“The Great Maelstrom?” Matters from back in the empire felt quite distant in Qianye’s mind. The only impression he had of the Great Maelstrom was the showdown back at Indomitable. All accidents that followed originated from that one moment.
Qianye remembered that the entrance to the Great Maelstrom wasn’t in the neutral lands, and that there was a limit to its opening time. It was because of the limited quota for the Great Maelstrom that the younger generation of the Empire and Evernight were fighting it out back in Indomitable.
Song Zining understood Qianye’s puzzlement. He immediately drew a map of the neutral lands and the major continents on the paper and slowly rotated it. “You know that our world is revolving constantly, right?”
This was common knowledge. Qianye had learned about it back in Yellow Springs but he didn’t understand it very well.
Song Zining continued, “We still have no idea what kind of world the Great Maelstrom is. All we know is that the realm inside is drastically different compared to our own, and hence, it also produces many rare resources. There are only two ways into the Great Maelstrom; one of them appears only occasionally, and that’s the one the two factions are fighting over. The other one is in the neutral lands, but it’s simply unusable.”
He spun the map once as he continued, “The first passage into the Great Maelstrom may appear each time our world completes one revolution. Although it’s not absolute, the chances of it are quite high. The one in the neutral lands, however, isn’t accessible. Only a handful of people have ever come out of it, and even they weren’t able to tell how they had managed to do it. Both the Empire and Evernight ignored this passage since it was basically a one-way trip.”
After a moment of hesitation, Song Zining said seriously, “After arriving in the neutral lands, I noticed that the origin power in the passage wasn’t like before. My calculations during this period tell me that an origin tide that’s hard to see in a hundred years is about to come.”
While speaking, Song Zining wrote down a large array of numbers and formulas to prove his theory.
Qianye was fairly confused since he had no idea what those numbers were about. This knowledge was too complicated—few people had ever heard of it, not to mention studying the subject. No wonder only a handful of people throughout history were proficient in divination. It turned out that one would need to be proficient in such profound knowledge as well. It wasn’t too hard to imagine how many people would possess both cultivation talent and intelligence. No wonder those excelling in divination would also boast a solid grasp of strategy. Even if they couldn’t rule over a large area, they would usually serve as strategists and advisors for major characters.
Song Zining knew Qianye didn’t quite understand, so he gave him a brief explanation of the origin tide. Over the course of several hundred years, the origin power flow of the world would undergo an undulation from high to low, and then cycle back from low to high—it was like a huge ocean tide. Why such a thing would happen was highly disputed, with no conclusion up to this day.
The empire’s history was short. The data they had wasn’t sufficient for research since there hadn’t been many origin tides since its founding. Evernight boasted a longer history, but they only relied on their inherent power and bloodlines. They couldn’t be bothered to engage in systematic exploration and study like the Empire.
According to Lin Xitang’s deduction, the reason for the birth of the origin tides was probably because the entire world was revolving around an unknown target. One complete revolution meant one complete origin tide.
This theory was so shocking that few among the upper echelons of the empire believed it. The experts had long since begun the process of exploring the void, but there was only an endless nothingness beyond the peripheral continents. Not to mention an end, there wasn’t even a place to land along the way. No one could say if there was any place in the boundless darkness where one could establish a foothold. Not even the supremes on the sacred mountain could see through the sable expanse.
The numerous stars in the void looked close, but they were actually at a distance enough to make one palpitate in despair.
No one in the imperial court paid attention to Lin Xitang’s hypothesis. It was just a guess to both the emperor and his ministers. Even if it was real, it wasn’t as important as Lin Xitang’s accomplishments against the rebels on the Western Continent. Besides, the Empire and Evernight had been fighting numerous major battles, wars that would determine the empire’s fate. If the empire ceased to exist, it was no use even if they could prove the earth was round.
To Qianye, the things Song Zining was saying were too deep and profound. It was even more difficult to understand than the inheritance from the River of Blood. Comparatively, it was easier to kill a marquis.
The seventh young master wasn’t expecting him to understand, either. He returned to the main issue after briefly explaining the origin tide.
The current tide was at its trough, but very soon, it would reach the highest and calmest point in several hundred years. During this period, the origin tempests raging through the passage would calm down quite a bit. At least, it would no longer be impossible to pass through. If that were to happen, a stable passage into the Great Maelstrom would be formed here.
