Monarch of Evernight - Chapter 1380: Destruction
Chapter 1380: Destruction
The battle below Castle Midas was unfolding rapidly on Twilight Continent. Qianye had led troops into battle before, but he looked to Nighteye since he wasn’t familiar with civil battles between the dark races.
Nighteye had been watching the battlefield all this time. “Let’s head into Castle Midas first and check on Howard’s condition.”
“Very well.” Qianye jumped forward after Nighteye and vanished.
The interior of Castle Midas was in utter disarray, with vampires running back and forth everywhere. There was a titled expert at every important passage, barely maintaining order within the castle.
The depths of the castle was located at the center of the mountain peak, yet the incessant vibrations still managed to reach this place. Those blasts came from the council’s airsh.i.p.s bombarding the stronghold.
A large hall in the deepest parts of the castle. A row of viscounts sat with their backs against the wall, their hands outstretched as they watched their essence blood dripping into a golden chalice.
Every time the goblet was almost full, someone would take it away and pour the contents into a stone tank at the center of the hall. The tank was only half full, with a small sanguine glow flickering at its center.
An old duke was standing beside this tank, looking extremely nervous. “Not enough, far from enough! Find some way to get more blood! The prince won’t wake up in a complete state with just this.”
A nearby baron said, “Sire, all the clan experts we can spare are here. The others are fighting on the front lines. The enemy will charge right in if we call them back.”
“His Highness the Prince must awaken!” The duke clenched his teeth as he took out a dagger and stabbed himself in the c.h.e.s.t.
A bestial growl could be heard from behind a pair of thick steel doors. Apparently, the Dark Gospel Howard was already awake and in a state of recovery. The attacks on the outside, however, were growing increasingly fierce. It would seem the final defenses would crumble before Howard could fully awaken.
The old duke drew out his vampiric blade, allowing several drops of origin blood to fall into the stone tank. With the addition of the duke’s blood, a spurt of sanguine flames surged fiercely from the tank.
“We need more blood! Where’s the person who has gone to get more blood? Why isn’t he back yet?” the duke roared.
A count ran into the hall at this point. The duke’s expression shifted drastically upon seeing him return with empty hands.
The count’s expression looked lifeless. “The reserve tanks have been tainted with blood poison.”
“What?!” The old duke couldn’t believe his ears.
He grabbed the count by his collar and lifted him off the ground. He then roared right into the man’s face, “Only a handful of people can come into contact with the reserve ponds, all of them direct descendants. Who poisoned the blood? Which pond was poisoned?”
The count clenched his jaws. “All of them!”
The old duke swayed back, his aura dropping rapidly as he dropped the count on the floor. The count quickly helped the duke up and only then did he notice the wound on the old man’s c.h.e.s.t. He quickly produced a towel and covered the injury, releasing some blood energy in an attempt to close it.
The old duke was in a state of extreme weakness after losing a lot of essence blood just now. He could hardly even stand. “That means, it’s one of our own who poisoned the blood pond? Why would they do that? How will the Byrne clan’s destruction benefit them?”
“Perhaps it’s not one of ours,” said the count.
“Oh? Why is that? Explain.”
“Half a month ago, Marquis Bonier from the Perth clan came to visit. He said he was planning to build an ancient-style blood pond in his castle and wanted to reference our design. We allowed them to look at the reserve blood pond back then.”
“Perth clan? Are you sure?”
“It’s definitely Marquis Bonier himself. You know that his wife is a direct descendant of His Majesty Medanzo. He only asked to see one of the reserve ponds, so we couldn’t refuse.”
The old duke’s expression was serious. His hands trembled as he muttered to himself, “Let’s just hope it’s not him.”
The count didn’t dare respond.
The duke glanced briefly at the depths of the hall. “Take me to the ancient hall! I must contact Her Majesty!”
The count was startled. “The prince is about to wake up soon, do you really need to? Considering the state of your body, you might not succeed in contacting Her Majesty.”
“No time to wait for his awakening. I must act immediately and report this matter to the Queen.” Seeing that the count was hesitant, the old duke said, “Even if the blood pond is Bonier’s doing, the prince was only supposed to be in light sleep. Why was the primary blood pond not enough?”
The count couldn’t help but shudder at the thought. Prince Howard had just awakened not long ago, so all of his equipment should’ve been well-maintained. Seeing the old duke’s staggering figure, the count had no choice but to help him toward the top floor of the castle.
Once out of the main hall, they could feel constant explosions and sand dropping from the ceiling. Even the structure itself was swaying. They could see countless giant flying shadows through the window, pouring a steady stream of fire upon them.
Countless origin bullets and ballistae from the fortress were firing into the night sky as well. From time to time, a burning airship would crash to the ground, but more of them kept flying in.
All of a sudden, a shadow slammed down from above and forced the old duke back a couple of steps. A steel transport airship had crashed into the corridor, tearing it apart with a loud boom. The cabin doors opened, and a dozen or so elite soldiers rushed toward the old duke.
