Book 18, Highgod – Chapter 6, After Two Thousand Years, Even Seas Can Become Plains!
Within the rear courtyard of the ancestral manor, Linley listened to the voice coming from the front, rather amazed.
“Boss.” Bebe laughed as he looked at Linley, then gave him a big thumbs up.
Wade and Ina looked worshipfully towards Linley. Ina even repeated, ‘The mighty genius grandmaster sculptor, also a genius warrior-magus double-expert, also the founding emperor of the Baruch Empire, and also the master of the sacred place ‘Dragonblood Castle’…the legendary Deity, Linley Baruch!’ Uncle, you have so many titles. You are amazing.”
“There’s one missing, actually. The Dragonblood Warrior of the Supreme Warrior clans!” Bebe grinned.
Linley could only laugh.
Those visiting students in the front courtyard only viewed some areas in the front, and then left in a group. Clearly, the rear courtyard of the ancestral manor was not open to these students. It made sense….the rear courtyard had always been in a state of disrepair. Only the ancestral hall had always remained protected.
But how could these ordinary students be allowed to view the ancestral hall?
Of course, the true ancestral hall of the Baruch clan had already been moved to Dragonblood Castle, and so there wasn’t anything within the ‘ancestral hall’ in this ancestral manor.
“Just now, I believe they mentioned the words, ‘sacred place’ and ‘Dragonblood Castle’. So Dragonblood Castle has become a ‘sacred place’.” Linley let out a moved sigh.
Delia chuckled, “It has quite a few Deities. If it isn’t a sacred place, what is it?”
“Father.” Ina said to Bebe. “Where were you born?” Laughing, Bebe led Ina and Nisse to the side, while Linley headed towards the ancestral hall, with Delia and Wade following him as he pushed open the door to the hall and went into it.
Creaaaak. The door opened, and Linley carefully inspected the ancestral hall.
Compared to the past, the ancestral hall was virtually unchanged. Clearly, it had been maintained very well. But of course, the many spirit tablets that had been placed here had been moved long ago to Dragonblood Castle. The counter was completely empty.
Linley stared at the ancestral hall. His mind thought back to the first time his father, Hogg, had introduced the background of their Baruch clan. “The Four Supreme Warriors actually represent four ancient clans. Our Baruch clan is the ancient clan which contains the exalted bloodline of the Dragonblood Warriors!”
In the ancestral hall, his father had explained these things to him excitedly. This seemed to have happened just yesterday.
His father was dead!
“Father. Do you know? I’ve gone to the Infernal Realm, and met with our clan leader, ‘Baruch’. Ryan. Hazard. And the other ancestors of the clan as well…they are all doing very well, very well!” Linley felt sourness in his heart. His father had always hoped for his clan to return to glory. His clan had indeed flourished, but…his father would never be able to see it again.
Wade and Delia stood there quietly, just watching, not daring to disturb Linley.
Linley suddenly frowned and turned. “Someone is coming?”
“Who are you people!” A voice rang out from not too far away.
“Let’s go take a look.” Linley, Wade, and Delia all walked outside. By the time they reached the outside, they saw that a middle-aged man dressed in gray magus robes was staring at Bebe, Nisse, and Ina. When Linley’s group walked out, the middle-aged man said, stunned, “There’s actually six of you?”
This middle-aged man was the chancellor of this institute, the Saint-level expert, Hamelyn [Ha’mu’lin].
Chancellor Hamelyn was already a peak Saint. While he just so happened to walk past the courtyard, he sensed the presence of outsiders within the ancestral hall. Normally, it was forbidden for outsiders to enter this hall, and so Hamelyn naturally shouted at them. Actually, Hamelyn had only sensed Ina’s presence; he hadn’t sensed the other five.
He had thought there was only one person present. Who would have imagined that there were actually six!
Clearly, the other five were more powerful than him!
“Who are you?” Linley looked at him.
Hamelyn said composedly, “This is a core area of my Linley Institute. How did you come in? As for me, I am this institute’s chancellor, Hamelyn!”
