Travelling on this seemingly endless, winding road, this caravan with hundreds of people didn’t move at too rapid a pace. All of the guards of the caravan maintained a careful eye in the direction of the Mountain Range of Magical Beasts at all times.
There were two major sources of danger on this road. The first was the magical beasts in the Mountain Range of Magical Beasts. The second was bandits. Because this road which was hundreds of miles long was controlled by neither the Holy Union nor the O’Brien Empire, there naturally were many bandits here.
“Squeak. Squeak.” The carriage wheels squeaked rhythmically, and Linley lay back, enjoying the strong liquor in the wineskin.
“It’s been three years since I’ve touched alcohol. This rough liquor feels even more enjoyable to me than those exquisite wines the Jade Water Paradise used to have.” Though he laughed, Linley was sighing in his heart as well. Meanwhile, by his side, Bebe was very enjoyably munching on pieces of roasted meat.
The older of the two soldiers whom Linley was sharing this cart with said, “Friend, my name is Lowndes [Lang’si]. This is my younger friend. His name is Luther [Lu’de].”
Linley was slightly startled. He understood that these two wished to know his name, but Linley knew that his name was already on the Red List of the Radiant Church as someone who must be killed on sight.
“You can call me ‘Ley’.” Linley said with a laugh.
“Ley, what level of magical beast is this panther of yours?” That young fellow named Luther immediately asked enthusiastically. “This magical beast’s fur is so smooth. Riding on such a magical beast really would be so majestic! I think it must be at least a magical beast of the seventh rank.”
“All you need to know is that he is a high-class magical beast.” Linley said casually.
The Blackcloud Panther, Haeru, who had been loping alongside the cart, suddenly fixed Luther with its cold eyes. Seeing Haeru’s gaze, Luther immediately was so frightened that he could only smile weakly in response.
Everyone in the Yulan continent knew that magical beasts possessed intelligence which was no less than that of men. They definitely couldn’t be treated like domesticated household pets. If you tried to, the results would be disastrous.
“The two of you belong to the Holy Union? Or to the O’Brien Empire?” Linley asked.
Linley knew very little regarding the O’Brien Empire.
“We are both from the O’Brien Empire.” Lowndes said with a chortle. “Ley, how about you?”
“This will be my first trip to the O’Brien Empire. I’ve long heard that the O’Brien Empire has a tremendous martial spirit, but have never experienced it for myself.” Linley said calmly.
Both Luther and Lowndes lived by the edges of their blades. They possessed quite good insight, and could easily tell that Linley was an extremely powerful person. After all, in order to be able to subdue a powerful magical beast, one had to be able to totally dominate it with power first. Only then would it submit.
“Ley, we citizens of the O’Brien Empire greatly revere powerful combatants. No matter where you go, you will be received with great courtesy, given your power.” Lowndes said with a chuckle. “Ley, if this is your first time visiting the O’Brien Empire, do you know much about it?”
“Aside from knowing that the O’Brien Empire has seven administrative provinces and knowing about the War God, I don’t know much.” Linley laughed.
As the most militarily powerful of the Four Great Empires, the O’Brien Empire’s territory was also the largest amongst the six major powers. Each of those seven provinces was significantly larger than a kingdom.
“Ley, let me explain. Our Empire has a large number of experts. Even combatants of the ninth rank don’t dare to be arrogant in the Imperial Capital. After all, the War God’s College is settled down atop one of the mountains just outside the Imperial Capital.” Lowndes explained enthusiastically.
“The War God’s College?” Linley had no idea what this was.
Next to him, Luther hurriedly said, “Ley, you absolutely must be aware of this. The highest, most holiest training site in the entire O’Brien Empire is the War God’s College. Every hundred years or so, or sometimes every few hundred years, the War God will accept a single disciple whom he will personally teach. The number of direct disciples he has is extremely few, but eight or nine out of every ten people whom the War God accepts as a disciple will become a Saint-level combatant.”
Hearing this, Linley was truly stunned.
Previously, he was under the impression that the O’Brien Academy was the most elite training academy in existence, but now, clearly, this War God’s College was far superior to it.
