Chapter 942: Sacrifice

At this point, all the major trade companies were no longer holding back. A steady stream of gold coins converged into a deluge of investment that flowed into Southern Blue. Be it the workshops or the army and cannon towers, all of them were developing at a stunning pace. Every leading character understood the value of a manufactured warship. This kind of commodity would have the buyers lining up for them, and they would sell right off the assembly line.

The people in charge of the major families and companies were fighting for the chance to reach Southern Blue and place their orders. As long as they could get their hands on an airship, price was no longer important. If, for instance, the Xue family from Seagaze were to get their hands on an airship and the ones ranked below them couldn’t find a way to do so, they would be suppressed irreversibly.

Song Zining had long since released news that Southern Blue would be producing genuine warships. They would be at the military-grade and only a bit inferior to the empire’s most recent models.

An ordinary armed airship was like a child compared to a military warship. They just weren’t at the same level in terms of speed, defenses, and firepower.

In the eyes of real major characters, this was a glimpse of hope for the lands to become truly neutral. There’s no real guarantee without a powerful airship fleet. Even people as strong as the Throne of Blood and Zhang Buzhou were lacking in a fitting flagship compared to the bigshots from Evernight. Because of this, they were only able to rule over the neutral lands and incapable of contending against the great dukes and princes.

What they saw in Song Zining was the hope of a future flagship. This was also why the major powers behind the curtains never made a move despite Southern Blue developing with great fanfare.

As for the minor powers who wanted to take a bite out of this fat meat, they were either shocked out of their wits by the military might of Southern Blue or disabled by Qianye.

Qianye had no distractions during this period and was able to focus wholly on his daybreak origin power cultivation. According to the current progression, he would be able to break through to the next rank in a couple of months. This rate of cultivation would be extremely shocking in the empire, but Qianye was clear that his blood energy could no longer be suppressed once the war broke out—it would only be a matter of time before an advancement. This could be attributed to the effects of Life Plunder, the Song Clan Ancient Scroll, and the Book of Darkness. It was just that he had no good art to progress his daybreak origin power, and all he could do was keep working as was routine for him.

The Martyr’s Palace had been returned to the Northern Continent for the outfitting process. The draconic vessel was no longer a secret after its battle with Linken. The only thing that could give her a surprise was the speed of remodeling. According to Song Zining’s words, Linken would never have imagined that her main cannon would be installed and usable on the Martyr’s Palace. A single moment of carelessness and this main cannon would sink a battleship.

In most fights, the loss of a battleship at the beginning of a battle would immediately decide the outcome.

The Martyr’s Palace was like a tiger with wings after the addition of this main cannon. Landsinker was a long range weapon with big burst firepower, and the vessel was tough enough to gain the advantage in long-range artillery confrontations.

During this period, Ningyuan Heavy Industries sent two more waves of airships to the Northern Continent, delivering a large batch of skilled workers and required materials. At this point, Song Zining had already moved most of Ningyuan to the neutral lands. His core, reliable workforce was already on the Northern Continent. It could be said that he had bet his entire fortune.

Bluemoon was obviously full of worry amidst all the bustling activity. She summoned her tribesman to several secret meetings. Then, before long, another group of Highbeards arrived on the Northern Continent. The land was still a secret existence at the moment, so the arriving tribesmen had to undergo a series of precautionary procedures to be accepted. Additionally, they would not be able to leave after arriving. Even so, Bluemoon was intent on having more people join.

On the Northern Continent, the people from Ningyuan Heavy Industries had far surpassed the Highbeards, and they possessed a lot of advanced imperial technology as well. Hence, they were able to suppress the Highbeards in every field. The latter were born technicians and warriors, but they were still a nomadic tribe after all. Their technology really couldn’t compare to the thousand years of accumulation in the empire.

Bluemoon’s meetings were also reflected on a different front. An extra branch of Highbeard mercenaries appeared in Southern Blue to join Dark Flame under Song Zining’s command.

As the prosperous and peaceful days went on and on, those with the qualification to know some things gradually became nervous. In their eyes, there were strong undercurrents flowing beneath the tranquility. The longer the calm, the more dangerous it was.

The Throne of Blood’s Scarlet Palace was a legendary name both in the Empire and Evernight. This was where the young vampire built his first family in the neutral lands. There were only two simple stone houses back then, but today, it had become a massive palace—just as that lowly vampire back then had grown into one of the leaders of the neutral lands.

