Book 17, Indigo Prefecture - Chapter 47, Begging for Salvation
"It's me. It's my fault. If I had given a drop of Sovereign's Might to Delia, she wouldn't die!"
"Why didn't I give it to Delia. Why. WHY!!!"
Endless guilt wracked Linley's chest, with regret striking viciously at his soul. Linley's entire mind was in a state of chaos, and had sunken into a state of endless remorse.
Bebe, Phusro, and Tewila look at each other, worry appearing on their faces.
"Waaaaa....waaaaaaaa!" Little Wade continuously cried, and his sobs seemed to be more ear-piercing than ever before in that utterly silent mountainous area. Linley felt that each cry from Wade stabbed against his heart!
"Don't cry, Wade, don't cry." Holding Wade, Bebe was growing frantic as well.
"Boss!" Bebe said frantically.
"Linley!" Phusro called out worriedly as well.
But Linley didn't seem to hear anything. He was completely lost in his regret and grief. The look on his face was one which made others tremble upon beholding.
"Right!" Linley let out a sudden growl. "It was my selfishness! I always thought about my own safety, and I didn't think about Delia. I kept the Sovereign's Might on my own person this entire time. It was my selfishness. I was too selfish!!!"
Linley, his thoughts in a jumble, had pushed the blame squarely onto his own shoulders, due to his 'selfishness'.
Actually, Delia was too weak. Even if she had Sovereign's Might, she wouldn't be able to defeat a Seven Star Fiend. It was only natural that Linley should be the one to use Sovereign's Might to protect Delia.
If Linley truly was selfish...
Then when facing the combined strike of those seven Elders, he wouldn't have pushed Delia aside at that critical moment, thereby wasting precious time. After all, at that time, he could have dodged instead.
All seven of those attacks had landed.
Linley had nearly died. Although he hadn't died, the protective armor of Sovereign's Might had been broken through, and even his body had been crippled.
However, Linley's thoughts had entered a state of confusion, and others were completely unable to dissuade him.
"It was my selfishness. It's all my fault. If I had given Sovereign's Might to Delia, she wouldn't die." Linley's mind was utterly chaotic. These words were the only thing that consistently echoed within his consciousness.
"Linley!" Phusro suddenly roared. "Hurry up and seize every moment to save Delia. By wasting time here, YOU ARE KILLING DELIA!!!"
These words suddenly brought Linley back to his senses.
He looked at Delia, lying there on the ground. Phusro's words suddenly brought Linley back into clear-mindedness. "Every moment, Delia's soul is being devoured and transformed. I can't waste any time, I can't!"
By now, Linley's right arm had already grown out to the elbow. The more powerful the body, the slower the recovery.
"Phusro." Linley turned to look at Phusro. "My mind is in shambles right now. Tell me, what should I do? What are my best options for saving Delia?"
Linley, in his current state, truly wasn't suited for making decisions.
Phusro let out a mental sigh of relief. For Linley to be able to say this meant that his mind was clear, at least. Phusro immediately said solemnly, "Linley, neither you nor I are as familiar with the experts of the Indigo Prefecture as your Patriarch, Gislason. Gislason is the leader of the Four Divine Beasts clan, and he knows far more than we do! Your Patriarch will know more than anyone else as to who will be able to save Delia. Perhaps the Four Divine Beasts clan itself has someone capable of rescuing Delia."
Linley's eyes immediately lit up.
"Right. The Four Divine Beasts clan has existed for so long. Perhaps it truly does have a supreme expert capable of saving Delia." A hint of hope appeared in Linley's mind.
"Right now, we need to hurry back to the Skyrite Mountains. Normally, metallic lifeforms will take nearly two months, but if we travel by day and by night without resting, we should be able to get there in ten days or half a month. Once we reach the Skyrite Mountains, there'll be more people and more ideas." Phusro said hurriedly.
Linley made up his mind as well.
