Book 8, The Ten Thousand Kilometer Journey – Chapter 39, Time Passing Slowly
The O’Brien Empire restricted the worship of other religions within its borders, and so the Radiant Church and the Cult of Shadows were forced to keep their forces in hiding. If and when their forces were discovered, the O’Brien Empire would mercilessly stamp them out.
This attitude of the O’Brien Empire had caused the Radiant Church to never have the chance to expand its influence within the Empire’s borders.
In important places such as the imperial capital or in the provincial capitals, the Radiant Church still managed to place quite a few forces in hiding, but in prefectural cities, they would have at most a few dozen people.
As for those ordinary cities, some places had a few people, others had none.
And the towns? No need to even mention them.
The density of their web of influence wasn’t very high. Thus, the Radiant Church’s forces which had been sent to locate Linley couldn’t find any trace of him. They had no idea where this Linley had run off to.
Even though they didn’t know where Linley was hiding, the Lyndin’s team of six experts still departed from the Sacred Isle and headed towards the O’Brien Empire.
Outside Northwest Administrative Province’s provincial capital of Basil. Cloudpeaks Village.
Linley, Zassler, Barker and his brothers, Rebecca, and Leena were all living here quietly. Aside from their training, Rebecca and Leena spent their time making sure Linley and the others were all fed.
The explanation they gave to the local villagers was that Linley was a noble. Zassler was his housekeeper, and the five Barker brothers were his guards.
Linley’s team was located in the western side of the village, several hundred meters away from any other residences.
“Big sis, today the skeleton I summoned was so cute! It looked so silly.” Rebecca and Leena were on their way back from the local market, carrying baskets of fresh vegetables.
Aside from their training, they spent much of their time cooking.
“Rebecca, don’t always waste your time playing around. After summoning a skeleton, release it back. You are wasting too much time playing around with skeletons.” Leena was somewhat unhappy.
Rebecca was too undisciplined. Every day, she would play around with and tease the skeletal warriors she summoned.
“I know, big sis. I’ll catch up to you soon.” Rebecca said in a low voice. Her sister was already capable of summoning zombies.
It must be said that both Rebecca and Leena were quite talented. They were progressing quite rapidly in the arts of Necromantic Magic.
The two of them walked to an empty spot of land. Currently, the manor which Linley had designed was still in the construction phase. And thus, Linley had erected a series of wooden cabins for them to live in for now.
“Big brother Linley’s training method is so weird.” Rebecca murmured.
Right now, Linley was wielding the adamantine heavy sword in one hand and the Bloodviolet Godsword in the other. In Linley’s hands, the adamantine heavy sword danced about as though it was totally weightless. But Bloodviolet was the opposite; it seemed to carry a thousand tons of force with each blow.
“Wielding something heavy as though it were light, wielding something light as though it were heavy…”
Linley had a hint of a smile on his lips.
Regardless of whether he was using Bloodviolet or the adamantine heavy sword, his level of understanding could be applied to both. For example, the ‘impose’ level could be used with virtually any sort of attack.
Sabre, sword, staff, rod, fists, or kicks.
‘Impose’ could be used with any of these.
This is why using it could be described as ‘calling upon the force of the heavens and the earth’.
As for the level of ‘wielding something heavy as though it were light’, there was no way one could use it on the Bloodviolet Godsword, because this sword was already very light. After pondering for over ten days while seated meditatively on the floor, Linley suddenly became aware of how ponderous and all-encompassing the wind which blew through the skies really was. Finally, he had his flash of insight.
The wind was invisible. When it was gentle, it could be like the kiss of a lover. But when it was aroused into a vicious storm, it could split mountains and shatter stones.
“Wielding something light as though it were heavy.”
Linley hacked out with the Bloodviolet Godsword. The nearly invisible, diaphanous sword let out a thunder-like sound as out of nowhere, a tornado suddenly appeared.
“The wind-style single-combat spell, ‘Dimensional Edge’, is an extremely powerful one-on-one magical attack spell. The power of the Dimensional Edge spell is so great that it can hack apart the dimensional walls itself. Then…would it be possible to duplicate the effects of the Dimensional Edge through sword techniques?”
Linley considered this question.
The correct roads would all lead to the same destination, despite the path. The level above ‘impose’, when using the adamantine heavy sword, was achieved by Linley through using his insights regarding the Laws of the Earth.
