By the time Qianye arrived at the new residence, the atmosphere in the city was evidently tenser. Wounded adventurers could be found everywhere in the city. The City Guard had occupied the road hubs in full force, replacing the Law Enforcement Unit in maintaining order. After all, the latter was only good for digging up small criminals and bullying civilians. They weren’t powerful enough to handle the violent and bloodthirsty hunters and mercenaries.
The courtyard wasn’t very big and only had three rooms to it. But due to its location in the noble district, the price was still extraordinary. At the very least, the vice-guard-captain who had escorted Qianye here seemed quite envious. He was also a champion who had followed Su Dingqian for a long time, yet he had only earned a small residence on the borders of the noble district. And even that wasn’t as large as Qianye’s, and the origin array was also somewhat inferior.
As the Monroe Princess, Nighteye was entirely numb to the so-called luxury of the neutral lands. It made no difference where she lived. Zhuji happened to be in her hibernation phase in recent days. She was drowsy from dawn to dusk and would fall asleep wherever she was placed.
By the time everything had settled down and Su Dingqian’s men had been sent away, Qianye took out the Dreameater Bug and placed it in front of Nighteye.
Nighteye’s pupils lit up after catching the scent of the beetle’s aura, feeling relaxed throughout her entire body. Qianye had no more hesitation after seeing her reaction and carefully cracked the crystal apart. The smokey wisp trapped inside shot out immediately and almost seemed like it would escape. It was extremely fast, but how could it escape Qianye’s grasp? Immediately after escaping the crystal, it was engulfed by an origin power resembling the speckled glow of dawn’s light and delivered to Nighteye.
Nighteye quietly circulated the mental formula provided by Su Dingqian, and then inhaled the wisp of smoke in one go.
The Dreameater Bug existed between material and ephemeral states but mostly remained in a misty form. After inhaling the bug, Nighteye felt as though a stream of ice had entered her body, quickly transforming into countless icy specks that spread throughout her body. After the chill had receded, she felt increasingly relaxed as though a small part of the spider webs wrapped tightly around her had been peeled off—every corner of her consciousness was cheering in jubilation.
“How does it feel?” Qianye asked in concern.
“Very good, it’s useful for me. But…”
Qianye interrupted her, “As long as it’s useful! I’ll get more of it for you.”
There was no telling when he would be able to find the spirit-healing Marine Lotus. Now that Qianye had run into this Dreameater Bug, he naturally wouldn’t let go of this opportunity.
A wave of sleepiness washed over Nighteye after ingesting the Dreameater Bug. Soon, she could no longer open her eyes and fell asleep after saying she was feeling tired.
Qianye wasn’t worried, either. On the contrary, he was delighted because vampires usually underwent regeneration in their sleep. Her current state proved that the healing effects of the Dreameater Bug were even better than expected.
After placing Nighteye on the bed, Qianye left the chambers and sat down in the living room to contemplate the situation.
With such outstanding effects, the Dreameater Bug was naturally quite valuable. Su Dingqian was no saint, but a formidable character who dominated an entire region. Now that he was willing to bring out such a treasure along with the Loyalty Formula, one could easily guess how troublesome Qianye’s potential opponents were.
Caressing the now-empty lacquer box, Qianye muttered with a sigh, “Is this to deal with the Wolf King?”
Since it was Bloodyshirt who had told Su Dingqian about him, it was very likely that the two crafty men had already found out about Qianye’s identity in the neutral lands. After all, Qianye was searching for Xue Xingsan. After connecting all the dots together, they would find out that Qianye and Nighteye were actually looking for Cui Yuanhai. Consequently, the city lord would easily know that they were the ones wanted by the Wolf King as well as their accomplishments in the Black Grove. Considering this, the price Su Dingqian had paid to recruit them couldn’t be considered a loss since he had obtained the power of two people.
But how could someone like Su Dingqian be content with merely “not losing”? He was actually betting on Nighteye and Qianye having other hidden aces, as well as their future potential. One had to admit that this Su Dingqian was truly an expert in foresight.
Additionally, he was quite certain that Qianye wouldn’t go to the Wolf King’s side at the very least.
However, he probably didn’t know of Qianye and Nighteye’s identities in the empire and Evernight. If he did, the price he was willing to offer wouldn’t have stopped there.
The Loyalty Formula Su Dingqian considered as his winning chip was actually of no use to Qianye. From the Zhao clan’s accumulated knowledge and experience, Qianye knew that this so-called divine champion threshold was actually decided by two factors, one of them being the purity of one’s origin power. Different cultivation arts would produce origin power of different attributes and purity. Those lacking in purity simply couldn’t condense their power into crystal form and thus fail to become divine champions.
The other key factor was how much origin power the body could accommodate. The stronger one’s body, the more origin power it could contain and the more backlash it could tolerate from high-grade arts.
Since ancient times, countless cultivators had been stuck at these two hurdles. After cultivating the Song Clan Ancient Scroll, Qianye knew that less than a tenth of one’s origin power would remain after condensation and purification—despite possessing the required arts, people would die of old age if their cultivation speed couldn’t keep up.
