Book 6, The Road to Revenge – Chapter 5, Writ of Nobility
The Ernst Institute did not make public high level magical incantations of the seventh rank or higher.
If you wanted to learn these higher rank spells, you would have to decide to join a faction.
“Thank you, Lord Guillermo, Lord Lampson.” Linley said thankfully.
Linley couldn’t help but think back to the power of the higher ranked wind spells as described in the books he had read. The higher ranked the spell, the more terrifying its offensive potential, especially in the wind-style. Its offensive spells, in fact, could be considered the number one amongst all styles.
For example, the forbidden-level ‘Dimensional Edge’ spell, or the ninth-ranked spell “Void Extermination” spell.
“Linley, how about this. When we return to Fenlai City, I will send someone to inform Clayde of your decision. Clayde will, in short order, confer a writ of nobility upon you, and grant you a manor as well.” Guillermo laughed.
“Linley.” The nearby Lampson patted Linley on the shoulders. “You don’t need to worry about any official matters for now. The only thing you need to do is train hard. I very much want to see our Radiant Church have yet another Saint-level combatant in our midst within fifty years.”
Linley was confident that within fifty years, he could become a Saint-level Dragonblood Warrior. But as for becoming a Saint-level Grand Magus in fifty years, the difficulty was too great.
“Work hard.” Guillermo also patted Linley on his shoulders in a friendly way.
As the resplendent carriages made their way through the village roads, the nearby trees and lakes soon receded into the distance. In front and behind the carriages, there were rows of knights. Under this resplendent escort, they reached Fenlai City by lunchtime.
Fenlai City. Within the Debs clan’s manor.
“Alice, can you forgive me?” Kalan was holding Alice’s hands, staring into her eyes.
A look of helplessness was on Alice’s face. She gently nodded.
What else could she do?
“Rowling [Luo’lin] is about to arrive.” Alice said softly. “I’m about to go back.”
Despite everything, as of right now, Alice and Kalan still were not formally man and wife. Even if they got engaged, they still would not yet be husband and wife. Only after the formal ceremony would they become husband and wife. Before the wedding, Alice still had to observe the proprieties. Every day, she would go back to her own home.
“Rowling?” Kalan couldn’t help but frown upon hearing this name.
Rowling was Kalan’s principal wife.
Because of the fame of the sculpture, ‘Awakening From the Dream’, that female figure who was the inspiration for the sculpture had also been deeply imprinted into everyone’s mind. Once Kalan formally announced his engagement, many people would be able to recognize Alice as that inspiration. In a very short period of time, the Debs family had already selected a principal wife for Kalan.
A happy voice rang out. A golden haired girl, her hair in pleats, ran over to them happily. This girl looked extremely pure and innocent, yet still possessed the aura of nobility. Especially those large, liquid eyes; they made her seem all the more adorable.
“Rowling. You came.” Kalan forced a smile on his face.
Kalan had to admit that Rowling was a very adorable girl. Perhaps nobody would refuse to be together with Rowling. Only, in Kalan’s heart, the one he truly loved really was Alice.
“Where’s Uncle Bernard?” Rowling swept the area with her big eyes.
“Father went out to handle some affairs. I expect he’ll be back soon.” Kalan replied.
Kalan knew exactly where his father had gone and what he was doing. Thanks to the pressure of the Dawson Conglomerate, the businesses of the Debs clan in the city of Fenlai had reached the point of collapse. Every day, they were losing money. If they continued suffering such losses, they might be able to hold out for another year or half year, but as time went on, even their deep pockets would eventually run dry.
What’s more, the clan couldn’t just sit there and do nothing. After all, many of the other clans in Fenlai City were eying them covetously and circling around them.
Thus…his father, Bernard, had made a very dangerous decision. To engage in the illicit mining and smuggling of water jade.
Water jade was a type of extremely valuable gemstone. Generally, it was inlaid on top of magistaffs, and was very beneficial to water-style magi. In the Kingdom of Fenlai, there was a fairly large amount of water jade deposits, and the Kingdom of Fenlai had generated an astonishing amount of wealth through water jade mining.
