Song Zining became serious. “This place should be kept between you and me, no need to reveal it for the time being. Otherwise, there might be big problems. I don’t think those Highbeards are that reliable, we had better keep them in check and control their passage.”
Qianye nodded. That was indeed the proper course of action.
Song Zining said after a moment of thought, “I have some savings in the Ningyuan Heavy Industries, enough to buy a batch of resources and ship it over. Let’s go around the continent in the Martyr’s Palace and check out the flight path. After confirming the route, I’ll go back first and ship the equipment over. Additionally, I’ll bring a group of trusted men from Dark Flame and Ningyuan. That should balance out the Highbeards’ power.”
Qianye knew he was far inferior to Song Zining in this field, so he merely nodded.
“Oh, right. You should also set up a mercenary corps in the outside world. It doesn’t need to be very strong, just set up a shell first. Later on, we’ll inject our own people into the framework and recruit more talents. Once we expand in the future, we’ll need such regular manpower to maintain our territory.”
Qianye nodded. There were so many things to tackle at the moment that he didn’t know where to start.
Now that Song Zining was standing beside him, Qianye recalled something that had been worrying him for a while. “Zining, this Martyr’s Palace was the Pointer Monarch’s project back in the year, the Northern Continent was also his discovery. There’s even a trap left in place on the Earth Dragon’s heart at the core of the Martyr’s Palace. I’m worried if it’ll alarm the monarch once we expand. And…”
He hesitated for a bit. “Could it be a trap?”
Song Zining was first surprised but then he said after some thought. “According to reasoning and morals, someone of the Pointer Monarch’s mental cultivation should no longer care about business and riches. If he wants to fight for something, there’s only one spot in the entire empire worthy of him.”
Qianye nodded, understanding that Song Zining was referring to the imperial throne. So many years had passed already, yet the Pointer Monarch seemed to have no interest in the great position.
Song Zining became quite serious at the mention of the monarch. “But you did say this is where he buried his heart. There’s no telling what will happen once he starts recalling old matters. We need to find a way…”
The seventh young master paced around several times before laughing out loud. “I’ve got it! At least it’ll prevent the old man from flying into a rage and killing you on sight. This time, you better thank me!”
“What are you talking about?”
Song Zining said with a laugh, “You’ll know when the time comes! Enough, it’s getting late, let’s go back.”
Qianye knew he wasn’t going to get anything out of the fellow, so he could only follow him back. There was a deep restlessness in his heart because, usually, nothing good would happen when Song Zining acted like this.
They took a straight line back and arrived at the Highbeard construction site in half a day’s time.
Red Lotus, now in worker’s clothing, was together with a group of strong Highbeard men. They were unloading giant rocks from a truck and filling them into a deep hole to form a foundational structure. Bluemoon was also in rough clothing, working alongside the men.
Red Lotus’ appearance surprised Qianye and Song Zining. The latter called Red Lotus over and asked with a frosty expression, “Where did your energy crystal come from?”
Red Lotus bit her lips in silence.
Whirlwind’s expression shifted drastically and appeared quite restless. How could this change escape the eyes of Qianye and Song Zining? The latter shot him a glance, saying, “Qianye, it seems your subordinate isn’t completely obedient yet.”
“It’s not his fault, I forced him!” Red Lotus said loudly.
Song Zining said coldly, “It looks like her order is still quite effective. Isn’t that right, Whirlwind?”
Whirlwind stammered, “This… no… actually…”
Red Lotus stepped in front of Whirlwind and said to Song Zining, “This is the last time he’s helping me. He has no choice because I’ve saved his life before.”
Qianye stepped in at this point. “She’s not doing anything. There are no airships here, so she can’t leave, either. Why not just let her have it?”
Song Zining shrugged. “Whirlwind is yours, Red Lotus is also yours. It’s up to you what you want to do with them.”
Qianye smiled. Ignoring Song Zining’s minor disapproval, he said to Red Lotus, “Why haven't you tried to escape?”
Red Lotus met Qianye’s gaze. “Why should I? I do have some enmity with you, but I’m a Highbeard first and foremost, I’m duty-bound to construct our ancestral land. Naturally, I still dislike seeing Bluemoon, so don’t make me her assistant.”
Her voice wasn’t soft, and Bluemoon also heard her from afar. The latter stood tall and said, “I’m willing to be your assistant if that’s what it takes to get a perfect construction plan.”
Red Lotus was startled and at a momentary loss for words.
Song Zining said to Qianye, “You really know how to pick your men, you've improved.”
After a bit of chitchat, he said, “Let’s get on with confirming the flight path.”
