Book 20, The Crown’s Riddle – Chapter 13, The Secret of the Nine Pearls
“Boss, the reason why you weren’t able to kill him was these nine soul pearls? What are these nine soul pearls?” Bebe flew next to Linley as well, inspecting the nine soul pearls hovering in Linley’s hands with curiosity. “Boss, I don’t feel anything special about these nine pearls?”
Linley chuckled. “When I first saw the Lord Prefect of Skymount, I didn’t sense anything special about these soul pearls either; I thought that wearing a bracelet was just personal habit of his. Only when I tried to kill him multiple times with no success did I notice that these soul pearls were rather unique.”
How keen was Linley’s judgment now?
He was able to immediately tell, at a glance, that the Lord Prefect of Skymount’s bracelet wasn’t a divine artifact, and so Linley had taken it for a mere trinket with no value. And, indeed, the bracelet wasn’t a divine artifact. Linley was able to crush the bracelet with his fingers with ease. The truly valuable items were those nine soul pearls.
“Lord Prefect of Skymount, is my guess correct?”
“Lord Linley!” The Lord Prefect of Skymount’s face was ashen. He hurriedly said, “Correct. Your guess is correct. These nine soul pearls are a precious treasure that were naturally formed, and they contain an incomprehensible life force within them. As long as you are wearing these nine soul pearls, an inexhaustible, endless amount of life energy will fill your entire body and soul. Although your soul attack was powerful, Lord Linley, the energy of the soul pearls continuously protected me, and so even though my soul was damaged, it was quickly healed.”
Molde no longer had anything left he could rely on.
He had thought that by relying on his soul pearls, others wouldn’t be able to kill him. And Molde’s power was indeed quite great. Matching that with the soul pearls…meant that he could be considered one of the topmost commanders. This was why Molde had so confidently come to fight.
After seeing Linley’s unfamiliar face, he had felt all the more confident.
But who would have imagined…that this was Linley, the Paragon who had risen to sudden prominence in the Infernal Realm! A Paragon…they were the most powerful entities amongst Deities. The soul pearls could protect Molde, but they weren’t able to increase his attack power. In front of Linley, Molde was nothing more than a punching bag!
Now that he lost those nine soul pearls, he had nothing left at all.
“Oh, these soul pearls are so special?” Bebe mumbled in surprise.
“Molde. Did you bind these soul pearls?” Linley said calmly.
“No.” Molde said hurriedly.
Linley willed a drop of blood to emerge from his finger, which then flew towards one of the soul pearls hovering above his hand.
The blood fell atop this jade green soul pearl, splattered, then rolled down and fell onto Linley’s palm.
“It actually didn’t go in?” Linley said with a frown.
“Lord Linley, these soul pearls are a miraculous treasure which was naturally formed by the heavens, rather than a divine artifact. There is no way to bind them with blood.” Molde said hurriedly. Linley gave Molde a sidelong glance, then held the nine soul pearls within his palm. Instantly, he felt a surge of unique energy fill his entire body. Under Linley’s control, this surge of energy even flooded into his soul.
Linley felt as though his soul was being protected by this very unique type of energy.
“How curious. This sort of treasure…only the heavens themselves could give birth to such a thing.” Linley sighed in praise.
“Right. Right.” Molde hurriedly said.
“Boss, these soul pearls are quite unique, but how can you be certain that the reason why Molde was struck by your soul attack without dying was because of these pearls?” Bebe pursed his lips. “Perhaps the soul pearls are unique, but they aren’t necessarily the true treasure which protected Molde from dying. Perhaps he might have another treasure as well.”
Molde’s face changed dramatically.
“The best way to test it, Boss, is to give this Molde yet another soul attack. If this time, Molde dies, then that proves that it really was the soul pearls which were protecting him. If he doesn’t die, then it means he was lying.” Bebe laughed as he spoke, but in the eyes of Molde, Bebe’s laughter was so evil, so terrifying!
“Molde, what do you think? Is my reasoning correct?” Bebe looked at Molde and laughed, but he didn’t even attempt to hide the killing intent in his eyes.
These words were like the pronouncement of a death sentence upon Molde.
