Monarch of Evernight - Volume 10 - The Flag of Evernight (1183-) Chapter 1229: Generous Gifts
Picking up on Qianye’s expression, Eunuch Liu said with a smile, “Qianye, Sire, don’t be in a rush to decline. Let’s reminisce about old times first.”
Reminisce? Qianye’s eyes lit up with a blue color. The characteristics of Eunuch Liu’s origin power became evident to the Eye of Control, and the man did nothing to hide it, either. Despite that, he couldn’t help but tremble slightly when his image appeared in Qianye’s eyes.
Qianye felt a sense of familiarity at first glance, almost as though he had seen this origin power characteristic somewhere. “Could it be that Steward Liu is…”
“My older brother,” Eunuch Liu said with a smile.
“So that’s the case.” Qianye’s expression relaxed quite a bit. The battle against Luo Bingfeng in Tidehark wouldn’t have ended the way it did had Steward Liu not intervened at the critical moment. It could be said that the man had saved his life, so it was only natural that he felt cordial toward the brother.
Eunuch Liu said, “I’m called Liu Yuanwei. My strength is shamefully mediocre, so I rarely bring up our relationship in order to not humiliate my brother. Only a few of my close friends know of it. The Empress values you highly. She was delighted to hear of your pioneering efforts on Fort Continent and granted you several rewards.”
“This… I thank the Empress’ kindness.” Qianye’s reply contained a bit of hesitation.
He wasn’t a subject of the Empire at the moment, and this new land was also claimed in his name. Even if he decided to build a country out of the Jade Sea and the great corridor, it would be an independent nation. At most, it would be a nominal vassal nation like Zheng. As his strength and resources grew, this nominal designation would eventually become a mere formality.
The Empress’ delight under such circumstances only brought up questions for discussion. It couldn’t be about Qianye’s independent nation in any case.
Qianye thought one step deeper. What if it really was the reason? What did this mean?
A smiling Liu Yuanwei grabbed Qianye by the hand and said, “The Empress treats you very differently, and the rewards are fairly generous. Why not come with me and see?”
“Very well, please lead the way.”
Eunuch Liu led Qianye toward the airship port, followed by the children, Li Wanqing and Li Panyu. They were quite well-behaved and didn’t speak a word the entire way. It was just that Li Panyu’s glances at Qianye seemed a bit unfriendly.
The boy’s little actions couldn’t escape Qianye’s notice, of course. He didn’t really mind and merely feigned ignorance, but he was secretly hoping that they would stir up some trouble. That would give him a good reason to send them back. Otherwise, these outstanding clan descendants would be troublesome to take care of. It would be difficult to explain if something were to happen to them on the battlefield.
Qianye simply didn’t want to keep these two, but an overt refusal wasn’t a great idea, either. He hadn’t yet decided what kind of relationship he wanted to maintain with the Empire in the future. It was meaningless to offend the Empress for such a small matter, especially with Song Zining in the Empire.
The city wasn’t very big, so the group soon arrived at the airship port. There were three high-speed airships parked here, including one that looked like a transport. Eunuch Liu led Qianye up to the cargo hold, where several large crates were fixed with shock-absorbing mechanisms used for the transport of valuable objects.
Liu Yuanwei pointed at the first few and said, “These three contain the latest compact mining machines. They can adapt to almost any landscape and are used to excavate valuable but dispersed minerals. Don’t be fooled by their size, their performance isn’t inferior to the bigger machinery at all. The only problem is that they require a champion to operate. I heard you have a well-trained force and dozens of champions under your command. So, this won’t be a problem for you.”
Qianye asked, “Is the origin power attribute limited?”
Eunuch Liu smiled mysteriously. “Of course not. The dark races can use them just as well as humans can. So, watch them well because it won’t be good if Evernight gets their hands on it.”
“They will remain mine as long as they don’t leave the Fort Continent.”
Eunuch Liu praised, “Bold and aggressive!”
Li Panyu snorted, muttering to himself. “There’s a duke here for god’s sake. Is he not afraid of pulling a tongue muscle from all the bluffing?”
His voice wasn’t loud, almost as though he were speaking to himself, but who here didn’t possess outstanding ability and senses? They heard everything he had uttered.
Eunuch Liu’s smile instantly turned awkward.
Qianye seemed completely ignorant of the situation and simply walked over to the containers at the back. The eunuch heaved a sigh of relief and followed suit.
Seemingly dissatisfied, Li Panyu spoke to Li Wanqing with a slightly louder voice, “Say, Sis, do you think dukes are easy to kill?”
Li Wanqing glared at him. “I don’t know! But it shouldn’t be a problem for a duke to slap you to death.”
