Monarch of Evernight - Volume 10 - The Flag of Evernight (1183-) Chapter 1214: The Truth
At noon, a high-speed corvette left the Wolf Fang Fortress and drove toward a plain near the corner of the great corridor. There were one big tribe and three small ones located in the area.
Qianye picked the location on the map as they set out, ruling out any fake move by Eiseka.
Song Hui grabbed the short moment she had with Qianye to express her opinion. “There must be a scheme behind this. That stinky wolf must have an agenda!”
It was obvious that she was quite guarded against Eiseka. Even Qianye himself found his evaluation of this werewolf count changing repeatedly. No wonder Zheng never gained any advantage over the werewolves despite the difference in society and a talented general like Xu Jingxuan.
However, Qianye had his own thoughts regarding this. “Having an agenda is normal. Why else would he be doing all this? Overwhelming military force? If that’s the case, any clan lord from Twilight Continent can take over Fort Continent. As for whether it’s a scheme, we’ll see that very soon.”
This journey wasn’t long, and they very quickly arrived at their destination.
For many of the mercenaries, this was the first time entering a werewolf settlement as a guest. Even though Qianye had seen quite a few werewolf settlements on Evernight Continent, he was still surprised by the scene before him.
Compared to the werewolves on the other continents, the tribes here were so much more primitive. The buildings were all made of wood, and the roofs were made of dried grass and mud. The camp was surrounded by sharpened stakes that couldn’t even count as a wall. There were several wooden poles inside where the game was left to hang dry. The compound wasn’t small, but most of the hunted animals were wild chicken and ducks, with very few large games.
Seeing Qianye walk into the camp, many tribesmen walked out of their thatched huts and looked on in silence. Most of the people here were women and children, with just a handful of them fit for battle. This wasn’t strange since most of them should’ve been recruited for the army. The strange thing was that there were few old people as well. The wargs were lying lazily in the shade, only moving their tails from time to time.
Most of the werewolves were dressed in animal hide. Many of the children were simply naked, and even some of the women weren’t dressed from the waist up.
On the kitchen counter near the huts, there were various fruits and dried meat being cooked into a kind of gruel, their staple food. It was just that the amount of meat in it was pitifully small, perhaps only enough to impart a meaty fragrance to the food.
The werewolves looked curious and respectful toward the guests, but also fairly indifferent and numb. It was as though their difficult life had drained them of all passion.
Qianye had never observed tribal life from the perspective of a peaceful third-party, nor did he imagine the werewolves here would be in such dire straits.
The werewolves were carnivores, or at least fairly close. The lack of meat would affect their growth adversely. The Empire’s trick with werewolf prisoners was to feed them grains. After a week or so, even the strongest werewolves would become weak. Not to mention escape, they wouldn’t even have enough strength to resist.
But the werewolves of the great corridor seemed accustomed to this kind of near-vegetarian diet, or rather, they were forced to.
Just as Qianye was observing the details in the tribal village, an old werewolf shaman cried out after a couple of hard sniffs. “It’s His Majesty! His Majesty Qianye!”
He rushed toward Qianye, fell to the ground, and started kissing his combat boots. A big commotion broke out as the entire tribe swarmed to Qianye with mad fervor.
The mercenary generals were shocked, and some of them even drew their weapons.
Eiseka unleashed his aura, shaking all of the tribesmen. He then roared in a loud voice, “All of you stand back and keep your distance. Whoever dares offend His Majesty will be flayed and hung on the poles!”
Only at this point did this dark race count—a sniper who had always fought with steady patience—reveal his ferocity and ruthlessness. The threat was highly effective. The tribesmen all fell to their knees and crawled backward, opening a path for Qianye.
Qianye looked at Eiseka with a frown. “What’s with that address?”
Eiseka said respectfully, “You’ll understand once you visit the ancestral altar.”
Qianye glared at him briefly before heading toward the biggest hut in the village. This was where the sacrificial altar was located, a holy place in the village. Let alone outsiders, not even their own villagers had the right to set foot here without good reason. However, the shamans had no objection to this guest and welcomed Qianye with uniform prostration.
Frowning, Qianye entered through the door and found that the inside was almost like a completely different world. What surprised him was that he could actually sense his own aura coming from the altar. At present, perhaps only Qianye possessed the dark golden blood energy, so there was no mistaking it.
At the center of the ancestral altar, the totems of the tribal ancestors stood around a certain insignia. The object was made of steel, crafted so crudely that even the edges weren’t even or round. Such an item would be little more than trash in the Empire and would fetch a couple of copper coins at most.