In terms of mentality, Bebe, a divine beast, still had a stronger desire to kill than Linley. Anyone who posed a threat to Linley or who had ever attacked Linley…as far as Bebe was concerned, such a person deserved death.
“Boss, if Molde doesn’t die, he will cause problems in the future, eventually. He is currently the Lord Prefect of Skymount, and won’t dare to take his revenge on you, Boss. That’s only because he isn’t strong enough. But if, one day, he were to make a breakthrough and become a Paragon, he probably would no longer fear you, Boss. Even if he isn’t able to take revenge on you, Olivier will be in danger.” Bebe sent mentally.
Bebe was farsighted. Anything that might pose a threat should be killed!
“Lord Linley…” Molde stammered in terror.
Molde’s current attitude was completely opposite to his earlier, brash, murderous attitude.
“When you thought you were strong, you attacked; when you discovered that the enemy was too strong, you submitted.” After having experienced the savagery of the Planar Wars, Linley wouldn’t be as soft-hearted as a woman. “Swish!” A Voidwave Sword ripple shot forth from Linley’s forehead, so fast that Molde wasn’t able to react at all as it drove into his body.
Molde’s body trembled, and then the light disappeared from his eyes as he slumped down.
“Clink!” A blood-red set of armor fell out from his body onto the ground. This was his defensive Sovereign artifact.
“This time, he’s really dead.” Bebe laughed.
Olivier, Diana, and their son, ‘Deia’, walked over now. Olivier looked at the deceased Lord Prefect, then looked towards Linley with gratitude. “Linley, thank you. You helped me yet again.” If the Lord Prefect didn’t die, Olivier definitely would have been unable to rest easy.
“Thank you, Uncle Linley.” Deia said as well, and then he gave the corpse of Molde a vicious look, as though placing the blame for the death of his older brother upon the Lord Prefect.
“When I dealt with Bonin, I prepared myself for the possible eventuality of having to deal with Molde as well. Only…I didn’t expect that Molde would actually be in possession of this sort of miraculous natural treasure.” Linley looked at the nine soul pearls in his hand and sighed.
“How unfortunate. Molde, as suspected, has clones somewhere.” Bebe dripped a drop of blood onto the armor, but it didn’t go in.
“Forget it. Just leave it there.” Linley said with a calm laugh. “After having lost his most powerful divine clone, Molde is no longer much of a threat.” Without his most powerful divine clone, even if Molde had a Saint-level clone somewhere who was able to fuse with a divine sparks all the way to the Highgod level, he wouldn’t be able to make any more advances. This meant that there was no hope for Molde to reach the level of Paragons. Anyone not at the Paragon level, as far as Linley was concerned, could be slaughtered easily by him.
“Hmph. I’m not going to let him get anything back.” Bebe waved his hand, drawing Molde’s interspatial ring towards him, and then with a vicious clench and a ‘crack’, Bebe shattered the interspatial ring.
If he couldn’t get it, he wouldn’t let Molde get it either!
As for that Sovereign artifact…it was made by a Sovereign, and Bebe didn’t dare do anything to it. Sovereigns wouldn’t care about you killing an Emissary, as that was the fault of the Emissary for being too weak. But destroying a Sovereign artifact or tossing it into chaotic space? The Sovereign would be angered. The artifact was something which a Sovereign had spent a tremendous amount of time and effort on, after all.
“This treasure isn’t bad, but it’s not very useful for me.” Linley glanced at the nine soul pearls.
With a thought, Linley stored the nine soul pearls into his interspatial ring.
“We’re off to Indigo Prefecture!” Bebe laughed. Olivier looked at his wife and son, then laughed as well, content. Linley’s group of five once more boarded their metallic lifeform and began to fly at high speed towards Indigo Prefecture, in the west.
Within Linley’s interspatial ring.
This was a lifeless space. A large number of items was hovering there within it, including that canteen filled with Sovereign’s Might, the adamantine heavy sword, Bloodviolet, inkstones, azurite…and atop a little mountain formed from inkstones and azurite, there was a tattered, tarnished, unremarkable crown.
The tattered crown just lay there.
The nine soul pearls appeared within that lifeless space. The nine crystalline jade-green soul pearls seemed so brilliant and beautiful.