Because water jade was so precious, naturally there were many people who tried to engage in water jade smuggling.
But his Majesty, King Clayde, bitterly detested the smuggling of water jade. Every single merchant whom had been discovered to be smuggling water jade, King Clayde had ordered to be put to death. But because the profit margin for the smuggling of water jade was simply too enormous, perhaps 500% to 600%, there were still always merchants who were willing to brave this risk.
In the past, there was no need for the Debs clan to take such a dangerous route. But now, things were different.
Since all normal business paths had been sealed off by the Dawson Conglomerate, the only choice for the Debs clan was to smuggle!
“There shouldn’t be any problems.” Kalan said to himself. “The business partner which father has selected is the Minister of Finance for the Kingdom of Fenlai, the younger brother of his Majesty, Duke Patterson. With him as our partner, the chance of there being any problems should be fairly low.”
Patterson was the Minister of Finance for the entire Kingdom of Fenlai.
Clayde naturally had selected the person he himself trusted the most to assume the weighty responsibility of being in charge of managing the finances of the entire kingdom.
“Uncle Bernard is back.” Rowling’s bright voice sounded out.
Kalan raised his head.
Bernard, his face covered with smiles, walked through the door. Seeing Rowling, he laughed. “Rowling, you are here? Have you had dinner yet?”
“Not yet,” Rowling replied.
Bernard nodded. “Tonight, stay here and have dinner with your big brother Kalan. Oh, right, there’s something I need to discuss with your big brother Kalan. Why don’t you and Alice have a nice chat? Later, I’ll have your big brother Kalan spend some time with you.” As he spoke, Bernard flicked a glance at Kalan.
Kalan obediently followed by Bernard’s side as the two entered a private room.
Closing the stone door, they lit the lamps.
“Father, what is it?” Kalan asked hurriedly.
A hint of satisfaction was on Bernard’s face. “I’ve already completed my discussions with Duke Patterson. He’s already agreed. But we will have to split the profits on this endeavor, fifty-fifty.”
“Fifty-fifty?” Kalan stared. “Father, this Duke Patterson is too greedy. Our clan is carrying out the actual smuggling work and spending all of the upfront costs. We are even paying for the horses out of pocket. All he’s doing is arranging some safe smuggling routes for us.”
It wasn’t that Kalan didn’t understand the importance of these smuggling routes.
But for this project, the Debs clan truly had invested a massive amount of money, while Duke Patterson didn’t have to spend a single coin. All he had to do was to use some of his official powers, and he would earn a huge amount of money.
“Fifty-fifty is within our range of acceptability.” Bernard laughed calmly. “Duke Patterson isn’t just providing us with safe smuggling routes. More importantly, he’s betraying his country and betraying his elder brother. If King Clayde found out, even though Duke Patterson is his own younger brother, he most likely wouldn’t be merciful to him.”
Kalan nodded slightly.
Their partner was a Duke and the Minister of Finance. With him taking on such enormous risks for the sake of arranging a safe smuggling route for their clan, it was fair that he claimed half of the profits.
Bernard and Kalan exited the secret room and returned to the living room. Alice and Rowling were currently engaged in conversation.
“Oh, right. Kalan. I just heard from Patterson that in three more days, his Majesty will personally confer a rank of nobility upon Linley in the royal palace.” Bernard instructed, “Prepare a gift for me. In a few days, I will give it to Linley.”
Alice, who was chatting with Rowling not too far away, couldn’t help but turn her head and glance at them.
“Big brother Linley is being conferred a rank of nobility?” Alice murmured to herself.
Within the royal palace of Fenlai City.
Dozens of important ministers were lined up in orderly fashion in the court, while King Clayde was sitting up high, overlooking at everyone below.
“Everyone. Today, I have something important to announce.” The smile on Clayde’s face was radiant, and he spoke in a bright voice. The major ministers who had received the news in advance all knew what King Clayde was going to say. Clayde glanced at an attendant by his side. Instantly, the attendant shouted in a loud voice, “Linley Baruch, enter the palace!”
