Book 17, Indigo Prefecture – Chapter 50, Between Life and Death!
Within the room, everyone was watching Alfonsus treat Delia. Linley was the most nervous of them all, and his forehead became matted with sweat. Linley, however, didn’t even notice.
That green energy circulated, emanating a very faint sound. Alfonsus, his face solemn, suddenly let out a low growl, and the speed at which the green light circulated suddenly increased dramatically, constantly pouring into Delia’s brain.
“Uhhh….” Delia, seemingly in pain, let out a soft sound, and her forehead creased slightly.
This soft sound, to Linley, was like a clap of thunder. His eyes lit up as though he had been hit by lightning. “Delia has regained consciousness! She’s responding!” Linley was so excited, his entire body was trembling.
Looks of joy had appeared on everyone else’s faces as well.
“Boss, Delia is going to be saved.” Bebe hurriedly said through divine sense with joy as well.
“Right.” Linley nodded. He felt as though he were filled with life and energy.
Gislason, Phusro, and the others began to chortle as well. Linley continued to stare at Alfonsus as the man treated Delia, and the hope in his heart continued to swell. “Delia, you absolutely must get better, you must.”
Right at this moment…
Alfonsus took back his right hand, concluding the treatment.
“Mr. Alfonsus, is my wife treated?” Linley asked hurriedly. Alfonsus turned to look at Linley. He could clearly see the hopes and expectations held within the eyes of this youth. However, Alfonsus just let out a soft sigh. “Linley…make your preparations.”
“Preparations for what? What preparations?” Linley immediately had a bad feeling.
“Mr. Alfonsus, what is going on?” Gislason, whose face had been all smiles, hurriedly asked as his face changed as well.
Alfonsus shook his head. “All I can do is tell you quite openly…I am not able to save this woman. In addition, I recommend that you give up. To save this woman is virtually impossible.”
Hearing these words from Alfonsus, Linley felt his entire mind go blank.
Linley suddenly growled, staring fixedly at Alfonsus, like a savage, maddened lion. “Mr. Alfonsus, you must be lying to me. Just now, Delia had a reaction. She was conscious. How can you suddenly said that you can’t treat her?”
“Right. Didn’t she improve just now?” Gislason said as well.
Seeing the savage, wild look on the face of the youth in front of him, Alfonsus let out a low sigh. “Linley, just now, your wife didn’t actually regain consciousness. Rather, while I was treating her, her soul pushed at mine strongly, causing a slight involuntary response in her body.”
“But…but didn’t Kestrel say that you had a 90% chance of saving my wife? How can…now…” Linley couldn’t accept this.
He truly couldn’t accept it!
Three months ago, Linley had been convinced that Delia would definitely be cured. Over the past three months, Linley had been waiting constantly for this day. Just now, Linley had believed that Delia had already been cured.
Alfonsus let out a sigh. “Three months ago, if I were to treat your wife, I would definitely have been able to save her. But now, it’s too late.”
“What do you mean? You could save her three months ago, but not now?” Linley said frantically.
Alfonsus looked around at everyone, then said, “Everyone, this sort of spiritual attack is a very insidious, vile type. Those green spots of light invade the soul, then constantly devour and transform it. One spot becomes two, two becomes four, four becomes eight…”
“Although the souls of Highgods are powerful, and to devour and transform them is very difficult…as the multiplicative effects continue, the more time passes, the more extravagant the rate of devouring becomes.” Alfonsus said solemnly.
Everyone present nodded.
“I know these things. But why are you unable to save Delia?” Linley said frantically.
Alfonsus looked at Linley, then sighed. “Linley, you still don’t understand? The devouring and transforming speed continues to grow faster and faster. Three months ago, the speed of devouring and transforming…was a million times slower than it is now!”
Linley was stunned.
One becomes two, two becomes four, four becomes eight…as time went on, after a just a few dozen rounds, the numbers would become astronomically large.
“What I need to do in order to save your wife is to counter-devour and counter-transform those green spots of light!” Alfonsus said.
Linley knew this as well; that the treatment method was to counter-devour and reverse the transformation process.
“Only when my counter-devouring speed surpasses the devouring speed will I be able to save your wife.” Alfonsus said, and Linley completely understood.
