It was a mystery whether Bluemoon understood Qianye’s meaning when she replied seriously, “This is the best plan. Either that or we assemble the sails with inferior components and change all of them later on. Any middle-ground plan or compromise will lead to wastage later. A great material like the Martyr’s Palace will hardly appear again in a thousand years, it goes without saying that we have to build out of it an aerial fortress of the highest quality. The only warships that can contend with it are those on the sacred mountain and the empire’s regal airship.”
Qianye laughed wryly. “When did the emperor ever get a regal airship? His own vessel is far inferior to those of the grand dukes from Evernight.”
Qianye naturally understood how the imperial regime was faring. The emperor rarely went to battle in person, and his ministers did not encourage, either. Hence, it was a waste to build an overly powerful airship for the emperor. The current emperor’s imperial vessel was nothing more than a remodeled old battleship, decorated for luxury rather than for battle. The airships left behind by each successive emperor would be added to the ranks of the palace guard.
Quite unexpectedly, Bluemoon replied, “Not that one, I meant the Martial Emperor’s airship.”
“Martial Emperor’s airship?” Qianye was intrigued. There were innumerable stories about the Martial Ancestor but not a single one that said anything about a legendary warship.
“Of course he had one, there are several legends about it in the neutral lands. The Martial Ancestor’s ride was also made from a void colossus, and the most interesting thing about it is that it’s alive. So, it escaped the empire’s control after the Martial Emperor’s death and returned into the deep void.”
“How come I’ve never heard of it?”
“Reportedly, the emperor instructed his men to release the colossus into the void after his death, but those greedy people tried to control it instead. In the end, the creature flew into a rage and destroyed two entire imperial fleets before vanishing into the depths of the void. It’s only natural that the empire wouldn’t announce such an embarrassment, especially since it was brought about by going against the emperor’s will.”
Qianye nodded. This definitely sounded like something the empire would do.
The conversation had veered somewhat off course, so they quickly steered it back to the topic at hand. At the mention of the Martyr’s Palace, Bluemoon’s face was radiant and full of confidence in her idea. As she saw it, any other middle-ground plan was a waste of money.
What Bluemoon said was reasonable, and Qianye, being an amateur in this field, had no better idea. He had no choice but to endure the heartache and approve her plan.
The kinetic sails were only a part of the ship. They would require four giant, battleship-grade engines to ensure minimal thrust, thirty-six auxiliary engines for agile maneuvers, and hundreds of smaller ones for postural adjustments. And this was the bare minimum—according to Bluemoon’s calculations, they would need to spend twice as much to maximize the effects.
Every number that came out of her mouth felt like a lethal blow to Qianye. As soon as she said the words “maximum effect”—without even mentioning the subsequent numbers, Qianye already felt like he had been lashed at by Caroline’s Thunderous Whip. All he could see were golden stars and little Martyr’s Palaces flying about.
He would find some way to make things work. Qianye comforted himself repeatedly until Bluemoon finished saying all she had to say.
The Martyr’s Palace had to be constructed one way or the other. Qianye had just thrown out a heroic promise, saying he would send Nighteye to the Sacred Mountain. But those almighty figures on the summit didn’t just represent a force capable of suppressing the world; they were also backed by massive clans and tribes. Hence, Qianye’s strength alone was far from enough. He needed to build up his own army.
The full-constructed Martyr’s Palace was comparable to having a power of his own.
Qianye collected his thoughts and continued discussing the details with Bluemoon.
The kinetic system was the first on the list and the most basic requirement. Bluemoon was also knowledgeable about weapons systems, but she wasn’t quite proficient in exterior design, armor, and space allocation. Regarding ship-based weaponry, it was best to use the fortress-grade ballistae produced by the empire. This kind of powerful weapon coupled with a homing system would stop even battleships from approaching recklessly.
But how could such high-grade weaponry be easy to purchase? Hence, Qianye decided to temporarily delay the installation of weapons.
Only when they had gotten to the details of the purchase did Bluemoon notice that she had also miscalculated. Even the entire neutral lands market wouldn’t be able to provide such a large number of components. The only way was to buy out all the kinetic sails available on the market and place an order with the manufacturer.
Only then did Qianye heave a sigh of relief. He really couldn’t afford it if he had to fork out three million gold coins in one go.
Fortunately, the Martyr’s Palace could still fly even without the origin sails, only at a slower rate. It was still able to remain airborne, and it was also stronger than most airships. The addition of every origin sail would increase its speed by a small fraction.
Next up, Bluemoon listed some places where these sails could be bought, allowing Qianye to decide where he would like to go first.
