The volcano gradually stopped erupting after quite a while. The two lay side by side on the bed, completely exhausted after the countless battles.
Nighteye lay in Qianye’s arms, her eyes warm and gentle as she traced a finger along Qianye’s muscular chest.
The moon was hanging high up in the sky. Its light washed over the swaying leaves, through the window and upon them. Everything was exceptionally calm and comforting. Qianye felt an indescribable sense of peace and relaxation. His eyes felt leaden as sleep crept upon him, and soon, he fell into dreamland.
Nighteye seemed rather alert. She called out lightly, “Qianye.”
“We have a home now, right?”
Qianye could no longer hold on and fell into deep sleep. Nighteye had a smile on her face. Her hands were placed behind her head as she shifted into a more comfortable position. There, she lay in silent contemplation.
Evernight Continent was still dark during the morning hours of the empire as a number of upper continents were blocking out the sun’s rays. One could see the glow of dawn only over the distant horizon.
However, daily life in human territory followed the imperial capital’s timeline. Hence, the seventh young noble was already here to visit at this time.
Nighteye was the first to come down and let Song Zining through the door. The latter was accompanied by Nanhua. Nighteye had already donned Lu Ju’s mask and retracted her aura, so she looked no different from an ordinary young girl at a glance.
Unable to disguise her curiosity, Nanhua stared at Nighteye from every angle.
She shared a close relationship with Song Zining. She also had some understanding of Qianye after fighting shoulder to shoulder with him in battle, but the more she learned, the more mysterious she found him to be.
Qianye’s combat strength was rising by leaps and bounds, and it felt like he would advance to entirely new levels every once in a while. Even Song Zining, whom she both admired and adored, was slightly inferior. On the other hand, Qianye’s appearance had a hint of vampiric handsomeness to it—the combination of strength and gentleness would put most of those so-called beauties to shame.
Qianye seemed almost perfect apart from being weak in speech and socializing. Oftentimes, she felt curious about the type of girl such a person would keep beside him.
Nanhua herself had a number of outstanding sisters. She had talked to Song Zining about bringing them over to hang out with Qianye, but her request was denied. It would seem that Qianye already had someone on his mind. So, she was quite curious as to what kind of extraordinary lady this person would be.
Now that Qianye had returned and brought a young girl to live with him, it would be weird if Nanhua wasn’t curious. As such, she immediately followed Song Zining after hearing the latter would eat breakfast at Qianye’s place.
Nanhua’s curiosity increased all the more after seeing Nighteye. From her aura, this girl with black hair and eyes seemed rather limited in her combat strength, at most rank eight or nine. The majority of people in the empire were destined never to break through to the champion rank, and rank nine could be considered their peak—but Qianye was no ordinary person.
In this world where strength was most revered, those who could stand beside rising stars like Qianye and Song Zining were either of impressive status or they had to be equally strong. Otherwise, they would always feel like a mismatch.
Nighteye’s current appearance was merely pretty and agreeable. After all, their original intention was to be as low-key as possible. An astonishing countenance at the level of her original features would only attract meaningless problems.
But there was actually an odd temperament around her. Her eyes were calm, deep, and seemed as though they could contain the entire world. Nanhua straightened her sitting posture—for some reason, she felt inferior and ineffably nervous. There was a whole bunch of questions in her mind, but she couldn’t even express a single one.
Song Zining, on the other hand, was rather at ease; it was as though he had walked into his own house. He was soon talking to Nighteye with great familiarity, discussing the recent major events in the empire. Nanhua found this conversation rather odd because Song Zining had only ever talked about poetry and romance with beautiful ladies. With his talents in art and proficiency in all forms of revelry, he could naturally hold a splendid conversation with just about anyone.
Now, however, he was actually talking about national and military matters. Among them, he talked in great detail about the recent war at Giant’s Repose, especially the battles he had personally commanded. A copy of this conversation could be mistaken for a military intelligence report.
Moreover, what puzzled Nanhua was that Song Zining and Nighteye were talking like equal peers or comrades. This wasn’t how the seventh young noble usually treated women.
Qianye walked down the stairs at this point. Song Zining immediately shouted, “Qianye, go make breakfast. We’re all starving!”
Astonished, Qianye glared hard at Song Zining and said, “Didn’t you bring a whole team of chefs over? Why are you here for breakfast so early in the morning?”
Song Zining said matter-of-factly, “How can those chefs cook as well as you? Do the chores, quick!”
Qianye wasn’t about to give in. “You’ve never eaten my food before, how would you know if it’s good or not?”
“I smelled the dinner you were making last night, but I held back for the entire night and came running only in the morning. That’s already being quite considerate! Enough, go to where you belong and don’t disturb the serious business here.”
Song Zining got up while speaking and pushed Qianye into the kitchen.
Qianye suddenly thought of something and cried out, “Wait a minute! What’s that about smelling our food last night?”
