In the Yulan continent, only an Emperor of an Empire had the authority to give his siblings the title of ‘Prince’.
The status of a ‘Prince’ of an Empire was roughly equivalent to that of a ‘King’ in one of the kingdoms. At most, a King could confer the title of ‘Duke’ upon his siblings. That was the limit.
The ‘Grand Dukes’ ruling over the Duchies were in fact nothing more than Dukes as well.
Empire. Kingdom. Duchy. The ranks progressively went down at each level.
The younger brother of the King of Fenlai?
Linley knew very well that the Boleyn clan, the royal clan of the kingdom of Fenlai, was an extremely powerful clan. Both of the Boleyn brothers were extremely powerful warriors. King Clayde was known as the pride of Fenlai, precisely because he was also a warrior of the ninth rank.
As for Patterson, although he couldn’t match up to his older brother, he too was a warrior of the seventh rank. At the very least, he was considered a powerful person.
“Duke Patterson?” Linley’s heart was filled with a hint of a killing intent.
Linley continued to read. “Disguising myself as a servant, I snuck my way into Duke Patterson’s manor. After experiencing countless dangers and using a few special methods, I was able to kidnap the leader of that mysterious group, a warrior of the seventh rank. After I used some special interrogation methods, he finally confessed…that his actions were done at the direction of Duke Patterson. But according to what this man said, after they kidnapped your mother Lina, she was sent away under Duke Patterson’s orders via a different troop. Clearly, behind Duke Patterson as well, there was another figure controlling things.”
“Before I was able to finish the interrogation, the disappearance of the warrior of the seventh rank aroused the suspicions of Duke Patterson. Although I had made preparations, over the course of killing several experts and fleeing from Fenlai City, I was heavily wounded as well. I carefully snuck back home. Aside from your Uncle Hillman, I didn’t let anyone else know. I knew that my injury was too severe, and that I wouldn’t have too much time left. That’s why I ended up leaving this letter for you.”
“Linley, your father wasn’t a good father. I’ve always been too cold and severe with you. I don’t ask for your forgiveness; I only hope that you will be cool-headed. Now that you have the power of the seventh rank, most likely you will have the ability to do some investigating. But you must be careful, careful, careful. Neither I nor your mother Lina wish for you to die because of us.”
“Linley, I’ll be leaving now. As of now, you are the leader of our Baruch clan. I entrust the clan and everything in it to you.”
“At this moment, how dearly do I desire to see the warblade, ‘Slaughterer’, with my own eyes. But I know now that this was just a wild hope. Linley…work hard. The clan now depends on you and little Wharton. In your father’s life, the thing which he is the most proud of is you, and little Wharton. Two wonderful sons.”
On the signature, there was a bloodstain.
Flames erupted from Linley’s hands.
“Hiss…” In the blink of an eye, this letter was burnt to ashes.
Hillman, standing off to the side, looked at Linley.
Linley had just burnt the last testament of his father to ashes. But Hillman wasn’t angry; in fact, he secretly nodded in approval. Although this letter was a legacy, it also contained many secrets. If it fell into the wrong hands, it would be catastrophic.
Linley turned his head to look at Hillman. “Uncle Hillman. I want to entrust you with something.”
“Go ahead.” Hillman looked at Linley.
Hillman had already made up his mind to assist Linley in getting vengeance.
Linley stretched his arms out, picking up the warblade ‘Slaughterer’, then turned to look at Hillman. “Uncle Hillman, this warblade, ‘Slaughterer’, is the ancestral heirloom of our Baruch clan. I hope that you can hand this warblade, ‘Slaughterer’, to my little brother Wharton in the O’Brien Empire. I want you to personally deliver it!”
“O’Brien Empire? Then here…” Hillman was beginning to worry about Linley.
Linley said seriously, “Uncle Hillman, don’t be worried. As a dual-element magus of the seventh rank, even the Radiant Church holds me in extremely high regard. Even King Clayde, the ruler of Fenlai, was extremely courteous to me. My safety is not something you need to be concerned about.”
