Book 20, The Crown’s Riddle – Chapter 43, Utterly Exasperated
“Are you…a Highgod Paragon?”
This question was something which puzzled not only Clementine. Even the seven distant Highgod Paragons who were flying over were filled with shock and disbelief! Linley, even without Dragonforming, had actually been able to harm Clementine through a Sovereign artifact.
What sort of power was this?
It was definitely a power gap of more than ten times! To be more than ten times more powerful than a Paragon? Aside from Sovereigns, could someone else be capable of this? In addition, this was when he wasn’t in Dragonform. If he did Dragonform, how much stronger would Linley be, compared to a Paragon? Linley’s very existence was completely inconceivable.
“Paragon?” Linley raised an eyebrow.
“Can it be…that you’ve made another breakthrough? Can it be that after we become Paragons, we can make further breakthroughs?” Clementine asked hurriedly. The Overgod talismans weren’t that enticing to Paragons; after becoming a Paragon, they had lost all motivation, as they believed that they had reached the very pinnacle. Some lived leisurely lives, others secluded themselves, while still others controlled a side of their own.
But upon seeing Linley, these Paragons discovered that apparently it was possible to continue to increase in strength!
Instantly, their hearts began to blaze once more!
“No. Can it be that just because I’m also a Paragon, I can’t possibly be tens of times or a hundred times stronger than you?” Linley laughed calmly.
“Uh…” Clementine was stunned. “You…is it because of your body?”
“Yes. I am a Paragon, but my body is far more powerful than yours! My body is comparable to a Sovereign artifact.” Linley smiled. Even now, Linley wasn’t prepared to publicize his secret.
“This…a body comparable to a Sovereign artifact? That’s completely…how can that be?!”
Clementine now completely understood!
Paragons who both used Sovereign power should, logically speaking, be equivalent. But Linley’s body was comparable to a Sovereign artifact in power; such a physically powerful body made it so that Linley’s attacks were tens of times, or nearly a hundred times, more powerful than an ordinary Paragon’s!
“Why can’t it be possible? Hemmers, even though he isn’t a Paragon, is too naturally talented. His material attacks are already comparable to a Paragon’s. You tell me; if he became a Paragon and possessed the power of Will, wouldn’t his material attacks vastly surpass yours?” Linley laughed calmly.
Given how powerful Hemmers was before becoming a Paragon, if he became a Paragon, Hemmers would definitely surpass the others.
“I understand now.” Clementine let out a long sigh.
“Linley, you are now the most powerful person who has ever existed, aside from the Sovereigns.” Clementine looked at Linley with a complicated look in his eyes.
Clementine understood what Linley was saying. Not one of the other Paragons had a body comparable to a Sovereign artifact.
It must be understood that in all of history, throughout all the planes of the universe, there were less than ten people whose bodies were comparable to Sovereign artifacts in strength! Hemmers could just barely be considered one, while Beirut was another…there were less than ten in the entire universe. For one of those rare, blessed individuals to also become a Paragon? Was that likely?
The number of living creatures of various races that had existed throughout all of the planes and all of history was an astronomical, unthinkable number. And yet, only twenty-plus Paragons had ever emerged.
The chances were simply too low! It could be said that the chances were virtually nil.
There were less than ten or so figures like Hemmers or Beirut. For one of them to become a Paragon wasn’t very practical.
Actually, according to the way the natural laws of the universe worked, for those who were too innately gifted, it would be extremely difficult for them to train. Forget about Beirut and Hemmers; not even the ancestors of the Four Divine Beasts clan had become Paragons.
The heavens were just!
If Linley had developed normally, there was no way he could have become this powerful, nor could he have acquired a body comparable to a Sovereign artifact!
However, despite having four divine clones, his soul mutation had been a success!
Linley’s tough, powerful body wasn’t given to him at birth; it was created by that fused divine power!
Ever since his four-way soul mutation had been a success, it was virtually guaranteed that a miracle would take place!
Linley had ‘fused divine power’ and ‘Will’, both of which vastly surpassed that which was available to a Highgod. This made up for Linley’s deficiencies in the mysteries, making him comparable to a Paragon. But his body, as strong as a Sovereign artifact, made him vastly surpass them.
