Within the formal reception area for the Huadeli Hotel, two seventh-ranked Knights of the Radiant Temple were standing on each side of the main hallway, while Linley and the other three entered the formal reception area from another entrance. Their footsteps on the smooth marble floor, so polished that it could serve as a mirror, produced clear, ringing sounds.
When Linley, Yale, and the others stepped into the reception area, the seven people already inside the reception area turned to look at them.
“A Cardinal, three Vicars, and three Knights of the Radiant Temple.” Linley immediately could tell each person’s status, and could also immediately sense that all seven of these people were extremely powerful. Based on what Linley already knew….
Within the Radiant Church, the position of the Cardinals was second only to the Holy Emperor himself. In order to become a Cardinal, one needed to not only have sufficient fame, but also have the power of an Arch Magus of the ninth rank.
“An Arch Magus of the ninth rank?” Linley couldn’t help but carefully scrutinize this Cardinal in front of him.
This Cardinal appeared to be a middle-aged man, with a head full of curly silver hair. His nose was high and sharp, while a hint of a smile played about his lips. He seemed quite amiable.
“Hello, Linley. And you, young Yale.” The Cardinal smiled as he rose to his feet. “Let me make some brief introductions. These three Vicars are my assistants, while these three Knights of the Radiant Temple belong to the ‘Glory’ division. They are, respectively, Commander Marcus [Ma’ku’si] and his two Deputy Commanders. As for myself…you can just go ahead and call me Guillermo [Ji’er’mo].”
Linley had previously heard that the Holy Union had a total of eight ace regiments of knights. One of them was the ‘Glory’ division. Each of these Eight Ace Regiments was extremely powerful and possessed astounding offensive ability.
“Lord Guillermo, Lord Marcus. All the other lords present. Might I ask why you have come?” Linley said with humility, while at the same time, Linley began to check out Marcus.
Marcus was an extremely powerful-looking bald man. Sitting there, the impression he gave was that of a mountain at rest, immovable by any outside force. In this seven-man delegation from the Radiant Church, Marcus and Guillermo held the highest ranks. Marcus, in his capacity as the Commander of one of the Eight Ace Regiments, most likely was not any weaker than Guillermo, and his personal status was roughly on the same level as well.
Marcus’ lips cracked open, and his deep, weighty voice rang out. “I heard Guillermo say that our Holy Union has produced an incredible genius. A seventeen year old dual-element magus of the seventh rank. I was very much curious what this genius looked like. Today, now that I’ve had a chance to see for myself…haha…I like what I see.”
Based on Marcus’ experience, at a glance, he naturally could tell that Linley was a warrior as well.
“Kid, what rank are you as a warrior?” Marcus asked directly.
Guillermo just sat there ‘obediently’, seemingly not at all displeased by Marcus’ interruption.
Linley modestly said, “This year, I just reached the sixth rank as a warrior.”
“Oh.” Marcus’ eyes lit up. “A seventeen year old warrior of the sixth rank. That’s already extremely impressive. I, Marcus, rarely am in awe of anyone, but I must admit that you definitely are a genius. Not only have you become an incredibly talented magus, you are an excellent warrior as well.”
Linley smiled very humbly.
The two Knights seated to each side of Marcus also had looks of surprise on their faces.
Guillermo chuckled. “Enough, Marcus. Yes, it is quite impressive that Linley is a warrior of the sixth rank at age seventeen, but let’s be honest, we can find one or two of those in virtually every single warrior academy. His true worth still lies in his talent as a magus.”
The training difficulty for a warrior was somewhat lower than that of a magus to begin with.
For those who trained hard and worked out since they were young, and (if they came from good families) trained in battle-qi since youth, becoming a warrior of the sixth rank at age seventeen wasn’t too difficult.
“Linley, as a member of our Holy Union who possesses such astounding abilities, you make me, a Cardinal of the Radiant Temple, feel extremely proud. I want to ask you, have you given any consideration to joining the Holy Union? I think, based on your natural ability, if you join us, I can guarantee that you will immediately receive the rank of Vicar of the Radiant Temple. In the future, becoming a Cardinal should not be a problem.” Guillermo put his offer directly on the table.
