Book 19, Metamorphosis – Chapter 2, Flamebone Mountain
Tartarus was divided up into a total of eighty one territories.
Although they were called territories, in actuality, they represented eighty one enormous islands. In the past, when the Overgod of Death had created the Netherworld, he had left behind this unusual region deep in the Nether Sea; Tartarus. These eighty one islands were all comparable in size and very close to each other. If one looked at a map of them, one would see that they were arranged into a round shape.
"Tartarus, the gathering place for the experts of the Netherworld!” Linley stood there in midair, stared at the distant islands.
Tartarus was just like the Infernal Realm’s ‘Purgatory’; many experts who loved to do battle gathered there. They were arrogant and unyielding, and they loved to fight. After the passage of countless years, the eighty one territories of Tartarus had given birth to eighty one Lords! The Lords of Tartarus were thus supreme experts!
Upon becoming a Lord of Tartarus, one would then have to face the challenges of other experts. Upon being defeated, the new, stronger expert would take the position!
An azure streak of light flashed past the skies, quickly descending on the nearest island. Although it was described as an ‘island’, that was just in comparison to the vast Netherworld continent. If the Yulan continent were to be compared to it, the entire Yulan continent would be but a speck! Every single one of these eighty one ‘islands’ had a circumference of millions of kilometers.
As soon as they landed, Linley and Bebe stared at their surroundings.
This was a desolate, dreary land with almost no people.
“After having flown for so long, I still have no idea which of the eighty one islands this island is!” Linley frowned slightly. The Nether Sea was too vast. Linley had relied on some unique waypoints to sketch out a rough journey. But the vastness of the Nether Sea meant that even the slightest deviation in direction would result in one ending up in a different island.
Their only choice was to first figure out which of the eighty one islands they were currently on.
That way, Linley would be able to be certain of the locations of the other islands and so go find that interspatial gate.
“Boss, that’s simple. Find someone and ask. However, there really are so few people here, completely different from the Netherworld continent.” Bebe said with a frown. Linley laughed, “Everyone who dares to come to Tartarus is an expert. Even if ten million or a hundred million people were present, given how large the island is, that still would be a small figure. I imagine everyone would be clustered towards the center. Oh, hey, someone’s over there!”
Linley’s eyes lit up.
From afar, a golden-haired male was flying forward at high speed.
“Let’s go ask!” Linley and Bebe flashed forward like lightning, piercing through the skies in pursuit.
The golden-haired man turned back to look and was shocked. “What fast speed! Not easy to deal with!” Killings occurred in Tartarus at every moment. This golden-haired man didn’t dare to flee, for fear of angering them. He came to a halt, waiting for Linley and Bebe to arrive and halt in front of him, then forced out a smile. “What do the two of you need?”
However, he looked with especial surprise towards Linley, who was currently in Dragonform.
“Don’t worry.” Bebe said soothingly. “We aren’t here to cause you trouble, just to ask you a question. Which of the eighty one islands of Tartarus is this island?”
The golden-haired man let out an inwards sigh of relief, then replied, “This island is the Lotuscliff Island of Tartarus.”
“Lotuscliff Island? It seems in our haste to get here, we did indeed go slightly off our mark. We were originally planning to head to Willowshu Island.” A map of the eighty one islands of Tartarus appeared in Linley’s mind, and he immediately knew where he was located, and where they should head next.
“Thank you.” Linley said to the golden-haired man, then said, “Bebe, let’s go.”
Linley and Bebe, without resting, immediately flew into the air once more, flying directly eastwards at high speed.
“Whew.” The golden-haired man, watching Linley and Bebe leave, finally let out a sigh of relief. The aura from the Dragonformed Linley was enough to cause him to be nervous.
The centermost island of Tartarus…Flamebone Island!
Flamebone Island’s most famous location was ‘Flamebone Mountain’. Flamebone Mountain didn’t have any supreme experts living there, but it was the place which held the interspatial gate leading to the Planar Wars. Each time a Planar War was about to begin, large numbers of people would pass through from here to the Planar Battlefield.
