Li Kuanglan finally moved toward Qianye, and the four smart generals in charge of restraining her merely stood on the sidelines. She looked calm at the moment but was akin to a surging ocean, ready to erupt once an opportunity presented itself.
Li Kuanglan boldly shot through the four with a blue light flickering in her hand. The generals suddenly felt a cold sensation across their necks. Shocked, they reached out to touch the injury and soon found their hands drenched in red. Fortunately, all of them were quite calm since they were used to life and death. They quickly realized that it was just a flesh wound that had cut through a thin layer of skin on their neck.
Nonetheless, they realized that if she could cut their skin, she could just as easily slit their throats. They understood that they simply couldn’t stop her at all. The only reason they were alive was because Li Kuanglan hadn’t moved at all.
She arrived in front of Qianye and uttered through clenched teeth, “You’re mad!”
“Of course not.” Qianye gave her a radiant smile.
“Don’t move! How long are you going to walk with those daggers in your body?” Li Kuanglan slapped Qianye’s shoulder, pouring in a stream of cold energy that covered his body in a layer of ice. The frigid energy sealed his wounds and dispelled the hostile origin power within.
Li Kuanglan reached out to grab one of the dagger hilts, but she ultimately lost her strength, unable to bring herself to do it.
It was Qianye who patted her shoulder. “It’s fine, pull.”
Li Kuanglan trembled, feeling as though she had been struck by a bolt of lightning. Only then did she wake up from her daze—clenching her teeth and applying gradual force, she finally began dragging the blade out.
Qianye said with a frown, “I think I’ll feel less pain if you do it faster.”
Li Kuanglan bit down and forcefully pulled the dagger out. The weapon was mottled, damaged, and only half its original size. It seemed like the blade would dissolve entirely if it had stayed a while longer in Qianye’s body.
Seeing the state of the dagger, Li Kuanglan couldn’t help but feel startled. She shot a glance at Qianye’s abdomen, trying to imagine what was inside that could reduce a high-quality dagger to this state.
In truth, the auric flame blood in Qianye’s veins would attempt to dissolve all external objects as a means of protecting the body. Its corrosive properties were so strong that the two daggers had been half-dissolved in a short time.
Li Kuanglan’s hand was much steadier when she extracted the other dagger, which was also in a similar, half-destroyed state. Li Kuanglan flicked her fingers, sending streams of frigid origin power to seal Qianye’s injuries. Her technique was exquisite and truly worthy of admiration.
Taking a deep breath, Qianye’s face flushed red with scarlet flames erupting around his body. His aura began to recover as the frost around him dissolved and the wounds all over his body started to close up. He patted Li Kuanglan’s shoulder, saying, “Let’s go, I need to take a break. I think they won’t dare to exit the city for the time being.”
Nodding, Li Kuanglan proceeded to walk alongside him in silence. The two just walked away without hiding their presence. Some city guards, hunters, or mercenaries would appear near them from time to time, but everyone would escape in a panic. Who would even dare attack?
Qianye had brazenly attacked the caravan just now, moving upstream as he destroyed half the trucks on his own. At the same time, almost all of the high-ranking officers were wiped out. Only the four who were ordered to intercept Li Kuanglan managed to survive, finding fortune amidst the disaster. After escaping with their lives, the officers lost the courage to court death. They ignored the chaotic scene entirely and ran back to the city on their own, going so far as to leave the heavily injured vice-commander behind.
Fortunately, the vice-commander’s time wasn’t up quite yet. A number of loyal guards undertook the risk of carrying him back to Tidehark.
The large area was fully covered by the city guard forces at first, but now it had turned into a scene of crushing defeat and retreat. Half of the giant merchant caravan was still intact, but it had been abandoned on the road—no one paid it any attention, almost as though it had been forgotten.
Qianye and Li Kuanglan slowly walked away, leaving a world of terror and carnage behind them.
Qianye suddenly asked, “Oh right, what’s that letter about?”
Li Kuanglan replied unceremoniously, “You tore it apart without even looking. Why ask now?”
Qianye smiled. “I thought it was unnecessary just now, but now I feel like there’s no harm in knowing.”
“It is indeed unnecessary. Luo Bingfeng wants the cultivation art with which you produced Venus Dawn, and he’s willing to trade a secret art of equal value.”
Qianye was surprised. “Who would come up with such an idea?”
“Perhaps he really does have an art of the same grade, perhaps it might even be useful to you. Even if that’s the case, it should be his primary cultivation art. That’s strange because Venus Dawn shouldn’t be compatible with his current art. What does he want it for?”
