Book 14, Fiend – Chapter 5, Fiend Medallion
The highest mountain peak in the mountain ranges where the Black Dragon Tribe lived pierced towards the heavens like a sharp sword. Atop the mountain peak, there was an ancient black castle, which was completely made out of adamantite. According to legend, the owner of this black castle dearly loved adamantite.
“Whoosh!” The black-robed figure who had been termed a ‘Fiend’ swept the terrified members of the Black Dragon Tribe with his gaze, then flew directly into that black castle. The gates to the black castle swung open, and immediately, people came to respectfully take this Fiend in.
The many other members of the Black Dragon Tribe, upon seeing this, couldn’t help but begin chatting amongst themselves.
“The Fiend actually went to visit the chief. He isn’t going to go kill the chief, is he?”
“Your original body was that of a Six-Eared Donkey. Even as a Deity, you are an idiot. Think about it. If the Fiend truly came to kill the chief, would the chief send people to open the castle gates and respectfully escort the Fiend inside? As I see it, the chief definitely has something important to carry out, which is why he invited a Fiend to come.”
The members of the Black Dragon Tribe continued to discuss this amongst each other.
Halfway up the mountain, Linley sat atop a boulder, listening to these conversations. He couldn’t help but frown. Raising his head high, he looked towards that black castle located atop the mountain peak. That black castle had dozens of enormous black dragons coiling around it.
“The master of Black Dragon Castle is the chief of the Black Dragon Tribe, Stirton [Si’te’dun], the most powerful figure of the Black Dragon Tribe!” Linley murmured to himself.
Having spent two months in the Black Dragon Tribe, Linley had learned a few things about it. The Black Dragon Tribe, despite just being one of many unremarkable, small tribes in the Infernal Realm, had a very strict hierarchy.
The lowest class included the Demigods like Linley. They had no income, nor did they have any uniforms.
The middle class included the Gods who were in charge of rearing the Gerrard Black Dragons. After all, the entire Black Dragon Tribe only had so many black dragons, so only a small number of people could raise black dragons. Although more than half of the income from rearing these black dragons had to be given to the clan chief, rearing Gerrard Black Dragons was still an extremely fast way of accumulating wealth.
The upper class was made up of the tribe’s army!
The soldiers of the army were all Gods, and were trained and drilled by Chief Stirton. If one became a member of the tribe’s army, the chief would gift some money once every ten thousand years or so.
Halfway up the mountain, at Linley’s residence, only Linley, Delia, and Bebe were present.
“That Fiend is so powerful.” Bebe sighed in praise.
“The chief’s power won’t be low either.” Linley said as though thinking about something.
Delia glanced at Linley, then said, “Forget about the entire Infernal Realm; even in the Nightblaze Prefecture of the Redbud Continent, there are countless numbers of tribes that have taken over some of the mountains in this prefecture which has a circumference of over a billion kilometers.
Whenever he thought about the terrifying size of the Nightblaze Prefecture, he could imagine how many other Black Dragon Tribe sized powers were present.
In the Infernal Realm, ‘powers’ like the Black Dragon Tribe were indeed like weak, unremarkable ants. There were far too many of them.
“However, even in the Black Dragon Tribe, there were so many Gods. Although I’ve never seen Lord Chief Stirton, I imagine that for him to be able to become the chief of the Black Dragon Tribe and have more than half of the tribe’s wealth delivered to him, he should be a Highgod!”
Linley suddenly understood.
In the Infernal Realm…
Deities were nothing more than commoners. Probably one out of every ten Deities were Gods, while only one out of every ten thousand Deities were Highgods. But although the chances were very low, when one thought about how enormous the Infernal Realm was, one would understand how many Highgods there were as well!
“This is what it means to be in the Infernal Realm. The place where experts are as common as clouds!” Linley’s heart trembled.
“Boss.” Bebe gnawed on a straw, saying casually, “My Grandpa said that in a place like the Infernal Realm, those who became Deities through fusing with divine sparks can’t possibly gain a high status. Only those who became Deities on their own, and also have fused profound mysteries, have that chance. Only by being strong will one have a high status!”
