Zhu Meng reached out and closed a soldier’s eyes. “The city lord probably doesn’t know anything about this. If I don’t return, tell him everything I said just now.”
Zhu Meng shook his head. “Dying on the battlefield is my role.”
He hadn’t even finished speaking when the general heard a peculiar whistle, a sound akin to demons crying out in fear. The moment this sound entered his ears, Zhu Meng roared explosively, “Careful!” He then pressed the officer to the ground while he himself glanced about under the cover of a heavy shield.
Zhu Meng wasn’t slow, but there was almost someone faster. The old man called Rui shot into the air—that sorry figure of his looked as though someone had just branded his behinds.
A beam of blue light tore through the air like a silent meteor.
The azure radiance grazed past the old man’s feet, through the chest of a bearded general, and far off into the distance.
The general opened his mouth but no sound came out. He tried to cover the wound with his hand, but who could block a bowl-sized hole?
The bearded man staggered briefly before falling on his back, devoid of all vital signs.
Zhu Meng roared in sorrow. “Old Ma!”
This bearded general was Zhu Meng’s aide, and the two of them had been partners for many years. He understood the man’s power very well, but that blue radiance was simply too fast, too furious. The primary target had managed to jump out of the way, but the bearded general was shot through the vitals.
Livid and apprehensive, the old man landed slowly on the ground.
That blue radiance was actually an origin bullet. It was just that the projectile was so fast that the naked eye could only perceive it as a beam of blue light.
The shot came from a thousand meters away. It had arrived in the blink of an eye and kept going for quite a distance after killing General Ma.
The old man couldn’t help but feel a chill after some thought. If this shot were to land on him, he would no doubt suffer heavy injuries. He probably wouldn’t have been so lucky if he hadn’t been looking in that direction just now or if he hadn't evaded reflexively.
But what kind of gun could fire from such distances and with such ferocity?
It was at this time that he heard an angry roar. “Rui Xiang! Why did you not block the shot? You killed Old Ma!”
The old man was in a bad mood at the moment. “Who’s to blame for him failing to dodge? Don’t tell me you’re trying to blame this on me, too?”
“You could’ve blocked the shot or at least pushed him aside!”
The old man snorted. “What if I fail to block the shot? You want me to die for him?”
“It’s just an origin bullet, and one fired from a thousand meters away, no less! You’ll receive a light injury at most, but Old Ma could’ve been spared death,” Zhu Meng roared.
Rui Xiang was livid. “A brute like that isn’t worth getting hurt for.”
Zhu Meng was stifled with anger and couldn’t say anything for the time being. In the end, he picked up the bearded man’s corpse with an angry roar and left.
The old man was so gloomy that his face looked like it was about to drip water. His gaze was malicious as he gazed at the back of Zhu Meng’s head.
After returning to the barracks, an officer near Zhu Meng said, “General, that old thief is pretty close to Zhang Buzhou. Now that he bears a grudge against you, what if he says bad things about you?”
Zhu Meng sneered, “Who cares? I’ve had enough of his crappy attitude! That bastard has messed everything up since the heavenly monarch went into isolated cultivation.”
The officer said, “General, should we go and hunt down the sniper who killed General Ma?”
Zhu Meng halted his steps, saying, “Is your head empty? How are you going to catch someone who can fire such a shot from a thousand meters away? You’ll just be serving your head on a platter. The only one who can chase down the sniper is…”
Zhu Meng stopped speaking here, but everyone knew that Rui Xiang was the only one with this ability. His speculation was actually a bit off—the old man’s forte was battlefield defense and not hunting. Rui Xiang seemed to have no intention of chasing after the assailant. It wasn’t because he was afraid, but because he knew he couldn’t catch up.
The old man’s love for fame was well known.
Rui Xiang remained motionless after Zhu Meng’s departure. He could feel a faint stabbing sensation on his skin, a sign that someone had locked onto him. That sniper could be considered fairly reckless in that he had remained where he was after firing. In addition, he simply took aim at the old man instead of waiting for an opening. This was blatant provocation.
Several times Rui Xiang wanted to give chase, but he stopped himself in the end. That shot was simply too powerful and tyrannical. He was confident in blocking the shot beyond a hundred meters, but at close range, no one could say if he could even escape after being injured. Naturally, it was many times harder to hit him within a hundred meters, but there was always a chance. The old man couldn’t shoulder this outcome.
After thinking back and forth, he still wasn’t willing to take that risk at such an important threshold. An injury at this point would likely destroy his path to becoming a divine champion.
At this moment, atop a distant mountain, Qianye was kneeling amidst leaden clouds and surging winds. Heartgrave’s crosshairs were moving slowly through the military camp.
