Next, this airship flew back along its original path and arrived at a small town near the Imperial borders. The crew let Qianye and Zhuji off here, where a different airship would take them back to the neutral lands. It seemed Eunuch Yang considered his job entirely done as he never appeared again along the entire journey.
Qianye was all too happy to get some peace and quiet, but he couldn’t help but wonder why Empress Li had said he had done well. Was she referring to the killing of the six-armed giant? That was Nighteye, and besides, no one in the Empire should know about it.
Those major characters loved playing with riddles, never saying things clearly. This was especially true of those who liked to dabble in divination.
While cursing inwardly, Qianye brought out that long box.
Since he couldn’t quite figure out Empress Li’s intentions, all he could do was see what she had given him. Someone of her stature couldn’t be too miserly with her gifts.
The box felt heavy in his hands. As he opened the container, a burst of red light erupted and filled the entire room with a ruby shade.
There was a dagger inside this box. It boasted a sharp sawtooth edge and a body filled with rippling wave patterns, constituting a cryptic magic array. The sword was embedded in the mouth of a monster, the horns of which formed the guard; its body, the hilt, and the tail ended in a small blade.
The design of this dagger was extremely intricate and complicated. Additionally, there was a charm to its craftsmanship that Qianye had never seen before in a vampiric blade.
Empress Li had actually gifted him a vampiric edge, and it was grade-eight in quality!
Qianye’s own vampiric weapon had been destroyed in the Great Maelstrom, and this would serve to fill in that gap. An ancient roar echoed in his head the moment he picked up the dagger, almost as though a powerful expert from an ancient race was roaring at the sky.
Qianye figured out its functions after some exploration. Apart from the basic ability to absorb blood, this blade possessed characteristics of supreme sharpness and durability. It wouldn’t be at a loss even when pitted against the old East Peak. Additionally, the body of this dagger could store a part of the absorbed essence blood and ignite it to launch a powerful attack.
Qianye sent a wisp of dark golden blood energy into the blade and watched as faint sanguine flames lit up on the edge. After trying it out a bit, he reckoned that an attack after sufficient essence blood accumulation would be equal to a blow from a marquis.
To most vampires, absorptive weapons were tools used to end life and not a primary weapon. This vampiric dagger was of extraordinary value since it could serve as one.
There was also a sheath inside the box with the dagger’s name, “Bloodmoon”, carved upon it. There was also a paper beneath the sheath explaining the origins of the dagger.
Bloodmoon used to be the weapon of a vampire duke who had fallen under the Martial Ancestor’s blade in a great battle. Thereafter, this vampiric edge fell into the hands of the Imperial clan and was kept in the treasury. In addition to its own value, Bloodmoon came with a thousand years of history, and that itself made the weapon priceless. The ancient craftsmanship set this blade apart from all modern products.
This Bloodmoon was a great fit for Qianye’s identity and also happened to be extremely practical. This went to show how much thought the Empress had put into this. Yet, what had Qianye done to deserve such a generous boon?
He was rather puzzled and still couldn’t make heads or tails of it after some contemplation. So, he stopped thinking too much and simply placed the dagger in Andruil’s space.
At this point, the cabin shook slightly and a voice outside the room said, “We’re landing soon. General, please pack up your things.”
Qianye only had a small bag as luggage since most of his things were in Andruil’s space. After landing, he followed the attendant onto the deck and saw several unmarked jeeps near the landing area.
Qianye boarded one of the vehicles with Zhuji and was taken to a quiet hotel in a small town. After settling him in, that attendant passed over a token, saying, “This permit will get you anywhere within this town, as long as you don’t leave the area. My lord has already made arrangements for your arrival. It’s just that we’ll need a couple of days to get an airship, so please wait patiently.”
“Who is your lord?”
The servant pointed above. “My lord is related to that person, but that’s all I can tell you.”
That person was likely referring to Empress Li since it couldn’t be the Emperor. That someone related to Empress Li had to be Li Kuanglan. It made perfect sense since the two girls had left the Great Maelstrom a bit earlier.
Feeling relieved, Qianye sent the attendant away and returned to his small courtyard to check the token.
There was a small origin array on the object that acted as a key to restriction arrays. It had no other use apart from that.
This small town was constructed specifically for the special Imperial units stationed near the Great Maelstrom entrance, and normally, it could only be accessed via a special passage. There was no idle person in this town, and since it was a military encampment, there were all sorts of armories and workshops.
As a temporary camp for those exiting the Great Maelstrom, there were establishments where people could sell the resources they had brought back. However, the prices offered here were nothing to write home about since it was offered by the Empire. People exiting the maelstrom would normally have to contribute a set amount of resources, and the amount and value had long since been determined.
