Chapter 930: Enemies Face to Face

While flying through the void, the defensive layer of the Martyr’s Palace kept the ship safe from the cruel void environment outside. Yet, it offered no protection from the void origin power and the cold.

The omnipresent void origin power was like air for a void colossus—there was no need to defend against it. As for the cold, these massive, powerful entities couldn’t even feel it.

Ordinary humans, however, would need to protect themselves with origin power at all times in order to survive under such environments. Those below the champion realm could only endure for a limited time. Even for champions, they were only able to last longer than the others.

Qianye glanced at the flight map. All the staff had been instructed to rest and take turns operating the two engines.

The two engines that were capable of moving destroyers had very little effect on the Martyr’s Palace. All they could do was increase the vessel’s speed by a dozen or so kilometers per hour, and even that required a period of acceleration. Comparatively, that fully installed kinetic sail was a bit better.

Most of the ship crew had returned to the safety of the cabin, and only Qianye was moving around unhindered throughout the giant ship. He simply flew up to the Earth Dragon’s head and stood gazing at the boundless beauty of the void, his mind full of thoughts.

There was no day and night on the void journey, and two days passed by in the blink of an eye.

In the depths of the void, an airship fleet was advancing at top speed. This fleet was made up of two high-speed transport vessels and a high-speed warship escort. All three airships had had their insignia blotted out and their reflective surfaces painted dark. The curtains had been drawn over their cabin windows, preventing any light from leaking out. Only their engines would erupt with a bit of fire occasionally.

From a distance, this airship fleet seemed like it had merged into the void as it crawled rapidly through the vast darkness.

In the cabin of the warship, a bearded captain was scanning the void through his binoculars. The first-mate beside him said, “Old Ma, you’ve been looking left and right the entire day, what did you see? Our movements were so secretive that even I had to board the ship before finding out about our destination. What problem can there be?”

The bearded captain whispered, “Anything can happen in this kind of place.”

“Our luck can’t be that bad…”

He hadn’t even finished speaking when a shiver ran down his spine. A wave of coldness swept through the entire cabin like a frigid tide!

The cabin broke out in a commotion. The bearded captain called out, “It’s the demonkin! We’ve been discovered. Send a signal to the transports, have them turn back. Sound the alarm, all men to battle stations!”

The crew split off to execute the commands, their actions hurried but not chaotic. Following the flicker of communication lights, the two cargo airships duly sped up and made sharp turns away from the path.

The first-mate sighed as he watched the transports. “They won’t escape, the demonkin ships are too fast. Goddamit wasn’t it said that the neutral lands are hostile to demonkin? What are they doing here?”

The captain pulled open the drawer and fished out two handguns. He gave the first-mate one of the firearms, saying, “Take it, you’ll need it later on.”

The first-mate laughed wryly, “Do you think we’ll have the chance to use it?”

The captain’s expression was dark. “Every kill counts.”

“I really hope that’s the case.” The first-mate wasn’t too optimistic.

In truth, both of them realized that only a duke would be able to detect them before they could even see the enemy ship. The opponent this time was enough to throw everyone into despair.

The warship began shedding its disguise and quickly made preparations to do battle. The ballista on the front deck rose up, the bolt flickering with a cold glint as it took aim at the distant void. The entire warship was in high battle-spirits. Everyone knew defeat meant death. It was just that the ordinary crew had no idea how powerful the enemy was.

The bearded captain spoke not a single word and merely stared on toward the front.

Finally, a slender demonkin airship jumped out from the depths of the void and approached like a fish traversing water. The vessel was entirely black with dark golden outlines, the kind of magnificence everyone would marvel at. In the eyes of imperial soldiers, however, this type of elegance was an undiscounted synonym for death.

Following the first demonkin warship, more and more leapt out from the void in an endless stream.

“So many!” The first-mate had experienced numerous wars, yet he couldn’t help but gasp in surprise.

Warships of all shapes and sizes appeared in the dozens before coming to a pause. No one in the cabin could relax as they glanced at the deepest darkness with bated breaths, waiting for that final moment.

