Book 20, The Crown’s Riddle – Chapter 37, Infiltration
The Biers Mountains. In the air above the sea of flame which hung over the Divine Punishment Gorge. After the Paragon of Fire, Ballmer, departed, the other seven Paragons and Linley all continued to quietly hover there above the sea of fire. After hearing Ballmer’s information, they all began to ponder.
“Brodie’s message stated that the red caltrop diamond is still in the Okerlund Plane.” Linley frowned as he pondered. “Brodie, after having been surrounded by so many experts of the Infernal Realm, should know by now how important that red caltrop diamond is. Perhaps…he has truly decided to give up the red caltrop diamond, in exchange for a peaceful life.”
Before being surrounded by so many experts, Brodie might perhaps have been unaware as to just how hot to handle this red caltrop diamond was.
But after that and the loss of a divine clone, Brodie should’ve begun to wonder as to whether or not he should have continued to hold the red caltrop diamond! Although his power increased tremendously while holding it, it also caused countless experts to descend upon and pursue him.
“Everyone, you all know the message now. What do you all think? Is the red caltrop diamond still in the Okerlund Plane?” The Paragon of Light, Clementine, said with a smile.
“Hmph. If Brodie is playing a trick and has the desire to be greedy and keep the Overgod talisman on his own, he would be courting death.” The Paragon of Earth, that four meter tall figure, said in a cold voice.
“If we believe that the red caltrop diamond isn’t here, we might as well leave this plane.” The Paragon of Wind, Bayer, let out a snicker. He glanced at the surrounding people. “Myself, I’ll be staying here. Everyone…I won’t accompany you here any longer. I’ll go back now.” A wind blew past, and Bayer disappeared from everyone’s field of vision.
In a material plane, all Paragons were able to move at a speed that seemed akin to the speed of the Sovereigns in the Higher Planes.
“I won’t stay here any longer either.” Clementine also disappeared, transforming into a ray of light.
And then, all of the Highgod Paragons left, leaving behind only Linley and Dunnington.
“Linley, are you going to leave the Okerlund Plane or stay?” Dunnington asked.
“There’s no rush. Perhaps the red caltrop diamond is still in the Okerlund Plane.” Linley said with a slight frown, but then he chuckled. “Dunnington, let’s compete and see who will be the one to acquire the red caltrop diamond…mm, let’s separate for now then.”
“You don’t have as many supporters as I do. If someone is to get it, it will be me.” Dunnington began to laugh as well.
And then, Linley and Dunnington transformed into two blurs as they flew towards different directions.
Originally, after having thoroughly scoured the entire Okerlund Plane, Linley felt that there was a 90% chance that the red caltrop diamond truly might have departed the Okerlund Plane. The Okerlund Plane was nothing more than a transit location for Brodie! As for that remaining 10% chance…that was just because Linley wasn’t willing to just leave like this.
However, after having heard this message, Linley’s thoughts had changed.
Given what Brodie had said, the red caltrop diamond might truly be still in the Okerlund Plane.
The eastern part of the Okerlund Plane. The Moulin Empire. Within that estate at the peak of Mount Liangya.
“Boss, what sort of tricks do you think Brodie employed?” Bebe, after listening to what Linley had to say, couldn’t help but frown as he spoke.
“The red caltrop diamond is such a precious treasure that he naturally wouldn’t want to let us acquire it so easily!” Linley said with a frown, “But I’ve already completely searched the entire Okerlund Plane. There is no red caltrop diamond at all. Then…there’s only one possibility.” This was the possibility that frustrated Linley the most.
“My divine sense can easily search the heavens, but it is hard for someone to use divine sense to search inside a person’s body. Thus…the red caltrop diamond is perhaps hidden within the body of some sort of living creature!” Linley frowned.
It was extremely hard for one to send divine sense deep into the body of any living creature with a spirit.
For example, divine artifacts; divine artifacts had their own form of a spirit.
It was impossible for even Linley to send his spiritual energy into a divine artifact and search for something inside of it.
For example, Bebe’s godspark weapon; he had hidden the interspatial ring within the godspark weapon, and even Sovereigns wouldn’t be able to see through it to find the interspatial ring within. But of course, it was virtually impossible to hide a ring within a divine artifact. After all, in the forging and refining process for the divine artifact, any interspatial ring would have been destroyed long ago.
