Book 17, Indigo Prefecture – Chapter 27, Bestowal
Above Bloodbath Gorge, at the edges of the cliff. A large group of people was standing here, with the leader being the Patriarch and the Grand Elder.
“What are they doing here?” Linley was somewhat puzzled.
Linley immediately flew over, but before he even had the chance to salute, the Patriarch, ‘Gislason’, laughed and said, “Welcome back, Linley!” By the side of the Patriarch was the Grand Elder, dressed in a long black robe and wearing that silver mask.
“Well done, Linley.” The Grand Elder spoke as well.
“Linley, quite impressive. You killed two Seven Star Fiends. Admirable, admirable!” The nearby Elder Garvey laughed loudly as well.
“Elder Linley’s very first act is so impressive.” The golden-haired Elder, ‘Forhan’, laughed brightly as well.
Faced with the praise of the Patriarch and this group of Elders, Linley was rather stupefied. “My clones as well as clones of the other squad members left behind in Bloodbath Gorge haven’t gone to inform the Patriarch or the Grand Elder of this matter yet.”
Because the trip back wasn’t too long of a trip, Linley had been planning to make the report upon returning.
Who would have imagined that the Patriarch and the Grand Elder already knew about it?
What he didn’t know…was that this sort of wonderful news pertaining to their clansmen would also be very quickly reported back to the Four Divine Beasts clan by their intelligence agents.
“Enough. Everyone, don’t just stand here. Come. I’ve already ordered for a grand banquet to be prepared for celebration.” Gislason laughed loudly, then looked at Linley. “Linley, come, walk with me.”
Linley immediately flew over.
Gislason slapped Linley on the shoulders, his face wreathed in smiles. “Well done.”
“Just luck.” Linley immediately said. If he had fought them head on, those two Seven Star Fiends definitely would have been stronger than him. Thus, he succeeded only because he suddenly killed one, and then gathered his forces to join together to kill the other one.
“Why so humble?” Gislason laughed.
“This time, I really was quite worried about him. I didn’t expect that the mission would be completed even more perfectly than I could have hoped for.” The Grand Elder said.
Immediately, Gislason, the Grand Elder, and Linley flew together in front of that group of Elders, as well as the lucky survivors of Squad Thirteen, straight into the depths of the Skyrite Mountains. After a long time, Linley’s group arrived at a lavishly, gray crystal palace.
Quite a few maidservants of the clan were carrying platters in a steady stream into the palace.
The palace was very wide, and it was tens of meters high as well. Within the palace, there were nine stone pillars that were holding the ceiling up. The Patriarch and the Grand Elder flew straight to the front of the palace, then sat down together. In the clan, the status of the Patriarch was just slightly higher than that of the Grand Elder.
However, in the clan, the Patriarch and the Grand Elder were considered the highest level figures, while the other Elders were subordinate to them.
“All of you, take your seats.” Patriarch ‘Gislason’ waved his hand and laughed.
“Linley, you can take the seat of honor to the left.” Gislason pointed to a seat, then laughed. “After all, today’s celebratory banquet is held in your honor.”
“Me?” Linley was stunned.
There were quite a few Elders more powerful than him, and his record of accomplishments was still quite low.
“Linley, since the Patriarch told you to sit, then sit!” A silver-haired, cold-faced youth walked over, a rare smile on his face.
“Elder Blue.” Linley nodded, then sat.
As for this Elder Blue, he sat down directly next to Linley, in the secondary seat of honor on the left. Nobody dared say anything when he took this spot. After all, this Elder Blue was the clan’s ‘Genius Elder’!
According to legend, his power was only inferior to that of the Patriarch and the Grand Elder, and was vastly superior to that of the other Elders. One of the three ‘trump cards’ of the clan!
In addition, when their ancestor, the ‘Azure Dragon’ was still alive, he doted dearly on Blue, and had spent a large amount of effort to strengthen Blue’s body, making Blue’s body extremely powerful.
“Our Four Divine Beasts clan has battled with the eight great clans for ten thousand years, but such major victories have been very rare.” Seated at the front of the palace, Gislason let out a sigh. Normally speaking, if one side felt they would be unable to win, they would immediately flee.
To kill a Seven Star Fiend who was trying to flee was very difficult. Killing two Seven Star Fiends in a row, with one’s own side suffering only minimal losses, was extremely rare.
