Linley’s group disembarked at the port, beginning to travel in the direction of the imperial capital. But as this port was in the central region of the Southwest Administrative Province, from there to the center of the O’Brien Administrative Province was a journey of four thousand kilometers after factoring in the curving roads.
Such a long distance would take at least ten days or half a month, even if one rode horses at full gallop the entire time.
On the road to the imperial capital of Channe, many people were talking about the rising star of the Empire; Blumer Akerlund.
“I hear that anyone who becomes the personal disciple of the War God has the possibility of becoming a Saint-level combatant eventually. Blumer is so lucky.”
“What do you mean, ‘has the possibility’? It is guaranteed.”
In many of the common restaurants of the imperial capital, the drinking men would loudly chat about this subject. “That day, when it was announced that Blumer would be the personal disciple, I was there myself. Three of the personal disciples of the War God came, and all three were Saint-level experts.”
“Not all of his students are necessarily at the Saint-level. The War God has accepted a total of twenty seven disciples, and the first one was accepted over five thousand years ago. He might have died by now. And there are the other personal disciples who have disappeared. Who knows if they all reached the Saint-level or not?” Someone else disputed.
“You don’t believe in the power of the War God?”
“Of course I believe in the War God, but are his personal disciples necessarily that formidable?” The man pursed his lips. “Training requires natural talent. Look at the Prodigy Sword Saint, Olivier. He trained on his own and yet still became so powerful. How many of the disciples of the War God can compete with Olivier?”
“You aren’t Olivier. You aren’t qualified to speak poorly of Blumer. What’s more, Lord Olivier and Lord Blumer are siblings, you know!”
That year, when Olivier had entered the Saint-level, he had easily defeated the Stellar Sword Saint, Dillon. Thus, everyone believed that Olivier already possessed the power of a peak-stage Saint-level combatant.
Although Dillon himself was only a mid-stage Saint-level expert, if Olivier wasn’t at the peak-stage, how could he so easily defeat Dillon?
“I hear that tomorrow, His Imperial Majesty is going to hold a personal audience with Blumer and confer upon him a title of nobility.” Someone suddenly said.
“I’ve heard this as well. Tomorrow, many of the nobles of the imperial capital will be visiting the ‘Martial Palace’.
The O’Brien Empire was an Empire which highly valued martial strength and valued their military. Since the founding Emperor of the Empire was the War God, it was natural that this was the case. Whenever the Emperor of the Empire wished to meet with his ministers, he would summon them to the Martial Palace.
The Martial Palace was named by the War God himself.
The next day.
Many nobles of the imperial capital got up very early this day. They dressed formally, then one after another, entered their carriages and headed towards the imperial palace. Today, the Emperor was going to confer a title of nobility on Blumer. This was a major affair.
Every single personal disciple of the War God would receive a title of nobility from the Empire.
For an Emperor to have the chance to do so even a single time was already quite lucky. After all, in the past five thousand years, there had been over a hundred Emperors, but only twenty seven personal disciples.
The rank of the title was already set. It was never as high as a ‘Duke’; it was usually a ‘Marquis’.
“After becoming the personal disciple of the War God, the noble rank conferred to Blumer is even higher than the one I received.” Wharton casually thought to himself while riding in his carriage.
Personal disciples had a very exalted status. After all, anyone qualified to become a personal disciple was almost certainly capable of reaching the Saint-level.
What’s more, they had the backing of the War God himself. Naturally, no one dared to offend him. And if you offended a single personal disciple, all the other personal disciples would possibly appear as well.
Upon reaching the palace gates, Wharton left his carriage and casually headed inside alongside the other nobles.
The Martial Palace usually only had around a hundred or so senior ministers present for morning court, but today was a special occasion. Many nobles who usually did not need to attend morning court were present, and thus a very high number of people were there.
Ordinary imperial nobles weren’t even qualified to join this ceremony. Those who did participate were all people with power and authority. As for Wharton, he was a Count who had received his title of nobility from the Emperor himself, and thus he was qualified to participate.
The Martial Palace normally seemed very large and empty, but now that it was filled with over eight hundred nobles and senior ministers, it didn’t seem very large at all. People were everywhere.