As Linley saw it, with regards to the Bloodviolet Godsword, to surpass the ‘impose’ level, he would have to utilize his understanding of the ‘Laws of the Wind’.
Only by selecting the correct avenue of training would one not be led astray.
Right now, Linley was quietly considering which avenue of training he should embark on. But the fundamental Laws of the universe were very profound and very abstruse. To understand them was very difficult. Fortunately, Linley has exceptional elemental affinity for both wind elemental essence as well as earth elemental essence, and thus was able to reach a very high level of attunement with nature.
But despite that, without multiple years of training and time, it would be virtually impossible to make much progress.
A blur slashed through the air, then landed behind Linley.
“Lord Cesar.” Linley turned his head, then immediately paid his respects.
Cesar laughed and nodded. “Where are Barker and his brothers?”
“They are training in the empty space behind their room. Lord Cesar, please follow me.” Smiling, Linley headed towards the area behind the room, but as he did, Cesar suddenly stared at Linley’s feet in astonishment.
Although on the surface, Linley appeared to be no different from normal people, but…
What sort of person was Cesar? How could he not tell?
He could clearly sense that Linley was walking in an extremely rhythmic manner, seeming to carry with each step a certain vibration. In truth, what had happened was that Linley had immersed himself in his silent training for so long that even when he walked, his steps would also embody the throbbing pulse of the earth.
“He truly is talented.” Cesar praised in his heart.
After walking for a short distance, Cesar saw Barker and his siblings. The five of them were in an area filled with countless giant boulders the size of houses, which they were using as part of their weight training. The entire area was suffused with an earth-colored layer of light.
The muscles on the bodies of the Barker brothers were rippling and gleaming, with the veins sticking out like snakes on their bodies, making them look extremely powerful and mighty.
“Lord Cesar.” Upon seeing Cesar, Barker and his siblings immediately stopped their training.
“You five fellows really do train hard, eh?” Cesar quirked his lips in a grin. “What sort of effectiveness are you seeing from your training?”
The fourth of the five siblings, Boone [Bu’en], said excitedly, “In the past, when we were training, we didn’t sense much improvement. But now that we are training in this Supergravity Field, both our muscles as well as our internal organs are strengthening and improving.”
The area under the effects of a Supergravity Field would see the local gravity increase dramatically.
Higher gravity could benefit the muscles, the organs, and the entire body.
“Excellent. I made a long round trip, and brought back with me the secret manual I had copied by hand all those years ago.” With a flip of his hand, a rather thin book appeared in front of Cesar.
Barker and his brothers stared at this manual, their eyes shining.
“This is the Secret Undying Manual?” The fifth brother, Gates, stared at it with wide, hungry eyes.
“Take it.” Cesar began to laugh.
The fifth brother, Gates, snatched it over, his hand moving like a blur. He immediately opened the manual and began to read, with the other four squeezed together like five giant bears, craning their necks over and staring at it with eyes as big and wide as ox-eyes.
This spectacle was actually quite funny.
“Haha.” Cesar began to laugh, while a hint of a smile was on Linley’s lips as well. Cesar looked at Linley. In a low voice, he warned, “Linley, I can tell that these five brothers are just like their ancestors. They are rather boorish and unrefined. If they are to travel alone, most likely they will be easily duped and cheated by others. I hope you can lead and guide them.”
“Lord Cesar, don’t worry.” Linley assented.
During this period of association with the five Barker brothers, Linley had discovered that these five men clearly differentiated between enmity and benevolence. They were very straightforward and didn’t play any mind games. They’d curse out whoever they wanted to curse and wouldn’t hide any of their thoughts.
Linley actually rather liked this sort of temperament. It was genuine!
“The five of them, upon training in accordance with the Secret Undying Manual, will improve at a very rapid speed. It won’t be difficult at all for them to reach the ninth rank within a few years.” Cesar sighed to himself.
Turning his head, he glanced at Linley. “This Linley is most likely worthy of my trust.”
As far as Cesar was concerned, Linley couldn’t even come close to comparing with the five Barker brothers in terms of importance. After all, these five were the descendants of the closest friend Cesar had ever made. As for Linley, he was nothing more than a sculptor whom Cesar, a statue aficionado, rather liked.
Towards Linley, he only felt appreciation.
