Book 20, The Crown’s Riddle – Chapter 42, Linley’s Terrifying Strength
Linley stared coldly at Clementine.
Despite being faced with a group of eight experts who were attacking him, Clementine was still all smiles.
“If you want this red caltrop diamond, we can discuss it.” Clementine said with a laugh. “However, I must tell you, I have already informed the Chief Sovereign of Light that I have it. If you do this, you will be offending the Chief Sovereign. Consider this carefully.”
“What a joke.” Dunnington laughed coldly. “Offend the Chief Sovereign of Light? Everyone competed for the red caltrop diamond fairly. If just by fighting over it, the Chief Sovereign of Light will be offended, then you taking it for yourself will be offending the Chief Sovereign of Destruction, the Chief Sovereign of Life, and the other Chief Sovereigns!” Which of these Paragons didn’t have a powerful backer?
Perhaps only Linley was here on his own.
Actually, as the other Paragons viewed it, behind Linley was the Chief Sovereign of Destruction of the Infernal Realm.
“Stop wasting time.” Bayer laughed coldly.
Clementine’s face sank. He swept the eight with his gaze, then laughed coldly. “Fine. You want this red caltrop diamond, right? However, how will the eight of you divide it up? I am quite interested in this.”
“Don’t worry about that.” Dunnington’s face sank.
“Everyone, prepare to attack.” Linley said.
Clementine’s face instantly turned cold. He suddenly swung his hand and threw the interspatial ring out, using so much force that it transformed into a blur and flew into the horizon.
“Did he really hand it over?” Linley was startled. This was beyond his expectations. “Or perhaps…the interspatial ring he threw out was fake?” Linley was suspicious, but despite that, he would still go check it out!”
“The red caltrop diamond!”
The eight, Linley included, all charged together, but Linley’s divine sense was activated at all times, and so he clearly noticed that Clementine suddenly charged at high speed towards the Fogdeep continent.
A deep voice rang out. “This interspatial ring isn’t necessarily real. Everyone, don’t let Clementine escape. Let’s stop him first.”
But although they said that, who would actually go stop him?
If someone went to stop him, the others would definitely acquire the interspatial ring. After all…Linley’s group of eight wasn’t truly a cohesive group. Everyone wanted to acquire the red caltrop diamond. This made it so that although everyone knew that Clementine was fleeing, nobody went to stop him.
Everyone went to try and acquire the interspatial ring which Clementine had thrown out.
The closest and fastest were Linley and Bayer. They charged to the front and were about to acquire the interspatial ring. Up till now, Linley still had yet to reveal his true strength.
“Swoosh!” A surge of terrifyingly powerful energy swept towards Linley, and Linley’s speed couldn’t help but slow down.
“Hmph.” Linley willed it, and with a ‘whap’, behind Linley, a two meter long metallic, whip-like draconic tail suddenly emerged. After the transformation, Linley’s draconic tail and scales were now an inky jade color. Under Linley’s control, that draconic tail suddenly extended to nearly four meters long, and as it whipped out…
“Swoosh!” Space was cut through like parchment by a knife, and a very neat spatial rift was created.
“Bang!” Bayer wasn’t able to dodge in time. Struck by the draconic tail, he was knocked flying. Not just him; even the Paragon chasing behind them, ‘Nanessa’, was also knocked aside by Linley’s draconic tail.
Linley stretched his hand over the interspatial ring, and in the same instant, sent a drop of blood into it.
“The interspatial ring…the red caltrop diamond…” Linley couldn’t help but tremble from excitement.
“Everyone, join forces and attack Linley.” Bayer instantly sent to the other Paragons.
Linley’s divine sense instantly swept through the interspatial ring. The insides of it were completely empty; forget about the red caltrop diamond, there wasn’t even a rock inside. Linley’s heart sank, and a surge of rage began to build in his chest. “So this Clementine really wasn’t willing to hand over the red caltrop diamond.”
The other Paragons were preparing to attack Linley.
“This ring is fake!” Linley sent furiously to the others. “We’ve been swindled by Clementine!”
The faces of the other seven Paragons changed dramatically. They all had thought of this possibility, but when it really played out, all of them grew furious. Eight Paragons had been deceived at one go. How could they not be enraged?
Everyone had thought of this possibility, and someone had even spoken out to urge them to block Clementine.
But…everyone wanted someone else to do the blocking, while they would go seize the interspatial ring.
Their disunity made it so that Clementine was now able to pull away from them.
“Capture him!” The Paragon of Earth, the big fellow who was four meters tall, bellowed furiously.
The eight, Linley included, charged straight for Clementine.
“Haha, only now did you want to try and capture me? Haha, too late.” Clementine’s voice. It echoed within the minds of Dunnington, Ballmer, Linley, and the rest of the eight. “It really is as I expected; this is the result of your disunity. I just played a simple trick, and all of you were fooled.”
Dunnington, Bayer, and the others had ugly looks on their faces.
Actually, everyone realized that the ring was probably fake, but none of them could resist fighting over it.
