Qianye looked into the burly man’s eyes and said, “I only have two gold coins and I want two glasses. What do we do?”
The burly man’s smile became cruel and bloodthirsty. “Then, you’ll get neither coin nor ale.”
Qianye broke into a laugh, the glow of his eyes turning sharper by the moment. “Is that so?”
At this moment, the tattooed man behind the counter said in a hoarse voice, “Blackwolf, enough.”
The burly man roared back ferociously, “Why must I?”
The tattooed man’s expression sank. “What, you even dare disobey me now?”
“But they’re clearly strangers.” Blackwolf glared at Qianye and Nighteye, saying, “Consider yourselves lucky. You’d better scram after you finish drinking.”
Qianye had lost his patience due to Blackwolf’s repeated provocations. “Are you trying to court death with that meager strength of yours?”
Blackwolf’s face flushed red. He stared fixedly at Qianye with bloodshot eyes, filled with madness and bloodthirst.
However, a tattooed hand landed on his shoulder at this moment. A chill spread out from this hand and engulfed Blackwolf in frost, not only restraining his movements but also extinguishing his anger.
The tattooed man dragged Blackwolf back with one hand and put a tray on the table with the other. It was just that the two glasses on it seemed to be filled with ordinary beer.
“Everyone here calls me Bloodyshirt. As for what my original name was, I’ve forgotten it myself. Young man, how should I address you? Who introduced you to this place?”
“I’m called Zhao Ye, a nameless little character. I heard from Ding Shiheng that this place is the most well-informed in the entire Port City.”
Bloodyshirt said, “So it’s that bloodsucker. You must’ve spent quite a bit to obtain information from him. Fine, what do you want to know?”
“The whereabouts of a certain person and the origins of a creature.”
Bloodyshirt smiled. “I’m quite proficient in searching for people, but I’m no master regarding creatures. Tell me first, who did you want to find?”
“Xue Xingsan, the guard captain of the Xue family. I want to know where he is right now.”
All the people in the tavern were alarmed upon hearing this name, and Blackwolf’s gaze became suffused with killing intent. Bloodyshirt, on the other hand, said indifferently, “Turns out it’s someone from the Xue family. This won’t be cheap.”
“Three thousand imperial gold coins.”
This was a massive sum in terms of information. To be frank, this money was enough to hire a good assassin and kill Xue Xingsan many times over.
As expected, he’s either trying to take advantage of the fact that I’m a stranger. Either that, or he wants to make me back off.
Bloodyshirt stared at Qianye with an indescribable glint in his eyes.
Qianye banged three high-purity black crystals on the table. “I’ll buy it.”
Apart from a couple of people, all the others in the tavern stood up. Numerous fiery gazes landed on the three pieces of black crystal. There were also eyes landing on Qianye’s backpack from where the three black crystals came from.
“Good, satisfying!” Bloodyshirt laughed loudly as he reached for the bounty. However, he couldn’t take the crystals back because Qianye had pressed down on his hand.
The man’s expression shifted repeatedly. The totem tattoos on his body began changing in color, growing deeper and deeper until it was almost dark purple. Almost all the people in the tavern knew that this was a sign of Bloodyshirt exerting his special power. Yet, no matter how the patterns changed, his right hand couldn’t move a single inch or pull back from under Qianye’s hand.
Fine sweat began to form on Bloodyshirt’s forehead. His gaze was filled with anger, shock, and puzzlement.
The man only managed to take the black crystals away after Qianye let go. He shot a deep gaze at Qianye as he put the crystals away, saying, “Follow me, this is not the place to talk.”
After an exchange of glances, Qianye and Nighteye followed Bloodyshirt into the back. Blackwolf was still staring ferociously from the side. It was just that he looked a bit more cautious than before.
Qianye suddenly paused his steps in front of this burly man. “I don’t like that look in your eyes.”
“So what?” Blackwolf growled. This response was already quite restrained compared to before.
Everyone’s vision blurred for a brief moment. Then, they saw a groaning Blackwolf curl up and fall kneeling in front of Qianye. The latter pulled back his fist and leaned down to pat Blackwolf’s face a couple of times, saying, “Next time, you’d better pick the right target to go crazy on.”
Blackwolf was completely unresponsive, almost as though he had gone dumb. He slowly collapsed onto the floor and curled up into a ball.
Qianye paid him no more attention and proceeded to follow Bloodyshirt. The latter didn’t look back from the beginning to the end, almost as though Blackwolf didn’t exist.
The tavern fell into silence. Even those secretive, whispering people were drinking with their heads lowered.
Bloodyshirt felt relieved after leading the duo into a small room and locking the door behind him. He said with an apologetic expression, “There’s no other way. This information has too many implications. I have to be careful to not let anyone else hear of it.”
