A so-called ‘visiting advisor’ was someone who was well-fed during peaceful times, but during critical moments, would have to charge through enemy lines. In other words, they were high-level cannon fodders.
Han Shuo was new to this world and didn’t have a very thorough understanding of the situation in the Abyss realm. But Crosius made it clear to him what his role as a ‘visiting advisor’ entailed. Thinking that he could pack up and leave War Demon Valley if anything were to go south, Han Shuo accepted Crosius’ proposal right away, reaching an agreement with Crosius in feigned civility.
Crosius was rather straightforward. When Han Shuo agreed to the proposal, he immediately ordered Qunoa to arrange a residency for Han Shuo in addition to presenting him with a medal made of lead-grey stone. On the back of the stone medal was carved a demon. It signified Han Shuo’s identity as the visiting advisor of War Demon Valley.
“The three-storey building at the center will be yours. You now have absolute freedom in War Demon Valley. If there’s anything that you need, you may let us know at anytime you wish. As long as it’s not anything particularly inconveniencing to us, we shall assist you to the best of our ability,” Qunoa smiled said as he pointed at the building.
The location of this manor was behind Crosius’ magnificent building. The manor had about a dozen structures erected from it in a disordered but picturesque arrangement. All those who stayed in this place were high-level cannon fodder, hired by War Demon Valley. The three-storey building allocated to Han Shuo was the tallest and most gorgeous of all those buildings.
“Thank you. Oh, and if it’s not too troubling for you, please arrange to have Hemanna and Sylph over,” Han Shuo bluntly requested for his bounty from Qunoa. In any case, Crosius had already agreed to have Hemanna and Sylph given to Han Shuo.
“No problem. I will pass on those instructions. It won’t take long before Hemanna and Sylph arrive,” Qunoa said in a very friendly manner and revealed a faint knowing smile.
“Thanks a lot then. Oh, and, if the enemies from Venomfang Castle come over, please don’t hesitate to ask where my help is needed.” Since Han Shuo was getting ‘paid’, the least he could do was offer aid.
“All will play out according to Lord Crosius’ wishes. You have just gotten to War Demon Valley and have yet to have had a good rest. I shall not disturb you any further,” Qunoa did not continue exchanging courteous speech, and politely announced his departure.
This area contained not just one visiting advisor. When Han Shuo unraveled his consciousness and began surveilling the surrounding region, he discovered that no one here could possibly threaten him. He headed straight for his three-story house. Along the way, Han Shuo caught glimpses of a few silhouettes in buildings beside him, seemingly peeping at him. However, Han Shuo didn’t mind them.
The structures in the Abyss realm were purely magnificent, albeit unrefined. The building Han Shuo resided in did not contain any fancy pieces of furniture, save for a few drab tables and chairs. The decoration was minimalistic and clean, which conformed to Han Shuo’s aesthetic judgement.
After putting up the ‘do not disturb’ sign outside of his door, Han Shuo closed all the doors and shut every window, then deployed a soundproof and early-warning magical formation. Right after, he summoned earth elite zombie to dig up a spacious secret chamber deep underground. Afterwards, Han Shuo withdrew his skeletal staff, ready to seriously dig into the secrets locked within it.
Han Shuo knew that there were all kinds of bizarre messages within the skeletal staff. However, as the timing had never been right, and he did not have enough mental strength, Han Shuo had never spent much effort drilling into the secrets inside the skeletal staff. But now, he was trapped in the Abyss realm with his way home forcibly severed, and the skeletal staff turned into a pillar of hope for Han Shuo.
Holding the skeletal staff in his hand, Han Shuo narrowed his attention and gradually released his mental strength. He slowly wound them around the staff like fine thread.
When his mental strength flowed into the skeletal staff, Han Shuo immediately noticed the tri-coloured skeletal staff giving off gentle halos of yellow, blue, and purple. He suddenly sensed three different types of strange energy coming from the skeletal staff. Even though Han Shuo could sense them, they felt extremely vague and faint. He hadn’t a clue how to make use of the energy.
The skeletal staff had three major functions, namely, doubling the power of necromancy spells, enabling one’s soul to travel to the netherworld and back, and the rejuvenation of one’s youth. Han Shuo had long understood the three strange energies in the tri-coloured skulls of the skeletal staff. The first wonderful special ability of the skeletal staff didn’t require any additional incantations to be dispelled. One only needed to hold the skeletal staff when releasing necromancy spells, and the function would automatically be activated.
Han Shuo had also long mastered the art of traversing his soul to the netherworld. As for the rejuvenation of youth, however, Han Shuo felt that he had only barely grasped it. The rejuvenation magic was only effective on a specific group of people, so Han Shuo had yet to properly test it.
