Chapter 496: Doubts of Yesteryear
Among the four peaks with seats on them, only two were occupied. The figures were all projections—their actual bodies weren’t there, but the images looked no different than their corporeal forms. Lilith had also attended the council via projection while she was in hibernation, an indication that she still existed.
These people were existences on the same level as Lilith, but they all stood halfway up to greet her.
This movement wasn’t submission but an expression of gratitude. They were thankful for Lilith’s awakening and her obstruction of Sky Demon. This allowed the Evernight Faction to obtain ten odd ancient essence fragments. In the distant future, these items would produce nearly ten duke-level experts or the same number of strategic armaments.
The council members all sat down some time after Lilith had taken her seat. This session of the Evernight Council thus began.
Among the seven mountain peaks, four of them corresponded to the vampire, demonkin, arachne, and werewolf races—the present day four major races. However, the werewolf seat was currently empty. This wasn’t because the werewolves were absent, but because there was no monarch among them capable of standing shoulder-to-shoulder with Lilith.
The council discussions commenced.
First up was the aftermath on Evernight Continent. The bottomless vortex left behind from the battle had been named “Giant’s Repose”, and after several investigations, they had confirmed that this was the void colossus’ second burial ground. Beyond the prismatic turbulence was a boundless stretch of stone forests and ravines leading toward an unknown place.
The second piece of information was related to Imperial Marshal Lin Xitang. Both he and Evernight Council Prophet Weber had performed calculations regarding the “Giant’s Repose” but gained nothing from it. However, the council received secret intelligence that Lin Xitang had returned to the empire in secret, reportedly due to the relapse of an old injury.
This news immediately incited heated debates. Many believed Lin Xitang was trying to trick them and that the empire had discovered something.
Follow-up reports from within the Great Qin Empire were able to prove this statement. Lin Xitang’s movements were now unclear, but there were unusual movements at the imperial capital. First, the 108 diviners raised by the empire were summoned to the imperial capital, then the royal guard began gathering a large number of death row prisoners from the surrounding provinces.
This was supposedly in preparation for the empire’s triennial ceremony, but those with discerning eyes could see that this was a prelude to the empire’s highest level sacrificial prophecy.
After a session of intense discussions, the council decided to have Prophet Weber continue his predictions while also mobilizing several experts proficient in prophetic arts to work together toward a deduction of the Giant’s Repose.
The Queen of the Night sat atop her high throne. Her eyes were a profound color of blood akin to a boundless sanguine ocean. She only remained silent because all the discussions going on below, even the possibility of a total-war, were completely insignificant to her and not even worth her attention.
Only when the council members began discussing the distribution of the ancient essence fragments did Lilith speak, “I require two pieces.”
The Queen of the Night’s sudden words plunged the entire council hall into silence. The council speaker stood up to address the queen and said, “It’ll be as you say.”
With that, he waved his hand and struck out two pieces of ancient essence fragments from the discussion list—they were now considered inexistent. The discussion then continued for the distribution of the remainder among the various clans.
Every ancient essence fragment signified the birth of a duke-level expert, a power capable of founding a medium-scaled clan; even those powerhouses couldn’t ignore such a massive profit. As the debates grew more and more intense, the undertable deals also increased in frequency.
Lilith ignored everything going on before her. Her will had long since passed through the distant space and appeared in the depths of Evernight Continent, within an ancient vampire castle.
Habsburg was seated in a rather spacious chair, facing the Evernight Continent outside of his french window. His expression moved slightly as he stood up with due elegance and bowed toward a corner of the study. “Welcome, Your Majesty.”
The figure of a dark-haired woman in dark robes was condensed out of thin air. She raised her hand in equal reciprocation. Although it was just a projected image that had appeared here, it seemed as though a certain ceremony had just been completed—one signifying a second-generation primogenitor’s approval and recognition.
This meeting was fairly short. With their strengths, there was naturally no existence capable of obtaining the slightest information on them.
When Countess Waverly knocked and entered, Habsburg was still in his seat, facing the vast lands of Evernight Continent. It was as though that revered guest just now had never appeared before. He didn’t look back, but the smiling countess walked over to the young prince with brisk steps. The rustling of her skirt produced beautiful sounds as her arms reached out to embrace Habsburg’s shoulders.
Countess Waverly sported golden-brown hair and a pair of pure, jade-like eyes. Even among the entire vampire race, she was a famed beauty.
“My beloved highness, have you finally decided to return to Twilight Continent tomorrow? That’s wonderful. This Evernight countryside is really too boring!” The countess’ voice was just as lively as her temperament and as melodious as the nightingales of the whispering woods.
Habsburg didn’t refuse her intimate actions and only asked, “Any news?”
“The Evernight Council is holding a general assembly, and I happen to know one of their topics of discussion.” At this point, Countess Waverly said with some regret, “If Your Highness had returned to the upper continent two days ago, you might have even made it in time for the meeting. Your position this time is enough to enter the inner circle!” The Countess’ eyes sparkled brightly. It was as though she had seen delicious blood or beautiful jewels.
The inner circle of the council was a position every dark race member looked up to, the seat of those council powerhouses. All of them possessed might above the level of a prince and were the true core executives of the council. Each and every one of their words, gestures, and decisions could cause great waves in the world of Evernight.
