Book 12, The Descent of the Gods – Chapter 19, Controlled
Linley, Fain, the Violet-Gold Rat King ‘Harry’, all flew in a straight line. The three experts flew at a very fast pace. Soon, they appeared within the Forest of Darkness and arrived within the borders of the Baruch Empire.
Linley clearly was rather nervous. He secretly sighed, then urged, “Harry, fly a bit faster. I’m worried that those two silver-robed men will begin the massacre before we arrive.” Linley was still quite nervous.
An entire city’s worth of people had been slaughtered.
The deaths weren’t even the worst part of it; the worst part was the turmoil and terror it was causing in the hearts of the commoners.
The citizens of an Empire wouldn’t be too terrified by a million people dying in battle, but a hundred thousand people dying in a city for no reason at all was simply too astonishing.
“No rush. It’s fine.” Harry was in no rush at all.
“Harry, just fly a bit faster. I know exactly how fast you are.” Bebe spoke up for Linley.
Harry glanced at Bebe from the corner of his beady little black eyes. Shaking his little head, Harry said with a laughing sigh, “If we get there too soon, we’ll miss out on the fun.”
Linley and Fain exchanged glances. Get there too soon? Miss out on the fun?
The three of them soared through the air for a bit longer. In the end, Linley couldn’t refrain from asking, “Harry, what do you mean? What fun are we going to miss out on?” In his heart, Linley was still worried about those two silver-robed men.
The night wind blew against Linley, rustling past his clothes. Harry turned back to glance at him. Putting on an intentionally mysterious aura, Harry sighed, “There’s another old friend of yours who is running a little late.”
Linley frowned, then looked at Bebe. Bebe shook his little head and secretly sighed, indicating he didn’t know what Harry was talking about either.
Linley let out an inward sigh. He was feeling nervous and impatient, but clearly, Harry wouldn’t be rushed. Without the Violet-Gold Rat King, he would have no idea as to where in the Empire those two silver-robed men were. Linley had no choice but to suppress the impatience in his heart and continue following.
After flying for a while longer, seeing the nervousness on Linley’s face, Harry laughed. “Linley, don’t worry. Those two silver-robed men will probably wait until midnight before making their move.” Harry said with complete confidence, “Right now, it’s only nine or so at night. There are still many people outside drinking and eating.” Harry said.
Fain was puzzled. “Harry, you say they will only make their move late at night? Then previously, didn’t you say that the silver robed men were the ones to attack the Eighteen Northern Duchies? Why did they attack so early in the Eighteen Northern Duchies?”
“Stupid!” Harry laughed loudly in delight. “The Eighteen Northern Duchies are amongst the coldest places in the Yulan continent. It is currently winter, and so there’s a major difference between day and night. The night is deathly cold. In the Eighteen Northern Duchies, at night, if you were to take a piss, it would freeze into a river of yellow ice before hitting the ground! If you were to pull your pants off to take a dump outside, your rear would probably freeze shut!”
Linley secretly nodded. He, too, had heard how cold the Eighteen Northern Duchies were.
“In that sort of weather, most of the people of the Eighteen Northern Duchies will stay at home at night, staying next to their furnaces. Husbands and wives will be busy keeping each other warm in bed.” Harry grinned wickedly at Linley.
“Those smaller cities in particular will have almost no one out at night to brave the cold. There’s nobody to be seen in the streets.” The Violet-Gold Rat King sighed while laughing. “Tell me, is there a need for those silver-robed men to wait until midnight to act in a situation like this?”
Fain now understood.
“Oh, we’re almost there. Just a hundred kilometers or so.” Harry said excitedly, then cast Linley a sly glance while sighing in secret.
For some reason, Linley felt more and more uneasy as they drew near. Although logically speaking, these two silver-robed men should only be Saints and therefore shouldn’t be a match for him, behind them was a Deity! What sort of special divine artifacts or abilities would they have been provided with?
Suddenly, Harry came to a halt. “Here we are.” He announced. Linley and Fain both came to a halt as well. Looking around them, in the dark night, they didn’t see anyone nearby. Off in the distance, there was a small city of perhaps fifty thousand people.
Linley’s eyes lit up as he saw the city. Although it was late at night and dark, he could still see some people walking on the streets of the city. Clearly, then, they had gotten here before the silver-robed men had. Or, more accurately speaking, before the silver-robed men had begun the massacre!
“Where are they?” Linley spoke mentally to Harry. Harry smiled back at him, revealing his sharp white fangs. “Not too far away. Alright, Bebe. Come with me. You remember what Grandpa Beirut said?”
Linley frowned. What Grandpa Beirut had said? Bebe hopped off Linley’s shoulders, then looked helplessly back at Linley with a sigh. He mentally spoke to Linley, “Boss, Grandpa Beirut said that I’m at a critical moment of my growth period. He has forbidden me from fighting from now until I reach the Deity level.”
