Chapter 628: Discussing Contributions Again [V6C158 – Sorrow of a Silent Parting]
Kong Fangyuan thought quite highly of himself and refused to believe that his life could be measured with money. However, it had always been an unwritten rule for thousands of years that aristocratic descendants of every grade had a value attached to them. This consensus allowed the human aristocracy to preserve their strength despite the in-fighting and prevent relationships from openly deteriorating despite the civil strife. Naturally, this was up until the point where the enmity could be controlled.
Kong Fangyuan knew his own status and approximate value. A Misty Cold plus a sum of money was indeed enough to express his sincerity.
Qianye didn’t know this rule, but he felt Kong Fangyuan was showing enough good faith. He might form an actual feud with the Kong family if he continued squeezing him. In any case, there was no major hostility between the two of them—a minor punishment like this was enough.
Without the need for Kong Fangyuan’s instructions, some of his subordinates stripped Lu Sha’s group and proceeded to appraise the equipment one by one. As per Kong Fangyuan’s instructions, the price they offered was more than just fair—it was roughly thirty percent above market price. On his own, it would’ve been considered quite good if Qianye could sell them for eighty percent of the market price. The fifty percent discrepancy was the extra money paid for the man’s life.
Qianye had no complaints about this arrangement. All in all, Kong Fangyuan owed him two lives, so it was fine to let him bleed a bit.
All of these came down to tens of thousands of gold coins for the equipment on Lu Sha’s group. Kong Fangyuan hadn’t brought that much cash since he was here to hunt. Pooling together everything he and his subordinates had at the moment, the man paid half of this amount on the spot with black crystals and special ammunition. The other half was promised in the form of a letter of debt, which he penned personally. A part of the remainder would be paid in the form of a feudal industry while the rest Qianye could withdraw from any Kong family estate.
This move was quite clever and well thought out as it would increase Qianye’s ties to the Kong family. These dealings would also make it convenient to develop a good relationship with him, hence owing money wasn’t a bad thing as long as they didn’t renege on the promise. Qianye was now a valuable target worth roping in, and failing that, they could still request his help in certain matters.
Qianye paid no heed to Kong Fangyuan’s intentions. The latter’s handling of matters was considered fair and “sincere”, and any future relationship would only provide him with extra connections. Qianye’s spatial necklace had been filled to the brim with spoils, and he currently needed the means to dump them—the Yuanyin Lu Family alone wasn’t quite enough. Moreover, Qianye didn’t want to put his trust in a single family. As for those sisters they had mentioned, Qianye wasn’t interested at all since he already had Nighteye.
After concluding the deal on good terms, Qianye said his farewells and walked into the forest. The Kong family managed to breathe a sigh of relief only after he was gone—everyone was drenched in cold sweat.
Qianye’s steps faltered after distancing himself from everyone and confirming that he wasn’t being followed. He nearly fell to the ground as the wound at his back opened up and blood sprayed out like an arrow.
The injuries on Qianye’s body weren’t as light as they seemed to be. The stab to his back was fairly serious because the assassin had poured all of his origin power into Qianye’s body, a force similar to igniting an origin grenade. It was that man’s killing move. Indiscernible yet extremely powerful, any ordinary champion would’ve had his organs shattered in a single stab. Even if they didn’t die on the spot, they would hardly have any strength left to retaliate.
However, Qianye possessed a vampire's constitution which afforded him much greater strength in every part of his body. Solely in terms of physique, it could be said that he was no longer human. That final Shot of Inception had added injuries on top of injuries and deprived Qianye of the ability to continue fighting.
It was just that Qianye was just as calm as before. Not only did he apply medicine to his injuries in front of the Kong family entourage, but he also stayed behind to check the corpses and even went on to negotiate with Kong Fangyuan. All this time, he seemed to be quite calm and showed no signs of urgency, leading the Kong family members to believe that Qianye’s wound was stable.
After leaving them, the healing of Qianye’s wounds was only a matter of time. With the wild beasts and tree sap in the Misty Wood, there was a virtually endless supply of both essence blood and origin distillate. It was only natural to recover quickly under such circumstances—he was completely fine after one day and night.
Qianye set out on his return journey immediately after his injuries had been dealt with. This time, he was prepared to have a good talk with this “major character”.
The flow of people through the Li family base gates was just as bustling. It was just that there was a fair number of injured soldiers among them, a testament to the escalating cruelty of the war. Qianye saw an opening near the airship port used specifically to store the coffins of fallen soldiers. The wooden caskets sat silently on the empty grounds, awaiting their turn to return to the empire.
There were almost a thousand coffins in the area, and the scene was inexplicably lonely and somber. After running into the Kong family combat squad, Qianye understood that even aristocratic units wouldn’t be able to bring back all of their dead. This also applied to the private armies—they would even have to leave the corpses of main family scions if the situation was too dire.
A thousand caskets here meant that ten times this number had died in the Misty Wood. Qianye was somewhat startled to find that the war had unknowingly escalated to such a state.
After experiencing numerous unpleasant situations during the exchange of contribution points, Qianye went straight to Li Weishi and brought him along for the process.
