At the manor of the Prime Court Magus. Within the Hot Springs Garden.
An earthen glow emanated from a patch of grass within the Hot Springs Garden. Earth-style magic – Supergravity Field. Right now, Linley was dressed only in a pair of long pants, his upper body bare as he trained in the grass.
Those muscles on his bare upper body rippled like water. There wasn’t a trace of excess flesh. Right now, Linley’s body, organs, veins, and arteries were all being forced to withstand a gravity four times stronger than normal.
Fortunately, after becoming a Dragonblood Warrior, Linley’s body had reached new heights in power.
Linley’s legs were arched in a bow-drawing stance, and his two hands were raised parallel by his sides, each holding up a giant boulder. Each of these boulders weighed over a hundred pounds. Under the quadruple gravity field, the two combined weighed nearly a thousand pounds.
His legs as taut as steel cables, Linley’s body was as straight as a quill. His gaze, fixed in front of him, didn’t waver either.
One drop of sweat after another rolled down Linley’s body, covering his entire body in sweat. But Linley persevered….
Despite being designated the Prime Court Magus for the kingdom, Linley continued to train non-stop every day. His guards stood solemnly outside, alongside two female attendants who were ready to answer Linley’s call at any moment. The door to the Hot Springs Garden, however, was closed.
Whenever Linley was training, no one was permitted to enter.
Once, his majesty King Clayde, ruler of Fenlai, had come to the manor. The palace attendant ignored the guards at the Hot Springs Garden and charged in directly, instructing Linley to meet with his Majesty. Linley immediately issued an order for that attendant to receive twenty strikes of the military rod. That physically weak attendant ended up being beaten to death.
But afterwards, King Clayde didn’t blame Linley in the slightest. On the contrary, he berated his subordinates, telling them that while at the Hot Springs Garden, they absolutely must obey Linley’s rules.
“Lord Linley always is so hard-working when he trains. He’s spent an entire day in there. When he’s not engaging in warrior training, he is engaging in magus training. I think the only time he ever rests is the time he spends in his stonesculpting.” One female attendant said in a low voice. The other female attendant also nodded. “I’ve never seen such a hard-working noble before. In the previous household I worked for, the instructor for the warriors himself only spent four hours a day training.”
The nearby guardian knights of the Radiant Church also felt a great deal of admiration for Linley. Most geniuses, after their initial glory, would begin to fall behind. Each year, the Radiant Church would train a good number of geniuses. However, not only were none of those geniuses as outstanding as Linley, once their status had risen, they would become totally distracted by the material pleasures of the world and fall behind.
“If Lord Linley continues like this, in all likelihood, he will be the youngest combatant of the ninth rank in history, and the youngest Saint-level in history as well.” One of the guardian knights said softly.
The other guardian knight also nodded.
All of these people very much admired Linley’s painstaking diligence in training.
Only….“Lord Linley is a bit too strict and severe.” One of the female attendants said in an unhappy voice.
In their hearts, Linley was handsome, young, had high standards for himself, and powerful. He had a future! A person like him could be considered to be all but perfect. Only, he was extremely severe towards others. Even when dealing with female servants like them, he didn’t act with any gentleness or affection.
What these people didn’t know was that although Linley did engage in stonesculpting, he wasn’t really resting; when he was stonesculpting, he was increasing his spiritual energy at the fastest rate possible! Linley’s was increasing his power at every moment!
Within the Hot Springs Garden.
An hour of warrior’s training had come to an end. Linley began to activate the Dragonblood battle-qi in his body, and that tired, weary feeling disappeared. From a nearby box, Linley withdrew a straight chisel, then walked over to one of those two boulders he had dropped onto the grass. These were used by Linley when stonesculpting.
Staring at these boulders and their internal lines and structure, Linley began to mentally design a sculpture. In the blink of an eye, a mental image of a warrior’s face was formed.
A hint of a smile on his face, the straight chisel in Linley’s hand began to move.
In a very rhythmic pattern, the straight chisel flew and chopped about, causing shattered bits of stone to fly everywhere. Linley knew exactly what he was doing, and so each chop was made with absolute confidence, and the strength he used was just right.