“Insolence!” The old duke was furious. He pushed away the count who was just about to draw his sword and stepped forward himself.
These council soldiers were merely at the knight rank. Although superior equipment and techniques allowed them to fight a baron on equal grounds, they were nothing before a duke, even an injured one. The old man could slap all knights and viscounts to death.
The old duke took a step forward, firing several beams of light that wrapped around the council soldiers. The soldiers’ bodies were cut into several segments as these light strips dissipated.
The old duke passed through their corpses and arrived before the transport. He moved an airship several dozen tons in weight with a single push and opened up a path forward. He walked hastily through the corridor and soon arrived at the top floor.
The fight here was even more violent. One airship after another landed on the structure, almost destroying the roof completely. There was fighting everywhere as the vampire soldiers defended their positions desperately. Seeing that the duke did not need his help to walk, the count simply jumped into battle and started opening up a path for the duke.
The old duke advanced through the battlefield, running along a relatively silent corridor until he was before the doors of a giant hall. He was shocked to find the doors of the hall half-open.
He rushed into the hall to find a man and a woman standing beside the altar used to communicate with the Queen. In his fury and shock, he charged forward and thrust his dagger at the man’s back. However, that person’s figure flickered out of existence and appeared beside the duke, holding his wrists in a firm lock. The old duke never saw clearly just what had happened!
The old duke struggled with all his might, but his hand wouldn’t budge at all. The other party’s strength was far above his own. Although he was severely weakened from the loss of origin blood, he could tell that he wasn’t a match for this person even in his peak state.
At this point, the woman turned around. The old duke was startled and quickly filled with joy. “Your Majesty Nighteye!”
Nighteye shot him a glance. “Qianye, release him. This is Duke Roland, Howard’s direct descendant. He’s the one in charge of the Byrne clan’s daily affairs.”
Qianye nodded and set the old duke free. The man’s eyes were filled with fright, fear, and delight as he looked at Qianye. “Ah, it’s Qianye… His Highness Qianye.”
How to address Qianye was a rather awkward decision. He clearly wasn’t a great dark monarch, but that attack just now proved that he was far more powerful than an ordinary duke. The old duke had also heard much about the battle in Blacksun Valley, so it wasn’t excessive to address him like that.
Nighteye said, “Why has the communication altar been destroyed?”
The old duke was shocked. “What?! This is the most heavily-guarded place and the council never attacked this place. How?”
Nighteye moved sideways, making way for the surprised duke to rush to the altar.
There were several cracks at the base of the stone basin on the control desk. The cracks were small, but they had thoroughly destroyed the arrays in the stone basin.
This stone basin was the core of the communication apparatus, as well as a device used to test one’s bloodline. It served to absorb blood energy and activate the altar for communication with the Queen. Destroying this stone basin was akin to paralyzing the entire machine. Repairing it wasn’t going to be easy.
The old duke roared furiously, “Who?! Who did this?!”
The duke’s cries echoed throughout the castle, almost suppressing the explosions and sounds of fighting. The fury didn’t scare the enemies away, however, and only served to draw fire toward him. Several of the council’s experts shook off their vampire opponents and began searching for a path.
Nighteye said, “Looks like the demonkin’s core strategy is to seal off all information and prevent Lilith from finding out. It’s fine if the apparatus is destroyed, Howard can contact her directly.”
The duke said, “His Highness hasn’t fully recovered. Our reserve blood ponds were tainted with blood poison, so there isn’t enough blood for him to quickly recover. I’ll be heading back since this place is destroyed, and perhaps try to buy him some time.”
Qianye said, “Very well then. We have to hurry toward the Perth Clan.”
With that, he faded away from sight with Nighteye in tow.
“You…” The old duke hadn’t imagined the two would leave without staying to help defend against the enemy. His expression soon changed from shock to calm. “Yeah, why would they stay to help in a fight that’s impossible to win?”
He glanced out the window and saw even more airsh.i.p.s roaming the skies. The counterattack from the ground forces, on the other hand, were thinning out. Wherever their transports landed was where a fierce battle would break out.
There was no need to keep this passage a secret anymore. The old duke ran down the side of the castle, punching through the roof of a great hallway in his hasty return into the mountain hall. He ordered his men to bring him his full gear and a glass of blood wine. He drew a chair to the main doors of the hall and sat there with his wine, waiting for the enemy to arrive.
Battles were erupting in every part of the castle, and it looked like they would arrive at the underground hall in less than an hour. All of a sudden, the duke felt the hall grow darker. He rubbed his eyes and peered forward with great effort. Only then did he notice that a ball of darkness had appeared in front of him.
That was a deep darkness, through which no light could penetrate or escape. A chill-inducing aura of terror from within caused the duke’s hands to shake involuntarily.
“Roland, it has been eighty years since we last met. How come you’ve turned so frail?”
The old duke stood up with an expression of desperation. The golden chalice in his hand fell to the ground, spilling wine everywhere. “Progia! It’s actually you! You guys think so highly of our Byrne Clan, huh?”