Book 17, Indigo Prefecture – Chapter 19, Elder
Dragon Avenue. Linley was flying at high speed through the curving path.
“Previously, because of the life-and-death duel, I angered the Patriarch. As I left with him, I was worrying if I would face a dangerous situation. But who would have imagined that not only would I not be punished, in the blink of an eye, I would become an Elder of the clan!” Linley looked at the gold-patterned azure armor he was wearing, and couldn’t help but laugh.
“The changes in the world are quite marvelous indeed.” Linley sighed.
“Elder!” Many of the patrolling soldiers on Dragon Avenue, upon seeing Linley, immediately saluted respectfully.
Linley glanced at these patrolling soldiers and nodded slightly.
Linley flew past the many saluting patrolling warriors.
Watching Linley fly past, one patrolling warrior frowned. “This Elder…seems to be that Linley who took part in the life-and-death duel. Captain, you went as well. That was Linley, wasn’t it?”
“I didn’t see too clearly. It did seem to be Linley.” The captain of the squad said.
“It was Linley. I saw him clearly.”
“What, that Linley, the one who took part in the life-and-death duel, became an Elder?” Quite a few patrolling warriors who hadn’t watched the life-and-death duel were puzzled.
“Is it strange that he became an Elder? If it hadn’t been that the Patriarch had hurried over in time, Elder Emanuel would have been killed. That Lord Linley definitely has the power of a Seven Star Fiend!”
After all, thousands of patrolling warriors had watched that duel. Thus, as Linley flew along Dragon Avenue, he was recognized by quite a few people. Soon, the news that Linley had become an Elder was spread quite quickly amongst those patrolling warriors.
“Here we are.” Linley looked at the gorge in front of him. His body transformed into a streak, and he charged straight into it.
Linley flew directly towards the Yulan branch. In mid-air, Linley saw that at the door to his residence, a group of people were gathered. Baruch, Tarosse, Olivier, and tens of others were there.
“I hope Linley is fine.” Hazard sighed softly. “It’s so rare for our Yulan branch to produce an expert like him. If he is…ugh!” Unconsciously, everyone in the Yulan branch had considered Linley as the ‘flagbearer’ for their branch.
How could their flagbearer be allowed to fall?
“Who knows how the Patriarch will punish Linley.” Cesar said with concern as well.
“From what I saw at Death Valley, the Patriarch is very severe.” Olivier said with a frown.
“Don’t worry. The Patriarch won’t kill him, at least.” Baruch said. He knew very well the danger which the Four Divine Beasts clan was currently in. At a time like this, the Patriarch wouldn’t be willing to kill any of their experts.
Delia just continued to frown, quietly waiting.
“The Boss is coming.” Bebe suddenly said while raising his head to look upwards.
“Linley is coming?” The group of people immediately followed Bebe’s gaze, staring into the sky. From above that faint fog, a human figure was descending at high speed. Baruch and the others only saw a blurry, indistinct multicolored light.
The figure landed. It was Linley!
Baruch, Tarosse, and the others all stared at Linley, slack-jawed.
Linley’s entire body was clad in azure armor, which in turn was covered with complicated golden embroidery patterns, giving off an ancient, noble aura. That cape which Linley wore over his shoulders, in peculiar, had unfathomably mysterious runes atop it and had all colors of light flowing atop it.
It was the uniform of an Elder!
“Lin…Linley?” Baruch, Ryan, Dylin, and the others all stared in astonishment at Linley.
“Clan leader.” Linley laughed as he looked at everyone.
“Linley, you’ve become an Elder?” Hazard’s eyes were bulging.
In the Azure Dragon clan, Elders were definitely the true, high level members of the clan. Every single Elder was a Seven Star Fiend, capable of making the countless members of their clan venerate and worship them. They all knew that Linley’s power was formidable, but who would have imagined…
That Linley would become an Elder!
“Everyone, don’t stand outside. Let’s talk inside.” Linley laughed as he spoke.
“Right. All into the living room.” Baruch came to his senses and said hurriedly, “Linley, when you left with the Patriarch and the Elders, what exactly happened? You have to explain clearly to us. We’ve been puzzled for so long.”
“Clan leader…” Linley was just about to speak.
