Book 19, Metamorphosis – Chapter 3, Target
Linley now understood.
“No wonder the Sovereign advised me to first become a Lord of Tartarus before entering. If I entered with the status of a common soldier, I would have to follow orders. There’d be no way I would have the chance to go kill enemy commanders.” Linley understood that only by travelling on his own would he be able to quickly kill enemy commanders.
To be controlled by others…how could that be acceptable?
“Aside from these, are there any other rules?” Linley asked.
“None.” The guard said hurriedly. “The rules are very simple. Commanders are qualified to take others into the Planar Battlefield. In the Planar Battlefield, the various commanders are allowed to move about as they please, while the soldiers follow orders. That’s it! As for how many war merits need to be accumulated for how many rewards, it is written on the stone stele by the side of the interspatial gate!”
Linley nodded slightly.
Military merits and rewards, Linley didn’t care too much about for now. After all, he wasn’t even qualified to enter; it was too early to bother about the other things.
“Bebe, let’s go.” Linley sent mentally.
Linley and Bebe immediately flew away from this Flamebone Mountain. In midair, Bebe said frantically, “Boss, what should we do now? If we want to go in, we have to rely on either a Tartarus Lord or a Lord Prefect of the Netherworld. We only have these two options; either to find one of them to lead us in, or we ourselves become one of the two!”
“The first route is unacceptable.” Linley shook his head. “First of all, in Tartarus, the Lords who are not already inside the Planar Battlefield are the ones who did not wish to go inside and risk their lives. Why would they lead us in? In addition, if we go in as ordinary soldiers, we have to follow orders. My goal in entering is to kill enemy commanders.”
Bebe looked at Linley, then began to laugh. “Boss, are you saying…?”
“We have to come up with a way to become a Lord of Tartarus!” Linley said slowly.
“Haha, I approve.” Bebe’s eyes were shining, but then he frowned. “But it won’t be that easy.”
“No, it won’t. There are no weaklings amongst the Lords of Tartarus.” Linley also knew that every single one of the Tartarus Lords, when defeated, would be replaced by another expert. This process, over the course of countless years, had resulted in the eighty one Tartarus Lords being individuals of terrifyingly great power.
He himself knew Reisgem and Mosi, two Purgatory Commanders of the Infernal Realm. Beirut, in turn, was the Lord Prefect of Indigo Prefecture.
“There should still be strong members and weak members amongst the eighty one Tartarus Lords. The strong would be like Beirut and Dunnington, but even the weaker ones shouldn’t be weaker than me.” Linley said. “If I were to challenge an individual on the same level as your grandpa, Beirut, that would be throwing my life away!”
Bebe nodded as well. “If we find a weak one, we’ll still have a chance.”
“But who is strong and who is weak?” Linley frowned as he spoke. “The other tricky thing right now is that we don’t even know what the rules are for challenging the Tartarus Lords. Also, which Tartarus Lords are already in the Planar Battlefield, and which are still in Tartarus? I have to learn this as well.”
“Even if we have decided already to do battle, we still need to find a target first. Not a single one of the eighty one Tartarus Lords will be easy to deal with.” Linley didn’t know anything about these Lords of Tartarus.
Bebe had a sour look on his face as well.
He, too, had no idea, but he then said, “Boss, in the eighty one regions, there are cities in each region, right? There must be many people in the cities. It will be easy for us to investigate there.” Bebe said.
“That’s our only option.” Linley nodded.
In the central region of Flamebone Island, there was a city. Things clearly were much more lively within the city.
In a restaurant.
Linley and Bebe were seated facing each other. Linley glanced at his surroundings, discovering that just as expected, there were many Highgods present here in Flamebone City. But there were Gods and Demigods present as well! “It seems as though they are the children left behind by those Highgods of Tartarus.” Linley guessed.
“The two of you, this is our restaurant’s menu.” A smiling God delivered the menu.
Linley looked at him while setting up his Godrealm. The look on the waiter’s face changed, and he looked warily at Linley, who just laughed. “Don’t worry. I just want to ask you a few things.”
