Book 6, The Road to Revenge – Chapter 26, The Scheme
This would be difficult!
If it was within the palace, Linley would have to first find an opportunity to use the poison, and then both question and kill Clayde within the confines of the palace.
“Even if I don’t worry about the issue of being discovered to be the murderer, upon killing Clayde, it will be very hard to escape the palace.” In Linley’s mind, one possibility after another appeared, then was discarded.
Linley finally reached a conclusion…
“To use poison within the palace and then escape afterwards is virtually impossible.” Linley discarded this possibility entirely. After all, there were simply too many experts in the palace. Only if he used the Dragonform would he be able to cut his way out.
But Linley was not willing to expose the secret that he could Dragonform.
“It has to be outside the palace.” Linley felt his head hurt.
A place outside the palace, where Clayde would be willing to be alone with him. And, the place had to be a standalone place. This was extremely difficult. Clayde was, after all, the king. If someone wanted to meet with him, they would go in person to the palace.
Linley couldn’t, after all, send someone to the palace and ask King Clayde to come meet him.
Linley had never heard of a situation where a subject would request a ruler to come see them. This clearly was unfeasible. Even if Clayde gave him face and agreed, Clayde would most likely be suspicious and on guard.
As soon as Clayde became on his guard, the chance of success would be lowered.
“I have to find an opportunity to be with him alone in a place outside the palace.” Despite having been in Fenlai City for so long, Linley had never been in a one-on-one situation with Clayde before.
Generally speaking, they would only meet at banquets.
But Linley couldn’t make his move at a banquet, in front of an audience of countless people, could he?
“What to do?”
Linley was beginning to feel vexed.
Early December. The temperature of Fenlai City suddenly dropped, and the first snow of this winter came as well. The entire Fenlai City was covered white, and the cold bite of the air caused many nobles to hide inside their homes, unwilling to venture outside.
Still dressed in loose robes, Linley was strolling on the snow-covered streets, escorted by two guards.
“Crunch. Crunch.” The sound of footsteps on the snow.
The snow-covered Fenlai City was exceptionally alluring. On the gates of the noble manors on each side of the Greenleaf Road were countless icicles. The reflected rays of the sun glittered off of them, making them seem all the more beautiful to behold.
The towering, snow-covered pine trees in front of the manors seemed exceptionally beautiful as well.
The scene was a beautiful one.
But Linley’s mood was foul.
“That Clayde is already a warrior of the ninth rank. Although advancing from the ninth rank to the Saint-level is very hard, perhaps one day he will suddenly break through. By then, it will be even more hopeless.” Linley really didn’t want to wait any longer.
The earlier he made his move against Clayde, the greater his chance of success.
But he needed an opportunity.
“Boss, look. Many of the nearby manors have been renovated and redecorated.” Bebe’s voice rang out in Linley’s mind.
While walking on the road, Linley’s thoughts were elsewhere, so naturally he hadn’t noticed. But upon hearing Bebe’s words, Linley noticed that the manors alongside Greenleaf Road were now different from before.
“This is…” Linley said questioningly.
“Hang it up. Good. Now move it a bit to the left.” A servant of the nearest manor was busy hanging up various decorations under the instruction of a nearby man.
“Those are…Yulan flowers!” Linley noticed the decorations hanging next to the door and what patterns they had. The patterns looked like Yulan flowers.
Suddenly, Linley understood what was going on.
“Right! It’s already December. The Yulan Festival will be coming quite soon. And it will be the 10000th Yulan Festival!” Linley knew the importance of this particular Yulan Festival.
Year 10000 of the Yulan calendar, January 1st. That would perhaps be the most festive day in the history of the Yulan continent. No wonder every single noble clan was putting up so many decorations.
One of the steps on a ladder which the servant was standing on while hanging up decorations suddenly broke. The servant lost his footing, wobbled, and then fell down, first banging against the ladder, and then slamming into the stone ground head-first, his fresh blood staining the ground red.
The nearby servants all were frightened.
