Book 8, The Ten Thousand Kilometer Journey – Chapter 59, The Brothers Meet
Several days had passed since Blumer received the title of Marquis.
“Milord.” The guards at the gate of the Count’s manor saluted respectfully.
Wharton seemed to have not noticed the guards at all. Not glancing at the guards in the slightest, he headed directly into his manor. The two guards looked at each other.
“The Lord Count has been really out of it the past few days. Just now, he was lost in his own world again.”
“Right. In the past, he would always smile at us and even greet us. From the looks of it, that Blumer’s request in the palace to be allowed to marry the princess had a major impact on the Lord Count.”
The news of Blumer requesting the princess’ hand in marriage had already spread throughout the capital.
Many people in the imperial capital knew about the affairs of Wharton, Seventh Princess Nina, and Blumer. In the main streets and the little alleyways, in the hotels and the restaurants, this topic could often be heard discussed.
“Wharton, what’s wrong?” A voice rang out.
Wharton turned to see who spoke to him. It was Hillman’s son, Nader. Shaking his head, Wharton let out a sigh. Nader understood. “The Seventh Princess didn’t show up?”
“Yeah.” Wharton nodded.
Wharton and the Seventh Princess often went on dates together, and the timing of these dates had become quite regular. But ever since Blumer had requested to marry Nina at the Martial Palace, Wharton had only met Nina a single time, the day after that event. The next three days, he hadn’t met Nina.
He wasn’t even able to see her. Naturally, Wharton felt very miserable.
Nader felt very aggrieved on Wharton’s behalf as well. Snorting, he said, “Blumer must be messed up in the head. He actually directly asked that the Seventh Princess be given to him in marriage. What the hell is wrong with him.”
“It’s pointless to talk about it right now.” Wharton shook his head.
Just at this moment…
“Lord Count, Lord Count.” A clear voice rang out from outside. Turning his head, Wharton saw that the speaker was the personal hand-servant of the Imperial Seventh Princess, Lucy [Lu’si].
“Let her in.” Wharton immediately said.
The guards let Lucy run in. Panting, Lucy charged straight towards Wharton. “Wharton, the Princess has been ordered to remain in the palace by his Imperial Majesty and is not to leave the palace. Even I had to come up with some special ideas in order to leave. This is the letter that the Princess asked me to give you. Here, take it. I don’t have any time, I have to go back now. If I go back late, it will be disastrous.”
Lucy handed the letter to Wharton. Wharton stood there, stunned. Before he had a chance to even speak, Lucy ran away.
“What is his Imperial Majesty thinking?” Nader frowned, feeling rather angry.
Wharton immediately opened the envelope and withdrew the letter from it. Seeing the contents of the letter, Wharton felt a gush of warmth enter his heart, warming it.
Azure battle-qi exploded from Wharton’s hands, reducing the letter to ash.
“Both a personal disciple of the War God, and the younger brother of Olivier. It seems his Imperial Majesty is favoring Blumer.” Wharton saw things clearly.
If his Imperial Majesty didn’t restrict Nina from coming out, Nina would go find Wharton, not Blumer.
This order clearly was meant to help Blumer.
Letting out a cold snort, Wharton felt helpless. Even Dragonformed, he would only be at the peak of the ninth rank. How could he cause any trouble or make any waves with that bit of power?
Many days later, outside the imperial capital.
One carriage, several horses, and a pure, pitch-black panther. Atop the panther was a young man dressed in a simple robe.
“Linley, look.” Zassler, mounted on his horse, pointed at the distant, tall mountain. That mountain had multiple peaks. “That is the world-renowned War God Mountain. The War God’s College is at the top of it.”
“The War God’s College?” Linley’s eyes lit up.
The legendary and indisputably most powerful force within the Empire. The College founded by the War God who stood at the peak of the entire Yulan continent. Staring at the War God Mountain from afar, Linley couldn’t help but sigh in admiration.
The War God O’Brien was simply too dazzling a figure. He had not only established the mighty O’Brien Empire, he had also fought the High Priest to a stalemate over the Yulan river. That battle had made him famous, guaranteeing that he would share the same exalted status as the High Priest.
After five thousand years, no one knew how powerful the War God, who had previously been on the same level as the High Priest, was now. But the only deity that was worshipped within the O’Brien Empire was the War God. From this, one could see how venerated the War God was.
