Book 16, Starmist Sea– Chapter 3, Saturation
Rainbow Prefecture. Bluemaple City. This was at the southeastern-most point of the entire Redbud Continent. From Bluemaple City, one only would have to fly a few moments before reaching the borders of the vast, boundless Starmist Sea.
Everyone headed from the Redbud Continent towards the Jadefloat Continent of the east or the Bloodridge Continent of the southeast would primarily travel through here, as Bluemaple City was the closest location. Some major trading guilds would also have branches here, resulting in Bluemaple City being far more bustling and active than any of the other cities in the Redbud Continent!
“The gates of Bluemaple City actually have Redbud Army soldiers standing on duty. How strange.” Olivier laughed calmly in praise. At this moment, Linley’s group of four had already entered Bluemaple City and were walking along the roads of Bluemaple City.
“Bluemaple City is an extremely developed and bustling city. Trade has caused many merchant’s guilds to depart from this location. There are also many experts who wish to go to other continents who set out from here as well. It makes sense for some Redbud Army soldiers to be stationed at such an important location.” Linley said, while at the same time scanning his surroundings.
Linley was in an excellent mood as he enjoyed the views of Bluemaple City, which were different from Royalwing City.
How could Linley not be in a good mood? After all, they had taken a big first step on their journey to the Indigo Prefecture.
“Linley.” Delia sent quietly through divine sense.
“Huh?” Linley turned to look, puzzled. Delia gestured with her eyes towards Bebe, and only now did Linley notice that Bebe seemed to be in a rather strange mood.
Upon arriving at Bluemaple City, the normally lively Bebe actually hadn’t said a single word.
He was wearing his straw hat, which covered half his face. He paid no attention at all to the surrounding architecture or people. Bebe just walked quietly. It was hard to tell from the look on Bebe’s face as to what he was thinking, but seeing this, Linley began to understand.
Most likely, only Nisse’s affair could cause Bebe to be like this.
“Bebe.” Linley spoke out.
Bebe was suddenly startled awake, and then turned to look at Linley, puzzled. “Boss, why are you calling for me?”
“Are you thinking about Nisse?” Linley lowered his head to look at Bebe.
“Right.” Bebe nodded slightly, clearly quite saddened. “Ninny has gone to the Jadefloat Continent. She definitely headed out from Bluemaple City as well.” Upon arriving in Bluemaple City, Bebe couldn’t help but think about Ninny. And then, Bebe let out a low sigh. “However, she came to Bluemaple City centuries ago.”
Bebe raised his head and laughed wryly. “Boss, I’m fine. Ninny went to the Jadefloat Continent centuries ago. It would be very hard to find her. In the future, when I have the chance…well, let’s go. Let’s head to the Fiend Castle.” As he spoke, Bebe led the way.
Linley and Delia exchanged glances, then followed him.
Olivier actually hesitated slightly, as though thinking of something. After Linley and the others had moved some distance…“Olivier, what are you thinking about?” Olivier only now came to his senses and immediately hurried after them.
“Olivier.” Linley said.
“Hrm?” Olivier looked towards Linley.
“Have you truly decided to join us to the Bloodridge Continent?” Linley laughed. While on the trip over from Bluemaple City, he had chatted about this with Olivier. “The Starmist Sea is vast, and it’s hard to say what sort of dangers we’ll encounter on the trip over.”
Olivier laughed calmly. “Linley, in the Infernal Realm, I have no particular goal or target. It’s fine for me to just adventure with you for a time. What’s more, although the Starmist Sea has dangers within it, we have you, a powerful expert, right?”
As Linley and Olivier chatted on the street, given how densely populated the streets of Bluemaple City were, quite a few people nearby overheard them. Those people couldn’t help but glance sideways at Linley, either disdainfully or with amusement. Clearly…none of them viewed Linley as a powerful expert.
Because Linley was a God!
In the vast Infernal Realm, Gods could only be considered ordinary people. They couldn’t be considered powerful experts at all.