Bebe’s little black eyes gleamed as he said the words ‘Deity level’. Clearly, he too very much looked forward to becoming a Deity.
Linley nodded. The orders of Lord Beirut were not to be disobeyed, not even by Bebe. Linley understood this. “Bebe, how far are you from the Deity level?”
“Haha.” Bebe sighed happily, his beady little eyes half-closing self-delightedly. “I can sense it already. Grandpa Beirut says that if I continue to follow his instructions, Boss, I’ll be able to reach it in just one or two years. ”
Linley laughed while sighing in appreciation. “One or two years? It seems I will be faster than you, Bebe. After finishing with this, I think I should reach the Deity level in just half a year.”
“Wow!” Bebe exclaimed in delight, then chortled while sighing in amazement. “That’s why you are my Boss, hehe.”
Listening to them talk, Fain didn’t know whether to laugh or to cry. He had been training for thousands of years without reaching the Deity level, but these two were talking about it as though it were as easy as eating a lemon pie.
“Enough, Bebe.” Harry laughed at him. “Stop wasting time. Come with me for now.”
“Alright.” Bebe nodded, then waved his little paws at Linley. “Show them who is boss, Boss!”
Linley laughed and nodded. He watched as Bebe and Harry transformed into two rays of black and violet-gold light, disappearing into the horizon. He then turned to Fain, who smiled in an amused way, then sighed in exasperation. “Should we wait for them here, or go look for the two silver-robed men?”
Linley paused, considering. “Let’s go look for them.” He finally said. “Just sitting around and sighing is doing no good. But we have to be careful, Fain. We aren’t sure about what special abilities or weapons the Deity behind them might have given them.” Fain’s face, hearing this, turned solemn again. Although the Deity was heavily injured, even an injured Deity was not to be trifled with.
The two split up, transforming into two rays of light that flashed through the sky.
The night grew even deeper and darker. The moon was high in the sky tonight, casting its faint glow upon the world. To experts on the level of Linley and Fain, however, the light was enough that they could make out every nook and cranny of the surrounding area clearly. But neither of them had discovered the two silver-robed men.
Linley shook his head in nervous frustration and sighed. “Fain, have you found anything yet?” Linley transmitted mentally to Fain from afar. From far in the distance, Fain sighed and responded. “Nothing yet. How about you? Have you found…”
Fain’s mental voice suddenly faltered and went silent in mid-sigh. Linley instantly grew guarded. “Fain?” He transmitted, while moving at high speed towards the location he had last seen Fain.
Although they were separated by a distance of kilometers, to the likes of experts such as Linley and Fain, that sort of distance could be crossed in mere seconds. Already in Dragonform, Linley moved like a bolt of deep azure lightning, flashing through the night sky. Seconds later, he saw Fain, but when he did, he suddenly came to a halt…
Linley’s eyes were as wide as the moon. There were two silver-robed figures next to Fain, but that wasn’t what shocked Linley. What shocked Linley and caused him to sigh in awe was…what had happened to Fain!
Fain was utterly frozen. The area surrounding Fain’s body had become folded and distorted, and multiple ripples and folds in space could be seen surrounding Fain’s body. The terrifying thing was, although there were no visible wounds on Fain’s body, as the folds in space appeared and disappeared, parts of Fain’s body also seemed to be appearing and disappearing!
Fain’s head appeared, then disappeared, then reappeared. His eyes were filled with frozen confusion, and his mouth was open, as though he were about to laugh or to cry or to sigh…but then the lower half of his jaw disappeared! Moments later, it reappeared, but by then, his throat had disappeared. It was as though he was phasing in and out of existence.
Linley was utterly stunned. He had no idea what was causing this. It seemed like the ‘Spatial Folding’ interpretation of the ‘Fast’ aspect, but at a far higher level than he had ever imagined was possible.
One of the silver-robed men spoke to the other one, a gloating note in his voice. “Your ‘Spatial Refreshing’ skills have improved, compared to the last time we competed, second brother, but I was still faster than you and was first.” The other silver-robed man secretly sighed. “You may have been first this time, Leecher [Li’zi’er], but…” He suddenly paused, and then both of them turned to look at Linley.
“We have company. Linley, right?” The silver-robed men looked at Linley, ignoring Fain, who was still trapped in that layer of distorted, folding space. An amused look could be seen in their eyes, which glowed with a faint green color.
With a flip of his hands, Bloodviolet appeared in Linley’s left hand, while the adamantine heavy sword appeared in his right. Covered in deep azure scales, Linley stared at the two men with his dark golden eyes.
“Boss, be careful!” Bebe’s voice suddenly rang out frantically in Linley’s mind. “These are two of the most powerful silver-robed experts under the command of that Deity. He has taught them an improved version of the ‘Spatial Folding’ interpretation of the ‘Fast’ aspect, known as ‘Spatial Refreshing’. It allows them to almost always land the first blow. When this technique reaches its peak, it allows them to bend space and refresh it hundreds of times in a single second, until reality collapses and destroys the opponent!”
