Chapter 699: Such an Empire
Zhao Yuying replied, “There are indeed some things you should know, but don’t feel too worried after hearing them.”
Afterward, Zhao Yuying told Qianye about how his quota for the Great Maelstrom had been retracted and how the imperial military had demanded the Storm Pearl.
Qianye tidied up his clothes and said slowly, “The quota is useless anyway if I don’t wake up, but the Storm Pearl is something I exchanged with my contributions. According to what you said, the item is equivalent to an origin crystal in the Great Maelstrom. It’ll be a divine-champion level power if given to someone with ample foundation. How can the military take away such an item? What are they offering to trade with?”
This time, Zhao Yuying didn’t know what to say and only spoke moments later, “They didn’t say anything about an exchange. They’re simply requisitioning it.”
“Requisition!?” This was also the first time Song Zining had heard of this.
Song Zining was, after all, someone familiar with politics and schemes, unlike Qianye. After the initial surprise, he felt something was off about this and fell into deep contemplation.
Qianye himself wasn’t completely ignorant, either. “Requisition, huh? How did the Zhao clan respond?”
“There’s nothing we can do about the quota for now, but Lil’ Fourth has blocked the matter of the Storm Pearl.” Zhao Yuying patted Qianye’s shoulder. “Don’t worry about the quota, either, we’re already investigating who obtained your slot. At that time, no matter who it is, he’ll have to give us a good explanation! Besides, with your current condition, it makes no difference whether or not you go to the Great Maelstrom.”
Zhao Yuying was naturally implying how Qianye, with his Venus Dawn origin power, would have no problem crossing the divine champion threshold. The latter, though, wasn’t as relaxed. He glanced at Song Zining and saw a similar graveness in his expression.
“What’s wrong with you two? Why such an expression?” Zhao Yuying was puzzled.
Song Zining replied, “Yuying, things aren’t that simple. It’s puzzling why the military would choose to probe us at such a time? Then again, the military itself is very complicated and definitely not a single patterned entity. We need to find out who’s orchestrating all of this. Yuying, you must be very careful if you go into battle these days. Try to take a risk-averse approach to everything.”
Zhao Yuying hadn’t expected Song Zining to be so serious. Although she wasn’t quite willing, she still nodded in the end. She had to admit that Song Zining was indeed gaining fame in recent years and had the makings of a future divine strategist. In terms of strategy, she was still a level below him.
Song Zining continued, “But there’s no need to be overly worried because the Zhao clan probably has a response ready. As I see it, Duke Chengen’s transfer of the Fire Beacon corps to the floating continent is a clever move.”
Zhao Yuying calmed down quite a bit, but Song Zining felt a different pair of eyes staring intently at him. The gaze was so piercing that he felt uneasy all over. In the end, Song Zining could no longer feign ignorance and had to turn toward Qianye.
“Zining, where did this ancient origin blood come from?” Qianye asked.
“Obtained coincidentally…” Song Zining only spoke halfway before stopping. These words might be able to fool other people, but not Qianye who had inherited many vampire secrets. There was no way he could gloss over this.
As expected, Qianye wouldn’t let this matter go. He said word by word while staring at Song Zining, “An ancient origin blood is the core of an ancient blood pond. Which clan’s blood pond did it come from?”
Not knowing where to start, Song Zining’s smile became rather unnatural.
Having been friends for so many years, Qianye knew something wasn’t quite right after seeing Song Zining act like this. Just what was this information that it could reduce the calm seventh young noble to such a state?
Qianye suddenly felt an indefensible chill pervade the depths of his heart. This ineffable sense of terror took hold of his will and caused him to go weak—his legs faltered, and he almost couldn’t stand firmly.
Zhao Yuying suddenly stepped between Song Zining and Qianye. “I’ll tell you.”
“Song Zining reached out and, slowly but firmly, pushed Zhao Yuying away. “No, let me.”
“Wait!” Qianye stopped Song Zining, and then tightened his clothes around him. Only after the chill had somewhat subsided did he say, “Okay, I’m listening.”
“This ancient origin blood came from the twelfth ancient vampire clan, the Carlton clan. Their main camp, the Frostbronze Castle, lies in the depths of the Twilight Continent where no human can ever enter. The one who retrieved this blood for you is Nighteye.”
Finally, Qianye heard the name he wanted to hear the least at this moment. Song Zining’s voice suddenly became ephemeral to him—the sound seemed to be coming from far away and everything he said sounded unreal. Qianye’s consciousness faltered. He listened in a daze, not knowing what he himself was thinking.
“All the men I set up there were wiped out. Only a single person escaped and brought this origin blood back to us. However, he wasn’t able to bring back Nighteye.”
“Right now, it has been said that she’s in the hands of the imperial military.”
Qianye came to only after a long while. “Nighteye is in the military’s hands…”
His eyes went wide. “Military!? Did you just say she’s in the military’s hands?”
Song Zining nodded in silence.
Qianye took a step forward and grabbed Song Zining by the collar. “Nighteye is in military hands?”