“Clementine, you’ve asked your questions. Now, give me the red caltrop diamond.” Linley stared at Clementine.
“I wanted to offer it to the Chief Sovereign. Forget it.” Clementine waved his hand, and a red caltrop diamond appeared within it. Holding the red caltrop diamond, Clementine laughed as he looked at Linley. “This red caltrop diamond does indeed have a type of unique energy that nourishes the soul. However, to us Paragons, it is useless.”
Clementine casually tossed the red caltrop diamond towards Linley.
A treasure had varying levels of effects on varying levels of people.
If an ordinary mortal were to hold the red caltrop diamond, it would probably cause his soul to quickly become as powerful as the soul of a Saint.
If a God held it, he would also feel his soul change, and he, a God, would even be able to kill an ordinary Highgod. But if a Highgod were to hold it, the soul would no longer strengthen.
The true was same for its released power. The more powerful a person was, the less effective it would be.
The red caltrop diamond was only a talisman, after all. It wasn’t an Overgod artifact. Although it had unusual effects, it wasn’t an invincible treasure.
Brodie, when holding it, could kill Six Star Fiends.
But Morde, when in possession of the nine soul pearls, was nearly finished when facing a Linley who had yet to make his four-way fusion of divine power.
To him, the increase in strength was already quite limited.
To Paragons, in terms of both body and soul, after they acquired the power of Will, they had already reached a limit amongst Deities. Even if they held the red caltrop diamond or the nine soul pearls, it would at most increase their power by ten or twenty percent. Their regenerative power might increase twofold or threefold, but against someone who was tens of times stronger, it was useless.
“The regenerative effect, as far as Paragons are concerned, is negligible.” Linley stretched his hand out and accepted the tossed red caltrop diamond. A surge of warm energy filled Linley’s body and soul. It was a feeling akin to the feeling he had when he held the nine soul pearls. This sort of nurturing power, to a soul as strong as Linley’s, had no effect at all.
On the surface, Linley looked calm. But in his heart, he was so excited that he was quivering.
“The red caltrop diamond. This is definitely the red caltrop diamond!” Linley wildly celebrated mentally. “Three talismans. I finally have them all!”
In his mind, Linley could still clearly remember those scenes from his youth. That day, a blurry light had flown out from the Coiling Dragon ring, transforming into an amiable, kind old man with a moon-white robe and a white beard. “Hello, kiddo. My name is Doehring Cowart. I am a Saint-level Grand Magus of the Pouant Empire!”
From that day onwards, his destiny had changed.
Linley would never forget how Grandpa Doehring had consumed up his own soul to execute a forbidden magic spell to save Linley. That was the most painful event Linley had ever been through.
“Grandpa Doehring…soon, I’ll be able to see you again.” Linley said quietly to himself.
Excited, Linley wanted to immediately let the three talismans become one, and to let the Crown of Life summon the Overgod of Life. But Linley didn’t let his joy cloud his mind. “This isn’t yet the time for fusing the three talismans. If I summon the Overgod of Life now, the Sovereigns will immediately know that I have the three talismans. That will be disastrous!”
If Sovereigns knew that Linley, a Deity, had three talismans…what would the repercussions be?
Linley didn’t even dare to imagine it.
“Even if the Sovereigns find out that I have an Overgod talisman, a single talisman wouldn’t be enough to make a group of Sovereigns go berserk. But if they knew that I had all three of them, the Sovereigns would definitely go wild with rage. Once I return to the Yulan continent, I can then summon the Overgod. Even if the Sovereigns are filled with hate, at worst, I can just remain at the Yulan Plane and never leave again.” Linley came to his decision.
Right at this moment…
In the skies above the vast, endless sea, several other figures were flying over at high speed.
Linley glanced at Clementine, then turned back to look. It was the seven Paragons and Bebe. Bebe had been brought along by Dunnington as well.
“Linley. Congratulations.” Loud laughter rang out; the speaker was Dunnington.
“Becoming a Paragon is one thing, but for your body to be so strong that it is comparable to a Sovereign artifact?” That four-meter tall azure-haired fellow’s words held a hint of envy in them. All the other seven Paragons, and even Bebe, had heard the words between Linley and Clementine.
“Linley, as I recall, during the Planar War, your body wasn’t this strong. How can you now…?” The Paragon of Wind, Bayer, stared at Linley.
