Book 17, Indigo Prefecture – Chapter 18, ‘Punishment’
In the quiet side room, Gislason was seated on a chair, while Linley was standing off to one side. Gislason just looked at Linley, looked at him quietly, not saying a word. The pressure that filled this side room caused Linley to unconsciously feel fear.
“The Patriarch summoned me here, but he isn’t saying anything. What is he going to do?” Linley was panicking.
After standing in the side room for a long time, Linley finally couldn’t resist from speaking out. “Patriarch…”
Gislason, startled out of his pondering, looked at Linley. He let out a low sigh, that icy, tyrannical aura that had been present in the main palace hall now gone from his face. The only thing left was grief. Gislason sighed, “Linley, where are you from?”
“From another plane.” Linley said.
“The Yulan Plane, right?” Gislason said casually.
Linley was startled. How did this Gislason know? Could it be that he had already investigated Linley’s background?
“Right.” Linley nodded.
“The Yulan Plane. It really is.” Gislason raised his head. Silently, a tear dripped down his face, landing on the ground. “Drip!” As it hit the ground, the teardrop broke apart.
“The Patriarch…is crying?” Linley was completely stunned.
The leader of the Azure Dragon clan, this ultimate expert, Gislason…was crying? Linley could even understand it if Gislason wanted to kill him, but why had Gislason just shed a tear?
“Let me take a look at your Azure Dragon ring. There’s no need to remove the blood binding.” Gislason let out a low sigh.
“Azure Dragon ring?” Linley stared in astonishment at Gislason. After the Emanuel affair, he had already changed the appearance of the Coiling Dragon ring. From outside appearances, there was no way anyone could tell that his ring was a Sovereign artifact.
Gislason’s forehead furrowed. Raising his head up, he looked at Linley. “I told you to give me your Azure Dragon ring and let me take a look at it. Don’t worry. I’m not being greedy for your Azure Dragon ring. I have my own!” As he spoke, Gislason stretched out his right hand.
Linley looked at it. Indeed, on his right hand, there was a ring that was completely identical to the Coiling Dragon ring. Only, the color was azure.
“Originally, Father refined two soul-protecting Sovereign artifacts, one for himself to use, and another which he gave me.” Gislason said softly. Linley, astonished, stared at the ring on the Patriarch’s hand.
That Azure Dragon ring was a complete, undamaged soul-protecting Sovereign artifact.
“Patriarch, go ahead and look.” Linley immediately tossed over his Coiling Dragon ring.
Gislason’s eyes lit up, and he immediately accepted the Coiling Dragon ring. Even the right hand which he used to hold this ring began to tremble slightly, and faint tears appeared in his eyes. “Father! Father!!!” Gislason stared at this Coiling Dragon ring as though it were an unsurpassingly holy object.
“This is the material it was made of. Right…” Gislason stroked it, his eyes closed.
Linley had never been certain as to what the Coiling Dragon ring was made of. In the Yulan Plane, Linley didn’t know, and even now, he still didn’t know.
“This Sovereign artifact is damaged, right?” Gislason opened his eyes, then tossed the Coiling Dragon ring back to Linley.
“Right.” Linley nodded.
“What’s the situation on the damage?” Gislason asked.
“The soul-protecting Sovereign artifact appears as a membrane. On the surface of it, there is a small hole. Just a single hole. The other parts of it are completely undamaged.” Linley didn’t lie.
“A single small hole?”
Gislason frowned. “Capable of killing my father and the rest of the four Sovereigns, and also break through a Sovereign artifact…just a small hole?” Gislason’s mind raced through many possibilities. Just from the hole in the Sovereign artifact, Gislason had already come to a conclusion regarding the killer.
“It was definitely one of those people!”
As soon as Gislason thought of who the enemy was, he felt helpless. “The enemy definitely doesn’t care at all about little people like us. Even the most powerful of Highgods is nothing in front of a Sovereign.” Gislason already stood at the very precipice of Highgods.
Compared to a Sovereign, he didn’t have any ability to fight back at all. The enemy was able to kill four great Sovereigns. What was a few Highgods?
“Patriarch, is the clan going to confiscate my ring?” Linley asked, worried.
Gislason glanced at him, then said, “Since Father chose you to be the inheritor of this Azure Dragon ring, then you being in possession of this Azure Dragon ring is Father’s will. Father’s will is something which nobody, no matter who they are, is qualified to change!”