“Who cares? I’m not trading.” Qianye was decisive. Even if he really did want to trade, how would Luo Bingfeng react after seeing the Combatant Formula and Song Clan Ancient Scroll?
Li Kuanglan shook her head. “That’s a pity. I really wanted to see what kind of cultivation art can match Venus Dawn.”
“Any news on Tianqing?”
Li Kuanglan shrugged. “No need to worry about that slippery eel! She’ll be fine even if all of us are dead.”
“But she hasn’t appeared for a long while.” Qianye frowned.
“She’ll appear when she wants to.” Li Kuanglan seemed completely unconcerned.
At this point, they were walking past a temporary camp the city guard had just erected. “This place is much better than that little hole of mine. Let’s just stay here tonight!”
The settlement had long since been emptied. Li Kuanglan naturally wouldn’t refuse a comfortable rest, so she entered the camp with Qianye.
The night went by just like that.
It was almost dawn, yet the darkness of the night hadn’t quite faded away. Li Kuanglan left amidst the morning gale, as quietly as she had arrived. Qianye also vanished into the wilderness after stocking up on supplies.
The battlefield after the great retreat was like a cruel inferno. There were now human silhouettes moving about in small groups. They observed the surroundings cautiously as they cleaned up valuables from the field. The trucks that were left intact began rolling back toward Tidehark City, but they took great care to move only a couple of them each time, afraid that moving too many at a time would infuriate Qianye.
Qianye was watching this scene from afar, but he had no intention of taking action. The city had dispatched the lowest level of soldiers and mercenaries, people who would serve as cannon fodder in a normal battlefield. With Qianye’s combat strength and status, he had no need to attack these people, nor should he. No matter how one looked at them, these people couldn’t pose the slightest threat to Qianye. All of that was on the premise that they didn’t offend or anger Qianye.
Qianye had no intention of slaughtering them if only they would shrink back into the city. His real objectives were Rui Xiang and the higher-ups of Tidehark. Qianye’s intuition told him that he shouldn’t enter the city nor get close to Luo Bingfeng’s holy mountain. Qianye had already noticed during their last exchange that Luo Bingfeng would get weaker as he moved away from the mountain.
This was a dangerous game. Qianye was walking on the blade’s edge, and the key was not to get caught.
There was still no news of Song Zining at this point. Qianye could only hope that his display of power and determination would frighten the people in Tidehark, forcing them to discuss terms. If only he could get Song Zining back, he was even willing to let go of Dark Flame entirely.
Tidehark was suffused with a somber chill.
All important people have gathered at the city lord’s manor, even Rui Xiang. It was just that his expression was quite unsightly, refusing to utter a single word throughout the process. That was only natural since he didn’t want to be here. Du Yuan had appeared personally and half-forced him to be here.
After everyone was present, the conference room doors swung open and that strong vice-commander walked in. His face was as pale as snow, his aura weak, and there was a thick bandage around his abdomen. One had to know that flesh wounds would heal overnight for an expert at his level. How was he in such a state after such a long time?
What astonished everyone was his expression. It was empty and dispirited, not at all like that powerful expert from before.
Du Yuan asked with a frown, “Mingkang, what’s with you?”
That man’s name was Yu Mingkang, a student and friend whom Du Yuan had raised to the position of vice-commander. Hence, the two shared a fairly good relationship.
Hearing Du Yuan’s voice, Mingkang’s eyes recovered a bit of clarity. He said with a smile of self-deprecation, “Commander, I’m actually fine, just afraid.”
The conference hall fell into a commotion. Du Yuan’s brows locked into a tight frown. Experts at this stage were mostly resolute, full of battle-intent, and not afraid to die at the critical juncture. If they weren’t afraid of death, what else should they fear? Mingkang had also managed to reach the vice-commander’s position by risking life and limb in battles—yet he was actually admitting his fear?
Du Yuan said, “Mingkang, do you know what you’re saying?”
His voice echoed in the conference room like rolling thunder, suppressing the clamor. Only then did the other generals quiet down, ready to listen to the developments.
Yu Mingkang said slowly, “I was really afraid. That Qianye is no human, not even a creature of flesh and blood. He’s just an ice-cold killing machine, out to kill everyone in the most painful way possible. I saw nothing in his eyes when my two blades sunk into his body, neither a change in expression nor a twitch in his eyebrows. Like it wasn’t his body that my blades had stabbed into, or as though my weapons never existed in the first place.
The silent Rui Xiang spoke at this point, “Are you sure there was no change at all?”
Yu Mingkang nodded firmly. “I assure you, there was none at all, from the moment my daggers sunk into his flesh until they had reached the very end.”Previous Chapter Next Chapter
TL: Legion ED: Moxie