“But it really is too difficult for one to be accepted as a disciple by the War God. Even the honorary disciples whom he doesn’t personally teach will only see one added to their number every two years or so.” Lowndes sighed.
Just one disciple every year or two, and an honorary one at that.
This acceptance rate was even lower by far than that of the Ernst Institute. But one could understand if one thought about it. After all, this had to do with taking the War God as one’s teacher and master. The War God…an entity who had surpassed the Saint-level over five thousand years ago.
“Therefore, Ley, in the future, if you meet anyone from the War God’s College, you have to be careful. Even if they decide to kill someone, usually no one will interfere.” Lowndes advised.
The War God, O’Brien, was the founding Emperor of the O’Brien Empire. Although he had abdicated long ago, his influence in the O’Brien Empire was much higher than the reigning Emperor. The War God O’Brien absolutely was the backbone and main pillar of the entire O’Brien Empire.
“Right. Have you heard of any geniuses appearing recently in the O’Brien Empire?” Linley suddenly asked. What Linley was thinking was, “The density of Dragonblood in the veins of Wharton was even higher than mine, hence he could naturally become a Dragonblood Warrior. His potential should be higher than mine as well. By now, Wharton should be seventeen. He should be very famous in the O’Brien Empire.”
Given the speed at which a Dragonblood Warrior trained at…
Generally speaking, in a few decades, they could reach the Saint-level. If one trained hard, one would be able to reach the ninth rank within twenty years, and the eighth rank within ten.
Wharton’s innate talent definitely should be enough to stun the Empire.
“Prodigy? Are you talking about Olivier, the Prodigy Sword Saint?” Lowndes asked.
“The Prodigy Sword Saint, Olivier?” Linley had never heard this name before. “Why is this Olivier known as the Prodigy Sword Saint?”
Next to him, Luther hurriedly said, “Ley, if in the Empire, someone hears you say that you don’t know who the Prodigy Sword Saint is, they will laugh at you. Do you know how old Lord Olivier was when he reached the Saint-level?”
He was a Saint-level combatant?
“How old?” Linley actually was extremely calm. He was a member of the Dragonblood Warrior clan, who generally could reach the Saint-level in a few decades. Generally speaking, those so-called Prodigyes would still need nearly a century.
“Forty seven!” Luther said worshipfully. “Lord Olivier was a combatant of the ninth rank by age thirty, and by age forty seven, entered the Saint-level. And three years ago, that year when the Holy Union and the Dark Alliance suffered the ‘Apocalypse Day’, Olivier entered the Saint-level.”
Linley nodded slightly.
It seemed as though that cataclysmic day had been dubbed the ‘Apocalypse Day’.
“No wonder I haven’t heard of him.” Linley understood now. When this person’s fame became widespread, Linley had just entered the Mountain Range of Magical Beasts and embarked on his three years of toilsome training.
That Luther clearly worshipped this Prodigy Sword Saint, Olivier. He hurriedly said, “Ley, let me tell you something. When Lord Olivier reached the ninth rank, the War God actively reached out to him and invited him to become his student. But Lord Olivier refused. He wanted to walk on his own training path.”
Linley couldn’t help but begin to admire this Olivier. A War God who had surpassed the Saint-level long ago wanted to accept him as a disciple, but he actually refused. Indeed, only a man with supreme confidence could do such a thing.
“This is the first person to refuse the War God in all of history.” Luther said worshipfully. “Ley, at first, many people thought that Olivier was insane and insulted him. But…Lord Olivier wasn’t just bragging. Three years ago, when Olivier entered the Saint-level, he immediately challenged the Stellar Sword Saint, Dillon.”
“Dillon?” Linley frowned.
Linley could still clearly remember that when those two Saint-level combatants did battle in the skies above Wushan township, one of them had been the Stellar Sword Saint, Dillon. The other was a Saint-level Grand Magus, Rudi. These two names had been forever engraved in Linley’s mind.
