Book 20, The Crown’s Riddle – Chapter 18, Joke
Within the main hall. All the outsiders had departed.
The Starmist Sovereign was seated on his throne, and his dark, violet gaze landed upon Linley. “Linley, based on what I know, you have acquired an Overgod talisman, the ‘nine soul pearls’, as well as the ‘Overgod decree’ which describes these three items. The Overgod talisman and Overgod decree are useless to you. You had best hand them over directly to me. Of course, I will not make you hand them over for nothing.”
“Forgive me, Sovereign.” Linley bowed as he spoke. “I do not possess the Overgod talisman or the Overgod decree.”
A gloomy, cold, black aura that didn’t contain a hint of light wafted out from the Starmist Sovereign’s body. It instantly filled the entire main hall. Linley only felt his body grow cold, and his legs were even turning soft. He felt like he had back then, when he was an infant and seeing the ‘Black Dragon’, a magical beast of the ninth rank, for the first time.
The difference between Deities and Sovereigns was simply too vast!
“Sovereign.” The nearby Beirut said hurriedly. “Can it be that you are unaware that a Sovereign of Wind and the Bloodridge Sovereign have already sought Linley? Linley has already sworn an oath by the Overgod of Fate, and the Bloodridge Sovereign himself testified that this was nothing more than a trap intended to harm Linley.”
“Boson and the others came as well?” The Starmist Sovereign’s gaze fell upon Beirut.
“Yes, Sovereign.” Beirut hurriedly explained. “This news was transmitted by the Lord Prefect of Skymount Prefecture, ‘Molde’. Just prior to this, Linley killed his most powerful divine clone. Molde was unable to take revenge, and so he came up with this idea. Otherwise, how could there be such a coincidence, that right after Linley killed his most powerful divine clone, he would immediately receive information about this Overgod talisman?”
“Molde…” The Starmist Sovereign knew that this information did indeed come from someone named Molde. “Does he want to die?” That low voice contained a hint of anger.
“Molde probably wanted to take revenge against Linley, even if it cost him his own life.” Beirut said hurriedly. “After losing his most powerful divine clone, Molde was no longer worth anything. But Linley is a Highgod Paragon. The difference between the two is simply too great. For Molde to be willing to trade his crippled life for Linley’s life…it makes sense.”
“Where is Molde?” The Starmist Sovereign said coldly.
“He has already been executed by the Bloodridge Sovereign.” Beirut explained. “Both the Sovereign of Wind, Lord Teresia, and the Bloodridge Sovereign were angered by this. Linley wanted to go pursue and kill Molde, but Molde was the Emissary of the Bloodridge Sovereign, after all. In the end, it was the Bloodridge Sovereign who personally killed him.”
The Starmist Sovereign was silent, and he stared at Linley.
Linley felt tremendous pressure from this Sovereign’s gaze.
The Starmist Sovereign frowned as he looked towards the main hall’s door. A blurry figure suddenly took shape, transforming into the appearance of the Bloodridge Sovereign.
“Boson, you came?” The Starmist Sovereign said.
The Bloodridge Sovereign smiled, then bowed slightly. Laughing while walking over, he said, “Of course I came. You came to my territory; how could I not come to accompany you? Shinji [Xing’yi]. It seems as though the Overgod talisman truly is quite alluring. Previously, Teresia also chased after Linley and wanted to force Linley to hand it over. Linley had no other choice but to swear an oath by the Overgods.”
And then, the Bloodridge Sovereign sat down as well.
The Bloodridge Sovereign laughed as he looked at Linley and Beirut. “Don’t worry. The Starmist Sovereign isn’t like that madman, Teresia.”
“Enough.” The Starmist Sovereign couldn’t help but glance sideways at the Bloodridge Sovereign. “Since Linley has already sworn by the Overgods, and with you bearing witness on his behalf…I trust what you have said. But Boson…your Emissary, ‘Molde’, actually dared to falsely generate news like this? There are only waves when the wind blows; I imagine that the Overgods might have truly issued a mission.”
The Bloodridge Sovereign nodded. “It makes sense. But if there really was such a mission, we have to at least see one of the three Overgod talismans, right? The most important thing is the Overgod decree. The Overgod decree described the requirements of the mission, but the information on the decree was clearly altered. This is because even if there is an Overgod mission, there is no way the Overgod decree would have information on who is carrying one of the talismans.”