Flamebone Island. The vast land of this island had a few occasional ancient stone buildings scattered throughout it.
“Second Brother, today, the bald man at the ‘Bloodbath Arena’ really was powerful. He has at least fused three profound mysteries in lightning.” Two black-robed youths were flying in midair while chatting amongst themselves about what the battles they had just seen in the Bloodbath Arena.
“He was indeed fairly strong. He has already won sixty battles, including today’s. I wonder if he’ll be able to win a hundred.” The other, slightly skinnier black-robed said with a sigh.
“So what if he does win a hundred battles? Do you think he’ll have the courage to go challenge the Flamebone Lord?” The slightly fatter black-robed youth snickered. “The two of us have been here in the Flamebone region for a hundred million years, and have seen quite a few victors of a hundred battles, yes? But there have been only three who dared to challenge the Flamebone Lord, and on those three occasions, you saw the Flamebone Lord’s power as well. Those who challenged him definitely had the power of Seven Star Specters or even higher. They were far more powerful than that bald man, but…they all died within one exchange! They didn’t even have the chance to fight back.”
“However, no one will have the chance to challenge the Flamebone Lord for now, even if they want to. I hear the Flamebone Lord entered the Planar Battlefield.”
“Right, right. The Planar Battlefield! That’s a place where even Seven Star Specters will end up being slaughtered. However, if they manage to make it out alive with some accomplishments, then it’ll be incredible. I hear that one can acquire Sovereign’s Might, or at the higher levels, even a Sovereign artifact!” The two black-robed men chatted amongst each other, rather jealous.
The greater the danger, the greater the rewards.
The vast majority of people would turn green with fear when discussing the Planar Battlefield and not dare to enter.
“Eh?” The black-robed brothers suddenly turned to stare into the distance.
Two blurs streaked across the sky in a flash, advancing forward at high speed. They were so fast that the two black-robed brothers immediately grew alert. They came to a halt, and saw that it was a youth dressed in a long, sky-blue robe and a youngster wearing a straw hat. The youth said with a smile, “Apologies. There’s something I would like to ask. Do either of you know where Flamebone Mountain is?”
Linley knew that the Flamebone Island had a Flamebone Mountain, but had never been there before.
The two black-robed brothers felt their hearts tremble, and they forced smiles onto their faces.
“Flamebone Mountain. Just head in that direction for a few hundred thousand kilometers, and you’ll see an enormous mountain blazing with fire from afar. That is Flamebone Mountain.” The slightly fatter black-robed youth said with a laugh.
“Thanks, you two.”
Linley chuckled, and then he and Bebe immediately flew towards the direction the black-robed youth had pointed towards at high speed.
“Whew.” The black-robed brothers glanced at each other, shock in their eyes.
“Heading to Flamebone Mountain at a time like this? It seems they are headed for the Planar Wars. However, it won’t be so easy for them to get in.” The slightly fatter black-robed youth’s eyes lit up. “Second Brother, tell me, which of those two is someone on the level of a Tartarus Lord?”
Linley and Bebe flew in the designated direction for a short while. They soon saw, in the distance, an enormous mountain which was covered by swirling, dim, dark red flames. This mountain was tens of thousands of meters tall. Although it wasn’t as tall as the Abyssal Mountain, it was quite high for an island.
“Flamebone Mountain!” Linley’s eyes narrowed.
“We’ve hurried all the way over here. At least we finally have reached Flamebone Mountain.” Bebe revealed a smile as well.
Linley immediately returned to human form. For now, there was no need for them to hurry. After staring at Flamebone Mountain for a short period of time, Linley and Bebe immediately flew straight to the base of the mountain! Flamebone Mountain was pitch-black, and there was no hint of any vegetation about it. It seemed as though it was completely made from black stones.
The surface of the mountain was covered with swirling, dark red flames.
These dark red flames had never been extinguished, despite the passage of countless years. Even at the base of the mountain, Linley could sense the strange, bizarre aura emanating from those dark red flames.
Linley raised his head, staring towards the tip of the Flamebone Mountain.
At the tip of this Flamebone Mountain, which was perpetually covered in flames, an extremely large black castle was constructed. This black castle was also surrounded by swirling, dark red flames.
