Book 8, The Ten Thousand Kilometer Journey – Chapter 34, In Dire Straits
The prefectural city of Deco was a medium sized city which held a population of three hundred thousand. As one of the cities located at the border between the Northwest Administrative Province and the North Sea Administrative Province, each day there were quite a number of people entering and leaving the city.
Seeing the city off in the distance, Linley came to a halt.
This jog, traversing 800 kilometers in six hours, didn’t tire Linley in the slightest. Actually, it was far, far below Linley’s maximum speed. Likewise, for Haeru, the Blackcloud Panther, it was also quite an easy journey.
“We arrived. The sun hasn’t even set yet.” Zassler turned his head to look at the sun, still high in the western sky, and let out a sigh.
In Perry’s memory, he held the exact location of the arrival, because Perry was planning to personally go to the prefectural city of Deco to welcome the party.
Linley and Zassler took up residence in a manor not too far away from the meeting place.
Having money made so many things easier!
Afterwards, Linley and Zassler began to quietly train, awaiting the arrival of the escort squad, who were going to ‘fall into their trap’.
After ten or so days, after having travelled nearly two thousand kilometers on the roads of the North Sea Administrative Province, Stehle’s men finally arrived at the borders of the North Sea Administrative Province.
“Giddyup, giddyup!” A man whipped his horse, urging it to go next to Stehle. He said respectfully, “Milord, we’ve received word that the supervisor for the Northwest Administrative Province, Count Perry, has been killed. Should we continue on our previously scheduled route?”
Stehle, mounted on horseback, was quiet for a moment, then said calmly, “Count Perry’s faith and loyalty to the Lord is without question. He definitely wouldn’t have betrayed the Lord. Continue on our original route.”
“Yes, milord.” The knight next to him acknowledged respectfully.
The knight actually wasn’t concerned either.
First of all, Count Perry was indeed an extremely ardent adherent to the faith of the Radiant Church. He definitely wouldn’t turn traitor. And secondly, even if they did manage to torture information out of Perry, they would at most ask about some secrets regarding the Radiant Church. They definitely wouldn’t think to ask about the plans of this squad.
In addition, this squad was under the escort of Stehle. What did they have to be afraid of?
By nightfall, Stehle’s squad finally reached the prefectural city of Deco. Long before Perry had died, the Radiant Church’s forces in Deco had already received their orders.
They had been waiting for this squad for a long time.
“Milords, tonight, just rest for a time. Food and drink have already been prepared for you.” The supervisor for the prefectural city of Deco said respectfully.
An expert of the ninth rank asked, “Recently, you haven’t had any problems, have you?”
“None.” The supervisor said respectfully.
“Good. You can leave now. Those attendants, after finishing preparing the food, can leave as well. We don’t need them here.” The expert of the ninth rank said.
“Yes.” The supervisor said respectfully.
Stehle dismounted and headed directly into the residence, in search of a room to stay in. “Seqalu [Si’ka’luo], call me when it is dinner time.” He shut the door.
The combatant of the ninth rank assented respectfully.
Seqalu had been the captain of this squad, but with Stehle’s arrival, naturally he would listen to Stehle in all matters. Seqalu closely inspected all of those servants. Seeing that they were all ordinary people, he no longer worried.
“Bring them out.” Seqalu ordered.
The five siblings were immediately brought down from the carriage. Fortunately, the carriage was quite spacious, as otherwise, those five enormous siblings wouldn’t have been able to sit.
“Listen up, the five of you. If you keep shouting and making noise, the first time you do so, I’ll break your arms. The second time, I’ll cut off your tongues.” Seqalu said coldly.
His subordinates then removed the cloth gags from the mouths of those five siblings.
The five siblings stared angrily at Seqalu, but they knew that Seqalu was the type of person who meant what he said. The five of them didn’t plan to be so foolish as to make things harder for themselves.
“Seqalu, there will come the day when we five brothers will kill you.” The eldest of the siblings, Barker [Ba’ke], said in a cold voice.
Seqalu only let out a chuckle.
Others might not be aware, but he knew…that in the future, these five siblings would have been transformed into vessels for Angels. As for their souls, they would have been destroyed.
