Book 10, Baruch – Chapter 9, Sparring
Desri, Higginson, Miller, and the others all quietly watched this sparring competition from afar.
“Now, let’s pretend my speed was lower than yours.” Hayward grinned at Linley. “Come attack me. Watch how I deal with you.”
Linley felt a hint of anticipation.
If his speed was inferior, how would a Grand Magus Saint cope?
Linley suddenly moved, transforming into a black blur. As Linley moved, Hayward also transformed into a flaming blur, retreating at high speed, but clearly his speed was far lower than Linley’s.
“I want to see how you are going to block me.” Linley stared at Hayward.
“Boom!” “Boom!” “Boom!” “Boom!” Suddenly, the air was filled with house-sized chunks of flaming meteors. The large number of flaming meteors carried tremendous power as they slammed towards Linley, and in a blink of an eye, they totally covered the space in front of Linley, forming a barrier in front of him.
Linley’s facial expression changed.
Fire-style magic of the ninth rank: Scorching Meteor Shower. This technique, although much weaker than the forbidden-level spell ‘Heavenly Meteor’s Descent’ in terms of both scope and single-target damage, still forced Linley to have to break through these countless meteors if he was to continue attacking Hayward.
The meteors were clustered so densely that there was no space to dodge at all.
“Bang!” Linley charged forwards, smashing hard against a flaming meteor.
Those massive flaming meteors were knocked flying by Linley, one after the other, while some others exploded and split apart. But although Linley’s body was tough enough that he didn’t fear these attacks, the constant impacts against these meteors caused his speed to decrease quite a bit.
“Bang!” With a punch, he shattered the final flaming meteor in front of him. Linley finally saw the distant Hayward.
Hayward stood there in mid-air, his face covered with smiles. “Linley, you lose again.”
“Your spells of the ninth rank are unable to hurt me, but they can greatly lower my speed. By the time I charged out, you probably would’ve already used a forbidden spell.” Linley understood this very well, but he didn’t have any choices. Those meteors weren’t like ordinary rocks, and Linley had to use great force to break each one of them.
The nearby watching Desri said, “Linley, the most basic method which Grand Magus Saints use against Warrior Saints is to instacast spells to block them while retreating at high speed, then utilizing forbidden-level spells to attack them.”
“However, Mr. Hayward, you were able to instacast a spell of the ninth rank. This truly is…” Linley now knew how terrifyingly powerful this man was. Even while depending on the Coiling Dragon ring, Linley was only able to instacast spells of the seventh rank.
Hayward chuckled, “But of course. Most Grand Magus Saints have very powerful spiritual energy, but can only instacast spells of the eighth rank. The reason I can instacast spells of the ninth rank is only because I’ve trained for many years and thus have even stronger spiritual energy.”
Linley secretly sighed, “His Phoenix Metamorphosis can cause a Fire Phoenix which was hundreds of meters tall to condense into a phoenix which was only ten meters tall. I’ve never even heard of such a thing.”
Generally speaking, the Phoenix Metamorphosis spell was capable of creating a Fire Phoenix which was roughly a hundred meters tall, and which was already frightfully powerful. But Hayward…clearly was one of the most powerful of Grand Magus Saints.
“But in a dangerous situation, if a Grand Magus Saint was to wildly and repeatedly instacast spells of the eighth rank at you, they would still be able to slow you down.” Hayward said with certainty.
Linley nodded and laughed. “However, it wouldn’t be effective as you, Mr. Hayward, instacasting spells of the ninth rank. It would take me far longer to break through your Scorching Meteor Shower. If it was a spell of the eighth rank that was used to block me, my speed probably would’ve been much faster.”
“Linley, you can be considered a peak-level Warrior Saint. An ordinary Warrior Saint wouldn’t be able to break through an instacast spell of the eighth rank as quickly as you.” Hayward said.
Linley fully understood now…it was like how an ordinary person could sprint a hundred meters in ten seconds, but if he were running atop a track of mud, he might take fifteen seconds or even longer. Mud, to ordinary people, didn’t pose much of a threat either.
But it definitely would be able to slow their speed down.
