However, several green bamboos appeared between the two people. The plant was positively exuberant, with leaves as sharp as blades. The bearded man charging at Qianye was shocked—his expert’s intuition forced him to retreat and avoid this dangerous bamboo. Qianye, on the other hand, was able to see through the illusion and was hence unaffected by his reflexes. However, he could tell that this Bamboo was something Song Zining had conjured. Since the man had arrived, Qianye decided to contain his anger and refrain from attacking.
The seventh young master arrived in a hurry. He had just arrived when that short-bearded man shouted, “Seventh Young Noble, why are you stopping me from capturing this lawless brigand?”
Song Zining was clearly unhappy, but he restrained his words. “General Yan must be mistaken. This is Dark Flame’s commander, how can he be a lawless brigand?”
“Who’s that? I only know you around here.”
Song Zining had never expected Yan Ding would be so rude. His expression changed drastically despite his upbringing, but even then, he was still able to maintain a smile. “Sire Qianye is the commander of Dark Flame. I only do some miscellaneous jobs under his command.”
Almost everyone in the empire knew Qianye’s name—the one who defeated the Demoness, charged into the military base to snatch Nighteye away from Li Fengshui’s custody, and then escaped under the watch of a divine champion. Many people believed that Qianye wasn’t inferior to Zhao Jundu in terms of talent and combat strength.
Song Zining had announced Qianye’s name in hopes of shaking Yan Ding, at least preventing him from wanton action.
However, Yan Ding was determined not to give Qianye any face. “Qianye? Who’s Qianye? I’ve never heard of anyone by that name.”
At this point, Song Zining could no longer endure. He said with a cold expression, “General Yan, now you’re being unreasonable. After all, Dark Flame is Qianye’s. I only allowed you to camp here, not become the masters of this place.”
Yan Ding was startled, not expecting Song Zining to say such words. “Seventh Young Noble is indeed sharp with his words.”
Song Zining put his fan away and said with a dry laugh, “For better or worse, I’ve also worked in the military before and seen many things under Prince Greensun’s leadership.” The meaning behind his words was that he also had deep roots in the military and wasn’t someone so easy to provoke.
Yan Ding naturally understood the meaning, but he wasn’t going to play along. “Too bad Prince Greensun is no longer in the army.”
Song Zining replied calmly, “He might’ve left, but who in the military dares to disobey him?”
Yan Ding’s expression turned ugly. Song Zining was right—the empire might be powerful, but they still had to rely on their clans and heavenly monarchs in war. Just like on the void continent, a war of that scale couldn’t be conducted without Zhang Boqian and the Pointer Monarch at the helm, and the major clans working to defend their own warzones.
The top experts of the empire were distributed among the imperial family and the clans. The only one who belonged to the military was Longevity Monarch. Strictly speaking, the man wasn’t entirely military-bound, either—perhaps half at most.
The young powers within the military who harbored deep hatred regarding this situation gradually became the core strength of the imperial party.
Yan Ding sneered, “Seventh Young Noble is right, Prince Greensun’s strength is peerless and naturally no one would dare to disobey. Then again, His Excellency’s relationship with the Song clan was never harmonious. Isn’t it a bit forced to consider yourself one of his men?”
Song Zining laughed indifferently. “The Song clan’s situation is unrelated to me. Let me speak some big words, few in the entire empire would turn me away if I were to swear loyalty.”
Yan Ding was stoppered up. Song Zining had long since found fame as a peerless talent in military strategy while also maintaining his personal cultivation. Although inferior to Zhao Jundu in terms of overall ability, he was widely accepted as a character destined to reach the divine champion realm. Any faction would be willing to pay a steep price for such a person.
At the thought of this, Yan Ding’s expression relaxed a bit. “I naturally know of Seventh Young Noble’s genius. It’s just that, there’s no need for you to be associating with Qianye. Your actions might be destroying your future.”
Qianye had remained silent all this time and only spoke up when his name was mentioned, “Since you attacked me knowing who I was, perhaps you really think you’ve lived too long. Don’t tell me you think you can survive three minutes against me?”
Yan Ding was furious. “How dare a vampire utter such ravings? If General Lu didn’t show mercy, how could you have escaped Indomitable? You survived by a fluke, yet you dare act so wantonly here. Do you really think the empire can’t do anything to you just because you’re hiding in the neutral lands?”
Yan Ding laughed grimly at this point, seemingly remembering something. “That vampire slut was struck by General Li’s Chaos Millstone. She’d be a cripple by now even if not dead. What’s the point in saving her? She should’ve become a corpse already, right?”
Qianye’s expression turned dark, but Song Zining shouted before he could do anything, “Shut up!”
Yan Ding looked back. “What advice does Seventh Young Master have?”