“Please speak.” The waiter was still able to maintain his calm.
“Are there any rules in Tartarus to challenging the Lords of Tartarus?” Linley asked.
The waiter gave Linley a puzzled look, but then said, “That’s easy. In the eighty one regions, every single regional capital will have a ‘Bloodbath Arena’. As long as one consecutively wins a hundred battles within the Bloodbath Arena, then…the victor of the hundred battles will be qualified to issue the local Lord of Tartarus a challenge!”
“Oh?” Linley’s eyes lit up.
“Isn’t that the same as Miluo Island?” Bebe began to laugh as well.
Perhaps Miluo Island was copying the way things were done here in Tartarus.
“I wish to know if there are any peculiarities about the eighty one Tartarus Lords? Who is strong? Who is weak? And also, which of them are here in Tartarus, and which of them have gone to the Planar Battlefield?” Linley asked in succession.
The waiter said resignedly, “Milords, this…how should I know?”
Linley chuckled. Waiters generally knew a great deal of information. Linley thus asked again, “Then tell me, who does know? Who knows the most?”
The waiter said hurriedly, “In our city, there are intelligence reports regarding the various Tartarus Lords for sale.”
“Intelligence reports for sale?” Linley’s eyes lit up.
It made sense. Wherever there was a demand, there would be a market. Most likely, many people had the desire to challenge one of the eighty one Tartarus Lords. Naturally, many people would want to know some details regarding the eighty one Tartarus Lords.
“Where are they sold? Take me there, and I’ll give you ten thousand inkstones.” Linley said calmly. “Here are five thousand inkstones. Afterwards, I’ll give you five thousand more.” Linley immediately gave him the money.
Inkstones could also be used here within the Netherworld.
“Ten thousand inkstones?” The waiter’s eyes instantly lit up. He wasn’t worried that Linley would attack him within the city limits either. He immediately said, “Fine, but might I ask, when do you wish to go, milords? After eating, or…?”
Linley and Bebe both stood up.
“Alright. Please wait a moment. I’ll go speak with the boss.” The waiter was very friendly.
“Boss, it really was simple.” Bebe laughed as he looked at Linley.
“In a place like this restaurant, where the dragons mingle with the fish, these waiters will hear many things and learn many things. It is convenient to ask them.” Linley let out a sigh of relief in his heart as well. So this city actually had intelligence reports devoted to the eighty one Lords. This made things much simpler.
“Milords, follow me.” After having taken their five thousand inkstones, this waiter became very friendly, immediately leading the way.
While walking on the streets, Bebe said, puzzled, “Could it be that the eighty one Lords of Tartarus are not opposed to this sort of intelligence report sales?”
“The Lords of Tartarus are experts who are far above us. What could they possibly fear?” The waiter said hurriedly. “They don’t care about this at all. Actually, even in our city’s official castle, there are also reports regarding the eighty one Lords of Tartarus for sale. However, the price is too high! You need a million netherstones for a copy. The place I am taking you two will be much cheaper; you only need ten thousand netherstones for a copy.”
For this sort of intelligence report, once a single person bought a copy, that person could reproduce tens of millions of copies and sell them. This was a good line of work to get into.
“Most people don’t know about these secretive places, but I’ve been in this business since I was a kid.” The waiter said.
“Since you were a kid?” Bebe said in surprise.
The waiter nodded. “Tartarus has no transportation arrays. Virtually everyone who originally came to Tartarus was a Highgod. We Demigods and Gods were all born here in Tartarus. I am weak, and am only capable of surviving in the city. It’s not bad. There aren’t too many people in Tartarus, so the prices of the houses are quite low.”
Linley laughed as well.
In the continents of the Netherworld and Infernal Realm, the prices of the city houses were extremely high. However, here in Tartarus, there were many remote areas which were completely unpopulated. Clearly, each island had a fairly low population, and so naturally, the housing prices were much better.
But although there weren’t many people here, there were many experts.
“This fellow really is familiar with this city.” Linley sighed to himself. The waiter led Linley and Bebe forward in a very practiced manner, passing through various small alleyways and remote paths in a constant advance. In but a few moments, they arrived in front of an ordinary little courtyard. “Here we are. Right here.”
