The car at the front stopped so suddenly that the ones behind almost rammed into each other in succession. The sleepy soldiers in the trucks were tossed out of their seats and onto the floor.
A furious middle-aged man clad in steward’s clothing jumped out of the car. “What are you doing? Are you crazy?”
The driver poked his head out of the window, but he couldn’t say anything—all he did was point forward.
The middle-aged steward jogged over and couldn’t help but gasp after looking toward the front.
There, at the center of the road, was a young man standing with his hands behind his back, blocking the motorcade’s path.
The steward rubbed his eyes to make sure he wasn’t seeing things. Thereafter, he immediately began bowing and scraping with a face full of smiles. “Oh, it’s Sire Qianye! Oh my, how fortunate to be able to see you! How come you’re here?”
Qianye responded with a question, “Where are you going?”
The steward’s forehead was drenched in sweat as he replied cautiously, “W-We’re heading to Tidehark City, mainly to send these people over. We need them to watch the store over there. We also brought some miscellaneous goods along with us, but they’re not worth much, not much at all!”
“Oh? Since they’re not worth much, then please leave them behind along with five people to drive the cars, the rest of you can go back.”
The steward was shocked out of his wits. “Sire Qianye, t-this… why? This is rob…”
He had to try fairly hard to stop himself from uttering the word robbery.
Qianye paid him no heed. “Go back and tell Ji Rui to deliver the goods he owes me. Before that happens, Southern Blue can forget about doing any form of trade.”
“But we’re completely unrelated to the city lord…” The steward wanted to defend his case, but he stopped himself intelligently after meeting Qianye’s frosty gaze.
Moments later, a group of downcast mercenaries returned to Southern Blue and were quickly recognized by the local busybodies. “How come you’re back? Where are your cars and goods?”
One of the mercenaries replied angrily, “Qianye is right outside the city, what do you think happened?”
The busybody was apparently quite well-informed. “Qianye!? The Wolf King wasn’t able to kill him?”
The mercenary replied, “I’m not blind! There’s no way I’ll mistake him.”
The busybody retreated to the side while muttering to himself. Then, he charged toward a certain tavern and spread this shocking news in return for a few drinks.
Moments later, Ji Rui sat down face to face with a bitter-looking manager. This company was of considerable scale and repute, one ranked toward the top in Southern Blue. Hence, Ji Rui had no choice but to see the man personally.
Outside of the parlor window was a ruined wall. This damage was left behind when the Wolf King was ambushed last time, and Ji Rui never got down to repairing it because he was in a bad mood. Besides, a part of the city lord’s manor had been reduced to rubble, and it wasn’t something that could be repaired in a week or two.
Glancing at the scene outside and back at the manager’s worried expression, Ji Rui’s mood grew extremely gloomy. Yet, Ji Rui had no choice but to meet them with an amiable smile as these mercenaries and traders were the lifeblood of Southern Blue.
“City Lord Ji! That Qianye robbed the most valuable lot of goods in our possession. H-How is our company to survive without it?”
An obscure flame ignited at the bottom of Ji Rui’s heart. This company had clearly wanted to move his stock to another city due to the deteriorating situation in Southern Blue. Yet this person had the cheek to complain about this matter in front of him?
But the city lord was an old fox in this field, and he worked quickly to appease the merchant.
The knowledgeable manager also knew when to stop. He asked cautiously, “City Lord, you’ve had several dealings with Qianye. Can he really contend against the Wolf King? He doesn’t have some powerful backing, does he?”
Ji Rui’s smile turned bitter, and he replied helplessly, “Contending against the Wolf King might not be possible, but the truth remains that the Wolf King had failed to capture him. As for me, I have even less confidence about seizing him.”
“T-Then, what are you going to do? Are you really going to hand the goods over?”
This was the real question the manager wanted to ask. Although there was only one manager in front of him, Ji Rui knew he had to exercise due caution with his reply. It could be said that the manager’s question represented all of the merchants in Southern Blue.
Qianye’s blockade meant that none of the traders could do business. Although there were four gates in Southern Blue and only one Qianye, none of these large companies were willing to take this chance. Running into Qianye would result in a great loss that could never be recouped.
Ji Rui was indeed in a difficult position to reply. Handing the ballistae over would deal a sharp blow to his fortune. Was he expected to endure this loss when none of these companies could?
Yet he couldn’t just ignore this problem, either, since Qianye’s blockade would break the city’s foundations. Just a few days of this blockage would destroy the trust and reputation Ji Rui had built up over many years. The main reason for Southern Blue’s prosperity was the peaceful atmosphere he had tried his best to maintain.
Whichever path he chose would leave him in a bad position. He spoke after a long moment of consideration, “We’ll inform the Wolf King about this matter first and see how he’ll deal with it.”
After some thought, the manager found this reasonable, so he left without further nagging. Ji Rui summoned Steward Liu, instructing him to send a messenger to Totemic Castle and deliver news of Qianye to the Wolf King.
