The sharp blade tore through his skin, piercing right into his chest and cutting his blood core open before finally stopping at its center. A drop of blood with a golden crystal at its core flowed out along the shining blade and fell into Nighteye’s mouth.
The blood energy around Nighteye immediately grew dense and even formed a faint layer of red mist over her body suffused with specks of golden light. Nighteye’s breathing gradually stabilized after a while, and the frightening scent disappeared.
Qianye inspected her once again and heaved a sigh after seeing that her blood core was, following a significant replenishment of power, already beginning to heal. He glanced around and found an isolated space behind a newly formed gap in the wall. One would need to pass through the great hall and a half-obstructed passage in order to reach it.
Qianye tried to pick Nighteye up, but his face turned pale and his legs gave in before he could even stand up. He planted an elbow to the ground to prevent himself from falling onto Nighteye. He used the other hand to try propping up his body but almost collapsed onto the ground. The body he would always have full control of, even under extreme conditions, felt rather unfamiliar today. It had grown excessively weak.
This was the outcome of a heavily injured blood core. Qianye took a deep breath and waited for the sudden lightheadedness to pass. This movement caused the wound on his chest to burst open, staining his undone jacket in blood.
Qianye coughed hard a couple of times and spat out a good amount of bloody froth as he pressed on the wound with his hand. The dark golden and purple blood energies in his body seemed to have sensed the trauma. They jumped out of their runes and swam around the blood core, spitting out wisps of vitality in a bid to restore the tear on its surface.
Qianye felt slightly better after a while, and the bleeding on his chest had stopped. However, the wound to his blood core wouldn’t heal so easily. He stood up little by little and moved Nighteye into that hidden space.
He laid her down flat in a comfortable position and wiped off the dirt on her face. He gazed at her in silence for a while before picking up East Peak and moving back toward the hall with great difficulty.
Qianye found a dark corner within the serene hall and sat down with his back against the wall. He rummaged through Andruil’s Mysterious Realm and fished out a box of cigarettes. He cut it open with his military knife, added some strong military-use stimulants, and lit it up.
His hands trembled uncontrollably. Even these simple movements were fairly difficult to perform because his weakness hadn’t completely faded away. Presently, Qianye had realized the pain of a wounded blood core. It felt as though he were falling helplessly into a bottomless hole.
Qianye brought the cigarette to his mouth and inhaled deeply. A sharp heat poured into his lungs and made him cough several times, but the excessive amount of stimulants immediately lifted his spirits.
A Perth clan viscount was running along the maze-like passages. He would stop time and again to observe the traces on the wall and ground. He seemed excited as Nigtheye’s tracks increased in number. This meant that her injuries were worsening and that he was closing in on her position.
Nighteye had been badly wounded by Edward. He would already have caught up if not for her ability to pass undetected through the territories of powerful beasts. Being an expert in stealth, the viscount had left the other experts of his race in the dust and, despite his mediocre strength, caught up alone.
He couldn’t help but reveal a cruel grin when he thought about how a great contribution would soon to fall into his lap.
“Bang!” The sound of a heavy object falling to the ground shocked the viscount out of his wits. That was because he actually hadn’t sensed any signs of life at the end of the tunnel. His reactions weren’t slow at all as he halted his steps urgently and dashed into the shadow behind a stone pillar. He then glanced toward the end of the tunnel after hiding himself well.
The area in front was just as dark as the other underground tunnels with only a type of unknown fungus emitting a faint fluorescence. The light was so faint that it made little difference from pitch darkness. Even the vampire viscount, with his innate night vision, found it difficult to see the end of the tunnel clearly.
There was a heavy sword planted at the center of the tunnel and behind it stood a person. At this distance, the viscount could barely make out the silhouette of a man, but he couldn’t see what race he belonged to.
The viscount had maintained stealth the entire way and hidden himself immediately after being alarmed by the sound. According to reason, the other party shouldn’t have found him, and that person's appearance here was likely just a coincidence.
But this tunnel was the end of a winding road, and judging from the distribution of the fluorescent mushrooms, it was a cave hall beyond. This also meant that he had to pass through in order to catch up to Nighteye.
The viscount didn’t want to invite extra problems for himself, but it would seem he had no other choice. He calculated the distance, drew his handgun, and gradually instilled it with origin power.
Qianye lit up a cigarette at the end of the tunnel and said after inhaling deeply, “Stop hiding, I saw you since ages ago.”
The vampire viscount was momentarily shocked. The other party was speaking in the common language and was likely a human, judging from his accent and word choices. But he shouldn’t have been found out since vampires had greater perception methods in dark environments and their sensory range was also much wider.
The handgun was no longer an effective means now that his movements had been compromised. The viscount simply walked out of the shadows with his sword drawn and returned his gun to the holster. “I wanted to let you die quickly at first, but you decided against it yourself. So, don’t blame me for being cruel. I’ll give you a chance, answer truthfully. A vampire girl with black hair and eyes passed by here just now. Have you seen her?”
Qianye didn’t assume a combat stance even after seeing the viscount approaching fast. He pointed behind while smoking and said, “You mean Nighteye? She’s just over there.”
