Book 20, The Crown’s Riddle – Chapter 35, Coercion
The Okerlund Plane. Fogdeep continent’s eastern regions. Within the Wildfang Mountains. Dunnington’s forces from the Infernal Realm were stationed here.
Deep within the Wildfang Mountains, multiple palaces suddenly appeared overnight. Deep within one of the palaces, within a dark, gloomy hall that was lit up by flickering green fire light, there was a single person seated quietly. At this moment, someone walked into the main hall.
“Milord, I’ve already led those five hundred Highgods to do a thorough search of the entire Beastgod continent. We didn’t find even a trace of the red caltrop diamond though.” A muscular, tall, cyan-haired man dressed in a tunic spoke resignedly. As he spoke, he had a sour grimace on his face.
“The Fogdeep continent…I used up Sovereign’s Might and even searched underground, but found nothing.”
Dunnington, covered in a dark green robe, had an unpleasant look on his face. “Neither of these two continents holds it. How about this. You lead that group to the seas to continue searching carefully! Don’t just search deep in watery regions of the seas; even the mud and earth of the seabed needs to be searched thoroughly, until you reach the ends of the plane.”
“Yes, milord.” The cyan-haired man nodded, but by the looks of it, he was still acting in a fairly casual way before Dunnington.
“Milord…we don’t have that many forces. As I see it, quite a few people have already come, and the other forces have already covered the entire Okerlund Plane. When you agreed to help the Chief Sovereign of Destruction…when you brought us over, you should’ve brought some more soldiers.” The cyan-haired man said, worried.
“You worry about your matters. You don’t need to worry about these affairs.” Dunnington frowned.
“Yes.” The cyan-haired man, seeing that Dunnington was unhappy, immediately left, not daring to say anything else.
Dunnington sat there quietly, but he was quite frustrated as well. Upon arriving in the Okerlund Plane, he knew that the situation was terrible! Because there were simply too many Paragons who had come on this trip. How few Paragons did the countless planes of the universe hold? And yet, including Dunnington, nine had come to the Okerlund Plane!
Although there were twenty or thirty people ‘suspected’ of being Paragons…
Quite a few were hidden in remote areas or even hidden within material planes. Not even Sovereigns were able to locate those Paragons. Normally, it would be very rare for two Paragons to meet each other. Three Paragons being in one place was virtually inconceivable. Nine Paragons…it was only because so many Sovereigns were all interested in this matter, that so many Paragons had appeared in one place.
“With so many Paragons…once the red caltrop diamond appears, how could it be easy to acquire?” Dunnington secretly shook his head.
“Dunnington?” A voice suddenly rang out in his mind.
“Eh? Linley?” Dunnington immediately knew who it was and he chatted back through divine sense, “Linley, we haven’t met each other since you became a Paragon, right?”
“I just reached this level recently.” Linley laughed, then asked, “Dunnington, did you find anything out about the red caltrop diamond?”
“Nothing. Nothing at all. How about you?” Dunnington asked.
These two supreme Deities were thousands of kilometers away, but were able to chat casually through their divine senses.
“Me? You have eight hundred Highgods under your command but weren’t able to find it. Bebe and I are by ourselves. How are we supposed to?” Linley laughed with pursed lips. Linley didn’t want to reveal the fact that he was a Soul Mutate.
“Linley, I don’t want to criticize you, but given your status in the Four Divine Beasts clan, it wouldn’t be too hard for you to summon a few thousand people from the clan. With a few thousand subordinates, it would be much easier for you to search the Okerlund Plane. But you just came by yourself, with Bebe…” Dunnington sighed.
If one considered Linley a Paragon, the Okerlund Plane now had nine Paragons present.
But aside from the Paragons themselves, every single force had brought a large group of Highgods, generally at least a thousand or more.
“To lead forces from the Four Divine Beasts clan to the teleportation array would take too long. Those ordinary Highgods also fly much slower than you and me! If I did that, it would probably take me quite a few extra months to get here. During those months, I imagine the rest of you would’ve already found the red caltrop diamond. Of course I wasn’t going to wait, so I led Bebe and came.” Linley laughed.
