That black ring had rolled forward, landing precisely in front of the doorway.
When Linley had strode forward by three steps, reaching the doorway, he came to a sudden halt, because he could clearly feel that he had stepped on something hard.
“Just now, I searched the ground and didn’t see a single rock. This must have come from the shattered drawers.” Thinking about the collapsed drawers, Linley couldn’t help but feel angry, and he viciously stomped on the piece of ‘shattered wood’ beneath his feet.
Based on Linley’s thinking, if it was a piece of shattered wood, it should be stomped into fragments. But in reality…
“Whoah, it’s hard! What’s under my foot?” Linley felt that the item underneath his foot was extraordinarily tough, and immediately stepped aside to take a closer look.
He saw a jet-black object in the shape of a ring lying peacefully on the ground. It was covered by a layer of dust, and was not at all catching to the eye.
“Oh, a ring?” Linley’s eyes were bandit-sharp. He happily plucked the ring up, then used his filthy sleeves to give the black ring a vigorous rub-down. Only then could Linley make out what this item really looked like.
This black ring was made of a material that seemed to have properties of both wood and stone. On the body of the ring, there was a very faint carving of an indistinct object as well…
“Earthworm?” Linley suspiciously looked at the carving on the ring.
At first glance, Linley felt that the sinuous carving on the ring seemed to be that of an earthworm.
Linley laughed to himself, “The carving skill for this ring is really terrible. I bet even an average carver could make something more attractive. Alas, what a waste. This black ring doesn’t even have a single diamond on it, much less any valuable magic crystals.”
Most rings were adorned with either diamonds or magic crystals.
Unfortunately, this black ring seemed to have been made out of a material that had properties of both wood and stone. Not even the shadow of a gemstone could be seen. Clearly, it was worthless.
But for some reason, upon seeing the ring, Linley immediately felt that he had taken a liking to it. He suspected that it was most likely because this was the only thing he had discovered after spending a prodigious amount of effort in searching the manor.
“Hm, this ring is really thick. There’s no way to wear it on my finger without it slipping off. I’ll string it through with silk and wear it around my neck.” Linley’s eyes brightened.
The eight-year old Linley’s hands, after all, were much smaller than the hands of an adult. There was no way he could wear the ring on his fingers.
“Now, what name should I choose for this black ring? Earthworm Ring? No way, that sounds terrible.” Linley mumbled for a few moments, then his eyes lit up. “Haha, that sinuous object can also be considered a ‘dragon’, right? A dragon curled around the ring…then let’s call it, the Coiling Dragon Ring!” Although in his heart, Linley felt like the carving looked more like an earthworm, but he still chose the name ‘Coiling Dragon Ring’ for it.
“Coiling Dragon Ring!” Lifting up the dark, unadorned ring, Linley felt exceptionally pleased.
“Wait, crap! It’s almost time for training!”
Linley suddenly remembered. He frantically stared at his filthy clothes, covered in dust and grime. He looked like a beggar. “Oh no…” Linley had no time to think. He immediately ran out of the ancient courtyard and charged straight for the washroom.
The sound of rushing water.
Linley dumped water over himself. His skin was bright and vigorous, and muscular lines were already beginning to develop. This was the result of Linley’s training. Underneath the rushing water flow, the dust was quickly washed away.
Using the least amount of time possible, Linley washed himself clean, then hurriedly put on his training clothes.
“String, string…” Linley hurriedly looked about for a thread on which he could hang the Coiling Dragon Ring. Suddenly, Linley’s gaze fell on a ruined old washcloth. His eyes lit up, and he immediately pulled a string out from within the washcloth.
Although the washcloth was very ordinary, it was very sturdy and durable. The string, too, would be very resilient.
He quickly strung on the Coiling Dragon Ring, then immediately wore his makeshift necklace.
“I’m gonna be late. This is my first time being late!” Linley bolted out like a roaring flame. As he ran, he tucked the Coiling Dragon Ring into his clothes. Feeling the coolness of the ring against his chest, Linley couldn’t help but feel happy.
In exchange for being late, he gained the Coiling Dragon Ring.
Linley felt very happy.
In a flash, Linley rushed out of the Baruch clan manor, and then immediately ran towards the empty training ground east of Wushan town. By this time, most of the commoners had already returned home, leaving the streets empty, but as they saw Linley run, they were able to guess the reason.
“Young master Linley, careful, don’t hurt yourself!”
“Master Hillman is extremely rigorous. I’m afraid young master Linley is going to be punished.”
The kindness which the Baruch clan had showed the commoners caused them to also be filled with love and goodwill towards Linley.
“How will Uncle Hillman punish me?” Even as he hurriedly rushed forward, Linley was still thinking about this question. At this point, Linley had no time to chat or pay respects to any of the uncles or aunties nearby. In a short period of time, Linley arrived at the training field of Wushan town.
By this time, all three squads had already lined up. Hillman was speaking, but upon hearing Linley’s footsteps, Hillman’s cold gaze couldn’t help but shoot towards him.
Linley ran towards the training squads. Taking position next to the squads, he nervously awaited Hillman’s instructions.
“Today’s training exercises will be doubled for you. Return to your team!” Hillman calmly said.
“Yes sir!” Linley raised his head high and said in a bright voice.
The youngsters nearby couldn’t help but stick out their tongues. He was just late by a short amount of time, but was punished with double duty training. Today, Linley probably wouldn’t have any time to go home and eat dinner.
Just as Linley began jogging towards his usual position in the team, suddenly…
THUD! The entire earth seemed to tremble slightly, but with regularity. It was as though a giant creature was walking on the earth, causing it to tremble with each step.
“East. It came from the east.” Linley immediately discerned the direction.
Not just Linley. Hillman, Roger, and Lorry all turned towards the east, their expressions growing solemn. The vibrations were growing stronger and clearer. All of the youths present could clearly feel that the regular vibrations were coming from an enormous creature headed their way.
Each of the thunderous footsteps seemed to caused a vibration powerful enough to shake Linley’s heart.
What giant creature was causing this?
Linley widened his eyes and stared east…