Volume 4 – Perpetual Conflict, Chapter 33: Boulderheart Jade Letter
Blood energy raised on pure darkness origin power advanced at a relatively faster rate. Seven of the ordinary blood energy in Qianye’s body had already advanced successfully, and the purple blood energy was also on the verge of upgrading to rank three. Since then, the essence blood from the iron-skinned rhinoceros had all been refined.
The battle on the surface was still ongoing. But after that one world-shaking battle, there were no more collisions of the same scale. They fought back and forth for a period of time before gradually becoming silent.
Deep inside the mountain, Qianye knew neither day nor night as he entered a critical part of his cultivation. He was in the process of igniting his seventh origin node. It seemed the effects of pure daybreak origin power were also superior.
At one point, Qianye’s body suddenly shook as radiance erupted from within. The barrier around his seventh origin power node shattered with a loud rumble, following which, origin power flowed out continuously from within. The other six nodes were also vibrating constantly in response to the newborn node.
Qianye slowly withdrew the surging origin power tides within his body only after the origin nodes were stabilized. He felt every movement of his limbs full of power and had the urge to release them in a ruthless battle.
From now on, he had formally reached rank seven. According to vampire race standards, he had already stepped past the threshold of a high-ranking vampire and would be able to receive the title of esquire. Rank seven was also the doorway for the promotion of new nobility in the human empire. In the military, he would be eligible for the rank of lieutenant colonel and gain the qualifications to lead a regiment.
The surroundings had already quieted down for quite some time. It seemed the battle on the ground had reached the end of a phase. Qianye followed the snaking tunnel to reach the entrance, listened for a moment, and proceeded to break apart the rock blocking it.
It was daytime outside—the sunlight almost seemed brighter with the coming of the light season, and the mountain gale was also suffused with warmth. It was just that the winds also contained the intense odor of gunpowder and blood.
Qianye climbed to the peak and gazed into the distance. Traces of a cruel battle appeared before his eyes.
The plains had long since been charred, and the isolated mountains in the periphery were actually broken across the middle. The river had stopped flowing, and the woods had been reduced to scorched earth. The gigantic war beasts were like small hills and possessed boundless strength while alive, but now only their gigantic skeletons remain.
The battlefield had apparently been cleaned already. Both parties had already retrieved the remains of their soldiers. However, no one bothered with those giant dark race war beasts and cannon fodder like the servspiders. At this moment, countless ravens and vultures were gathered on the battlefield. Corpses were swiftly reduced to white skeletons under their razor sharp beaks.
Qianye knew not whether the empire won or lost this great battle, and it was too difficult to determine the outcome from the traces on the battlefield. But judging from the way the cleanup was carried out, it was likely that the battle had ended in a draw after which both sides began to pick up the pieces.
At this moment, neither humans nor dark races appeared within Qianye’s vision. Such battlefields would always be plagued with epidemics for a certain period because of the dark race’s habitual abandonment of cannon fodder and giant beast carcasses in mass. This land would become a forbidden region for humans with insufficient strength. Although Qianye had no need to fear such diseases, it didn’t feel too comfortable either after a while.
He checked the direction and began to head toward Weiyang City.
The vast region seemed completely empty after the battle. Qianye didn’t encounter a single high-ranking warrior along the way, not even beasts.
However, large mobs of scavengers and tramps had flocked here. To them, the recent battle was like an excavated gold mine with countless opportunities within. The little things left behind after the cleanup would allow these scavengers to live as if they were in paradise for a certain period.
Qianye arrived in Weiyang City without a hitch. The war had hardly affected the largest city in Evernight Continent—the bustling city was still flourishing and extravagant.
Lights of various colors, akin to dazzling stars, could be seen in the night sky. Those were long distance airships landing and taking off continuously.
As one of the two major hubs connecting Evernight and the empire, Weiyang City’s airship base itself was like a small city servicing hundreds of airships each day. During wartime, this number would increase severalfold due to the transportation of troops. Most of the imperial regular armies arriving to participate in this war arrived via this hub.
Qianye, on the other hand, was in no mood to admire the thriving city. He had been detained in the mountains for ten-odd days because of the war and was worried about the situation on Song Zining’s side.
He checked in at a small inn upon entering the city and then visited some other places like the imperial trading company to sell off a large part of his crystal python scales for several hundred gold coins. Finally, he visited the origin power raw material trading company run by the Ningyuan Group.
Qianye sold the remaining crystal python scales and other materials here, then flashed his token to obtain a parcel Song Zining had left for him.
Reportedly, none of the several high-ranking managers of the Ningyuan Group were in the city and the shopkeeper was only tasked with delivering the package upon seeing the token. After chatting with him for a while, Qianye realized that this shopkeeper was merely an outsider. The latter was even under the impression that Qianye was a customer who had custom ordered certain equipment.
Qianye opened the package after returning to his residence. There was half a piece of palm-sized jade within—this was a boulderheart jade letter. Its surface was smooth with seemingly nothing upon it, when, in truth, there were words therein carved with origin power. The words would only appear when the recipient injected origin power into it with a predetermined method. It was impossible to retrieve the contents without it.
