Book 8, The Ten Thousand Kilometer Journey – Chapter 56, The Magicite Core
“Wherever the wind is, the sword can appear!”
Hearing these words, McKenzie was truly shocked. If he hadn’t personally sparred with Linley, upon hearing these words, McKenzie would have taken them to be an empty boast. But just then, he himself had sensed the terrifying speed of those sword attacks, which had reached a speed that was ten, no, a hundred times faster than his own.
There was no way for him to block them, and so he had to rely on his battle-qi to defend against it.
To be forced to such a state, McKenzie was thoroughly convinced of Linley’s superiority.
“Linley, you spoke of merging and becoming one with the wind. I…do not understand what you mean.” McKenzie said, frowning slightly.
Linley didn’t try to hide anything. Laughing, he said, “McKenzie, you must understand, the wind itself is invisible and formless, but it can be both as fast as the lightning, or utterly slow and calm. My ‘Profound Truths of the Wind’ is, in truth, based on that small amount of insight I have gained into the Laws of the Wind.”
“The Laws.” McKenzie’s eyes were filled with admiration. “The highest of truths.”
Every sort of elemental Law was extremely profound and mysterious. In truth, if one could master and understand a sufficiently large amount of one of these Laws, then one’s soul would totally merge with the ‘elemental world’ and crystallize into a divine spark, allowing one to reach the Deity-level.
As for Linley, he had just barely scratched the surface of these Laws.
Whether it was the ‘Profound Truths of the Earth’ or the ‘Profound Truths of the Wind’, Linley had only understood the smallest portion, like a single drop of water in an endless sea.
“By merging with the wind, my sword can appear wherever the wind is. But this sort of technique has a very high requirement with regards to the composition of the sword itself, because it requires the sword to almost instantly move from one place to another, causing the sword to come under enormous stress.” Linley smirked. “If there was no such requirement or drawback, then wouldn’t I be able to essentially teleport myself around by merging into the wind?”
Linley could indeed merge with the wind, but his body simply couldn’t handle the amount of speed and stress it would suffer from teleportation-like movement speeds.
“Haha, teleportation, eh? Even Deity-level combatants are not capable of such a thing.” McKenzie sighed.
No matter how powerful an expert was, even one such as the War God, they could at most move as fast as lightning. No one was capable of teleportation. Although people often talked about ‘teleportation’, that was just how the weak described the high speed movements of Saint-level experts who did battle.
Saint-level experts were simply too fast. Those ordinary people could only see that the Saint-level experts were sometimes here, and other times there. They took this to be teleportation.
In truth, there was no such thing as teleportation.
Even if there was, it wasn’t something which the likes of the War God was capable of.
“McKenzie, what about that technique of yours? What was that all about? Just now, I couldn’t sense you at all. I felt as though all of those countless spear-shadows surrounding me were real.” Linley stared at McKenzie questioningly as well.
When Saint-level experts sparred, it did indeed help them learn more and faster. Naturally, Linley wouldn’t give up this opportunity by being shy about asking.
McKenzie laughed. “Actually, this sort of attack is a fairly common one. Generally speaking, most peak-stage Saint-level combatants use such an attack.”
“Oh?” Linley looked at McKenzie in astonishment.
“In the past, during the War God’s battle with the High Priest, many experts witnessed the terrifying power of a Deity’s “Godrealm”. Afterwards, many Saint-level combatants wanted to create an attack that could duplicate the effect of a Godrealm. In truth, that attack I used just now was a sort of ‘Pseudo-Realm’ attack.” McKenzie laughed at himself self-deprecatingly.
Linley continued to look at McKenzie.
What Linley wanted to know was the underlying principles behind this sort of attack.
“Actually, this sort of attack is extremely wasteful.” McKenzie said emotionally. “For example, I myself am a practitioner walking on the path of understanding the ‘Laws of Fire’.”
Every Saint-level practitioner had their own paths to understanding the various Laws. Only, they would all focus on different types of Laws.
