Before this, Qianye had never before seen what a duke-level character’s bedroom would look like. Nothing he had expected would prepare him for what was before his eyes.
As a duke from a famed demonkin clan, Linken had inherited their extravagant traditions as well. This trait of hers was well-reflected here. This space before Qianye was more of a bedroom area than a bedroom. Around the main hall, which was the size of a small plaza, there were many layers of rooms that almost formed a maze.
The hall looked magnificent. The room—decorated with depictions of prehistoric wars—was three stories high. Qianye observed the mural carefully but couldn’t figure out which war it was about. There were four major races engaged in a chaotic battle—there were some smaller species mixed in, but Qianye could only recognize some of them.
There were no humans in the depiction, which meant that this war was before the empire’s existence. Since this painting was in Linken’s room, it was quite likely that this extraordinary battle had ended in a victory for the demonkin.
Moving this artwork back to the empire would surely aid imperial scholars in their study of Evernight’s prehistoric era. It would also resolve a fair number of contradictions regarding the Evernight races.
Apart from all that, the entire hall was painted in dark golden shades with scarlet highlights, a favorite color scheme for the demonkin. There was a giant bed at the end of this hall, one that was large enough for over ten people even if all of them were as tall as Linken.
To be honest, Qianye didn’t really like the chamber. It was too large, too wide, and lacked a sense of safety. Insofar as he could remember, Qianye had never really passed one night with ease. He was always alert and vigilant about his surroundings even in his sleep. To him, the best place to rest was somewhere small, dark, and warm. It also had to have an escape route.
Everything in the hall was an utter mess. There were dozens of naked corpses strewn across the hall, belonging to both men and women. Apparently, they had been engaging in a party of indulgence and depravity while they were alive. Seeing as how they were inside Linken’s bedroom, they were probably the duke’s private slaves.
Qianye pushed away one of the corpses blocking his way. This was a young naked girl who would be considered hot to any race with bruises and minor injuries all over her body—it would seem the play was quite intense. Her beautiful face was full of pain and despair, her eyes reflecting the final scene she had witnessed before her death—the door and the crowd in front of it.
Apparently, Linken had no choice but to join the sudden battle, but the feast in her bed hall never stopped. Then, her flagship was cut into two soon afterward. These slaves weren’t crew members; they only possessed good looks and not much strength. They weren’t even able to open the main bedchamber door at the critical moment and eventually fell to the corrosion of void origin power.
Qianye shook his head, having gained a new understanding of the demonkin’s extravagance. One could easily imagine what Linken was doing here before the battle. There was really nothing of interest to Qianye in the hall apart from expensive decorative items. Hence, he began looking through the small rooms one after the other.
Most of the small rooms were for the slaves to live in. Even Linken’s own room wasn’t that big, either; it would seem she preferred to sleep in the hall. The room seemed quite ordinary with the power completely cut off, but no secret mechanism could escape Qianye’s eyes. He quickly found the true secret chamber.
This hidden room was decorated with an exquisite array of runed-carvings, and the smooth floor was covered in a luxurious carpet. The glass shelves, filled with ancient classics, made the room feel like a rather charming little study. There was an open notebook on one of the desks, with the pen still in the ink bottle. It would seem she intended to continue after coming back.
There were two mannequins on one of the walls, each clad in a set of armor of differing quality and style. The two suits were both quite old with abundant signs of wear and tear. Certain damaged areas that were difficult to repair would leave traces on the surface. These items were too mediocre for the current Linken, yet she had stored them in her secret chamber. It was clear that these were the pieces of armor that had accompanied her growth and held great sentimental value to her.
There were weapons on the other wall, memorabilia as well.
The notebook was the only thing left in the room, so Qianye sat down to read the contents. This wasn’t an ordinary diary but one that contained numerous secret information and transaction records. The greater part of the contents could never see the light of day. For instance, records of the relationship between herself and other major demonkin characters. There was no shortage of memories from her youth, including situations where she was forced or violently subdued.
These painful memories seemed to have turned into excitement at this point in life, things she would frequently think back to. Apparently, with her increase in strength and authority, very few things could make her feel any more excitement. It was actually the humiliation she had suffered during her youth that stimulated her.
All that aside, it was the receipts located between the pages that felt rather interesting. There was a certain duke who had proposed certain terms in exchange for Linken’s help in fighting an important battle. He had promised to lend his three underage children to her for a month, and she could play with them as she wished as long as they remained alive.
This and the many other receipts he saw reminded Qianye of Song Zining’s words, that all major characters only had the greater picture in mind and that there was nothing they wouldn’t trade.
The remaining contents were also related to important secrets, with no shortage of critical and valuable intelligence among them. For instance, there was a battle between the arachne and demonkin in which an arachne marquis had submitted his defensive territory in exchange for steep benefits, hence breaking the arachne supply line and resulting in their defeat. That battle had lost their race territory equal to three imperial provinces. Linken herself was a part of this trade. She spent an entire three pages cursing how that arachnid marquis only looked strong but was useless in bed.
Qianye remembered that spider’s name. The marquis from back then had become a vice-duke today and joined the ranks of the new arachne nobility. If this transaction were to be revealed, a powerful rift would surely be formed between the two races. At the very least, that vice-duke would face grave punishment since many major arachne characters had fallen in the battle back then.
This notebook was an object of true value. Rumors were fine since every major character was surrounded in an abundance of them. However, the intelligence here was critical blackmail material. Anyone in possession of this book on Evernight territory might vanish quietly and without a trace.
The book became heavy in his hands as Qianye didn’t know how to make use of it. Hence, he stowed it away carefully in Andruil’s space. There were numerous secrets in there that might prove useful as opportunities arose.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
TL: Legion ED: Moxie