Du Yuan and Rui Xiang glanced at one another, agreeing to work together at this dangerous juncture. Nonetheless, Qianye’s concealment was just too good. The two of them simply couldn’t find him no matter how hard they tried.
Qianye’s lock-on became intermittent at this point. Apparently, the combined search was effective in threatening him, but that had little effect on the situation because Qianye could attack immediately after locking on. Du Yuan and Rui Xiang still didn’t dare to be careless.
They exchanged glances and kept on searching.
Thus, the three began an exhausting contest of patience and endurance in the vast, complicated landscape of the wilderness. Qianye would have to expend energy if he wanted to maintain a certain level of threat on the two. Although his own consumption was relatively small, Du Yuan and Rui Xiang were at rank seventeen in cultivation, far above Qianye’s own. They were quite confident in winning a game of attrition.
One night went by in the blink of an eye.
Du Yuan’s breathing had become somewhat labored and Rui Xiang had turned pale. Even with their cultivation, maintaining focus for the entire night was extremely tiring. Even up to this point, Qianye’s lock-on would appear repeatedly like before, but there was never an opening in his stealth.
Du Yuan heaved a long sigh as he straightened his back, but he suddenly broke into a frown and bent down once more. During that brief moment, he had sensed himself being locked onto, but the sensation vanished immediately when he changed his posture.
Qianye’s movements were still as flawless as before, not revealing his position in the slightest.
Du Yuan smiled wryly. “Is this Qianye really just rank-thirteen?”
“I’m absolutely certain! I nearly caught him once, how can I make a mistake?”
Du Yuan shook his head. “If it wasn’t for the first impression, I would be inclined to believe he’s rank-sixteen, seventeen even.”
Rui Xiang remained silent for a moment. “There’s really no need to talk about that.”
Du Yuan paid him no attention and simply kept on muttering to himself, “Boundless potential, absolutely boundless potential.”
Rui Xiang’s expression turned ugly. He snorted once but couldn’t find the words to follow up. Having reached rank-thirteen at such an age—and with such pure origin power—the sky’s the limit for Qianye’s future. Add to that his super-powerful killing move, he was definitely the type of enemy who had to be snuffed out in the cradle. Otherwise, one could only run to the ends of the world once he matured.
Du Yuan took a deep breath. “Now that things have come to this point, there’s really no way back. The best way is to kill him with all that we’ve got. Steward Rui, where is Song Zining?”
Rui Xiang said with a frown, “What are you planning?”
“Simple, we should use Song Zining as bait and try to lure Qianye out.”
Rui Xiang was moved, and he said after a lengthy period of deliberation, “Is there no other way?”
Du Yuan sighed. “Do you have a better way of luring him out?”
“But Qianye is adept at escape and concealment. Don’t forget that he has escaped the Wolf King’s grasp more than just once. I fear neither of us can stop him if he senses something wrong and flees.”
“I have a way to make him stay once he makes an appearance.”
Rui Xiang probed, “Are you planning to ask the Wolf King for help? That’s impossible. He’s so badly injured that it’ll be a month or two at least before he can do anything.”
Du Yuan said, “I’ll ask the madam to take action.”
“Madam…” Rui Xiang’s gaze was filled with trepidation. That madam had always been mysterious and low-key. Rarely had anyone seen her in action, but she was already at the very peak in terms of origin power purity. It was only a matter of time for her to reach the divine champion rank.
Rui Xiang hadn’t expected Du Yuan to have a good relationship with her, so much so that he could have her take action.
Du Yuan had always been cautious with his words and would never boast. If he said the madam could take Qianye down, then he must seriously believe that. In terms of real combat strength, both Du Yuan and Rui Xiang were confident in defeating Qianye—provided he didn’t run away. However, this wasn’t an arena, and that shot of Qianye’s was so powerful that it could be considered a sure kill. He also possessed the power to flee from battle, and even the Wolf King couldn’t catch him. Such a person was the most terrifying type of enemy on the battlefield, much more than his threat on paper.
The two of them were very clear that they would be at a clear disadvantage if they didn’t have Tidehark behind them to provide supplies and shelter.
Rui Xiang seemed to have a different type of apprehension, but he wasn’t willing to divulge. Du Yuan didn’t force him, either, and merely kept up the endless search. At this point, it had become a contest of willpower, a race to see who would make the first mistake.
After remembering Yu Mingkang’s description of Qianye, however, both parties suddenly felt less confident than before.
Qianye was currently hiding behind some rocks less than three hundred meters away, gazing intently at the strolling Du Yuan and Rui Xiang. At this point, his breathing was calm and his aura, steady. He was almost at his peak both in terms of stamina and spirit, far from the exhausted state the other two had thought he would be in.
If they were to notice Qianye’s current condition, the two men might actually head back to Tidehark and ask Luo Bingfeng or the mysterious lady to take over. Unfortunately, none of them did.
