With Bated Breath
Linley quietly left, returning to his own manor.
On the road back from Clayde’s residence to his own, Linley’s face was a mask of unhappiness. This news he had just received had made Linley think that things would be much more difficult now.
“Linley. What decision have you come to?” Doehring Cowart appeared from within the Coiling Dragon ring.
There was still a degree of distance between Linley’s residence and Clayde’s manor. Doehring Cowart, this five-thousand year old ghost of a peak-stage Saint level combatant, wasn’t afraid that Lord Fallen Leaf would see him here.
Linley balled his fists. “Endure. I can only endure and wait.”
Doehring Cowart nodded with satisfaction. He had watched every step of Linley’s journey and growth. Doehring Cowart felt affection and love for Linley as he might a grandson.
He didn’t wish for Linley to act too rashly.
“Linley. Don’t worry.” Stroking his beard, Doehring Cowart spoke confidently. “That Fallen Leaf probably just let Clayde travel along with him since it didn’t inconvenience him. He definitely won’t stay with Clayde for too long. In the past, when Clayde was still the king of a kingdom, his status was already much lower than that of Fallen Leaf. As for the current Clayde…the Kingdom of Fenlai itself has been destroyed, making him even less important. What’s more, based on my calculations, the new Holy Capital which the Radiant Church will select most likely will not be Hess City. Thus, Fallen Leaf won’t stay here too long.”
The previous Holy Capital, ‘Fenlai City’, had been totally annihilated by the army of magical beasts from the Mountain Range of Magical Beasts. Only rubble was left. The Radiant Church definitely would not permit such an event to happen again. Naturally, they wouldn’t erect the new Holy Capital in a location like Hess City, which was so near their new borders.
After all, the ‘King’ of the Mountain Range of Magical Beasts, Dylin, had previously said that the magical beasts under his domain could possibly expand to the point of taking up half of the Holy Union. Right now, they had only taken up a third of the Holy Union’s territory. If they were to truly take over half, then Hess City would fall into that area as well.
Heidens and the other top level members of the Radiant Church simply did not have confidence in their ability to resist this Deity-level Dylin.
Although the Radiant Church still had untapped powers of its own that it hadn’t put on display yet, once they deployed those powers against Dylin, it would be equivalent to them expending all of the resources they had saved up over ten millennia in one battle.
Heidens didn’t dare to act in such a way.
“Just wait.” Linley took a deep breath, forcing himself to remain calm. He already knew where Clayde was. So long as he didn’t make any mistakes, Clayde definitely wouldn’t be able to escape.
Within a restaurant opposite of Shaq’s manor, the same restaurant where Linley’s two servants maintained their vigil over Shaq and Clayde.
That very day.
Wearing a very ordinary sleeveless sweatshirt, Linley’s powerful chest muscles were plainly visible. Those two mighty, muscled arms and that heavy sword on his back gave the impression of an extremely strong man.
A heavy sword warrior!
Linley’s current appearance was a very commonly seen one. Warriors prioritized muscular training the most, and thus many of them had powerful bodies, and quite a few used heavy swords as well.
“Two plates of roast meat and two bottles of Bullfighters.” Linley said in a deep voice.
“Sir, please take a seat first.” Seeing how powerful Linley appeared, the waiter was extremely respectful to him. Linley selected a seat located towards the interior of the restaurant which still offered a clear vantage point to see through the door and the windows towards Clayde’s manor.
The waiter immediately pulled the chair out for Linley to sit on.
“Sir, please wait a moment.” The waiter said with a smile. At this time, another waiter came over with those two bottles of Bullfighters. Bullfighter was a type of extremely strong liquor, particularly favored by powerful warriors.
Casting a sneak glance at the heavy sword on Linley’s back, the attendant was secretly shocked. “Oh my lord. What a long, thick heavy sword, and from the coloration, it must have been made from special materials. It must weigh at least a few hundred pounds. This gentleman must be an extremely strong warrior.”
