GDK 1024: Penalized
The gods from the Dominion of Destiny came suddenly and left just as abruptly. McKinley and Karey had prepared themselves for a harsh battle. After all, they couldn't afford to ignore the invaders from the Dominions of Light, Life and Water, let alone a powerhouse that had managed to fend them off.
Putting the magic mirror in his hand away, McKinley smiled and turned to look at the powerful formation continuing to shave down the ranks of the allied invaders without knowing what to do. He had known that Han Shuo's subordinates would be powerful, but not nearly to that extent. Most of the fighting force came from Han Jin, Han Shui, Han Mu, Han Huo and Han Tu, all demi-overgods operating a huge formation within Hexopolis.
It was at this moment that two uninvited visitors came to Pandemonium. The moment Azdins and Monroe, the Gods of Light and Water respectively, entered, Han Shuo's main body felt their presence and used his avatar to welcome them.
"Wow, I wasn't expecting honored guests like you today."
"Han Shuo, you didn't follow the rules!" Azdins accused in a deep voice without a slightest hint of a smile on his face. At the same time, Han Shuo's main body underground also noticed the Goddess of Life arriving at Hexopolis and letting out a large storm of life force to heal the gods on their side before using another life storm to disrupt the souls of the Five Elite Zombies to interrupt them from using their Penta-elemental Undead Formation.
His expression turning grim, Han Shuo snapped, "Azdins, Monroe, what is the meaning of this?!"
At the same time, spatial pathways opened up in Pandemonium, out of which Fernando, Amon, Nestor and Cratos emerged. They all glared at Azdins and Monroe angrily.
"What did those five do outside Hexopolis?!" Monroe shrieked, "Half of our army died by their hands! How could this happen if not for rules being broken?!"
The four who just arrived were stunned when they heard it, though they didn't have a full grasp on the situation. Fernando turned to Han Shuo and said, "Is that really true?"
Han Shuo nodded. "Those five are demi-overgods. Not a single one of them have the power of Quintessence! There are also demi-overgods among those invading the Fringe! How in the world was any rule broken?!"
"Those five may individually be demi-overgods, but they are half as powerful as a Quintessence overgod combined!" Azdins raged, completely losing any trace of his former calm. "If this goes on, there's no point in continuing the battle! They can sweep the entire Elysium clean if we allow them to continue, so what's the point?"
"That's right!" Althea said as she descended into Pandemonium without using a spatial pathway. "Those five combined do indeed have the power of half a Quintessence overgod, not just five demi-overgods. Han Shuo, the battle will be pointless if this continues. The Fringe will just wipe everything out."
Azdins and Monroe immediately began discussing how to penalize Han Shuo, while Fernando, Nestor, Amon, and Cratos supported Han Shuo and began arguing with the other side. Pandemonium got really noisy from their nonstop argument and no side prevailed.
"As usual, let's go with a majority vote." Althea suggested to Fernando since their stalemate wasn't about to break. The twelve Quintessence overgods had always resorted to a vote whenever they had disagreements. Even though Fernando knew the numbers weren't in their favor, he had no choice. The old rules couldn't be broken, so he opened up more spatial pathways to bring the other Quintessence overgods to Pandemonium.
As expected, apart from Han Shuo, Han Hao, Fernando, Nestor, Amon and Cratos, the others voted to penalize Han Shuo. It was eight against six, so it couldn't be helped.
"Fine, from now onwards I won't let them work together, lest you accuse me of bullying you," Han Shuo said, shrugging.
"No, those five can't fight at all! I noticed that any two of them working together will more than double their power!" Lyna said, "I don't know how they do it, but as long as they're together, they can muster some kind of destructive power, and each additional person causes their power to rise ten times or more! Those five can definitely not join the fight!"
Hearing that, those that opposed Han Shou's side looked even grimmer. They weren't worried about the Five Elite Zombies themselves. Instead, they were concerned about Han Shuo, who had made them with his demonic arts. If Han Hao, a practitioner of demonic arts and a unique lifeform, could gain a Quintessence, how powerful would Han Shuo be since he had been cultivating demonic arts the whole time?
The thought of Gu Tian Xie breaking through the universes and heavily wounding the Allmother was terrifying enough. If Han Shuo had even a part of his power, even if they got rid of the Allmother, they wouldn't be able to deal with Han Shuo. That was why many of them had secretly decided they would wipe him out after he broke the barrier of Aethernia no matter the cost.
"Fine. It's not like I have the numbers to oppose your side anyway. Why not make a few more unfair rules while you're at it?" He noticed that apart from Fernando, who seemed to have his side no matter what, even Amon, Nestor, and Cratos seemed cautious of him. The Five Elite Zombies had indeed shocked them too much with their power. If this went on, even his three allies might consider what would happen after the Allmother was taken care of. He knew that this wasn't the time to agitate them, lest his side lost even more before they even broke the barrier of Aethernia.
"This will be it. Those five will not be allowed to join the fight. The battle shall continue," Althea decided.
"Althea, how many more are needed?" Azdins asked, wincing at the thought of all that lost life. The side of Light, Life, and Water had suffered immense casualties at the hands of the Five Elite Zombies right after a losing skirmish at the Dominion of Destiny. Later, the side of Wind, Fire, Lightning, and Earth launched a surprise attack on the Dominion of Light and caused them even more losses. Now, his dominion was the weakest of the three. He was beginning to feel like the fighting should stop.
"I'll be done soon. I don't know about him," Althea said, trying to divert their rage on him.
"How many more?" Azdins, Monroe, and Lyna asked with an angry look.
"I'll be done soon too," he answered awkwardly, knowing that they were in a terrible mood. The Gods of Earth, Wind, Fire, and Lightning who had suffered heavy losses too didn't seem to fare any better. If he really told them that the more dead the better, they might just lose it right then and turn against him.
"If my dominion no longer has any gods to fight, don't blame me for breaking the rules and wiping out every one of yours!" Azdins snapped before angrily leaving. Monroe and Lyna shot him another angry look before leaving too.
The other gods humphed awkwardly before leaving through their spatial pathways, while Althea shot him an odd look and left by flight instead of using a spatial pathway.
"Alright, we need to go about this moderately. Better start holding back!" Cratos said with a pat on Han Shuo's shoulder. "If this goes on, those fellows will lose control of themselves. What do you think?"
"I've never been an instigator. I'm always a pacifist. If anyone doesn't come to offend me, I would never offend them!" He shrugged and put up his most innocent look.
"We're talking about him," Nestor said as he pointed to the silent Han Hao. "As the fight goes on, the godhunters in all the dominions have caused heavy damage. We can't let that go on."
"I see." Han Shuo nodded and gave Han Hao a look. "It's fine, you guys should head back too. The battle at the Dominion of Earth is still ongoing."
"Alright." Nestor and the others nodded before leaving through the spatial pathways.
"I, for one, support you," Fernando said when he was the only one remaining before vanishing.
"I'll make sure to leave your dominion alone intact in the future," Han Shuo said with a sinister smile.
Note: the final chapter is now available on patreon!