Book 20, The Crown’s Riddle – Chapter 21, Four Divine Powers Fuse
Savage pain wracked Linley’s entire body. It felt as though countless little bugs were gnawing away at him. That bone-deep pain was so great that even someone like Linley wasn’t able to endure it expressionlessly. All he could do was to grit his teeth and struggle to endure it. At the same time, Linley’s divine sense filled each part of his body.
Pure darkness, which didn’t contain a hint of anything else.
A dark flood swirled about throughout Linley’s body. There was no rhythm or order to it. The large tide of black energy filled every single muscle, every single blood vessel, every single bone. Those specks of black energy seemed to have found their ‘home’ as they sank into his bones, muscles, and organs, causing every single part of Linley’s body to undergo a heaven-shaking transformation.
All of his bones were trembling to the point of emitting clattering sounds.
“The fusion of four types of profound power actually results in this pure black color. This black divine power is actually this much more powerful than Sovereign power!” Linley hadn’t expected this either.
Prior to this, for Linley, using the fusion of three types of divine power had been comparable to using Sovereign power. But for example, although it was comparable to when Linley used Destruction-type Sovereign power, it was still significantly weaker than when Linley used earth-type Sovereign power.
As Linley saw it, the four-way fusion would result in a tenfold increase in power, making it so that it would only be a few times stronger than when he used earth-type Sovereign power.
But now that he had actually fused four types of divine power, a remarkable, unique transformation had occurred. Amazingly, it had transformed into this pure black color, and Linley could clearly sense how powerful this black energy was.
Despite the passage of countless years, no person had ever possessed four divine bodies and still successfully undergone a soul mutation!
Linley had succeeded, and thus he was able to fuse four types of divine power.
Earth, fire, water, wind; the fusion of these four types of divine power gave birth to this ‘black divine power’. And it was so powerful as to make Linley tremble.
The azure-golden scales covering Linley’s body began to be covered with fine lines of black energy. Even his spikes were being covered. The black lines criss-crossed his draconic scales, his spikes, his draconic tail, and even dug deep into his body. Anyone looking at Linley would feel as though Linley’s entire body was covered with a large amount of black runes.
The draconic scales on Linley’s body were shuddering. Because the frequency of the shuddering was very high, they emitted a rumbling sound, causing even spatial ripples to occur.
“How could this black divine power have such a bizarre effect?” Although his entire body was wracked with pain, Linley, having trained to the peak of power, was able to maintain complete clarity of thought. He could clearly sense that every part of his entire body was transforming. His muscles were strengthening at an astonishing rate, and his bones were rising in hardness repeatedly.
This terrifying rate of advancement caused even Linley to be terrified.
“According to legend, the ancestor of my Azure Dragon clan, the ‘Azure Dragon’, was able to use Sovereign power to strengthen his body, to the point where it was comparable to a Sovereign artifact. Most likely, this was because water-type Sovereign power and his own water-type divine beast body was a perfect match. As for the fusion of these four types of divine power, they too are strengthening my body. This sort of strengthening feels similar to when one uses divine power to nurture a divine artifact.”
Linley knew a few simple ways by which one could strengthen one’s body.
The fundamental underpinning of strengthening one’s body was simply to allow one’s body to constantly absorb energy and constantly grow strong. But although this was easy to describe, the amount of energy needed was tremendous. How could one completely absorb it? This was difficult. This was partially related to innate abilities; for example, divine beasts like Godeater Rats and Azure Dragons all had their own ways to strengthen their bodies.
Clearly, this fusion of four types of divine power also had the special effect of strengthening one’s body.
When cultivating a divine artifact, what one actually did was to constantly absorb divine power into the artifact, slowly making it harder and sharper. At the same time, one would infuse it with some spiritual energy, so as to slowly give it sentience.
“Eh?” Linley sent his divine sense into his body. He discovered that beneath his skin, a special change was beginning to occur. The same was true for his draconic scales.
“It seems as though this strengthening process should take a fairly long period of time.”
Linley understood that actually, this strengthening process could be completely guided by the strength of his spiritual energy. If, however, he allowed the fused divine power to strengthen his body as it pleased…what would the results be?
“Father made his breakthrough. Why hasn’t he emerged yet?” Taylor stared at the distant end of the corridor.
