Book 19, Metamorphosis – Chapter 1, Desire
The Planar Wars. Just by listening to the Chief Sovereign of Death describe it, Linley knew how dangerous it had to be. However, Linley still chose to go! After all, aside from the Chief Sovereign of Death, the other Sovereigns wouldn’t be able to help him!
“Whether or not you accept has nothing to do with me.” The Chief Sovereign of Death stared down at Linley. “Everyone who represents the Netherworld who has accomplishments in the Planar Wars will be rewarded by me. No matter who! I’m just acting according to the rules, not just for your sake. I’m simply telling you about this.”
Linley took a deep breath.
“Sovereign, what must I do in order to go participate in the Planar Wars?” Linley raised his head and asked.
The Chief Sovereign of Death said calmly, “The ‘Purgatory’ of the Infernal Realm or the ‘Tartarus’ of the Netherworld all have interspatial doors that lead directly to the Planar Battlefield. The Planar Battlefield is connected to all seven of the Divine Planes and all four of the Higher Realms. Hurry up and come up with a way of going to my Netherworld’s Tartarus. By travelling through the interspatial gate, you’ll arrive at the Planar Battlefield!”
The book which Beirut had given him regarding the Netherworld hadn’t mentioned a ‘Tartarus’ region. Actually, it was the same for the Infernal Realm’s books; there had been no mention of a ‘Purgatory’.
“Sovereign, might I ask where Tartarus…” Linley was about to speak out.
“Hmph.” The Chief Sovereign of Death waved her hand.
Immediately, a very thin book covered in black light flew down, landing in front of Linley. The Chief Sovereign of Death stared down at Linley and said, “Since you have the courage to go to the Planar Battlefield, then I too am interested in seeing…if you, Linley, will survive to kill some commanders, or if you will be killed by other commanders who will then be rewarded for it!”
Linley wasn’t angry at all. Accepting the book, he bowed slightly. “Thank you, Sovereign.”
And then, Linley immediately began to flip through the book. The book was very thin, just ten pages long. Given Linley’s memory, all he needed to do was sweep through it with a few glances. A few seconds later, the contents of these ten pages were imprinted deep within his mind.
“So this Tartarus is deep within the Nether Sea?” Linley couldn’t help but raise his head to look towards the Chief Sovereign of Death.
It was too far away!
If he wished to go to Tartarus, he would first have to completely leave the Netherworld’s continent and enter the Nether Sea, then venture deep into the Nether Sea before reaching Tartarus. If he rode on a metallic lifeform and hurried forward, he would probably need three centuries or so. This took up far too much time, and…even if he hurried there, the Planar Wars might have concluded already. He couldn’t accept this.
“Sovereign, how long will the Planar Wars go on for.” Linley asked hurriedly.
The Chief Sovereign of Death said calmly, “Each Planar Wars goes on for a thousand years! This time, the battle between the Divine Light Realm and the Divine Darkness Realm has already gone on for nearly a hundred years. More than nine centuries remain. You have plenty of time to go!”
There was more than enough time to take part in the war, but Linley didn’t wish to waste any time. The more time he wasted, the greater the danger his father and brothers were in of dying a final death. In addition, the more time he took, the more of the weaker commanders would die in the Planar Wars. By the time he arrived, most likely the surviving commanders would be the exceedingly powerful ones.
Such as Beirut…Dunnington…Reisgem…Mosi….
The images of these figures appeared in Linley’s mind!
“Sovereign, then Bebe and I will head out immediately.” Linley said, bowing.
Bebe had to swallow his discontent and bow before leaving as well.
“Go then.” The Chief Sovereign of Death said calmly. “But I advise you that before heading to Tartarus, you should first become a Lord of Tartarus. That will also be very helpful to you in actually entering the Planar Wars. Arthurs, you lead the way for Linley. Send them out of the Abyssal Mountain!”
“Yes, Sovereign!” Arthurs bowed.
“First become a Lord of Tartarus, and then enter the Planar Wars?” Linley was rather puzzled.
But Linley didn’t ask any more questions. Linley and Bebe looked meaningfully at Bailey in an expression of goodwill, and then strode out of the Sovereign’s palace, following Arthurs and flying away.
“Mistress, that Linley seems to be quite confident. It seems he knows almost nothing about the Planar Wars.” By now, the silver serpent Yennaway was all smiles, quite delighted. Yennaway knew a great deal regarding the savagery of the Planar Wars, and the struggles between the commanders. In addition, this was a war! Not a one-on-one duel!