“If you have the chance, I’ll welcome you to try.” Seqalu sneered in response.
The Barker brothers had lived in the Eighteen Northern Duchies. They were orphans who had been raised by an old man, whom they called ‘Grandpa’.
Grandpa owned an ordinary restaurant and made enough to raise the five of them. Ever since they were young, the five siblings had been extremely strong. Their Grandpa had previously been a warrior in the army as well, and so ever since they were young, he had trained them. Unexpectedly, the five of them were astonishingly talented. When they were only sixteen years of age, their muscular strength alone had allowed them to reach the sixth rank. By now, the five siblings were thirty, and their physical strength had reached the eighth rank in power.
After their Grandpa had died, the five of them had joined the army.
Within their Duchy, which was one of the Eighteen Northern Duchies, these brothers were heroic figures, leading armies with impunity. In battles between Duchies, warriors of the eighth rank could be considered top-level figures. These five brothers possessed incredibly durable bodies and also very fierce attack power.
In the end, they were still discovered by the Radiant Church’s forces. The Radiant Church immediately had dispatched two nearby experts of the ninth rank to lead people to capture them. They had resisted, but when they did, the Radiant Church’s men had wiped out all of their families.
The Barker siblings stared death at these men around them.
The five siblings previously had three wives and two children amongst them. The two unmarried ones also had women they loved, but now everything had been destroyed by the Radiant Church.
Linley had been paying attention to that particular courtyard every day. He saw that the previously empty manor was finally filled with people, and judging from the sound of it, quite a few people.
Zassler’s eyes flashed with a green light for a moment. Laughing sinisterly, “We’ve waited for over ten days. Finally, it’s time. Linley, when should we act?” Zassler looked over to him. They had definitive superiority of power. No matter when they acted, it would be successful.
“Later at night.” Linley decided.
Zassler nodded as well.
The nearby Blackcloud Panther, Haeru, was pretending to hide in the grass of the courtyard. The time passed quietly, until nightfall came. The prefectural city of Deco grew quieter and quieter. By nightfall, it was almost totally silent.
Linley, who had been seated in the meditative position, suddenly opened his eyes.
“Let’s go.” Linley glanced at Zassler. “Be careful.”
“Don’t worry.” Zassler laughed self-confidently. “I’m going to summon the undead right now.” After just a few seconds, two golden-furred zombies appeared out of thin air. After a while longer, a humanoid figure wrapped in a black cloak appeared in the middle of the courtyard.
“What is this?” Linley glanced perplexedly at the black-robed humanoid.
“An Ancient Wight of the peak-stage ninth rank.” Zassler laughed delightedly.
Linley nodded. His side had many powerful experts, while the opponent only had two experts of the ninth rank. What’s more, they were attacking from ambush. This battle wouldn’t prove to be challenging at all.
Linley jumped directly over the wall, with Bebe and the Blackcloud Panther following close behind. Zassler, his two golden-furred zombies, and the Ancient Wight also followed behind Linley.
Soon, they arrived at that residence.
“Let’s act separately. I’ll go deal with the guards overseeing those five siblings, and then together, we’ll slaughter our way through each room.” Linley said in a low voice.
The five Barker siblings were in one room. Outside the room were two warriors of the eighth rank standing guard. The two were fairly relaxed, casually scanning their surroundings while chatting.
The moment before their deaths, they seemed to have sensed something, as they turned to look. But all they saw were two devilish flashes of purple light.
Blood fountained out of two severed necks.
“Swish!” Bebe, Haeru, the Ancient Wight, and the two golden-furred zombies all charged towards the other rooms, while Linley hurriedly ran into the room with the five siblings.
Upon entering the room, the Barker siblings stared at this ‘monster’ in astonishment. His entire body was covered in black draconic scales, and spikes were emitting from his forehead and back. What’s more, Linley had a pair of dark golden eyes which chilled the hearts of those who saw it.
“Who…who are you?” No matter how bold Barker was, right now, he was rather shocked.
But the only response to his question was a violet flash of sword light.