Linley’s heart calmed down.
As Gislason looked at Linley, he couldn’t help but think of his father. In the past, their ancestor, the ‘Azure Dragon’, had been very caring towards his son and daughter. As for the grandsons and future generations of the clan, the Azure Dragon hadn’t cared too much.
“Patriarch, I am puzzled about one thing.” Linley couldn’t help but ask.
Linley was extremely puzzled as to how this Gislason had recognized the ‘Azure Dragon ring’. He had changed the appearance of his Coiling Dragon ring, and it didn’t emit any aura at all. How could Gislason tell just by looking at it that this Coiling Dragon ring was special?
Could it be the material?
But from the outside, unless one looked at it closely, there was no way to discover anything unusual about the material.
“Puzzled? Speak.” Gislason revealed a rare hint of a smile.
“Patriarch, how did you discover that my ring is the Azure Dragon ring? I don’t understand.” Linley said hurriedly.
“Haha…” Gislason began to laugh. “As a Sovereign artifact, once its aura is hidden, there’s no way one can recognize it from the surface. You’ve also changed the appearance of the ring. How could I tell, just by looking at it?”
Linley was mystified. “Patriarch, then why did you say that I definitely had the Azure Dragon ring?”
“Because of your body.” Gislason laughed.
“Body?” Linley was puzzled.
“Your body is extremely powerful. Even in our Azure Dragon clan, your body’s power should rank as the fourth most powerful.” Gislason said. “Even the third and fourth generation members cannot compare to you in terms of body strength.”
If a person’s body was powerful, that meant they had a Sovereign artifact?
Linley still didn’t understand. However, he was indeed proud of how powerful his body was.
“Is the power of your body related to the absorption of a drop of water-type Sovereign’s Might?” Gislason asked.
Linley, rather surprised, nodded. “It is.”
“Linley, think about it. The ancestor of our Azure Dragon clan was a Sovereign. How could our clan possibly be lacking in water-type Sovereign’s Might?” Gislason asked him.
Linley couldn’t help but nod. Sovereign’s Might, to Sovereign’s, was like divine power to Deities. Naturally, it wouldn’t be too precious. However, this drop of liquid Sovereign’s Might still had to be formed through the compression of quite a bit of gaseous divine Sovereign power.
Gislason continued, “Every single Elder of the clan is in possession of a drop of water-type Sovereign’s Might! But why is it that virtually none of them have bodies as strong as yours?”
Linley was immediately stumped.
These Elders were all descendants of the Azure Dragon clan as well, and they all had the lineage of the Azure Dragon. They also all had Sovereign’s Might. Why hadn’t their bodies become as powerful as Linley’s?
Gislason sighed. “Using Sovereign’s Might to strengthen and transform the body…this was the ultimate technique which Father developed only after he himself became a Sovereign.”
“Father is a Sovereign, but he didn’t create a Sovereign artifact level armor. This was because the draconic scales of his body, in defensive power, were already comparable to Sovereign artifacts.” Gislason said with great pride.
Linley couldn’t help but be stunned.
Sovereign artifacts, the most terrifyingly powerful artifacts of legends.
But their ancestor, the ‘Azure Dragon’, actually was so powerful that his body was like a Sovereign artifact.
“To strengthen one’s body to the level of our ancestor, there was only one way. This way, however, had three preconditions!” Gislason said. “First, you have to be a member of the Azure Dragon clan. Second, you have to have the most precious ‘blood essence’ of our ancestor himself. Third, you have to have Sovereign’s Might.”
“Blood essence?” Linley was surprised.
“Right. And it must be ‘blood essence’ from after our ancestor became a Sovereign.” Gislason sighed. “This ‘blood essence’ is the distilled essence of his blood. Only descendants of the Azure Dragon clan are capable of absorbing this distilled blood essence. Only after absorbing it can one become like the ancestor, to naturally absorb Sovereign’s Might and strengthen one’s body.”
“The amount of ‘blood essence’ you absorb also determines how much Sovereign’s Might you can absorb.” Gislason said.
Linley thought back to that golden drop of blood. “I didn’t realize that was actually the blood essence of my ancestor, the distilled essence of his blood!”