In the center of the palace, many people were surrounding Blumer, warmly congratulating him. Blumer’s older brother was a Saint-level expert, while Blumer in the future would most likely become a Saint-level expert as well. Even the most powerful of clans wouldn’t be so foolish as to anger a Saint-level expert.
Blumer quietly nodded in response to each of the nobles.
“Worldly power?” Blumer didn’t care about it.
In his heart, the one he truly worshipped was his older brother, Olivier. Even the sword techniques that he utilized had been developed, then taught to him by Olivier.
Ever since he was young, Olivier had displayed astonishing amounts of talent, and he always protected Blumer as well. If anyone dared to mistreat Blumer, Olivier would definitely avenge his little brother.
“Big brother is training alone on that mountain peak. I wonder what level he has now reached.” Blumer silently wondered to himself.
Nearly nine years ago, his older brother had entered the Saint-level and easily defeated the Stellar Sword Saint, Dillon. At that time, there were some who already believed that Olivier possessed the power of a peak-stage Saint-level expert.
But Olivier didn’t accept any gifts or titles. He just left by himself, continuing his training.
Three years ago, Olivier began training alone in a barren mountain outside the imperial capital. No one knew how powerful Olivier, who nine years ago already possessed the power of a peak-stage Saint-level, had now become.
“Perhaps one day, my older brother will reach the Deity-level as well.” In Blumer’s heart, his older brother was an indisputable genius. There was nothing his older brother could not accomplish.
And indeed, this was the case.
Olivier was such a genius that even the War God had sighed in praise and wanted to accept as a disciple.
“His Imperial Majesty has arrived.” Many nobles noticed that the Emperor had arrived, and they immediately returned to their designated positions, forming neat rows as they paid their respects to the Emperor.
The Emperor of the O’Brien Empire, Johann O’Brien, was a fairly just Emperor, aside from that little problem of being biased.
Johann was fairly tall, standing 1.9 meters high. Even after becoming Emperor, he continued to train his battle-qi, causing his body to be powerful and sturdy. Dressed in his imperial robes, he sat on his imperial throne, looking down at everyone.
“Haha, where is Blumer?” Emperor Johann laughed as he looked down at his subjects. Today, Johann was extremely happy. Neither his father nor his grandfather had the opportunity to confer a rank of nobility on one of the personal disciples of the War God, but he did.
This sort of opportunity would happen only once in a lifetime.
With nearly eight hundred people standing before him, Johann couldn’t immediately see where Blumer was. Blumer strode out from the crowd. Standing in the center of the palace, he bowed respectfully. “Blumer pays his respects to you, Imperial Majesty.”
Johann carefully inspected Blumer, then sighed in praise. “You are indeed incredible. Who would have expected that the Akerlund clan would suddenly produce two geniuses. You are not inferior to your elder brother at all.”
A hint of a smile was on Blumer’s face.
Whenever others put him on the same level as his older brother, Blumer felt very proud.
“We are very happy that you are able to become the personal disciple of the War God. Today, We shall bequeath unto you the hereditary noble title of Marquis, a manor on Boulder Street, a hundred guards, a hundred maids, and a hundred thousand gold coins.” Johann said loudly.
Everyone stared jealously at Blumer.
Generally speaking, with each generation, the noble rank of Marquis would be lowered by one rank. If future descendants were incompetent, after a few generations, they would be commoners again and the noble rank would be lost.
But hereditary noble titles were different. They never dropped in rank. A hereditary rank of Marquis was far more important than even most ordinary Dukedoms. The Empire had many dukes, over a hundred. But very few of them were hereditary.
“Thank you, your Imperial Majesty.” Blumer bowed respectfully.
Johann nodded in satisfaction. Actually, this gift was already pre-determined. Every personal disciple of the War God was given a Marquisdom, and in each case it was a hereditary title.
Amidst the crowd of nobles and senior ministers, Wharton looked at Blumer, standing proudly in the center.
Previously, he had lost out to Blumer when the War God’s College was selecting honorary disciples. The gifts the Emperor had previously given Wharton was the hereditary title of Count, fifty guards, fifty maids, and fifty thousand gold coins. Clearly, Blumer’s gift was a level higher.