“Are you okay?” All of them ran forward to help the man up.
“A bit…a bit dizzy…” That wounded man said in a weak voice. Fortunately, the ladder wasn’t too high, and so the force with which he struck the ground wasn’t too great either. That was the only reason he had survived.
“Alright, that’s enough for you for today. Go home and rest. Kohl [Ke’er], go take care of him. Jeeze, you weren’t even that high up, but you managed to smash yourself this badly.” The manager shook his head helplessly.
The servant named Kohl immediately helped prop up the wounded servant and began to assist him back to his home.
Seeing this, Linley was stunned.
“Lord…Lord Linley?” Only now did that manager notice Linley, and he quickly went forward to pay his respects to Linley. This manor was the manor of Duke Bonalt, and Linley had come here before. Naturally, this manager recognized Linley.
“Good morning, Lord Linley,” the manager said with a bow.
Only now did Linley recover from his stupor. An excited smile appearing on his face, he looked at the man and chuckled. “Haha, good morning to you as well. Haha, alright, time to go home.”
Excited, Linley immediately turned around, leading his guards back.
“Hey, why is our lord so happy?” Those two warriors began to chat with each other in low voices.
They had seen what a foul mood Linley had been in this morning, so what had suddenly caused him to be so excited?
“This method is so simple. Why didn’t I think of it? Haha!” Linley couldn’t help but slap himself on the head. He really had obsessed so much that his brain had gone bad.
Linley had already come up with a surefire method to bring Clayde to visit him. This method was…receive an injury!
“I’ll pretend that when I was training battle-qi, I suffered some internal injuries by accident. If I’m wounded, from what I’ve seen thus far, Clayde will most likely come to visit me.”
Linley was feeling unbelievably happy. As long as he made his move within his own manor, it would be very easy for him to plot against Clayde.
“As for the status and wealth granted by the Holy Union, I’ve never cared too much. After I find out what happened to my mother and kill Clayde, I will use the backchannels of the Dawson Conglomerate to flee from the Holy Union’s domain.” Linley had already come to a firm decision.
The Holy Union held no attractions for Linley.
Right now, his one and only family member, little Wharton, was staying in the O’Brien Empire. There was nothing in the Holy Union preventing Linley from leaving.
To kill Clayde in a way which wouldn’t raise any suspicions was virtually impossible. Since this was impossible, the only choice Linley had was to accept that he would have to make a small sacrifice. To Linley, the Holy Union held no further attractions, after all.
Linley’s manor. The Hot Springs Garden.
Linley was seated cross-legged within the grassy area, cultivating Dragonblood battle-qi. Like the ferocious waves of the ocean, the Dragonblood battle-qi burst forth, clashing against every blood vessel in his body.
In truth, the average warrior of the seventh rank wouldn’t be able to withstand such training. But Linley was different. He had drank blood from a living dragon. Generally speaking, when dragon’s blood was applied to the outside of one’s body, it would acquire an astonishing durability. But Linley had actually drank it into his stomach, which caused all of his blood vessels to also gain an incredible degree of resiliency.
Linley suddenly vomited out a mouthful of fresh blood, and his face turned white.
“Aaaaargh!” A painful, guttural roar ripped out from Linley’s mouth.
Right now, all of the female attendants outside the Hot Springs Garden could faintly hear that low roar of Linley’s, and they all rushed against the door, pressing their ears against it to listen carefully.
“Lord Linley…seems to be in a lot of pain?” One of the skinnier attendants said questioningly.
“Seems like it.” Another, chubbier attendant nodded.
But none of them dared to go inside.
“Lord Linley?” That skinnier attendant called out.
“Come…come in…” Linley’s voice rang out.
Those two attendants exchanged glances, then immediately pushed the door open and ran inside. But upon arriving at the grassy area, they were both frightened. There was a large pool of blood on the ground, and Linley was collapsed on the ground, his face pale.
“Assist me to my room.” Linley said in a low voice.
The two female attendants were a bit frantic. Each of them helping hold Linley by an arm, they immediately assisted Linley all the way to his private bedroom.
