Book 19, Metamorphosis - Chapter 55, The Experts By the Banks of the Stellar River
A bone-shattering sound rang out, and Hemmers was knocked flying backwards.
"This...what is this?" Hemmers was completely stunned. "The Azure Dragon clan brat, what's going on with him? The first time I met him, he wasn't able to fight back at all. He had to rely on Sovereign power, his Gravitational Space, and his innate divine ability in order to escape. The second time I encountered him, the brat was able to fight me head on. This third time...I'm completely unable to fight back?"
"No matter how much of a genius a person is, this is ridiculous." Hemmers landed on the ground, staring at the distant Linley, his mind a mess.
Blood dribbled down his face. Hemmers shook his head, then muttered to himself, "Impossible. Something must be wrong." Hemmers still hadn't reacted, but he hurriedly began to cure his wounds. "This Azure Dragon clan punk's fist actually broke my lower jaw and shattered my teeth."
Hemmers possessed terrifyingly strong material defense. When Linley had first met him, a full-force sword blow was only able to barely scratch his skin.
Hemmers' skin possessed weak defense. His muscles were strong and bones were stronger!
Linley's casual punch was able to shatter his jaw?
"Hey, Hemmers, why are you just standing there like an idiot? Didn't you want to kill us to get our commander badges?" Bebe smugly began to laugh loudly towards him.
"Impossible. Something must be wrong!!!" Hemmers howled furiously.
"BOOM!" Hemmers' entire body suddenly began to glow with an earthen yellow light, and a brilliant golden light flooded through him as well, making his fists and legs especially bright. Hemmers was like a crazed bear, transforming into a ray of lightning as he charged once more towards Linley.
Hemmers clearly had gone mad.
"He really is a big dumb idiot." Linley said with a calm laugh.
Hemmers was howling furiously. His full-strength punch smashed through the skies, and he moved like a dragon as he attacked Linley. "Rumble..." Where his fist passed, the space of the Planar Battlefield was constantly torn asunder like fragile glass. Multiple spatial tears that were tens of meters long were created.
"Although he's a bit stupid, he really is quite strong." Linley still smiled.
The same response!
A fist struck out, and over a hundred black dragons of energy swept towards Hemmers. This time, Linley actually used Destruction-type Sovereign power. "This Hemmers used Sovereign power; to subdue him, I really will have to use Sovereign power." Although he was able to easily defeat Hemmers, Linley had to acknowledge his opponent's strength.
"Crackle..." The hundred-plus dragons formed into a cage, binding Hemmers within...Microcosm!
That compressive power that was far greater than before once more formed, making Hemmers feel very uncomfortable throughout his entire body. In this situation, his speed slowed drastically, and he could only watch as Linley's fist smashed against his body.
A fist landed on Hemmers' chest, and a bone-splitting sound rang out yet again as Hemmers was knocked flying backwards, his legs being driven deeply into the ground.
"What is going on?!" Hemmers stared at his chest, where a large, bloody hole had appeared, with blood leaking out. This injury was even more severe than the previous one; his ribs were completely shattered. Fortunately, Hemmers' body was tough enough that the punch didn't go straight through his chest.
But a blow of such power...if it landed against his head, he definitely would have died!
Hemmers was shocked to his senses!
"Hemmers, do you want to come again?" Linley chortled.
"Hey, Hemmers, aren't you really tough? What, are you stupefied now?" Reisgem laughed teasingly, and as he spoke, Reisgem voluntarily released his aura.
"You are...Reisgem?" Only now did Hemmers recognize him.
"My aura-hiding abilities are too great. Unless I wish it, someone like you, Hemmers, would never be able to recognize me." Reisgem said smugly. His aura-suppressing abilities really were formidable, but against the likes of Linley or Magnus, he would still easily be detected.
Hemmers looked carefully at Linley.
"You...in the past, were you intentionally toying with me?" Hemmers said in a low voice.
"No." Linley laughed and shook his head.