“Hey, what did you say this institute is called?” Bebe immediately said.
Linley was badly startled upon hearing this. It seemed as though this Hamelyn had just said the words, ‘Linley Institute’.
Hanelyn, puzzled, looked at these six. “What? Can it be that you’ve never even heard of the Linley Institute, one of the three great institutes of the continent? Can it be that you didn’t see the sculpture of Grandmaster Linley which lies right past the main gates to our institute?” This was common knowledge, but the looks on the faces of Linley’s group did indeed make Hamelyn feel puzzled.
“Linley Institute?” Wade’s eyes widened, and he turned to look at Linley. “Father, did you hear that? The Linley Institute.”
Linley was speechless.
Although Hamelyn had seen the sculpture of Linley, first of all, the sculpture wasn’t at the grandmaster level of accuracy, and second of all, compared to when he was a Saint, Linley’s aura had completely changed. Thus, Hamelyn didn’t make any mental connection at all between the person in front of him and the legend of the continent, Linley.
“We just came for a look.” Linley laughed calmly. “Enough. We will leave now.”
Linley spread out his divine earth power, including Ina and Wade within it. An earthen yellow light flashed, and Linley’s group of six disappeared into the horizon.
Hamelyn stared, stupefied. “He’s far faster than even my teacher…and Teacher Reynolds is a Deity-level expert. Who on earth are these people?”
The Baruch Empire had existed for nearly two thousand years now, and the holiest site in the empire was Dragonblood Castle. The successive generations of emperors, upon giving up the throne, almost all moved to live here at Dragonblood Castle. Dragonblood Castle had quite a few Deities, and also quite a few Saint-level magical beasts who guarded it.
Nobody dared to act wildly in Dragonblood Castle.
Dragonblood Castle had expanded long ago. By now, it was many times larger than it had been in the past. The ‘Adamantine Garden’ of Dragonblood Castle was where Wharton lived. Currently, in a grassy area of the Adamantine Garden, two young-looking men were seated in the meditative position, facing each other while drinking wine and chatting.
“Taylor, what? You don’t want another woman??”
“Uncle Wharton, I’m tired.” The thick-eyebrowed, muscular youth was Tyalor. Although nearly two thousand years had passed, Taylor’s appearance had barely changed compared to the past. Right now, Taylor was sighing. “Uncle Wharton, we have eternal life, but our spouses? We have to just watch as our spouses age, then die. This sort of feeling is too painful.”
In the past two millennia, Taylor had taken two women as his wives in succession.
But these two wives had both died of old age, filling Taylor with the utmost of pain.
“Alas.” Wharton let out a low sigh as well. “I still remember how, that year, my big brother, for the sake of letting me marry Nina, did everything he could, even going so far as to duel Olivier in the arena. After a few centuries, even Nina was unable to resist the flow of time…and it’s been nearly two thousand years since my big brother went to the Infernal Realm. Nina died more than a millennium ago.” Wharton laughed at himself. “Sometimes, eternal life is a painful thing.”
Only upon becoming a Saint would one possess eternal life.
But becoming a Saint required talent and luck. To most commoners, it was too difficult.
“Gates and the others were lucky.” Wharton let out a sigh. Of the five Barker brothers, Barker and Gates had married Rebecca and her sister, both of whom had very pure souls and thus were extremely suited and talented for training in Necromantic magic. After a hundred or so years, they had reached the Saint-level.
Only when both members in a couple were both in possession of eternal lifespan would things be ideal. If only one side possessed an eternal lifespan, then the result would be watching the other slowly age and die. This was indeed agonizing.
“Uncle Wharton, as I see it, we should go to the Infernal Realm sometime as well.” Taylor said.
“Go to the Infernal Realm?”
Wharton nodded slightly. “In the Yulan Plane, although we have a great enmity against the Odin Empire, there’s nothing we can do. It can be said that there is nothing holding us here…after some more time passes, let’s go visit the Infernal Realm. It has been a long time since I’ve seen Big Bro. I truly wish to see him.”
