GDK 1020: Giving You Hope
Han Shuo loved to meet people who were about to die sooner or later, so each one of those souls he saw were like the most precious medicinal material to him. If anyone were to be more enthusiastic about this than he was, it would no doubt be the Cauldron of Myriad Demons. It turned into a beam of black light and zipped around the mountains nonstop.
As Han Shuo's demonic artifact, it became stronger and stronger as Han Shuo's mental realm rose, and the more it started to act on its own accord. Even though Han Shuo's main body was still controlling the cauldron all the way from Pandemonium, the Cauldron Spirit didn't need him to steer it and was able to unleash devastating power by itself. Anywhere the cauldron flew, the souls in the area would be sucked into it. In a single round around the mountain range, it got more than six hundred divine souls.
Althea did keep her promise to not take the souls in this area, letting Han Shuo absorb them with his cauldron without issues. The more the battle intensified, the more excited he became.
Soon, it became clear that the gods from the Dominions of Light, Life and Water could no longer resist the onslaught, not to mention the energy crystals powering their energy towers were running out. Continuing to fend off the assault of the Fire, Lightning, Wind, and Earth gods at the mountain range was no longer sensible, so they began to retreat.
The intensity of battle died down slightly as a result. Only a few of the retreating gods were killed as they retreated in an orderly manner towards the closest fortress, Luminus.
"Han Shuo, Nestor and the others sent word that they want to start attacking the Dominion of Earth and asked to have your forces meet up with theirs at the Dominion of Destruction," Fernando said right as Han Shuo was watching the cauldron claim souls with a smile on his face.
Fernando had made spatial mirrors for Amon, Nestor, and Cratos. They could use it to communicate with each other at any time, so Fernando had a clear picture on everything that was happening on their ends.
"Oh?" Han Shuo stopped smiling and said, "Nestor and the rest really know how to pick a time. I happened to notice that the Wind, Fire, Lightning, and Earth dominions have the highest population and are the closest to the Dominion of Destruction. I guess earth might be the weakest of them all, and it would take quite some time before Wind, Fire, and Lightning would be able to send their reinforcements. That should be more than enough for the dominion to be ravaged heavily."
"Perhaps they thought that Nestor and the others would sit and watch, so they picked this time to attack the Dominion of Light. Nestor and the others are sneakier than they make themselves up to be," Fernando said.
Han Shuo nodded in agreement with that assessment. "I'll stay here to continue collecting souls, while my main body in Pandemonium will instruct my subordinates to go to the Dominion of Destruction using the spatial formation you set up. What will you be doing? Are you heading back to the Dominion of Space first?"
"I will. I'll get things in order first before checking in on Nestor and the rest at the Dominion of Destruction. If you need anything, feel free to contact me using the spatial mirror. I will come to you in an instant." Then, Fernando left through a spatial tear.
Having Fernando as an ally really is lucky, Han Shuo thought. Being able to stay connected with allies during such a large-scale battle was not just a great convenience, but also a great strategic advantage. With Fernando in their team, Han Shuo and the rest could remain a cohesive unit as well as be able to come up with solutions for urgent situations even when they were far apart.
It was for this reason that Nestor and the others didn't leap into battle until they were certain Fernando was going to join them. In the past few battles of the gods, they had lost more often than they won. But the one time when they worked with Fernando, they got a really huge advantage and won. As such, the three considered Fernando to be of exceptional strategic value to them. For all crucial matters, they would always seek his opinion and only act once he agreed with what they were going to do.
Seeing Fernando leave, Han Shuo stealthily made his way to the mountains to continue using the cauldron to harvest souls. Even though his main body wasn't here, his avatar wasn't someone just anybody could take on. In fact, they couldn't even detect his presence on the battlefield.
Meanwhile, his main body used his powerful consciousness to inform Salas, Wasir, Stratholme, Bollands and other elites in the Fringe to gather their forces before heading to the Dominion of Destruction. Even though his body was underground, he was still able to easily tell what was happening all over the Fringe.
"Going back to the Dominion of Destruction? Gosh, we won't be hunted down the moment we set foot there, will we?" some of them wondered.
"That's right. Back then, we were chased out of there for we had offended far too many people in that dominion. They even swore to never let us in ever again and would kill us if we do! Wouldn't we just be killed in an instant?" said another.
They were those who had fled from the dominion to come to the Fringe. For all sorts of reasons, they were declared public enemies of the dominion and exiled by the city lords and guardians there, forbidden from ever returning. And now, after having finally settled down in the Fringe, they were told to return to the dominion, which flabbergasted many of them.
When they were exiled, they had given up on all hope of returning to the dominion. Even though they were its natives and still had family members there that they wanted to see, they didn't dare to risk it, especially after the arduous trip they took to come to the Fringe.
"What's all the commotion about?" someone asked from afar. Salas descended around the fearful gods and said, "Why are you afraid at a time like this?!"
"Lord Salas, it's not that we don't dare to return to the Dominion of Destruction. We're just worried we will cause trouble for everyone. After all, our reputation there is far too bad. The moment we arrive, they might come to cause trouble for all of you on our account. Do you think we should stay back instead?" said the leader of the worried fellows.
Hearing that, Salas was reminded of their sensitive identities. Furrowing his brow, he wanted to reach out to Han Shuo, but before he even used his spatial mirror to contact him, Han Shuo sent a strand of his consciousness with a message. "It's fine, they can go. Cratos has given the order. Nobody would dare to attack anyone from the Hexopolis, even if they have been exiled from the Dominions of Death, Destruction, and Darkness. If there's any problem, I will bear all responsibility."
Salas smiled and announced, "I just got a message from Pandemonium that anyone from the Dominions of Death, Destruction, and Darkness will be able to return without any problem! He has negotiated with the three Overgods to make sure there will be no issue!"
The gods, upon hearing that, were filled with excitement and hugged one another at the center of the Hexopolis, dancing with joy nonstop. They had been forbidden from returning to see their family and friends for so long that nobody could easily understand the pain they felt. Never had they imagined that the chance to return would come to them. They were all too overjoyed when they heard Han Shuo's promise to them and couldn't praise him more than they already have.
"Alright you damned fools, shut up, all of you! Now get in line and head to the transference matrix!" Salas yelled, though he couldn't help but smile. He wanted to return to the Dominion of Lightning badly as well.
Salas used to be quite the hero there back in the days and there were quite a few people there that he couldn't just bring himself to let go and cut ties completely with. These past many years after he became a demi-overgod, he often snuck back there secretly, though he was always afraid he would be discovered by the guardians or attacked by the God of Lightning.
But now, Salas saw hope in being able to return to the dominion one day and even get revenge against his sworn foe without worrying about the God of Lightning. That thought caused happiness to bubble uncontrollably in him, so he could empathize with these gods as well.