Chapter 512: Aboriginals [V6C42 – Sorrow of a Silent Parting]
The arachne count glanced at Li Kuanglan and then at the sword in his hand, unable to decide which one of them was more terrifying.
He used whatever remained of his darkness origin power to force out his arachne form, then asked in a husky voice, “Y-You, just who are you?”
“You only need to remember me as Kuanglan.”
The arachne count thought hard but couldn’t recall which godly person he was. “Young Noble Kuanglan? I’ve never heard of the empire producing such a top character.”
Kuanglan smiled faintly, almost illuminating the mountainous woods with his radiance. He rubbed the blade in his hands as he said, “Simple, all those who know my name are already dead. Just like you will soon be.”
These words were still lingering in his ears when the arachne count saw a dazzling blue light flash out from Kuanglan’s blade, whereafter he lost all senses as a head flew high up into the sky. The sturdy arachnid body and powerful defenses were akin to thin sheets of paper before this crystalline blade.
At the last moment of his life, he seemed to hear Young Noble Kuanglan say, “Cutting down a count-level expert is not a dishonor to my ‘Cold Moon’s Embrace’, albeit barely.”
Li Kuanglan didn’t even spare a glance at the things the count had left behind, apparently too lazy to even pick them up. He sheathed the sword and glanced in the direction of the wolf howl with battle intent raging in his eyes. “Now this is interesting!”
He walked away in seemingly unhurried strides but vanished into the white mist in the blink of an eye.
Heroes and formidable characters from all walks of life were converging toward the center of the forest. The clashes between one another also became more prevalent.
Qianye didn’t rush into the forest center. He simply roamed the periphery for several days and observed the experts from the two camps. He didn’t hunt down the dark races deliberately during this period. Instead, he turned his blade on the beast hordes and killed two entire packs within a short time.
These native beasts possessed abnormally abundant essence blood, and with this replenishment, Qianye finally managed to light up the second feather on the Wings of Inception. There was currently a feather on each wing, and both of them seemed more spirited than before, appearing more vivid and no longer illusory.
Although Qianye could only fire a single Shot of Inception with his current origin power capacity, a day of recuperation would allow him to attack again. This increased his chances of survival when faced with unexpectedly powerful enemies.
Qianye walked toward the center of the forest after sufficient preparation. The woods at this moment were deathly still, and only the continuous sound of squirming purple substance could be heard. Qianye walked passed one tree after another rather uneventfully.
Assumably, all those experts who could sense Qianye had already entered the central region.
But several hundred meters away, Nighteye’s scope followed Qianye silently until his figure had left her vision.
She put away her sniper rifle and said to Eden, “Nothing here, let’s go.”
Eden nodded. “The time is just about right. We should also be entering the central region now.”
Nighteye packed up her equipment and followed Eden away.
Some distance away, just beyond the duo’s vision, Qianye was leaning against a tree with his head slightly raised, seemingly deep in thought. However, his gaze was directed toward the direction in which Nighteye had left.
He heaved a lonely sigh after Nighteye’s departure and continued into the depths of the central forest.
The experts from all sides considered the void colossus’ remains as the final battlefield. The colossus’ remnant will was the strongest here, and the restrictions suffered were also the most evident. And the greater the suppression, the larger the disparity between genius and mediocrity—the level gap, on the contrary, wasn’t so important here.
Thus, in the eyes of these proud experts, this was the one true place to test their genius qualities. Those with inferior strength didn’t even have the right to enter this place. Fighting in a place like this was akin to dancing on a blade’s edge. A single misstep and one would either fall in battle or become overwhelmed by the void colossus’ will—all origin power in the body would ignite, and the person would turn into a pile of ashes.
Qianye walked for an entire day before he finally passed through the forest and arrived at the central region wherein lay the colossus’ skeleton. Qianye was stunned the moment he stepped out of the forest. Appearing before him was a majestic mountain range extending far beyond his vision, stretching unto god knows where.
He had prepared himself mentally along this endless journey, but after arriving and basking in the full view of the colossal skeleton, he realized that there were no words to adequately describe his astonishment.
Qianye’s perceptions recovered immediately after walking out of the forest. The sudden expansion of his vision actually made him a bit uncomfortable, and it took quite some effort to readjust.
The stretching mountain range filled his vision entirely, making it feel as though he were standing atop a landmass with nothing but mountains. In truth, however, that was only a segment of the void colossus’ spine.
The mountain was lined with caves of all sizes which seemed to be interconnected from all sides to form a maze-like layout. Qianye saw some figure flashing past the caves, and it was clear that some of them were the ashen-skinned midgets he had seen in the forest. These little fellows were petite but exceptionally dangerous. Their poisoned spears alone formed a sufficient source of distress.
Meanwhile, there were other creatures locked in battle with the midgets, and some were even hunting the little men down.
