Book 20, The Crown’s Riddle – Chapter 36, Nine Supreme Experts
In the air above the Biers Mountains, Linley and Dunnington, not hesitating at all, transformed into two blurs which pincer-attacked Ballmer! The constrictive power of a material plane was far lower than that of the Infernal Realm, and so Linley and Dunnington were able to move at an unheard of speed; it was as though they were teleporting.
Ballmer’s wild laughter echoed in the air, while his entire body began to blaze with fiery tongues of flame that swirled about him. The heat around him was so great that even space itself began to crack from it. Balllmer actually paid no heed to Dunnington, instead going straight for Linley.
“Careful.” Dunnington sent.
Linley just laughed calmly and watched.
“Whoosh!” Ballmer transformed into a streak of fire, passing directly through Linley’s body, then resolidifying into Ballmer’s appearance behind Linley.
“The same technique which Bluefire used.” Linley laughed and turned.
“How could it be that he didn’t react at all?” Ballmer was shocked.
Paragons who trained in the Laws of Fire definitely had the most powerful attacks. Their material attacks and soul attacks were both tremendously strong.
“A soul attack? Too weak.” Linley laughed as he looked at Ballmer. In terms of soul strength, how could Ballmer compare to a Soul Mutate like Linley? And Linley had a soul-protecting Sovereign artifact!
“My turn.” Linley suddenly moved.
That Mirage godspark sword in his hand leisurely chopped down towards Ballmer. Space just trembled slightly; Mirage seemed to teleport, directly appearing in front of Ballmer. The attack speed of a Paragon was far greater than their movement speed; there was no chance for Ballmer to dodge at all.
“Hmph.” Ballmer wasn’t afraid. The attacks of a Paragon of Fire were also exceedingly strong. With a flip of his hand, he revealed a fiery red greatsword.
The fiery greatsword and Mirage suddenly clashed.
“What great power.” Linley felt his hand tremble, but that was just the flesh in his palm; the remaining strength was dispersed. After fusing with four types of divine power and having his body transformed, Linley’s body was now simply too powerful. Even without Dragonforming, his physical strength would be ranked amongst the top ten in the entire universe!
Having a defensive Sovereign artifact and having a body that was akin to a Sovereign artifact…these were two completely different things.
Having a defensive Sovereign artifact just meant that one’s defense would be strong; it didn’t mean one would increase in physical power.
But for someone whose body was akin to a Sovereign artifact, that person’s brute strength alone would be terrifyingly great.
For example, Beirut or Hemmers…their bodies were simply too powerful. They had too much brute strength. Even without having reached the level of Paragon, their material attacks were comparable to those of Paragons.
As for Linley, his brute strength was no lower than Beirut or Hemmers’. In addition, he had the power of Will!
This made it so that…
In this clash, Linley’s palm just trembled slightly, while Ballmer’s entire body was knocked flying backwards.
Ballmer’s body slammed hard against the mountain rocks, and the counterforce of their collision was transmitted to the mountain. A power that was capable of making a Highgod Paragon be knocked back that far…how could the mountains of a material plane withstand it?
A layer of rocks transformed into sand, and then a powerful tremor swept through the mountainous rocks like an ocean wave, transforming them into sand. It was like a ripple that swept out to a distance of hundreds of kilometers; it even swept through the air, from one mountain to another mountain.
All of the mountain peaks within hundreds of kilometers seemed to have been sliced through by an enormous greatsword that was hundreds of kilometers long. It was extremely flat and equally distributed.
Divine Punishment Gorge was only a ten or so kilometers away from Linley’s battle. Naturally, it was within that region.
The hundreds of thousands of warriors within the gorge only felt the entire space tremble violently, and then…
The upper halves of the mountain peaks above each side of the gorge were completely transformed into sand, and then with a rustling sound, the sand began to flow downwards.
“Retreat, quick, retreat!”
These soldiers all began to bellow.
Countless amounts of sand flowed downwards. If they were to be buried under this avalanche of sand…even the most powerful of warriors would suffocate to death.
Moments later, an enormous sand pile that was hundreds of meters high appeared within the gorge.
