Is it True?
Emperor Johann couldn’t help but frown at Linley’s attitude. No matter what, he was still the Emperor of the O’Brien Empire.
“Emperor Johann!” Linley’s voice grew even deeper, and his eyes stabbed at Emperor Johann.
Emperor Johann suddenly had the sensation that he was sinking into a cold, dark abyss. Linley’s stare was making it somewhat hard for him to breathe. Emperor Johann’s throat clenched, and he managed to say, “Master Linley, what is the meaning of this? Don’t you trust Us?”
By his side, Delia maintained her silence.
Linley stared at Emperor Johann. In a deep voice, he said, “Emperor Johann, it isn’t that I don’t trust you. Only, Reynolds is my close friend. All of a sudden, you tell me that he died in battle? Tell me…how could I not want to try and find out the truth of the matter?”
“The truth of the matter?”
Emperor Johann stood erect and said angrily, “Master Linley, can it be that We are not telling the truth? Let Us tell you once again, Reynolds was pursued and killed by the forces of the Rohault Empire to the walls of Neil City, where he died in battle. There is no question about this!”
“Neil City?” Linley’s eyes couldn’t help but narrow. “Emperor Johann, if Reynolds had already fled to the walls of Neil City, how could it be that those many soldiers of Neil City were unable to rescue Reynolds?”
Emperor Johann hesitated, but then said firmly, “At that time, We were not there. However, according to what We have learned, just as Reynolds arrived at the walls of Neil City, he was killed before the soldiers of the city had a chance to rescue him.”
His Fourth Bro had died!
Linley didn’t wish to believe it. When he had been interrogating Emperor Johann, scenes and memories of the time he had spent with his Fourth Bro came drifting uncontrollably to his mind, causing Linley’s baleful feeling in his heart to grow even stronger.
Emperor Johann could sense that Linley’s mood was transforming. The aura of the surrounding environment had become terrifyingly oppressive. Giant beads of sweat appeared on Emperor Johann’s forehead, but he only stared at Linley.
No matter what, he couldn’t open his mouth and spill the truth. He had to insist that Reynolds’ had died in battle, and the soldiers of the city of Neil didn’t have a chance to rescue him.
Linley closed his eyes, forcing down that demonic feeling in his heart. He let out a breath.
When his eyes opened, they flashed like lightning. Under Linley’s gaze, Emperor Johann felt tremendous psychological pressure. As an ordinary warrior, how could his spiritual energy compare to that of an Arch Magus of the ninth rank like Linley?
“Emperor Johann, you must understand, perhaps what you are telling me is true. But are you able to guarantee that the person who brought you this information also told the truth?” Linley’s voice was very low.
Emperor Johann nodded without any hesitation, saying firmly, “Linley, you must believe Us.”
Linley glanced at Emperor Johann, then said calmly, “Emperor Johann, I’m not in a good mood today. I’m going back home. Let my little brother and Nina know.”
Although his forehead was covered in sweat, Emperor Johann still squeezed out a smile. “Master Linley, We can totally understand how you are feeling. Master Linley, go home and get some rest. We shall definitely inform Wharton and Nina.”
Linley nodded, then left the imperial palace alongside Delia.
Watching Linley leave, Emperor Johann finally let out a sigh of relief. Wiping the sweat from his forehead, he secretly said to himself, “Good heavens, lying in front of Linley is absolutely terrifying. If Linley were to have let loose his anger, no one here would have been able to stop him.”
After calming himself down, Emperor Johann once more summoned that noble, majestic smile to his face and returned to the main hall.
Linley and Delia walked shoulder-to-shoulder on Boulder Street. On the way back from the imperial palace, Linley had been silent the entire time. Next to him, Delia could sense how much pain Linley was in.
After a long moment, Delia said softly, “Linley.”
Linley was startled out of his reverie by this voice. Having escaped his memories for a moment, he looked at Delia. “What is it?” Delia said in a gentle, comforting voice, “Are you thinking about Reynolds?”