Wharton didn’t care too much about worldly goods.
But in his heart, Wharton had already considered Blumer as an opponent. “Although he is nearly ten years older than me, he’s only an ordinary person. I am a Dragonblood Warrior. These two cancel out. No matter what, I won’t let myself be weaker than him.” Wharton was extremely proud and stubborn.
But he hid these feelings in his heart.
“Blumer, today, We are in an extremely good mood. You are the first personal disciple that We have conferred a title of nobility on after We succeeded to the throne. Haha. Tell me, is there anything you desire? So long as it is reasonable, We will definitely agree.” Johann’s voice rang out in the Martial Palace.
Everyone’s gazes turned towards Blumer.
Actually, these words from Johann were just a form of courtesy. Historically speaking, the vast majority of personal disciples would say something like, “Thank you for your kindness, your Imperial Majesty.” They wouldn’t actually request anything.
“Your Imperial Majesty, your servant does indeed have a boon to request.” Blumer said.
Wharton stared at Blumer with a bit of surprise.
“Speak.” Johann magnanimously waved his hand.
Blumer bowed before speaking. “Your Imperial Majesty, your servant has seen the Seventh Princess, and as soon as I saw her, my heart was trapped by her. Your servant humbly begs that your Imperial Majesty give me the Seventh Princess’ hand in marriage.”
After he said this, everyone in the palace was stunned.
Asking to marry a princess!
This Blumer actually asked to marry a princess.
Hearing these words, Wharton felt his head grow dizzy. He shook his head, staring fixedly at Blumer in the center of the palace.
Blumer only stared quietly at the Emperor.
“Your servant humbly begs that your Imperial Majesty grant your servant’s request.” Blumer said again.
All the nearby nobles and senior ministers turned to look at Wharton. Who in the imperial capital didn’t know about Wharton and Nina? Just a while ago, Caylan, the son of the Imperial Left Premier, had personally sought out his Imperial Majesty to inform him that he would no longer pursue the Seventh Princess.
Many people believed that Wharton and Nina would definitely be a couple.
Even Emperor Johann had been planning to select an auspicious day to have Wharton and Nina marry. But this request by Blumer caused Johann to suddenly reconsider.
Johann glanced at Wharton, who stood out in the crowd. At 2.2 meters tall, he was the tallest of the local nobles and ministers.
Chuckling, Johann said, “Blumer, We truly desire to grant you this boon as well, but We must also ask Nina what she thinks. Don’t be impatient. Haha…”
“Yes, Your Imperial Majesty.” Blumer didn’t say anything else.
After court was adjourned, Wharton exchanged a quick stare with Blumer before the two left the Martial Palace. For Blumer to suddenly act in such way had indeed caught Wharton off guard.
The Emperor, Johann, was taking a stroll in his flower garden. He was in a wonderful mood.
“That Olivier cares nothing for fame or nobility. It is hard for me to recruit him. I was thinking about how to draw the Akerlund clan closer to me, but I didn’t expect…I didn’t expect…”
To Johann, Olivier, who had defeated the Stellar Sword Saint Dillon as soon as Olivier had entered the Saint-rank, was indeed a person worth building a relationship with.
And his younger brother was the personal disciple of the War God.
The Akerlund clan, in the future, would almost certainly possess two mighty Saint-level combatants.
“Olivier was so powerful upon entering the Saint-level. In the future, he’ll definitely be even more astonishing. At the same time, I can’t refuse to give face to the personal disciple of the War God.” Johann frowned. “But that Wharton…”
This was the reason why Johann hadn’t immediately agreed in the Martial Palace.
Wharton and Nina were truly in love with each other.
“Wharton only has the support of the decaying Dragonblood Warrior clan, while behind Blumer is the support of the War God and Olivier.”
Johann truly did give great weight to Blumer’s position as the personal disciple of the War God.
“I’ll keep delaying for now. No rush.” Johann decided to use the same strategy he had previously used against Wharton and Caylan when they were struggling over Nina. Only, in his heart, Johann was already inclined towards Blumer.
But what the nobles of the imperial capital, Channe, did not know was that at this very moment, Linley’s group of six Saint-level experts were hastening in the direction of the imperial capital.