However, the commanders of the two evenly-matched parties were fairly cautious and had kept most of their forces concentrated. Even the reconnaissance vessels in the periphery were only mini-ships—frail but agile and, most importantly, expendable. Their greatest fear was being devoured whole by the enemy force while scattered.
That was precisely why the breakout was unexpectedly quite smooth. By the time the imperial fleet received the relevant intelligence, it was already too late to dispatch interception parties. All they could do was order the few scouting vessels already in the area to stop the escapees. After shooting down two of these airships in a short but fierce battle, the remaining imperial vessels finally retreated. They could only watch as the silver airship unfurled its three origin sails and shot into the distance.
Qianye looked back, and through the burning wreckage, he could still vaguely make out the void continent.
Thinking about it, his time there wasn’t that long, but he had participated in the greater part of the war of national fate. That was where he had fought and bathed in blood, where existed his brothers, sisters, and friends, as well as enemies both in the light and in the dark.
Yet today, everything had been left in the past. Everything would soon become a memory.
At this point in time, there was still a question in Qianye’s heart, or rather, a sigh. “Why is there no place for me in such a large empire?”
Nonetheless, what has come to pass has come to pass, and it was useless no matter how much thinking he did. Qianye walked into the cabin and set the airship on constant speed and course. Then, he carried Nighteye into a room and placed her on the bed.
“It’ll hurt a bit, bear with it.”
Nighteye lay quite comfortably on the bed. “Don’t worry, just do it.”
Qianye asked while stroking the nails lightly, “What function do these things have?”
“It looks like they’re made to burn blood energy with the refined silver inside.” Nighteye sighed lightly. Qianye took advantage of that moment of distraction to pluck out the nail from her shoulder.
He examined the nail briefly before placing it on one side. Nighteye’s wound had been charred black, and the flesh therein, burnt extensively.
It didn’t quite show on his expression, but he felt quite pained inside. Nighteye, with her primogenitor bloodline, should be fairly close to Qianye in terms of regenerative powers. Yet her wound was showing no signs of healing. This meant that she had been tormented to a state of extreme weakness.
Nighteye grunted softly as the nail in her other shoulder was pulled out.
Comparatively, the ones in her wrists and ankles were more difficult to remove. Qianye lifted her leg and stroked her ankle lightly, carefully observing the interior condition. He asked during the examination, “Are you unwell in any other place other than the refined silver nails?”
Nighteye gave it some thought. “Not much except the Chaos Millstone.”
Qianye’s heart tightened after hearing this name, but he pretended nothing was wrong. “What exactly are the effects?”
“Painful, very painful. So painful that I wanted to give up and kill myself. But with these nails running through my body, I couldn’t use the power of my blood core and thus I couldn’t die, either. As for other things, let me think… I think I’ve forgotten a lot of things.”
While Nighteye was focused on recalling her past, Qianye removed the two nails from her ankles at lightning speed. This time, he used a bit of origin power during the extraction process, producing a high-speed vibration that broke down a thin layer of flesh around the nail. Only then did he manage to pluck the nail out smoothly.
Nighteye’s brows locked tight due to the pain, but the pain seemed to have cleared up her head. “Most of them should be trivial things, but my memory is becoming increasingly blurry. It seems I can only remember things within a hundred days.”
“Only a hundred days?”
Nighteye sat up and placed her hands around Qianye’s neck. She then looked into his eyes and said, “Yes, only a hundred days. But, I won’t ever forget you.”
Qianye drew her gently into his arms. “I won’t let you forget me, either.”
Nighteye chuckled. “How are you going to make me not forget?”
“Simple, I’ll chase you anew every day. That way, you won’t forget me even if you have only one day of memory.”
The room turned silent—except for the crisp metallic sound produced by the refined silver nails as they touched one another.
Moments later, a knock came from the cabin doors. The only other person on this ship was Zhuji.
“Come in.” Qianye hadn’t even finished speaking when he heard a loud boom. As though it had been kicked off by a giant beast, the door flew off its hinges and shot toward Qianye.
Qianye reached out to stop the incoming object, but the massive impact caused his hand to shake ever so slightly. This force was enough to put a dent in the airship’s outer shell.
Zhuji stood outside the door with her little mouth wide open, almost as though she was in shock. There was a metallic crate in her hands and a red mark on her forehead.
Qianye flipped over the door in his hand and found that there was, indeed, a dent the size of her head.
For a moment, he didn’t quite know what to say. This sturdy alloy cabin door was both fire and blast resistant, capable of isolating the room from external attacks. Yet now, it had been destroyed by a headbutt from this small Zhuji. The latter only had a small red mark on her forehead, and even that disappeared in the blink of an eye.
