Book 10, Baruch – Chapter 8, The Terrifying Power of Grand Magus Saints
“Oh?” The beautiful woman was surprised.
A hint of a smile was on Desri’s face. When he had seen Bebe on Linley’s shoulders, he had been shocked as well. As soon as he saw Bebe, Desri had decided…he had to build up a good relationship with Linley, no matter what the cost was.
In Desri’s heart, he found it hard to believe that Bebe would recognize a human as his master.
But Desri understood that since Linley was Bebe’s master, then building a good relationship with Linley was absolutely necessary.
“I want to see what sort of magical beast this is.” Seeing the secretive air that Desri was putting on, she chuckled then followed him out. After walking for a while, Desri and his wife arrived at the place where Hayward, Livingston, and Linley and the others were.
The beautiful woman immediately stared at Linley’s shoulders.
But…there was nothing on Linley’s shoulders.
“On the table.” Desri’s voice rang out in the beautiful woman’s mind. Only now did the beautiful woman notice that adorable little Shadowmouse, Bebe, was holding a cup of wine and drinking it in a very satisfied manner. “The fur is black!” The beautiful woman’s heart shook.
Mice with black fur weren’t necessarily restricted to just the lowest type of Shadowmice.
Perhaps the Radiant Church and the War God’s College weren’t familiar with what Bebe was, but the Anarchic Lands and the Frost Goddess Shrine definitely were.
“Father. Mother.” Monica was extremely happy, but upon seeing her mother, Monica began to worry for Reynolds. She knew what sort of temper her mother had.
Desri and the beautiful woman walked towards the table together, taking the hosts’ seats.
“Desri’s wife?” Linley stared at this beautiful woman in astonishment. In terms of hair and every other aspect, Monica and her mother looked identical. Outsiders would think that they were siblings. However, that icy aura surrounding this beautiful woman made Linley feel surprise in his heart.
“Yet another expert, one who isn’t much weaker than Miller.”
Linley once more felt that the War God’s words were very true. The War God had said…of those experts who had quietly trained in seclusion for thousands of years in the Yulan continent, aside from the Deities, the highest tier was the five Prime Saints including Fain and Desri. The second tier was the tier of the Holy Emperor, while the third was Haydson. Haydson’s level was just an ordinary level amongst the hidden experts.
This was the reason why Olivier had tasted bitter defeat in the Arctic Icecap. After all, he wasn’t even able to defeat Haydson. Who could he possibly defeat?
Desri said warmly, “Linley, let me make the introductions. This is my wife, Pennslyn [Bing’se’lin].”
“Sincerest greetings, Madame.” Linley said humbly.
A friendly smile appeared on Pennslyn’s face. “I truly am sorry. I’ve been training this entire time and just came out now. I hope you don’t mind.” As soon as she said these words, the nearby Monica was shocked. Her mother’s temper was such that aside from Monica’s father, her mother paid others no heed.
But…her mother had actually apologized? Was being polite?
Was this her icy, cold mother?
This was the first time Linley met Pennslyn. Naturally, he didn’t know about her normal temper. He thought Pennslyn was very friendly by nature, and he immediately laughed, “Madame, you are too courteous.”
“Monica, this is the Reynolds you’ve spoken of?” Pennslyn chuckled as she looked over at her daughter, and then her gaze rested on Reynolds. Reynolds had been warned by Monica early on, and thus he felt some dread towards this future mother-in-law of his.
Monica hurriedly said, “Yes, mother.”
“Sincerest greetings, Madame.” Reynolds felt rather nervous.
An approving look was in Pennslyn’s eyes. “Mmm, not bad at all. Monica…good eye. Why didn’t you bring Reynolds over sooner?” These words from Pennslyn instantly filled Reynolds with joy. It seemed as though this future mother-in-law had taken a liking to him.
But Monica was flabbergasted once again.
Was this her mother?
Linley’s impression towards Pennslyn became even more favorable. Just at this time, a clear, loud voice rang out. “Big brother, I hear we have guests?” A middle-aged man with long, dazzling golden hair walked in. His gaze immediately fell upon Linley, but at the same time, when he noticed the nearby Bebe, he raised an eyebrow.
“Higginson [Xi’jin’seng], hurry on over. You are the last one.” Desri laughed.
Immediately, Desri turned to look at Linley. “Linley, Higginson, like Hayward, came alongside me to this place. He also trains in the Elemental Laws of Light.”
“Sincerest greetings, Mr. Higginson.” Linley immediately said.
Higginson found an empty seat and sat down, then laughed, “Linley, don’t be so courteous. Just treat this place like you would your own home.” Hearing these words, Linley felt warmth in his heart. Desri and his gang truly were incomparably hospitable.
Within this inner mountain residence, there were some serving maids as well.
The serving maids brought over all sorts of delicacies, and the group began to engage in idle conversation. Reynolds and Monica sat there, not daring to say much. It was primarily Desri and the others chatting with Linley, while occasionally mentioning Bebe.
