Volume 5 – A Distance Within Reach, Chapter 49: The Mysterious Array
The arachne almost seemed to hold a deep apprehension toward the werewolf elder. He stopped pressuring them and said with a nod, “Fine. Remember that the prohibition is final! Whoever violates it will be put to death even if he is a child, understand?”
“Understood,” replied the old werewolf.
“Then I hope the chief will control his tribe well. The count is in a horrible mood these days. I’m sure you all know what will happen if word of this gets to his ears.
The arachne put away his origin gun and ordered the four servspiders to return to their positions.
The elder walked toward the two corpses and bent down to pick up the boy. A couple of other werewolves carried the bodies of the mother and the young werewolf man toward a nearby valley. Moments later, the corpses were flung into the bottomless ravine, while the Sharp Fang tribe members stood near the precipice singing an ancient ballad in unison.
Qianye couldn’t understand the lyrics but was able to feel the deep sorrow and sense of vicissitude.
The werewolf funeral ceremony was brief but solemn. Moments later, the tribesmen headed back to their settlement under the elder’s leaders.h.i.+p. Hundreds of them formed a long line through the mountains, and just like the great migrations, their race would undertake for survival in almost every era since time immemorial.
Qianye turned around and left quietly.
Perhaps justice and equality were only relative values in every country. Qianye had always known that there were serious conflicts among the dark races, but this was the first time he had witnessed the experiences of their ordinary civilians.
The policy of honoring the strong was implemented even more thoroughly in the dark race nation. Those in power, more of than not, used an iron fist to maintain their rule and would wipe out smaller tribes at the slightest pretext. Qianye recalled the missions related to the rebel army which he had undertaken back at Red Scorpion. One could see a similar kind of cruelty within the empire. There were indeed many similarities between the two factions and one wasn’t necessarily better than the other.
But with what had happened today and the token Schiller had given him, Qianye felt that it might actually be possible to negotiate with the Sharp Fang tribe. He didn’t need them to fight alongside him. In truth, he would never feel at ease letting them do so. What he needed was merely information related to the upcoming battle and the promise that Sharp Fang wouldn’t take part in it.
The valley was once again calm after the werewolves retreated back to their residences.
Qianye avoided the defensive range of the servspiders and circled around to the other side of the peak to the most precipitous parts of the mountain. There he began to climb toward the summit. If his luck was good, those mysterious vampires might still be waiting at the summit.
Qianye moved cautiously—although his Bloodline Concealment could retract his aura, it wasn’t true invisibility. It might be able to deceive perception, but not the naked eye.
An entire hour pa.s.sed by before Qianye arrived at the summit of Green Peak Mountain. There were odd, craggy rocks everywhere, and looking from above, one could see a natural stone platform about a hundred meters below. On the stone platform was a sacrificial altar with many totems erected around it. This should be the Sharp Fang tribe’s holy land.
At this moment, there were many peculiar apparatuses set up on the empty s.p.a.ce in front of the altar where ceremonies were usually held. Together, they formed a large circular origin array over ten meters in diameter. There was a metallic pillar at its center with a metallic sphere floating atop. The metal ball, engraved with origin array patterns, was currently in operation—it alternated between light and dark while emitting odd fluctuations.
Three vampires, two esquires and one baron, stood beside the circular origin array. The baron who was standing at the edge of the platform and gazing at the towering mountains in the distance suddenly said, “Why hasn’t Sir Duras returned yet?”
“Perhaps they were delayed by some matters on the road. Although that werewolf whelp isn’t that strong, he’s fairly crafty and knows how to run,” one of the knights replied.
The baron frowned. “Even so, Sir Duras should’ve returned by know. Those he brought along were all experts.”
They could only keep on waiting despite being a bit anxious. The baron instructed the two esquires to guard the array while he himself entered the cave to rest.
The two esquires stood guard on each side and gazed at the surrounding mountains with great boredom. They didn’t have the slightest clue about the danger descending from above their heads.
Qianye glanced at the array for a while but gained nothing from it. What little knowledge he had about origin arrays was mostly related to guns and machinery. The only way for him to learn what they were doing in the werewolves’ sacred place was to acquire information from these remaining vampires.
Qianye observed the two blood esquires for a moment then gradually slid downward until he was tens of meters away from the platform. There, he leapt straight down and pounced toward the esquire on the left.
The blood esquire swiftly reacted, immediately drawing his sword and launching a backhand stab at Qianye before shouting out in alarm. But the long sword had only stabbed halfway when Qianye’s scarlet edge struck the blade.
There was an entire two-grade gap between the weapons in addition to the full force Qianye put behind the attack. The Scarlet Edge broke the blood esquire’s sword like a bamboo and left a b.l.o.o.d.y streak between his brows.
Qianye finally landed on his feet, and the impact shook the altar for a moment. The metallic ball at the center of the mysterious array began to sway immediately, and its light began to fluctuate with great intensity.
“Protect the array!” An alarmed voice rang out from the cave as the baron rushed out from within. At this time, the blood esquire on the other side was rus.h.i.+ng over with his sword drawn.
Qianye charged at the baron without so much as a moment’s pause. The Mystic Spider Lily appeared in his grip while he was running. After which, a shot was fired toward the cave with a raise of his hand.
