Everyone’s interest in the engine stopped here. Although they were unable to figure out any concrete details on its function, the key was that it was a respiratory organ belonging to a certain void creature. Even with a sufficient grasp of mechanical technology, where was one to find such a being? If the organ really was from a void colossus, finding it would be akin to courting death.
Qianye returned to his own courtyard and quickly packed up. He then rushed over to the armory and handed the quartermaster a long list—he planned to stock up on enough ammunition and food to last through a war. The upcoming battle might be the most difficult one since his arrival in the neutral lands.
After completing all preparations, Qianye said goodbye to Song Zining.
For this expedition, he would clear out the surrounding disloyal powers and, more importantly, tell Eden and his mobile unit that Qianye was operating in the wilderness. An untraceable Qianye was the only force that could exert enough deterrence to prevent the Evernight squads from acting blindly or fielding their armies without enough defensive power. Just as Eden had made the imperial nobility suffer within the Misty Wood, Qianye was also an impossible problem for the Evernight forces. Even with Eden restraining him during that period, their side had still sustained grave casualties. The dark races might’ve been pushed out of the woods if it weren’t for the demonkin prodigy.
The wilderness of the neutral lands wasn’t as restrictive to the senses compared to the Misty Wood, but void turbulences or even storms could kick up at any time. A hunter from the Empire or Evernight would find themselves easily losing their targets here.
Once Qianye had entered the wilderness, Eden would definitely focus his efforts on restraining him. Otherwise, operating carelessly like before would give Qianye the opportunity to kill him as soon as he launched an attack.
Qianye had gained the obvious advantage during the latter parts of their fight in the Misty Wood, but there was no telling what the outcome of this confrontation would be.
Qianye’s advantage lay in the fact that Li Kuanglan and Ji Tianqing were there to oversee Southern Blue, as well as Song Zining preparing for war at all times. The three airships belonging to each of them were hidden somewhere in the void, and the Martyr’s Palace was also on standby. The demonkin would likely suffer if they came crashing into them without sufficient information.
“Try to keep the road to Seagaze open, lest it gives those families an excuse to drag things out.” This was Song Zining’s request.
“Wait a minute,” Song Zining called Qianye back at the last minute.
The latter smiled. “What do you need me to do? Just say it.”
He saw Song Zining wearing a rare serious expression and a bit of uneasiness as well. Twisting his fan in hesitation, he said after a good while, “Sorry.”
“What about?” Qianye was a bit puzzled.
Song Zining took a deep breath. “This battle is not the same as before. You should know how dangerous it is.”
“Dangerous? You mean Eden? I think the Wolf King is more dangerous.”
Song Zining shook his head. “The Wolf King is just an arrogant, overconfident bastard, and he’s alone. He’ll become cautious and afraid after a round of harsh beating. This is the Wolf King’s weakness, he cannot afford to sustain injuries. As long as he’s paranoid, we will have ways to deal with him. This isn’t the case for Eden. He was the vanguard this time, and there might be more than just one demonkin clan behind him.”
“What are you trying to say?”
Song Zining grabbed Qianye’s shoulder. “Prepare well, you might be facing an entire Evernight squad, including vampires, werewolves, and arachne.”
“I hope… you won’t encounter a duke.”
Qianye was startled. “Are you kidding?”
“Of course not, do I look like I’m joking?”
“You do. We both know how important dukes are to Evernight, and the chances of them falling is much higher in the neutral lands. Besides, even if a duke really comes, their combat strength will be greatly discounted as they adapt to the environment.”
Song Zining increased the force in his hand. “That’s under normal circumstances. There might be more than one duke moving out from the Evernight side this time.”
“What’s the reason?”
Song Zining hesitated with a wry smile. “I can’t tell you now. This place might’ve attracted the attention of certain powerhouses. I fear he’ll find out if I say it. In short, you have to be very careful. Don’t become fixated on any target, what you must do is survive. I will find a way to get the Martyr’s Palace equipped as soon as possible. I can only hope that it’s not too late.”
“You’re always like this, saying everything halfway. You’ll have no friends left at this rate,” Qianye said.
“It’s fine as long as I have my brothers.”
“Brothers? I think women are more important to you.”
“Qianye! You were never this talkative before.”
Qianye shrugged. “I learned that from you.”
