Book 12, The Descent of the Gods – Chapter 4, A Major Event
Dawn. Sunlight illuminated the rear garden of Dragonblood Castle. For the first time in a long time, Linley had the desire to go to the rear garden and devote himself to stonesculpting. While sculpting, Linley couldn’t help but think back to one scene after another of himself with Grandpa Doehring.
“A stone’s appearance, quality, grains, and coloration impact not only its appearance, but its entire potential and true form. We use chisels to remove the excess parts and allow its natural beauty to be revealed. This is stonesculpting.”
“The stonesculpting way is really a way of controlling space and appearance. When stonesculpting, one must…”
The scene of Grandpa Doehring teaching him about stone sculpting was still so fresh, so vivid in Linley’s mind.
After understanding the ‘Profound Truths of Velocity’, Linley’s straight chisel moved even more gracefully and agilely, sometimes transforming into countless blurs while at other times, moving so slowly and gently…the human-shaped stone in front of him slowly took form. Linley’s carving attracted the attention of Hillman, Taylor, and many others, who watched from afar.
“Father’s sculpting method is so strange.” Taylor said in surprise.
Hillman sighed in surprise as well. “Right. Your father’s stone sculpting gives me the feeling…as though the sculpture itself already exists. All he is doing is removing the excess stone and dust that is covering it up.”
The straight chisel flashed, and flecks of stone flew about.
Indeed, it was as Hillman had said. Linley was truly just removing a layer of useless stone atop the sculpture, and as the flecks of stone flew off, the sculpture slowly began to reveal its true appearance.
“Shedding the shell. This is the feeling known as ‘shedding the shell’ which stone sculpters talk about.” Jenny sighed in amazement. “Only, I have never realized that someone could be able to sculpt in such a natural manner.” Jenny herself had learned stone sculpting, but what she learned was the normal type of sculpting which required many tools.
To Linley, a single straight chisel was enough.
He started sculpting at dawn, and continued until dusk. Only then did Linley finally set aside his chisel, reaching out with a hand to gently stroke the sculpture.
“Grandpa Doehring.” Linley murmured to himself. “In the past, I promised that there would come the day when I would utterly destroy the Radiant Church and pull them up by their roots. Soon, very soon…I will be able to accomplish this.”
The sculpture in front of him was that of ‘Doehring Cowart’. Doehring Cowart’s face had that ever-present hint of a benevolent smile on it.
“Linley.” Suddenly, a voice came from behind him.
Linley turned and saw that the speaker was actually Fain. Next to him, Hillman immediately said, “Linley, Mr. Fain has been waiting here for quite some time now. But when he saw that you were sculpting, he didn’t want to disturb you.”
“It truly looks as agile and real as a spirit.” Fain sighed in amazement as he stared at the statue.
The statue seemed to be alive, and for a moment, it was as though a real person was standing there.
“Linley, who is this person that you sculpted?” Fain asked curiously.
Linley didn’t respond. “Fain, you came because…?”
Fain hurriedly said, “Oh, this time, I’ve come to invite you to make a trip to War God Mountain. Tomorrow, which is to say April 6th, all the various Deities will be convening at War God Mountain, while a few Saints have also been invited to attend.”
“Oh?” Linley was suddenly intrigued; a gathering of Deities, with only a few Saints being invited? Clearly, this meeting was of great importance.
“Might I ask what this is about?” Linley asked.
Fain shook his head. “I’m not sure either, and Master didn’t tell me. But if you go, you’ll definitely find out.”
“Alright. I’ll definitely go tomorrow.” Linley nodded as he spoke.
Yulan calendar, year 10034, April 6th. The O’Brien Empire. Outside the imperial capital. On War God Mountain.
Within the quiet, secluded courtyard of War God O’Brien, four Deities, including the War God, the High Priest, Dylin, and Cesar, along with four Saints, being Fain, Linley, Desri, and Tulily, all casually sat down.
“So only the four of us came.” Desri also felt rather curious. “Linley, do you know what is going on?” Linley and Desri were engaging in a mental conversation.
“I’m not sure either. They are all Deities. We shouldn’t have anything to do with their affairs.” Linley was puzzled as well.
At this time, all four of the Saints were maintaining their silence.
