Within the restaurant.
Seeing a large group of Ascetics leave Clayde’s manor, Linley was wildly exultant. At a glance, Linley could tell that over fifty people were in that group of Ascetics. For such a large group of them to leave most likely meant that all of them had left.
“It’s been six or seven days. By now, it’s almost certain that Shaq has told Clayde about our meeting. Most likely, Clayde has already been able to guess that I’m nearby.”
Linley casually tossed down a few gold coins. Suddenly, gusts of air began to wrap around him, and moving like the breeze, Linley agilely flew out of the restaurant.
Despite bearing the heavy sword on his back, with the assistance of wind-style magic, he still moved with great ease. But of course, this was due to Linley having become a magus of the seventh rank. If a magus of the third rank had been the one to cast the spell, the effect wouldn’t have been nearly as good. “Bebe, watch the back door.” Linley mentally instructed Bebe.
“Boss, got it.”
As Linley rushed towards one of the exterior walls of Clayde’s manor, he began to mumble the words to another spell – Windscout.
With Linley at the center, a gust of air suddenly spread out in all directions. Closing his eyes, Linley could clearly sense everything the Windscout had detected.
“Hrm? Gathering near the back gate?”
The Windscout spell could only detect bodies and objects. It couldn’t actually make out faces clearly. However, through the usage of the Windscout, Linley had already been able to discover that the people inside the manor were all hurriedly moving towards the back courtyard. Clearly, they were all getting ready to flee.
“Hmph. As predicted.” With a quiet movement, Linley flowed into Clayde’s manor, moving into the front courtyard with movements as light as the wind. Quietly but quickly, Linley made his way on the inside paths towards the back courtyard.
“Hurry, hurry!” Clayde berated angrily.
“Let’s go from the back gate. We are heading out immediately. We are leaving Hess City.” Clayde said directly.
The royal consort was confused. “Your Majesty, aren’t we all living here just fine? Why-”
Clayde slapped her across the face.
“Enough crap.” Clayde snarled.
“Hurry up. Forget about the horses. You two, you are responsible for the Princess and the Royal Consort.” Clayde ordered two of his knights, and then had a third one open the back gate.
Linley, hiding behind a manmade hill, watched this all while laughing coldly.
“As I thought. Not a single Ascetic is left.” With a leap, Linley retreated at high speed, moving to a place where Clayde and Kaiser wouldn’t be able to see him, then he leapt past the wall. And then, Linley turned and moved at high speed to the back gate. But just as Linley had rounded the corner, he came to a sudden halt.
Bebe was right next to the back gate.
“Creaaaaak.” The back gate began to open.
Bebe immediately scurried over at high speed to a patch of wild grass nearby. Given that Bebe was only fist-sized, the wild grass was totally capable of covering and hiding Bebe’s entire body.
“Bebe. When Clayde comes out, tell me right away.” Linley hid behind the corner, and his entire body began to be covered with black scales. “Snick.” His forehead, back, elbows, and kneecaps all began to sprout sharp spikes.
And that long, iron-whip-like draconic tail sprouted out as well.
Linley’s black eyes suddenly transformed into a dark gold color, the same color as the eyes of the Armored Razorback Wyrm.
Total Dragonform! “Wind-style supporting magic – Supersonic.” At the same time, Linley reinforced himself with a wind spell. After having completely Dragonformed, Linley felt that his body was full of limitless power.
Right now, that 3600 pound adamantine heavy sword didn’t have any impact on Linley at all.
To a mighty warrior who could easily lift up something weighing hundreds of thousands of pounds, what was a mere 3600? Comparatively speaking, it was like asking an ordinary man who could lift 100 pounds to carry a one pound item on him. Would it impact him?
Clayde continued to urge his men, and one Wildthunder knight after another began to step out of the back gate.
Clayde himself walked through the gate, with Shaq by his side. And then the princess and the royal consort, under the protection of the Wildthunder knights, headed out as well. As for Kaiser, he was at the very end, serving as their guard and escort.
“Boss, Clayde came out.”
