Book 19, Metamorphosis – Chapter 52, The Path to the Peak
Linley, in his heart, also wanted to get a clear understanding of his current strength. A Highgod Paragon like Bluefire was an incredibly rare ‘whetstone’ for testing himself. How would anyone else dare to exchange blows with the current Linley?
“Fine, then.” Linley laughed and nodded.
The nearby Reisgem and Bebe were very excited. Reisgem was the sort who loved to spread chaos. “Haha, a Paragon on one side, and a never-before-seen quad-power Soul Mutate on the other. Don’t hold back, you two, have a huge battle. Even if you destroy this cave, that’s fine.”
Linley just laughed. “No need. This battle is just for testing my strength. Mr. Leylin, for this battle, let’s only use our physical strength as well as the power of our Will. Let’s not use divine power or Sovereign power.”
“That’s a good idea.” Bluefire agreed with Linley’s suggestion. If Linley was too powerful or if Bluefire was too powerful and something occurred that was out of their expectations, that wouldn’t be good.
Outside the mountain, on the desolate landscape.
Linley and Bluefire were a hundred meters away from each other, while Reisgem, Bebe, and Reihom were gathered to one side, filled with eagerness. Bebe’s eyes were shining. “Reisgem, I’m willing to bet that my Boss isn’t weaker than Bluefire at all. He might even be stronger.”
“Who wants to bet with you?” Reisgem let out a snort. “Look, they are starting.”
Linley was dressed in a sky-blue robe, while Bluefire was dressed in a long white robe. The two beamed at each other, then began to attack!
Linley glided forth as agilely as the wind, almost dream-like, as multiple blurs emerged from him. As for Bluefire, he moved about so fast it seemed as if he was teleporting. As the two began to move, the three onlookers were badly startled. “Bebe, they are only using physical strength? Linley’s speed has reached such a ridiculous level.”
At this moment, Linley and Bluefire were moving at speeds slower than when Bluefire rushed over to save Linley, when he had hastened and even used Sovereign’s Might. Back then, with each movement, Bluefire had traversed multiple kilometers.
The current Linley was not relying on Sovereign power or divine power, just on his physical strength and the power of his Will.
“What a wonderful feeling.” Linley felt joy in his heart. “Just by relying on my physical strength and Will, my speed is so much faster than it was before. If I were to use divine power, most likely I wouldn’t be much weaker than Bluefire.” Linley’s control over the surrounding world made movement through it incomparably simple.
His speed was shocking. As the two moved, they began to exchange blows. The two simultaneously struck out with their fists…
“Rumble…” Linley’s fist shot out like a thunderbolt, slashing through the skies, resulting in that rumbling sound. Space was thrown into chaos, and one twisted spatial rift after another appeared.
“Smash!” Like a detonation, Bluefire struck out with his fist, and the power of it instantly exploded forth. The speed of his fist was much faster than even Linley’s punch, and a blurry flash of red light could be seen.
Two seemingly ordinary punches. Neither dodged at all; they clashed head on.
“Bang!” A deep yet soft sound.
“Rumble…” At the point of the clash, space itself was completely unable to further endure such terrifying power, and seven or eight spatial rifts instantly appeared.
Linley and Bluefire both couldn’t help but take a step back.
They were evenly matched!
“Haha, wonderful, wonderful. Linley, there’s no need for us to hide our divine power. Let’s have one wonderful, all-out battle.” Bluefire, who had always been so graceful and poised, for once was feeling excited. His eyes were shining.
“Then be careful.” Linley said with a bit of a smirk. “My fused divine power isn’t much weaker than Sovereign power.”
“I’m not necessarily the one who needs to be careful.” Bluefire said with a laugh. “You have fused divine power, but I will directly use Sovereign power.”
From their earlier exchange of blows, Linley understood that there wasn’t a huge difference between them; since that was the case, there was no need for them to not even use divine power. Without using divine power, this battle wouldn’t be fun enough.
The cold wind of the Planar Battlefield howled past, rustling Linley’s clothes. Linley’s gaze, however, was completely focused on Bluefire in front of him. “It has been so many years. Grandpa Doehring, I’ve finally reached the true peak of Deities. The true peak. The person in front of me is a Highgod Paragon.” His desire to battle increased to the limit, and Linley felt an irrepressible excitement.