“This attack, the ‘Pseudo-Realm’, basically forces one to blast out all of one’s battle-qi, while at the same time summoning and igniting all of the surrounding area’s fire elemental essence, causing everything within a hundred meters to turn into a sea of flame. Because my own battle-qi has merged with the fire elemental essence, this causes the entire sea of flame to be imprinted with my own aura, making you unable to detect where my true body is located.”
“However, my control is insufficient. I can only control my battle-qi to form a single true attack from the elemental essence. If I were able to control all the other spear-shadows and change them into real attacks, you would be in a great deal of trouble.” McKenzie laughed.
Linley was beginning to understand.
The underlying principles of this technique were quite simple. The difficulty lay in the control of elemental essence.
For example, ‘impose’ was just borrowing on the natural force of the heavens, but this ‘Pseudo-Realm’ was different. It required complete control! Generally speaking, it was impossible for a Saint-level to totally control all the elemental essence in a given area. This was something only a Deity-level expert could perform.
But Saint-level experts were very intelligent. By blasting out all of their of battle-qi, they allowed their battle-qi to merge with the elemental essence, then used it to control the elemental essence. Although it required them to use a large amount of effort and battle-qi, they were able to just barely create this ‘Pseudo-Realm’.
But despite that, its control over elemental essence was far inferior to that of the ‘Godrealm’ technique.
Linley had personally experienced how the King of Killers, Cesar, had used the power of his Godrealm to freeze both Linley as well as the peak-stage Saint-level expert, Stehle, in the blink of an eye, causing them both to be unable to move.
That sort of control over elemental essence was absolutely terrifying.
Compared to it, the ‘Pseudo-Realm’ was far weaker.
“This Pseudo-Realm does have its strong points. Although it consumes a huge amount of battle-qi, as long as one is at a high level of understanding, one can suddenly create ten million attacks out of nowhere. In addition, it also allows one to hide one’s body. It is more powerful than my own ‘Rippling Wind’ technique. The only weakness is that it uses up too much battle-qi, and is very wasteful.”
But then, Linley quickly shook his head.
“No. This is simply a clever little technique to mimic the Godrealm ability. Although it is a test of a person’s ability to control elemental essence, it has virtually nothing to do with a person’s actual level of understanding with regards to the Laws.” Linley believed that this was definitely a wrong path of training, not a correct path.
Earth, fire, wind, water. Each had its own Laws, such as the Laws of the Earth.
A complete, perfect set of elemental Laws was like a complete, perfectly constructed building. Every single brick in this building was akin to one of the profound mysteries of the Laws. Each Law contained within it countless numbers of profound mysteries.
Linley had gained insight into one particular mystery, and had developed his vibrational attack technique. This should be considered one of the higher class mysteries of the Laws of the Earth.
After this battle, both Linley as well as McKenzie were now in absolutely tattered clothes. But of course, only Linley’s pants were torn. The two changed their clothes, then smiling, left the mountain.
“Squeaaaak!” On Linley’s shoulders, Bebe delightedly squeaked at McKenzie, baring his fangs. It was as though Bebe was mocking McKenzie for losing.
“You little rascal. Jeeze…” McKenzie laughed involuntarily.
Linley laughed as well. Per Linley’s instructions, Bebe wasn’t giving any sign that he was at the Saint-level of power. Only when it was absolutely necessary would Linley reveal this trump card of his.
Under the moonlight, the two Saint-level experts chatted and laughed on the way back to the provincial capital of Basil.
The next morning, no matter how McKenzie tried to persuade him, Linley was still determined to head off to the imperial capital. Out of options, McKenzie personally sent them off, escorting them for over a hundred kilometers. By nightfall, the group arrived at a harbor at the Yulan river.
Early on, McKenzie had sent people to arrange a three-story boat for Linley at the harbor.
“Mr. McKenzie, there’s no need to escort us any further.”
By now, Linley was on extremely good terms with McKenzie. This McKenzie had escorted them for a hundred kilometers, all the way to the port. How could Linley not be grateful for McKenzie’s kindness and courtesy?
“Brother Linley, I really hate the fact that I can’t spend a few more months with you. However, you are in a rush to meet with your little brother, so I know it isn’t appropriate for me to insist on you staying either.” McKenzie said seriously. “Brother Linley, have a safe trip.”
