The Evernight Council, round-table meeting.
There were only a total of thirteen chairs in a hall hundreds of meters in length, width, and height. Yet, no one felt that there was too much space. The seats weren’t even full, but the clashing momentum of powerhouses filled the entire hall, almost as though it would break through the roof.
A cloud of dark mist rose up on the bronze throne and condensed into the unchanging black hood and robes of the chairman.
He looked at everyone in greeting, lingering slightly longer on the vampire side of the table. The latter race had an unusually high attendance rate today, filling all three of their designated seats. There was also a familiar face among them that people hadn’t seen in almost a hundred years.
The chairman extended an extra greeting, “Hello dear Renault, it’s rare to see old friends these days.”
The chairman’s position for this millennium was filled by a demonkin. Most demonkin and vampires would choose to go into prolonged isolation or hibernation in their middle-ages to slow down their decline and preserve strength. Yet this world had never been a peaceful one—they just might wake up one day to see the obituary of a familiar person.
Renault nodded in response. “I’ll be going back after meeting some old friends.”
The chairman was a bit surprised. “I thought you’d want to see the new world.”
Renault revealed a faintly discernible smile but didn’t give any reply.
Understanding the meaning, the chairman stopped asking questions and went on to host the meeting. However, his shifting gaze landed briefly on Renault’s right fingertip. There was no visible wound there, but a drop of blood would appear at regular intervals and vanish into thin air.
Renault’s expression was gentle and calm, almost as though he hadn’t noticed the chairman’s eyes. He didn’t even try to hide the abnormality on his fingertips.
The meeting thus began.
The chairman didn’t waste words before throwing out an important piece of news. “Longevity Monarch of the Great Qin Empire has passed. This news has been verified. The Empire issued a formal internal announcement last night.”
The Arachne Grand Overseer Shaska sneered, his shiny white fangs emitting a metallic glow. “Good, so this is the great change Master Melia spoke of. Perhaps we can begin the Sanguine Funeral now?”
The old arachne was even older than the Empire itself. He had been appearing less and less in the council as of late, handing most of the administration to the younger Noxus. Many people were secretly guessing that he was in his waning years, but at the very least, it would seem his bloodthirst hadn’t declined.
Amiro, on the other hand, had some doubts. “Where do we focus the attack? The Qin Continent?”
The “Sanguine Funeral” could be considered a tradition that had formed over a millennium.
Apart from some border skirmishes, the Evernight Council had never launched an organized large-scale invasion of the Empire’s four established continents. The two factions would fight over resources in new territory, which served to use up cannon fodder and train new soldiers, but there was little benefit in fighting an overly fierce war on the Empire’s mainland.
There was an exception, however, and that was the fall of a human heavenly monarch. The Great Qin Empire possessed four to five heavenly monarchs at its peak, each overseeing a continent. Whenever one of them fell, the Evernight Council would organize an attack force to assault the continent under his watch. This was called a Sanguine Funeral. On one hand, it was to probe the strength of the succeeding heavenly monarch, while on the other, it was to catch a glimpse into the changes in power-structure within the Empire.
If the new heavenly monarch wasn’t strong enough or the continent’s defensive strength was insufficient, the council would immediately escalate the probe into a real national war. Even if there weren’t any openings on that particular continent, there might be other warzones and powers affected by the state of affairs. Perhaps there might be some opportunities to take advantage of.
Months prior, the Evernight Master Prophet had sensed a great change in the Imperial palace, following his discovery of the new world. However, the myriad threads of fate were so intertwined that there was no way to figure out the exact happening. With the new world about to open and the holy war on hold, any change in the human race’s power structure was an unstable variable that couldn’t be ignored.
The Evernight Council had made ample preparations, and none of the major races had been idle behind the scenes. Yet, the Sanguine Funeral was a national-level war, and the Longevity Monarch’s continent was the nucleus of the Great Qin Empire. That place was even more difficult to assault than a void fortress.
Medanzo raised a third concern. “Don’t forget that we’re still fighting a war with the Empire, and the scale of forces deployed there equals half a national war. According to the latest information, the situation there isn’t too good.”
The chairman looked at everyone at the table. Seeing that there were no more new questions, he said, “The council reported this matter to the three supremes immediately after Master Melia’s prophecy. Lords Kane and Rosnia replied very quickly.” He paused a bit at this point, allowing the great monarchs and princes present to digest the meaning within.
As expected, the powerhouses began to stir. Everyone knew that the Queen of the Night was in deep slumber. The Demon King and the Spider Queen were awake but also in isolated cultivation. The new world was, no doubt, their primary target, but receiving a reply about the change in the Great Qin Empire’s fate trajectory showed just how important they considered this to be.
The chairman said, “The supremes possess much greater wisdom than ourselves. Since both of them are paying attention to the Empire without prior consultation, there are sure to be important things there that will affect us. The council has thus decided to dispatch all five-star sword-bearers from Black Sun to watch the void outside of the four continents. They’ve completed a full mobilization.”
