Book 9, His Fame Shakes the World - Chapter 2, A Breakthrough in Spiritual Energy
Six Saint-level experts was simply too shocking. Only after a long time did Wharton and the others finally calm down from their manic excitement. But even after calming down, their hearts were still filled with boundless joy.
They had been worrying this entire time about what to do about Wharton and Nina.
Blumer's status as the personal disciple of the War God and the younger brother of Olivier was giving them a huge amount of pressure. But now, they felt complete confidence in their ability to contend.
Wharton's face was radiant with smiles. His older brother had brought this many powerful experts. Wharton could almost visualize the scene of his marriage with Nina.
"Big bro, thanks. Cheers." Wharton raised his wine cup.
Laughing, Linley raised his own as well.
Wharton had worshipped Linley, ever since he was young. A magus coming out of Wushan Township who was accepted to the Ernst Institute was already something incredible. But now, a scant seventeen years later, Linley actually was in possession of two Saint-level magical beasts and was followed by three Saint-level experts.
"Big bro, in a few more days, it'll be the Yulan festival again. You are almost twenty seven years old by now. When are you planning to get married?" Wharton leaned over and whispered into Linley's ear while snickering.
"You punk." Linley laughed. "Let's not discuss this issue for now."
"Oh." Wharton nodded obediently.
Although Wharton was now an Imperial Count and was a huge man who stood 2.2 meters high, in front of Linley, he still acted the same as he did when they were young.
"Actually, Leena and the other girls are all quite good." Wharton whispered secretly.
Linley gently smacked Wharton upside the head.
"I'll stop, I'll stop. Let's drink, let's drink." Wharton hurriedly said.
Housekeeper Hiri and Hillman, seeing Linley and Wharton chat like this, felt boundless joy in their hearts. Exchanging glances, they began laughing together.
Linley and his little brother were extremely happy in those first few days of Linley's arrival. However, Linley had instructed Wharton that although it was fine to reveal the news of himself and Haeru being at the Saint-level, for now the news that Bebe and three of the Barker brothers had reached the Saint-level as well must be hidden.
Barker, his brothers, and Bebe were an important hidden force for Linley.
In addition, in the entire O'Brien Empire, there was virtually none who knew that Barker and his brothers were Undying Warriors. Thus, maintaining this secret was easy.
Just the presence of two Saint-levels, Linley and the Saint-level magical beast Haeru, was already enough to cause dread in the hearts of others.
Year 10008 of the Yulan calendar. December 30th. This was the day before the Yulan festival. It was snowing on this day, and the entire O'Brien Empire was covered with snow, as the entire world seemed to turn white.
Boulder Street. Count Wharton's training grounds.
Although the snow was flying about, Linley still sat in the meditative position in the middle of the grass. As for Wharton, such a powerful man as himself wouldn't care about snow.
"Whoosh." Wharton's bare upper body was brimming with power and heat. He put down the warblade 'Slaughterer' to one side, preparing to take a rest. But just as he turned to look at the nearby Linley...
Wharton found, to his astonishment, that although the snow was flying everywhere, whenever any snow approached Linley, it would 'avoid' him, passing by him in a circular line. It was as though there was an invisible tornado around Linley. Not a single snowflake had fallen onto Linley's clothes.
"What's this?" Wharton was a bit shocked.
Linley, who had been meditating, suddenly opened his eyes. "Wharton, what are you looking at?" Although Linley had been in deep meditation, when someone paid attention to him, Linley would notice.
"Big bro, that snow...how? Could this be the 'impose' level mentioned in our clan's records?" Wharton said in astonishment.
Smiling, Linley said, "Wharton, once you reach the level of 'impose', it is true that you can prevent the rain or the snow from landing on your body. However, this requires that you whole-heartedly concentrate on utilizing the 'imposing force' of the surrounding area. It is impossible to do this at the 'impose' level while one is meditating and not focusing on it."
Just then, Linley hadn't been intentionally preventing the snowflakes from reaching him. However, all it took was a thought, and the snowflakes couldn't come near him.
"What lies beyond the 'impose' level, then?" Wharton truly admired his big brother from the bottom of his heart.