Hillman was just a warrior. He didn’t fully understand the what being a seventeen year old dual-element magus of the seventh rank truly meant.
In fact, he didn’t even know that Linley was now a master sculptor approaching the level of Proulx and Hope Jensen, with an extremely high status.
“If that’s the case, then…” Hillman frowned.
“After you hand this warblade, ‘Slaughterer’, over to my younger brother, assist Grandpa Hiri and stay by my younger brother’s side. Everything here, I can and will handle by myself.” Linley’s voice was deep, and it carried a hint of frost.
In the entire Holy Union, he was alone now. He had no family here anymore. What did he have to fear?
Linley had already made up his mind to avenge his father, as well as find out what happened to his mother. Was his mother alive or dead? In the depths of his heart, Linley was still hoping that his mother was alive. Although the chances were beyond slim, Linley was not willing to give up.
“Stay in the O’Brien Empire?” Hillman was quiet for a moment. After all, he had family here in Wushan township.
But for him, as a warrior of the sixth rank, anywhere in the world he went, he would be able to make a living for himself.
“Uncle Hillman, you can take your entire family with you. In addition, take this magicrystal card with you. This magicrystal card has not been imprinted yet, and has a million gold coins within it. Take this magicrystal card with you, all the way to the O’Brien Empire.”
From within his clothes, Linley withdrew a single magicrystal card and handed it to Hillman.
“A million gold coins?” Hillman stared at Linley in astonishment.
A million gold coins was an absolute fortune. When Hogg was still alive, for the sake of a few thousand gold coins, he had to sell off his clan’s possessions. Even if he sold off the entire ancestral home, he might not be able to come up with much more than a hundred thousand gold coins. But now, in the blink of an eye, Linley was handing over a magicrystal card with a million gold coins on it.
“Linley, you…where did you get this money from?” Hillman had to ask.
“Uncle Hillman, you don’t need to ask. In the future, you will know.” Linley’s heart, at this moment, was filled with grief and rage. He was in no mood to brag about his accomplishments as a sculptor.
Hillman nodded slightly.
“Linley, wait a moment.” Hillman once more ran into the private room, then came back out with an urn, handing it to Linley.
“This is?…” Linley’s gaze couldn’t leave the urn. He seemed to have already guessed what this urn contained.
Hillman instructed, “Linley, these are your father’s ashes. When your father died, we didn’t dare to publicly announce it. We didn’t even dare to bury him. Our only choice was to place his cremated ashes within the private room as we awaited your return.”
Linley accepted the cremation urn. He felt that it was heavy. So heavy.
The desolate wind howled. Not too far from Wushan township, there was a cemetery filled with countless tombs. At this time, though, an extremely lavish tombstone had just been erected. The short-haired Linley was currently quietly seated cross-legged in front of it.
Linley had spent a full night erecting this tombstone. Based on Linley’s current level of ability, carrying a few boulders was child’s play. And, given that Linley already had reached the level of a master in sculpting, naturally he was able to carve the boulder into a lavishly beautiful tombstone.
The desolate wind howled. Linley just sat there quietly.
“Linley.” Hillman was carrying the warblade ‘Slaughterer’ on his back in the case. He appeared in front of Linley.
Linley didn’t open his eyes. He only said, “Uncle Hillman, I’ve entrusted the warblade ‘Slaughterer’ to you. I entrust my younger brother, Wharton, to you and Grandpa Hiri as well. Be safe on your way there. I won’t send you off.”
Hillman looked at the back of Linley, still seated cross-legged. Then he took another look at the tombstone. Finally, he nodded, then silently departed.
He had left, taking the warblade ‘Slaughterer’ with him.
From this day forward, with the ancient ancestral manor of the Baruch clan, there was no one left aside from Linley and the servants.
Suddenly…Linley opened his eyes. He stared at the tombstone.