Moments later, a slender highspeed airship took off from Southern Blue and sped toward the ancient Totemic Castle. At this moment, Qianye was seated on a tall ancient pillar, gazing in the direction of Southern Blue. He only sneered upon seeing the airship flying away.
There were only a few of such highspeed airships in the entirety of the Eastern Sea. Needless to ask, this was Ji Rui’s emissary vessel dispatched to seek reinforcements from the Wolf King. Maintaining an airship was extremely costly in the neutral lands, and even more so for such a highspeed, long-range vessel. Ji Rui was apparently quite anxious, otherwise, he wouldn’t be seeking help via such expensive methods.
Qianye could easily intercept and destroy this airship with the Martyr’s Palace, but beating Ji Rui up was only a means to an end. His true purpose was to draw the Wolf King out. The death of an elder shaman was painful but not enough to make him wish he were dead.
That evening, the Wolf King was frowning on his throne as he gazed at the help-seeking Steward Liu with cold eyes.
Sweat rolled down the steward’s forehead under the Wolf King’s pressuring gaze, and he could barely stand still. The might of a divine champion wasn’t something an ordinary person could endure. The king was already in a bad mood right now, and seeing someone from Southern Blue only served to remind him of bad memories. How could he possibly wear a friendly face?
Steward Liu only had half conveyed his message when the Wolf King shot to his feet, deforming the throne beneath him. It was clear just how shocked and angry he was.
“What did you say? Qianye has appeared in Southern Blue!? Yesterday!?”
“Y-Yes.” Steward Liu had expected the Wolf King’s anger, but he hadn’t anticipated such a degree of wrath.
The Wolf King laughed wildly. With a swipe of his claws, the steward flew into the divine champion’s grasp and was lifted by the neck.
Their noses were almost touching when the Wolf King uttered word by word, “Are you sure it’s that Qianye? You should know the fate of those who lie to me!”
Steward Liu trembled involuntarily, but he was still able to retain a modicum of calm despite his fear. He replied cautiously, “This lowly one didn’t see him personally, but these words came from the city lord himself. There should be no mistake.”
The Wolf King’s fury receded. Ji Rui was only one step away from the divine champion realm; there was no way he would misrecognize a person.
A couple of werewolves in the hall exchanged silent glances, all of them filled with astonishment. Many of them knew that Qianye had assassinated the shaman last night, and some of them were even at the scene when Qianye jumped into the Eastern Sea. Back then, they had the same thought as the Wolf King. They felt that Qianye would die without a doubt and that everything would end there.
Who would’ve thought that Qianye would actually appear thousands of kilometers away outside Southern Blue? Judging by the time, he had likely arrived there just hours after jumping into the ocean. These fierce warriors couldn’t reach Southern Blue in such a short time even if they were to run at full speed.
The Wolf King slowly loosened his grip and allowed Steward Liu to land on the ground. His gaze then landed on a werewolf with a dark-red beard. “Bloodbeard, you go with him and take a look at the situation, take my personal guard unit.”
“Rest assured, Great Chief.”
Bloodbeard was a rather proud character. Even while facing the Wolf King, he merely bowed halfway as a token of salutation. A faintly discernible chill flickered through the Wolf King’s eyes, but he took no action against Bloodbeard’s disrespect.
Despite failing to mobilize the Wolf King himself, bringing Bloodbeard back was still an acceptable outcome. As a mighty marquis, Bloodbeard was one of the strongest experts below the Wolf King and fairly notorious for his ferocity.
The anxious Steward Liu urged Bloodbeard to set out as soon as the Wolf King’s order was issued. The latter was also quite the delightful character—he immediately summoned fifty of the Wolf King’s personal guards and boarded the highspeed aircraft toward Southern Blue. He had never faced Qianye head-on and was eager to pit himself against this notorious enemy.
At this moment, Qianye was still standing atop the stone pillar, but the number of trucks below had grown from five to eleven. After the hijacking of yet another convoy, no more of them dared to leave the city, and all the companies gave up entirely on escaping Southern Blue.
The entire city was silent and most of the businesses had closed their doors.
Qianye was in no rush, either. Not appearing until now proved that this old fox still believed the enemy had hidden aces, and Qianye was quite curious to know whether the Wolf King would come for him personally.
He wanted to see just how effective the Shot of Inception had been against a divine champion. He never got the opportunity to check back then, but it would be reasonable to expect that a magnum so highly rated by Andruil wouldn’t be too shabby.
Qianye waited patiently, cultivating the Glory Chapter when he had nothing better to do. Comparatively, Ji Rui was the one who couldn’t wait. One day Southern Blue was sealed meant one day of losses, to speak nothing of the damage to his reputation.
At this point, an airship appeared over the horizon, soon entering the city’s airspace and landing inside the city lord’s manor.
Qianye slowly retracted the Glory Chapter and stood up—he had waited too long for new developments. Leaping down from the stone pillar, Qianye ran swiftly toward Southern Blue.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
A wild Bloodbeard has appeared!
TL: Legion ED: Moxie