“It’s rare to have such a magnificent victory. If we can kill two of their Seven Star Fiends every time, no matter how many experts the eight great clans have, they won’t be able to last against us.” Immediately, some Elders began to laugh.
The entire palace became filled with the sound of laughter.
“Linley, what is it?” Blue, seated next to Linley, realized that Linley wasn’t laughing.
“I’m fine. I’m just thinking about Elder Arhaus, and the sacrifices of the many other Elders.” Linley sighed softly.
Immediately, quite a few Elders in the hall fell silent.
Over the past ten thousand years of nonstop battle, when they had slaughtered the enemy Seven Star Fiends, their own side’s experts had been steadily dwindling as well. Six Star Fiends died in entire batches. The foundation of power which the clan had built up over countless hundreds of millions of years was being steadily whittled away.
“What sort of attitude is this, all of you!” The Grand Elder barked.
Everyone couldn’t help but look at the Grand Elder.
The Grand Elder said coldly, “Even if our entire Four Divine Beasts clan dies out, we won’t permit those eight clowns to besmirch the reputation of our clan! When our ancestors were present, did those eight great clans dare to resist us? But now that the ancestor is dead, they’ll come for revenge? Hmph. How can clowns like these possibly make our Four Divine Beasts clan submit?”
“For the sake of the clan, so what if we die?” Elder Blue said arrogantly as well.
“For the sake of the clan!”
Linley, too, could sense the arrogance and pride of the many Elders in the palace. That they would rather die than submit.
As they saying goes, better to be a shattered piece of jade than an undamaged tile of brick!
“For the sake of the clan?” Linley said quietly in his heart. When he was young, Linley had always wanted to retrieve the ancestral heirloom of the Baruch clan, the warblade ‘Slaughterer’. Linley had a deep sense of belonging towards the Baruch clan.
Nowadays, although he had joined the Azure Dragon clan and met countless clansmen who had the same draconic lineage as he did, and thus had a sense of belonging…
…Linley still couldn’t completely understand that sort of pride and arrogance.
If Linley was in control of the clan, he probably would have his clansmen all hide themselves within the Skyrite Mountains and wait for the day when they had a 90% chance of success in gaining revenge before going and battling with the enemy.
“Perhaps…it’s because I never experienced the glory days of the Four Divine Beasts clan.” Linley said to himself.
The arrogance of the Four Divine Beasts clan came from countless years of being mighty. Countless years of glory. The illustriousness of the clan had long ago been embedded in the hearts of every single Elder.
“Enough.” Gislason laughed loudly. “Just look at those looks on your faces. Today is a day of celebration. Why are we all discussing those things? Come, let’s have a toast. Enough of that topic. Today, let’s just drink to our heart’s content and have a good celebration, a celebration for Linley’s victory!”
“Yes, let’s celebrate!” All of the Elders raised their wine glasses while looking towards Linley.
Linley couldn’t help but feel the blood boiling in his veins. He, too, raised his glass, and each and every single member of Squad Thirteen, seated at the margins of the palace, all raised their cups as well.
“Cheers!” Gislason said brightly.
Everyone in the palace replied, and they all downed their wine in one gulp.
During this banquet, nobody else raised any dispiriting matters. There had been far too many brutal, vicious happenings over the past few years. A good celebration was long past overdue. But this sort of happiness only made Linley feel all the more aware of the dreary sadness hidden behind this formerly unsurpassably powerful Four Divine Beasts clan!
The dreary desolateness of an ancient clan which had fallen.
But although they had fallen, the clan still had their pride! Even in the face of despair, they wouldn’t compromise at all! Anybody who wanted to attack the clan in their moment of weakness would have to pay an enormous price as well!
The celebratory mood of the banquet finally came to an end, and each of the Elders left. Linley and the members of Squad Thirteen were about to leave as well.
“Linley. Stay.” The voice of the Patriarch came from the front of the palace.
Linley couldn’t help but feel puzzled, but he immediately instructed the members of Squad Thirteen, “You can go back first.”
“Yes, Captain.” Melina and the others all flew back.
Linley returned to the palace. The many platters within the palace were currently being taken away by the serving maids at high speed. Patriarch Gislason walked down from his position at the front of the palace, then instructed, “Linley, let’s chat inside.”
Linley followed Gislason into a side room next to the palace.
The side room wasn’t very large. After Linley walked into it, he only heard a ‘squeak’ as the door actually closed automatically.
