Yet these were mere details. With the cannon in hand, the power of its energy source could be solved sooner or later. It could be said that the takeover of this cannon had solved a part of the Martyr’s Palace’s firepower. At the very least, they wouldn’t have to worry about the main cannon for the time being. Qianye would’ve reached the threshold of a heavenly monarch by the time Landsinker became unusable.
The name Landsinker represented Linken’s ambitions. Just the value of this main cannon took up a third of the flagship’s total value. Her brilliance would definitely be greatly amplified in a regular fleet due to the ship’s powerful kinetic capacity and firepower. In fact, she had caused a fair bit of trouble for the Imperial fleets in the past.
Unfortunately, she encountered the Martyr’s Palace this time. She hadn’t expected the vessel to have retained the Earth Dragon’s ability to shuttle through space, nor that Mist Concealment would be ineffective against Qianye’s Eye of Truth. In the end, she was never able to display her might in battle. All she could do was retreat hatefully after losing most of her fleet to Qianye.
In terms of fighting power, Linken’s airship occupied two-thirds of the entire demonkin fleet, while the remainder was filled by the dozen or so ordinary warships. Hence, the loss of the flagship was doubly painful for Linken—it was as though she had lost the past 100 years of effort.
This kind of hatred was irreconcilable.
Qianye pushed his future worries aside and started helping the crew organize the cargo. The goods on the two cargo ships were extremely important but not very bulky, so most of their holds were empty. There were numerous engines and ballistae neatly arranged in crates, but all of them combined weren’t as valuable as a certain specially-labeled box.
This container was the first batch of special alloy made with the imperial formula.
Ma Wendong was highly capable—he had arranged everything in an orderly manner, leaving most of the crew on the Martyr’s Palace, including the officers and captains. He also left his first-mate to oversee the group. The cargo ship crew wouldn’t disembark for a good while after boarding the Martyr’s Palace. It was almost like a house-arrest, a punishment for their previous submission.
After unloading the goods, the main job was to disassemble the demonkin wreckages. Among them, Linken’s flagship was the most important. The airship segment wasn’t too badly damaged because the flagship itself was just cut in half by the bony spines of the Martyr’s Palace.
The exploration here was extremely important, so Qianye decided to lead it personally. Ma Wendong left first with the three airships, while the first-mate accompanied Qianye in exploring Linken’s flagship.
Just the front half of the flagship was over a hundred meters long and over ten meters tall, not unlike a small castle. Qianye picked the widest passage to enter. This was Linken’s personal vessel, so there wouldn’t be any traps inside. The most effective defense was the demonkin herself.
At the end of the passage was a rather wide cabin, apparently a place for transit and assembly. A calamity had descended upon the room after being exposed to the void, and the installations inside had mostly been destroyed, leaving only a general outline. There were three passages here leading up, down, and forward, respectively.
After some thought, Qianye headed upward since the control room and the captain’s chamber were usually located above. If Linken was hiding any core secrets, they would be there.
He headed up along the spiral ladder but found the cabin door at the end locked tightly. The first-mate was following Qianye from behind when his eyes lit up. He took a step forward to caress the shiny, exquisitely decorated door, saying, “Yes, this contains a lot of demonic steel! That woman has really invested a lot!”
Qianye was completely oblivious about the materials. “What’s demonic steel?”
“Demonic steel is a raw material exclusive to the demonkin, an alloy made from a special formula. The material needs to absorb a large amount of demonic energy during its production. So, many demonkin with limited ability and potential would choose to make a living manufacturing this metal. An alloy with demonic steel mixed in would see increased strength depending on how much was added.”
With that, the first-mate produced a dagger and channeled his origin power. He then slashed at the cabin door with great force, producing an ear-splitting screech. Much to Qianye’s surprise, however, this strike only left a shallow groove on the metal surface.
This first-mate was only one step away from the champion realm, and his blade was an imperial model made specifically for higher-ranking officers. Yet, his all-out slash merely left a mark that was half a finger deep. This went to show just how hard this alloy was.
The first-mate was delighted yet frustrated. “If every cabin door is made from this material, the materials alone will fetch a small fortune, this woman is crazy! The bad thing, though, is that we’ll have to spend a bit of effort to open them. I’ll need half a day to get through this door alone, so you’ll need to wait quite some time to get everything explored.”
Qianye smiled. “The door is sturdy, but the frame might not be. Let me try.”
