Book 19, Metamorphosis - Chapter 56, Bebe's Request
If Woodridge was unhappy with the way Linley looked at him, he was absolutely livid with the disdainful look Bebe had given him and the way Bebe had spoken to him.
"That straw hat wearing brat!" Woodbridge's face sank, and he was about to bark back at him.
"Woodridge, don't be impulsive." The nearby white-haired elder sent mentally.
"What is it?" Woodridge turned to look at the white-haired elder. "It's one thing for Reisgem to be so arrogant in front of me, but that brat with the straw hat, who the hell does he think he is? I've never even heard of him." For someone to survive in the Planar Battlefield until now was proof of one's strength. Woodridge wouldn't so easily allow others to insult him.
If he heard a single displeasing word, he would want to kill the speaker!
"You didn't go to the other side of the river, so you have no idea who that youngster with the straw hat is." The white-haired elder said solemnly. "The reputation of that youngster with the straw hat is known throughout the headquarters of the Divine Light Plane!"
"Oh?" Woodridge's pupils contracted. "Who is he?"
"The second Godeater Rat, aside from Beirut!" The white-haired elder said solemnly.
Woodridge's face changed. "What? Godeater Rat?! How can that be? Isn't Beirut the one and only Godeater Rat? Where did another one come from?"
"I was adventuring on the other side of the river. Of course I know this news. You can ask anyone; any of the commanders who went adventuring on the other side of the river will definitely have heard of this Godeater Rat, a youngster who wore a straw hat. You had best be careful." The white-haired elder gave him a sideways glance. "If something goes wrong, don't say no one warned you!"
After speaking, the white-haired elder returned to his own residence.
"Godeater Rat?" Woodridge watched Linley's group enter their courtyard, and then, with a low snort, departed.
The manors which the military camp arranged for each commander were all very large, with many rooms.
"Not bad, not bad!" Reisgem stepped into the main hall, glancing around before sighing with satisfaction. "It as though the members of this military camp bought quite a few decorative items before entering." The main hall had a number of decorative items; even the tables and chairs were made of wood. At a single glance, one could tell that they weren't made from the materials of the Planar Battlefield.
"Linley, we no longer need to do anything. Just rest. Later, I imagine the commander of this military camp will come pay us a visit. The commanders living nearby will probably come visit as well. All we have to do is accompany them! As for the final battle, there's more than a month left before it arrives." Reisgem immediately headed to a nearby room. "During this period of time, I'll live here."
Linley and the others all selected their own residences.
Indeed, as Reisgem predicted, soon after they moved in, the commander of this military camp came to pay them a visit. Afterwards, Linley's group received visits from the nearby commanders as well. But of course, Reisgem and the others didn't openly publicize Linley's strength.
In the blink of an eye, half a month passed.
Within the courtyard. Linley and Bebe were seated, facing each other.
"Bebe, why the frown? If there's something you want to say, why hold back? Just say it." Linley could immediately tell that Bebe had something on his mind.
Bebe took a deep breath.
"Boss, actually, I feel quite conflicted." Bebe looked at Linley.
"Eh? About what?" Linley asked.
Bebe lowered his head, resting it against the table, staring at it. In a soft voice, he said, "Boss, actually, there was another reason why I wanted you to come participate in the Planar War. In my heart, I've been hesitating...about whether or not to let my mother and father come back to life as well."
Linley was stunned. How could he have forgotten?
The ever-carefree appearance Bebe had put on over all these years had caused Linley to not think about certain things...but Bebe's thoughts weren't necessarily the same as Linley's.
"I've never met my parents. I don't know what they are like. My mind is very chaotic right now. I have no clear image of them in my mind. I don't really think about them that much. I became accustomed long ago to not having parents, but...I still feel regret over it."
Bebe mumbled softly to himself, "I didn't think too much about it, but Boss, for the sake of saving your family and friends, you came to the Planar Battlefield. That moved me. Should I find my parents as well? But I know that it's really hard for you to collect commander badges, Boss. I don't want to add to your burden. And so, I've been hesitating about whether or not I should search for my parents, which is why I didn't plan on saying anything."
"But, Boss, now you are so powerful. It shouldn't be too hard for you to collect two more commander badges. That's why I am starting to think about this again."
Bebe lifted his head up to look towards Linley.
"Bebe. I'm sorry." Linley said apologetically.
He truly felt ashamed. He and Bebe were lifelong brothers, and Bebe had risked his life to battle with him here in the Planar Battlefield. But he himself had actually forgotten Bebe's parents!
"Boss, don't say that." Bebe shook his head. "Actually, I'm still a bit hesitant over whether or not I should look for my parents. After all, I've never met them...and I have no idea if the undead my parents were transformed into are dead or alive. If I were to be able to meet my parents, what should I say to them? They probably wouldn't even recognize me if they saw me!"
Bebe's mother didn't get to see Bebe grow up and transform into human form. Even if she regained her memories, she wouldn't recognize Bebe on sight.
"To meet again without recognizing each other..." Bebe had very complicated, mixed emotions in his heart.
Bebe had planned on just saying 'forget it'; his parents had their own fate, and there was no point trying to force things. And, originally, it was indeed hard for Linley to collect enough commander badges. But now, things were different.
"Don't worry about it. Let me handle this. I'll get two more commander badges!" Linley promised.
"Right." Bebe nodded.
"Whew!" Bebe sat up straight, letting out a breath. "Damn, forget it! They are my parents. I'll meet them! Heh heh, I imagine that if they knew that they had a Godeater Rat for a son, they would be very proud." Bebe seemed to have shrugged off his annoyances, becoming carefree once more.
Linley chuckled. In his heart, he had already made up his mind that during the final battle, he would acquire two more commander badges.