“Sit.” A hint of a smile was on Gislason’s face.
Linley sat down, then asked, “Patriarch, is there something you need?”
“I made you an Elder, but I didn’t expect that during the Conclave of Elders, they would actually have you go to Bloodbath Gorge. By the time I found out about it, I couldn’t order you to come back.” Gislason sighed. “You are only a God. It isn’t very appropriate to have you in Bloodbath Gorge.”
Gislason valued Linley very highly. One reason was because of Linley’s connection to his father, the ‘Azure Dragon’, while the other reason was because of the power which Linley had displayed.
“I originally thought that my younger sister wouldn’t give you any assignments, but who would’ve thought that she did?” Gislason continued.
“The other Elders are all fighting on behalf of the clan. How can I be an exception?” Linley said.
Gislason’s eyes lit up. Laughing, he nodded. “Actually, my younger sister and I were both mistaken about each other. I had thought…that my younger sister wouldn’t send you to do battle. But my younger sister thought…that I had already given you Sovereign’s Might, and so you would be able to protect yourself. That’s why she sent you off.”
“Sovereign’s Might?” Linley said, puzzled.
Gislason nodded as he spoke. “Generally speaking, anyone who can become an Elder of our Four Divine Beasts clan would soon afterwards be bestowed a drop of Sovereign’s Might. But there must be an explanation given for this bestowal of Sovereign’s Might. You have to have accomplished some sort of meritorious deed, at least. That matter between you and Emanuel? That was just causing trouble. Although you became an Elder, it wasn’t appropriate for me to bestow a Sovereign’s Might upon you right away.”
“But this time, you can be considered to have rendered great merits.”
With a flip of his hand, Gislason revealed a drop of azure ‘water’. Contained within that azure water drop was a power that made one’s heart tremble.
“Today, I bestow upon you this drop of water-type Sovereign’s Might.” Gislason said. As he spoke, the drop of Sovereign’s Might floated towards Linley. Linley, watching that drop of Sovereign’s Might float towards him, was utterly stunned.
Bestowing Sovereign’s Might to him?
He himself already had two drops. But of course, at a time like this, Linley couldn’t refuse.
“Thank you, Patriarch.” Linley hurriedly stretched his hand out, accepting this drop of Sovereign’s Might.
Gislason laughd and nodded. “Now that you have a drop of Sovereign’s Might, even if you run into some sort of critically dangerous situation, you’ll be able to stay alive. But Linley, unless the situation is truly critical, you cannot waste this drop of Sovereign’s Might. If you are forced to use it, you need to wipe out the enemy.”
Linley lowered his head to look at the drop of Sovereign’s Might.
This was a drop of the power of a Sovereign, but could it truly be used to save his life? Would it be able to defend against the soul attacks of others? Linley still clearly remembered that scene of how that Mosley executed his innate divine ability.
“Patriarch, can it be that Sovereign’s Might can be used to defend against soul attacks?” Linley hurriedly asked.
As Linley saw it, a Sovereign’s power should be to a Sovereign what divine power was to a Deity. It shouldn’t have much to do with the soul.
“Of course it can.” Gislason laughed.
“How?” Linley said, puzzled. “It shouldn’t be possible for ordinary material force to block soul attacks, right?”
Gislason laughed even harder. “Linley, are you under the impression that a Sovereign’s power is just the ‘advanced’ version of ‘divine power’?”
“Isn’t it?” Linley said, puzzled.
“Wrong.” Gislason shook his head. “Sovereign’s Might is very unique. For example…it can actually strengthen our bodies.”
Gislason took a deep breath, then said seriously, “Linley, that year, my father explained to me that after he became a Sovereign…his body only contained a single type of energy. Sovereign power!”
“What do you mean?” Linley said, puzzled. “Of course a Sovereign would have Sovereign power.”
“What I mean is…Sovereigns don’t even have spiritual energy!” Gislason said.
“Wha?!” Linley was stupefied.
The soul was a person’s foundation. Anyone who had a soul would naturally have spiritual energy.
“Or, to be more precise, Sovereign power is the same as spiritual energy!” Gislason laughed. “Thus, Sovereign’s Might is capable of not just being a material energy source, it can also be used an energy source for the soul.”
“Ah!?” Linley was shocked.
“You can rely on it to unleash material attacks, but you can also use it to unleash soul attacks. Naturally, you can also rely on it to block against soul attacks.” Gislason said.