Qianye and Nighteye found a random hotel and quickly settled in. In accordance with Port City’s bizarre architectural style, these so-called large hotels occupied large areas of land, but they were far from elegant.
The furnishings inside them were simple, crude, and nowhere near exquisite. From the walls and floors to the furniture, almost everything was made of wood. There was little to no decoration in the establishment, but it could still be considered quite clean. Qianye was at first worried that Nighteye wouldn’t get used to it—vampires were famous for favoring good taste and pleasure after all. Yet she said nothing about it and quietly settled her luggage in.
Qianye still felt a bit odd about the hotel’s simplicity. He walked around the room, touching and knocking on the walls. The echo from it was vacuous, meaning that the walls were hollow.
“Strange.” From the reverberations, Qianye sensed four metal pillars hidden in the four corners of the room. He walked to a corner and poked a hole in the wall with his finger, eliciting a metallic ding.
As expected, the room was supported by a metallic frame, which was almost a rarity in the neutral lands. This would sharply increase the construction costs of this building. Even in the highly industrialized empire, metallic frames would only be used in military facilities and rarely in civilian architecture. This hotel had used such a valuable framework, and yet, its decorations were so crude—this was inconceivable.
Qianye was just about to knock on the wall again when a sudden roar erupted from the room next door. “Why the hell are you knocking? Will you let me sleep or what?”
Qianye was startled, not expecting the sound-proofing to be so bad. But he thought more about it and realized hollow walls probably couldn’t isolate sound. He was thinking about apologizing, but the string of unbearable profanities caused his expression to turn gloomy.
Eventually, the man wasn’t satisfied with just verbal abuse. The door to Qianye’s room flew open and a half-naked man with dense chest hair rushed inside. “Your ruckus has disturbed my afternoon nap, how the hell do you want to die?”
The first thing he saw after entering the room was the vampiric blade Nighteye had placed on the table.
Although the dagger was still sheathed, the exquisite decoration on its exterior was enough to draw his attention. The fine patterns carved upon it were even finer than hair—even people who were unfamiliar with the goods could tell that it was of extraordinary value. The craftsmanship of the sheath alone would be worth thousands of gold coins even if the blade inside was a kitchen knife.
The burly man’s breathing became heavy.
His eyes shifted about as he cried, “Isn’t this my knife!? How come it’s here? How bold! You actually dare to steal my knife! You’re going to rot in prison for this. Return the knife and apologize to me. Maybe I’ll let you off if I’m in a good mood.”
He was already reaching for the vampiric blade while spouting all of this.
Qianye and Nighteye exchanged glances. From the very beginning, this man had been running a one-man show without giving them the chance to talk. Looking at this fellow who had ignited only four origin nodes, Qianye really couldn’t figure out where he had gotten all that confidence from. To avoid unnecessary problems, Qianye and Nighteye had restrained their aura to rank six after arriving at Port City.
Rank six could be considered a moderate power level in the neutral lands, easily capable of working for a major power as a small unit leader. Such a rank was the focus of recruitment for many factions and would allow one to live a fairly comfortable life anywhere. Even as a hunter, there would be no shortage of groups to take them in. Traveling at this level would reduce petty troubles without drawing too much attention. This man, however, seemed to be an exception.
Too lazy to spend time on a rank-four fellow, Qianye immediately caught the man’s hand and gripped tightly.
The burly fellow felt as though his hands had been locked by an iron hoop. In a flash, his bones started to creak and groan, eliciting a miserable scream akin to a pig being butchered.
Qianye had no intention of being lenient. He added more power to his grip and crushed all the bones in the man’s hand before kicking him out of the room. The burly chap smashed into the pillar outside, sending the entire hotel trembling from the impact.
This ruckus caused many people to crowd over. Seeing the burly man lying on the ground, someone whispered with a tinge of schadenfreude, “Oh? He’s finally encountered someone who’s even more unreasonable?”
A nearby companion tugged at him, saying, “Speak less. Are you looking for even more trouble?”
The manager of the hotel rushed over with a couple of guards. Upon seeing the man collapsed on the ground, he said to Qianye with a cold expression, “Why are you causing trouble here?”
“Me? Causing trouble? I’m still wondering if this is a hotel or a bandit hideout.”
The manager’s expression changed drastically. Before he could act out, however, the burly clambered up, shouting, “You dare attack me? Just wait and see! My brother is the vice-captain of the law enforcement unit. You’re dead meat!”
The people around weren’t too surprised. Apparently, they all knew about this man’s identity. Most seemed to feel sympathy for Qianye, but there were naturally those who took delight in his plight.
Port City’s power structure was no different from an independent city—the city lord was comparable to a king, the city guard defended against external threats, and the law enforcement unit was in charge of maintaining internal order. A vice-captain in the law enforcement unit was at least rank eight or above. As for the captain, only a champion could shoulder the rank. In terms of strength, a vice-captain was capable enough to be the guard captain or deputy-mayor of a small rural town.