Generally speaking, after making a breakthrough, Linley would emerge from his study and walk into the wide, grassy expanse outside. If he were to do so, he would have to pass through this corridor. At this moment, aside from Taylor, others such as Bebe, Reynolds, and Yale were also paying attention to this corridor. Even Delia, along with her daughter ‘Sasha’, was staring at the corridor while chatting.
“Mother, can it be that Father’s breakthrough was not in relation to his divine fire clone?” Sasha said softly.
“It should be his fire clone. Your father’s other three divine clones reached the Highgod level long ago.” Delia frowned as well. “But after making a breakthrough, he should come out.”
Right at this moment…
“Delia.” A clear voice echoed in Delia’s mind.
“Linley, how are you doing?” Delia, surprised and delighted, conversed with him through divine sense.
“I have indeed made a breakthrough, but right now, I am in the process of gaining some insights into strengthening my body and am currently analyzing them. Thus…for now, I won’t come out. Don’t worry about it. As to this breakthrough, it can last anywhere from one year to a few decades, or even a century.” Linley was worried that his friends and family would be concerned, and so sent a message out through divine sense.
“Alright. Focus on your training.” Delia was actually quite happy. After all, Linley hadn’t made many improvements in the past thousand years.
Delia laughed as she looked at everyone present. “Enough, everyone. All of you, hurry up and take care of your own affairs. Linley is still training.”
“He’s still in the midst of training?” Bebe mumbled.
“I was hoping that Third Bro would come out and go on a stroll with us.” Yale stretched lazily, then sat back down, resting his legs atop the table and speaking in a casual manner.
“Do you think Third Bro is as lazy and bored as you?” Reynolds mocked.
But enough of them for now. Linley, in his room, was completely absorbed in the process of his entire body being strengthened. In addition, through his powerful spiritual energy, he was able to guide the process and direction of this strengthening. On the very first day, Linley’s body strengthened to a ridiculous amount, but as time went on, the strengthening speed slowed as well.
Still, although it slowed, that was just in comparison to the first day. In reality, each day, Linley’s body was growing stronger. If others knew how much his body was strengthening by, most likely they would stare with blank gazes.
Nearly ten years silently, soundless passed. During this period of time, Linley’s focus never wavered. He continued to focus on guiding and controlling the strengthening process, and as he did, he discovered better ways for strengthening himself. Slowly, as he tested more method, he managed to develop a body-strengthening method that was suitable for fused divine power and suited for his body.
In the mortal world, there were all sorts of battle-qi manuals.
But in the world of Deities, Deities only focused on analyzing the fundamental underpinnings; the Elemental Laws and the Natural Edicts. Those so-called ‘manuals’, to them, were nothing more than jokes. For example, Linley could come up with any sort of battle-qi manual he wanted!
Everyone understood this!
Even when it came to strengthening the body, there was no such thing as a secret manual. There were only techniques that were suited to one’s self. Only personalized, customized techniques were the best. Different bodies and lineages, different types of energy…they all had matching, effective training methods.
The method that was effective for the Azure Dragon wouldn’t necessarily be effective for Linley. After all, the energy within Linley’s body was this ‘black divine power’, formed from four different types of fused divine power, which had never before been seen since the creation of the universe.
“I’ve more or less mastered this process.”
Linley stood up.
At this moment in time, Linley’s body was covered with a layer of inky green scales. Actually, given the strengthening process of the black divine power, Linley’s draconic scales should be black in color. However, Linley’s original draconic scales were azure-golden, and so, after this transformation, they had become this inky green color. Linley’s draconic scales had become even denser and even more tightly clustered together.
If one drew close to Linley, one would discover…
That atop Linley’s draconic scales, there was an exceedingly thin membrane of translucent muscles. These muscles were created by the flesh beneath Linley’s skin, after Linley’s draconic scales had been strengthened by his ‘black divine power’. However, the muscles were so thin as to be translucent. If one was slightly farther away, one wouldn’t be able to notice them at all.
As for the spikes covering Linley’s forehead, spine, elbows, and knees…they could be said to have undergone the most dramatic changes.
This was because these spikes, incomparably sharp and hard to begin with, after the strengthening process, had become completely black! In addition, they had slightly shrunk just a little bit in size.
