Book 20, The Crown’s Riddle – Chapter 32, I’d Rather Die! A Change of Events
Linley had so straightforwardly handed over his interspatial rings that the Chief Sovereign of Light was rather suspicious. “Can it be that it truly is as I suspected; Linley had taken the nine soul pearls back to the Yulan Plane?” When he had heard Linley say that Linley’s divine clones were not present and had returned to the Yulan Plane, the Chief Sovereign of Light had a bad feeling.
But the Chief Sovereign of Light still bound the rings with blood and inspected them both. “There really is nothing here!”
“Chief Sovereign, are the nine soul pearls that you seek within?” Linley said in a clear voice, his head raised.
After removing his binding, the Chief Sovereign of Light casually tossed the two interspatial rings to Linley. Right at this moment, energy once more began to tremble and swirl about in the surrounding area as a blurry figure appeared, then solidified. Clearly, yet another Sovereign had created an energy clone.
The Sovereigns of the Infernal Realm were scattered everywhere. For them to arrive in a short period of time was unlikely. Still, given that their divine sense covered the entire region, the Sovereigns could form energy clones at any time.
“Augusta.” The newcomer was dressed in a long, silver robe. He stared at Augusta with his violet eyes.
“Shinji.” The Chief Sovereign of Light glanced at him.
Upon seeing this person, Linley felt his heart rise. “The Starmist Sovereign!” Linley had seen this person before; this was the Sovereign who controlled the Infernal Realm’s Starmist Sea.
“What a lively place this is. Even you came, Augusta. Shinji, Boson!” A warm voice rang out as a blurry violet energy began to solidify then transform into a human figure. It was a beautiful woman dressed in loose, faint violet robes. A familiar aura emanating from her caused Linley to have a thought.
“This aura seems so similar to Reisgem’s.” Linley mused to himself.
“Linley, long time no see. After you left the Amethyst Mountains, a mere few thousand years passed, but you’ve had such accomplishments.” The beautiful woman smiled as she looked at Linley. Her eyes seemed to contain some sort of astonishing charisma that could move a person’s soul.
“Sovereign.” This time, when Linley bowed, it was with true sincerity and true respect. The Redbud Sovereign had indeed helped him greatly.
“Haha…there really are quite a few people here. Are all of you here for the Overgod mission?” A clear voice rang out, and fiery energy solidified in the air, then condensed into a slightly plump man. His fiery red hair was casually mussed, and fire could be seen faintly flickering and swirling around him. In the center of his forehead, there was the seal of a golden flame.
“Oh, so many have arrived already.” A black energy condensed.
One Sovereign energy clone after another appeared in midair. Linley could only recognize just three or four of them; he didn’t recognize the vast majority of them.
“So many Sovereigns.” Beirut had a hint of a smile on his face as he sent to Linley, “Linley, for so many Sovereigns to simultaneously appear is something which might not be seen in a trillion years.”
“There are indeed many Sovereigns here.” Linley swept them with his gaze. In the air above him, more than fifteen Sovereigns had appeared!
Logically speaking, there should only be seven Destruction-type Sovereigns in the Infernal Realm, but fifteen had appeared. A Sovereign of Fire. Of Water. Of Light. Of Earth…indeed, it was quite lively. With the majestic presences of so many Sovereigns present, even Linley felt some pressure.
“I feel miserable.” Bebe sent to Linley.
“Try and endure it.” Linley himself could do nothing.
The Sovereigns began to chat amongst themselves.
“Mr. Augusta, you have the Overgod decree?” The Sovereign with the golden flame seal on his forehead said hurriedly. The various Sovereigns were all staring at the Chief Sovereign of Light.
The Chief Sovereign of Light let out a calm laugh. He didn’t try to hide it. Waving his hand, that green paper appeared, hovering above his palm. “This is the Overgod decree. There’s no need to hide the information within.” The Chief Sovereign of Light forthrightly allowed all of the Sovereigns to view the green paper. “Clearly, the news that spread in the Infernal Realm in the past was real!”
The group of Sovereigns hovered there in midair, chatting amongst themselves.
