Book 21, The Peak – Chapter 8, Entreaty
Dragonblood Castle was guarded very strictly. Multiple patrol squads roved about, the weakest of the guards at the ninth rank. Saints could be seen everywhere.
But these guards weren’t able to detect the arrival of Gislason and the other three at all.
Within the rear courtyard of Dragonblood Castle. A quiet field.
“Rustle…” The leaves of the trees swayed in the wind. Beneath a thick, gnarled tree, a gray-robed Olivier was currently seated quietly in the meditative position, his eyes focused ahead of himself. Next to his body hovered an energy sword which constantly flashed about, displaying one type of attack after another.
Two swirls of black and white energy could be vaguely seen.
Olivier raised his head, discovering that four people were standing shoulder to shoulder nearby.
“Lord Patriarch.” Olivier was shocked. He hurriedly rose to his feet.
“Olivier, I just came to ask you a question.” Gislason smiled as he spoke. “Do you know where Linley is?” Prior to this, before Gislason’s group of four had descended upon the estate, they had searched Dragonblood Castle with their divine sense. They had discovered quite a few people, but the first person they had come to see was Olivier.
“Linley? He should have gone to the Dragonblood continent.” Olivier guessed.
“Milords.” A voice suddenly rang out.
Gislason’s group of four couldn’t help but turn to look, only to see a maid arrive from the doorway. The maid said respectfully, “The lord of the castle has ordered me to invite the four of you, milords, to the rear gardens.”
“Lord of the castle?” Gislason’s group of four was stunned.
“The lord of the castle is Linley.” Olivier immediately explained. Over the course of countless years, although managers had come and gone, the position of lord of the castle was forever Linley’s.
The Vermillion Bird Matriarch’s eyes lit up. She was rather stunned. “Linley is in Dragonblood Castle?”
“It seems the Chief Sovereign of Destruction’s information was accurate.” The white-robed White Tiger Patriarch took a deep breath as he spoke.
Linley was in Dragonblood Castle, but they weren’t able to locate him with their divine sense. Linley had definitely surpassed the ‘Deity’ level. Then, he must be a Sovereign!
The four clan leaders of the Four Divine Beasts clan followed the maid towards the rear gardens. The four felt very complicated feelings in their hearts. They also felt very nervous. After all, Linley’s status was now different. Sovereigns and Deities were on completely different levels. Sovereigns were lofty individuals who stared down at the countless lifeforms who struggled and battled across the countless planes.
The Planar Wars could only be considered a game for Sovereigns.
Deities, even Paragons, felt powerless in the face of Sovereigns.
“Four clan leaders, come in.” A clear voice rang in from the rear gardens.
“It is Linley.”
Gislason’s group of four looked at each other, then entered the rear gardens. The rear gardens took up a fairly wide amount of space. Gislason’s group entered, then glanced around themselves. Only now did they see that far away, in the center of the garden, stood Linley. Linley was currently drinking wine with Delia and laughing and chatting.
Noticing their arrival, Linley turned his head to glance at them, then laughed calmly, “Four clan leaders, please be seated.”
After his four-way soul mutation, Linley’s status had risen to far surpass that of the four clan leaders within the Four Divine Beasts clan. And now, Linley was a lofty, noble Sovereign.
“He is right in front of me, but I feel as though there is nothing there.” Gislason sent to the other three. “It is like when I saw Father in the past. Rather than any of their awe-inspiring Sovereign’s presence, they would completely contract their auras.” Gislason no longer had any doubts by now.
“Sovereign. He really is a Sovereign!”
The eyes of the other three clan leaders lit up.
Gislason looked at Linley, then immediately bowed. “Sovereign, we…”
As Gislason saw it, in terms of relationships, Linley wasn’t that close to them. First of all, Linley had only joined the Four Divine Beasts clan later in life, and secondly, there had been members of the Four Divine Beasts clan who had desired to seize Linley’s Coiling Dragon ring. Although afterwards, they had done better, that was because of Linley’s power and because of Beirut’s status.
But now that Linley was a Sovereign…
Deities and Sovereigns. The difference between them was like that between the earth and the heavens. There was an unbridgeable gap between them. Naturally, they had to be respectful.
“Four clan leaders, no need to address me as ‘Sovereign.” Linley interrupted these words, then laughed calmly. “Just act as we previously did. You can just address me as Linley.”
“This…” The four exchanged glances.
