Book 1, Chapter 19 – The Coiling Dragon Spirit (part 2)
The Pouant Empire had lasted for an extremely long period of time, and had been erected over eight thousand years ago. The entire Pouant Empire had lasted for three thousand years, but in the end, it was still destroyed. The domain which the Pouant Empire had previously held sway over was approximately the combined borders of the Holy Union and the Dark Alliance.
In other words…
The entire Mountain Range of Magical Beasts, the twelve kingdoms, and the thirty-two duchies all once belonged to the Pouant Empire. From this alone, one could tell what a vast empire it had been.
But the Pouant Empire had been destroyed long ago!
“Over five thousand years ago?” The white-haired old man was momentarily stunned, and then let out a sigh. “There’s no way for me to sense the passing of time from within the Worldring. I didn’t expect that by the time I left the Worldring, over five thousand years would have passed since the destruction of my country.”
“Gramps, what are you talking about? I’m confused.”
Linley felt as though his entire mind had been turned muddy. This old grandpa had suddenly appeared out of nowhere, and claimed that he was a Grand Magus from the era of the Pouant Empire, which had been destroyed five thousand years ago. What could be more ridiculous than this?
Linley even wondered if he was in a dream!
“Kid.” The white-haired old man looked at Linley. Smiling, he said, “The ring you wear next to your chest is the Divine artifact I once used – the Worldring!”
“Wait, wait, wait!”
Linley immediately peered up at him and said, “What ‘Worldring’? This ring around my chest was left behind by elders of my ancestral clan. Its name is the ‘Coiling Dragon Ring’!”
“Coiling Dragon Ring? It was originally named the Coiling Dragon Ring?” The old man said in surprise.
Linley was stunned.
“Original name? What do you mean, original name?” Linley looked questioningly at the old man.
Only now did the old man begin to laugh. “Oh, ‘Coiling Dragon Ring’ must be the name you gave it. Or perhaps the name an elder of yours gave it. When I originally discovered this ring, I searched through all sorts of documents but couldn’t find any information about it. Thus I gave myself the authority to title it the Worldring. But as to what it was originally called, even I have no idea.”
“Oh, gramps, you chose the name for it yourself as well. But now it belongs to me, and I named it the Coiling Dragon Ring.” Linley was quite stubborn.
“Fine, fine, call it the Coiling Dragon Ring if you wish.” The old man chuckled, not wanting to debate with Linley.
“Gramps, can you tell me why you just appeared from within the Coiling Dragon Ring?” Linley questioned.
The old man smiled. “In year 4280 of the Yulan calendar, I-“
Upon hearing this, Linley was secretly shocked. “Year 4280? This year is year 9990!”
“In year 4280 of the Yulan calendar, I encountered an old foe of mine, a Saint-level Grand Magus named Hamelin [Ha’mu’lin], and the two of us began to fight. I didn’t expect yet a second Saint-level combatant to ambush me and sneak attack me. In the end, I was defeated, and my body was destroyed. I didn’t wish for my spirit to be captured and tortured by my enemy, Hamelin, so I sealed myself within this Worldri-, ahem, this Coiling Dragon Ring.” The old man explained what had happened in the past.
“The Coiling Dragon Ring is an extremely amazing object. It doesn’t appear to emanate any magical aura, but in usefulness it can even compare with Divine artifacts. When I sealed my soul within the ring, Hamelin and the other searched a long time for me, but weren’t able to find me. This, too, is thanks to the Coiling Dragon Ring.” The old man smiled as he spoke.
Linley secretly nodded.
The Coiling Dragon Ring, by appearances, really did look quite plain. As the member of an ancient clan, Linley had a rather appraising eye.
Normally, precious items would have at least some sort of elemental aura. But this Coiling Dragon Ring seemed like nothing more than plain, inert wood.
“Gramps, you said that five thousand years ago, you were ambushed by a Saint-level Grand Magus and a Saint-level combatant, and then you were self-sealed within this ring? And that this ring is an artifact which is comparable in power to a Divine artifact?” Linley finally said.