Linley nodded gently. “Delia, in my heart, Boss Yale, Second Bro, and Fourth Bro are like true brothers to me. I’ve never even considered the possibility that Fourth Bro would die in battle.” Although he was calm when saying these words, Delia noticed that Linley’s eyes had turned red.
Despite being such a resilient person, Linley’s eyes were moist. One could imagine how much pain he was in.
Even if he didn’t actively think about past events, the memories of his youth swam to him unbidden. He still remembered how the four of them had drank together and played together, laughing merrily. He still remembered how, in their dormitory, they chatted about the girls of the Institute. At that time, both Reynolds and Yale were very animated. Thinking back to Reynolds’ sloppy, lazy demeanor, Linley couldn’t help but feel even more miserable.
They had arrived at Count Wharton’s manor.
“Milord.” The gate guards said respectfully.
After staring at the estate, Linley then turned his head towards Delia. “Delia, you can go back for now.”
“Where are you going?” Delia asked questioningly. Hurriedly, she said, “Linley, please don’t do anything rash.” Delia knew that given Linley’s current condition, it was possible that he might cause some sort of disastrous catastrophe.
Linley shook his head. “No, I’m just going to Reynolds’ home…the Dunstan clan!”
The Dunstan clan was also one of the oldest clans of the O’Brien Empire. In the army, the Dunstan clan had an extremely large amount of influence.
The Dunstan clan was located not too far from the imperial palace.
Using the Windshadow spell, Linley soared as gracefully as the wind itself through the streets of the city. Before most people even had a chance to notice Linley, he would have already moved a hundred meters past them.
“Man, I told you to be careful and to not piss off the Madame. Jeeze…” Two guards of the Dunstan clan were talking to each other. One of them was laughing at another one.
The other guard nursed his face, which had a bright red handprint on it.
“I didn’t do anything to irritate her! Only, when the Madame arrived, I didn’t move back far enough, so the Madame yelled at me and gave me a slap. Damn, man. So not fair.”
“Don’t complain about fair or unfair. Young master Reynolds just died in battle. Whoever angers the Madame right now is asking for death.”
The two guards casually chatted, but suddenly, with a gust of wind, a human figure appeared in front of the gates to the Dunstan clan’s manor.
The two guards were startled.
“Might I ask who you are, milord?” One of the guards said.
“Go make a report and state that Linley wishes to meet with the leader of the Dunstan clan.” Linley’s voice was calm, but it had a certain penetrative, soul-shaking power.
“Master Linley?” The two guards exchanged glances, amazement in their eyes.
What sort of a person was Linley? He was one of the most powerful experts in the entire Yulan continent, on the same level as the Holy Emperor or Haydson.
The two guards immediately bowed deeply.
“Master Linley, please wait a moment. I will immediately go make the report.” One of the guards immediately ran at high speed inside the manor. Linley quietly waited there outside the gate, standing as straight and as stiff as a spear.
Shortly afterwards, three middle-aged men ran over at high speed. The leader of these three was the leader of the Dunstan clan, and Reynolds’ father: Neon [Ni’en] Dunstan.
Neon Dunstan, upon learning that Linley had come, had immediately ran over to welcome him.
They knew that today was the day of Wharton’s grand wedding with Nina. But because of Reynolds’ death, the Dunstan clan was extremely depressed, which was why the Dunstan clan had not attended Wharton and Nina’s wedding banquet.
“Is this Master Linley?”
Neon Dunstan spied Linley from afar. Linley was an important figure of the world. Neon could sense at a single glance Linley’s astonishing presence.
This was a sort of spiritual pressure.
When experts trained to a certain level, their spirit and their soul would both transform. Saint-level experts, even if their clothes were tattered, would generally seem much more noble than most nobles.
Linley turned his head and saw Neon and the other two arrive.
When his electric gaze swept past the three men, all of them took a deep breath before warmly saying words of welcome. The clan leader, Neon, was the first to speak. “Master Linley, if there is anything you need, you could’ve sent someone for us. I would’ve come to speak with you. There was no need to trouble you to come in person, Master Linley.”
