Zhang Boqian stood up as Qianye’s car left the external camp gates and walked through a side door. Lin Xitang was standing in the open passageway with his back against a cast-iron rack, looking at the ground without much focus.
As Zhang Boqian arrived before Lin Xitang, his gaze fell upon the grey hue under the latter’s silver hair. He asked slowly, “Don’t you want to meet him?”
“It’s good for things to end here. This outcome isn’t bad.”
“Why did you go to the dumpster on Evernight Continent back then?”
“It was by chance.”
“Then what about later on?”
Lin Xitang looked up in a daze.
Zhang Boqian’s expression was indifferent, but his eyes were resolute. Apparently, he wasn’t about to let this matter drop without a clear answer.
Lin Xitang couldn’t help but laugh. “The matters later on are, of course, not just chance. How can there be so much coincidence?”
Zhang Boqian was somewhat angry as he said with a deep voice, “Lin Xitang, you should be clearer than me as to which matters you should and shouldn’t meddle in. Don’t think that your divination art can read everyone. Wasn’t that last lesson with the Queen of the Night not enough? Are you looking for even more enemies?”
Lin Xitang remained silent for a moment, then said softly, “I was indeed wrong in this matter, but it’s over now.”
Zhang Boqian’s anger subsided as he looked on. “So, it turns out you also have selfish motives.”
Lin Xitang smiled helplessly without any comment.
At this moment, the light and shadows around them flickered briefly as the origin lamps in the corridor were extinguished in succession. The sunlight showering down from the courtyard swept away part of the dark corner and cast a shadow over another.
It was dawn over Evernight Continent.
Qianye felt extremely tired after returning to the Zhao clan camp and wanted nothing more than to take a long nap. Meeting and exchanging a few words with Zhang Boqian felt even more tiring than a battle against a powerful enemy. The exhaustion was comparable to the Shot of Inception.
But Qianye had too many things he needed to do. He only went back to his room and washed his face with cold water before calling upon Zhao Xuanji.
The latter was sitting behind a tall stack of documents just as before—there seemed to be no end to those papers. Qianye had heard a fair number of rumors about Duke You during this period and understood that he was a person who attended to every detail personally.
Qianye recounted his meeting with Zhang Boqian briefly. Zhao Xuanji appeared quite happy with how things had gone and immediately offered words of encouragement. The marshal wasn’t one to do something as senseless as making one wait in vain; his willingness to spend this much time proved that he had taken notice of Qianye. This would be greatly beneficial to Qianye’s future.
Qianye could only laugh wryly. He said immediately after Zhao Xuanji had finished speaking, “Duke, I plan to return to Blackflow City for a while if there aren’t any major events in the near future.”
Zhao Xuanji asked with a frown, “Right now? How about your injuries?”
“They’re no longer a hindrance,” Qianye replied, “I heard military airships can’t be used for private business, so I’ll just take the land route.”
Zhao Xuanji’s frown relaxed slightly as he inquired, “Oh right, why did you save up the contributions? The rewards this time contain quite a lot of premium quality equipment. For instance, their custom-made grade-seven guns are better than the ones produced by the Zhao clan. It shouldn’t be too far off from Jundu’s Blue Firmament.”
Qianye had long since prepared an answer to this question. “I already have a good weapon. Moreover, my origin power is soaring rapidly these days, and I should be able to use grade-eight weapons sooner or later. I thought it’s better to save up the contributions and request a grade-eight item later on.”
Zhao Xuanji nodded. “It’s not a bad thing for young people to aim higher. Very well, you may go but remember to be back in ten days no matter what.”
Qianye nodded. He then visited the quartermaster for an off-road vehicle and left the imperial army camp for Blackflow City.
While Qianye was speeding across the endless wilderness, the fierce battles in the cavern world of Giant’s Repose were coming to an end.
Bai Aotu stepped over an arachne marquis’ body to retrieve an ancient essence fragment from the cave wall and tossed it into a special bag. Stored within a different compartment in the bag was a crystal left behind by Sky Demon’s avatar. The waves of heat it was emitting could even ignite black stone, but the bag was made of a special material which remained unaffected by the heat and could even block out external probes.
At this moment, there were no more enemies around as Bai Aotu retraced her path. She sensed several tyrannical auras near the edges of her perception range, and they had also discovered her. However, they were apprehensive of her power, and as such, everyone simply went their own way.
One of those powerful auras deteriorated sharply after everyone had left. Within a certain cavern, Eden was drenched in sweat as he sat down slowly. For a while, he didn’t even have the strength to stand up.
Across from him, Bai Kongzhao was gazing intently at the ancient essence fragment in her hands. Both Eden and Bai Kongzhao felt quite comfortable as they basked in the gentle light pouring out from it.
Eden asked after catching his breath, “Where did you find that medicine? It can actually let me feign a marquis’ aura. This is a bit too tyrannical.”
“This kind of medicine arouses one’s potential at the expense of vitality. You can imitate the aura of a marquis because you’re a count. This kind of life-saving item isn’t rare in the slums.”
“Life-saving?” Eden was puzzled. He simply couldn’t figure out how this violent drug with severe side-effects could be used to save lives.
