Qianye slapped Song Zining’s hand away and roared, “Of course not! If we go into the imperial hinterlands, there won’t be any chance to escape once her identity is compromised. I know it’ll be troublesome with her around, but I just can’t let her marry that goddamned Holy Son! If we can’t find a footing on Evernight, I’ll take her to the neutral lands. If that Holy Son comes chasing, I’ll just fight to the death with him.”
Song Zining gazed deeply at Qianye and sighed. “Actually, there’s another news that I never managed to figure out. Before the battle at Giant’s Repose, the Queen of the Night personally decreed that she would promise Nighteye her freedom if she can bring back an ancient essence fragment. But now she’s here with you.”
Qianye was sent into a daze as he thought back to the ancient essence fragment and recalled how Nighteye had forced him to absorb it.
Song Zining noticed the change in Qianye’s expression but didn’t continue this topic. “Those are problems from the outside, but there are also troubles within the empire. I just received news from the expeditionary army that someone in the military is investigating you.”
“Red Scorpion?” Qianye’s gaze turned cold. Red Scorpion was a wound in the depths of his heart, a bloody scar in his memories.
Song Zining said, “But there’s no need to worry for the time being since the identity I prepared for you back then should still be effective. They won’t find anything important for now, but if they dig hard enough and with enough effort, they’ll eventually find something wrong with that identity.”
Some killing intent immediately appeared in Qianye’s eyes. “The investigation will eventually lead to you and I if they are intent on getting to the bottom of this.”
Song Zining tapped lightly on the windowsill and said, “This young master will play with them when the time comes. But Qianye, you have to recall who you’ve offended that might be investigating you from within the military.”
Qianye gave it some thought. As a matter of fact, he only had true enmity with the Dong family, Gu Liyu, and Xu Lang.
Song Zining nodded after obtaining the three names and spoke no more.
The two stood side by side in front of the window and lapsed into a moment of silence.
Moments later, Song Zining said slowly, “Qianye, we’re brothers. I’ll always share your troubles no matter how great they are.”
Qianye didn’t know how to reply for the moment and merely nodded in response.
The operation went on for well over an hour before Lu Ju opened the door and said weakly, “It’s done.”
Within the room, Nighteye was turning left and right in front of the mirror, seemingly unaccustomed to the complete stranger in the reflection. She touched her face, but it didn’t feel like a mask at all. The most magical part was that the mask also possessed a sense of touch no different from her own skin.
Her hair had been dyed and now had a slightly different color—there was now an amber luster within her black hair. Even Song Zining and Qianye were startled when she turned around. They would’ve mistaken her for a different person if it wasn’t for the similar aura.
Nighteye quickly retracted her aura and entered a state of Bloodline Concealment. Her blood energy vanished completely, leaving her with only the aura of an ordinary person. In this state, even Qianye would find it difficult to recognize her on the spot.
Lu Ju arrived with a basin of clear water and said, “The mask can be taken off by soaking your face in water.”
Nighteye dipped her face in water as instructed, and, moments later, a sheet of skin peeled off from her face. There were a dozen or so fine, hair-like tentacles underneath the mask, floating about like a jellyfish.
Nighteye then picked up the mask and placed it once again on her face.
Her facial features became distorted, then grew clearer as the tendrils gradually pierced into her skin. The entire process was nothing short of magical. What surprised Qianye the most after listening to Lu Ju’s introduction was how these tentacles could pierce into her skin and provide sensation. One had to know that Nighteye’s body was only slightly inferior to Qianye’s in terms of tenacity. Lu Ju even had to use a chisel-like needle in order to prick her finger and retrieve a drop of blood.
The latter had integrated her blood into the mask. This facilitated its graft by allowing Nighteye’s body to recognize it as a part of her bloodline. Just from this, it was clear that Lu Ju’s fame as a master was well-deserved. One could only imagine the price Song Zining had to pay in order to recruit his services.
Lu Ju walked around Nighteye several times and said continuously, “Perfect, this is true perfection! This is the masterpiece of a lifetime. Who can see through my masks from now on?”
Qianye approached Song Zining and whispered, “Don’t tell me this Master Lu Ju specializes in making masks for vampires?”
Song Zining replied softly, “You’re right. He’s an expert in making masks for vampires, the quality is far better than with humans and demonkin.”
Qianye gazed at Lu Ju with complicated emotions. This old man making masks for the vampires was, needless to say, a way to infiltrate the empire. Killing this fellow would prevent many a vampire from sneaking in. But how could he take action after the man had just helped Nighteye craft a mask?
Song Zining seemed to have understood Qianye’s dilemma. “There are many people like him. Kill one and another will take his place. Moreover, we owe Master Lu Ju for helping us this time. Qianye, I think you’ve been fighting so much that your brain is no longer clear.”
Lu Ju packed up his tools and walked out with an old leather trunk. Song Zining said with a laugh, “Master Lu, I’ve already prepared an airship for you in Blackflow City. You can set out immediately. Someone will come and pick you up once you arrive on Transcendent Continent. Rest assured, everything has been arranged for you.”
