Volume 4 – Perpetual Conflict, Chapter 71: Traitor
Qianye was now certain that the voice wasn’t Andruil’s. But then, why was it able to transmit information via the Black-Winged Monarch’s crystal fragment?
Additionally, this was the Black-Winged Monarch’s ruins! Andruil had left such shocking arrangements here since thousands of years ago. How could he allow someone to impersonate him within his own palace?
The Wings of Inception became still after Qianye walked out of the secret chamber. Andruil’s will also turned silent and no longer gave him any suggestions. Could this be the unintended trial as described by the Black-Winged Monarch?
Qianye glanced at the skull in his hand and had the urge to hurl it at the opposite wall. Even though he was facing a great dark monarch who enjoyed a high ranking throughout dark race history, he didn’t enjoy the feeling of being led by the nose.
The voice beside his ears sounded even more urgent now.
Qianye calmed down his depressed emotional state and followed the voice. He found himself returning to the great hall he had first arrived at and finally discovered the source. It was coming from one of the thirteen ancient coffins behind the altar.
Only after observing the blood coffins in detail did Qianye find that the clan insignias carved upon them weren’t the same. From the first Perth clan to the twelfth Carlton clan, all of them were gathered here.
Qianye’s expression changed; he felt that such a situation went against common knowledge. According to the human race’s understanding of the vampires, it was impossible for the twelve great clans to coexist in peace. Additionally, those resting within the coffins were ancient vampires who should be with their own clans.
The one that gave Qianye the chills was the thirteenth blood coffin. The patterns carved upon it were exquisite and complex, but there weren’t any insignias upon it. Vampire legends state that there were 13 primogenitors, but presently, there were only records and descendants for 12 of them. Who then was in this last blood coffin?
The thirteenth clan?
This wasn’t good news for the humans. If a thirteenth clan had existed before, it would mean that the vampire race would possess the strength of another primogenitor in due time. Even if it was dormant at the moment, who knew when its descendants would awaken?
“Approach me, present to me my head! I shall grant you power, rank, and strength in the ancient name of Andruil!”
This time, Qianye heard it very clearly; the voice was coming from the first blood coffin.
However, he didn’t pay it any attention and, instead, pushed open the coffin nearest to him. The heavy coffin lid felt cold to the touch. The quality and sturdiness of its wooden material surpassed even that of metallic alloys.
After opening the lid, he saw the corpse of a high ranking vampire clad in martial attire. His insignia consisted of an olive branch surrounded by a circle of golden leaves. He was actually a glorious marquis. It was just that there was a hole in his chest, and his blood core had long since disappeared. A vampire who had lost his blood core was akin to a human who had lost his heart. He had long since died thoroughly.
It was at this time that the first coffin slowly opened to reveal a sleeping vampire within.
Vampires in long-term hibernation looked no different from a sleeping person except becoming thin and shriveled. They would become thinner and weaker the longer they stayed in hibernation. By the time they had surpassed 100 years of hibernation, these vampires would need to be bathed in a blood pool in order for them to wake up.
The vampire who had appeared before Qianye had almost shriveled up to the point where there were only bones left. He was also clad in martial attire and had sustained several large wounds on the surface of his body. Many of his military decorations had been lost, and thus his rank could no longer be discerned. It seemed the injuries hadn’t been treated at the time they were sustained—the flesh and blood around the wounds had become discolored as if they had suffered wind erosion over the years.
Although the injuries on this vampire were severe, the position of his blood core was still intact. The only thing missing was his head.
“Fortunate descendant, you’ve done well! Very well! Now, place my head on my body and offer me some fresh blood. I, the mighty great monarch Andruil, will rise again. I shall then grant you the bloodline of a progenitor and the ability to found your own clan!”
This time, the voice no longer caused Qianye’s ears to ring like the tolling of a great bell. It was muffled and possessed a certain inexplicable magic to it as if it were emitted from the bottom of his heart. Every word was a representation of what he wanted the most right now.
Qianye felt momentarily absent-minded and began to step forward involuntarily.
Vigilance arose in his heart as he felt himself about to be torn into two halves. One half wanted to walk toward the first blood coffin and put the skull onto the body, while the other half wanted to drag down his steps and, at the same time, crush the skull into pieces.
A spectator watching from one side would see Qianye acting like a malfunctioning robot. He would take two steps forward, then one step backward, and would even turn around from time to time while flailing his arms about. But behind these comical movements was an intense contest of willpower.
The purple blood energy had, once again, expanded as Qianye took the first step. However, it was unable to completely negate the control of the voice. It could only exert continuous interference, preventing Qianye from being utterly crushed in the struggle for control over his body.
Qianye’s will become increasingly murky with the rapid exhaustion of the purple blood energy’s power. At this moment, the dark golden blood energy resting just outside his heart suddenly moved. It spat out a strand of blood as fine as an ox’s hair which traveled upward along his blood vessels at lightning speed. It then exploded upon reaching the area between his brows.
Following an intense pain in his head, Qianye suddenly felt that his consciousness was incomparably clear.
