Not knowing whether the fellow was dead or alive, Zhuji didn’t dare play with him anymore. She flew up and handed the man to Qianye, saying, “I’ve captured him.”
Qianye looked rather absent-minded, as though he were thinking of something, and only recovered when he saw the dirty, ragged man. He engulfed the man in a wave of origin power and kept him afloat in the air.
This person was so swollen and bruised that it was hard to see his appearance. He was currently on his last gasp—if it wasn’t for the unchanging aura, Qianye would hardly recognize the man who had been hooting at him a while ago.
Qianye flicked a wisp of blood energy into the young man’s body. The moment the blood energy entered his body, the man immediately felt an indescribable pain—it was as though every small muscle fiber in his body was on fire. This inhumane torment made him scream in agony, his expression contorted and his body spasming. However, the pain disappeared just as he was about to lose consciousness.
“Are you sober now?” Qianye asked.
Trembling uncontrollably, he looked up at Qianye with eyes full of terror and hatred.
“You don’t look that comfortable, but that’s fine. Tell me why you’re here in Southern Blue.”
He hadn’t finished the question when he shook his head in self-deprecation. “Nevermind, I shouldn’t have asked such a useless question. Tell your subordinates to surrender if you don’t want them all wiped out.”
The fight in the city was still ongoing. Apparently, some people hadn’t surrendered yet and were offering firm resistance. The fighting was fierce in some of the critical areas like the Dark Flame headquarters. The reformed Dark Flame members who were loyal to Qianye launched several attacks but were all routed, their corpses were thrown out of the building in a miserable fashion.
The young man took a moment to catch his breath before saying with a fierce expression, “Aren’t you going to ask who I am?”
“Is there a need?” Qianye was nonchalant.
The young man felt great discomfort as his words were caught in his throat. After holding it in for a while, he jumped up as though his butt was on fire and roared, “Why is there no need? I have my reasons for daring to claim Southern Blue! Even if your subordinates are all idiots, do you think those merchant managers are idiots as well? Why would they cooperate with me and hand over the city on a silver platter? Why did they help me suppress the idiots who tried to resist?”
Qianye pointed at the mercenaries fighting fiercely below. “They’re loyal to me because of fear, not idiocy. Many people have faced me as enemies, and I have put the fear of God into them. As for those managers…”
Qianye’s face turned cold. “They’re the real idiots for thinking I don’t dare kill them.”
The young man was stunned. “Y-You! You’re crazy! Those are major merchant groups, with branches all over the neutral lands. Even I have to treat them with a degree of respect when they’re working together. You actually want to kill their managers? They will never let this matter go!”
Having survived and operated in the neutral lands all this time, these merchant groups were far from saints. They maintained a blood feud policy similar to bandits—whoever killed their managers would have to face the wrath of the entire group. They would not let the vendetta go until the very end. That was the only way to deter bandits from easily making a move on their caravans.
Because they had enough money, the major merchant groups each boasted military capacity no smaller than a large mercenary corps. Their escorts were also better equipped than the average mercenary group, allowing each of them to fight two ordinary mercenaries with relative ease. Only Dark Flame’s soldiers, who had been armed to the teeth by Song Zining, could suppress the merchant escorts in terms of firepower.
That was why the young man felt that Qianye was crazy. Even he didn’t dare kill the manager of a major merchant group. Without sufficient reason, the backlash from such an action would be rather terrifying. Even he wouldn’t be able to escape punishment.
At this moment, Qianye was already somewhat impatient as he gazed at the fights below. “They’re still resisting, it seems your subordinates are tired of living.”
Qianye descended upon a small building in the Dark Flame headquarters. He entered through the roof like a falling star and scanned the entire structure with his perception. There was no one being held captive in this building, and neither were there any familiar auras. Countless sanguine threads permeated the building and silenced the entire fortification within moments.
Qianye walked out of the building and, with a flicker, arrived at another. At almost the same time, the entire building fell silent.
Qianye had passed through four enemy fortifications in mere seconds. Be it walls of steel or concrete, nothing could stop the penetration of Life Plunder. Every area he passed through would turn into a domain of death.
Finally, Qianye stepped into the main command building of Dark Flame. This was the biggest structure in the compound, one he had built alongside Ji Tianqing and Song Zining. He had personally carried up many of the pillars and beams here. He no longer used Life Plunder here as there were a good number of officers and civil servants.
Those officers in the middle ranks were the backbone of Dark Flame, without whom the operation and command chain of the corps would be rather problematic. Since Song Zining had arranged things beforehand, many of these people had probably submitted under his orders. Besides, there were too many unarmed people in the building and he couldn’t just kill them all off.