Lu Ju nodded, his fat face full of smiles. “There should be no problem if it’s the Seventh Young Noble’s arrangement. Haha!”
Song Zining opened the door and said, “This way, Master Lu!”
Lu Ju didn’t move and, instead, said reverently, “No! You first, Your Majesty!”
Nighteye had long since become accustomed to moving at the forefront. However, she didn’t move this time. Instead, she stood beside Qianye and allowed him to take the lead. Qianye was still looking left and right when she nudged him lightly from the back. Only then did he follow out.
Lu Ju was dumbfounded and only came to after quite a while. Qianye had never left much of an impression on him since the very beginning, but quite unexpectedly, this supreme vampire princess was actually prioritizing him.
The group boarded their respective off-road vehicles and drove back to Blackflow City.
After an uneventful journey back, Lu Ju naturally boarded the airship Song Zining had arranged for him, while Nighteye followed Qianye back home.
Qianye’s residence was quite simple at first. It was an ordinary house beside the Dark Flame command center with crude interior decorations. Qianye was always out fighting and rarely stayed for long periods in Blackflow City, as such, he didn’t quite care about the quality of his lodgings.
But that wasn’t Song Zining’s style. During the couple of days that he had returned in advance, Song Zining had already ordered his men to clear out a secluded little house for Qianye to live. There were several large trees around it to offer shade and a small pond in the courtyard which added a touch of poetry.
A wide living room greeted them as they stepped through the main doors. High-quality smokeless black stones crackled within the fireplace. The blaze therein washed the entire room with a warm light but without any undesirable smell.
There were a circular sofa and a table at the center of the room, complete with a thick rug underneath. There were also some fruits and a couple of books arranged on the short table.
The strong ambiance of a cozy life filled their senses. Apparently, Song Zining had put quite a bit of effort into it.
There were all kinds of utensils in the kitchen, and the pantry was full of ingredients. Nighteye’s expression lit up, and even Qianye couldn’t help but want to show off some cooking skills.
It was already dinner time at this moment. Nighteye immediately said, “I’ll make dinner.”
“Together.” Qianye smiled.
The two removed their combat uniforms and entered the kitchen, laughing heartily from time to time as they recounted the interesting things in their lives.
Nighteye was proficient with twin blades, but the kitchen knife looked rather clumsy in her hands. That large fish in her left hand also kept slipping about and seemed even more difficult to tackle than the most terrifying of enemies. Nighteye seemed to have no clue as to what she was doing and more or less ruined the fish in just a few cuts, nearly hurting her own hand in the process. Her hand, however, was sturdier than the blade—the cut only left a white mark on her skin, while a large piece of the kitchen knife was chipped off.
Qianye broke into a laugh after seeing her work. He took the kitchen knife from Nighteye’s hands and picked up one of the fish pieces. The knife seemed to have come to life in Qianye’s hands. As the blade danced about, slices of paper-thin fish fell down onto the plate like a pile of snow. In the end, only a clean fishbone remained in Qianye’s hands.
Nighteye was flabbergasted.
Qianye knocked on her forehead with a laugh. “What’s wrong?”
Nighteye was still a young lady at heart, so her face was filled with excitement and anticipation. “You can cook?”
“Have you forgotten where we first met?”
Nighteye replied without a second thought, “An extremely run-down bar, and one of horrible taste at that. Why?”
Qianye didn’t know whether to laugh or to cry. He knocked Nighteye’s forehead once again and said, “Hey, that’s my bar. And what’s that about the bad taste?!”
“It’s really horrible!”
Dinner was completed amidst their laughter—a number of imperial style side-dishes and a bowl of soup. Qianye brought out a bottle of wine and poured a cup for each of them.
The two sat down across the table and smiled as their eyes met. The table of food was finished in an instant. However, Nighteye was still hungry and looking at Qianye with eyes full of anticipation. In the end, Qianye gave up and ran to the kitchen to make more food.
Perfectly content, Nighteye sunk into the sofa after eating her fill. With a light kick, she pushed Qianye toward the kitchen to do the dishes.
Moments later, Qianye walked back into the living room after cleaning up and saw Nighteye engrossed in a book.
Qianye hadn’t yet flipped through the books on the tea-table since returning home. As such, he walked over to the sofa and asked, “What are you reading?”
Nighteye didn’t reply. She turned back, pulled Qianye down by the neck, and kissed him.
This ignited the entire living room like a torch tossed into the ammunition storage.
Qianye picked Nighteye up, no longer able to hold back all the recent emotions that had been suppressed by anxiety. Nighteye also flipped about smoothly and crossed her legs around Qianye’s waist. He then employed a peerless movement technique which somehow brought them to the main bedroom in just a couple of steps. There, he pressed her violently onto the bed!
The gentle night breeze was a bit chilly, but the small house was spewing fire from its windows.Previous Chapter Next Chapter