“Right now, my treatment speed is far too slow, compared to the devouring speed. Even if I go all out, at most I’ll be able to slow the devouring speed and slightly extend your wife’s life.” Alfonsus sighed. “Three months ago, I could have easily saved your wife. But now…forgive my inability.”
Linley stood there, stunned.
He completely understood. This sort of devouring speed was like a spark of flame that had become a prairie fire. The more time passed, the wider the burned area would become. A single spark of fire was enough to char the entire grassland. The same was true for these green spots of light.
The more time passed, the faster the devouring speed…and the more distant the hopes for saving Delia would be.
“Boss. Boss.” Bebe called out repeatedly.
“Linley.” Phusro called out as well.
But Linley stood there like an idiot, completely silent.
“Alas.” Alfonsus let out a sigh as well.
Within the room, Gislason, the Vermillion Bird Patriarch, and the various Elders all looked at each other, speechless. The entire atmosphere was extremely tense and gloomy.
“Mr. Alfonsus.” Linley suddenly said frantically. “I beg of you, please help treat my wife and extend her life. Let me have enough time to ask someone else to help treat her. Is that acceptable?” Linley looked hopefully towards Alfonsus.
Linley understood that Alfonsus’ treatment speed was inferior to the devouring speed. Then…if Alfonsus wanted to extend Delia’s life, he would have to constantly treat her. This request of his was indeed rather excessive.
But…he had no choice!
Alfonsus said solemnly. “Both because of your Four Divine Beasts clan as well as because of the Lord Prefect, I would definitely help extend your wife’s life if I had the ability to. But…I have to tell you. Even if I help out, I’ll at most be able to extend her life for a day or two.”
“A day or two?” Linley was stunned.
He had been hoping the extension would be for several years. The longer the better.
“This sort of soul treatment…it isn’t as simple as you think it is. To treat your wife…as I just said, because your wife’s soul rejected my energy, even her body physically reacted.” Alfonsus continued, “The soul is a very central part of a person. When treating someone, I have to be extremely, extremely careful. If just the slightest bit of energy spills out, I’ll have injured your wife’s soul and she will die.”
“I can maintain this sort of peak performance for a short period of time, ensuring that I don’t make any mistakes. But if the amount of time I spend in that state is just a bit too long, given how much spiritual energy that takes up, errors will naturally occur. And once an error occurs, your wife will…” Alfonsus said apologetically.
Linley was silent for a moment.
“Linley. The Lord Prefect will soon arrive. Perhaps the Lord Prefect will be able to save your wife.” Gislason said hurriedly.
Linley’s eyes lit up. “Right. There’s still the Lord Prefect.”
But Alfonsus said, “Linley, I already told you to make your preparations. Although I deeply admire the Lord Prefect, to be honest…I don’t believe that the Lord Prefect has the ability to heal her.”
“Mr. Alfonsus!” Linley was growing angry.
“To save your wife, there are only three methods.” Alfonsus said.
Linley immediately started to listen attentively.
“The first is to have an expert who has trained to the utmost limits of the Edicts of Life come. Most likely, his treatment speed will be able to surpass the devouring speed. A person like this will be able to save your wife…but of course, you must understood that if three more months pass and the process reaches the late stages, most likely even the most powerful expert of the Edicts of Life will be unable to rescue her.” Alfonsus said. “However, this type of person, who has trained to the utmost limits of the Edicts of Life, is extremely rare even in the Higher Plane of Life, much less in the Infernal Realm. The second method is to use Life-type Sovereign’s Might. Devouring speed at this level, considering how powerful Life-type Sovereign’s Might is, can be quickly cured!”
Gislason said frantically, “Our Four Divine Beasts clan does have Life-type Sovereign’s Might!”
“Right, we have Life-type Sovereign’s Might!” Linley said hurriedly as well.
“You didn’t let me finish!”
Alfonsus shook his head. “Life-type Sovereign’s Might is extremely powerful. Naturally, its restorative speed is astonishing. But…Life-type Sovereign’s Might is in fact TOO powerful. There is no way a Highgod can control it perfectly. I imagine that those of you who have used Sovereign’s Might know that it will leak out, right?”
Linley was stunned.
Sovereign’s Might was too powerful. The spiritual strength which a Highgod could exert over it was not enough to perfectly control it. This would cause the user of Sovereign’s Might to emanate an azure aura or a black aura or some other aura over their body.
This was caused by the natural leakage of Sovereign’s Might.
