Book 17, Indigo Prefecture – Chapter 23, Receiving the Order
“Has a mission finally come?” Linley turned to look at Arhaus, saying apologetically, “Arhaus, I need to go speak with the Grand Elder.”
Arhaus, his face solemn, immediately said, “Linley, the Grand Elder won’t summon you without a reason. For her to be summoning you now, there’s a 90% chance it has to do with having you go do battle against the eight great clans. Linley, you must be careful. The eight great clans truly are formidable.”
They had been able to force the Four Divine Beasts clan into a situation like this. If it hadn’t been for the Lord Prefect of Indigo Prefecture, the Four Divine Beasts clan might even have been eradicated. How could the eight great clans not be powerful?
“I will be careful.”
Linley laughed, then immediately turned and moved at high speed towards the Azure Dragon Palace of the Grand Elder. The blood-robed warrior immediately followed as well.
Arhaus watched as Linley left, then softly said, “Brother Linley, you have to make it back alive!”
Every single clan of the Four Divine Beasts clans and the eight great clans could be ranked amongst the top twenty clans of the entire Infernal Realm. So many ancient clans had moved here from other planes, gathering here to engage in a wild battle.
This sort of large-scale battle between supreme clans was something which the Four Higher Planes might not see even once in countless years.
Experts against experts!
In this sort of war, the true battles were primarily carried out by Six Star Fiends and Seven Star Fiends. Battles at this level…generally speaking, how many experts on this level could a single clan have? After all, in the Infernal Realm, any clan that had a single Seven Star Fiend would be considered a formidable clan.
However, in the battles between the Four Divine Beasts clan and the eight great clans…one Seven Star Fiend after another was killed, while Six Star Fiends were killed in batches!
This sort of vicious battle between supreme clans had stunned the countless clans of the Infernal Realm. They could do nothing but watch! Even a clan as powerful as the Bagshaw clan wouldn’t dare to get involved. After all, the war was simply too brutal.
As for someone as powerful as Linley, in this sort of large-scale war with no retreat, he would be one of the Seven Star Fiends that would engage in blood-soaked battle for the Azure Dragon clan.
The Azure Dragon Palace. The fifth floor’s main hall.
A long black robe. Loose azure hair. A silver mask. This was the Grand Elder of the Azure Dragon clan! The Grand Elder’s body seemed quite tall and slender. She sat there quietly, not moving at all. There was no way to tell what she was thinking.
A long time later…
“It’s time to let him gain some experience.” The Grand Elder let out a slow sigh.
Suddenly, the Grand Elder turned her head to look at the door. Hearing footsteps ring out, she then saw Linley stride in. Upon seeing the Grand Elder, Linley immediately saluted respectfully. “Linley greets the Grand Elder.”
“Linley. Sit!” The Grand Elder said calmly.
Linley immediately saluted, then sat down.
“Linley, you have been the captain of Squad Thirteen for more than a year now, right?” The Grand Elder said.
“Yes, Grand Elder.” Linley replied.
The Grand Elder’s voice turned gentle. “Do you know that after you defeated Emanuel and were promoted to the rank of Elder by the Patriarch, the Patriarch and I have been in earnest discussions regarding you.”
Linley was stunned.
At this moment, the voice of the Grand Elder was very friendly. This couldn’t help but cause Linley to feel puzzled. The Grand Elder was usually always quite cold and emotionless; why was she like this today? “Can it also be because of the Coiling Dragon ring?” Linley said to himself.
The Coiling Dragon ring was the soul-protecting Sovereign artifact of the Sovereign ‘Azure Dragon’.
“Originally, the Patriarch wanted to let you continue to train. After all, given your current accomplishments, if you reach the Highgod level, you will definitely become yet another trump card our clan has!” The Grand Elder sighed. “Currently, you are only a Seven Star Fiend. You can’t be considered a trump card yet.”
“Trump card?” Linley looked at the Grand Elder.
If he were to train to the Highgod level, first of all, his soul would undergo a qualitative change. Not only would his soul defense strengthen yet again, even his ‘Blackstone Space’ and his ‘Dragon Roar’ would rise dramatically in power.
“When we say ‘trump cards’, we refer to experts who have surpassed ordinary Seven Star Fiends, and are comparable to the Asuras of the Infernal Realm or the Commanders of Purgatory.” The Grand Elder said.