Song Zining shook his head, saying, “I’ve said this before, but I’m not joking. I have a very… bad feeling about all of this. I hope you understand. Because of their special identities, I cannot allow Kuanglan and Tianqing to go into battle with you. Absolutely nothing must happen to them, at least not because of you. So, you’re on your own for now.”
Qianye said, “I’m not alone, I have you, don’t I?”
Song Zining seemed like he wanted to say something, but he only let out a long sigh.
“Enough, it feels like I’m talking to a woman. I’m leaving.” Qianye pushed the door open and left.
The wilderness was, just as before, lonesome and austere—the endless yellow sand, the sharp gales, and the randomly appearing void storms that would leave one weak and palpitating. Even cultivators would feel great discomfort when exposed to excessive amounts of void origin power.
Qianye walked alone through the empty wilderness. Removing his gloves, he could feel a faint stabbing pain on his skin—this was a sign of void origin power falling on his skin. The energy was so violent that it would gradually destroy living bodies. Only those with exceptionally strong constitutions or origin power protection could escape this eventual fate. This was the reason why even cultivators would live much shorter lives here if they weren’t strong enough.
But people at Qianye’s level of physique would benefit from the void origin power instead of suffering harm. The wisps of energy would enter his body and become assimilated.
Qianye observed the surrounding wilderness with narrowed eyes. The surrounding landscape was both familiar and strange—in addition to ordinary vision, even the world in his perception would warp and twist from time to time. This was an effect of the void origin power. Qianye gazed far into the distance and spread his perception out to its maximum range, hoping to find the maximum extent of his senses.
Since the opponent was Eden, no amount of preparation could be considered excessive.
Qianye stretched his perception to its extremes and, after repeated tries, gradually formed a blurry borderline. Eden’s figure appeared in this illusory world, holding a sniper rifle and taking aim at Qianye. Then, he pulled firmly on the trigger.
A bullet shrouded in dark demonic energy flashed toward Qianye’s forehead!
Qianye’s body jolted as he opened his eyes, and all the illusions disappeared immediately. That Eden was actually a projection of that sniping attempt back in Seagaze City, located at the same distance as when he had ambushed Qianye back then. And the position of this projection was still far from the extremes of Qianye’s visual range.
Qianye felt somewhat relieved. Perhaps Eden wasn’t firing from his maximum range, but at the very least, he still had the advantage in visual capacity. The neutral lands was different from the Misty Wood in that visual range was longer than sniping range. Hence, Qianye’s advantage wasn’t that evident. Nonetheless, even a bit of advantage was welcome when fighting against Eden.
Qianye closed his eyes again and recalled the process of Eden’s shot. The impact from that attack was so powerful that it had injured him through East Peak, but it remained that Qianye could block this shot even when he was unprepared. Eden would thus need to close the distance if he wanted to strike Qianye, and this was an obvious advantage for the latter.
At this moment, only that demonic-energy-shrouded bullet remained in his consciousness. This bullet vanished after shooting through Qianye’s forehead and reappeared once more at its source.
The repeated recollection allowed Qianye to slowly grasp the shot’s true firepower. Although this shot was extremely powerful, Eden also had to accumulate a fair amount of energy to launch this attack. If he could fire like that back in the Misty Wood, he might’ve been able to turn the tables around.
From this attack, it was clear that Eden could already utilize the maximum potential of the Abyssal Tribute. No one knew what kind of miracle he had chanced upon, but his demonic power had reached the level of a marquis.
The empire had collected sufficient details about Eden during the void continent battle, even data regarding his Abyssal Tribute. From this shot, however, it would seem that the sniper rifle was even more powerful than the reports had stated. This was perhaps because Eden couldn’t yet bring out the true power of this weapon in the past.
Although Heartgrave could suppress Abyssal Tribute in both firepower and special abilities, it would drain Qianye in one shot and leave him in a weakened state. Meanwhile, Eden would be able to fire three more shots from his sniper rifle. Hence, it could be said that the two were evenly matched in terms of origin guns.
At this point, Qianye had completed his analysis of Eden. He would need to fight the man again to figure out more details. Although Eden had suffered consecutive attacks from Ji Tianqing and Li Kuanglan, the injuries weren’t severe. It could be assumed that he would have returned to the battlefield by now, but no one knew when he would attack again.
Qianye opened his eyes once more and once again expanded his perception to its maximum range, paying attention to everything in his surroundings. Song Zining’s thoughts were one thing, but Qianye knew that the most important mission right now was to find the demonkin mobile units hiding in the wilderness.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
TL: Legion ED: Moxie