Book 8, The Ten Thousand Kilometer Journey – Chapter 57, Yet Another Saint-Level
A Saint-level magicite core contained the essence of a Saint-level magical beast’s magical power. A Saint-level magicite core was something that was very hard to consume, and which would take a significant amount of time to do so. In the past, because Linley had the legendary ‘Dragonblood Warrior bloodline’, his special bloodline eventually dissolved and absorbed that ninth-rank magicite core of the Armored Razorback Wyrm.
But even after he had dissolved and absorbed that magicite core of the ninth rank, the residual energy of the core remained in Linley’s body, alongside his Dragonblood. It hadn’t been totally mastered and utilized by Linley.
“As the current continues to take us south, from here to the Southwest Administrative Province, we will have travelled more than three thousand kilometers. Such an enormous distance will take several days, even though we are following the current.”
Looking at the roiling waves, Linley said to himself.
Who knows if a few days would be enough for Haeru to finish dissolving and absorbing that Saint-level magicite core. Linley himself didn’t have any experience of course when it came to the subject of peak-stage magical beasts of the ninth rank absorbing magicite cores.
“Gates, why are you going back inside? The scenery around the Yulan river is pretty good.” The third brother, Hazer, said in a loud voice.
Of the Barker brothers, four were standing in front of the railing, enjoying the beautiful sights of the Yulan river. Only Gates was heading back into the cabin.
“Big bro and second bro have already made their breakthroughs, third bro. You guys can watch, but I’m not in the mood. I don’t want to waste time. I’ll go back and train.” Gates replied back loudly.
Hazer was caught off-guard.
Linley turned to stare at Gates in surprise. Right now, only two of the five had mastered the level of ‘wielding something heavy as though it were light’. One was Barker, while the other was Gates. Gates was a very proud person. Linley knew this quite well.
“Gates is right.” The fourth brother, Boone, nodded as well. “I will go train as well.”
The third brother, Hazer, followed Boone into the cabin as well, leaving behind just Barker and Ankh. The two exchange glances, then began to laugh.
“Second bro, you have to work hard. If Gates makes a breakthrough, he’ll be more powerful than you.” Barker laughed as he spoke to Ankh.
Ankh nodded, drawing out the two giant long-handled greataxes on his back. “I’m going to the rear deck to train with my weapons.”
“I’ll go with you.” Barker drew out his own long-handled greataxes as well.
The long-handled greataxes of Barker and his brothers were quite astonishing. These might be the heaviest weapons that existed in the modern world. 5300 pounds each, they were quite suited to the Undying Warriors, famed amongst the Supreme Warriors for their strength.
Zassler laughed as he stroked his white beard. “Those five brothers really have become quite hard working. They make this old man feel a bit ashamed.”
But despite saying that, Zassler continued to admire the local scenery.
At Zassler’s current level, what he needed was a flash of insight. Training alone wouldn’t provide that.
Smiling, Linley stood on the front of the ship. Slowly, Linley closed his eyes. The wind over the wide Yulan river was quite strong, and it buffeted Linley’s robes, causing Linley to sway ever so slightly.
Linley had totally become one with the wind, and could sense the movements of the wind elemental essence.
Time flowed on like water. In the blink of an eye, four days had passed, and the ship had entered the domain of the Southwest Administrative Province. In two days or so, they should be able to reach the harbor they were aiming for.
“Big brother Linley is training?” Jenne said quietly.
Rebecca and Leena both shook her heads, indicating that they didn’t know.
Right now, it was late at night, but Linley continued to stand on the deck of the ship, his eyes closed. If someone thought Linley was asleep, though, they would have been wrong. Because every so often, a flash of violet light would pass by Linley’s body.
The difference was, this time, Linley wasn’t aiming for speed.
When he was training in the ‘Rippling Wind’ technique, Linley’s body was always surrounded by innumerable sword flashes. But right now, there was one just one violet flash at a time.
No one knew what Linley was training.
“Wielding something heavy as though it were light. Wielding something light as though it were heavy. It can be as fierce as the storm winds, or as gentle as the spring wind.” After having trained for so long, Linley finally was gaining some insight with regards to the second stage of the Profound Truths of the Wind.
Profound Truths of the Wind, stage one – Rippling Wind. This relied on pursuing speed to the highest levels.