Linley noticed the glances of the nearby people, and he really didn’t know whether to laugh or to cry. “Olivier, since when did you become the type of person to say these sorts of things?” Olivier should be that sort of person who was solemn and icy, and not the type of person to joke around like this. However, Linley understood that the reason was because Olivier now viewed him as a true friend.
In a foreign land, people from the same homeland were especially near and dear.
In the Infernal Realm, of course they would be closer to each other, as they were both from the Yulan continent.
The Fiend Castle. The Fiend Castles everywhere were all the same.
Per the usual norms, Linley’s group arrived on the second floor of the Fiend Castle. There were a row of rooms on the second floor, one of which was meant for One Star Fiends to take on assignments. Linley’s group of four thus entered one of the empty rooms.
Within the room, there was a golden-haired, violet-robed woman.
The violet-robed woman raised her head and glanced at the four of them, then said calmly, “Speak. What sort of mission do you want?”
“The four of us wish to take on a two star mission, hopefully one which is heading from Bluemaple City to ‘Nishan City’ of the Bloodridge Continent.” Linley said.
Nishan City belonged to the northwestern corner of the Bloodridge Continent. From the Redbud Continent, most would first arrive at Nishan City.
“Bloodridge Continent? Wait a moment.” The violet-robed woman glanced at Linley with her blue eyes, then closed them momentarily before opening them again later. When she did, a thick scroll appeared within her hands, which she flipped open while saying, “From Bluemaple City to the border city, Nishan, of the Bloodridge Continent, within the next month, there are 13,043 different types of missions, with 1836 of them being two star missions. Choose for yourself.” As she spoke, she placed the thick scroll in front of Linley.
Linley’s group of four was stunned.
Over ten thousand choices?
“Linley, when we came over from Royalwing City, there were only eleven missions, three of which were two star.” Delia sighed in shock.
The violet-robed woman said calmly, “Every day, there’s a large number of people heading from Bluemaple City to the Bloodridge Continent, the Jadefloat Continent, or the Starmist Sea. However, most of them are self-guided merchant caravans. There aren’t that many real missions being issued. Despite that, it’s normal for there to be over ten thousand.”
Linley flipped through the two star missions.
“Boss, which one should we choose?” Bebe was seeing stars after looking through so many. He didn’t know which one to pick.
Linley turned to glance at the others. “This time, I’ll pick a simple, easy one.”
After their most recent experience, Linley didn’t dare to choose those missions which recruited an entire pile of Fiends. The more Fiends that had been invited, the more complicated a mission would be. However, if there were too few Fiends, the trip would be more troublesome and there would be more danger.
Thus, Linley chose a two star mission that was employing a group of Two Star Fiends.
“This one.” Linley decided.
“This one?” Bebe leaned over to take a look, then muttered, “There’s almost no payment. To go all the way through the vast Starmist Sea for just fifty thousand inkstones…” Last time, the escort mission’s reward was two hundred thousand inkstones. But of course…
On that mission, the mission givers, the white-horned elder and the black-horned elder, had both died. Linley’s group had failed the mission and thus had gotten nothing.
“If we can’t get paid, what’s the point?” Linley laughed.
Delia laughed as well. “Bebe, you care about this?”
Bebe had harvested amethysts for fully ten years. The fortune he was in possession of was most likely comparable to the entire fortune of the Boyd clan.
“I’m just saying.” Bebe mumbled.
Linley was actually musing secretly that the higher the compensation was, the more hidden dangers would most likely be held within this mission. How could the last escort mission be considered a two star mission? Those people who had been employed on that mission had been all but throwing their lives away. Aside from Linley’s group, who had been lucky enough to be spared by Phusro, all of the other hired Fiends had died, with only Learmonth being able to escape thanks to his power.
“Give me the Fiend medallion for a moment.” The violet-robed woman said.
After finishing the paperwork, Linley’s group of four left the Fiend Castle, while at the same time they now knew when they were going to leave. It was going to be in three days! One of the reasons why Linley chose this mission was precisely because it was starting in three days.
Linley’s group of four first enjoyed a meal, then purchased a great deal of delicacies and wine which were pre-stored, then headed to a hotel.