Only someone like Bebe, who completely relied on his own will in creating a godspark weapon, would be able to safely secrete an interspatial ring within it.
Aside from divine artifacts, other living creatures also possessed souls.
Every single living creature had a soul which would repel the spiritual energy of any invading forces! Because some souls were strong while others were weak, the strength of the resistance would vary as well.
Some living creatures were simply too powerful and so couldn’t be invaded at all.
For example, Linley!
Generally speaking, Paragons might be able to chat with Linley through divine sense, but they definitely wouldn’t be able to extend their divine senses into Linley’s body and investigate the secrets it held.
But for weaker people, such as mortals…
If a Deity wanted to investigate a mortal, he would only have to just focus his spiritual energy slightly, and thus would be able to sense into the mortal’s body. This, however, still required concentration and focus. One couldn’t use too much spiritual energy, as if one did, the mortal’s fragile soul might shatter and disperse. But if the spiritual energy was too weak…then it might not be able to go in at all.
Thus, it was hard to investigate into someone’s body.
As for searching one’s soul, that was even harder!
When Delia had been in a coma, Linley hadn’t dared to send his spiritual energy into her to investigate at all. He was afraid that if he wasn’t careful, he would shatter her soul.
“The Okerlund Plane is simply too vast. I imagine that Brodie chose this plane precisely because he heard of how populated it is.” Linley said with a frown. “Even for me, to search the body of a human being is difficult enough that I can’t investigate a few thousand people at once. I have to be very careful and very patient! At most, I can probably only search a thousand people at once.”
This didn’t have anything to do with how strong one’s spiritual energy was; rather, what mattered was one’s ability to multitask carefully, because each inspection had to be very careful.
The spiritual energy couldn’t be too strong or too weak!
“The Okerlund Plane…although the population is far smaller than the Infernal Realm’s, there are still nearly eight quadrillion people.” Linley said with a frown.
This sum was simply too enormous.
There was nothing that could be done. The Okerlund Plane’s two major continents each had a circumference of over a hundred million kilometers. The Yulan continent’s circumference was just twenty or thirty thousand kilometers. The difference between the area of the two was a difference of nearly a hundred million times. Even the Yulan continent had a population of billions; thus, it only made sense for the Okerlund Plane to have a population of nearly eight quadrillion.
Compared to the Infernal Realm, though…
It was just a rounding error.
“Not just humans. There are also all sorts of magical beasts of the land, of the skies, and deep in the seas. The red caltrop diamond might be stored within their bodies as well.” Linley said resignedly.
If he wanted to investigate further, it would indeed be a laborious task.
But of course, if he wanted to search quickly, that was also possible!
That was to ignore the ability of these humans and magical beasts to endure his power, and to blast his almighty divine sense out indiscriminately! The result would be that the countless humans and magical beasts with weak souls would always die. If one didn’t have to worry about the lives of the specimens being inspected, of course it would be much faster.
But the number of people who would die would be astronomical.
“To kill eight quadrillion humans for the sake of more quickly finding the red caltrops diamond, and a similarly astonishing number of magical beasts? Make this entire plane a plane of the dead?” Linley couldn’t help but shiver, just thinking about it.
Forget about using that sort of method; even if someone else dared to do it, Linley would stop them!
“Boss, the process of forging a divine artifact requires all sorts of hammering and refining. If an interspatial ring was within it, it would definitely shatter. Thus, it isn’t too likely that the red caltrop diamond was hidden within a divine artifact.” Bebe said. There were only two people in the entire universe who could do what Bebe could do.
Linley nodded. “Our only choice is to begin inspecting the bodies of the humans and beastmen.”
“Brodie. That bastard. He really picked a good plane. If he picked a small plane like the Yulan plane, with a low population, it would be much easier to search. But that bastard had to pick this Okerlund Plane.” Bebe couldn’t help but curse.
“Don’t be impatient. The other eight groups have already begun to search the bodies of the various living creatures here.” Linley laughed calmly.
As for himself, he couldn’t be bothered to go search.
Linley’s divine sense was powerful enough to stretch across the entire plane. Once the red caltrop diamond being discovered, Linley would immediately know.
“I now only lack a single talisman.” Linley lowered his head, staring at the interspatial ring in his hands. He sent his divine sense into it, easily locating that ‘crown’ within it. The pentametal crown was adorned with the nine soul pearls, and was now only lacking a ‘red caltrop diamond’ in the central setting.
