On the ninth floor of the Radiant Temple.
Linley seemed to have been discarded here and forgotten. The only people who came were the cold, grim purple-robed Executors of the Ecclesiastical Tribunal who came each day bringing his meals. His arms and legs both broken, Linley’s only choice was to squirm over then lower his head to the food.
Within the dark, gloomy cell, one such day after another passed.
Life? Or death?
Linley didn’t know which it would be, but Linley wouldn’t so easily give up any hope of staying alive.
These past few days, Linley had spent his time reviewing why his attempt at gaining revenge this time had failed. Almost everything had been within his calculations, and he even included the existence of Clayde’s magical beast companion in his plans. But Linley hadn’t expected that Clayde would have a Saint-level magical barrier enchantment!
Producing a barrier enchantment was far more difficult than just casting a spell.
To produce a Saint-level barrier enchantment, the effort that needed to be expended in both spiritual energy and mageforce was greater than the effort needed to directly cast a Saint-level magical spell. Linley didn’t believe that Clayde would have a Saint-level barrier enchantment on him.
Even Doehring Cowart had said: “Forget about Clayde. Most likely, even the Cardinals of the Radiant Church wouldn’t have a Saint-level barrier enchantment on them.”
Given Linley’s power as a warrior of the ninth rank in Dragonform, and combined with Bebe’s power, Clayde should’ve died without a doubt. Although Linley was perhaps a bit too hasty in his plan to get revenge, he should’ve had a nearly 100% chance of success. Alas, that Fateguard enchantment ruined Linley’s plans.
“Who would’ve thought that a mere ruler of a kingdom would have a Saint-level barrier enchantment!” Linley was still unable to accept it.
He really just couldn’t.
The temperature of these winter nights was now extremely cold. There were very few people on the streets of Fenlai City. A black Shadowmouse was standing in a corner of an intersection, staring up at the tall and far-off Radiant Temple. The little Shadowmouse just stood there and stared, not moving at all.
That entire night, the little Shadowmouse remained there staring, even after the sun began to rise.
He didn’t dare to enter the Radiant Temple, because he knew very well that the Radiant Temple was a place where even Saint-level combatants feared to tread. He, a rat-type magical beast, wouldn’t be able to escape. If in the end he was captured as well, Linley would only be even more heartbroken.
It was day now.
“Boss, I will definitely avenge you.” Bebe glanced at the Radiant Temple one final time, then with a flicker, disappeared.
Over the entire past twenty days, the Shadowmouse, Bebe, had been thinking about how to avenge Linley. But he discovered that Clayde was now as cautious as a bird which had been frightened by the twang of a bow. Not only did he order magi to lay multiple magical formations around him, he also ordered Kaiser to constantly remain by his side. The little Shadowmouse didn’t have any chance to ambush him at all.
However, Bebe was very patient.
He would wait, continue to wait patiently. He would wait for the day when Clayde let down his guard, and then suddenly appear and chew Clayde into a meaty paste, avenging Linley.
Midnight, December 28th.
The door to Linley’s holding cell swung open, and two Vicars stepped in. They didn’t seem as cold and sinister as the Executors of the Ecclesiastical Tribunal, and they even brought a gurney. Very carefully, they placed Linley on top of the gurney, and then lifted the gurney with Linley on top of it.
“What are you doing?” Linley coldly looked at the two Vicars.
Recollecting how Linley had slaughtered people in the past, the two Vicars felt some fear in their hearts towards him.
“Lord Linley, the Holy Emperor is preparing to treat your injuries.” A female Vicar said in a soft voice.
“Treat my injuries?”
Linley’s heart stirred. “Can it be that the Holy Emperor really is going to let me live?” Linley didn’t say anything else, maintaining his silence. He allowed the two Vicars to carry him further upstairs into the top of the Radiant Temple. One floor after another…
Finally, the two Vicars carrying Linley arrived at the top floor of the Radiant Temple. Currently, this floor was very empty. In the middle of the room, there was a very complicated-looking octagram magical formation. In each of the eight corners of the octagram, there sat quiet, barefoot Ascetics with disheveled hair and sackcloth clothes. In the very center of the octagram stood the Holy Emperor Heidens, who was wearing an ornate white robe.
