Chapter 956: Whose Price?

It was a plausible explanation if this internal armor came from the imperial family. The empire had stood tall for a thousand years, and its bountiful accumulations weren’t something ordinary people could imagine. Even then, its characteristic of being able to withstand a void colossus’ suppression was priceless. Experts exploring the depths of the void would never refuse such a set of armor. On the contrary, it was less valuable to ordinary experts, and the weaker ones wouldn’t even be able to put it on.

Such a treasure would be ranked in the top ten even in the imperial treasury. How did Song Zining get his hands on it?

Thinking about that while trying the clothes on, he asked, “Zining, how many years did you sell to the empire?”

Song Zining laughed radiantly. “What are you talking about? I don’t understand.”

No small movement could escape Qianye’s notice. He pressed on with the matter, “What I mean is what did you have to promise them for this armor.”

Song Zining seemed rather relieved. “Someone delivered this treasure of their own free will.”

Qianye snorted distrustfully. “The imperial family sending over something like this? Not even a prince or princess can make such a decision, can they?”

“That person’s status… is much higher than a prince or princess.”

Qianye was even more skeptical. The imperial palace was highly hierarchical with many different levels in status, but only a handful of people could be higher in status than a prince or princess. Even an imperial consort was no greater than the more important princes. Someone like Consort Zhao, who had the support of the entire Zhao clan behind her, was merely equal in status.

A major character like that currying favor with Song Zining? Not to mention Qianye, even the seventh young master himself might not believe such a claim.

It didn’t take a lot of deliberation to figure out that, just like with the alloy formula, Song Zining had either paid a significant price or made a great contribution in exchange for a treasure that he thought would save Qianye’s life.

As clever as Song Zining was, he immediately noticed Qianye’s change in expression and figured out what he was thinking. He chuckled, saying, “The causes and effects related to this treasure are quite significant. The price involved is not small, either.”

“Makes sense.” Qianye recognized the value of the item, hence he waited quietly for Song Zining’s continuation.

Song Zining pulled tight the last bit of creases on the internal armor and said in satisfaction, “Now that’s a perfect fit if I’ve ever seen one. It won’t affect your movements at all in combat. With it, your chances of survival have increased by thirty percent.”

“Do you have that little confidence in me?”

“You’re facing Luo Bingfeng. Who can really say they understand him? Who can guarantee that what we know is the extent of his secret arts?”

Qianye had no reply to these questions.

Song Zining patted Qianye’s back. “So, survival is the most important. It’s worth paying any price as long as it can save your life. You have to believe in yourself. No matter how steep the price, it can be recouped as long as you remain alive. You’re a man who will reach the Sacred Mountain one day, how can you be suppressed by this small hurdle?”

Hearing this, Qianye sensed something wrong about the contents. “Wait a minute, you mean I’m the one who has to pay this price?”

“Of course! It’s your life we’re trying to protect. Don’t tell me I have to pay for it?”

“That’s not wrong, but…”

“No buts, the thing is already here and it’s already on your body. It’s too late for regrets!”

Qianye replied, “No, I’m not trying to go back on my words. I just wanted to know what the price is.”

Qianye wasn’t inflexible. No amount of preparation was excessive against an expert like Luo Bingfeng since staying alive was the most important objective. It was just that the feeling of not knowing what one owed was fairly uncomfortable.

At the critical juncture, Song Zining resumed his annoying flippant attitude. “You’ll know when the time comes.”

Qianye snorted coldly and simply decided not to press on with this matter. As long as the internal armor was intact, he could still return it in the end—at most, he would have to pay additional compensation.

What came next, however, stopped Qianye from smiling.

Song Zining opened the two boxes. A system of intricate mechanisms raised one syringe each from their containers. One of them was as yellow as a raging flame, and the other was red like boiling blood.

After seeing the two syringes, Qianye’s blood began to flow rapidly and his vitality increased by a small margin.

Song Zining shot Qianye a glance before closing the boxes again. “See them?”

Qianye took a deep breath. “One of them is a stimulant, and the other is a... regenerative medicine? But how come I’ve never seen this type? No, I’ve never even heard of it.”

Song Zining said, “This kind of medicine is top secret even in the empire. Only a dozen or so of them are produced every year, with most ingredients coming from the Great Maelstrom. There’s no way to make more even if you wanted to. You sensed the medicinal effects just now, right? What do you think?”

“It’s at least a thousand times more powerful than an ordinary drug, should be effective even for a divine champion.”

Song Zining scoffed. “Don’t mention divine champions, these medicines are useful even for heavenly monarchs. A divine champion might not get their hands on one such syringe in their entire lives. You’re very lucky, these are now yours. Don’t forget to use them before the battle tomorrow.”

“Wait, there must be a quota for such things. The empire has five heavenly monarchs and the emperor himself. Is it enough to split?”

