Book 6, The Road to Revenge – Chapter 9, The Engagement
“Lord Fallen Leaf.” Seeing how impolite Linley had been, Guillermo hurriedly apologized, “Lord Fallen Leaf, this Linley is only seventeen years old this year. Lord Fallen Leaf, please forgive his discourtesy.”
Guillermo knew very well what a great amount of influence this Fallen Leaf had within the Radiant Church. This Lord Fallen Leaf could be considered the spiritual leader of the entire Ascetic branch. Even the Holy Emperor himself didn’t have the ability to force him to go against his own will.
Using his skinny, chicken-claw like right hand, Fallen Leaf stroked his straggly beard. With curiosity, he watched Linley’s departing back. “Discourtesy? No, no. He wasn’t exactly discourteous. It can only be said that this kid acts very firmly and unwaveringly.”
Guillermo was startled.
He didn’t expect that this Lord Fallen Leaf, who initially had a poor impression of Linley, would now praise him.
“Guillermo.” Fallen Leaf looked at Guillermo.
“Lord Fallen Leaf, I await your instructions.” Guillermo said respectfully.
Smiling, Fallen Leaf said, “This Linley’s heart is filled with murderous intent, and he is firm and unwavering. I think a person like him will never hesitate in his actions, whether it be in killing or in anything else. A person like this is very much suited to be the sharp sword of the Radiant Church.”
Guillermo understood what Fallen Leaf meant.
Although the Radiant Church urged people to follow their better natures, towards the followers of other religions, the Radiant Church was ruthless and merciless. Naturally, this would require ruthless and merciless people. This was why the Ecclesiastical Tribunal of the Church was originally formed.
“Perhaps in the future, this kid, Linley, will become the new Praetor of the Ecclesiastical Tribunal.” Fallen Leaf said softly.
Guillermo couldn’t help but turn to look at Linley’s departing back.
Become the Praetor of the Ecclesiastical Tribunal?
Guillermo knew very well that the Praetor of the Ecclesiastical Tribunal could be considered the second highest ranking person within the Radiant Church. In fact, from some standpoints, it could be considered that the position of the Praetor of the Ecclesiastical Tribunal was on par with that of the Holy Emperor.
The Holy Emperor was, on the surface, the leader of the Radiant Church who wielded the most power.
But the Praetor of the Ecclesiastical Tribunal was the dark underside of the Radiant Church, the leader of the most powerful military force within the Church!
“Lord Fallen Leaf, are you willing to guide him?” Guillermo suddenly asked.
But Fallen Leaf still shook his head.
“Why?” Guillermo was confused. Since Fallen Leaf appreciated Linley, why wasn’t he willing to train him?
Fallen Leaf shook his head. “My training methods are not suited for him. My way requires a pure heart, and is suited for someone whose heart faces the light. But as for him…the path he walks is the path of slaughter.”
“Guillermo, there’s no need for you to find another master for him. A truly powerful person will rely on himself to find a path most suitable for himself. The teachings of others are, after all, based on their own ways.”
Fallen Leaf looked at Guillermo. “You are an Arch Magus of the ninth rank. Why, then, have I never instructed you? It’s precisely because of this reason. Even if I tell you about what I have comprehended and my insights, you still will not succeed, because only after countless personal experiences will your soul transform, allowing you to comprehend deeper levels of mysteries. Only then will you succeed.”
“Remember. Rely on yourself.” Fallen Leaf smiled.
He hadn’t yet entered the Saint-level, so there was no way for him to comprehend what the difference between the Saint-level and the ninth rank was. Although at times, he wondered if Fallen Leaf was intentionally withholding valuable guidance from him, upon seeing Fallen Leaf’s sincere gaze and hearing his sincere voice, he believed him.
“Perhaps I really do have to rely on myself.”
Guillermo had been held at the ninth rank as a magus for a long time, now. He deeply desired to make a breakthrough.
After all, between the ninth rank and the Saint-level, the difference between the two was like that of the heavens and the earth.
Within Linley’s manor. The Hot Springs Garden.
Next to the hot springs pool, Linley was quietly seated in the meditative trance.
“Shudder, shudder.” Linley’s entire body was constantly emitting strange noises, as his bones and muscles continuously shuddered. Beads of sweat constantly flowed down his body.
Training in accordance with the Secret Dragonblood Manual was ten times more effective than using ordinary battle-qi training methods.
But this was only natural. After all, the requirements for one to be able to use the Secret Dragonblood Manual were also extremely intense.