There were three figures prostrating at the center of the great hall. They were actually quite tall, but they looked tiny compared to the giant hall.

A young woman among them swayed unsteadily before falling to the ground. One of the other people rushed over to check on her, but the third person remained as still as a rock.

The man providing first-aid broke into a wail soon afterward. Apparently, that lady’s life could no longer be saved. Drowning in pain and anger, he stood up and charged toward the end of the great hall. There was no one there—only a tall throne, its dazzling scarlet hue declaring its identity. This was the Throne of Blood.

The young man had to stop after rushing out several steps because his ankles had been grabbed firmly by a jaded old man. The skin on his hands was like dried bark, yet this hand contained an undeniable power. The young man couldn’t extricate himself no matter how hard he tried.

The young man cried out in shock and anger, “Y-You clearly have so much strength left. Why did you not save her?”

The old man’s voice was low and raspy. “This is her fate. She was destined to meet this fate the moment she joined us.”

“Damn your fate! If fate is really like that, I won’t accept it, ever!”

The old man didn’t look up, but his voice contained a bit of compassion. “This is your fate, and mine. We can only accept it because there is no other way.”

The young man raised his voice. “No! You’re all lying! There’s no such thing as a fate that cannot be avoided. None! They killed her, and I want revenge!”

The old man sighed. “It’s no use. No amount of struggling will produce results in the face of fate. Have you not seen it?”

The young man felt sudden waves of pain from his leg. Looking down, he noticed that the old man had let go of him at one point. The dark red ground seemed to have come alive and wrapped itself around his ankle in the form of sanguineous vines. Moreover, they pierced deeply into his flesh. Shocked out of his wits, he wanted to break free, but it was all too late. His life force and energy flowed out from the wound like the tides. He became increasingly weak and eventually collapsed while covered in blood.

The blood formed a cocoon around him and wiggled for a moment before finally calming down and hardening into a cold surface.

A black-robed man emerged from a side door at the end of the tunnel. The person arrived before the elder and said, “Go back, you won’t last very long no matter how strong you are.”

“Why? Is our sacrifice not enough?”

“Indeed, the quantity is not sufficient.”

The old man remained silent for a long while. “We shoulder such heavy burdens of fate, how can there be enough of us? Our growth has to be hidden cautiously, afraid of being nipped in the bud. We don’t have any resources, either, not even for survival. The growth of the people here was founded upon the bones of their brothers and sisters.

The black-robed man said indifferently, “The master is not interested in your story. Even you won’t be able to leave if the master finds out.”

The old man remained unmoving on the floor. “Perhaps we don’t have enough power, but we have the same enemy.”

The black-robed man sneered. “That’s true, but you people aren’t qualified to fight shoulder to shoulder with the master.”

The old man said, “We don’t hope to fight alongside His Majesty. We have only brought news and advice, hoping His Majesty will recognize our sacrifice and accept our advice.”

The black-robed man was moved. “Say it, everything here will not escape the master’s perception. If your advice is useful, he’ll consider it.”

The old man said, “We’ve received news that the Evernight races have formed a coalition of airship fleets and are currently making for the neutral lands. Their target is the passage to the Great Maelstrom.”

The black-robed man remained calm. “And your advice?”

“His Majesty should team up with Zhang Buzhou and stop the Evernight fleet from entering the passage.”

The black-robed man’s voice turned chilly. “Did you ask our Master to join hands with Zhang Buzhou?”

“Yes. That’s the only way to stop them. A small sacrifice for the greater picture.”

The black-robed man hadn’t even finished speaking when a clear voice erupted in the hall. “Asking me to team up with Zhang Buzhou, what an outrageous notion. What’s the reason?”

The elder was overwhelmed with joy. “Is that you, Your Majesty?”

“Reason?” The voice became clearly impatient.

The elder replied, “We’ve more or less figured out the frightening future if they are allowed to occupy the passage. The sky will be filled with boundless flames, countless beings will perish.”

The voice only snorted.

The elder cried out, “Your Majesty, the Great Prophet had to pay with his life for this prophecy. And our lives are sacrificed just to prove it.”

“Since you crawlers like to sacrifice yourselves so much, I’ll help you out.”

With that, a wave of blood swelled up from the ground and drowned out the old man.

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-Legion-'s Thoughts

TL: Legion   ED: Moxie


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