Struck by Linley’s ‘Bloodviolet Godsword’, those dark golden ropes all split apart. After having mastered the ‘impose’ ability, Linley’s usage of the Bloodviolet soft sword had reached a new level as well.
‘Impose’ was not restricted by weapon.
A fist could also summon the ‘imposing power’ of the heavens. A sabre or a knife could as well. Bloodviolet was sharp to begin with. Now, with Linley’s battle-qi permeating it, chopping through the ropes was a very easy task.
Seeing the ropes split open, the five siblings immediately understood that this man had come to rescue them. But before they even had a chance to express their thanks, suddenly….
“F*ck off!” An angry shout.
“Aaah!” A pain-filled scream.
The look on Linley’s face changed, and he hurriedly returned to the main courtyard. He saw the black-robed Ancient Wight moaning in pain on the ground, while the stone floor of the courtyard was now covered with cracks. Clearly, these were caused by the Ancient Wight smashing into the floor. In addition, there were hints of green blood on the ground as well.
“What is going on?” Linley was shocked.
Zassler, too, was very surprised. “Not good. There’s an expert here.” The Ancient Wight was a peak-stage combatant of the ninth rank, and its body was extremely durable. The expert in the room was able to injure it heavily and sent it flying in just one move. This was too terrifying.
“Bebe, Haeru, come back.” Linley mentally ordered.
Bebe and Haeru transformed into two black blurs as they returned to the courtyard. By this time, the five Barker brothers had walked out as well, but Linley kept his gaze focused on that room.
With a cold sneer, a short, skinny man walked out from the room. His short silver hair looked like steel wire. This man looked very cold, especially when one saw his icy gaze.
Stehle glanced coldly at the Ancient Wight. “A necromancer?”
Turning his head to look at Linley and Zassler, he sneered, “I was wondering who it was. So it’s the necromancer Zassler, and that so-called genius, the Dragonblood Warrior Linley.”
All the higher-ups of the Radiant Church were very familiar with Linley’s Dragonformed appearance.
“Excellent. All of you are targets for the Radiant Church. Today, I’ll take you all.” Stehle’s lips quirked upwards, a cold smile appearing on his lips.
“Swish, swish.” Linley’s draconic tail swished about, slapping the ground.
Suddenly, an earth-colored light covered the entire ground of the courtyard. Everyone in the courtyard felt their head momentarily grow dizzy. Zassler couldn’t help but fall to one knee, but then immediately afterwards, another layer of earthen light covered Zassler, the Ancient Wight, the two golden-furred zombies, Bebe, and Haeru. They no longer were suffering from the effects of this gravitational power.
Earth-style magic – Supergravity Field.
“So it is as our reports say; not only are you a Dragonblood Warrior, you are a genius magus as well.” Stehle laughed calmly. “Your gravitational field is around eight times that of normal. I didn’t expect that in just a few short years, you would advance from the seventh rank to the eighth rank. Sadly, a genius such as you is going to die today.”
Stehle walked one step at a time towards Linley.
“Charge.” Zassler let out a low shout.
The two golden-furred zombies immediately let out deep growls, then charged towards Stehle. At the same time, Zassler and Linley’s allies all fled, as if by common agreement.
A cold flash of sword light.
The two golden-furred zombies were immediately chopped in half, collapsing within the courtyard.
“You want to flee?”
Stehle, in the blink of an eye, appeared in the air in front of Linley’s squad. He stood there in mid-air, wielding the longsword which he had just stained with the blood of the golden-furred zombies.
“It really is a Saint-level combatant.” Zassler laughed bitterly
Actually, earlier, when they had seen the peak-stage ninth ranked Ancient Wight be heavily injured in one blow, Linley had already known that things were not good. He knew that this person was most likely a Saint-level. And now, they knew that to be a fact. Saint-level combatants were able to fly at an astonishing speed. There was no way they would be able to flee.
Linley and Zassler exchanged glances. They knew exactly what sort of situation they had found themselves in.
“I thought today’s activities would have been very stress-free. Who would’ve thought we’d run into a Saint-level combatant?” Linley was extremely unhappy about this. His dark golden eyes stared fixedly at Stehle. “No choice but to go all out.”