If one had to point out its special characteristic, it would have to be that bit of Qianye’s blood energy attached to it. This insignia was one of those that Eiseka had asked Qianye to stain with his blood energy. Back then, Qianye had thought he just wanted some tokens to serve as proof during operations, something very common in the Empire and Evernight. A true bigshot’s token would always contain a unique aura, making forgery impossible.
Who would’ve thought such a slipshod product would actually be standing amidst the ancestral totems and worshipped as a holy object?
Qianye picked up the insignia to take a look, then put it back on the altar. He discovered that not only did his aura not weaken over this long period, but it had grown even stronger. Could this be a result of the werewolves’ worship?
“What’s going on?” Qianye asked.
“You’ve seen it with your eyes. The werewolves of the great corridor consider you as their true king. Your position in their hearts is unique, even exceeding their ancestors. So, you don’t need to worry about their loyalty.”
Qianye sneered. “Do you think I’ll believe this? What did you tell them?”
Eiseka fell onto one knee. “Your Majesty, that is the truth. It’s not just them, my tribesmen and I also believe that you are the true king who will lead us out of our plight.”
Qianye’s voice was cold. “What’s the reason? What I displayed to you is blood energy. The vampires and werewolves have a generational feud in the upper continents. The holy war has lasted thousands if not tens of thousands of years.”
“I don’t want to hear that address.”
Eiseka was stopped up; he lowered his head even more. “As you will it.”
After a pause to reorganize his thoughts, he said, “The upper continents are too far from us, and the holy war is but a legend. The werewolves in the great corridor want something very simple, and that is to live on.”
Qianye said coldly, “Every race wants to survive. Get to the point, unless you have nothing else to say?”
Eiseka said, “To the werewolves of the great corridor, even survival is an extravagant objective. For the tribes to survive, we really have no other choice but to fight. Either we bring back spoils from the fight, or we die to lighten the tribe’s burden. With so many of us in this small area, some have to die for the others to live.”
This was a serious but simple reasoning.
Fighting for survival space was the theme of all unending wars in the Evernight World—between factions, within factions, and even within each race, the only difference being the intensity. The situation of the tribes in the great corridor might be worse than most of the other places.
Xu Jingxuan said all of a sudden, “This is your reason for attacking Zheng every year?”
Eiseka nodded. “That’s the biggest reason. Otherwise, who would want to attack a fortress with a complete defense system?”
Xu Jingxuan snorted with an ugly expression. Every year, between summer and autumn, the werewolves would launch a raid on Zheng, plundering supplies and resources. They would come like the whistling wind and leave in a similar manner. Even with the help of their fortress, the defenders would suffer a fair number of casualties. In his years as the commander of the western border, many familiar faces had turned into names on wooden tombstones.
In terms of casualties, the werewolves suffered greater than the humans. However, even after seeing the werewolves’ living environment and realizing that they needed to reduce their numbers, hatred was still hatred to Xu Jingxuan. He couldn’t feel any sympathy at all.
One of the mercenary generals said, “You can’t survive on your own, so you surrender in bulk and want us to feed you?”
These words echoed the sentiments of many people. Many angry eyes fell upon the werewolf count.
Eiseka looked up into Qianye’s eyes. His gaze was clear, full of courage and pride, but it was also honest, without the slightest bit of guilt at his plan being seen through.
“Our reason for vowing loyalty is indeed to survive.”
These words invited many disdainful snorts and angry glares.
Only the two attendants from the Thunderfrost Temple remained emotionless; no one knew what they were thinking.
Eiseka suddenly raised his voice. “But we don’t want you to feed us. We werewolves are natural warriors. Our ancestors were born in the flames of war and died in the flames of war. We can provide for ourselves! Even the bit of help we need right now is because the women are about to give birth, so they need to eat a bit more, and I hope the elderly can live until harvest time.”
Qianye figured out the different tone. “You said something about the elderly?”
Eiseka’s voice became gloomy. He pointed at the white-haired shaman and said, “In the great corridor, only the shaman and witch doctors can live to this age. The rest will be sent to the battlefield once their strength starts to decline, or they would head into the mountains in search of their own dying place. So, you won’t see any elderly werewolves in the villages. The werewolves here have no right to grow old.”
These simple words carried incomparable weight.
Even Xu Jingxuan and the mercenaries went silent. Among the higher-ups of Dark Flame, they could feel these emotions more than the people from the Song clan. In this dark world, humans had always been the weaker race. In the neutral lands and in small places like Zheng, the life of ordinary civilians who could no longer fight wasn’t all that better from these werewolves. Only the Great Qin which had stood for a thousand years could provide any semblance of peaceful propagation in its hinterlands.
Qianye glanced at Eiseka with eyes that seemed to look through him, into the depths of the void, or maybe even a certain point in the river of time.
After a while, Qianye said, “What do you want me to do?”