In truth, once a technique’s speed reached a certain level, its attack power would also be extremely powerful. This was the reason why Linley could break through McKenzie’s defense in an instant.
But the second stage of the Profound Truths of the Wind which Linley was developing was a very unique type of attack.
When he struck out with his sword, sometimes the sword would flash like lightning, while other times it would be as heavy as a mountain. In truth, this sword attack was very fast, but it gave the impression of constantly rippling and fluctuating between being fast and being slow.
That was the intention of this technique.
“Profound Truths of the Wind, stage two – Tempos of the Wind.”
A smile was on Linley’s face. He slashed through the air with Bloodviolet, and when it did, he gave off two distinctly different impressions; one was that this attack was as fierce and explosive as the winds of a hurricane, while the other was that it was a gentle and calm as the spring wind which blew through the willows.
One technique with two opposing rhythms.
“These two totally opposite tempos, when merged together, can give birth to a blade made of air.” Linley continued to pursue his goal of using his sword to create the ‘Dimensional Edge’ type of attack.
This ‘Tempos of the Wind’ was a single-target attack.
Although its power was far inferior to the ‘Dimensional Edge’ spell, which was so terrifyingly powerful that it could cut through the walls of reality itself, the power of the ‘Tempo of the Wind’ had already exceeded that of the ‘Rippling Wind’ technique.
This was especially true in one-on-one combat.
“This second stage of the Profound Truths of the Wind, the Tempos of the Wind technique, should be capable of posing a threat to peak-stage Saint-level experts.” When Linley had sparred with McKenzie, he had gained a better understanding of what peak-stage Saint-level experts were like. “However, this ‘Tempos of the Wind’ technique is most likely one of the more basic mysteries of the Laws of the Wind that I have gained some insight onto.
Linley had to admit that the Tempos of the Wind was an extremely powerful technique.
But the ‘Tempos of the Wind’ could only be considered the most basic, rudimentary level of the ‘Dimensional Edge’ spell. It was still a material, physical attack, which the opponent could use battle-qi or armor to defend against.
But the resonating vibrations produced by the ‘Profound Truths of the Earth’ was clearly a higher level of attack. Those vibrations didn’t need to break the opponent’s armor; it could simply bypass it and attack the internals directly.
“To an ordinary Saint-level expert, using Bloodviolet should be enough.” Linley chuckled. “Unless, of course, I encounter some particularly powerful peak-stage Saint-level experts.”
Peak-stage Saint-level experts had varying levels of power as well.
For example, Stehle and the Holy Emperor were both peak-stage Saint-level experts, but Stehle was much weaker than the Holy Emperor. After all, the Holy Emperor trained in Oracular Magic.
Or for example, the Monolithic Sword Saint, Haydson, reputed to be the most powerful Saint-level in existence. To date, not a single expert had been able to overcome Haydson.
Of course, there were people who had never competed against Haydson, such as the Holy Emperor, or the Dark Patriarch. They didn’t dare compete against him, because their exalted statuses meant they simply couldn’t afford to lose. Unless they were totally certain of victory, they wouldn’t compete.
The fifth day on the ship, at around noon, just as Linley and the others were eating lunch and chatting casually, suddenly….
“Boss, come quick!” Bebe’s urgent voice rang out in Linley’s mind.
Without hesitating slightly, Linley immediately began to run towards Haeru’s private room. “You guys, keep eating.” He instructed as he entered Haeru’s room.
Closing the door, Linley stared in astonishment.
“Rumble.” It seemed as though beneath the Blackcloud Panther’s skin, there were small mice running around, as his muscles and flesh constantly twitched. A black light surrounded his entire body. His eyes closed, the Blackcloud Panther constantly moaned in pain.
At the same time, the patterns on the Blackcloud Panther’s body were beginning to change as well. Sometimes his four limbs would turn snow white, while later they would turn totally black. Sometimes, his entire body would turn snow white….
The most astonishing thing was that the Blackcloud Panther’s head was covered with two circulating gusts of blue and black energy.
“Boss, Haeru’s been like this for a while. I don’t know what to do either.” Bebe said with concern.
Linley looked at Haeru.
“Haeru.” Linley said to him mentally.
