Book 8, The Ten Thousand Kilometer Journey – Chapter 50, An Appointment
McKenzie’s view of Linley had totally changed.
“Haha…” After being silent for a moment, McKenzie laughed loudly. He descended from the skies, slowly walking towards Linley, his attitude noticeably more warm and friendly. “Linley, the legendary genius magus, supposedly the second greatest genius in history. But in my opinion, your talent as a warrior is even greater than as a magus. To be so young and yet already have the power of the Saint-level…the Dragonblood Warriors truly are Supreme Warriors.”
Linley had always been proud of his clan’s heritage. But whenever he thought back to how his clan had all but been destroyed, with only himself and his younger brother remaining, he couldn’t help but feel a thread of grief in his heart.
“Mr. McKenzie, is there anything else? If there isn’t, I need to go back now.” Linley said.
McKenzie hurriedly said, “My friend Linley, this is our first meeting. Why don’t we have a nice get-together? I’m very curious about you legendary Dragonblood Warriors as well. If there’s enough time, I truly do wish to have a sparring contest against you, Linley. After all, sparring against experts of the same level is one of the best ways a Saint-level combatant can improve.” As he finished speaking, McKenzie looked very earnestly at Linley.
McKenzie was the local hegemon of the Northwest Administrative Province. Being able to get on good terms with McKenzie was of benefit to him. And in addition, Keane belonged to the Northwest Administrative Province as well. This could be considered helping Keane out as well.
Considering for a moment, Linley nodded. “I’m still wounded. Even if I did go to your residence, I wouldn’t be able to immediately spar with you. How about this? I’ll go home first, but after a period of time, I’ll come back and pay a visit to you. It won’t be too long, a month or so at most.”
McKenzie happily nodded. “Wonderful. Then I will await your arrival within the Jacques clan’s castle.”
“I’ll definitely come.”
Linley smiled and nodded.
It had begun to snow, and snowflakes were flying everywhere. McKenzie and Linley, these two Saint-level combatants, smiled at each other, then flew off in different directions.
In the vast wilderness, only Linley and Bebe were left present.
“The winter’s snow.” Seeing the endless snowfall, Linley suddenly thought back to that huge blizzard that winter when he was young and in love with Alice.
The next year, also on a day of a blizzard, Linley and Alice had separated.
And then, within the Mountain Range of Magical Beasts, on another snowy day, Linley had come to understand the ‘impose’ level.
Now, on a fourth blizzard, tonight, Linley had broken through to the ninth rank as a warrior, with his true power now totally within the realm of the Saint-levels.
Linley felt extremely moved. But when he lowered his head and looked at himself, his smile disappeared. Astonished, he said, “I chatted with a Saint-level combatant for such a long time, looking like this?”
Because of his transformation and his battle against the Angels, Linley’s clothes and pants had been turned utterly ruined.
The way he currently looked, even beggars would probably feel sorry for him.
However, just now, McKenzie hadn’t paid any attention to his attire. In truth, when many Saint-level combatants engaged in training, they would sometimes train for months at a time. It was normal for their bodies to become incredibly filthy. Thus, they didn’t care too much about superficial appearances. What they cared about was what a person was like inside.
For example, although Linley’s clothes were in absolutely wretched shape, no one would dare look down upon him as he stood there.
This was a person’s aura and demeanor.
“Boss, you said you have reached the Saint-level? Transform and let me admire my Boss’s magnificence.” Bebe’s beady little eyes stared at Linley as he intentionally said those flattering words.
An excited feeling entered Linley’s heart.
That was not a bad idea at all.
“Fine.” Linley said with a laugh. Bebe immediately leapt off of Linley’s shoulders as once again, those black scales emerged from Linley’s skin. Sharp spikes erupted from his forehead, knees, and elbows, while his eyes once more transformed into that dark golden color.
He looked exactly the same as he had before.
But Linley could feel the difference.
“Whoosh.” Linley felt the unique energy of the exalted Dragonblood hiding in his veins begin to flow into his bones, his muscles, and even his armor, spikes, and draconic tail.
The originally pitch-black scales were actually beginning to shine with a hint of blue light.
“What a feeling of power.”
