The girl appeared rather miserable with numerous wounds of all sizes over her body. Her white dress had been dyed a dark purple—there was no telling how much of that blood was her enemies’ and how much her own.
Bai Kongzhao was also startled upon seeing Qianye.
This time, her deep eyes were not filled with the excitement and killing intent, only exhaustion. Just like Qianye at the moment, she was simply tired of all the killing.
This was the first time Qianye had seen Bai Kongzhao in this state.
However, her expression was still a bit awkward to the vigilant Qianye. He shook slightly as he drew East Peak from the ground, his image reflected upon the blade.
He looked rather fine at a glance, that was apart from the blood stains, soot and naturally, some minor wounds.
Qianye frowned slightly. He had seen many of this girl’s expressions but in truth, all of them were merely a facade. In Qianye’s eyes, she was a machine made solely for the purpose of killing—her expressions and emotions were all a means to this end. Other than that, there was only emptiness and solitude within that beautiful, fragile shell.
But at this moment, there were some changes in Bai Kongzhao. That subtle but odd expression seemed to contain a shred of human emotion.
A deep azure filled Qianye’s eyes as he openly scanned Bai Kongzhao’s body. Under his True Sight, he saw an origin vortex spinning slowly in the girl’s body, but surprisingly, there were strands of black energy mixed in with the white. Dark energy was supposed to be absolutely incompatible with daybreak energy, but the two existed harmoniously in her.
Qianye couldn’t help but feel shocked upon seeing this. Song Zining had investigated Bai Kongzhao before. The Bai clan’s assessment of this girl was that, despite her unmatched talents in combat, it would be prohibitively difficult for her to cross the champion threshold due to her innate constitution. Hence, Bai Kongzhao was expected to become a talented assassin and a sharp killing blade but hardly an expert capable of assuming great responsibilities.
But during this short period, Bai Kongzhao had advanced to the rank of champion. Her upgrade was even faster than Qianye.
He looked down at East Peak and casually turned the blade around, producing a blurry image of the girl upon it. This was the first time he had felt a killing intent without any sense of threat. Qianye actually wasn’t afraid of danger, and the only ones capable of moving him were friends.
Bai Kongzhao sized Qianye up as she dragged the disproportionately long sword on the ground—it looked as though she could hardly bear the burden. That sword was an arachne weapon of excellent craftsmanship and materials, a grade six weapon at least. However, the edge was now lined with nicks and a part of its edge was even missing. Just by looking at this blade, one can imagine how many dark race soldiers had died in her hands.
There were no changes in her—she was still that girl accompanied by death and murder. The only difference was that her targets this time were the dark races.
Qianye suddenly noticed a familiar fluctuation from Bai Kongzhao’s body, a type of mysterious resonance. A brief exploration revealed that the resonance originated from his undigested void essence. Qianye immediately understood how Bai Kongzhao had passed through her bottleneck and risen sharply in power.
The girl seemed to have lost her usual sensitivity to danger and simply remained in place without any movement. She carefully observed Qianye from head to toe before her gaze finally arrived on the vampiric dagger in his hand.
Qianye noticed this. A high-ranking vampiric blade was also a powerful weapon that was hard to come by. Humans could hardly bring out its full power, but it was still quite normal for people to switch melee weapons several times during such an intense battle. A random vampiric edge wasn’t inferior to the standard military knife. The key difference was that the vampiric ability—while a mere decoration to humans—could be put to its full use in Qianye’s hands.
Although Qianye didn’t dare absorb blood openly under the eyes of the masses, a small amount of essence blood would still enter his body after killing so many enemies. Bai Kongzhao’s expression was rather odd—had she discovered something?
Qianye couldn’t help but frown secretly. Bai Kongzhao’s black energy was also suspicious and surely of unorthodox origins. He couldn’t point out what exactly was wrong, but it was still a type of darkness origin power.
The two gazed silently at one another before Bai Kongzhao edged back slowly. Her long sword carved a deep scar in the ground as she moved step by step toward the eastern defensive line.
Qianye leaned on the wall with his eyes closed, waiting for the next wave of attackers.
The seconds turned to minutes as the clock ticked on, but the battlefield was silent. The stronghold suffered no more enemy assaults.
The old man on the vampire airship remained silent for a long while. Finally, he said, “Pull back and set up camp. We'll see how things go tomorrow.”
“Pull back?” The vampire count was astonished. Why would they retreat when the stronghold was just within reach.
The old man replied indifferently, “If the Bai clan people aren’t dumb, they’ll give up their stronghold obediently. Why must I waste more of our people’s lives?”
“But...” The count didn’t know what to say. They were going to spit out the fat piece of meat that was already in their mouth, and this feeling was inexplicably awkward.
The old man had no intention of explaining. He merely closed his eyes and buried himself into the throne. Not daring to speak more, the count bowed and left to carry out his orders.
The consolidated dark race army did not launch another tidal wave of attacks on the stronghold. Instead, they retreated in an orderly manner, much like the tides in the deep ocean.