And now when Han Shuo slowly channeled his mental strength into the tri-coloured skeletal staff, he could clearly sense the presence of the three energies. However, he couldn’t obtain any useful information from the energy, which was a huge source of frustration for Han Shuo.
According to the words of Calamity Church and Lizard King Dagassi, there were many secrets contained within the tri-coloured skeletal staff. These secrets even hid information about the great war of thousands of years before that involved every mighty existence ever to exist on the Profound Continent, as well as some secrets about the presence of the Cemetery of Death.
As the Calamity Church’s Wolf had explained, the very complex and intricate large-scale magical transportation array inside the Cemetery of Death seemed to be able to transmit to a different plane of existence. In light of this information, Han Shuo reckoned that the skeletal staff would contain certain information about planar teleportation. If he could learn about the secrets of interplanar transportation array from the skeletal staff, then he could forgo meeting this demon king Manticole.
The tri-coloured skeletal staff flashed three gentle lights of yellow, blue, and purple. He could sense the three energies from the tri-coloured skulls, but was clueless about how to obtain the secret locked within the skeletal staff.
There was no way to proceed! Han Shuo was dismayed. He knew that there were astonishing secrets concealed within the skeletal staff. Yet, as the master of the staff, he hadn't access to any of those secrets. This feeling bedevilled him to the core.
Skeletal staff, tri-coloured skulls, secrets... these three phrases rang over and over in Han Shuo’s head as he racked his brain on ways to unravel the secrets within the skeletal staff. Secret… skulls… secret… skulls? Abruptly, a beautiful revelation leapt into his mind. Secrets are usually hidden in a person’s brain. There were three skulls with three different colours on this skeletal staff. Could the secret have been lying within these tri-coloured skulls?
When Han Shuo thought of this, his eyes opened wide. He turned his gaze to the skeletal staff and carefully examined it yet again.
The tri-coloured skeletal staff was around 1.3 meters in length. Its entire body was constructed of a green, jade-like material. The three skulls were non-human, taking the colours yellow, blue, and purple. The yellow skull had three eye sockets in it, the blue skull had a single horn on it, while the purple skull had its roof plagued with little finger-sized holes.
When Han Shuo examined more carefully, he discovered that the yellow skull with three eye sockets looked incredibly familiar. Besides being much smaller, the positions of the three eye sockets were practically synonymous to those of the Triops that Han Shuo had seen in the territories of Venomfang Castle.
Recalling the three-eyed evil god Ansidesi he saw under the slave-trading house at Valen City, he discovered that, with the exception of being more massive and having horns on its head, the three-eyed evil god Ansidesi looked practically the same as the Triops and the yellow skull on the skeletal staff. Han Shuo determined that the three must have originated from the same race. Shortly after, Han Shuo carefully put all his mental strength into the three-eyed skull on the skeletal staff, especially the three eye sockets.
Something wonderful occurred. Han Shuo’s mental strength very clearly sensed that inside the three eye sockets of the three-eyed skull, the energy contained was of the most intense. They even formed some sort of defensive energy similar to a barrier, preventing Han Shuo’s mental strength from probing any further into the three eye sockets.
This must be the point of my breakthrough! Han Shuo immediately thought and rejoiced. He concentrated his attention even more and his mental strength was no longer scattered but focused as he attacked the three bizarre defensive energies, attempting to unravel the secrets inside this three-eyed skull.
Pop! Pop! Pop! Han Shuo’s body jolted. He felt as though his mental strength had crashed into an unmovable mountain. The mental strength of a grand magus wasn’t able to break apart three strange energies contained in three eye sockets. This gave Han Shuo quite a shock. He realized that the skeletal staff was indeed one of a kind.
With a morbid expression, Han Shuo took a deep breath and completely withdrew all his mental strength. He meditated for a while to recover his mental strength.
Although Han Shuo could use the power of his consciousness, he dared not do anything too rash to the skeletal staff. This was because the energy of the consciousness came from demonic arts, and Han Shuo was concerned that the skeletal staff might be in conflict with the energy of his consciousness and cause irreversible damages to it. Hence, Han Shuo had only been utilizing his mental strength all this time.
After a while, Han Shuo had fully recovered his mental strength. This time, he did not set about by attacking all three energies at once. Instead, he only attacked at a single eye socket. Ping! a high-pitched noise struck. The defensive energy inside that eye socket had been finally defeated. Han Shuo was overjoyed. He immediately repeated the action to the other two eye sockets and had successfully removed all defensive energies.
Soon after, Han Shuo learned of some extremely interesting information from the three eye sockets.