On the holy mountain of Tidehark, Luo Bingfeng was standing in front of the window, gazing at the lights in the city below.
The door behind him opened and a maid walked in. “City Lord, young miss has coughed blood three times now. Do you think…”
Luo Bingfeng’s hands trembled slightly. “No need to disturb her.”
The maid drummed up some courage and said, “But, she’s frighteningly pale.”
“I said there’s no need to disturb her!” Luo Bingfeng’s voice rose sharply.
Shocked out of her wits, the maid uttered “I obey” before quickly taking her leave.
Luo Bingfeng looked up at the boundless leaden clouds in the sky. He knew that there was an inexplicably dangerous battle raging in the void beyond these skies.
He rapped the windowsill lightly, effectively demolishing an entire segment of the wall in the process. Although he had controlled his force, some overflowing power ended up escaping his containment and destroying the stone wall.
The cold wind whistled into the hole, reducing the temperature in the room. The cup of warm tea on the table immediately turned cold and the cup began to crack.
The gust was frosty but not as cold as Luo Bingfeng’s heart.
The doors were flung open as the maid charged in frantically. “Sire, things don’t look good! The protective talisman you gave the young miss has been activated!”
“What!?” Luo Bingfeng turned pale. He turned about and vanished through the door, shoving the maid away in the process.
The maid clambered up eventually, but her face was pale and there was a trickle of blood seeping from her mouth. Apparently, she had suffered quite a bit, yet she endured the pain and followed the city lord.
In a side room across the courtyard, a pale-looking woman was lying in bed. Her breath was as faint as a gossamer thread, and the streaks of blood on her clothes were fairly eye-catching. The entire room was in disarray, almost as though it had been swept by a wave of raging flames. The origin array set up on the floor was already half-destroyed with pieces of shattered crystal strewn across the room. Only a couple of them remained intact.
“Nan Nan, you! What happened?” Luo Bingfeng noticed a patch of charred black on the lady’s chest as he lifted her up, a trace left behind as the life-saving talisman exploded.
The woman smiled weakly as she reached out to touch Luo Bingfeng’s face. “Isn’t this normal?”
“You said it’s somewhat difficult! But now even the life-saving talisman has been activated! How is this just somewhat difficult?”
The woman coughed with some difficulty, spraying out some more blood. “I sensed a tremendous sense of enmity, so I wanted to investigate in greater detail. In the end, I attracted its attention and suffered a backlash.”
Luo Bingfeng frowned. “Now both the Empire and Evernight are on the way here. There must be some true undefeatable experts among them! Don’t tell me you don’t know? How willful!”
The woman shook her head. “I’m fairly careful of experts from Evernight and the Empire, I’ve also encountered people highly proficient in divination. But, they won’t attack proactively if I don’t get too close to them. The tremendous sense of hostility I mentioned belongs neither to the Empire or Evernight.”
Luo Bingfeng’s expression was serious. “How can you be so sure?”
The lady sighed. “I’m certain, but I can’t point out the reason. It’s just a feeling, I guess. You know how divination is.”
Luo Bingfeng nodded. “Okay, I’ll be careful, you take a good rest!”
He reached out to support the woman, but she grabbed his clothes restlessly, saying, “Bingfeng! That person is Zhang Buzhou! He wants to kill you! Do you still not trust me?”
Luo Bingfeng hesitated. “This is a grave matter, do you have proof?”
The woman gripped harder. “Proof? It’ll be too late by the time you see any proof. Bingfeng, leave with me and ignore everything here. You will die if you guard the holy mountain.”
Luo Bingfeng patted her lightly. “Rest assured, it’s not that easy to kill me on this mountain. Apart from that person on the Throne of Blood, who else can even come close? Even if that person is here, he’ll need to bring the Shattered Moment.”
“The holy mountain can suppress other people but not Zhang Buzhou. Don’t forget that this was his old ritual grounds.”
Luo Bingfeng smiled wryly. “Heavenly Monarch Zhang is my brother, someone who has saved my life before. Why would he kill me? Even though there are a lot of vile people around him, I believe that he’s not that dumb.”
“He only needs one reason to kill you. The neutral lands cannot have two heavenly monarchs!” The woman got straight to the point.
Luo Bingfeng was startled. He shook his head after a while, saying, “It’s not that easy to break through to the heavenly monarch realm. Just look at how many years Zhang Buzhou has been in isolation. I only found some clues after meeting you. Heavenly Monarch Zhang is my big brother, it’s the same whoever becomes a heavenly monarch first. Even if I take that step first, I would never have designs on his position. He will always be my big brother, Heavenly Monarch Zhang.”
His voice grew gentler as he spoke. He looked straight into the woman’s eyes and said, “You should know that I’m not interested in war and power, I only want you.”