What a wonderful feeling!
Linley’s spirit became submerged within the ebbs and vibrations of the surrounding earth elemental essence, allowing him to sense the lines and cracks of the stone. Linley’s spirit also submerged into the surrounding wind elemental essence, allowing every single stroke of the knife to reach the peak of perfection in accuracy.
Linley’s soul had become one with nature, and like a benevolent mother, nature surrounded Linley’s soul, allowing it to grow, to strengthen.
Letting out a breath, Linley withdrew his straight chisel.
After spending two hours, this giant boulder had been transformed into a rough outline. As for the fine details, Linley planned to finish those tomorrow. Every day, Linley set limits on how much time he could spend on his stonesculpting.
He had to use the right complement of training regimes to achieve the maximum effect in terms of raising his power!
Training started every day at five in the morning, while now, it was eight o’clock. It was time for Linley to eat breakfast.
Putting down his straight chisel, Linley stepped out of his pants and into the hot springs pool. Lying within the hot springs, feeling the hot springs water rush against his muscles, Linley closed his eyes comfortably, finally allowing himself some time to rest.
“Enter.” Linley suddenly shouted.
Those two female attendants who had been quietly standing outside the door this entire time immediately entered with two trays. Those round trays were covered with all sorts of delicacies and fruits.
“Lord Linley.” Those two female attendants put the two round trays down on the nearby table, then respectfully awaited Linley’s commands.
While obediently standing to the side, those two female attendants couldn’t help but sneak peeks at Linley. Linley’s naked, muscular, reclining male body was indeed a source of fascination to them.
“You can go for now.”
Linley said calmly.
“Yes, milord.” The two female attendants immediately left respectfully.
From start to finish, Linley had not glanced at them even once.
Next, Linley stepped out of the pool, put on a set of clean underwear and clothes, then sat on a chair and began to eat breakfast.
“Swish.” A black shadow rushed out from the faraway grassy fields. It was Bebe. Before this, when Linley was training and stonesculpting, Bebe was napping.
“Boss, it’s time for breakfast, eh? Alright, this big piece of roast meat is mine.” Bebe’s eyes instantly were drawn to a particular large piece of roasted magical beast meat.”
“Grandpa Doehring, do we really have no method available to us to deal with that Clayde at present?” Linley mentally said to Doehring Cowart.
Doehring Cowart flew out of the Coiling Dragon ring. Seating himself on another chair, he smiled at Linley. “Linley. Clayde is a warrior of the ninth rank. The gap between the two of you is too vast. Even if you assume the complete Dragonform, you are only a warrior of the early-stage eighth rank. Oh, wait, now that you are currently a late-stage warrior of the sixth rank, when you assume the Dragonform, you can be considered to be a late-stage warrior of the eighth rank. But nonetheless, you are far from being a match for Clayde.”
Linley felt very unwilling to accept this. He knew, now, that the person who had instructed his mother to be abducted by Duke Patterson was King Clayde. But right now, he had no chance of dealing with Clayde at all.
“The only choice I have is to continue training hard.” Linley unconsciously balled his fists, with the fork in his hands warping from his strength.
In the early ranks, the extra boost provided by the Dragonform transformation was especially large. As a warrior of the late-stage sixth rank, based on his current training regime, in about half a year, there was hope for Linley to reach the seventh rank. Upon reaching the seventh rank of power, when using the Dragonform, Linley would be able to step into the early-stage ninth rank.
“Lord Linley.” The voice of a female attendant could be heard from outside.
“Come in.” Linley said calmly.
Only now did the female attendant rush in. Respectfully, she said, “Lord Linley, outside, there’s a young lady named Alice who wishes to meet you.”
“Alice?” Linley’s eyelids flickered. He looked at the female attendant. “Bring her to the guest hall. I will be there shortly.” Linley stood up as he spoke.
“Yes, Lord Linley.” The female attendant didn’t dare to tease Linley in the slightest. They all knew how legendarily severe Linley was with his subordinates.
