Book 12, The Descent of the Gods – Chapter 21, Soulsilk
“Boss Yale, you…?”
Yale’s face was calm, and his cold gaze stabbed at Linley’s heart like daggers. It had been so many years. The four bros of dormitory 1987 had all been on exceedingly close terms with each other. Although they had some squabbles when they were young, there had been none that harmed their friendship.
Linley had never imagined that Yale would look at him in such a way.
It was as though he were looking at a stranger. As though he were looking at…a dead person!
“Huh?” Linley’s face suddenly changed dramatically.
He finally discovered the changes that were going on inside his body. After that cup of wine had entered his stomach, he suddenly realized that the cup of wine actually contained strange, faint gray strands of thin threads. The many silken threads quickly rushed towards Linley’s brain, and they soon entered his consciousness.
The many faint gray threads surrounded his entire sea of consciousness, and then…began to seep through!
Linley felt his head grow dizzy. He couldn’t help but sway, falling backwards over the seat behind him. After striking the chair, he collapsed to the floor, but right now, he didn’t notice it at all. His concentration was completely focused on his sea of consciousness.
“Lord Linley.” A nearby serving woman immediately cried out in alarm.
Linley, to the serving women and guards of Dragonblood Castle, was a godlike presence. This serving woman had never imagined that the invincible Linley would suddenly faint, as though he were an ordinary person. But the panicked cry of the serving woman quickly drew the attention of the people outside.
The first person whose attention was drawn was Zassler.
Zassler charged into the rear flower garden. Seeing the scene in front of him, his face changed dramatically. “Lord Linley.” Zassler immediately rushed towards Linley, but right now, no one at all could help Linley. Zassler immediately turned his head to stare at Yale.
“It was you!” Zassler’s eyes radiated a freezing light.
Yale maintained his silence, not saying a word.
“Big bro, big bro.” Wharton and a group of others ran over as well. Seeing Linley lying there collapsed on the floor, they were all terrified.
They wouldn’t even be afraid if Linley had been stabbed or slashed, but for Linley to collapse to the ground for no reason at all…how could they not be afraid and worried?
Within Linley’s consciousness.
The many faint gray strings had, in the end, penetrated straight through that faint azure layer of light surrounding his consciousness. The many faint gray strings pierced into the sea of consciousness, and instantly began to constrict around that sword-shaped soul of Linley’s.
The sword-shaped soul was currently hovering in the deepest parts of his sea of consciousness.
“Not good.” Linley definitely wouldn’t permit those strange threads to attack his soul. He immediately tried to control his spiritual energy to block it.
The sea of consciousness in his brain instantly began to roil, and large amounts of spiritual energy began to whittle away at those dim gray threads. After having become a Grand Magus Saint, Linley’s spiritual energy had been further refined and become easier to control. Those faint gray threads, however, forcefully pushed through his condensed spiritual energy, drawing closer to his sword-shaped soul at high speed.
But in the process of doing so, the threads had also been reduced in power.
Having lost a third of their power, the remaining faint gray threads still wrapped around Linley’s soul. With those many gray threads wrapped around his sword-shaped soul, Linley’s soul was like a turtle trapped in a jar. Those gray threads tried to penetrate even deeper.
The soul was extremely important. Once it was pierced through, one would most likely die. Linley understood this very well.
“Rumble…” The sword-shaped soul suddenly flashed with blue light, suddenly gleaming as brightly as the sun. Those faint gray threads dissolved in an instant, like flecks of snow. Within his sea of consciousness, not a single faint gray thread was remaining.
Only now did Linley secretly let out a sigh of relief.
He opened his eyes.
“What are you doing?!” As soon as Linley opened his eyes, he couldn’t help but roar in fury.
Yale was curled up to one side. Yale’s body was covered with blood, but Yale was still moving. He hadn’t died yet. Wharton, Gates, and the others, especially his son Taylor, were currently kicking Yale.
“Bam.” Yale suddenly vomited out yet another mouthful of blood.
“Big bro (Lord Linley)!” Wharton, Zassler, and the others, upon hearing Linley’s furious roar, turned to look with surprised delight.
“Father!” Taylor turned as well. His tear-covered face was now filled with shock and joy.