An Overgod mission! Although some Sovereigns didn’t dare dream of completing it, others wanted to give it a try! Even if the ones who didn’t dare make an attempt still cared greatly about this matter. After becoming Sovereigns, they no longer had many pursuits. Overgod missions were ones they cared about greatly.
“Chief Sovereign, you’ve already inspected my interspatial ring. Now, Chief Sovereign, do you still doubt my words?” Linley said clearly.
“Inspected? Hmph. Only two of your divine clones are present. Others remain hiding in the Yulan Plane. If you aren’t afraid of Sovereigns inspecting you, why have your divine clones hide there?” The Chief Sovereign of Light clearly wasn’t going to let Linley off that easily.
“Linley’s divine clones went to the Yulan Plane?” Quite a few Sovereigns immediately called out in surprise.
“Perhaps the information in the Overgod decree really is true. Then Linley might truly be holding the nine soul pearls.” This was what some Sovereigns began to believe.
Linley looked at the group of Sovereigns in the air above him, then turned his gaze to the Chief Sovereign of Light. “Chief Sovereign, the Yulan Plane is my homeland. What’s the problem with me returning to my homeland? Can it be that after I successfully became a Paragon, I can’t even go home?”
“You can. Of course you can.” The Chief Sovereign of Light said coldly. “Then would you dare have your other divine clones emerge from the Yulan Plane and come to the Infernal Realm?” As the Chief Sovereign of Light viewed it, there was no way Linley would let someone else carry a treasure like an Overgod talisman. Nine out of ten, Linley carried it on one of his interspatial rings.
Linley stared at the Chief Sovereign of Light, then shook his head. “I will not.”
Hearing Linley’s words, the Chief Sovereign of Light couldn’t help but laugh coldly. “Oh. It seems that the nine soul pearls truly are on your other divine clones.”
“Linley doesn’t dare let his divine clones return to the Infernal Realm? It seems there really is something amiss.”
That group of lofty Sovereigns watched and laughed calmly as this unfolded. They couldn’t be bothered to interfere. As for the Bloodridge Sovereign and the Redbud Sovereign, they just watched silently, not saying a word.
“Chief Sovereign.” Linley laughed calmly. “You are an exalted Chief Sovereign, but just on the basis of a manufactured rumor, you were ready to attack me. Indeed, the Overgod mission might be real. But the information claimed that the ‘nine soul pearls’ and the ‘Overgod decree’ were on me, whereas now, the Overgod decree is in your hands, Chief Sovereign!”
The group of Sovereigns turned to look at the Chief Sovereign of Light, as though they were watching a diverting play.
“The Overgod decree is useless to you. It’s understandable for you to toss it aside.” The Chief Sovereign of Light said calmly. “Linley, you will bring your divine clones here. Otherwise…”
“Otherwise what?” Beirut spoke out. Beirut raised his head to look at the Chief Sovereign of Light. “Almighty Chief Sovereign, what, are you planning to threaten a Deity?”
The Chief Sovereign of Light lowered his head, giving Beirut an icy look. Beirut continued to smile.
“Linley, bring your divine clones over and allow me to inspect them.” The Chief Sovereign of Light said calmly. “After inspecting, I naturally won’t act against you.” Given how many Sovereigns were watching, for now, the Chief Sovereign of Light didn’t want to shed all pretense of cordiality and attack a Highgod Paragon.
“Chief Sovereign.” Linley raised his head, staring coldly at the Chief Sovereign. “It isn’t that I don’t believe you; only, your words make me unable to believe you. Just now, you threatened me; how could I possibly dare bring my divine clones out? If I bring all of my divine clones but end up being killed by you, I, Linley, wouldn’t even have the chance to curse at you.”
The Chief Sovereign of Light’s face sank as he heard this.
“There is no way I will bring my divine clones out from the Infernal Realm. However, my divine clones definitely are not in possession of the nine soul pearls.” Linley said clearly. “I, Linley, can swear it! Overgod of Fate, if the divine clones of myself, Linley, which are currently in the Yulan Plane are in possession of the nine soul pearls, then let my soul be dissipated and let me die!”
