Book 8, The Ten Thousand Kilometer Journey – Chapter 55, A Saint-Level Battle
While the citizens of the imperial capital were celebrating the 27th personal disciple the War God had chosen in five thousand years, in the far-off Northwest Administrative Province, Linley and the Saint-level expert, McKenzie, were currently chatting happily over wine. Tonight, they would prepare to do battle.
Tonight, the curved moon hung high in the sky, its faint silver glow covering the world, making it seem as though the entire world had been covered by a layer of gauze.
Atop the small desolate mountain outside the provincial capital of Basil, Linley and McKenzie were walking shoulder to shoulder, with Bebe seated on Linley’s shoulder. The others did not come.
The only witness to this battle would be Bebe.
The small mountain was extremely desolate and depopulated. Aside from a few sparse trees, the mountain peak was empty and bare. Linley and McKenzie stood side by side on the top of the mountain. The mountain wind howled drearily, rustling their clothes.
Linley and McKenzie glanced at each other, each understanding the hidden meaning in the other’s eyes.
Bebe very obediently hopped off from Linley’s shoulders, and Linley removed his upper body clothes, storing them in his interspatial ring. He began to transform, and black scales quickly covered his entire body, while his forehead, back, elbows, and knees began to sprout sharp spikes. That iron-whip-like tail began to swing about behind him, and his eyes suddenly transformed into that merciless dark golden color. That faint layer of blue light appeared on his scales as well. As immense power began to radiate from Linley’s body, dust and small rocks began to be caught up in the swirl of energy.
“Supreme Warriors live up to their name.” McKenzie’s eyes lit up.
Simultaneously, Linley and McKenzie transformed into a pair of rainbows as they flew to the air above the small mountain. They stood there in mid-air, roughly a hundred meters from each other.
McKenzie flipped his hand, and an azure spear appeared within it. “In order to forge this spear, I had to spend twenty million gold coins to purchase all sorts of precious ores. After completing it, I named it ‘Azureflame’.”
Linley flipped his own hand, and the Bloodviolet flexible sword appeared within it.
“I acquired this sword from a very dangerous location in the Mountain Range of Magical Beasts. Its name is ‘Bloodviolet.’”
With regards to his abilities in using Bloodviolet, Linley had reached the fourth level, ‘Profound Truths of the Wind’. However, Linley had only reached the first, simplest stage of the ‘Profound Truths of the Wind’, which he had named ‘Rippling Wind’.
But despite that, when combined with the unique properties of Bloodviolet, Linley still felt confident in his ability to deal with McKenzie.
“Being at the Saint-level makes me feel as though I am filled with boundless power.” Wielding the Bloodviolet Godsword in his hands, Linley felt extremely confident. “In the past, it was impossible for me to use Bloodviolet to harm a Saint-level combatant. It wasn’t that Bloodviolet was insufficiently sharp; it was that my own battle-qi and strength was far from being sufficient.”
How could the weapons used by most experts, in terms of sharpness, compare with this divine artifact, the Bloodviolet Godsword?
Bloodviolet was so sharp that if one didn’t use any battle-qi, just by virtue of its sharpness, it could pierce the defense of most magical beasts of the seventh rank. How many weapons could possibly compete with such terrifying sharpness?
Once it was matched with a Saint-level amount of battle-qi, its sharpness and power would reach an even more astonishing level.
“Then, let us begin!”
McKenzie’s body began to radiate a boundless desire for battle. Standing high up in the air, as the wind blew his long robes about, McKenzie’s body suddenly began to be covered with a layer of crackling flame, and the Azureflame spear in his hands began to emit flame as well.
His entire body seemed to have been covered by fire.
Clad in flame, and holding his spear at the ready, McKenzie looked like a god of battle.
“His battle-qi has actually reached such a level.” Linley’s eyes lit up.
“Boom!” Linley’s own battle-qi exploded as well, as that azure-black battle-qi totally covered Linley’s body, and also activated Bloodviolet. Those azure-black scales were totally covered by that azure-black battle-qi, making Linley look like a demon from the Infernal Realm.
A hint of a smile was on McKenzie’s lips.
Linley only saw a blur as McKenzie slashed his way through the air at him. The spear in McKenzie’s hands, burning with flame, seemed to have locked down all the surrounding space as it pierced towards Linley with tremendous, boundless power.
At this moment, it seemed as though the only thing which existed in this world was that spear.
A strange, devilish purple light gently slashed open the locked space, and the tip of the sword clashed against the tip of the spear. As they did, Linley and McKenzie’s battle-qi exploded through their weapons at each other.