The Starmist Sovereign nodded.
“Rumble…” The Starmist Sovereign’s terrifying divine sense suddenly swept out…
“Shinji, why did you use your divine sense to cover the entire Infernal Realm?” The Bloodridge Sovereign said, surprised.
Hearing this, Linley felt his heart shudder. Cover the entire Infernal Realm? The distance one’s divine sense could reach was related to the strength of one’s soul and the power of one’s Will. Linley was only able to stretch to eight million kilometers or so, and that was because his spiritual energy was especially strong. But Sovereigns? They were able to cover the entire Infernal Realm.
One could imagine how much stronger the Will of Sovereigns was, compared to his own Will.
No wonder once a Sovereign came in person to deal with a Paragon, that Paragon would have to die. Unless, of course, the Paragon had already fled and avoided encountering the Sovereign, instead fleeing into a material plane.
“Naturally, we have to discuss this matter with the other Sovereigns of the Infernal Realm. Otherwise, every ten years or every few centuries, another one of them will arrive. And we don’t know for sure whether or not this news is real or not.” The Starmist Sovereign said calmly.
Linley’s heart lurched. “A discussion with every single Sovereign of the Infernal Realm?”
The distant Redbud Continent, the eastern Jadefloat Continent, the vast Chaotic Sea…
The Sovereigns, scattered across the distant lands, were now all connected through divine sense.
“Shinji, why have you reached out to everyone?” Deep in the distant Chaotic Sea, an incredibly powerful presence spoke, with the voice echoing in the minds of every single Sovereign present.”
“Chief, I have reached out to everyone because news has spread within the Infernal Realm regarding Overgod talismans. Soon, you will all learn of this, which is why I thought it best to reach out to you all directly to discuss this.” The Starmist Sovereign’s voice echoed in the minds of the other Sovereigns as well.
Sovereigns were capable of covering the entire plane with their divine sense. There was no need for them to gather together to converse at all.
“Overgod talisman?” A cry of surprise and delight. This voice came from the Sovereign of the Muja Continent.
“The Overgods have issued another mission?”
“What is the mission?”
Multiple voices echoed out in succession.
But of course, only Sovereigns were able to hear this. Even Linley and the others weren’t able to hear it.
“Hmph. This news originated from that Emissary of Boson’s.” The Sovereign of Wind, Teresia, spoke out. The Four Higher Planes, including the Infernal Realm, were all far larger than the other Divine Planes, which was why many other Sovereigns lived here as well.
The Infernal Realm wasn’t restricted to just the Sovereigns of Destruction.
For example, there might be one or two Sovereigns of Wind, Earth, or Fire living here. And thus, the Sovereigns currently engaging in this discussion included those of other elements as well.
“Everyone.” The Bloodridge Sovereign immediately spoke out. “I am very sorry. This news truly did originate from an Emissary under my control, ‘Molde’. Based on my investigations, he wanted to gain revenge after his most powerful divine clone was killed by a Paragon, and so he came up with this lie. Teresia and I have already looked into this. This indeed is nothing more than a joke.”
“Who is the Paragon?” A clear voice echoed in each Sovereign’s mind.
“His name is Linley, the Paragon of the Four Divine Beasts clan.” Teresia’s voice rang out.
“Linley?” A soft, graceful voice rang out. This voice originated from the powerful figure who resided within the Amethyst Mountains. “Linley and I have a bit of a connection to each other. He has only been training for a few thousand years, but he is indeed a genius; he has already reached the level of Paragon.”
“He became a Paragon after just a few thousand years? Impossible!!!”
“I also am aware of someone named Linley who has become a Paragon. I was watching during the final battle of the Planar Wars. He defeated Magnus. But, I had no idea that he had been training for just a few thousand years.”
One voice after another rang out from locations spread throughout the vast Infernal Realm. The Sovereigns chatted amongst themselves, all of them quite stunned.
After all, even most of the Sovereigns had yet to become Paragons. Most Sovereigns were powerful lifeforms that were formed by the natural world shortly after the universe was created. The reason they were able to become Sovereigns was a matter of luck and power; it had almost nothing to do with whether or not they were able to become Paragons.
