Book 10, Baruch – Chapter 11, The Order Comes Down
Higginson stood there staring at Linley. Linley had actually immediately begun to train without paying attention to anyone else.
“Amazing, amazing.” Higginson let out a sigh of praise, then flew over to Desri. Desri’s group was staring at Linley with approval in their eyes as well. All of them sat down, and Hayward laughed, “Big brother, this Linley truly is a genius. Even when sparring with Higginson, who uses the Elemental Laws of Light, he will still have some insights.”
Desri’s group of people were all amongst the highest class Saints.
Seeing Linley do this, they knew that Linley must have gained some insight into something important, which was why he had immediately started training.
“Uncle,” Reynolds had immediately run over after seeing Linley’s actions. “What’s wrong with Linley? Is he wounded?”
“Haha…” Desri and the others began to laugh loudly. Miller laughed and said, “Reynolds, Linley is fine. However, it is hard to say how long he will be in training. For those of us at our level, it is very hard and rare for us to suddenly gain an insight.”
Only then did Reynolds relax.
Currently, Linley’s mind was filled with all sorts of movements. A longsword-wielding figure was flashing about in his mind, once again stabbing at him using the technique Higginson had just displayed. Higginson’s sword had seemed like an illusion…
The sword striking out. The flash of light. The distorted space…
Those folded, blurry layers of space…that terrifying penetrative power…it had seemed unstoppable.
“What is it? What exactly is it?” Linley was repeatedly thinking on this matter, and in his mind, he replayed that sword attack over and over. For an instant, upon seeing that sword, Linley seemed to have understood something.
But it was extremely blurry!
Again and again, he replayed the attack in his mind, concentrating on it whole-heartedly.
It was as though a lightning bolt had suddenly flashed in Linley’s mind. Linley’s heart shook, and that layer of obscuring fog was stripped away. He finally understood that sensation he had felt. “Right. It is the wind. The wind! The ‘Fast’ aspect of the wind!”
Linley’s heart was filled with wild joy.
Previously, when Linley had witnessed Miller using the ‘Slow’ aspect of the Elemental Laws of the Wind, Linley had come to understand the direction in which he should train the ‘Slow’ aspect. Linley had learned that the power of his ‘Tempos of the Wind’ technique could increase.
This was because the ‘Tempos of the Wind’ was similar to the Profound Truths of the Earth. With the Profound Truths of the Earth, the more vibrational waves created, the more powerful the attack was.
By that same logic, the ‘Tempos of the Wind’ utilized the combined forces of the ‘Fast’ and the ‘Slow’ aspects of the wind to create the frictional force that created a spatial edge attack. The deeper his understanding of the ‘Fast’ and the ‘Slow’ aspects of the wind became, the more powerful his combination attack would become in creating a more powerful ‘Tempos of the Wind’.
After having sparred with Miller, Linley’s insight into the ‘Slow’ aspect of the wind was slowly increasing.
But his progression in understanding the ‘Fast’ aspect of the wind had come to a standstill.
Elemental Laws of the Wind – What was the path to training in the ‘Fast’ aspect?
But today, after seeing Higginson’s ‘Illusionary Void Sword’, Linley now clearly understood how he should proceed. “Of the Elemental Laws, in terms of speed, the Elemental Laws of Wind and the Elemental Laws of Light have an advantage. Higginson is fast, so fast that in the instant of his attack, space itself is distorted. But the ‘Slow’ aspect of the Elemental Laws of the Wind can cause space to suddenly freeze. Right…the Elemental Laws of Wind, in their ‘Fast’ aspect, should also be able to instantly cause space itself to distort into multiple layers.”
Linley already had some basic insights into the ‘Fast’ aspect of the Elemental Laws of Wind, and he had been pondering it for some time now.
But now, he knew exactly what his goal was…Linley’s mind began to rapidly ponder how to train. It was as though he now knew the starting point and the endpoint. What he now needed to do was to decide what was the best way to go about on this path, and then actually follow the path to its endpoint.
Linley’s mind played countless scenarios in his mind, and gradually, his insights into the ‘Fast’ aspect of the Elemental Laws of the Wind deepened as well. Whenever he could no longer resolve a question in his mind, Linley would stand up and use the Bloodviolet flexible sword to test out a theory on the spot.
