The marquis raised a slender finger at Qianye and fired a wisp of blood energy toward him. The dark beam was mysterious, as sharp as a blade, and left a lingering red trail in its wake.
Qianye sneered secretly. This marquis considered himself a superior vampire and was quite confident in taking Qianye down. A blood-energy attack was extremely effective, but only when the attacker was overwhelmingly powerful in terms of bloodline and strength. The bloodline of the twelve ancient clans was, of course, superior, and the man was also a marquis while Qianye was merely a virtuous count. Hence, this choice of attack was natural—a single strike of this blood energy should’ve been enough to cripple the target.
Nonetheless, arrogance had clouded the marquis’ judgment, preventing him from seeing the essence of the dark golden blood energy.
Qianye made no attempt at evasion. He raised a finger and retaliated with a wisp of his own blood energy.
The blood energies traveled at lightning speed, striking both parties at almost the same time. The extremely sharp attacks produced a small hole each in Qianye’s chest as well as the marquis’. These tiny punctures were akin to needle pricks, no more than minor flesh wounds to a vampire, even if they were to penetrate the body. The true damage came from the blood energy entering the body, and that was the battlefield where victory would be decided.
Qianye’s expression turned pale as he looked down at his chest. There was a dark red hue lingering around the wound, preventing it from closing up. The puncture was also extremely deep and even opened up a wound on his blood core. A marquis from the twelve ancient clans was indeed strong and definitely not someone an ordinary marquis could compare to. His attack had shot through Qianye’s body and reached the blood core directly. To vampires, the blood core was even more important than the heart was to a human. Even a small injury to it was still an injury.
The marquis’ face was even paler, but a sinister smile appeared on his face. He had noticed quite clearly that his blood energy had stabbed at Qianye’s blood core. Next up, the energy would invade the core and crush the opponent from his source of power. There was no way for Qianye to overpower the twelve ancient clans. Each of these clans was descended from the first drop of blood, the very source of the River of Blood. No other vampire bloodline could logically surpass the twelve.
There was also a wound on the marquis’ chest, but Qianye’s blood energy was ultimately lacking in quantity. It dispersed on its own before reaching the blood core and spread to every part of the marquis’ body. What would follow was a battle between blood energies, but those with any measure of knowledge would know just how much of a difference there was between reaching the blood core and not.
The old marquis’ eyes were filled with lingering fear but also a malevolent sense of relief. He hadn’t imagined that this neutral-land count’s blood energy would actually pierce through his chest. However, that was the extent of it—a count was still a count, and his blood energy would never win against that of a marquis from one of the twelve ancient clans.
If it wasn’t for the great enemy behind him, this old marquis would’ve captured this damned mix-breed alive and taken him back to the clan. A hundred years in the blood prison was a fitting punishment for the crime of injuring a marquis.
At this moment, Qianye’s blood core surged with blood energy. An eruption of raging dark golden flames cleared the invading blood energy in one go. It would seem the dark golden blood energy wasn’t quite impressed with this intruder, choosing to destroy it immediately instead of devouring it. A plume of fire soon shot out from the wound, and it gradually began to heal.
The old marquis’ pupils narrowed rapidly. He had never imagined that his blood energy would actually lose so quickly. Hadn’t it reached the blood core just now? Just as he was thinking of this, he could feel his entire body being pricked by needles and his blood energy wasting away. The shocked marquis observed the situation inside his body, only to find Qianye’s dispersed blood energy roaming throughout his body, destroying his flesh and blood with unstoppable momentum. The marquis’ blood energy naturally moved to counter the invaders, but they would be routed immediately. It would take seven or eight native blood energy to destroy a single wisp of Qianye’s.
Greatly astonished, the marquis pointed at Qianye and said with a trembling voice, “Y-You actually have the potential of a duke, no, a prince!”
Qianye didn’t reply and merely moved forward in large strides. The glow of origin power flickered on his blade, threatening to stab the marquis’ blood core in one thrust. The reason he had chosen to trade blows with blood energy was because it would allow him a decisive victory. Qianye, at this moment, wasn’t willing to be detained a moment longer. All he wanted was to reach the center of the battlefield and rescue Nighteye.
At this moment, the marquis was doing his utmost to fight Qianye’s blood energy. Fortunately, his blood core was still intact, and that gave him room for some resistance. Seeing Qianye walk over with his sword raised, he flashed backward while calling out to his subordinates for help.
How could Qianye give him time to catch his breath? East Peak rose spiritedly and pierced through the enemy’s blood core!
Just as Qianye’s blade was still traveling forward, a hand appeared at the marquis’ chest and clutched his blood core, leaving it to struggle frantically in the grasp of those five slender fingers.
The old marquis’ sinister expression froze up and turned ashen. He wanted to turn back and look, but there wasn’t an ounce of strength left in him.
Not to mention the old marquis, even Qianye was startled. Someone had beaten him to his prey, and he actually hadn’t noticed it!
Qianye’s heart thumped a couple of times upon seeing this hand.
Nighteye’s figure appeared from behind after the marquis’ body fell limp. She opened her fingers, allowing the blood core to fall to the ground. Blood gurgled out of the old vampire’s mouth as he struggled to reach for the blood core, but his hand fell down halfway, never to move again.
Only then did Nighteye shoot Qianye a glance. “Who told you to meddle in this?”
“I wanted to kill this old bastard, it has nothing to do with you.” Qianye’s attitude was also quite firm.