He once again took control over his body and immediately realized that this was a fleeting opportunity. He could no longer care about the conflict between his abundant blood energy and daybreak origin power as he immediately activated the Combatant Formula. His origin power tides arose, whistling like a storm on the sea.
The dark golden blood energy quickly retreated into his heart but not before leaving the illusory image of a pair of golden wings. As the pure daybreak origin power refined by the Glory Chapter of the Song Clan Ancient Scroll swept over, speckles of golden light emerged within the dark red world and soon erupted into clusters of flame.
The torrent of origin power radiance infused with golden flames poured out of Qianye’s hands and fell upon the headless vampire corpse like a waterfall. Silvery flames rose up within the blink of an eye, soon accompanied by a wretched scream which echoed throughout the great hall.
The shrill voice was like a sharp blade and almost seemed as if it could cut through anything. It pierced into and twisted Qianye’s consciousness, almost causing him to faint from the pain. Just as Qianye’s visioned darkened and he was right before death’s door, he managed to condense a willpower capable of resisting this attack which hacked at his very soul.
He shook off the skull once again, and this time, the skull was successfully flung away. Qianye drew the Twin Flowers and opened fire after loading his final Mithril Bullet of Exorcism into it.
An enchanting flower bloomed in the air with a loud bang, followed by a rain of bony fragments. At this point, the incisive scream also came to a sudden stop.
The whole world suddenly became incomparably still. Qianye then sat while leaning against the coffin behind him, extremely weak and exhausted. It felt as if he didn’t even have the strength to pant.
The invasion became bidirectional during the fight for control over his body or perhaps because the voice had wanted to occupy Qianye’s consciousness. Consequently, Qianye was able to grasp some broken fragments of the other party’s memories.
It turned out that the high-ranking vampires in the coffins were the thirteen blood generals of the Black-Winged Monarch. They had kept guard over these ruins all this time after Andruil went missing. The headless vampire had, for some reason, deserted his post and slaughtered all his comrades. However, he was later beheaded by the guardian marquis in the side chamber.
Also for some unknown reason, the traitor actually didn’t die completely. Since his talents specialized in spiritual power, he was able to use the crystal key fragment to tempt others into exploring the ruins and thereby achieving his goal of revival.
In truth, one would already have the opportunity to enter this hall after obtaining a single crystal fragment. Throughout the hundreds if not thousands of years, many powerful and greedy experts had come here before Qianye, but they were all, without exception, turned into energy for maintaining the operation of this space.
Qianye only recovered a minuscule amount of strength even after resting for a long time.
It seemed this bizarre incident had come to a close. Although there were many details he was still uncertain of, he knew this wasn’t the only truth to be drowned in the long river of time.
Qianye opened up all the other blood coffins and found the corpses of ten high-ranking vampires. Their martial attire was more or less similar, and from the badges on them, one could see that the lowest rank among them was a marquis. All of them had their blood cores dug out, and only the corpse of that headless vampire was whole.
However, Qianye was surprised to find that the thirteenth blood coffin was empty. He carefully recalled that the vampire marquis guarding the side-chamber was wearing different adornments. Did this mean that there was still a thirteenth blood general?
Qianye raised his head and glanced around the great hall—there was only absolute silence all around. If not for his arrival, this place would be like a frozen fragment on the vast wasteland of time.
But at this point, Qianye had already realized that the Black-Winged Monarch wasn’t omnipotent. Everything he had witnessed within this space had long surpassed his understanding and could only be described as a miracle. Even so, unforeseen events had still occurred with the long passage of time; one general had turned on him, another had gone missing, while the rest had all been murdered.
Qianye had a vague feeling that Andruil was borrowing his hand to deal with the traitor. Judging from the tone of the colossal will, the Black-Winged Monarch wasn’t ignorant of what had transpired within the hall. As for why he didn’t take action himself, there was no way to know.
Blue light emerged on the vault of the great hall after the thirteen blood coffins were all opened. The murals on the walls all vanished as Qianye looked up—the vast and deep color was like a starless night sky. Following which, a beam of radiance shot down and fell upon him.
Subsequently, gentle but tremendous power filled Qianye’s bones and limbs. This time, he clearly felt the Wings of Inception unfurl and form a pair of gigantic radiant wings behind his back accompanied by specks of brilliant gold.
Suddenly, the whole palace began to rock and sway. The tremors weren’t intense, and it felt as if one were standing on the waves. Before him was a wall dozens of meters in height and hundreds of meters wide. The facade began to split and gradually open up.
Blue radiance gushed out and stopped before Qianye to form a giant door of light which reached toward the sky.
Qianye subconsciously reached out and found that the blue light felt tangible, cool, and smooth to the touch. It felt as if he had reached into seawater. A tremendous suction force came through and dragged him into this ocean of radiant blue.
The palace was then restored to its original state. The opened coffins all closed up on their own and resumed their deathly stillness.
At this time, the city outside of the hall was in chaos. Intense battles were raging in every street as the vampire warriors fought against the guardians.
The guardians’ levels were a couple of ranks lower than Qianye, but their numbers were endless. They emerged continuously from the buildings and rushed out of the long windows. After they were killed, they would turn into sand and flow back into the ground without leaving a single trace.
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