Monarch of Evernight - Volume 10 - The Flag of Evernight (1183-) Chapter 1280: Dog and Wolf
No one had doubts whether or not these rules could be enforced. The third one, especially, struck everyone in their weak spot. Many of these people had flocked to Fort Continent in order to take advantage of Qianye’s simplicity and riches. There was no lack of people who wanted to flee after earning a fortune.
As someone from the Song clan, how could Song Hui not know about these market practices? This rule of associating the guarantor in punishment blocked any loophole that was left behind.
Only the first batch of aristocratic families who had come to Fort Continent and the bigger ones like Kong and Yin had the right to recommend other families. It just so happened that their greatest interest here wasn’t gold but land, and all territory here could only exist attached to Qianye.
Of course, if the family was big enough, they could turn these territories into independent nations. That, however, would be a direct challenge to Qianye’s authority.
With land and territory in the equation, the scope of profits wasn’t just limited to a couple of years. It would take hundreds of years and several generations to reach the apex of prosperity. These aristocratic families, of course, wouldn’t sacrifice their long-term plans for minuscule profits.
The aristocracy of the Empire had always considered Fort Continent as a barren land where top experts could not cultivate. Hence, its status was only somewhat higher than Evernight Continent. Things had changed entirely now that a door to the new world was here.
With the rule in place and no one in objection to it, Qianye said, “Currently, I need five mobile kinetic towers, thirty airship cannons of varying types, and twenty sets of ammunition. I also need ten mini-kinetic towers and, just like before, as many armaments as you can supply.”
The size of this order produced a commotion.
After the noise died down, everyone left to see Song Hui. Qianye wasn’t about to deal with such small matters. He left the duke’s manor and arrived outside the city with a flicker. The barracks, with its endless stretch of tents, was bustling with activity. There were always werewolves undergoing training in the field.
This giant training field that could fit a hundred thousand soldiers was actually not enough. The next batch could only receive training after the first batch was done, and there were at least two hundred thousand waiting to undergo training.
This would bring the number of werewolf soldiers close to a million. Adding the new army from Zheng and the mercenaries of the neutral lands, Qianye’s forces had formally exceeded a million.
Qianye felt somewhat emotional as he gazed at the training grounds.
It wasn’t just luck that the werewolves could become one of the four major dark races. Their upper limit in cultivation was not inferior to the other races, and they once had a supreme on the Sacred Mountain. As natural warriors, they possessed a certain degree of fighting power since childhood and could communicate with their companion wargs. The adults possessed balanced fighting prowess, capable of fighting on the front lines. This made over half of the werewolves qualified soldiers.
Comparatively, the werewolves’ lifespans were evidently shorter than the vampires and demonkin. They should’ve been a fairly powerful race, but their weakness was all too clear—they were stubborn and ignorant.
Most of the race’s strength and knowledge came from their ancestral totem. This instilled them with an almost fanatical love for their primitive tribal culture. Many werewolves would go to the extremes and reject all recent technology, including origin guns. Their firm belief was that the world’s profundity lay within the body, that they would be invincible as long as they kept unlocking their potential and communicating with their ancestors’ spirits.
The ancestral school had spread so far and wide among the werewolves that even the Summit of Peaks—who had been doing their utmost to break new ground—would occasionally be questioned for deviating from tradition. The worst part was that the Summit of Peaks hadn’t found any promising candidates for the Sacred Mountain in a thousand years. Their geniuses would usually exhaust their potential at the great dark monarch realm, with only a couple of them reaching the ultimate level.
There was at least a reason for the vampires’ decline; it was because of the disappearance of the River of Blood. In the case of the werewolves, though, the deterioration was mostly self-inflicted. One could see just from their state on Fort Continent.
If the Summit of Peaks were overseeing this territory and its ten million denizens, they would’ve destroyed Zheng several times over. There would be no need for the elderly to die in the mountains or for the young to charge into battle. In the race as a whole, even the experts from the Summit of Peaks could only hold the right to speak. They didn’t really have an advantage in authority.
Only after taking in the subjects of the Jade Sea did Qianye realize that werewolves had been leading lives that were greatly inferior to humans. Their lives were filled with strong colors of tragedy.
In the past, Qianye’s mind was only filled with hatred when facing the dark races. He would kill without mercy, without the slightest intention of understanding them or judging whether they were good or bad. Now that the duty had fallen onto his shoulders, he had no choice but to view his subjects from a werewolf’s perspective.
There was a mountain peak not so far away, the best place to enjoy the surrounding scenery. Qianye’s figure arrived at the summit with a flicker and stood at the edge of the cliff. He could see tens of thousands of werewolves undergoing training below as well as the clear waters of the Jade Sea beyond them. Now, he was only lacking a friend to confide his worries in.
All of a sudden, Qianye felt something warm rubbing against his back. Turning back, he saw a giant wolf rubbing its golden mane against him.
