Book 17, Indigo Prefecture – Chapter 15, Life-And-Death Duel
The morning sun had just risen, and the sanguine light of the Blood Sun could be seen peeking through the thin mists of the gorge. Linley walked out from his room as well.
“The weather’s not bad.” Linley took a deep breath, letting the cool air fill his chest.
“Swoosh!” A human figure jumped down from above. “Boss, it seems you are in a good mood.” Bebe laughed. Bebe lived on the second floor of this building.
“Yes, a pretty good mood. It’s been eighty-two years since we came to the Skyrite Mountains, and I haven’t had a good battle this entire time, nor have I killed anyone. But I’m about to go kill someone and about to have a good battle. Of course my mood is good.” Linley laughed.
Bebe was puzzled. “Boss, what do you mean by this?”
“No rush. You’ll know soon enough.” Linley said.
Bebe, seeing that Linley was intentionally being mysterious, couldn’t help but purse his lips. At this time, Delia also walked out from the room, and Bebe immediately went to greet her. “Delia, the Boss says that he is about to engage in a battle and kill someone. Do you know what this is about?”
“Is that so?” Puzzled, Delia turned her head to look towards Linley.
Linley chuckled. Suddenly, the sound of the wind could be heard. He immediately raised his head to look.
Multiple figures flew down from the skies, all dressed in the battle armor uniform of the Azure Dragon clan. Linley laughed calmly. “They are here.” Bebe and Delia raised their head to look, puzzled. They saw three azure armored warriors fly over.
“Linley!” The leader recognized Linley right away. Clearly, the Assembly of Elders, when giving the order, had provided a clear description of Linley’s appearance as well.
“Everyone, is there something you need?” Linley said.
The leader of the azure armored warriors sighed inwardly. He, too, didn’t understand how a God could have offended one of the lofty, high-ranked Elders. But he still said, “Linley, Lord Emanuel has issued a life-and-death challenge. The Assembly of Elders has already approved it. Come with us.”
“Right now?” Linley was rather surprised.
The approval of the application by the Assembly of Elders was something which Linley had predicted long ago, but for the duel to start immediately was outside of Linley’s expectations.
“The life-and-death duel will be held today during noon. Right now, you just need to get there in advance.” The azure armored warrior said. In his heart, he still felt some sympathy for Linley. After all, as he saw it…
Linley was a bottom-ranked figure of the clan, not too different from patrol warriors like them.
But although they sympathized for Linley, there was no way they could help out.
“Boss, what is it?” Bebe said frantically.
“Linley, what is this ‘life-and-death duel’?” Delia said urgently as well.
Linley laughed, “In our clan, an ‘Elder Emanuel’ insists on killing me. Fortunately, at that time, Elder Garvey was present, but in the end, Elder Emanuel still issued me a ‘life-and-death duel’. Either he dies or I die.”
“Elder?” Delia began to worry.
“Boss, are you confident?” Bebe asked.
They were certain of Linley’s strength, but the opponent was one of the clan’s Elders, after all. In the past eighty years, they had gained an understanding of the Assembly of Elders. To enter the Assembly of Elders, the first requirement was to reach the Seven Star Fiend level.
Linley sent mentally, “Delia, Bebe, don’t worry. If this was before my Ancestral Baptism, I wouldn’t be completely certain, but after having undergone the Ancestral Baptism, I have confidence.”
Delia immediately relaxed. She trusted Linley.
“Linley, is the reason he wants to kill you…because of the Coiling Dragon ring?” Delia sent through divine sense.
Linley nodded, sending back through divine sense, “I myself learned just now that this Sovereign artifact, the Coiling Dragon ring, had actually belonged to the ancestor of our Azure Dragon clan. Emanuel recognized it at a single glance.”
Bebe and Delia now both understood.
They both could understand the powerful allure of a soul-protecting Sovereign artifact. No wonder Emanuel was acting this way.
“Linley, can you leave now?” The azure armored warrior said.
These azure armored warriors actually weren’t in a rush. The life-and-death duel would only be held at noon. For Elder Emanuel, he would just come over from his residence when the time came. But Linley, as the person of lower status, had to arrive earlier.
“It doesn’t start until noon. Why the rush?” Bebe said unhappily.
“The three of you, what are you doing?” Several figures flew over at high speed. It was Baruch and several other clansmen. They, too, had begun to worry after seeing the azure armored warriors fly over. These azure armored warriors’ arrival definitely portended an important matter.