Dunnington now understood.
The others had ordered for soldiers stationed around the teleportation arrays to assist them, and so hadn’t taken much time at all.
“Enough about that. Dunnington, do you think Brodie actually, truly left the red caltrop diamond in this Okerlund Plane?” Linley asked.
“I really am a bit suspicious, given that Brodie isn’t here in this plane.” Dunnington said. “Now, I want to find the Planar Overseer, but…I wasn’t able to. I imagine that the Planar Overseer should have been taken away by the Paragon of Fire, Ballmer [Ba’mo]. That’s because he was the first to arrive at the Okerlund Plane.” Dunnington said.
Quite a bit of information regarding Ballmer came to Linley’s mind.
“Dunnington, the information which the Planar Overseer has is extremely important! How about…we join forces and coerce Ballmer to hand over the Planar Overseer. What do you say?” Linley advised.
A smile appeared on Dunnington’s face. “Good idea. I’m not confident in being able to act against Ballmer by myself…but if we join forces and pincer attack him, even if Ballmer doesn’t die, he’ll still suffer quite a bit. It wouldn’t be hard for us to exile him. I imagine that Ballmer wouldn’t want to suffer like that for no reason.”
“Fine, then. When should we join forces and go find Ballmer?”
Linley and Dunnington discussed this matter for quite some time.
Fogdeep continent. The Biers [Pi’er’si] Mountains.
The Biers Mountains were more than ten thousand kilometers long and hundreds of kilometers wide. They were like a sharp knife that just so happened to separate the Moulin Empire from the Bluemaple Empire. However, in the center of the Biers Mountains, there was an extremely deep gorge known as ‘Divine Punishment’. This gorge actually pierced through the entire Biers Mountains.
The people of the two Empires could pass through to the other side through this gorge.
The reason why this place was known as the ‘Divine Punishment Gorge’ was because, according to legend…two gods had battled here, and then, with one astonishing blade chop, carved a path through the entire mountain range, leaving behind this hundred-kilometers-long Divine Punishment Gorge.
But because the gorge connected these two empires, the two empires both set down many soldiers on each side. These two armies would often engage in battles over various problems!
The earth was trembling. Hoofsteps rang out unabated. Under the commands of the military officers, the two armies prepared their formations as they stared at each other.
Because these two empires didn’t share any other borders…this gorge was the only place where they did battle. They would even fight over the smallest of problems. The reason they did this was because both empires had subconsciously come to view the battles within the gorge as a place to train their armies. Only soldiers who had seen blood would truly be able to fight.
Every few months or every few years, there would be a major battle. Each time, tens of thousands of casualties would result. This was very normal.
After all, these two empires, even in the vast Fogdeep continent, were two fairly powerful empires, with populations that were in the tens of billions.
“Vanguard battalions, advance!”
A warrior dressed in golden armor was seated high up on the back of a completely black serpent. He gave the order.
The commanding generals of both armies both understood that there was no way the two empires would actually, truly fight each other. This was just a way for them to train their soldiers. But precisely because they wanted to train their soldiers…it made it so that over the course of the struggles, they would swear to surpass the enemy’s side.
Immediately, the two military formations began to wildly charge against each other.
“Swoosh!” “Swoosh!” Arrows filled the skies as the vanguards of each army burst towards each other in a flood. Blood immediately began to fly everywhere, and some of the young ‘chicklets’ who were experiencing war for the first time were so terrified that their legs went soft. Life…death…things were so simple on the battlefield. Only someone who experienced a life-and-death battle would become a true soldier!
Right at this moment…
Two figures appeared, flashing through the skies.
“Eh?” The supreme experts of the two armies all raised their heads, frowning in confusion. “Saints?”