“To capture him now is difficult.” A cold voice rang out in the minds of Linley and the others. The speaker was the Paragon of Lightning, Nanessa. “Although we only spent a few moments trying to acquire that interspatial ring, Clementine has already flown more than a hundred thousand kilometers away. Of the eight of us, only four of us are as fast as Clementine, or at most slightly faster. But the distance is too great. It is impossible to catch up.”
Nanessa was quite dispirited.
The other Paragons felt helpless as well. Although they didn’t want to accept it, it was true.
“Haha, I thought I’d have to use a second trick. It seems that is unnecessary. Everyone, thank you for showing mercy and allowing me to acquire the red caltrop diamond.” Clementine sent with intentional mockery.
Quite a few Paragons began to slow down.
Clearly, they had given up.
“I’m not chasing. I won’t be able to catch him.” Dunnington gave up as well.
Linley stared up ahead, his gaze sharp.
“It’s about time.” Linley suddenly willed it, and the wind-type Sovereign power coursing through his body was instantly retracted into his sea of consciousness. And then, Linley activated his fused divine power! The four types of divine power fused into that black divine power, causing Linley’s energy to increase dramatically. Linley then accelerated just slightly…
Space itself trembled as Linley’s speed increased explosively!
His speed had increased by roughly 30%.
Actually, by relying on the ‘fused divine power’ that was ten times more effective than Sovereign power, Linley’s speed could increase several times over. But Linley understood something. “If I were to suddenly increase my speed several times over, Clementine would probably be so terrified that he wouldn’t dare do battle. He would go straight into chaotic space. That would be terrible. I’ve only increased my speed by 30% or so. He wouldn’t actually be frightened…and this speed is enough to catch him.”
Linley’s original speed was already quite terrifying. After a 30% increase?
To make a difference of a hundred thousand kilometers after a 30% increase in speed was simply too easy.
“Catch me? In their dreams?” Clementine, fleeing in the distance with a smug feeling, suddenly had a changed look on his face. His divine sense had realized that Linley had suddenly broken away from the other seven Paragons and was advancing towards him at high speed. “How can this be? How can he be so fast? Can it be that he had been hiding his power?”
The other seven Paragons were shocked as well.
“How can this Linley be so fast?” Dunnington stared, stupefied.
“This speed…it is even close to thirty percent faster than mine.” The Paragon of Lightning, Nanessa, had a stunned look in her eyes as well.
“He just increased in speed by that much! There is still a distance of more than a hundred million kilometers from here to the Fogdeep continent’s teleportation array. They are only a hundred thousand kilometers away from each other. He’ll catch up in an instant.” Bayer frowned as well. Linley’s speed had stunned him.
This group of Paragons had no idea that Linley had only revealed a hint of his true power. This was because Linley didn’t want to scare Clementine into fleeing into chaotic space.
“So what if he is just a bit faster? By himself, he won’t be able to stop me.” Clementine then calmed down.
He had a defensive Sovereign artifact. As he saw it, Linley’s material attacks shouldn’t be able to harm him.
As for soul attacks?
Generally speaking, unless the difference was large, it wouldn’t be able to kill an enemy.
“His soul attacks definitely aren’t as strong as mine. Even if they were slightly stronger, he wouldn’t be able to harm me; he’s just a bit faster. It makes sense. He is a member of the Four Divine Beasts clan; it only makes sense that he’s a bit special.” Clementine felt very confident. Just now, he had suffered two soul attacks from Paragons, yet endured it; why would he fear Linley?”
Unless it was necessary, he wouldn’t choose to enter chaotic space.
If he did, he would have to suffer for some time as well.
“Clementine, you won’t be able to escape.” Linley had already caught up, and he could now see Clementine within his field of vision.
“Linley, I admit that you are quite fast, but do you think that by yourself, you will be able to stop me?” Clementine chuckled.
Linley just stared silently at Clementine as he drew closer and closer to Clementine. A thousand meters. Five hundred meters. A hundred meters…
In that instant, Linley’s speed suddenly tripled! On top of the earlier 30% increase in speed, it increased threefold more!
“Impossible!” The seven Paragons were watching this from afar through divine sense. Five of them even cried out involuntarily in shock, while the other two just stared with looks of amazement in their wide eyes! It had been countless years since something was capable of causing these Highgod Paragons to feel amazed.
But Linley’s speed had increased threefold more. This was on a completely different level from Paragons!
To be moving at such high speed definitely required that a person’s energy and body were both far stronger than a Paragon’s!
From ancient days till now, everyone believed that Paragons were the highest level of existence amongst Highgods. But Linley was definitely on a level stronger than even Paragons. What was this about?!
“Impossible!!!” Clementine’s eyes were filled with amazement as well.
Right at this moment…
“BANG!” He wasn’t able to react at all before a fist came smashing towards his face!
Clementine’s defensive Sovereign artifact trembled violently. It wasn’t damaged, but Clementine’s skull was actually fractured, and the flesh on his face was split open, causing fresh blood to flow out. Clementine just felt his head grow dizzy. In this instant, he was completely dazed!
Not just him; the seven Paragons watching from afar were dazed as well!
To be able to harm him even through a defensive Sovereign artifact…what sort of an attack was this?
