Book 1, Chapter 17 – Catastrophe (part 2)
“Thud! Thud! Thud!”
A few more crashing sounds continued to sound out from within Wushan township, but a short period of time later, no more stones fell from the sky. All of the boulders had been thoroughly demolished by the green-robed swordsman. But by now, no one in Wushan township had any spare energy left to pay attention to their battle.
“Lord Hogg, Wushan township is in bad shape. Just then-….Lord Hogg? What’s wrong?” Hillman rushed into the manor. Just as he was beginning to report on the town’s situation, he saw that Hogg was standing there in a daze, not making a single sound.
Hogg’s body trembled. Only then did he regain his usual faculties. “Linley.” Hogg charged violently towards the warehouse at an astonishing speed. Seeing this, Hillman guessed what had happened and immediately followed Hogg.
“Smash!” Before Hogg had arrived, the rubble covering Hiri, Linley, and Wharton had been blasted apart.
Housekeeper Hiri stood up from within the rubble.
“Uncle Hiri, what’s the situation?” Hogg’s voice was trembling. At the same time, he stared at the prone bodies. The first thing he saw was Linley, head covered with blood. The sight of the blood was so piercing to the eye that Hogg felt his head grow foggy, and his body swayed, almost falling down.
Up til now, Linley’s body was still elevated from the ground, as he had been using his fists in a push-up position, so as not to crush Wharton.
“Father.” A youthful voice emanated from beneath.
Wharton slowly crawled out from under Linley. His body was small, and he had been fully covered by Linley, so he didn’t experience any injuries at all.
“Big brother, big brother, what’s wrong?” Wharton tugged at Linley’s body.
“Linley. Linley!” Hogg’s voice was quavering.
Housekeeper Hiri said from off to the side, “I was still a little too slow. There was one piece of rubble that I managed to block, but before it struck young master Linley in the head. Although I believe that the strike shouldn’t have been too heavy.”
“I…I’m fine.” A low, hoarse voice. Linley forced himself to lift up his head and stare at Hogg, managing a weak smile.
At this moment, upon seeing Linley’s smile, Hogg’s tears came spilling out.
Linley straightened his body and sat up. His clothes were covered with blood, as was his face and his hair. When the stone had struck him, it had caused a great deal of blood loss. At the moment, Linley also felt slightly woozy. Still staring at his father, Linley said in a weak, low voice, “Father, you are crying.”
“I, I’m fine.” An excited smile appeared on Hogg’s face.
“Wharton? Why were you at the doorway earlier?” Linley rubbed his little brother’s head and said in a reproving tone.
Wharton also knew that he had made a mistake. Lowering his head, he said, “Big brother, I’m sorry.”
Housetaker Hiri, off to the side, said, “This was my fault. This disaster came too suddenly, and as soon as I had taken Wharton into the warehouse, I saw young master Linley in great danger, so I immediately rushed forward to help him. I didn’t imagine that in just that instant, a huge boulder would head for the warehouse. This was my fault.”
Suddenly, a huge tremblor shook the earth.
Everyone’s facial expressions changed as they stared towards the eastern sky. A giant had appeared, hovering in the sky, over ten meters tall, muscles bound tightly, with a ruthless expression on its face. Its entire body was the color of yellow earth. At the moment, this earthen giant was engaging in a fierce battle with the green robed swordsman, and their every exchange of blows created a sound like crashing lightning or roaring thunder.
The sound of the blows alone gave testament to how mighty the earthen giant was. Every single one of its blows was more powerful than the combined force of those countless boulders from earlier.
Linley stared at this battle in awe. “This earthen giant must have been conjured by the magic of the gray-robed magus.” Linley could easily come to this conclusion, since the gray-robed magus was a mighty magus, after all.
“Linley, how are you feeling?” Hogg said with concern.
Linley squeezed out a smile. “I’m fine. There’s just a cut on my head, is all. I just lost some blood.”
“Young master Linley, you actually lost quite a bit of blood. If you lose too much, you could die.” Housekeeper Hiri immediately retrieved some white gauze from within the warehouse and wrapped it around the injury on Linley’s head.
Hogg took a close look at Linley. “Uncle Hiri, how does his injury look?”
Uncle Hiri smiled at Hogg. “Not bad. Linley is in excellent physical shape, and he hasn’t fainted. There shouldn’t be too much to worry about. In the coming days, he just needs to eat more meat to replenish his blood, and he’ll be fine.”
Only now did Hogg secretly let go of a breath he had been holding.
Just then, when he saw Linley charge over to protect Wharton, Hogg had truly been scared silly. He had truly been terrified that his sons would’ve died, just like that.
After taking a deep breath, Hogg looked at Hillman. “Right, Hillman, you were just saying that Wushan township was in bad shape. How bad of a shape is it in?”
“I can’t say with exact precision as to how bad the condition is,” Hillman said, his face grim. “But from what I could see, some people must have died, and many were injured or even crippled! This catastrophe came simply too quickly. Even though I shouted for everyone to hide, many people didn’t have the chance to barricade themselves in their cellars.”
“It really did come too fast.” Hogg turned his head to stare at the eastern sky.
Saint-level combatants were on a totally different level than the people of Wushan township. A Saint-level combatant could wipe out the entire town with the wave of a hand. Earlier, the rain of boulders and the green-robed man’s destruction of said boulders was nothing but the opening gambits of these two combatants.
But even the side effects of just those initial, testing blows were enough to cause an utter castastrophe to Wushan township.
“The legendary earth-style incantation of the tenth rank, a forbidden spell – the earth element ‘World Protector’. The power of this ‘World Protector’is extremely terrifying. It’s considered the most powerful offensive spell available to an earth-style magus.” Staring at the earthen giant, Hogg’s face had grown cold as he spoke.
Hogg was a member of the Dragonblood Warrior clan. Although the Dragonblood Warrior clan had fallen on hard times, their five thousand years of history meant that within their family archives, there was information about all of the most powerful magical attacks used by the most powerful people in history. Hogg naturally could tell what was going on at a glance.
“An incantation of the tenth rank…” Linley took a deep breath.
Linley badly wanted to one day also ride a Black Dragon and utilize apocalyptic incantations of the tenth rank. His thoughts naturally turned to the magical testing and recruiting event. “The test will only be held in autumn in the capital. There’s still half a year left…”
From the bottom of his heart, Linley was eagerly awaiting the magical ability examination in half a year.
“Hillman, in a little while, accompany me in inspecting the situation of the residents of Wushan township.” Hogg said, and then looked at Hiri. “Uncle Hiri, after these two Saint-level combatants depart, take Linley home to change his clothes and make sure he gets some rest.”
“Yes, lord.” Hiri nodded.
Hogg turned back to look at Linley, who was enraptured watching the exciting battle between two Saint-level combatants. Laughing, he said, “Oh, Linley, you little rascal. Even though you are injured, you still want to watch Saint-level combatants fight. Fortunately, given that the Saint-level magus has unleashed the ‘World Protector’, this battle is about to come to a close soon.”
Absorbed in the shocking battle going on off in the distant, Linley didn’t notice at all that around his chest area….
Since his head was injured, the so-called ‘Coiling Dragon’ ring he wore underneath his clothes had also been stained by blood. But the blood on the Coiling Dragon ring seemed to have disappeared, like water into an endless ocean, as the strange black material slowly absorbed it all.
And then, the Coiling Dragon ring actually began to shine with a faint, dim light.
But since it was being worn underneath his clothes, no one could possibly notice the faint light coming off from the surface of the Coiling Dragon ring.