“Where there are trees, there’ll be leaves.” With that, Song Zining closed the kitchen door and locked Qianye inside.
Moments later, the latter had produced a bountiful breakfast. It was just that his glare toward Song Zining was sharp and contained a hint of killing intent. But how could Song Zining be afraid of him? He merely ignored everything.
Smelling the fragrance, Nanhua immediately jumped out of the sofa in joy and rushed into the kitchen. Song Zining followed closely behind and took his place at the table to await the upcoming battle.
The four swept the table clean like a tempest, even Nighteye wasn’t reserved at all. Their attacks were strong and ruthless, leaving those slightly slower with no food to grab.
Song Zining could no longer escape his misfortune after the meal as Qianye dragged him into the kitchen to do the dishes. Only Nighteye and Nanhua were left chatting in the living room.
The two men who had stormed through the bloody battle weren’t having such an easy time with the dishes. Song Zining said while working, “Qianye, what are your plans from here on out? Continue accumulating military contributions?”
“Yes, I heard one can exchange an amnesty order with enough contributions.”
Song Zining naturally understood why Qianye wanted this order. “Then, will you continue fighting for the Zhao clan?”
“I haven’t thought that through. Depends on the situation and opportunities I guess. Duke You asked me to return in ten days.”
Song Zining hesitated for a while. “If you really want contributions, I have an immediate opportunity. I just received news that the empire is preparing for a great battle against the Evernight Council in Giant’s Repose.”
Qianye was astonished. “A major battle, what else is there to fight for?
“To seize the entrance to Giant’s Repose. Haven’t you gone there before? What’s it like inside?”
Qianye said while recalling things, “There’s a void tunnel at the bottom of Giant’s Repose that connects to another world. It looks like a floating continent in the void. The place is quite large, but the environment there is special. There’s a forest where trees grow saturated with origin distillate. I wonder if the empire is looking to seize that?”
Song Zining shook his head. “I’m not very clear about that. I only know that the battle is related to that floating continent. Moreover, the level of participants is really high.” He put down the bowl in his hand and looked toward Qianye with a frown. “The contributions in this battle are quite bountiful, but it’ll also be very dangerous. I don’t recommend taking part in it.”
Qianye said calmly, “I’ve given it a lot of thought, but I need enough contributions to get an amnesty order. Otherwise, I won’t be able to rest easy since it’s related to Nighteye’s safety. I have to continue fighting no matter what.”
Song Zining fell into a lapse of silence. “Amnesty order…” But he didn’t continue speaking and merely said with a nod, “Very well then, we’ll return to the imperial camp two days later. Take care of yourself, don’t die.”
Qianye glanced at the living room and said, “Don’t worry.”
The present moment was a short interval between major battles. The investigation in Giant’s Repose had yet to end, and the people from both sides hadn’t returned. The two factions needed some time to assess the results of their exploration and the value of that passage into Giant’s Repose. As such, the battlefield was more or less calm for the time being.
The Evernight side had begun retreating in succession. According to usual practice, the battle below Giant’s Repose had more or less ended now that the ancient essence fragments had been split. As for the territory, the Evernight Continent was too barren for a longer-term occupation. It was scarcer in both darkness and daybreak origin power compared to the upper continents and was usually used by the two factions as a temporary battleground.
However, the empire’s movements were the exact opposite. The atmosphere wasn’t relaxed when Qianye and Song Zining returned to the imperial camp. The entire camp was suffused with an austere atmosphere with new troops coming in continuously and an airship war fleet was approaching from the distance.
After taking in this scene, Qianye understood that Song Zining was correct. The empire had no intention of retreating and, on the contrary, was pouring in more troops in preparation for a major battle.
Qianye was also somewhat doubtful. The empire was currently at an advantage and reinforcements were on the way, but the battles weren’t exactly decided by ordinary soldiers. Especially in a battle overseen by heavenly monarchs and great dark monarchs, the outcome of the conflict would likely be decided by a fight between experts.
Presently, the other side had Medanzo and Noxus. No matter how outstanding Zhang Boqian was, the chances of a newly ascended heavenly monarch winning against two enemies weren’t so great. Moreover, the war this time was a bit special. Although the Queen of the Night and the Eternal Flame were fighting Sky Demon in the void, they could still be considered part of this battle. Even if Zhang Boqian could win against the two great dark monarchs, what could he do when the Queen of the Night returned from the void?
Even Song Zining wasn’t clear about this point, but he had a different opinion. Since the empire had invested so heavily here, they were likely well-prepared. As for what that hidden ace was, that was the highest of state secrets.
After returning to the imperial camp, Song Zining headed to the staff office, while Qianye returned to the Zhao clan camp. The latter discovered that the Zhao clan had also transferred troops over from the Western Continent. Apparently, the empire was intent on winning this battle.
In that majestic castle on the other side of Giant’s Repose, Medanzo and Noxus had set aside their prejudices. They were standing side by side, gazing at the imperial camp.Previous Chapter Next Chapter