Linley and Bebe rose into the sky. Within a few moments, they arrived at the gates to the black castle. The castle was completely black, but the main gates were a dazzling bloody red color. Just looking at the door, Linley sensed a killing aura flooding towards him.
There were more than ten people standing at the entrance to the castle, all dressed in black armor.
“Newcomers, halt!” One of the guards barked.
“We are entering the Planar Battlefield.” Linley said directly.
“Hurry up and get out of the way.” Bebe barked coldly.
The ten-plus guards looked at each other, rather stunned. The look on the face of the first guard who had shouted immediately turned friendly. He immediately laughed, “So milords are entering the Planar Battlefield. Might I ask which of you two lords is a Lord of Tartarus?”
“Lord of Tartarus?” Linley and Bebe were stunned.
Seeing the look on their faces, the guard frowned slightly, but he immediately said, “Then…of the two of you, milords, which is a Lord Prefect of the Netherworld?”
Linley and Bebe were both lost.
“Hey, we’re going into the Planar Battlefield! Why mention the Tartarus Lords or the Lord Prefects of the Netherworld?” Bebe barked impatiently. “Hurry up and lead us to the interspatial gate and let us enter the Planar Battlefield. We’re in a hurry and have no time to waste with you!”
The ten-plus guards, who had been all smiles earlier, suddenly had cold looks on their faces.
“F*ck off!” One of the guards barked coldly. “Don’t cause trouble here! If you keep causing trouble, don’t blame us for being merciless!”
Linley and Bebe, hearing this, were both stunned. Bebe couldn’t help but grow enraged. “What did you say?! If you let us in immediately, I won’t quibble about what you just said, but otherwise…”
“I told you to F*CK OFF!” The guard roared coldly. A long black spear suddenly appeared in his hands, and he casually pierced towards Bebe with it. The long black spear, when stabbing out, flew forward like a black dragon, causing ripples in space to appear. But Bebe just stretched out with his hand, easily clamping onto the tip of the spear.
The guard was stunned. Enraged, he wanted to pull free, but he wasn’t able to.
The other guards were stunned as well.
“Bebe, don’t get in over your head. They are the soldiers of a Sovereign, after all.” Linley sent mentally.
Bebe stared angrily at this guard. “Speak! If it wasn’t for the sake of the Sovereign, I would’ve killed you long ago. Speak! Why won’t you let us in?”
The guard finally realized how powerful the person in front of him was. Although he was a Sovereign’s soldier, if he really did end up infuriating this person and being killed by him, that would be a terrible death. He hurriedly said, “Milords, it isn’t that we won’t let you in, it is that you truly cannot enter! This is the rule which the Sovereigns set. There has always been this rule, over countless years.”
“What rule?” Linley barked.
“To activate the interspatial gate and enter the Planar Battlefield, one person in the group must be a Lord of Tartarus or a Lord Prefect of the Netherworld; they are allowed to bring people in. But ordinary Highgods are not qualified to enter on their own.” The guard hurriedly explained.
Linley frowned. He suddenly understood.
The highest ranked individuals in the Planar Wars were the ‘commanders’, figures on the Lord Prefect and Tartarus Lord levels. Only commanders were allowed to bring people in. Ordinary Highgods were not granted entry.
“No wonder the Sovereign said that you were to first become a Lord of Tartarus before entering.” Bebe looked towards Linley.
Linley thought back to what the Chief Sovereign of Death had said to him as well.
“Are you saying that I must find a Lord of Tartarus to bring me in, and that’s it?” Linley asked again.
“Right, right.” The guard said hurriedly.
“Are there any other rules?” Linley asked.
The guard added, “The Planar Battlefield is occupied by two warring planes. There are only ‘commanders’ and ordinary soldiers. Thus, ordinary Highgods who entered are just soldiers who must obey the commands of the commanders. They aren’t permitted to run about wildly in the Planar Battlefield! Milords, when you enter, you must obey as well. Only commanders are allowed to independently lead their forces to rove about and do battle within the Planar Battlefield as they chose.”
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