Of Barker and his brothers, at this point, Barker, Ankh, Boone, and Gates had all reached the ninth rank. After transforming, they had the power of a Saint. As for the third brother, Hazer, he was just one small step away from reaching the ninth rank and could break through at any moment. Of the five brothers, Barker, Gates, and Hazer had already mastered the art of ‘wielding something heavy as though it were light’.
“After my little brother’s grand wedding, we’ll head for the Anarchic Lands. With the assistance of Barker and his brothers, things will be much simpler.” Linley’s eyes glowed with an unspoken light.
Linley was extremely excited and couldn’t wait to begin his future life in the Anarchic Lands, where he would do battle against the Radiant Church.
Aside from the wonderful surprise of Boone reaching the ninth rank, everyone was also eagerly anticipating the upcoming wedding. Wharton was all smiles every day as well.
This time, Wharton and Nina would be holding their wedding ceremony in the imperial palace. The excitement and hustle bustle would far exceed the engagement ceremony.
Within a quiet courtyard.
After having finished his training, Linley sat next to a stone desk. With a flip of his hand, he retrieved a flask of fruit wine. While drinking wine, he stared forward, pondering. From the look of him, he was clearly thinking about something.
Bebe stealthily peeked at Linley.
“Swish.” Bebe suddenly scurried onto Linley’s table.
Linley was startled by Bebe. “Bebe, what are you doing?”
Bebe stood up straight, folding his claws over his chest, staring at Linley with an appraising gaze. “Based on the observations of myself, Bebe, I’ve discovered that you, Boss…are thinking lustful thoughts about love!”
Bebe spoke with the aura of absolute conviction.
Linley didn’t know whether to laugh or to cry. “I’m thinking about those dear bros of mine. In a few days, it will be Wharton’s grand wedding. But Boss Yale, Second Bro, Fourth Bro…none of them will be able to come…”
Linley let out a long sigh.
“I wonder how the three of them are currently doing.” Yale, Reynolds, and George, these three dear friends of Linley, held a very firm position in Linley’s heart. Their love for each other was as deep as that of real brothers.
Reynolds wasn’t doing very well. After that short break, he had returned to the army. Even after learning of Linley’s duel with Haydson, he hadn’t had a chance to come watch.
This was because, as a soldier, he had to follow orders and procedures.
Although Reynolds was quite sloppy and lazy, when he was in the army, he absolutely was a man who would do what he said he would and who would obey orders without question.
At the borders of the Southeast Administrative Province of the O’Brien Empire, in the area south of the city of Neil [Ne’er], was the area where the O’Brien Empire intersected with the Rohault Empire. This was also a fairly chaotic area.
The Rohault Empire was located to the south of the Anarchic Lands and west of the great plains of the far east.
Due to constant warfare with the steppe riders of the great plains, the Rohault Empire had a very ferocious, martial spirit, and their armies of mounted knights were legendary for their prowess. The Rohault Empire and the O’Brien Empire constantly engaged in warfare in the area near Neil City, and the blood from those countless battles had stained the very dirt itself a dark red color in the wilderness outside the city.
“Whoosh!” “Whoosh!” The strong wind howled through the wild grass, which was half the height of a man. The wild grass bent from the wind. Through it, one could see that there was a small creek nearby, where dozens of stallions were drinking water with their heads lowered.
Several dozen knights were seated on the ground, resting, while several others were maintaining a watch.
Right now, Reynolds was sitting atop a tree, his hawk-like eyes constantly scanning their surroundings. When he was in the army, Reynolds was very different from how he acted in private. Right now, he wore a deep blue armor which had a golden insignia of a flame emblazoned onto his chest. This represented that he was a member of the ‘Golden Flame Legion’, one of the elite legions of the O’Brien Empire.
And the design of his armor gave testament to his rank; senior captain.
Reynolds withdrew a watch from his breast-pocket and checked the time. “Three in the afternoon. At five, the others should have arrived.”
“Milord.” A blue-haired knight walked over with a laugh. “The Rohault Empire is currently not in a state of warfare with the O’Brien Empire. Don’t you feel that we are wasting energy by maintaining such a long watch?”
“Tiger, stop talking.” Reynolds frowned.
“Yes sir.” The blue-haired knight no longer dared to laugh.
Commanding this squadron of knights was actually a downgraded position for him as a senior captain. In total, there were three medium-sized squadrons with nine hundred people total. Right now, they had been separated into eighteen smaller squads and taken separate routes. The squad which Reynolds was leading was actually his personal squad, and a very powerful one.