He decided to do things the simple way, looking for enemies room by room and killing anyone who so much as offered a shred of resistance. People were thrown out of the building windows one after the other, crashing to the ground with loud thuds. The floor from which people were being hurled grew higher and higher, until two snipers on the top floor crashed to the ground, their fate unknown.
Within moments, the entire Dark Flame headquarters had been suppressed.
Qianye sat at his usual place in the conference room, gazing down at everyone in the chamber. This was the central seat where he used to sit during meetings, but that young man had built a platform and placed the seat on it. Now Qianye was looking down at everyone from above.
There was a red carpet stretching from the platform to the main doors, and a tapestry depicting a fierce void colossus hung behind the platform. The conference room walls were now adorned with ancient weapons and a number of armor sets stood towering over certain parts of the room.
This decoration filled the hall with a sense of solemnity, like some strange, ancient ritual was being held here. Here, the master was high above all life.
This young man might not be capable, but it seemed he was rather good at decoration and design.
Qianye sat on the magnificent chair with his chin propped up, deep in thought. The hall on either side of him was already full with people. On one side were the mercenary leaders of Dark Flame, and on the other were the managers and representatives of the merchant groups. The ones at the front were naturally Song Zining’s subordinates. Way at the back were people from the merchant groups who had squeezed in to observe the developments.
That young man stood below the platform with an awkward expression. Qianye seemed to have forgotten about him entirely and was thinking about something else. If it wasn’t for the burly mercenaries on either side of him, he would’ve been inclined to remind Qianye of his existence.
There was a beautiful young girl atop the stage, peering curiously at everything inside the hall—the paintings, the tapestry, the statues, and the people.
Everyone would feel uneasy upon being stared at. Some of the more timid ones would turn pale and start trembling. Zhuji’s gaze was as though she was looking at a toy or even food.
Little Zhuji whispered after she had studied everyone carefully, “None of them look fun or tasty.”
Everyone started sweating after hearing this.
Little Zhuji poked Qianye impatiently, waking him from his reverie. He looked at the men below, saying, “Is everyone here? Let’s begin.”
He pointed at the young man. “Speak, who are you?”
The young man felt like crying all of a sudden. He had been waiting for these words for far too long.
“This young master is Zhang Xuance, grandnephew to the heavenly monarch! Since you know my identity, how dare you…”
Qianye cut him short. “Enough with the nonsense. Are Zhang Buzhou’s descendants all dead? Why would he send you to stir up trouble?”
Zhang Xuance opened his mouth but no words came out. He was stopped up quite badly this time and would’ve coughed up blood if he didn’t have to mind his reputation.
“This… the heavenly monarch naturally has descendants, but my cousins aren’t that talented. My cousin-uncles are the same.”
Qianye was finally interested. “Now that’s odd. Zhang Buzhou’s sons and grandsons aren’t talented, but you are? That’s not quite logical.”
Zhang Xuance’s origin power cultivation was at rank-sixteen—his foundation was extremely sturdy and his origin power, pure. According to neutral land standards, he was already half-certain of becoming a divine champion. Even in the Empire or Evernight, he would be considered a talent. It was just that he was too spoiled—his combat arts were passable but his mindset was beyond subpar. It was clear that he had never fought anyone stronger than him before, collapsing entirely once Qianye killed his four guards and injured his guardian expert.
The thousand-year history of the Empire had long since proved the importance of bloodline inheritances. For instance, the Zhao clan produced talented geniuses with every generation. The imperial clan’s bloodline was even more terrifying, producing multiple heavenly monarch’s and a peerless expert like the Martial Ancestor. Normally, an expert’s direct descendant would produce more geniuses. It was unreasonable that Zhang Buzhou’s own line was incapable while a nephew was allowed to cause a ruckus outside. The only explanation was that Zhang Buzhou’s own line had withered.
Zhang Xuance trembled under Qianye’s gaze. “Actually, there’s a reason for that. When I was just a kid, my third uncle was a peerless genius reportedly on par with the heavenly monarch. Third uncle’s child, my cousin-sister, was also superior in talents. It would never be my turn for good benefits back then…”
“What happened later?”
“Third uncle and his friend went out to save someone. That person was rescued, but my third uncle never returned.“
Qianye was somewhat curious. “Who is your third uncle’s friend?”
“Luo Bingfeng.”Previous Chapter Next Chapter
TL: Legion ED: Moxie