The Eldest Disciple
The mountain wind howled drearily. Walking up the mountain, Linley and Castro travelled a hundred meters with every two or three steps.
“On Bluethunder Peak, eight of us apprentice-brothers are living there. Our senior apprentice-brother is also living at the very top of Bluethunder Peak.” Castro said with emotion.
But Linley was currently thinking about that battle the eldest disciple had with Cesar a thousand years ago.”
“Castro, do you know anything about that duel between your senior apprentice-brother and Cesar?” Linley asked.
Castro said enviously, “When that duel occurred, I hadn’t been accepted into the War God’s College yet. I have, however, heard other fellow apprentices discuss it. That Cesar was extremely powerful, and he was extremely fast as well. Senior apprentice-brother’s speed is the highest amongst all of us, but he was only able to match Cesar’s speed.”
“How fast were they?” Linley was also specialized in speed.
Castro laughed calmly. “I don’t know either. After all, I didn’t personally witness this duel. But I think…they should be much faster than you and Olivier.”
Linley could understand. After all, his human form was not yet at the Saint-level. He still had a long way to grow. It was normal if he currently wasn’t a match for them.
At the top of Bluethunder Peak.
The top of the mountain had an open space that was a few dozen meters wide. There were some stunted dwarf trees at the top of the mountain as well as some wild grass. Next to one of the old dwarf trees, there were two stone houses.
And at the top of the mountain, there was a man standing there, staring downwards.
Linley carefully looked at this man. He was dressed in a simple blue robe. He was rather skinny, but his back was ramrod straight. His short hair was only three inches, and it was also blue. Just by looking at him, one could sense that this man was possessed of a valiant, resolute air.
“Senior apprentice-brother.” Castro said respectfully.
The blue-haired man turned to look at them. When his gaze landed on Linley, Linley suddenly sensed his own soul seem to tremble from the gaze.
Was this an attack?!
Linley instantly grew frightened. He was certain that against ordinary warriors, most likely the gaze alone of this senior apprentice-brother could destroy their soul. Fortunately, he himself possessed the spiritual energy of an Arch Magus of the ninth rank.
“Not bad.” The man smiled and nodded. “You are Linley?”
“I am.” Linley nodded as well.
“My name is Fain [Fa’en].” The man smiled. “Master instructed me to come welcome you. You drank dragon’s blood in order to gain the ability to transform, I believe. You aren’t a pure Dragonblood Warrior, right?”
“Hrm?” Linley frowned.
“After hearing about your Dragonform’s appearance, I deduced this. I’ve met other Dragonblood Warriors of your Baruch clan.” Fain said with a calm laugh.
“So what if I did drink dragon’s blood?” Linley responded.
The eldest disciple, Fain, sighed with emotion. “Based on what I know, the Pure Dragonblood Warriors have tremendous potential, while the Variant Dragonblood Warriors who drank dragon’s blood have slightly less potential. If you were a Pure Dragonblood Warrior, upon reaching the peak of your power, you would probably be able to do battle with me.”
“Even the potential of a Variant Dragonblood Warrior most likely is greater than yours.” Linley was very unhappy with the way this ‘eldest disciple’ was speaking.
He was a person of great status. Even the so-called ‘most powerful Saint’ in the world, the Monolithic Sword Saint, Haydson, was nothing more than a junior in Fain’s eyes, not even worthy of his attention. He truly was rather dissatisfied with the way Linley had just spoken to him.
But when he thought of the instructions the War God had given him, Fain simply smiled, no longer allowing himself to be angry.
“Indeed. Supreme Warriors, even non-pure ones, still have higher potential than normal people.” Fain smiled, then glanced at the nearby Castro. “Apprentice-brother, you can go back now. For now, I will attend to Linley.”
“Yes, senior apprentice-brother.” Castro said very respectfully. He then looked at Linley meaningfully, signaling with his eyes for Linley to not be too arrogant. He then left the mountain.
Linley took a deep breath. He, too, understood that here at the War God’s College, it was best to be a bit more humble.
“Linley, let’s sit down and chat.” With a wave of his hand, Fain caused two nearby wooden seats to fly over towards them, landing in front of himself and Linley.
