Qianye didn’t leave immediately after packing Heartgrave away. Instead, he picked a flat area on the hill to cultivate. He made no effort to conceal himself this time and immediately circulated the Profound Combatant Formula from the get-go. A terrifying void tempest instantly tore through the skies, stretching hundreds of meters into the air!
Such a commotion could be seen clearly from dozens of kilometers away, let alone a thousand meters.
It wasn’t just the elder and Zhu Meng; many of the low ranking officers also noticed the anomaly. News spread like wildfire—soon, everyone had realized that not only had that sniper not run away, but he was actually making a huge show of his presence.
Zhu Meng gazed at the distant tempest with calm eyes. No one knew what he was thinking.
The old man, on the other hand, remained hidden inside the main tent. He simply pretended not to notice, yet no one dared to question him. This brought the already teetering morale down to the very bottom, and the austere killing intent surrounding the troops receded like the tides.
One of the officers arrived behind Zhu Meng, saying, “General, this won’t do. The setback is hitting everyone hard.”
His brows locked in a frown, Zhu Meng began running toward the hill in large strides. The shocked officer held onto the man's back frantically. “General, you can’t go!”
The nearby officers swarmed forward and did their utmost to keep Zhu Meng locked down. As elites who had undergone a strict selection process, they might not be very strong, but their eyesight definitely wasn’t bad. Zhu Meng would be throwing his life away if he were to attack someone whom even Rui Xiang wasn’t willing to get involved with. Besides, the enemy’s display of power meant that he wasn’t one to be trifled with.
One of the sharper ones had already connected the dots between Qianye and the sniper. After hearing him say thus, all the other officers agreed, and they held even tighter onto Zhu Meng.
Zhu Meng had also seen that shot and he understood his own power as well. The old man was able to evade, but he knew he would only be able to block with his shield. He probably wouldn’t be able to block in time within five hundred meters, so him chasing after Qianye was like throwing his life away.
One of the officers whispered, “What exactly is this person’s background? He looks so young.”
“And why is he attacking ordinary people like us? What kind of enmity does he have?” Another officer muttered his thoughts.
Zhu Meng had no answer to these questions. He could only sigh. “Let’s think about it after we get back alive.”
Li Kuanglan was kneeling at Qianye’s side, watching him in total silence. When he finished channeling the Profound Combatant Formula and opened his eyes, the first thing he saw was her pair of starry eyes.
“What is that cultivation art? So Tyrannical!”
“The Combatant Formula.”
Li Kuanglan snorted after a long while.
“It really is the Combatant Formula.”
Qianye diverted the topic away. “I plan to follow them, what about you?”
“I haven’t thought about it.”
“How about this? You go back to Southern Blue first, someone needs to oversee the situation there. Otherwise, there’s no telling what that old fox Ji Rui will do. I’ll come back after a while.”
After witnessing Qianye’s ability, Li Kuanglan understood that following him would only stop him from using his full powers.
“Fine, come find me when you’re back.” With that, she turned to leave.
Only after Li Kuanglan had left did Qianye heave a sigh of relief. His bindings were all gone now—he could bring out his full power now that he was alone.
Qianye closed his eyes, his heart still like water as he slowly adjusted his origin power. Wisps of Venus Dawn origin power filled his four origin vortices, and his combat strength gradually climbed back to its peak.
One night went by in this manner. The sun had barely risen the next day when Zhu Meng rounded up the warriors and started packing up the camp, preparing to return to Tidehark. The problem was that he could feel a piercing sensation at his back during this entire process. Someone had apparently locked onto him from afar, so the man had no choice but to carry his shield around just in case.
Rui Xiang was still inside the tent at this point. Zhu Meng walked over to the entrance, saying, “Sire Rui, we’re about to set out. Sire Rui?”
Receiving no reply after calling out several times, Zhu Meng finally pulled the curtains open and found the tent completely empty. Rui Xiang was nowhere to be found, and even his luggage had been moved away.
Zhu Meng was startled for a brief moment, and then he flipped the entire tent in a burst of rage and roared in Qianye’s direction, “See? He’s not here anymore. I’m the only one left, come at me!”
Qianye lowered Heartgrave with a frown. He hadn’t imagined the old man to actually do such a thing. It took a good amount of shamelessness to be able to pull off something like this, but he did succeed in leaving Qianye with a difficult choice.
Qianye understood after some thought that the old man didn’t share a good relationship with this squad and their commander. This was one of Tidehark’s most powerful units—the old man washing his hands off them was probably to borrow Qianye’s blade in killing the commander, that loud, black-armored man.
He would’ve been playing right into the elder’s hands if he had really killed the entire squad. He would also have formed an irreconcilable feud with Tidehark.
At the thought of this, Qianye stood up and walked toward the camp with Heartgrave in hand.