“Why is training for humans so difficult? You even require all sorts of secret manuals that require different body types.” Lying next to Linley, Bebe’s little head turned to look at Linley, his mind full of questions.
He was a magical beast, and his training was very simple. He would directly absorb darkness-style elemental essence from the outside world, drawing it into his body and into his magicite core.
There weren’t any secrets. It was just a very natural absorption process.
Linley continued to live this sort of quiet life, spending most of his time each day in training.
Using several high quality training methods at the same time, he pushed his body’s capacity for punishment to the maximum.
In the blink of an eye, over ten days passed.
Wielding the Bloodviolet Godsword in his hands, Linley tested out one attack after another.
Which angle allowed the sword to strike out the fastest?
How to control the vibrations of Bloodviolet to reduce the hindrance of the natural air friction, and to make his sword move faster?
Time and time again, he painstakingly trained in striking with his sword.
Each time Linley made his move, a brilliant violent flash would appear.
The speed of these blows was enough to make one’s heart quail.
But Linley was still not satisfied. He constantly pursued improvement, perfection. Using his understanding of wind elemental essence which was granted to him by his wind magic, he trained hard to make Bloodviolet move even quicker and more fluidly.
“Milord!” A voice called out from outside the Hot Springs Garden.
Linley paused. With a movement of his hand, the Bloodviolet Godsword in his hand disappeared. Nobody could notice that this Bloodviolet sword had wrapped around Linley’s waist now.
Even if a normal person paid attention to his belt, they would only think it to be a purple belt.
“Enter.” Only now did Linley speak.
Instantly, a beautiful maid came running in at high speed. A look of worship on her face, she looked at Linley, and then immediately lowered her head and said respectfully, “Milord, the Debs clan has sent someone over with an invitation card.” As she spoke, she offered the invitation card to Linley.
Linley looked at the invitation card.
The invitation card was red in color, while the trimmings were golden. The words ‘invitation card’ were written on top in bright, bold characters.
Linley accepted the invitation card, and then opened it. Indeed, the contents of the card were exactly what he had thought it would be.
“On June 18th, Kalan, Rowling, and Alice will carry out their engagement ceremony. Who is this Rowling?” Staring at the invitation card, Linley frowned.
“You can leave now.” Linley said calmly.
“Yes, milord.” The attendant said respectfully, then she departed from the Hot Springs Garden.
“Boss, is that Debs clan arranging the engagement ceremony for Alice?” Bebe leapt onto Linley’s shoulders, then stretched his little head out to peer at the card.
“Uh, Rowling? Who is Rowling?” Bebe looked at Linley suspiciously.
Doehring Cowart also appeared next to Linley. Seeing the invitation letter, a hint of a smile appeared on his face.
“Grandpa Doehring.” Linley turned to look at Doehring Cowart.
“Are you wondering who Rowling is?” Doehring Cowart really was someone who had only gotten craftier with age. He instantly understood. “It’s simple. Your sculpture, ‘Awakening From the Dream’, made many people familiar with Alice’s appearance. Although they don’t know who Alice is, once the engagement ceremony is publicized, many people will see Alice. By then, they will definitely recognize her as being the mold for your creation of ‘Awakening From the Dream’. The love story contained within your sculpture is clearly visible to anyone who has ever analyzed stonesculpting. And precisely for this reason, the Debs clan definitely is not willing to allow Alice to become Kalan’s principal wife. This Rowling is most likely going to be Kalan’s principal wife.”
Linley was stunned.
Alice. Wasn’t going to be Kalan’s principal wife?
In the Yulan continent, the principal wife held a high status in the household, while the secondary wives held a much lower status.
“Because of me?” Instantly, Linley’s emotions grew complicated.
Because of his sculpture, Alice could no longer be Kalan’s principal wife.
“Linley, do you intend to go to this engagement ceremony?” Doehring Cowart asked.
“Yes. Of course.” Linley’s eyes hardened, and then he laughed. “Bernard has invited me several times now. This time, he specially sent over an invitation card. How could I refuse?”
Linley stared up at the blue sky, where wisps of silk-like clouds were floating about.
Long ago, he had sat on the grass alongside Alice and stared up at this sort of blue sky.
According to the priests of the Radiant Church, this was an extremely propitious day. Thus, the Debs clan chose to hold the engagement ceremony on this day.
This day, the front of the Debs clan’s manor was jam packed with carriages and people.
Major nobles, wealthy magnates, beautiful noblewomen, dazzling young noble ladies, handsome noble youths…today, it could be said that the Debs clan’s manor had more nobles present than any other place in Fenlai City.
