Within the speeding jeep, Song Zining glanced meaningfully at Qianye. “You seem to be more ruthless now!”
“We’re in the neutral lands, I’ll be dead if I wasn’t ruthless.”
“That’s how you should’ve been since the very beginning. It seems the neutral lands is the most suitable place for you.”
“No, I would never have come here if I had the choice.”
The interior of the car became quiet all of a sudden. A brief moment passed with neither saying anything. Eventually, Song Zining remembered something. “Oh, I’ve almost forgotten about something important. Come with me, I’ll introduce you to someone.”
“You’ll know when you see her, she’s quite the beauty.”
Seeing Song Zining’s mysterious demeanor, Qianye only laughed and drove toward the depths of the wilderness as instructed.
After an hour of traveling, a small town appeared ahead of them. Qianye stopped the vehicle on the outskirts and had Whirlwind keep watch, while he himself followed Song Zining into town.
The seventh young master entered a dilapidated courtyard with Qianye in tow. Once inside, Qianye could hear muffled sounds inside, likely coming from someone who had been bound and gagged.
Song Zining smiled mysteriously as he led Qianye into the house. Pointing at the bed, he said with a face full of smiles. “See? Isn’t she a beauty?”
There was indeed a woman on the bed. To be precise, she was tied up there, her eyes blindfolded, and her limbs spread out and bound to each corner of the bed.
One could easily see that her figure was quite alluring. She was tall, slender, and possessed long legs. There was a ball of cloth stuffed inside her mouth, preventing her from uttering a single word. All she could do was let out muffled cries. Her struggling became even fiercer as she sensed people entering the room.
The scene of her writhing looked even more enticing, filling the spectator with an unbearable urge to commit certain crimes.
Qianye knocked lightly on her calf, eliciting a metallic echo.
“Of course, and someone fairly important, too.”
“Red Lotus, I heard you were looking for her?”
“So this is Red Lotus? She’s not weak, how did you manage to keep her bound so easily?”
Song Zining had only used an ordinary rope, and the method was nothing special, either. Such bondage might work on ordinary people, but it was far from enough to restrain a Highbeard, especially someone like Red Lotus. Yet Song Zining had not only bound her but also left her in place for quite a long time.
Song Zining said with a smile, “I didn’t restrain her, she’s doing it to herself. Highbeards use machine components to modify their bodies which, for the knowledgeable, is the best tool to bind them.”
Next up, Song Zining explained everything in detail. Only then did Qianye realize that the seventh young noble had readjusted the kinetic machinery in her joints, reversing the direction of their output. That way, Red Lotus’ machines would move backward when her body was given the command to move forward.
This made it so that Red Lotus would have to overcome her own machine components whenever she tried to move. These equipment were there to empower the Highbeards, to begin with. They were no different from ordinary people without the machines, and it didn’t take a genius to guess their actual muscle strength.
Red Lotus was no exception regarding this. Her struggling was no different from that of an ordinary person, and there was no telling how long she would be tied up here.
“How did you capture her?”
“When have I failed to capture someone I wanted to?”
Qianye felt a deep headache. After a long absence, this seventh young noble had turned even more shameless.
Qianye coughed once. “I say, Seventh Young Noble, what were you planning to do with this prisoner?”
“I’m handing her to you, don’t you think she looks nice? Besides, her position in the Highbeards is quite high. Conquering her means taking over one-third of the Highbeard tribe. We’re going to build a nation, so we’ll need people.”
“Wait a minute.” Qianye stopped Song Zining from continuing his nonsense. “Most of the Highbeards already stand with me. She might have some other uses, but taking her in is a discussion for another time.”
Hearing the two discussing her, Red Lotus’ struggling grew stronger once more. Unfortunately, all that served to do was arouse men’s primal instincts.
Song Zining arrived beside the bed to remove her blindfold and gag piece. She wanted to scream after regaining some freedom, but her face turned pale upon seeing Song Zining, not daring to move in the slightest.
“That’s a good girl, be obedient and there’ll be less suffering.” Song Zining offered words of praise. With a wave of his hand, several leaves shot out to cut the ropes binding her. “Get up and follow us.”
Red Lotus clenched her teeth as she slowly clambered up. Song Zining hadn’t reverted the changes to her equipment. As such, she was even a bit weaker than an ordinary human girl.
Moments later, the three boarded the jeep and drove away from the small town, heading in the direction of the continent’s edge. Song Zining was still in the passenger’s seat and Red Lotus was in the back row. The heads of her enemies were swaying right in front of her, but it was uncertain whether she could pierce their scalps even if she did attack.
Before Red Lotus could decide whether she should take action, Song Zining suddenly turned back and said, “Red Lotus, this is my brother, Qianye. From now on, you’re his woman! What do you think, not bad, right?”