Since Qianye had obtained Empress Li’s favor, his submission quota had been waived. That was also a part of his reward.
The attendant had also mentioned that there were a few stores in town operated by the major clans, and the prices offered there were fairly good. The one operated by the Song clan was known for buying just about anything. The man suggested that Qianye could head over there to exchange some origin crystals.
Qianye had told the attendant that he hadn’t brought anything because he had to escape in a hurry, effectively stopping the man from further probing.
At this moment, Qianye was still hiding the Marine Lotus, along with the white-fruit wine, rare medicinal herbs, and other good things inside Andruil’s space, filling every little corner without care. Just a random handful of these materials would cause a great commotion, and there was no telling if people would have untoward intentions out of greed. Qianye’s identity was a rather sensitive subject, and he would have nothing to say if someone were to cause trouble about it.
He was still on the Qin Continent. In order to get to the neutral lands, he would still need to transit through the Transcendent or Western Continent. Judging from the attendant’s words, it would seem he had planned to see Qianye to the transit point. The latter would be free to do whatever he wanted afterward.
The airship that would take Qianye to the Western Continent arrived after one day of waiting. This was a rather considerate arrangement because the continent was run by the Zhao clan, and those who wanted to bring him harm would need to think twice. It was rumored that the Zhao clan had pulled a lot of strings when Qianye escaped the Empire, almost erupting in open hostilities with the army.
Qianye wasn’t idle during this one day. When he was not cultivating the Mystery Chapter, he would be busy reading the Book of Darkness. Although the newest chapter merely replayed the evolution of the world, the vicissitudes of the passing millennia would shake him whenever he glanced at it. He gained a different idea regarding the channeling of origin power, and his aura became more cryptic.
A knock came from the door at noon as the attendant returned. “General, the airship has been prepared. You can board now if you have nothing else to do here.”
Nodding, Qianye walked out of the little courtyard with little Zhuji in his arms.
“General, an important person wishes to see you. Umm… you should decide whether you want to meet him or not.” The attendant was hesitant.
“Who wanted to see me?” Qianye was curious about the man’s attitude.
The attendant hadn’t even replied when a powerful, metallic voice arrived from outside the door, “It is I, Li Qingyun of the Li clan.”
Qianye had heard of this name before. He had investigated the genius experts of the Li clan back when he was at odds with them. Li Qingyun was the strongest among the family’s younger generation and had gained fame for a while now. According to hearsay, this person’s talent stood head and shoulder above people like Zhao Junhong. As one of the top young experts of the Empire, he might even be stronger than Zhao Yuying.
It was just that he couldn’t quite compare to the midday sun that was Zhao Jundu. The same would apply to every other genius.
Li Qingyun had no previous association with Qianye. Why would he suddenly want to see him? Qianye had only been out of the Great Maelstrom for one day. Having arrived as quickly as he did proved that the person had been nearby all along. Was this a coincidence? Or had he been waiting?
Qianye walked out of the courtyard and faced the young man.
Li Qingyun was clad in a scholarly green robe, but his eyes glistened with a sharp sword-like radiance. His entire person was comparable to an unsheathed blade.
Seeing Qianye, the man drew his sword without further words. “I always hear that General Qianye’s skills are comparable to Zhao Jundu’s, that you’re unmatched under the divine champion realm. There’s really no way to tell if these claims are true or false. Let us spar to prove it.”
These words weren’t very polite, and Li Qingyun didn’t bother to hide the disgust in his expression. Qianye was baffled as to when he had offended this person, but then again, he had offended the Li family quite a bit. Perhaps this person was seeking revenge for a relative.
Qianye put Zhuji down to the side. “If Brother Li wants to spar, then I have no reason to refuse.”
“Fine, let’s see how capable you are!” Li Qingyun clenched his teeth. The sword in his grasp erupted into a bolt of lightning that streaked toward Qianye.
The latter had no intention of evading. An ancient aura embodying the passage of a million years seeped out as Qianye met the sword with a punch.
Moments later, Qianye walked toward the airship with little Zhuji in his arms. The smiling attendant also followed along. He would occasionally steal a backward glance, his eyes exuding unclear implications.
Li Qingyun’s clothes were tattered and ragged. He was left gazing blankly at the broken sword fragments on the ground, his hand on the empty hilt trembling slightly.
Qianye’s vision expanded as the airship rose into the air. He gazed down at the distant ground with an empty feeling in his chest—there really was no point in exchanging pointers with anyone below the divine champion realm.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
TL: Legion ED: Moxie