“You might think that way, but Zhang Buzhou doesn’t.”
Luo Bingfeng said, “Big Brother knows how I think. There’s no need to discuss this further. I refuse to believe he’ll harm me without sufficient proof. He left the holy mountain in my care, so I must rise up to this responsibility. Humph, Evernight and the Empire might be powerful, but I’m not about to cower!”
The woman gave it some thought before sighing. “Fine, you’ll see that proof very soon.”
Luo Bingfeng lifted her up and inspected her thoroughly. Only after seeing that she was just weak and had no lethal injuries did he feel more relieved. It was just that she had been injured badly and it would take quite a while to recover.
“Nan Nan, I’ll send you back to rest. Just leave everything else to me, don’t worry.”
The woman nodded. “Bingfeng, there are numerous experts coming from both the Empire and Evernight. Even with the power of the holy mountain, you must be careful.”
Luo Bingfeng smiled radiantly. “Don’t worry! I’ve managed to live through so many lethal situations. This is nothing. Besides, with me near, they’ll have to step over my corpse if they want the holy mountain! Humph, be it Evernight or the Empire, they should know that they will have to pay several times the price to kill me! Now it’s time to see if they can pay that price.”
With that, Luo Bingfeng suddenly glanced at a maid who was standing in the opposite corner of the room. “Relay everything I said to your master.”
The girl turned pale. “City Lord, I don’t understand.”
Luo Bingfeng sneered. “I don’t care if you work for Evernight or the Empire, you just need to bring them my words and you will live. I don’t want to listen to your explanations. Either go or kill yourself now.”
The girl trembled as she performed a full salute toward Luo Bingfeng and left in due haste.
The city lord summoned another maid and said, “Have everyone disperse. We want to stay in peace and quiet during this period.”
”Yes, City Lord.”
Luo Bingfeng helped the woman back to her bedroom. By the time he walked back out, the courtyard was already devoid of human activity.
He looked up at the sky and muttered to himself, “Big Brother, will you betray me?”
Noone answered his question.
A storm was brewing.
The atmosphere inside Tidehark was austere. The vehicles and pedestrians all seemed to be in a hurry. Even passing close friends would only spare a nod at one another before heading on their own way.
From officers and nobles to ordinary civilians, almost everyone was arranging their luggage and valuables. Along the streets, there were people reinforcing their houses and windows.
The mobilization of a large fleet could hardly be hidden from people who were paying attention, let alone the purging of Seagaze. Song Zining had no intention of hiding things, either, as he converged virtually the entire force toward Tidehark.
The concentration of military power hadn’t been completed, yet the scale of it was already enough to shake every power. Tens of thousands of squads moved out, mostly consisting of mercenaries from the neutral lands. That aside, the most terrifying military force was the imperial fleet amassing in Southern Blue. Most of the warships there had shed their disguises and revealed their fangs. No matter how good the camouflage was, it would still impede the vessel’s fighting power. Since they could no longer hide, Song Zining decided to shed all pretenses and maximize fighting power.
This fleet was made up of dozens of warships, the finest the empire has to offer, boasting stronger firepower than any ordinary war vessel. The second-hand goods from the neutral lands weren’t a match for them at all. This fleet had already reached the scale of a regular squadron, and would’ve been able to campaign independently if it weren’t for the lack of a battleship-grade flagship.
With so many experts arriving from the empire, who could say they hadn’t hidden a warship somewhere? If not, how was one to explain the destruction of Linken’s fleet?
On paper at least, the imperial fleet was sufficient to sweep through the entire neutral lands. This was Song Zining’s greatest asset. If Luo Bingfeng couldn’t defeat all the imperial experts on his own and turn the tables around, the empire would be able to rely on this fleet to obtain victory.
Those with good foresight could tell that the situation would be quite dire, even if Luo Bingfeng could push back all of the imperial forces.
In the past, people would come to Tidehark to hide from the flames of war raging in other parts of the neutral land. This used to be a holy land, far removed from all the fighting, as neither the Wolf King nor the Spider Emperor dared to have designs on the city. Now that Song Zining was pointing his spear here, where else would the citizens run?
There was no escaping from battle.
Everyone was tough as nails in the neutral lands. Although the city was on the verge of war, most people weren’t panicked. They merely started making relevant preparations for the upcoming fight.
The civilians had no choice but to reinforce their homes and fight with their lives on the line. Those from the upper echelons showed more changes, some scurrying about in hopes of escaping the battle.
Amidst all this chaos, the movements of the top experts were naturally important. Among them, the Wolf King’s fortress was closest to Tidehark and the werewolf himself was one of the top experts in the Eastern Sea. Naturally, he was the center of everyone’s attention.
For many days, a steady stream of guests had been arriving at the castle.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
TL: Legion ED: Moxie