There was also a letter in the package with only a few words on it. Song Zining had entrusted Qianye with the task of delivering this boulderheart jade letter to the Western Continent, the recipient being a certain champion from the Zhao clan.
Qianye was rather concerned by the atmosphere around this business which seemed calm on the surface but involved a lot of tension inside. He himself had a load of problems in his hands. He couldn’t just start investigating the Song clan in an unfamiliar city without careful consideration.
The destination, however, surprised him a great deal. It was actually the Zhao clan of the Western Continent. The Forgotten Mountain Range mentioned in Deryl’s diary belonged to Blue Dreams Mountain Belt, as did the Zhao clan’s Swallow Cloud Pass.
In the couple of days that followed, Qianye was busy preparing his luggage. He disassembled the eye-catching Eagleshot and packed all the components into his backpack. The Twin Flowers and Radiant Edge were tucked away in his tactical jacket. He bought some common equipment from the gunsmith and hung them from his waist, including a secondhand Butcher and a military use tactical dagger.
The outfit made Qianye look like an extremely ordinary hunter. The dagger and Butcher delivered a clear message—this was a madman who loved close quarters combat. Those with some degree of rationality wouldn’t be willing to provoke a fellow who loved melee combat. Such people were quick to die, but, on the other hand, they enjoyed taking risks and were more willing to fight with their lives on the line.
Qianye paid five gold coins to board an airship flying toward the empire where he would transfer towards the Western Continent.
The price of five gold coins was a significant amount. As such, many citizens of Evernight Continent, including the soldiers of the expeditionary army, found it hard to visit the empire even once in their lifetimes.
This was an old airship. Qianye was squeezed into the lower cabin with several hundred other passengers. They would all have to stay there for the long two-day journey. There were neither toilets nor dining halls. As such, the odor in the cabin wasn’t exactly the best.
But this wasn’t too challenging for Qianye. At least there were seats in the lower cabin. When he first came to Evernight Continent, Qianye had traveled as a stowaway in the cargo hold and was made to sleep on a pile of mineral ores. He came quite close to being buried alive by collapsing piles of ore when the airship shook violently.
Qianye didn’t want to attract any attention, and as such, he had chosen to travel with hunters and mercenaries of similar social status despite the availability of better cabins above.
Not long after boarding, the airship rumbled and shook violently as it gradually rose into the air and flew toward the border of the continent.
There was a long journey ahead. Qianye leaned on the cabin wall and began to rest with his eyes closed. It was at this time that he received a heavy kick to the foot.
Qianye opened his eyes to see a burly man as stout as a bear staring fiercely at him. The man smiled coldly and said, “Move aside. Master Fang here wants that place!”
As Qianye looked over, the burly man revealed a tattoo-riddled arm and drew out the dagger on his waist half-way. There were a number of companions behind the man looking on at Qianye with bloodthirsty eyes. Apparently, these people would immediately pounce on him at the slightest protest.
Such incidents weren’t rare at all, but Qianye didn’t expect it would happen to him. Those willing to squeeze into the lower cabins usually never exceeded rank three, and the people before him were not an exception. They were relying on their build and muscles to demonstrate their might instead of releasing their origin power auras. Hence, it wasn’t too hard to imagine their strength.
Qianye stood up and smiled at the burly man. “You kicked me.”
“So what? This daddy here still wants to kick you a couple more times!” the burly man said. Then, as expected, he kicked fiercely toward Qianye’s knee.
Qianye laughed once again without moving an inch. He merely lifted his leg to block the incoming blow.
The two legs collided with a muffled thump followed closely by the crisp sound of cracking bones! The burly man cried out in misery as he bent down to hug his completely deformed shank. His cries were almost world-shaking.
Qianye briefly rotated his ankles and felt quite relaxed. He had just reached rank seven—his body, especially his legs, were undergoing another round of strengthening. This was a long and painful process and the bone-deep itch often gave him the urge to kick the wall.
Seeing the burly man’s cries weren’t stopping, Qianye shrugged his shoulders. “So noisy.” He then proceeded to knock the man out with a kick to the back of his head.
The expressions of the man’s companions rapidly changed. Two violent but not-so-intelligent men drew their guns at Qianye.
Qianye said indifferently, “I’m in a bad mood. You guys are really courting death.”
Everyone saw a blurred scene before their eyes followed by two earsplitting booms. The sound emitted by the Butcher was enough to deafen people within this enclosed space.
Origin power erupted on the two men’s bodies as they were blasted into the distance with countless shattered bones.
The lower cabin was quite crowded. There were still quite a few unrelated passengers standing near the two unfortunate fellows. At this time, they were pale with shock as they frantically felt around their bodies for possible wounds but found themselves completely unharmed.
Qianye had used a powerful Butcher to shoot explosive shells. Why were they unharmed despite standing so close to the two fellows?
The lower cabin descended into a moment of chaos. People squeezed toward the sides to open up a large area in the middle. There used to be seven people facing Qianye, but now, three of them were already collapsed on the floor.
The lower cabin doors were suddenly opened with a bang as a number of fiendish sailors charged in along with a bearded captain.
“Don’t you know the firing of origin power guns is forbidden on airships?” the bearded captain asked, his voice suffused with killing intent.
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