“I am quite curious. How did you know that I became a Sovereign?” Linley laughed calmly as he asked the question. How had news that he had become a Sovereign in the Yulan Plane spread to the Infernal Realm?
The nearby Vermillion Bird Matriarch laughed beautifully, bowing slightly in order to show her respect. “Linley, the news that you had become a Sovereign was actually given to us by the Chief Sovereign of Destruction. At first, we couldn’t believe it. After the four of us discussed the matter, we decided to go to the Yulan Plane to investigate. Now, it seems, this really is the case.”
Although Linley chatted and jested with them, the four clan leaders still unconsciously felt pressure.
After all, no matter how much Linley contracted his aura, the four clan leaders still knew, subconsciously, that Linley was a Sovereign.
“The Chief Sovereign of Destruction?” Linley frowned.
“How did the Chief Sovereign of Destruction know?” The nearby Delia said, puzzled.
“Logically speaking, he shouldn’t. After all, this happened in the Yulan Plane.” Linley said with a frown. “There’s one other possibility. Grandpa Beirut chatted with the Chief Sovereign of Destruction.” Beirut was on fairly good terms with the Chief Sovereign of Destruction, and Beirut also had a clone remaining in the Infernal Realm.
But Linley still felt puzzled. “What sort of status does the Chief Sovereign of Destruction have? Even if he knew, why would he tell the Four Divine Beasts clan?”
Linley turned to stare at Gislason, puzzled. “Patriarch, why did the Chief Sovereign of Destruction tell you these things?”
“The Chief Sovereign of Destruction’s energy clone descended upon the Skyrite Mountains.” Gislason explained. “In addition, he requested that our Four Divine Beasts clan loan him a hundred Highgods, who he would return to us some time later. Since he was borrowing our people, he explained that as compensation…he would bestow us with some Sovereign’s Might and give us some guidance. He said that if we wanted to know why the four ancestors died, to ask you, Linley.”
Linley was stunned.
The cause of the deaths of the four ancestors?
The big fellow nearby, the ‘Black Tortoise Patriarch’, said in a booming voice, “We immediately asked, why ask Linley? The Chief Sovereign of Destruction then said, you have reached the Sovereign level in power.”
“So that’s how it is.” Linley nodded slightly.
“What did he borrow people for?”
“Unclear.” Gislason stared at Linley, then went straight to the heart of it. “Linley, we have come for two reasons. First, to investigate if you had truly become a Sovereign. Second…we wish to know why our four ancestors died! Linley. Given that you are a member of clan, please tell us.”
The four clan leaders all looked expectantly towards Linley.
The downfall of the Four Divine Beasts had caused the downfall of the Four Divine Beasts clan. Even in their dreams, the Four Divine Beasts clan dreamed of learning who had done it, and of the true cause of death of the four ancestors.
Linley frowned. He hesitated a moment, then nodded. “Very well. I will tell you. Because of certain reasons, the four ancestors had engaged in a battle against the Chief Sovereign of Light.”
“The Chief Sovereign of Light?” The eyes of Gislason and the other three lit up.
“A battle between Sovereigns causes tremendous shockwaves in a wide area. They battled all the way into chaotic space. The four ancestors fled while fighting, and the Chief Sovereign of Light chased and attacked. Afterwards, the four ancestors executed their supreme technique…their fused innate divine abilities. The Chief Sovereign of Light, however, managed to survive it and not die. With their most powerful attack having failed, the four ancestors lost their will to battle. The Chief Sovereign of Light, however, seized the opportunity to rely on his Overgod artifact to kill them in succession. By relying on his greater speed, he was able to kill all of the four ancestors.” Linley spoke calmly, but the bodies of Gislason and the other three trembled as they listened.
“The Chief Sovereign of Light!!!” Gislason’s eyes were already filled with faint tears.
“How could the Chief Sovereign of Light have resisted the attack?” The Vermillion Bird Matriarch actually shook her head. “Impossible. When my mother was alive, she said that not even amongst Chief Sovereigns, the ones who could withstand their supreme attack could be counted on one hand. The Chief Sovereign of Light wasn’t one of them.”
“But the reality is that the Chief Sovereign of Light managed to resist it.” Linley sighed.
Gislason and the other three couldn’t accept it. After all, the Four Divine Beasts were their parents.
“Linley…” Gislason hesitated momentarily, then suddenly spoke out.
