The imperial palace was under heavy guard, and valiant knights could be seen everywhere, along with beautiful palace serving ladies. Emperor Johann and Linley walked side by side, with Wharton slightly behind them. Behind these three men were a number of palace attendants and serving ladies. All of the soldiers they encountered on the trip over bowed respectfully upon seeing Emperor Johann.
“That is Master Linley.” Many warriors, seeing Linley walking by Emperor Johann’s side, began to murmur quietly amongst themselves.
Their eyes were filled with veneration and adoration towards Linley. They were all young, and many of them were no older than Linley. Many of the young men in the Empire had set Linley as their goal towards which they would strive.
“The O’Brien Empire lives up to its name of being the most militarily powerful of the six major powers. All of these warriors in the imperial palace are very powerful.” On the way over, Linley noticed that not a single one of the warriors here was weaker than the sixth rank.
Most were of the sixth, and many were of the seventh. Even a few eighth rank warriors could be seen.
Even the ordinary patrolling guards were so powerful. One could imagine how powerful the Empire as a whole was.
“Linley, look. The eyes of those guards are lighting up when they see you. I’m afraid that in their hearts, the veneration they feel towards you is greater than for Us.” Emperor Johann said with a loud laugh.
Linley laughed calmly.
Ever since that duel in the Colosseum, Linley’s fame had spread throughout the O’Brien Empire, especially given his young age. He had already become a legend.
Linley was in his twenties, and not only a genius sculptor, but also a genius magus and a Saint-level warrior. In the hearts of many, even though they might not be as talented as Linley, as long as they worked hard, they might be able to reach at least 10% of Linley’s accomplishments, and they would be happy with that.
This had actually caused many young people in the Empire to train even more painstakingly.
The O’Brien Empire had a long-standing custom that whenever a genius appeared, the Empire would officially spread the news alongside the rumors of the common-folk. The impact on the citizens of the Empire was actually quite large.
The imperial flower garden. There was a banquet table filled with food, and the only people seated there were Emperor Johann, Linley, and Wharton.
The palace serving maids brought plate after plate of delicacies forward, while the guards around them kept a solemn watch around them.
“You can all leave now.” Emperor Johann waved his hand.
“Yes, your Imperial Majesty.”
The surrounding maids, servants, and guards all dispersed. Soon afterwards, only Emperor Johann, Linley, and Wharton were present.
Emperor Johann glanced at Wharton. Actually, on the entire trip over from the Martial Palace, his heart was filled with questions.
Why did the War God wish to help Wharton?
In the Empire, the War God was unquestionably the highest power. Wharton was nothing compared to him. The War God and Wharton most likely didn’t have much of a relationship.
“Could it be that our venerable ancestor, the War God, has some sort of connection to the ancestors of the Dragonblood Warrior clan? That shouldn’t be the case either. Five thousand years ago, when the Empire was founded, the Dragonblood Warrior, Baruch, was very famous, true, but they were nothing more than peak-stage Saint-level combatants. There was still a major gap between them and the War God. What sort of relationship could the two possibly have had?”
Emperor Johann didn’t believe it.
The War God was someone on the level of the High Priest. How much of a relationship could he possibly have had with Baruch? Even if he had one, could it have been a deep enough relationship that he would help out the descendants of Baruch, five thousand years later?
“Wharton.” Emperor Johann didn’t think about it any longer. Smiling, he said, “A while later, you and Nina will get engaged. You need to take good care of Nina. This child has the temper of a spoiled princess. We hope you can be accommodating towards her.”
Wharton straightened his chest, hurriedly saying, “Your Imperial Majesty, don’t worry.”
But Linley was staring at Emperor Johann.
“A few days ago, Caylan said that Emperor Johann was going to choose Blumer, but now…” Linley was puzzled about this.
Linley asked directly, “Your Imperial Majesty, I wish to ask, why is it that you chose my younger brother Wharton?”
Emperor Johann was a bit startled.
“Haha…” Emperor Johann laughed loudly. “Linley, didn’t We already discuss this at the palace? We were considering things from Nina’s standpoint. Nina likes Wharton, after all. We are deeply gratified that We are able to bring Nina happiness.”
Linley snickered secretly.
If Emperor Johann really were considering things from Nina’s standpoint, then when Wharton had asked for her hand in marriage, he wouldn’t have delayed and caused a large chain of events to occur before accepting.
Emperor Johann saw the look on Linley’s face. “What? You don’t believe it, Linley?”
“I don’t fully believe it, actually.” Linley said bluntly.
Emperor Johann started. Generally speaking, who would dare speak to him in such a way? But the one who said these words was Linley, a peak-stage Saint-level expert. Emperor Johann let out two awkward chuckles. “Actually, We admit that We had originally been considering Blumer.”
That was more like it.
Although that had been Linley’s first time meeting with Caylan, he had the feeling that Caylan was a trustworthy person.
“Linley, you should know that in reality, it is Saint-level experts which determine the rise and fall of an Empire.” Emperor Johann sighed. “Saint-level experts can easily kill the enemy’s leaders despite being surrounded by a million soldiers. Saint-level magi can utilize destructive forbidden-spells and destroy a million man army entirely. It can be said that in the eyes of ordinary people, Saint-levels are absolutely invincible experts.”
Linley nodded. When he was young, Saint-levels were indeed the ultimate combatants in existence.
“Although We are the Emperor, We do not dare issue orders to Saint-levels. If We were to offend them, they might leave the Empire. We trust there are many places which would welcome a Saint-level expert’s arrival.” Emperor Johann laughed bitterly.
Linley understood this.
If a Saint-level expert were to flee, given their flying ability, that would be very simple.