In the past, in the Indigo Prefecture of the Infernal Realm, when the eight great clans had attacked the Four Divine Beasts clan, Beirut had appeared and, wielding his Sovereign longstaff, devastated the experts of the eight great clans. The Patriarchs of the eight great clans had defensive Sovereign artifacts, but were still heavily injured by Beirut’s staff blows, to the point of vomiting blood.
Having a defensive Sovereign artifact didn’t symbolize that someone would be invincible!
Imagine a child holding a steel shield, while an adult wielding an iron mace smashed hard against the shield. Even though the shield wouldn’t be damaged at all, and although the shield would ablate most of the force, the remainder of the force would still cause the child to be injured.
It was the same principle!
If there was a twofold, threefold, or even fourfold difference in strength, there were no problems at all if one relied on a defensive Sovereign artifact.
But of course, there was a prerequisite.
That was that the attacker also had a powerful weapon. For example, Beirut; when he injured the Patriarchs of the eight great clans, he was able to do so because he had a Sovereign weapon! He had a Sovereign weapon, and given how strong he himself was, he was definitely more than ten times as strong as his enemies, which was why he was able to badly injure them. If Beirut used all of his strength, he would’ve even been able to kill them!
But if he hadn’t had a Sovereign weapon, things would have been troublesome.
Although his attack power was great, if his weapon was ordinary, given the powerful collision that would’ve resulted, his weapon would’ve been destroyed.
However, after undergoing the transformation from the four fused divine powers, Linley’s fists and kicks were comparable to Sovereign weapons!
“How…how can this be?” Clementine’s eyes were filled with shock. And then, he stared hard at Linley. “You…you…how can…?”
“Hmph, Clementine, just now, I didn’t use full force.” Linley said coldly. And then, his body suddenly began to sprout inky jade draconic scales. Those inky jade spikes emerged as well. Linley instantly went into full Dragonform, then stared hard at Clementine. “Just now, I was able to heavily wound you through the Sovereign artifact. But now, I am able to kill you! You should understand by now.”
For the current Linley, even without Dragonforming, he vastly surpassed his former strength in Dragonform, prior to fusing the four divine powers.
Using his fused divine power was more than ten times more effective than using Sovereign power.
This made it so that the even non-Dragonformed Linley was more than ten times as powerful as an ordinary Paragon.
But now, Linley was in Dragonform! His strength once more skyrocketed. His punches contained the power of Will; they were absolutely on the Sovereign weapon level!
“No…how can this be?” Clementine was stupefied.
The other spectating Paragons were completely stunned as well.
How could the world have an expert who was vastly stronger than a Paragon? Paragons were invincible amongst Deities. This was an iron rule!
Unfortunately, they didn’t realize…that this so-called iron rule was only true in the past. A hitherto unseen quadruple soul mutation had been successful, which had changed everything! A Soul Mutate who had four divine clones had never been seen before. After succeeding, Linley’s Will became far more powerful than that of the Will of a Paragon.
This symbolized…that Linley would definitely be stronger than Paragons!
For him to have a powerful Will was one thing, but what was even more terrifying was that after the four types of divine power fused, they actually changed Linley’s body, making it so that it, too, reached the Sovereign weapon level. This terrifying body, combined with his terrifying Will, and the fused divine power that vastly oustripped Sovereign power…
All these things guaranteed that Linley would vastly outstrip any Highgod Paragon!
Prior to fusing four types of divine power, Linley was comparable to Highgod Paragons. After fusing them…Linley was far beyond them!
“My body has divine clones hiding within it, so I admit that yes, after Dragonforming, you have the power to kill me. But that’s just my original body. I can use my divine clones to shatter this interspatial ring.” Clementine said hurriedly. “If you kill me, you’ll acquire neither the interspatial ring nor the red caltrop diamond.”
“That is precisely why, just now, I didn’t try to kill you.” Linley said calmly.
His true power was tens of times greater than that of his opponent, and his body was comparable to a Sovereign weapon. Linley was able to kill his opponent, even through a Sovereign artifact. At most, though, he would be able to kill the original body; the divine clone hidden within it wouldn’t die instantly. The divine clone absolutely could crush the interspatial ring.
“Clementine, it is just a red caltrop diamond. I imagine that you wouldn’t be willing to give up your life for the sake of a red caltrop diamond.” Linley said calmly. “Even if we acquire the red caltrop diamond, we’ll simply offer it to a Sovereign and at most gain some Sovereign’s Might. It isn’t that useful.”
“Your life. Your everything. Compared to a red caltrop diamond that can only be used to trade for some Sovereign’s Might. Which one is more valuable? I imagine that you know what choice to make.” Linley laughed calmly. “Also. Don’t even think about entering chaotic space. Even if you charge in, I’ll follow you in and instantly kill you.”
Earlier, Linley said that he had a 90% confidence because…
Linley believed that unless Clementine went mad, he wouldn’t be willing to, for the sake of a red caltrop diamond that he would simply exchange for some Sovereign’s Might, give up his Paragon clone!
“Fine, you win.” Clementine let out a sour laugh. “I’m not going to give up my life for this bauble. Only, I want to ask you. Are you…a Highgod Paragon?”