Book 21, The Peak – Chapter 38 – Lies!
Loud, excited, jubilant laughter rang out from the Stellar Corridor.
Those surviving Emissaries, including Bresle’s group of six, and the soldiers of the Infernal Realm all revealed smiles on their faces. They were excited, not because they had fought to a draw, but because they were still alive! They had managed to survive this terrifying Planar War.
Of the three hundred Seven Star Fiends, only forty or so remained alive. Naturally, the survivors would rejoice!
Hundreds of thousands of kilometers away, at the peak of the mountain. The Sovereigns were all chatting amongst themselves energetically as well. “Orloff, this time, you lose!” The Chief Sovereign of Destruction, Wodred, finally revealed a hint of a smile on his face.
The Chief Sovereign of Fate, Orloff, chuckled. “Haha…Wodred, since we fought to a draw, it can be said that I lost this round. However, Wodred, the main reason why your Infernal Realm’s side was able to win was because of those six Emissaries who set up a formation. Which Sovereign is in control of those six?”
Orloff didn’t seem dispirited or discouraged by the defeat at all. He smiled, as cheerful as ever.
“Those are the six Emissaries under Linley’s command!” The Chief Sovereign of Destruction said. “Oh?” The Chief Sovereign of Fate, Orloff, couldn’t help but turn and look at Linley.
The Sovereigns that were listening to the conversation between these two Chief Sovereigns also turned to look towards Linley. So those six individuals who had such a major impact on this Planar War were Emissaries under Linley’s command.
“Linley, you helped out Wodred tremendously, this time.” Orloff laughed as he looked at Linley. Linley said with a calm laugh, “All I provided was six Emissaries. If you, Lord Orloff, had been able to locate a Highgod Paragon, that person would have been able to kill one or two hundred Twelve-Winged Angels with ease, if going all out. A Paragon would’ve been able to change the results of the battle as well.”
When the six of them joined forces, in the battle, they were indeed roughly as effective as a Paragon would have been.
“Highgod Paragon? How many of those Highgod Paragons would be willing to risk their lives and participate in this Planar War?” The Chief Sovereign of Fate, Orloff, laughed softly. “If there was no danger involved, they might be willing to assist, but given how dangerous this event was, none of them were willing to enter.”
To Paragons, not even Sovereign artifacts were that important. What else, then, could Sovereigns use to entice Highgod Paragons into participating? Nothing! And so, naturally, none of the Paragons were willing to take place in the battle.
“Linley, I’m quite curious. Which of the Emissaries under your control was able to develop that battle formation?” The Chief Sovereign of Fate, Orloff, suddenly asked.
“This battle formation is known as the Samsara Battle Formation. It was developed by one of my Emissaries, who spent countless years researching it.” Linley didn’t try to hide anything.
“Samsara Battle Formation…Samsara…Samsara!” The Chief Sovereign of Fate, Orloff, murmured these words a few times, then nodded slightly to himself. Then, he turned to look at Linley, smiling and nodding towards him as well. “That Emissary under your command is, without a doubt, a supreme master at developing magical formations. He was able to develop such a queer union that wastes so little energy. Even I have to admit feeling admiration for him!”
“Hey, Orloff, how is it that you are so happy, even after losing?” The Chief Sovereign of Death laughed lightly. The Chief Sovereign of Fate, Orloff, said with a calm smile, “Victory, defeat? To gain, to lose…these are only comparative concepts. You can’t judge victory or defeat just from the surface of events, haha…” The Chief Sovereign of Fate laughed happily and without worry. “Everyone, I won’t remain here any longer. I’ll return to the Celestial Realm now. Right, Linley…”
Orloff suddenly turned to look towards Linley, then said with a laugh, “When you are free, you must come for a stroll in my Orloff Gardens. I’ve invited you over many times now.”
“Definitely, definitely.” Linley immediately responded. And so, Orloff immediately led the Sovereigns of the Celestial Realm into a spatial tear that he created.
“Orloff…” Linley had to let out a praising sigh in his heart. In recent days, he had interacted with the Chief Sovereign of Fate, Orloff, on numerous occasions. Linley was beginning to rather admire this Orloff.
