Volume 2 - Bloom of the Other Shore Flower, Chapter 22: Fighter King
She was calm, even when mentioning her looming death. Qianye could never have imagined that this unruly young woman who sometimes even sold her body to get by would have such a strong side to her.
Qianye yanked her chains free and laid her down before finding a pail of water to pour over her, washing away the filth, pus, and blood. Lastly, he acquired a rag from the adjoining cell, and cleaned and bandaged her. He then carried her in his arms.
Min’er sighed softly, saying, “Qianye, I have a question I always wanted to ask you.”
“Why have you never touched me? Even though I didn’t want your money?”
“Because… I’m afraid I’d lose control and drink your blood, turning you into a blood thrall.”
“You’re a vampire?!”
“I don’t get it, but it was just because of such a reason! As long as you don’t hate me, I feel relieved. Is this considered a secret between the two of us…” Min’er was elated, but her voice grew increasingly weak.
“Yes, this is only known to the two of us,” Qianye said.
However, Min’er could no longer hear his reply.
Shortly after, Qianye arranged Sir Zhao and Min’er’s bodies on a pile of black stones in an empty, abandoned plot of land behind the factory. He ignited the black stones and watched as the flames gradually engulfed their bodies. As for Sir Zhao’s men, their bodies were nowhere to be found.
In the incandescence of the firelight, Qianye turned to leave, vanishing into the wilderness under a completely brightened sky.
From this moment on, he no longer had any friends in Lighthouse Town.
One day later, Qianye arrived at the outskirts of Blackflow City.
He did not enter the city hastily, but stayed in the airship graveyard outside the city. Blackflow City could not be compared to Lighthouse Town as there were imperial expeditionary forces stationed here for the long term. Besides that, Qi Yue himself was a rank two Fighter surrounded by rank four bodyguards. It would be no easy task to assassinate such a man.
Qianye had to wait patiently until his opponent let down his guard and exposed his weaknesses. He believed that once Qi Yue received news of Tiger Yan and Mr. Wang’s death, the latter would be nervous for a while, but would relax after a couple of days. Qianye did not leave many wounds, and Qi Yue would therefore conclude he was just a rank one Fighter. No matter how strong a rank one Fighter was, there were still limitations.
The airship graveyard served as a relatively good hideout. The ancient remains of the airships no longer had any value, and only scavengers would come to try their luck.
Qianye positioned himself to be hidden from view, then started quietly cultivating the Combatant Formula.
The activation of his third origin node was imminent. Once he became a rank three Fighter, his power would increase exponentially. So long as he did not come across the rank six instructor of the imperial expeditionary army in Blackflow City, his experiences from the Yellow Springs Training Camp and the Red Scorpion Corps made sure that he would at least be able to make an escape from any opponent, even if he could not defeat them.
The cycle of origin tides formed by the Combatant Formula began to surge against the barrier of the node, but Qianye realized that the pain caused when it passed through his chest region was much less intense than it had been before. This was clearly the effect of the vampire physique. Ever since he obtained this physique, the blood energy within him had constantly been changing Qianye’s body, strengthening his body qualitatively and allowing him to withstand the waves of the origin tide for a longer period of time.
At this point, the pain caused by the origin tide had been lessened to just slightly above an ordinary person’s threshold, and Qianye easily leapt to the twentieth cycle, with the origin tide continuously surging higher, reaching heights he had never before been able to attain.
Twenty one, twenty two…
With every cycle, the power of the following origin tide intensified. Qianye’s origin power was richer and more condensed than normal, and he produced an origin tide that surged more forcefully compared to a normal human’s. After twenty cycles of multiplication, the force of the origin tide was equivalent to a tempest brewing in the sea!
The barrier of the third origin node blinked continuously, and it suddenly trembled as if it were on the verge of collapse. However, the accumulation of origin tides was not a good thing.If it had been any other person, the recoil of the origin tide would have splattered their organs by now, but Qianye’s vampiric, strengthened physique could withstand it.
At the twenty sixth cycle of origin tide, Qianye’s internal organs began to show signs of minute injuries. However, with the self-healing ability of the vampiric physique, Qianye felt he could endure another cycle of surging tides.
The twenty seventh cycle!
The barrier of the origin node started to show signs of cracking!
At this time, Qianye’s internal organs had begun bleeding, but he endured the agony and carefully adjusted his condition.
“I should be able to endure another wave.” He silently monitored his vital internal organs, and directed the Combatant Formula to continue another cycle.
Qianye’s inner origin power was like a tide, with wave after wave surging forth, flowing along the meridian of his right arm towards the origin node in his palm. When the origin power crashed into the barrier, the backlashing wave delivered a shocking impact to his meridians and internal organs. It then joined with the origin power gushing from the Aura Sea meridian in his torso, once again rushing towards the barrier!
With every cycle of ebb and flow, Qianye would suffer numerous internal injuries of a small magnitude.
At the halfway point of the twenty eighth cycle, Qianye suddenly jolted when he discovered there was a thin cut on his heart!
The heart was the most important organ for the human race in the cultivation of origin energy, and it was vital to protect the heart during the channeling of the Combatant Formula. Once the organ received damage, it meant the training was too intense and should be stopped immediately for rest.
Qianye mentally sighed and was just about to give up, when suddenly, the blood energy in his body bubbled forth. The tri-colored dark blood that had remained dormant until Qianye nearly forgot about its existence was now converging upon his heart and rapidly forming a thin blood barrier!
