Book 19, Metamorphosis – Chapter 62, Who Is Alive, Who Is Dead?
The planar corridor was filled with countless people, and the walls of the corridor flowed with rainbow-colored light.
Linley and Bebe were amidst the crowds, flying towards the exit.
“Almost there!” Linley felt his heat trembling.
“Dixie. Boss Yale. George…and, and my father!” Although he had reached the peak of power, Linley was currently extremely nervous. “I hope they are still alive!” The constant slaughter going on amongst the undead, and the fact that his father had died close to three thousand years ago, meant that the chance his father had truly died was very high.
Linley turned to look at Bebe, who clearly was rather nervous as well.
“Bebe, it’s fine. Everyone will be alive and well.” Linley sent.
“Right.” Bebe hurriedly nodded. As they chatted, they saw that up ahead, a gateway that was completely filled with a black, netherworldly light had appeared.
They advanced into it alongside the crowds of people. Bebe and Linley entered the gateway, arriving at a vast, wide hall.
Flamebone Mountain. At the dimensional gate.
When Linley had come from here to the Planar Battlefield, there had been very few people here, but now, the entire hall was filled with people. A shouting voice could be heard. “Everyone, come here to turn in your badges and have your military merits recorded! Soldiers, all of you, line up and go over there! Commanders, come to me!”
Linley and Bebe turned and saw that the speaker was that Sovereign’s Emissary, the silver-haired elder, Gallen.
Within the hall, there were multiple tables, each of which had scribes seated behind them. The scribes were constantly recording military merits, and within the corridors, there were now long lines; everyone had to turn in their badge and have it recorded before they were permitted to leave. Only the space in front of the Sovereign’s Emissary, Gallen, was empty.
Commanders were quite rare, after all.
“Mr. Gallen.” Linley called out with a light laugh as he flew over.
“Lord Linley, congratulations. You were able to return alive.” Gallen, upon seeing Linley and Bebe, began to smile. That stern-faced shout of his was meant for the ordinary soldiers; to commanders who were of similar rank to him, he was still quite friendly.
“How’d it go? Did you acquire enough military merits this time?” Gallen chortled.
“I have enough.” Linley nodded.
Gallen looked at Linley in surprise. To acquire a Sovereign artifact required ten enemy commander badges. “I had no idea. Impressive! Mr. Linley, give the badges to me. I will take care of this comrade of yours by your side as well. If he goes to my subordinates, he will spend a very long time in line.”
Linley turned and glanced at the line. Indeed, the line had already formed a series of circles within the main hall, and many had to wait in midair.
Linley and Bebe each withdrew their blood-red badges and their black badges, handing them over.
This was a very strict rule; if they weren’t in possession of their badges, they would be put to death.
“Since you already have enough military merits, there is no need for me to record them. You can go visit the Sovereign directly and have them make a Sovereign artifact for you.” Gallen said with a laugh. “The Sovereigns all have a copy of the records indicating how many military merits the commanders who went through the Planar War possess. You only need to go provide the enemy badges you acquired, and the Sovereign shall know.”
As he spoke, Gallen pointed towards a long, open corridor behind him.
“You can leave by this private exit and go see the Sovereign.” Gallen laughed.
“See the Sovereign? See the Sovereign in person?” Bebe said, astonished.
Gallen laughed. “Of course not. Sovereigns aren’t going to waste time coming. The Sovereign you will be seeing will just be an energy construct. The Sovereign’s true body is still far away, in another part of the Netherworld.”
“Mr. Linley!” A warm greeting rang out. Linley and Bebe both turned to look; the speaker was a violet-robed, black-haired man.
“Worthington [Wo’sen’te]!” Linley nodded slightly. Linley had met this commander before and remembered him.
Gallen, upon seeing him, immediately laughed. “Oh, Lord Worthington. Congratulations.” Everyone who survived a Planar War deserved to be congratulated. Gallen continued, “Lord Worthington, did you acquire enough military merits this time? Tartarus Lord Linley has enough, and he entered a hundred years after you did.”