Qianye was both surprised and delighted. He reached back to rub the wolf fiercely, saying, “You’re really playing the role of a dog!”
The giant wolf spoke in human language, “Wolves and dogs used to be family tens of thousands of years ago. There’s nothing bad about that.”
Qianye didn’t know whether to laugh or to cry. He picked the wolf up by his neck and shook him. “You’re a werewolf, not a wolf!”
The giant wolf roared, baring his fangs at Qianye. “I’ll fight it out with you if you grab me by the neck again!”
“Didn’t Ruoxi grab you like that every day?”
“That’s not the same! She doesn’t know who I am. What gives you the right?”
“I gave you a bone before.”
The giant wolf’s hair puffed up as he turned around to bite Qianye. The movement was lightning fast, but fortunately, Qianye was even faster. He pulled his hand back in the nick of time and barely managed to escape.
Qianye was surprised. “You’ve grown stronger again!”
The giant wolf didn’t really appreciate the compliment. “There are too many bad guys these days, how can I protect myself if I don’t even have a bit of strength?”
“But aren’t you progressing too fast? Is it because you ate the bones?” Qianye pondered.
The giant wolf lunged at Qianye’s leg, yelling, “Bones my ass! It’s because of the Constellation Well!”
Qianye flickered away. “You’re looking more and more like a dog. Have you learned to sit?”
The giant wolf lowered his bottom halfway before realizing that he had been tricked. Absolutely furious, he appeared behind Qianye with a leap and tried to bite his neck.
Qianye flickered away at the exact moment. “Hey, let’s talk nicely! I won’t tell anyone.”
The giant wolf was still spouting steam from his nostrils. Apparently, he was still quite angry.
Qianye finally raised his hand. “Stop biting me, what if I fail to evade? Besides, William, are you going to keep talking to me in that form?”
William stared at Qianye for a while before vanishing momentarily. He then appeared again in the form of a human. Just like before, the man was tall and stout with golden hair flowing in the breeze. The worn hunter’s attire added to his strong, radiant character.
Qianye sized him up from head to toe. He then said while shaking his head, “I still can’t get used to this form. Now I can’t even feed…” William’s murderous gaze stopped him from uttering the keyword.
William’s aura was well hidden and almost undetectable in his werewolf form. In his distraction, Qianye hadn’t even sensed the approaching guest. In human form, though, the man’s true aura gradually became evident. Qianye gazed at William for a while and finally used the Eye of Control to agitate him, bringing out his true power.
“Glorious marquis!?” Qianye could hardly believe his eyes. William wasn’t even a virtuous count back then, but now, he was a glorious marquis. This rate of advancement was even faster than human geniuses.
“I had a fortuitous encounter in the Constellation Well and absorbed a fair bit of star power, breaking through several ranks in one go. I stopped later on because the advancement was too fast. Maybe I’ll go back and take a look if there’s an opportunity.” William downplayed the process.
Qianye made the worst guess he could. “Your foundations must be unstable, right?”
“Impossible! Who do you think I am? I’m the number one genius of the Summit of Peaks. How can I make such a mistake?”
“The number one throughout history, eh? You just made that up, didn’t you? It looks like I need to reconsider my relationship with the werewolves.”
“What do you mean?”
“If you’re the number one genius, then the werewolf race is too weak.”
Who would’ve thought William didn’t retort. He merely sighed with a dejected expression. “Yeah, that’s true. The werewolves are too weak. We’ve been weakening for a thousand years, and we never found the reason why.”
Qianye was just joking. Seeing him this way, he shifted the topic, saying, “What did you come here for?”
“I actually came to see you.”
Qianye sized William up again until the latter was feeling uncomfortable. “Why is a glorious marquis here to discuss business instead of pioneering the new world? Could it be that your number one position is in business?”
“Stop shifting the topic! I wouldn’t have come all the way here if you hadn’t been taking care of my people. Just be straight, do you want to work with me or not?”
“You’re lacking gear, right? Our Summit of Peaks has recently constructed a series of workshops, including armament factories. I wanted to sell you some goods.”
“No.” Qianye’s refusal was clear-cut.
“Why? You haven’t even seen my goods.” William was surprised.
Qianye said unceremoniously, “Considering your werewolf race’s technology and standards, I think I’ll pass. The second-rate manufactured goods from the Empire are still a bit better. Even if I have to buy from Evernight, why wouldn’t I buy from the vampires or the demonkin? They probably produce better goods, right?”
William’s momentum was cut short. “We were indeed lacking in technology before, but can’t we catch up? Besides, who understands werewolves more than werewolves? If you want werewolf gear, we’re of course the best suppliers.”
Qianye said with a smile, “That’s not entirely correct. Be it humans, vampires, demonkin, or arachne, every other race understands the werewolves more.”
William was startled. Those who truly understood the werewolves were their thousand-year enemies?