“Kidnapped?” Qianye raised his voice slightly. “You’re from the Xue family. Who would dare kidnap people from your hands? Or do you really think I’m that easy to deceive?”
Xue Haiyang laughed ruefully. “I wouldn’t have believed it if it didn’t really happen. Here’s what happened, we invited Elder Cui over here quite smoothly, and he wasn’t injured, either. Additionally, his equipment truly broadened our horizons. As he was an important character, who also happened to be related to you, we weren’t quite confident in ensuring his safety. So, I dispatched some of my best subordinates along with Elder Cui to mix in with a merchant caravan, hoping to send him to the main family.”
“Then?” Qianye knew that Xue Haiyang was acting out of prudence. Even if he hadn't sent Cui Yuanhai away immediately, he would certainly do so after hearing of Qianye’s exploits in the Dark Grove.
“Then, the caravan was robbed midway. No survivors.”
Qianye frowned. “Who did it?”
An entire caravan had been robbed and killed—as a powerful family in the neutral lands, it wasn’t plausible if the Xue family didn’t even have a clue.
Xue Haiyang seemed hesitant, but the slight movement of the vampiric blade on his neck greatly facilitated his obedience. “The clues at the scene point to the Throne of Blood, but in truth, I suspect it’s the work of the Spider Emperor and Moonlight Demon.”
Qianye fell into silent contemplation.
Xue Haiyang’s suspicion was reasonable. The Throne of Blood was the main camp of the vampires in the neutral lands, and unlike the other mixed races, the higher echelon of the Throne of Blood was made up of only high-ranking vampires. The one on the throne was at the grand duke level many years ago, but it was rumored that he had long since ascended to become a prince. His rank, however, was only secondary. The most important point was that the Grand Magnum, Shattered Time, was in his hands. With a magnum in his possession, he was gradually able to contend with heavenly monarchs and dark monarchs. Even Zhang Buzhou wasn’t as famous as he was.
However, that person on the Throne of Blood was in the central region of the Neutral Lands and had no interest in a desolate place like the Eastern Sea. The forces of the Spider Emperor and Moonlight Demon, however, were adjacent to the Wolf King’s lands. They had been trying to wrest control of Port City for many years now.
As for Moonlight Demon, it could be considered the stronghold of all deviants and fugitives. Even in the lawless neutral lands, their reputation was the worst of the worst. Everyone was troubled by these lawless, arrogant and unyielding evildoers. It was difficult to predict their operational habits—there was nothing they wouldn’t do.
Only a power at this level would be able to wipe out a Xue family caravan so quietly, leaving no survivors behind.
“Did you find Cui Yuanhai’s corpse?”
“No.” Xue Haiyang’s reply gave Qianye a bit of hope.
Realizing that he could get no more information, Qianye said with a cold smile, “Your Xue family is quite bold. I let your people off last time, but not to mention repaying me, you actually dared to capture my men. How do we settle this score!?”
Xue Haiyang’s expression shifted drastically. In the end, he said, “The Xue family’s roots lie in the Wolf King’s territory. We cannot offend the king and harm the entire family for you.”
Qianye said indifferently, “Offending me might not be better than offending the Wolf King.”
Seeing Qianye’s calm face, Xue Haiyang suddenly recalled his massacres in the Black Grove. As a person who had seen the winds and waves, he said, “We didn’t want to harm Elder Cui, either. We invited him over politely and without causing him any distress. The Xue family suffered the greatest loss regarding the attack on this caravan. We’re actually the victims here.”
Qianye continued to stare at Xue Haiyang in silence.
The man knew that he couldn’t get past this with words alone. “We were indeed in the wrong regarding this matter. I’ll represent the Xue family and offer you compensation for this mistake.”
“Compensation!? Haha.” Qianye sneered, “Not to mention my relationship with him, how are you going to pay for a grandmaster who can build grade-seven weapons and ammunition?”
Xue Haiyang’s expression shifted drastically. “Grade-Seven!?”
Xue Haiyang was livid. He said in frustration, “I should’ve known earlier! Dammit! Those equipment were definitely not for use in middle-ranking guns! Why didn’t I give it more thought?”
He calmed himself down and gritted his teeth. “There must’ve been a spy in the family who recognized the equipment. Otherwise, how can it be so coincidental? Only a handful of people are privy to this information. I already have a faint idea of who it is!”
“Seize that person, I must meet him,” Qianye said as he beckoned for Nighteye to retract her blade. He was confident in getting information out of the person as long as a meeting could be arranged.
Xue Haiyang was finally able to stand up. The first thing he did was knock the woman beside him out cold. Only afterward did he get off the bed to dress. He called out through the door, “Men, summon Xing San to the side hall. I have something to ask him.”
The guard replied, “Master, Captain Xue left yesterday, saying he’ll be away for a few days on a secret mission.”