The War God and the High Priest exchange a meaningful glance, and then the War God turned his razor-sharp gaze towards Linley and the other three. In a sonorous voice, he said, “Today, the primary reason the four of you have been summoned is because the High Priest and I have come to an agreement. There are too many nations in the Yulan continent. It is time to reduce the number.”
Linley and the other three were shocked.
“Is the War God preparing to incite a major war?” Linley wondered secretly to himself.
The masked High Priest said in a gentle voice, “The War God and I have come to an agreement. There should only be three Empires that will remain here in the Yulan continent; the O’Brien Empire, the Yulan Empire, and the Baruch Empire. In other words…it is time to start a war that will cover the entire Yulan continent.”
Linley, Fain, Desri, and Tulily, although inwardly shocked, still managed to appear calm on the outside.
“Linley, do you have any thoughts? You can be considered the representative of the Baruch Empire.”
Linley paused for a moment.
“This is good news. I naturally won’t object.”
Linley immediately continued, “If our three major Empires join forces, it won’t be hard to destroy the other nations. Only, I trust that if you, War God, and you, High Priest, join forces, you can accomplish these things easily. Why have you invited us Saints to come? I do not understand this.”
The War God and the High Priest might have simply wanted to give him face and invite him, but why did they invite Desri, Tulily, and Fain as well?
“It is very simple.” The nearby Cesar had a playful, teasing look in his eyes. “The War God and the High Priest don’t want to act. They want you to act.”
The War God couldn’t help but glance sideways at Cesar, but Cesar only snickered.
“We won’t get involved in this battle.” The War God’s firm, forceful voice rang out. “We have to tell you something. Per the orders of Lord Beirut, in three days time, we four Deities will all head towards the Necropolis of the Gods.”
“To the Necropolis of the Gods?” Linley, Desri, and the others all knew that last time, only the Saints had entered the Necropolis of the Gods, while the Deities had not entered it.
What Saints wanted to acquire was Demigod divine sparks, while what the War God wanted was full God divine sparks.
“Three days later? Why didn’t Lord Beirut have you enter the Necropolis of the Gods along with us? Was there a special reason?” Linley asked.
The nearby Dylin snorted. “No special reason. The only reason was because Lord Beirut so ordered it.”
Linley was amazed.
Just because Lord Beirut had ordered it?
“Enough about that.” The War God said calmly. “Eliminating the other nations is only a small matter. I trust you four are completely capable of handling it. How about this…Linley, Tulily, Desri, you go lead your forces to the Sacred Isle of the Radiant Church and destroy it.”
“As for the personal disciples of my War God’s College, as well as the personal disciples of the High Priest, they’ll go together to destroy the headquarters of the Cult of Shadows.”
The War God glanced sideways at Linley. “Don’t tell me you can’t do it.”
“I would be very much delighted to deal with the Radiant Church.” Linley frowned as he spoke. “But on the Sacred Isle of the Radiant Church, there is a large-scale, powerful magical formation, the ‘Glory of the Radiant Sovereign’. I imagine that just relying on Saint-level power alone, we will find it very difficult to break through it.”
The nearby Dylin said disdainfully, “The Glory of the Radiant Sovereign? Yes, the power of that large magical formation isn’t bad. Back then, it was able to block a blow from me. Just a single Saint won’t be able to break it. But Linley, if ten of you Saints attack it at full strength simultaneously…maybe not the first time, maybe not the second time, but eventually, you’ll be able to destroy the ‘Glory of the Radiant Sovereign’.”
Linley laughed as well.
Previously, the Radiant Church had also feared that Linley would lead a square of Saints to attack the Sacred Isle. Thus, they had Linley sign the agreement that if he were to ever go to the Sacred Isle, he would go alone.
But that agreement, ever since Linley, the Radiant Church, and the Cult of Shadows had their falling out, had been destroyed.
The High Priest, ‘Catherine’, spoke. “Actually, if three wind-style Grand Magus Saints were to simultaneously cast the ‘Dimensional Edge’ and attack the same location, that should be enough to break the ‘Glory of the Radiant Sovereign’.”
“If you can destroy the opponent’s Saint-level combatants, the results of the battle will be a foregone conclusion, even before it starts.” The War God said coldly. “In this sort of nation-destroying war, when the time comes, directly utilize your Saint-level forces and threaten the opponents. I trust that this battle will be concluded very quickly.”
Linley, Desri, Fain, and Tulily could only laugh ruefully in their hearts.