“You can just address me as Baruch.” Baruch looked at the Elder’s uniform which Linley was wearing. “Linley, you are an Elder now. There’s only one person whom you can now address as clan leader or Patriarch.”
Linley understood what Baruch meant, and he laughed. “Within the gorge, I’ll still address you as clan leader.”
Baruch, seeing the look on Linley’s face, knew that arguing would be pointless. All he could do was assent.
All the important members of the Yulan branch gathered around. They listened to Linley explain, and Linley naturally just gave a brief explanation, skipping over some secrets. While hearing what had happened, everyone celebrated on behalf of Linley, while at the same time feeling proud of him.
Linley, the thirty-sixth Elder of the Assembly of Elders!
The Yulan branch’s status in the Azure Dragon clan was very low. However, now that their branch had produced an Elder, the status of the Yulan branch had just completely changed. After all, the entire clan only had so many Elders.
For their branch to have an Elder meant that their clansmen of their branch would be more confident while in the Skyrite Mountains.
The next morning. Dawn. Linley’s room.
“Delia, I had been planning to quietly train until I became a Highgod, but…I’m sorry. Now that I’m an Elder, most likely, our peaceful life won’t last for much longer.” Linley held Delia and said apologetically.
Delia laughed, then raised her head to look at Linley. “You don’t have to say sorry.”
“Linley!” A voice rang out in Linley’s mind.
Linley was startled. He smiled apologetically towards Delia. “I didn’t expect it would come so fast. I just became an Elder yesterday, but today, someone has already come looking for me.”
“Go, then.” Delia said.
Linley nodded slightly, then immediately transformed into a blur, flying out of the room and into the skies above the gorge. A handsome youth dressed in Elder’s garb was standing there in mid-air. It was Elder Garvey.
“Linley.” Garvey smiled as he spoke.
“Garvey, is there something you need?” Linley asked.
“Yesterday, you became an Elder. I imagine you don’t know anything about the powers and responsibilities of Elders.” Garvey laughed calmly. “The clan leader thus ordered me to come and give you a detailed explanation.”
Linley’s eyes lit up. “Thank you.”
“Are you going to make me just stand here as I talk?” Garvey laughed.
Linley glanced around. At present, he and Garvey were standing in mid-air above the gorge. This was indeed a rather poor way to treat a guest. He immediately laughed. “Garvey, let’s go. Come to my residence. We’ll have a good chat.” As he spoke, Linley and Garvey, the two Elders, flew directly downwards.
At this time, a human figure descended towards the gorge. It was the person whom Linley had met on his first day in the Skyrite Mountains, the person who wanted to embarrass the Yulan branch: Asru.
“These past few days have been so boring. Those eight great clans are always vigilantly watching our Four Divine Beasts clan, and when we patrolling warriors are off duty, we still can’t leave. We have to stay in the mountains.”
“Fortunately, in half a month, it’ll be time for my next thousand-year assignment. It’ll be my turn to go patrol. Patrolling is better than always being here in this gorge.” Asru was in an excellent mood. But suddenly, Asru turned his head to stare into the distance. Two blurry figures had suddenly flickered and vanished.
“Eh? Elders?” Asru was shocked. “Two Elders. Why did they come to an out-of-the-way place like our gorge?”
This gorge was a fairly remote place within the Azure Dragon clan’s territory. How could an Elder come here, normally?
“One of those two Elders seems so familiar from the back…” Asru frowned. Because half of the great valley was covered by fog, and given that the two Elders moved too quickly, Asru hadn’t seen them clearly. “That one…seems a bit similar to Linley!”
But then, Asru laughed. “How is that possible? Linley belongs to the Yulan branch. Although his power is excellent, how can he compare to an Elder, much less become one. That bit of ability he has is only enough to let him show off here in our gorge.”
Asru laughed disdainfully, then flew out of the gorge.
Within the living room. Linley and Garvey were chatting with each other.
As they chatted, Linley began to get a clearer and clearer picture of many of the clan’s affairs. He couldn’t help but sigh in his heart. “The power of the Assembly of Elders truly is enormous. In the entire Azure Dragon clan, virtually all affairs are managed by the Elders. Although the Patriarch is powerful, he normally never takes part in matters.”
“Garvey, I’ve heard you say so many things. In the clan, the Elders really are responsible for quite a few things.” Linley laughed. “I wonder what I will be assigned to manage?”