Linley stared at the Chief Sovereign of Light.
“Hrm?” The Chief Sovereign of Light frowned slightly.
The surrounding Sovereigns either secretly chatted through divine sense or began to chat openly.
“Can it be that he truly doesn’t have it?” The Chief Sovereign of Light was puzzled.
“Can it be that it is on Linley’s friends or family?” The Chief Sovereign of Light mused. He couldn’t help but glance at Bebe, by Linley’s side. He barked, “Linley, perhaps the nine soul pearls are not on you, but you probably hid them on your friends. Such as the person next to you.”
The look on Linley’s face became ugly.
“Chief Sovereign, if you want to investigate, then investigate.” Linley looked towards Bebe. “Bebe, give your interspatial ring to the Chief Sovereign of Light.”
“Yes. Boss.” Bebe didn’t hesitate.
Seeing how straightforward Linley was, the Chief Sovereign of Light just said icily, “No need to continue with this game of charades. I know that neither he nor you are holding it. If he did, he would probably be in the Yulan Plane as well! Linley, as I see it, those nine soul pearls must be in the Yulan Plane. Either on your divine clones, or on your family members.”
The Chief Sovereign of Light had no idea that those two talismans were right on Bebe!
“Chief Sovereign, you wanted to search me, so I let you search! You suspected my divine clones, so I swore an oath by the Overgods! You suspected my brother, so I let him give you his interspatial ring to search! And now, you suspect my family and friends! I imagine that even if I brought my family and friends before you for you to search, after you were unable to find it, you would probably say that I had hidden the interspatial ring in some location within my homeland, the Yulan continent.” Linley said in a low voice.
The Chief Sovereign of Light was startled.
“For the sake of avoiding all suspicion and trouble, why don’t we just be more straightforward about it. Chief Sovereign, go ahead and send a group of Highgods to my homeland, the Yulan continent, and search for it.” An ugly look was on Linley’s face. “I guarantee that my family, friends, and divine clones will make themselves available for your forces to search. You can even let your people search the entire Yulan continent. I have no qualms about this.”
The Chief Sovereign of Light glanced at the nearby Beirut.
Go to the Yulan Plane?
As a Sovereign, he was unable to enter the Yulan Plane. If he sent a group of Highgods, wouldn’t they have to obediently follow Beirut’s rules?
“Augusta, considering how far Linley is willing to go…forget it. That part of the information regarding the Overgod mission was real, but the other parts were probably false.” The Redbud Sovereign laughed as she spoke.
The Chief Sovereign of Light stared coldly at Linley.
In his heart, he was pondering, “Linley’s words…on the surface, he is asking me to go search, but if I send people there, they will be in Beirut’s sphere of power. How will they search? He’s just putting on an act and saying these things. He definitely wouldn’t entrust the nine soul pearls to an ordinary person. It seems the nine soul pearls are on Linley’s family or friends.” The Chief Sovereign of Light came to this conclusion.
The Chief Sovereign of Light stared down coldly at Linley. “Don’t play these tricks with me. Have all of your family, friends, and divine clones come to the Infernal Realm. I, Augusta, swear that I will not kill you. But if you refuse…then you will die!”
He was going too far!
The Chief Sovereign of Light really was going too far by threatening Linley repeatedly. Quite a few of the surrounding Sovereigns all felt this way, but these Sovereigns weren’t willing to casually offend the Chief Sovereign of Light, and so they just watched.
“Chief Sovereign, if I let my family and friends come over while my divine clones remain behind, is that acceptable?” Linley laughed coldly.
“Of course not.” The Chief Sovereign of Light didn’t hesitate at all.
As he saw it, if Linley’s family and friends came, most likely the nine soul pearls would be given to Linley’s divine clones.
Below, Linley began to laugh from ‘rage’. “Chief Sovereign and all of the surrounding Sovereigns, my actions have been clear for you all to see. I have, time and time again, held back and allowed this Chief Sovereign to search me. I’ve even sworn an oath by the Overgods and am even willing to let my family and friends come to the Infernal Realm. But you?”
