The Skyrite Mountains. At the borders of the great gorge.
“Boom!” “Boom!” “Boom!” “Boom!”
One massive vibration after another shook the earth. Many of the residents within the gorge could clearly sense these vibrations. They all felt puzzled, and quite a few headed to the place where the vibrations were emanating from. When they did, they saw…
That Linley was sending one punch after another into the ground.
Although his fist didn’t actually impact the ground, the pulsating power of his blows still spread into the ground, causing it to tremble.
“It’s Elder Linley!”
Those clansmen who had been somewhat annoyed, upon seeing that it was Linley training, didn’t dare to say anything.
“Still not right.” Linley shook his head, then unleashed yet another heavy punch.
Although the punches seemed to be coming out at an extremely slow speed, they gave off the sensation of carrying the force of a mountain. When Linley’s fist stopped at the end of each punch, vibrations passed through space.
But Linley just frowned, once more changing his style of attack.
When testing techniques, Linley wasn’t in Dragonform. After all, once he was in Dragonform, the power of each fist would be simply too terrifying. Linley was completely absorbed in his training, constantly testing. In his mind, one type of attack after another arose, and then was quickly discarded.
“Patriarch, Elder Linley is currently in his gorge, punching the ground repeatedly, as though he is testing out some sort of technique. Elder Linley has already been training like this for a month.” A black-robed figure said respectfully.
Patriarch Gislason couldn’t help but laugh. “Oh? Punching the ground? It seems he must be testing out a material attack. He’s been wasting his advantage of having such a powerful body. He should’ve started training a more powerful material attack long ago.”
Relying on one’s advantages was the intelligent choice.
Since Linley’s body was powerful, he naturally had to focus on it.
“I want to see what he’s developed.” Gislason immediately walked out of his residence.
In the past five centuries, Gislason had been worrying about the future of the Four Divine Beasts clan. He was also in a very bad mood. For him to go out and take a look was also a way by which he could relax.
Gislason flew at a very fast speed, soon arriving in the air above the gorge.
Gislason could clearly sense the ripples in air.
“It seems he’s doing quite well.” Gislason flew over at high speed, arriving at a place in the sky directly above Linley’s training location. Linley was currently completely absorbed in launching one attack after another, gaining insights and improving with each blow, and so he didn’t notice that anyone had arrived.
Linley’s right fist once more struck out…
His fist seemed like a giant millstone that was grinding slowly, and yet actually moved as fast as lightning. This punch actually created ripples in space that could be seen with the naked eye.
“Oho.” Gislason’s eyes lit up.
“Not right. Still not right…” Linley was shaking his head.
Each time he discarded a technique, he did so because he had gained a better understanding of it, and so he had made new breakthroughs. As he discovered flaws…he would once more seek an attack with greater power.
One technique discarded after another. One breakthrough after another…
A look of surprise slowly appeared on Gislason’s face.
“Strange. Why has the ground stopped trembling?” Everyone had gotten used to the ground trembling. When the ground stopped trembling, the clansmen who lived in the gorge were actually surprised, and quite a few hurried towards Linley’s training area.
“Can it be that Elder Linley has stopped training?”
The clansmen all hurried over, but as they did, they saw that Linley was still repeatedly punching towards the ground.
“All of you, leave.” A voice rumbled and echoed throughout the minds of the spectators. “Don’t disturb Elder Linley.”
These clansmen were all shocked. Only now did they discover that there was a person standing there in the air above. This person was their Patriarch, Gislason. But these ordinary clansmen had never before met their Patriarch.
“That person…seems to be an expert of some sort.”
The clansmen didn’t dare to disturb Linley, and so they all left.
Gislason turned to look at Linley, a hint of a smile being revealed on his face.
Linley struck out with his fist yet again, and at the edges of his punch, many spatial ripples appeared. The strange thing was, these spatial ripples all folded upon each other, rather than emanating outwards.
It was as though all of those spatial ripples were connected and building onto each other.