The strange thing was, that tattered crown actually levitated into the air and flew towards the nine soul pearls, which also flew towards the tattered crown.
The nine soul pearls formed into a circle around the tattered crown.
“Swish!” “Swish!” “Swish!”
The nine soul pearls suddenly shot towards the tattered crown from each direction, instantly merging into the ‘settings’ of the crown. And then, everything turned calm again. A green light flowed atop the tattered crown, causing it to emanate a faint green aura. It was no longer as tattered and tarnished as it was before.
There were nine small settings and one large setting to this crown!
The nine small settings looped around the crown from front to back, while the center-front of the crown had a large, rhombus-shaped setting. This rhombus-shaped setting was completely empty.
Linley had no idea as to what had just happened within his interspatial ring. Previously, Linley had spent quite some time inspecting the tattered crown, and after becoming a Soul Mutate, Linley had inspected it yet again. But he couldn’t find anything special about it, and thus, he had tossed it into his interspatial ring and stopped paying attention to it.
Perhaps, one day, Linley would take out the crown or the pearls, only to discover the secrets of the crown.
But when would that happen? No one could say.
A metallic lifeform shaped like a vicious tiger floated there above the mountains. This enormous metallic lifeform had more than a hundred people within it, with the leader being a silver-haired, silver-robed Molde.
He was standing at the front of the metallic lifeform, staring through the translucent metal towards the distant mountains ahead.
“Go there and reclaim the armor.” The silver-haired Molde said coldly.
“Yes, Lord Prefect.” The white-browed man knew exactly where the battle had taken place. He immediately led a squad of ten people towards that gorge, flying at high speed.
The silver-haired Molde stared coldly at the distant mountains, his heart filled with a murderous intent. He could still sense the presence of the Sovereign artifact. Clearly…Linley’s group didn’t take it away or destroy it.
“My power is now much weaker. If someone were to challenge me…” This was what Molde was concerned about now. As a Lord Prefect and one of the 108 Asuras of the Infernal Realm, he had to face challengers, with the loser giving up the position and the winner becoming the new Asura or Lord Prefect. Thus, Molde had to reacquire that Sovereign artifact.
With a defensive Sovereign artifact, Molde was confident in his ability to maintain his position.
A long time later…
The figures of the white-browed man and his squad flashed forward, with the white-browed man holding that blood-colored armor in his hands.
“Hmph.” The silver-haired Molde’s eyes flashed, and a large corridor instantly appeared within the metallic lifeform. The blood-colored armor flew through the corridor towards Molde, then entered Molde’s body.
“Move out. We’re going back.” Molde said calmly.
“Yes, Lord Prefect.” The group replied in chorus.
And then, Molde strode to a private room deeper in the rear cabins of the metallic lifeform. The door to the rear cabin shut. There was no hint of light within this room.
The silver-haired Morde sat down quietly in the meditative position. Within the gloomy, dark room, Morde’s face appeared equally gloomy and dark. His wolf-like eyes, in this dark room, appeared all the more terrifying and heart-shaking.
“You ruined my son, then also ruined my future prospects!” In that room, Molde didn’t need to conceal in the slightest his killing intent. A wild, savage aura filled the room, but because of Molde’s Godrealm, the aura didn’t leak outside at all, and so those subordinates outside had no idea what was occurring within.
Molde’s eyes flashed savagely. “Fine. Since you ruined me, then I will ruin you as well!”
“Unfortunately, I’ve already destroyed that sheet of special paper. Otherwise, it would be much easier for me to convince the Sovereigns. With just a simple plan, I could easily cause Linley to die! But now that I destroyed that paper, it will be a bit tricky!” Molde pondered silently for a moment, considering what to do, then laughed coldly. “Still, it doesn’t matter. Although the paper was destroyed, at least I still know what the secret is. Since the soul pearls are no longer in my hands, there’s no point to keeping this secret.”
When Molde thought about what was going to occur, he couldn’t help but feel a hint of eagerness in his heart.
“You ruined me. So I’ll ruin you!” Molde growled. “I will publicize this secret…I will make it known to everyone, make it known to all of the Sovereigns!!!” His voice, filled with rage, made this secret room feel so sinister, so cold…