“Elder Emanuel is about to initiate a life-and-death duel with Linley. The Assembly of Elders has already approved it.” An azure armored warrior said.
Baruch and the others were stunned, their eyes filled with disbelief.
“The Elder and Linley?” They couldn’t accept this.
“A revered, venerable Elder…how can he challenge Linley to a life-and-death duel?” Hazard said furiously. Linley’s arrival had caused the status of their Yulan branch to rise considerably in recent days. In addition, all of them were fond of this descendant of theirs, Linley.
An Elder, challenging a God? This was too unfair!
“The Assembly of Elders has already approved it. There’s no way to change it.” The leader of the azure armored warriors said. “Unless you can ask the Patriarch to intervene.”
In the Azure Dragon clan, without question, the person of the highest status was the Patriarch. He was the son of their ancestor, the ‘Azure Dragon’. When the Azure Dragon had been alive, he had naturally expended enormous amounts of effort in training and cultivating his son. One could imagine how powerful the Patriarch was.
In the clan, his word was supreme.
“Linley, what is it?” Tarosse, Dylin, and the others flew out. Others immediately began to explain the situation to them. Tarosse and the others were astonished as well that an Elder of the clan was actually challenging Linley to a life-and-death battle.”
“Don’t worry, everyone.” Linley said calmly, then looked at the azure armored warrior. “Let’s go.”
The leader of the azure armored warriors nodded.
“Can we go watch the duel?” Delia immediately asked.
The leader of the azure armored warriors glanced at the crowd, then nodded. “This is Linley’s last battle anyways. You can go watch it if you want.” As he spoke, the three azure armored warriors took Linley with them, flying into the air.
Delia, Bebe, Baruch, as well as even Tarosse, Dylin, and the others all immediately followed.
An Elder of the clan was going to initiate a life-and-death duel with a God. This news wasn’t actually known by many throughout the various levels of the clan. At the higher levels, however, this news spread very quickly, especially amongst the Elders themselves, who quickly learned of this.
“Emanuel, that kid…he’s going to engage in a life-and-death duel with a junior? Did I mishear something?” A muscular man with short azure hair said with a frown.
“Uncle, there’s no mistake. Emanuel really is going to have a life-and-death duel with a God.” The other person, a tall man with brown hair, spoke out. The two of them were dressed in that azure armor with golden embroidery, as well as the cape with unusual magic runes.
Both were Elders of the clan.
“Let’s go take a look.” The azure haired man said.
“Today, quite a few people will be watching.” The brown-haired man laughed.
“Will the Patriarch attend?”
“The Patriarch most likely doesn’t even know about this. I hear that today, he is together with the Indigo Emissary. This visit by the Indigo Emissary seems to be regarding a rather weighty matter.” The brown-haired man said, rather puzzled.
“An important affair? Could it be that we are about to start fighting with the eight great clans?” The azure-haired man was rather worried.
“I’m not sure. We’ll know when the Patriarch returns.” The brown-haired man shook his head.
While chatting, the two flew towards the direction of ‘Death Valley’, the place which the Azure Dragon clan used for carrying out ‘life-and-death duels’.
Quite a few people had arrived at Death Valley today. Aside from the high level members of the clan and Linley’s people, there were also a large number of patrol warriors who knew about this matter. Bored, they came to watch this battle.
This was an Elder against a God!
Something like this was something which they wouldn’t see even in a hundred million years within the clan.
“That Emanuel really does put on airs.” Bebe said unhappily. “We’ve already arrived, but he still hasn’t shown himself. Perhaps it really will be like what the azure armored warriors said and that he won’t come out until noon.”
Linley laughed as he stood above Death Valley. “Bebe, don’t be impatient.”
“Linley, you seem completely confident.” Tarosse laughed.
“I had wanted to live the peaceful life for a bit longer, after having returned to the Azure Dragon clan. It seems that won’t be possible any longer.” Linley swept his gaze across Death Valley. Currently, quite a few Elders of the clan had already arrived. But of course, most of the spectators were azure armored warriors.
There were thousands of azure armored warriors present, and they were all chatting amongst themselves.
“I hear that today, the God who is being challenged by the Elder to a life-and-death duel is named Linley. Which one of those guys is Linley?”
“That one, the one with brown hair. The one standing next to the kid with the straw hat.” Someone immediately pointed him out. Amongst the patrolling guards who had come to watch this duel, information regarding Linley had quickly spread out.
“What a pity. A God is going to die today.”
