“I don’t dare accept such an address.” Lin Xitang didn’t move.
The Emperor leaned forward and grabbed the marshal by his arm, a dark mist swirling out from his body and almost filling the hall. The mist surged and rolled with great violence, gradually forming the image of a soaring snake with nine scales on its back.
In a flash, two giant shadows swept past as the serpent spread its wings.
Lin Xitang’s calm expression was shattered at that moment.
The soaring snake was the crest of the Imperial family. It was black with golden claws, but never had the totem spread its wings before! Only an extremely small number of people knew that the innate totem passed down in the Imperial clan was incomplete.
“The soaring snake appears from the waters of the Duguang wilderness. Golden claws, lightning horn, and a pair of wings covering its face.” Now that was the complete form of the totem left behind by the founding ancestor.
Lin Xitang’s arm trembled as a layer of light blue frost spread from his elbow toward his fingers.
Strands of black mist condensed into the shape of a hand and plucked away the thin ice. As soon as it left the body, the ice transformed into black flames with a blood-red core, which the mist hand duly extinguished.
“It seems you can no longer suppress your old injuries without Tuo Hai’s Tigerwolf Medicine.” There was no expression on the Emperor’s face.
Lin Xitang leaned back into the sofa and closed his tired eyes in silence.
“Aren’t you happy to finally know that the path we had taken was the correct one? It’s been one thousand one hundred and twenty years since the founding ancestor laid down the plans for the ‘Chronicle of Glory’. We’ve sacrificed countless Imperial blood and heavenly opportunities, yet no one could tell whether it was meaningful. Now that the totem has awakened, it proves that daybreak is truly awakening and growing stronger. Darkness is no longer the only spirit of this Evernight Realm, and the resurgence of the human race is only a matter of time.”
Lin Xitang’s expression softened. “Congratulations, Your Majesty.” After a pause, he sighed softly. “Do you know anything about the opening of the new world?”
The Emperor's expression changed slightly because news of the new world only appeared after Lin Xitang had entered the Divination Pavilion. However, he didn’t ask how the marshal found out about it. “There’s indeed such a thing, but I know nothing about the world itself.”
“If there’s such a major change, expanding the war effort on the void continent might not be a good idea.”
“The trees long for peace, but the winds never cease. It’s not like we can stop just because we want to,” the Emperor explained patiently. “Let them fight if they want to, otherwise, it’s difficult to suppress human desire. If they don’t find an opportunity here, they will look for it somewhere else.”
Lin Xitang suddenly opened his eyes.
“Since they want your authority, let’s see if they have the ability to grasp it,” the Emperor said calmly. “Prince Greensun once said that there are so many divination families in the Empire, you shouldn’t be the only one to hog the glory. I think he’s right.”
Lin Xitang couldn’t help but frown. Zhang Boqian’s original words were much more unpleasant to hear.
“The military has sufficient reason to seek battle this time, and it’s rare for the Longevity Monarch to offer the aid of the Imperial Guard. It’s not a bad thing if they can take the void continent. As for whoever is scheming and bickering, it’ll come to light as the battle progresses.”
Lin Xitang glanced at the Emperor, almost as though this was his first time seeing his master. “Who’s leading the other main unit?”
The Emperor said calmly, “No one will stop you, Minister Lin, if you can go down yourself.”
However, the hall remained deathly silent.
The moon was already high in the sky by the time the Emperor walked out of the Divination Pavilion. He stood on the top steps, looking down at the Imperial capital. He then raised a palm to eye level and clasped it into a fist, almost as though he was holding the lights from myriad homes.
“Father, look, I’ve finally become what I hate the most.” Draped in moonlight, the Emperor of Great Qin thus muttered to himself.
Below the steps, there were several attendants waiting in the shadows. They turned a deaf ear, saying nothing and making no movement, almost like puppets.
There was no day or night in the void, only fierce battles.
The Imperial warships fired frantically at the enemy as there was some time before the Evernight reinforcements would arrive. The two duke-grade airships changed their tactics after seeing the incoming reinforcements and charged toward the exterior instead of fighting to the death.
The Imperial ships were helpless once the enemy was intent on charging out. The two destroyers blocking their path were blasted apart as the duke flagship bulldozed through their burning wreck.
Not far in the distance, the Minister of the Right was standing in the smoke-filled bridge and staring at the two enemy flagships. No one knew what he was thinking when he turned back and ordered, “Issue the order! Circle around and block that…”
He lost his voice mid-command. An old official said with a wry laugh, “Sire, our ship can’t move anymore. We can’t intercept.”