“Rumble…” The inky jade divine power in Linley’s body began to roil about like dragons swimming in the sea.
Linley’s gaze suddenly became fierce.
“Swoosh!” In midair, a series of blurred figures appeared, while Linley himself had already began exchanging blows with Bluefire.
The space of the Planar Battlefield began to tremble, as one terrifying spatial rift after another was torn open. Previously, when Linley and Bluefire had only used their physical strength and Will to fight, the spatial tears were small ones. But now, every single spatial rift was like an enormous gouge. Two virtually invisible blurs were constantly interacting, and around them, spatial rifts occasionally opened and occasionally closed.
Reisgem, Reihom, and Bebe watched numbly.
Two Paragons fighting full force against each other with no reservations? This was quite rare.
“This…this…” Bebe, stunned, didn’t know what to say.
The space in front of them seemed to be quaking, constantly tearing apart and healing, due to the battle between Linley and Bluefire, these two supreme experts. It seemed as though in this area of battle, space itself was about to collapse. Reisgem and the other two now realized the huge distance between them!
Linley and Bluefire were titans. They were just infants.
“So powerful.” Reisgem cleared his throat, his eyes round.
“The power of Paragons!” Reihom held his breath as well, his gaze locked on that region. “And Linley. He isn’t weaker than Mr. Leylin at all.”
“No wonder Paragons treat fighting with me as a game.” Reisgem let out a soft sigh. Previously, when the four of them met Bayer, Bayer completely toyed with them; he wasn’t able to fight back at all. Fortunately, Bebe’s defense was simply too monstrous, which was why they were lucky enough to survive. But if Reisgem hadn’t insisted on protecting Bebe, Bayer would have driven Bebe into a spatial rift.
Irritate a Paragon?
Even if you had three Sovereign artifacts and were seemingly invincible, a Paragon could still drive you into a spatial rift. Unless a Sovereign were to intervene, you would be done for, and even if a Sovereign did want to intervene, it would be no simple task.
“A battle between Paragon-level experts. Only against each other can they completely unleash their power.” Bebe sighed in amazement. “Boss, you are too strong.”
“And this is quite bizarre.” Bebe suddenly frowned. “That region of space is fractured so badly, but it can still instantly repair instead of completely collapsing. How bizarre. The weird thing is…the Boss and Bluefire are actually not affected by the gravitational pull of those enormous spatial tears near them at all. They didn’t go into chaotic space.”
Reisgem and Reihom nodded slightly.
Normally, when experts battled, the spatial rifts wouldn’t be too ridiculous; if spatial rifts did appear, experts would avoid them slightly.
But Linley and Bluefire completely ignored the spatial rifts, and even battled at the very borders of them.
“That must be what their Will permits.” Reisgem said in a low voice. “When one’s Will is as strong as a Sovereign’s, even chaotic space poses no threats; they can roam it as they please.” After being trapped in chaotic space, only someone on the level of a Sovereign could save you. Paragons weren’t at that level yet. This was the Will of a Sovereign.
Their guesses were correct.
Linley could clearly sense that the control he had over the universe made it so that the devouring power of the spatial rifts were completely unable to affect him.
“Rumble…” He punched out, and 108 inky jade ‘dragons’ of power emerged from Linley’s fist, instantly covering Bluefire. A powerful gravitational force pressed down from all directions on Bluefire. This gravitational compression also contained the power of Linley’s Will, and was exceedingly strong.
For the pre-metamorphosis Linley, this technique was effective against ordinary commanders but was child’s play for a Paragon. But now…this technique was very dangerous against even Paragons.
“Swish!” Like a bolt of lightning, a red light flashed.
Bluefire’s fist was always astonishingly fast.
Their fists collided. Linley felt as though a volcano had exploded forth, as an irrepressible explosive power passed towards him. As for Bluefire, he felt as though the layers of strikes were like mountains hammering down towards him.
The two were knocked backwards and retreated.
“The battle should end here.” Bluefire sent mentally.
Linley laughed, then nodded.
This battle had attracted the attention of some nearby commanders, but when they saw what was going on here, and saw from afar how these apocalyptic spatial rifts that were over a hundred meters long were appearing, they were so terrified that none of them dared draw near. This battle was simply too terrifying.
