Ji Tianqing arrived in front of the disassembled engine and placed a hand on it. “I’ll say this beforehand. I’ve invested effort into this matter, so I should be given a share of whatever is inside.”
“That’s a given.” Song Zining then turned to Li Kuanglan and added, “Young Noble Kuanglan as well.”
Only then did Li Kuanglan’s locked brows relax.
Ji Tianqing closed her eyes as she placed a hand on the covering plate, and then raised it forcefully. And yet, she actually failed!
This time, the entire courtyard was shocked. Qianye was even more astonished because he knew Ji Tianqing’s strength quite well. Helpless for a brief moment, the girl’s expression sank in embarrassment. Her hand rose up and down, vibrating rapidly at different frequencies—she had actually cycled through several high-ranking secret arts in mere moments.
“Click!” Finally, the plate popped out ever so slightly, to everyone’s relief. Several young engineers cheered excitedly.
Ji Tianqing continued adding force, gradually raising the cover plate little by little. It seemed quite stressful even for someone of her strength. This went to show just how powerful the suction force below was.
The suction force beneath suddenly disappeared when the plate left its socket. At this point, Ji Tianqing exerted her full force to hold the plate in a barely open state. She had performed this abrupt transition from great strength to gentleness in a relaxed, poetic manner, inadvertently revealing yet another powerful secret art of hers.
Ji Tianqing wasn’t in a rush to open the cover. Instead, she waited until Qianye, Song Zining, and Li Kuanglan had surrounded the engine, and the engineers were safely behind them. Only then did she slowly lift up the covering plate to reveal the interior.
“What is this!?” Even someone as calm as Ji Tianqing couldn’t help but gasp after seeing the contents.
What’s surprising was that the space below the cover wasn’t filled with metallic components but tissue, akin to animal internal organs.
This was, on the surface, a living tissue of unknown significance. Nonetheless, the gazes of Song Seven and Li Kuanglan were extremely powerful, not to mention Qianye with his Eye of Truth. Their eyes zoomed in rapidly on this muscular mass, revealing all its fine details.
This tissue was made up of interweaving muscle fibers, and a meshwork of small red and yellow vesicles. There was also a large web of intricate blood vessels connecting all the parts together. In truth, even the coarsest muscle fibers were finer than strands of hair. Those vesicles and capillaries were simply invisible to the naked eye.
To Qianye, however, even the deeper muscular structure gradually came into view. The blood vessels and muscles formed a three-dimensional scaffolding with which to protect the small vesicles inside. Upon careful inspection, one could see that there were minute crystal granules embedded within the vessel walls and muscle fibers. These crystals were similar in size to the ones in Qianye’s auric flame blood. They were so small that even ordinary champions couldn’t see them clearly—only Qianye’s Eye of Truth could discern them.
The existence of these crystals blessed the fine vessels and muscle fibers with extreme tenacity. Add to that how thin these structures were, they were also abnormally sharp. If an ordinary expert were to reach in to touch them, it was quite likely that their hands would suffer damage.
There were also small crystalline granules floating about inside the vesicles. The void colossus aura Qianye had sensed when he first saw the engine came from this tissue.
Ji Tianqing exclaimed all of sudden, “It’s alive!”
Everyone apart from Qianye was astonished and began to observe carefully. The engineers were baffled because they couldn’t figure anything out. Song Zining and Li Kuanglan, on the other hand, noticed that the muscle was moving at an extremely slow rate, almost as though it was breathing. It was just that the movement was so slow and weak that it would take a week’s time to finish a single cycle. Only experts at their level would notice this kind of change.
Song Zining turned around. “Elder Hu, what do you think?”
The elder didn’t reply immediately. Instead, he fished out a certain instrument and fiddled about near the covering plate for a long while. Finally, he pulled out a thin needle, saying, “Everyone, please take a look. These needles are inserted into the muscle, and channeling origin power through them will move the muscle. And there are hundreds of such needles inside. If I’m not wrong, these needles are equipment used to control the muscle, and the pipes we just removed are used to transport origin power.”
Song Zining asked, “What do you think this muscle is for?”
Elder Hu replied, “I cannot see the internal structure clearly, can one of the young masters and misses instruct me on this?”
With a swoosh, all gazes fell upon Qianye. At a complete loss about what to do, he said, “Why are you guys looking at me?”
Song Zining coughed. “Qianye, now is not the time to hide your skills. Tell us what you see so that we can discuss it."
Knowing that he couldn’t get out of this, he said after some thought, “I noticed that this muscle is made up of three structures. One of the components looks like muscle fibers, they form the scaffolding of the structure, the second seems to be a network of blood vessels, and the third, countless little vesicles…”
At this point, Li Kuanglan said with a frown, “You saw small vesicles?”