He had already been in the army for quite a few years, and Reynolds had slowly risen through the ranks from common soldier to his current position.
“Although the Rohault Empire has not been in open warfare for over ten years with our O’Brien Empire, aren’t there always small skirmishes? Each year, the Empire suffers over ten thousand casualties from these border skirmishes.” Reynolds said solemnly. “And based on my calculations, it has been a very long time since a large battle. I imagine the population of the Rohault Empire has already reached its limits, and they will therefore force some battles. Thus, we must be careful.”
The meaning of warfare was very simple.
When the population rose too much and there wasn’t enough land or food to support the people, the Empires would naturally begin to war against each other. If they didn’t, the Empires would fall into internal chaos. After two Empires both suffered a high amount of casualties, the reduced population would mean that the amount of land they had was sufficient to sustain their people. Naturally, they would cease fighting.
In truth, this was one of the most basic principles.
After all, to most commoners, the most important, basic necessity was that of sufficient food and a place to live.
“Yes, milord. We will be careful.” The blue-haired knight laughed.
“Right. Milord, you previously were at the Ernst Institute with Master Linley. I heard that he fought Lord Haydson to a standstill?” The blue-haired knight said quietly.
Hearing his subordinate ask him about Linley, Reynolds couldn’t help but begin to grin.
“The only reason he suffered a slight loss was because he didn’t have enough battle-qi.” Reynolds said calmly. In his heart, Reynolds actually felt quite regretful that he hadn’t been able to go watch this life-and-death battle of his beloved bro.
Turning his head to stare westwards, Reynolds squinted his eyes due to the scorching rays of the sun. His dear brother Linley was in the imperial capital to the west.
“In a bit more than a year, my ten year commitment will be up and I’ll be able to leave the army.” Reynolds secretly sighed to himself.
The eight-plus years of army life had caused Reynolds to truly enjoy being in the army, but Reynolds knew that per the regulations of his clan, if the descendants of the clan were able to reach the rank of legion commander or deputy legion commander, they would be permitted to remain in the army. If they did not, then they would have to return home to the clan.
Right now, Reynolds was only a senior captain. He was still one step away.
But although Reynolds did rather enjoy the army life, he didn’t want to spend his entire life in the army. He still wanted to quietly train his magic in peace. He was already a magus of the seventh rank. If he spent another hundred years in painstaking training, he still had a shot at becoming an Arch Magus of the ninth rank.
While he quietly waited, the other squads began to arrive. By around 4:50 PM, around 400 people had gathered here, with 500 yet to arrive.
“Hrm?” Reynolds suddenly frowned.
He suddenly had the sensation of impending danger, as though an invisible, murderous force was stealthily creeping towards them. As a magus, Reynolds had an extremely powerful spiritual force, and his premonitions were far stronger than most people’s.
“Everyone, be careful!” Reynolds suddenly shouted coldly.
“Yes, milord!” All the surrounding knights answered, but right at this moment, the sound of frantic hoof beats could be heard, drawing closer to them at high speed.
“Enemy ambush!” Enemy ambush!” That fierce shout shattered the calm skies.
Virtually all of the knights reacted very quickly, snatching up their spears and raising their shields as they all charged at high speed towards their horses. But just at this moment, sharp arrows began to rain down upon them from afar….
The arrows rained down upon them at high speed like a plague of locusts. All of the knights immediately knelt down while raising their shields to protect themselves, while moving closer to each other.
The Empire’s shields were of very high quality. In battle, it was rare that ordinary arrows would be able to pierce through them. And indeed, many of the arrows struck the shields, but the shields would only tremble slightly as the arrows fell to the ground, spent. But ten or so arrows passed straight through the shields, as though they were made of paper…
A fast-moving arrow tore straight through a shield, then pierced straight through the knight’s head. Brain matter exploded out.
Reynolds, seeing this, felt heartsick. These knights were his personal squad, and had followed him for six years. Six years of living together had resulted in deep bonds of affection. But Reynolds instantly could tell: “To be able to pierce through shields from hundreds of meters away means they are definitely experts of the seventh or eighth ranks. And there are quite a few of them.”
“Rumble.” As those distant people moved nearer, the sound of their horses’ hoof steps grew clearer. This group of people all wore gray armor, and the hooves of their horses were covered with cloth.