Now that Linley and Bebe were in the Okerlund Plane, they didn’t have to worry about Sovereigns causing problems for them, and so Bebe had given the interspatial ring containing those two items to Linley.
“Bebe, make a trip with me.” Linley suddenly stood up.
“What are you going to do?” Bebe was startled.
“I’ve discovered that the Paragon of Light, Clementine, hasn’t just ordered his Highgod subordinates to carefully search within the bodies of all sorts of living creatures; he himself has led his forces towards the headquarters of the Radiant Temple. It seems he wishes to borrow from the power of mortal organizations in order to search for the red caltrops diamond.” A hint of a smile was on Linley’s face.
This was indeed an excellent method.
When Brodie had arrived at the Okerlund Plane, he might have often taken out the red caltrop diamond. Some mortals might thus have seen it. It was indeed possible that by relying on worldly power, they might find some hints regarding the diamond.
“He sought out the Radiant Temple. Then I will go for…the assassin’s guilds.”
Linley’s divine sense covered the entire plane. He naturally was able to easily discover many of the secrets of the Okerlund Plane.
The Okerlund Plane’s Fogdeep continent was awe-inspiringly vast. Because of how large it was, there was no way for a single empire to arise and unify it. The Fogdeep continent had more than a hundred empires alone, and duchies were as common as ox hair.
The power of some special, hidden organizations, however, surpassed that of any empire.
For example, the number one assassin’s guild of the Fogdeep continent, ‘Bloodknife’. According to legend, the number one expert who supported this assassin’s guild was someone who had reached the level of Deity. It also had hundreds of Saints as well.
Bloodknife didn’t have a central headquarter; its bases were divided into class-three, class-two, class-one, and special-class divisons.
Because the Fogdeep continent and the Beastgod continent were too vast, Bloodknife had a total of eight ‘special class’ bases, two of which were located on the Beastgod continent.
Bloodknife’s special-class base in the Mengya Mountains.
“A caltrop-shaped red diamond! Right, send the word to every single base, based on this diagram. Anyone who can provide any information regarding this red caltrop diamond will immediately be promoted to the rank of ‘core member’, and be awarded a tamed Saint-level magical beast, along with a soulbinding contract!” The number one expert of Bloodknife had already reached the Deity level. Known as ‘Elder Shadow’, this was the order he gave.
The ranking of this mission was ‘Blood-rank’.
It had been more than a hundred years since the last Blood-rank mission. Once the order went out, it was immediately conveyed to the various bases, and all of them immediately went crazy, ordering their forces, external intelligence, and even street-level hoodlums to begin searching for news about the red caltrop diamond.
However, Bloodknife’s members were all puzzled. Why would Elder Shadow so desperately want the red caltrop diamond, and even offer a tamed Saint-level magical beast as a reward?!
Within the Mengya Mountains. Inside a secluded, quiet residence.
An old man with blood-red hair and blood-red eyebrows bowed in an extremely respectful manner. “Lord Baruch, with regards to the matter of the red caltrop diamond, I’ve already notified all of the bases within the Fogdeep continent about it. As long as the red caltrop diamond has made an appearance, our organization will definitely locate it for you, milord.”
“However, our organization doesn’t have that much influence in the Beastgod continent.” The blood-haired elder said apologetically.
“You’ve done quite well already.” Linley smiled and nodded.
“Here are eleven God-level divine sparks. There is one for each of the seven Laws and four Edicts. This can be considered your reward.” Linley waved his hand, and eleven God-level divine sparks flew out.
The blood-haired elder’s eyes instantly turned red.
God-level divine sparks! To him, a Demigod, this was an absolutely wondrous treasure.
“Let me remind you that after you fuse with a divine spark, you will find it very hard to make any further breakthroughs on your own.” Linley said calmly.
“Your subordinate is willing to accept this.” The blood-haired elder said hurriedly. Upon becoming a God, he would be on a level comparable to the two formerly supreme experts of the Okerlund Empire.
“If you are able to find anything regarding the red caltrop diamond, I can give you a Highgod spark. Enough. You can leave now.” Linley said calmly.
“Yes, Lord Baruch.”
The blood-haired elder was so excited that his eyes were shining. He didn’t dare to disturb Linley any further, and he immediately departed.