Book 10, Baruch – Chapter 17, Homecoming
“Lord Praetor?” The golden-haired middle-aged man called out softly. Ever since Osenno had been defeated and sent fleeing by Linley and Bebe, Osenno had become even grimmer and colder. His subordinates didn’t even dare to get close to him.
Osenno raised his head, staring at him with those cold eyes.
The middle-aged man squeezed out a smile. “Lord Praetor, how should we deal with Linley?”
“Linley?” Osenno let out a cold sneer.
The middle-aged man’s heart quailed. He could sense the temperature in the room drop. Osenno said coldly, “Immediately send someone to deliver the news to the Sacred Isle and inform the Holy Emperor. If Linley is not eradicated…then in the future, if the Radiant Church is eliminated, it would most likely have been done by Linley!”
Osenno was truly frightened by Linley’s rate of improvement.
Last year, in August, when Linley dueled with Haydson, Linley’s strength was just on par with Haydson. But now, in the following April, just eight months later, in eight short months…Linley’s power had increased by an astonishing amount.
In the past, that violet sword was incapable of harming Haydson. But now, it harmed him. Osenno!
“He…he’s not yet thirty!” Osenno’s heart was filled with worry.
“Yes, Lord Praetor. I will immediately send someone conveying your words to the Holy Emperor.” The middle-aged man hurriedly said.
Osenno sighed in his heart. “If…if in the past, the people we had killed and sacrificed to the Radiant Sovereign didn’t include Linley’s mother, then perhaps…perhaps Linley would have become the central pillar for the Radiant Church, capable of helping us overthrow the Cult of Shadows.”
But it was too late.
Linley and the Radiant Church were now openly opposed.
The Anarchic Lands. Currently, there were three primary factions. One was the Radiant Church. One was the Cult of Shadows. And the final one was Linley’s. Because of the battle at the prefectural city of Sherry Duchy, the Radiant Church was now quite silent and kept its head low.
The Cult of Shadows wouldn’t interfere. They wanted to see Linley and the Radiant Church continue to fight against each other. Naturally, they too, would just keep their head low and watch. As long as Linley didn’t antagonize them, they definitely wouldn’t antagonize Linley.
In this sort of situation.
Linley’s side was the most vigorous and expanded the most, and was now preparing the festivities for the founding of the Baruch Duchy. Currently, the Baruch Duchy had three prefectural cities, nineteen small cities, and led over twenty million citizens. This sort of large faction was actually about the size of half of a regular Kingdom.
This was an extremely large Duchy.
And Linley? His legend was once more sung about in songs by the countless masses…his list of myths now included destroying six Four-Winged Angels and defeating the Praetor of the Ecclesiastical Court of the Radiant Church. Linley’s fame continued to grow, causing many warriors and magi who worshipped Linley to head to the Baruch Duchy in a wave.
They wanted to fight for Linley!
The imperial capital of the Yulan Empire.
Master Longhaus’ residence. Delia was in the courtyard as always, soaking up the rays of the sun and enjoying the fresh air while studying Master Longhaus’ notes on magic.
“Miss Delia, the Dawson Conglomerate’s representative is here.” A guard ran over and reported to her.
Delia’s eyes instantly lit up.
“I, Big Yellow, am willing to bet that it is a letter from Linley.” The Worldbear next to Delia chortled, while Delia glanced at him sideways. She said, “Quick, let him come in.”
“Yes.” The guard said respectfully.
A short while later, a beaming, middle-aged man entered the courtyard. Seeing Delia, he immediately withdrew a letter from his robes. “Miss Delia, here is your letter. It comes from the Anarchic Lands.” This wasn’t his first time delivering a letter to Delia.
As soon as Delia saw this person, she knew that the letter came from Linley.
“Miss Delia, I bid you farewell.” The middle-aged man was extremely polite.
Delia laughed in excitement. After the man left, she immediately opened the letter and began to read. The nearby Worldbear craned his big head over to sneak a peek as well. Delia couldn’t help but turn and glance at him. “Big Yellow, I’m getting angry.”
The Worldbear immediately let out a couple of deep, awkward chuckles.
Delia laughed as well, then continued to read. But as she did, Delia’s body began to tremble.
“Wonderful. Wonderful.” Delia was so excited that she immediately rose to her feet. She could feel her heart racing and her entire body was beginning to be covered in sweat.
“Delia, why are you so happy?” The Worldbear asked puzzledly. Even the nearby Wildthunder Stormhawk stared towards Delia in confusion. Just at this moment, a middle-aged man appeared in the courtyard. It was the wind-style Grand Magus Saint, Master Longhaus.
“Teacher.” Delia said respectfully.
Master Longhaus laughed as he looked at Delia. “Hatton tells me that you received a letter from Linley. It seems there is some joyous occasion?”
Delia stared at the Worldbear, who began to laugh delightedly.
“Teacher.” Delia was still quite excited. “It is Linley’s letter. He tells me…that the Baruch Duchy is going to be founded this year, April 16th. That’s today. Linley is finally founding his Duchy. This is…this is wonderful.”
Master Longhaus knew everything there was to know about Delia’s affairs.
“As happy as that? Is it because you’re about to be able to see Linley?” Master Longhaus teased.
Delia’s face had turned red. Was it because she was embarassed, or was it because she was too excited?
“Alright, Teacher. I can’t talk right now. I have to go home first and tell my parents about this. According to what they previously said, now that Linley has erected his Duchy, they shouldn’t be against me and Linley being together anymore.” Delia said.
Master Longhaus nodded.
Delia repeatedly nodded. She immediately rode the Wildthunder Stormhawk ‘Parry’ and left her teacher’s residence. Watching Delia fly away, Master Longhaus shook his head and sighed. “Delia’s father won’t be so easily swayed, I’m afraid.”