Sometimes, multiple commanders of one side would join forces to attack another!
“Thank you, Sovereign.” The silver serpent, Yennaway, laughed while bowing. She believed that the Sovereign had done this for the sake of letting Linley go and lose his life there as a way of helping Yennaway get revenge.
“Thank you, Sovereign.” The colossal gold snake and his nine children all bowed in gratitude as well.
The Chief Sovereign of Death glanced calmly at them. “Enough. You can all leave now. Bailey!”
Bailey’s eyes lit up, and he hurriedly walked forward to the center of the palace. The Chief Sovereign of Death finally was going to allow him to become an Emissary.
At the base of the Abyssal Mountain.
Linley and Bebe parted with Arthurs.
“Linley, before leaving, I must tell you something.” Arthurs said solemnly. “Perhaps you aren’t aware of this, but the Sovereigns all have an agreement. At most, they will give their Emissaries or their children a single Sovereign artifact! Regardless of which Sovereign’s Emissary it is, they will at most receive a single Sovereign artifact.”
“A single one?” Bebe frowned.
Linley was stunned. “Just one?”
But yes, that was indeed true!
For example, the Azure Dragon clan’s Patriarch, Gislason, only had a soul-protecting Sovereign artifact. The Grand Elder, Gaia, only had that armor-type Sovereign artifact that merged with her scales. Given how much the Sovereign Azure Dragon cared about his children, why would he give them just a single one each? Linley finally began to understand.
“The Sovereigns don’t wish for too great of an imbalance to appear amongst Highgods either.” Arthurs explained. “If, hypothetically, a Highgod not only had an armor-type Sovereign artifact that merged into his body, but also a soul-protecting Sovereign artifact and an attack-type Sovereign artifact, then tell me…even if this sort of Highgod was weak in terms of understanding the Laws, wouldn’t he be terrifying?”
Linley was stunned.
If one’s material defense, soul defense, and attack power was all powered by Sovereign artifacts! This sort of person would indeed be monstrous.
“That’d…be invincible.” Bebe muttered.
“Supreme experts who acquire one Sovereign artifact will naturally desire a second one! But Sovereigns can’t just give them one. But if they want to kill an Emissary and seize the Sovereign artifact…even if you kill the Emissary and the Sovereign doesn’t deign to lower himself to killing you in retaliation, the Sovereign will still take back his artifact!” Arthurs said.
“What? Take it back?” Bebe stared, wide-eyed.
Linley felt surprised as well.
Still, it made sense.
Each Sovereign artifact was the product of countless labors of a Sovereign, who then gave it to an Emissary. Not avenging the death of an Emissary was one thing, but how could they not take back their artifact?
“Thus, if you want to acquire a Sovereign artifact without being obstructed by a Sovereign, there’s only one method; to participate in the Planar Wars, and to have accomplishments in battle! If you kill ten commanders, you’ll be able to trade for a Sovereign artifact you want. If you kill twenty, you can trade for two!” Arthurs said.
“Arthurs, are you saying…” Linley frowned.
Arthurs said seriously, “The more powerful a person is, the more one seeks perfection! The Planar Wars only happen once every trillion years! Some supreme experts who, because of their prowess in battle, have obtained a second Sovereign artifact will then wish to acquire a third one. These experts are extremely powerful! Thus, you must be extremely careful. You cannot be the slightest bit incautious. There might even be Highgod Paragons amongst them! After all, although they have perfected their mastery of the Laws, they might not have a perfect set of Sovereign artifacts!”
Linley had a sour taste in his mouth.
This was completely understandable. If he were to have become a Highgod Paragon, he too would then desire to simultaneously wield three Sovereign artifacts! If he went to participate in the Planar Wars and encountered this sort of freakishly powerful individual, he wouldn’t be able to fight back at all.
“These people are too greedy.” Bebe felt frightened as well.
“It isn’t greed, it is desire!” Arthurs laughed calmly. “Only by having a desire will one have the motivation to move towards that goal! For those who have reached the peak…which one of them didn’t have a firm goal in mind? Which one of them didn’t have a desire? Everyone who can roam about in the Planar Wars is a supreme expert, the true kings of battle! Although I am a Sovereign’s Emissary, I haven’t participated in the Planar Wars a single time. That place…is a slaughter field! The place where experts fall! But also the place where experts are born!”