“Ma…master. I’m fine!” Haeru’s agonized voice rang out in Linley’s mind. Linley forced himself to suppress his anxiety, just watching and waiting.
Linley’s attention was focused on Haeru’s head. The most important part of a magical beast was their head; their magicite cores were there, after all.
In the air above and around the Blackcloud Panther’s head, those two streams of blue and black energy continued to spin about at high speed. Sometimes, the black energy would expand, but then a moment later, the amount of black energy would decrease, and the blue energy would increase in amount.
This repeated over and over!
And then, those two gusts of energy suddenly emitted a terrifying amount of force. Even Linley was shocked. If these two gusts of energy were to explode, most likely the entire boat would be transformed into rubble.
“Rumble.” Linley’s body immediately became covered with a layer of black scales. Without hesitating in the slightest, Linley immediately transformed into his Dragonform.
If he wasn’t in his Dragonblood Warrior form, if these two gusts of energy were to explode, Linley wouldn’t be able to take it. Linley’s remorseless, dark golden eyes stared at the Blackcloud Panther, his gaze as sharp as daggers.
Suddenly, those two gusts of blue and black energy returned to their earlier state of calmness as they directly entered the Blackcloud Panther’s skull. And then, the Blackcloud Panther’s body grew calm as well, and the patterns on his body stopped changing.
Linley let out his held breath.
Right now, the Blackcloud Panther’s body was covered with beads of blood. That transformation just now had been a transformation in both physical and spiritual terms.
The Blackcloud Panther opened his eyes, staring with grateful joy at Linley.
“You succeeded?” A hint of a smile was on Linley’s lips as he immediately returned to his human form. Only, his upper body clothes were ruined once again.
“Yes, Master.” These growling, cold words in the human tongue came forth from the Blackcloud Panther’s lips.
A faint gust of blue light appeared on the Blackcloud Panther’s body, gently wiping off all of the beads of blood, restoring him once more to his normal, glossy black color.
“Not bad.” Bebe floated over to the Blackcloud Panther, chortling. “It’s a good thing that you didn’t waste that Saint-level magicite core. Otherwise…”
Haeru looked away.
He could guess that if he had failed, Bebe would have given him a thorough beating.
“Enough. Let’s all head out.” Linley said after changing into another set of clothes.
Because of how his Dragonform transformation ruined his clothes, Linley had stored over a hundred set of clothes in his interspatial ring. But of course, to the current Linley, the amount of money it cost to buy clothes was a miniscule amount.
On the sixth morning they spent on the boat, the boat finally reached the harbor they were headed towards.
“We finally arrived.” Rebecca, Leena, and Jenne, the three ladies, all stared excitedly with bright eyes. But just at this moment, from the rear deck, the sound of loud, explosive, excited laughter could be heard.
Linley, Zassler, and the others both turned to stare at the rear deck, where Barker and his brothers had been training this entire time.
“Barker, the five of you, hurry on over. We’re about to reach the shore.” Rebecca called out loudly.
“Coming, coming.” Barker and his brothers walked over, laughing loudly. All of their eyes were on Linley, and there was a look of irrepressible joy on their faces.
Seeing that look on the faces of Barker and his brothers, Linley began to wonder. “These five brothers….can it be…can it be that yet another has broken through?”
Right now, of the five brothers, the oldest brother Barker and the second brother Ankh had reached the Saint-level in power. The others, in their human forms, were still only at the peak of the eighth rank.
“Lord.” Barker’s face was filled with excitement. “Gates has broken through as well!”
“Gates has broken through?”
Although he had predicted it, Linley still felt a surge of joy and excitement. He couldn’t help but to turn and look at Gates. The usually loud and boisterous Gates was currently just scratching his head and beaming happily.
When they had left Basil and boarded the ship, Linley’s forces consisted of four Saint-level combatants; Linley, Bebe, Barker, and Ankh. But upon landing, Linley’s forces now consisted of six Saint-level experts.
Not a single Empire would dare be discourteous to such a terrifying force.
Taking a look behind at the Blackcloud Panther Haeru, then at the beaming Gates, Linley shouted with heroic gusto, “Haha, everyone, disembark! Let’s go! We are heading to the imperial capital!”
“Let’s go!” The five brothers also roared happily.