Linley’s heart was filled with a heroic urge. “There will come the day when I, too, will stand at the peak of the Yulan continent!”
Linley turned his head, no longer staring at War God Mountain. No matter how beautiful War God Mountain was, it belonged to the War God.
“The imperial capital of Channe.” Staring to the east, he could already see that enormous city, reputedly the largest in the entire continent. Channe was an enormous city. Only the imperial capital of the Yulan Empire could match it.
Channe’s architecture was simple and unadorned.
“The imperial capital of the most militarily powerful Empire in the continent. The place where experts reside. Channe.” A hint of a smile was on Linley’s lips. Underneath the dazzling sun, Linley and his team headed into Channe.
No major figures paid any special attention to this group of travelers.
But they didn’t know that these people would very soon cause earth-shaking disturbances within the O’Brien Empire.
“Haha, this really does live up to its reputation as the imperial capital of the O’Brien Empire. These streets are so wide.” Barker laughed loudly, and Linley laughed as well.
Linley’s team was walking in the center of one of the major thoroughfares of the imperial capital.
Barker and his brothers had already dismounted, as they put their weapons on their backs; those astonishing long-handled greataxes. On the way over, they had stored their long-handled greataxes within Linley’s interspatial ring. After all, the greataxes were simply too heavy; the horses couldn’t carry them.
“What muscular men.”
Many people in the imperial capital parted in front of this team. Barker and his brothers were simply too physically awe-inspiring. All of them were around 2.2 meters tall, had massive bear-like waists, and were so muscular they seemed inhuman. What’s more, on their backs they carried those enormous long-handled greataxes, which gleamed with a cold metal light.
Even if those long-handled greataxes were made solely from steel, they would weigh at least a thousand pounds. But from the coloration of those greataxes, clearly they were not ordinary weapons. Would someone who was weak dare wield such heavy weapons?
And that sleek, glossy black panther, who didn’t have any hint of discoloration whatsoever?
Nobody in the imperial capital had ever seen such a panther. This was because after the Blackcloud Panther had reached the Saint-level, it had the ability to easily change the colors of its fur.
“Boulder Street.” Linley knew where Wharton was staying, and everyone present hastened towards the East Channe’s Boulder Street.
“I wager that Lord Blumer will definitely be able to marry Princess Nina.”
Linley suddenly came to a halt, turning his head to stare at a nearby restaurant. Linley was frowning. “Nina? That Nina which Wharton likes? Wasn’t it someone called Caylan who was competing with Wharton? What does Blumer have to do with this?”
Linley knew who Blumer was.
When Wharton had taken part in the competition to become an honorary disciple, in the end, Blumer had been victorious.
“Nonsense. I’m willing to bet that Lord Wharton will be the one to marry Princess Nina. Princess Nina and Lord Wharton have been together for a long time now.”
“Hard to say. Look at Lord Blumer’s current status; he’s the War God’s personal disciple.”
“Lord?” Barker said in a quiet voice.
Linley stood there silently for a while.
Blumer was the younger brother of Olivier. He had actually become the personal disciple of the War God? And it seemed that he had asked the Emperor for Nina’s hand in marriage.
Barker and the others looked at Linley.
“Let’s go.” Linley said.
Linley’s group arrived at Boulder Street. Every single manor lining Boulder Street belonged to a noble clan, and thus Boulder Street was not very crowded.
Walking in the empty Boulder Street, Linley carefully inspected the signs on every single manor.
“Up ahead.” Linley’s eyes lit up.
The two guards who were engaged in idle conversation suddenly noticed Linley and the others walking over. They immediately became alert, especially after seeing the enormous bodies of Barker and his brothers.
“These guys are definitely as tall and as muscular as the Lord Count.” The two guards were somewhat shocked.
“Who are you?” One of the guards summoned all his courage, calling out bravely.
Gates was the first to reply loudly, “Is this Count Wharton’s residence?”
“Yes.” The guard nodded.
Hearing these words, Linley felt his heart tremble in excitement as it sped up. How many years had it been? Wharton had left when he was six years old. In a few days, exactly seventeen years would have gone by.
Smiling, Linley said, “Go deliver the message that his big brother, Linley, has arrived.” Hearing these words, those two guards were very surprised. Count Wharton’s older brother? They had never heard of such a person.