Seeing that Rui Xiang had managed to restrain his emotions, Qianye knew it was useless to keep on agitating him. He thus went to search for a different target.
Almost all of the leading officers had vanished following the ambush. Only Zhu Meng was busy checking on the dead and injured. He and Rui Xiang were the only ones capable of stopping or evading Qianye’s assault. The ordinary soldiers and lower-ranking officers kept on working in an orderly manner, knowing full well that they weren’t worth a shot.
Li Kuanglan appeared behind Qianye. “You can’t fire a second shot, can you? Why aren’t you leaving?”
“If I leave now, that old bastard will realize that I can’t fire a second shot. Besides, I can fire again pretty soon.”
In Li Kuanglan’s perception, she could sense Qianye’s aura on a gradual rise. His stamina was recovering swiftly and would reach its peak in half a day’s time. She sighed softly. “You’re a monster, you know. It’s their misfortune to have provoked you.”
“There will always be such people, such incidents. You’ll get used to it after a while.”
“Why not seek the Song clan’s help? Song Zining will be fine as long as the clan is willing to step in. I have channels to help you send news back to the empire. It’ll take some time, but Song Zining should be fine for a while yet.”
Qianye lowered Heartgrave and said while shaking his head, “If the Song clan people find out about this, they’ll try to devour his Ningyuan Heavy Industries instead of saving him.”
Li Kuanglan was surprised. “How can that be? I thought they shared a good relationship. Several of their elders have praised Song Zining as their rising star.”
Qianye sneered. “Good relationship? Ha! When have you ever seen true good familial relationships among nobility? “
Li Kuanglan said after a while, “I have! Your Zhao clan.”
Qianye was stoppered for a moment. He then said with a sigh, “I’m no longer one of them.”
“But I see Zhao Fourth and Yuying treat you as their own. Zhao Jundu actually intercepted a secret missive from the military for you. This matter stirred up quite a bit of ruckus in court.”
Qianye was surprised. “What happened?”
Li Kuanglan replied, “Some of the military’s assets in the neutral lands discovered your traces and dispatched a secret report to the empire. Zhao Fourth stopped the one passing through the floating continent, but he hadn’t imagined there would be three copies of the message; the military still got their message in the end. Because of this, the Minister of the Right accused Duke Chengen and Zhao Jundu of misconduct in court.”
“Minister of the Right? What happened in the end?” Qianye was alarmed because this person was an important minister of the empire, an authoritative figure he could never hope to meet. He was even more powerful than all the marshals and dukes, and the power in his grasp was on a completely different level. Now that this case had unexpectedly provoked the Minister of the Right, even the Zhao clan might be in for some trouble.
Li Kuanglan replied, “How can there be any outcome? They quarrel and quarrel but there’s no outcome still. Reportedly, Princess Gaoyi pulled a lot of strings and stopped the imperial family from expressing their stance. Things will probably just trail off like that. Actually, many things in the imperial court end up that way.”
“Princess Gaoyi…” Qianye recalled that calm woman along with many other fragments of his memory.
It was within reason for her to appear since she was Zhao Jundu’s mother. It was surprising, however, that her presence could restrain the Minister of the Right.
Li Kuanglan noticed Qianye’s surprise. “There’s nothing surprising about this. Princess Gaoyi was no ordinary character back then. Her marriage to Duke Chengen was a marry-down in every sense of the word. Otherwise, how could the proud Zhao clan be satisfied with a mere Duke Chengen title? In truth, it was the bestowment of this relatively inferior title that placated certain people. Otherwise, the union would never have gone off smoothly.”
Qianye hadn’t expected Princess Gaoyi to be such a character. He could barely even sense this princess’ existence when he was in the Zhao clan.
The higher her status, the better it was for Jundu and Ruoxi. As for Qianye himself, he was no longer related to the Zhao clan. Otherwise, he would only bring trouble to the clan by giving their political adversaries an excuse.
That said, it was still too reckless of Zhao Jundu to intercept a secret military missive for him.
Qianye sighed inwardly as he packed Heartgrave away and stood up. “Let’s go, there won’t be any more openings for the time being.”
“You’re not rescuing Song Seven anymore?”
Qianye shook his head. “It’s impossible with just you and I.”
“Are we going to let things be?”
“Of course not. What happened just now will repeat many times over. Those people will finally have to understand that they will never see another day of peace as long as I’m alive. Just as no one will target Ningyuan Heaven Industries as long as Song Zining’s alive.”Previous Chapter Next Chapter
TL: Legion ED: Moxie