Chapter 378: Dark Crawlers [Volume 5 – A Distance Within Reach]
Qianye’s heart trembled slightly. The werewolves’ methods of offering sacrifices to their ancestors were indeed mysterious. The truly valuable part, however, was the darkness origin power seeping out from the cave walls. No wonder the vampires chose this place to set up an origin array.
Qianye didn’t stay in place for very long and continued into the depths of the cave. This was a natural cave which snaked downward and only ended at about half-way down the mountain. The werewolves had built five layers of stone halls as their ancestral graveyard. This took up but a small segment of the cave while the remainder was left in its original form.
The deeper he went, the more intense the sensation became. Presently, Qianye could clearly feel his blood energy and origin power resonating with something in the darkness. It seemed there was indeed a secret hidden beneath this land.
Qianye turned back to ask the chief, “Is there anything special about this area? Ore types for instance.”
The old chief shook his head. “There’s nothing especially valuable here. In terms of production, the elk glands in the forest and the white fish spines from the nearby lake can be used as origin power media and are perhaps the most valuable. Oh, there are also a number of wild medicinal grasses on the hillock, but those can’t be considered too valuable.”
“Then why did Sharp Fang tribe decide to settle here?”
One of the werewolf elder’s sighed. “They gave this piece of land to Sharp Fang tribe because it was so barren that no one wanted it. Compared to tribes on Count Stuka’s core territory, we’re merely foreigners who arrived later.”
Qianye nodded. One had no right to speak without sufficient power. This kind of profit distribution couldn’t be considered wrong. “I can give your tribe a new place after things settle down.”
“Where?” The werewolf elders immediately became alert.
The old chief laughed wryly. “No matter where it is, it certainly can’t be worse than this place.”
The elders also felt that was the case and thus refrained from saying anything.
Observing up to this point, Qianye had already confirmed that something out of the ordinary existed within Green Peak Mountain, however, he wasn’t familiar with excavation and had no intention to investigate on his own. He immediately gave the surroundings a once over and memorized the unusual state of origin power before returning to the surface with the werewolves.
“I shall be leaving first. I’ll send men to bring all of you to a new territory after things have settled down. It’s best not to let your tribesmen go outside, lest a conflict arises between them and my soldiers.”
Qianye didn’t stay too long since the chief had already agreed to do as asked. His return journey was much faster. Those mountain crocodiles remained in their original areas and showed no signs of spreading out. Already familiar with the regional geography, Qianye quickly circled around the mountain pass and returned to the Dark Flame camp directly.
He hadn’t returned for very long when the guards reported that there was a woman outside the camp. She had asked specifically for Qianye and claimed to be the viscount’s messenger.
“A woman?” Qianye wasn’t surprised that Brudo had made his decision within the appointed time, but he hadn’t actually expected this conservative werewolf to actually send a human female messenger.
As expected, he saw a woman waiting silently when he walked into the reception tent. Her back on the seat was ramrod straight, and her hands were crossed on her knees. She couldn’t be considered very beautiful, but her facial features were delicate, and her fair countenance was tinged with the frailty of a sickly person.
The woman turned around upon hearing footsteps, after which, she stood up and performed a formal imperial greeting. “You must be Sire Qianye. I come representing Viscount Brudo to discuss our surrender.”
Qianye walked over to the master seat and gestured for her to sit down. He didn’t speak immediately and, instead, sized the lady up from head to toe. Many secrets were revealed under his True Sight.
She was indeed a human through and through. At least Qianye couldn’t find anything abnormal with her bloodline. But flowing within her was all darkness origin power and not a shred of daybreak.
It was rather interesting. This woman’s body had practically toppled the basic rules of origin power control in both factions.
Humans were inherently creatures of daybreak, but compared to other creatures, they could be considered compatible with both. Some secret arts would carry darkness components after advancing in rank or awakening talents. Some people would cultivate darkness origin power in pursuit of greater power.
However, these were the minority. Moreover, these people could hardly avoid being corroded by the darkness and their bodies would mutate. But this woman was able to maintain her human appearance despite the fact that her body was filled with darkness origin power. Even Qianye’s True Sight couldn’t find any abnormalities.
“Brudo sent a human as his messenger. This is indeed surprising.”
The woman replied indifferently, “It’s not too unexpected, right? Besides, how can I meet you so easily were I not a human? The defensive line at the front isn’t that easy to pass through.”
“Brudo’s faction can be considered quite conservative. Why does he trust you?”
“This is a secret. Please allow me to keep it.”
Qianye shook his head. “No. This is related to whether or not I can trust you, and whether you can represent Brudo. You may return if you don’t wish to speak. Have him come and explain things personally.”
The woman’s expression turned cold. “Sire Qianye, do I take this as your determination to fight the viscount? We still have thousands of brave warriors!”