“I wonder why Elder Emanuel is acting this way towards a God. If he wants to kill a God, he doesn’t need to go to all this trouble.”
“The Elder is going a bit too far. Linley is quite impressive as well, that he actually has the courage to come.”
It was natural for people to pity the weak, and of course the patrolling guards were also considered commoners within the clan, those of the lowest rung. In the bottom of their hearts, they were filled with both fear as well as respect for those venerable, lofty Elders. It was only natural for them to feel sympathy for Linley and stand on his side.
But of course, although in their hearts, they stood with Linley, they wouldn’t dare display it.
“Elder Emanuel has arrived!” Someone suddenly called out.
Immediately, everyone turned to look. Linley, hearing the commotion, also turned his head to look. From mid-air, the bald Emanuel, dressed in the garb reserved for Elders, came flying down alongside several other Elders.
“They finally came.” Linley looked at him.
Emanuel looked back at him. “He’s bold at least.” Emanuel had a hint of a smile at the corner of his lips. He swept his gaze across Linley, and saw the flash of light from the ring on Linley’s finger. He couldn’t help but grow excited.
He knew that was a Sovereign artifact!
“Fortunately, he didn’t flee last night.” The previous day, Emanuel had ordered that the gorge be completely sealed off from above, precisely to defend against Linley fleeing.
“In accordance with the rules of the clan, once conflicts reach an irreconcilable level, a life-and-death duel will be initiated. No regrets in death! Today, the parties to this life-and-death duel are Emanuel and Linley!” An Elder hovered in midair and said in a loud voice.
The entire Death Valley became silent, with no one saying a word.
“Gentlemen, make your preparations.” The Elder said calmly.
Emanuel flew over gracefully to the center of Death Valley, immediately looking arrogantly towards Linley.
“Boss, go kick that Elder’s ass and kill him.” Bebe sent through divine sense.
“Linley, be careful.” Delia said.
Linley just laughed calmly, then flew straight to the center of Death Valley as well, staring directly at the distant Emanuel. In the entire Death Valley, everyone, Elders and patrolling warriors alike, had fallen silent.
“Begin, then.” The Elder shouted.
Linley’s face instantly turned solemn.
“Linley, as long as you admit defeat, I can spare your life.” Emanuel floated down, laughing calmly as he spoke, as though he held Linley’s life in his hand.
Linley let out an emotionless chuckle. “Today is a life-and-death duel. Either you die or I die.”
Immediately, there was an enormous commotion. The Elders and the patrolling warriors were all rather astonished. As they saw it, Linley was going to die for certain. For Emanuel to be able to say what he had just said could already be considered quite benevolent and merciful. But Linley had actually refused.
“Hmph. It is you who is asking for death.” Emanuel’s face immediately turned cold.
Suddenly, Emanuel frowned. From the corner of his eyes, he noticed Delia, Bebe, Cesar, and the others standing at the corner of Death Valley.
“These people look rather familiar. It seems I’ve seen them somewhere before.” Emanuel had this sudden thought, but instantly, the thought disappeared. After all, a battle was about to begin. He couldn’t lose his concentration.
“BOOM!” An explosion of energy.
Linley’s entire body was instantly covered with a large number of draconic scales. Those azure-golden scales stretched across his entire body as those fierce spikes erupted from his forehead and spine. His draconic tail, flashing with metallic light, began to sway gently.
“Come!” Linley stared coldly with his dark golden eyes towards his opponent.
“It’s him?” Elder Garvey was shocked.
“It’s him!” The faces of the ten or so Elders who were watching from afar instantly changed.
The scryer recording which had spread to them from Miluo Island. All of the high level members of the Azure Dragon clan had viewed it. They all knew…that in the Infernal Realm, there was an expert of the Azure Dragon clan whose body emitted sharp spikes when Dragonformed.
The members of the clan had never before seen this sort of transformation. After all, in normal circumstances, how could the descendants of the Four Divine Beasts clan be forced to drink the dragon’s blood of a magical beast of the ninth rank, an Armored Razorback Wyrm, in order to activate Dragonblood in their veins?
The formerly confident Emanuel’s face immediately changed as well.
“It’s him! That powerful, mysterious clansman of ours who appeared in Miluo Island!” Emanuel’s mind was in a state of chaos now, and then he glanced sideways at Delia, Bebe, and the others. “Right. Now I remember where I saw them. In that scryer recording! When that enormous cube was chopped apart, those people were by the side of that clansman of ours!”