“Milord, should we ask for the light-style magi to come?” The skinnier female attendant asked.
“No need. My injuries are internal. Magic won’t be able to help. I have to quietly recover.” Linley took a deep breath, then assumed the meditation position on the bed, his eyes closing. “The two of you can leave now.”
“Yes, milord.” The two female attendants bowed respectfully and left.
Both the light-style and the water-style recovery spells were spells of a reparative nature, allowing physical wounds to heal. But to damage done to internal organs, they wouldn’t be of much assistance.
Within Linley’s room. Only him and Yale were present.
“Third Bro, you aren’t injured?” Yale was confused. “If you aren’t injured, why are you pretending to be injured? And asked to meet with me so urgently.” Even before he feigned injury, Linley had sent someone to ask for Yale.
Linley said in a low voice, “Boss Yale, this affair has to do with my revenge. Boss Yale. I can tell you now. That Clayde is most likely the person who killed my mother.”
“The person who killed your mother?” Yale stared. “Third Bro, you are planning to…?”
“Right. Get revenge.” Linley didn’t hide anything from his bro.
“That Clayde is a warrior of the ninth rank. How are you going to get revenge on him? And he’s the king of the Kingdom of Fenlai as well.” Yale was growing frantic with concern for Linley.
Linley said solemnly, “Don’t worry. I already have total confidence in my ability to deal with him. However, after I kill Clayde, then even if the Radiant Church spares me and doesn’t kill me, my life will most likely be made miserable. Thus I have decided that after I kill Clayde, I will immediately leave the Holy Union.”
“Leave the Holy Union?” Yale was startled, but then he quickly understood. “Right. You do need to leave. Leave this to me. The mercantile power of our Dawson Conglomerate is spread over every major city in the Holy Union. It will be very easy for us to smuggle a person out of the Holy Union with no one the wiser.”
“What’s more, our Dawson Conglomerate has master disguisers as well.” Yale was totally confident.
Linley knew full well how powerful the Dawson Conglomerate was. How could one of the three major trading unions of the Yulan continent be trifled with?
“I know. That’s why, Boss Yale, I want for you to arrange for someone to wait for me at that hotel at the end of the Greenleaf Road. When I arrive there later, you can help arrange for me to be smuggled outside the Holy Union.”
Linley was very confident that after killing Clayde, he would be able to easily make his way to this hotel.
“No worries.” Yale nodded.
“Third Bro.” Yale frowned, looking at Linley. “You have to be careful.”
Linley smiled at Yale. “Boss Yale, you must have faith in me.”
The news that Linley had been injured quickly spread out. The first to receive this news was not the ruler of the Kingdom of Fenlai; it was the Cardinal of the Radiant Church, Guillermo.
But very quickly, King Clayde and the various nobles of Fenlai received the news that Linley had suffered an injury when training. Although injuries caused by training were rather rare, they weren’t unheard of. Generally speaking, only someone who trained too hard and exceeded his body’s maximum limits would suffer such an injury, and sometimes even harm the organs. “The only thing to do now is to wait for King Clayde.” Wearing a loose robe, Linley sat on a chair in his bedroom, his face ashen.
Bebe was standing on a nearby chair as well.
“Lord Linley.” The female attendant from outside ran in.
Linley’s eyes couldn’t help but light up. But then, Linley immediately returned to presenting himself as ‘weak’. Looking at the attendant, he said calmly, “What is it.”
“Lord Cardinal Guillermo has arrived.” The female attendant hurriedly said.
“Oh?” Linley’s heart was suddenly gripped with worry.
Although Guillermo’s visit had been expected, Linley suddenly thought of something…what if Guillermo was present when King Clayde arrived as well? Then it would be very difficult for him to act against Clayde.
After all, Guillermo was a magus of the ninth rank. That Bloodrupture poison was used primarily against warriors to weaken their power, and didn’t have much of an impact on magi.
“Linley!” Just at this moment, Guillermo’s voice sounded out from outside the room.