Book 8, The Ten Thousand Kilometer Journey – Chapter 35, The Profound Truths of the Earth
The night was as cold as water.
The cold wind of the deep night blew drearily. The squad that had belonged to Stehle had been wiped out earlier. Now, only Stehle remained.
Linley’s side had Linley, Bebe, Haeru, Zassler, and the five Barker brothers.
The opponent’s side had only Stehle.
But without question, right now Linley’s side was in the weaker position. Even fleeing would be very difficult.
“The Supergravity Field’s effects are ground-based. The farther from the ground is, the less its influence is.” Linley knew very well that once a Saint-level combatant were to fly several dozen meters above the ground, they probably wouldn’t feel the gravitational field at all.
Right now, Stehle was hovering roughly ten or so meters above the ground.
“Even if he is impacted by the gravitational effect, at most it would be around two times normal gravity.” As fast as lightning, Linley considered their options and how they could stay alive.
Zassler said in a low voice, “Linley, Saint-level combatants can fly, but much like flying magical beasts, although they can fly very fast at high speeds, their turning speeds and aerial agility is only perhaps one or two times faster than combatants of the ninth rank.
This reasoning was very simple.
Just like when humans ran at top speed. They would be able to run in a straight line quite easily, but if they were to suddenly turn left, then suddenly turn right, then suddenly run backwards and forward again, you would be lucky to reach a speed of a third of your regular maximum speed.
Linley understood this logic, but he hadn’t thought of it just now. Now that he did, an idea flashed by Linley’s mind.
“What, you want to resist?” Stehle was wielding that sword stained with green blood.
“Bebe, Haeru, don’t leave the Supergravity Field’s area.” Linley’s dark golden eyes stared at Stehle in the air. “Saint-level combatants are very powerful, but he is a warrior. He has no way to counteract the effects of the Supergravity Field. If he wants, he can stay in the air. Once he reaches the ground, his speed will be halved or cut to a third. By then, he won’t be any faster than me, nor will he be faster than you.”
Bebe and Haeru both let out a low growl.
But Zassler frowned. His speed wasn’t that fast.
“Let us face him. We five brothers definitely won’t allow ourselves to hinder you, benefactor.” The Barker brothers called out. The five siblings’ muscles began to ripple and bulge, making them seem like terrifying magical beasts.
Wielding the adamantine heavy sword in his hands, Linley stared at the mid-air Stehle. “Don’t be rash.”
Stehle was in no rush to act either, calmly staring down at them. As a peak-stage Saint-level combatant, how could he be worried about being unable to deal with these people?
Stehle’s sharp eyes stared coldly at Linley. “This tactic of yours might be useful against those who just entered the Saint-level, but unfortunately…I reached the Saint-level centuries ago. Kid, the Saint-level isn’t as simple as you seem to think it is. The Saint-level isn’t just about using strength to brute force things; it requires a deeper understanding.”
Linley stood in front of everyone, sword in hand, staring coldly at Stehle.
This tactic was the only option available to him. Faced with a Saint-level’s speed, he had no place to run. His only option was to remain in the Supergravity Field. Only then did he have a chance at life.
Stehle suddenly shot towards Linley like a released arrow, his black robe slightly fluttering with the wind. However, that longsword of his, covered in golden light, chopped towards Linley at a very ordinary speed.
But once he struck out with his sword, a cold aura seemed to pervade the entire courtyard.
Linley instantly felt as though he had entered a frozen realm. He had been totally surrounded by that freezing aura, while at the same time, the entire area seemed to have been locked by that aura. Although that sword was moving at an ordinary speed, it chopped towards Linley with an irresistible force.
The ‘impose’ level!
“Hrmph.” Slowly yet inexorably, the adamantine heavy sword in Linley’s hands began to move.
Stehle’s eyes suddenly brightened.
“Slash!” His ice-cold longsword suddenly split the air, increasing in speed tenfold. In the blink of an eye, it arrived near Linley’s body.
Linley’s adamantine heavy sword was like a fish in water, agilely gliding through the air to block the ice-cold longsword.
One was fast. The other, slow.