“Right.” Seeing that Linley understood, the old man couldn’t help but smile and nod.
“Then Gramps, how is it that you appeared from within the ring just now?” Linley looked doubtfully at the old man.
Laughing, the old man explained, “Actually, when I sealed my spirit within the Coiling Dragon Ring, I interwove my very existence into the Coiling Dragon Ring. Only when a person becomes the new owner of the ring would I be allowed to depart it.”
“Becomes the new owner of the ring?”
“Right. Through dripping blood onto the Coiling Dragon Ring.” The old man laughed.
Linley frowned while mumbling, “Dripping blood onto the ring?” Frowning as he tried to recollect when that had happened, Linley suddenly remembered that when the rock had cut his head open, fresh blood had suffused his clothes and his chest. Most likely, it was around then that the blood had dripped onto the ring.
“Oh. Then that makes me the owner of the Coiling Dragon Ring.” Linley nodded.
“Right. Only now, after you became the owner of the Coiling Dragon Ring, am I able to depart the ring and once more experience the air of the Yulan continent.” A hint of a smile was on the old man’s face. “Right. Kid. I just told you my name, but what is yours?”
Linley smiled brightly. “My name is Linley! Linley Baruch!”
“Linley, a fine name.” The old man smiled.
“Gramps, are you going to be forever bound to the ring and unable to ever regain your freedom?” Linley felt rather bad for him.
The old man smiled and nodded. “Linley, you must know that when most people die, their spirits will enter the Nether Realm! But because I was a Saint-level Grand Magus at the time of my death, my mental energy had obtained physical form. That was the only reason why I could temporarily resist the call of the Nether Realm and seal myself within the Coiling Dragon Ring. Right now, there is only one way for me to leave this ring – exhaust all of my remaining mental energy.”
“Exhaust all your remaining mental energy?” Linley didn’t quite understand.
“What men called mental energy, ghosts might call ‘spiritual energy’. When a person’s mental energy was utterly exhausted, his soul would naturally dissipate. In other words…when my soul dissipates, it will leave the confines of this Coiling Dragon Ring.” The old man said calmly. “But the current situation is fine also. Although I am confined by the Coiling Dragon Ring, preventing me from ranging more than three meters away from it, this isn’t too bad.”
Linley’s heart trembled.
Suddenly, in his heart, Linley felt some pity for this old man.
“Heh heh, Linley, I’m already very satisfied. You don’t know this, but…if my spirit had been captured by Hamelin, it would have been a fate worse than death.” The old man sighed.
“Gramps, you said your name is Doehring Cowart? Can I address you as Grandpa Doehring?” Linley suddenly said.
Doehring Cowart was a mighty Grand Magus of the Pouant Empire, and thus had an extremely high personal status. Back then, he would have ranked amongst the top five personages in the Yulan continent. He fell only because he had been despicably ambushed by Grand Magus Hamelin and another Saint-level combatant.
Doehring Cowart had never had a child, nor grandchildren. Upon hearing Linley address him as Grandpa Doehring, Doehring Cowart’s heart, which had been lonely for thousands of years, suddenly felt warm.
“Yes, yes.” Doehring Cowart felt extremely happy.
A look of excitement suddenly appeared in Linley’s eyes. “Grandpa Doehring, just now, you said that you are a Saint-level Grand Magus. Then, can you teach me how to use magic?” Linley’s heart was frantically pounding. The person in front of him was a five thousand year old Saint-level Grand Magus.
In Linley’s mind, the huge body of the Velocidragon, the terrifying spectacle of the Dance of the Fire Serpents, and the countless boulders falling from the sky began to play over and over again, along with the spectacle of that proud man who stood on top of the Black Dragon.
He deeply desired that one day…
He, too, would step on top of the head of a Black Dragon and make the heavens tremble.
Doehring Cowart stroked his white beard. His eyes shining, he said, “Of course I can! Your Grandpa Doehring is a Saint-level Grand Magus of the almighty earth style…and amongst all of the elements, the element of earth is the mightiest of them all!” As he began to discuss magic, Doehring Cowart began to get excited.