At this time, a new origin tide had just crashed, but the recoil to his heart was completely blocked off by the blood barrier. The blood barrier warped for a moment but quickly reassumed its original position, looking strangely tensile.
Qianye was initially shocked, but this shock soon faded to be replaced with joy. With this, he could now withstand many more origin energy tides, and he could channel the Combatant Formula to much greater heights!
He calmed down and testingly directed the blood energy. The process was as smooth as molding his own origin power, and soon, layers of barriers ensconced his heart and other vital organs. However, Qianye’s current blood energy was still weak, so the layers protecting the organs other than his heart were noticeably thinner.
The twenty ninth cycle of origin tides occurred smoothly. The origin power laid dormant for a moment before it slowly started to surge, churning a fresh wave.
Qianye’s heart turned cold the instant he realized that the thirtieth cycle of origin tides was essentially different from the previous tides. When the first wave started to churn, Qianye knew that something was wrong!
It was merely the first wave, yet its surge was already much stronger than the ninth wave of the previous tide! He now knew why it was not easy to attain the title of Fighter King, which could endure thirty origin tides.
However, Qianye was no longer thinking that much. The origin power in his body resembled waves, crashing into the barrier repeatedly. He was like a small boat in the face of a raging storm, desperately struggling for survival.
At the third wave, all blood barriers protecting his internal organs started to show signs of tearing. At the sixth wave, other than the blood barrier surrounding his heart, all others had been torn apart. At the seventh wave, even the blood barrier protecting his heart started to tremble violently! At the eighth wave, the blood barrier finally shattered, and Qianye completely lost all protection. He was exposed, at the mercy of the origin tide!
Immediately, Qianye's ruthless disposition came into effect. He forcefully gnashed his teeth as he madly punched his fist down on his chest! It was a secret method to stimulate one’s potential, and could help the user temporarily raise their physical strength by a large margin. However, the consequences of this method were very severe, seeing as it could even shorten the user’s lifespan.
However, Qianye didn’t give it much thought in order to complete the thirtieth cycle of origin tides. He was ruthless to others, and even more so to himself. He wouldn’t have been able to live up to now if it weren’t for this mentality.
With his power temporarily stimulated, Qianye somehow managed to withstand the impact of the last wave. Blood sprayed out from his mouth, but his heart was brimming with joy. He had finally strided past the great barrier of the thirtieth tide, and stepped into the level of a Fighter King!
He was now powerful enough to be ranked among the strongest people in the Empire’s army which constituted of tens of millions of officers and soldiers!
Qianye’s current strength was still insignificant, but his future potential was unlimited now that he had reached the level of a Fighter King. It would be very hard to find anyone who could cultivate their origin power at the same pace as him.
The barrier around the node of his right hand had been smashed into pieces by the impact of the last wave, allowing the origin power to gush into it bit by bit and slowly fill it up. Now, Qianye only needed to constantly provide the origin node with warmth and nourishment and let it strengthen until it completely filled up to its capacity. After this, he could try tackling the fourth node.
With the node of his right hand activated, he finally obtained the ability to pour origin power into physical origin bullets.
He had already prepared exactly what was required to do this, a crystal-tipped, empty origin bullet made from alloy. Within the bullet, there was a bit of silver, something that was mainly used to deal with dark races besides vampires. Naturally, this kind of origin bullet was quite valuable, but it paled in comparison to the might and manufacturing costs of the Bullet of Exorcism.
Although this was true, the bullet was still quite valuable. Qianye had only barely managed to retain it despite keeping it buried outside Lighthouse Town, hoping that no one would find it and take it away.
He spent the night resting his body, and then gradually recovered his origin power over the course of a whole day before starting to fill the empty origin bullet. Like a bottomless hole, the bullet continuously absorbed Qianye’s origin power until half his body’s reserves were exhausted. Soon, a glimmer flashed across the tip of the bullet, indicating that it had been completely filled.
After being filled up with origin power, an indistinct fog appeared inside the initially transparent bullet tip. The origin power formed by the Combatant Formula should be faint yellow in color, but inside the origin bullet was a dark red string of blood, moving back and forth as though it had a life of its own.
The string of blood was actually a fragment of the blood energy inside Qianye’s body. However, for some inexplicable reason, a little bit of his blood energy had flowed into the origin bullet as he was filling it up with origin power.
Qianye felt slight hesitation when looking at the unusual occurrence. He had no idea what kind of extraordinary result he would get from mixing blood energy into the contents of the bullet, but that would need to wait until the time of its use. However, given the bullet’s base statistics, Qianye was sure of one thing. The bullet’s might was definitely not diminished by a large margin.
The might of a physical bullet filled with origin power was even greater than that of a bullet of concentrated origin power. To understand the force of a physical bullet such as this, it would be best to compare it to Heavy Caliber. It boasted superiority over normal origin bullets as it was one and a half times more powerful and only consumed half of the origin power to fire. This meant that the more physical bullets one possessed, the more augmented origin bullets one would have in their arsenal, and the greater one’s strength would be during battle.
This origin bullet was none other than the killing move Qianye had prepared to deal with Qi Yue.
By the time Qianye had completely finished filling the origin bullet, the sun had risen high in the sky. He lay down on the ground to rest, awaiting the arrival of night once again.
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