Linley had been training for more than three months. After three months of silence, Linley suddenly let out a growl, striking out with a massive punch. At the edges of this punch, a large number of spatial ripples appeared, and then they vanished.
“I finally succeeded!” A look of surprise and joy appeared on Linley’s face. With a ‘crackle’ sound, draconic scales immediately tore apart his clothes as they appeared from his body. Those savage spikes jutted out as well…
“Let’s see how my most powerful material attack does.” Linley wanted to give it a test and see how he could do with a full force attack.
“Eh?” Linley suddenly turned and stared behind him, only to see Gislason watching him while grinning. Linley was shocked, and he hurriedly said, “Clan leader!”
“Haha, go ahead and test your attack.” Gislason laughed. “Given the strength of your body in Dragonform…I am quite eager to see what the power will be like, myself.”
“Yes, Patriarch.” Linley couldn’t help but feel itchy in his heart as well, and he immediately prepared for a test blow.
Linley’s draconic scale covered right fist suddenly swung out, and in the instant that it did, with a sudden rumble, the sound of space itself exploding could be heard. Wherever his right fist swung past, space trembled violently.
The power of this punch was akin to a flood dragon leaving its lair!
As the punch struck out, a large number of spatial ripples appeared at the edges of his draconic scale covered fist, causing the space around his fist to form a rippling half-sphere that was like a bubble of ripples…
And then, the explosion!
A sound which caused the soul to tremble. The space surrounding the fist all blew apart, revealing a large black hole in space. Through this hole in space, one could clearly sense the vibrations from the region of chaotic space.
In an instant, the hole in space disappeared.
“Haha, good, good!!!” Gislason’s loud laughter rang out.
Linley was filled with joy as well. Although he had developed this attack in human form, that was just hypothetical. There was no way he could be sure what the power of the attack would be like when he was in Dragonform. But now it appeared…the power exceeded his expectations.
“Linley, what’s the name of this technique of yours?” Gislason laughed loudly.
Linley paused for a moment, then said, “This attack was formed from the fusing of the Profound Mysteries of Strength and the Throbbing Pulse of the World. Its name is ‘Firmament Splitter’!” This blow was capable of shattering space with a single punch. One could imagine how great its power was.
“Come, have a spar with me.” Gislason laughed loudly.
“Patriarch?” Linley couldn’t help but feel astonished.
“Hurry up!” Gislason couldn’t help but frown. “What, do you think you can actually beat me?” As he spoke, Gislason’s body became covered with azure draconic scales as well. The color of the scales was identical to Linley’s, but he didn’t have any sharp spikes on his body.
Linley began to laugh. “Patriarch, so you have this desire, then I will accompany you in a spar.” Linley was very confident right now as well.
“Linley, even just by comparing bodies, I’m more powerful than you. You have to use all your force.” Gislason laughed.
Linley laughed, and then immediately set up his ‘Blackstone Space’. Instantly, a blurry earthen yellow light sprang up, trapping Gislason within. Even the body of Patriarch Gislason couldn’t help but tremble, and he couldn’t help but let out a low curse, “This punk is really…”
But before he finished his words, Linley came flying at him.
“Patriarch!” Linley laughed loudly, his right fist flashing forward like thunder.
“Hmph!” A low snort. Gislason, his long azure hair fluttering, also sent his own right fist forward.
Two draconic scale covered ‘metal fists’, carrying countless tons of force, collided. Space itself was immediately torn open like a thin piece of paper. Gislason’s right fist couldn’t help but shake, and Gislason hurriedly move backwards, a hint of blood having actually appeared on his fist.
“Not bad, kid!” Gislason’s eyes were shining. “It seems as though it’s not enough for me to just use raw force against you.”
Linley, looking at the Patriarch who seemed to have gone berserk, was shocked inwardly. “The Patriarch’s body truly is tough. I used my most powerful blow, but the Patriarch only used raw strength.” But of course, the result of the Patriarch just using raw strength was that the draconic scales atop his fist had shattered.
From this exchange of fists, Linley was made clearly aware that Patriarch Gislason’s reputation of having the most powerful body in the Azure Dragon clan was indeed a solid one.