But towards the five brothers, he felt the sort of doting love one might feel towards one’s grandchildren.
Soon after, Cesar left again. After about half a year had passed, the manor was completed, and Linley and his team took up residence within, beginning a long period of quiet training.
Aside from Cesar, perhaps the only person who knew that Linley was living there was Yale.
Yale had long ago had set up a system of sending someone each month to provide news regarding the Radiant Church, basic news regarding the Yulan continent as a whole, as well as information about Wharton.
Although they were living in this village, Linley thus was still kept very well informed about the affairs of the Yulan continent.
Within a forest on the west side of Cloudpeaks Village, Linley was training by himself.
They had spent three full years within the quiet Cloudpeaks Village. During these three years, the Radiant Church’s forces had been searching fruitlessly for them. As for Linley, he had totally immersed himself within his training, and had advanced quite rapidly as well.
The wind rose, blowing the dead leaves to the ground.
Linley raised his head to look at the sky. Very high up above him, a Bluewind Hawk was flying with wings spread. A hint of a smile appeared on Linley’s lips, and he suddenly thrust his adamantine heavy sword into the air.
Originating from Linley’s adamantine heavy sword, a series of faint cracks in space itself could be seen as a vibrational wave burst forward up into the sky at an incredibly high speed.
In the blink of an eye, the vibrating waves had traversed nearly a thousand meters.
The body of the Bluewind Hawk, a magical beast of the fifth rank, shuddered, then begin to collapse from the skies.
“I’ve finally reached the level of the ‘Hundred Layered Waves’.” Linley’s eyes were filled with a hint of confidence. “If today, that Stehle were to be struck by me again, he most likely wouldn’t get off with just a light wound this time.”
Profound Truths of the Earth – Triple Layered Waves!
Profound Truths of the Earth – Hundred Layered Waves!
After spending three years, Linley had already reached an extremely high level of understanding with regards to the Profound Truths of the Earth, and his attack power was now very terrifying as well.
Within a thousand meters distance, he could kill a magical beast of the fifth rank
Most likely, even an early-stage Saint-level combatant would be hard pressed to accomplish such a task. After all, battle-qi, when being transmitted through the air, would slowly be weakened by air resistance. When the distance reached a certain length, the power of the attack would be almost negligibly weak as well.
Compared to battle-qi, these ‘vibrational waves’ would still be weakened when passing through the air, but much, much less than battle-qi would be.
When using the Triple Layered Waves technique in the past, Linley could only kill a magical beast of the fifth rank at a distance of roughly ten meters. Any farther away, and the waves wouldn’t be powerful enough to kill fifth ranked magical beasts.
But upon reaching the Ten Layered Waves stage of the technique, Linley could kill a fifth ranked magical beast within a hundred meters.
But the Hundred Layered Waves was even more powerful. Even three thousand meters wouldn’t prove a problem, much less a thousand.
This was the true ace in Linley’s sleeve. Unless he was in a dangerous situation, Linley wouldn’t willingly use this technique.
“But how to break past the barrier for the Profound Truths of the Wind?” With a flip of his hand, Linley returned the adamantine heavy sword to its sheath, then drew out the Bloodviolet Godsword.
Over the past three years, Linley had gained some insight regarding the fourth level of using the Bloodviolet, the Profound Truths of the Wind. But his insights were only limited to the simplest level; the ‘Rippling Wind’ technique.
“This shouldn’t be the case. Wind-style magic isn’t just fast and flexible. It should also have extremely powerful one-on-one attack abilities. How, then, can one execute the ‘Dimensional Edge’ through sword attacks?”
Linley had a certain feeling that the effects of the ‘Dimensional Edge’ spell absolutely could be displayed through the Bloodviolet Godsword. But it was as though the road to that level was covered by a dense fog, leading Linley to have no idea where he should try to make the breakthrough.
“Big brother Linley, big brother Linley!” Rebecca’s clear voice rang out from outside the forest.
Linley grabbed the Bluewind Hawk by the neck and headed out of the forest with the hawk in his hands. This hawk would serve as part of dinner.
“Big brother Linley, your letter just came.” Rebecca smiled radiantly at Linley.
Each month, a new letter would come. Linley tossed the Bluewind Hawk over. “Rebecca, our dinner tonight will be this Bluewind Hawk.” As he spoke, Linley accepted the letter and tore it open.