He immediately found a familiar place. “Here! I’ll go to Southern Blue first.”
“Okay.” Bluemoon naturally had no doubt about his choice.
Qianye contemplated for a while before bringing out all the equipment he had confiscated from Bluemoon. “Follow me to Southern Blue. There might be a need for you to operate solo at times, so I’ll return these to you.”
Bluemoon was extremely surprised. Reclaiming her gear was like giving wings to a tiger. She would once again become that Bluemoon who could move unhindered through the Earth Dragon’s lair. Additionally, her chances of leaving Qianye would increase exponentially. Not to mention Southern Blue, she could even escape into the complicated landscape of the Northern Continent, and Qianye wouldn’t be able to find her.
The girl didn’t put on her equipment immediately. “Aren’t you afraid I’ll escape?”
“So what? I can’t help it if you want to run,” Qianye replied indifferently. He stood up and waved his right hand across the picturesque vista—the valleys, sea cliffs, highlands, and those majestic mountain ranges.
“I’m going to establish a power of my own here, maybe even a nation! The Martyr’s Palace is but a part of all this. Of course, I can’t accomplish all of that on my own, so I’ll need people to help me, many characters from all walks of life. You’ve seen it too, this place is probably the most suitable in the entire neutral lands for human survival. And it’s big enough to support the livelihood of tens of millions of people. The resources here are also sufficient to support an independent nation.
“I don’t know how large the Highbeard lands are, nor how many of you exist. But I believe there’s enough land here for your people to thrive and that I’ll have enough power to protect all of you in the future. So there’s no reason for me to worry about you. These plans stand proof of your contribution. You’ll naturally stay if you’re willing to follow me, and if you’re not, you’ll find a way to flee, sooner or later. It’s meaningless to force you.”
Bluemoon was stoppered up. Not daring to meet Qianye’s eyes, she lowered her head and asked softly, “F-Follow you?”
“Yes.” Qianye nodded.
Bluemoon lowered her head even further and the hum of her kinetic engines grew somewhat louder.
Qianye’s gaze swept over the distant cliffs and shores, crossing over the vast Eastern Sea toward the depths of the void. He hadn’t noticed the change in Bluemoon’s behavior at all. “Of course, there will be more than just Highbeards on this land. Whoever is willing to follow me will obtain a place to live and thrive. The size and location of the land, however, will depend on what they contribute.”
Bluemoon finally looked up at Qianye with a complicated expression. With a bit of volition and a bit of disappointment, she asked, “Why do you wish to build a nation?”
“Why indeed…” Qianye hesitated for a moment. “Perhaps it’s to give humanity a nation they can call their own, a place where they won’t be suppressed by the other races.”
“Isn’t Zhang Buzhou the human leader of the neutral lands?”
“Him? What kind of leader is he?” Qianye sneered. “He only cares about his own cultivation. He doesn’t give a damn about the fate of humans. Just look at his own territory, are the humans on equal footing with the other races? A mere Wolf King dares to work together with outsiders to slaughter humans without restraint and construct blood altars out of them. What’s the use of such a leader?”
Bluemoon knew not how to argue with this. She could only sigh helplessly, saying, “Perhaps what you say is reasonable, but I must warn you that moving a large number of humans to the Northern Continent will attract Zhang Buzhou’s attention. He’s long since announced that all humans in the neutral lands are under his protection. You must know what these words mean. Anyone with designs on the human race will be interfering with Zhang Buzhou’s business.”
Qianye nodded. “There’s no rush regarding this matter, now is not the time, anyway. But…”
Bluemoon spoke for him, “But there’s no changing your mind, is there?”
“Smart.” Qianye praised her.
Bluemoon exhaled deeply and gave up trying to dissuade him. What she didn’t know was that Qianye’s eyes were directed at the boundless distance. There was a majestic mountain there looking down on all life. That was the Sacred Mountain of the Evernight world. Each figure atop that mountain was a tremendous entity whose shadow had shrouded the world for millennia.
This could be considered a dream, perhaps something closer to fantasy or even a delusion. But Qianye didn’t mind persevering in this regard. What if dreams really did come true?
For some reason, Qianye suddenly recalled all those brothers whom he had fought alongside back in the empire. He thought about Song Seven’s grandiose, drunk words, about how he had wanted to build a large nation of their own.
Who would’ve thought that the vicissitudes of life and time were nothing more than illusions? Having gone through the twists and turns of fate, the least ambitious Qianye had actually started to walk this road.
He wondered if his brothers of the past were all doing well.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
F-f-f-follow you? Baka!
TL: Legion ED: Moxie