In a different region of the void, Linken was standing in front of the cabin windows and staring into the boundless void. All of the demonkin around her were quiet, afraid that they would arouse her anger. Everyone knew that complete silence meant that she was truly angry.
There was no end to the void outside. Only a handful of slender ships were sailing through the raging tempests at this point, looking fairly miserable against the backdrop of the approaching continent. Who would’ve thought that such a massive armada would be half-destroyed at the very beginning? Compared to the warship casualties, their total loss in combat strength was well-beyond half. The firepower of Linken’s flagship was comparable to all the other ships combined.
This miserable loss was just the beginning. Linken had numerous enemies, both among the demonkin race as a whole or in the Masefield family. The true cruelty of this battle-outcome would only begin after her return.
The problem now was when to go back, and how. Perhaps she should find a way to accumulate some contributions before going back.
Just as she was considering the most practical problem, a warship suddenly appeared in the void before them and made straight for Linken’s warship. The emblem of the Throne of Blood on its side was extremely eye-catching.
A commotion broke out among the demonkin. Linken made a pressing motion, gesturing for everyone to calm down, as she stared at the incoming warship.
The Throne of Blood wasn’t just a forbidden name among the vampires; it was a taboo for the demonkin as well. Those who had fallen before the Shattered Moment weren’t just major vampire characters but demonkin as well. Despite not being that famous, the two demonkin victims were key characters working behind the scenes. One of them was a great scholar who specialized in the study of various void-related fields. He wasn’t really that strong, but in him lay the demonkin’s hope of dealing with the adverse environment of the neutral lands.
The death of this scholar resulted in the loss of several decades of demonkin research, depriving them of the environment-optimization equipment that was on the cusp of success. In the dozen or so years that followed, the demonkin were never able to complete the relevant research and were thus never able to enter the neutral lands. All they could do was watch as the Throne of Blood was established and gradually gained a strong foothold.
At present, the throne had already grown extremely powerful and that talented young vampire back in the day had grown into a character worthy of his Grand Magnum. Both races had already recognized this truth, but to a genius like Linken who had risen to power recently, any kind of history could be overturned and any truth, changed. Heroes of the previous generation were stepping stones on her way to power and status.
Hence, she had never really ruled out getting into contact with the Throne of Blood. After all, that elite fleet behind her wasn’t just for decoration. What she never expected was how perilous the neutral lands was, so much so that she would encounter an unprecedented monstrosity like the Martyr’s Palace. Even up to this point, she couldn’t figure out whether that was an airship, a void colossus, or something else.
That warship arrived swiftly, charging straight for the heart of Linken’s fleet and decelerating only when it was about to crash into the other airships. By the time it came to a stop, the vessel was less than ten meters away from the airship in front. This distance couldn’t be considered safe for airships that could travel hundreds of meters in a flash. Simply turning the airship around might result in a collision.
Linken’s expression was gloomy and her gaze, sharp. Such arrogance proved that the person she would be meeting soon wasn’t going to be friendly.
The vampire airship opened its doors and out walked a pale old man with gloomy eyes. He walked to the bow of the ship and spoke in a clear voice, “My lord heard news of Vice Duke Linken’s arrival in the neutral lands, so he sent me to greet you. I wonder if Your Excellency is in the fleet?”
This old man’s words contained certain implications. His constant stress on the title vice-duke could be considered fairly disrespectful. Normally, everyone would address her as Your Excellency or Duke, ignoring the three stages of the rank. Linken had long since displayed talent far beyond her peers, so reaching the duke rank was only a matter of time. So, it wasn’t too exaggerated to address her like so.
Linken ordered her warship to move forward while she herself flew out of the vessel and hovered above the old vampire. “Sending such trash to meet me is an insult.”
The old man bowed. “How can this lowly one dare to insult you? You’re born of the Masefield family, you can destroy the neutral lands with a random point of your fingers.”
Linken’s face was ashen. “Enough nonsense. What is your lord’s message? If there’s nothing, you can scram now! Or else you won’t get that chance later on.”
The vampire elder wasn’t afraid, however. “My lord does indeed have something to say to you. He says the waters in the neutral lands are deep and its waves, tall, most certainly not a place for kids. Now that you’ve seen the place, you can leave now. Otherwise, it’s uncertain what will happen.”
Linken trembled in anger but simply couldn’t find the words to say. This warning from the Throne of Blood was actually quite normal. Regular fleets from both the Empire and Evernight would receive warnings after entering the neutral lands, that was unless they had already reached an agreement beforehand. Those who chose to ignore the warning would end up taking a shot from the Shattered Moment. This was the danger the old man was referring to, and the greatest threat in the neutral lands.
It was just that Linken’s fleet had been half destroyed before the throne had even taken action. No one could’ve expected this.
While he was talking, the old man was also secretly observing Linken’s fleet. He was fairly surprised to find that these airships were all cutting-edge models of the demonkin race. It was just that the warships were a bit smaller than the usual models, all of them were basically corvettes with only one destroyer grade vessel among them. The size of the fleet was also quite small, more so than a standard sub-fleet. This wasn’t fitting of Linken’s status.
