Book 20, The Crown’s Riddle – Chapter 20, After A Millennium, An Astonishing Change!
Many years ago, the Bloodridge Sovereign had executed Molde in the city of Lucliffe, within the Skymount Prefecture.
That disturbance had naturally drawn the attention of the governor of Lucliffe City, as well as many Highgods. But the Bloodridge Sovereign had only ordered the city governor to pay no attention to the matter. In addition, the Bloodridge Sovereign had completely disintegrated Molde’s body. Given that the Sovereign had issued an order…naturally, no one in Lucliffe City dared to get any further involved in this matter.
And so, this matter came to an end.
Molde had been afraid that Linley would pursue and kill him, which was why he had privately snuck out and hidden himself within Lucliffe City. He had rented an estate there. Even after he had died, the soldiers of Skymount Prefecture naturally still believed that he was still perfectly fine and alive.
Skymount Prefecture. Molde’s former estate. Many soldiers were stationed here.
The Blood Sun hung high in the sky. Suddenly, a bolt of lightning flashed through the skies, then halted in the air above the Lord Prefect’s manor, transforming into a human figure. This person stood there in midair, his waist ramrod straight. Although he was a bit thin, a dominating aura wafted out from him. His head was covered with long black hair which casually undulated in the breeze, falling all the way to his waist.
On his back was a single warblade.
This person was the expert Linley had met in the Starmist Sea – Lomio. In the past, Lomio had had the terrifying power of a near-Asura level expert.
“This is the Lord Prefect’s residence. Hurry and depart.” A large number of prefectural soldiers flew over, with the leader shouting angrily towards Lomio.
Lomio actively spread out his aura, remaining in the air above the Lord Prefect’s estate. He was clearly acting in a provocative manner.
Lomio swept the people beneath him with his gaze, then said calmly, “From today onwards, I, Lomio Bornesen, am the Lord Prefect of Skymount Prefecture!” His voice echoed out like thunder, reverberating in the skies. The hundreds of thousands of soldiers stationed nearby, as well as some tribes located farther away, all heard his words clearly.
“Impudence!” An emaciated old man dressed in a black robe barked out in anger. “The Lord Prefect of our Skymount Prefecture is Lord Molde. If you wish to be the Lord Prefect, then you must follow the rules. First become a Seven Star Fiend, then issue the challenge.”
The prefectural soldiers below were all angered as well.
Could a person become a Lord Prefect just because he said he was? To simply appear above the Lord Prefect’s residence and declare one’s self the Lord Prefect? This was utterly laughable.
A thick, black, terrifying surge of energy descended from the heavens, causing the prefectural soldiers below to be astonished. One of the soldiers in particular, that emaciated elder dressed in black robes, stared with a changed look on his face. “So much Sovereign power…”
And then, the Sovereign power that filled the heavens coalesced into an enormous face that was tens of meter high.
The terrifying presence of a Sovereign.
“Sovereign.” All of the prefectural soldiers landed on the ground, kneeling and trembling.
“Sovereign.” Lomio landed on the ground and knelt as well.
“The previous Lord Prefect of Skymount Prefecture, Molde, committed a capital offense and has been executed. From today onwards, the Lord Prefect of Skymount Prefecture shall be this ‘Lomio’ who stands before you.” A voice like thunder which rang in every person’s ears and mind. The aura and presence of the Sovereign pressed down on the terrified prefectural soldiers, and not a single one of them dared to raise their heads.
And then, that giant face, tens of meters high, suddenly vanished. The world once more returned to normal.
Only now did the prefectural soldiers dare to raise their heads. Upon seeing that the Sovereign had departed, they rose to their feet.
“We pay our respects to you, Lord Prefect.” The more nimble-minded of them hurriedly fell to one knee, paying their respects to Lomio.
“We pay our respect to you, Lord Prefect!” Instantly, the hundreds of thousands of other soldiers also fell down to one knee and called out in unison.
Lomio’s sharp, cold gaze swept across all of them, but a hint of a smile came unbidden to his face. After so many years of painstaking training, he had finally become a Lord Prefect. He was now one of the 108 Asuras of the Infernal Realm.
However, Lomio had been assigned to this position by the Sovereign. He hadn’t acquired it through the usual way of defeating the previous Lord Prefect, then assuming the position. Thus…quite naturally, many people weren’t convinced of Lomio’s power. One could imagine how, in the future, quite a few Seven Star Fiends would come challenge him.