“I’m not quite there yet. Here are three commander badges. Record them down.” Worthington took out three golden commander badges and his own blood-red badge, then chortled, “Gallen, it is perfectly natural for Mr. Linley to have acquired enough military merits. How can I compare to Mr. Linley? Mr. Linley is a Paragon, after all.”
A look of astonishment instantly appeared on Gallen’s face as he turned to stare at Linley.
“Paragon?” Gallen was very stunned.
“Naturally.” Worthington laughed loudly. “Mr. Linley had a grand duel with the Paragon ‘Magnus’ in the air above the Stellar Corridor of the Planar Battlefield. The other commanders and countless soldiers present had no choice but to step back and stop fighting! Magnus was even driven by Mr. Linley into chaotic space.”
Gallen couldn’t believe it.
“You two can keep chatting. I’ll go visit the Sovereign.” Linley said with a smile, and then went towards the corridor behind Gallen alongside Bebe. Linley could still hear the conversation going on behind him…
“Linley became a Paragon? What’s this about. Tell me about it in detail.”
“I’ll discuss this with you later. Just now, you referred to Mr. Linley as a ‘Tartarus Lord’; what’s this about? Isn’t he an Elder of the Azure Dragon clan?”
Linley didn’t hear the following words, because he had already moved deep into the tunnel. This tunnel was very wide, at least five meters or so, and nearly four meters high. The walls of the corridor were all faintly glowing with a blurry green light, causing it to seem very dreamlike and illusory. After walking for a few moments…
In front of Linley, a four-way intersection appeared.
“Now where should we go?” Bebe was rather baffled.
Linley carefully looked at the tunnels, but there was no one else here. Suddenly, a voice rang out in Linley’s mind. “Linley, the two of you, enter the tunnel on the left. After walking for a bit, you’ll see me.”
“The Chief Sovereign of Death!” Linley’s eyes lit up.
“Bebe, come this way.” Linley immediately led Bebe towards the tunnel on the left. After walking just a hundred meters, they exited the tunnel and arrived at a wide, shining hall.
Linley swept the area with his gaze. There was no one seated on the throne within the hall, but by the sides of the hall, there was a lithe, graceful figure dressed in a violet robe, with long blood-red hair cascading down her shoulders. Suddenly, this figure turned, and as she swept Linley with her gaze, he couldn’t help but feel his heart tremble.
“Sovereign.” Linley bowed slightly.
This person was the Chief Sovereign of Death, but Linley now had the feeling that although the Chief Sovereign of Death was emanating a perceptible aura of majesty, the aura wasn’t that strong. Linley could tell…that this figure should have been a mere clone which the Sovereign created from energy.
“Admirable.” The Chief Sovereign of Death looked at Linley, the corners of her lips crooking upwards slightly. “Linley, it’s quite rare for me to admire someone. However…I now quite admire you. After all, although I am the Chief Sovereign of Death, in terms of the Laws, I have yet to become a Paragon. But you have! Formidable!”
Linley was stunned.
When chatting with Reisgem, Linley had learned that becoming a Sovereign didn’t have anything to do with whether one was a Paragon or not. Many Sovereigns had yet to become Paragons. But Linley hadn’t imagined…that even someone as powerful as the Chief Sovereign of Death was yet to be a Paragon.
However, Linley himself wasn’t a Paragon, just a Soul Mutate.
Still, Linley temporarily didn’t wish to publicize this. Thus, he accepted others calling him a Paragon. After all, a four-clone Soul Mutate was simply too astonishing.
“It’s been just a thousand years or so, but you’ve actually reached such a level.” The Chief Sovereign of Death let out a sigh of praise.
“Sovereign.” Linley bowed slightly, then said respectfully, “According to our earlier agreement, for each commander badge I acquired, you would help me find one person and allow them to regain their memories. I’ve come now to ask you, Sovereign, to carry out this agreement.” Linley went straight to the heart of the matter!
The Chief Sovereign of Death gave Linley a sidelong glance. She still naturally emanated a high, lofty aura of looking down at all other creatures.
“Be my Emissary.” The Chief Sovereign of Death said casually.
Linley was slightly startled.