The vampire elder’s eyes shifted about. “Your Excellency Vice-Duke, did you only bring this many warships? How fares your flagship? My lord doesn’t appreciate repeating his words.”
The vampire elder was clearly trying to pry, yet all he managed to do was pour salt in Linken’s wounds. How could she tell him about such an embarrassing matter? She roared with a gloomy expression, “Too much nonsense! I must teach you a lesson you won’t forget any time soon!”
With that, Linken swung her hand about. A barely discernible wave of demonic energy struck the vampire elder squarely on the face, sending him crashing into the wall. He shot through several cabins in rumbling succession before coming to a stop.
Linken snorted. “I hope you take this slap as a lesson and tell your lord to send someone else next time.”
With that, Linken entered the cabin without even looking back. The entire fleet then gradually turned toward Evernight.
The vampire elder flew out into the void. Glaring at the receding fleet in anger, he shouted, “My lord will definitely return this slap!”
The demonkin fleet remained unresponsive. They neither sped up nor turned back, merely maintaining a steady pace away.
The vampire elder snorted, “Back to base!” He then entered the airship and never emerged again. He was a marquis who had always been proud of his own power, yet he couldn’t do a single thing against Linken. That slap of hers would’ve smashed his head if it were just a bit stronger.
At this point, the Martyr’s Palace was flying through the void. Their current route would take them to the Northern Continent, where he would unload the goods and process the demonkin warships. These materials were quite sensitive in nature, so it wasn’t appropriate to bring them to Southern Blue and its many eyes. Qianye would only return after everything had been dealt with.
The uneventful journey took over ten days. Qianye sat on the Earth Dragon’s head day in and day out, absorbing the abundant void origin power in the air. The lay of the land was so complicated that even Qianye felt some pressure.
During the entire flight, the crew aboard the Martyr’s Palace never remained idle. This was especially true of the people from the two transport airships who were more than eager to make up for their crime with work. Despite all that, the main cannon could only serve as a decoration since there was no energy source to activate it. They would have to wait for Song Zining to think of a way after returning to Southern Blue.
Half a month later, Qianye once again returned to the Eastern Sea. He parked the Martyr’s Palace in the sky and ran toward Southern Blue on his own.
Southern Blue had changed yet again after a period of absence. A number of rather magnificent structures had popped up in the city, all of them large workshops. The land outside of the city had also been leveled to construct building-foundations. Another area outside the city was just being marked out and it was even bigger than the previous one.
Walking into Southern Blue, he could see smoke billowing out from the fairly new workshops. Apparently, they were already in operation. The roads leading to the airship ports were congested with heavy trucks, and some of them were tightly jammed. The earlier design of Southern Blue wasn’t enough to accommodate so much industrial development, and most of the roads were only enough for two trucks to pass abreast.
Qianye walked past one of the factory doors and happened to see some people in work-clothes eating and resting. Qianye recognized them—these people were mercenaries, and two of them were minor leaders in Dark Flame. Now, they had all transformed into factory technicians.
Nonetheless, their laughter proved that they were fairly content with their current roles. They finished their meal rather quickly and were soon heading back to work.
Qianye shook his head lightly as he made for Dark Flame Headquarters to find Song Zining.
Dark Flame’s headquarters was heavily guarded with sentries scanning all passersby intently. Feeling satisfied, Qianye was just about to head over when he had a sudden idea. He abandoned any thoughts of greeting the guards and instead walked over quietly.
His silhouette flickered briefly as he passed through the gates and into the headquarters. Those sentries were completely oblivious of the development. This result surprised Qianye himself—he had taken each step precisely in the guards’ blind spot to achieve this effect and not just by relying on speed. Hence, it surprised even himself that things had gone so smoothly.
It was at this time that Qianye realized how much he had gained from fighting with Linken. His combat arts had already reached a new realm.
Qianye walked into the headquarters and up a flight of stairs, but the staff along the way never saw him.
He was on the top floor in the blink of an eye. If there were no mistakes, Song Zining should be here. He had already sensed the seventh young master’s aura as well as that of another person.
Qianye was just about to enter when he heard rapid breathing from inside. A tender voice spoke anxiously, “Seventh Young Master, please… no. You can’t do that, pull it out!”
Song Zining’s voice followed. “What are you afraid of? You’ll enjoy great comfort and fame by following me, what’s there to worry about? Now submit!”
“No, no! I’m going to scream if you don’t stop!”
“Go ahead, the entire place is full of my men. No one will save you even if you scream your throat out.”
The deep inhalation in the room proved that the girl wasn’t willing to yield, and was about to unleash a sharp scream. It was just that her mouth was covered up halfway through. “Dammit, I refuse to believe I can’t get you to submit! You can forget about escaping after I eat you up!”
At this point, Qianye could no longer keep on listening. Letting out a dry cough, he pushed the door open.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Hmmm... what is happening here? I wonder. Must open the door and see... in the name of science!
TL: Legion ED: Moxie