It was said that Sovereign’s Might could only be used a single time! This was because once a Highgod used Sovereign’s Might, there was no way the Highgod would be able to prevent the Sovereign’s Might from leaking out and dissipating. Even if he stopped fighting, the Sovereign’s Might would still naturally disperse.
“Even if I used Sovereign’s Might to save Delia by delving deep into her soul…if there was the slightest bit of imprecision, Delia’s soul would be impacted and would die. To say nothing of the leakage of energy from the Sovereign’s Might!” Alfonsus said. “Remember, to save Delia, there can’t be a single hint of leakage of Sovereign’s Might, or a single mistake!”
Linley’s face couldn’t help but turn ashen.
He understood this principle. Sovereign’s Might was the energy of a Sovereign. He had never heard of a Highgod who could control it perfectly, to the point where not a hint was wasted or dispersed.
Gislason said, “There are indeed Highgods who are capable of controlling Sovereign’s Might so perfectly…according to legend, Highgods who have reached the Paragon level are able to perfectly control Sovereign’s Might. Unfortunately, I’ve never heard of a Highgod Paragon who resides within Indigo Prefecture.”
Linley couldn’t help but laugh bitterly.
“Mr. Alfonsus, didn’t you say there was a third method?” Linley immediately asked.
Alfonsus said resignedly, “The third method is to ask a Sovereign to intervene! If a Sovereign is willing to intervene, no matter which Sovereign! Your wife would be easily saved. But…will you be able to convince a Sovereign to help?”
“Your third method is a waste of words.” Bebe said unhappily.
But Linley was silent for a long time.
“Mr. Alfonsus, are there truly no other methods?” Linley asked again.
Alfonsus nodded with absolute certainty. “Given my understanding of the soul, I daresay that I am completely certain that aside from these three methods, there are no other methods available.”
The first method was to find an expert who had reached the utmost limits of insight into the Edicts of Life, a supreme expert who vastly surpassed Alfonsus. But where in Indigo Prefecture would they go to find someone like that?
The second method was to find someone who was able to perfectly control Sovereign’s Might, without allowing for any leakage or making any errors. This amount of spiritual control was something which only those legendary Paragons were capable of.
The third method…
The only Sovereign which Linley had a connection to was the Redbud Sovereign. But even aside from the question of whether or not she would help out, the amount of time it would take to go from the Bloodridge Continent to the Redbud Continent was far, far too long!
Delia couldn’t wait for that long!
“Everyone…I’ve troubled you all in recent days.” Linley forced out a smile. “You can all go back now. There’s no need to worry yourselves over my affairs. Mr. Alfonsus, I wish to truly thank you for having hurried such a distance to come save my wife.”
Gislason, the Vermillion Bird Matriarch, Phusro, and the others, seeing the look on Linley’s face, all sighed in their hearts.
“Linley, we’ll leave for now.” Gislason and the others wanted to console him, but they didn’t know what to say. All of them simply left.
Although they all knew that the Lord Prefect of Indigo Prefecture would arrive soon, after hearing Alfonsus’ explanations, they all understood…that the Lord Prefect probably wouldn’t be able to save Delia, unless his spiritual control was able to perfectly control Sovereign’s Might. But unfortunately, according to legends, only Highgod Paragons were capable of this.
Bebe looked at Linley’s forlorn figure. He had the sudden urge to cry.
Linley turned to look at Bebe, forcing a smile out. “Bebe, you head out as well. Let me accompany Delia by myself.” Linley patted Bebe on the shoulders. Bebe made a sound in acknowledgment, nodding repeatedly.
And then, Bebe left the room as well.
Within the room, the only figures now present were Linley, Delia, and that slumbering Wade, who had no idea what was going on.
Linley quietly looked at Delia, countless scenes flashing through his mind. Grief filled his breast, and he couldn’t help but raise his head. “Heavens! Why must you punish me so!!!”
His hoarse voice echoed and reverberated within the silent room. It was filled with regret, anger, grief…and despair!
Two streams of tears fell down from Linley’s face.
Linley slowly walked to the bed, kneeling in front of it and looking carefully at Delia. He stretched his hand out, gently stroking Delia’s face. A hint of a smile appeared on Linley’s face as well, a peaceful smile. “Delia, I’ll accompany you on the final leg of the journey. Never to part…ever!”