“Linley, what are you sighing for?” It was Linley and Dunnington. They flew through the air, and Linley laughed as he lowered his head to glance at the battle going on within the gorge. “When I see these vicious battles, I think back to my home, the Yulan continent. However, the battles that go on here at the Fogdeep continent are clearly on a much larger scale than the wars of my Yulan continent, be in in terms of the numbers of soldiers or the numbers of experts.”
“Material planes…” Dunnington said calmly, “I was born and grew up in the Infernal Realm. I don’t know too much about these material planes.”
“Material planes are still quite interesting.” Linley laughed calmly. “Only, the Okerlund Plane is simply too populated.”
A continent that stretched to a circumference of a hundred million kilometers.
And the Yulan continent? It was, what, just thirty thousand kilometers or so. How vast the difference was!
As for the difference in population, it was perhaps a thousandth, or a ten-thousandth, of this continent’s. Naturally, the number of Saints in the Yulan continent was much lower as well. These two continents even had quite a few Deities.
“Ballmer’s residence is up ahead.” Linley laughed calmly.
“Right. Let me speak with Ballmer first.” Dunnington and Linley halted there in midair. Below them, not too far away, were a series of fiery red palaces.
Dunnington immediately spread out his divine sense to negotiate with Ballmer.
“Dunnington!” The Paragon of Fire within a palace, Ballmer, immediately responded.
“Yours was the first group to enter the Okerlund Plane. The Planar Overseer should be with you, yes? We are all here for the red caltrop diamond. Everyone needs to compete fairly. You had best hand over the Planar Overseer. It wouldn’t be good for you to keep the information regarding Brodie to yourself.” Dunnington urged.
The only response to Dunnington’s words was a single, cold snort.
Dunnington’s face sank.
“Linley is next to me. We all hope that you will hand over the Planar Overseer.” Dunnington then said.
“Linley?” Ballmer sent back a loud laugh. “How laughable. You aren’t able to find the Planar Overseer, so you come searching for me? Let me tell you this; when I arrived at the Okerlund Plane, I didn’t see the Planar Overseer anywhere. Most likely, the Planar Overseer is somewhere else in the Okerlund Plane.”
The wind howled in the air above the Biers Mountains. Two figures stood tall amidst the wind. Dunnington gave Linley a glance.
“He refuses to admit it?” Linley laughed calmly.
“Right.” Dunnington laughed as well.
“I thought Ballmer was quite astute, but it seems…” Linley laughed, and Dunnington laughed as well.
The two had planned this out long ago.
If words wouldn’t work, then they would move to actions!
“Watch this.” Linley stretched his hand out, and a black sword appeared within it. With but a thought, he made it turn translucent.
Linley stared coldly downwards, then launched a sword attack. A terrifying, enormous azure sword light howled downwards, and the space below twisted, then tore apart like paper. The space and stones below were transformed into nothingness, and the Highgods within the palaces all fled in every direction in terror.
It was a spatial tempest!
What would’ve been a terrifying sword blow in the Infernal Realm had transformed into a terrifying spatial tempest here in a material plane.
Only a long time later did space return to normal.
But the mountains below Linley had completely vanished. The only thing remaining was a fathomlessly deep gorge.
Countless figures flew into the skies, with the leader being a cyan-robed, fiery-haired man. His eyes were filled with rage, and he stared angrily at the distant Linley and Dunnington. “Linley, why did you destroy my estate for no reason?”
Dunnington just began to laugh. “Why? Don’t you know?”
“Stop playing dumb.” Linley laughed calmly.
Although there were more than a thousand Highgods hovering there in the air, they didn’t dare to interfere. They just quietly watched as this scene unfolded. After all…it was three ‘Paragons’ speaking. Any of the three could effortlessly butcher them all.
“Hand over the Planar Overseer.” Linley said.
“Otherwise…well. You know.” Dunnington continued.
Ballmer’s face was red, and a fiery light flickered in his eyes.
“I told you. The Planar Overseer isn’t here!” Ballmer shouted angrily.
“More lies.” Dunnington shook his head and sighed. “Linley, looks like we have no other options.”
“We really don’t.” Linley laughed, and then, quite casually, he said, “Let’s act!”