The first-mate stood to the side as Qianye grabbed the door and steadied his footing. He then erupted with a low growl as he exerted his entire body’s force. The entire airship trembled with a loud rumble, the flooring sunk down beneath his feet, and the surrounding cabin walls started to split apart. The cabin door, along with its frame, was duly torn away.
Qianye tossed the door away with a clang and stretched his body nonchalantly. “It’s open, continue.”
The first-mate stood dumbfounded to one side, almost like a wooden chicken. Only when Qianye had gone toward the end of the tunnel did he come back to reality. He looked back and roared after finding all the other men with their mouths wide open, “What are you gazing around for!? Even if you’ve never seen him in action, you must’ve heard of Sire Qianye’s divine might! Frogs in a well!”
The group of people obeyed but couldn’t help feeling disdainful inside. “Weren’t you in the same state just now?” Naturally, they could only think about that and not say it out loud.
They passed numerous cabins along the way, checking the equipment and function in each of them. There was the officer’s lounge, duty room, staff officer room, conference room, information room, etc. All the cabins were in disarray with documents strewn across the floor. Apparently, no one could bother to clear things away in their haste to escape.
The first-mate was quite meticulous. He picked up all the documents on the ground and handed them to his men. “Despite being a vice-duke, Linken is a scion of a famed clan and still has potential for advancement. Hence, her position among the demonkin isn’t inferior to a duke’s. There’s no way the empire has access to such documents, there might even be sensitive information in them. I’ll gather all of them first and look through them one by one. I’ll immediately inform you once I find anything important. After you look at them, you can even sell them to the imperial military. I believe they’ll offer a good price for them.”
Qianye was impressed. “Good, let’s do as you say. You’re called Xu Tao, right? I heard there was an outstanding character from Yellow Springs called Xu Lang. Are you related?”
The first-mate shook his head. “We only share the same surname. Xu is only a minor surname that has never achieved higher aristocracy. The families might’ve had some connection hundreds of years ago, but we’re pretty much separate now.”
“Mm, that’s unfortunate.” Qianye didn’t continue.
At the end of the tunnel was a staircase leading upward. Going up, Qianye found that the cabin door wasn’t locked. Apparently, the people below had fled upward and did not bother to close the door.
The entire upper floor was the command hall of the warship. The chamber was extremely grand with neat rows of control equipment installed along the walls. At the rear end of the hall was a platform upon which was Linken’s throne. Under ordinary circumstances, this was where she would give commands in battle.
Qianye jumped up and landed on Linken’s throne. The seat was wide, comfortable, and grandiose, with exquisite carvings along the armrests. The leather material was soft and resilient, likely made from the skin of some unknown wild beast.
There was a control panel before the throne, but Qianye had no inkling about the equipment on demonkin warships. The entire warship was silent at this moment as the facilities had lost their energy supply.
Even if no one knew how to use the equipment, they could still disassemble them and sell the parts back to the empire. The people from the military would surely go crazy over the duke-grade airship parts and pay exorbitant amounts.
Qianye tried sitting down on the throne. The view here was extremely good, offering an unobstructed view of the foreground and command hall. Just sitting here would give one a natural sense of superiority.
Someone below mumbled, “This is rebellion!”
The voice was soft, but the first-mate heard it clearly. He glared fiercely at the man and whispered, “What nonsense are you spouting? Qianye has long since severed ties with the empire. It’s fine even if he declares himself emperor. Don’t forget that these are the neutral lands, not the empire. No one will save you if you speak without thinking!”
Trembling, that person shot a glance at Qianye and only felt somewhat relieved after seeing the latter was oblivious.
Qianye did hear the comment, but he feigned ignorance. These people were Song Zining’s subordinates, so their loyalties would lie with him alone. Song Zining shared a deep friendship with him but these people did not.
There was a door behind Linken’s throne that led to a residential quarter. As a vice-duke—and especially as a demonkin—she was highly prideful about her status. Her residential quarters alone took up most of the floor.
At this point, Xu Tao stopped outside of the room, saying, “Sire Qianye, there might be many secrets in there that I shouldn’t know, so you should enter alone. Summon me anytime if you need me.”
Qianye nodded. He then entered Linken’s residential quarters alone while all the other men remained outside.
At this very moment, within a demonkin warship in the depths of the void, Linken suddenly shot to her feet. “Oh no! I left in such a hurry that I forgot to clean up!”Previous Chapter Next Chapter
TL: Legion ED: Moxie