Linley couldn’t help but inwardly sigh in amazement, even as he watched the two carefully. This technique was simply too amazing. Refresh space itself?
Suddenly, the ripples of space surrounding the still-frozen Fain flashed with a blinding white light which forced even Linley to cover his eyes. When the light faded…Fain had already disappeared, leaving behind only a few scraps of meat paste. He had been refreshed to death, without even having been given a chance to react!
“That’s one more soul.” A yellow and blue globe flashed in the hands of one of the silver-robed men. “How many more souls did the Grand Warlock say he needed?” The other silver-robed man shook his head and sighed. “He didn’t say. Still, if we donate seventy nine more souls to him, we should be able to claim a reward.” The first silver-robed man nodded, then also shook his head and sighed. “Eighty souls per harvest.” He turned to glance at the small city beneath them. “There should be plenty of souls to donate from below there, enough for the Grand Warlock to feed our addiction for some time.”
Linley, despite being in full Dragonform, had yet to attack them. He stared at them cautiously, Lord Beirut’s warning still fresh in his mind. “Who are you and why are you here?” Linley asked. He felt grief and rage in his heart for Fain’s death by ‘Spatial Refreshing’, but his natural caution kept him from losing his cool.
“That isn’t your concern.” The silver-robed man, chuckling. “We’ll be leaving now. If you bother us…” The two glanced at the meat paste where Fain had been, then snickered. They suddenly transformed into two rays of silver light, streaking towards the city below. “Bet I’ll get a soul first.” The first silver-robed man said casually as he flew down.
“Stop!” Linley roared furiously. Throwing caution to the wind, he transformed into a streak of deep azure light…but as soon as he did, a black blur suddenly appeared out of nowhere, smashing directly towards him at incomprehensible speed. BANG! Linley barely had the chance to dodge before. Fortunately, he was only grazed by the attack, and thanks to being in Dragonform and having his Pulseguard Defense prepared long ago, he wasn’t too badly damaged. Still, he was utterly astonished at the amount of power that blow had contained. “If I was hit head on, I might have been badly injured or even killed,” Linley sighed secretly in amazement.
What astonished Linley even more was that he had only barely managed to catch a glimpse of his attacker. How good was Linley’s eyesight at his current level? And yet despite that, all he had been able to make out was that the creature which had attacked him was dark and seemed almost feline. Linley couldn’t help but sigh at the creature’s speed.
“A leopard or a tiger? No, the coloration isn’t right. In addition, leopard-type magical beasts are generally only of the seventh or eighth ranks. An Electrobolt Panther?” Linley shook his head and sighed yet again. “Also not right. The coloration is different.”
“Master.” A velvet soft, familiar voice rang out from behind. A voice that Linley had almost forgotten.
“Haeru?!” Linley suddenly turned, staring in disbelief. As he did, he couldn’t help but think back to Harry’s amused look and murmured words from earlier. ‘There’s an old friend of yours who is running late’.
Behind Linley was a massive, pitch-black panther-type magical beast with straight, narrow black lines on its body.
“What are you doing here, Haeru?” Linley asked, sighing in disbelief. He hadn’t sensed Haeru for some time now, but that was because Haeru had made a trip back to the Mountain Range of Magical Beasts. The distance at which a magus and his magical beast companion was determined their amounts of spiritual energy. Although Linley was now a Grand Magus Saint and his spiritual energy had vastly increased, it still wasn’t able to stretch more than ten thousand kilometers away. But now, even with Haeru in front of him, he could not sense Haeru in his mind.
“The Grand Warlock sent me.” Haeru stared at Linley with his cold eyes. For the first time, Linley noticed a hint of green light emanating from Haeru’s eyes. For some reason, Linley felt a tremble of fear in his heart. Haeru’s body was emanating a strange, powerful, yet familiar aura that filled Linley with trepidation.
“The Grand Warlock is a far better Master than you ever were. How long have you ignored me? I, a panther-type magical beast, whom everyone knows to be at least of the eighth rank.” Haeru narrowed his green, glowing eyes. “Necropolis of the Gods? Ignored. Battling the Radiant Church? Ignored. War against the Rohault Empire? Ignored. Ignored ignored ignored. I will be ignored no longer! His Lordship, the Grand Warlock, has promised it!”
Haeru suddenly transformed into a black blur, pouncing towards Linley. Linley wanted to utilize the Profound Truths of Velocity to dodge, but suddenly an invisible wave of energy emanated from Haeru’s body, binding Linley and preventing him from being able to move at all!
Haeru’s green, glowing eyes shone with cruel callousness, and he secretly sighed with self-satisfaction. This was his Godrealm!