The viscount was delighted. “Really? How far? How’s her condition?”
The vampire spewed out a series of questions, but he noticed something was amiss when he saw Qianye’s spurious smile. “You’re a human! How did you know her name? What do you know?”
Qianye inhaled once more. “I also know that you don’t need to know all that.”
The viscount’s expression sank as he said coldly, “I also think that your last cigarette is taking too long.”
“Oh, you mean this cigarette? It has a lot of uses.” Qianye revealed a pure smile.
The viscount’s heart was overwhelmed with a sense of alarm as the faint sounds of crashing waves filled his ears and an inexplicably tremendous pressure descended upon him. With a loud cry, the blood energy around him flickered out of existence and his knees fell to the floor.
Qianye raised East Peak with one hand. The image of a descending sword was reflected within the viscount's terrified eyes, and this very blade soon cleaved him into two.
The sword continued its descent and sunk deep into the ground. Qianye didn’t pull it back out, either. He simply let go of the hilt and arrived beside the corpse with his vampiric blade drawn. Unfortunately, the accurate sword strike had slashed the viscount’s blood core into two. Qianye would only be able to absorb a third of the essence blood at most no matter how quickly he acted.
Qianye shrugged and reminded himself to make some modifications to his sword stance in the future. Even so, this essence blood still alleviated his weakness quite a bit, allowing the dark golden and purple blood energies—that had started slowing down from the overconsumption—to catch their breath. However, he was quite a ways from reaching a state of blood boil.
The cigarette flame in his fingers reached the end at this moment. Qianye flicked away the butt and lit up another one as he leaned on the wall. Each cigarette was a dose of stimulant, keeping his exhausted body in a combat-ready state.
A sudden, raspy voice arrived through the hallway. “What horrible table manners, which clan descendant are you?”
The voice appeared unexpectedly. Its distance was difficult to gauge, and there was no person in sight. However, Qianye didn’t look surprised at all—it was as though he had long since noticed this person hiding on the sidelines.
He was just as calm and collected. Holding the cigarette in his left hand, he spun the vampiric blade around his right hand before returning it to its sheath. He then placed his right hand on East Peak without lifting it up. “It’s good enough that there’s food in this accursed place. Who cares about table manners?”
A stern-looking old man walked out from the shadows. His apparel was spotless despite the long period of combat, and every jeweled button was brightly polished.
This was an old-fashioned vampire. The Perth clan insignia on his collar was built of colored gems, clearly the work of a master craftsman. He looked at Qianye with an eye of disdain, but there was also a hint of apprehension within.
The vampire elder had arrived at just about the same time as that viscount, but the latter naturally couldn’t sense him. He had intended to let the viscount go up first and test the waters, but he had never expected him to be cut down in one strike. He had no time to even lend a hand.
The more the count looked, the more puzzled he became. He had thought at first that Qianye was a human because his sword strike was clearly powered by daybreak origin power. But next, he saw Qianye absorb the viscount’s essence blood with his vampiric blade. He almost thought his perceptions had been warped by this world, but Qianye’s reply confirmed that he had seen correctly.
Then there was only one possibility left. The other party was a halfbreed between a vampire and a human—he had awoken his sacred bloodline, but his daybreak origin power hadn’t been swallowed up just yet. This conjecture increased the disdain in the vampire count’s eyes because halfbreeds had little roles in the vampire society. They might possess some strange abilities, but they were destined never to break through to the rank of count and above.
“I’m Count Robinson of the Perth clan. Who are you and what is your relationship with Nighteye? Hand her over and I’ll grant you a swift death.”
Qianye broke into a laugh. “The Perth clan people sure love muttering to themselves.”
“I never joke.” Robinson’s expression was frosty.
“I don’t like playing around, either.”
“Tell me where Nighteye is, or else…”
“No need for that, make your move!”
Fury flashed across Robinson’s expression. He produced a scarlet rapier which, with a shake of his hand, began to tremble and emit a resounding chorus.
Qianye smiled as he slowly drew out East Peak and raised its unassuming edge, each movement backed by a might as condensed as the mountains.
An ineffable palpitation emerged once again in Robinson’s heart. He had always been a prudent person and was famous for his intuition. Feeling something odd, he glanced at Qianye’s expression and noticed something hidden within that smile. It seemed as though he was pleased about something.
Robinson immediately halted his steps and stared fixedly at Qianye. “You’re injured.”
Qianye laughed radiantly. “Anyone can see that.”
Robinson’s brows locked into a frown as he sneered, “It looks like you want me to attack immediately because you’ll be collapsing on your own after a while.”
“Then let’s wait it out.” Qianye was calm and collected.
This, on the contrary, made Robinson lose his confidence. He looked on suspiciously, hesitant on whether he should retreat or advance. In truth, he wanted to stall for time.
Just as he was pondering over what to do, a chill arose from behind Robinson’s back. It was as though a line of ice was climbing up along his spine, all to the way to the back of his head. For a moment, he could hardly tell whether it was a real chill or an illusion born of killing intent.
Robinson turned rapidly and shot a backward glance.Previous Chapter Next Chapter