Monarch of Evernight - Volume 10 - The Flag of Evernight (1183-) Chapter 1282: Summit of Softies
“Wolf King’s Roar! Why are you able to use Wolf King’s Roar!?” The Storm Duke’s expression was full of shock. A gale kicked up around him as he made ready to flee, but he turned around to find a giant wolf standing in his path.
The Storm Duke’s aura was currently fluctuating, and his limbs seemed so sluggish that he didn’t look like a veteran duke at all. As William’s howl continued, the Storm Duke’s realm was suppressed all the way down to the vice-duke rank.
Naturally, Qianye would not give up such a good opportunity. He appeared less than ten meters behind the Storm Duke and unfurled his wings. The four black feathers had fully recovered and were flickering with a terrifying luster.
Storm slowly lowered his hands and laughed wryly. “The first is also the last, the werewolves’ ultimate form is a giant wolf. Losing to the future wolf king is not a humiliation. It’s just that the upper continents are vast and their experts, countless. Why would you come and bully this old wolf with no prospects?”
William stopped howling and stood there with a cold expression. However, the Storm Duke’s aura didn’t recover immediately. It gradually rose back up after a good while and rather slowly, too. At this rate, it would take at least half a day to get back to his previous realm.
Qianye watched calmly but was secretly surprised. This Wolf King’s Roar was so tyrannical that even his blood core had reacted to it. It was just that Qianye’s ancient vampire blood energy was just as powerful and so no negative effects were produced. On the other hand, the werewolf Storm Duke was probably even more sensitive to the howl and dropped an entire level.
This wasn’t as simple as the dropping of a rank. The Storm Duke had gotten used to his duke-rank strength. This sudden plunge threw his movements, techniques, and even gait off balance. It would even interfere with many of his powerful secret arts. Hence, his true combat strength was probably on par with a glorious marquis.
William was no ordinary glorious marquis; even ordinary vice-dukes might not be his match in battle, let alone the fact that someone like Qianye was also there to help.
The Evernight faction’s hierarchy was strict and carved into their marrow. The vampire and demonkin exhibited a powerful suppression across ranks, and the arachne would be stronger and bigger the more powerful their bloodline was.
Qianye had thought that the werewolves were the most balanced, but who would’ve thought there was something like the Wolf King’s Roar. This ability could actually ignore the level gap and suppress a duke down one rank. A werewolf who had inherited the Wolf King’s Roar would be able to suppress others of the same race. It was likely a divine skill devised by their primogenitor in order to stabilize his position.
The Storm Duke’s expression turned pale. “Since you’ve managed to inherit such power, you’ll surely carve your name in our race’s history. Your Highness William, why do you help an outsider to suppress me?”
“That’s because the werewolves under Qianye’s rule live better lives. They will truly become more powerful as there is no need to banish people or abandon their futures for the sake of survival.”
“The werewolves of this land have lived this way since ancient times!”
“Enough! I do not want to hear that ancestral school rhetoric! If you’re not willing to submit, I can only return you to the embrace of the ancestors. At least, the surviving werewolves in your territory will live dignified lives.”
The Storm Duke laughed loudly. “You say werewolves will live dignified lives under a vampire?”
“I’ve seen how they live in the Jade Sea.”
“Humans and vampires can not be trusted. They’re all liars!”
“I trust Qianye.”
The Storm Duke slowly calmed down. “Do you plan to do the same with Flame?”
Clearly hesitant, William turned to Qianye. “That’s going to be a bit troublesome. Flame’s bloodline descends from one of the seventeen original tribes of our race. My Wolf King’s Roar will have a limited effect on him and might not be able to suppress him to the vice-duke realm. He might not listen to me without sufficient suppression. What do you think?”
Qianye said, “If the Flame Duke is on par with Storm, we can work together to kill him even without the Wolf King’s Roar. It looks like you don’t really want to kill him, though.”
William had no intention of playing dumb. He said with a nod, “Every duke is a treasured fighting power for the werewolf race. I wouldn’t do this if it wasn’t for the tens of millions of our people. Storm, it’s time to make a decision. Submit now or I’ll be forced to kill you.”
Storm crossed his daggers and said word-by-word, “I have my dignity. After all, I’m a duke who has ruled this place for hundreds of years. If it’s just a matter of life or death, I’d rather die in battle than submit.”
William wasn’t angry. On the contrary, his eyes lit up. “Then let me give you a reason. First reason, Qianye, show him your true power.”
Qianye stretched his hand out and a plume of sanguine flames lit up on his palm. The fire was, at first, a deep violet which then turned to gold, and then dark gold.
When the blood energy turned dark gold, the Storm Duke’s expression shifted drastically and was evidently filled with trepidation. That was an instinctive terror that came from facing a higher bloodline. William already knew that Qianye’s bloodline power was beyond that of a primo, but he still couldn’t suppress the shock every time.
The dark golden blood energy transformed once again. Its color grew deeper and deeper until there were a few strands of pure darkness within.
William’s mouth fell upon, almost as though his jaw had fallen off the joint. “Y-You’ve moved closer to the darkness origins!”