But the strange thing was, the two swords intersected.
“Ruuuumble.” There were no other sounds when the adamantine heavy sword and the ice-cold longsword struck each other. Only, the air itself suddenly shuddered. Linley’s dark golden eyes continued to stare coldly at the opponent.
Profound Truths of the Earth – Triple Layered Waves!
Stehle only sensed a strange vibration being transmitted to him, as though three deep, powerful attacks were viciously attacking his heart.
A terrifying noise exploded forth from Stehle as his silver battle-qi wildly exploded forth in all directions from Stehle’s body. Every single ray of battle-qi easily shot through the surrounding buildings like needles.
“Careful!” Linley roared loudly, immediately allowing the Dragonblood battle-qi in his own body to explode forth as well, frantically trying to block that omnidirectional blast of silvery battle-qi, so as to protect the five Barker siblings behind him. But despite doing so, he wasn’t able to totally protect everyone, as several strands of silvery battle-qi still struck the five brothers on their bodies. “Slash!” Several dozen bloody lines were drawn on their bodies, but the five brothers had managed to survive.
“What astonishing defense.” Linley sighed in amazement.
Fortunately, Stehle had only accidentally exploded his battle-qi, resulting it in going in every which way. This was the only reason why the Barker siblings had not lost their lives, despite them being criss-crossed with bloody lines and wounds.
As for Zassler, in front of him was a lance-wielding knight who was wearing a suit of heavy black armor. This was the ‘Black Knight Captain’, one of the three primary peak-stage undead of the ninth rank under his command.
The walls nearby all collapsed, and even the nearby manors were impacted by the vibrations. Some people were literally shaken to death by that omnidirectional blast of Saint-level battle-qi.
The nearby folks all began to scream in panic. An explosion such as this woke up quite a few people in the prefectural city of Deco as well, and all the nearby citizens began to flee their houses.
Linley’s group only stared solemnly at the mid-air Stehle.
A small hint of blood could be seen at the corner of Stehle’s lips. Stehle wiped the blood off, and then stared at Linley in amazement. Finally, he sighed, “Linley, I didn’t expect that you have already surpassed the level of utilizing the force of the heavens and the earth. Admirable, truly admirable.”
Utilizing the force of the heavens and the earth was what was known as ‘impose’. This was the level which ordinary Saint-levels reached.
“He received this attack of mine without any preparation, and yet he wasn’t heavily wounded.” Linley’s heart had grown cold.
Stehle stared at Linley. He sighed, “Linley, I really feel that it is a pity. The current level of insight and understanding you have reached is roughly on par with most peak-stage Saint-level combatants. Generally speaking, the reason that most peak-stage ninth ranks are unable to break through to the Saint-level is because their insights and level of understanding is insufficient. But for you, the opposite is true; you possess a very high level of understanding, but your battle-qi is far from being sufficient.
Linley himself understood this logic as well.
“For a genius such as you to die like this really is a pity.”
Stele’s eyes began to grow sharp and fierce again. In a cold voice, he said, “Linley, so as to show my respect for you, I will use my most powerful attack to deal with you; the Ice-Bound World.”
“Actually, did you really think this Supergravity Field could affect me?” Stehle sneered, and then his body began to radiate a terrifying silver light. Stehle seemed to have transformed into the sun itself as his silvery light easily encompassed an area of several hundred square meters.
“My Supergravity Field?” Linley found, to his astonishment, that the earth elemental essence he had used to create the Supergravity Field had been totally wiped away by that silvery light.
Within several hundred meters, the area was the absolute domain of that silvery light.
“A twenty one year old could actually reach such a level.” Stehle continually sighed as well. Many people wouldn’t be able to enter the Saint-level despite working at it for hundreds of years. But Linley?
He was only twenty one, and yet he was at such a high level of understanding.
“Bebe, Haeru, get ready to flee.” Linley transmitted mentally.
“Boss.” Bebe began to grow anxious.
“Don’t dawdle!” Linley mentally roared angrily.
Bebe and Haeru roared with fury, but they had no choice either. Right now, neither the five Barker brothers nor Zassler knew what to say.