“A lot of them, in fact, but they’re all enclosed within the vascular meshwork, deep inside the framework.” Qianye was quite honest.
Li Kuanglan stared at Qianye for a good while. “I really want to dig your eyes out and see what it’s made of. Tianqing, you saw this as well?”
Ji Tianqing chuckled. “This young miss’ eyes are like torches. Of course, I noticed them!”
Li Kuanglan didn’t hide her own shortcomings. “I only saw the muscular structure and vessel network. I found no vesicles. Qianye, you continue.”
“Continue?” Qianye hesitated for a moment. “There are minute crystalline granules embedded within these structures. I have no idea what they’re for, either.”
“Crystals!?” This time, it was Ji Tianqing’s turn to be surprised. She immediately whipped out a needle, poked the muscle, and pulled out. She then donned a pair of special glasses to observe the needle for a good while. “There really are crystals. Qianye, what kind of eyes do you have exactly?”
With Ji Tianqing and Li Kuanglan eyeing him carefully, Qianye felt uneasy from head to toe. Song Zining walked over at this point and whispered into the latter’s ears, “Why did you say so much? Let it be, I’ll help you this once for the sake of our brotherhood. Otherwise, they’ll dissect you on the spot.”
Without waiting for Qianye to respond, Song Zining patted his shoulder and said in a clear voice, “Qianye, who would’ve thought you actually have such eyesight! Doesn’t this mean you can even see through origin defenses, to speak nothing of armor!”
Qianye hadn’t realized what these words meant. Ji Tianqing and Li Kuanglan, on the other hand, saw their expressions shift drastically. Their gaze toward Qianye became exceptionally fierce.
He was baffled. “How am I supposed to see through armor and origin defenses?”
Song Zining replied, “Don’t be so modest, you can do it! Just practice harder in the future. That way, no enemy can hide in front of you!”
Qianye immediately sensed killing intent in the air around him.
It was at this time that Elder Hu slapped his thighs. “I know now!”
Everyone redirected their attention to him. Elder Hu pointed at the muscle, saying, “I think that muscle is, in fact, a functioning organ. In the body of a void colossus, it would probably take on the role of breathing. I’ve seen some documents regarding void colossi when I was younger. They also need to breathe, but what they respire is actually void origin power.”
He paused for a moment before saying, “This organ is probably used for breathing. It directly absorbs void origin power and exhales ordinary origin power for the airship’s propulsion system. So, this is indeed an engine. It’s just that this assumption is simply unimaginable, absolutely unimaginable!”
Elder Hu pointed at the needles distributed inside the engine. “These needles are used to control the organ. The engine’s output is controlled by regulating the frequency and strength of its breathing.”
Song Zining picked up one of the components. “Were these things really made hundreds of years ago?”
Elder Hu replied, “This requires more analysis before we can come to a conclusion.”
Song Zining sighed softly. “If they’re really centuries-old products, then the person who made them must be truly outstanding!”
Ji Tianqing nodded. “This likely isn’t Evernight technology.”
The Empire and Evernight had been fighting for so many years that they had become extremely familiar with one another. Such an engine concept had never appeared in airships of the major dark races. Hence, this engine was either produced on a whim by a certain peerless expert—like the Martyr’s Palace for instance—or it had to belong to a certain powerful race.
The former possibility was acceptable, but the latter would be truly shocking.
Song Zining asked, “Elder Hu, is this engine still usable?”
The old man replied, “The parts all seem to be in good order. It should be usable after we repair some of the minor damages. It will operate normally after repairs, but we’ll need to install a complete fuel delivery system.”
Li Kuanglan was surprised. “Isn’t it supposed to be a respiratory organ? Does it still need fuel?”
Elder Hu said while stroking his beard, “As far as this organ is involved, what it needs are nutrients. The ten pipes here are probably used to deliver nutrients. As for what kind of nutrients it absorbs, that’s something we need to figure out.”
“Will the analysis be easy?” Song Zining inquired.
Elder Hu replied, “This so-called engine is no longer that mysterious once we’ve figured out the basic principles. Its true core is this muscle, and the key is to find out where it came from, how it was fashioned into this shape, and where it gained such powers. The external machinery are mere trifles. Yet I’m ashamed to admit that I know nothing about that muscular structure.”
“Let’s just do the repairs first and see how it performs.”
Afterward, Song Zining yielded the small courtyard to Elder Hu’s repair work. Qianye returned to his abode and started packing his luggage for the upcoming battle. Ji Tianqing and Li Kuanglan also left to mind their own businesses.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
TL: Legion ED: Moxie