“Hrm?” Linley looked at him.
Gislason looked at the other three, then turned to look towards Linley. “Linley, I, I want to ask…did you use the Sovereign sparks of the four ancestors to become a Sovereign?” If one wished to become a Sovereign, there was only one way; to fuse with a Sovereign spark. However, there were only a total of 77 Sovereign sparks.
Only after one Sovereign died would another be born.
Linley gave the four of them a glance.
“Yes.” Linley nodded.
“The Sovereign spark, how…” The Vermillion Bird Matriarch opened her mouth and said a few words, but then hesitated.
“Shouldn’t the Chief Sovereign of Light have acquired the four Sovereign sparks? How did you acquire it? In addition, there should have been four of the Sovereign sparks. You used one. There are still…” Gislason looked towards Linley.
Linley smiled slightly.
He could guess that most likely, the four clan leaders also wanted to acquire the Sovereign sparks. Perhaps in the eyes of the four clan leaders, the four Sovereign sparks were their inheritance from their parents; it was rightfully theirs. Only…they couldn’t say it, nor did they have the courage to say such things.
But Linley didn’t feel the same way.
The 77 Sovereign sparks had descended from the heavens when the universe had been created. The powerful would be able to fight over and acquire them. The Four Divine Beasts had relied on themselves to acquire these Sovereign sparks. Beirut had relied on his own courage and had risked his life to seize these four Sovereign sparks.
“If the Sovereign sparks had fallen into the hands of the Chief Sovereign of Light, how could he have given me one?” Linley said calmly. “I’ll tell you the truth. Beirut, in the past, risked his own life to acquire these four Sovereign sparks. And now, all of the four Sovereign sparks have been used up and fused.”
“Beirut?” The four were stunned.
“He was able to take them away from the Chief Sovereign of Light?” The Vermillion Bird Matriarch said, stunned.
Despite their words, upon hearing Linley say that the four Sovereign sparks had all been used up, the four clan leaders still felt a bit disappointed. They didn’t dare to say anything else, however.
“You don’t need to harbor any suspicions regarding this.” Linley laughed calmly.
“Linley.” Gislason said solemnly. “There is one more thing we must beg of you, Linley.”
“Speak.” Linley glanced at him.
Gislason took a deep breath, then said solemnly, “Linley, the four ancestors were the ancestors of our Four Divine Beasts clan. Our Four Divine Beasts clan can’t just be silent and pretend that we know nothing of their deaths. The four ancestors were killed by the Chief Sovereign of Light! We hope that you, Linley…if…I only say if! If in the future, you have the ability or the chance to do so, please avenge our four ancestors!”
“Linley.” The Vermillion Bird Matriarch said hurriedly as well. “We know that this request is a bit excessive, but at this point, you are our only hope.”
“Please.” The big fellow, the Black Tortoise Patriarch, stared at Linley as well.
Linley looked at the four clan leaders. He could feel the sincerity of their entreaties.
“I promise you.” Linley nodded solemnly. “If I’m able to do it, I won’t show any mercy.”
“Thank you.” The four said gratefully.
“You must be tired after rushing all the way here. Rest at my place for some time first. Afterwards, we’ll have a banquet, then we’ll talk.” Linley laughed calmly.
“That’s fine as well.” Gislason’s group of four didn’t try to stay any longer. They immediately allowed themselves to be led away by a distant maid, and they departed the flower garden.
Linley turned his head to look at the nearby Delia. “Delia, you step back for a time as well. I need to chat with Beirut about something.”
“Fine.” Delia laughed, nodded, and left the flower garden.
Moments later, two figures descended from the heavens and arrived next to Linley. It was Beirut and Bluefire. The three immediately sat down around the table.
“Haha, the four clan leaders of the Four Divine Beasts clan came?” Beirut laughed as he spoke. “They’ve discovered that you are a Sovereign, eh?”
“They have. It was the Chief Sovereign of Destruction who told them.” Linley said.
“The Chief Sovereign of Destruction?” Bluefire was rather puzzled.
“Right. It’s actually quite odd. The Chief Sovereign of Destruction actually went to the Four Divine Beasts clan to borrow a hundred Highgods. I don’t know why.” Linley said.
Beirut, upon hearing this, couldn’t help but frown. He said in a reflective voice, “Most likely, the Chief Sovereign of Destruction’s experiments have reached the final stage.”