Zhu Meng hadn’t imagined that Qianye would appear proactively. His eyes narrowed when he saw the long sniper rifle—a single glance was enough to make his eyes sting and turn red.
None of the soldiers had expected this development, either. A commotion broke out as countless soldiers took aim at Qianye, and the remainder fell into a tight formation up front to shield their gun-wielding comrades.
Many of them had recognized Qianye at this point, recalling how this person had rushed into the camp like a wild beast and reaped hundreds of lives before swaggering off. No matter how brave these warriors were, they couldn’t help but feel a wave of trepidation spreading amongst them. After all, dying in battle and being slaughtered were two very different things. According to customs, they weren’t supposed to be the ones facing an expert like Qianye.
Seeing all the muzzles pointing at Qianye—some trembling as they did so—Zhu Meng shouted, “Put down your weapons!”
His authority was supreme in the squad. Everyone lowered their guns at his order, regardless of their puzzlement.
Zhu Meng walked out of the crowd to meet the incoming guest. They were fairly close at this moment, and Qianye did nothing to hide his rank-thirteen cultivation. The general was startled when he realized that Qianye was really just rank-thirteen. Zhu Meng himself was a rank-sixteen warrior, but for some reason, he felt suppressed in front of Qianye.
Zhu Meng said in a deep voice, “Why is your distinguished self making things difficult for these small characters?”
Qianye replied calmly, “Since you’ve captured my brother, everyone's the same to me no matter how strong or weak. No one will live unless my brother is returned. Where is that old man? Is he hiding or has he escaped?”
Zhu Meng said through clenched teeth, “He has fled.”
Qianye said meaningfully, “That means he left you guys behind for me to kill. It looks like you’ve offended him quite deeply.”
Zhu Meng’s expression sank. “I have a few hundred brothers with me still, and all of them have been rolling on the razor’s edge their entire lives. You can’t kill us all.”
Zhu Meng had no response to this. He felt a chill in his heart as he looked into Qianye’s calm eyes. He knew the latter wasn’t bluffing—Qianye really could kill all nine hundred people here, including Zhu Meng.
“What is your background? If we die, we want to know what we’re dying for? Also, these brothers of mine are just ordinary soldiers, they shouldn’t have been swept into this kind of feud. Will you let them off if I promise to fight you to the death and not run away?”
Qianye tapped on Heartgrave’s trigger, saying, “Do you think you can run away?”
Zhu Meng laughed wryly. As an assault general, speed wasn’t really his forte, and he definitely wouldn’t be able to run away if he was defeated.
He took a deep breath. “Sire, your appearance here means you have something to say. What will convince you to let my brothers off?”
“Who is that old man? Why did he attack us?”
“He’s called Rui Xiang, Zhang Buzhou’s personal servant, in charge of managing the heavenly monarch’s everyday affairs before his isolated cultivation. Later on, he gradually gained power and became the vice-steward. With the head-steward going into seclusion along with Heavenly Monarch Zhang, he became the only one from the residence remaining in the outside world.”
“The heavenly monarch no longer concerns himself with trivial affairs. He has never appeared even once in recent years, and the one time before that was behind a screen, who knows if it’s the real person? So, many people thought Steward Rui’s words represent the heavenly monarch. Even the Wolf King and City Lord Luo have to give him some face.”
Zhu Meng explained everything in detail, holding nothing back along the way. He also explained Rui Xiang’s unique powers briefly. It was just that his skills were mostly taught by Zhang Buzhou, so Zhu Meng could only grasp the general idea. He couldn’t offer anything truly useful. He did, however, confirm that Rui Xiang’s black crystal sword was a treasure—it was reportedly Zhang Buzhou’s during his younger years and later bestowed upon the old man. This went to show how much the heavenly monarch favored him.
Qianye had witnessed this blade in action against Cold Moon’s Embrace, and it was never at a disadvantage. In summary, the sword was only a bit inferior in terms of special effects, and it served to double the old man’s power.
In truth, neither the cultivation art nor the weapon was enough to impress Qianye. No matter how strong Rui Xiang was, he couldn’t be stronger than the Wolf King. The only problem was his connection to Zhang Buzhou—killing the old man was like slapping Zhang Buzhou in the face.
Qianye quickly pushed these thoughts to the side. Ignoring Zhu Meng’s hidden warning, he inquired further, “Why is he attacking us? For the Wolf King?”
Zhu Meng sighed. “Those not of our race will always discriminate against us. Even we can see the calamity the Wolf King is breeding, how could City Lord Luo not know? That being said, I’m not clear as to why this skirmish was launched. That is precisely the reason why I had been quarreling with Steward Rui. You might need to ask him if you want to find out the reason.”Previous Chapter Next Chapter
TL: Legion ED: Moxie