Night arrived. The imperial capital of Channe was still bustling and beautiful as brocade, but the wilderness outside East Channe was very desolate. On the desolate road, there was a single ghost-like human figure rapidly heading east.
In the blink of an eye, the human figure travelled over a hundred meters.
This person was the personal disciple of the War God, the current rising star of the imperial capital; Blumer Akerlund.
The imperial capital of Channe was surrounded by many mountains. Outside West Channe was the War God Mountain and other mountains, while outside East Channe was a number of unremarkable mountain peaks as well. Blumer quickly arrived at one seemingly ordinary mountain.
At the top of this mountain was a peak that seemed knife-sharp. At the absolute top of this peak, a man was seated in the meditative stance. Looking at how he sat there, one might be forgiven for having the strange feeling that this man had been there for tens of millions of years.
Arriving at the mountain peak, Blumer said respectfully, “Elder brother.”
Clearly, the person quietly meditating at the peak of the mountain was Blumer’s elder brother, the one known as the Prodigy Sword Saint, Olivier. Tonight, there was no moon in the sky, nor any stars. In the darkness, one could only hazily make out Olivier’s figure.
“Second brother. Is there something you need?” A cold voice rang out.
Blumer knew that his elder brother had been quietly meditating here on this mountain peak for three full years. These three years, his elder brother had neither eaten nor drank anything. He had used the skies as his roof and the earth as his bed.
Three years ago, when he had seen his big brother, he could sense emanating from his big brother’s body a terrifying, incisive aura. That sort of aura gave the impression that with just a thought, Olivier could defeat him.
But after three years, his elder brother seemed to have turned into a boulder on the mountain, without any fierce aura at all.
No one had any idea how powerful the current Olivier had become!
“Elder brother, on the fourth of the next month, which is to say fifteen days from now, I will have a duel with a scion of the Dragonblood Warrior clan at the Colosseum of the imperial capital.” Blumer said respectfully.
“Dragonblood Warrior clan?”
His normally tranquil voice seemed to carry a hint of interest. “According to legend, Saint-level Dragonblood Warriors are experts even amongst Saint-levels. I very much want to exchange blows with a Saint-level Dragonblood Warrior, but Saint-level Dragonblood Warriors have disappeared long ago from the Yulan continent. Mmm. How strong is the person whom you are dueling?”
“After transforming, he should be at the peak-stage of the ninth rank.” Blumer said respectfully.
“Oh. Using the sword arts that I taught you, you should be invincible amongst the ninth rank combatants.” Olivier said calmly. “Enough. You can leave now.”
Blumer hesitated a moment, then said in a low voice, “Elder brother, on the day of my duel, can you come?”
Olivier was quiet for a moment.
“February 4th. Understood. If I have time, I will hasten there.” Olivier’s voice didn’t change tone in the slightest. It was as calm as ever.
“Then I bid you farewell.” Blumer immediately left.
The mountain peak returned to its prior stillness. That human shadow in the darkness didn’t move at all, as though it had always been and always would be part of that mountain peak.
Yulan calendar, year 10009. February 4th. This was the day two geniuses were going to duel, and many people in the imperial capital excitedly hurried to the Colosseum. Those 80,000 Colosseum tickets had been sold out long ago, and today, it wasn’t just people from the imperial capital who were hurrying to watch the duel. There were people from other cities and even other provinces.
Linley’s group had arrived at the Colosseum early on, and had been given a private room within it. Linley, Reynolds, and Yale were engaged in active conversation.
“Boss Yale, I didn’t expect that you would be able to make it here as well.” Reynolds laughed.
Yale’s forehead was still covered in sweat. Looking at Linley and Reynolds, he laughed very happily. “After I heard that you arrived at the imperial capital, fourth bro, and that third bro was here as well, even the most important of tasks became irrelevant, and I came. This time, I can also help cheer on third bro’s little brother.”
“Boss Yale, fourth bro, you all came. Now, we’re only missing second bro.” Linley said emotionally.
“Second bro is now a Grand Secretary of the Yulan Empire. He has an extremely high status. What’s more, given that distance from there to here is over ten thousand kilometers, how can he possibly make it in time?” Yale sighed as well.
Reynolds laughingly cursed, “Back when the four of us were at the Academy, second bro was the most glib and most crafty. He participated in every school activity, and he also was very good at hosting them. I knew even back then that second bro would be suited for officialdom, and see? Just ten years later, he’s managed to swindle his way into becoming a Grand Secretary of the Yulan Empire.”
“It is fortunate that the current Emperor of the Yulan Empire succeeded to the throne when he did. This caused second bro’s position and status to immediately rise.” Yale said approvingly.
Footsteps could be heard outside the door.
“Bro, we’re heading out to the Colosseum. Let’s go.” Hearing this call, Yale, Linley, and Reynolds all rose and left the resting room.
In the center of the Colosseum, there was a dueling platform over three hundred meters long and three hundred meters wide. The platform was constructed from enormous slabs of tough rock, and were covered with large-scale magical arrays.
On the east and west sides of the dueling platform were the viewing platforms for the families of the duelists.
Directly in front of the dueling platform was the position reserved for the officiating hosts of the duel.
Wharton, Linley, and the others came out of the tunnel. Seeing the countless teeming human forms surround them in the Colosseum, they couldn’t help but feel stunned.
“So many people.” Wharton had a forced smile on his face.
The fifth brother Gates said with a laugh, “Wharton, there are eighty thousand people here today. You’d best not lose any face.”
The chants from the crowd seemed like the howling of the seas, filling the air. Linley and his group could totally sense the excitement of the onlookers.
The O’Brien Empire was a highly martial Empire. The duel between two ultimate geniuses would attract the attention of countless people. There were 80,000 watchers inside, and outside the Colosseum, there were many people hoping they would somehow have a chance to catch a glimpse of this duel.