Qianye nodded. Meanwhile, Nighteye’s gaze swept over certain parts of the room like the ceiling corner, the rubbish bin, etc. Every time her eyes moved, Bloodyshirt’s expression would become uglier. In the end, he had no choice but to explain, “They were set up to prevent people from spying on the room.”
“It seems there are quite a lot of secrets here,” Qianye said indifferently. The places Nighteye had been observing contained cleverly-hidden origin arrays. However, such disguises couldn’t hide anything from the duo’s True Sight.
Bloodyshirt produced a notebook from the nearby cabinet. Then, he tore off two pages from it and put them on the table.
They were completely empty sheets of paper. Following a shout, a blood-colored mist emerged around his body, and some words began to form on the empty paper.
Qianye watched with due intrigue. This kind of recording and concealment technique was fairly clever and unbreakable. Only the bloodline of a designated person could unlock the information within. Naturally, the price was extremely high. Materials capable of interacting with specific bloodlines all came at sky-high prices.
Just from these two sheets of paper alone, one could see that Bloodyshirt’s price wasn’t unreasonable. The information was likely worth that much.
One of the two papers was related to the Spider Emperor, while the other was related to the Moonlight Demons. Listed within was information related to the activities of their important characters and armies. This news was highly classified, and many people would be willing to pay sky-high prices to obtain it. Qianye, however, knew next to nothing about the power-struggle in the neutral lands. So, he couldn’t quite understand the significance after seeing it. Nighteye, on the other hand, seemed to be quite serious.
After Nighteye had finished looking through the information, Qianye asked, “Are the things recorded here related to the person I’m looking for?”
Bloodyshirt replied, “Although there’s no direct relationship, there’s a high possibility of an indirect association. For instance, the movements of the Spider Emperor’s Crystal Spider Corps is evidently unusual.”
At this point, Nighteye couldn’t help but sneer, “Crystal Spider Corps? His ambitions are quite big.”
“What’s that?” Qianye knew nothing about this.
“That’s the personal guard of the ultimate arachne ruler, one of the powerhouses on the Evernight Council’s holy thrones. This old spider considers himself the ruler of the holy mountain.”
Bloodyshirt couldn’t help but glance at Nighteye in amazement. This was secret information of considerable rank within the Evernight faction. There was no way for one to hear of this without reaching a certain rank. “He’s not exactly ambitious, but he really likes to boast and give himself all kinds of titles.”
This famous aspect of the Spider Emperor was often the topic of discussion and humor in the neutral lands. Only newcomers like Qianye didn’t know about it. Besides that, the Spider Emperor was extremely powerful and had very few opponents in the neutral lands. His haughtiness was even superior to the Wolf King’s. As such, people could laugh in secret but no one dared to be disrespectful of him in public.
“Is there any special meaning to the Crystal Spider Corps’ movements?” Qianye went back to the original topic.
“The timing of its mobilization was even earlier than the Wolf King’s generals. It looked like the Wolf King wanted to launch a sneak attack on the Spider Emperor, but in truth, the latter had already made preparations well beforehand. He was going to attack even if the Wolf King hadn’t taken action.”
Qianye was shaken—be it on the Evernight side or the empire’s, those high-ranking characters weren’t easy to deal with at all. In the turmoil of the neutral lands, those capable of ruling over large domains were even more formidable characters. A single mistake could result in him being swallowed up by them.
Qianye went through the information in great detail and memorized the names of the experts listed there. Then, he picked up the intelligence regarding the Moonlight Demons and asked, “Then, how about this?”
Bloodyshirt pointed at the paper and said, “The Assassin Legion was moving in the exact same direction as the Crystal Spider Corps. And this one, Mad Profanity, is currently approaching Port City. This cannot be a coincidence. The Spider Emperor and Moonlight Demons must’ve reached some kind of agreement.”
Qianye pondered on Port City’s location and said with a frown, “That means this place is about to become a battlefield?”
“The battlefield will be close by even if not in the city itself. The Xue family’s caravan was transporting local products on the surface, but in truth, they were shipping a batch of energy crystals for the Wolf King’s Legions. Xue Xingsan was the person in charge of this caravan’s route and a key person in setting up their defenses.”
Qianye had finally realized what had happened. It would seem this Xue Xingsan had been bought over by the other party and had betrayed the Xue family. Energy crystals were an absolute strategic resource for the upcoming war—it served as fuel for battleships, large war machines, and the necessary core for giant origin arrays. The raid on this caravan must’ve been a heavy blow to the Wolf King. It was just that the unlucky Cui Yuanhai was swept into this conspiracy. Neither the Spider Emperor nor the Moonlight Demons would mind taking in a grandmaster capable of building grade-seven weapons.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
As you guys have noticed, I've missed the 8th chapter for the past couple of weeks. I had to travel back to my hometown on urgent business and I contracted the flu once I got back. Now that I'm back in Taiwan, I'll be making up for the missed chapters starting from this week, so expect some doubles. One more chapter coming this evening.
TL: Legion ED: Moxie