Book 20, The Crown’s Riddle – Chapter 28, Toyed With
Brodie was a God to begin with. He acquired the red caltrop diamond by accident, then killed quite a few bandits, acquired a darkness-element Highgod spark, fused it, and became a Highgod. His experiences were quite limited! He had only lived in a single tribe. How much wealth had he seen?
After killing the tribe’s chief, ‘Allott’, and acquiring his interspatial ring, Brodie had instantly acquired a fortune of hundreds of millions of inkstones, which had completely stupefied him.
Just now, he was just listing an extravagant sum for negotiating purposes. He was just talking.
“There are fifty trillion inkstones and fifty drops of Destruction-type Sovereign’s Might inside this.” Linley removed an interspatial ring, smiling as he looked at Brodie. “As long as you give me the red caltrop diamond, it is yours.”
Fifty trillion inkstones, fifty drops of Sovereign’s Might?
The gazes of the surrounding Six and Seven Star Fiends grew heated. In truth, a single drop of Sovereign’s Might was worth far more than fifty trillion inkstones. Unfortunately, Brodie didn’t understand how much Sovereign’s Might was worth in terms of inkstones. He had only used inkstones before, so that was naturally what he wanted. As for Sovereign’s Might, he had only heard of it.
“Wonderful.” Brodie laughed as he looked at Linley. “You really are a Highgod Paragon. It seems my asking price was too low.”
Those surrounding Six Star Fiends, Seven Star Fiends, and guides from the Lotte tribe couldn’t help but stare at Brodie. He had asked for an astronomical sum already; could it be that this Brodie didn’t feel satisfied and wanted more?
“But I, Brodie, live up to my word. If I asked a low price, then I asked a low price.” Brodie laughed as he looked at Linley. “Lord Linley, I originally made three requests. The first one was that you have to safely escort me away from the Infernal Realm.”
“I, Linley, swear by the Overgod of Life that if you, Brodie, hand me the red caltrop diamond, I will send you safely away from the Infernal Realm.” Linley said straightforwardly.
Brodie was startled.
“Excellent.” Brodie lowered his head, looking at the interspatial ring, a pleased smile on his face. “Then Lord Linley, this interspatial ring is now yours!” As he spoke, he tossed it out.
Right at this moment…
Two rays of translucent light shot towards Brodie from behind.
“Soul attacks?” Linley’s face changed.
Highgod Paragons were fast, but they weren’t faster than soul attacks!
“The ring.” Linley flew forward.
Suddenly, an arm stretched out, grabbing Linley by the shoulder. Linley turned, only to see that it was the nearby Chegwin who had grabbed him. Linley’s gaze instantly turned cold. He stared coldly at Chegwin, then sent furiously, “Chegwin, you are looking for death.” At the same time, Linley’s shoulder vibrated, knocking Chegwin’s hand aside.
“Haha, Mr. Linley, don’t be impatient.”
Right at this moment…
A surge of terrifying, devouring force was applied to Linley’s body. Linley wanted to fly towards Brodie, but wasn’t able to move that quickly.
“This is…?” Linley turned to look. Behind Chegwin had appeared the enormous illusion of a gigantic divine beast, the Suanni Lion! Chegwin was like Dylin; his original form was that of the divine beast, ‘Suanni Lion’, and he had a third eye. Only, Linley had never cared, because although the gravitational pull of Chegwin’s innate divine ability might be strong, he wouldn’t be able to devour Linley!
But Chegwin had suddenly used Sovereign’s Might first, then used his innate divine ability, ‘Heaven Devourer’.
The power of the pull of this technique was so great that although Linley was able to resist it, he wasn’t able to move quickly.
“This…” Those Six and Seven Star Fiends were stunned. Had the Sovereign’s Emissary, Chegwin, gone stupid? He actually dared to act against a Highgod Paragon? Bebe was stunned as well…but two people didn’t hesitate; the two Seven Star Fiends Chegwin commanded.