"That's what we'll do, then." Linley's body once more Dragonformed. In terms of flying speed, his Dragonform's flying speed was indeed much faster.
Linley lowered his head to look at Delia, lying there on the ground. Delia looked as though she were asleep. Linley said gently, "Delia, you have to hold on." Stretching out his left hand, he took Delia into his arms.
"Phusro, please hold Wade." Linley said. "We'll immediately head out."
"Alright." Phusro took Wade from Bebe's arms.
"Boss, don't be too heartbroken. Delia will definitely recover." Bebe said consolingly. Linley forced out a smile, then nodded slightly. "Right. Bebe, you stay with the others. Phusro and I will go back first."
Bebe nodded, and then he watched as Linley and Phusro pierced through the skies, disappearing into the horizon.
Bebe's eyes had tears within them as well. Raising his head upwards, he looked at the sky. "Overgods...the Boss has already lost his father and his Grandpa Doehring. No matter what, you can't let Delia die as well. If Delia dies, then the Boss..."
Bebe and Linley had lived so many years together. He understood Linley very well.
No matter what sort of difficult circumstances or dire straits Linley was in, he wasn't afraid at all and would face them head on. But...when those close to him left, Linley suffered terrifying emotional blows.
"Alright. Everyone, hurry into the metallic lifeform. We'll make haste back home." Tewila's voice rang out. "All of you, stop being sad. Move all of our unconscious clansmen into the metallic lifeform. We will hurry backwards."
It wasn't just Delia who was unconscious. There were quite a few clansmen lying on the ground, while quite a few onlookers were injured as well. When they learned that these people weren't dead yet, they too felt a hint of new hope.
The Azure Dragon clansmen entered the metallic lifeform, and then it once more pierced through the skies, also making haste and flying towards the Skyrite Mountains.
When the Azure Dragon clansmen left, the only people remaining were those who were in that other metallic lifeform.
"Too powerful. Especially that expert from the Azure Dragon clan. He was actually able to fight five other experts by himself...and slaughtered them all!" These people weren't saddened for Delia, only stunned by this battle.
"That gray-robed who died was powerful as well...the one who sent all those terrifying green specks of light out."
"Did anyone hear what that expert of the Azure Dragon clan is named? I thought I heard that big fellow with long red hair shout 'Linley' loudly."
"Right. He is named Linley. I heard it as well."
"This Linley, judging from his power, has to at least be an Elder of the Azure Dragon clan."
A hubbub of conversation...but then, these spectators who had watched the battle and recorded it down with scryer recordings all returned to their own metallic lifeform and left.
Multiple figures flew over at high speed to the battlefield.
"Even Elder Zabu died. The eight Elders are all dead!"
In mid-air, a fiery light instantly streaked in from the southern horizon, arriving at the northern skies.
Linley and Phusro were currently flying at maximum speed. However, even Dragonformed, in terms of flying speed, Linley was still far inferior compared to Phusro. Thus, Phusro spread out his energy, enveloping Linley within it and 'carrying' him.
This caused their speed to rise to a higher level.
Linley lowered his head, looking at Delia. Delia's eyes were closed, and she was in a state of complete unconsciousness. Linley's arms were now completely healed.
"Delia, you have to be fine."
Linley spoke very softly. He felt boundless grief and regret towards Delia. If Delia truly were to die, Linley didn't know what he would do in the future. He wouldn't be able to accept it at all.
Phusro, seeing Linley like this, couldn't help but sigh.
"Can love truly cause a person to become like this?" Phusro said in his heart. He had been captured and tamed by Elquin when he was a Saint, and had always been used as a little golden kitten, without being given any chance to experience love.
"Linley, don't worry. Given my speed, we'll reach the Skyrite Mountains very soon." Phusro consoled.
"Right. Phusro, thank you for this. Truly." Linley, although frantic, still spoke with gratitude.
"Thank me for what? It's my fault, in a way. I let that elfin Elder have the opportunity to release that final attack." Phusro said guiltily. In truth, that Elder Zabu was the most powerful of those eight Elders.