Just after Clayde stepped out of the manor, Bebe’s voice rang out in Linley’s mind. The eyes of Linley, who had been hiding behind the corner this entire time, suddenly began to shine.
A mighty leap forward, combined with the wind around him propelling him forward at high speed.
In the blink of an eye, a black, human-sized blur slashed through a distance of seventy meters, charging directly at the back gate to Clayde’s manor. Somewhat caught off guard, Clayde turned to look, and when he did, he saw that this human-shaped blur was already next to him. That familiar figure made Clayde’s heart quail. Before he even had a chance to call out or to react, a powerful force suddenly bound him.
“Don’t move. Otherwise. You die.” Linley’s voice was transmitted directly to Clayde’s ear.
“Ah!” The royal consort had just stepped out of the gate. Upon seeing Linley, she was so frightened that she immediately screamed. But then, with a ‘snick’ sound, the consort’s head went flying off.
Linley retracted his claws.
The severed head of the consort oozed blood everywhere, while her body collapsed to the floor.
“Mon…monster!” The princess, terrified, retreated backwards.
“Release his Majesty!” The Wildthunder knights who had left along with Shaq immediately charged over, but as they did, a black blur flashed towards them. The little Shadowmouse, Bebe, who had suddenly transformed to half a meter in length, landed on the ground. As he did, those two warriors who had wanted to charge over collapsed, as half of their necks had been severed.
“None of you resist. Resistance is futile.” Linley’s cold voice rang out.
At this time, Kaiser charged over as well.
“Lord Kaiser, what…what is that monster?” The princess was terrified. But Shaq, whom Clayde had explained everything to, knew that this monster was actually Linley.
The aberration in front of them was covered from head to toe in black scales, and there were spikes sprouting from his forehead, knees, elbows, and back. Its scale covered feet and claws were all extremely sharp.
And what’s more, it had an iron-whip-like draconic tail.
Right now, that draconic tail was wrapping tightly around Clayde, preventing him from moving at all. With each small swaying motion of Linley’s draconic tail, Clayde’s body swayed as well.
This scene stunned everyone present.
“Kaiser. This time, you don’t have any chance.” Linley’s cold voice rang out.
A pained look was on Kaiser’s face. He knew that even if he fought one on one against Linley, victory was no sure thing. What’s more, Linley had that freakish magical beast companion who was on the same level of power as him.
Kaiser wasn’t confident in his ability to deal with either Linley or the magical beast, Bebe.
And now that Clayde had been caught by Linley, he, Kaiser, did indeed have no chance at all.
“Lin…Linley! Release my royal father!” Shaq shouted angrily.
Linley glanced at Shaq with his cold, dark golden eyes. Shaq shivered, no longer daring to speak. Right now, Linley’s appearance had stupefied everyone present. Those Wildthunder knights who had followed Clayde had also battled against and been slaughtered by Linley and Bebe in the past. They knew exactly how powerful Linley and his freakish magical beast companion Bebe were.
“Linley.” Just as Clayde was going to beg for mercy…
Linley actually tore off Clayde’s ring finger and index finger, then casually tossed them in the direction of the princess and Kaiser’s group.
“Ah…ah!” Clayde couldn’t refrain from howling from the agony of having his fingers ripped off.
“Clayde, I’ll tell you right now that you are definitely going to die.” Linley said casually.
Clayde turned his fierce, tiger-like glare towards Linley.
But what welcomed his gaze was Linley’s cold, emotionless pair of dark gold eyes.
“Right now, you have two choices. The first is to be tortured to death. The second is to tell me who you gave my mother to, and who killed her. And then, I’ll let you die an easy death.” Linley said calmly.
Linley knew very well that the best way to deal with someone like Clayde was to lay it out clearly for him.
Otherwise, Clayde would think that there was still some hope of living. He would grit his teeth and refuse to answer, for the sake of that hope.
“No! If you are willing to spare me, AH!!” Linley once again remorselessly ripped out another one of Clayde’s fingers. Calmly, Linley said, “You are definitely going to die. The only question is, will you tell the truth early and spare yourself some pain and suffering?”