“Come, then. The more, the merrier.” Lomio’s eyes were shining.
The Infernal Realm. The Karol Continent. A black, dragon-shaped metallic lifeform was flying above it.
“The Lord Prefect actually died! Didn’t that make our trip pointless?” Within the metallic lifeform, there were fifteen Highgods gathered together.
The ones who had gone to send the information to the Starmist Sea had made the trip in a fairly short period of time, but not a single group of the Highgod soldiers who had been sent to the Karol Continent had arrived yet. Actually, of the hundred Highgods, during the past century, only forty or so had successfully delivered the news. The others, especially those assigned to more distant locations, naturally weren’t able to make it in time.
Only after Lomio had arrived and then released the hundred divine clones of that were held hostage within the prefectural manor did these soldiers realize that Molde was dead.
“Molde’s dead. There’s no reward for us, even if we deliver the message. Brothers, let’s go. Time to go home.”
“We travelled for a century, but it was all for nothing.”
These soldiers clearly seemed quite disgruntled.
“Hey, how about we sell this news off? This information is still fairly important. If we sell it to the intelligence agents of the Fiend Castles, we will still receive a high price for it. Molde’s dead anyhow. He’s unable to kill us for leaking out this information.”
“Right. This news is definitely valuable.”
“This news even mentions Lord Linley. As I see it, Molde intended to harm Lord Linley.” These soldiers didn’t believe this news to be real.
Soon, those soldiers who had made a trip for nothing and who would never receive Molde’s promised reward came to a decision. They would sell off this astonishing information to the Fiend Castles. The Fiend Castles had many different departments; escort, assassination, treasure-hunting…and of course, they also bought intelligence reports and information.
After the Fiend Castles purchased this information, those soldiers who no longer feared Molde’s reprisals also informed the Fiend Castles that it was Molde who had instructed them to deliver this news to the various Lord Prefects and Sovereign’s Emissaries.
After acquiring this information, the Fiend Castles would naturally sell it off at a high price to the interested experts. Naturally, this news was quickly made known to the other experts of the Infernal Realm.
The vast majority of experts believed that Molde was trying to harm Linley.
But there were a few who believed it, and so they filled the lands in search of the three talismans, so as to be able to offer them to the Sovereigns and thus be rewarded.
Of course, this news also quickly made its way to the ears of the Sovereigns as well. But after the previous conference, the Sovereigns no longer paid much heed to this. And yet, at the same time…the Sovereigns were rather irritated. How could this sort of information be spread all over the place in such a manner? The Sovereigns instantly gave the order for the Fiend Castles to no longer sell this information.
Since this information had already been publicized, the order of the Sovereigns came too late to do any good.
This didn’t have any impact on Linley. Linley’s life was still as tranquil and peaceful as ever. However, the many descendants Linley had brought over from the Yulan Plane, after having spent centuries in the Infernal Realm, were beginning to grow restless.
The Infernal Realm had too many experts.
Most of the descendants of the Baruch clan were merely Saints. After the Ancestral Baptism, they became Demigods. In the Infernal Realm, the only thing they could do was be abused.
By relying on the power of the Four Divine Beasts clan, the descendants of the Baruch clan from the Yulan continent were able to wander around a few of the cities of the Infernal Realm. However, they found life to be boring, and many still decided to return to the Yulan continent. Linley didn’t stop them, and by relying on the Sovereign’s insignia, he was able to send a group of them back.
In the blink of an eye, a thousand years had passed since Mosi had delivered him that information.
A thousand years, to Deities, wasn’t much.
During these thousand years, Linley had advanced quite a bit in his four Laws. He had managed to begin fusing the Throbbing Pulse of the World and the ‘Dimensional Attack’ profound mysteries of the Laws of the Wind. In fact, he was halfway through fusing them. He had also begun to fuse the ‘Dimensional Attack’ mystery and the ‘Circular Softness’ mystery of the water. Only, he had yet to completely master either of these two fusions.
As for fire…
His training speed in fire truly was slow, and the more he trained, the slower it went. He had spent a thousand years after mastering the first five profound mysteries of the Laws of Fire, and had spent that entire time training in the Profound Mysteries of Explosion, and yet still hadn’t mastered it.
The Skyrite Mountains. Linley’s estate.
