[V7C035– In Life and In Eternal Rest]
Lil’ Knife rubbed his hands uneasily. “That is indeed the case for other people, but it definitely won’t affect you. How can these indigenous people be your match?”
Qianye might’ve been deceived if he hadn’t encountered this race. After his brief meeting with that woman, however, Qianye realized that these natives might pose a big problem. No race capable of controlling void energy was easy to deal with.
Qianye had no intention of causing trouble for Lil’ Knife, and neither was there any use in doing so. He believed the intimidation was enough to force them to play by the rules. If these people still refused to take a step back, he didn’t really mind waking them up by killing a few people in the night.
Mercy was meaningless in the neutral lands. People were more likely to take advantage of it instead.
By the time the two had drunk and eaten to their heart’s content, the goods Qianye needed were also ready. The most important item among them was a truck. The vehicle seemed to be five parts new, and Qianye found that the important components were fairly well-maintained. As such, he accepted the car and had the crates loaded onto it. A part of them was food and the remainder were machine parts, steel rods, alloy plates, etc. Additionally, half of the truck was filled with black stone to use as fuel.
A while later, Qianye left the little town on his new truck. The engine wheezed and trembled as it slowly hauled the heavy vehicle forward, puffing out steam from time to time. This truck was an old design from over a century ago and could no longer be found in the empire. Yet one could find such vehicles everywhere throughout the neutral lands, and they were fairly popular with the local populace.
Qianye finally understood why he would often see these antiques in the neutral lands. This car, for instance, was fairly old, but its construction was simple and its operation, stable. Repairing it was also fairly easy. All but the dumbest people could learn to maintain most of its components at home, the engine being the only exception.
Most intricate arrays simply couldn’t function under the harsh environment of the neutral lands. Some of the famous imperial battles.h.i.+ps models would hardly be able to start their engines here, not to mention activate their special abilities.
After Qianye’s departure, Lil’ Knife hurried over to meet the leader of this small town, a burly man named Iron Bear.
Iron Bear was on a reclining chair, enjoying the warm sunlight. There was a teacup in his left hand while his right hand was fiddling with a blood-stained dagger—the scene was a gross mismatch.
Lil’ Knife walked over to the burly man and whispered something in his ears. Iron Bear said with a frown, “He almost made you cough up blood just by attacking with his origin power? His strength isn’t bad then, might even be a champion.”
“Champion?” Lil’ knife was somewhat flabbergasted. “Isn’t that the same as your level? This little one can’t handle that much.”
Iron Bear laughed coldly as he crushed the dagger in his right hand into a steel ball, the sharp edge causing no damage at all to his skin. He tossed the ball to the ground and said in a sinister tone, “This daddy is a rank-eleven champion, not ten. Besides, so what if that brat is at the same level? Those imperial champions are so squishy that it’s like they never grew any b.a.l.l.s. Didn’t that rank-twelve guy we met last time die in my hands?”
Feeling quite relieved, Lil’ Knife proceeded to shower the man with flattery. Iron Bear glared at him unhappily and said, “If you had invested more in cultivation, you’d be a champion too by now. Now, look at you! Besides, I know all too well about the mess you’re caught up in. Looking to make a quick buck is fine, but don’t cause trouble for me. Otherwise, it’s too easy for this daddy to find another bootlicker.”
Lil’ Knife chuckled mischievously. “There are a lot of people who can do bootlicking but not many with a good sister.”
Iron Bear’s expression changed immediately. He glared at Lil’ Knife and said, “Don’t talk nonsense around your sister!”
Iron Bear’s expression recovered only after seeing Lil’ Knife nod. “You little brat, you’re all about schemes and tricks.”
Little Knife smiled mischievously. “My greatest dream is to take your place after you retire. What’s the point of going through so much hards.h.i.+p?”
Iron Bear said with a humph, “Speak, what exactly do you want? You have designs on that young man?”
“The woman with him is of the highest grade!”
Lil’ Knife shook his head. “No, that’s not something I can touch. Even a little bit of contact might invite disaster.”
Iron Bear nodded in satisfaction. “Now that’s more like it. Otherwise, I’d have to teach you a lesson in your sister’s stead. Enough with the c.r.a.p, what are your thoughts?”
Lil’ Knife pondered for a while and said, “That brat has hidden his powers quite well, but he’s still a newcomer. After all, he even chopped the trees from the Black Grove. I caught the scent of special wood from his body, which means he’s chopped down more than just a few trees and may even be building something like a log cabin. There are quite a lot of idiots like him. That being said, why don’t we sound him out?”
“You mean, you want to use that thing on him? Wouldn’t that be a waste?”