To Deities, the battles of the Yulan continent were indeed nothing more than children’s games, especially when the War God and the High Priest joined forces.
And indeed, once the highest level experts of the Radiant Church and Cult of Shadows were destroyed, the results of the war would be plainly obvious to anyone.
“Lord War God, I am a bit confused.” Linley spoke out. “Why did you drag this out for so long instead of starting it long ago? I think that if you and the High Priest were to join forces, you would have been able to divide up the other two Empires long ago and split the world up for yourselves.”
The War God and the High Priest glanced at each other.
Dylin laughed wickedly. “That’s simple. At that time, I hadn’t arrived at the Yulan continent, and Cesar hadn’t made his breakthrough. In the human societies of the Yulan continent, the only Deities were the two of them. The two of them were always opponents; how could they possibly join forces?”
“As for why they are joining forces now, the first reason is because they both now have the feeling that unifying the Yulan continent under their rule is now hopeless, and so they have divided the world into three parts instead. The second reason is because they now feel pressured. As to why they feel pressured…go figure that out yourself.” Dylin said.
Linley suddenly had a thought. “The War God and the High Priest…feel that unifying the continent is now hopeless? Because of me?”
Linley instantly understood.
First of all, he was about to become a Deity. The War God and the High Priest should be aware of this. Secondly, he had acquired divine sparks within the Necropolis of the Gods, and was capable of cultivating a crop of Demigods….and most importantly of all, thirdly, the relationship between Bebe and Beirut. These three points made it impossible for the War God or the High Priest to treat Linley as an enemy.
“The Eighteen Northern Duchies and the Holy Union will belong to my O’Brien Empire.” The War God said calmly.
The War God looked at Linley. “The Rohault Empire and the great plains of the far east will belong to your Baruch Empire.”
“As for the remainder, the Dark Alliance and the Rhine Empire, they will belong to the Yulan Empire.” The nearby High Priest nodded slightly.
“Linley, do you have any objections?” The War God and the High Priest looked towards Linley.
Linley could only laugh helplessly in his heart.
From the words and attitude of the War God and the High Priest, he could completely sense…that the War God and the High Priest didn’t treat the upcoming war in the continent as a major affair at all. And indeed, this was a war without any possible alternate outcomes. Experts on their level didn’t need to worry about it.
“No objections. Of course I have no objections.” What else could Linley say?
And so, according to this arrangement, the Yulan continent had been divided into three parts.
“Right.” The War God nodded with satisfaction. “Linley, you should know that actually, to the likes of us, worldly power is meaningless. The most important thing is your own level of training. Linley, I have heard that you will become a Deity in around ten years or so.”
Linley could tell that the War God’s attitude towards him was now clearly one where he considered Linley as someone on the same level.
After all, in but ten short years, by the time the War God returned, Linley would most likely be a Deity already.
The nearby Dylin said solemnly, “But before that happens, I have to remind you of a few things. Otherwise, if you were to make a foolish mistake, it would be terrible for you.”
Linley immediately listened carefully, and even the nearby Desri and the others paid close attention.
“Relying on your own power to become a Deity and fusing with a divine spark to become a Deity are completely different. Once your level of understanding of the Laws has reached a certain level, the universe will naturally create a divine spark based on the nature of your soul, and this divine spark will completely be as one with your soul.”
“Once your divine spark is created, you will face a choice.” Dylin looked solemnly at Linley. “After the divine spark is created, you have two options. The first is to absorb the divine spark into your mind and make it become one with your soul. At that time, your body will naturally transform into a divine body.”
“The merging of your soul with the divine spark will cause your body to transform into a divine body. If that divine spark was of the earth-element, then in the future, you would only be able to train in the Elemental Laws of the Earth and be unable to train in any others.”
“But of course, after the birth of the divine spark, there is still the second option!”
“That option is to not absorb the divine spark into your body, and to instead, leave it outside. If you do so, then the universe will itself, according to the nature of the divine spark, generate a second body. Your original body won’t change at all. In other words…you will essentially have a clone of yourself. This clone of yourself will be a Demigod, while your original body will still be able to train in the other Elemental Laws!”
Dylin said seriously, “However, there is a price for the second choice as well. Your soul will be divided into two. Now, during the process of becoming a Deity, the strange energies of the universe will protect you during that instant, and thus your soul being split in half will be a controlled process, and you won’t die from it. However, it will still be rather harmful to your soul.”