Linley shook his head and laughed.
“Haha…Arthurs, thank you for telling me these things. I’m mentally prepared now.” Linley laughed.
“Don’t worry.” Bebe said. “If someone wishes to kill my brother, we’ll first have to see if he’s qualified to do so! When my Boss and I simultaneously use our innate divine abilities…hmph!”
Arthurs glanced at Linley and Bebe.
“Just remember! It’s not just the two of you who have innate divine abilities. In the vast, myriad planes, there are quite a few other unique divine beasts who also possess extremely terrifying divine abilities. The others who have reached the pinnacle without a divine ability also have their own powers to rely on.” Arthurs chuckled. “Alright, I’ll say no more. I wish the two of you good luck.”
Linley and Bebe immediately bade Arthurs farewell, then transformed into two rays of light, flying away into the distance.
From the Abyssal Mountain to Tartarus, the distance truly was too great. After flying for some time, Linley said apologetically, “Bebe, if we ride the metallic lifeform to Tartarus, we’ll probably need two or three centuries. I don’t have any time to waste, so…I’ve decided to fly forward at full speed on my own power. I’m going to have to ask you to fly with me.”
“Haha, I love flying anyhow.” Bebe understood what Linley was thinking.
It would be rather tiring and taxing on his spiritual energy to whole-heartedly fly forward at high speed, especially on such a long journey. Very few people would rely on their own bodies to fly. It was indeed much faster to fly on one’s own, and one would travel far faster than a metallic lifeform, true, but it was too tiring. Still…what Linley needed right now was time. This was his only choice.
“Crackle…” Linley instantly Dragonformed.
And then, activating the Laws of the Wind, Linley flew towards the northern skies like an azure streak of light. If he were to fly at full speed, Linley would outstrip even Bebe, but Linley also used his divine wind power to help Bebe slightly.
“Boss, have you told this to my grandpa yet?” Bebe asked while flying.
“My divine fire clone has already gone to the Forest of Darkness to ask your grandpa. We will have some results soon. I don’t know what your grandpa will say.” Linley wasn’t confident about this journey either. Fortunately, his divine fire clone remained in the Yulan continent, and so he could go ask Beirut about this.
“Your grandpa has a reply for us.” Linley said.
“What did he say?” Bebe immediately asked. “He should allow us to participate in the Planar Wars, right? Actually, it doesn’t matter even if he refuses. He isn’t in the Netherworld.”
“Your grandpa agreed.” Linley chuckled. “Based on what your grandpa said…we need to be careful and not be greedy. He also said that you, Bebe, should go experience some real danger and so hopefully gain some insights. This would be of assistance to you in improving your understandings of the profound mysteries of the Laws.” Linley still remembered the tone in which Beirut spoke.
According to what Beirut had said…
Men were supposed to adventure. If they were always hiding and afraid of danger, it would be very hard for them to be successful.
“Right. Grandpa has already done enough for me. It’s time for me to work hard.” Bebe pursed his lips.
An azure streak of light flashed through the skies of the Netherworld, travelling at such speed that no bandits who saw them would dare to stop them. Even if they were hotheaded, they still wouldn’t dare to stop them, nor would they be able to catch them.
“Rumble…” A vast, endless sea of water was undulating slightly. Staring into this deep, fathomless sea was like staring at a titanic, man-eating beast.
This was the Nether Sea! The Nether Sea which was even greater than the Infernal Realm’s ‘Chaotic Sea’!
A streak of azure light flashed past the skies above the sea, then in the blink of an eye disappeared from sight.
“Boss, we’re almost at the Tartarus region.” Bebe said.
“Based on the islands we saw earlier, we’ll need just a bit more time before arriving at Tartarus.” Linley couldn’t help but feel much better as well. After having flown at full speed for more than thirty years, Linley’s original body hadn’t rested at all for those thirty years. Fortunately, he was able to withstand this sort of exhaustion.
And in the past thirty years, Linley’s divine clones were all focused on training. However, in thirty short years, his power didn’t improve that much.
Fortunately, the soul-protecting Sovereign artifact, which had the ‘bandage’ over the flaw be broken through by the colossal golden snake, had been re-repaired quite a bit, after thirty years of effort.
“Boss, look! An island!” Bebe called out jubilantly.
Linley looked over, and saw that extremely far in the distance, land could be seen. “We’ve finally reached Tartarus!”