The number two super-genius in all of history. There should be a better than 90% chance that Linley would end up becoming a Saint-level Grand Magus. The 10% chance only existed because it was possible that due to suffering some sort of mental setback, Linley would decide to stop improving.
A potential Saint-level combatant. Even if Linley didn’t train very hard, becoming an Arch Magus of the ninth rank should be guaranteed. A talent like this had to be absorbed.
“Lord Guillermo, to me, this news is a little too sudden.” A modest, shy smile had appeared on Linley’s face. “I’m only seventeen years old this year. I haven’t given a lot of thought to these affairs. A high rank and great power also symbolize heavy responsibilities which I’m currently afraid to take on. Could I…wait a few years?”
Linley was declining.
The number two genius in the entire history of the Yulan continent, a person who most likely would be a Saint-level combatant in the future. Even if they couldn’t make use of him, they wouldn’t allow enemies to make use of him either.
“Linley, I know that you are young, but you are a member of the Holy Union, and you are a genius. As a genius, you should get used to and accept the fact that your dazzling brilliance will bring you burdens, rather than try and decline them.” Guillermo reproved him kindly.
“In addition, you can become a Vicar under my direct authority. I can guarantee that you will have the freedom to do whatever you please. As long as you do not act against the interests of the Radiant Temple, I definitely will not interfere with your freedom of action. Is this acceptable to you?”
“In addition, you can also join any single kingdom belonging to the Holy Union, and we can even guarantee that you will receive a Dukedom.” Guillermo, it must be said, was acting in a very sincere manner.
Linley was silent for a while.
Guillermo’s three assistant Vicars were beginning to frown, but Guillermo continued to smile, watching Linley with a gaze filled with hope.
This gaze alone made it very hard to refuse him.
Next to Linley, Yale, Reynolds, and George were all silent. At a point in time like this, even Yale didn’t dare to make a noise. This was a Cardinal of the Radiant Church!
In the pyramid-like hierarchy of the Holy Union, the Cardinals stood at the very apex. Their power exceeded that of any king, and even Yale’s father wasn’t comparable to them. How would he, a young master of a trading union, dare to butt in?
Linley was thinking nonstop, while Doehring Cowart had begun advising Linley as soon as they had entered this room.
The Four Great Empires and the two major alliances were constantly struggling for advantage in very fierce, cruel ways. ‘If I cannot have it, I cannot allow my enemies to have it either.’ This was a fairly common point of view.
“Lord Guillermo.” Linley finally spoke.
Guillermo’s eyes lit up. Smiling, he said to Linley, “You’ve decided?”
Linley nodded. “Lord Guillermo, I’ve grown up in the Kingdom of Fenlai since I was a child, so naturally, I am a member of the Holy Union. I can guarantee that as long as the Holy Union doesn’t turn its back on me, I definitely will not betray the Holy Union either. I definitely will not join any foreign power, no matter who they are.”
“What do you mean to say?” Guillermo looked questioningly at Linley.
Linley continued, “What I mean to say is, right now, I don’t want to make a decision in a hurry. Please allow me to discuss this matter with my father, and then I’ll tell you my choice. What I can guarantee is…I definitely will not join with the Four Great Empires, or the Dark Alliance.”
Smiling, Guillermo nodded slightly. “Right. Such an important decision must be discussed with your father. I’ll wait for your reply.”
As he spoke, Guillermo rose to his feet. The three Vicars by his side, as well as Marcus and his two Deputy Commanders, also stood up. “Since we’ve come to an agreement, then I won’t disturb you any further. The Radiant Temple’s sincerity is true and genuine, and so is our patience. I only hope that you, Linley, won’t end up making me wait ten or twenty years for your decision. Haha…” As he spoke, Guillermo began to laugh.
Linley and the other three stood up as well, watching Guillermo and the others leave.