Hemmers stared at Linley. He couldn't help but grow a bit angry. "Azure Dragon clan brat, your strength is so great; why did you toy with me like that? Although I, Hemmers, am a bit slow to react, I'm not so stupid to the point where I'll believe that a brat who wasn't able to fight back a few centuries ago could, a few centuries later, easily trample me!"
Hemmers didn't flee, because he knew...
Given his pitiful speed, there was no way he could flee.
"Why would I deceive you?" Linley laughed calmly. "You can leave now. I don't want to kill you."
"Not kill me?" Hemmers was stunned.
In the Planar Battlefield, if you couldn't beat someone, you would generally be killed. But today...
"Fine. I believe you when you say you weren't previously toying with me." Hemmers gave Linley a long look. "Can you tell me, how long have you been training for?"
"Less than three thousand years." Linley didn't hide anything.
Hemmers was stunned, and he blinked twice. "Less than three, three, three...thousand years?" Hemmers stared at Linley in disbelief. "I really want to ask you something. Are you toying with me, or did I hear incorrectly? Or perhaps you meant less than three thousand millennia."
Hemmers was able to believe three million or thirty million years, but three thousand? This was a bit too frightening.
"You didn't mishear." Linley laughed while shaking his head. "Bebe, let's go."
Linley, Reisgem, Reihom, and Bebe chortled as they walked away. Bebe turned and look at Hemmers. "Haha, big idiot, don't just stand there like a fool. Even if you stand there for three millennia, you still aren't comparable to my Boss."
"Less than three thousand years? The Planar War has only been going on for a few centuries, and he's fought with me three times. But each time..."
Hemmers, previously stupefied, was finally starting to come to his senses. He stared with a bit of trepidation as Linley left. "What a truly terrifying person. In less than three thousand years, he's constantly advanced. He's also a member of the Azure Dragon clan. For his material attack to be this strong...he should be a Paragon."
"Three thousand years. Paragon?"
Hemmers suddenly sat down on the ground, then lay down casually, his head still woozy.
"Ah." Hemmers suddenly slapped himself against the head. "Forgot to ask'm. What's his name! Forget it, I'll just refer to him him as that 'Azure Dragon clan brat.'" Hemmers, in his mind, had firmly memorized this Azure Dragon clan brat, who apparently had the terrifying power of a Paragon.
"It seems this final battle will be very exciting." Hemmers mumbled. "So many experts. Mm. I have to go watch." Hemmers rose to his feet as he spoke, also moving towards the Stellar River.
Only, he was still rather leery of Linley. Thus, the route Hemmers took was slightly different from Linley's.
The Stellar River was a thousand kilometers wide, and more than a million kilometers long. The entire Planar Battlefield was divided into two.
The wide Stellar River was extremely brilliant, and the rainbow-colored regions of spatial chaos flowed about, but the experts of the Planar Battlefield all understood that although the chaotic space was beautiful, they contained terrifying levels of energy. If one became trapped within, they would quickly be lost. Even Paragons didn't dare enter spatial rifts.
One could imagine how terrifying they were.
At present, Linley's group of four was standing by the banks of the Stellar River.
"So many years have passed. I've always been on this side of the Stellar River. Our military headquarters is located on the opposite side." Reisgem said with a laugh. "Let's go...it's time to visit our main camp. On this side, there is no way we will be able to participate in the final battle. I want to acquire a few extra commander badges."
As he spoke, Reisgem was the first to enter the Stellar River.
It was much like when Linley had first come; they had to fly through crooked little paths of safety!
Reihom, Bebe, and Linley all immediately followed.
Originally, when they passed the Stellar River on the way to other side, Linley and Bebe were both rather nervous, afraid that they might accidentally slip into a spatial rift. This time returning, however, Linley himself felt quite relaxed.
"The Stellar River is indeed beautiful." Linley could even leisurely enjoy watching the surrounding spatial rifts, as well as the giant boulders and small mountains that hovered in the middle of the Stellar River.