His voice echoed in the palace. Shortly afterwards, Linley, dressed in black and gold magus robes, entered the palace. All of the nobles and ministers in the palace turned to look at him.
“I pay my respects to his Majesty.” Linley bowed as he spoke.
Clayde looked at Linley, and a smile appeared on his face like a flower blooming. “Linley, for you to be willing to labor on behalf of our kingdom is something I am extremely gratified about. I now confer upon you the title of Prime Court Magus, and also bequeath upon you the rank of Marquis.”
“Does anyone have an objection?” Clayde swept the court with his gaze.
All the nobles and ministers stared enviously at Linley, but none of them voiced any objections.
“Your Servant thanks you, Majesty!”
Actually, per what Cardinal Guillermo of the Radiant Church had originally said, the Radiant Church could let Linley instantly become a Duke. But Linley had felt this would be too amazing and draw too much attention to himself, especially given that he previously never had a rank of nobility. If he rose in rank too fast, that wouldn’t necessarily be a good thing.
That’s why they decided to go a step lower and confer the rank of Marquis.
“Linley, as the Prime Court Magus and as a Marquis, naturally you can no longer reside as a mere guest of the Dawson Conglomerate. I have already arranged for an extremely peaceful, secluded estate to be granted to you. It is on the Greenleaf Road, not too far from the palace.” Clayde said with a smile to Linley.
Linley immediately once more thanked the king for his generosity.
In reality, Clayde had already discussed the question of conferring rank and land to Linley with Linley. Today, they were simply openly announcing it in court.
Upon leaving the palace, Linley engaged in some idle conversation with the other ministers.
The highest level of power in the Kingdom of Fenlai was mostly occupied by the Minister of War, the Left Premier, the Right Premier, the Inspector General, and other people on the similar plane. These people virtually governed the entirety of affairs in the Kingdom of Fenlai.
Most of these people had the rank of Marquis. Even the lowest ranked amongst them, the Inspector General, was a Marquis.
On Greenleaf Road.
Linley was seated within his carriage, closing his eyes while quietly training.
“Lord Linley, we’re here.” The servant’s voice rang out from outside the carriage.
Linley opened his eyes, then pushed the curtain to his carriage open. Bebe directly leapt from the carriage seat onto Linley’s shoulders.
“Wow, what a big estate!” Bebe’s eyes were gleaming as he stared at the mansion.
Linley was also carefully inspecting the estate which the ruler of Fenlai had gifted him. This estate took up a vast expanse of land, and the main gate alone was over ten meters wide. Through the open gate, Linley could see there were many male servants, female servants, and also many Knights of the Radiant Temple.
“Not bad.” Linley nodded as he entered.
“Milord.” Seeing the gatekeeper bow respectfully, instantly all of the male and female servants in the courtyard suddenly stopped whatever it was they were doing and bowed respectfully towards Linley.
It was important for them to give Linley a good first impression. These servants all knew how incredible their new master was.
“Master Linley, congratulations, congratulations!” Suddenly, a very familiar voice rang out from not far away.
Linley turned his head. “Mr. Bernard.”
The person who had come was the leader of the Debs clan, Bernard Debs. Bernard smiled at Linley. “Master Linley, what a coincidence. My clan’s manor is also on Greenleaf Road. We’re only one house over. In the future, it will be quite easy for us to visit each other.”
“Oh.” Thinking back to when he had first rescued Alice and delivered her and Kalan back to Fenlai City, it did seem as though Kalan’s manor was not too far away.
“But Master Linley, your manor is much larger than mine. This manor of yours used to be where his Majesty himself lived.” Bernard said admiringly.
Linley also felt that this manor was astonishingly large, much larger than his ancestral mansion. To have such an enormous estate in Fenlai City, where each inch of land was as valuable as an inch of gold, was not something which simply having money could accomplish. So it turned out this was the former residence of his Majesty, King Clayde. No wonder it was so large.
“Mr. Bernard, I have to head back now. In the future, we’ll be able to chat quite often.” Linley smiled modestly, then turned his head and walked towards his own manor.
Right at this moment, at the gate to the Debs clan’s manor, Kalan, Rowling, and Alice were standing and watching from afar.