Nodding, Qianye activated the Martyr’s Palace and flew it into the void. Even with the palace’s speed, flying around the Northern Continent took two day’s time. Finally, Song Zining managed to find a secret flight path that would circle the Eastern Sea and arrive directly on the Northern Continent.
After confirming the flight path, Song Zining left without further delay. He had Qianye send him to a certain port city on the Eastern Sea Continent and boarded an airship there.
Qianye chose to cross over the Eastern Sea this time. The Martyr’s Palace was flying on the border of the void continent, so the terrifying beasts of the sea couldn’t threaten the airship. Besides, the Martyr’s Palace still retained a bit of the Earth Dragon’s might, and all fierce beasts would run away after sensing its aura.
Song Zining thought of something just as he was about to leave. “Give me that gun barrel. I have some resources in the empire, let’s see if I can’t build a gun for you.”
Qianye nodded and passed both the barrel and gun to Song Zining.
The latter strapped it to his back, patted Qianye on the shoulder, and said, “Wait till I come back, I’ll introduce you to a beautiful lady!”
Without waiting for Qianye to protest, Song Zining jumped off the airship and sped away.
A frustrated Qianye was left gazing on the Earth Dragon’s head. If Song Zining hadn’t come here, he wouldn’t have thought of so many past matters. But now, memories regarding the empire and the people there came flooding into his heart, and he simply couldn’t get rid of them.
With a long sigh, Qianye turned the airship back toward the Eastern Sea. Little Zhuji suddenly appeared beside him, asking, “Has Mama gone back?”
Qianye rubbed her head. “He’ll be back very soon.”
“Just take a nap and you’ll see him when you wake up.”
The dazed little fellow nodded. “I’m already sleepy, I’m going to sleep now.”
At this moment, a group of Highbeard engineers was on the newly-constructed deck, working to install a new kinetic sail on one of the dragon’s spines. The group cheered as the gigantic sails unfurled and sped up the giant airship a little bit.
Only a dozen or so engineers were working on the Martyr’s Palace. They had been working day and night to finish the installation of this giant kinetic sail, a project that would normally have taken hundreds of engineers several months to complete. They were absolutely loyal to Bluemoon and also understood that the ancestral land’s future safety depended on the completion of the Martyr’s Palace.
So just like the Highbeards building the ancestral home, those on the ship were also able to bring out an unimaginable amount of energy.
The Martyr’s Palace slowly flew into the void and stopped high above. Meanwhile, Qianye left the vessel and headed toward Southern Blue. It was about time the four ballistae had arrived. Although they were second-hand goods, the Martyr’s Palace would at least have some basic weapons. That should be enough to get the Earth Dragon out of its current awkward state where it could only ram into things.
Naturally, there weren’t a lot of airships that could outram the Martyr’s Palace.
Southern Blue wasn’t Qianye’s lucky place. Something would happen almost every time he came here. He would’ve snuck into the city at night and assassinated the city lord if this were the empire.
But this was the norm in the neutral lands. Every business deal would begin with each side trying to swallow up one another, and perhaps get their hands on the goods. If he had to kill Ji Rui for this, there wouldn’t be anyone left in the neutral lands he didn’t need to kill.
Qianye already understood this logic. So, he once again entered Southern Blue openly.
The guards there made sure to greet him cordially. Qianye was the city lord’s main customer, and the guards would all get better meals if the city was rich. On the other hand, Qianye was notorious for killing the entire Stormwind Fury corps. There was no way a handful of city guards could afford to provoke him.
After boarding the officer’s jeep, Qianye said half-jokingly, “There won’t be an ambush up ahead, will there?”
The officer was almost sweating. “No! Definitely not! If there really is an ambush, this little one will be the first to die, right? Besides, how could I have known when you would arrive? That’s not how you set up an ambush.”
The officer was quite shrewd with his words. Qianye decided not to mock him anymore and merely smiled in response. Then, he closed his eyes to rest.
The jeep swayed about as it drove toward the city lord’s manor.
Qianye seemed to be resting, but in truth, all of his senses had been deployed and his slightly open eyes were exuding a blue glow. With True Sight activated, he was constantly monitoring the origin power changes in the surroundings.
No fluctuation could escape his eyes in such a state. Even retracted auras would affect the flow of origin power and come into Qianye’s notice unless it was a heaven-defying ability like Bloodline Concealment or an extremely powerful expert.
He had learned to be careful after encountering so many problems in this city.
At this moment, the jeep took a turn around the street block and arrived on the main road toward the city lord’s manor. It was then that he saw, in his True Sight, a tempest brewing atop the manor. There was a hurricane of void origin power slowly revolving around the mansion.
Qianye suddenly opened his eyes!