Above the blood core, the Book of Darkness flickered in and out of existence as it poured down a constant stream of essence blood. Qianye had used Life Plunder during the last phase of his previous battle, and that gave him enough strength to last until the defeat of Yu Mingkang. The excess essence blood was taken up by the Book of Darkness and now being released for consumption.
With the Book of Darkness, Qianye’s battle endurance was beyond imagination. No one under the divine champion realm was his match.
Qianye was like a hunter, stalking and exhausting his prey before he would launch an attack. Patience was a virtue Qianye had never lacked.
Contending with two experts within five hundred meters was like dancing on a blade’s edge, since he might compromise his location at any moment. Nonetheless, the entire day passed by without Qianye making a single mistake. This process actually served as a type of combat art training. Unknowingly, Qianye’s combat arts and, at the very least, his concealment, movement, and assassination skills were gradually closing in on perfection.
Time thus went by. Under the illumination of the strong sunlight, rolling waves of heat surged up from the earth. It was so hot that everyone felt dizzy.
Just as Qianye locked onto Rui Xiang once more, he noticed Du Yuan stagger, and a ripple appeared in his origin defenses. This might be a negligible change for an ordinary person, but for experts like Qianye, Du Yuan, and Rui Xiang, it was an opportunity that couldn’t be missed.
Qianye’s hands shook ever so slightly out of instinct, producing a small shift in Heartgrave’s muzzle angle.
Du Yuan instantly realized the impending calamity. His expression changed drastically as his figure transformed into a shadow, hoping to evade this lethal blow. Meanwhile, Rui Xiang pulled away from the potential target with great swiftness, lest he gets involved in the calamity.
A flash of lightning flickered through Qianye’s mind as he forced the shifting muzzle to a stop. A luminous feather shot out from the muzzle and flew toward Rui Xiang in a beautiful arc.
The old man’s expression transformed drastically, roaring, “Curse you, Old Barbarian!” He then jumped upward and vanished into a cloud of black and white energy.
The next moment, a similar cloud appeared a hundred or so meters away, and from it jumped Rui Xiang. This was a technique similar to Spatial Flash, an ultimate move to get rid of a homing projectile. The man looked glad and relieved when he leaped out of the monochromatic energy, while Du Yuan seemed somewhat disappointed.
Just as the feather was about to miss, however, it made a sharp turn and vanished into the black and white cloud as well. Soon afterward, it rushed out of the portal above Rui Xiang’s head!
Shocked out of his wits, Rui Xiang hugged his knees with a loud cry and did his utmost to spin away at an angle.
The luminous feather brushed past him in a spray of blood, sending a severed-leg spinning into the air. Rui Xiang screamed miserably as he turned and fled toward Tidehark, not even bothering to look back.
Fortunately, the luminous feather had also lost its energy by that point. Otherwise, Rui Xiang would surely lose his life if the projectile were to return.
Du Yuan’s face turned pale as he observed the falling limb. The leg was devoid of all vitality, much like stone or wood, and seemed like nothing would be able to restore it. The only way might be to soak it in the blood pond of an ancient vampire clan. But where was one to find an ancient blood pond in the vast neutral lands? That was why Rui Xiang didn’t even try to recover his leg when he fled.
Qianye appeared from amidst the rocks and said to Du Yuan, “Thank you for the help, old man.”
Du Yuan replied slowly, “No need, I only wanted to draw you out.”
Qianye said, “And drawn out I am, are you not going to attack?”
Du Yuan heaved a long sigh, his voice full of regrets. “What difference will that make? You still have enough energy to escape. Sigh, I’m old, too old.”
Although Qianye’s consumption was significant, his aura was still calm and he clearly possessed the power to keep on fighting. Du Yuan was clad in a suit of heavy armor, so he naturally wouldn’t be able to catch Qianye. That was why he had decided not to pursue a meaningless endeavor.
Qianye put Heartgrave away. “I don’t have the power to kill you, either. We’ll stop things here today, considering you provided an opportunity for me. I won’t attack until dawn tomorrow, you can send people to clean up the battlefield and clear away the corpses. Everything will continue as usual thereafter. I should warn you, however, you won’t be that lucky the next time.”
“Hold it!” Du Yuan stopped the departing Qianye and said in a cold voice, “The young simply do not know the immensity of heaven and earth. Do you think I’m not your match? Do you dare fight me one on one?”
Qianye wasn’t angry. He pointed calmly at the ground, saying, “This is a battlefield. There might be quite a few people from Tidehark who can kill me in an arena, but here in the vast wilderness, all below the divine champion rank will die to my gun!”
These words were resounding and tyrannical.
Du Yuan had no way to retort. In his anger and urgency, he felt a rush of hot blood surge to his head and his vision going dark. As someone who had been on the battlefield for his entire life, the commander didn’t let his emotions show at the scene, but he was actually having a hard time suppressing the churning origin power inside his body.
He shot a deep glance at Qianye before turning away like nothing was amiss. Qianye didn’t go after him, either, and proceeded to leave as the man’s figure grew distant.
No longer able to endure after entering Tidehark, Du Yuan spat out a mouthful of dark blood.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
TL: Legion ED: Moxie