“Father. I swear to you that I will make them pay a heavy price.” Linley immediately turned and left. The Shadowmouse, Bebe, still stood on Linley’s shoulders, but he seemed to be afraid to make any noise at all.
“Lord Hogg has passed away? This…this is…” A group of citizens of Wushan township were currently in mourning for Hogg’s passing.
“What a wonderful nobleman he was. How could he die like this? Who knows what the future of Wushan township will be like, now. All these years, Lord Hogg has maintained such a low taxation rate. Sometimes, he would even have to pay out of pocket to the kingdom. Where will anyone possibly find another such wonderful noble?” All of the citizens of Wushan township remembered and were thankful for Hogg’s benevolence.
Currently, in front of the Baruch manor, strips of white funeral cloths were hung. Linley was dressed in a set of mourning clothes as well. He was silently kneeling in front of the memorial spirit tablet set up in front of the main hall. The little Shadowmouse, Bebe, was also kneeling next to Linley, not making a sound. It was as though he could feel the pain Linley was suffering.
Seven days of ritual filial mourning.
Despite the filial mourning being late.
This was the first day of mourning.
“Master Linley, Lord Guillermo is currently waiting for you.” The captain of that squad of Knights of the Radiant Church said softly by Linley’s side.
Linley turned his head, glancing at him coldly. The captain couldn’t help but feel his heart shudder.
“Seven days of ritual filial mourning. Within these seven days, I will not pay attention to anyone or anything.” Linley said coldly, and then he fell silent again.
The captain couldn’t help but feel helpless.
But he knew what Linley was feeling right now. His father had just died. For his son to observe the ritual filial mourning rites was heaven’s law and earth’s principle; a matter of course. The captain of the knights immediately left the main hall, then instructed his subordinates to head to Fenlai City and report Linley’s current situation to the Radiant Church.
“Young master Linley, don’t be too sad.”
The citizens of Wushan township came through in a steady stream to kowtow in front of Hogg’s memorial spirit tablet. All of them remembered the benevolence Hogg had shown when he was alive.
Linley didn’t speak. He only bowed in thanks to every single visiting citizen.
This news quickly reached the Radiant Church, but Cardinal Lampson and Cardinal Guillermo weren’t too shocked.
“Linley’s father has passed away?” Guillermo nodded slightly. “No wonder back when Linley became a dual-element magus of the seventh rank, when I sent people to inquire about Linley’s father, we weren’t able to find anything. So he had already passed away.”
The Radiant Church had a total of five Cardinals. Linley’s matters were mostly handled by Cardinal Guillermo and Cardinal Lampson.
“Guillermo, let us quickly prepare some things, then go and pay our respects to Linley’s father.” Lampson suggested.
Guillermo nodded as well.
Actually, based on Hogg’s own status, how could a Cardinal of the Radiant Church go to pay their respects to him? But Hogg was Linley’s father, after all, and Linley’s future prospects were unlimited. He had already been designated as an important future cornerstone of the Radiant Church by the church.
“Alright. It’s already dark now. Then…let’s head off early in the morning, tomorrow.”
Once Hogg’s death became openly known, due to the fact that the Kingdom of Fenlai had already designated Linley as a highly important figure, the news of his death quickly reached the royal palace of Fenlai. The speed by which they received this news was only slightly slower than the Radiant Church.
“Linley’s father died?”
Clayde nodded to himself as well. When Linley had become a dual-element magus of the seventh rank, he too had sent people to inquire about Linley’s father, and he had in fact even told Linley that his father had gone missing. As it turned out, Linley’s father really had passed away after all.
“Tomorrow morning, I’ll go pay my respects.” Clayde reached the same decision.
Aside from Clayde, many of the most important people in Fenlai City received this news from the royal palace. Many of them venerated Master Linley, while others wanted to make friends with him. Every single one of them decided to go early next morning to that little backwater, Wushan township, to pay their respects to Linley’s father.
While all of this was going on, Linley remained within his ancestral home in Wushan township, quietly observing the rites of mourning.