At the edges of this top floor, there were three Cardinals, and two Deputy Arbiters along with six Executors of the Ecclesiastical Tribunal. All of these people were combatants of the ninth rank. One could tell how powerful the Radiant Church was, for it to be able to summon so many combatants of the ninth rank.
“Put him down. You can leave now.” Guillermo spoke.
“Yes.” The two Vicars didn’t even dare to breathe loudly. Right now, within this very room, there were astonishingly powerful Ascetics, mysterious Executors of the Ecclesiastical Tribunal, three Cardinals, and two Deputy Arbiters.
These were all important, major figures.
After putting down Linley, the two Vicars hurriedly, respectfully departed, and the door once more was shut behind them.
Lying on the gurney, Linley swept the people present with his gaze. Linley could easily tell that every single person here possessed incredible, astonishing power, all at least of the ninth rank or higher. “Your Holiness, what are you intending?” Linley said in a hoarse voice.
Heidens glanced at Linley. Laughing calmly, he said, “Linley, although this time you committed a major offence, after the internal deliberations of the Church, we have decided to give you another chance. Right now, we are preparing to execute a joint spell and use it to help you heal your wounds in the best possible way.”
If Linley had any experience whatsoever with light-style magic, he would’ve quickly seen the gaps in Heidens claims.
“Grandpa Doehring, it seems like the Radiant Temple is planning something major.” Linley was conversing mentally with Doehring Cowart.
“What’s going on outside?” Doehring Cowart very prudently didn’t appear, not daring to reveal even a hint of his spiritual power.
Heidens was a peak-stage Saint-level combatant. If Doehring Cowart left the Coiling Dragon ring, the Holy Emperor would definitely discover him.
“There’s around twenty or so people outside, and even the weakest is at least of the ninth rank. There are eight Ascetics and the Holy Emperor standing in an octagram magical formation.” Linley reported.
Doehring Cowart had far more experience than Linley. “Linley, if they just wanted you to fully recover, a single Saint-level combatant using the Lifelight spell would be enough to fully heal you. There’s no need for them to do all of this. I think they must be planning to summon the divine energy of a Sovereign of Light. Otherwise, there’d be no need for them to cause such a commotion.”
There was more than one Sovereign of Light.
The Radiant Sovereign, however, was the most powerful one of them.
“Summoning the power of a Sovereign?” Linley was greatly shocked. “They intend to use the power of a Sovereign against me? What are they intending?”
“I’m not sure either.”
In Doehring Cowart’s era, both the Radiant Church and the Cult of Shadows were fairly small and weak. There nothing more than two religions amongst many in the Pouant Empire. Back then, the Radiant Church also had very few experts, and couldn’t possibly produce as many as they did today.
“Your Holiness. It is time.” Guillermo said respectfully.
Heidens raised his head upwards, looking at the sky, then nodded.
“Let us begin.” Heidens said calmly.
A white light immediately began to emanate from the bodies of those eight Ascetics seated within the corners of the octagram, causing an extremely dense wave of light-style mageforce to flow into the center of the magical formation. The entire magical formation immediately grew bright. In front of Heidens, a golden holy scripture suddenly appeared, while Heidens himself slowly began to radiate a golden light.
Heidens opened the scripture to its first page.
“Lord, it is you who grant us everything.” Heidens said softly, but his voice rang out in the hearts of everyone present like a thunderclap. At the same time, the glow from the holy scripture brightened dramatically, and the amount of holy white light in the magical formation increased dramatically as well.
Two lines of light intersected.
A perfectly straight line of light shot upwards, piercing into and through the very tip of the Radiant Church, then continuing upwards into the dark night. Anyone in Fenlai City would be able to clearly see this holy white light, entwined with a golden light, penetrate into and past the clouds.