“Regardless of victory or defeat, he appears so calm and collected, as though there is nothing in the world which can enrage him.” Linley let out a sigh of praise. If Orloff had won this Planar War, he would have gained an additional portion of Will as reward. But Orloff didn’t seem to be moved at all by either victory or defeat; he didn’t seem even the slightest bit dispirited.
This sort of mental equanimity was something which none of the other Sovereigns could match.
The Infernal Realm. The Skyrite Mountains.
Half a year had passed since the conclusion of the Planar War. Linley’s residence was as peaceful as ever.
“Wade’s gone out for adventuring as well.” Linley walked onto his spacious balcony, staring towards the distant Baruch clan descendants who were in a grassy area. “All of them have a love for battle. It seems as though they won’t be able to stay here for long. Soon, these descendants will all go out and test themselves in adventures.”
Linley exited the walkway, turning and entering a quiet, secluded guarded. Bebe and Nisse were chatting about something in one corner of the garden, and the two were both laughing gaily.
“Eh?” Linley turned and saw his father, Hogg, and his mother, Lina. They walked out from the gates of the garden. “Linley.” A constant smile was on Hogg’s face. “Father. Mother.” Linley immediately bowed.
“There’s something I want to discuss with you.” Hogg said with a laugh. “Recently, your mother and I are preparing to go travelling through some of the material planes for a tour. Would you and Delia like to accompany us?” There were simply too many material planes, and many of them had their own unique attributes. Some had unique races, while others had different, unique cultures.
To go touring the countless material planes of the universe was far more interesting than simply remaining in the Infernal Realm.
“No need.” Linley laughed, refusing as he shook his head. “This kid…” Hogg couldn’t help but shake his head and chuckle resignedly. His mother, Lina, said with a laugh, “Hogg, don’t force Linley. He can go whenever he feels like it.”
Linley had a divine fire clone, and was able to enter any material plane he desired.
Linley bade his parents farewell, then left by himself.
Within a secluded courtyard. This was the place where Linley normally trained. He stood there, atop the grass, spreading his fused divine sense across the entire Infernal Realm. “Ten thousand years…such a long journey…” Within Linley’s mind, images of his history, starting from when he was a toddler, began to flash past. “Father. Grandpa Doehring. Bebe. Wharton. Delia. Boss Yale. George. Reynolds…” All of their appearances floated through his mind. These people had imprinted themselves deep within Linley’s soul.
But suddenly, Linley thought of someone. “Mother!” When Linley thought of his mother, Lina, Linley couldn’t help but sigh to himself. Although his mother, Lina, quickly grew close with his father, Hogg, after the passage of countless years, there was still a certain distance between Lina and Linley and Wharton. Lina didn’t truly hold any motherly love towards her two children, Linley and Wharton.
How could Linley and Wharton not tell? “Alas. That’s because Mother lost all of her memories from before she was an Angel.” Linley sighed in his heart. But right at this moment…
“Whoosh!” A figure descended from the skies. “Lord Wodred.” Linley saw that the newcomer was the Chief Sovereign of Destruction, Wodred.
The black-robed Wodred had a smile on his face. “Linley, last time, during the Planar War, the six Emissaries you sent out were extremely effective. I know that you spent centuries in your search for the six of them. I’ve never come to thank you for what you did…”
“Lord Wodred, I had to find Emissaries for myself eventually.” Linley laughed. Linley was on excellent terms with the Chief Sovereign of Destruction.
“Haha, enough of that, Linley. I definitely owe you a favor.” The Chief Sovereign of Destruction, Wodred, said with a laugh, “If there’s anything you need, as long as I can accomplish it…you can have me do it. In fact, even if you want to learn some supreme secrets, I can reveal them to you. But of course, you can forget about learning my ‘Spacetime Paradox’.”
Wodred was quite forthright about this. Although ‘Spacetime Paradox’ was inferior to the fused innate divine ability of the Four Divine Beasts, it still increased one’s power a thousandfold. Even someone like Linley, upon learning this technique, would be able to threaten the four Chief Sovereigns of the Edicts. Thus, Wodred couldn’t possibly teach it to him.