“Linley, you must understand; the most important thing for a Grand Magus Saint to do when fighting against a Warrior Saint is to lower the opponent’s speed! Instacasting spell is one method, while for example darkness-style spells includes maledictive slowing spells…as long as the Grand Magus Saint can prevent you from catching up to them for a time, then the Grand Magus Saint will use that chance to utilize forbidden-level spells against you.”
Desri and the others flew over as well.
“Now that you’ve encountered a forbidden-level spell from a Grand Magus Saint, you should know how powerful they are.” Desri chuckled towards Linley.
Forbidden-level spells truly were terrifying. For example, that Phoenix Metamorphosis. Even if Linley were to stab straight through the skull of the Fire Phoenix, it would still constantly attack him, because it was a creature formed from elemental essence and wasn’t actually alive. A forbidden-spell like this was even more terrifyingly strong than a Saint-level magical beast.
At least Saint-level magical beasts feared injury.
To deal against forbidden-level magical spells, the only option was to break it by repeated blows and make it run out of energy.
“Linley.” That beautiful lady, Pennslyn, smiled as she spoke. “Instacasting and slowing the opponent’s speed is a rather passive way for a Grand Magus Saint to deal with an opponent. Actually, Grand Magus Saints have another powerful method.”
Linley stared at Hayward in astonishment. “Mr. Hayward, can it be that you have other tools at your disposal?”
Grand Magus Saints were too terrifying!
Hayward nodded. “Of course. This method is a fallback method which Grand Magus Saints rely upon. Linley, come and try to attack me again. If you experience it yourself, you will understand it clearly.” As he spoke, Hayward flew backwards, pulling once more to a distance of a hundred meters away from Linley.
“The fallback method they rely on?” Linley was curious.
“Boom!” Linley once more charged towards Hayward, but Hayward didn’t move at all, only staring at Linley with confidence.
Once Linley drew near him though, Linley’s face suddenly changed. He felt a terrifyingly powerful storm of mental energy suddenly surround him and attack his spirit. In the blink of an eye, Linley suddenly felt dizzy, and his body swayed. Only after several seconds later did he fully recover.
Several seconds, to Saints engaging in battle was more than enough to determine the outcome.
Linley stared at Hayward in astonishment. “Mental attack?”
“Haha…” Miller flew over, laughing. “Linley, that isn’t a mental attack. If it was a mental attack, your head would be splitting from pain and you would’ve collapsed.”
Desri and the others flew over as well.
Desri personally explained to him. “Linley, what’s the biggest advantage magi have over warriors?”
“Mental and spiritual energy.” Linley didn’t hesitate at all.
Desri nodded. “Right. Magi possess the most powerful spiritual energy. The spiritual energy of a Grand Magus Saint is as powerful and boundless as the seas. They are far more powerful than that of a Warrior Saint. Aside from those few Grand Magus Saints who just entered the Saint-level, the vast majority of Grand Magus Saints are capable of using this sort of basic ‘Mindstorm’ attack.”
“This Mindstorm attack doesn’t require any understanding of any Elemental Laws. It is nothing more than a spiritual energy based attack that uses a great deal of spiritual energy to strike at the opponent’s soul. This sort of tactic is very simple. Upon reaching the Saint-level, a Grand Magus Saint will quickly come to understand it.” Hayward said with absolute certainty.
Linley understood this as well.
The so-called ‘Mindstorm’ just then felt like a tremendous amount of spiritual energy smashing upon his soul time and time again, even though it didn’t actually cause much damage to the soul.
“Hayward, naturally, developed his own unique spiritual attacks long ago. If he truly were to use his spiritual energy against you, you would be in trouble.” Desri laughed.
Linley now understood the basic underpinnings of these mental attacks (or spiritual attacks). It was to form that normally soft and weak spiritual energy into sharp ‘knives’ and repeatedly stab at the opponent’s soul. This sort of attack was truly frightening! If one’s soul wasn’t strong enough, it might be directly shattered and destroyed.
“Mindstorm! Haha…” Hayward shook his head and laughed. “This name was created by Grand Magus Saints long ago. But in truth, it’s nothing more than a very basic mental attack. It is only useful against Warrior Saints who are far weaker in mental energy.”
Linley felt a sense of dread.
Grand Magus Saints truly were powerful.