“One can train one’s body to such a level?” All of the Paragons immediately stared at Linley.
Who didn’t want to strengthen their bodies?
Having a defensive Sovereign artifact only meant one had a powerful ‘shield’. But a body like a Sovereign artifact? That had the power to reverse the rivers and overturn the seas, the terrifying power to rip the heavens asunder.
“I had to experience quite a few things to reach this level.” Linley gave a very ‘unclear’ answer as a response.
The other Paragons looked at each other, not wanting to ask anything further.
“Everyone, you don’t still want to fight over this red caltrop diamond with me, do you?” Linley said with a smirk.
“Fight with you? Do we look like we want to die?” The Paragon of Lightning, Nanessa, still spoke with a cold voice, but a hint of laughter was in her eyes. “I don’t have a defensive Sovereign artifact, unlike Clementine. You need to Dragonform to kill him, but against me, you wouldn’t even need to Dragonform.”
“Forget it. After seeing your speed, Linley, and your attack power, I immediately understood that we don’t have any chance of acquiring the red caltrop diamond.” Dunnington laughed as well.
This group of Paragons was actually all smiles.
They had only come to fight over the red caltrop diamond at the request of their Sovereigns. If they were going to fight over it, they would go all out. But upon seeing that there was no hope, they naturally gave up. They didn’t feel disappointed or bitter; after all, the Overgod talismans weren’t of much use to Paragons like them.
“Boss, Boss!” Bebe hurriedly flew to Linley’s side, winking towards Linley. “Is it all done? Can we leave, now?”
Linley immediately laughed. “Of course we can go.”
Linley swept the eight Paragons with his gaze, then smiled. “Everyone, the fight over the red caltrop diamond can come to an end now. I don’t want to stay at the Okerlund Plane for much longer, so Bebe and I will leave now.”
Right at this moment…
“Eh?” Linley turned to look.
Above the sea, a surge of terrifying energy began to take form. The colors of the world began to change, and lightning began to ring out. Immediately afterwards, it seemed as though the sun in the sky lost its luster after that terrifying energy began to emit a dazzling light as it slowly condensed into an enormous figure…
That familiar aura…
“The Chief Sovereign of Light!” Linley narrowed his eyes.
“Linley!” A sonorous voice which echoed like thunder rang out. That ten meter tall giant figure appeared, and its appearance was that of the Chief Sovereign of Light. Only, it was larger in size.
“Chief Sovereign.” Linley just smiled as he looked at the Chief Sovereign of Light.
“Sorry, Linley. I had already informed the Chief Sovereign of Light that I was in possession of the red caltrop diamond. After this happened, I had to at least let him know.” Clementine sent apologetically.
“I understand.” Linley understood why Clementine had to do this.
The Chief Sovereign of Light descended, staring icily at Linley. His gaze also swept across the other eight Paragons and Bebe.
The Chief Sovereign of Light was quite furious. Because Clementine wanted to be prepared for all eventualities, the Chief Sovereign of Light had personally travelled through chaotic space from the Divine Light Plane. He had travelled through the vast, endless tides of chaotic space and hastened towards the Okerlund Plane.
Only, although the Four Higher Planes and the Seven Divine Planes were close to each other, the countless other material planes, despite being close to each other, were in a rather remote area.
For even someone like the Chief Sovereign of Light, he had only managed to travel a tenth of the distance. From this, one could imagine how far the distance was.
The Chief Sovereign of Light had been filled with hope and had been very excited. He hadn’t minded how the amount of effort and labor it would take for him to make it over there. But who would have imagined that halfway there, he would receive word of what had just happened; that the red caltrop diamond had been taken by Linley!
If Clementine had never acquired it, that was one thing.
But for Clementine to first acquire it? The Chief Sovereign of Light had been extremely happy, because he had already begun to view the red caltrop diamond as his. Now that it had been seized, of course he was furious. And given that he had already travelled such a great distance in chaotic space, he was even more furious.
“Linley, you…” The Chief Sovereign of Light was about to say something.
“Chief Sovereign.” Linley actually interrupted the Chief Sovereign of Light and asked curiously, “This is a material plane. Can it be that you are planning to block me here, with your weak little planar projection clone?”