Qianye soon recalled how the girl had shattered the divine champion’s punch a while ago. Even though he had already reduced the incoming force by a fair bit, he still couldn’t shake off the sudden headache from the realization.
Back in the year, he had left the little girl to Song Zining because he didn’t know what to do with her. Zhuji possessed the traits of an arachne at birth, imprinting the first friendly adult she saw as her mother. Qianye had taken advantage of this nature to confirm Song Zining’s maternal position. Who would’ve thought Song Zining would pass the ball to him just as he was escaping the empire?”
“Zhuji, what’s wrong?”
Looking at the damaged door, the little girl said with a timid expression, “I-I broke something again.”
Qianye didn’t know whether to laugh or to cry. In the end, he beckoned her over and asked, “What’s that in your hands?”
Zhuji glanced at Nighteye while passing the crate to Qianye. “I think this beautiful sister needs these.”
The latter opened up the crate and found neat rows of high-quality blood crystals within. To the extremely weak Nighteye, these things were much better than any number of supplements.
Thinking of something, Qianye asked, “Where did you find them?”
“Inside the ship. The smell is so distinct that I smelled them immediately. There are two more crates over there, I’ll fetch them.”
With that, Zhuji ran out without waiting for Qianye’s reply. Soon, the airship trembled once more, followed by an explosive sound—it would seem this little lass was either breaking doors or tearing down walls. Fortunately, she didn’t open up a different path on her way back. Otherwise, there was no telling whether or not this ship could hold out.
Zhuji had a crate in her hands and another hanging from her mouth. The metallic crate seemed as soft as freshly baked bread in her mouth, with two rows of deep fang marks let upon it.
Qianye took over the crates and pointed to a corner of the room. “Stand there. Don’t move or make a sound, understand?”
Little Zhuji nodded obediently and did as she was told.
“What are you doing?” Nighteye wasn’t quite happy.
“Lie down like a good girl!” Qianye tapped lightly on Nighteye’s forehead and pushed her into a supine position. Then, he picked up her wrists and slowly activated his origin power.
The nails through her wrists were the most troublesome. They had been in there for so long that they were stuck to the nearby bones.
Qianye released his origin power for a short moment, activating the two nails and causing the surface to split open. The very moment the refined silver core was exposed, Nighteye’s wrists began to emit sizzling sounds and streams of green smoke. Meanwhile, Qianye plucked out the two nails the instant the stuck flesh started to burn.
Nighteye groaned softly—her face turned pale, and her smile seemed rather weak. Now that her bindings had been completely removed, tiredness began to wash over her, and she could hardly keep her eyes open.
Qianye laid her down on the bed and put two blood crystals in her hand, allowing her to absorb them slowly while asleep.
Nighteye fell into a deep sleep once she was laid down—this was the best way for her to recover from her grave injuries. Qianye pulled a blanket over Nighteye before beckoning to Zhuji and bringing her to the control room.
Once inside, Qianye raised his awareness sharply, afraid that the little fellow would break something again and it would be too late to cry at that point. However, Zhuji was exceptionally obedient and human-like once she entered the control room.
Qianye sat down across from her and asked, "Why do you open doors like that?"
Little Zhuji seemed puzzled. "Mama didn't teach me how to!"
Qianye felt his vision darken—this lass really didn't know how to open doors! He took a while to collect his thoughts before inquiring once more, "Then what did Mama teach you?"
"Many many things! I was so tired from all the learning, and I never got to rest!" She began recounting with a pained expression.
Qianye listened on and found that Song Zining had arranged an entire range of classes for Zhuji, from the operation and maintenance of origin guns all the way up to the use of airship weapons. Moreover, there were classes for all kinds of combat techniques stuffed between her weaponry education. The remainder of Zhuji's daily life involved sleeping and eating, things a true spiderling should be doing.
The only thing a young, inherently-powerful arachne with a noble bloodline needed to do was eat and sleep well. They would naturally become powerful during their growth phase. Hence, Zhuji's childhood—in the eyes of an arachne—was doubtlessly miserable. She actually had to learn so many things!
Qianye couldn't help but curse Song Zining secretly for training Zhuji into a fighting machine. She was fairly knowledgeable about all things related to fighting, almost as though she had finished walking the path Qianye had taken in just one year. However, she knew nothing apart from that, not even how to open a door. In her little brain, the wall was just as weak as the door, so there was no need to take a detour. It was much faster to punch right through it!
After asking a couple more questions, Qianye found, to his amazement, that Zhuji could even drive an airship. And it wasn’t just civilian vessels; she could even operate military battleships. As such, Qianye couldn’t help but silently curse Song Zining once more.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
I think I'm going to like this new tank a whole lot... I meant Zhuji XD
TL: Legion ED: Moxie