Qianye hadn’t imagined that such a change would happen. Thinking back, it was probably the mysterious energy from the werewolves’ prayer that had purified his bloodline. He didn’t really think too deeply back then, but the change had started to affect the external appearance of his sanguine flames!
The Storm Duke was dazed, and his hands were trembling. As a member of the dark race, he could only dream of seeing the darkness origin in this lifetime. Yet who would be able to achieve such a lofty dream except those on the path to becoming a great dark monarch? Naturally, Qianye’s sanguine flames were not the darkness origins, but the wisps of darkness in the blaze were fairly close.
Seeing that something wasn’t quite right, he closed his palm and put away the flames.
Only then did William come to. He gazed deeply at Qianye and then turned to the Storm Duke. “What say you? Is this sufficient reason? Qianye’s future prospects are far beyond what you can imagine. Your descendants will only praise you for your wisdom in choosing to follow him.”
The Storm Duke also snapped back to his senses and regained his old fox character. “This reason is quite ample, but that’s just one of the reasons. I want to hear the second one.”
“There’s no second reason!” William wanted to act dumb, but his acting was too poor. Even Qianye couldn’t keep on watching.
There was no way the Storm Duke would fall for it. The old fox closed his eyes and said, “If there’s no other reason, my dignity will not allow me to make a decision. Do it!”
William was so angry that he began gnashing his teeth. “To hell with your dignity! You weren’t like this a while ago.”
Storm wasn’t moved. He kept his eyes and mouth closed.
William was so helpless and angry that he wanted to shout at the duke. Yet, he couldn’t act willfully when the other party was starting to compromise. “You don’t have the blood of the ancestral tribe, but there’s still hope for you to advance further. We have a special method at the Summit of Peaks that can flush your bloodline of impurities and refine your origin power. With some luck, even you might be able to break through.”
The Storm Duke was surprised. “This method must be very expensive.”
“Because it involves a precious resource, we get only one quota every three years.”
“I don’t think I’m that valuable.” The Storm Duke didn’t continue, but what he really wanted to ask was whether William had the authority to decide on that quota.
“The quota three years later belongs to me. It’ll be worth giving you that quota if I can save ten million werewolves.” William expelled the Storm Duke’s suspicions in just a few words.
The old werewolf put away his blades, saying, “I can give up Storm Territory, but Flame isn’t that easy to deal with. Besides, the ancestral school might not agree with your methods.”
The Storm Duke’s word usage was rather reserved, but everyone understood the meaning.
“Have they grown that bold?” William sneered.
“They’ve always been crazy,” Storm said meaningfully.
“You stay here and help Qianye take care of the werewolves. If you work a full three years, the next quota is yours.”
Storm raised a key issue. “What do we do if the ancestral school attacks?”
A cold gleam flickered in William’s eyes. “Then they no longer belong to our tribe. You surely understand how werewolves should treat our enemies.”
“This isn’t a small matter. It’s not just about Storm Territory; it’s perhaps related to the entire Fort Continent.” The worried Storm Duke wasn’t convinced by Wiliam’s token consolation. The upper continents didn’t think too highly of Fort Continent, but Fort had no choice but to pay attention to the upper continents. Hence, Storm knew quite a bit about those bigger tribes.
“The Summit of Peaks has been discussing this matter. Currently, our werewolf race as a whole isn’t in a good position. Our pioneering efforts in the new world have been met with numerous obstacles as well. We’re at the crossroads between survival and destruction, so we can’t let those idiots from the ancestral school do as they wish.”
“From what I know, the elders and shamans from the summit aren’t willing to use force, especially when they are being provoked by the ancestral sect.”
“That’s why the Summit of Peaks is known as the Summit of Softies.” William’s voice was laced with killing intent.
“Summit of Softies?” A surprised Qianye recalled the bone incident from back then, but his random thoughts were stopped by William’s glare.
Storm’s eyes shifted about, saying, “It’s rather surprising that you would say these things.”
“That’s because they will soon become history.”
“Those old fellows might be soft toward outsiders, but the reverse isn’t necessarily true,” Storm reminded.
“We will grow tougher. If they still aren’t willing to change, I can only say that their time has passed.”
“Very well, I’ll be looking forward to it, but I’m not too optimistic about things.”
“Fort Continent will become our new main camp.”
“Wait a minute!” Qianye stepped into the conversation. “I don’t want to get dragged into your race’s internal conflict.”
The current topic was moving in an unexpected direction. Qianye felt that things were getting so far out of hand that he needed to call for a time out.
William shrugged, saying, “You have no choice, that is unless you don’t want to take in Storm’s werewolves.” He added, “Oh, the ones from the Jade Sea count as well.”
Qianye couldn’t speak for a good while. No matter how he looked at it, giving up on ten million werewolves wasn’t his first choice.
At this point, Qianye had already figured out William’s true reason for coming to Fort Continent. The latter had actually been worried since a while ago, but it was Qianye’s surprising growth and expansion that had brought the topic onto the table.
Gazing at Qianye, he began to explain things clearly, “The ancestral school won’t let you go once you take Storm Territory. Those old bastards from the Summit of Peaks might not sit idly by as you lead several dozen million werewolves.”
“Wait a minute, didn’t you say the werewolves of Fort Continent don’t count as your people?”
“They’ll naturally count after you raise them well.”