“Your body is so powerful, you definitely absorbed a drop of distilled blood essence. However, where did that drop you absorbed come from?” Gislason continued, “When our ancestor created those Sovereign artifacts, in order to make the Sovereign artifacts possess semi-sentience, he dripped a single drop of his blood essence into them.”
“Thus, I was certain that you had acquired a Sovereign artifact. Aside from this, there was no other possible explanation.” Gislason said.
Linley now understood.
“Our ancestor had two Sovereign artifacts. One was a weapon-type Sovereign artifact, while the other was a soul-protecting Sovereign artifact. Because I already know where the weapon-type Sovereign artifact is, thus I was certain that the Sovereign artifact you were carrying could only possibly be that soul-protecting Sovereign artifact…the Azure Dragon ring.”
Hearing these words, the many questions which had puzzled Linley over these years were finally answered.
“No wonder I was unable to absorb the other two drops of Sovereign’s Might.” Linley said to himself. He had absorbed a single drop of that blood essence, and so he was only able to withstand a single physical transformation from Sovereign’s Might.
“Alright. Let’s go out now.” Gislason said.
“Yes, Patriarch.” Linley, in his heart, didn’t know whether to laugh or to cry.
So the reason Gislason had summoned him for a private meeting was because he wanted to look at the Coiling Dragon ring and ask about the damage it had sustained. As for punishment? Gislason hadn’t said a single word. But what Linley himself didn’t understand was…
When Gislason had seen him, he had thought of his father, the ‘Azure Dragon’. Naturally, he wouldn’t punish Linley much.
In the main hall.
“He’s coming. The Patriarch is coming.” These Elders all immediately stopped talking and rose to their feet with respect. Gislason’s face returned to its usual icy expression, and he walked to the throne at the front of the palace and sat down. As for Linley, he stood alongside with the Elders.
Linley glanced sideways at Emanuel, who just sneered coldly at him.
“This Emanuel definitely has some bad ideas. If I find an opportunity, I have to kill him.” Linley had encountered countless waves and storms in his life. Naturally, he could determine that between himself and Emanuel, the conflict was now at a level where it would only end with one party’s death.
“I already know clearly what has happened.” Patriarch Gislason swept his gaze across the people below.
Emanuel and the golden-haired Elder, hearing this, couldn’t help but be shocked.
“Linley disobeyed my orders. This was a pardonable misunderstanding. However, it can be considered that I have already punished him.” Gislason continued. Linley was stunned. Punished? It seemed as though although they had chatted for quite a bit, he hadn’t been punished at all.
“However, everyone is now also aware of Linley’s power. According to the rules of the clan, once a clansman has reached the Seven Star Fiend level of power, he will be bestowed the position of Elder.” Gislason continued.
Emanuel’s eyes immediately turned red.
The many Elders in the hall couldn’t help but turn to look at Linley.
“Elder?” Linley had been pondering about Gislason lying about punishing him, but in the blink of an eye, the ‘punishment’ had indeed come.
The Patriarch, ‘Gislason’, waved his hand, and instantly, a neatly folded cape as well as a set of azure armor, along with quite a few scattered objections such as medallions, drifted towards Linley. Linley was stunned, but he immediately bowed respectfully. “Thank you, Patriarch.”
Linley immediately accepted those items.
“From today onwards, Linley is the thirty-sixth Elder in the Assembly of Elders!” Gislason announced.
Quite a few Elders nodded in a friendly manner towards Linley.
Elder Garvey immediately sent through divine sense, “Linley, congratulations. However, you’d best immediately put on those clothes on immediately. Generally speaking, Elders are required to wear their uniform within the clan. But of course, your own residence is an exception.”
Linley immediately bound it all with blood. Linley’s body flashed, and that azure armor with the complicated golden embroidered suddenly appeared on Linley’s body, while that gleaming, multicolored cape also appeared on his back.
After having put the uniform on, he now appeared identical in outfit to the other people in the main hall.
“Alright. Everyone can leave now.” Gislason said.
The group of Elders all bowed, then left.
“Forhan [Fo’er’han], Emanuel, you two, father and son, stay behind!” Gislason suddenly said. Immediately, Emanuel and that golden-haired Elder looked at each other, halting their steps. As for Linley and the rest, they all flew out.
Linley bid farewell to each of the Elders, then immediately flew towards the gorge where he lived.