“I want to see Father as well.” Taylor said softly.
“WHARTON! TAYLOR!” A voice echoed in the minds of Wharton and Taylor.
Wharton and Taylor seemed to have both been struck by lightning, staring at each other in disbelief. At the same time, they too sensed a powerful aura spreading out from the war training grounds in the front courtyard of Dragonblood Castle. Although this aura was powerful, it had such a familiar feeling to it. This was Linley’s aura!
Wharton and Taylor simultaneously transformed into streaks of lightning, flying out at high speed.
Dragonblood Castle. The war training grounds.
Linley’s group of six was standing here. Linley was actively emanating his aura while greeting one familiar figure after another through his divine sense. However, when he used his divine sense to investigate, Linley discovered that many familiar figures of the past had disappeared, such as Grandpa Hiri, Uncle Hillman, Wharton’s wife Nina, Jenne…
“Are they all dead?” Linley wondered to himself.
Just because they weren’t at Dragonblood Castle didn’t necessarily mean that they were dead. But Linley, too, understood that the lifespan of normal humans who didn’t reach the Saint-level would generally reach at most three or four centuries. Five centuries was the utmost limit. Only by reaching the Saint-level would one possess eternal life.
One figure after another flew over at high speed from places throughout Dragonblood Castle.
“FATHER!” A deep voice rang out. Linley’s eyes lit up. It was Taylor.
“BIG BRO!” It was Wharton.
“Lord Linley.” The incredibly muscular Barker.
A large group of people flew over at high speed, and in an instant, nearly a hundred had gathered here in the training grounds. Linley only recognized less than half of these people, and didn’t recognize the majority. However, upon seeing all those familiar faces, Linley couldn’t help but feel excited. These were his comrades, his friends, his family!
“Big Bro!” Wharton immediately gave Linley a tight, vicious bear hug.
“Wharton.” Linley hugged his little brother as well, unable to refrain from feeling regretful.
“MASTER!” Linley turned to look. There was a man dressed in a long black robe. It was the transformed Haeru. Haeru was staring at Linley in excitement as well. So many years had gone by. As a King amongst magical beasts, Haeru felt extremely grateful towards Linley for what he had given him.
Wharton and Linley released each other. Wharton was completely unable to suppress his excitement. “Big Bro, I really didn’t expect you’d be back. We were just talking about going to the Infernal Realm to look for you. Big Bro…there are many people here you don’t recognize, right? Let me introduce them…this is Arnold’s son…”
Wharton, in one breath, introduced more than ten important people.
These people all stared at Linley, their eyes filled with shock, awe, and veneration. It was like they were staring at a titan from legends.
“Wade, come, meet your uncle. Also, this is your older brother, Taylor…” Linley was incomparably overjoyed right now.
Right at this moment…
“THIRD BRO!” A voice suddenly rang out from behind.
Linley turned to look.
It was a Demigod, dressed in a long black robe. Those intelligent eyes looked the same as they always had, only they appeared slightly older than before. This was the man who had been one of Linley’s closest friends…his Fourth Bro. Reynolds.
“Fourth Bro.” Linley immediately went to welcome him, tightly embracing his ‘Fourth Bro’, Reynolds.
“Third Bro.” Reynolds couldn’t help but shed tears as well.
They hadn’t met for nearly two thousand years. He had thought that they would never be able to meet again. Now that they saw each other, how could he not feel excited?
“Third Bro, it’s been so many years.” Reynolds was so excited, his entire body was trembling.
“Right.” Linley nodded repeatedly as well.
Linley immediately thought of Yale and George. He hurriedly asked, “Right, Fourth Bro, where’s the Boss and Second Bro? How are the two of them?” Linley had a hint of hope in his heart. After all, Yale and George were very talented as well. Maybe…maybe they had reached the Saint-level as well.
The chance was low, but Linley held out hope in his heart.