They were also puzzled.
Which two Paragons would be so bored, or have such irreconcilable differences, as to battle like this?
Within the cave. The five sat down to celebrate.
“Boss, haha, I am so happy.” Bebe smugly laughed loudly. “From today onwards, damn, who will dare to make trouble for us? They should be grateful if we don’t make trouble for them. I’ve had to swallow too much crap here in the Planar Battlefield. Now, at least, we’re about to turn the tables.” It seemed as though Bebe wanted to give vent to an entire belly full of anger.
“Haha, drink.” Linley was extremely happy as well.
The breakthrough he had made today made it so that he would no longer have to look up to others.
What did it mean, to be on the Paragon level? It meant…that amongst ‘Deities’, there was no one capable of threatening him. As for Sovereigns? Unless absolutely necessary, Sovereigns wouldn’t interfere in the battles of Deities. What’s more…it wouldn’t be that simple for even Sovereigns to kill Paragons.
If something went wrong, Paragons could immediately flee to a material plane.
In addition, Sovereigns would generally try to pull Paragons to their side. The Sovereigns all wanted to have a Paragon become their Emissary, but the Paragons themselves were naturally quite choosy. They would only pick someone they liked, or someone who was extremely strong as their Sovereign backer. For ordinary commanders, it was the opposite; the Sovereigns would pick them.
As for Paragons, they picked their Sovereign.
Or, for some of the more arrogant ones, they wouldn’t become Emissaries at all. They didn’t want to listen to the orders of others. That was fine. Paragons were qualified to act like this!
“Linley.” Reisgem began to chortle. “Have you ever considered becoming a Sovereign’s Emissary?”
Linley was startled.
The nearby Reihom nodded in approval. “Right. Linley, your strength has reached such a high level. Very few people know this, but once your strength becomes publicly known, you will definitely attract the interest of some Sovereigns. They will definitely work to try and make an expert like you become their Emissary.”
“A Sovereign’s Emissary?” Linley was rather hesitant.
Bebe nodded repeatedly. “Right. Grandpa said it as well. There are very, very few Paragons, and most of them are quite arrogant. They don’t wish to become an Emissary. Paragons who become Emissaries of a Sovereign are rare; there’s only so many to begin with, while there are 77 Sovereigns. Boss, I imagine people will be fighting over you.”
Reisgem hurriedly said enticingly, “Linley, actually, my mother is a very powerful Sovereign, and she’s treated you quite well. She gave you that Soulstone. How about, you come be my mother’s Emissary?”
Linley was rather hesitant.
“Mr. Leylin?” Linley looked towards Bluefire, awaiting Bluefire’s advice. After all, Bluefire was himself a Paragon.
“Why be an Emissary?” Bluefire laughed calmly. “If you refuse to be an Emissary, the Sovereigns can’t possibly act against you for such a reason. After all, after your power is put on display, quite a few Sovereigns will come invite you. You can’t possibly accept them all. More importantly…after becoming a Paragon, what’s the point of becoming an Emissary?”
“We train to pursue the peak of perfection. Although by becoming an Emissary, our Sovereign will also respect us and won’t order us around or force us to kneel to them, I still feel as though being free is better.” Bluefire said calmly.
In his heart, Linley agreed with Bluefire’s way of thinking.
“A Sovereign’s Emissary isn’t necessarily a servant.” Reisgem stared at Bluefire, hurriedly rebutting him. “Of course Sovereigns won’t care about ordinary Emissaries, but Paragons…they are people who possess a Will. Sovereigns will respect them and treat them as friends, rather than servants.”
Bluefire couldn’t help but laugh. “Reisgem, let’s talk about others. This is Linley’s decision to make.”
“Linley, what do you think?” Reisgem turned to look at Linley.
Linley smiled. “No rush. For now, I have no intentions of becoming a Sovereign’s Emissary. More importantly…Paragons have already reached the peak of fusing profound mysteries, with no further possible areas of improvement. Perhaps they might become a Sovereign’s Emissary out of boredom. But as for me, I have many things to do. After all, as far as the Laws go, I haven’t reached my limit. I am just imagining, after countless years, becoming a Paragon of a Law as well. What would that be like? I am quite eager to find out.”