Linley and Bebe had travelled together their entire lives. Bebe was willing to sacrifice his life for Linley, and the opposite was true as well. In addition, given Linley's current level, it would actually be quite hard to make him die.
"Knock!" "Knock!" Suddenly, a knocking sound.
Linley waved his hand, and a surge of divine power swept forward, pushing the courtyard door open. In walked a person, a black-haired youth with black-colored, gold-edged robes. "Linley. Bebe. Are Reisgem and Reihom here?" This was the commander of this military camp, 'Walnut' [Wo'nuo'te]. The commanders who came to the Planar Battlefield included both solitary commanders as well as commanders responsible for military camps.
"Hey, what is it?" A voice rang out from the main hall, then Reisgem flew out.
Linley and Bebe looked towards Walnut as well.
"Here's the situation. Before the final battle begins, the commanders of the military camps and the roving commanders will all gather together once to discuss our strategy for the final battle. At the same time, everyone can get familiar with each other." Walnut said with a laugh.
"When is it?" Reisgem asked.
Linley knew about this as well. A meeting before the final battle was a custom.
"Today!" Walnut nodded and laughed. "There are already commanders waiting outside. Reisgem, the four of you can go out as well. I'll go inform each of the other commanders, and then we'll head out together."
"Fine." Reisgem nodded, and Linley and the others all walked outside as well.
There were indeed three people outside already. When the three saw Linley's group of four, then laughed and greeted him. "Reisgem, Bebe, Reihom, Linley!" They all walked over. Linley's group of four welcomed them. As others saw it, Linley's four-man squad should have been formed around Reisgem and Bebe as the core.
As for Reihom and Linley, they were somewhat ignored. After all, Reisgem's reputation and Bebe's reputation as a 'Godeater Rat' were simply too great.
Soon, the commanders of this military camp had all gathered here.
Including Walnut, there were a total of ten commanders.
"Alright, everyone, let's head out." Walnut said with a laugh.
"There are dozens of military camps. Each camp actually has ten or so commanders. Then the dozens of military camps combined...how many commanders is that!" Bebe said with a sigh.
"Not that many." Walnut said with a calm laugh. "That's because most of the military camps are centered around the ends of the two corridors connecting each side of the Stellar River. Thus...it's always the outermost military camps which welcome commanders back! The military camps located deeper inside don't receive any commanders."
Bebe now understood.
"Thus, our Divine Darkness Plane's side has a total of at most fifty or so surviving commander-level experts, all combined." Walnut gave an estimated figure.
Over a thousand years, quite a few commanders had died.
The surviving commanders weren't that numerous, but of course, amongst those who went roving about, the survivors weren't necessarily all commanders; just commander-level experts. For example, although Bebe and Reihom were very powerful, they entered with the status of ordinary soldiers, and followed by the side of Linley and Reisgem, which is why they were allowed to rove about.
The military camp was divided into two wings, and Linley's group was currently moving alongside the banks of the Stellar River, towards the direction of the Stellar River's 'port'.
The gathering place for this meeting was close to one of the corridors.
This was an estate that was slightly larger than the one in which Linley's group was living in. The courtyard had multiple chairs and tables situated within it, and there were around twenty or thirty people located within the courtyard.
"Walnut, you came!" As Walnut's group moved forward, quite a few people immediately noticed them.
"Haha, Ouville [Wu'wei'er], aren't you the lucky one. Still alive, eh?"
"Barnsley [Ba'en'si'li], you came to the Planar Battlefield this time? Haha..."
Immediately, the group of commander-level experts began to call each other's names out, chatting and laughing with each other. These supreme experts of their respective planes were fairly familiar with each other, and many were even friends.
Linley, Bebe, and Reihom knew very few people. And so, they moved to a corner of the courtyard, found three seats, and sat down. Taking out some cups and some wine, they began to drink.
A while later, after Reisgem was done socializing with some old friends, he returned as well.
"How festive." Bebe said with a laugh.
Reisgem said with a smirk, "Festive? Some are happy, others are mocking. Those who are friends with you hope you will live; those who don't like you hope you will die. You know very few people. In a bit, I imagine some people will come chat with you, and you'll quickly become familiar with them."
Linley smiled calmly, lifting his cup and taking a light sip.
"Woodbridge, you came with them as well. Who are the three next to Reisgem?" Commander-level experts also needed to know information about each other; the more details they knew about other commanders, the better.
Before Woodbridge had a chance to speak, a big bald fellow nearby said in a whisper, "I don't know the other two, but that one wearing the straw hat...his name is widespread on the other side of the river, in the camps of the Divine Light Plane's side. That's the second Godeater Rat, aside from Beirut!"
"Godeater Rat?" Quite a few people were stunned.
Too few of them had soul-protecting Sovereign artifacts. Without one, anyone who met Bebe would die. After all, Paragons were extremely, extremely rare.
These people looked towards Reisgem and Bebe in surprise. "And which two incredible figures are currently seated next to Reisgem and the Godeater Rat?"
Woodbridge laughed. "Those two are quite ordinary. That icy-looking fellow is Reihom, an Emissary of the Redbud Sovereign. The brown-haired kid next to him is fairly famous in the Azure Dragon clan; his name is Linley!"
"Linley?" Indeed, there were some, especially in the Infernal Realm, who had heard of Linley. However, in the eyes of these commanders, Linley's performance in the scryer recordings showed that he was only a powerful Seven Star Fiend, not yet at the level of commanders. They didn't care about him.
As time flowed onwards, more and more commander-level experts entered, quite a few of whom knew the others present and began to chat with them. Very few people, however, came to chat with Linley; after all, Linley's status as a 'Lord of Tartarus' was only gained after the Planar War had already begun. Linley himself couldn't be bothered to chat up these people; he actually preferred the peace and quiet.
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