In truth, Qianye already had a good idea about the Song Clan Ancient Scroll’s problem and why the clan wouldn’t cultivate it despite the family’s decline. In addition to the unsolvable issue of yin-yang balance, the over-purification of origin power by the Glory and Mystery chapters was also a problem. Ten parts of origin power Qianye had cultivated via the Combatant Formula would only produce one part of Venus Dawn. The core cultivation arts of the major clans and imperial family produced far purer origin power as compared to the Combatant Formula, but after landing in the hands of the two chapters, only one part of the purest origin power would be produced out of eight parts the original.
The problem lay in the fact that—with the exception of people like Zhao Jundu, Ji Tianqing, and Song Zining—even someone of Zhao Junhong’s talents wouldn’t be able to accumulate enough origin power until their eighties. They would never be able to touch the divine champion threshold by cultivating the Song Clan Ancient Scroll. It was even worse for other people with slower cultivation speeds.
Qianye’s powerful ancient vampire constitution allowed him to push the Combatant Formula beyond fifty cycles and derive the Profound Combatant Formula. This wasn’t without precedent, but only a handful of people like the Martial Ancestor and Zhang Boqian had managed this.
The origin power produced by the Profound Combatant Formula wasn’t that pure, but it was as abundant and endless as the ocean waves—a single cultivation session would net him more than ten times the origin power compared to ordinary cultivation arts. Only such a cultivation speed could match the Song Clan Ancient Scroll’s terrifying requirements.
In the future, the Profound Combatant Formula would improve along with Qianye’s constitution. There was no need for other secret inheritances because this was the most suitable art for him.
Additionally, the vampires also had their own cultivation arts. There were numerous secret arts hidden within the inheritance of the River of Blood. But vampires could advance by absorbing essence blood. Since Qianye had been constantly embroiled in great battles, his body was always in a near-overflowing state.
For vampires, an over-conversion of essence blood would result in a gradual decrease in bloodline purity. Hence, they couldn’t absorb an unlimited amount of essence blood. With the Song Clan Ancient Scroll, Qianye could absorb and convert vast amounts of essence blood, raising his bloodline power through constant battle.
Just as he was deep in thought, a knock came from the courtyard doors. A city guard officer entered the compound and handed a stack of documents to Qianye. Among them was a certificate of his city-guard officer post and permits to freely enter the noble district and other critical military areas. There were also instructions for the exchange of military contributions.
To Qianye, the first two papers were not exactly necessary. There was no critical area in Port City apart from the city lord mansion, and the city walls were only tall enough to deter ordinary people. Had they built it any taller, the wall would’ve collapsed before any attack due to the Earth Dragon’s movements.
There was a long string of rare resources on the contribution exchange list, including the Dreameater Bug Qianye wanted!
He pointed to the Dreameater Bug and said, “Is the production rate very high?”
The officer replied, “The Dreameater Bug only appears when the Earth Dragon becomes restless. Every time, all experts in the city including the City Lord will take action in order to catch some of them. We usually catch a couple hundred during good harvests and less than a hundred during bad ones.”
Qianye relaxed a bit. “That’s not a small number.”
The officer immediately shook his head. “Sir Zhao, you’re wrong on that! The Earth Dragon only becomes restless every couple of years, the longest gap being ten. You can do the math, this harvest divided by the number of years results in a few dozen each year. This small quota isn’t enjoyed by our Port City alone, we have to share some with the surrounding three powers, too. Not much remains after that.”
At this point, he glanced at Qianye in envy. “Sir Zhao immediately obtained the City Lord’s favor and was bestowed a Dreameater Bug in advance. You have no idea how many people are jealous of you! This is, after all, something that can help one become a divine champion.”
Qianye had watched Nighteye consume the bug and also heard her recount the feeling thereafter. He naturally knew that this Dreameater Bug could purify one’s blood energy or origin power a bit in addition to repairing the spirit. Indeed, it could increase one’s chances of crossing the divine champion realm, but the increase was simply too small. Eating dozens of it might improve the odds by ten percent or so.
This wasn’t a bad deal, but unfortunately, even Su Dingqian himself couldn’t monopolize everything.
If it wasn’t for the minuscule increase of each Dreameater Bug, its price wouldn’t be this low, either. The contribution exchange booklet stated that whoever killed an enemy champion or viscount would be awarded one Dreameater Bug.
Qianye made some calculations and realized that Su Dingqian was expecting him to kill five enemy champions or more. This wasn’t a loss for him. If Qianye could clip the enemy force’s wings in large numbers, Su Dingqian could focus on the enemy divine champion. The benefits this would bring to the bigger picture was more than just a few champions.
Qianye put down the documents and proceeded to chat with the officer. He learned that the three armies would arrive near Port City the following day. Tonight was the last peaceful night before the big battle.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
The battle is soon to come!
TL: Legion ED: Moxie