Book 10, Baruch – Chapter 19, Kingdom
Linley clearly could sense how, when he held Alice in his arms when they were young, he had felt happy. But now, when he held Delia in his arms, Linley felt, in the deepest part of his heart, a sort of contentment, a spiritual fulfillment!
This…was true happiness!
The ice covering Linley’s heart had totally melted.
Delia’s face was covered with smiles. She had never been so happy before.
“Linley. I’m so happy.” Delia gently whispered into Linley’s arms.
“Me too.” Linley gently stroked Delia’s fragrant hair and touched her sleek shoulders.
Delia obediently rested herself against Linley’s chest. She murmured, “Linley, I feel as though I’m in a dream…tell me, is this real?” That tough woman who could make even an Emperor feel nervous was now as obedient as a child.
“It’s real, it’s real.” Linley could feel the warmth from Delia’s body, and a warm, protective feeling arose in his heart.
Delia suddenly raised her head and looked at Linley haltingly. “Linley, if one day, Alice comes to find you, what would you do?” Delia was truly afraid, afraid that Linley would be taken away by someone else.
Linley’s hand paused, but then he continued to stroke Delia’s hair. He said comfortingly, “The affection between the two of us ended long ago. I feel neither love nor hatred to her. After all, she can choose who she likes…” Linley stroked Delia’s face and chuckled, “Delia, don’t overthink things. I’ll never leave you. If I abandon you…then I would truly be an utter fool.”
“Delia, am I an utter fool?” Linley looked at Delia.
Delia laughed, laughed very happily.
“You are a genius. You are the greatest genius in the Yulan continent.” Delia harrumped ‘coldly’.
Seeing Delia’s full, bewitching lips, Linley suddenly had an urge…without hesitating at all, Linley lowered his head and planted a kiss on Delia’s lips. Delia seemed to have been struck by lightning, and her body quivered. But then, she sank into the kiss….
This was the second kiss Linley and Delia had shared.
The first was that night at Wushan township.
After that, they were a long time apart.
Delia didn’t say anything, just staying in Linley’s embrace. A hint of shyness was still on her face. To Linley, Delia was so utterly mesmerizing right now.
“Ah, hell, I can’t watch any more, I can’t watch any more, I can’t watch any more!!!!” Suddenly, Bebe burst out from underneath the lake water.
Linley and Delia both were startled.
Bebe, in mid-air, laughed openly and honestly. “Uh, sorry, Boss! Sorry, Boss’ Wife! You two can continue.”
“Boss’ Wife?” Linley and Delia couldn’t help but begin to laugh.
“So you were peeking the entire time, Bebe. Tell me, how should I punish you?” Linley guessed by now that Bebe was peeking the entire time, and actually, Bebe had utilized the Shadowshape technique and been hiding within the shadows of the lake.
Linley hadn’t been searching for Bebe with his spiritual energy, so naturally he hadn't noticed.
“Punish me?” Bebe pondered for a moment. “Oh. Punish me with a lady mouse, one as powerful as me. I’m very lonely right now.” Bebe put on a very pitiable look.
Linley and Delia couldn’t help but both begin to laugh.
“Unfortunately, I am an extremely, unnaturally gifted mouse that might appear once in a thousand years.” Bebe sighed, then tittered. “Boss, Boss’ Wife…when are you getting married? I’m getting impatient for you.”
Linley looked at Delia. It was indeed time to discuss this issue.
The governor’s manor. Blackdirt City.
When Barker and the others saw Linley and Delia holding hands and walk in together in such an intimate manner, all of them were stunned. Zassler was the first to recover and intentionally said in a loud voice, “Lord Linley, what’s going on between you and Ms. Delia?”
Because of Linley’s status, when they were in front of other people, Zassler addressed Linley as ‘Lord’ Linley.
“Delia and I are getting married.” Linley smiled.
This news had the effect of a forbidden-level magical spell, instantly causing everyone present to explode with sound.
“Wow! Getting married?” Gates was the first to shout.