Red Lotus clenched her teeth. Qianye was someone she had long since wanted to kill. She hated him even more now that she had lost most of her men and her maternal lineage’s treasure, the autocannon with overload function. That was why she didn’t dare return to the tribe after escaping the city lord’s mansion. She could only roam the surroundings and see if there was an opportunity to steal the weapon back.
In the end, she was captured by Song Zining before she could take action.
Red Lotus’ eyes were full of anger. At this moment, Song Zining’s gaze paused intentionally on her throat as he said meaningfully, “You’d better not do anything dumb in front of me, or else your fate will be extremely miserable.”
Red Lotus shivered before his gaze, almost as though she were drenched in cold water. She had a final hidden ace—there was a tiny origin gun inside her mouth, and the bullet was hidden in her throat region. That place was difficult to search, and the origin bullet could shield her against a slash to the throat.
But Song Zining’s stare bewildered her. “Has he seen through it?”
The frostiness on the seventh young noble’s face dispersed as he said with a smile, “My brother is so outstanding, you’ve really profited from this arrangement.”
Red Lotus shot a glance at Qianye. All she could see from behind was the side of his countenance, but that was more than enough. In terms of appearance, high vampires had always stood at the peak of the Evernight world, suppressing all the other races, except perhaps for a few demonkin who were on par with them. And Qianye was a vampire of ancient bloodline. He might not possess the exquisite beauty of contemporary high vampires, but there was a distant temperament that was unique to him.
To the people of these troubled lands, it could be said that Qianye’s attractiveness was somewhat greater.
And Red Lotus had already learned of Qianye’s combat strength. He had an unreasonable level of power, wiping out her ambush that could’ve gravely injured a rank-seventeen expert while sustaining negligible damage himself.
People in the neutral lands were used to following the strong, even more so for the Highbeards who made a living as mercenaries.
Red Lotus felt a particular emotion in her heart. This brief feeling was like the coming of spring after winter, a hint of green under the melting snow.
Hearing Song Zining’s words, Qianye shook his head. “Don’t mess around, I have a family.”
Song Zining sprayed out the water he was drinking, and this loss of composure filled him with exasperation. “Y-You… family my ass! Does she even give a damn about you? Someone like you wants to cling onto someone so influential? Brother, wake up, the sun hasn’t set just yet… or rather, it’s almost sunrise now.”
Qianye chuckled. “One day, I’ll be able to.”
Song Zining sighed. “You better sober up. If she’s as you said, there’s simply no way you can keep up with her steps. Even if you can become strong enough to stand shoulder to shoulder with her one day, how many years will that take? Decades or even centuries, everyone will have changed during that time.”
“We’ll see when the time comes.”
Song Zining was helpless against the obstinate Qianye. “Fine! When I see Nighteye, I’m going to tell her about Lil’ Seven and Nine. Oh, and also Xiaoniao.”
Greatly alarmed, Qianye’s hands trembled a bit and almost flipped the jeep over. Song Zining and Red Lotus were swayed unsteadily inside the car and suffered painful bumps. Whirlwind was also surprised, thinking that there was an enemy up front. He leaned out the window with his autocannon in hand and scanned the area, but there was nothing in sight except the vast expanse of darkness.
“Sire, where’s the enemy?” Whirlwind shouted at the top of his lungs.
Qianye’s face froze up. He pretended not to hear the man and invested his full concentration on the road ahead. Song Zining’s shoulders were trembling as he held back his laughter—he was apparently undergoing quite a bit of hardship there, but he knew well that laughing out loud would be terrible at this point.
Red Lotus, on the other hand, was filled with different emotions. She turned back and glared ferociously at Whirlwind. In her heart, this traitor was the most hateful person, even more so than Qianye.
Whirlwind’s heart shivered in the face of Red Lotus’ death glare. He had known the girl for quite some time and had a subconscious fear of her. But he quickly recalled that the latter was already a defeated prisoner, while he himself had already submitted to Qianye—this was the perfect moment to perform. Feeling fairly emboldened at the thought of this, he glared fiercely back at her.
Red Lotus wasn’t expecting such a reaction, and she almost blacked out from the anger. Yet, she had no way of punishing Whirlwind. She couldn’t even curse verbally with Song Zining sitting nearby.
To a Highbeard, losing control of their mechanical parts was an indescribably cruel form of torture. Red Lotus was a person of firm character, but after an entire day of torment brought about by the kinetic equipment, she had almost entirely lost the will to resist.
At first, Red Lotus had already begun to accept her fate of being forcefully given to Qianye, but the fellow had actually refused her. And from Song Zining’s words, it seemed like he was infatuated with a certain woman. At this moment, Red Lotus’ heart was filled with a feeling of extreme discomfort.