Linley stood in front of all of them, staring at Stehle.
“My only choice is to use the higher levels of the Profound Truths of the Earth, which I haven’t truly mastered yet.” Linley’s dark golden eyes were fixed on his opponent’s. His adamantine heavy sword was in his hands.
The ‘Triple Layered Waves’ of the Profound Truths of the Earth was only the basics.
This most basic ‘Triple Layered Waves’, Linley was able to unleash with a 100% success right now. As for the higher level attacks, Linley was much less confident. But right now, he had no choice but to give it a shot.
“Aside from the Profound Truths of the Earth, I also have that other, dangerous technique.” Linley’s eyes slowly began to turn red.
Linley hunched over. Suddenly, his dragon-scale covered legs kicked off the ground, blasting his body upwards like an enormous boulder from a catapult, smashing viciously towards the mid-air Stehle.
“Go back down.” Stehle coldly swung his sword down at Linley.
“Ah!!!!” Linley suddenly howled. The adamantine heavy sword in his right hand chopped viciously at Stehle with boundless strength and fury, while at the same time, his left hand flashed with a beautiful violet light.
The divine artifact – Bloodviolet Godsword.
The same moment he had drawn Bloodviolet, Linley had sent his spiritual energy into it, activating its terrifying, baleful presence. The entirety of Bloodviolet was now totally covered by that bloody red light.
With Linley at the center, a surge of red, baleful light enveloped Linley. Even people hundreds of meters away began to scream in terror, and even the five Barker siblings were so terrified that they started quivering.
Even Zassler’s heart was also filled with fear. From a distance, people who saw Linley in the air, surrounded by that baleful red aura, all felt that he definitely must be a fiendish god whom they dared not rebel against.
As for Stehle, who was closest to Linley?
Stehle only felt a terrifying baleful aura completely envelope him. This baleful aura was even more terrifying than the aura which had been given off by Dylin, the King of the Mountain Range of Magical Beasts. That dense baleful aura entered his body, striking directly at his mind and soul.
Strange voices chanted nonstop in his mind.
Stehle felt as though he had returned to his youth, when he was a young beggar. He felt the same unbounded terror he had then, when each day he would be whipped by the leader of those men.
But the hearts of Saint-level combatants were extremely resolute.
“Ah.” Stehle suppressed the terror he felt, allowing the silver battle-qi in his body to explode. Under this sort of situation, Stehle was only able to utilize half of his power.
Linley’s eyes were totally red, and he chopped down at Stehle with his adamantine heavy sword.
“Bam!” “Bam!” “Bam!”
The adamantine heavy sword collided three times with Stehle’s sword. Each time, Linley’s right arm went numb from the shock, to the point where his hand was beginning to split open.
In the same time that the adamantine heavy sword had attacked three times, Bloodviolet had slashed over ten times as well. Each of the strange attacks chopped at the same location. Although Stehle’s battle-qi was very dense, the eighth sword blow had managed to pierce it. The ninth and tenth attacks actually pierced into Stehle’s muscles, but Stehle’s body was filled with that dense battle-qi as well.
Linley was unable to remain standing in mid-air. After delivering these ten blows, he began to sink downwards towards the ground.
Stehle’s eyes had already turned cold. To be forced by a mere peak-stage combatant of the ninth rank to such a state was an absolute humiliation. Stehle let out a growl. “The Ice-Bound World!”
While falling, Linley saw that in the sky, a mirage of a shadow of a sword had split space-time itself. In the blink of an eye, it reached his body. At this moment…this illusionary shadow of a sword seemed to have wiped away the entire world. In Linley’s world, the only thing which existed was this illusionary sword.
Linley didn’t have any time to block.
Zassler, the five Barker brothers, and those people watching from afar felt that the surrounding temperature had dropped to an extremely, terrifyingly low degree. Frost began to gather on their eyebrows.
At the same time, the longsword in Stehle’s hands pierced towards Linley’s heart.
But Linley didn’t react at all, allowing the longsword to pierce towards him at will…
Haeru and Bebe, these two magical beasts, could only watch helplessly as Linley was about to be killed.