Bai Kongzhao glanced at him and said matter-of-factly, “Of course, it’s a life-saving medicine. People in the slums have neither good weapons, cultivation arts, nor bloodline powers. They can only fight with their lives on the line. That’s why, to them, this medicine is a life-saver in emergency situations. No matter how great the side-effects are, that’s a matter that can be left for later.”
Eden hadn’t expected this kind of reply. He asked after a moment of silence, “Where are these slums that you speak of?”
Bai Kongzhao recited a couple of areas. Eden had a vague impression of only one place, an underground market in dark race territory. The poor civilians living there were mostly dark race members and a small number of mix-breed humans.
“You grew up in such a place?”
“No, the place where I grew up is even worse, but…” She didn’t finish her sentence.
Eden possessed the basic tact and manners of a famed demonkin clan. “Fine, I won’t ask anymore. What do you plan to do now that you’ve gotten what you want? My words still stand, do it quickly if you’re taking my life.”
Bai Kongzhao shot a glance at Eden, but the focus of her gaze clearly wasn’t upon him. Instead, it fell far away in the unknown distance. She came to after a long while and said, “I want your clan’s secret art.”
“Impossible,” Eden refused immediately.
Bai Kongzhao stood up and walked toward Eden. However, that which arrived wasn’t the slaughter he had been expecting but instead half an ancient essence fragment. She had somehow split the ancient essence into two, and the piece she had tossed to Eden was even slightly bigger than the one in her hand.
Eden caught the object and cast a puzzled glance at Bai Kongzhao. “This isn’t like you at all.”
Bai Kongzhao waved the ancient essence fragment in her hand. “I only need this much.”
With that, she stuffed the fragment into her backpack and walked away into the tunnel leading outside.
Eden shouted at Bai Kongzhao’s receding figure, “Hey! We can only be considered even, don’t think I owe you a favor!”
Bai Kongzhao raised a middle finger without looking back. “So garrulous, not like a man at all.”
“You!” Eden felt stifled.
Perhaps Bai Kongzhao didn’t need any more of the ancient essence, but this fragment was extremely important to Eden. With this fragment, he would be able to recover completely from the wounds he had received during his battle with Edward. Even his bloodline foundations might take a leap forward.
Eden glanced at the place where Bai Kongzhao had disappeared. Then, his emotions became rather complicated when he recalled the giant backpack filled with demonkin weapons.
In a different area, Edward’s face was completely ashen. He had two Sky Demon crystals in his hand as he smashed a fist into the stone wall. This venting strike immediately left a ten-meter hole in the wall and nearly forced out a new passage.
But he was quite clear that any amount of anger was useless. Nighteye had likely escaped at this moment and even might’ve left Giant’s Repose. Meanwhile, he had failed to find even a single ancient essence fragment. Sky Demon’s avatar, on the other hand, he encountered twice, but their crystals were completely useless to him. The only thing he could do with them was to reward his subordinates.
But in Edward’s heart, all of his subordinates combined wasn’t half as important as himself. As such, gaining two Sky Demon crystals was no different from returning empty-handed.
“Eden!!!” Edward uttered a name through gritted teeth. If it weren’t for Eden, how could he have fallen to this state? He would’ve forced Nighteye into submission already.
Edward grew increasingly furious as he thought about it, but a chill emerged in his heart at the same time. Others might not know, but Edward clearly saw the frost in Lilith’s eyes when she heard that it was the council who had bestowed him the title of Holy Son—her gaze had almost frozen his soul.
Dragging an ancient essence fragment in her left hand, Li Kuanglan pointed Cold Moon’s Embrace at the enemies in front—two werewolves and an arachne—and said in a carefree tone, “You lot, come at me if you want this thing. Stop being so cowardly!”
The ones confronting Li Kuanglan were counts and, at least on the surface, on par with her in terms of strength. However, they felt a vague sense of fear and actually didn’t dare go forward.
Li Kuanglan and Cold Moon’s Embrace had killed their way to fame during the last part of the journey. All who had fallen under the crystal edge were famous experts of the various races. These three dark counts didn’t feel confident at all despite holding the advantage in terms of numbers.
Li Kuanglan wasn’t going to wait, though. She simply charged over toward them with a powerful chill erupting around her body.
The arachne count finally let out a loud roar. He quickly retreated with the two werewolves in tow and soon vanished into the maze-like tunnels.
Li Kuanglan let out a long, domineering laugh and swaggered out with the ancient essence fragment behind her.
In a different tunnel, Zhao Jundu was walking steadily with Blue Firmament strapped to his back. He wasn’t working together with the Zhao clan squad during this operation, and few people from both factions had ever encountered him.
At this moment, there wasn’t a single emotion on Zhao Jundu’s frosty yet handsome countenance. It was as though nothing in the world was related to him and battles were merely battles. No one knew his actual accomplishments. The only proof he had was a crystal from Sky Demon’s avatar in his backpack.
In the majestic castle at the center of the Evernight Council battle line, Lightless Monarch Medanzo let out a heavy snort. His fury sent the blood and qi of all the dark race soldiers in the camp into turmoil and caused their origin power to scatter. It was inexplicably uncomfortable. The weaker soldiers and cannon fodder collapsed in droves, some of them never to rise again.Previous Chapter Next Chapter