Book 1, Chapter 14 – The Battle in the Sky (part 1)
Dawn the next day.
Just like every other day, the empty ground east of Wushan township was filled with youths. Hillman and the other two teachers had not yet arrived, and so all the children were noisily and energetically chatting together. Naturally, the topic of their conversation was yesterday’s shocking battle.
“That magical beast yesterday was so powerful. When Uncle Hillman and the others were standing up in front, I was behind them, sneaking peeks from afar. You guys have no idea. When that huge magical beast simply scraped its claws against the ground, the stone road was shattered into countless pieces. And those houses collapsed like they were made of mud.” In the midst of all the children, Hadley, ever the most talkative of them, was narrating glibly and wildly, waving and gesticulating as though he had seen everything with his own eyes.
All the children were staring at Hadley with wide eyes.
“Hadley, yesterday you were with us on the east side as well. You didn’t dare go over. How could you see all this?” A thirteen year old brown-haired child snorted.
These slightly older children weren’t as easy to cozen as those seven and eight year old kids.
Hadley turned to stare at the thirteen year old youth. His eyes widening, he said, “Faura [Fu’la], you don’t believe me? When have I, Hadley, ever tricked anyone?”
That brown-haired child named Faura said with a sneer, “Everyone knows what a big talker you are. When do you ever speak the truth? Hey everyone, why don’t you guys speak for yourselves; has Hadley ever told the truth?” Faura said to the children next to him.
Those twelve to fifteen year old children all began to laugh. “Right on. This little scamp Hadley is always filled with nonsense.”
A number of slightly older children stood on Faura’s side.
Hadley immediately said urgently, “You guys don’t believe me? Fine, don’t believe me!” Furious, Hadley turned around, searching everywhere until he found Linley. His eyes brightening, he immediately said, “But everyone here knows that aside from Uncle Hillman and the other two, Linley also went. Linley saw everything with his own eyes. Linley’s words should be true, right? Let Linley tell you if I spoke the truth or not.”
“Young master Linley?” The youths turned to look at Linley.
In the eyes of the children of Wushan township, Linley had some stature amongst them. First of all, he was the heir to the Baruch clan, and secondly, as an eight year old child, Linley could match the thirteen and fourteen year olds in training. In the wartorn land of the Yulan continent, Linley’s prowess caused all of the children of Wushan township to admire him.
“Young master Linley saw everything with his own eyes. Naturally, we would believe whatever young master Linley says.” Those youths nodded.
Those thirteen and fourteen year olds were more mature as well. They knew that Linley was a noble and not like them. Almost all of them addressed him as ‘young master Linley’. Only Hadley and the rest of the rascally seven and eight year olds still continued to directly address him as ‘Linley’, without regard for propriety.
“Tell’m, Linley! Was I lying? Tell’m what happened!” Hadley rushed towards Linley, tugging Linley’s hand and secretly winking towards Linley.
Linley couldn’t help but feel helpless. How was it that Hadley’s nonsense roped him into this conversation as well?
“That magical beast is known as a ‘Velocidragon’, and is a magical beast of seventh rank. It is incredibly powerful. Its entire body is covered in extremely hard scales, impenetrable to normal weapons. It is also armed with a sturdy, whip-like tail and with sharp claws. Those tough road stones and floor foundation stones were ripped apart like paper by its tail and claws. It was even able to breath fire from its mouth, fire so hot that even the stones cracked apart.” Linley said truthfully.
All of the children listened quietly to Linley.
“Actually, all of you knew how powerful the Velocidragon was from the moment you saw it. No need for me to elaborate.” Linley said with a smile.
All of the older children nodded.
As soon as they saw the Velocidragon the previous day, they had been scared stiff. Its huge body had seemed as massive as a mountain cliff, and those huge red scales on its body left nothing to the imagination with regards to how tough they must be.
“You hear that? I told you, that Velocidragon creature is really powerful!” Hadley began shouting loudly.
That youth named Faura glanced at him, and was about to say something.