“Black Sun” was moving out in full force! This was shocking news!
“Black Sun” was a unit under the council’s direct command. Even an insignificant officer, a one-star sword-bearer, was a viscount in rank. A third of all the geniuses from every race had served in the unit at one point. Eden of the Dark Abyss had obtained a five-star ranking when he joined the force as a count. From this, one could see just how strong Black Sun was.
The powerhouses weren’t as surprised as before because everyone understood that a war-plan had already been drafted. Perhaps it had even been approved by the Demon King and Spider Queen.
The chairman said, “The Great Qin has no vacant heavenly monarch seat. In terms of fighting power, the newly ascended Zhang Boqian is more than enough to make up for the gap. The Longevity Monarch’s continent is the Great Qin’s capital. According to human tradition, they would usually perform a ceremony for the changing of heavenly monarchs, but they haven’t done that from what we know.”
Medanzo interrupted the speech, “Regarding the Great Qin Imperial Capital and the continent’s defense system, if there’s someone in the Imperial family close to the Longevity Monarch in strength and capable of completely activating the defense mechanisms, they might not need a heavenly monarch to guard the continent for the time being.”
The powerhouses went silent. The difference between four and five heavenly monarchs was significant. This was even more evident with the addition of the highly mobile Zhang Boqian.
The chairman nodded, saying, “Correct. According to our new analysis, the disruptions inside the Great Qin Empire aren’t very big.” There was a clear pause as he fell into deep thought, then he added, “Maybe it’s just the visible disruptions that aren’t big. Our benefits aren’t that great, either."
“Hence, my suggestion is that the Sanguine Funeral this time should be purely investigative in nature. As for the void continent, let’s fight a bloody war with the Empire before the new world opens. The council will provide all of the fighting power that we’ve already mobilized at the moment. The candidates from each clan joining the factional war should be on standby at all times. We shall set out once the assembly is complete. Finally, the old rules still apply. The outcome and accomplishments from this battle will decide the first batch for the new world.”
Shaska said, “Seconded.”
Amiro said with a frown, “We’ve already invested deeply into the void continent. I remember the void fleets are all led by duke-grade flagships, are we planning to fight a high-tier war?”
The chairman shook his head. “No, not a high-tier war. After all, the new world is about to begin and the racial wars have just stopped. I’m sure everyone has things to handle. As for the void continent, the increase in level of troop strength was the individual race’s decision. The council didn't impose any requirements back then, but facts have proven that our choice was wise. The Empire sent more divine champions than we had expected.”
Amiro was a bit puzzled at first, but he came to after glancing at Shaska and Medanzo, snorting heavily as he did so. The great dark monarchs weren’t affected, but the three princes at the edges of the table felt a bit uncomfortable.
Renault lightly tapped the table a couple of times with his fingers. Amiro shot him a glance, then retracted his suppressive might.
Although he was a bit hesitant, Amiro finally said, “Seconded.”
The demonkin at the table consisted of a grand warlock and a demonkin prince representing the Eternal Flame. The two naturally had no objections.
Medanzo asked in a serious tone, “Who will be in charge of the Sanguine Funeral?”
The chairman said slowly, “The Supremes Kane and Rosnia are keeping an eye on the place. Naturally… someone will be in charge.”
Medanzo went silent, his face so gloomy that it looked like water would drip down from it. He then uttered the words “seconded” through his teeth.
Only two vampire great monarchs were here. Renault simply said, “Seconded.”
“Finally, although we’re not escalating the war on the void continent, we need a prince to head over there and command the entire operation,” the chairman said helplessly. “There are too many Imperial clan members there, a lot of our dukes are there as well.”
The number of powerful active princes in each race was as small as that of the great dark monarchs. Many of them were occupied with racial and administrative duties. They really didn’t want to send one into the field if it weren’t for their awkward investment in this war. The prince’s safety wasn’t anything to worry about since the human heavenly monarchs were too busy with their own business.
Everyone’s eyes fell upon the vampire race. According to convention, since the demonkin and arachne were leading the assault on the mainland, it would fall upon the vampires and werewolves to hold the fort on the void continent.
It was just that the werewolves had no one they could offer to fill this special rank. Moreover, they were already stretched quite thin with the war on the void continent and probably wouldn’t fight the vampires for command rights. As expected, Amiro didn’t say anything.
The chairman said, “I heard Howard the Dark Gospel has been in action lately?”
Medanzo looked up. “I didn’t hear anything about that. Since the matter is urgent, maybe we shouldn’t be trying to prove rumors. I think Habsburg is a good choice.”
The chairman wasn’t angry, either. “It’s fine as long as you’ve picked a candidate. Just make your own selection.”
Habsburg didn’t join the conversation or even speak. Soon, the atmosphere became rather tense.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
TL: Legion ED: Moxie