Everyone from Housekeeper Hiri to Taylor’s children were all present. Dozens of people from Dragonblood Castle were clustered here. All of them stared at Yale with eyes filled with hatred. Now that Linley had woken up, however, they all grew joyful and calmed down.
“Father, are you alright?” Taylor instantly rushed over to Linley.
“Everyone, take a step aside for now.” Linley was staring at Yale.
Linley was certain…that just then, he had suffered an extremely powerful, insidious attack. If it hadn’t been that the protective Dragonblood Warrior energy surrounding his soul had suddenly increased dramatically, it would be hard to say if he would’ve been able to make it past that dangerous moment.
All of this had been caused by that so-called flask of ‘fine wine’ of Yale’s.
“Cough, cough!” Yale covered his mouth, but fresh blood still continued to dribble out past his fingers. Clearly, just then, Taylor and the others had been absolutely furious. After all, Linley was family. Taylor, Wharton, and the others had been so angry that they had physically assaulted Yale.
If it hadn’t been for Yale’s special relationship with Linley, he would have been beaten to death long ago.
Linley looked at Yale and his current appearance. He stretched his hand out, resting it against Yale’s shoulders. He controlled the ‘Pearl of Life’ in his body, and as he did, a special energy filled with life force streamed out from the Pearl of Life, passing through his right hand into Yale’s body.
Yale’s wounds visibly healed in front of them.
“Boss Yale, tell me. Why.” Linley stared at Yale. His voice was very low.
Yale’s body was fine now, and he no longer coughed. He glanced calmly at Linley. “No reason.” After saying these words, Yale no longer spoke.
Linley’s heart was as cold as ice.
This was his lifelong friend!
When he had broken up with Alice and had spent eleven days and eleven nights outside in the cold, Yale, George, and Reynolds had accompanied him the entire time, because they were worried about him, their friend. When he had gone to get revenge on the King of Fenlai, Yale, after having learned about the matter, had done his utmost to assist him.
Yale hadn’t cared at all that these actions would perhaps cause offense to the Radiant Church.
Once, Linley had believed that the brotherly love between the four of them would never change.
But seeing the cold look currently on Yale’s face, Linley’s heart felt such pain.
“Boss Yale. I’ll call you Boss Yale one more time. Tell me, why did you do this!” Linley suppressed the pain in his heart as he stared at Yale. Was this still the same Boss Yale who had always been so full of laughter, the man who would be willing to throwing himself in any danger for the sake of his friends?
Yale glanced at Linley. “Why so many questions? It was to kill you.” Yale’s words were very calm, as though what he said was very reasonable.”
Linley’s heart clenched, as though it had just been struck. A terrible pain slowly began to spread out from his heart, so great that Linley began to shudder slightly. Linley had always been a man who deeply valued love, be it towards his wife, his children, or his friends.
Linley had always believed that the relationship he had were his most priceless assets.
He also believed that his brothers would never abandon him, and that their love was firm and unshakable.
“How…how could this have happened?” Linley’s body was shaking slightly. His eyes were filled with incomprehension and pain!
Why had his dear friend betrayed him?
But as he stared at that cold, calm look in Yale’s eyes, Linley truly didn’t know what he should say.
“Big bro, this Yale wanted to kill you. Why are you hesitating? This sort of person deserves to just be killed!” Wharton was currently still filled with fury, especially after having heard Yale calmly say the words, ‘it was to kill you’. On behalf of his big brother, he felt wronged!
Linley took a deep breath, letting his heart calm down slightly.
“Boss Yale. This will be the last time I call you Boss Yale.” Linley looked at Yale, his heart filled with stabbing pains. In his mind, he couldn’t help but see one scene after another of how the four bros had laughed happily together.
“You can go.” Linley turned around, no longer looking at Yale.
Yale glanced at Linley, then turned and left without a word.
Wharton, Taylor, Gates, Boone, and the others were frantic. Yale had wanted to kill Linley, but Linley was going to release him without punishing him at all?
“Remember. Do not make trouble for Yale. After all…he, he was once my brother.” Linley, when saying the word ‘once’, felt the pain in his heart increase. “Enough. You can all leave. I want to be alone for a while.”
All of them looked at each other, then looked at Linley’s back, which was turned towards them. And then, they all left, one after the other.
In the entire rear flower garden, aside from Linley, only one person was left – Zassler.
“Zassler.” Linley didn’t turn around. “You can leave as well.”