He was so powerful that he nearly had the strength of an Asura. Once he also used a drop of Sovereign's Might, his strength was indeed terrifying.
"It isn't your fault. That person truly was powerful." Linley still remembered how, when he had suffered the combined attacks of those seven Elders, the most dangerous one of them had been that elfin Elder. With but a single attack, he had nearly caused Linley to be finished.
"I'm still not strong enough." Linley stared into the distance.
The two of them, transformed into that 'fiery light', continued to fly towards the horizon at high speed.
And finally, they arrived at the Skyrite Mountains!
After having flown for six days and a night, they arrived at the Skyrite Mountains just as nightfall came.
Linley, upon seeing the distant Dragon Avenue of the Skyrite Mountains, felt his heart tremble. While flying forward at high speed, he immediately called out frantically, "Patriarch, PATRIARCH!!!" Linley's roars shook the air above the entire Skyrite Mountains.
"Who is it? Halt!" The patrolling warriors of the Skyrite Mountains hurriedly shouted.
Linley and Phusro were flying too quickly. Their bodies were surrounded with fiery light as well, making it even harder for those patrolling warriors to see them clearly.
"Whoosh!" Phusro immediately retracted his fire-type divine power, and those patrolling warriors were immediately able to see the two of them clearly. One of them was in Dragonform, and clearly was a member of the Azure Dragon clan. They all couldn't help but feel relieved.
"It is Elder Linley!" Immediately, some patrolling warriors recognized him.
That savage, spike-studded Dragonform had become Linley's trademark.
"Linley, what is it?" A figure flew over at high speed. It was Elder Garvey. Elder Garvey, seeing Linley look so frantic, with his entire body stained with blood, couldn't help but ask in a hurry, "What happened? What's wrong with Delia?"
"Delia, she..." Before Linley even had a chance to reply...
"Linley!" A voice rang out, and a powerfully built figure with azure hair flew out at high speed. It was the Patriarch of the Azure Dragon clan, Gislason. Gislason immediately saw Phusro. "What happened?"
"We were attacked. Delia is now in critical condition." Phusro said hurriedly.
Gislason, seeing the situation, immediately said, "Come to my place right away." As he spoke, he immediately led Linley and the others towards his residence.
Within the residence of the Patriarch. The main hall.
Linley gently placed Delia onto a seat, and then turned his head to look at Gislason. "Patriarch, Delia suffered a spiritual attack from an Elder of the Edric clan, of the eight great clans..."
"The Edric clan? The Edicts of Life?" Gislason's face changed, and he immediately used his spiritual sense to probe Delia's situation.
Linley, keeping hope alive in his mind, watched this scene. Not only was the Patriarch physically powerful, he was also extremely formidable with respect to the soul. Perhaps the Patriarch might have some method for saving Delia. Linley waited, and as he did, his heart was trembling.
Elder Garvey and Phusro just stood there, not daring to say a word.
"Formidable, formidable!" Gislason sighed in amazement.
"What is it?" Linley said hurriedly.
Gislason turned to look at Linley. He said solemnly, "The devouring transformation in Delia's soul isn't too bad right now. However, the devouring will grow faster and faster...I've never imagined that the Edicts of Life contained a technique like this. With regards to this, I...alas..." Gislason shook his head and sighed.
Linley was stunned.
"But don't grow frantic. I can't save her, but that doesn't means others can't either." Gislason said hurriedly.
Right at this moment, two people charged in, one of which was Forhan.
"What on earth is going on?" Forhan said frantically. When he saw Linley in the corner of his eyes, his face couldn't help but change. Linley was actually still alive...this was completely out of his expectations.
"Forhan, it's good that you are here. You and Garvey, hurry over to Bloodbath Gorge and have the Grand Elder and the others come. Oh, right, hurry and ask the other three clan leaders to come as well. Hurry!" Gislason shouted.
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