“I even beat the count running. What have I to fear of a viscount? In truth, my willingness to sit down and negotiate is because I personally admire the straightforward manner of the werewolves. If the reason you’re sitting here is to use meaningless words to win some benefits, then you may leave now.”
Qianye’s voice was neither loud nor soft, but it carried an unquestionable pertinacity.
The woman’s expression froze. She then softened the tone of her voice with a hint of resentment on her face. “Sire Qianye truly has no compassion for the fairer sex.”
“You’re not that beautiful.”
The woman was startled and then laughed wryly. “How frank… and insensitive.”
“The thing about sensibility is that the more you give it, the less you have for yourself. So I make it a point to only treat those close to me with due subtlety.” Qianye’s tone turned colder. “You’ve already wasted enough of my time. Let’s stop here.” With that, he prepared to stand up.
The woman sighed. “Very well. Viscount Brudo’s bottom line is that he retains the same authority and status he had under Count Stuka’s rule. If you can promise this, then he will surrender. Otherwise, he will fight a bloody battle to the end.”
Qianye replied coldly, “That’s not a problem. Those are the conditions I proposed back then. But bring him a message. The viscount must understand that, even if he went all out, the damage he can do to me is still within acceptable limits. But every single werewolf will die, so don’t try to threaten me with war!”
The woman couldn’t help but tremble. The killing intent overflowing from Qianye’s body was almost tangible, and she could even feel faintly discernible pain on her skin.
She forced a smile and said, “Then we should consider this negotiation concluded. Additionally, I have a small request. Count Brudo requires a nominal independence, at least on the surface. Otherwise, it’ll be difficult to suppress those in his lands.
Qianye nodded. “That’s fine, but he’ll have to move to another territory.”
“Another territory?” The woman was surprised and watched Qianye with a guarded expression.
“His territory is too close to the borders. I’ll find a piece of land closer to the count’s territory, enough for all werewolves to reside in. One has to know that the eastern borders will eventually join the ranks of human-controlled territories. I might also get into trouble with the empire if the werewolves live here publicly.”
The woman pondered for a while and said, “I understand. I’ll convince Brudo as much as I can. There shouldn’t be a problem if the new territory isn’t too poor.” At this point, she chuckled self-deprecatingly and said, “But it’ll be quite difficult to find a land more barren than ours in the count’s territory.
Qianye felt odd. “Why? I heard Brudo once challenged Count Stuka. Although he lost that match, it should’ve allowed him to obtain a more resource-abundant territory. In truth, Brudo is much more powerful than the other two viscounts.”
“Because of the werewolves’ ancient tradition obviously.” The woman’s tone contained a trace of mockery. “The werewolves in this land believe in the ancient traditions, which means that they believe that only physical strength is their own true power. They believe that armaments and origin arrays are for the weak. As one can well imagine, they have very little demands and don’t feel that they’re lacking anything. They’re content as long as they have a forest to provide herbs and meat, and a river with fish to add some variety. Resources like minerals hold no meaning to them at all.”
Qianye was enlightened and stirred by an inexplicable emotion.
The woman stood up and said, “If Sire Qianye has no other instructions for me, then I shall report back to the viscount and have him arrange territorial matters related to the migration.
Qianye stopped the woman who was preparing to leave.
She glanced back to see a pair of exquisite handguns with their dark muzzles aimed at her. She immediately said in alarm, “Sire Qianye, there’s no need for this. Whatever you want, just say it and I’ll obey as long as it is within my power.” At this point, an inexplicably flirtatious expression emerged from the corner of her eyes and brows.
There was no fluctuation in Qianye’s expression. “I don’t need you to obey. I’m just curious about your origins. Perhaps you should introduce yourself properly, otherwise, I might be inclined to think that you’re more valuable than Viscount Brudo. In that case, I’ll give up on the werewolves’ allegiance and bring you back to the empire. There are many professionals there who excel in prying out secrets.”
A gleam flashed through the woman’s eyes. She watched the origin power patterns on the Twin Flowers light up and finally relaxed her well-prepared stance.
She spread out her hands in a harmless stance and said, “I was fairly confident about fleeing from the viscount, yet I’ve lost all fighting spirit in front of you, one who’s not even a champion. Very well, allow me to introduce myself. My name is Ruoyu, and I come from the Skywing Continent. I belong to the Dark Crawlers, an organization so enormous that you can’t even begin to imagine it. I’m just a common member there, a very common member.”
“Dark Crawlers? An interesting name.” There was still no expression on his face, but great waves had risen in his heart. He had never heard of this organization, but the Skywing Continent was one of the middle continents. It had always belonged to the dark races and human soldiers rarely, if ever, set foot on it.Previous Chapter Next Chapter