The hot springs water bubbled about. By now, Linley was at the bottom of the hot springs.
This hot springs pool wasn’t very deep, at most around two meters or so. Right now, Linley was pressing his body against the bottom of the pool. The water of the springs was very clear, and Linley could vaguely see what was going on outside.
“Who are these people? Why were the warriors of the Radiant Church outside unable to take a single blow from them?” Linley’s mind was full of suspicions. No matter what, at the very least the warriors of the Radiant Church outside were of the fifth rank. Every one of them possessed the ability to use battle-qi.
Could it be that for some reason, these warriors were not able to use battle-qi to block that black fog?
Linley didn’t understand what was going on, so for now, he did not dare to come out and directly resist the black fog!
“Linley, that black fog should be a fairly common darkness-style spell known as the ‘Corrosive Fog’. You can definitely use battle-qi to resist its effects.” Doehring Cowart’s voice rang out in Linley’s mind.
“But those warriors of the Radiant Church…”
“They should have been attacked by a different sort of spell that bewilders the mind, preventing them from utilizing their battle-qi in time to defend against the spell.” This was Doehring Cowart’s deduction.
From around Linley’s body, a gust of wind began to billow outwards. It was the wind-style spell, Windscout. Linley could totally sense everything which was going on outside.
“Quick, no matter what the cost, we have to kill Linley.” The leader in black said coldly.
The other five black robed men all nodded, charging towards the hot springs at high speed.
Right at this moment…
Like an arrow, Linley shot out of the pool into the air, splattering beads of water everywhere. And then, Linley descended from above them like a fierce tiger leaping down from the mountains, his five fingers formed into claws as he ripped towards the head of one of the black robed men.
“Hmph.” That black-robed man’s body quivered slightly, as he prepared to use his left arm to forcibly block Linley’s claw attack, while stabbing out with the sharp knife in his right hand.
A hint of a vicious smile appeared on Linley’s face.
Suddenly, a bluish-black Dragonblood battle-qi covered the right arm of Linley, which was attacking with a claw hand. The layer of Dragonblood battle-qi was very thin. Given its thinness and the fact that the surrounding area was full of the dark ‘Corrosive Fog’, it wasn’t very visible at all. Most importantly…sharp claws suddenly appeared from where Linley’s fingernails had been.
“Shiiiiirk!” Linley’s right hand easily pierced through the black-robed man’s shoulder blade. At the same time, Linley once again used force on his right hand, giving it a fierce twist.
The entire left chest of the black-robed man exploded, casting fresh blood everywhere. The black-robed man instantly died, but right before his death, he stared in disbelief, because his knife had stabbed Linley’s body but didn’t leave a mark at all.
“A seventh rank Earthguard armor is made out of jadestone. Do you think jadestone is so easily overcome?” Linley said to himself. “Much less, aside from the layer of jadestone armor, the skin on my body can instantly transform into the Dragonblood Warrior’s scales.”
Right now, when under the full Dragonblood Warrior state, Linley had the power of a warrior of the early eighth rank.
And when using the ‘Dragonform’, Linley had inherited the hallmark property of the Armored Razorback Wyrm; incredible defensive powers. Linley’s black scales were much stronger than the jadestone armor. Judging from the power of that stab by the black-robed man, he had most likely been an expert of the seventh rank.
Unfortunately, the defensive abilities of that expert of the seventh rank were totally unable to defend against this claw attack by Linley. Those were the draconic claws of a transformed Dragonblood Warrior. And what’s more, this was only the Demidragon state.
“How is that possible?” The other four black-robed men were stunned.
Based on their information, Linley was a dual-element magus of the seventh rank, and his warrior abilities were far weaker. They didn’t expect that an assassin of the seventh rank couldn’t withstand a single blow from him.
“Our intelligence was wrong!” The leader of the black-robed men standing in the very back cursed in his heart.
But Linley only nodded mentally to himself. “It seems that when using a partial transformation, one can catch the opponent off-guard and make them suffer a serious loss.”
“You Cult of Shadows bastards!” Furious roars could be heard ringing out from outside, travelling at high speed towards the Hot Springs Garden. Linley understood that another group of the Knights of the Radiant Church charged with his protection had arrived. Only ten or so people had been killed just now, while his total guard numbered over a hundred.
The expression on the face of the leader of the black-robed men changed.