Xue Haiyang’s expression turned ugly all of a sudden. He said with a deep snort, “Withdraw, all of you!”
The first thing he saw after coming to was Qianye’s frosty face. This shook him badly for a moment.
“Mr. Xue, you don’t think I’m that easy to drive away, do you? Why don’t you take the time to think why I did what I did at the Black Grove?”
The corpses belonging to hundreds of mercenaries and assassins hung from wooden stakes in the Black Grove. It had almost become a local attraction because there was no lack of famous people among the dead. Xue Haiyang was not stupid. Understanding Qianye’s intentions after some thought, he uttered, “Establishing might.”
“It’s good that you know.” The meaning behind his words showcased his intention to make an example out of the Xue family.
Xue Haiyang responded immediately, “The Xue family will definitely give you an explanation regarding this matter. I’ll do my best to get to the bottom of this matter and inform you immediately once I have any news. Additionally, this is just a small token of my respect, please accept it. I only have this much in my hands, but I’ll mobilize more resources as soon as possible to compensate you.”
Xue Haiyang produced an exquisite wooden box from a secret compartment in his bed and presented it to Qianye with both hands. The container was filled with neat rows of high-purity black crystals and was worth at least fifty thousand gold coins.
“The Xue family is quite rich, but this isn’t enough.”
“Of course it’s not enough, the bulk of it is yet to come.” Actually, Xue Haiyang’s expression wasn’t very good as he said this.
Qianye nodded and shot Nighteye a glance. The vampire princess rubbed the blade edge with her finger, producing an eerie red glow upon it. Then, she stabbed Xue Haiyang in the stomach!
The strike was as fast as lightning. At the same time, Xue Haiyang sensed a terrifying aura surging up from Qianye and suppressing his every movement. All he could do was watch as the vampiric blade entered his body.
Nighteye withdrew the blade after this stab and didn’t finish the man off. Although the blade had left, Xue Haiyang could feel a wisp of burning energy left behind inside his body. Moreover, it dispersed into several streams that drilled into his limbs and organs, where they went into dormancy.
Xue Haiyang gasped. “Blood poison! The blood poison from an ancient vampire clan!”
Knowing what this poison was proved just how knowledgeable he was. That was also the reason why his expression was ashen as he looked at Nighteye like he would a demon.
There were ways to dispel the blood poison left behind by ordinary vampires, but that of the ancient clans formed the foundation of their bloodline power. It was countless times more powerful than ordinary blood poison. It was useless even if Xue Haiyang was several ranks more powerful.
Meanwhile, when the poison would flare up and whether it could be retracted would depend on the source’s control.
Xue Haiyang seemed to have aged ten years in the blink of an eye as he fell back into the chair.
Qianye naturally had no sympathy for the man. He said coldly, “Mr. Xue, I’ll be waiting for the remaining compensation. Additionally, I have some things I need you to help me with. I hope you won’t refuse.”
Xue Haiyang responded with a wooden nod and watched as Qianye and Nighteye left.
While the two were running side by side through the night, Nighteye said softly, “Elder Cui isn’t someone you can trade for compensation money.”
Qianye sighed. “I know. This is just an early price the Xue family has to pay. They won’t know how to handle things if I don’t have them feel the pain. After finding the old man, humph!”
It was already late at night, but there were still many lively places in Port City. Many taverns were still open and full of patrons, most of whom were drunk and boasting about their gains during the day. This was a unique characteristic of Port City—the people here would earn large amounts of wealth every time the Earth Dragon flipped over.
Qianye and Nighteye appeared at the doors of a certain tavern. This establishment was located inside a small, dark alley, and the dark lamp at its entrance gave off an eerie sensation. The place seemed rather cold and deserted even when the entire city was in good cheer.
Qianye looked up at the rusty jug hanging on the doors before entering with Nighteye.
There were a few tables with guests inside. Some were sprawled over the table, drunk, while others were sitting together and whispering amongst themselves. The waiters delivering alcohol were all strong, burly men suffused with intense killing intent. The man behind the bar was leaning forward with his hands on the counter and observing the entire tavern.
Qianye and Nighteye sat down at a table. They were briefly frozen as their gazes moved past the man behind the counter. They could see that the man’s tattoos contained the blood of various races, including humans and vampires.
A muscular man arrived beside the table and said, “What’s your order?”
Qianye put two gold coins on the table. “Two glasses of your most expensive alcohol.”
The burly man put the gold coins away and said in a sinister tone, “I’m sorry, but two gold coins is only enough to buy one.”
“I thought I heard it was one gold coin per glass.”
“The price has risen.”
“When did that happen?”
“Just now!”Previous Chapter Next Chapter
This bar's business strategy is quite impressive.
TL: Legion ED: Moxie