Seeing this, Linley was extremely puzzled.
What technique had Fain used just now? Linley hadn’t sensed him using any battle-qi.
“I hear that you refused Lord Hodan?” Fain laughed. Even Fain was extremely respectful towards Hodan. Hodan was, after all, a Deity-level expert.
“Indeed.” Linley nodded.
“Wise.” Fain laughed. “Linley, we should feel very lucky to have been born here in the Yulan continent.”
“Oh?” Linley was somewhat confused.
Fain continued, “Many Saints have already been famous for centuries and have enjoyed all there is to enjoy. Most of their family members have died of old age. Without anything tying them down emotionally, a large number of them have gone to the Higher Planes.”
Linley nodded. He understood this.
Eventually, one would grow weary of what the material plane had to offer. After the passage of centuries, all family members who had not reached the Saint-level would have died long ago. It was very normal for them to eventually decide to go to the Higher Planes.
“But what those people do not understand is that many of the experts of the Higher Planes wish they could come here to the plane of the Yulan continent.” A hint of a smile was at the corner of Fain’s lips. “Linley, five thousand years ago, many experts from different planes descended to the Yulan continent. Do you know of this affair?”
“I’ve heard of it.” Linley nodded.
“I didn’t expect you to know about this.” Fain nodded. “Those countless experts all came to the Yulan continent. Naturally, it was because there was something about this plane which attracted them.”
Fain shook his head and sighed. “But many Saints instead choose to run off to the Higher Planes, where experts are as common as the clouds. They give up what is close to them for something far away.”
“Linley, let me just tell you this. Don’t be in a hurry to go to the Higher Planes. Stay here. Eventually, you’ll know what huge benefits this plane has to offer. As for what secrets lie hidden within the Yulan continent, for now, I cannot tell you.” Fain said with a laugh.
Linley looked at Fain questioningly. “Why tell me this?”
Many Saints didn’t know about this. Why had Fain decided to tell him?
“Master instructed me to.” Fain said.
“The War God?” Linley truly didn’t understand it.
This was the second time the War God had assisted him. The first time, he had ordered Emperor Johann to choose Wharton, while this time, he had Fain tell him these secrets.
Fain suddenly said, “Linley, I hear you are quite powerful. Let’s spar together. What do you say?”
Linley’s eyes lit up. He immediately nodded.
To train with someone on the level of Fain would definitely be beneficial. With a flip of his hand, Linley retrieved his Bloodviolet flexible sword. Leaping backwards, he retreated at high speed, while at the same time, those black scales covered his body, and those sharp, ferocious spikes appeared as well.
Staring at Linley’s cold, remorseless dark golden eyes, Fain sighed in praise. “This Variant Dragonform of yours seems to be quite special. Come. Are you ready?”
Linley was already chanting the words to the Windshadow spell.
“Ready.” Linley nodded.
Looking at Linley, Fain recalled his master’s instructions. He couldn’t help but let out a resigned sigh. The reason he actively asked Linley to spar was also at the behest of the War God.
According to the War God, it was time to let Linley have an idea as to how powerful the true experts of the continent were.
“Linley, I am extremely fast. Be careful.” Fain said with a smile. In fact, Linley had chosen to use Bloodviolet precisely because he had heard that Fain was fast.
Bloodviolet could reach an astonishing level of speed when used correctly.
“Let’s begin.” Fain’s eyes lit up.
“Swish!” An azure light suddenly flowed out from Fain’s body, so powerful that it crackled and popped.
Fain suddenly moved.
Linley only felt an azure bolt of lightning suddenly streak towards him, at least twice as fast as Olivier’s top speed. This terrifying speed rendered Linley completely unable to dodge.
Linley leapt backwards while hurriedly transforming Bloodviolet into a tornado of movement, creating countless flashes of violet light which attacked that azure bolt of lightning.
Profound Truths of the Wind – Rippling Wind!
Linley didn’t dare to use any other techniques. If he were to use the ‘Tempos of the Wind’ instead, he probably wouldn’t even be able to touch his opponent. Only by using this extremely fast technique could he just barely defend himself.