Wharton had trained hard for so many years, and had received the finest instruction from the O'Brien Academy, but to date, Wharton had only reached the 'wielding something heavy as though it were light' level as described in his clan's records.
Actually, there was no need for Wharton to be too modest. The reason why Linley had been able to make such astonishing improvements, aside from his natural talent, was the fact that he was greatly assisted by his exceptional elemental essence affinity.
To ordinary people, elemental essence affinity only represented that one would be able to gather mageforce faster. But to experts, it represented that one would more easily be able to attune with nature, and understand the Laws of the world.
"This part of the 'Profound Truths of the Wind' which I have gained insight into." Linley laughed calmly. "This is just a simple application of it."
"Profound Truths of the Wind?" Wharton's eyes lit up.
"Continue with your training." Linley said, then closed his eyes again, returning to his meditation.
Actually, nowadays Linley didn't spend too much time on his stone sculpting, unless he was seized by a sudden desire. When that desire came, Linley would more easily enter the correct state of mind, and the benefits to him would be better.
These days, the effects of normal stone sculpting were about the same as Linley simply meditating.
The reason was at this point, given Linley's understanding of the Laws of the Wind and the Laws of the Earth, when Linley meditated, he could easily become one with nature, giving him essentially the same benefits as he had when sculpting under normal conditions.
This sort of meditation on the various Laws was also helping to improve Linley's spiritual energy at a constant rate of growth.
Linley, who had been quietly meditating this entire time, suddenly revealed a hint of a smile on his previously expressionless face. And then, Linley's lips moved slightly. Shortly afterwards...
Linley, who had been seated, suddenly moved at a terrifyingly fast speed. At the same instant, nine different Linley's suddenly seemed to appear at different locations of the training ground.
After the nine blurred images disappeared, Linley once again appeared seated in the meditative position in the training grounds.
Only now did Linley open his eyes. "The ninth-ranked wind-style 'Windshadow' spell, famed as the most powerful speed-enhancing spell, lives up to its name. It can actually allow me, in my human form, to reach the speed of a Saint-level."
Magic of the ninth rank!
Roughly a year and a half after Linley had entered the Mountain Range of Magical Beasts, he had reached the eighth rank as a magus. But from the eighth rank to the ninth rank as a magus, the amount of spiritual energy required was astonishing. Even the most brilliant of geniuses would require at least ten years.
But due to his constant meditating, Linley's spiritual energy had grown at a rapid rate.
After spending just seven years, he had finally broken through and reached the level of an Arch Magus of the ninth rank.
"Tomorrow is the Yulan festival. The day before the Yulan festival, I reached the level of an Arch Magus of the ninth rank, eh? Sheesh..." Linley felt extremely happy.
Magi possessed extremely powerful attacks. If you gave a magus sufficient time, a magus could definitely use his spells to defeat a warrior of the same level. The wide area spells of magi were particularly astonishing.
"Tomorrow, I will be twenty seven years old. A twenty seven year old dual-element Arch Magus of the ninth rank. This should be a first in history." A look of confidence was on Linley's face.
A twenty seven year old dual-element Arch Magus of the ninth rank. This was a terrifying record which had never before appeared within the history of the Yulan continent. The previous record holder had reached the ninth rank and become an Arch Magus only after he had turned thirty.
"Wind-style magic includes the Savage Tornado spell, which can easily deal with an army of a hundred thousand soldiers. As for earth-style magic, the 'Castle of Earth' can be considered a large-scale defensive spell..." Linley had to admit that the more powerful a magus was, the more terrifyingly useful the battle applications of their magic became.
Magi also possessed very powerful one-on-one spells as well.
"The ninth-ranked wind-style spell, 'Void Extermination'. Reputedly, as long as one has enough mageforce, this is a single-target spell that can even kill Saint-level experts. It truly is monstrously powerful." Linley couldn't help but sigh in praise.
Wind-style magic was very valiant and mighty. 'Void Extermination' was the most powerful attacking spell out of all spells of the ninth rank in every discipline. The 'Dimensional Edge' spell, in turn, was the most powerful attacking spell out of all forbidden-level spells.