“Lord Marquis Linley has arrived!”
The voice of the receiver for the Debs clan shot up two octaves as Linley, dressed in a black gentleman’s outfit, strode into the main hall of the Debs clan.
Virtually all of the nobles within the main hall stopped their conversations and turned to look at Linley.
Linley glanced around the room, a slight smile on his lips. Linley’s demeanor was totally in keeping with the magnificent presence of the upper nobility.
“Lord Linley, welcome!”
Bernard, who was previously chatting with some other guests, quickly walked towards Linley’s direction. Kalan, who was the leading role for this event, came by as well at Bernard’s side.
“Mr. Bernard.” Linley smiled. “Congratulations on your son’s engagement, to two beautiful women, no less.”
“Thank you, thank you.” Bernard said warmly.
Kalan also said respectfully, “Lord Linley, welcome to our home. I hope you will enjoy yourself today.”
Linley glanced at Kalan, but only nodded. Without speaking to him, Linley looked back at Bernard. “Lord Bernard, please feel free to take care of your other guests. I’ll just find a place to stand.”
The main hall of the Debs clan was extremely large. Hundreds of nobles and magnates were within it, but they didn’t feel the slightest bit crowded. The rich noblewomen and the rich young noble ladies were all attired beautifully, strutting through the crowd like proud peacocks.
Especially after Linley arrived. Many of the rich young noble ladies ‘unconsciously’ drew closer to him.
“Lord Linley, you are so amazing. I’ve trained in stonesculpting for three years now, but I’m not even able to sculpt a basic shape yet.” A young noble lady with a head of beautiful brown hair said warmly to Linley. “Lord Linley, you are really so incredible. You are only a bit older than us, but you’ve already approached the level of Proulx and Hope Jensen. Lord Linley, can you help teach me?”
This young noble lady looked hopefully at Linley with her big, beautiful eyes.
“Stonesculpting requires sufficient wrist strength. For such soft, beautiful ladies like yourself, it’s actually better if you just learned how to paint.” Linley said with a superficial smile.
As he spoke, Linley felt helpless.
Perhaps it was because all of these young noble ladies all knew that Linley was not yet married, but they all came to bother Linley, one after another.
And of course, the parents of these young noble ladies were more than happy to just sit and watch.
Because virtually all of the nobles within the Kingdom of Fenlai knew that if someone could become in-laws with Linley, their clan would rise in stature by leaps and bounds!
What sort of a figure was Linley?
He was already the Prime Court Magus, but virtually all of the nobles knew that he was only serving the Kingdom of Fenlai in name. In the future, he would definitely become an important figure within the Radiant Church. In the future, his position might be higher than that of even the ruler of Fenlai!
“Linley.” A bright voice rang out.
Linley turned around. “Your Majesty.”
The young noble ladies surrounding him all made their curtsies, no longer daring to entangle him. Only now did Linley secretly let out a breath as he headed towards Clayde. When he was alongside the king, at least those young noble ladies wouldn’t dare to bother him.
“Linley, see anyone you fancy?” Clayde whispered teasingly into Linley’s ears as Linley drew near.
Linley couldn’t help but cast a helpless glance at Clayde. “Your Majesty, there’s no need to tease me like this, is there?”
“Haha…” Clayde couldn’t help but break into a loud laugh.
Suddenly, the entire main hall fell silent. Clayde also turned his head to stare at the door to the main hall, his eyes shining. “Hey. There’s the leading females for tonight.”
Linley turned to look as well.
Kalan was holding a beautiful woman’s hand on each side. Both of these women were wearing beautiful full dresses, while the beautiful adornments in their golden hair shimmered brightly.
One was Rowling. The other was Alice.
Linley’s gaze rested for a moment on Alice. Alice was more beautifully made up today than she had ever been before. But this time, the person holding her hand was Kalan.
“Oh, my goddess! Isn’t this the ‘goddess’ which Master Linley carved into ‘Awakening From the Dream’?” Suddenly, a noble let out a startled shout.
The main hall was instantly filled with clamorous discussion.
Aside from the few people who already knew what Alice looked like, the vast majority of the people present had no idea what Alice’s appearance was. But they had seen the sculpture, ‘Awakening From the Dream’. Many of the people had even designated the woman within the ‘Awakening From the Dream’ as the goddess of their dreams.
But at this moment, their ‘goddess of their dreams’ suddenly appeared before them at this engagement ceremony.