Chapter 648: The Bigger Picture

Chapter 648: The Bigger Picture [V6C178 – Sorrow of a Silent Parting]

Bad news always traveled exceptionally fast. Before a day had passed, this news had spread throughout the void continent. Bai Aotu’s movements this time were simply too blatant, actually provoking the Zhao clan, the Song clan, and the Wei clan at the same time. Moreover, she seemed to be heading toward irreparable damage in a truly unusual trend. In the past, Bai Aotu was only tyrannical and not insane—at the very least, she was still reasonable. The matter this time had blown up so big that she might not be able to handle it alone. Many conspiracy theorists became excited and began guessing what major movement the Bai clan was going to come up with. There might even be an upheaval in the empire.

There was a small but strong fortress on the western border of the Zhao clan warzone. Void turbulences would occur from time to time in this place since it wasn’t too far from the edge of the void continent. According to reason, it wasn’t a place suitable for large scale battles at all. But right now, the Zhao clan warzone and the Li family base in the Misty Wood were the only places where the empire could dig in for defense. The dark races were apparently clear about this point. Dark race experts had appeared frequently around the Zhao clan area during this period, infiltrating, scouting, and trying to find a weakness in local defenses. The zone’s proximity to the edge of the continent made it optimal for small airships to fly in. Hence, dark race activity was exceptionally high here.

A blaring siren rang out from the top of the fort. A motorcycle had appeared on the distant wasteland. It made a rapid beeline for the base, dragging a long, serpentine cloud of dust behind it.

The guards on the turrets immediately turned the ballistae and loaded them with homing bolts made to deal with experts. One who could ride a bike at such speeds wasn’t an ordinary expert at all. Ordinary people might die from the vibrations even if they didn’t fall to their deaths.

The two anti-air rapid-fire cannons also lowered their muzzles toward the incoming rider.

One of the guard officers was observing the potential intruder through his binoculars. He raised a hand to silence the alarm and shouted, “Fourth Young Master is back!”

With that, the ballistae and rapid-fire cannons resumed their original defensive positions without the slightest lapse in vigilance. From this, one could see how well-trained the Zhao clan private army was.

The bike galloped forward amidst loud roars, smashing through the remains of an airship with a loud boom. It shot out through the dust and metallic fragments, circled about, and soon came to a screeching halt in front of the fortress gates.

Zhao Jundu, clad in azure armor, jumped off the gigantic motorcycle and tossed two werewolf heads to the approaching subordinate. “Take care of these and submit them together at the end of the month.”

After that warrior left in due haste, several more experts came running over and pushed the motorcycle into the fortress. This massive thing was several tons in weight and was impossible to move without several people working together.

Zhao Jundu asked while walking into the fortress, “Any news recently?”

The lieutenant colonel in charge of intelligence replied, “Fourth Young Master, there is indeed news about Miss Yuying and General Qianye.”

Zhao Jundu’s brows rose up. “Go on!”

The soldier summarized the incident between Bai Aotu and Qianye’s group. Zhao Jundu’s calm expression gradually disappeared, replaced entirely by an icy chill.

The fortress wasn’t very big, so Zhao Jundu soon reached his office and sat down behind the desk. The lieutenant colonel was well prepared since she knew that the situation was special. The officer quickly produced two sets of documents and placed them on the table. “These are reports on the injuries of General Qianye and the Wei clan heir.”

Zhao Jundu looked over them in detail, especially Qianye’s. This report was penned by a military doctor of the Zhang clan fleet and sent directly to the Zhao clan.

Zhao Jundu put the report down slowly and said, “This injury, humph! It seems Bai Aotu didn’t hold back at all.”

The lieutenant colonel was somewhat surprised. The Zhao clan army’s traditions had always encouraged officers to speak directly, so the lieutenant colonel expressed her doubts immediately, “If Bai Aotu hadn’t held back, wouldn’t General Qianye have died there?”

Zhao Jundu shot her a glance. Having nothing to hide in front of his trusted aide, he said with a cold laugh, “Everyone’s underestimating Qianye. With his current strength, it’s not surprising for him to take a hit from Bai Aotu.”

The lieutenant colonel was astonished at how highly Zhao Jundu evaluated Qianye. Bai Aotu’s strength had risen meteorically in recent years, allowing her to kill experts above her level as though she were cutting vegetables. She was known as the number one character under the divine champion rank. She probably couldn’t sweep through every opponent under the divine champion rank just yet, but those who could contend against her were all well-known experts in their forties and fifties. How could they throw away their reputation and fight a bloody battle with her just for this title? Moreover, they might not win for certain even if they did, and their good names would be ruined at that point.

Even so, it was enough to show just how strong Bai Aotu was at this moment.

Qianye could actually take a blow from her without dying. Didn’t this mean that his combat strength wasn’t too far off from her? One had to know that he was even one year younger than Zhao Jundu.

At the thought of this, the lieutenant colonel felt somewhat restless at heart.

Zhao Jundu kept his eyes lowered, paying hardly any attention to the officer’s thoughts. After a moment of contemplation, he said, “Before I came here, both dukes and my father told me that the war is related to our national fate and that everything should be for the bigger picture. Ha! What bigger picture? How am I supposed to take the bigger picture into consideration when there are people completely ignoring it?”

The shocked officer said hurriedly, “Young Master, don’t be rash! The bigger picture is still the most important. Moreover, it’s not suitable for you to argue with Bai Aotu at the moment.”

Zhao Jundu laughed at the tactful wording of her message. “You’re thinking that I’m not Bai Aotu’s match at the moment, right? I know that very well. She’s ten years older than me, and this gap isn’t something that can be bridged within a couple of years.”