The two Seven Star Fiends, while launching their soul attacks, also threw themselves towards Brodie.
Everyone was situated fairly close to Brodie to begin with, while Linley was tied down by Chegwin, who had used both Sovereign’s Might and his innate divine ability. In that short period of time, Brodie’s ‘interspatial ring’ fell into the hands of one of the two Seven Star Fiends; that callous, green-haired man.
The effect of the ‘Heaven Devourer’ ability wore off.
“Chegwin!” Linley, enraged, moved to grab Chegwin by the arm.
“Mr. Linley…oh, that is, ‘mighty Highgod Paragon, Lord Linley’. Please let go of me. Otherwise, my subordinates will shatter that interspatial ring.” Chegwin wasn’t nervous at all.
Linley stared coldly at Chegwin.
“I have two Sovereign artifacts. You won’t be able to kill me. At most, you will drive me into chaotic space.” Chegwin laughed calmly.
Chegwin didn’t fear Linley.
Chegwin currently had leverage over Linley. If Linley were to attack, Chegwin’s subordinates would immediately shatter the interspatial ring.
“Excellent.” Linley began to laugh from rage.
The red caltrop diamond did in fact impact Linley’s mindset. In Linley’s heart…this last talisman, the red caltrop diamond, represented the life of Linley’s grandpa. Perhaps if it was something else, he would have mercilessly driven Chegwin into chaotic space and killed those two Seven Star Fiends. But for this…he was not!
The air above the Neville Mountains. More than a hundred experts were watching as Linley released Chegwin.
“Has Chegwin gone insane? He is offending a Paragon. Can it be that Chegwin believes that in the future, the Sovereign will always be protecting him?”
“It would be impressive if a Sovereign lowered himself to help defend against a Deity even once. He can’t always do that.”
Those Six and Seven Star Fiends all believed that Chegwin had gone stupid. After all, in the Infernal Realm, virtually everyone believed that the grudges of Deities was a matter to remain between Deities. Sovereigns were lofty and far above Deities; they might occasionally intervene, but if they did so often, most likely they would be secretly criticized.
But no matter what, the interspatial ring was in Chegwin’s hands.
“Boss.” Bebe said frantically.
“It’s fine.” Linley stared coldly at the distant Chegwin, then sent mentally, “Perhaps the situation won’t be too terrible.”
“Eh?” Bebe looked at Linley, puzzled.
“Boss? What are you saying?” Bebe didn’t understand Linley’s words.
“I saw those two people suddenly attack Brodie.” Linley sent. “I was worried…but not that they would seize the ring. It was that Brodie would instantly shatter the ring. Although a soul attack is fast, an automatic response by a Deity, a clenching of the fingers, is unquestionably faster.”
Bebe nodded as well, agreeing to that.
One might not be able to dodge a soul attack, but one would still be able to react. It would be simple to crush a ring.
“But Brodie didn’t crush it. He was killed, but he still didn’t crush this ring.” Linley sent.
“Boss, are you saying…?” Bebe began to guess what the answer was.
“Actually, when I only saw Brodie and didn’t find his wife, I began to suspect…that this Brodie was nothing more than bait! Only, I had thought that perhaps Brodie separated from his wife in order to protect her. I didn’t think too much about it.” Linley looked carefully at the distant Chegwin and the other two. “But now…even at the point of death, Brodie didn’t crush the interspatial ring. And so, I truly have some suspicions about it.”
“Boss, are you saying that there is no red caltrop diamond within the interspatial ring?” Bebe sent.
“Possibly.” Linley sent back. “But it’s hard to say. If Brodie still has a surviving divine clone, then the ring shouldn’t be accessible.”
The two Seven Star Fiends serving Chegwin merged with their clones, and then offered the interspatial ring to Chegwin. Chegwin held the ring, then laughed mockingly towards Linley. “Linley, in the Planar War, you were quite incredible, but now…this treasure is mine.”