Linley didn’t want to become a Sovereign’s Emissary, but the speaker was the Chief Sovereign of Death. If the Chief Sovereign of Death were to use saving Linley’s family and friends as leverage, there really would be nothing else Linley could do.
“Sovereign.” Bebe said unhappily. “Can it be that you are going to threaten my Boss, Sovereign?”
The Chief Sovereign of Death glanced sideways at Bebe, and that clear, icy gaze caused Bebe’s heart to tremble. The Chief Sovereign of Death said calmly, “Of course not! As the Chief Sovereign, whatever I have said, I will naturally uphold. For each enemy commander badge, I will find a person for you and allow that person to regain his or her memories. As for inviting you to become my Emissary, that’s something else. You can choose to decline.”
Linley bowed slightly, then refused in a roundabout way. “Forgive me, Sovereign. For now, I’m not yet prepared to become someone’s Emissary.”
“That’s fine as well.” The Chief Sovereign of Death’s voice turned icy. “Per our agreement, take out your commander badges. Let me warn you in advance; the chances of death are very, very high…if the person you are looking for is already dead, you can’t blame anyone else. I’m only responsible for searching for them and restoring their memories.”
“Of course.” Linley took a deep breath, then took out four commander badges, with Bebe taking out two.
“Six?” The Chief Sovereign of Death raised an eyebrow. “Speak, then. Who are you searching for.”
“The first is my good friend, also from the Yulan Plane. Yale Dawson!” Linley said quickly.
The Chief Sovereign of Death nodded slightly. “Wait a moment. My true body will search through the Netherworld Heart.” After all, even the Chief Sovereign of Death, just by relying on her own powers, couldn’t possibly search the entire Netherworld for a single undead with just a name. But the ‘Netherworld Heart’ was different; this was the solidification of the Laws which controlled the Netherworld itself, in material form.
This was the Heart of the Netherworld!
Through the Netherworld Heart, one could easily find any person who had been transformed into an undead after death.
“I hope Boss Yale is still alive.” Linley felt nervous, while Bebe couldn’t help but clutch at Linley’s hands.
“Found him.” The Chief Sovereign of Death nodded. “Hm? Strange. He’s actually a netherblood spirit.”
“Netherblood spirit?” Linley said, startled.
“Right. There are many types of undead; generally speaking, when an ordinary mortal dies and becomes a netherblood spirit, it is because they were filled with tremendous hatred, anger, and a desire to kill. Naturally, this means that netherblood spirits are fairly common amongst undead.” The Chief Sovereign of Death gave Linley a sidelong glance. “Your luck isn’t bad. Not only is he alive, he is also a Saint-level undead. Next.”
Linley took a deep breath, then said, “My Second Bro, George.”
“Oh?” A hint of a smile played at the corners of the Chief Sovereign of Death’s lips.
Linley stared at the Chief Sovereign of Death. “Your ‘Second Bro’, George, is alive as well. In addition, he’s a Demigod. There is no need for me to restore his memories.”
“He became a Deity?” Linley couldn’t help but feel delight.
It made sense. Dixie and George both died as Saints; a Saint-level undead did indeed have the chance to become a Deity.
“The third.” The Chief Sovereign of Death said calmly.
“The third one is my wife’s elder brother, Dixie.” Linley said hurriedly. Linley had to admit, this Netherworld Heart was truly miraculous; with just some basic information, it was able to find his family and friends. Linley had no idea…that in reality, just based on the name ‘Linley’, the Netherworld Heart would be able to instantly find everyone connected to him.”
To the Chief Sovereign of Death, finding one person and finding ten people was almost the same. Still…the Chief Sovereign of Death wouldn’t possibly tell Linley this.
“Dixie? Hey, he became Deity as well.” The Chief Sovereign of Death said. “However, his divine clone is dead, while his Saint-level body remains hiding within the Undead Realm. He doesn’t need me to restore his memory either.”
Linley felt a surge of joy in his heart. Although Dixie had become a Deity, then lost his divine clone, he was still alive. Now, only four were remaining. Next was his father…Hogg!
“My father, Hogg!” Linley said slowly.