Song Zining shrugged. “Of course not! Heavenly monarchs need them to oversee battlefields and explore the void. There’s never too many. The emperor and empress also need some reserves. In truth, such medicine will never be bestowed on anyone except people like Lin Xitang who have made great contributions to the empire. These are the instructions, take a look.”

With that, Song Zining passed over a piece of paper.

Qianye felt greatly distressed just from looking at the instruction manual. The medicines would quickly lose their effects after leaving their specialized origin arrays, hence one would need to use them before the battle. The stimulant served to activate the body’s potential and greatly increase one’s speed of origin power recovery. The rate of regeneration would be greatly magnified for someone of Qianye’s level, almost restoring him immediately.

That was all fine, still. The problem was that he also needed to use the regenerative medicine before the battle, and it would kick in once Qianye’s vitality reached a certain threshold. It would quickly repair the body and activate the user’s vitality, easily bringing a person back from the verge of death to an extremely active state. Using the two medicines together would increase their effectiveness. Even a heavenly monarch who had fallen into mortal peril would see a thread of hope for survival.

The more powerful a person was, the more they would value such an opportunity. It was the same for the empire as a whole—no price was too great to save the life of a heavenly monarch or experts who were close to that level.

But if Qianye didn’t encounter a life or death situation, the drug would be wasted.

The value of these two medicines was even greater than the armor, but they would be exhausted once used. How was Qianye to repay such a favor?

“Zining, where did these two medicines come from?”

“No need to ask, I won’t tell you even if you do. Anyway, just use them first and we can think of something after you survive. You’ll be able to repay any amount of debt as long as you’re alive.”

Qianye laughed wryly. “You speak so lightly of such a matter! How am I to repay such a debt? At least tell me who I’m indebted to?”

“You’ll know once the time comes.” The same words were repeated once more. Qianye really wanted to choke the man to death.

Seeing Qianye about to act up, Song Zining said, “There’s one more way to not accrue this debt, that is to not fight.”

Qianye remained silent for a moment. “That won’t do.”

Qianye’s Shot of Inception was a massive threat, even for Luo Bingfeng. This was the true restraint upon him. No matter how strong their defensive prowess, the two Yun-Family brothers wouldn’t last very long under the assault of an expert like Luo Bingfeng. An opening was bound to appear at one point. Once Luo Bingfeng could get away from the fight, he would naturally attack the brains of this operation, Song Zining. Then, he would target the peerless young geniuses like Li Kuanglan and Ji Tianqing. On the contrary, there was really no value in killing the two Yun brothers and the Li family elder.

Qianye would never allow Song Zining to fall into danger. Fortunately, he felt a bit more relieved that the debt was on him this time. At the very least, he wouldn’t owe Song Zining another favor.

Qianye put the two boxes into Andruil’s Space and refastened his robe. As for the internal armor, there was no need to remove it because he needed some time to get accustomed to the weight and characteristics.

Song Zining sent Qianye back to his residence before heading out to mind his own business.

It was a sleepless night in Southern Blue. In the wee hours of the morning, preformed groups of soldiers began moving out of the city in orderly succession, sending streams of steel flowing out into the distance.

The night sky was filled with the sounds of rumbling engines, steam whistles, and the hoarse shouts of the officers. At dawn, the warships took to the sky and began escorting large cargo shops toward Tidehark. These cargo vessels were full of materials used to quickly deploy defensive structures and siege equipment.

The citizens of the neutral lands couldn’t find sleep, all of them busy watching this unprecedented scene of magnificence. The nominal city lord of Southern Blue, Ji Rui, had been standing on the tower for an entire night, gazing absent-mindedly at the river of steel in the distance.

Guan Zhongliu stood nearby with a frown, filled with complicated emotions.

The mobilization of troops came to a temporary end as the first rays of the sun appeared. Ji Rui heaved a deep sigh. “Only ten thousand men, only ten thousand men!”

The neutral lands would often break out in big wars, and it wasn’t too rare to see a battle involving tens of thousands of people. However, most mercenaries were clad in simple gear that they had to procure on their own. That was also the reason why the quality of the armies here was mixed and vastly discrepant. Many of the weapons were hand made and the ammunition was unique to each of them, making supply logistics an almost impossible endeavor. There might as well be no supplies at all.

Most of the mercenaries in the neutral lands had never seen a formal war between the Empire and Evernight. They would never have imagined that every soldier would get a seat on the transports, that the omnipresent fleet up there was just to deliver supplies and ammunition. What’s more, they would never have thought these soldiers—uniformly armed to the teeth—would look so imposing.

“Are you willing to fight this lineup if I give you fifty thousand men?”

Guan Zhongliu shook his head with a serious expression.

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-Legion-'s Thoughts



TL: Legion   ED: Moxie

     

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