It only made sense. When he had his arm captured by Gislason that time, he hadn’t been able to resist at all.
“What technique is this?” Linley was somewhat astonished as he saw that a layer of frost had actually appeared on Gislason’s entire body, completely covering the Patriarch, including even his fist.
The ice-clad Gislason, under the glow of the sun, gleamed with beautiful light.
“Kid, I’ll just use half my strength.” Gislason laughed as he flew directly towards Linley. He was trapped in the ‘Blackstone Space’, but thanks to Gislason’s powerful body, his speed was still astonishing.
Linley didn’t retreat either, excitedly charging forward to meet him.
When drawing nearer to Gislason, Linley felt a freezing aura invade his body, so cold that Linley was astonished.
Neither of the two dodged. Their fists slammed against each other, and where their fists passed, space itself directly collapsed. Linley couldn’t help but fly backwards after the collision.
“Haha…” The Patriarch immediately chased after him.
“Swoosh!” Linley immediately retreated.
“Kid, don’t run.” The Patriarch shouted.
Within the ‘Blackstone Space’, although the Patriarch was still very fast, he was still slightly slower than the Dragonformed Linley. Linley, relying on his speed, was dodging by relying on his speed, occasionally unleashing a powerful punch or kick.
One enormous, world-shaking vibration after another. These vibrations attracted quite a few spectators from the gorge, and this battle between Linley and the Patriarch caused them to stare, slack-jawed. Every single exchange of blows caused space to collapse.
If these blows had landed on them, how many of them could withstand it?
Linley and Gislason finally came to a halt.
“Haha, Linley, your material attack is now at Blue’s level, at least.” Gislason was very satisfied.
But Linley discovered that just now, when he was exchanging blows with the Patriarch, even though the Patriarch was using only half of his might, he was still able to fight the Patriarch to a standstill. “Patriarch, your body is far more powerful than mine. How is it that your attack…?”
Linley didn’t understand. The Patriarch, in terms of profound mysteries, shouldn’t be weaker than him.
“This is a difference in the Laws.” Gislason said resignedly. “I primarily train in the ‘Elemental Laws of Water’. The defense of the Elemental Laws of Water isn’t bad, but it’s ability to unleash power isn’t that great.”
Linley nodded as well.
Of the Elemental Laws of Water, only the ‘Profound Mysteries of Ice’ allowed one to use one’s physical strength.
“In terms of physical strength, I’m no weaker than the Patriarch of the Black Tortoise clan. But if we were competing in power attacks, he vastly outstrips me. This is because he trains in the Laws of the Earth.” Gislason said.
The Laws of the Earth even had the specialized ‘Profound Mysteries of Strength’. Thus, it was only natural that those who trained in the Laws of the Earth were able to easily bring out the power of their bodies.
Every single Law had its own areas of specialization.
The four Edicts, as well, had their own differences.
The Elemental Laws of Water had superb defenses, with exceedingly strong defense against both soul attacks as well as material attacks. The Elemental Laws of Fire, by contrast, was different; it was weak in defense, but specialized in offense.
The Edicts of Fate, meanwhile, specialized in the soul, while having some deficiencies on the material side.
It was hard to be truly perfect.
“The power of your fists is already very great. It even poses a bit of a threat to me.” Gislason praised. “In the past, your fleeing abilities were excellent. But now, you will pose a great threat to your foes.”
Linley knew very well that when he clashed fists with the Patriarch, in truth, Linley’s own ‘Firmament Splitter’ had ablated much of the force of each of the Patriarch’s punches. Only an extremely small amount of power remained from the Patriarch’s punches.
Otherwise, each blow from the Patriarch would have been able to easily smash Linley’s fist.
In receiving each blow of Linley’s, the Patriarch had to rely on his profound mysteries to ablate the force. Otherwise…it would have been like their first exchange, with the results being shattered draconic scales and a hint of blood.
“Even someone like you, Patriarch, with such terrifyingly strong defense, was injured. How can ordinary Seven Star Fiends resist it?” Linley laughed.