“All dead.” Reynolds voice sank.
Linley was stunned.
“Dead…” Linley sighed.
Actually, Linley had mentally prepared himself in advance for this return. After all, he hadn’t come back in nearly two thousand years. Anyone not at the Saint-level would age and die, just from the passage of time. Becoming a Saint was extremely hard, after all. In the past, it was only because Delia had received Beirut’s gift, that divine spark, that she was able to become a Saint and then a Deity.
In truth, only a Saint should have been able to fuse with a divine spark. As for those who were not yet Saints, divine sparks weren’t of much use.
The reason why Delia’s training speed had risen so rapidly didn’t have anything to do with the divine spark itself. In truth, it was due to some special materials which coated that divine spark!
That divine spark was no ordinary divine spark.
It must be understood that wind-type divine sparks should emanate a faint green aura. But on the day of the wedding, the divine spark which Delia received had no color at all. It was very ordinary! Actually, that divine spark was something which Beirut had refined and reforged after using up quite a few treasures. The core of that spark was a divine spark, but the outside layer was of some precious materials which allowed Delia to more easily sense elemental essences.
And thus, she was able to quickly rise in power.
“However, they didn’t die of age.” Reynolds said in a low voice.
Linley was stunned. “What?”
“Big Bro, it’s best for us to go inside to talk about this.” Wharton said hurriedly.
Linley stared at Reynolds, who let out a sigh as well. “Third Bro, let’s go into the hall to slowly discuss this.”
Linley felt that things were a bit strange, but he tamped down his disquiet and questions, following Reynolds and Wharton into the castle, to the hall for discussing major events. Only twenty or so people actually entered the hall.
The other juniors were stopped and kept outside.
Within the great hall.
Linley’s family, Bebe’s family, Wharton, Taylor, Sasha, Zassler, and the Barker brothers were all present.
“Fourth Bro, what happened, exactly? You said the Boss and Second Bro didn’t die normal deaths?” Linley couldn’t help but speak out.
Reynolds said in a low voice, “Third Bro, let us finish. Don’t grow impatient. You have to be calm!”
“Hurry up.” Linley couldn’t endure any longer.
Reynolds nodded. “Third Bro. At present, in the Yulan continent, there are only two Empires remaining. One is the Baruch Empire, while the other is the Odin Empire. As for the land west of the Mountain Range of Magical Beasts, where the Holy Union and the Dark Alliance used to rule, that has devolved into various duchies and kingdoms that aren’t worth mentioning.”
“Odin Empire?” Linley frowned.
“Right. The former O’Brien Empire, Yulan Empire, Rhine Empire, and Rohault Empire, as well as the great plains of the far east, have all been unified into the Odin Empire.” Reynolds said.
Linley couldn’t help but feel startled.
This Odin Empire took up more than half of the entire Yulan continent.
“Actually, not long after you left, Lord Beirut sent us a message through his divine sense, informing all Deities of some information. After that, those Deities gave up their plans of entering the Necropolis of the Gods and left to the Higher Planes or Divine Planes.” Reynolds said slowly. “As for the Yulan Empire and the O’Brien Empire, they were restored. Second Bro, ‘George’, became a pillar and an important official of the Yulan Empire, while Boss Yale worked hard for the Dawson Conglomerate…with our help, the Dawson Conglomerate truly absorbed the other two major trading unions, become the number one trading union of the Yulan continent.”
Linley just listened quietly.
“But…our calm and peaceful lives lasted for just two centuries. And then, a person appeared!”
Reynolds said in a low voice, “His name is Odin. In just a single short year, he unified the various other Empires, and even wanted to annihilate our Baruch Empire. But when he attacked…fortunately, Lord Beirut appeared and stopped him with a rebuke. Ever since then, he’s not invaded so much as a single inch of the territory of our Baruch Empire. Based on the information we received from Lord Beirut, this Odin was also one of the five Kings of Gebados, and was nicknamed the ‘Vile King’.”