“Don’t be impatient. Right now, all tasks within the clan already have supervisors handling them. There’s no lack or opening right now. Thus, for now, there’s nothing you have to do.” Garvey laughed. “Right now, you can simply enjoy the perks and powers of being an Elder without having to take on any responsibilities.”
“Your residence and some other things have already been arranged.” Garvey said. “Also, you can also now apply for your Yulan branch to be moved to a nicer place.”
“No need. I’m fine living here.” Linley frowned. “Garvey, from what you are saying, it seems that right now, I have nothing I have to do?” The clan was currently in a period of crisis. How could he be allowed to be so leisurely?
“Of course you have things to do. Only, it isn’t now. Wait for the Conclave of Elders!” Garvey said. “The Conclave of Elders is held once every thousand years, and during each Conclave, different assignments will be meted out to each Elder. As an Elder, by then, you’ll be assigned some tasks as well.”
Linley now understood.
“Thus, for now, continue enjoying your leisurely life. After the Conclave, you won’t be able to, even if you want to.” Garvey chuckled. “The sort of leisurely life you currently have is something which the other Elders all dream of but can’t have.”
Linley chuckled as well. “Oh, right. Garvey, how long will it be before the next Conclave of Elders?” Given that they met every thousand years, perhaps he would have centuries of leisurely time remaining.
“Fifteen days!” Garvey said.
“Fifteen days?” Linley was astonished.
A thousand years between Conclaves…but it just so happened that he was only fifteen days off from the next one?
“Right. That’s why I told you to treasure these leisurely days.” Garvey laughed as he stood up. “Alright, I need to go. When the Conclave of Elders begins, there will be someone who will come invite you to attend.”
Linley stood up as well, escorting Garvey as he left.
Within the gorge.
“That Linley of the Yulan branch, he became an Elder? Impossible!”
“It’s true. Those members of the Yulan branch said it so smugly. From the looks of it, it shouldn’t be false. But to tell the truth, the smugness which those Yulan branch members have right now is really irritating.”
“They’re just blowing hot air, I wager.”
The gorge was quickly filled with variations on this sort of conversation. The Yulan branch had hundreds of members. These clansmen, after knowing that Linley had become an Elder, immediately went to brag and show off in front of the other branches within the gorge.
All people care about face.
Deities were the same. Linley was able to become an Elder of the clan. The formerly perpetually-snubbed Yulan branch’s clansmen naturally wanted to show off for a bit.
Asru was walking towards his own residence. He was preparing for his rotation.
“Lord Asru, I heard that Linley became an Elder. Is it true?” Several people came to ask Asru. Asru was a Highgod, a formidable figure within the gorge.
“Don’t believe the braggadocio of those Yulan branch people. Linley, become an Elder? How could that be possible?” Asru snickered. “Also, just yesterday, I saw Linley. He was wearing ordinary clothes.” What he didn’t know was that in the gorge, Linley didn’t want to be wearing his Elder’s uniform all day long.
Suddenly, he stared. He suddenly remembered how some time ago, he had seen those two Elder’s figures from afar. A suspicion began to arise within his heart.
“I told you it was impossible.” Several people immediately began to speak out. “The Yulan branch, produce an Elder?”
“In a bit, I’ll rotate and be on duty. I’ll go ask the other warriors of the clan and I’ll know then.” Asru said. The gorge was simply too remote and its experts too few in number. It thus also took a long time for those of them within to learn news regarding the clan.
Those people all immediately and respectfully escorted Asru away.
But right at this moment…
“Elder Linley!” A bright voice suddenly echoed throughout the gorge. Immediately, within the gorge, every person, whether those in training or those chatting in pairs, or those who were flying in the air, was stunned.
Asru was stunned as well.
Immediately, a large number of figures flew towards the source of that voice. They all looked carefully…
Three black-robed figures were flying downwards respectfully, while Linley himself was flying out as well.
“Is the Conclave of Elders beginning?” Linley said.
“Yes, Elder.” The three black-robed men bowed.
“Let’s go, then.” Linley immediately flew in the air, and those three black-robed figures followed behind respectfully.
The many people in the gorge all stared, slack-jawed, at this scene. After seeing Linley dressed in an Elder’s uniform, with that flashing, gleaming cape, quite a few people were truly stunned.