Prince Habsburg, after his coronation, naturally possessed the right to take a seat among them. This wasn’t just a boost to the Sperger clan’s status; it would likely affect the vampire race’s right to speak in the world of darkness.
Habsburg’s response was fairly calm, “A topic? What new topic can there be apart from the battle against Sky Demon?”
“It’s related to the prophecy of Giant’s Repose. Both the council’s Master Weber and the empire’s Marshal have failed. It has been said that Lin Xitang was even forced to return to the empire because of an old wound acting up.” Countess Waverly chuckled while covering her mouth. “Everyone’s guessing whether this matter is true or if the humans are up to certain schemes, whether the council will fight or continue the truce.”
A knock was heard from the study doors at this moment as a capable-looking virtuous count walked in. He had been Habsburg’s close attendant for nearly a hundred years. Although his rank wasn’t too high, he was an expert in handling various matters and was thus placed in an important position.
After entering, he said to Habsburg, “This piece of news is indeed true. Marshal Lin Xitang has indeed returned to the empire. He didn’t go to the Northern Legion and instead headed for the imperial capital.”
Habsburg laughed unexpectedly. “The demonkin have always been proud of their prophetic techniques and won’t be willing to lose to a human. Those old fellows from the council probably decided to go all out in deducing the secrets of Giant’s Repose, right?”
A bewildered Countess Waverly blinked her jadeite eyes. Habsburg’s attitude was so undisguised that anyone could see the schadenfreude in his demeanor. She asked curiously, “Beloved Highness, could it be that you think this is the empire’s scheme? Are they planning to waste the council’s prophetic powers?”
Her delicate arms had been caressing Habsburg's chest and arms this whole time. The young prince suddenly let out a meaningful laugh and reached out to press the countess’ hands. This simple movement caused the countess to become completely immobile. Her beautiful eyes were suffused with puzzlement and terror—even her ability to speak had been robbed at this moment.
Habsburg said calmly, “How did you leak the news of my ascension to princehood?”
Countess Waverly’s eyes erupted with extreme alarm. She wanted to turn her gaze toward Virtuous Count Lennard behind her, but she couldn’t move her head in the slightest. Habsburg had actually advanced to the level of prince since before the bloody battle, but he had kept it under the wraps. Only the people closest to him knew of it—one was his mistress, Countess Waverly, while the other was his attendant, Lennard.
Habsburg seemed to have no intention of giving her any chance to explain. “No need to look at Lennard. He’s my descendant.”
The countess finally lost all hope. Everyone knew Habsburg only had pure-blooded progeny and no origin blood descendants. That was because it took 80 to 100 years to condense a drop of duke-level origin blood. Habsburg was fairly young and also in his growing phase. It was understandable why he hadn’t wasted any origin blood to produce a descendant.
Who would’ve thought his strength would be so terrifyingly formidable? He actually possessed a descendant close to reaching the marquis rank and was still able to become a crowned prince before reaching middle age.
The countess’ soft body lay across Habsburg’s thighs just as she had done so countless times in the past. But, at this moment, there was a blob of bloody radiance floating in the air above. At the same time, there were countless strands of blood being drawn out from her back and flowing continuously into the light. Her jade-like eyes were completely filled with dread and madness.
Having one’s blood energy drained alive was the slowest and cruelest sentence for a vampire.
Lennard asked, “Was she working for the council?”
Habsburg said dismissively, “Quite likely. Her body has been tampered with, so I can’t glean much from her memories. But that’s not a big problem, either. Our sacred-blooded race only has a handful of old enemies.”
“But you were forced to be crowned earlier…”
“The timing couldn’t have been better. It just so happened that Lilith had awoken from her slumber, and I possessed the right to talk to her.” Habsburg smiled. “In truth, I must thank the council. I wouldn’t have had this opportunity if they hadn’t paid such a colossal price.”
Lennard opened up the file in his hand. “I’ve already arranged for the re-investigation of the Lost Paradise No. 3 Laboratory.”
Habsburg replied, “Keep an eye on this matter personally.” He hesitated for a moment before saying, “There’s something not quite right about Lin Xitang’s reaction when I mentioned this matter to him. Perhaps we were fooled back then and someone else had borrowed the empire’s hand to cause damage. This also means that the things we’ve hidden in the Evernight Council’s laboratory have been perceived.”
Lennard nodded with a solemn expression.
Habsburg stood up and allowed Countess Waverly’s lifeless body to slide down to the floor. The blood energy in the air turned into a ruby-like blood crystal the size of a fist. That was a count-grade vampire’s complete essence. With a casual wave of his hand, the crystal flew into Lennard’s grasp.
“What will Lin Xitang’s expression be like if he discovers that we never found his son’s body when we cleaned up the battlefield back then?” Habsburg had personally gone over back then after the battle at that small town had ended. He remembered clearly that the name tag which belonged to Lin Qianye was left hanging on what remained of a young man’s hand.
Few of the soldiers’ bodies were left intact after that cruel battle. The imperial identity tags were fairly difficult to destroy even with origin flames or water. After every battle, regardless of victory or defeat, the empire would always request the other side to return these name tags so that the fallen soldiers could receive a proper burial. This was a convention.
The dark races had complicated feelings toward the race they had raised as livestock for a thousand years. However, they still learned to respect human traditions as the empire gradually became stronger.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
So... his son...
TL: Legion ED: Moxie
Teaser Source: https://thomaskarlsson.artstation.com/projects/ZJR11