“Your intentions are clear. You insist on all of my divine clones coming out!”
Linley’s rage was beginning to tower. “If I brought all of my divine clones here to see you, then wouldn’t my life and death no longer be under my own control? Most likely, by then, you’d kill me if you felt like it! I, Linley, am not that stupid. I, Linley, have already been sufficiently respectful to you today. Everything I’ve done, all of these Sovereigns have witnessed. If you want to continue threatening me, what more can I do? All I can do is tell you this; I’m not able to comply!”
“If, by relying on your power as a Sovereign, you kill me, I’m not able to fight back. Attack when you please.” Linley stared coldly at the Chief Sovereign of Light. “In my heart, Sovereigns are lofty, exalted figures. I deeply respect and venerate Sovereigns, but Chief Sovereign, I just want to say one thing to you…don’t make me look down on you!”
When Linley’s words came out, the Chief Sovereign of Light’s face turned black.
Linley just raised his head, staring at the Chief Sovereign of Light, not willing to lower his head at all.
Linley knew that the more he gave way, the more the Chief Sovereign of Light would advance and pressure him. To Linley…although handing over the nine soul pearls could save his life, he couldn’t hand them over! That was his hope of bringing Grandpa Doehring back to life! Even if he died, it would just be the death of his original body and a divine clone.
Could it be that Grandpa Doehring’s life was less valuable than one of his divine clones and his original body?
In the past, if it wasn’t for Grandpa Doehring, Linley probably would have been an ordinary warrior in the Yulan continent who wouldn’t even have the chance to take revenge. If it hadn’t been for Grandpa Doehring sacrificing his life, Linley probably would’ve been killed by the forces of the Radiant Church!
He would rather die! Die, rather than hand it over!
“Excellent. Excellent!” The Chief Sovereign of Light was so furious, he truly did want to kill Linley now.
But Linley’s final words, “don’t make me look down on you,” truly made it so that the Chief Sovereign of Light wanted to act, but couldn’t. So many other Sovereigns were watching him. If he were to truly kill Linley, then he probably really would lose all face amongst Sovereigns.
“I don’t understand.” Bebe, by Linley’s side, mumbled through pursed lips. “Thirty some years ago, a Highgod named ‘Brodie’ who had fused with a divine spark appeared in the Muja Continent. Back then, he acquired a red caltrop diamond, and by relying on it, was able to easily kill Six Star Fiends. Back then, we were all certain that was a true treasure, but we weren’t able to verify if it was an Overgod talisman. Sadly, Brodie himself probably fled through a teleportation array and left the Infernal Realm. Alas. Rather than go search for an Overgod talisman that actually appeared, you’ve come to find Linley, who does not have the nine soul pearls, and insist that he does. I really don’t understand!”
“Brodie? Red caltrop diamond?”
Instantly, the group of Sovereigns began to speak out.
“The red caltrop diamond truly did appear?” Quite a few Sovereigns looked towards Bebe.
“Of course!” Bebe was completely certain. “That Brodie used one of his Highgod clones to tie down a group of people. I imagine that when he left the Infernal Realm, he only took his God-level divine clone and his wife, who was merely a Demigod.” Bebe said with certainty.
“Muja, quickly go investigate.”
The Sovereigns all looked towards the Muja Sovereign. The Muja Sovereign’s energy clone was present, but his original body was in the distant Muja Continent. The Muja Sovereign immediately began to investigate this matter.
Enough regarding those other Sovereigns, though; the Chief Sovereign of Light now truly felt a hint of a killing urge towards Linley. Unfortunately, with so many other Sovereigns present, he didn’t attack.
“Augusta, why have you come to the Infernal Realm?” A deep, rumbling voice echoed forth.
At the same time, a pure black color appeared in midair and a terrifying aura swept out. It was like an enormous, world-ending behemoth had appeared…but it then condensed into a human figure. This was a figure swathed completely in black light, with an aura so strong that it even suppressed the Chief Sovereign of Light’s.
The other Sovereigns all immediately saluted. Clearly, the Chief Sovereign of Destruction had tremendous prestige.
