Chapter One – Night departure
Rebirth Calendar, year 1465, on a wintery night.
Ice cold wind blew and invaded the five islands of the western continent. The darkness had enveloped ‘Bo Laili’, the captial city of ‘Gaul Seventh Emperor Nation’. The whole city was shivering in the cold winds and the streets were deserted with rare human presence. Occasionally, the figures of Royal Dragoon Knights, clad in black short cloaks and grasping long silver spears in their hands, could be seen patrolling the streets. The crisp sound of hoof beats was infesting fear and uneasiness in the hearts of nocturnal creatures.
The cold winds were like giant whips as if fiercely lashing the entire city. Most of the urban areas were immersed in deep darkness and all well-behaved citizens were fast asleep, accompanied by the sound of howling winds in their own dream worlds.
Fragrant Pavilion, also known as ‘Pearl of the continent’, was located to the west of Core Victory palace. Following along the tree-lined street named Baihe Street, you would come to the Fleet Street. At the end of this street, there was a large brightly lit building. This place was home to several universities. Bo Laili’s first university, second university, all the way up to fifth university, Royal Military Academy, Naval Academy as well as School of Architecture, Royal Administrative College and Bo Laili Seminary school. Dozens of other professional and deemed colleges had also gathered here. This place was the focus of attention of the whole continent and was well-known as ‘Bo Laili University town’.
The continental island war that stretched for almost one hundred years finally came to an end about 30 years ago, however, with the depletion of the last vestiges of the western continent. During the mid and late part of the war, there was a rise of the enlightened British lord, St. Louis XIII, who became famous as the Sun King. Gaul seventh Imperial Nation took the continental island war’s main battlefield, and after the war ended, it received huge economic support from various other European countries. Using this support, St. Louis XIII vigorously developed the education system, and within a short period of 30 years, he established a university town, which was simply unprecedented in the European history.
In just three decades, he cultivated numerous elite British personnel to maintain a steady stream of homebrewed talents for the post-war Imperial nation that was in need of talented workers. Great Imperial nation prospered in the presence of these elites. It was like the awakening of a lion from a deep slumber. The whole continent trembled in the presence of the awakened western continent.
This was Imperial nation’s best era. This was Imperial nation’s worst era. This was Imperial nation’s enterprising era. This was Imperial nation’s extravagant corruption era.
Lights were flashing in various office buildings scattered throughout the University town. Some students were studying in night classes and libraries. The sporadic neighing of horses and the occasional sound of spear clashes could be heard coming from the training grounds of the military academy. The high-pitched shrill sound of grating and metal percussions was originating continuously from the technical institute’s workshop.
In this era, there was a lack of evening entertainment and ordinary people preferred going to sleep early at night, but here in the University town, this lively scene generally continued until 12 o’clock in the night and then gradually stopped when students and teachers would go back to their homes. This huge university town was like a vibrant heart that was tasked with brewing warm-blooded youth and transformed them into elite British scholars so that they could work towards safety and security of the Imperial nation.
But, just like shadows always exist in the presence of light, there were several unusual angles to look at this university town, indicating that it had its own secrets.
At this time, Lin Qi swaggered out of Fifth University’s main gate. His complexion suddenly changed when he saw few fourth-year seniors who were stationed at the main gate and were tasked with guarding duty. His face stiffened and he immediately turned his head the other way since he didn’t want them to know that he was merely a third-year student of ‘Finance and Accounting College’ and was violating the rule by leaving the university premises this late in the night.
Lin Qi celebrated his eighteenth birthday last month and had been studying in the ‘Finance and Accounting College’ of Fifth University for last three years. Black hair, black eyes, yellow skin, he had a typical Asian appearance. But unlike ordinary Asians, he was not one bit inferior to the so-called strongest youngsters of the western continent. He was tall, had a strong build with broad shoulders.
But as outsiders would say, all of the students of ‘Finance and Accounting College’ were nothing but parasites. Lin Qi was also a parasite without exception, with a stout body that seemed to have absorbed more than enough nutrition. His body was actually a bit bloated. When he was walking out of the gate, he seemed like a bear who woke up just now from hibernation. He was swaying from side to side, like a pendulum, as he walked.
Enzuo stood in the shade of an acacia tree on the opposite side of the Fifth University. The tree was concealing half of his body. He was wearing a popular mosaiced ‘Phnom Penh hat’ and was clad in a short cloak that was basically an imitation of the popular cloaks of Royal Dragoons. He was also wearing black trouser made of satin. The trouser was tightly fit on his long legs, highlighting his angular leg muscles. There was no doubt that this black trouser was in fashion these days and had been popular in demand for the last three months in Bo Laili university town.
His powerful jaws drove his teeth to squeeze the mixture of tobacco and betel nut in his mouth. The strong thorny taste and tobacco’s essence was giving strength to him. From his attire and a habit of chewing tobacco, he looked just like the ordinary men of middle or lower classes because this style had become quite popular among the people belonging to these two classes.
Seeing Lin Qi walking slowly towards him like a big bear, Enzuo quickly spat a mouthful of blood-red saliva on the ground and waved at Lin Qi, saying: “Boss, here, here!”
While waving at Lin Qi with one hand, Enzuo was tightly holding something in the other hand. This object was about four feet long and wrapped tightly in a black cloth. Enzuo would frequently touch it from time to time as if it was something very precious. Even when he greeted Lin Qi, he was vigilant and looking left and right to confirm that no one was seeing them.
Lin Qi also looked around cautiously then quickly crossed the street and his burly figure finally arrived under the acacia tree’s shade.
In the faint light originating from far off light sources, Lin Qi looked at Enzuo’s chiseled face then suddenly pinched the thick roll of black cloth. There was a hard metal object under the wrapping and the satisfied look hanging on Lin Qi’s face was an indication that this was exactly what he needed. Lin Qi grinned and gestured with his hand, hinting something to Enzuo.
Enzuo nodded, then pulled out a mixture of tobacco and betel nut and stuffed into his own mouth. He carefully looked to the left and right and began to walk on the street towards the north. He was walking very fast, sticking close to the wall. Enzuo was tall but still did not produce even the slightest of sound while walking on the street. His waist was slightly bent, making him appear like a specter of the night.
Lin Qi looked back towards the seniors and silently smiled. Just like Enzuo, he was also walking without making any sound. The two of them were separated by a distance of 50 meters and they especially chose complex winding alleys to move towards their destination, which was situated in a dimly lit area of the town. They arrived in the most chaotic area of this university town called ‘Northern old city district’. It was said to have negligible public security or policing.
They arrived in front of the gate of a courtyard which was located in a small alley. Lin Qi stood outside the gate and meowed a few times to give some kind of signal.
The front gate of the courtyard silently opened and four sturdy figures came out to welcome them inside. They were maintaining a distance of about 10 meters and following closely as both Lin Qi and Enzuo continued to walk further into the courtyard.
(TL Note: Falling in the genre of ‘Eastern Fantasy’, this novel is a masterpiece by great author Blood Red. One of his other translated works is ‘The Magus Era’. ‘The Brilliant Era’ is also listed in the all-time most popular novels list of Qidian and several other recommendation lists. With a rating of 9.9 on the Qidian site, our team has decided to bring this unique novel to your attention and hope that it will entertain you all. By the way, there’s an MMORPG based on this novel named ‘Age of Dawn’)