, “Judging from the utility of the origin array, there are four functional areas. One is to draw in darkness origin power, nurture the fresh blood, and maintain its vitality. The second function is similar to a blood shackle. The warning mechanism of the array will be activated when the owner of this drop of fresh blood enters its effective range and, when needed, it can suppress the bloodline associated with that drop of blood. I’m not too clear about the other two arrays. I’ve never seen anything similar before—I might be able to crack them, but I’ll need some time to test them out.”
Qianye’s heart sunk for some unknown reason. He had only encountered the blood shackles once and that was when the vampires were hunting Nighteye down. They had utilized the blood shackles to trace her movements and suppress her strength. Now that the present array had incorporated the abilities of the blood shackle and contained Nighteye’s aura, it was clear that the person behind this had evil intentions.
When he had seen her last time, it seemed as though Nighteye had already become a major character among the vampires. Could the target of this extravagant set up be her?
Qianye gave it some thought and asked, “How wide is the area of its effect?”
Nangong Xiaoniao brought the internal compartment to her eyes and inserted a thin needle into the origin array as a reference. She then performed some silent calculations before saying, “It can affect an area of approximately 200 kilometers if installed at a height of 300 to 500 meters.”
“Only 200 kilometers. Then there should be many more such origin arrays. It’s impossible for there to be only one.” Qianye pondered for a moment and then continued, “I still have components from another origin array. It’s of a much larger scale, and its complexity is even greater. Please help me crack that one too if possible and see what its uses are.”
“Okay!” Nangong Xiaoniao agreed while puffing up her chest.
Qianye moved his eyes away and said, “I’ll send people to assist you. Just tell me whatever you need.” With that, Qianye prepared to excuse himself.
But Nangong Xiaoniao suddenly blocked his way. She drummed up her courage and said, “See? I still have some uses. I’ll try hard and make myself even more useful! Can you please not send me away because of the Nangong family?”
Qianye glanced at Nangong Xiaoniao, and in her large eyes, he saw courage, determination, and apprehension. He sighed lightly in his heart and said, “Don’t worry. No need to pay too much attention to the Nangong family. This is, after all, the Evernight Continent. But I can’t keep you here if the Red Scorpions demand it.”
Qianye’s voice hadn’t even trailed off when brilliant colors erupted from Nangong Xiaoniao’s eyes. She came pretty close to jumping about and kept on nodding furiously. “Rest assured, the Red Scorpions won’t do that. I have ways to deal with them!”
Seeing Nangong Xiaoniao’s excited state, Qianye suddenly realized that he might have made a mistake. Those old men might’ve spoiled her—it seemed they had no way to deal with her if she insisted on staying.
Qianye shook his head. The ineffable shadow vaguely shrouding his heart had lessened by quite a bit. He reached out to rub Nangong Xiaoniao’s head and said, “I’ll be leaving first. I have some business to attend to. And stop messing around with Zhao Yuying. Don’t just undo your buttons randomly, you hear?”
“But it seemed quite effective.”
“Effective my a*s!” Qianye knocked on Nangong Xiaoniao’s head, pushed the door open, and left. There was no telling how many more buttons this little rookie would undo if he stayed longer.
After returning to his study, Qianye unfurled a table-top deduction map and outlined a 200-kilometer circle around Green Peak Mountain. Afterward, he pushed outward and expanded another 200 kilometers, penning in a number of possible origin array locations.
Qianye gazed at the map with his brows locked in a frown. The dark race territory seemed to be hidden behind an iron curtain, and the humans understood little about them up until this day.
When Qianye saw Nighteye for the second time at Earth Castle, he saw that she was wearing a golden datura emblem. That was the insignia of the Monroe clan, one of the twelve ancient bloodlines. But he knew almost nothing else about her.
He knew not whether she was still on Evernight Continent, which clans she had an enmity with, or if the vampires and werewolves who had hunted her down the first time were on the same side as those setting up the origin array.
Qianye committed to memory the area he had drawn and the specific coordinates of the potential sites before crushing the map into a pile of paper shreds.
At this time, a drawn-out whistle rang out in the distance, followed by what sounded like rolling thunder. That was the sound made by dozens of airships in ascent.
Qianye walked to the window and saw a massive airship gradually rise into the air from behind Blackflow City. The origin arrays at the ship’s belly flickered on and off as the darkness origin power in the environment fluctuated continuously.
This massive vehicle comparable to half the city rising into the air was the third army corps’ flagship. After it took to the air, the other corvettes, patrol ships, and transports all soared into the air in quick succession.
Moments later, the entire sub-fleet was assembled above Blackflow City. Then, the strangely-shaped retro-airships belonging to the numerous noble ladies started taking to the air. They left under the protection of the escort fleet and finally vanished over the horizon.
Qianye was gazing absent-mindedly at the empty sky when Seventeen came to report that General An Shaonian of the Red Scorpions was here to visit him.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
5/7 of the week! Enjoy ^_^
TL: Legion ED: Moxie