The Chief Sovereign of Death searched for a moment, then nodded and said. “The four you searched for are all quite decent. Two became Deities, while the other two became Saints. Your father is currently a Saint-level undead…mm. No wonder your father is still alive. He’s a member of the Azure Dragon clan. His soul is decent.”
Although Hogg hadn’t regained his memories, he was still a member of the Azure Dragon clan. His soul was still far more powerful than the souls of most undead.
“Father…is still…” Linley was wildly overjoyed.
He had been quite afraid, but the end results had been miraculous. All four of the people he had been searching for were alive.
Actually, this had to do with the four of them themselves. The stronger one was, the higher the chances for survival; two were Saint-level undead to begin with, and thus naturally had higher chances for survival to begin with. Yale had died in hatred and had become a netherblood spirit, and was quite powerful when alive. As for Hogg, his soul was also very powerful.
“Two others. My brother Bebe’s parents.” Linley said hurriedly. Linley realized that aside from the first person, ‘Yale’, the Sovereign was able to almost instantly reply to him with regards to the status of the others. It was as though the searching process was quite fast.
“Right, my father and my mother.” Bebe said hurriedly. “But I don’t know their names.”
“I don’t need the names. Still, you’ll have to wait a time.” The Chief Sovereign of Death glanced sideways at Bebe.
Linley looked encouragingly at Bebe. He sent mentally, “Don’t worry, Bebe. Your parents were magical beasts of the ninth rank; they were quite powerful when alive, and they were also of Beirut’s clan. Their souls should be fairly powerful as well. There is a good chance they are alive!”
“Right.” Bebe took a deep breath, then nodded.
Linley could sense that Bebe was currently very nervous. Bebe had never met his parents before, after all. They waited a time, and then…
“Your luck is excellent.” The Chief Sovereign of Death looked at Bebe in surprised. “Your parents are both Saint-level undead, and fairly powerful ones at that.”
“Wonderful!” Bebe clenched his fist, so excited his face was completely red.
Linley was happy for Bebe as well. Ever since he had undergone his soul mutation, it seemed as though his luck had improved. Every single person he had searched for was still alive.
A thought flashed past Linley’s mind. “Bebe’s parents. Then…my mother?” Bebe had never seen his parents, but Linley had no memories of his mother either; although he had never met his mother, she was still his mother. His own mother!”
“Sovereign, can you search for one more person for me?” Linley said nervously.
“No. Six badges, six chances.” The Chief Sovereign of Death said calmly, not budging at all.
The nearby Bebe said hurriedly, “Sovereign, two of the people my Boss asked you to search for are Deities; there’s no need for you to restore their memories. They shouldn’t count, right. Or let’s just say that those two just represented a single chance.”
“And who are you to make that decision?” The Sovereign glanced sideways at Bebe. “The six chances are all used up.”
Linley couldn’t help but feel a bit frantic.
“But of course…if you are willing to become my Emissary, as your Sovereign, I would be willing to search a few more times for you, free of charge.” The Chief Sovereign of Death suddenly said.
Linley was stunned.
Did he have to become a Sovereign’s Emissary?
“Boss?” Bebe couldn’t help but look at Linley.
“Sovereign.” Linley frowned as he spoke. “Actually, a single commander badge isn’t that valuable. Given my status, if I were to leave…I could find another commander and borrow a badge from him. It can be said that I would owe that person a favor. I trust others would agree to my request.”
A favor from Linley, in exchange for a commander badge? Many commanders would be willing to engage in this sort of a deal.
“True.” The Chief Sovereign of Death nodded.
“Then Sovereign…how about this. If you are able to find the person I am looking for, then I am willing to become your Emissary. If you aren’t able to find this person, or if she is already dead, then let’s drop the matter of becoming your Emissary.” Linley looked at the Chief Sovereign of Death.
The Chief Sovereign of Death looked at Linley, pausing momentarily, then laughed and nodded. “Fine. I accept.” Doing another search, as far as the Chief Sovereign of Death was concerned, didn’t require much effort. The Chief Sovereign of Death knew that if she didn’t agree, Linley probably really would go borrow another badge.
“I want to search for my mother…” Linley said slowly.