Beneath a thick, gnarled, twisted willow tree that was within a courtyard. This green willow tree had been living for more than eight hundred years, and its myriad branches drooped down and danced about, appearing so beautiful.
“Yale, although you became a Deity through fusing with a divine spark, don’t give up. Perhaps someone who fused with a divine spark also has a chance of fusing profound mysteries. Look at me. I don’t have any confidence in my ability to fuse profound mysteries, and yet…I, Bebe, still ended up fusing two of them, right? Haha.” Bebe’s loud laughter could be heard coming from below the willow tree.
Beneath the willow tree, there was a black wooden table, with three people around it. These three were Bebe, Yale, and Wharton.
“I don’t have such extravagant hopes.” Yale chortled. “Look at me. I’m a Highgod now. Although I reached this level through fusing with divine sparks, the difference between where I am at now and where I was at back at the Ernst Institute is as great as the difference between the heavens and the earth. What’s more, I’ve already reformed the Dawson Conglomerate, and we have a huge pile of descendants. I’m satisfied. Haha, the only thing left for me now is to enjoy life. I’ll occasionally go to some material planes and undergo a few simple adventures. I’m just a Highgod who fused with divine sparks, but in the material planes, I have nothing to fear. And…I even have the ‘Sovereign’s Might’ which Third Bro gave me.
After becoming a Deity, he had gone back to the Yulan continent and lived there for over two centuries.
During the course of those two centuries, Yale had sired nineteen sons and daughters. By relying on the power of the Baruch Empire, he had effortless reconstructed the Dawson Conglomerate. His nineteen sons and daughter had carried on his work, and the Dawson Conglomerate once more flourished. And then, bored, Yale had taken his third wife with him and returned to the Infernal Realm.
But of course, that time, Yale had been quite unlucky; while holding the Sovereign’s medallion, he had to go from the Yulan continent to the Infernal realm, then back, eight times in a row before arriving at the Bloodridge Continent.
Teleportation was free for holders of the Sovereign’s medallion, after all.
“Yale, Bebe…I wonder how long it will be before I, too, will go to some other material planes for a stroll.” Wharton laughed while musing to himself.
Beirut had given Linley a Sovereign’s medallion, but hadn’t taken it back. Since Linley didn’t use it, he let Bebe and Whaton often borrow it.
“Why the rush? Next time, we’ll let the Boss take us all together.” Bebe said.
Just as they were chatting…
“Rumble…” A surge of rippling power, born from the natural Laws, descended. The location was somewhere within Linley’s estate.
Bebe, Wharton, and Yale all immediately rose to their feet.
“That’s coming from the place where Third Bro is training…” Yale said hurriedly.
“Haha, the Boss made a breakthrough. The Boss’ divine fire clone has finally reached mastery as well.” Bebe called out in celebration.
It was exactly as Bebe had said. Linley’s divine fire clone had, indeed, made a breakthrough.
Red light was currently bathing the entire room.
The long, brown-haired Linley was currently seated in the meditative position, but next to him floated a Linley with long, fiery red hair. A black gemstone, covered with fiery red light, was floating above this Linley’s head. It was his divine fire spark. Dense amounts of fire-type elemental essences swirled around the divine spark, carrying within them the Laws of the natural world.
“Finally. Success.” Linley, seated in the meditative position, opened his eyes. His divine fire clone entered his body.
“My divine fire clone really was far slower than the other clones in training. Fortunately, since my divine fire clone was able to share energy from my other four souls, it slowly transformed as well, making my training speed much faster. Otherwise, I probably wouldn’t have broken through and mastered a sixth profound mystery this quickly.” Linley rose to his feet, his face wreathed in smiles. “By using three types of divine power, my strength is comparable to when I use Sovereign power. Then with four types…?”
Linley was finally able to begin testing out the feeling of using four fused types of divine power.
His heart was filled with eagerness. His face all smiles, Linley fused his power…and upon doing so, his face froze.
“Crackle…” A bizarre sound rang out from Linley’s body, and all the muscles of his body turned taut.
His azure-golden draconic scales suddenly emerged, and spikes appeared on his forehead and his spine. That metallic, whip-like draconic tail trembled and emerged as well, and a terrifying energy roiled about Linley’s entire body.
“This…this is utterly unbelievable.” Linley’s eyes were filled with astonishment.
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