Whether by instacasting spells to slow movement or by using Mindstorm type attacks to attack the soul…they had methods to be highly effective.
“Grand Magus Saints are far fewer in number than Warrior Saints. Generally speaking, Grand Magus Saints have an advantage.” Higginson laughed loudly. “Linley, Warrior Saints have their experts, but Grand Magus Saints have their own as well. Who is stronger? That depends on the person.”
If he were to truly fight all out against Hayward, when faced with Hayward’s meteor blockade, he would’ve used his Profound Truths of the Earth – Hundred Layered Waves attack to blow a tunnel straight through all of the blocking stones.
In the past, Linley’s sword blow had created a tunnel in an entire mountain.
Just then, Linley was playing the role of an ordinary expert. But if this were a true life-and-death battle, most likely Bebe would’ve gotten involved as well. If Bebe and Linley were to charge forward together…given Bebe’s speed, how many Grand Magus Saints would be faster?
Even if they used mental energy to attack, could it be that they could simultaneously attack Linley and Bebe?
“Grand Magus Saints being stronger than Warrior Saints is just a generality. It can’t be treated as an absolute.” Linley understood.
But of course, if this Hayward wanted to kill him, it would be very easy. All he would have to do is use a mental attack. Given Hayward’s ability, he could definitely cause Linley’s head to hurt badly enough to make him collapse, and then Hayward could use the Phoenix Metamorphosis to attack. He wouldn’t even have had the chance to flee.
There is always someone mightier than the mighty.
Hayward was mighty, but if he were to encounter Fain, he probably wouldn’t be able to do anything. After all, Linley had personally witnessed how powerful Fain’s mental attack was.
On the flight back with Desri’s group, Bebe was mentally chatting to Linley while standing on his shoulders. “Boss, when in the future you reach the Saint-level as a magus, you’ll be both a Dragonblood Warrior and a Grand Magus Saint in one. Hrmph…by then, beating them will be easy.”
If he were to reach the Saint-level in his human form as a warrior and also as a magus, the synergistic power would probably increase his power by dozens of times, if not more. By then, Linley most likely would be confident in his ability to deal with even the likes of Fain and Desri.
The imperial capital of the Yulan Empire. Master Longhaus’ residence.
Delia was seated in a courtyard alone, drinking some tea while flipping through some of Master Longhaus’ magical tomes. The Wildthunder Stormhawk, Parry, as well as the Worldbear, Hatton, were off to one side, chatting in the language of magical beasts.
“Hrm?” Delia saw something of interest in the magical tome. Her eyes lit up and she smiled.
Grand Magus Saints truly did have a deep understanding of magic. Delia felt that she truly was reaping great benefits here.
“Someone’s coming.” The Worldbear, Hatton, suddenly spoke. Delia stared questioningly towards Hatton. “Someone is coming? Why haven’t the guards informed us? Big Yellow, are you just making things up again?” Delia laughed as she looked at the Worldbear, Hatton.
The Worldbear stared at Delia with wide eyes. “Delia, you don’t believe me? Am I that sort of bear?”
“Someone really is coming.” Delia sensed it as well by now. In terms of environmental awareness, she was far inferior to a Saint-level magical beast.
Soon afterwards, footsteps could be heard from the outside.
“Might I ask if Master Longhaus is here?” A calm, confident voice could be heard.
“Come in.” Delia said casually. For this person to be able to come in unannounced meant that he definitely was no ordinary figure. The door was pushed open, and two handsome youths walked in at the same time. Delia immediately rose to her feet. “Respectful greetings, your Imperial Majesty.”
Of those two youths, one was the Emperor of the Yulan Empire, his Imperial Majesty, Emperor Rande [Lan’de].
Emperor Rande’s eyes lit up when he saw Delia. Laughing, he said, “Delia, you are growing more and more beautiful. Right, where is your teacher?”
“Your Imperial Majesty, wait a moment with George.” Delia said, then she turned to look at the Worldbear. “Big Yellow, ask Teacher where he currently is. His Imperial Majesty wishes to meet with him.” The youngster who had come alongside Emperor Rande was indeed the youngest Grand Secretary of the Yulan Empire, the highly favored minister, George.