Fabian was somewhat puzzled at first. But after a while, he was jolted by a sudden recollection. He seemed to be pleasantly surprised.
“Where is Emily?” Phoebe inquired with an urgent, quivering voice as she fixed her eyes on Chester. Anyone could tell that she was emotionally stirred up.
“Her Lordship has just returned from duty and is likely to be briefing certain matters at the headquarters at this moment,” Chester answered respectfully.
“Erm Hagrid, the matter is concluded as such. Please leave. I have some matters to attend to and will be making a move,” Phoebe said rapidly to Hagrid, nodding, and then no longer batting an eye at Hagrid or his men. She scurried towards the exit as though not willing to stay there for a moment longer. Then, as soon as she walked out the door, she yelled, “Get me a horse!”
Phoebe became hurried and anxious to leave immediately after receiving the letter from Emily, leaving behind the group of people to look at each other in dismay.
Hagrid looked crushed. The shock and bewilderment could be seen in his eyes as he stared blankly at Phoebe’s figure running further and further away.
“Goodbye,” Chester, having delivered the letter, said to Fabian. He bowed at Hagrid and silently left.
Fabian remained deeply immersed in an unrestrainable feeling of delight long after Phoebe and Chester had left. The smile on his face could not be any brighter. It was obvious from his eyes that he was very emotional.
“Mister Fabian, what is actually going on?” Hagrid had obviously discovered the big smile on Fabian’s face. He was incredibly puzzled and couldn’t help but ask. After taking a deep breath to calm down his emotional mind, Fabian looked at Hagrid somewhat pitifully and smilingly said, “If I guessed it right, the person that our miss has been waiting for all these years has returned!”
“Impossible, didn’t he die long ago?” Hagrid’s face suddenly transformed. Soon after, somewhat disappointed, he said, “Information given by the Pope of the Church of Light cannot be wrong!”
Fabian smiled and said rather proudly, “Lord Bryan has a blessed life. It must be that the despicable scheme of the Church of Light against him had failed.”
His face became as ashen as the dead. At this point, Hagrid knew that his stubborn pursuit of Phoebe had not one iota of hope. Phoebe had rejected him so resolutely when Han Shuo was still missing. And now that Han Shuo had returned, how would there be a chance for him to succeed?
Everyone was shocked to learn the news of Han Shuo’s sudden reappearance. As Han Shuo walked down the path, all the members of Dark Mantle who know of his identity expressed their amazement and respect through their eyes. They passed on this astonishing information with each other through word-of-mouth.
“The legendary character of Dark Mantle has returned!”
“The pride of our empire has returned!”
“The mighty guardian has returned!”
All those members of the Dark Mantle who had received the information were instantly filled with hope and expectation in their hearts. They were sincerely proud of Han Shuo.
Five years ago, Han Shuo was the most eye-catching expert of Lancelot Empire. He defeated two sacred-grade experts at once, assisted His Majesty the King to his throne, brought order to Brettel City, and neutralized Stratholme the old monster from the seven grand duchies…
Those widely spread but gradually forgotten folklores started making the rounds again due to Han Shuo’s reappearance. All those people who knew of Han Shuo’s return felt that his reappearance would bring new changes to the empire which had been going downhill for the last few years.
Walking through the gazes of adoration and amazement, Han Shuo went to Candide, one of the three heavyweights of the Dark Mantle.
Candide’s sinister face was filled with disbelief and astonishment. Candide, who had become a dark sacred magus after five years, gaped at Han Shuo for a long, long while before he finally said in a deep voice, “I thought you were dead!”
Han Shuo chuckled before bluntly pulling a chair and sitting down. He looked giggly at Candide who was trying to hold back the excitement in his heart and said confidently, “It’s not so easy to kill me!”
Candide nodded in agreement. This Candide who always gave off a sinister, cunning air revealed a hard to come by gratified smile on his face as he said, “It’s good that you’ve returned. That’s all that matters.”
“I have a rough understanding of the current situation within the empire. However, as for some of the more hidden matters, I still need to learn them from you,” Han Shuo said smilingly at Candide. He asked casually, “Other than some the more obvious matters of the empire, is there anything relatively important to know?”
“You should be aware of the general situation of the continent,” Candide no longer regarded Han Shuo as one of his subordinates. He looked at Han Shuo and slowly explained, “Our empire could be considered as rather stable. It’s just that the people are rather terrified. On one hand, it’s because of the crisis on the southern border. On the other hand, Kasi Empire is closing in. During the five years you disappeared, our empire reached an agreement with the Druidic Order to cooperate. They had played a rather significant role in the battle.