A terrifying explosive sound blasted forth from between the two of them as the power released from this clash of two Saint-level experts burst forth in all directions. Even the boulders dotting the mountain beneath them began to crack apart from the released battle-qi.
The two separated at high speed after the clash.
“Hrm?” Linley glanced at McKenzie once. “His battle-qi is actually slightly more powerful than mine.” Dragonblood Warriors simply possessed too much natural talent. Even an early-stage Saint-level Dragonblood Warrior would only have just slightly less battle-qi than an ordinary mid-stage Saint-level combatant.
Of the Four Supreme Warriors, the Undying Warriors had the best defense, the Tigerstriped Warriors had the highest speed, the Violetflame Warriors had the fastest healing speed, but the Dragonblood Warriors had the best offense.
Dragonblood Warriors were nothing to joke about.
“Haha, wonderful. Take another attack from me!” McKenzie laughed loudly as he charged towards Linley at high speed again, transforming into three separate mirages as he did so.
“You want to compete in speed?”
Linley’s body blurred, then transformed into three separate mirages as he charged towards McKenzie as well, leaving a streak behind in the sky as he did so.
The previously refined McKenzie was now extremely wild and unrestrained as his three mirages transformed into nine. But somehow, those nine shadow-McKenzie’s were all wielding the spear in their hands in a different manner.
The nine mirages spun their spears in different ways, then thrust their spears at Linley.
Originally, Linley had only seen nine spears, but after those spears coiled about mysteriously, suddenly, it seemed as though the entire world was filled with countless spear-shadows.
An infinite number of spear-shadows, giving Linley no place to run.
“Haha…” Linley laughed loudly, while at the same time, he himself transformed into a whirlwind of action. In what seemed like the blink of an eye, Linley’s entire body had turned into a spinning tornado, and surrounding that spinning tornado were countless flashes of that devilish purple light.
Those countless spear-shadows were all blocked by those countless flashes of violet light.
McKenzie was stunned.
“Tornado Technique – Shatter!”
Linley roared loudly, and then he slammed towards McKenzie as though he were a giant warhammer. In the blink of an eye, that Bloodviolet sword in his hand seemed to have transformed into ten thousand different swords.
Those sword strikes all seemed so light and graceful, but when they collided against McKenzie’s spear, McKenzie felt as though they each had the power of a thunderbolt.
Wielding something light as though it were heavy!
“Bam!” “Bam!” “Bam!” “Bam!”
Linley’s entire body had been transformed into a tornado, and McKenzie had a feeling as though the heavens themselves were aiding Linley. The strangest thing was, it seemed as though the sword in Linley’s hand could disappear then reappear at will.
Under these repeated assault, McKenzie was forced down to the ground from the sky.
McKenzie landed heavily on the ground, and the earth around him cracked as dust swirled up everywhere. The flames atop of McKenzie’s body began to burn even hotter, and the warlike look in his eyes grew only more wild.
Linley landed heavily on the ground as well. Covered in azure-black battle-qi, the aura Linley gave off was totally opposite compared to McKenzie’s.
One was domineering and tyrannical. The other was dark and mysterious.
McKenzie lowered his head to glance at his chest.
Fresh blood oozed out from beneath his clothes, and then evaporated under the intense heat of the flames. But McKenzie’s bloodstained clothes indicated that he clearly had been wounded.
“Linley, I could understand your movements, but there was one thing I couldn’t understand. How could that Bloodviolet Godsword of yours fuse with the wind so well?” McKenzie was a very experienced Saint-level combatant.
The level of ‘impose’ was that of using the imposing force of the heavens and the earth.
But the amount of natural force which Linley had used to support his attack was truly frightening.
“Of course there is a limit to the amount of energy which the heavens and earth can loan you. As for the reason why you had such trouble defending…” Smiling, Linley lifted Bloodviolet into the air, and it suddenly, bizarrely, began to curve about every which way.
If you wanted a sword to be sufficiently hard and sharp, one of the pre-requisites for that was that the sword would not be able to be very flexible.
“This…this is a flexible sword?” McKenzie was very surprised.
Just then, when Linley exchanged blows with him, he had used Bloodviolet to attack in curving arcs. However, due to Linley’s usage of ‘impose’, the impression that McKenzie had gotten was that the sword would suddenly disappear, then appear from somewhere else.
This was another way one could use ‘impose’.
“Right. This is a flexible sword.” Linley said.
“But how can a flexible sword fight head-on against my Azureflame spear?” McKenzie was very shocked.