“Whoaaah! Ms. Delia, you and Lord Linley are getting married? Wonderful!” Rebecca jumped up in excitement as well. The entire hall instantly became a pandemonium of excitement. There was only a single person whose smile was rather forced. Jenne. In recent days, Jenne had immersed herself in managing the affairs of the Duchy.
She hadn’t expected to suddenly receive this sort of news.
But of course…Jenne had expected that this day would come, long ago.
There was nothing which Linley kept from Delia, and she knew of the history between Jenne and Linley. Smiling, Delia walked over to Jenne, then took Jenne’s hands in her own in an extremely warm manner. “Jenne, when Linley and I are getting married, you come be my bridesmaid, alright?”
Looking at the smile on Delia’s face, Jenne nodded.
Delia immediately pulled Jenne into a friendly manner off to one side and began chatting with her.
Linley walked towards Barker, Zassler, and the others. “Delia and I have already come to a decision. We will directly host a wedding ceremony. The day of the wedding will be three months later, on July 2nd.” Linley laughed as he looked at Barker. “Barker, I think…in the next three months, it would be good if we can take over the nearby Duchies and found a Kingdom before three months are up. Can you do this?”
Linley wanted his wedding with Delia to be an exciting affair.
But three months, in Linley’s opinion, seemed to be rather short.
“Three months? No need.” Barker was extremely confident. “One month is enough.”
“A month?” Linley was puzzled. “It would be hard to just organize and drill the troops in a month, and we’d have to also reorganize the conquered Duchies. That’s all rather troublesome. How can you take them over in a month?”
Gates laughed loudly. “Lord, there’s something you aren’t aware of. Please take a look.” Gates walked to a military map that had been hung up on a wall. “Lord, take a good look at the current disposition of forces in the Anarchic Lands. These twenty-plus Duchies all belong to the Radiant Church, while these all belong to the Cult of Shadows. But these…these are unaligned.”
Linley immediately understood.
This power distribution was quite strange.
The Radiant Church and the Cult of Shadows both controlled Duchies in the center of the Anarchic Lands as well as in the south. They occupied more than half of the Anarchic Lands. Only the northernmost areas next to the Forest of Darkness were unaligned.
The Anarchic Lands were rectangular in shape. If you were to divide it into four equal quarters, then the northernmost portion was the portion closest to the Forest of Darkness.
Neither the Radiant Church nor the Cult of Shadows wanted that area!
“Lord, our Baruch Duchy is located near the Forest of Darkness.” Barker explained.
“Oh. In the past, I never paid attention to this.” Linley stared carefully at the military map. “The Cult of Shadows and the Radiant Church have taken over half of the Anarchic Lands. But why is it that they don’t want the northernmost area which is located close to the Forest of Darkness?”
The Baruch Duchy, after all, had been set up close to the north.
“Lord Linley.” Zassler walked over, laughing. “This is why we say that we can easily unify the area in a short time.”
“Oh?” Linley looked at Zassler with a questioningly glance. “Is it because it belongs to neither side, which makes it easier to unify?”
Zassler explained, laughing, “That’s not what I mean. I mean, aside from our own Duchy, most likely more than half of those seven other Duchies near the Forest of Darkness would be willing to directly surrender to us.”
“More than half would surrender to us?” Linley didn’t understand. “Can it be that they feel pressured by our power?”
Zassler explained, “Lord Linley. Have you forgotten that every few decades or every decade, there will be a massive wave of magical beasts from the Forest of Darkness? Each wave of magical beasts first attacks the border Duchies closest to the Forest of Darkness, and thus the battles rage on the most in these Duchies as well.”
Linley instantly understood.
“Are you saying that these Duchies…”
“Right. These Duchies are the poorest Duchies in the Anarchic Lands and the most pitiable ones as well.” Zassler sighed. “The Radiant Church and the Cult of Shadows are both uninterested in unifying it, because…resisting the magical monster waves costs too much gold, far more than these Duchies can generate.”
Linley now fully understood.
This was a barren wasteland!
Unifying this region meant that one would have to struggle against the countless magical beasts in the Forest of Darkness. Linley could totally imagine how brutal those battles would be…each time, most likely over a million people would die, or even more.