As they passed through the river, given Linley's control over space, he was able to clearly sense which places were safe and which parts were dangerous. Even if he touched a spatial rift, given Linley's current power, there was no way he would be sucked within.
Linley's group of four quickly passed this distance of a thousand kilometers.
Every single Planar War would last a thousand years. For the vast majority of this period of time, ordinary soldiers had no assignments; they could safely stay in their side's headquarters. But when a thousand years passed, the soldiers began to grow busy. At this moment, in the Planar Battlefield, in each side's headquarters, everyone began to move towards the banks of the Stellar River.
They gathered around at each side of the two corridors of the Stellar River. The two sides arrayed themselves by the banks.
The camps stationed alongside the Stellar River were fairly long. At the same time, there were quite a few patrolling soldiers who moved about nearby. Their current mission was...receive commander-level experts!
After all, during the final battle, some scattered commanders would also regroup with them. The armies would naturally welcome the commanders to join them; after all, the strength of a commander was far greater than an ordinary soldier, and they would be of great use during the final battle.
A hundred or so soldiers were casually seated in the meditative position next to an earthen hill. Others were resting lazily against the hill, or standing and watching their surroundings. This was one of the patrol squads for one of the military camps of the Divine Darkness Plane's side.
"Captain, someone just came to our side of the Stellar River. There are four in total." A silver-haired, violet-eyed soldier called out hurriedly.
"Oh? Probably a commander. Let's get a closer look." This captain of his hundred-man squad was a bald, hook-nosed man. He immediately led his squad to move closer. They weren't too worried, because not too far behind them was their military camp. In addition, they didn't go too close to the four.
When they reached a distance of two or three hundred meters.
"They belong to our side!" The captain let out a sigh of relief. They could sense the badges of the four.
Immediately, the hundred-man squad drew closer.
"Hey, who are you?" A youth wearing a straw hat called out.
The bald, hook-nosed captain immediately bowed respectfully. "Milords, we are here at the orders of the commanders to receive you."
"Let's go, Linley." Reisgem laughed. "It was like this in the past as well. Towards the end, the military camps would all invite us to join them, whether to watch or to actually participate. Within the military camps...there are groups of commanders who are familiar with each other. It also makes coordinating easier."
Linley nodded. "Then let's go."
"Please follow me, milords." The captain said humbly.
Linley's group of four, following the captain, moved forward, with the hundred soldiers following. They arrived at the nearby military camp. This military camp had many stone houses built, and soldiers could be seen everywhere.
"This is our headquarters, and these are the houses that were made just for commanders. Commanders can select any vacant house." The captain pointed to the front. "There are twenty houses, three of which are occupied and seventeen of which are empty. Just by looking at the courtyard gate, you'll know if there is anyone present. Vacant houses have locked gates."
One plain, unadorned stone manor after another had been built in the empty space up ahead. There were twenty of them.
"Someone else came?" Two figures emerged from one of the courtyards, one a youth who was as skinny as a bamboo rod with strange, sinister, cold eyes. By his side was a white-haired, white-bearded elder whose face was wreathed in smiles.
"Oh, Reisgem." The skinny youth said with a light laugh.
"Woodridge [Wu'te'li'qi], didn't know you came as well." Reisgem snickered, then said to Linley, "Linley, don't pay this fellow any mind. Let's go in." Reisgem seemed to be very disdainful towards this skinny youth.
"Right." Linley couldn't be bothered to pay attention to this person either.
"Linley? I heard that a Linley emerged within the Four Divine Beasts clan in the Infernal Realm. So that's him?" Woodridge looked towards Linley and chuckled. "I looked at that scryer recording. Your strength is quite average. It's one thing for you to kill a few ordinary Seven Star Fiends, but coming to the Planar Battlefield is just suicide."
Linley turned to give him a sideways glance. Woodridge was startled, but then Linley immediately followed Reisgem into the courtyard.
"Woodridge, the genius expert of the Goldeye Bats? What's that look on your face?" Bebe glanced at him, giving him a disdainful smirk, then followed Linley into the courtyard.
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