Song Zining nodded.
“You know her. Nighteye, she…”
“Why did it turn out this way?”
Song Zining said with a wooden expression, “My arrangements were somehow leaked and discovered by someone in the military. They mounted a sneak attack at the last juncture and kidnapped Nighteye.”
An incisive glint flickered through Qianye’s eyes as he grabbed Song Zining by the neck and lifted him off the ground. “Who told Nighteye to retrieve the ancient origin blood?”
Song Zining smiled wryly. “It’s me.”
“You made Nighteye go to Twilight Continent alone, just to retrieve this ancient origin blood!? You let her sneak into Frostbronze Castle on her own!? Even without the military’s ambush, how confident were you that she’ll come back alive?”
“No more than thirty percent.” Song Zining spoke the truth.
“You dared to set this up with less than thirty percent chance of success?”
Song Zining did not reply. Qianye’s hand tightened around Song Zining’s neck, causing his face to flush red, then purple.
Zhao Yuying could no longer bear to watch. She reached out to grab Qianye’s hand and shouted, “Zining did this to save you!”
Qianye finally loosened his trembling hands, allowing Song Zining to fall onto the ground. “Save me? Using Nighteye’s life to gamble for mine?” There was a tinge of despair in Qianye’s voice.
He inhaled deeply for a couple of times but failed to control his shaking hands. “What does the imperial military want? Who are they targeting? Is it me or the Zhao clan?”
“Perhaps it’s the Zhao clan, perhaps it’s both.”
“Where is she now?” Qianye roared loudly, and a beam of dark golden blood energy shot toward Song Zining as he did so.
The latter felt his head go light and replied subconsciously, “She’s in the city.”
The moment he said this, Song Zining understood that things weren’t going to end well. He blocked Qianye’s path and shouted, “What are you doing?”
Qianye walked out on his own and said, “Nothing, get out of the way!”
“You can’t go!!!” Song Zining was almost screaming as he blocked Qianye’s path.
“You can’t control me.”
“You’re crazy! Nighteye is a vampire princess!”
“I know that, and you do, too!”
Qianye knocked Song Zining back several steps, but the latter jumped forward again and grabbed Qianye from behind, screaming at the top of his lungs, “It’s no longer the same. Her identity has been compromised, and she’s already in military hands! You won’t be able to save her if you go now. You’ll only harm her!”
Qianye finally stopped. “Then how do we save her?”
Song Zining replied anxiously, “A trade! Everything can be exchanged for sufficient benefits. I’ve already made arrangements and we’ll see the results very soon. Trust me!”
“How about the amnesty writ? Why have you not mentioned that?”
Song Zining hesitated for a while. “Nighteye’s identity is special. I heard a major character from the Evernight faction wants her. The amnesty order… might not be effective.”
Qianye clutched his chest over the blood core. He could feel a tearing pain within but couldn’t point out where it was coming from. He took a deep breath and said, “Song Zining, I can’t wait that long. Besides, I don’t quite believe in your method, either.”
With that, he continued forward. His strength had reached unbelievable levels after being transformed by the ancient origin blood, and even someone of Song Zining’s power couldn’t help being dragged along.
“Qianye! Breaking her out like that is high treason! At that time, no one can save you anymore!” Song Zining cried out.
Qianye finally halted his steps. He remained silent for a moment before bursting out in sudden laughter. “I contributed so much for the empire, yet how does this empire treat me? Such an empire… I have no qualms about betraying it!”
An abrupt power gushed out from his body and pushed the other two away. With a wave of his hand, the Twin Flowers and East Peak flew from the corner of the room and into his grasp. His silhouette exited the hall in a single step and flickered out of existence.
A startled Song Zining rushed out of the hall and shouted, “Find a way to stop him!”
Zhao Yuying rushed out and came across Zhao Jundu who had just appeared from the corner.
“What’s happening?” he asked.
Zhao Yuying stopped for a moment and said, “It has nothing to do with you. It’s best you don’t know or get involved.”
With that, she dashed out of the main doors and vanished into the night. Gazing at the empty gates, Zhao Jundu summoned one of his subordinates. “Follow Yuying and report everything that happens to me.”
After the subordinate dashed away, Zhao Jundu sat down on a chair that had appeared behind him out of nowhere. He placed the azure rifle on his legs and waited quietly for the news.
Qianye walked continuously through the night. His gait was relaxed and didn’t look to be in much of a hurry. Yet, every step caused his silhouette to flicker and reappear over ten meters away—it was an inconceivable speed in practice. Zhao Yuying had only rushed out two street blocks when she lost track of him.
She stopped all of a sudden. Just as she was wondering what to do, Song Zining suddenly appeared beside her and whispered, “Let’s go to the military stronghold.”
Zhao Yuying realized that Qianye would have to head to the imperial military stronghold in order to save Nighteye. That place’s location in Indomitable was no secret, either.
Yet that was precisely the reason why it was so problematic.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
TL: Legion ED: Moxie