But today, Bebe didn’t have much to say. As Linley would’ve described it…Bebe was ‘playing it cool’.
Over the course of this discussion, Linley had discovered that the leader of this group was Desri, of course, followed by Hayward and Higginson, who had come to this place alongside Desri. Next was Miller, Livingston, and Foreman. This was obvious because…Miller, Livingston, and Foreman all addressed Desri as ‘Lord’, while Hayward and Higginson addressed him as ‘big brother’.
After the meal.
After having eaten and drank their fill, these people naturally wanted to go do something.
Linley and the other experts naturally wanted to engage in some sparring.
“Linley, Foreman is also a practitioner of the Elemental Laws of Earth, just like yourself. How about you two have a spar?” Miller chuckled, while a hint of a smile appeared on Foreman’s face as well, revealing two large dimples. “Miller, there’s no need for me to spar with Linley. My training path in the Elemental Laws of Earth is roughly the same as Haydson’s. Since he has already competed against Haydson, there’s no need for him to spar with me.”
Livingston glanced at him. “Foreman, you scared?”
Desri laughed, “Foreman speaks the truth. His power is almost identical to Haydson’s. There’s not much point to him sparring with Linley. How about this…Hayward, why don’t you spar with Linley instead?” Desri glanced at Linley. “Linley, you need to be careful. Hayward’s power is extremely strong.”
“But he is a Grand Magus Saint.” Linley still remembered Desri’s introduction.
“So what if I am?” Hayward laughed.
Linley let out an awkward laugh. In his view, a Grand Magus Saint without the protection of a magical beast who was to engage in open battle against a Saint-level warrior would be at a great disadvantage. Linley asked, “Mr. Hayward, can it be that you don’t have a magical beast companion?”
“I did, and he was a Saint. But unfortunately, he is dead already.” Hayward sighed.
Desri nodded. “Two thousand years ago, for the sake of protecting Hayward, that Saint-level magical beast died. That time, another one of my close friends died as well. I wanted to save him, but I wasn’t able to help in time…alas…” Desri, Hayward, and Higginson seemed to be reminiscing about past events.
Linley was secretly shocked.
Despite Desri having been there, a Saint-level magical beast had died in order to protect Hayward. Just how fierce had that battle been?
“Why did you bring up magical beasts? Can it be that you believe a Grand Magus Saint with no magical beast is inadequate?” Hayward looked at Linley with a laugh.
Linley could only chuckle.
As Linley saw it…in sparring with a Grand Magus Saint, he would rely on his speed to charge over and defeat the opponent before his opponent had even had the chance to use any magic. Wouldn’t that be an easy victory? If he were to allow his opponent to use his magic, on the other hand, then he probably wouldn’t even have a chance to run.
The main thing that mattered was speed. What was the point of competing?
“Linley, after reaching the Saint-level, you’ve been living in the O’Brien Empire, right?” Desri suddenly said.
Linley nodded. “Right. What of it?” Linley was confused as to why Desri would suddenly ask him this.
Desri laughed, “That makes sense. The O’Brien Empire is famous for its warriors, while the Yulan Empire is famous for its magi. Most likely, all the Saints you encountered in the O’Brien Empire were Warrior Saints, and you haven’t truly sparred against a Grand Magus Saint.”
This was indeed the case. All the people he had competed against were warriors. There wasn’t a single magus.
Longhaus was a Grand Magus Saint, but they hadn’t dueled.
“Grand Magus Saints are far fewer in number than Warrior Saints. However, the ratio isn’t as lopsided as in the O’Brien Empire.” Desri sighed. “In the continent, generally speaking, out of every four Saints, one is a Grand Magus Saint while the other three are Warrior Saints. But in the O’Brien Empire, perhaps only one Grand Magus Saint will appear for every ten or more Warrior Saints. The ratio is far too low.”
“The Yulan Empire is different, however. In general, one out of every two Saints is a Grand Magus Saint.” These words from Desri made Linley’s heart tremble.
One to one ratio?
The Yulan Empire truly was the wellspring for magi. Desri continued, “The Holy Union is also famous for its magi. However, the Holy Union is famous more for its basic-level training, while the Yulan Empire has the High Priest, which is why it has so many Grand Magus Saints. Generally speaking, all of the disciples of the High Priest have the potential to become Grand Magus Saints.”
Linley’s heart clenched.
One War God, one High Priest.
One trained a heap of Warrior Saints, while the other taught a heap of Grand Magus Saints.
“Grand Magus Saints aren’t as simple as you think them to be. Let me tell you this. In a one on one battle between a Grand Magus Saint and a Warrior Saint, the Grand Magus Saint has the greater chance of victory.” Desri laughed. “Grand Magus Saints find it harder than warriors to train and advance to begin with. Even in a place such as the Yulan Empire, which highly prizes magi, the ratio is still only one to one.”