The ignited origin array shot out numerous illusory flowers which bloomed around the exquisite handgun. Such a beautiful background scenery just happened to be the fangs of the grim reaper. That baron wasn’t even able to evade before his entire body was shaken—he turned rigid as though he were petrified and fell to the ground.
Apart from Qianye’s own Heavy Caliber, the shot was empowered by the Twin Flowers’ powerful shock and paralysis effects. The baron’s blood energy defenses dissolved in a flash like thin ice under the sunlight.
The remaining blood esquire near the altar had a.s.sumed a defensive stance in front of the metallic ball, but was shocked after seeing Qianye knock out the baron with one shot. Qianye simply rushed into the cave afterward, leaving the blood esquire hesitating whether he should follow him in and coordinate with his companions inside to launch a pincer attack or if he should guard the array.
Without waiting for the blood esquire to come to a decision, an origin grenade flew out from within the cave and shot straight toward the array.
The blood esquire was overcome with shock. If that origin grenade exploded within the array, it would completely destroy the array and the apparatuses. Without the time to think, the esquire threw himself toward the origin grenade—with a grab and a toss, he enveloped the grenade in blood energy and turned it toward a different direction. The grenade was flung dozens of meters away from the platform and exploded in the air.
The violent shockwaves seemed to have disrupted the operation of the mysterious array. The metallic sphere began to undulate wildly but soon calmed down again. The blood esquire had just finished breathing a sigh of relief when he saw the intruder walk out from the cave—his heart immediately sank to the very bottom.
A blood esquire and numerous other high-ranking warriors were resting inside, but there were no signs of movement from within. Could it be that this person had finished them all off in such a short time? The baron, on the other hand, lay immobile on the ground a dozen or so steps away from the cave entrance, his fate unknown. The blood flowing out from his body was unexpectedly black.
Qianye approached at a steady pace and said differently, “Surrender.”
“Step dreaming!” The blood esquire clenched his jaws and pounced forward, the sword in his hand erupting with a blazing radiance.
However, a layer of purple energy flickered over Qianye’s body as inexplicable terror gripped the blood esquire, suddenly freezing him in place.
“Sacred Blood! Senior…” The esquire came to a sudden stop mid-sentence and extreme panic appeared in his dark red eyes. This was the dread toward superior experts that had been etched deep into their consciousness. He slowly lowered his head to find a beautiful dagger pierced into his heart, through which all of his essence blood was gus.h.i.+ng out.
Qianye had just released all of his blood energy without reservation. The terrifying pressure and intimidation from his superior bloodline caused an intense suppression upon the unsuspecting blood esquire. In a melee exchange, a short moment of distraction was enough to decide one’s life and death.
The blood esquire finally understood why the other party was able to finish off the warriors in the cave with such speed. But why would a superior vampire appear in this place? To this question, however, he no longer had the time to think and would never know the answer.
Qianye walked to the edge of the platform, took out Wei Bainian’s grade-five vampire sniper rifle, and aimed at the path up the mountain. The commotion just now wasn’t small, and if there were enemies nearby, they would surely appear.
As expected, an arachne’s hurried figure entered Qianye’s vision soon afterward. He calmly pulled on the trigger and sent the arachne’s giant body tumbling some distance backward and then off the cliff.
He waited a while longer and put away the sniper rifle after confirming that there was no more movement. He then grabbed the unconscious baron and pierced the latter’s chest with the Scarlet Edge.
The pain of essence blood leaving his body woke the baron who let out a groan and gradually opened his eyes.
Qianye pulled out the Scarlet Edge—a drop of fresh blood traveled along the blade and dripped down right in front of the baron’s eyes. The latter’s face turned pale, and his expression was fluctuating with terror upon recognizing this grade-five vampiric weapon.
Qianye pointed at the circular array and asked directly, “Tell me what this is for.” With that, he pointed the Scarlet Edge at the baron’s heart.
The baron was exceptionally weak after losing a part of his essence blood. Although Qianye’s tone was flat and his words almost didn’t feel like a threat, the vampire couldn’t help but tremble under his aura.
That was a suppression of bloodline which transcended cultivation ranks. Moreover, he had sensed a similar aura before on a certain other person—a type of tyranny capable of destroying everything and filled one with instinctive dread—Marquis Nana.
The baron spoke respectfully, “May I ask if you hail from the honorable Mammon clan?” Mammon was precisely the clan Nana belonged to.
Qianye replied coldly, “You need only to reply my question right now.”
The baron finally submitted under the Scarlet Edge and the threat of having his essence blood sucked alive. “Our mission is to set up such arrays in special places like these. It’s said that they have detection and inhibition abilities, capable of sensing the emergence of specific auras. We were instructed to report immediately as soon as abnormal fluctuations appear in the array.”
The baron smiled wryly and replied, “We don’t know what it means either.”
Qianye nodded. He knew that these people were only responsible for setting things up and understood little about its uses. Additionally, there hadn’t been any unusual reactions recently. But the fact that Qianye didn’t understand didn’t mean he couldn’t find someone who did. He gave it some thought and decided to terminate the array’s operation first. He then disa.s.sembled those peculiar apparatuses and tossed all of them into Andruil’s Mysterious Realm.