Little Knife said, “I have a feeling that these people are somewhat strange, I won’t feel easy without probing them. Boss, think about it, the other side made no special mention of them when they arrived. The only thing they said was that we should give them a bit more land. This isn’t normal! Even if the other side hadn’t figured his power out, they must’ve gotten some background information at least.”
Iron Bear nodded after a moment of contemplation. “Makes sense. Now that I think of it, it feels like those people are trying to defraud us. Fine! Maneuver the beasts and test him out.”
“If he can’t even handle the beast horde and natives, we can just…” Lil’ Knife didn’t continue speaking and only made a cut-throat gesture.
It was near sundown by the time Qianye got back to the log house, and a chill was fast spreading in the wind. The road back from the little town was only ten or so kilometers, but Qianye had to drive almost three hours. He was practically speechless about this old truck. From a different perspective, though, this car hadn’t malfunctioned after jolting its way through a virtually unpaved region. Now, that was fairly rare.
There were numerous sacks near the log cabin, filled with seash.e.l.ls of all shapes and sizes that Zhuji had caught. Her interest in fis.h.i.+ng for things had increased greatly after learning to use her sense of smell. Fortunately, she didn’t know how to swim very well, otherwise, she might’ve gone into the deeper parts of the ocean.
Nighteye was sitting outside the house, processing the wooden planks. One after the other, she cut them open and sharpened them on one end. These stakes would form the basic components for building a fence. It would seem she was planning to divide the land into two courtyards. The vampiric blade in Nighteye’s hands was Qianye’s. Had it any sentience, the grade seven dagger would probably kill itself after finding out that it was being used to carve wood.
Seeing the several wooden planks being trimmed into shape, Qianye understood that Nighteye had recovered a good portion of her strength. With the high-grade blood crystals Song Zining had arranged for her, full recovery was only a matter of time—probably just a couple of days more. It was just that the body could recover easily, but there was no way to heal the soul. With the formation of new memories, Nighteye was gradually forgetting all that she was in the past.
She could only remember a few of the most important events of her past, for instance, about the Monroe clan and Andruil. This was a recollection that came from the bloodline and thus wasn’t affected by the soul.
After returning home, Qianye pa.s.sed the parts in the truck to the old man while he himself began working with Nighteye to build the courtyard fence. With his help, the construction business became exceptionally fast, and by the time night arrived, the two log cabins had been surrounded by a yard. He even added a second floor to the log cabin while he was at it.
At nighttime, Qianye brought Zhuji back to the courtyard from the beach. Just as he was about to go back, he suddenly discovered a human silhouette in the forest. By virtue of his morning experience, Qianye felt that it might be one of the natives who had come to seek revenge for his logging activities in the Black Grove. The origin oscillation attack, however, would only work as a surprise attack. Now that Qianye was guarded against it, he needed only to activate his origin defenses to disperse most of the attack power.
Hence, he paid it no heed and continued home with Zhuji. He knew very well by now that these indigenous people liked to hold grudges. If he killed one of them, there would likely be no end to his troubles later on. Fortunately, the house was a fair distance from the Black Grove. If these natives dared leave the woods and launch an attack, Qianye wouldn’t mind giving them a painful lesson.
But that figure didn’t leave the Black Grove and, instead, tossed out a metallic can. The container flew for several hundred meters before falling to the ground. There, it burst open immediately and began emitting strands of white smoke.
Qianye broke into a slight frown. He dragged Zhuji into the courtyard and closed the gates behind him.
The first thing he did afterward was tell the old man to hide in the bas.e.m.e.nt. The latter was the least powerful among them, and a mere shockwave could injure him. Feeling relieved after hiding the old man, Qianye jumped onto the rooftop and began scanning the area around the Black Grove.
The white smoke spread out rapidly and soon covered several kilometers in radius.
Moments later, the ground began to shake and the Black Grove was filled with the roars of beasts. The howling was akin to the raging tides and likely belonged to a horde of fierce beasts, numbering in the hundreds.
The tightly-packed beast horde soon rushed out of the Black Grove and made for the smoke-covered area. These creatures became incomparably restless after entering the smoke, and soon, the newly constructed courtyard nearby became a glaring target for them.
The beast horde charged out of the smoke amidst fierce roars and went straight for the little courtyard. Qianye stood on the rooftop with a cold smile, gazing at the distant forest where he knew the true mastermind was hiding.
As expected, many figures suffused with void origin power appeared in the Black Grove. It would seem a fair number of natives had gathered here.
Qianye’s cold smile became even more apparent as he pointed at the beast horde and said, “Zhuji, snack-time!”
“It’s called collecting ingredients!” Little Zhuji protested. She was quite picky now and only ate things cooked personally by Qianye—not even the old man’s dishes were good enough.
After issuing a brief protest, her pet.i.te figure crashed right through the fence and charged into the beast horde.