Chapter 1339: Investigation
People from both sides felt their minds go blank. “How did a heavenly monarch appear?”
A heavenly monarch didn’t arrive, yet that bullet Zhao Jundu had fired contained the power and aura of one. The bullet accelerated rapidly to an unimaginable speed, leaving only a slowly expanding ring of light.
As expected of the Evernight Council’s holy weapon, Awakening Dream immediately sensed the abnormality. Its sword radiance erupted just as rapidly and slashed at the bullet.
But the radiance was shattered, and the bullet only shifted slightly before disappearing into Nighteye’s chest.
Such might, such terrifying power could only belong to one person in the Empire—Prince Greensun!
In the distant fortress, Song Zining’s expression was one of shock as he gazed at the distant battlefield. A heavenly monarch’s power caught his attention despite the great distance.
The change came so fast that Nighteye had already fallen on her back by the time Song Zining looked over.
Song Zining instinctively reached out to grab at the air, where a projection of Nighteye had appeared. Dozens of divination tokens materialized and spun around her image.
This was perhaps his only chance to check on her with divination.
On the battlefield, the dark golden blossoms wilted, and the swift birds disintegrated amidst mournful cries. Nighteye’s domain was reduced to countless golden specks that slowly rose into the air, painting the battlefield with a sad but beautiful color of blood.
All of the dark race experts were shocked. They risked life and limb to fly over, shielding Nighteye in their midst, yet none of them dared touch her. All they did was channel their origin power to support her.
Nighteye opened her eyes all of a sudden. “Trying to divine me, eh? What great coordination! You really want me dead!”
Her eyes were suffused with a tinge of red, but it soon settled into a dark golden hue. There were mountains and fields in her eyes but no more pupils.
The new world before Song Zining immediately transformed into the depths of the void, where a pair of dark golden eyes were slowly opening. There were no pupils in these eyes, yet they contained the world of the night within them.
The moment he was gazed upon, Song Zining let out a loud cry. He fell on his back as the divination tokens shattered, and his eyes started bleeding.
The eyes glanced toward Song Zining, then slowly closed up. They looked rather tired at this point.
The void faded away, and the new world appeared once more.
Nighteye closed her eyes and said, “I’m fine. Issue the order, attack!”
“Yes! Your Majesty!” The dark race experts responded in unison. Then, they spread out to lead their own forces. The vampire experts, especially, were gnashing their teeth as they glared at the Imperial soldiers with hatred in their eyes.
It was at this time that a clap of thunder echoed in the sky. An indescribable feeling of palpitation bored down, as though they were being strangled.
The experts from both factions were familiar with this sensation—the malicious intent of the new world was here. Clearly, that burst of heavenly monarch power had drawn its attention. This was doubly true because the energy belonged to a celebrated top expert like Prince Greensun.
All the experts on the battlefield were like ants before this malicious intent. It couldn’t be bothered under normal circumstances, but if these death-courting ants wanted to flaunt their power at such a time, the new world’s intent wouldn’t mind spending a bit of effort to crush them.
Without prior arrangement, experts from both sides retracted their domains and separated at the same time. Showing off at such a time would be idiocy and not valor.
Nighteye was barely able to stand at this point. There was now a dark golden armor made of blood covering her body.
She gazed at the Imperial army, saying, “We’ll let them live for three more days, withdraw.”
A long bugle cry echoed as the dark race army receded like the tides.
A handsome vampire marquis spat, saying, “This is your so-called ‘not going all-out?’ As expected of a lowly race that’s only worthy of being food!”
Zhao Jundu stood silently with his rifle in hand, not a shred of emotion on his face. He neither argued nor retreated, and only watched as the dark race army retreated.
The malicious intent of the new world swept back and forth across the battlefield, but it didn’t unleash its wrath upon the soldiers below. However, that feeling of being observed lingered for a long while.
Perhaps it would take a couple of days for it to return to where it came from and forget about this incidence. That was why Nighteye said she would give the Empire three more days.
Once the dark race army had retreated, Zhao Jundu said, “I want an investigation into the stock and records of all bullets made by Prince Greensun!”
The aide was shaken. “Sire, your authority isn’t enough to check these records. Will you…”
“Check what you can for now. As for authority, I’ll get that in a couple of days.” After giving out instructions, Zhao Jundu shot into the air and flew back to the Imperial central fortress amidst the odd gazes.
A bearded officer whispered, “Was that… a scheme just now?”