In the past, Linley, thanks to his Blackstone Space, was very proficient in fleeing. His attacks, however, were far weaker than those which Seven Star Fiends normally possessed. However, the situation now was different. Even if that Elder Bulo once again encountered Linley, it would be very hard for him to win.
Deep within the Skyrite Mountains.
Linley, Delia, and Bebe were at the edges of a cliff. Above the edge of the cliff, there was a large metallic lifeform in the shape of a black phoenix.
“Delia, I haven’t accompanied you on a single trip since arriving in the clan. This time, I definitely will accompany you.” Linley held Delia’s hand. They had agreed that once he fused the profound mysteries, the two would go on a trip together.”
Delia couldn’t help but reveal a smile of true happiness. “Right. This is our first trip…we’ve been here at the clan for almost six centuries now, but I barely noticed anything. I wonder how Sasha and Taylor are doing.”
“Taylor?” Linley couldn’t help but think of his children.
However, Linley still felt that the decision he had made that year was wise. The Infernal Realm truly was too dangerous. Wharton and Taylor, back at the Yulan continent, would at least be able to enjoy peaceful lives.
“Elder Linley.” A soft voice rang out.
Linley turned to look. The person who had come was Elder Tewila [Te’wei’la] of the Azure Dragon clan. Elder Tewila was a very good-tempered person who had never before entered Bloodbath Gorge. Not only was he not strong enough, he also preferred hiding like a turtle.
Linley actually felt very positively towards Tewila. Tewila, at least, wasn’t as sinister and vicious as Emanuel and Forhan.
“Elder Tewila, you are the escort this time?” Linley laughed.
“Right.” Tewila laughed so hard, his eyes creased into slits.
“Then I’ll be troubling you to protect us this time, Elder Tewila. I’m going to Meer City on this trip as well.” Linley laughed.
A look of delight and joy immediately appeared on Tewila’s face. “Elder Linley, you are going as well? Haha, this is wonderful. With the two of us present, even if anything dangerous appears on this journey, we won’t have anything to fear.”
Linley laughed, then nodded.
“Oh, Elder Tewila, Elder Linley, you are here as well.” A familiar voice rang out. Linley turned to look. The person who had just arrived was Forhan. Forhan’s golden eyebrows raised up, and then he laughed. “This time, Elder Tewila is the escort, right?”
Tewila nodded. “Right. Elder Linley is going to Meer City this time as well.”
“Oh.” Forhan nodded. “Then, Elder Tewila, Elder Linley, have a safe journey. However, I imagine that with both of you present, there’s no way anything untoward will happen.”
“Elder Tewila, let’s go.” Linley couldn’t be bothered to pay attention to Forhan.
For some reason, Linley always felt as though there was something in Forhan’s gaze that made him feel uncomfortable.
Elder Tewila nodded in acknowledgment towards Forhan, and then flew alongside with Linley into the metallic lifeform, entering it. Quite a few people were hurriedly flying into the metallic lifeform.
As for Forhan, he just stood there at the cliff, looking upwards at the metallic lifeform, watching until it flew away.
“Hmph. This Linley remains so brash?” Forhan’s face sank, his heart filled with rage.
He had always viewed Linley with some disfavor. As he saw it, in their clan, only the second and third generation members of the clan were the noble figures of it. Even if Forhan’s mother didn’t want to use the ancestor’s Azure Dragon ring, he, Forhan, should be the one using it.
What was Linley?
Forhan’s son, Emanuel, had lost his most powerful divine clone, and would never be able to advance again. He wanted to act against Linley, but…the four clan leaders had ordered that Linley not be required to carry out any missions.
Forhan’s heart had been smoldering with rage this entire time without any place to let loose. The more time passed, the angrier he became!
“Going to Meer City, eh?” Forhan’s gaze was growing cold. “Hmph. Then I’ll let the forces of the eight great clans deal with you. When you die, you’ll be able to kill a few of their people as well. It won’t be a waste at all. Sadly…others will have to accompany you to the grave as well.”