The next three days, they spent within a private courtyard in the hotel.
“After six hundred years of training, I’ve improved quite a bit in earth and wind. Only, my progress in my divine fire clone has been too slow.” Seated in the courtyard, Linley was pondering his training.
During the six hundred years he had spent in the Amethyst Mountains, his divine earth clone had made the most accomplishments, while his divine wind clone had also finally, completely fused the ‘Sound Waves’ and ‘Music’ profound mysteries, while also reaching the later stage in the simpler ‘Essence of the Wind’ profound mystery. However, the Elemental Laws of the Wind had in total nine profound mysteries, and the further along he went, the slower it was…
As for the divine fire clone, in six hundred years, he had only gained a basic understanding of the ‘Flamebody’ technique, and had yet to reach the God stage.
Linley shut his eyes.
Within his sea of consciousness, above the sea, three bodies were seated meditatively. They were the earth-yellow robed Linley, the light green robed Linley, and the fire-red robed Linley. The three Linleys formed into a triangle, and above them was the rainbow sword-shaped soul.
Beneath the sword-shaped soul was a black stone.
At the same time, threads of golden fog was being absorbed into the sword-shaped soul. Only, the absorption speed was already very slow.
“Hm?” Linley frowned, opening his eyes. “Over the past six hundred years, I’ve placed many amethysts into the Coiling Dragon ring to refine and absorb them. After six centuries of non-stop absorption, the rate of absorption is now growing slower and slower.”
This situation had only begun in the past few days. In the past, the absorption speed had never lessened before.
“Can it be that the amount of soul essence a soul can take in has a limit?” Linley wondered.
And then, Linley nodded slightly. It made sense that there was a limit. Otherwise, if a soul could constantly strengthen nonstop, what would the end result be?
Linley wasn’t sure.
Although absorbing soul essences could allow one’s soul to strengthen and even seemingly improve in quality, in truth, this was a form of ‘quality’ that came from ‘quantity’. It was much like a bottle; if you filled it with too much gas, the gas might compress and even be forced to liquefy due to pressure.
This was an example of quantity changing quality.
But there was still a limit, because if you kept on filling the bottle with gas, even after the gas liquefies, if the liquid reaches a limit, the bottle will explode…and the soul would shatter.
This was the situation with Linley. His soul had reached a limit and was unable to absorb any more.
If he wanted to strengthen his soul still further, he had to increase the size of the ‘bottle’ and make it sturdier, allowing it to fill with more gas and to make the liquid denser! This sort of transformation was a true ‘qualitative’ transformation, but there was only one way to do this; break through to the next level of Deityhood. Advancing from Demigod to God, and God to Highgod!
Even by fusing with a divine spark, the divine spark would allow for one’s soul to change.
But of course, becoming a Deity on one’s own would result in the descent of the natural Laws, increasing the intrinsic quality of the soul.
This was why many Highgods, even those who didn’t absorb soul essences, would have souls which were more powerful than Gods! Linley had absorbed so much soul essence, but his soul power could only be considered the peak of Gods. Compared to Highgods, he was still a bit off.
Three days later, at the gates of Bluemaple City, a large number of people were gathered. There were many groups gathered here, preparing to depart. There were also quite a few Fiend Castle staff members here. Linley’s group presented their Fiend medallions for inspection, and a Fiend Castle staff member led Linley’s group of four to a metallic lifeform.
“Your people are here.” The Fiend Castle staff member said a few words, then turned and left.
“The four of you, I am your employer, Aches [Ai’qi]!” A short, curly golden-haired man laughed. “Wait here a while. The people I’ve invited are almost all here. When we are all here, we will head into the sea.” Suddenly, ‘Aches’ stared at Delia unblinkingly.
Delia was startled by his stare.
Linley frowned, while Bebe said unhappily, “Hey, kid, what are you looking at? What sort of attitude is this?”
“Highgod, haha, you are actually a Highgod?” Aches was all smiles. “Haha, what a bargain, what a bargain! I didn’t expect that amongst the twenty one Two Star Fiends, a Highgod Fiend would be amongst them.”