Linley agreed with this in his heart.
“Linley, I won’t slow you down.” The nearby Delia suddenly said.
Linley turned to look at Delia. Naturally, he understood what Delia was thinking. Delia was that sort of very strong-willed woman. Linley couldn’t help but laugh as he took Delia into his arms. “Delia, you? Slow me down? If you think about it, in our group here, I’m the only Demigod. It’s me slowing you down.”
Delia felt a warm feeling in her heart. How could she not know that in truth, Linley, who was in possession of a soul-protecting Sovereign artifact, was the one amongst the three of them with the most variables in play? Once he truly went all out, if Linley were to encounter for instance those enemies that were most proficient in soul-based attacks, he would be able to counter them perfectly!
“It’s broad daylight, you guys! Get a room! Argh, I can’t watch anymore.” Seeing this, Bebe called out while covering his eyes.
“Little rascal.” Delia couldn’t help but laugh while scolding him.
At this time, that silver-haired elder, Buffett, flew over from afar. Seeing Linley and the other two, he laughed loudly. “Linley, you’ve been in our Black Dragon Tribe for a while now. How do you feel?”
“Not bad.” Linley immediately rose to his feet with a smile. “At least, we haven’t encountered any dangers yet.”
Buffett said with a sigh, “Right. If you were outside, you would learn…that there are simply too many bandit groups that ambush and slaughter travelers in the Infernal Realm. Generally speaking, Gods and Demigods don’t dare to travel the Infernal Realm alone.”
“Even Gods don’t dare?” Bebe stared.
Buffett went to a nearby stone chair and sat down, then nodded. “Right. Not even Gods. The bandit groups of the Infernal Realm are generally formed by Demigods and Gods. Do you think an entire group of bandit Gods and Demigods wouldn’t be able to deal with you, a single God? They have the advantage of numbers!”
“Then, why don’t Highgods act as bandits?” Bebe continued.
“Haha.” Buffett laughed. “Highgods, even in the Infernal Realm, can be considered upper class individuals. Why would they engage in something as dangerous as banditry? Whether through cultivating Highgod artifacts, by refining divine jewels, or by joining a large clan and becoming a strong supporter, they are easily able to live carefree lives.
Linley nodded slightly.
It was the same as the Yulan Plane, actually. True experts, such as those experts of the ninth rank, disdained banditry. However, in the Yulan continent, there were still some famous bandit groups which had a few powerful experts in them.
“But of course, the Infernal Realm has a few exceedingly powerful bandit groups. Only bandit groups like these will have Highgods. However, even if they have Highgods, they generally won’t act against another Highgod. After all, how would they know how powerful that other Highgod is? There are great gaps in power between Highgods as well.” Buffett sighed.
Linley agreed completely.
For example, Sadista had been killed by Bluefire with one blow.
Adkins, when facing Beirut, had both his Highgod bodies destroyed in just two blows.
“In our Infernal Realm, although there are many bandits who ambush and attack people, there are three powers that they don’t dare to offend. The first is the Redbud Army!” In a warm manner, Buffett continued to provide Linley’s group with some things that were common knowledge, while Linley and the other two listened carefully.
Linley’s group was planning to head towards the Bloodridge Continent, after all.
Only, right now they were too weak. They had to endure for now.
“Redbud Army. Got it.” Linley and the other two nodded. That was an army under the control of a Sovereign, an extremely powerful army. Who would dare antagonize them?
“The second power is the prefectural army!” Buffett sighed.
“Prefectural army?” Linley and the other two were puzzled.
“What’s a prefectural army, old man?” Bebe asked, not understanding.
Buffett said, “The entire Infernal Realm has 108 prefectures, and our Redbud Continent has nearly twenty as well. Every single prefecture has its own army! For example, our Nightblaze Prefecture naturally has the Nightblaze Army. These armies are known as ‘prefectural armies’! Within their own prefecture, everyone is glad if the army doesn’t make trouble for them; who would dare go antagonize the army? Once the army has their sights on you, even if you are a Highgod, you’ll be in for trouble!”