Those in the bridge were all strategic advisors. They were proficient in scheming and tactics, but they had very little experience in terms of actual combat. The minister could see that everyone was injured and barely hanging on. The worst among them had lost an entire calf and was leaning on a chair.
The Minister of the Right remembered that the man was fairly timid and afraid of death, but his eyes were burning brightly at the moment, ready to fight at a moment’s notice. It was as though he had forgotten about the injuries on his body.
The bridge had been charred black and there was a large hole on one of the cabin walls. A freezing chill was blowing in through it, but even that wasn’t enough to disperse the heated passion.
There were several corpses strewn across the ground, including those of some strategists and crew, but also a lot of dark race warriors. Risking heavy losses, a large batch of dark race soldiers had attempted a boarding at the height of the battle. Capturing the Imperial flagship would impact the morale of the entire Imperial fleet.
The Minister of the Right had personally killed a marquis and two dukes who had boarded the airship successfully. The other attendants also stood their ground. No matter what faction they were from, no one was a coward at the juncture of life and death.
Glancing at the survivors, the minister nodded. “None of you betrayed my trust.”
Everyone looked delighted because this was the highest praise the minister could offer. He sighed. “Unfortunately, man proposes, and god disposes.”
He raised a left hand and said slowly, “Issue the order. The entire army shall re…”
This order would conclude the battle. Although the Imperial fleet had the distinct advantage in results, the battle had been lost. Allowing the two duke-grade warships to escape and failing to control the void was lethal to the entire operation. It was likely that this war on the void continent would draw out, eventually becoming a black hole to devour Imperial flesh and blood. Such a protracted battle was something the Empire did not wish to see at all. They might have to pull back from the continent entirely after holding out for some time.
That was why the minister took so long to issue the command. He couldn’t find it in himself to utter the word.
The word “retreat” hovered at his lips several times, but just as he was about to utter it, one of the attendants shouted, “W-What is that!?”
Stunned, the Minister of the Right looked at the pointed direction. All he could see was a shadow slowly moving over the entire battlefield, washing over the airships locked in a fierce battle.
A speck of radiant light appeared through this darkness and, with a prismatic trail, fell upon one of the duke-grade airships that had just escaped.
The multicolored light slammed into the flagship, erupting in an earth-shattering explosion that pushed the vessel downward. As the flames cleared away, everyone could see a large hole in the flagship’s rear and that its speed had fallen drastically. Apparently, its kinetic system had been affected.
The might of this attack was shocking, but a certain someone was even more shocked than the Imperial generals.
In one of the reinforcement warships, Linken jumped up from her seat and gnashed her teeth. “It’s him!”
A screen of light appeared before her, and on it appeared the stern face of a demonkin elder. His lightning-like eyes glanced at Linken. “What’s with the panic!?”
Linken bowed. “I lost my composure after seeing the enemy ambush. Please forgive me.”
The elder demonkin snorted. “Look at yourself, so flustered! No wonder you’ve lost half your fleet. Now that you’re working under me, you should hold yourself appropriately. I won’t be considerate of our friendship if you’re lacking in battle. You will receive whatever punishment you deserve.”
“I remember.” Linken was fairly obedient.
The elderly demonkin seemed satisfied and the screen duly vanished.
Linken gnashed her teeth and glared fiercely at where the screen was just now. A trusted aide nearby said, “Isn’t that your Landsinker?”
“Shut up!” Linken’s glare stopped anything the man had to say.
Linken gazed into the distance with a serious expression, her thoughts unknown.
The Evernight reinforcements sped up in hopes of reaching the battlefield in time. The ambushed duke flagship was a bit flustered at first, but it quickly regained its composure. Instead of fleeing, the vessel spun around and dug in for defense, all the while summoning the surviving airships to form a defensive line.
Things became quite difficult once the flagship became entrenched. The Imperial battleships could pose a sufficient threat, but even they wouldn’t dare attack head-on. The smaller warships might be destroyed in a single hit, so even the bravest of captains wouldn’t dare approach.
It was at this time that another prismatic light smashed down from above. This time, the duke-grade vessel was prepared—several auxiliary cannons launched a volley of concentrated fire, and there were experts controlling the weapons personally. This afforded the shots great accuracy as they shot down the incoming projectile.
Before the crew could celebrate, however, a massive shadow bore down upon the duke flagship.
The Martyr’s Palace descended from the sky and slammed into the flagship. The duke-grade vessel was like a small boat compared to the Martyr’s Palace; it would take three of them to match the latter’s length. The flagship was sent rolling, and its body had caved in at the point of impact. Apparently, it had suffered great damage.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
TL: Legion ED: Moxie