Nighteye snorted coldly and looked back at the lone, miserable figure rushing over from the snowy hills. This was the last marquis, the one who should’ve kept Nighteye busy while the pale old vampire dealt with Qianye. Surprisingly, Nighteye escaped the battle and killed the old marquis at lightning speed. He was far slower than Nighteye and only reached the area at this point.
The last marquis’ expression was filled with unsightly horror upon seeing the old marquis’ corpse. He began edging backward as though he couldn’t believe what he was seeing.
Nighteye roared, “Jared, on your knees!”
The marquis was livid, and even his face was twitching. He looked at Nighteye and then at Qianye before finally making up his mind. He fell to one knee and lowered his head, saying, “Marquis of Silverwing, Jared, is willing to submit to Her Majesty Nighteye.”
Jared’s surrender surprised all the remaining vampire experts. They glanced at one another and then turned to flee. Having just submitted, Jared was eager to prove his worth. He erupted in a violent flurry of attacks, killing two third-rank counts in the blink of an eye. Surging with killing intent, he was just about to chase down the remaining four viscounts when Qianye’s figure appeared behind the furthest one, and East Peak pierced through his blood core. Jared glanced about in astonishment and found that the three other viscounts had also fallen. During this brief moment, Qianye had actually slaughtered the four scattering viscounts?
Jared was shaken. He quickly understood that he couldn’t underestimate Qianye’s strength and immediately discarded all untoward designs. He kneeled before Nighteye, saying, “Please bestow blood, Your Majesty.”
Blood bestowal was a ceremony of vowing loyalty. A superior vampire would grant the servant a drop of origin blood, giving him strength and binding him to the former. Although the restraint wasn’t as irreversible as a direct blood descendant, the betrayer would have to pay a steep price. Only a high-ranking vampire had the right to bestow blood.
With a brief nod, Nighteye drew her vampiric blade and walked over to Jared. Seeing that she was willing to bestow blood, Jared’s worries disappeared and his expression turned into a mixture of fear and excitement.
The title Marquis of Silverwing proved that Jared was more powerful than the other two and held sufficient future potential. His bloodline came from the Lightless Monarch Medanzo, so Nighteye’s bloodline had to be stronger in order to complete the bestowal ceremony. If that really was the case, then the old marquis’ exclamation before his death might really be true.
Nighteye arrived behind Jared and stabbed the vampiric blade into his back, piercing straight into his blood core.
Wave after wave of pain wracked Jared’s body. The agony caused his entire body to tremble, yet he didn’t dare to let it show on his face. Nighteye’s face also paled slightly as a drop of origin blood traveled through the vampiric blade and entered Jared’s body.
Jared’s blood began to surge. He grunted quietly from the pain and clawed deep into the hard rocks. Moments later, he gradually calmed down and his aura began to rise. Without waiting for a full recovery, Jared kneeled before Nighteye and said respectfully, “Thank you for the blood bestowal, Your Majesty!”
Nighteye said indifferently, “Stand, you’re worth a drop of origin blood.”
Overwhelmed by the favor, Jared stood up and immediately took his place behind her.
Qianye also knew about blood bestowal. Nighteye’s swift and complete suppression of Medanzo’s bloodline proved that the origin of her bloodline had far surpassed the Lightless Monarch’s.
In fact, there was no need for this blood bestowal ceremony. Just that unimaginable level of control over her blood energy was enough to prove her claim to the Sacred Mountain.
After the ceremony, Qianye asked, “Why?”
“What about?” Nighteye looked in a different direction.
Qianye moved toward her, preventing her from looking away. “Why?”
“Is there any use if you know?” Nighteye replied indifferently.
“How can we know without trying?” This time, Qianye looked into Nighteye’s pupils, not backing off in the least.
The latter laughed self deprecatingly. “Perhaps, but not everyone will welcome my return to the sacred mountain.”
At this moment, there was an unconcealable loneliness in her expression.
Seeing that Qianye didn’t understand, she added, “There’s already someone on the supreme throne.”
Only then did Qianye realize that Nighteye was referring to the Queen of the Night, Lilith. He pointed at Jared’s group. “These people…”
“Some people don’t want me to ascend the seat, others want my bloodline.”
Recalling how Medanzo had sought Nighteye from the empire, Qianye immediately understood many things.
The person on the sacred mountain right now was Lilith, also known as the Queen of the Night, the second drop from the river of blood. Throughout the entire Evernight world, only that demonkin powerhouse could contend with her.
The Queen of the Night was waiting at the finish line on the sacred mountain, and there was the Lightless Monarch blocking the road to it. No wonder the awakened Nighteye—as proud and aloof as she was—would feel a bit of desolation.
To her, this was probably the only objective in life.
Blood boiling, Qianye said word by word, “I’ll help you up the Sacred Mountain!”
“I’ll help you up the Sacred Mountain!”
Qianye’s voice was gloomy but extremely resolute. “Not now, but there will come a day when I send you up the mountain!”
“You know… what this means?”
“I know.” Qianye knew that this was declaring war on the world, even the empire.
Nighteye lowered her head. “Why?”
“Because I miss you.”
“Just… because of that!?”
“Yes, just that.”
Nighteye went silent for a moment. Only the sound of whistling winds remained on the mountain and Qianye’s voice seemingly echoing in the blizzard.
“There will come a day when I send you onto the sacred mountain.”Previous Chapter Next Chapter
What a long chapter!
TL: Legion ED: Moxie