“Lord Linley, I wonder if you would be willing to tell me what happened to your body just now. Perhaps…I can understand a few things.” Zassler stared straight at Linley, his gaze firm.
“No need.” Linley said calmly. “I don’t wish to discuss this matter further.”
Linley was currently in a terrible mood.
“Lord Linley, if you tell me what happened to you within your body, perhaps…I will be able to tell you why Yale did this. There is a possibility that Yale is not to blame for his actions.” Zassler paused for a moment, then spoke.
Linley suddenly turned around, staring at Zassler. “What did you say?”
“I said, perhaps Yale is not to blame for his actions. There might be other reasons.” Zassler said.
When Linley heard these words, his heart instantly became filled with hope. He truly hoped that Yale had his own difficulties, which is why he had asked Yale earlier why he had done this. But from Yale’s eyes, he had seen no pain or embarrassment, only cold indifference.
This caused Linley’s heart to turn so cold.
“Alright. I’ll tell you.” Linley immediately began to describe in detail what had happened in his body to Zassler. Of course, Linley didn’t explain too much about how that special protective azure light unique Dragonblood Warriors possessed had increased dramatically. After all, to Zassler, what really mattered was what had been used to attack Linley.
“Soulsilk?” Zassler’s eyes instantly lit up as he heard this. “So my suspicions were correct.”
“What is ‘Soulsilk’?” Linley looked at Zassler.
Zassler explained in detail, “Lord Linley, I’ve had many suspicions this entire time, but now, I’m absolutely certain. I’ll tell you right now that this ‘Soulsilk’ is based off of Necromantic Magic. It is a type of poison that is specially meant to attack the souls of others. Only, the process of refining it is extremely difficult, and the requirements are very high. Even I have never refined this poison.”
“Are you saying that this wine had Soulsilk inside it?” Linley asked.
Zassler nodded. “Right. After Soulsilk has been refined, it needs to be stored in a special type of liquid. That way, the Soulsilk will be able to last for a long period of time.”
“So the culprit behind Yale is someone who trains in Necromancy?” Linley’s eyes lit up.
Zassler nodded. “Lord Linley, actually…when you informed us that yesterday that after killing those two silver-robed men, that Violet-Gold Rat King, Harry, told you that the Deity behind those two knew that it was the two of you who had killed the two silver-robed men…I began to grow suspicious.”
“Because even Deities can’t always be casting their Deific presence everywhere at all times. You suddenly killed those two silver-robed men. How could the Deity behind them possibly know? But Harry was so certain that the Deity knew. Thus…in my mind, there’s only one possibility!”
“That was a Soulseed!”
Zassler said seriously, “Necromancers can use their own soul energy to condense into a Soulseed, and then place that Soulseed into someone else’s soul. That person will then be under the complete control of the Soulseed’s creator. At the same time, between servant and master, there will be a spiritual link and ability to communicate. Thus, before dying, those two silver-robed men were been able to inform the appearances of you and Fain to that Deity.”
Linley felt utterly shocked.
“Lord Linley, you said that there are nine silver-robed men, and that most likely every single one of them is at Prime Saint levels of power. I imagine…the only type of person capable of controlling nine Prime Saints would be an expert practitioner of Necromancy who has reached the Deity-level.” Zassler said with certainty. “This is because Grand Magus Necromancers definitely don’t have the ability to control so many Prime Saints. After all, the more powerful the person being controlled, the higher the requirements the Soulseed will have.”
“In addition, Lord, you and Yale have an extremely deep relationship with each other, but when he tried to kill you, he was so remorseless and uncaring. He was even able to bring out a poison such as Soulsilk…there’s only one explanation. He, too, has been controlled by a Soulseed from that Deity.”
Zassler looked at Linley. “Lord Linley, you should forgive Yale. Once a person is controlled by a Soulseed, deep in their mind, they will come to treat the wishes of their master as paramount. Even if one was ordered to commit suicide or commit patricide or matricide, it would be done without hesitation. He’s nothing more than a dominated puppet right now.”
Linley felt both joy and fear in his heart.
Fear for Yale!
“Yale’s been controlled…then…is there any method to allow him to return him to normal?” Linley was filled with worry for Yale.
“There is.” Zassler nodded. “The method is…kill the Deity. At that time, the Soulseed will naturally dissipate.”