Although this was what Chegwin was saying, he felt puzzled as well. He couldn’t help but glance at the corpse of Brodie which lay in the mountain forest. “This Brodie actually didn’t crush the ring before dying.”
Chegwin’s earlier actions hadn’t been intended to acquire the interspatial ring for himself. Rather, Chegwin wanted Brodie to destroy the ring and make it so that no one could acquire it!
A drop of fresh blood fell down from Chegwin’s finger, landing atop the interspatial ring.
“If the Boss guessed accurately, then this ‘Brodie’ was just bait. He must have had other divine clones that fled, and so there’s no way to open this interspatial ring.” Bebe stared closely at it. Linley stared as well…and the surrounding hundred experts all watched as Chegwin bound it by blood.
The drop of blood fell atop the interspatial ring. Under everyone’s gaze, the blood slowly seeped into it, then was absorbed by it.
“Eh? What just happened.” Bebe was shocked.
“Strange.” Linley didn’t understand. Logically speaking, the interspatial ring shouldn’t be bindable!
Only if all of Brodie’s clones were dead would the interspatial ring be bindable by blood.
“Can it be that I guessed wrongly. Brodie was struck from behind by soul attacks and was caught off-guard, and so didn’t have time to crush the interspatial ring?” Linley frowned.
Chegwin laughed smugly towards Linley. “Linley, I didn’t expect it either. This interspatial ring actually fell into my hands. And I was actually able to bind it with blood…but unfortunately, this interspatial ring is mine now. Even if you drive me into chaotic space, I will take it with me. The Sovereign will definitely save me…and your actions will make it so that the Sovereign has a reason to kill you.”
Linley’s face sank.
“Haha…are you very angry, very enraged? Too bad. It’s useless.” Chegwin was very smug, very happy!
“Aren’t you very powerful? What, you don’t dare attack now?” Chegwin laughed jubilantly.
He had two protective Sovereign artifacts. Even Linley wasn’t able to kill him.
“Chegwin, you are formidable.” Linley was very calm. “I haven’t personally seen the red caltrop diamond. Can you take it out to let us see it?”
“Of course I can!” Chegwin’s laughter became positively evil. “Even if I hold the red caltrop diamond on my hand, would you be able to take it from me?” Chegwin wasn’t Brodie; there was no way he would be killed via ambush. In addition, with but a thought, Chegwin could store the already bound interspatial ring into his body.
Bebe stared coldly at Chegwin.
“Everyone.” Chegwin glanced at the surrounding people. He wanted to make it so that this surrounding group of people would spread the word of how he had held down Linley today. “This red caltrop diamond, according to legend, is an Overgod talisman. But of course, it’s uncertain as to whether it is real or not. Since Mr. Linley wishes to see it, I’ll satisfy his wish.”
As he spoke, Chegwin inserted his divine sense into the interspatial ring.
Chegwin’s smile bloomed onto his face as the red caltrop diamond suddenly appeared in his hands. Chegwin smiled as he looked at everyone. “This is the red caltrop diamond! Mr. Linley, have you seen it clearly?” Chegwin smirked towards Linley.
“It really is the red caltrop diamond.” Bebe was shocked.
Linley frowned, but he immediately spread out his divine sense…and then a hint of a smile appeared on his lips. “Chegwin, the legendary red caltrop diamond possesses the power to make a Highgod who fused a divine spark to defeat a Six Star Fiend. Have you discovered some particular power in your red caltrop diamond?”
Chegwin was stunned.
In the midst of his joy, he hadn’t thought about this at all. And now, he too realized…that this red caltrop diamond didn’t contain any unique energy at all.
“Impossible. This came from Brodie’s interspatial ring. It is definitely real.” Chegwin didn’t want to believe it.
“Hmph. There are far too many fake items like this. Brodie’s counterfeiting abilities were mediocre; just by checking it with divine sense, one can discover hints that it was manmade.” Linley laughed calmly.