The Infernal Asuras and the Purgatory Commanders were indeed far mightier than most Seven Star Fiends.
For example, ‘Reisgem’. Linley had just learned the ‘Blackstone Space’ from him, and had consequently become so powerful. But if Reisgem himself had used the technique? Also, the Purgatory Commander who was behind the Bagshaw clan, ‘Mosi’. He was able to easily defeat ‘Lomio’, whose power had already approached the Asura level. The Infernal Realm’s Asuras, the Commanders of Purgatory…each and every one of them was a terrifyingly powerful opponent.
They were all very close to being at the very peak of possible power for Highgods.
“In our Azure Dragon clan, only three people, throughout all these countless years, have been considered ‘trump cards’.” The Grand Elder said. “Aside from myself and the Patriarch, the only other one is that ‘Genius Elder’, Blue [Bu’lu].”
“Elder Blue?” Linley knew this person as well.
He himself had been publicly acknowledged by the many Elders as having the fourth most powerful body in the Azure Dragon clan. The first and the second most powerful bodies naturally belonged to the Patriarch and the Grand Elder. As for the third, that was their ‘Genius Elder’, Blue. Blue’s might was utterly unquestionable.
“A true trump card cannot have any weaknesses, be it in material defense or spiritual defense! On this foundation of having no weaknesses, one then needs to have an ultimate technique that can allow one to dominate the Infernal Realm. This is what a trump card is!”
The Grand Elder shook her head. “You are currently just a God. Although by relying on the Azure Dragon ring, you are able to make up for the difference in soul strength, I imagine that the Azure Dragon ring should be a damaged one, and so you still have a flaw.”
“Thus, your weakness is your soul defense. After all, in terms of quality, your soul strength is just at the God level.” The Grand Elder shook her head as she spoke. “Only once you become a Highgod can you be considered as flawless.”
“When the Patriarch saw you!” The Grand Elder’s voice contained a hint of joy. “He knew that our clan would in the future have our fourth trump card!”
Linley couldn’t help but laugh.
Naturally, he felt happy upon being hearing praise. Only, Linley also knew that he would only ‘in the future’ become the fourth trump card.
The Grand Elder glanced at Linley, then sighed softly. “Unfortunately, you aren’t a Highgod.”
Linley didn’t know whether to laugh or to cry. He said to himself, “Grand Elder, do you know that if it hadn’t been for your grandson Emanuel, I would only have gone out to do battle after training to the Highgod level.” In addition, it had been Forhan who had used verbal traps to force him to go to Bloodbath Gorge.
Linley had no choices.
“Linley, how is your soul defense?” The Grand Elder asked.
“Even if I encounter Seven Star Fiends skilled in soul attacks, I would dare do battle against them.” Linley said very proudly, but then he said with resignation, “But of course, if I were to encounter a super-expert who is extremely skilled in soul attacks, then I won’t be able to fight.”
For example, the Purgatory Commander ‘Mosi’.
This person was able to control the souls of even Seven Star Fiends. Soul attacks as powerful as his definitely weren’t manageable for the likes of Linley.
“If that’s the case…that’s good enough.”
The Grand Elder’s voice contained a hint of exuberance. “In order to make things safer, you can go ambush the forces of the Barbary clan. Actually, only against their forces will you have an above 90% chance of survival.”
Above 90% chance of survival? And only against the Barbary clan?
Linley couldn’t help but feel speechless.
His body was tough, and his soul wasn’t weak either. There shouldn’t be many capable of killing him.
The Grand Elder’s forehead furrowed, and she shouted, “You must be careful, careful! You can’t be the slightest bit negligent or lax. Every single Seven Star Fiend which engages in battle in this war between our Four Divine Beasts clan and the eight great clans can be considered one of the top experts of the entire Infernal Realm! We have our trump cards, but the eight great clans have their own as well!”
“The Patriarch and I are both confident in our ability to easily kill you.” The Grand Elder said coldly. “The eight great clans also have supreme experts who are comparable to us in power!”
Linley’s heart trembled.
This was a rude awakening! Ever since his Ancestral Baptism, he did seem to have been a bit excessively over-confident.
He forgot the old saying; no matter how tall a mountain is, there is always a taller one somewhere!
Who were his foes?