Linley was shocked. “This aura of Destruction…Chief Sovereign? The Chief Sovereign of Destruction? One of the Chief Sovereigns of the four Edicts, a figure of legend?” Linley understand that given how powerful this aura was, clearly the Chief Sovereign of Destruction had come in person. If he had wanted to send his energy clone, he probably would’ve arrived long ago.
Linley looked carefully at the Chief Sovereign of Destruction, but no matter how hard he tried, he couldn’t see the person in the black light clearly.
“You came as well. Can it be that you are also interested in the Overgod talisman?” The Chief Sovereign of Light looked at him.
“Do you still remember the agreement we made ten thousand years ago?” The Chief Sovereign of Destruction said calmly.
“Of course I do.” The Chief Sovereign of Light said calmly.
“Very good. This Linley is my Emissary. Even if you want to pressure him, don’t go too far.” The Chief Sovereign of Destruction said calmly. These words caused this group of Sovereigns to all look towards the Chief Sovereign of Destruction. Even the Redbud Sovereign and the Bloodridge Sovereign revealed traces of astonishment in their eyes. Even they didn’t know about this.
“His Emissary?” Linley’s heart shook.
“Yours?” The Chief Sovereign of Light looked at the Chief Sovereign of Destruction, then laughed calmly and nodded. “Fine, then. This matter ends here.”
But right at this moment, the brown-haired Muja Sovereign laughed loudly. “Chief Sovereign, Mr. Augusta…everyone, I just did a high-speed search, and I really did discover that thirty eight years ago, a God and a Demigod, male and female, used the teleportation array to go to a material plane. It is very rare for a God and a Demigod to use a teleportation array; during the past thirty years, there was only this one instance.”
“Which material plane did they go to?” The Sovereign of Wind, ‘Teresia’, spoke out.
At the same time, many Sovereigns looked towards the Muja Sovereign, including the Chief Sovereign of Light! As for the Chief Sovereign of Destruction…Linley couldn’t even see his true appearance clearly, much less where he was looking towards.
Linley’s heart began to tremble. “A material plane?”
He finally knew where Brodie had gone to! There was hope for him to find the red caltrop diamond!
“Haha, I’m not too interested in the Overgod talismans, so I’ll tell you. The material plane this couple went to is the material plane known as the ‘Okerlund’ [Ao’ka’lun] Plane!” The Muja Sovereign said clearly.
Immediately, the Sovereigns began to chat amongst themselves.
“Everyone, I’m going back now.” A low voice rang out. The Chief Sovereign of Destruction’s figure turned, then disappeared from sight.
With the departure of the Chief Sovereign of Destruction, the other Sovereigns immediately all began to depart as well.
Clearly…this precise information regarding the red caltrop diamond had caused the Sovereigns to all grow excited.
“Linley, are you going to go to the Okerlund Plane?” The Chief Sovereign of Light looked down at Linley.
“Of course.” Linley said solemnly.
The Chief Sovereign of Light let out a cold laugh, then disappeared.
Moments later, the other Sovereigns left as well, not a single one remaining.
“Linley?” Beirut laughed as he looked at Linley. “Are you really going to the Okerlund Plane?”
“Yes, I am going. And…I’m going right now!” Linley said.
After learning the location was the Okerlund Plane, Linley already felt completely confident! Sovereigns weren’t able to enter material planes. Then…who had he to fear? Even if the other Paragons came at the orders of the Sovereigns, now that Linley had fused four types of divine power, his strength was ten times what it was in the past!
In fact, the durability of his body was probably close to a Sovereign artifact by now.
“The red caltrop diamond is mine.” Linley’s heart blazed with eagerness.
After having embarked on the road to acquire the red caltrop diamond, Linley had already decided that he would sacrifice anything. If Deities came to stop him, he would slaughter them! Paragons, divine beasts…even those with the backing of Sovereigns…if they wanted to stop him, he would show no mercy!
For the sake of Grandpa Doehring…
Linley had already decided to ‘shatter his cauldrons and sink his boats’; he would sacrifice everything. There was no going back!