His comrade was shocked out of his wits. Quickly covering the man’s mouth, he said, “Stop talking nonsense! Don’t make guesses! Go and restock on bullets, the dark races will be back in three days.”
The bearded officer came to and left without saying a word.
Back at the central base, Zhao Jundu entered Song Zining’s office with steady steps.
The latter was standing before the window, wiping his mouth with a white handkerchief. “I knew you’d come, but I didn’t think you’d be here this fast. Looks like the change in origin power also changed your temperament.”
Zhao Jundu said, “How did you get injured?”
“I just fired a bullet made by a heavenly monarch and you followed up with divination. Quite the effort to deal the killing blow.”
Song Zining turned around with a wry smile. “Will you believe me if I say it’s just a coincidence?”
“It’s too much of a coincidence. Has your divination reached a stage where it activates once you sense something? Or is it to say that you can already divine a heavenly monarch?”
Zhao Jundu’s eyesight was sharp—that lapse after firing Dark Sky was so short that it couldn’t even be described as a moment. How could Song Zining have caught this opportunity without prior planning? If he really could, then how advanced were his powers?
Song Zining let out a cough as he flipped the handkerchief over and folded it neatly. There were visible bloodstains on the cloth, a testament to his serious injuries.
“It was really a coincidence.”
Zhao Jundu glared at him for a good while. He finally said with a sigh, “I can believe you, but other people won’t.”
“I’ve already sent people to investigate the stock and records of Prince Greensun’s bullets.”
Song Zining shook his head. “You know you won’t find anything, why the effort?”
“I have to get to the bottom of this no matter what.”
Song Zining said, “A heavenly monarch’s handcrafted products belonged to the highest level of confidentiality. We don’t have the authority to investigate their records. I know you might have a way to raise your access, but it’ll take several days for that to happen. By that time, there won’t be any useful information on the document they give you. They’ll have done whatever they need to do by then.”
“There’s no way Prince Greensun’s hand-made bullet would’ve fallen down from the sky.”
“There’s really no need.”
“I must know who is behind this. I must get my hands on some accomplices at the very least!”
“You’ll only get some scapegoats at most.”
“That’s fine as well.”
Song Zining sighed. “You… sigh…”
Zhao Jundu said all of a sudden, “You exchanged blows with her too, do you think that shot is enough to kill her?”
Song Zining was dazed. “Prince Greensun’s power is the bane of all dark races. She’s… not going to have a good time.”
After some thought, he added, “This might not be a good thing for you and me, but it’s beneficial to the entire Empire. You know how many soldiers have died since she joined the fight.”
“That means you know about this matter?” Zhao Jundu’s gaze was cold.
Song Zining coughed a couple of times. He then said with a rueful laugh, “It’s really a coincidence. I’m only judging the matter as it stands.”
“That will be for the best.”
Zhao Jundu turned and left, not even closing the door behind him.
Song Zining watched his figure disappear before returning to the window with a sigh. There, he watched silently as the people went about their work in the fortress below.
The soldiers and officers who had been discussing the matter immediately went quiet when he returned to the frontline fortress. Their attitude was perfectly respectful, but the look in their eyes betrayed their thoughts.
Zhao Jundu gave them brief instructions before assembling all of the officers in the conference room. “I want all records of people going in and out of the fortress in the last three days, and a list of outsiders stopping over for an extended period. I will immediately execute anyone who tries to hide information!”
Zhao Jundu’s claims could not be discounted. The group of officers responded respectfully and dispersed to do their work.
Zhao Jundu remained alone in the conference room.
Moments later, a general walked in and placed a stack of documents in front of him. “Sire, all the records are here. It’s just that…”
“We’ve had to prepare resources and fight every day during this period. Our base also happens to be a transit hub, so all those retreating from the front and coming in from the rear will pass through the place. Everyone has been so busy that the records are actually quite vague, and there were missing entries.”
“I understand.” Zhao Jundu’s temper was surprisingly good. He picked up the document and went through them one by one.
The three days of free time was a rare opportunity for the Empire to repair and reorganize. Countless soldiers took this opportunity to rebuild the first-line fortifications that had been destroyed. They added smaller forts to the side as well to stop the dark races from flanking.
Zhao Jundu spent these three days reading documents, including those coming in from the rear lines. His application for higher access was granted pretty quickly, and a batch of documents labeled “highly confidential” was delivered to him by a group of elite escorts.