“Haha, Lord Wodred, even if you didn’t say that outright, I wouldn’t possibly have asked you to teach me your supreme technique, just because I helped out a bit. You, Lord Wodred, put far too much effort into devising it.” Linley laughed calmly. “Right. After the Planar War concluded and Lord Orloff lost, did he have any sort of special reaction?”
“Him? What sort of a reaction could he have? Same as always; he stays in his Orloff Gardens, absorbed in training and research.”
The Chief Sovereign of Destruction, Wodred, let out a sigh. “Orloff, that madman. He has no idea what being ‘tired’ even means. To be honest, of the Chief Sovereigns of the Edicts, Orloff is the only one who makes me feel uneasy. You can never know what sort of supreme technique Orloff might come up with, because that madman simply can’t be judged in accordance with normal logic.”
Linley couldn’t help but laugh. He could feel the Chief Sovereign of Destruction’s discontent. He had worked so hard to develop his supreme technique, ‘Spacetime Paradox’, and yet wasn’t able to defeat Orloff. But of course, that was only because Orloff had an Overgod artifact.
“Enough about him. Just now, when I came over, I saw that you were in a rather poor mood. You had a rather unhappy look on your face. Did something troublesome occur?” Wodred smiled.
Even Chief Sovereigns had emotions and personalities. Although the four Chief Sovereigns of the Edicts were rather arrogant and aloof, they, too, needed friends. After Linley had displayed his power, their attitude towards Linley had changed somewhat as well. In addition, because of the Planar War, Wodred had come to view Linley as the second most powerful figure on his side.
As for who the number one figure was, that was naturally Wodred himself. And so, because they were on somewhat closer terms now, they became more casual in their manner of speech as well.
“Oh? There is indeed something rather troublesome. Only, there’s no point in telling you.” Linley let out a sigh. His mother had become an Angel, but her former memories were lost. There was nothing that could be changed about that.”
“Why don’t you give it a try?” Wodred said with a laugh. Linley let out another sigh. “This has to do with my mother. When my mother was in her material plane, she was seized by the local Light-aligned religion, and her soul was sacrificed to the Sovereigns. My mother became an Angel, and a Twelve-Winged Angel at that! I once sought out Augusta and paid a very high price to have him restore my mother to her freedom. She does have her freedom now, but…my mother’s former memories are forever lost.”
“What did you say?” The Chief Sovereign of Destruction, Wodred, actually frowned.
“What? Is there a way for Angels to regain their memories?” Linley couldn’t help but grow rather excited. “How could he have possibly chosen to let your mother regain her free will?!” The Chief Sovereign of Destruction stared solemnly at Linley. “Linley, let me tell you this. To release an Angel and let the Angel regain freedom, there are only two methods…and I daresay that Augusta wouldn’t choose either of them!”
Linley was stunned. “What…what are you saying? But that day, Augusta seemed to have been badly injured…his soul…”
The Chief Sovereign of Destruction began to laugh coldly. “An injury to his soul? That was nothing more than a pretense! Linley, I can tell you one thing; if an Angel truly regains free will, then that Angel will naturally regain its former memories as well!”
“What did you say?” Linley’s face changed. “This…how can this be?”
“Your mother doesn’t have her memories back, which signifies one thing; your mother is still under control, and hasn’t regained her freedom at all!” The Chief Sovereign of Destruction laughed coldly. “As I see it, your mother is just obeying his orders. She’s intentionally putting on a pretense of being free; that way, without having to pay any price at all, Augusta was able to make you pay a heavy price. Why wouldn’t he want to carry out such an excellent bargain?”
Linley’s face changed dramatically as he listened. “And, given how poor the relationship is between you and him, why would he have to worry about keeping his word to you?” The Chief Sovereign of Destruction snickered.
“But, but Orloff was also…” Linley said hurriedly. “Orloff? Orloff had something he wanted from Augusta, and in addition, Augusta has helped out Orloff multiple times. Orloff owed Augusta a favor. You tell me. Would Orloff help him, or help you?” The Chief Sovereign of Destruction laughed coldly. “Orloff doesn’t get involved in any worldly affairs or struggles, but that doesn’t mean he’s this wonderful, altruistic person.”
“Let me put it to you simply. You were completely and utterly deceived by Augusta!” The Chief Sovereign of Destruction said.