At this restaurant, when the servers were bored, they would sneak peeks at their various customers. After having done so for a long time, their eyes had become quite sharp and their guesses accurate. Seeing how easily Linley was carrying this heavy sword about, they could immediately tell that Linley was an extremely powerful warrior.
The elder of the two brothers whom Linley had stationed in this restaurant walked over at this time.
“Take this roasted meat back and give it to Bebe.” Linley didn’t give him a chance to speak before issuing orders. “Yes, milord.”
The elder of the two brothers didn’t have anything important to do either. He immediately carried out Linley’s instructions and took the roast meat back.
And then, Linley just quietly sat in the restaurant and drank his liquor.
Linley drank wine very slowly. A single bottle of liquor was enough to last him two or three hours. He just continued to drink while keeping an eye on Clayde’s manor.
In the higher levels of the restaurant, a travelling bard was belting out songs, and the entire bar was extremely rowdy. Quite a few warriors were shouting and laughing at each other.
Because of the catastrophe, Hess City was more lively than it had ever been.
Many powerful warriors patronized this restaurant, and all of them were very energetic. They actually began to compete in arm wrestling.
“Ten thousand gold coins! The winner gets ten thousand gold coins!” The contest organizer shouted in a high pitched voice.
To many of the powerful warriors who had fled here after the disaster, although ten thousand gold coins wasn’t a small sum of money, it wasn’t a particularly large sum either.
“I’ll join. These ten thousand gold coins are mine.” A 2.2 meter tall brown-haired warrior with a barrel-sized chest sat down. His arms were definitely thicker than most people’s legs.
“Hrmph, I’ll give you a go.”
A red-haired man with a body similar to Linley’s walked over and sat down as well. The two immediately stretched their arms out and clasped hands. Immediately afterwards, the muscles in their arms began to bulge.
Those warriors drinking next to them all began to shout out loudly in encouragement.
“This sort of life isn’t that bad.” Linley knew that waiting for Fallen Leaf to leave would be an extremely boring event. Who knew how long Fallen Leaf would stay? One day? Two days? Ten?
Linley turned to watch with interest as well.
“Neither of these two are weak. They are at least warriors of the sixth rank.” Linley nodded to himself. Right now, experts could be seen everywhere in Hess City.
Their arms locked against each other, these two warriors were exerting ten thousand pounds of force against each other.
“Grrr!” That brown-haired warrior whose arms were thicker than most people’s legs suddenly let out a mighty shout, and all of the veins on his arm began to pop out, criss-crossing his arm like worms beneath the skin. Anyone looking at him would think that his veins were about to explode at any moment.
The red-haired man’s face had turned red as well, as he wasn’t willing to back down in the slightest.
“Creak. Creak.” The table underneath their arms was beginning to shiver as well.
The tables and chairs in this restaurant were all made from steel, and were extremely sturdy. Generally speaking, powerful warriors were able to carefully calibrate and control the amount of power released from their wrists as they engaged in arm-wrestling above the table. For the table to begin quivering due to their strength was a sign that both men were at their limits.
“Haha, let’s go Harold [Ha’luo’de]!”
“Damnit, Harold, try harder!”
“Second Bro, don’t lose in front of me!”
All the warriors who were drinking around them were howling loudly in support. Slowly, that large man with massive arms named Harold gained a slight advantage, causing the red-haired warrior to immediately try desperately to resist.
With a loud roar, Harold smashed his opponent’s arm against the table, causing a impression to be left upon the steel table.
“Haha, I win!” Harold laughed loudly.
“F*ck. Second Bro, beat it. Let me come. This big dumb idiot wants to win ten thousand gold? Hmph.” A one-eyed red-haired warrior walked over.
The restaurant was very rowdy, and those energetic warriors screamed and shouted, while up above, the travelling bard was also singing loudly so as to get that bit of gold the restaurant had promised him.
But in this rowdy environment, three or four people remained silent. The warriors around them quite conscientiously didn’t disturb those people. All of these warriors had significant outside experience, and they had good judgment. They knew who they could afford to offend, and who they could not.
The next morning, soon after Linley sat down.
Linley suddenly saw a familiar face. Lord Fallen Leaf.