Time flowed on. In the blink of an eye, many days had passed.
Bebe stood outside the room, staring in from outside the window. At this moment, Baruch walked past. Afraid of disturbing Linley, he said softly, “Bebe, how is Linley doing right now?” Everyone knew Delia’s situation, and they all understood…
That there was most likely no hope for Delia. Only, everyone feared that because of this, Linley would collapse and perhaps even do something which would cause everyone regret and pain.
“See for yourself.” Bebe sighed. There wasn’t a hint of a smile on Bebe’s face right now. He didn’t have any mood to laugh or joke around any longer.
Baruch looked in through the window.
He saw, within the room…
Linley was currently holding Wade, feeding Wade some liquid food. Every so often, Linley would look towards Delia and say softly, “Delia, Wade’s been very good today. He hasn’t caused any fuss at all.”
Seeing this from outside the window, Baruch couldn’t bear to watch any longer.
“I really hope!” Bebe said softly. “I really, truly hope, that Lord Prefect of Indigo Prefecture who is arriving soon will be able to save Delia! He has to!”
“Right.” Baruch nodded as well.
Right at this moment, a figure suddenly descended from the skies. It was Phusro. Phusro said in a soft voice as well, “Bebe, Linley, he…”
“Phusro, you came?” A gentle voice rang out. Smiling, Linley walked out of the room, carrying Wade. “I came to take Wade out for a walk. Come, Phusro, you can hold Wade for a while as well. It’s been so long since you last came. Wade has missed you.”
Phusro, seeing the smile on Linley’s face, couldn’t help but feel stunned.
He hadn’t expected that at a time like this, Linley would be smiling? But for some reason, he had this feeling…that Linley’s smile caused him to feel even more miserable than a look of grief.
“Alright, I’ll hold him…” Phusro immediately walked over.
“Hug…” Wade, seeing Phusro walked over, immediately reached out with his little hand while saying, “Hug…hug…”
Linley laughed. “Wade can say a few simple words already. He knows how to say ‘mother’.”
Right at this moment…
A figure descended from the skies at high speed. It was Elder Garvey. Elder Garvey flew over, hurriedly saying, “Linley, the Lord Prefect has arrived!”
Linley was stunned.
“The Lord Prefect came?” A hint of color appeared in Linley’s lifeless eyes. Although Linley no longer held much hope in the ability of the Lord Prefect of Indigo Prefecture to save Delia, at least it was worth a try.
“Right. The four clan leaders and the Grand Elder immediately went to greet him. It’ll be a while before he arrives!” Elder Garvey explained.
The four clan leaders of the Four Divine Beasts clan were naturally very arrogant, but they sincerely admired the Lord Prefect of Indigo Prefecture, admired and respected him. The great kindness this person had shown to their clan, as well as this person’s power, was more than enough for them to act this way towards him.
“Oh, Linley lives right here?” A friendly voice rang out.
Ten figures descended from the skies. Linley, Phusro, Bebe, and the others all raised their heads to look. The person flying at the head was the Lord Prefect of Indigo Prefecture, while Gislason and the four clan leaders followed by his side, their attitudes very humble and meek.
But Linley just stared fixedly at that figure who was escorted by those four clan leaders, like the moon surrounded by four stars.
The person was dressed in a long black robe. His long black hair fluttered in the breeze, and his long black beard hung down to his chest. His eyes were very small, but they looked as lively and energetic as the stars. A hint of a smile was at the corner of his lips, and a very friendly look was on his face.
“Linley!” That person laughed while greeting him.
“Linley, this is the Lord Prefect.” Gislason introduced.
But Linley just stared in disbelief. “Be…Lord Beirut?!”
“Grandpa!” Bebe called out as well, shocked. He excitedly charged forward, and Beirut opened his mouth and laughed loudly. “Haha, Bebe…” And as he spoke, he drew Bebe into his arms.
“Grandpa!” Bebe called out excitedly once again.
“Haha…you’ve missed Grandpa, eh?” Beirut laughed very happily.
As for Gislason, the Vermillion Bird Matriarch, and the rest of the four clan leaders, as well as the Grand Elder and the other Elders, and even Phusro…they all stared with wide eyes in disbelief at this scene.
“The Lord Prefect? ‘Grandpa’?”
Looks of utmost amazement were on the faces of Gislason and the others.