At this point, the void colossus’ lost ancient essence appeared once again, and that innate feeling of beckoning was even stronger than before.
With his extraordinary visual range restored, Qianye glanced into the distance and found several groups of people within his sights. Each of these groups belonged to opposing factions, but now, they were in a peculiar state of balance and harmony. Apparently, it had been some time since their arrival because a number of them had even set up camp.
Qianye pondered along the way as he walked over toward the imperial experts. The group, which consisted of rank twelve to thirteen experts, seemed rather delighted upon seeing Qianye. In this strange, dangerous land—and with the dark race experts eyeing them from nearby—every addition to their numbers was a source of strength.
There were four people in the camp, two leading champions of the Kong clan and two more from minor aristocratic families.
The older of the Kong clan’s champions revealed an astonished expression as he saw the Swallow Cloud Cavalry insignia on Qianye’s uniform and sized up the heavy sword on his back. “Young Noble Qianye of the Zhao clan?”
After seeing Qianye nod, the champions were all delighted, and their expressions grew even friendlier. Here, a character like Qianye would be able to display combat strength far above his level. There had been some friction between the Kong and Zhao clans under the Iron Curtain, but in this terrifying land, it was naturally more important to work together against the surrounding enemies.
From them, Qianye learned more about the situation of the arriving imperial experts. He later asked, “Why have you all stopped here? Why aren’t you going in?”
The Kong family champion smiled wryly. “You too must’ve sensed that the ancient essence fragment is just within. Do you see those caves? The entire mountain is an eroded cave, and it’s simply a natural maze inside. On top of the inconvenient terrain, those odd aboriginals living in them are quite powerful, and their numbers are endless.
“We attempted to explore the caves the very day that we arrived here. In the end, we were surrounded by all kinds of beasts and savages before we had gotten very far. We killed countless enemies after an entire day and night of fighting, but it felt as though their numbers had never decreased! At last, we had no choice but to charge outside with all our might and managed to escape with our lives. However, two of our companions never made it out.”
Qianye trembled as he shot a glance at the cave. The Kong family expert wasn’t weak at all, yet even they were pushed into such a corner and lost two men. From this, it was obvious just how dangerous the mountain was.
Another person spoke, “We occasionally see beast hordes and midget tribes entering the mountain in groups, and it doesn’t seem like they normally live here. Were they attracted by the ancient essence?”
Everyone already had some suspicions regarding this, but all expressions grew unsightly now that it had been mentioned. If this guess were true, they would need to kill an endless number of aboriginals in order to seize the ancient essence.
Additionally, the experts from the Evernight faction weren’t just for show.
The situation was even worse than Qianye had expected.
The Kong family champion laughed wryly and said, “Those setting camp outside have more or less suffered some losses in the mountain, and the newcomers were warned not to rush in. The two sides here are in a deadlock as they wait for more people to catch up from behind. Entering in greater numbers, regardless of the faction, would serve to lessen the pressure from those aboriginals.”
Qianye nodded. This was indeed a good idea.
Afterward, Qianye stayed temporarily in the four-man camp. He covered himself in a tactical cape and sat down at a certain corner of the camp, resting and waiting in silence.
During this period of one day and night, Qianye sensed several wisps of consciousness belonging to experts from both factions. However, they quickly moved along when he retracted his aura and didn’t respond to the probe. Apparently, they were merely checking the situation and bore no hostility—at least for the moment.
In the face of the pressure from the aboriginals, the hostilities between the two factions came to a tacit pause. The time to kill each other would arrive only after seeing the ancient essence fragment.
Two days passed by in this manner, and the two camps had each gathered a sizeable force. In the distance, an arachne marquis from the Evernight faction rose first and marched toward that mountain range formed of the colossus’ bones.
He was like the first domino piece. A chain reaction broke out in a flash as the experts from both factions stood up in quick succession and began making for the mountain range at their own pace.
Qianye suppressed a certain feeling of agitation. He had encountered a number of Zhao clan soldiers during this period, but apart from the two champions, the remaining fighters had no way to linger around this mountain range no matter how strong they were. They could only wait outside for follow-up information. However, these people hadn’t seen Zhao Jundu, either.
Qianye took a deep breath, cleared away the distractions in his mind, and adjusted his body to its optimal state. He then stood up—still wrapped in his tactical cloak—and headed toward the mountain range at a steady pace, neither in the lead nor dropping behind. There, he chose a random, silent-looking cave and walked into the mountain.
The entire mountain was aboil as countless battles erupted. With so many experts attacking at the same time, the pressure from the aboriginals had indeed lessened quite a bit.
There were only a couple of hairless dog-like creatures in the cave Qianye had picked and two more at the end of the curved tunnel. Those ashen-skinned dogs were about to leave at first but turned back barking upon Qianye’s arrival.
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