Within the top floor of the Radiant Temple.
Heidens suddenly turned to look at Linley. Linley felt as though an extremely dense power was lifting him up, causing him to slowly rise into the air. Linley floated over to the middle of the magical formation, directly above Heidens’ head.
“Lord, you take pity on and love the people of this world, and in turn, we must put our faith in you.”
Heidens raised his head, an incomparably holy radiance emanating from his face.
The air above the Radiant Temple began to tremble. A cloud of white light began to gather in the air above the Radiant Temple, covering an extremely large expanse of space. Many of the people in Fenlai City noticed it.
“If one betrays you, Lord, then you shall take everything from them. But those who place their faith in you, Lord, shall receive your benevolence and your love.” Heidens flipped to the next page in the holy scripture. “Boom!”
The world shook. In the air above the Radiant Temple, the darkness of the night had been shattered by that exceedingly bright cloud of light. In the middle of the cloud of bright light, a single crack appeared in space, and a line of white light shot down from the crack at high speed.
That line of white light carried with it a majestic presence which filled everyone’s hearts with awe. It pierced straight through the tip of the Radiant Chapel before finally landing on Linley, who was hovering in the air above the magical formation.
Within the top floor of the Radiant Chapel.
Heidens, the eight Ascetics, the three Cardinals, the two Deputy Arbiters, and the six special Executors all raised their heads, looking at Linley. The majestic power that line of white light embodied filled even the heart of Heidens with awe and worship.
Although it was just a hint of divine power, this power came directly from the Radiant Sovereign himself.
The white light penetrated Linley’s body, and Linley’s entire body immediately began to emanate that white light as well. At the same time, Linley’s body began to heal at an astonishing speed. In the blink of an eye, Linley’s shattered bones and wounds were all healed, and his physical condition was restored to a better than ever condition.
Linley’s soul moaned. When that ray of white light had entered Linley’s body, the healing effects had only been a side effect. The primary target of this ray of white light was Linley’s soul. Clearly, this ray of white light wished to sink into and merge with Linley’s soul.
Once this divine power merged with Linley’s soul, then Linley would never again be able to shake off the control of the Radiant Sovereign, and would forever be his loyal vassal.
But just as this was happening….
An incomparably powerful force surged forth from the Coiling Dragon ring on Linley’s finger. Passing through Linley’s body, it rushed straight to Linley’s brain. That terrifyingly powerful force surrounded the divine power in Linley’s body and rapidly began to devour and dispel it.
And then, that burst of unimaginable power once more travelled through Linley’s body and re-entered the Coiling Dragon ring.
“Grandpa Doehring, what is going on?” Linley said frantically.
“No idea. That force belonged to the Coiling Dragon ring itself. That force was terrifyingly powerful. It was terrifying…terrifying…terrifyingly powerful.” Doehring Cowart was so shocked and nervous that he repeated the word ‘terrifying’ three times.
Doehring Cowart had been in possession of the Coiling Dragon ring five thousand years ago, but he had never had any inkling that such an unsurpassable power lay dormant within the ring.
Doehring Cowart was absolutely certain that if that power had been used to attack someone, even ten peak-stage Saint-level combatants would’ve been reduced to dust in the blink of an eye.
“Where did this burst of power come from, and what was it? Even I, the owner and master of this Coiling Dragon ring, was unable to sense it, much less control it.” Linley knew very well that this power was not so easily used. In the past, Doehring Cowart had worn and used this ring for over a thousand years when he was alive, but had never used or discovered this burst of power.
While this was occurring….
All of the people in the top floor of the Radiant Temple were astonished. The Holy Emperor Heidens, the eight Ascetics, the three Cardinals, the two Deputy Arbiters, and the six Executors all stared in disbelief. They could tell that Linley’s body didn’t show a single hint of having received the Divine Baptism. There wasn’t even a Radiant Seal on his forehead.
“How is this possible? It failed?” Heidens stared at Linley, stunned.