Anyway, your three women are dazzling characters in Lancelot Empire nowadays. Their pursuers could be found everywhere. Even when the Church of Light stated clearly that you were eliminated, the three wouldn’t accept their words and persistently awaited your return. Young man, what kind of spell did you cast on them huh?”
Candide tirelessly explained some of the things that happened in the past five years to Han Shuo.
Han Shuo felt rather guilty towards Emily, Phoebe, and Fanny. He was touched when he heard those words from Candide. Five years was quite a long time, especially when the Church of Light had been publicizing his own death. The bonds between them were stronger than Han Shuo had expected given that the three ladies had been waiting for him from start to finish.
“Congratulations, you have become a sacred magus,” Han Shuo smilingly and sincerely congratulated Candide after lamenting in his heart.
“This was all thanks to you. If it wasn’t for that notebook you gifted me back then, how could I possibly have come to comprehend the true essence of the elemental energy of darkness, attaining this new realm in just a short few years?” Candide open-heartedly admitted that it was all because of Han Shuo’s assistance as he grinned at Han Shuo.
“These are the fruits of your own hard work,” Han Shuo did not claim credit for himself. He laughed, “However, a dark sacred magus is merely the starting point up the ladder of strength. There’s still a long path ahead.”
Candide put away his smile, took a quick glance at Han Shuo, and said gravely, “Why isn’t there the aura of a necromancer coming from your body, but an intense killing intent? What actually happened back there?”
“Nothing much. The Church of Light schemed against me with their shameless methods. Hehe, they thought I was dead long ago. But I’m lucky. Not only did I not die, I had a fortuitous encounter,” Han Shuo laughed deceptively as the desire to commit massacre glowed brightly from his eyes.
“What realm are you currently at?” Candide solemnly asked after staring at Han Shuo for a long while.
Han Shuo shrugged and said relaxedly, “When I’m free, I will destroy the Church of Light! By then you will know what realm I’m at!”
That confidence that Han Shuo emanated as these incredibly arrogant words came out from his mouth left Candide flabbergasted. After staring blankly for a long while, Candide finally forced a smile and shook his head. He advised, “From the boldness of your words, I know your strength must have soared. However, the Church of Light is the most influential religious organization on Profound Continent. No matter how mighty you are, that is impossible to accomplish with the strength of just one man. The days ahead are long. Take it step by step.”
Han Shuo smiled nonchalantly and did not reply. It was as though wrecking the number one religious organization on Profound Continent was an insignificant, trivial matter.
After the two chatted for a while, Han Shuo smilingly said, “Emily has just returned,”
“Go see her then.” When Han Shuo got up, Candide thought for a moment and said, “After you talk with Emily, you should go meet His Majesty. I believe he will be very delighted.”
“Got it,” Han Shuo said in a dashing smile and was ready to leave.
“Hold on,” Candide suddenly interrupted. He hesitated for a moment under Han Shuo’s gaze before saying somewhat awkwardly, “That, erm, although you have been away for five years, Brettel City has grown richer and more powerful. Even the former seven grand duchies could be considered as territories of Brettel City. Jack, Dorcas, and the rest of them are all your people, and will only listen to your command. It appears Brettel City has transformed into another country. Erm, His Majesty, after all, is the King. The empire hasn’t been in a prosperous state these years. About that approach where your subordinates independently govern Brettel City, erm, that…”
Han Shuo gestured with his hand to stop Candide’s gibbering. He looked deeply at Candide and said kindly, “Say no more. I know what to do.”
Candide was relieved. He nodded and said, “Very well. His Majesty the King could not be fully at ease when you were gone. But as you have now returned, he won’t have to worry about that anymore. Yeah, His Majesty seemed to have become more and more convinced of the prophecy of Grace the astrologer. Simply put, the empire just doesn’t thrive without you.”
Han Shuo was dazed and thought about it for a moment. He truly admired the deceased astrologer. The prophecy she made right before her death was exceptionally accurate.
By now, Han Shuo had long been aware that the astrology that Grace cultivated was, in fact, the most mysterious energy among the four major edictal forces - the edict of fate. However, Grace obviously did not gain a deep understanding of the subject. She could only predict a certain fate and did not even know the most fundamental method of utilizing the edictal energy of fate.
Of the four major edictal forces - fate, space, destruction, and life, it was rather rare to find people cultivating in the edict of destruction and life. The cultivators of the edictal forces of space and fate were even less common to come by. The reason for that was because these two edictal forces were simply too mysterious. Without the guidance of an expert, one would have no way of figuring out the cultivation method.
“Alright, Emily is here. I should go,” Han Shuo briskly left and headed towards Emily’s room.