But these two guards had good judgment. They could immediately tell how formidable this group was. Without daring to say much else, one guard bowed. “Please wait here a moment. I’ll go make the report.”
Linley took a deep breath, letting himself calm down.
“Linley, this is your little brother’s residence?” Zassler walked over, laughing. “Looks like your little brother has done quite well for himself in the imperial capital.”
Linley couldn’t help but feel extremely proud as well.
Housekeeper Hiri and Hillman were currently chatting over some wine, but suddenly, the guard ran in at high speed. “Lord Hillman, a group of people have just arrived. Their leader claims he is Wharton’s older brother, and that his name is Linley.”
“Smash!” The winecup in Housekeeper Hiri’s hands fell to the floor, smashing into pieces.
Housekeeper Hiri and Hillman simultaneously rose to their feet. They stared at each other, wide-eyed and filled with shock and joy.
“Go, go, fast! Go inform the Lord Count!” Hiri immediately instructed.
And then, Hiri and Hillman both charged towards the outside of the manor at high speed. Seeing how Housekeeper Hiri had totally lost his usual bearing, the guard realized what a momentous affair this was, and he immediately ran to the training fields.
Soon, Hiri and Hillman arrived at the front courtyard. Arriving before the main gate, they actually slowed down as they looked forward carefully.
They saw five terrifyingly muscular men. Those long-handled greataxes on their backs alone made the two of them tremble. By the side of those five men, there was a skinny, skeletal old man whose shadowy green eyes were filled with a terrifying aura.
Besides the old man were three beautiful girls, pleasing to behold.
And at the very front…
“Linley!” Hillman was the first to speak. Housekeeper Hiri was still carefully inspecting Linley. After a while, he suddenly recognized who Linley was. He cried out in surprise and joy, “Young master Linley.”
Linley, who was in the middle of a conversation with Zassler, turned his head.
Grandpa Hiri looked just as he had in Linley’s memories, with that wine-reddened nose of his. And Uncle Hillman was there as well. Looking at them, Linley found that he was totally unable to suppress the excitement in his heart.
“Grandpa Hiri, Uncle Hillman.” Linley rushed into the courtyard, his eyes beginning to turn moist.
Housekeeper Hiri walked to Linley’s side, eyes red. “You grew up. You grew up. Young master Linley, you are taller than you were.” It had been seventeen full years since Housekeeper Hiri had seen Linley.
When he had left with Wharton, Linley had only been ten years old.
“Grandpa Hiri, you look exactly the same.” The joy in Linley’s heart couldn’t be expressed with mere words.
Looking at Linley, Hillman said in an extremely gratified voice, “Young master Linley, you’ve grown up. But you still look very similar to how you looked ten years ago.”
Ten years ago, Linley was already 1.7 meters tall. His appearance hadn’t changed much since then.
Suddenly, frantic footsteps could be heard.
Turning his head, Linley saw a tall, strong figure appear in the doorway, as though appearing from a dream. This person looked very similar to Linley himself. Linley had the feeling that this person was most likely his younger brother, Wharton.
Only, Wharton had left when he was just six years old. He had changed tremendously.
But Wharton only needed a moment before recognizing Linley. Linley still looked very much like he did in the past. Wharton’s mouth hung open. His tears were already beginning to flow down his face. “Big bro…”
Linley slowly walked towards Wharton, his gaze totally locked on him.
“Big bro…” Wharton staggered forward two steps as well.
“Little Wharton. Is it really you?” Linley stared at Wharton. That chubby-faced kid of the past had turned into a 2.2 meter tall youngster.
“Big bro, it’s me. It’s me.” At this moment, Wharton had totally forgotten about the issue with Nina. His heart was filled with boundless excitement. He was totally incapable of suppressing this excitement.
Linley reached out with trembling hands, resting them against Wharton’s shoulders. He carefully looked at Wharton. His face blossomed into smiles, even as tears were shining in his eyes. In a quivering voice, Linley said, “Little Wharton, you’ve grown up.”
That chubby face kid of his memories, who had always called out ‘big brother’, ‘big brother’ at him in a child-like voice, had already grown up.
“Big bro!” Wharton tightly embraced Linley in a massive hug. Having seen Wharton, Linley felt more excited than he had in a long time. Finally, he was no longer able to prevent his own tears from coming out, and they cascaded down his face.