This was the nature of training; tough, pain-staking, and occasionally needing a burst of insight.
It was as though a person had suddenly seen a flash of light and seen the rough picture of the road ahead of him. He now had the general idea of where he should go. All that had to be done next was to continue studying and continue testing. As long as one had enough time, one would definitely be able to reach that goal.
To be able to gain insights into the ‘Fast’ aspect of the Elemental Laws of Wind from watching a sword technique based on the Elemental Laws of Light wasn’t something which just anyone could do. Right now, Desri and the others didn’t have any idea what Linley had suddenly understood.
“It’s been over half a month, but Third Bro, he…” Reynolds stared at the meditating Linley with some urgency in his eyes.
The nearby Monica laughed. “Big brother Reynolds, last night, I saw Linley suddenly stand up and then perform what appeared to be a sword technique. However, his sword was so blurry and indistinct. When that violet light flashed, the wind began to blow all around him, and the speed of his sword was very fast as well. I couldn’t see anything clearly.”
“If Third Bro continues like this, who knows how long it will take.” Reynolds said with some agitation.
“Big brother Reynolds, look.” Monica suddenly pointed towards Linley excitedly. Reynolds turned to look…and saw that Linley had already stood up and was smiling towards Reynolds while walking over to them. “Fourth Bro, what’s the matter? Did a flower blossom on my face?”
At this moment, a black blur suddenly streaked out, leaping onto Linley’s shoulders.
“Bebe.” Linley lovingly rubbed Bebe’s head.
Bebe quirked his lips unhappily. “Boss, it’s been half a month. You sure can sleep.”
“Sleep?” An involuntary laugh escaped Linley’s mouth.
He knew that while he was training, Bebe had definitely been extremely bored. However, Linley was in an extremely fine mood today…because he had made progress in the ‘Fast’ aspect of the Elemental Laws of the Wind. Linley understood very well that in order to reach the power of that sword attack of Higginson’s, he would most likely need to spend at least ten or so years.
As for reaching Miller’s level in using the ‘Slow’ aspect of the wind, he would most likely only need three or four years.
Clearly…Miller had a much lower level of understanding than Higginson. Linley was secretly delighted. Indeed, sparring with experts truly did allow one to improve much faster.
If he had been training by himself in the mountain the entire time and training aimlessly, if he was lucky, perhaps in ten years or a hundred years, he would’ve found the correct path. If he was unlucky, he might spend hundreds or even thousands of years before finding the correct path.
This was the nature of training. If you gained insights quickly, you trained quickly. If you gained insights slowly, you would train slowly. After all, not too much time was needed after one reached the Saint-level for one’s battle-qi to reach the limits of the Saint-level. Everyone spent their time on increasing their insights into the Laws…for example, Olivier was able to defeat Dillon as soon as he had reached the Saint-level, precisely because Dillon had virtually no insights into the Elemental Laws. There was nothing for it.
In the northern part of the Anarchic Lands, a large-scale campaign had begun.
As per Linley and Zassler’s plans, roughly seven or eight days after Linley headed off to the mysterious village, Barker and the others began to attack southwards, invading one of the Duchies controlled by the Radiant Church. The name of this Duchy was the Sherry [She’li] Duchy.
The soldiers of the Sherry Duchy were inferior in quality to Linley’s forces. Linley’s people lived very close to the Forest of Darkness, and were thus highly accustomed to violence. They had a much greater battle strength. And of course, they had the five Barker brothers leading them into the fray.
The most powerful experts of the Sherry Duchy were nothing more than three experts of the eighth rank. They didn’t have a single expert of the ninth rank. How could the Sherry Duchy possibly stall Linley’s forces at all?
Barker and his brothers were like five gods of battle as they led their ravenous troops into a slaughtering invasion, breaking past all defenses. In just four days, the prefectural city and five smaller cities of the Sherry Duchy had all been taken over. Linley’s territory had just dramatically expanded.
Gates, Hazer, and Ankh all stayed within the prefectural city of Sherry.
“They are totally unable to fight back.” Gates said loudly. “Too weak. Too weak. There’s no one here who can even slow us down.” Indeed. Even if they did meet with strong resistance, who would be able to fight in single combat against the likes of Gates and the others?
