Blackflow City was brightly illuminated in the darkness of the nocturnal Evernight Continent.
Perhaps because the two major factions had been focusing their war efforts on the void continent, the dark races close to Blackflow City had long since contracted their waterfront. Not to mention large scale battles, even scouting parties and skirmishes were a rare sight.
Things had fallen into a rare calm in the recent months, allowing Blackflow City to prosper and attract streams of people through its doors.
A high-speed airship broke through the void and landed straight into Blackflow City. The airship was abnormally fast—like a diving bird, it arrived at the center of the airship port in the blink of an eye. Even the guards could hardly react on time.
The officer in charge of the airship port ran over. He was knowledgeable enough to know that this kind of airship wasn’t common even in the entirety of the empire. Only the nobility could enjoy such a vessel.
By the time he arrived, the airship doors had opened and out came a calm Song Zining.
This officer was also from Song Zining’s branch. He quickly approached, saying, “Seventh Young Master, you’re back.”
Song Zining inquired, “Anything out of the ordinary?”
Song Zining gave him a nod and headed back into the city. Despite his calm gait, it took him only a few steps to walk out of the airship port and disappear into the city.
The officer came to an abrupt halt since he couldn’t catch up. He simply couldn’t understand why the usually calm seventh young master was in such a rush today.
Within a serene courtyard in the Dark Flame Headquarters, Nighteye was sitting quietly just as before. However, instead of a book and a teacup, she was now holding a dagger as thin as a cicada’s wing. This vampiric blade was called Crimson, of which there were less than three, even in the entirety of the Monroe clan. And as their former princess, Nighteye had the right to wield one.
She had never used the blade since coming to Blackflow City, and this was the first time in many months that the blade had seen the light of day.
Nighteye used a white-cloth to gently clean the sharp edge of the blade. A scarlet ripple ran along the sharp surface, almost like the flow of essence blood.
At this moment, a gentle, rhythmic tap came from the courtyard gates. Song Zining walked in and was slightly startled upon seeing Nighteye cleaning her blade.
She didn’t look up at him and merely kept her focus on the weapon. “Who injured Qianye?”
The long explanation Song Zining had prepared for her went up in smoke. He said after a brief moment of silence, “The Masefield Demoness.”
Nighteye’s hands trembled slightly for a moment. She then asked calmly, “The Demoness has awakened? But why Qianye?”
Song Zining laughed wryly and had no other choice but to recount everything. After some thought, he added, “From what I know, the original plan didn’t include Qianye. No one had imagined something like this would happen.”
Without further words, Nighteye put the cloth down and ran her finger along the blade. The sharp edge brushed quietly past her skin, taking with it a drop of blood and leaving behind a fine red line.
The silence in the courtyard was suffocating. Song Zining took a deep breath but couldn’t quite relieve this stifling sensation. “You… aren’t you going to ask about Qianye’s condition?”
“Since it was the Demoness, there’s no need to ask.”
“I…” Song Zining wanted to say something, but he just couldn’t bring himself to speak.
“I know, people who scheme and strategize can fail, too.”
“That is indeed the case, but…” Song Zining was hesitant again.
“But what?” Nighteye inquired.
The seventh young master inhaled deeply. “I wanted to say that, planning is for the man, accomplishing it depends on the heavens. If we never scheme, there will be neither mistakes nor accomplishments. Yet, how can we refrain from acting in order to avoid these things? All action is accompanied by a chance of failure.”
“So you mean mistakes are expected, that you people will never be wrong.”
Song Zining didn’t know what to say. He sighed deeply after a while. “What do you blame us for?”
“You people knew nothing about the Demoness and yet you let Zhao Jundu meet her in battle?” Nighteye didn’t continue speaking, but her intentions were clear. If it wasn’t for this arrangement, there wouldn’t be a final showdown between Qianye and the Demoness.
Song Zining was momentarily speechless.
He wanted to say that it wasn’t his idea, but as one of Zhang Boqian’s staff officers, he was more or less privy to certain rumors. Perhaps because his words didn’t carry enough weight, or maybe he was overconfident in Zhao Jundu’s ability, Song Zining didn’t choose to stop them. In truth, he wasn’t very clear about the actual arrangements, either, much less the secret agreements.
Nighteye put Crimson back into its sheath and put it away. Finally, she looked up at Song Zining and said, “You can now say what you want to say.”
Under her clear gaze, Song Zining felt that he had never faced such a difficult dilemma before. The words kept rolling about in his throat, but he simply couldn’t say them.
Nighteye revealed a smile of unknown significance—it was mysterious and beautiful, yet there seemed to be a layer of burning frost underneath it. “Qianye’s recovery might require the ancient blood pond. What have you prepared for me?”