Song Zining took a deep breath. “You really aren’t afraid of death, it seems.”
Yan Ding replied, “I’ll have you know that I’m an imperial general. You look like you still want to return to the empire, right? Do you dare kill me? Aren’t you afraid you’ll close your path back to the empire?”
Qianye patted Song Zining’s shoulder. “Do you still want to persuade me to return now?”
Song Zining’s expression was ashen. He pointed at Yan Ding’s nose and cursed, “If you disrupt my business, you’ll have to face the consequences! The empire did not send you here to stir up trouble. You can leave now if that’s what you’re here for!”
Yan Ding looked back at his soldiers. “You hear? They don’t welcome us, let’s go!”
As arrogant and fierce as they were, the soldiers broke into a roar. At this moment, a fair number of Dark Flame mercenaries had also gathered behind Qianye and Song Zining. These people were also causing quite the ruckus, flailing curses and shouts at Yan Ding’s group.
Song Zining tapped his palm lightly with his fan. “You’re all clear about my identity. If you want to leave, that’s fine, you must leave the warships behind. And let me remind you, you can walk out of this place, but you might not be able to leave Southern Blue. Even if you could leave the city, don’t ever think about returning to the empire.”
Yan Ding was trembling from anger. “Seventh Young Noble, you must remember that I’m an imperial general. No matter how capable you are, you probably can’t handle the crime of harming an imperial officer.”
Song Zining replied, “Hindering progress in war is a great crime. You won’t be able to shoulder the blame if the important matter at hand is delayed, not even Lu Junyi can. These warships belong to the empire, not Yan Ding.”
Yan Ding was still furious, but the soldiers behind him were shaken. Song Zining continued after noticing this, “Although I’m here right now, I haven’t abandoned my assets back in the empire. I have people in the imperial palace who can smooth out some minor problems for me. Heh heh, an expired marshal can’t compare to the people behind me.”
Yan Ding halted his steps. “What’s the meaning of this?”
Song Zining replied frankly, “A former marshal who has already drained his potential at the divine champion threshold has no hope of progress at all. He’s able to drift along only because of his past achievements. Heh heh, does he think people don’t know the little tricks he’s been playing?”
Yan Ding was livid, unable to continue this conversation. The soldiers behind him also looked at one another and seemed to have lost most of their morale. Someone like Song Zining naturally wouldn’t spout nonsense. According to him, it would seem Lu Junyi had done some inappropriate things, but the imperial court turned a blind eye in consideration of his past contributions. The influence of such a person would be weaker in both civil and military matters.
Song Zining pointed at Qianye, saying, “Marshal Lu wasn’t able to capture Qianye back in Indomitable. He’s here right now. You can go and tell Marshal Lu that he can come here to engage in a fight to the death.”
Yan Ding was skeptical. “Don’t tell me you think he can fight Marshal Lu?”
Song Zining turned to Qianye. “What do you think?”
Qianye’s thoughts returned to that night. After a moment, he said, “These things have long since passed, there’s no point in killing him".
Yan Ding’s expression changed drastically. In the end, he said in disbelief, “Since you've said so, I’ll comply of course.”
With that, he turned back into the courtyard, shouting, “What are you all looking at? Go back in! Dismiss the sentries, too, they’re nothing more than decorations.”
Song Zining glanced at Yan Ding’s receding figure, and then dismissed the Dark Flame soldiers as well. He then went back into Dark Flame headquarters with Qianye in tow. After entering the office, Qianye asked, “Where did those people come from?”
Song Zining replied, “You must’ve figured out by now that they’re from the empire. Yan Ding is an imperial naval squadron commander, leading one of the empire’s core forces. He arrived ahead of the main fleet in hopes of taking over the passage. I let them camp in Dark Flame in order to hide their tracks. Of course, that will only serve to hide them from the Evernight side. There’s no way to deceive the local thugs here.”
“They don’t look like they want to hide themselves,” Qianye replied.
“They have to fight sooner or later, so it doesn’t matter. The imperial aristocracy are also arriving in succession, even faster than the military. The things they really need to hide are the warships they’ve brought along.”
“You summoned me here urgently, are we going to fight now?”
“The location of the passage has been confirmed, and we’re only waiting on detailed analysis. However, the location is fairly problematic.” Song Zining opened up the map and pointed to a certain location. “According to my deductions, the entrance is probably here!”
Qianye glanced over and saw Song Zining pointing at Tidehark.
Qianye had confronted the city more than once and knew that it was filled with powerful experts. The city lord himself was shockingly powerful. Qianye and Ji Tianqing might’ve died if it weren’t for their good luck.
Now that this tunnel was opening in Tidehark City, it wasn’t surprising that Song Zining found it difficult.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
TL: Legion ED: Moxie