Southern Blue was Qianye’s foothold in the neutral lands. The new Dark Flame had been trained, and Song Zining’s arrival had brought about a large workshop system that could build Imperial standard warships. Currently, there was no sign of warships, nor main cannons, but they could already start building major civilian-airship components. It wouldn’t be long before they could start building entire vessels.
Song Zining had funneled his entire fortune here, moving most of Ningyuan Heavy Industries over in order to construct warships. The project was of utmost importance because this was also the only hope for completing the Martyr's Palace.
Hence, Song Zining’s words shocked Qianye quite a bit.
Southern Blue had accumulated a massive amount of wealth, enough to make experts like the Wolf King drool over it. Since Qianye, Song Zining, and Ji Tianqing were all in the Great Maelstrom, it could be said that the city was without a leader. The Imperial forces were still in the neutral lands during their departure, but they would also be in danger after the aristocratic forces had left.
It was only natural that both the army and the dark races would’ve retreated. This would make Southern Blue an empty fortress. Although Caroline could be trusted, it would be difficult for her to hold the entire city alone.
Qianye was even stronger now than when he was in the Great Maelstrom and might be able to bring the city under control if he were to rush back. Even the Wolf King himself wouldn’t be able to kill Qianye and, considering his injuries, would have to be cautious at all times.
Evaluating his own combat strength, the Shot of Inception was naturally ranked first. Now, a third feather had started to turn grey and would become dark before long. The Shot of Inception was related to his blood energy rank—the higher it was, the more often he could fire and at greater firepower.
Heartgrave would become usable after Qianye’s daybreak origin power had reached rank sixteen. At the very least, he wouldn’t be utterly drained after each shot. For now, he could only run after firing once.
With the upgraded Shot of Inception and Heartgrave, Qianye could now go toe-to-toe with ordinary divine champions. There was no need to fear them so much anymore.
Despite that, Qianye couldn’t help but feel worried about Southern Blue. His main concern was the well-hidden Zhang Buzhou. This so-called Heavenly Monarch Zhang had acted fairly weak against the true outsider experts, especially when the Eternal Flame arrived in the Eastern Sea and, quite literally, sat outside his door. He never even made an appearance, acting as though he were in secluded meditation.
Qianye knew that Luo Bingfeng’s death was partly related to Zhang Buzhou’s secret intervention, so this isolation was a joke to him.
Qianye had no way to deal with this person right now. If worse came to worst, perhaps only Nighteye would be able to salvage the situation.
At the thought of her, Qianye’s emotions became complicated. Who would’ve thought he would need to be saved by her not long after he had claimed he would help her up the Sacred Mountain? If she hadn’t beheaded the six-armed giant, there was no telling how long he would be trapped there.
Qianye continued reading with a sigh.
The contents of Song Zining’s letter were rather diverse. It primarily explained the distribution of work among the many workshops of Southern Blue, the people in charge of each block, as well as their relationships. The summary was fairly detailed, so much so that it even laid out future development plans. It looked like he wouldn’t ever appear again.
Toward the end, the letter read, “That’s the gist of things. As long as the city goes in this constant direction, you can do whatever you want. About the Great Maelstrom passage, I need to think of a way…”
Qianye fell into contemplation after reading the letter. Now that Song Zining was no longer here, he would need to do everything personally. He was at a momentary loss with so many things to tackle.
His top priority was, of course, to get stronger. He would have enough power to play this game of power struggle only after stepping into the divine champion realm.
Qianye cultivated day and night along the way, and read the Book of Darkness’ Flourish Chapter in his spare time. He had an increasingly strong feeling that the changes in origin power throughout evolution contained the secrets of this entire universe. Referencing it would allow him to increase his understanding of origin power utilization.
Before this period, Qianye felt that his combat techniques had reached their limit for improvement. Before the vicissitudes of the universe, however, there was really no limit to speak of.
Each passing day saw Qianye’s aura turning slightly deeper.
The airship stopped outside of Southern Blue where Qianye and Zhuji got off. Before disembarking, the captain said, “Seventh young master said someone from the Empire might come looking for you.”
“Naturally, it’s for the things you brought out from that place. Seventh young master says you can go all out without holding back.”
Qianye had indeed returned with a good harvest, but it would be troublesome to bring them out as most of them had no market price. After some calculation, there wasn’t much that he could sell.
After descending, Qianye didn’t return to the city immediately. Instead, he brought Little Zhuji to the edge of the continent. His newfound strength allowed him to reach the airship in just one day.