Linley’s draconic claws…previously, his fingernails had been both long and sharp. They were retracted now. In Dragonform, Linley’s hands were now completely black, and his fingernails just appeared a bit sharp. That was it.
The results of this strengthening process made it appear so that, from the outside, the savagery of the Dragonform had been somewhat reduced.
However, although the appearance was reduced in savagery, the power had increased greatly. The power of his body, compared to before, was much more than a hundred times or even a thousand times stronger!
“However, the greatest increase in power was still this…”
Smiling, Linley stretched out his right hand. Out of nowhere, a black longsword suddenly appeared. This was his godspark weapon. Mirage!
Divine power could be used to nurture a divine artifact. According to legend, Sovereign artifacts were thus formed by Sovereigns nurturing an artifact with Sovereign power. But of course, the creation of a Sovereign artifact also required a Sovereign to infuse it with his Will, which was why they reached such terrifying levels of power.
As for this godspark weapon, ‘Mirage’, it was made from incredibly powerful materials to begin with.
Most likely, even most Sovereign artifacts, in terms of material quality, were inferior to this godspark weapon. Over the past ten years, Mirage had been constantly nurtured by that black divine power, and it had constantly transformed as well. However, the amount of time needed for a divine artifact to be nurtured was very long.
“Mirage has yet to reach its limit. However, even now, I imagine Mirage isn’t the slightest bit weaker than any Sovereign weapon.” Linley had seen Sovereign artifacts before, which was why he was able to make this judgment.
Forget about Mirage; Linley felt that even his Dragonformed body should be close to Sovereign artifacts in power.
“I truly didn’t imagine that a four-way fusion of divine power would have this sort of effect.” Linley willed his draconic scales to disappear into his body, and then formed a set of inky-jade robes out of energy. Actually, after this strengthening process, Linley’s skin and muscles alone were now far stronger than the draconic scales had been in the past, to say nothing of his current Dragonform.
“So four types of divine power, when fused, has this sort of effect. It makes sense…our ancestor, the Azure Dragon, was able to do this. It is only normal that I am also able to strengthen my body.”
Linley stretched out his right hand. With but a thought…
“Whooosh!” His hand transformed into a blade, and with a blade-chop, Linley casually swiped his arm forward in accordance with the principles of the ‘Dimensional Decapitator’.
“Rumble…” An enormous tear in space occurred.
“After this strengthening process, the power of my body has risen to a terrifying level. Even if I use simple profound mysteries, the power of my attacks is tremendous.” Linley finally was able to sense Beirut’s advantage for himself! His base power was simply too formidable. Even without needing to use too many profound mysteries, he was still powerful enough to be invincible.
Smiling, Linley pushed open the door to the hall.
Within Linley’s estate.
Linley walked out of the corridor, then stared towards the empty earth outside. Only ten or so figures were there.
Wharton, who was chatting casually with others, accidentally noticed Linley from the corner of his eyes. He immediately called out in surprised delight, “Big Bro.” At the same time, he hurriedly ran over. Wharton’s call attracted the attention of many people, and they all immediately ran over to watch, while at the same time engage in an excited chorus of shouts and cries. This caused the people in other rooms or even outside to be attracted over as well.
“Linley.” Delia, delighted, walked over.
“Haha, there should now be no further need for all five of my divine clones to remain in training.” Linley laughed calmly. This strengthening process didn’t just impact Linley’s original body; even his other four divine clones had been strengthened. Actually, although his other four divine clones were unable to Dragonform, their bodies were still incredibly powerful now.
Delia’s eyes couldn’t help but light up. If Linley didn’t stay in meditation, that meant he would have time to accompany her.
“Third Bro, I wanted to go out for a stroll for some time now. We’ve been waiting for you.” Yale chortled as he hugged his wife.
“Right. But Boss, you’ve always been training.” Bebe teased intentionally as well.
Linley began to laugh. “Haha, fine, then I’ll accompany you all on a stroll. However, to tell the truth, there are many places in the Infernal Realm that I haven’t been to. The Infernal Realm has quite a few unique places, you know. Let’s go…let’s wander throughout the entire Infernal Realm, and then go visit the material planes, one by one.”
After having reached the pinnacle of power for Deities, Linley was no longer under any pressure. He was more than happy to accompany his family in wandering the Infernal Realm and the various material planes.