As skinny as a beggar, Lord Fallen Leaf casually walked out of Clayde’s manor and departed, with two barefooted Ascetics dressed in sackcloth by his side.
“He left? But only Fallen Leaf and two Ascetics have left.” Linley considered for a moment. He knew that many Ascetics had come on this journey, and many experts were amongst their ranks. Right now, only three had left.
“Continue to wait.” Linley took a sip of liquor. He would keep waiting.
Clayde, Shaq, and the others sent off Lord Fallen Leaf, watching him leave from the gate.
“Royal father, there is something that I forgot to tell you.” Shaq slapped himself on the head. “Royal father, Lord Linley travelled with us for a time, but two days ago he left. He was heading north.”
Hearing this name, Clayde almost shouted aloud in surprise.
This Linley had nearly taken his life on two separate occasions.
“What’s wrong, royal father?” Shaq questioned. As far as Shaq could tell, this wasn’t a major issue. After all, the Kingdom of Fenlai had already been annihilated. Their royal clan was royal only in name now, and not in truth. It would be surprising if Linley had actually continued to be loyal to them.
“He travelled with you. Did he know that you are living here?” Clayde immediately asked.
“Yes. He even stayed here a night.” Shaq said, confused.
Clayde’s heart began to shudder. “This Linley is definitely still in Hess City.” Clayde knew that Linley wanted to kill him, and wouldn’t leave just like that.
“No worries. There’s still a large group of Ascetics living here.” Clayde comforted himself.
“But when the Ascetics leave, I will leave with them.” Clayde made his decision. Only by travelling together with the Ascetics would he feel safe.
Clayde carefully looked in every direction.
He even had this strange feeling that Linley was looking at him from somewhere nearby.
A day passed. A second day passed. Aside from going back at night to sleep, Linley spent all his time at the restaurant. Once, a foolish person tried to cause Linley some trouble, but Linley booted him from the back of the restaurant to the front of the restaurant with one kick. Thereafter, no one else disturbed Linley.
In the blink of an eye, six days passed.
During these past six days, aside from Fallen Leaf and those two Ascetics, none of the other Ascetics had left.
Within Clayde’s manor.
“Everyone, why are you in such a rush to leave?” Clayde looked at the three representatives of the Ascetics in front of him, trying to persuade them.
An old, golden-haired man said calmly, “Clayde, we must head towards the new Holy Capital now. Sorry for inconveniencing you these past days. We’ll leave now.”
These three Ascetics totally ignored Clayde’s entreaties as they prepared to leave immediately.
“Milords, you are heading to the new Holy Capital? I wish to go as well. How about I travel alongside you?” Clayde said immediately, while at the same time, he instructed his son Shaq, “Shaq, prepare some things. We leave immediately.”
At this point in time, Clayde didn’t feel any sense of security at all.
If only Kaiser was left with him, Clayde didn’t feel confident that Kaiser would be able to protect him against both Linley and that freakish magical beast of his.
“Travel along with us?” The golden-haired old man frowned.
In truth, they were not making a trip towards the new Holy Capital at all. They had a secret mission.
“Impossible. We are under strict orders from the Church.” The golden-haired man said coldly.
The other two looked coldly at Clayde as well. “If you follow us secretly, you should know what the end result will be.” After they spoke, the three turned and left, leaving behind a pole-axed Clayde.
Clayde hadn’t expected that these Ascetics would forbid him from travelling with them.
“Milords!” Clayde chased out from the main hall, but the fifty or so Ascetics had already left the manor via the gate. Not a single one of them turned to look back at him.
Clayde considered what to do. He didn’t dare to follow them. Although the Radiant Church taught that men should be benevolent, when they decided to act against someone, they were definitely without mercy. Right now, Clayde was no longer of particular use to the Radiant Church. Those Ascetics definitely would not fear to kill him.
“Royal father.” Shaq walked over, looking at Clayde.
Clayde frowned. He was quiet for a moment. Then, he gave his orders. “Let’s leave from the back gate. We will leave immediately. Yes, immediately. The danger grows with each passing minute.