Li Weishi smiled along the way and said, “Actually, you don’t need to worry. The clan lord sent people over to teach the second elder a firm lesson after that matter blew up. He’s much more reserved in his actions right now. At the very least, he won’t make the same mistake again since it would give the clan lord a good excuse to strip him of his status.”
Qianye nodded, however, he knew that Li Tianquan must hate him to the bone for this and the Li family’s overall impression of him wouldn’t be that great, either. They had admonished the second elder mainly because the huge fuss had affected the Li family’s prestige, but not because they were remorseful about how Qianye was treated. In other words, Li Tianquan was punished for bad management and not for being unjust.
Qianye didn’t point out the details behind this matter and only followed Li Weishi to the contribution exchange area. There, he once again slammed that man-sized box onto the ground and drew everyone’s immediate attention. People crowded over with a swoosh, some even ignoring their own exchange business.
Li Weishi laughed wryly upon seeing the situation. “Brother Qianye, do we really need to be so high-profile?”
His initial idea was to bring Qianye into the internal area and find an isolated room to count the contribution points. Who would’ve thought Qianye would stop in the public exchange area.
“It’s fine.” Qianye was nonchalant.
Li Weishi couldn’t say much after seeing Qianye’s insistence and had no other choice but to summon a number of logistics officers. Qianye’s trunk was extremely heavy, and no one knew how much proof of contribution he had stuffed inside. It was better to have more hands on site than not.
Countless proof of contribution burst out as the box was opened—there was virtually every kind one could think of.
A dozen-odd officers spent an hour counting them, and the rechecking process took just as long. After working well past noon, everything was finally completed and registered into the books.
Li Weishi glanced at the booklet and almost jumped off his seat. “T-This… how is this possible?”
“Too little?” Qianye inquired.
Li Weishi’s face twitched somewhat. “Little? It’s too much! Did you pillage a mighty count’s castle?”
“More or less.”
Li Weishi almost wanted to cough up blood at Qianye’s reply. He felt that it was impossible for Qianye to raid a count’s lair no matter how powerful he was. Even if he was indeed capable of this, there weren’t any strongholds in the Misty Wood for him to raid.
But the words first-rate merit written on the registration booklet were as clear as day. They were deeply imprinted into his heart and simply wouldn’t go away.
What kind of person could kill his way to a first-rate merit in such a short time?
The dark races weren’t sheep waiting to be slaughtered. On the contrary, they were even fiercer than leopards and tigers—countless imperial experts hunting for contribution points had fallen in their hands. Li Weishi held an important position in the Li family and was thus privy to a fair amount of secret intelligence. Throughout the empire’s latest round of battles—including those under the Iron Curtain—first place Bai Aotu had obtained a standard first-rate merit, and second place Zhao Jundu, an inferior first-rate merit.
Thinking about how Qianye had actually accumulated enough for a standard first-rate merit, it could be considered terrifying.
Li Weishi’s heart trembled. At first, he thought he had been overestimating Qianye, but now it would seem that he had actually been underestimating him. There was a reason to everything—no matter how Qianye had obtained these contributions, it meant that he had the ability to suppress most of the other aristocratic families in the Misty Wood on his own.
Judging from this, Qianye had already reached Zhao Jundu’s level, and he was bound to reach the divine champion rank in the future.
Li Weishi hands slipped at the thought of this, and the registry fell onto the floor with a bang. He came to after a while and said self-deprecatingly, “How embarrassing, I was actually shocked.”
But the surrounding crowd was actually drowned in absolute silence. All of them stared fixedly at the booklet with complicated emotions.
The words first-rate merit had been revealed to everyone when the book fell just now.
Countless eyes fell upon Qianye, but this time, only a few of them were gazes of jealousy. The rest were all expressions of apprehension and contemplation.
The current situation was different from before. With the arrival of numerous imperial aristocratic families, the dark race side had also increased their troop strength. The difficulty of harvesting contribution points had increased countless times compared to when the base was first established.
It might’ve been possible that Qianye’s previous inferior first-rate merit involved some loopholes, but this time, his contributions were simply too great. Everyone felt embarrassed after comparing their own to his.
Qianye was an independent hunter who didn’t belong to any aristocratic family. Even though he wore an army general’s rank, there was no actual affiliation. All the aristocratic family members were wary of such experts who acted on their own and possessed great combat strength. People weren’t willing to offend these people because they were free of restrictions and could do anything once they were desperate. The aristocracy involved many families and industries, and there were sure to be less defended places. The problems involved weren’t small once they were targeted by an independent expert.
Ordinary clan scions might dare challenge Zhao Jundu because the latter had the Zhao clan behind him. His support was also his binding; he couldn’t just kill anyone without good reason. Things were different for someone like Qianye. There was no telling if or when he would start a massacre following a brief conflict. That was the type of person the aristocracy feared the most.
Those capable of coming here with their combat squads were the core members of their respective families. These people simply exchanged a couple of glances before radiant smiles appeared on their countenance.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
TL: Legion ED: Moxie