The earth-style in turn was legendary for its defensiveness, whether in self-protection or in large-scale protection.
When an earth-style magus of the ninth rank utilized the 'Supergravity Field' spell, he could cause the hearts and veins of other experts to explode and cause them to instantly die. After all, although some people had powerful muscles, their hearts and their blood vessels weren't necessarily that tough.
"However, to me, the most useful spell is still the Windshadow spell. The most powerful speed-supporting spell!"
In his human form, Linley had less than half the speed he possessed in his Saint-level Dragonform. But by relying on the Windshadow technique, his speed in human form could rival his speed in Dragonform. How terrifying!
The day of the Yulan festival. The sun was bright and high in the sky, casting its glow on the snow-covered trees and rooftops, which gleamed dazzlingly. The entire imperial capital seemed to be much brighter than normal.
On this day, the imperial capital was arranging large-scale celebrations as well.
Within a carriage.
Watching the festivities, Wharton and Linley were sharing a carriage while chatting about Nina, and what to do about her.
"Wharton, in two days, bring me to visit the Emperor." Linley said directly.
"Visit his Imperial Majesty?" Wharton stared at Linley in astonishment.
Linley said with a calm laugh, "I have no grudges against the O'Brien Empire. If the Emperor is willing to allow Nina to marry you, I wouldn't mind settling down here in the O'Brien Empire."
Wharton looked at his older brother. In his heart, he understood what Linley was saying.
"But if that Emperor doesn't know what's good for him and insists on marrying the Seventh Princess to Blumer, then we'll have to resort to our backup plan. We'll abduct Nina and then the two of you can elope." Linley looked at Wharton. "Wharton, are you ready to accept this result?"
Wharton was silent for a moment. "Of course I am. I don't feel too great a sense of loyalty to the O'Brien Empire. But Nina..."
"The Seventh Princess would refuse?" Linley asked.
This was a major issue.
Wharton shook his head. "I know her. When I was competing against Caylan, Nina once said that if the Emperor really tried to force her, she would elope with me. But Nina is afraid that we wouldn't be able to make it."
"You don't need to worry about that, unless the War God personally intervenes." Linley said calmly.
Linley knew that given the War God's status, he wouldn't get involved in these minor issues. Only if the Empire truly suffered a severe crisis would the War God show himself.
Normally speaking, the War God wouldn't even get involved if an Emperor was assassinated.
The War God had countless descendants. If one Emperor died, another would succeed him. As long as nothing threatening the entire foundation of the Empire occurred, the deity-like War God would not interfere.
Three days later, a carriage came to the gates of the imperial palace. A tall young man dressed in a gentleman's suit, alongside a young man dressed in a long black robe, stepped out of the carriage.
"Count Wharton, who is this?" The palace guards asked. Given their keen eyes, they could clearly tell that the person next to Count Wharton was no ordinary individual.
With a calm laugh, Wharton said, "This is my older brother. I wish to take him to see his Imperial Majesty."
The palace guards didn't make any difficulties for them, immediately allowing them in. Actually, it generally wasn't too difficult for one to be granted entry into the palace. Anyone with some status could bring people inside.
This was because the palace itself was enormous. If one wanted to enter one of the important areas of the palace, however, the guards would be much more restrictive.
"Stop!" Two guards shouted. "Count Wharton, who is this person by your side?"
"Please send a message. This is my older brother, Linley. I am bringing my older brother to meet with his Imperial Majesty." Wharton said directly.
"Please wait here first." One of the guards shouted, before turning and running inside the courtyard.
There were very many experts within this courtyard. Without the express permission of the Emperor, the various nobles did not dare to rashly barge in. A while later, that guard came running back. "His Imperial Majesty has permitted you to enter."
"There really are quite a few experts here." As Linley walked into the courtyard, he could easily sense the locations of one expert after another from the flows of the nearby wind elemental essence.
After walking for a while and taking some roundabout paths, they arrived at a classical, refined study room.
"Your Imperial Majesty." Wharton called out in a loud voice.
"Haha, Wharton, I hear your big brother Linley has arrived? Come, quick!" Emperor Johann's clear and bright voice rang out from within the study.
Smiling, Linley stepped into the study.
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