Kaiser was about to immediately rush over.
“Kaiser, do you want everyone present to die?” Linley’s dark gold eyes stared at Kaiser. Kaiser instantly halted. He understood that Linley and Bebe definitely had the power to kill everyone present.
Even he, Kaiser, would only have the ability to flee. Facing a combined attack from both Linley and Bebe, he didn’t have any chance of victory at all. “Ah…” Kaiser really didn’t know what to do.
Linley looked back at Clayde.
Clayde’s face was totally pale. Large beads of sweat the size of soybeans had gathered on his forehead. Right now, the amount of force Linley was exerting on him with his tail was very high.
“Continue thinking. The longer you think, the more pain you will be in.” Linley’s scale-covered claw reached out and grabbed Clayde’s ear.
Guessing what Linley was about to do, Clayde howled, “No!”
Clayde’s left ear was ripped off by Linley, and he howled in agony while cursing wildly, “Linley, you bastard, you are a goddamn devil!”
“Keep on wasting time.” Linley’s claws slowly reached towards Clayde’s face.
“This time, it’ll be your eyes. Tell me, would you prefer your left eye, or your right eye?” Linley’s face was still expressionless. When Clayde looked at Linley, hoping to gather anything from Linley’s eyes or facial expressions, all he could see was that unmoving, scale-covered face, and those cold, merciless dark gold eyes.
“If you don’t decide, I’ll decide for you. Just then, it was your left ear. Now, it will be your right eye.” Linley reached out with his claws.
“No! I’ll talk. I’ll talk.” Clayde howled with all his might.
Linley retracted his claws. “Then speak.”
“I’ll talk. I’ll talk.” Tears actually appeared in Clayde’s eyes. He really had mentally collapsed. Linley had no intention of sparing him whatsoever. No matter what he did, he was going to die. If he talked, at least he would die an easy death. If he didn’t, he would be tortured to death.
None of the Wildthunder knights standing off in the distance dared to say a word. Linley and Bebe, man and magical beast, were really too terrifying, too formidable.
Clayde was roaring furiously in his heart, “Radiant Church, this time you didn’t give a damn about me and left me behind. Don’t blame me for giving you an enemy which will be terrifying to deal with in the future!”
“Linley, I’ll tell you. Each year, the Radiant Church will offer extremely pure souls to the Radiant Sovereign. The Radiant Sovereign needs only two things: The faith of worshippers, and pure souls.” Clayde said directly.
Linley’s stared at Clayde with his emotionless eyes. “What does this have to do with my mother?”
Clayde continued, “The purer the soul offered to the Radiant Sovereign, the greater the gifts the Radiant Sovereign will bestow upon the Church. That year…my younger brother Patterson and I had just stepped out of the Radiant Temple. When I saw your mother, I was instantly stunned. Her eyes looked so pure, so innocent. From that first glance I had of your mother, my mind was made up. I had the feeling that your mother’s soul must be extremely pure.” After having heard this, Linley could guess the rest.
“I could tell that your father was only an ordinary person, and thus I ordered Patterson to go and directly abduct your mother. The next day, I delivered your mother to the Radiant Church.”
Clayde took a deep breath. “Indeed, your mother’s soul was incomparably pure. When the Radiant Church killed your mother, offering her soul as a sacrifice to the Radiant Sovereign, the Radiant Sovereign blessed them with greater gifts than they had ever received.”
“And this was the reason why the Radiant Temple decided to reward me with a divine blessing like none they had ever given before. The blessing raised me directly from a warrior of the seventh rank to the ninth rank. Although it would make my future advancement impossible, I was still satisfied. In addition, the Radiant Temple gifted me with a Saint-level Fateguard.”
Clayde looked at Linley. “Your mother’s soul really was very remarkable. The Radiant Temple actually gave me so many things for her. From this, you can imagine how heavily the Radiant Sovereign had rewarded them when they had sacrificed your mother’s soul to him.”