In front of these people, over ten bloodstained knights were fleeing.
“Rossi [Luo’xi].” Reynolds’ face changed. Those ten knights belonged to his squad.
“Milord, flee, quick! These are the soldiers of the Rohault Empire, and they number in the thousands! Quick…ah!!!” A bloodied knight ran past at high speed, but in the blink of an eye, an arrow went straight through his throat.
“Kill them all! Let none survive!” A cold voice rang out from afar.
Reynolds shouted loudly. Fight against an opponent numbering in the thousands, while he only had a few hundred people? And what’s more, they were being ambushed, and the enemy had multiple elite warriors of the seventh and eighth ranks.
In addition, their duty was reconnaissance. They had to go back and spread the news.
The lucky survivors immediately vaulted onto their warhorses. Perhaps because their enemies wanted to acquire those several hundred horses, the arrows that had rained down on them just now had only struck the knights. Not a single warhorse had been killed.
The only thing on Reynolds’ mind was to flee at high speed. At the beginning, four hundred men had tried to flee, but right now, only a hundred were left. That a hundred were left was because Reynolds had used magic to intimidate their enemies. While fleeing, Reynolds was still muttering the words to even more magical spells.
With Reynolds at the center, eight swathes of flame shaped like greatswords suddenly exploded forth, scattering in every direction and charging directly towards the pursuing armies.
Fire-style magic – Decapitating Inferno!
“Crackle, crackle.” The blazing flames slashed down on the bodies of those knights, who immediately began to scream in agony. Their metal armor rapidly melted, and in the blink of an eye, they were turned to char. The surrounding grass began to blaze as well, and the following knights were forced to slow down.
“Chase, chase!” That blonde, tousled-haired leader stared angrily at the distant Reynolds.
If it hadn’t been for that distant magus, he would’ve wiped out this group of people long ago. But because of that magus and because it was autumn and the grass was dry, the grass had easily begun to burn and caused a huge wildfire, blocking their pursuit.
Magical force wasn’t endless.
Reynolds didn’t dare to use any actual spells of the seventh rank. All of the spells he had used were of the sixth rank. But despite that, nearly all of the mageforce in Reynolds’ body had been exhausted.
Only a single squad of three hundred soldiers of the Rohault Empire continued their pursuit, but this squad had over ten experts of the seventh rank. Clearly, this was an elite squad. And in Reynolds’ squad, there was only a single warrior of the seventh rank, and of course himself, a magus of the seventh rank.
“The city of Neil! I can see the city of Neil!” One of the knights shouted loudly.
“Neil city!” Reynolds saw the distant, hazy outlines of the city. His eyes were filled with hope, and he frantically urged his horse forwards.
“Swish!” Yet another arrow shot at them from behind, and the exhausted Reynolds once again frantically dodged while raising his shield to block. With a ‘slash’ sound, the arrow pierced through the shield and into Reynolds’ shoulder. The powerful force of that arrow actually caused the exhausted body of Reynolds’ to sway, and he nearly fell from his horse.
After running for two hours, it was almost dusk.
The walls of the city of Neil were manned by quite a few warriors, as well as a number of nobles who were on the walls strolling about aimlessly.
“Open the city gates, quick! There are soldiers of the Rohault Empire behind us. Kill them all!!!” Reynolds roared furiously.
In the blink of an eye, Reynolds and his tens of wounded surviving soldiers reached the outskirts of the city of Neil, but the gates to the city didn’t open.
“Swish!” An arrow shot out at one of the nobles on the wall.
“Don’t open it! Don’t open the city gates!” A shrill, ear-piercing voice could be heard coming from up above. “Fire your arrows! Shoot the enemies to death!”
That pursuing squad of the Rohault Empire stopped just outside of bow range. Ten of them actually dismounted, then charged directly towards the city walls. They easily dodged the arrows aimed at them from above, and all of them were covered with a sheath of battle-qi.
These were mighty warriors indeed.
“Kill that magus.” The leader of those ten men stared fixedly at Reynolds. They had chased all the way over here for the sake of killing Reynolds. A magus without mageforce was simply far too weak.
Right now, Reynolds couldn’t fight back at all.
“Open the gates!” Reynolds’ squad of knights felt totally hopeless now. Although they had several dozen people and their enemy only had ten, just from looking at their opponents’ battle-qi, they could tell that the leader of their enemies could probably kill them all by himself.