In their hearts, quite a few Sovereigns felt admiration for those who were able to become Paragons.
After all, becoming a Paragon was completely related with one’s abilities, while becoming a Sovereign was more a matter of luck and fortune.
“Linley just returned a short time ago from the Planar Wars. Perhaps he had a grudge against that person named Molde, and so he killed Molde’s most powerful divine clone. Molde didn’t have the power to get revenge, and so he came up with this idea.” This was the Redbud Sovereign’s judgment. “Linley spent only a few thousand years to become a Paragon, and the Overgod talismans are useless to him. I imagine that he wouldn’t be so stupid as to try and hide the Overgod talismans.”
“True.” The Bloodridge Sovereign’s voice rang out. “Linley, before Teresia, swore an oath. Teresia, am I right?”
Teresia’s voice didn’t immediately ring out in response. Only after some time did he reply, “Yes. Linley swore an oath by the Overgods that before I told him about this, he knew nothing at all regarding the Overgod talismans.”
“I need to tell you one more thing, everyone.” The Bloodridge Sovereign concluded. “This news came on a sheet of ordinary paper, not an Overgod decree.”
“No Overgod decree? Why are we even discussing this?”
“Without an Overgod decree present, even if an Overgod talisman was placed in front of us, we probably wouldn’t be able to ascertain if it is an Overgod talisman or not. The natural world can give birth to some unique items as well.”
Quite a few Sovereigns chatted about this, clearly believing this to be nothing more than a joke.
Teresia’s voice rang out. “But this piece of paper did describe three items.”
“Only the descriptions on an Overgod decree can be truly believed. Teresia…what, just based on your power, you want to get involved as well? Even if an Overgod truly issues a mission, given your strength, I imagine if you get involved, the end result will simply be that you will fall.” A deep voice echoed forth from the powerful figure located in the distant Karol Continent.
Teresia fell silent.
This was because the Sovereign who said that was far more powerful than him.
“That Molde, he truly was daring.” This voice came from the Chaotic Sea. “However, for him to dare make such a claim means that while it may be true that he wanted to get revenge against Linley, even at the cost of his life…he might truly have received some information and might truly have seen the Overgod decree. Forget it. For now, let’s not pay attention to this matter. Only when the Overgod decree appears in the world will there be proof that the Overgods have truly issued a mission.”
The Chief Sovereign of Destruction’s words were effective. As soon as his words came out, the other Sovereigns no longer said anything.
Within the main hall of Linley’s estate. Linley just stood there to one side quietly. He knew that the Sovereigns were currently engaging in a conversation through divine sense.
“They are scattered throughout the Infernal Realm, and yet able to instantly chat amongst each other with divine sense. Truly terrifying.” Linley sighed to himself.
The Starmist Sovereign rose to his feet, and Linley hurriedly turned his attention towards him. The Starmist Sovereign glanced sideways at Linley, a rare hint of a smile on his face. “You become a Paragon after just a few thousand years? Linley…this is utterly inconceivable. Excellent, excellent.” After speaking, the Starmist Sovereign disappeared.
Only now did Linley let out a sigh of relief.
“How did he know that I became a ‘Paragon’ after a few thousand years?” Linley was puzzled.
Very few people, even amongst the Four Divine Beasts clan, knew how long he had been training for. Only a few people he was on particularly good terms with, such as Reisgem, knew this.
“Haha, a Paragon after only a few thousand years.” The Bloodridge Sovereign laughed as he looked at Linley. “This news came from the Redbud Sovereign. Linley, I imagine that within a short period of time, the Sovereigns of the various major planes will all know this. Alright, this affair of yours is now concluded. You don’t have to worry about more Sovereigns coming to search for you.”
“Thank you, Sovereign.” Linley bowed as he spoke gratefully.
Linley knew that the Bloodridge Sovereign was clearly standing on his side, and had most likely spoken out on his behalf as the other Sovereigns had discussed this. Without this Sovereign helping out, most likely, other Sovereigns would have come to make trouble for him long ago.
“You can leave for now. There’s something I wish to discuss with Beirut.” The Bloodridge Sovereign said.
“Yes.” Linley immediately retreated, leaving behind only Beirut and the Bloodridge Sovereign in the main hall.