“Right. Lord Dillon, the Stellar Sword Saint, has been famous for a long time, and he has been a Saint-level combatant for nearly a century. Olivier had just entered the Saint-level, and he immediately went to challenge Dillon. Many people thought that Olivier was too brash and arrogant. But the day of their duel…”
Luther’s eyes were filled with awe and worship. “Within three sword strokes, the Stellar Sword Saint, Dillon, had been defeated. To be able to defeat the Stellar Sword Saint, Dillon, as soon as he entered the Saint-level was something which stunned everyone. Only now, due to his power, was he publically acknowledged as a genius.”
Linley, too, was filled with admiration.
In the past, he had often discussed powerful combatants with Grandpa Doehring. Linley knew very well…that there was a large difference between early-stage Saints, middle-stage Saints, late-stage Saints, and peak-stage Saints.
Dillon had reached the Saint-level nearly a hundred years ago, but he was defeated in just three sword strokes by the Prodigy Sword Saint, Olivier. Linley had to admit that Olivier was incredibly powerful. What’s more, he had only been forty seven years old.
For someone to reach the Saint-level at forty seven years of age, and be so powerful.
Even the Supreme Warriors wouldn’t be much better than this.
Chatting with these hired soldiers who travelled everywhere, Linley learned a great deal regarding the O’Brien Empire, giving him a good sense of the area.
By nightfall, the caravan once more came to a halt.
Campfires were lit everywhere, and all sorts of wild roasted dishes were brought out. Linley followed Luther and Lowndes to a campfire, where they began to roast chunks of leg meat.
Linley suddenly turned to look in the direction of Haeru. Right at that moment, a young nobleman dressed in a suit was standing next to the Blackcloud Panther, looking excitedly at it.
“What a beautiful panther.” The young nobleman’s eyes were shining like gems as he stared at the Blackcloud Panther. He even stretched his hand out, intending to touch him.
The Blackcloud Panther was a peak-stage magical beast of the ninth rank. He was extremely arrogant. How could he allow an ordinary person to touch it?
The Blackcloud Panther suddenly swung its head , fixing its cold eyes upon that young nobleman. Unhappily, he began to let out a menacing growl. “Grooooowl.”
“Ah!!!” Terrified, the young nobleman quickly retreated, falling on his back as he did. His face was white with fear.
“Haha.” Luther, Lowndes, and Linley all began to laugh.
At this time, the brocade door to a nearby carriage was pushed open, and a young woman dressed in a light violet dress immediately jumped out of the carriage, frightened. “Keane [Ji’en], Keane, what happened?”
Seeing this woman, Linley’s eyes suddenly lit up.
This full-body dress was rather tight, revealing her lithe, slim little waist, as well as making her chest swell all the more. As she ran, her long hair fluttered about.
That slender figure was one of the top three female figures Linley had ever seen. Judging by her appearance, she should be seventeen or eighteen years old.
“Big sis, big sis!” That young noble clutched this lady in terror.
Haeru, the Blackcloud Panther, let out another dissatisfied growl in the direction of the young nobleman. This terrified the young noblewoman so much that her face instantly turned white as well.
“Don’t be afraid. Haeru won’t hurt you.” Linley called out, laughing.
“Haha, Miss Jenne, you need to take good care of your little brother. This powerful magical beast isn’t one of your household pets. If he pisses it off, it might eat him. Hahaha!” Lowndes laughed loudly.
These words made the faces of both Jenne and the young nobleman turn white.
Jenne pulled the young nobleman to his feet, and then quickly curtsied in apology. “Sorry, sorry.”
“No need to apologize to us. This black panther is Ley’s. You can apologize to him.” Luther joined the fun as well.
Jenne glanced at Linley. Clearly, she wasn’t good at interacting with people. Her face immediately turned red upon looking at him. “Lord Ley, so sorry.”
“It’s fine. In the future, just make sure your little brother doesn’t irritate Haeru anymore.” Linley laughed. It had been a long time since he had met a girl who was so easily embarrassed.
Jenne immediately pulled the young nobleman by the hand in the direction of that nearby carriage.
“Amusing, amusing.” Linley laughed, raising the wineskin to his lips for another swig.