This man was relying on his identity to run about unbridled.
Qianye paid him no attention and merely stared at the manager. “How will you compensate me for my losses?”
The manager was startled. He then said with a cold smile, “Wait till the captain comes, I’ll pay whatever he says I should pay.”
“No need to wait, I’ve arrived.” A lanky man walked into the hotel, followed by several law enforcement soldiers. A hotel attendant beside him was pointing at Qianye and saying something. This favor-currying fellow was fairly clever and had run over to deliver a report as soon as the incident took place.
The lanky man’s eyes turned cold. He walked over to Qianye, sized him up from head to toe, and said, “I’m Ding Shiheng. May I know what my brother did to offend you that you would attack him so violently?”
The burly man cried out from the side, “Brother, they stole my dagger and injured me. They don’t care about you at all, they said it’s useless even if the captain himself comes!”
Ding Shiheng glared at him. “Shut up, you useless thing! You’ve shamed me thoroughly. Why aren’t you off to treat your wounds?”
A sweep of his razor-sharp gaze immediately sent the idle onlookers scattering. It would seem this vice-captain was so notorious that no one was willing to provoke him. Although many people wanted to see what the knife in question looked like, the choice between satisfying one’s curiosity and offending the vice-captain was a no-brainer.
After reprimanding his brother and driving away the crowd, Ding Shiheng said to Qianye, “Let’s talk inside?”
The vice-captain was a man of refined manners, and this was exactly what Qianye wanted. “I have the same thought.”
Qianye shut the door after Ding Shiheng had entered the room, cutting off the vision of the guards and hotel manager.
Ding Shiheng’s eyes fell upon Nighteye after entering the room. He stared vacantly for a brief moment before his gaze was attracted by the vampiric blade on the table. Both Qianye and Nighteye had altered their appearances. The latter had assumed the appearance of an ordinary woman, but the grace and elegance of her every movement was undisguisable. Despite just sitting there, she was suffused in august purity.
In contrast to her internal temperament, the vampiric blade was an unadorned enticement. As someone in an important position, Ding Shiheng’s knowledge was quite broad—just the craftsmanship of this dagger was enough to incite a cold gasp. The item would be of extraordinary value, even if the patterns on the sheath were mere decorations. If they were part of an origin array… Ding Shiheng didn’t even dare to keep on imagining.
Overcome by greed, he said subconsciously, “This blade is of unclear origins, perhaps even stolen from somewhere. I must take it back for a detailed investigation, and you two will also follow me.”
He had spoken these words so many times that he could recite them all in his dream. Then, he reached for the dagger as he normally would. After getting his hands on the item, the chances of him coughing it back up were slim at best.
Qianye became neither alarmed nor angry as imagined. Instead, he said indifferently, “No matter the origins, I don’t think you can swallow it.”
Ding Shiheng was furious after hearing these words. He banged the table and was just about to cause trouble when he saw Qianye emit a terrifying origin power which came crashing down upon him. An unbearable pressure caused his knees to go weak and fall to the ground. But things didn’t end there—the kneeling man’s body continued to inch toward the ground. He used his hands to prop up his creaking skeleton, but he was still unable to withstand this frightening pressure.
Ding Shiheng was a knowledgeable man. He knew he would be utterly crushed once he was prone on the ground without the support of his bones and origin power. As such, he struggled with all his might to keep himself propped up while begging for mercy.
After several times of begging in vain and just as he was about to cough up blood, that terrifying pressure slowly faded away. This was the exact moment when all his origin power was used up and he was about to die.
He looked up quietly and was astonished to find Qianye sitting calmly nearby. Then, he noticed the room was perfectly intact, and even the floorboards beneath him were undamaged. It was as though the mountainous force just now was just an illusion.
The instant realization thoroughly wiped away Ding Shiheng’s intentions to bring the law enforcement unit in. Even the chief of the enforcement unit might not be able to control so much weight with such precision. He would surely be punished if he were to provoke an enemy like Qianye for personal benefits.
He didn’t dare get up without Qianye’s instructions and simply remained on his knees, saying, “All of this is because of my brother’s blindness. I’ll break off one of his arms after getting back and bring him to you for an apology.”
Qianye smiled faintly. “I think you’d rather bring the law enforcement unit back instead, am I right?”
Ding Shiheng was drenched in sweat. “My men are all outside, but no number of them is enough.”
“Skip apologies, I have something I need your help with.”
“Please speak, Sire.”
“Help me find a man, an old man named Cui Yuanhai who came to Port City a while ago.”
Ding Shiheng felt relieved after hearing this. “Just leave it to me!” A local ruffian like Ding Shiheng was the perfect candidate for finding someone in Port City.
Just as Qianye was about to explain Cui Yuanhai’s characteristics to him, the entire building began to shake!Previous Chapter Next Chapter
TL: Legion ED: Moxie