“Uncle Hillman is coming.” Linley saw Hillman, Lorry, and Roger walking towards them from afar, and immediately spoke up. Immediately, all of the children calmed down and in a very orderly fashion, lined up into three groups.
The empty training field immediately settled down. Only the footsteps of Hillman and the other two could be heard.
Hillman and the other two walked to the front of the three groups, facing the children. Hillman smiled and directly addressed what was on everyone’s mind. “Everyone should know about what happened yesterday, right?”
“We do.” Hearing Hillman’s words and seeing how relaxed Hillman was, all of the children immediately replied vigorously.
“Great.” Hillman’s facial expression suddenly turned serious. “That huge creature is known as a Velocidragon. The magus on top of the Velocidragon is incredibly powerful. But everyone should know one thing!”
Hillman’s gaze immediately sharpened as it swept across the faces of each child. “Even that mysterious magus gained his power one step at a time, starting from the bottom ranks. In order to subdue that powerful Velocidragon, he had to spend many years of toil and hard work! If you guys want to subdue a Velocidragon of your own, to be as powerful as that mysterious magus, then all of you have to work hard without fail!”
“Every single person has the potential to become mighty. The only question is, are you willing to work hard enough at it?”
Uncle Hillman’s words were as clear and as hard as nails. His gaze was fierce and cold.
Immediately, all the children quieted down, but all of them still had their own imaginations running wild, and their gazes shone with their different thoughts.
“Now, time to do our morning exercises. Same as always – face the sun, and begin the ‘qi-absorbing exercise’.” Hillman crisply began the day’s program, and immediately the three groups of children began to practice the ‘qi-absorbing stance’.
Based on each squad’s ability, Hillman assigned different exercises. Under the guidance of the three adults, each child studiously completed each exercise. Today, the training atmosphere was totally different. Almost none of the children complained of being tired.
Every single one of them had some fire in their belly today, and they trained hard!
“…fifty…fifty one…” Linley counted mentally as he laid horizontal to the ground, supporting himself with just the fingertips of one hand and the tips of his toes. His entire body was tense. He was in the middle of training through five-finger pushups.
This exercise could not only train his palm strength, it could also improve his finger strength and his elbow strength. This method was simple and effective.
If someone wanted to be a mighty warrior, normally they would have to practice cultivating battle-qi. The ability to cultivate battle-qi, in turn, was determined by how strong and sturdy one’s body was, as a stronger body would be able to enjoy a more powerful battle-qi.
“Since my body has Dragonblood in its veins and is unable to practice battle-qi, my only option is to far outstrip everyone else in bodily strength.” Linley’s eyes were firm, and his fingers jutted into the ground, as tough and unyielding as old roots. He did one pushup after another, amazing many of the already-exhausted youths around him.
“Ninety eight, ninety nine…”
Linley continued to persevere.
“Morning exercises are over.” Hillman said in a loud voice, facing the children.
After saying these words, Hillman took a deep breath as he thought to himself, “What story should I tell them today?” Every day, when morning exercises were completed, Hillman would tell the children stories. This had turned into a routine.”
“Uncle Hillman, we-”
A child’s voice rang out.
But just at that moment, halfway through the child’s words, Hillman, who had been lookingly slightly downwards as he collected his thoughts, suddenly felt a strange feeling. He lifted his head up. Right now, all three groups of children were all staring east, eyes wide and jaws dropped. Roger and Lorry had also turned to stare east, and their gazes were also filled with awe.
“Eh?” Surprised, Hillman couldn’t help but turn around as well and stare to the east.
In the east, not too far away, perhaps two or three hundred meters in the air, an enormous, ebony-colored dragon lay coiled in the sky, its body at least a hundred meters long. The enormous black dragon’s giant eyes were the size of cartwheels. Its sparkling black scales were huge enough to fill any man’s heart with dread. And its hundred-meter long wings were gently flapping, but with movement contained incredible powerful.
Magical beast – Black Dragon!