“Bam!” A terrifying force struck onto the tip of Bloodviolet.
And then, Linley could clearly sense that azure bolt of lightning seem to be transmitted through Bloodviolet towards him, striking onto his black scales.
It was as though a heavy warhammer had struck Linley’s soul. Linley flew upwards, then immediately collapsed onto the floor, his entire body trembling as that azure lightning continued to ripple across Linley’s body.
His entire body felt paralyzed. Linley could sense that his muscles had lost all power, and he was barely able to remain conscious.
After a long period of time, Linley finally regained full consciousness, and his four limbs and his muscles slowly gained strength as well. Only now did Linley stand up, staring at Fain with disbelief.
When he had dueled with Olivier, Linley had believed himself to be a peak-stage Saint, which meant that there should be very few people in the continent capable of defeating him.
But now, after sparring with Fain, he realized that the difference between himself and Fain was extremely vast.
Fain was twice as fast as him. Although that didn’t sound like much, when engaging in a battle of speed, even a tiny advantage in speed meant the faster party held an advantage. Twice as fast…this was an unbridgeable gap.
There was no way for him to counterattack.
What’s more, that lightning-attack had stunned his very soul. Fain had actually held back from using his full power as he had not wished to injure Linley.
“What, you can’t believe it?” Fain sat back down on his wooden chair, laughing.
Linley’s mind was in a state of chaos. “Although I knew that you are strong, Mr. Fain, I didn’t expect…I couldn’t resist at all. Mr. Fain, have you reached the Deity-level?”
“No. I’m still just a peak-stage Saint.” Fain shook his head.
“I’m also a peak-stage Saint. But…” Linley couldn’t understand.
Laughing, Fain looked at Linley, then sighed with emotion. “Linley, don’t be fooled by the four words, ‘peak-stage Saint-level’. In the eyes of experts such as us, the so-called ‘peak-stage’ doesn’t matter. The only thing that matters is how much and how well you understand the Laws.”
“If you understand just the tiniest bit of the Laws, then you are a ‘peak-stage’ Saint in the eyes of ordinary people.” Fain said disdainfully.
Linley was startled.
Right. That was indeed the case. When Linley’s proficiency with the sword had reached the ‘impose’ level, that was merely borrowing the ‘imposing force’ of the heavens and the earth. It didn’t have anything to do with the Laws.
But the techniques he had developed based on the Profound Truths of the Earth and the two techniques he had developed based on the Profound Truths of the Wind, the Rippling Wind and Tempos of the Wind techniques, were indeed based on what he himself knew was but a tiny bit of understanding of the Laws.
“According to what Master says, the Elemental Laws are as vast and boundless as the seas. If you’ve understood a single drop of water in those seas, you are a peak-stage Saint. If you’ve understood a hundred drops of water, you are still a peak-stage Saint. But there is a huge difference between the two!”
A hint of loneliness could be seen on Fain’s face. “The Elemental Laws truly are vast and boundless. Supposedly, only after mastering 1% of a Law can one reach the Demigod stage.”
“As for you and Olivier, you haven’t even mastered 0.01%.” Fain laughed as he glanced at Linley. “Tell me. Although both of you have gained some insights, can your insights compare with the likes of those of us who have been training for thousands of years?”
No matter how much of a genius he was, he had spent less than ten years meditating on the Elemental Laws.
And Fain? He had been doing the same for thousands of years. Even if Fain wasn’t as talented as him, how could his understanding of the Laws be lower than Linley’s?
“Linley, most of the famous Saints in the world, such as that ‘Monolithic Sword Saint’ Haydson, all became famous in the past millennium. Those true experts who have been training for thousands of years are all far past the point of caring about worldly fame. All of them are meditating and training in private.”
Linley was stunned.
The Monolithic Sword Saint had the reputation of being the most powerful Saint, after all.
“Those lists and rankings that you might have heard about are nothing more than the experts which most people of the continent know about. Do you know how powerful the experts you are unaware of are? All of the lucky survivors of those battles from five thousand years ago have been in training in secret since then. I refuse to believe that they would be willing to leave the plane of the Yulan continent.” A hint of a smile was on Fain’s face.