“Of course, I’m not a duke’s match, but some people think dukes are cabbages that can be picked from the roadside!”
As Li Panyu’s voice grew louder and louder, Eunuch Liu’s laughter also grew stiffer. One of the mercenary generals following the entourage had a bad temper, to begin with. Unable to hold back any longer, he said, “Where did this ignorant brat come from? Did your elders not teach you well? How can you know so little about the world and dare to speak such nonsense? You should be the one worrying about pulling your tongue muscle!”
This could be considered rather rude, even throwing the boy’s words back at him. Flushed red, Li Panyu pointed at the mercenary general and said, “Y-You dare say I don’t know the world.”
The mercenary general waved his pinky and said with a mocking tone, “You’re just a weak brat, what do you know? Duke this, duke that, let me tell you, our commander just killed one a while ago! He can kill five of you in one slap, and that’s a humble statement. He can’t even be bothered to squish you to death with a single finger.”
Li Panyu was used to being on a pedestal. Who had ever spoken to him like this? He pointed at the general with a red face, so angry that he couldn’t utter a word for a good while. Toward the end, he could only repeat a single word, “Just you wait and see, the Li family won’t let you off!”
This wasn’t nearly enough to frighten the general. He broke into a laugh, saying, “This daddy doesn’t give a damn about your Li family or Wang family. Come and catch me in the neutral lands if you have the ability!”
The boy was livid and bit his lips so hard that they were almost bleeding. The neutral lands was notorious for being outside of their sphere of power. It was one thing for each faction to seek representatives in the neutral lands but it was different for the nobility to arrive in person. Besides, the major powers over there weren’t all that weak. If the Li family were to send a random unit to the neutral lands and cause trouble for Dark Flame, they probably would never return.
If he were to suggest this to the family, he might be getting more than just ordinary punishment.
After all, he was still young and his words carried little weight. The best solution right now was probably to challenge this general to a fight, but his judgment wasn’t that bad; he could see that the opponent was too strong for him to contend with. All he would get from this was humiliation.
Seeing this, the general followed up with words of mockery at every step. At this point, Qianye turned back and said, “Keep quiet.”
The mercenary general said, “Yes, Sire!”
The respectfulness and the sudden change in attitude left Li Panyu dumbfounded. Li Wanqing, on the other hand, gazed deeply at Qianye.
Qianye said to Eunuch Liu, “Let’s continue.”
“Yes, Sire. These two machines are hybrid furnaces that can work on most metal ores, but their main use is to solve the problem of refining rare ores. The four behind contain the relevant parts and equipment.”
Eunuch Liu led Qianye to the last few crates. “These containers house the core components for a kinetic tower, each of them can be assembled into one tower. Of course, the basic materials have to be sourced locally.”
Qianye was finally moved. “The Empress sure is generous.”
Empress Li’s gifts would allow him to build a production line for the excavation and refinement of rare minerals. The kinetic towers would also serve to support an equal number of small cities.
Such equipment could not be purchased even if he had the money. They happened to be things Qianye required urgently.
Eunuch Liu’s expression relaxed after seeing that Qianye was satisfied. “There’s little to complain about the way Her Highness treats you.”
“I’ll trouble you to thank her in my stead when you return.”
“Why of course.”
Qianye added, “But I do have a small request.”
“Please speak your mind!”
“When you return, please take him back.” With that, he pointed at Li Panyu.
Li Panyu jumped up in surprise. “You dare!?”
Qianye only looked at Eunuch Liu, ignoring Li Panyu entirely.
The boy was anxious now. “Our Li family won’t let you off if you send me back!”
Eunuch Liu could no longer hold back. “Young Master Panyu, I will really bring you back if you keep spouting nonsense!”
Li Panyu’s expression shifted drastically, finally shutting his trap.
Eunuch Liu said to Qianye. “Sire, the boy is young and doesn’t know his manners. Please excuse him.”
“No, I will not keep him here.” Qianye wasn’t going to give in.
“Sire, why must you?” Eunuch Liu found himself in a difficult situation.
“It’s too dangerous here, staying will put his life in danger. I won’t be able to explain it to the Empress when the time comes.”
Li Panyu cried out, “I’m not afraid of death!”
Qianye finally spared him a glance. “I’m saying you’re more likely to be executed by martial law.”
Li Panyu was just about to speak when Qianye cut him short. “It’s not your place to speak here!”
Qianye’s voice wasn’t loud, but Li Panyu felt as though he had been slammed by a hammer. Dizzy and blurry-eyed, he could no longer speak.
After things had calmed down, Eunuch Liu said to Qianye, “The Empress has one more message.”
“Her Highness wishes to see you when it’s convenient for you to return to the Empire.”
“The earlier the better, of course.”