Although it would be relatively calmer, the tempests were still there. Even so, the value of such a passage was self-evident. Evernight and the Empire would likely fight a war over this passage, and the forces in the neutral lands would likely get involved as well—it would surely be chaotic.
Song Zining had lured Li Kuanglan and Ji Tianqing over not long after arriving in the neutral lands. On one hand, they would serve as reinforcements, while on the other, it was a gambit for the battle to come. That was also why he had chosen Southern Blue to make his stand instead of developing quietly on the Northern Continent.
Qianye listened to everything quietly before saying, “Do you think we’re suited to fight for the empire?”
“You don’t plan to stand on the Evernight’s side, do you?”
Qianye remained silent. Song Zining’s smile became increasingly forced until he finally heaved a long sigh.
Qianye said, “Why not? You should’ve sensed just now. My blood energy has far surpassed my daybreak origin power. By vampire standards, I’m almost a marquis already. Now I’m finding it increasingly difficult to control the development of my blood energy. Perhaps one day, it’ll completely suppress my daybreak origin power and turn me into a vampire.”
Qianye hesitated for a while. “And, if… she finally goes back to Evernight and asks me to join, I will.”
“Will you really?”
“Let it be.” Song Zining slapped Qianye’s shoulder unceremoniously. “Do you think it’ll be a good thing if she goes back to Evernight? You should be clearer than I am.”
“The Empire…” Qianye smiled wryly and shook his head.
“I understand, you do not wish to fight for such an empire.”
Qianye sighed. “Indeed.”
“The same goes for me, but how can we watch with folded arms when the time comes?” Song Zining laughed wryly.
“It'll only allow the current empire to go on, what’s the point?”
“The point is something we can decide later, but we have to work on the present first. Even if we don’t fight this war, can we escape it? We’ve already fled to the neutral lands.”
Seeing Qianye’s gloomy expression, Song Zining laughed, “We have to fight either way since the passage is in the neutral lands.”
Qianye snorted. “I’m not interested. I’ll just hide on the Northern Continent if worse comes to worst.”
“You’re really not fighting? The marine lotus only grows in the Great Maelstrom!” Song Zining’s smile was evil.
“...” Qianye snorted heavily to express his dissatisfaction.
Ji Tianqing’s voice echoed nearby after Qianye’s departure. “Are you that confident?”
This Young Miss had been hiding in the room since who knew when. With her capability, Qianye naturally couldn’t sense her.
Song Zining sighed softly. “Ignore what he says. When the fight breaks out and he finds out we’re on the battlefield, he’ll naturally come back.”
“Not us, just you,” Ji Tianqing said.
“No, it’s us. He’ll come even if it’s just you.”
Something flickered through Ji Tianqing’s eyes. She then slapped Song Zining’s shoulder so hard that he almost fell to the floor. “Next time, speak louder when you do naughty stuff. I can’t hear clearly, otherwise.”
With that, she vanished again before Song Zining could find his footing.
Song Zining inhaled deeply and finally stabilized himself. “Damn brat! Such a heavy blow, you think I can’t see through your thoughts?”
The month that followed was fairly calm.
There were quite a lot of abnormalities under the seemingly calm situation. The number of people and goods flowing through Southern Blue had increased again, and the originally tight streets were now highly congested. People were cursing about the crowds and traffic but, at the same time, were quite happy about their heavy purses.
The construction speed of the workshops saw a sharp increase as a steady stream of materials poured into the city. Time meant gold coins to the merchants. Once these factories had been completed, each day that it was empty meant a day of loss. Hence, every trade-company was recruiting craftsmen and technicians in advance.
The industrial system in Southern Blue had already taken shape and one could already build an entire warship here. All but the dumbest people could see that this was a massive opportunity, and hence the increased investments. New investment meant increased men and resources, resulting in a positive cycle.
As a vast amount of wealth gathered in Southern Blue, how to safeguard this wealth became an important issue. In the face of solid gold coins, the forces of Seagaze and Tidehark became less and less important. Even Zhang Buzhou’s deterrence became fairly light in comparison. All of the merchants supported Song Zining when he suggested building up the city’s defensive power and cannon towers, forking out money and manpower in quick succession. As they saw it, the bigger the stationed army, the better, even if the scale of their forces had begun to threaten those of Tidehark and Seagaze.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
TL: Legion ED: Moxie