Alice was clutching a glass of water, seeming very ill at ease. For her to come beg Linley was asking a lot of her. But she had no other choice.
Footsteps could be heard.
Alice’s entire body shook, and she immediately turned her head to look.
Dressed in a loose, long robe, Linley smiled as he entered from an inner hall. Seeing Alice look at him, he immediately nodded and smiled back. “Alice, long time no see.” As he spoke, Linley sat down at the host’s seat.
Alice could clearly feel that Linley’s attitude was now totally different from a year ago. A year ago, Linley was still very young and immature.
But now, Linley carried himself with the unconscious noble grace and poise. Just from that faint smile, one could sense his grandeur, a grandeur which only came from someone being assured of his high status.
“Big brother Linley.” Alice forced her voice to sound calm, but even despite that, her voice still trembled slightly.
“Would you like to eat some fruit? I remember that you loved to eat olives.” Linley glanced at one of his female attendants.
A short time later, the female attendant returned with a plate of fruit.
“Thank you.” Alice picked up an olive and took a small bite. At this moment, Alice couldn’t help but think back to when she and Linley had eaten olives together. Back then, Linley had fed them to her.
Alice couldn’t help but turn to look up at Linley, only to find that Linley was smiling at her.
“Big brother Linley.” Alice put down the fruit, looking at Linley. “There’s something I want to ask your help with.”
“You need my help?” Linley had already guessed at the reason behind this visit of Alice’s.
“Go ahead.” Linley said directly.
Alice took a deep breath, then looked at Linley seriously. “Big brother Linley, you already know about what is happening with Kalan’s clan. I think…Kalan and the others are innocent. I hope you, big brother Linley, can help them and say a few words on their behalf to his Majesty. I hope you can wash away these unjust accusations and return their innocence to them. I know that his Majesty will definitely give you face.”
Linley couldn’t help but laugh helplessly.
Others might not be aware, but how could he, who had killed Patterson, be unaware? When he had killed Patterson, Patterson had personally told him about this smuggling affair. There was an 80% to 90% chance that this was with regards to the Debs clan!
“Wash away these unjust accusations? Why do you believe they are innocent? Alice, how much do you really know about the Debs clan?” Linley looked at Alice.
Alice was startled.
It had taken her a tremendous amount of courage to force out those words just now. But after Linley answered her with a question, she had a feeling…that Linley wasn’t going to help!
She suddenly wanted to cry. She felt extremely miserable.
Alice stood up. Curtseying towards Linley, she said, “Big brother Linley, I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have come here today. I know that in the past, I hurt you very deeply. For me to come now and ask you to help save the Debs clan is really excessive of me. It’s okay if you don’t help. I won’t blame you.” As Alice saw it, Linley and Kalan were rivals in love. It was already very kind of Linley not to throw more stones in the drying well, to kick him when he was down.
As he looked at Alice, Linley’s heart was very calm
With regards to his failed relationship with his first love, Linley now regarded it only as a bygone dream. The current Linley had already experienced the battle in the Foggy Valley, the transformation into a Dragonblood Warrior, and the death of his father. And now, he had embarked on a dark road of vengeance!
On the road to vengeance, the thing which Linley had to do was to suppress himself, to be cruel, to be cold, to not slacken in the slightest. The current Linley was, mentally, far stronger than he had been a year ago, and far more mature as well. That young, naïve Linley of a year ago couldn’t compare at all to the current Linley. He also wasn’t the Linley that Alice thought he was.
After having experienced so much, he had matured! Linley had experienced far too much!
“Big brother Linley, I’ll leave now.” Alice immediately stood to leave, her tears at the precipice of coming out.
“Alice.” Linley stood up as well, stretching his hand out and resting it against Alice’s shoulders.
Alice turned her head to stare at Linley in amazement. Linley was gazing at her. In a serious voice, he said, “Alice, there’s so much that you don’t know. Whether or not the Debs clan is innocent isn’t something that you can determine. However, since you made up your mind to come ask me for help, I won’t just stand by and watch. But…whether or not I’ll be able to succeed in saving them is another question.”