They were supreme clans who had come in pursuit from other planes, and there were eight of them in total! Behind the Bagshaw clan was the Purgatory Commander, ‘Mosi’. The Azure Dragon clan also had the Patriarch, the Grand Elder, and other such supreme experts.
Could it be the eight great clans didn’t?
How powerful did their foes have to be, to be able to force the Four Divine Beasts clan to the point of needing the Lord Prefect of Indigo Prefecture to intervene?!
“Your potential is tremendous. Thus, I don’t dare send you to carry out the most dangerous tasks. In the eight great clans, only the ‘Barbary’ clan that comes from the Divine Water Plane is unspecialized in soul attacks.” The Grand Elder said. “The others, such as the Boleyn clan from the Celestial Realm, or the Chanel clan of the Divine Fire Plane, or the Ashcroft clan of the Netherworld…many of the experts of these clans are extremely proficient in soul attacks.”
Linley’s forehead began to be matted with sweat.
Most of the experts of the Boleyn clan trained in the ‘Edicts of Fate’. When Linley had just arrived in Indigo Prefecture, he had personally watched those experts of the Boleyn clan easily kill a group of Highgods.
“Can’t be overconfident. Can’t be overconfident. The enemies are extremely strong, this time.” Linley reminded himself.
Against ordinary clans or the ordinary experts of the Infernal Realm, he was indeed strong enough to be arrogant and proud.
A Seven Star Fiend? Yes, he was quite powerful.
But in this war between the Four Divine Beasts clan and the eight great clans, this bit of power he had was only enough for him to participate! There were many who were more powerful than he was!
“The Barbary clan stems from the Divine Water Plane, and thus specializes in the Elemental Laws of Water. The Elemental Laws of Water are not very suited for soul attacks, but their soul defenses and physical defenses are all exceedingly powerful.” The Grand Elder said. “But as I see it, you have an advantage over them.”
As long as the opponents didn’t specialize in soul attacks, he still had some degree of confidence.
“But you cannot be too overconfident. For example, our Azure Dragon clan also produced someone like you, who specializes in the Laws of the Earth. It is possible that perhaps this Barbary clan has also produced an expert who specializes in soul attacks.” The Grand Elder warned yet again.
“Understood.” How could Linley dare to continue to be overconfident?
With a flip of her hand, the Grand Elder retrieved a large map, and began to point out directions on the map…
As the Grand Elder continued to explain, Linley completely understood what this mission was about.
“Linley, leave behind a divine clone here at Bloodbath Gorge, just in case.” The Grand Elder said.
“Right.” Linley nodded. “Then Grand Elder, I’ll go summon my forces.”
“Go.” The Grand Elder nodded.
Linley directly flew out from the fifth floor’s window, leaving the Azure Dragon Palace and heading to the residences of Squad Thirteen. The Grand Elder watched as Linley flew away, and then she said softly, “The clan doesn’t have enough time. We have to let Linley go participate in battle. Perhaps in the middle of the war, he will make breakthroughs faster.”
“All members of Squad Thirteen, assemble. We have a mission.” Linley flew to a location directly above the residences of Squad Thirteen, then shouted.
Immediately, one figure after another shot out. Instantly, all ten of them were assembled. Those people who saw from afar that Squad Thirteen was assembling all silently prayed for them. Every single time a squad was sent out for a mission, they were dancing between life and death.
Currently, Squad Thirteen was fully manned, but after this mission was concluded, who knew how many would remain?
“Captain, we have a mission?” That jade-haired woman said in surprise.
“Right. Make your preparations. We’re about to head out immediately.” Linley said. At the same time, another ‘Linley’ flew out from his body, entering the captain’s residence. It looked like just a single divine clone, but in reality, this divine clone had two other divine clones within it.
Linley was only taking a single divine clone on the mission.
“We’re about to start again.” The ten squad members all had solemn looks on their faces, and most of them also made their divine clones fly out from their bodies and return to their residences.
Linley looked at these ten, then said calmly, “Remember. On this assignment, you must completely obey my orders. I hope that just like how there were eleven of us when we set off, when we return, we will still number eleven.”
“Yes, Captain.” The ten replied in unison.
Linley immediately took to the skies, flying directly south. The ten Six Star Fiends followed tightly behind him. The first mission for Squad Thirteen after Linley had become a captain was finally beginning!