Linley could feel that his vision and his hearing had suddenly increased dozens of times in sensitivity. Nothing within several kilometers of him could escape his notice.
“Such powerful strength. Such powerful battle-qi.”
Linley balled his fist, and the air itself shuddered once. His mighty muscles now contained far greater power than before, and the amount of battle-qi in his body had grown vastly.
“Haha…” Linley began to laugh excitedly.
Late at night. Linley was flying across the desolate landscape. He, a fully transformed Dragonblood Warrior, looked like a monster as he floated through the air, occasionally letting out overjoyed bouts of wild laughter.
His laughter echoed in the heavens and in the earth.
“No wonder Barker was so excited when he reached the Saint-level. I didn’t expect that my power would increase this much after reaching this level.” Linley was extremely excited as well.
Dragonblood Warriors had many innate gifts. Once their power reached a certain level, they would naturally be able to fly. This was like the flight which flying magical beasts innately possessed; it was a natural ability which didn’t require any particular understanding or insights.
“In terms of mysteriousness and exaltedness, the bloodline of the Armored Razorback Wyrm is far inferior to the lineage of us Dragonblood Warriors.” Flying high in the air, Linley felt a sense of awe.
Originally, Linley had drank a large amount of dragon’s blood as well as eaten the draconic crystal of the Armored Razorback Wyrm. But despite that, the Dragonblood in Linley’s vein had been able to dissolve and absorb it all.
And now, upon entering the Saint-level, Linley could sense that the energy of the Dragonblood heritage in his veins was continuing to transform and strengthen various functions in his body.
“My speed has doubled, at least.” With but a thought, Linley suddenly transformed into a blur as he streaked across the sky.
“As for defenses…” Linley looked at his now perfect, undamaged scales, paying special attention to that dim layer of blue light. “If I were to take another blow from that Four-Winged Angel, I would at most suffer some light wound.”
Linley’s lips curved upwards.
Actually, most human Saint-level experts had very weak defense. Even experts of the peak-stage Saint-rank had far inferior defense compared to Saint-level magical beasts.
But the Four Supreme Warriors possessed talents and gifts that were even more freakishly powerful than that of magical beasts.
This was one of the reasons why, as soon as a Dragonblood Warrior reached the Saint-level in human form, they would immediately be at the peak-stage of the Saint-level in power after Dragonforming. They were invincible. Understanding and insight made no difference.
Even just by relying on raw force, they were an invincible force amongst Saint-levels.
This was their natural talent!
Much like how Haeru was jealous of how powerful Bebe had become, the Four Supreme Warriors were worthy of admiration and jealousy from any race in the entire Yulan continent.
“Boss.” Bebe leaped up into the air.
Linley stretched his arm out, catching Bebe in mid-air, and Bebe jumped onto Linley’s shoulders. Linley was now covered totally with dark scales, while on his shoulders there was a black Shadowmouse.
It really was quite a matching sight.
“Bebe, time for you to experience the flight speed of a true Saint-level expert.” Linley laughed loudly, then exerted himself to his utmost, transforming into a black blur as he streaked across the skies, disappearing into the horizon.
The snow continued to fall across the night-shrouded wilderness.
Only the corpses on the ground gave testament to the battle that had been fought here.
The straight-line flying speed of a Saint-level was extremely fast. In an hour, Linley was able to cross over a thousand kilometers. In a very short period of time, Linley saw Cloudpeaks Village up ahead.
Tonight, the snow-covered Cloudpeaks Village was very quiet.
Linley flew directly to the western side of the village, dropping down at high speed like a meteor as he landed into the middle of the courtyard.
“Who comes!” A low roar as several shadows flashed out.
Linley had been flying so fast that he had been creating sonic booms. Naturally, he attracted the attention of experts such as the Barker brothers. But once they saw that the person in front of them was the Dragonformed Linley, they all secretly sighed.
“Hrm, you entered without even opening the door?” The fifth brother, Gates, said in astonishment, then he stared at Linley. “Lord, could it be that…?”
Laughing, Linley glanced at Gates.
Gates was the most intelligent and mentally agile of the five brothers, and was the first one to grasp the concept of ‘wielding something heavy as though it were light.’
“Ah! Saint-level!” The others now realized as well, and the five brothers stared at Linley in astonishment.