Bai Longjia heaved a sigh of relief on the tower and performed a gesture representing the order to remain on standby. The orderlies ran toward every corner of the stronghold and commanded all squads not to act on their own. Even though the dark race army had retreated, the Bai clan forces had been more or less crippled. They simply had no ability to pursue and attack.
Bai Longjia’s chest was filled with a stifling sensation after the long inhalation, and all of a sudden, he spat out the mouthful of blood. His aides were greatly alarmed and hurried over to help him.
Bai Longjia composed himself and waved his hand. “I’m fine. Invite Qianye over, and my sister too.” Then, he proceeded to issue more orders for the reorganization of troops and the repair of defenses.
Moments later, Qianye arrived in one of the few intact buildings in the stronghold. He sat there in silence, looking at Bai Longjia who was sitting across from him. Bai Aotu, on the other hand, occupied an entire couch at the other end of the room and was resting with her eyes closed.
Bai Longjia was just about to speak when he began coughing fiercely, calming down only after a good while. He looked at Qianye with a wry smile and said, “I’ve been busy with administrative jobs throughout the years and my cultivation hasn’t improved at all. I was wounded in a single battle today, what an embarrassment.”
Qianye met Bai Longjia’s complicated gaze with his calm, limpid obsidian eyes.
The deepest impression he had of Bai Longjia was in Darkblood City. Back then, the man had faced two dark race experts of the same level—a human-faced arachne and William—to buy time for the rookies of Broken-Winged Angel to escape.
Qianye smiled faintly, “That’s not true. General Bai is a skilled veteran in commanding troops. Your presence in this battle is superior to that of a general.”
Bai Longjia shook his head. “That’s what the textbooks say. Troop control may turn small battles around, but the general situation calls for powerful experts to oversee the situation. Otherwise, any number of experts can only delay the inevitable.”
The Bai clan might not have been able to hold out until the end if Bai Aotu hadn’t been present to keep that expert in the giant warship in check. Even then, the war situation would’ve crumbled if that expert had launched a reckless attack and Bai Aotu couldn’t block him.
At this point, Bai Aotu finally opened her eyes and said coldly, “Longjia, you should delegate some of the responsibilities in your hand. You still need to spend some time cultivating. What does your current combat strength even amount to? You’ll never be the commander of the Broken-Winged Angels at this rate.”
Bai Longjia said helplessly, “Sis, I wouldn’t have taken them up at all if I could delegate.”
“It’s your own choice.” Bai Aotu closed her eyes again and spoke no more.
Bai Longjia turned to Qianye and said with a smile, “Qianye, I really must thank you for holding down an entire defensive line. Otherwise, our losses would’ve been even more miserable.” With that, he stood up and bowed deeply at the latter.
Qianye was startled. He moved out of the gesture’s way and said, “It was just a coincidence. I’m here to hunt independently and was just walking about to familiarize myself with the lay of the land when the vampire fleet appeared.
Bai Longjia still finished his salutation before sitting down. Qianye’s words were calm, but Bai Longjia knew clearly that it was virtually a suicide to join the battle against such a large fleet—but Qianye had still arrived regardless. Not only had he restrained a high-ranking fighting force like count Russel, but also kept guard over an entire defensive line. This kind of contribution couldn’t be judged merely by the number of enemies killed.
Bai Longjia pondered for a moment and said, “I still have to express my gratitude for lending our Bai clan a hand in the face of such perils. Please tell me if you have anything you need. I’ll do everything in my authority to accomplish it.”
Bai Aotu opened her eyes at this point. Her gaze was akin to bolts of electricity and actually produced a faint stabbing pain on Qianye’s body. It hadn’t been that long since they had last met, but it would seem this lady had grown stronger yet again.
By Aotu was somewhat moved when she saw Qianye sitting calmly without even a shift in expression. “All the grievances between you and the Bai clan will be wiped away. We’ll see what happens in the future.”
Qianye knew Bai Aotu was referring to the bloody battle. He was still unclear whether or not the Bai clan had a hand in Bai Kongzhao’s collusion with the Nangong family, but he had certainly killed no small number of Bai clan experts when he fought for the Zhao clan during the latter part of the bloody battle.
With Zhao Jundu’s identity and status, no one would dare seek revenge against him in public, but an expert of unclear affiliation like Qianye could easily become a target to take it out on. But her words still contained a shade of threat at the very end. The past would be let go, but new matters were still up for discussion. Forming new enmity on the battlefield was still a possibility.
Qianye didn’t take this warning to mind. He only smiled indifferently and said, “That’s fine. We shall talk about the future when the time comes.”
How could Bai Aotu not know the meaning in Qianye’s words? She stood up with a snort and left on her own.
Bai Longjia rubbed his forehead while explaining, “Even my sister can’t settle the enmity between the Zhao and Bai clans.”
Qianye replied, “The Zhao clan’s standpoint has nothing to do with me.”
Bai Longjia scanned the Jingtang Li emblem on Qianye’s shoulder but didn’t inquire about it. Instead, he explained his plans, “The current state of battle has already exceeded my expectations. After a reorganization, I’ll issue an order for all troops to retreat in half a day.”Previous Chapter Next Chapter
I like this Bai Longjia fellow.
TL: Legion ED: Moxie