A massive warship slowly glided out of the void after a period of unbearable quietness. Surrounded by a large fleet of warships, this giant vessel looked down coldly and arrogantly at this insect-like imperial warship.

Watching this three-hundred meter entity, the atmosphere inside the command room was drowned in complete despair. A person capable of overseeing such a ship was a vice-duke at the very least. A demonkin at this level could destroy this imperial airship without even boarding them. After all, their ship’s advantage was speed and versatility. There was nothing they could do when they were suppressed in their specialized field.

None of the demonkin warships moved. Only a cold voice echoed inside the command room, “I’m Linken of the Masefield clan. Abandon all resistance, do not make things troublesome for me.”

The first-mate and captain exchanged glances, a wry smile on their faces.

Linken of the Masefield clan was known as the unwithering flower, a genius from two generations ago. She had recently crossed the greatest threshold of her life to become a vice-duke. As a scion of a famed demonkin clan, she was ranked by the empire as intermediate among all vice-dukes despite her recent advancement.

This was actually a fairly outstanding achievement. Breaking through to the duke rank was no easier than breaking through to the divine champion realm, and all capable of this feat were geniuses of their generation. Many people would have reached the end of their god-given talents after advancement and require a long period of accumulation to increase their combat strength. But for Linken, who stood out from her peers at such a young age, the end of the road was not limited to vice-duke, or duke for that matter.

Throughout the many years, the Unwithering Flower’s accomplishments were glorious with very few defeats. She had only lost a couple of times in Lin Xitang’s hands, but the latter never managed to kill her, either.

The captain said with a serious expression, “Why would Linken appear in such a place, and at the head of a huge fleet no less? No, this won’t do. We need to find a way to inform the seventh young master and the empire.”

The first mate laughed ruefully, “You think that’s even possible?”

At this moment, the distant scene absolutely infuriated the captain. He banged the control table in his anger, leaving a deep dent on it.

The two cargo airships had already completed their turning maneuver and could start accelerating any moment. However, they had decided to stop completely and surrender.

The captain roared, “Those bastards!”

The first-mate said, “Can they escape even if they try?”

The captain knew this was the truth. No matter how fast a cargo ship was, there was no way it would be able to outrun a demonkin warship. Not to mention them, even this highspeed corvette wouldn’t be able to escape from Linken’s ship. That was why the captain had decided to fight to the death.

Despite knowing that, the captain was still furious. “The two airships contain the seventh young master’s sweat and blood. How can we let them fall into enemy hands? If we can’t escape, why don’t we detonate them?”

The first-mate sighed. “Old Ma, your temper is the same after all this time. You’re not afraid of death but others are. What can we do?”

“Are we going to watch the goods fall into enemy hands?” The airship captain shouted furiously, “Turn about and take aim at those bastards, let’s sink them first!”

The first mate grabbed the captain. “Absolutely not! These are all brothers who have followed the seventh young master for many years.”

“Brothers? Will brothers surrender at such a time?”

The first-mate didn’t let go, however. “If you want to fight, fight the demonkin!”

“Fine!” The captain was full of hatred.

At this moment, Linken’s voice echoed in the command room, “Little fellows, aren’t you going to surrender?”

Along with her voice, numerous demonkin airship’s started lighting up their main cannons. They would be ready to fire once they had finished charging up. Two more warships moved out from the flanks and cut off the target’s retreat path.

The captain pointed at the warship in front. “That one! Brothers, blast them if you’re not afraid of death! Even if we die, we must give those demonkin bastards a taste of pain!”

The warship’s ballista started to change direction, proof that none of the warriors on the ship were afraid of dying.

The captain raised his right hand—prepared to give the firing order—when a ballista bolt flew out from the distant void and punctured the tail end of a demonkin warship. A ball of fire erupted from the damaged ship, and the spreading fire engulfed the entire warship in mere moments.

This sudden development shocked both parties. The blaze was so bright that it obscured the vision of those in the vicinity, preventing them from seeing what was happening.