“Big brother Ley returned?” Jenne’s voice rang out, as she ran out as well. But as she saw Linley’s transformed appearance, she was so scared that she immediately screamed, “Monster!”
Rebecca and Leena, who shared the room with her, quickly consoled her.
“Jenne, that’s big brother Linley. That’s his Dragonblood Warrior transformation.” Rebecca laughed.
Linley returned to his normal human form. Badly frightened just now, Jenne stared stupidly at the transformation, then looked at Rebecca. “Dragonblood Warrior? What’s a Dragonblood Warrior?”
“Haha, Dragonblood Warriors are one of the Four Supreme Warriors. We five brothers are also Supreme Warriors. We are the Undying Warriors!” Gates said arrogantly.
Jenne looked at the surrounding group of people.
When she had arrived here tonight with Haeru, she temporarily took up residence with Rebecca and Leena. But when Rebecca and Leena were introducing everyone to her, they had only gotten around to introducing Zassler.
Jenne hadn’t even finished getting over her amazement at hearing that Zassler was an Arch Magus necromancer before, suddenly, this ‘Dragonblood Warrior’ and these ‘Undying Warrior’ concepts popped up as well.
“This…you all are…” Jenne’s mind was in chaos.
“Jenne, go back and get some rest.” Linley laughed as he spoke.
Barker and his brothers were all stunned by Linley’s breakthrough. The second brother, Ankh [An’ke], laughed helplessly. “Lord, you broke through at such speed. Big brother Barker has reached the Saint-level as well, but still wasn’t your match. Now…the difference between us has increased even more.”
“If he wasn’t powerful, would he be our Lord, and lead us against the Radiant Church to seek vengeance?” Gates said arrogantly.
“All of you are close to having the power of the Saint-level.” Zassler’s face had a smile on it. “Fortunately, this old fogey has finally gained some certain insights. I trust that within ten years, I should be able to break through and reach the Saint-level.”
Zassler was over eight hundred years old. To him, ten years was a fairly short period of time.
“A Grand Magus necromancer? That is an incredibly terrifying idea.” Linley’s eyes shone. “By that time, you’ll be able to summon Saint-level undead, and lead an army of millions of undead!”
An Arch Magus necromancer of the ninth rank was already very frightening.
But a Grand Magus necromancer was as terrifying as an entire Empire, all by himself.
“Haha, everyone, keep growing stronger. F*ck, does the Radiant Church still dare send people over? If they send one, we’ll kill one. If they send ten, we’ll kill ten. Then we’ll let Zassler create undead slaves out of their corpses and use them to counter-attack.” As Gates spoke, he grew excited over his idea.
Everyone was very happy. Their strength increasing meant that they were now becoming more qualified to fight head on against the Radiant Church.
Linley was very happy as well.
Raising his head towards the sky, watching the snow drift about, Linley then turned his gaze to everyone present. “Alright, there’s a blizzard tonight. Everyone should go inside the main hall if we want to chat.”
“Right! Tonight, we won’t stop until we are all drunk.” Even the reliable and steady Barker was roaring loudly in his happiness.
The party went on for half the night. In truth, whether or not they would be able to fight against the Radiant Church depended entirely on their power. The reason Linley was their leader was because he was the most powerful amongst them.
Time passed. In the blink of an eye, three days had gone by.
Jenne had grown to fully understand everyone’s background, and she slowly came to accept it all. Only now did Jenne truly understand that to these people, the city governor of a prefectural city was nothing at all.
In fact, not just a prefectural city; even the mighty Jacques clan, the rulers of the Northwest Administrative Province, didn’t trouble Linley’s group. They only viewed the Jacques clan as equals, and that only because of the existence of McKenzie.
“Barker, his brothers, and big brother Linley are all so hard working.” Rebecca, Leena, and Jenne, these three beautiful ladies, were chatting amongst themselves while carrying baskets through the manor.
But just as they entered the courtyard, they suddenly saw….
The Shadowmouse, Bebe, floating in mid-air. Seeing Jenne and the others, he winked flirtatiously towards the three of them. Bebe opened his mouth, and out of it came crisp, clear human speech.
“Wow, three pretty girls. Hello, ladies!”
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