“Both Blumer and Wharton are likely to reach the Saint-level in the future. But the critical issue is…Blumer belongs to the War God’s College. All of the experts of the Empire are clustered around the War God’s College. We do not wish to anger the War God’s College. After all, there is an entire group of Saint-level experts there, not just one or two!”
An entire group of Saint-level experts. Just hearing the words was enough to make people shiver.
“With multiple fellow apprentices of Blumer coming to speak on his behalf, We didn’t have a choice.” Emperor Johann shook his head and sighed.
“Then why did you choose my younger brother Wharton in the end?” Linley asked.
He had been wondering about this the entire time. What was the reason?
Emperor Johann turned a puzzled gaze towards Linley and Wharton. “Linley. Does your Baruch clan have some sort of historical relationship with the War God?”
“The War God?”
Linley immediately understood. Shocked, he said, “Your Imperial Majesty, are you saying that it was the War God who caused you to select Wharton?”
“Of course.” Emperor Johann said, “Linley, think about it. In the Empire, whose word carries even more weight than the members of the War God’s College? Only the War God, the highest power of the land.”
“Our venerable ancestor, the War God, directly spoke to Us mentally and ordered Us to choose Wharton.” A hint of excitement was in Emperor Johann’s eyes. “This was the first time We have ever heard the voice of our venerable ancestor, the War God.”
The War God!
It had actually been the War God!
The War God was an incredible figure. Five thousand years ago, he had battled the High Priest over the Yulan river to a standstill, proving that he was definitely a Deity-level combatant.
After five thousand years, although no one had ever seen the War God fight again, everyone understood that given the War God’s natural talent, he was undoubtedly even more terrifyingly powerful now.
The War God had trained incredibly fast, going from ordinary person to Deity-level in just a few centuries.
His sudden rise to prominence five thousand years ago had caused his fame and glory to completely eclipse even the Four Supreme Warriors, becoming the most brilliant shining star of that era.
“The War God helped my little brother?” Linley couldn’t understand it.
“Could it be that he knows my side has six Saint-level experts?” Linley began to wonder. Given the War God’s power, he definitely could sense the strength of Linley’s forces.
Linley shook his head.
Impossible. To a Deity, Saint-level experts were nothing. Most likely, the War God could kill all six of them with one blow.
“Then what’s the reason? Could it really be because he had some relationship with the ancestors of the Baruch clan?” Linley truly didn’t understand what the reason was behind the War God’s actions.
West of the imperial capital. War God Mountain. Aside from the primary peak, there were four other peaks. Connecting two of the peaks was a natural cave tunnel.
Lanke and Castro were walking side by side in the tunnel.
After travelling several hundred meters through the winding tunnel, the tunnel suddenly turned downwards sharply. If one stared downwards into that bizarre, deep dark hole, not a single thing could be seen. Nobody could tell how deep that tunnel was.
Lanke and Castro jumped directly into the deep hole. They fell down at a fairly slow speed. After falling for several thousand meters, the two landed as gently as leaves on the ground. From the entrance of the tunnel to this hole was merely a thousand meters, but this hole took them several thousand meters underground.
“Master usually spends his time in closed-door training, and whenever he does so, he’ll usually spend several years, several decades, or even longer training. When he is engaged in training, he’ll virtually never speak to us mentally. But this time, at the Martial Palace, he actually reached out to us mentally and told us to tell Johann to choose Wharton, then told us to come back here.” Lanke was mystified.
This was very contrary to the War God’s habits.
There were very few matters in the world which an ascetic such as War God would issue orders about.
“Junior apprentice-brother, don’t think about it too much. Master surely has his reasons for acting like this. All we need to do is listen and obey.” Castro said.
“Yes, senior apprentice-brother.” Lanke nodded.
To the disciples of the War God’s College, the commands of the War God were not to be flouted. They would do whatever the War God ordered them to do. There was no need to think about it.
“Rumble…” A blistering heat could be sensed in the depths of the tunnel. As they walked in, the stones were slowly turning red as well.
The temperature here was very high!
After going several hundred more meters, Lanke and Castro came to a halt in front of a pitch-black stone door. The stone walls surrounding this door were already scarlet red, and the temperature was so high that even Lanke and Castro had to use their battle-qi on their feet to protect themselves.
If a piece of paper was tossed out, it would most likely instantly be set alight.
“You’ve come.” A calm voice drifted out from behind the door.
The War God’s voice was very soft, but it carried a penetrative power. The voice was like a needle, piercing directly into one’s soul. Castro and Lanke, his two disciples, even suspected…that the War God could possibly dissipate their soul with his voice alone.
This was one of the reasons why Castro and the other personal disciples of the War God feared their Master so much. The War God was simply too powerful.
“Yes, Master.” Castro and Lanke said respectfully. Castro continued, “Master, what instructions have you for us?”
The War God’s voice rang out yet again. “April 12th will be the day of the engagement ceremony for that kid Wharton. Go speak to your eldest apprentice-brother and acquire an interspatial ring. On the day of that kid Wharton’s engagement ceremony, give it to him as his engagement present.”
Castro and Lanke were utterly stunned.
The War God was giving an engagement present?
This had never happened before. Even when they, his personal disciples, had gotten married, the War God paid no heed. After all, was the War God someone who had to send congratulatory gifts to others? Even if he wanted to do so, who would be worthy of accepting his gifts?
But the War God was now ordering them to deliver a congratulatory gift for Wharton’s engagement ceremony?
“You can leave now.” The War God’s calm voice once more sounded out in the tunnel.
Castro and Lanke stared at the pitch-black stone door, then glanced at each other. Although they didn’t understand it at all, they didn’t dare disobey the orders of the War God.
“Yes, Master.” Lanke and Castro replied, their voices filled with incomparable respect.