“No matter the cost, kill Linley!” The black-robed leader shouted.
And then he led the four remaining black-robed men to surround and attack Linley. The black knives in their hands gleamed with a dark aura, as they seemed to have infused every last bit of their power into the knives in their hands.
An attack which they were willing to give up their own lives to make!
“Warriors of the seventh rank, right?”
Seeing the group attack of these black-robed men, Linley didn’t dodge or hide at all. With his right hand, Linley gently touched his waist. Suddenly….
A cold, fierce, brilliant violet light flashed.
At the same time, Linley retreated at high speed towards the back. Of the five people attacking Linley, four remained at their original spots, while the fifth, the leader, hurriedly retreated at high speed.
The stomachs of those four black-robed men were sliced open. Their stomach and intestines fell to the ground, and blood sprayed everywhere.
“Fast. And sharp.” The leader of the black-robed men stared in astonishment at Linley.
A single sword stroke killing four warriors of the seventh rank. This example was really too terrifying.
Linley knew very well how sharp this Bloodviolet Godsword was, but just based on Bloodviolet’s natural sharpness alone, it might be difficult to penetrate the defense of a magical beast of the seventh rank. Similarly, if a warrior of the seventh rank was to use battle-qi to protect his body, at the very most, Linley would only be able to heavily injure them, not kill them.
But just then, those four black-robed men had been using all of the energy on their attacks!
They didn’t expect Linley to have such a sword on him.
“If I want to enhance the power of Bloodviolet, I would have to activate it via my Dragonblood battle-qi. But if I use the Dragonblood battle-qi, the speed of Bloodviolet will be slower than if I used my wind-style mageforce to activate it.” At this moment, Linley was pondering the pros and cons of each.
Just then, it was true that Linley had used a single strike to kill the four of them.
What he relied on was his astonishing speed, an attack so fast that his opponents weren’t able to respond to it!
But just relying on speed and the sharpness of his sword would generally only be enough to kill a warrior of the sixth rank, or to heavily wound a warrior of the seventh rank. Only if the warrior of the seventh rank were to act like these four assassins and concentrate all of their battle-qi on their attack, not caring about their lives and sparing nothing for defense, would he be able to kill them.
“But the leader didn’t suffer much of an injury.” Linley looked at the leader of the black-robed men.
This black-robed man’s power should most likely have exceeded the seventh rank.
Using wind-style mageforce on Bloodviolet could make Bloodviolet move faster and make its movements more smooth. But it couldn’t raise the attacking power! But if he were to use Dragonblood battle-qi on Bloodviolet, he could increase the attack power but wouldn’t be able to increase his attack speed.
“You pieces of trash!”
Angry roars erupted from right outside the Hot Springs Garden. Clearly, these Knights of the Radiant Church had just seen the corpses of their companions and were all furious now.
“Linley, you are even more formidable than we thought you were. But unfortunately, you have sided with the Radiant Church. Thus…” The black-robed leader seemed to pay no attention at all to those who were outside, as he spoke in a soft voice to Linley.
The black-robed leader’s voice seemed to carry a certain unique timbre to it. At first, Linley didn’t notice anything, but by the time the black-robed man was halfway through his words, Linley could feel his mind grow a bit blurry and his focus waver.
“You must die!”
The black knife of the black-robed man arrived almost instantly at Linley’s chest.
“Linley!” Doehring Cowart’s mental roar echoed in Linley’s mind, instantly bringing Linley back to his senses.
The black-robed leader stared at his waist in astonishment. His waist had suddenly been bitten almost in half. His exposed muscles were still trembling, and blood was pouring out in a torrent. The black-robed man could clearly feel that his entire body had lost all strength. His life-force was quickly draining away.
The black-robed leader stared stupidly at the black Shadowmouse by Linley’s side.
A black Shadowmouse should at most be a magical beast of the third or fourth ranks. To this black-robed leader, as a warrior of the eighth rank, a black Shadowmouse shouldn’t be able to injure him at all. This was why the black-robed leader hadn’t paid any attention to it.
Just then, that little black Shadowmouse had flown over, quickly transformed his jaws into a larger size, then taken a vicious, giant bite out of his waist.
“Hmph! Let’s see you be cocky now. You should consider it an honor to have died by the hands of I, Bebe.” Bebe stood near the corpse of the black-robed leader, his little head raised proudly.
