Book 1, Chapter 12 – The Will of the Mighty (part 1)
Only after seeing the magical beast of the seventh rank, the Velocidragon, and its mysterious magus master depart, did Hogg calm down.
“Uncle Hiri.” Hogg immediately turned to look at his housetaker Hiri. “Immediately order some people to recover all of the melted gold from within those piles of ashes. This adventuring party was quite extraordinary as well. No doubt, they had a great deal of wealth on them. I hope they had enough to recompense the losses we have suffered today”
Hogg stared in all directions, seeing how so many houses had been reduced to rubble.
“Yes, milord.” Hiri nodded.
“Hillman.” Hogg turned to look at Hillman. Smiling, he said, “What do you think?”
Hillman nodded as well. “I was absolutely terrified. When I saw that magical beast of the seventh rank, the Velocidragon, and that mysterious magus, I knew that Wushan township didn’t have the slightest ability to fight back in any way. If such an exalted personage as a magus of the eighth rank decided to destroy our town on a whim, I doubt anyone would dare to criticize him, much less sanction or punish him.”
Magi had extremely high social standings.
Normally, even an ordinary magus had the same social standing as a noble.
And a magus of the eighth rank? Even if he was in the presence of a king, he would not need to kneel or show obeisance. He could just chat while staying standing. From this, one could tell how exalted a level an eighth rank magus held.
“Right. So, we should all celebrate the fact that not a single person from Wushan town perished today.” Hogg laughed.
“It definitely is worth celebrating,” Hillman nodded and laughed as well.
“Hillman, take some men to assist Uncle Hiri. After finishing up, please address the issue of the commoners who lost their houses.” Hogg instructed.
“Yes, lord Hogg.” Hillman assented.
Hogg looked behind him carefully, then asked Hillman suspiciously, “Hm? Where did Linley go? He was just here a moment ago.”
“No idea. Didn’t notice.” Hillman shook his head as well.
“My lord, young master Linley has already went home.” Hiri said from the side. “Although, when he left, he seemed to be in a daze. No clue what he was thinking about.”
Hogg thoughtfully nodded.
If there was one thing which the Baruch clan manor did not lack for, it was rooms. In the days of the Baruch clan’s glories, hundreds of people lived here. The population now was much lower than before. Even an eight year old child such as Linley had his standalone quarters.
Within Linley’s bedroom.
Linley was kneeling on the bed, his brow furrowed in thought.
Again and again, the terrifying power of the ‘Dance of the Fire Serpents’ swam about in his mind’s eye. Those seven huge fire serpents and the tempest of flame they generated repeated in his mind over and over again, as well as how they instantly turned everything around them to ash, including the powerful warriors and magi of the small adventuring group.
“Magi are so powerful.”
Linley felt a thread of desire in his heart. “Although I am a member of the Dragonblood Warriors clan, the density of Dragonblood in my veins is too low. The fact that anyone with Dragonblood is totally unable to utilize any other battle-qi cultivating methods is something which will hold back my ability to develop my warrior abilities to the maximum. I wonder if it would be possible for me to be a magus, instead.”
Linley suddenly had the desire to become a magus.
“That Velocidragon was terrifyingly powerful as well. If I were to have a Velocidragon, then…”
Linley began to think back to the awe-inspiring might of the Velocidragon.
It’s lightning-fast, whip-like tail had so easily shattered the stone projectiles aimed at it, and had demolished any houses it touched. Its enormous body resembled huge siege weapons which armies might field in a war. Once it charged forward at a fast pace, considering how tough its scales were, the Velocidragon really would be a terrifying opponent.
“Magical beasts…I wonder how someone acquires a magical beast.” Linley desired to have a magical beast of his own as well.
For whatever reason, as he lay on the bed, Linley simply couldn’t fall asleep. He tossed and turned, his mind filled with images of the Velocidragon and the ‘Dance of the Fire Serpents’ which the magus had displayed.
“Linley, what’s wrong?” A familiar voice said.
Linley scrambled to his feet. Raising his head, he saw that it was his father, Hogg. At the moment, a smiling, praising look was on Hogg’s face as he watched Linley.
“Father.” Linley said respectfully. Suddenly, Linley felt confused. “Why is father smiling at me? And with this sort of expression?”
Hogg was extremely strict with Linley, and rarely smiled at him in such a intimate manner. His current expression made Linley feel all the more astonished.
“Not bad, not bad,” Hogg said proudly as he looked at Linley. “You really are a scion of our Dragonblood Warrior clan. You have our superior qualities. If a descendant of the Dragonblood Warriors were to be terrified of death, terrified of blood, of slaughter, then it would be an absolute joke.”
Upon hearing these words, Linley immediately understood. His father was happy at how he had not been terrified by the sight of the Velocidragon eating Luke alive.
Linley said, surprised, “Father, you saw everything?”
“That Velocidragon caused such a stir. How could I not? As soon as the Velocidragon arrived at Wushan township, I came out as well, but I was off to a different side. I could clearly see the expressions on your face and on Hillman’s,” Hogg nodded.
Back then, aside from the initial bit of panic, he later only felt his blood boil and surge, filling him with a thirst for bloodletting. Linley, as well, had wondered at the time if it was because of the Dragonblood in his veins.
Hogg laughed. “Linley, did the events of today astonish you so much that you even forgot about dinner?”
“Dinner?” Linley was startled.
“Rumble.” Linley’s belly sounded in agreement at this time. Only now did Linley realize that the evening training hadn’t even begun before the Velocidragon and the mysterious magus arrived.
By all rights, it was now time for dinner.
But Linley’s mind was still preoccupied thinking about that ‘Dance of the Fire Serpents’ and that Velocidragon.
“Father, I’d like to ask, is it possible for a member of the Dragonblood Warrior clan to become a magus?” Linley’s hands unconsciously balled up, clenching his bedsheets. He stared hard at his father.
Hogg was startled, but in the next moment he immediately understood. Looks like his child now wanted to become a magus.
“It is possible.” Hogg nodded.
Linley couldn’t prevent a look of joy from appearing on his face.
Hogg waved his hand, motioning for Linley to calm down, before saying, “Linley, there have been magi in the lineage of our Dragonblood Warrior clan. However, there’s only been two in total. Linley, you should know that the most important thing for a magus is ‘natural talent’. Normally, only one person in ten thousand has the talent to become a magus. One in ten thousand! The chance really is very low. So, you’d best not have too much hope.”
Linley shook his head.
“Father, so long as there is any hope, I will persevere.” A solemn look was on Linley’s face.
Hogg looked at the serious expression on his eight year old boy’s face. By all rights, a young child being so serious was an amusing thing. But Hogg did not laugh.
Hogg considered for a while, then said, “Linley, every year, when the army recruitment drive begins in deep autumn, in the royal capital of Fenlai City, there is a magus student recruitment testing drive. If you really wish to go, when autumn comes around, you can go take the test.”
“Late autumn? Isn’t that just half a year away?” Linley’s eyes were filled with excitement.