Within the Leon clan’s residence.
Dylla Leon and his wife were both quite puzzled. Why had Delia pulled them here to this quiet room to discuss something?
“Father, mother, there’s something I need to tell you.” Delia took a deep breath.
Delia’s mother started to laugh. “What sort of joyous event is it, that has you all worked up like this?”
Delia began to laugh as well. “Right. Father, mother, didn’t you say that if Linley and I were together, it would lower his Imperial Majesty’s faith in our clan? But now, Linley has erected his own Duchy in the Anarchic Lands.”
“Erected a Duchy?” Dylla Leon and his wife looked at each other.
“Delia, my dearest daughter, I hope you aren’t lying to your father. After all, I’ve never heard of this.” Dylla Leon said.
Delia secretly laughed.
Linley’s Baruch Duchy was being founded today. It would take at least ten days or half a month for the news to spread several thousand kilometers away to the Yulan Empire. It would be a strange thing if her father did know about it.
“It is true. I just have some advance information. Linley’s Duchy is named the Baruch Duchy.” Delia said with certainty.
Dylla Leon and his wife exchanged glances.
“It’s true. Father, mother, can it be that you don’t believe me?” Delia frowned.
Dylla Leon chuckled while shaking his head. “I believe you. But why must you marry Linley? Although Linley has founded a Duchy…can being the wife of a Grand Duke compare to being the Empress of an Empire?”
Delia’s smile froze.
“Father, what are you trying to say?” Delia’s face was more serious than it had ever been.
Dylla Leon stretched his hand out, placing it on Delia’s shoulder. Sighing, he said, “Delia, it is true that Linley is a Saint and is powerful. But Emperor Rande is the Emperor of our Yulan Empire. If you marry him, that would be wonderful as well. And…it would be very beneficial for our entire clan.”
Delia looked at her father, her eyes filled with disbelief.
“Father. Are you still that father who loved me?” Delia’s voice had turned hoarse.
Dylla Leon was startled, and his wife was taken aback as well.
“Father. I love Linley, love him very much. But this isn’t because he is a Saint. When I met him at the Ernst Institute, I fell in love with him. Was he a Saint back then? Why do you have this sort of idea in your mind about the type of person your daughter is?”
“Also. Ever since returning from the Institute, in the past eight or nine years, why is it that I refused to accept the advances of any young man in the imperial capital? Why? Can it be that you don’t understand?”
Delia truly didn’t know what her parents were thinking.
“Ever since I came back from the O’Brien Empire and told you about Linley, what I wanted was your blessings. But…instead you tried to stop me.” Delia’s eyes were glimmering with tears. “I admit, your words are very logical. Back then, if I was to be with Linley, it would indeed lower Emperor Rande’s trust in our family.”
“Father. Mother. I love you. I love my family. That’s why I didn’t want to put you in a difficult position. Although I wanted to go meet Linley a long time ago, for your sake, I’ve been enduring. I’ve stayed in the imperial capital, because I cherish my family and cherish you.”
“But you try to convince me to marry this person and that person. What is it? Can it be that Linley is inferior to those nobles? Why are you always like this?” In the past seven or eight months, Delia had felt extremely depressed.
“I finally waited for this moment. Linley’s erected his own Duchy. I today came to you filled with excitement. I hoped…I hoped I would receive my parents’ blessings. But…” As Delia spoke, her tears began to come out. “You disappoint me. You truly disappoint me.”
Dylla Leon and his wife were silent as they faced their daughter.
“Father. Mother. I love you both very much, and cherish you both very much.” Delia took a deep breath. “If you still love and cherish me, I hope that on the day of my wedding with Linley, I’ll receive your blessings. But if you no longer care about this daughter of yours…then forget it.”
After finishing her words, Delia turned and left.
Dylla Leon and his wife were both somewhat stunned.
Only after their daughter had gone did they come to their senses.
“Delia!” They called out, but Delia was already seated on the back of the Wildthunder Stormhawk and had flown away.
Delia was mounted on the Wildthunder Stormhawk and looking down at the rapidly shrinking imperial city. She had bid her teacher farewell, and then left the imperial capital. The wind blew against Delia’s golden hair, and also blew her tears dry.
Right now, Delia’s aching heart only longed to see Linley. Only in Linley’s embrace would she find comfort.
The Wildthunder Stormhawk let out a few hawk cries as well, as though comforting Delia.
Slowly…the Wildthunder Stormhawk and Delia disappeared into the northern horizon.
Blackdirt City. At the base of Mt. Blackraven.
“Linley is currently training at Mt. Blackraven.” Zassler pointed towards a mountain while laughing. Seeing the beautiful scenery of Mt. Blackraven, Delia managed to clamp down on her excitement. “Mr. Zassler, is Linley always there?”
Zassler laughed. “Almost his entire time is spent there training. Bebe is there as well.”
As they spoke, they headed up the mountain.
Following that creek, Zassler led Delia to the side of a lake. Delia instantly saw Linley. Right now Linley was dressed in a long, sky blue robe. His long hair was unbound, and he was wielding a violet longsword on the surface of the lake, testing out his sword attacks.
Wherever the violet sword passed, space itself seemed to ripple, making Linley seem indistinct and hazy.
Clearly, Linley was currently immersed in training.
“Ah! Delia. You came. BOSS!!!!!!” Bebe, who had been playing around in the water, immediately saw Delia, and he immediately let out an excited cry.
Linley’s movements came to a halt, and he turned around.
Seeing Delia, Linley seemed to have suffered a blow to his spirit. His entire body froze…but then, he flew over at high speed. As for Delia? A smile had made its way onto her face, and her eyes had instantly turned moist.
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