In addition, the Saint-level magical beast, the Blackcloud Panther, Haeru, had been in a state of readiness this entire time, ready to attack.
“Andrew [An’de’lu].” Ankh suddenly turned to stare at a silver-haired middle-aged man behind them. The man immediately bowed, awaiting Ankh’s order. Ankh asked, “Right now, how is the reorganization of the Sherry Duchy’s military proceeding? And what is the situation amongst the masses?”
In order to manage a country, one naturally had to use appropriate personnel. Barker and the others were only used for military conquest.
“Milords.” Andrew said respectfully. “Currently, the military reorganization has already concluded. We have placed many soldiers of Blackdirt City into their ranks as well.”
Barker and the others didn’t fully trust these surrendered troops. Thus, the only thing they could do was to try and spread them out as much as possible, preventing them from easily coordinating with each other. At the same time, they killed some people while inserting their own loyal followers.
“The Sherry Duchy has been dominated by the Radiant Church for a long time, and there are many believers in the Radiant Church here.” Andrew said with concern. “I believe if the Radiant Church was to come attack us, the masses might even rebel against us. But there are too many people here. There’s not much we can do.”
Hazer said confidently, “What are we afraid of? Threatened with death, how many waves can these commoners possibly cause?”
“Andrew, we have just taken over the Sherry Duchy. Right now, the people are still restless. We’ll have to trouble you to handle it.” Ankh instructed. Andrew respectfully assented to the order.
“Enough. You can leave now.” Ankh laughed. Soon, only Ankh, Hazer, and Gates were left.
Ankh looked at his two siblings. “The results of Mr. Zassler’s meetings have come. We are ordered to stop attacking for now, and prepare to found our Duchy half a month from now. By now, we have over ten million people under our banner.”
Hazer and Gates both grinned.
“I didn’t expect that the Radiant Church wouldn’t fight back at all. It seems they don’t want to go against us head on.” Gates laughed. “Then just like how we originally planned, we’ll continue to put on an act. Only after we publicly announce the founding of our Duchy will we continue our attack against the Radiant Church.”
The Radiant Church really was spineless. The Church indeed had convinced Hazer and Gates…that they were unwilling to face their forces head on.
The golden-haired middle-aged man once again arrived at the dimly lit room.
“Lord Praetor.” The golden-haired middle-aged man said respectfully.
Seated behind his desk, Osenno’s eyes were flickering with flames. He calmly said, “Right now, Linley’s side has just taken over the Sherry Duchy. They will definitely spend quite some time absorbing it. I trust they now believe we aren’t willing to fight them.”
The golden-haired middle-aged man looked towards Osenno and said excitedly, “Are we going to attack?”
“Our attack must utterly annihilate Linley’s side.” Osenno’s voice was freezing cold. “This Linley poses an enormous threat to our Radiant Church. If he is allowed to flourish, then we won’t live to regret it. Even now, he already dares to provoke us and attacked the Sherry Duchy. Clearly…he intends to fight against our Radiant Church.”
“Since they want to fight, then we must annihilate all of the experts on Linley’s side.” His voice grew even colder, and a devilish purple light flickered in his eyes.
The golden-haired middle-aged man grew more and more excited. But then, he said in confusion, “Lord Praetor, can it be that we are going to use Saints? But wouldn’t that result in dissatisfaction from the Cult of Shadows, the O’Brien Empire, and the other sides?”
“No need to worry about that.” Osenno said coldly. “If Linley is allowed to continue to expand, then the work that the Church has carried out for thousands of years here in the Anarchic Lands is going to be laid waste. In addition, Linley himself cannot be permitted to grow further. His rate of improvement is simply too terrifying. Right now…I still have the ability to kill him. But if this continues…”
Osenno looked at that golden-haired middle-aged man. “Enough. Carry out our original plans, and begin the protocols.”
“Yes, Lord Praetor.” The golden-haired middle-aged man assented.
“Tomorrow night, nine Saint-level Angels will immediately head out…and I myself will have a good ‘meeting’ with that rat-type pet of Linley’s.” Osenno was extremely confident. He was on the same level of power as the Holy Emperor, and was a full level higher than Haydson’s.
He was fully confident in his ability to kill Linley.