“Intelligence and support arrangements.” Song Zining’s voice was gloomy.
“Intelligence will suffice, but support? Heh, heh. When will I get it?”
Song Zining produced a sheet of paper with several locations and names on it. “These people will provide assistance on Twilight Continent. The method of contact has been listed here.”
Then, Song Zining fished out a map. He drew a snaking trail upon it and marked out several key points. This was the retreat path he had planned for Nighteye and the places where he had arranged reinforcements.
One could see Song Zining’s determination from this path. He had mobilized a large number of his undercover assets and was willing to pay any price to help Nighteye throw off her pursuers.
Song Zining’s gaze was complicated. “I think you’ll understand my intentions, I cannot go with you.”
“I understand.” Nighteye cut him short. “When?”
“You need to arrive on Twilight Continent in two days. Someone there will provide you with all the necessary information. The airship has been prepared, it’s the one I arrived on.”
“That means I should set out now.”
“Yes.” This word was like a stone, and it took Song Zining great effort to cough it up from his throat.
Nighteye went into her room and returned with a backpack. It would seem she had already made preparations and packed her things up. Only then did Song Zining notice that Nighteye wasn’t clad in her usual dress but, instead, her combat attire.
There was no more need to say anything at this point. In silence, Song Zining accompanied Nighteye out of the room and boarded the car with her. Then, just as silently, he saw her onto the airship.
The airship quickly took to the skies and shot into the void. In the blink of an eye, it had vanished into the depths of the night sky.
Song Zining stood in silence for a long while. This was perhaps the most difficult choice he had made in his lifetime.
In the several days that followed, Song Zining shuttled about between the continents, spending most of his time in the void. Whenever he arrived in a certain place, he would meet some people, mobilize some resources, and make some arrangements. With the constant extension of his footsteps, the ripples he was stirring up gradually accumulated into waves, and these waves became great tides by the time it reached the Evernight faction.
Within the Evernight world, some families discovered that their surroundings were no longer as peaceful. Some found that their enemies had discovered their weakness, some had secret operations compromised, while others saw their past schemes ineffably leaked. All in all, none of these things were enough to cause any serious harm, but it was indeed sufficient to make things troublesome for them.
If one were to connect all of the independent cases together, they formed a vague string that pointed toward Twilight Continent.
Naturally, Song Zining’s frantic activity couldn’t escape those who were paying attention. With every step he took, information regarding his activity would arrive on the desks of those powerful characters.
The incidents were indeed complicated, seemingly random and unrelated at a glance. However, these characters had held power for a long time and had seen countless schemes. They knew immediately that there were a fair number of cover-ups among them. Some of the events existed for the sole purpose of misleading them.
Knowing was one thing, but analyzing the confusing tangle of clues was another.
After seven days, Song Zining once again returned to Blackflow City. This time, he did nothing but sit in front of the window, gazing at that giant shadow in the night sky. At this point, he had done all he could do and the only thing left was to wait for the results.
He also knew that no matter how meticulous his preparations or how perfect the reinforcements were, there was one fact he couldn’t change—there was nothing he could do to help regarding the most critical link of this endeavor.
That was the holy land of the vampire race, the resting place of the Queen of the Night, and the home of the thirteen vampire clans. Reportedly, there were secrets hidden in the deepest parts of the Twilight Continent related to the ancient river of blood and the first drop of blood. Even Zhang Boqian, with his void traversal abilities, hadn’t set foot on Lilith’s domain when he infiltrated the Twilight Continent.
Not to mention Song Zining, even Lin Xitang himself was helpless against the deepest, darkest region.
In this area which the empire knew nothing about, there were countless ancient vampires in deep slumber. Despite knowing the Three Thousand Flying Leaves Art, Song Zining knew that he would never be able to return if he were to step into that place.
The mission wasn’t to throw away one’s life but to awaken Qianye. Hence, Song Zining could only pin his hopes on Nighteye. Now that she had set foot on Twilight Continent, the only thing he could do was to pray for her.
This feeling of helplessness was truly unpleasant. The current Song Zining envied Wei Potian quite a bit. The simple-minded Wei clan heir had the privilege of being angry when he should, laugh when he wanted, yet he rarely thought about why he was being angry or happy. Life was always easier for those who could think less.
At this moment, Nanhua walked in with two glasses and a bottle of wine.
Song Zining frowned but said in a gentle voice, “It’s quite late, why are you not resting?”
“I knew you were in a bad mood, so I came to accompany you for a few glasses.”
Song Zining was rather surprised, but he knew alcohol was the best solution to his worries.
And hence, he picked up the glass.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
TL: Legion ED: Moxie