As McKenzie watched, Linley’s group boarded this ship, and then, following the tides of the Yulan river, began to sail south.
The Yulan river was extremely wide, and the river waters were turgid.
This ship was much finer than the ship Linley had previously rented. In addition, the skills of its sailors were much higher as well. Although they went down the same general direction with the flow of the river, they were clearly moving much faster than before.
“This is the Yulan River? It really is huge.” Barker and his brothers were standing at the railing, staring at the roiling river waves, their eyes shining.
Barker and his brothers came from the Eighteen Northern Duchies. They were used to seeing the land covered in snow and ice, but had never seen such an enormous river.
Rebecca and Leena were very excited as well, while Jenne chatted with them about the Yulan river.
Right now, Bebe and Haeru, the two magical beasts, were growling in conversation to each other.
Linley knew that ever since Bebe had reached the Saint-rank, Haeru had felt all the more ashamed in front of Bebe. After all, Haeru was a peak-stage magical beast of the ninth rank. He was used to being proud and arrogant. But now, he had suffered a severe mental blow due to Bebe.
“Haeru, come with me.”
Linley glanced at Haeru, then headed directly to the second floor of the ship. Bebe and Haeru immediately followed after him. Right now, the second floor of the ship was fairly empty.
“Boss, why’d you have Haeru come over?” Bebe suddenly asked. While outsiders were present, Bebe didn’t dare to speak, but now, with no one else present, Bebe was going to have a good, spoken chat. Bebe actually very much enjoyed speaking in human tongues.
Haeru’s cold eyes stared questioningly at Linley.
He didn’t know what his master, Linley, was planning to do.
“Haeru, in the past, didn’t you and Bebe both want that darkness-type Saint-level magicite core?” Linley laughed.
Hearing these words, the intelligent Haeru instantly understood what Linley intended to do, and his eyes immediately lit up.
“Boss, you are giving him the Saint-level magicite core?” Bebe was able to guess it as well.
“What, are you opposed?” Linley looked at Bebe.
Bebe happily shook his little head, then looked at Haeru pityingly as he said mockingly, “Of course not. Although Haeru is sometimes a little bit cocky, he’s still a fine fellow. In the future, he’ll be following me, right? I’m a Saint-level magical beast. If my followers are too weak, that’ll be really embarrassing to me.”
Listening to Bebe’s words, Linley couldn’t control his laughter from coming out.
“Enough. Haeru, eat this Saint-level magicite core, then go to your room. I won’t let anyone disturb you.” With a flip of his hand, Linley retrieved that darkness-style Saint-level magicite core he had acquired so long ago.
Thinking back to the affairs of his youth, and that terrifying battle between the Armored Razorback Wyrm and the Saint-level Violet Tattooed Bear, Linley couldn’t help but secretly sigh.
Time had gone by. The current Linley most likely had the strength to fight head on against the Armored Razorback Wyrm or the Saint-level Violet Tattooed Bear. But back then, all he could do was hide.
“Bebe, you go to Haeru’s room as well. Help me keep an eye on him. If anything important and out of the ordinary happens when Haeru is trying to break through, immediately inform me.” Linley was concerned about any side effects Haeru might have from eating the Saint-level magicite core.
“Got it, Boss.” Bebe puffed out his chest, saluting.
Linley tossed the darkness-style Saint-level magicite to Haeru. Haeru opened his jaws, catching it in his mouth as he cast a grateful look at Linley. Given his level of intelligence, Haeru knew exactly how valuable a Saint-level magicite core was. What’s more, it wasn’t a guarantee that he would break through upon eating the Saint-level magicite core. He did have a chance of failure.
But Linley still had given him the Saint-level magicite core.
“I hope Haeru won’t disappoint me.” Watching Haeru and Bebe enter Haeru’s room, Linley secretly sighed. And then, he once more returned to the main deck, enjoying the view of the turgid waters of the Yulan river.
The ship continued to head south through the Yulan river at high speed as it had previously. As for the Blackcloud Panther, Haeru, he was beginning to charge towards the barrier between him and the Saint-level.