“Haha, Linley, stop talking rubbish. You weren’t able to get it, so you want to trick me? Nobody has ever seen this red caltrop diamond. Who knows if it is real or not? Perhaps this red caltrop diamond’s unique energy needs a special method to guide it out.” Chegwin said confidently. “In addition, this is an Overgod talisman. One thing is for certain; Overgod talismans are indestructible. Watch; see how tough it is….”
As he spoke, he applied a bit of force to it with his finger. He was just putting on a show, and didn’t actually use much strength.
The fragile ‘red caltrop diamond’ shattered at that slight touch! It transformed into countless gemstone shards, falling to the ground.
“This…” Chegwin was instantly stupefied, and he stared with round eyes.
The hundred surrounding experts were all abuzz. They, too, were stunned. So the ‘Brodie’ they had surrounded and chased for so many years had actually produced a fake ‘red caltrop diamond’.
“It is actually fake!”
“Can it be that there was no such treasure to begin with?”
“Lord Chegwin did all that for nothing.”
These experts were all chatting amongst themselves. As they saw it, the news that the red caltrop diamond was fake was even more interesting than it would have been if it were real! Even if it was real, they wouldn’t have been able to get it! But for it to have been fake…this was just priceless!
Linley gave Chegwin a cold glance, then he turned to look at the round-faced youth by his side. He sent, “Do you know how many divine clones this Brodie had?”
“Although Brodie hid his strength, I am certain that he definitely had more than one divine clone.” The round-faced youth sent with certainty.
Linley nodded slightly. He glanced at the corpse of Brodie on the ground. Linley had already noticed via divine sense that this Brodie only had a single divine spark in his corpse. “Brodie has at least another divine clone somewhere else. In addition, it seems as though he intentionally did not destroy the interspatial ring before dying. This was because this interspatial ring was to be left by him to fool everyone here.”
Linley understood that most likely, Brodie had never bound this interspatial ring by blood!
That was the only explanation for why Chegwin was able to bind the ring with blood after the death of Brodie’s divine clone.
“Brodie played an entire group of supreme experts for fools.” Linley glanced at Brodie’s corpse below. “And then he left behind an interspatial ring with a fake red caltrop diamond inside. Clearly…he wanted to use this method to mock this entire group. For a Highgod who fused with a divine spark to toy with so many people…impressively vicious.”
Linley sighed internally.
“It seems as though Brodie wasn’t quite willing to give up his red caltrop diamond treasure.” Linley now completely understood what Brodie had been thinking.
This divine clone of his was nothing more than bait to attract the attention of many people. Most likely, years ago, when he made a return trip to the tribe, the goal was to draw these people over.
“Most likely, Brodie’s original body has taken the red caltrop diamond and his wife to flee somewhere else long ago.” Linley shook his head.
Still, Linley could accept this outcome.
If the red caltrop diamond had fallen into the hands of the Chief Sovereign of Light, Linley would never have access to it. But for it to be in Brodie’s hands…meant there was still hope.
“Haha…” Chegwin began to laugh from rage. He lowered his head to look at Brodie’s corpse. “I didn’t expect that I, Chegwin, would actually be tricked by you, a Highgod who used a divine spark.” Chegwin was no fool either. Upon learning that the red caltrop diamond was fake, he immediately extrapolated quite a few things.
Quite a few surrounding experts looked at Chegwin.
For the sake of this red caltrop diamond, Chegwin had thoroughly offended Linley! Just now, he even satirized and arrogantly mocked Linley in a smug manner. But after finding out that diamond was fake…he had lost tremendous face. Quite a few experts had secretly used the scryer recording technique to record it down.
“Let’s go.” Linley didn’t want to stay here.
“This Brodie really is crazy.” Bebe glanced at Brodie’s corpse. He had looked down on Brodie, but now…Bebe actually felt that this Brodie had a bit of ability.