Only after the delegation from the Radiant Temple had departed did Linley and his bros finally calm down.
“Whew. I was scared to death just now. I didn’t even dare to breathe out loud.” Reynolds let out a long sigh.
George nodded as well. “Although that Cardinal behaved in a very friendly fashion towards us, I still felt that my heart couldn’t settle down.”
Yale began to laugh. “Naturally. After all, he is a Cardinal, one of the most powerful people in the entire Holy Union. Hey, Third Bro, what are you thinking? The Radiant Church isn’t easy to fend off. After all, we are in the territory of the Holy Union and are under their control.”
“No rush, no rush.” Linley laughed. “When you see the power of others, you also need to see your own strengths. Although I can’t compare to them, as long as I don’t throw in with those five other groups, the Radiant Church won’t move against me. After all, I did say I was going to discuss it with my father. As long as I don’t go meet with my father right away, then I can drag this out a while longer, right?”
As he spoke, he looked at Yale. “Yale, I want to ask a favor of you.”
“Speak.” Yale looked at Linley.
Linley said in a low voice, “This is somewhat humiliating to say. One of the ancestral heirlooms of the Baruch clan, the weapon of our very first clan leader, the warblade ‘Slaughterer’, should be in the hands of one of the larger noble clans of the Kingdom of Fenlai. I hope that you can help me investigate who is currently in possession of the warblade ‘Slaughterer’.”
“An ancestral heirloom? This absolutely must be found. Third Bro, do you want me to directly acquire it for you?” Yale immediately said.
Linley laughed. “Boss Yale, if you can help me locate it, that would be more than enough. What’s more, right now, money is not a problem for me.” By nature, Linley hated owing others.
Two days later. Early morning.
Part of Linley’s room was covered with a layer of earth-colored light. This earth-colored light did not cover a very large area, only perhaps a circle with circumference of two or three meters. Anyone who stepped into that area would sense a tremendous gravitational force.
Earth-style magic – Supergravity Field!
Having reached the seventh rank as a magus, the power of Linley’s Supergravity Field was now much stronger than before. The strength of the local gravity field within the circle was four times normal gravity. Under four times the normal gravity, even the blood vessels in one’s body would suffer severe damage, to say nothing of the rest of the body.
Linley wasn’t using any earth magic to counteract the force of this gravity field. Instead, he was using his body’s physical strength alone to resist that terrifying gravity. Right now, his entire body was upside down, and he was holding himself up with his fingers alone, constantly exercising his finger strength and wrist strength.
“Drip. Drip.” Beads of sweat were constantly rolling down from Linley’s temples, falling onto the ground.
The door to the room suddenly banged open, and Yale excitedly charged into the room. “Hey, Third Bro, I have news regarding the search for the ‘Slaughterer’ that you entrusted me with.” As he spoke, Yale accidentally entered the area of the Supergravity Field.
“Yale!” Slapping the floor with his palms, Linley immediately flipped himself upright and immediately pulled Yale out of the Supergravity Field.
“Huff…puff…” Yale was breathing heavily. Staring at Linley in surprise, he said, “Third Bro, you created a Supergravity Field within your bedroom? I got caught by it. That feeling just now was absolutely terrible. It felt like my heart was about to stop.”
Fortunately, the time he had spent within the field was miniscule, as otherwise, Yale’s body would indeed have suffered negative consequences.
“Right, Boss Yale, didn’t you just say something about the ‘Slaughterer’?” Linley’s attention was totally fixated on that mention of his ancestral heirloom. For his father’s entire life, his father’s greatest desire was the recovery of this ancestral heirloom which had been passed down from five thousand years ago.
Yale nodded slightly. “Oh. I just received word that your clan’s warblade, ‘Slaughterer’, is in the hands of a large clan within Fenlai City itself. That clan is called….uh…” Yale couldn’t help but frown, as he momentarily couldn’t recall the name of the clan.
“Hey, Third Bro, Boss Yale, that Director Maia came in person again.” Reynolds voice called out from beyond the doorway.