Above Wharton’s seat, Linley, Yale, Reynolds, Barker and his brothers, and the others all sat down. Blumer’s side had arrived early as well.
Blumer had many people with him, over a hundred.
“Plenty of them are honorary disciples of the War God’s College. It seems they have come to support Blumer.” Linley said with a calm laugh.
He could tell that all of those people were very strong.
“What good does it do him to bring so many supporters?” Yale laughed contemptuously.
Right at this time, the chants began to build. Clearly, with both the participants in the duel having appeared, everyone had become extremely excited.
“80,000 people. The most people I’ve seen in one location, even in the army, was 10,000 training together.” Reynolds stared at the spectacle here in the Colosseum. As the Four Great Empires currently were not in an era of large-scale warfare, it was rare to see the various armies massed together.
A voice rang out like a bolt of thunder, covering the entire Colosseum. Those 80,000 viewers immediately quieted down, as they stared at the silver-haired old man in the middle of the Colosseum.
Linley and the others began to chuckle. This silver haired old man was an expert of the ninth rank. Given his prowess in battle-qi, it wasn’t hard for him to have his voice cover the entire Colosseum.
“For a duel such as this, even the officiating host must be an expert.” Linley sighed ruefully.
The silver-haired old man boomed out, “Everyone, this duel we are about to see is the most important duel in recent history. Of the two participants, one is the personal disciple of the War God, Marquis Blumer. The other is a scion of the Dragonblood Warrior clan, Count Wharton. Both of them are unquestioned geniuses, but who exactly is stronger?”
The silver-haired old man began to laugh. “Soon enough, everyone will know. As for the judges for this day, I expect everyone will be very happy once you learn who they are.”
“The first is the personal disciple of the War God, Lord Kenyon [Kai’ni’en].” The silver-haired old man said clearly.
A middle-aged man with graying temples, dressed in a long blue robe, came striding out of a tunnel. And then, with a single step, he seemed to turn into a blur. Lord Kenyon suddenly appeared in the judge’s position, then sat down.
The appearance of this Lord Kenyon sent everyone in the Coloseeum into a frenzy, as countless shouts and chants could be heard.
“A Saint-level expert.” Linley was absolutely certain.
Just then, Kenyon had used a flying technique to directly arrive at the leftmost judge’s position.
“The second is our Imperial Majesty, the Emperor of the O’Brien Empire.” The silver-haired old man’s voice grew higher, and the lavishly dressed Johann, face beaming with smiles, walked towards the judge’s seats, taking the middle position.
The arrival of the Emperor naturally instigated yet another bout of wild joy.
The silver-haired old man’s face was covered with smiles as well. “After finding out who our third judge is, I too was both shocked and overjoyed.” The silver-haired old man intentionally paused a moment, and the 80,000 viewers all fell silent, listening closely. Who was this third judge?
“The third judge is the pride of our Empire…the Monolithic Sword Saint, Lord Haydson!”
As soon as the words ‘Lord Haydson’ came out, the entire Colosseum seemed to go utterly mad, as the countless viewers began to scream and shout excitedly.
“MONOLITHIC SWORD SAINT!”
Some of the more powerful warriors began to use their battle-qi to shout. The chants sounded like a million thunderbolts ripping through the Colosseum, as everyone went stark raving mad.
“Crazy. They’ve all gone crazy.” Gates was flabbergasted. “Is it worth getting this crazy for a Saint-level expert?”
Zassler glanced at him, laughing. “You haven’t been in the O’Brien Empire for very long. You have no idea how influential the Monolithic Sword Saint is.”
Reynolds’ eyes were filled with excitement as well. “After reaching the Saint-level, Lord Haydson has experienced countless duels and battles, but he has never lost a single time! Even against the other peak-stage Saint-level experts of the Empire, he achieved complete victory. He is the number one Saint-level. No one amongst the Saint-levels can defeat him. The Monolithic Sword Saint – Haydson!”
Linley, Wharton, and the others all stared at the distant tunnel, quietly awaiting Haydson’s appearance.
Haydson finally came out.
Haydson appeared simple and unadorned, the lines of his face as hard and sharp as something from a stone sculpture. He wore only a simple gray robe, and on his back was an earth-colored heavy sword.
His steps were steady and sure. Haydson didn’t use any flying technique. He merely walked forward.
With a single step though, he somehow walked from the tunnel to the officiating host’s platform. With the second step, he somehow arrived next to Emperor Johann, then took his seat next to Johann.
It was as though he had teleported!
“What was that?” Linley had seen something that was utterly unbelievable.
Barker and the others were all stunned as well.
“Was that teleportation?” Wharton murmured.
But Linley was absolutely certain it was not teleportation! As far as Linley knew, there was no one alive who could teleport. Teleportation was just a fairy tale.
“When Haydson walked, the entire earth seemed to tremble. In the blink of an eye, it was as though that long distance suddenly became short, allowing him to travel dozens of meters with one step. It was so relaxed. It didn’t rely on speed at all. With but a single step, he could somehow shorten the distance?”
It was simply too astonishing.
Linley’s own training relied on two different paths. One was on divining the Laws of the Earth, and the other was on attuning with the Laws of the Wind.
This simple technique that Haydson had utilized had something to do with the Laws of the Earth, but…Linley could not understand it at all. How had Haydson done this?
Letting out a deep breath, Linley calmly sat down.
“He is reputed to be the number one amongst Saint-levels. In all these years, no one has ever defeated him. It makes sense for a person like him to have such capability.” Linley was still very confident.
Haydson might have his own marvelous abilities, but wouldn’t Haydson in turn be unable to understand Linley’s vibrational attacks?
Although they both attuned to the Laws of the Earth, they had each embarked on different paths.