The reason why a flexible sword could straighten and be hard was because of battle-qi. But how could a weapon which relied on battle-qi to become straight be comparable to a weapon that was straight to begin with?
McKenzie’s Azureflame spear was also a very precious spear.
“This is a divine artifact.” Linley didn’t hide anything.
“A divine artifact.” McKenzie nodded in amazement, and then laughed loudly. “Wonderful. Linley, next I will use my ultimate attack. Be careful.”
“I have a special attack that I haven’t used either.” Linley was very confident as well.
Right now, both men were on the ground, staring at each other.
McKenzie suddenly began to move. He lifted the spear in his hands, pointing it at the sky. Suddenly, with McKenzie as the focal point, an endless wave of flame began to spew out in every direction.
In the blink of an eye, within several hundred meters, everything had turned into a world of flame.
Linley was surrounded and caged in as well. His dark golden eyes watched emotionlessly. Within this World of Flames, McKenzie’s image appeared everywhere, along with his spear.
This World of Flames seemed to be suppressing Linley, and there was no ‘imposing force’ Linley could draw upon.
“Rumble…” One indistinct spear after another suddenly pierced through the air, thrusting towards Linley. Combined, they formed a seemingly very real fire dragon, which was coiling forth from the flames and roaring at Linley.
And at the same time…
Behind Linley as well, McKenzie bizarrely appeared out of nowhere as he thrust the spear in his hands toward Linley.
One in front, one from behind. Linley had nowhere to run.
Linley began to move, and the Bloodviolet flexible sword in his hands suddenly transformed into countless vipers, colliding and striking against the various spear-shadows that were attacking from all around him. Each time his sword struck against a spear, there was a thunderous boom. That astonishingly powerful fire dragon seemed to have been surrounded and wrapped around by a large number of enormous pythons, and as the pythons constricted it, it exploded violently.
“Slash!” McKenzie’s spear thrust out towards Linley from behind.
But that Bloodviolet flexible sword very nimbly and agilely curved backwards, blocking the spear. As the flexible sword bounced off the spear, Linley too immediately went flying backwards, moving farther away from McKenzie.
“Bam!” “Bam!” “Bam!” “Bam!”
To his astonishment McKenzie had discovered that the area around Linley seemed to have suddenly given birth to wild gusts of wind, while the Bloodviolet sword in Linley’s hands seemed to have turned into a violet bolt of thunder, striking in every direction. In the blink of an eye, his World of Flames had been broken open.
Linley had already located McKenzie.
“Whoosh!” “Whoosh!” “Whoosh!” The Bloodviolet sword in Linley’s hands would appear and disappear at random. In McKenzie’s eyes, all he could see were countless sword tips stabbing towards him.
It was simply too fast. So fast that McKenzie wasn’t able to block them all, and his only option was to rouse his battle-qi to defend against it.
Countless sword tips pierced against his protective layer of battle-qi, and each blow contained an astonishing amount of force. With a sudden exploding sound, that layer of battle-qi blew apart, the force of it causing the earth to rumble, creating ten terrifyingly deep canyons in the ground. Dust flew everywhere.
After a long period of time, the dust finally settled down.
McKenzie’s clothes were totally ruined, unsightly beyond repair.
McKenzie glanced at Linley. Chuckling, he nodded. “I lose.”
But Linley stared suspiciously at McKenzie. “McKenzie, why were all the spear-shadows in your world of flames so weak and illusionary? My sword easily broke every one of them. If all of those attacks were real, I would have lost.”
Linley had already reached a very high level of understanding. He could tell that those spear-shadows were totally capable of becoming real attacks. In other words, those countless spear-shadows could all be real spears. It would have been very difficult for him to block them, if that were the case. But just then, he had easily broken every single spear-shadow.
“Haha, if all of them were real, then I would be a peak-stage Saint-level expert.” McKenzie laughed. “My current World of Flames can only reach this current level.”
“How is it that your Rippling Wind technique can be so fast? It was even more terrifying than what you were using when we started.” McKenzie asked in puzzlement.
Linley explained, “When we first started to fight, I was only borrowing the imposing force of the wind. As for the Rippling Wind technique, that was part of the insights I gained with regards to the Profound Truths of the Wind. The sword can become one with the wind, and wherever the wind is, the sword can appear.”
The Rippling Wind was indeed fast. Terrifyingly fast.
Linley was only able to develop this terrifying technique thanks to the unique properties of the Bloodviolet sword. Using Bloodviolet with this technique, it wouldn’t be hard for Linley to produce over ten million sword attacks in the blink of an eye.