The lieutenant colonel had just sighed in relief when Zhao Jundu spoke, “Bring me a letter of challenge!”

The officer was anxious now. “You just said you’re not suited to fight her at the moment!”

Zhao Jundu said with a faint smile, “Not now, three years later I will fight her to the death. She’s ten years older than me, so even if she doesn’t cultivate for the next three years, she would still have a seven-year lead. If she doesn’t even dare to accept this challenge, then she can kiss her title goodbye.”

The terms of this challenge might be even more upsetting to her than being killed.

“Young Master, isn’t three years too early?”

Zhao Jundu said indifferently, “Why would it be called a life and death battle if there’s no risk? Just write as I say.”

“Yes, sir.”

The lieutenant colonel rushed away, leaving Zhao Jundu to gaze out of the window on his own. Staring toward the ends of the wilderness where the sky met the earth, he chuckled to himself, “I must see what the true greater picture is to you people. Is it Bai Aotu or me, a potential heavenly monarch?”

A majestic fortress had long since been erected in the central region of the Zhao clan warzone. The clan had begun its construction since the very first day they landed on the void continent, and the work was still ongoing to this day. The fortress was far larger than the Li family base in both its scale and surface area. The base could accommodate hundreds of thousands of soldiers and had over ten high-grade kinetic towers. This was more like a city than a fortress.

The stronghold was named Indomitable, a clear display of the Zhao clan’s lofty aspirations.

Indomitable wasn’t a lone city. There were ten interdependent fortresses of all sizes built around it, all of them connected to Indomitable via underground tunnels. Moreover, they were equipped with emergency energy pipelines that would allow them to borrow Indomitable’s power grid when necessary. The entire defensive system could be considered near invulnerable.

It was a mystery whether they were truly far-sighted or if there were other reasons, but the stronghold was built to a scale of five hundred thousand soldiers. Moreover, it wasn’t an entirely military structure—there were numerous areas suitable for residential use and even an expensive landscape garden in the central region, replete with mountains and rivers. There was also an origin array for controlling the weather. The temperature was mostly controlled by the super-heated steam and icy water running through the pipelines, but even so, the cost of such a construction project was likely quite significant. This was doubly true when everything had to be built during such a short time-span.

There were only ten villas in this core region, each with their own beautiful sceneries. Only four of these residences had been occupied at the moment, namely the imperial family, the Zhang clan, the Song clan, and the Zhao clan themselves.

The possession of these villas was very detailed. There was no need to explain about the imperial family and the Zhang clantheir strength was far above the other aristocracy, so it was only natural that they each held one villa. The Zhao clan, being the owner, had long since occupied a serene area surrounded by mountains and rivers. As for the Song clan, the reason they were able to move in so soon was due to their fortune. They had squeezed their way in by offering Zhao Xuanji a price he simply couldn’t refuse.

All the major clans would definitely go all out in situations like this since it was a display of status and identity.

At this moment, in a small building close to the lake, Zhao Ruoxi sat leaning against the window. She had her chin on the windowsill as she gazed at the green waters with a bored expression.

“Young Miss, it’s time for your medicine.”

Zhao Ruoxi’s ears moved slightly upon hearing Uncle Wang’s voice, but her body remained stationary.

Uncle Wang repeated the words patiently, “Young Miss, it’s time for your medicine.”

“I know, I know!” Zhao Ruoxi got up lazily and mumbled in dissatisfaction. “This medicine is so disgusting. Am I not in possession of endless power? Why must I take such drugs?

“The medicines are beneficial in digesting this endless power. Moreover, it will protect the young miss’ body and reduce the injuries when you fire the Red Spider Lily.” Uncle Wang had lost count of how many times he had spoken these words.

“Put it on the table first.” Zhao Ruoxi looked dejected, but then loud cracking sounds emerged in front of her.

Uncle Wang placed the medicines onto the table and turned back to check what was going on. There, he saw Zhao Ruoxi cracking nuts on the windowsill with the butt of an ancient-looking gun.

The calm Uncle Wang couldn’t help but feel his eyelids twitch a couple of times. Wasn’t that exquisite looking handgun the Red Spider Lily?

Uncle Wang resisted the urge to rub his eyes. He calmed himself down and looked once more before confirming that the Zhao clan young miss was indeed using a grand magnum to crack pine nuts.

This… national treasure was being used to smash nuts? Not to mention nuts, the Red Spider Lily couldn’t be damaged even if one were to smash rocks with it. Even so, this filled Uncle Wang’s heart with an inexplicable sensation, and he couldn’t help but let out a long sigh.

Zhao Ruoxi finished smashing a handful of nuts before arriving at the table. There, she stared at the steaming medicinal stew as she popped the nuts, one after the other, into her mouth. It was clear from that tight frown on her little face that she already knew no number of nuts could overpower the taste of the medicine.

At this moment, Uncle Wang said, “Something happened recently that might interest the Young Miss. Qianye clashed with the Bai clan a while ago and was wounded by Bai Aotu.”

Uncle Wang hadn’t even finished when Zhao Ruoxi shot out of her seat and clenched her fist tightly. “Bai Aotu?! She’s courting death!”

Uncle Wang coughed lightly. “Young Miss, the entire process was like this...”

Zhao Ruoxi was simply unable to listen. She clenched her teeth and said, “Where’s Bai Aotu, right now?”

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-Legion-'s Thoughts

He thought telling this yandere imouto was a good idea :P

TL: Legion   ED: Moxie


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