Linley didn’t mince words, immediately heading into the Dunstan clan’s estate. He passed by those three people and headed directly inside.
Neon Dunstan and the others were puzzled, but they immediately followed him.
Given Linley’s current understanding of the wind, he only needed a thought to activate the Windscout spell, allowing him to ‘see’ everything within several kilometers. As Linley walked into the main hall of the Dunstan clan, he saw that many people were already clustered there. All of them were men.
“Respectful greetings to Master Linley.” All of the men bowed respectfully to him.
Linley forced out a smile, then said, “Everyone, no need to be so courteous. I imagine everyone here knows why I have come today.”
Neon Dunstan and the others exchanged glances. All of them were stunned for quite a while.
“Reynolds is dead.” Linley’s gaze swept the men surrounding him, his voice growing deep. “Reynolds was one of my best friends. We were as close as real brothers!”
Linley’s voice filled the entire hall with a stifling aura.
“Right now, what I want to know is, how exactly did Fourth Bro die? Was it truly due to the so-called ‘reason’ of the soldiers of Neil City not being able to rescue him in time, resulting in him dying in battle!” Linley’s gaze came to a halt on Neon Dunstan.
Neon Dunstan sighed deeply. “Linley, Reynolds was my son. I am in great pain over his death. But there is nothing for it. In war, people will die. The Dunstan clan can’t kick up a huge fuss and racket just because my son died. The Dunstan clan is a military clan. The original reason why we decided long ago to have every single son serve for ten years in the military was to make sure that they were all mentally prepared to die in service to their country. If they aren’t able to be tempered like steel, how can they become of use?”
“I understand this.”
Linley looked calmly at Neon Dunstan. “To sacrifice one’s life for one’s homeland is nothing to be ashamed of. However…for some reason, I feel that Reynolds death in front of the walls of Neil City is something hard for me to believe. Could it be that Neil City didn’t have any experts present? Wouldn’t it be easy for them to simply jump down the city walls and rescue them?”
“Uncle Neon!” Linley stared fixedly at Neon Dunstan. “You must understand. My brother is dead. If he had died a glorious death in battle, I will only feel proud of him! But if he died a meaningless death, or died due to some other reason, then I must definitely find out everything there is to know about what happened to my dear brother!”
“If his death involved some other people who intentionally caused my brother to die? Then I will make them die as well!!!” Linley’s eyes were like daggers.
Neon and the others all felt their hearts tremble.
“Uncle Neon!” The way in which Linley had addressed him had caused Neon’s heart to quiver as well.
“Tell me. Your son. My brother. Did he die an unjust, meaningless death?” Linley stared at Neon Dunstan, waiting for his response.
A very complicated look was on Neon Dunstan’s face, but he looked directly at Linley and replied firmly, “Master Linley, thank you so much. However, my son died gloriously in battle. His death was not an unjust one!!!”
Linley swept everyone’s faces with his gaze.
“Then I bid you farewell.” Linley turned and immediately left the Dunstan clan.
Watching Linley depart, Neon Dunstan and the others all let out secret sighs of relief. Neon Dunstan immediately ordered in a bright voice, “Everyone, go back to your usual affairs.”
After speaking, Neon Dunstan immediately left the main hall and returned to his study.
“Reynolds…forgive your father!” As he walked, Neon’s eyes turned red.
Given the influence and power the Dunstan clan held within the military, they naturally knew exactly what had happened. Neon’s son had done battle with the enemy for quite some time at the walls of Neil City before being killed. But Prince Julin had personally ordered that nobody was to open the city gates and rescue them.
His death had been an unjust one!
Neon’s heart was filled with bitter tears. “Master Linley might kill Prince Julin in order to avenge you. But his Imperial Majesty dotes on Prince Julin very much. Although he wouldn’t dare to seek revenge against Master Linley, he would definitely do so against the Dunstan clan.”
There was nothing for it!
If a man was dead, he was dead. They had to act for the sake of the living!