“Good heavens. A sand dune that is the size of a small mountain. Anyone trapped in it would definitely die. Fortunately, I managed to flee fast enough.” Quite a few warriors stared at the mountain of sand and felt a surge of fear. This terrifying, gigantic dune had already completely sealed off the center of the gorge.”
“What’s going on? Where did all of this sand come from?”
“Good heavens. The mountain peaks are all missing. They’ve been completely flattened. It is as though an invincible celestial divinity used a blade to completely flatten the mountains nearby.”
“Those mountain peaks were still standing just moments ago. Where did they disappear to?”
Many of the soldiers raised their heads to stare, completely stupefied.
The high level military officials and powerful experts of each side were also stunned.
Quite a few people stared with wide eyes. At this moment, the two armies had no desire to keep fighting at all. They were too stunned by this ‘miracle’. Actually, even if they wanted to fight, there was no way to; that sand dune was hundreds of meters high, and it completely blocked off both sides.
“Let’s go up and take a look.” Quite a few people in both armies were mounted on flying magical beasts, and they rose into the skies.
There were also some magi, and even a few rare Saints who were able to rely on their own power to fly into the skies. They all wanted to see what had happened, exactly.
“So many Saint-level experts.” Quite a few people stared, stupefied, at the thronging mass of Highgods hovering in the air.
“Swish!” A figure suddenly shot over, and then smashed hard against the rocky walls of a large gorge. “Rumble…” The entire gorge seemed to tremble, and then a layer of stone that was more than ten meters thick was transformed into sand and flowed downwards.
The fiery figure that had slammed into the gorge once more flew into the air.
“Linley, I told you, I didn’t catch the Planar Overseer.” The fiery red figure began to bellow.
The soldiers below frantically tried to dodge and hide. Fortunately, this time, the sand that fell down was only a few meters thick, and so the soldiers were able to save themselves. Quite a few warriors emerged from the sand, raising their heads to stare at the fiery figure. “What…what sort of people are they!?”
A collision was enough to cause a scene of such devastation?
“You’d rather die than admit it?” A voice echoed in the skies.
Those soldiers took the speakers to be celestial divinities. These soldiers had no idea what came after Saints. As they saw it…‘gods’ and ‘celestial divinities’ were essentially the same thing.
Right at this moment, two figures appeared above the gorge, staring at the fiery figure.
“Linley, your material attacks truly are terrifying.” Dunnington sighed in amazement.
“My Azure Dragon clan has always specialized in strengthening the body, and so my body was strong to begin with. Now that I have the power of Will and have mastered the profound mysteries, of course I’m a bit stronger than most Paragons in terms of material attacks.” Linley smiled.
“A bit stronger?” The nearby Paragon of Fire, Ballmer, felt bitterness in his heart.
That wasn’t a ‘bit’ stronger, it was significantly stronger! This was abusive!
“Fortunately, although I’m not able to completely defend against this sort of attack, it won’t kill me either.” Ballmer still felt some confidence. What Ballmer didn’t realize…was that the power which Linley had just revealed, despite vastly outstripping Ballmer’s own, was just a small part of Linley’s true power. Linley’s true killing technique, the four-way ‘fused divine power’, had yet to be used.
If he had used fused divine power, his attack power would increase tenfold.
Tenfold. What sort of a concept was that? It would be completely lopsided!
Ballmer looked downwards at the stupefied commoners. He couldn’t help but feel angry that these ordinary mortals had seen him lose face like this, which made him both enraged and embarrassed. “A group of ants.” Ballmer waved his hand, and instantly, a surge of fiery energy swept out, completely covering the skies and forming into an uninterrupted sea of flame above the gorge.
This sea of flame was hundreds of kilometers long. It covered the entire gorge, rendering it so that those below weren’t able to see anything going on above. As for within the gorge…in the future, it would be referred to by the denizens of the Okerlund Plane as the ‘Apocalypse Flame Gorge’. The flames which Ballmer had casually created…were flames which even Highgods wouldn’t dare touch.
“Linley, Dunnington, it’s completely impossible for the two of you to kill me.” Ballmer said angrily. “I told you, the Planar Overseer isn’t here.”
“Haha, Ballmer, stop denying it.” With this voice, a figure suddenly appeared.
“Ballmer, your material attacks are far weaker than Linley’s.” Yet another figure appeared.