Linley understood now.
“The Redbud Army and the prefectural army, I can both understand. They are both giant armies. Then what is that third force which you said bandits are unwilling to antagonize?” Linley asked.
Buffett’s eyes revealed a hint of anticipation. “Fiends!”
Linley, Delia, and Bebe’s hearts trembled. At the same time, they grew curious.
“Mr. Buffett, what are Fiends?” Delia asked.
Linley was extremely curious as well. Just now, they had watched that black-robed man fly into the chief’s adamantine castle. The people of the Black Dragon Tribe, upon seeing that man, referred to him as a ‘Fiend’.
“Fiend is a type of title!” Buffett said with a sigh. “They are the valiant warriors of the Infernal Realm, a group of experts that fear no danger! Anyone capable of becoming a Fiend, even when roaming throughout the entire Infernal Realm, won’t encounter many bandit groups willing to act against them.”
Linley’s heart was stirred. He thought to himself, “I’m going to the Bloodridge Continent. The journey there will be an extremely long one. If I can become a ‘Fiend’, then I will encounter many fewer difficulties on the way over.”
Bebe and Delia had the same thought as well.
“What sort of a title is ‘Fiend’, old man? How does one become a Fiend?” Bebe asked.
Buffett said, “To become a Fiend isn’t too hard. You can go to any city, such as our closest Royalwing City. At Royalwing City, if you spend ten thousand inkstones, you can apply for a testing mission. Once you pass the testing mission, you will become a Fiend! Um, that is, you will become a One Star Fiend.”
“Ten thousand inkstones, just for a testing mission?” Bebe couldn’t help but stare.
Linley felt that this was too extravagant as well.
Ten thousand inkstones weren’t so easily earned.
“Just now, you said One Star Fiend?”
Buffett nodded. “Fiends have ranks, going from One Star Fiends to the terrifying Seven Star Fiends. This has to do with the level of missions they can accept. Those who are capable of accomplishing seven star missions are known as Seven Star Fiends!”
“However, it is generally only possible for Gods to accomplish even the simpler testing missions!” Buffett said with a sigh. “And that’s just a possibility!”
“The work which Fiends engage in is dangerous. They are all valiant. Even robbers aren’t willing to antagonize them. The most important thing is…you can’t tell the star rank of a Fiend by looking at them. From the surface, one can’t tell the difference between a One Star Fiend and a Seven Star Fiend.” Buffett said.
“From the surface? What do you mean?”
Buffett smiled as he pointed at the black castle atop the mountain peak. “Didn’t you notice? That Fiend who came just now had a Fiend medallion attached to the clothes over his chest! These are issued after a person completes the testing mission. Every single Fiend has the same ‘Fiend’ emblem!”
“Regardless of whether you are a One Star Fiend or a Seven Star Fiend, from the surface, you look the same. Only through using some very special methods can one judge a Fiend’s star rank.”
Bebe frowned. “Oh? How powerful is that Fiend?”
“I’m not sure either. However, even the weakest Fiends are Gods. Generally speaking, above-average Fiends are all of the Highgod level!” Buffett said. “Thus, bandits don’t dare to antagonize Fiends. After all, many Fiends are Highgods! If you encounter a Six Star Fiend or a terrifying Seven Star Fiend, no matter how powerful your bandit group is, you will be finished.”
Linley’s heart shook.
The majority of Fiends were Highgods? The weakest were Gods? It seemed that the quality of Fiends wasn’t lower than that of the Redbud Army at all.
Bebe’s eyes were shining. “You say more than half of Fiends are Highgods. How powerful are those powerful Seven Star Fiends?”
“Seven Star Fiends are amongst the most powerful experts of the Infernal Realm!” Buffett’s eyes had a hint of veneration in them. “Ordinary Highgods are unable to fight back against them at all. Once you reach the rank of Seven Star Fiend, you will have your own unique title. For example, in our Redbud Continent, based on what I know, we have produced figures like the ‘Silvermoon Fiend’ and the ‘Bloodviolet Fiend’, ultimate experts whose fame has spread throughout the entire Infernal Realm!”
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