“Linley, of the seven Duchies here, aside from a few who don’t want to surrender, the rest all deeply desire to have a strong base of support. And you, Lord…are a Saint and would make an excellent, powerful support.” Zassler laughed. “Not just them. Even the commoners wish for you to lead and unify them. That way, they would be safer.”
Barker laughed. “And Lord, even now, there have been at least three Duchies who sent people to come and negotiate the terms of their surrender. Only, because their territories are not immediately adjacent to ours, we need to first take over the Duchies east of us.”
Linley nodded. “Since that’s the case, then do it as quickly as possible.”
Gates slapped his chest and boasted, “Lord, a month from now, a full quarter of the Anarchic Lands will be under your control. Of course…this is the poorest quarter in the Anarchic Lands, but at the same time, it is the most militant and ferocious quarter.”
Linley nodded. “Zassler, make the arrangements. Have my wedding invitation letters be sent to these people. I’ll send the list of names to you in a while.”
“Yes, lord Linley.” Zassler acknowledged, and then laughed. “Then are you planning to openly announce the news of your marriage?”
Linley looked towards the side at Delia and Jenne who were happily chatting. Linley had a desire; no matter what, he would definitely have to make Delia happy.
“Publicize it! I want the day of the founding of the Baruch Kingdom to be the day of my grand wedding!” Linley said heroically.
Clearly, this meant that a month from now, they would unify their quarter of the Anarchic Lands under their banner, while three months from now…the Baruch Kingdom would be founded and the wedding would also be held. From a territorial standpoint, controlling a quarter of the Anarchic Lands meant controlling quite a large swathe of territory.
The size of it was significantly larger than the former Kingdom of Fenlai.
In population alone, there was roughly a hundred million citizens.
A lonely island in the oceans. The most core area of the Radiant Church – the Sacred Isle. It received news from the Anarchic Lands.
On the ninth floor of the Radiant Temple. Heidens was reading this letter.
“When Linley and his magical beast combined forces, they were able to force Osenno to retreat?” Staring at this letter, Heidens felt as though he had been stricken heavily. Osenno’s power was unquestionable. Especially his ‘Doppelganger Technique’, which let him divide into four. It was incredibly terrifying.
Even Haydson probably would have been badly injured and then killed by Osenno.
After all, it was simply too hard to block the ‘Doppelganger technique’.
“Osenno speaks the truth.” Heidens’ heart tightened. “If this continues, then…”
The Radiant Church didn’t fear Linley.
But Linley wasn’t alone. He had that mysterious, godlike magical beast, Bebe. He also had five Undying Warriors…and his little brother.”
“In the future, when Linley reaches the Saint level in his human form and the five brothers also reach the Saint level in human form, and when Linley’s little brother reaches the Saint level in his human form…that means they have seven peak-stage Supreme Warriors. If you add in that magical beast rodent which is no inferior to Supreme Warriors…that means they will have eight!”
Every single peak-stage Supreme Warrior was capable of being described as the most powerful of Saints.
Seven Supreme Warriors and the magical beast Bebe, if they were to attack the Sacred Isle in masse…Heidens could totally imagine the scene. The Radiant Church would be in a battle for its very life, and in the end, it would probably perish.
“Unacceptable. Linley must die.”
Heidens turned to look at Cardinal Guillermo. He ordered, “Guillermo, go invite Commander Lehman, quickly!”
“Commander Lehman?” Guillermo was shocked.
In the Radiant Church, the most powerful person was the Holy Emperor, Heidens. The most frighteningly mysterious person was Osenno. The most admirable and most respected person was the spiritual leader of the Ascetics, Lord Fallen Leaf. But the person who caused the most dread…was the legendary Commander of the Zealots: Lehman!
The Zealots all possessed a unique power.
“Why are you hesitating? Quick, go!” Heidens rebuked.
Heidens didn’t dare to hesitate any longer. He had to send a man whose power was no lower than that of Osenno’s; Commander Lehman. If the two joined forces…then it would be surprising, indeed, if they were still unable to overcome Linley!
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