The imperial airship, by virtue of its position, was able to see better. The first-mate stammered as he pointed at the distance, “W-What is that!?”

At the same time, Linken—clad in a beautiful, stiff-collared military outfit—stood up and gazed at the colossus slowly emerging from the void. “A void colossus!? No, a warship? Impossible! W-What is this?”

A void colossus had leapt quietly out of the distant void. It was over a thousand meters long, and just its head was over a hundred in length. This was a truly massive entity. Compared to it, Linken’s warship was like a kid’s toy.

It looked more like a skeleton than a living being, a creature that had died countless years ago. Despite that, it was highly mobile and seemed to be alive.

Only when it fired a ballista bolt from its mouth and struck the demonkin warship did Linken confirm that it was a warship.

“All ships, return fire!” Linken’s cold voice echoed through the void. All demonkin battleships started taking action. Like sharks that had smelled blood, they began swarming toward the mysterious colossus.”

Qianye was standing inside the Earth Dragon’s mouth at this point, staring at the first charging warship through the rows of sharp teeth. He locked firmly onto the target and stomped on the pedal. The ballista beneath him trembled as a massive four-meter bolt whistled out toward the demonkin warship.

At almost the same time, the leading demonkin warship erupted with origin power radiance as two ballista bolts shot out from it. After firing the main cannons, the airship immediately started changing direction in a bid to evade the incoming projectile.

This airship was fast and powerful, and with a well-trained crew. Although they had fired at closer range compared to Qianye, they had managed to fire two at the same time. In terms of firepower, it was well beyond a regular imperial destroyer. The demonkin warships possessed different attributes compared to vampire ones—they were known for their speed and firepower.

At this moment, the entire demonkin warship began fading away as though it were shrouded in a layer of mist. Even its trajectory became erratic. This was the famous Mist Concealment ability characteristic of demonkin warships. Once activated, it would cause locked projectiles to lose their targets. Demonkin warships had used this ability to evade countless attacks that would otherwise be lethal. This was one of the abilities the empire hated the most.

Once Mist Concealment was activated, the ballista lost its target mid-flight and its trajectory deviated evidently. The mist might be effective on other people, but Qianye’s eyes could see clearly through all deception.

Qianye’s perception had long since been linked to the ballista. A single thought of his activated the origin array on the projectile, which suddenly made a sharp turn and blasted the rear end of the demonkin airship!

The demonkin warship had already evaded the shot at first, but calamity befell unexpectedly. It could evade no longer as it was struck squarely in the fragile tail end.

The giant ballista bolt shot into the exhaust chamber and pierced into the engine with a fierce explosion. The powerful impact, in turn, detonated the ship’s main engine. The rear-half of the demonkin airship was blasted away in the serial explosions while the fore-end drifted away into the void.

At the same time that the airship burst apart, two giant ballista bolts struck the Martyr’s Palace and exploded on the Earth Dragon’s teeth.

Covering his face with an arm, Qianye easily neutralized the incoming shockwaves. He then began inspecting the damage sustained.

There was a layer of black char on the exterior of the teeth. He shaved the soot off with a swing of his origin power, revealing the unharmed teeth below—there wasn’t even the smallest of cracks. The demonkin warship’s all-out attack was completely useless against the Earth Dragon’s skeleton.

Qianye immediately felt relieved and began taking aim at a different airship. This one was much smarter. Instead of trading blows with Qianye, it swung up immediately and flew toward a blind spot in the Earth Dragon’s firing range. The other demonkin warships adopted the same strategy and began encircling the Martyr’s Palace like a swarm of sharks. A barrage of ballista bolts thus flew in like locusts.

A continuous series of fireballs erupted on the Earth Dragon’s enormous body.

Qianye did his utmost to control the Martyr’s Palace in an evasive maneuver but its body was too large and less than a tenth of its kinetic equipment had been installed. All he could do was utilize the energy provided by the heart and the skeleton’s innate power to fly. Just like that, the clumsy airship began confronting the shark swarm just like a true colossus.

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-Legion-'s Thoughts



TL: Legion   ED: Moxie

     

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