Linley couldn’t help but laugh.
Bebe was a freak of nature that could even withstand the dying final blow of an Armored Razorback Wyrm. Bebe was capable of even biting and breaking the tough, massive plated scales of a Velocidragon of the eighth rank! In terms of both offense and defense, Bebe was now extremely powerful.
The only weakness was…his size was too small.
Even if Bebe was able to bite those giant magical beasts, Bebe might not be able to totally chew through their thick massive scales or skin at one bite.
Those angrily howling Knights of the Radiant Church charged to Linley’s side. Just as they prepared to do battle with their opponents…they saw the ground littered with corpses.
“Milord, are you alright?” The leader of the knights immediately asked.
Right now, Linley’s appearance was very frightening. Both his face and his body were covered with blood.
“I’m fine. I only suffered some light wounds.” Linley said. “You dispose of the corpses. I’ll go take a rest.” As he spoke, Linley immediately walked out of the Hot Springs Garden. And now, when the knights lowered their head to stare at the corpses, they couldn’t help but begin to frown.
The corpse of the black-robed leader was missing half of his waist, as though it had been bitten off, or perhaps cut off by claws.
The other four black-robed assassins had been cut cleanly in half, while for the last one, it seemed as though his left chest had entirely exploded, revealing his bones.
The group of knights stared dumbly, their jaws slack. They didn’t imagine that Linley, a magus, could cause his enemies to die like this.
At the top level of the Radiant Temple.
The long, skinny form of the Holy Emperor was covered by a long, whitish-silver robe. He reclined on a chair, leisurely flipping through some books. His bald head shone dazzlingly like the sun.
“Holy Emperor.” The red-robed Guillermo bowed obediently in front of him.
“Hrm?” The Holy Emperor twitched his eyelids, glancing at Guillermo.
Being watched by the Holy Emperor was like being under pressure from a thirty thousand pound boulder. Guillermo respectfully said, “Holy Emperor, just now, the Cult of Shadows made an assassination attempt against Linley. But fortunately, Linley’s abilities as a warrior are quite profound. He managed to kill all of the attackers, suffering only a light wound.”
The Holy Emperor looked at Guillermo with his jade-blue eyes. With a light laugh, he said, “Guillermo, the Cult of Shadows is aware that Linley is a dual-element magus of the seventh rank. Could it be that they didn’t send a sufficiently competent force?”
“Holy Emperor, this group of assassins was quite powerful. The lead assassin should also have been a specialist at using mind-bewitching darkness-style magic.” Guillermo hurriedly said.
The Holy Emperor didn’t say anything else, only faintly smiled as he looked at Guillermo.
“Guillermo, are you proposing….?”
Guillermo nodded. “Right. Linley is an important individual who needs to be trained well by the Radiant Church. More importantly, not only does Linley possess high natural talent, he is also an extremely hard worker. I believe that after another fifty years, it is very likely that Linley will become a Saint-level combatant. And in a hundred years….Linley will be one of the ranked Saint-level combatants of the Yulan continent.”
If a man did not prepare for the future, his present would be filled with problems.
Both the Radiant Church and the Cult of Shadows had existed for many years now. Even back when the Yulan Empire had unified the Yulan continent, they had existed.
The reason they were able to last for so long, was because they both understood the importance of one thing: Cultivating talent!
Constantly expanding, constantly converting believers, constantly cultivating talent.
Perhaps right now, Linley wasn’t too powerful, but a century later? Perhaps he would be an individual approaching the level of the Holy Emperor. To a Saint-level combatant, a hundred years was nothing at all.
“That’s why I wish for Linley to receive even better instruction, as well as better protection. In other words…I wish for Linley to go train alongside Lord ‘Fallen Leaf’.” Guillermo said.
The Holy Emperor was startled, but then he nodded. “Fine, then. But first, you must go seek his approval. I certainly am not able to make a decision on behalf of Fallen Leaf.”
“Yes, Holy Emperor.”
Guillermo paid his respects and left.
The Holy Emperor glanced at the departing Guillermo with his jade-blue eyes, and then stared at the sky outside the window. “He killed all of the attackers? Baruch…Baruch….hrm. It seems as though the Baruch clan was one of the clans of the Four Supreme Warriors. The Dragonblood Warrior clan.”