Chapter 570: Trifles [V6C100 – Sorrow of a Silent Parting]
It was just that too long a time had passed. The truth had vanished into the river of time, never to surface again.
To Qianye, Nangong Xiaoniao was Nangong Yuqing’s descendant, and that was enough. He could finally complete the Black-Winged Monarch’s request.
“Xiaoniao, these things are for you.” With that, he brought out two boxes and placed them on the table.
“Are these presents for me?” Nangong Xiaoniao opened the first box and cried out in surprise, “Grade-seven gun!!!”
The presents Andruil had left Nangong Yuqing were naturally the best items of the grade. In terms of individual quality, it was right up there with Zhao Jundu’s Blue Firmament. However, the weapon was too advanced for Nangong Xiaoniao. A rookie like her who wasn’t even a champion had no way to use it. Not to mention using it to kill her enemies, a single shot might drain all of her origin power and leave her with injuries.
Nangong Xiaoniao, as someone from the Red Scorpion, understood this principle quite well. Hence, she felt rather awkward after the initial surprise and delight. Possessing a great weapon but being powerless to use it was the most painful experience for every soldier.
She then opened up the second box and found two grade-six daggers inside. She could already tell—from the flowing radiance of the origin array on the blades—that they were good weapons. Unfortunately, however, Nangong Xiaoniao’s level was still too low to make use of them.
“Don’t rush, there’s more.” Qianye avoided explaining the source of these items or whether Nangong Xiaoniao could use them at all. He placed two more metallic boxes on the table. One could tell, at a glance, that they were made of high-grade materials.
Nangong Xiaoniao’s hands trembled as she opened the boxes. She gasped softly once more after seeing the contents.
As a genius level character in the field of machines, she could naturally see how special the craftsmanship of the mithril bullets was. Moreover, they were very likely designed for the grade-seven gun. If she could study them in detail, her own skills in building firearms would take a leap forward.
Additionally, there was a box full of liquid mithril. Such a commodity could be used to barter in the high-end material market, and its value alone was enough to buy Dark Flame. Nangong Xianiao was very familiar with the market prices and immediately converted the value into mechanical and high-grade origin array components. The total was enough to build a grade-eight sniper rifle, even with a bit of wastage factored in.
Among origin guns at the same level, those with a bigger frame would naturally consume more materials. Only a machine gun would consume more materials than a sniper rifle. But machine guns were extremely rare among origin firearms, and the reason was simple—not many people had enough origin power to fire an origin machine-gun.
Nangong Xiaoniao looked up. “Do you want me to make you a grade-eight gun?”
“Grade-eight? Of course not. These things are all for you. Even if you can build a grade-eight gun, it’ll be for you to use.”
“For… m-me?” Nangong Xiaoniao’s little mouth fell open. She simply didn’t know what to say.
“It’s yours,” Qianye stressed.
“No buts. These things belong to you, don’t think about anything else.” Qianye had considered everything before coming to see Nangong Xiaoniao. In the end, he felt it was best not to tell her the origin of these items.
Black-Winged Monarch’s Identity was too sensitive. Be it in the Evernight Faction or on the Daybreak side, it was enough to attract the attention of major characters. The current Nangong Xiaoniao could hardly keep herself safe, and Qianye didn’t have the power to protect her, either.
Nangong Xiaoniao had always listened to Qianye obediently, and this time was no exception.
Qianye pondered for a while before reminding her, “Do not let anyone see these things. If you need to exchange them for materials, ask Song Hu to do it via separate channels.”
Qianye only felt relieved after Nangong Xiaoniao agreed. She was currently in Blackflow, a region that was more or less Qianye’s private territory—even the expeditionary army had to keep their orders in moderation. Following Song Zining’s painstaking development, Dark Flame had also become the largest force in the Trinity River County. Anyone wishing to extend their reach into the area would have to calculate their losses first.
Qianye still felt a hint of worry before leaving. “Did anyone in Red Scorpion or the Nangong family ever mention your life and bloodline?”
“No, why?” Nangong Xiaoniao was puzzled.
“I see, that’s good. It’s nothing.” Qianye gave her some more warnings before returning home.
But something kept weighing on his mind, and he didn’t even have much appetite for dinner. Nighteye observed all of this and asked, “Is there something on your mind?”
Qianye nodded. “I have a feeling that this matter isn’t as simple as it seems. For instance, why did Nangong Yuanbo act that way despite his status, and why did those people behind Red Scorpion treat her so favorably? Moreover, her talent in machines and origin arrays is so terrifying that one can hardly use common sense to explain it.”
Nighteye said with a smile, “You’re overthinking it. Xiaoniao’s bloodline is so thin that only I can discover it. You’ve interacted with her for such a long time, but you didn’t discover it, either. Moreover, Black-Winged Monarch’s bloodline isn’t only about power. There can be countless variations. For instance, the Bloodline Concealment ability should more or less appear in her. I was also wounded and bleeding when I met you back then, but you didn’t realize I was a vampire.”