It was true that magi found training to be far harder than warriors. Linley had always thought it strange…since it was so hard for magi to train, if they were inferior to warriors at the Saint-level, wouldn’t that be very unfair? But in the O’Brien Empire, Linley had witnessed how powerful Warrior Saints were.
As for Grand Magi Saints? He hadn’t.
“Come, Linley. Let’s go…today, let Hayward show you how powerful Grand Magi Saints are. That way, when you meet Grand Magi Saints in the future, you won’t be caught off-guard.” Desri stood up.
Linley immediately rose to his feet as well.
Only after a true spar would he learn how powerful Grand Magi Saints were.
At this time, Bebe hopped onto Linley’s shoulders as well, and their group left the cave estate. Reynolds and Monica couldn’t fly, so they stayed inside. Everyone else left and flew out of the valley.
Linley and the others flew to a different part of the mountain.
“This is the place where we usually spar against each other. You’ll spar here.” Desri said.
Desri, Hayward, Higginson, Miller, Livingston, Foreman, Pennslyn, Linley. In total, there were eight of them standing there in mid-air. Linley and Hayward moved to stand opposite of each other at a distance of a hundred meters.
“Come.” Hayward chuckled. Linley, not hesitant in the slightest, removed his outer robe and immediately Dragonformed. Those ferocious spikes erupted forth from his forehead, and his draconic black tail began to sway from behind…and his eyes turned dark golden.
Linley’s body suddenly flickered. “Boom!” He charged towards Hayward at high speed.
“Linley’s speed is a bit faster than last time.” Miller noticed Linley’s improvement. “But he’s still unable to overcome Hayward.”
Smiling, Hayward didn’t move at all. He just quietly waited for Linley to arrive. When Linley reached a distance of ten meters from him, Hayward finally made his move. He transformed into a flash of blazing light in the blink of an eye, immediately pulling away from Linley. The distance between the two actually increased.
In terms of flying speed, Linley was inferior to Hayward.
“But…” Linley’s face changed. If his flying speed was inferior, didn’t that mean the opponent would be able to cast spells and easily devastate him? Indeed, moments later, a terrifying blast of heat began to emanate from Hayward’s body, and countless flecks of light began to swirl around in the air above Hayward.
A brilliant, clear bird cry split the air!
Two gold-tinged red wings, that crown-like crest of feathers, those cold, arrogant eyes…this terrifying creature was a size larger than even those gigantic dragons. Before this massive Fire Phoenix, Linley and the others were like ants.
“Crackle.” The air itself began to crackle from the terrifying heat, which forced Linley to raise his defenses.
“The forbidden-level spell, ‘Phoenix Metamorphosis’?” Linley felt a surge of panic.
Fire magic was reputed for its offensive power, and its single-target attack, the ‘Phoenix Metamorphosis’ spell, was only weaker than the ‘Dimensional Blade’ spell. Linley didn’t have the ability to deal with it yet.
The Fire Phoenix suddenly shrank in size, but it appeared to become more substantial. When it shrank to the size of ten meters in length, in all aspects, be it the plumage or the gaze, it looked just like a real magical beast. The entire body of the Fire Phoenix had turned golden.
But although it had shrank in size, the amount of pressure it was exerting on Linley had increased to a terrifying level.
“Whoosh!” The Fire Phoenix charged straight towards Linley, whose body was now covered by a layer of that roiling azurish-black mist. This was the Pulseguard Defense which Linley was so proud of.
“Rumble.” Linley’s azurish-black battle-qi was being burned away at a visible rate. “If this continues, I’ll only be able to sustain it for a few more seconds.” Linley immediately flew backwards, and the Fire Phoenix flew back to Hayward’s side as well. Only then did Linley let out a sigh of relief.
This golden Fire Phoenix was simply too terrifying.
Laughing, Hayward looked at Linley. “Both Warrior Saints and Grand Magus Saints can fly once they reach the Saint-level. As far as flying speed goes, warriors are not necessarily faster. For example, wind-style magi and light-style magi…are extremely fast. Even I, a fire-style magus, am extremely fast, given my current level of training. Just through speed alone, I can make sure that you are unable to catch me, while I easily trample you.”
“But of course, those entry-level fire-style or water-style Grand Magus Saints are inferior to you. In terms of speed, Grand Magus Saints are still a bit weaker than Warrior Saints. But despite that, there are Grand Magus Saints who are faster than Warrior Saints.”
In terms of speed, Warrior Saints might have an advantage, but that didn’t mean all Grand Magus Saints were slower. Some of them flew at an astonishing speed. If one were to encounter an extremely fast Grand Magus Saint, then that would be dangerous…upon meeting such a person, the only choice was to flee.
“But of course, this sort of technique is only suited for a minority of Grand Magus Saints.” Hayward continued. “Now, come attack me again. I’ll show you the technique which Grand Magus Saints usually use against Warrior Saints.”
Linley suddenly had the feeling…
That perhaps, Grand Magus Saints truly were more terrifying than Warrior Saints.
“Are you ready?” A visible smile was on Hayward’s face.