Nighteye’s voice echoed in his ears, “You’re here.”
Her words were calm and indifferent, almost as though she were talking to a stranger.
Qianye took a deep breath. “Thanks for the help back in the Great Maelstrom.”
“No need, I should be the one thanking you instead.”
For some reason, Qianye felt that her words contained some hidden mockery. Although he couldn’t figure out what was wrong, he only kept silent as it wasn’t appropriate for him to ask in greater detail. “I’ve obtained something suitable for you. It’s hard to preserve, so I brought it over immediately.”
With that, Qianye produced the Marine Lotus. The flower—wrapped in Venus Dawn—had been preserved at the moment of its blooming.
Nighteye’s emotions fluctuated slightly upon seeing the Marine Lotus. “It’s indeed useful to me. Who would’ve thought you actually got it, how much of a price did you have to pay?”
“Things just worked out by chance, I didn’t have to pay anything,” Qianye replied.
Nighteye didn’t ask about the details. A wisp of blood energy appeared from the warship and swept the lotus inside. That thick, sturdy airship wall was nothing before her powers. Her powers of this space alone made one sigh in admiration.
After putting away the Marine Lotus, Nighteye’s voice became gentler. “This gift will only hasten my awakening, have you thought this through?”
Qianye sighed. “I can’t ignore your damaged spirit.”
“But the Nighteye of the past won’t return.”
Qianye remained silent. That was a knot in his heart that could never be undone. Was the past Nighteye real or was the current one genuine? Perhaps there would never be an answer to this question.
Seeing Qianye silent, Nighteye said, “Dummy, don’t do things like this anymore. Also… don’t visit me anymore.”
Qianye trembled slightly. “Why?”
“My location is no longer a secret. People from the council will arrive soon, and I still don’t know what kind of choice I’ll make after a complete awakening. Maybe I’ll rejoin the council, or maybe I’ll avoid them. Regardless, I won’t be staying around.”
“How… do I find you?”
“There’s no way, and there’s no need. Wait until you can suppress the Evernight Council, else you’ll just be courting death.”
Qianye sighed. “But that’s too long.”
“What else can you do? To the humans, you’re a vampire, and to the sacred races of Evernight, you’re a human. Your resounding fame in the Empire is built upon the murder of the Evernight races. How can this enmity be forgotten? You’ll be surrounded and hunted down if you dare come over.”
“I’m not afraid of death.”
“There are many types of being unafraid of death, just as there’s courage but there’s also stupidity. Do you think you’re one of those people who would give in to stupidity?”
Qianye had no reply.
Nighteye said in a gentle voice, “You’re not to blame in this. You’re already very outstanding, and the only thing you need is time.”
Qianye was already improving at a rapid pace, but he would still need some time to reach the apex. Yet, he was also in a position where time was the scarcest. There was no path to hurry ahead.
The warship became silent. Jared arrived beside him at some point and stood quietly for a while. Seeing Qianye immobile, he said with a dry cough, “Sire Qianye, it’s time to go.”
Nodding, Qianye followed Jared out of the valley. He then asked as the marquis came to a stop, “Will this place be empty the next time I come?”
“The master never tells me about her matters. As such, I have no answer to your question.”
Qianye nodded, but the loneliness on his expression wouldn’t fade away. He walked away with Little Zhuji in his arms and finally vanished into the snowstorm.
Jared didn’t return immediately. He watched Qianye’s receding figure with a complicated expression, muttering to himself, “Sire Qianye has become more powerful again. It seems I must really call him sire from now on.”
Before, Jared knew he could hold his own against Qianye, but this time, he couldn’t even muster the courage to fight. Jared’s bloodline was special in that he was very perceptive toward other experts’ strength. This was the reason he had lost the will to fight and surrendered to Nighteye back then.
Currently, Qianye was beginning to give him such a feeling as well.
Jared glanced at the warship and sighed. “Master… sigh, too bad. He just had to meet my master.”
It was at this moment that Jared seemed to notice a figure amidst the blizzard. When he looked carefully, however, there was nothing—it was as though he was seeing things.
Puzzled, Jared arrived before the warship and checked everywhere in the vicinity. However, he still couldn’t find any traces.
“Was I seeing things?” he muttered to himself.
When the first rays of dawn fell upon the land, Qianye was already outside of Southern Blue. He put Little Zhuji down and said, “Wake up, we’re home.”Previous Chapter Next Chapter
TL: Legion ED: Moxie