“I hope that is the case.” Qianye sighed, but there was still a shadow in his heart.
Qianye’s time in Blackflow City was short. According to the information from Song Zining, the empire was secretly mobilizing soldiers from the elite corps, major clans, and high-ranking aristocracy. Before long, this momentum would spread to the middle and lower-ranking aristocratic families, and after which, it would evolve into an all-out movement.
Although Qianye’s merits from the many battles weren’t enough to gain him a noble rank, his military rank had already reached the brigadier general level. He would be notified with the second batch, at the latest. Hence, he would have to seize the moment to spend more time with Nighteye as well as reform Dark Flame, train personnel, and set up defenses.
Blackflow City’s defensive region had expanded nearly ten times toward the west, adding an area more or less the size of a county to its territory. This land contained complex geography and inhospitable environments wherein a fair number of dark race tribes was concealed—this included the tribe of Werewolf Viscount Brudo.
Although the werewolves had submitted to Qianye, they still couldn’t appear openly in human territory. Otherwise, hunters and mercenaries would swarm over like sharks drawn to blood.
The troublesome part was that most of this land belonged to the arachne count Stuka. This also meant that there were very few humans living here apart from slaves and livestock.
But there were also advantages to this. The mineral veins here could be considered quite abundant, and there seemed to be other undiscovered resources, too. According to Zhao Yuying’s projection, there was a valuable iron crystal vein here.
However, the war had just ended in the region. What Qianye needed to do most right now was consolidate the land’s defenses. He needed to fortify the strategic points Song Zining had found and garrison troops there. Only then would he be able to digest the expanding warzone. He had no choice but to push back the mining operations. Dark Flame had contributed greatly during this period, and the rewards from the empire alone were enough to last them the next year.
As the core base of operations of the region, Blackflow City also needed to expand. This was Song Zining’s forte. He had left detailed plans for the city’s expansion before going back to the empire.
This plan would expand the city’s area twofold and accommodate up to two hundred thousand residents. The defense system was designed personally by Nangong Xiaoniao. She had given up the traditional method of fighting from the walls in favor of a highly mobile system consisting of powerful defensive firepower centered around the stronghold cannons.
There was really no need to expound on the advantages of this system. It was just that the cons were also quite evident—the cost. Powerful motorized firepower involved a lot of money for both installation and maintenance. Such a budget was simply impossible for ordinary expeditionary army divisions. There was a popular saying in the expeditionary army that went, “Cannon shells cost more than human lives.”
Blackflow was only able to maintain such an extravagant system with the support of Song Zining’s Ningyuan Group and the military rewards earned by Qianye.
But there were, of course, two sides to everything—the large military budget also brought about an unexpected benefit to the city. The mercenaries and hunters had always possessed keen eyes, and many of them intentionally moved their bases to Blackflow City after seeing the defenses here.
That was also the reason why the city was growing more prosperous by the day, and with it, Dark Flame’s coffers. These mercenaries and hunters were exceptionally unrestrained in their spendings since they had no idea where they would die tomorrow.
All in all, the current Blackflow City was already developing vigorously despite the scars left by the war. Some of the old residents of Evernight Continent were already comparing Blackflow to the ancient city of Darkblood. A new Blackflow would appear in front of Qianye before long, but he would probably be on another battlefield at that time.
Apart from normal development, Qianye also discovered some special arrangements Song Zining had left behind. This seventh young master had gathered the most experienced of Qianye’s long-term followers—including Duan Hao, Lil’ Seven, and Lil’ Nine—to form a team that could almost be described as extravagant.
This squad wasn’t very big, but it was definitely well-equipped. Moreover, its fighting-power was even greater than that of the imperial regular army. Song Zining had even prepared two airships for them. Although a bit old, the vessels were still capable of transporting this unit hundreds of kilometers in one day.
Such a group was similar to the elite corps of the imperial army system. Qianye had always been puzzled as per its uses. At least in the current phase, it was more important to digest the tenfold expansion of land in the Blackflow region.
Qianye knew he was vastly inferior to Song Zining in terms of training soldiers. The latter must’ve had other intentions. As such, he made no further inquiries after observing its name and equipment list.
The next couple of days went by in a busy but simple manner. Only after taking over Dark Flame and Blackflow City did Qianye realize that the mercenary band business he had believed to be so troublesome wasn’t even worth a mention. Presently, the stack of documents being delivered to his desk each day numbered in the hundreds. Just looking through them alone took up a good chunk of his time, to speak nothing of making decisions.
Qianye was already feeling quite distressed after just a few days. He was also filled with admiration for Song Zining who could handle all these things in an orderly fashion. There was only one thing he didn’t quite understand—this seventh young master hadn’t sacrificed his time with women at all and would even be seen writing or drawing from time to time. How then did he manage to finish all of these trifles?
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