Linley glanced at the courtyard. He couldn’t see anything special about it.
“Open the door!” The waiter immediately knocked on the door.
Soon, the courtyard door opened. A muscular, silver-haired man walked out, giving them a glance. After seeing the waiter, he laughed. “So it’s you, kid. What is it? Did you help me bring a customer?”
“We need a set of reports regarding the eighty one Lords of Tartarus.” Linley said.
“Please enter, you two.” The silver-haired man said hurriedly.
The waiter immediately looked towards Linley and Bebe. Linley laughed, then very casually pulled out five pieces of azurite, handing them to the waiter. The waiter immediately accepted them. “Thank you, milords. I’ll leave now.”
“You just made quite a bit, kid.” The silver-haired man chortled. “The two of you, please come in.”
Linley and Bebe followed him into the courtyard. There were actually more than ten people seated there, three of whom were Highgods, the others all Gods or Demigods. One of them, a red-haired youth, rose to his feet, smiling as he came to welcome them. The silver-haired man said, “Second Bro, they want a copy of the intelligence reports on the eighty one Lords of Tartarus.”
“Right.” Linley nodded.
“Oh, do you want the concise version, the detailed version, or…the secret version?” The red-haired youth said.
Linley was startled.
The intelligence reports were divided into three levels?
“I imagine there must be a difference in price as well.” Bebe laughed.
The red-haired youth nodded. “Naturally. The concise versions are ten thousand netherstones. The detailed versions are a hundred thousand netherstones. As for the one with all the secrets, that costs a million netherstones.” The nearby silver-haired man said hurriedly, “But of course, you can also use inkstones to trade.”
“Describe the differences.” Linley said with curiosity.
“The ordinary version introduces the eighty one Tartarus Lords, what Laws they specialize in, and how many battles they have been in and won, as well as their living locations.” The red-haired youth said.
“The detailed version has the Laws they specialize in, their ultimate techniques, and whether or not they have gone to the Planar Battlefield. It also has detailed descriptions of each and every public battle they have been in. Every single one of them!” The red-haired youth smiled.
Bebe’s eyes lit up, and Linley laughed as well.
This was good!
It even had the ultimate techniques and Laws which the Lords specialized in, as well as descriptions of each battle. This was indeed excellent.
“And the secret one?” Linley said, curious.
“The secret one includes information on the family and friends of the eighty one Tartarus Lords, what they often do, what sort of temper they have, and whatnot. But of course…because this information is too closely held, I can’t guarantee its accuracy. Aside from these written materials, many scryer recordings are also provided, all of them of the public battles of the eighty one Tartarus Lords!” The red-haired youth said.
Linley and Bebe glanced at each other.
Good heavens, this was too detailed.
Written information, paired with large amounts of scyer recordings. This would definitely allow for one to gain a clear understanding of those Tartarus Lords.
Bebe laughed, “Then we want the secret version.”
The red-haired youth and the silver-haired man all began to laugh. “Excellent. We’ll arrange for a copy to be brought over.”
A million inkstones, to Linley, was nothing. And for this red-haired youth, these intelligence reports could be duplicated, and so their own costs were quite low as well. They, too, knew…that many experts would choose the secret level version. And, to experts, a million was nothing.
“Here they are!” The silver-haired man walked out of a room, carrying a large chest. Within the chest, there was a large amount of written material, as well as quite a few crystal balls.
“Excellent.” Linley walked over, sweeping them with his gaze.
“Lotuscliff Region. The Lord here is ‘Crimsonmight’, and he lives within Lotuscliff Region’s…” Seeing a line of words atop one of the written documents, Linley nodded slightly.
“Fine. Here are a million inkstones.” Linley handed over a large piece of azurite.
“If the two of you need to know other information regarding the Tartarus region, just come find us. We give a 10% discount to repeat customers.” The red-haired youth chortled.
Linley just laughed and, with a wave of his hand, drew the entire chest into his interspatial ring.
With such detailed information, he could now determine exactly who he should select!