“You!” Ballmer frowned. Two more Paragons had arrived. Ballmer stretched out his divine sense…and upon doing so, he frowned. It wasn’t actually just two more Paragons who had arrived; the other Paragons were hastening over here as well.
Ballmer had a very ugly look on his face.
“Ballmer, don’t deny having the Planar Overseer. Just hand him over.” This speaker’s entire body was covered with an earthen yellow light. His muscles bulged, and his blue veins were like branches that twined about throughout his terrifyingly muscular four-meter-tall figure.
“Alas, if you insist on just denying it, you’ll just suffer more.” A snicker rang out. The speaker was Bayer.
In but a twinkling, all of the other Paragons had arrived as well.
“Haha, I ended up being the last one.” A shadow flashed forward; the latecomer was the Paragon of Light, ‘Clementine’.
Including Linley, there were eight people present. These eight all stared at Ballmer.
“Hmph. You all came.” Ballmer had a gloomy look on his face, and he snorted angrily, “I told you. The Planar Overseer isn’t here.”
The unending flames blazed above the gorge, and above the flames, nine supreme Deities stood there, eight surrounding one! Ballmer was definitely in a weak position.
“Ballmer won’t admit it. Dunnington, it’s up to you.” The Paragon of Light, Clementine, pursed his lips and laughed.
Dunnington winked at Ballmer. “Ballmer, can it be…that you are going to force me to hypnotize and control one of your Highgods?”
Ballmer’s face instantly changed.
He finally realized what his flaw was!
It was extremely hard to use hypnosis to control a Highgod, but Dunnington was capable of it. ‘Soulseed’, ‘Hypnosis’, creating soul shards…these all belonged to the Edicts of Death. If one didn’t train in the Edicts of Death, and instead trained in fire or water, even if one became a Paragon, one would be unable to use Soulseeds and hypnosis, or create soul shards from scraping away someone’s soul.
Every area had its own specialties. If one didn’t train in the Edicts of Death, no matter how powerful one was, one wouldn’t be able to use ‘Hypnosis’.
“The Planar Overseer truly isn’t here.” Ballmer said.
The looks on the faces of the eight experts, Linley included, sank. Clearly, they felt that Ballmer really didn’t know what was good for him.
“He’s dead. I killed him.” Ballmer then said.
The eyes of the eight experts lit up.
Ballmer chuckled, “I’m now the only person that knows about Brodie. However, since you’ve decided to go this far in forcing me, I can’t make it so that you were did this all for nothing. I’ll tell you. After all…even if you know, it won’t be of much use.”
“You aren’t the one to decide if this information is useful or not.” Bayer narrowed his vertical eyebrows as he said coldly.
Ballmer continued, “Brodie did indeed come to the Okerlund Plane, but just one year later, he took his wife and left the Okerlund Plane. He went to the Life Realm! However, when Brodie left the Okerlund Plane, he once said something to the Planar Overseer…”
The eight experts all stared at Ballmer.
“Brodie said…‘Mr. Ben, if many Deities descend upon this place in search of something called a red caltrop diamond, please tell these Deities something for me. Tell them that the red caltrop diamond is right here in the Okerlund Plane. However, if they want to find it, it will depend on how lucky they are, haha…’” Ballmer finished speaking, then snickered coldly as he looked at everyone.
The eight experts all began to ponder.
Everyone sensed quite clearly that Brodie’s words contained a hint of mockery within them.
“Everyone, you tell me, is the red caltrop diamond in the Okerlund Plane?” Ballmer laughed coldly.
That’s what Brodie had claimed! But the truth? That was unclear.
There were two possibilities. The first was that the red caltrop diamond was truly in the Okerlund Plane; only, it was hidden too well, so it was very hard to find.
The second was that it left alongside Brodie as he went to another plane.
“Haha…think about it at your leisure. Whether you decide to give up and go back or decide to keep searching is up to you. I’ve already given you this information.” Laughing, Ballmer flew away. As he did so, Ballmer gave Linley a sidelong glance. Just now, when he had been fighting Linley, he had been at an absolute disadvantage.
“It seems as though Linley wasn’t just lucky when he exiled Magnus into chaotic space. Just now…he wasn’t even in Dragonform.” Ballmer, in his heart, began to feel a hint of dread towards Linley.
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