South Border City. Its border wall was ravaged and riddled with holes.
Smoke rose over a segment of the wall where a haggardly Firenze, military genius of the Empire, was directing the army-civilians to work. Sometimes he would even participate in the work directly, helping to move the massive rocks to repair the section of damaged wall.
Firenze, busying himself in the crowd, was no longer as neat and tidy as he looked back in those years. His hair was messy. His armor covered in a layer of grayish sand and lacking the usual gloss. If it wasn’t for Han Shuo’s extraordinary memory, it would have been very difficult to recognize him from the crowd and he be taken as some commoner who had passed his prime.
The hard battle had brought on greater and greater pressure on the populace of the Southern Border. As the protector of the Southern Border, Firenze had endured far greater pressure than the rest!
“Father! How come you have turned to this?!” a cry filled with sadness came from Fanny. She flew to Firenze’s side in the blink of an eye. Tears started to accumulate in the rims of her eyes. It was as though they would overflow at any moment.
“Fanny, what are you doing at southern border?’ Firenze was shocked in the best way possible to see his daughter. He shouted loudly in a smile and spread his arms to give Fanny a hug.
However, Firenze suddenly froze rigid in his tracks as if he remembered something, wiped away the surprised smile on his face, and said gravely, “What are you doing here? Didn’t I send you letters telling you not to come? It’s very dangerous here at the southern border. I don’t want you to take unnecessary risks!”
“You are barely holding up, what do you worry about me for?” Fanny angrily shouted in her small voice. The tears flooding the rims of her eyes could finally no longer be contained. Two long trails of tears streamed down her fair, delicate face as she said, “I know that you are concerned about me, but didn’t you know that your daughter is just as worried for her father?”
A trace of happiness and comfort flashed across Firenze’s eyes, but he had concealed the feelings well. He pointed at Fanny and raised his voice, “As the head of the Southern Border army, I must perform my duty even if I were to die fighting in this place. But you are different. You are one of the most outstanding magi of the empire and also the Dean of Necromancy at the Babylon Academy of Magic and Force, with the responsibility of teaching a lot of students. How could you come here to take unnecessary risks?”
“I came here as no one else but your daughter. I came to visit you because I’m worried about you, that’s all!” Fanny walked beside Firenze and in spite of Firenze’s resistance, she helped to tidy up his messy hair. Then, before he burst into rage, she softly said, “Besides, I didn’t come here alone.”
“Who did you come with?” Firenze stared blankly for a moment before turning his eyes to follow the direction of Fanny’s gaze. Suddenly, his ghostly face jolted and he started to rain curses, “You brat! It’s really you! There hasn’t been one single word of news about you for five years straight! Have you any idea just how difficult it’s been for my daughter to wait for you? Wretch, how did you promise me at that time? How could you treat those women that loved you with such...”
A torrent of curses gushed out from Firenze’s mouth. His fiery temper immediately went out of control as soon as he saw Han Shuo. There was no sign that the bawling would stop.
Han Shuo forced a smile. He felt both admiration and helplessness in the face of his father-in-law's temperament. As his words were all facts, there was no way Han Shuo could find a single ground to refute. All he could do was let him vent the fury in his heart as much as he liked.
“[email protected]?#*?#$?!!*...” string after string of explosive savagery fired from Firenze’s mouth. Its might was indeed terrifying. After a while, seeing that there was still no indication that the bombardment would stop, Han Shuo formed a sound-isolation field around him using his divine energy.
Han Shuo had a smile on his face as he repeatedly nodded. He seemed to be conscientiously listening to Firenze’s chiding and was exceptionally good in attitude.
“Brat! Don’t think that you are off the hook just because of your good attitude!” after a lengthy round of verbal abuse, Firenze finally had no strength left. He glared fiercely at Han Shuo and even made it clear that he wasn’t done with Han Shuo just yet.
Han Shuo, who had only smiled at Firenze despite being unable to hear his cursing, could sense from the fluctuation of Firenze’s soul that the immense pressure in his heart had successfully been vented through this round of verbal abuse. Although he appeared to be utterly exhausted from the bawling, Han Shuo knew that his mental state had indeed improved.
After Firenze was done venting, Han Shuo first gave a fairly sincere apology before he unruffledly said, “Let’s not talk about personal matters for the time being. I have come here to lend you a hand - to eliminate the threat of the Empire of Orcs!”
“What? Eliminate the threat of the Empire of Orcs? Have you become mentally-handicapped from being missing for too long?” After finally beginning to calm down, Firenze again started to jump up and down like ignited dynamite. His face reddened as he started to shout at Han Shuo and he looked at him as though looking at a lunatic.
“You heard me right!” Han Shuo said confidently, “As I’m here, the crisis faced by the Southern Border is as good as over.”
“Brat, you truly have gone mad. You think you are going up against one or two orcs? You think that merely with your powers alone, you could defeat an army of a few hundred thousands orcs? Do you think yourself a god?” Han Shuo’s words had almost driven Firenze mad. Han Shuo’s words were to him pure absurdity.
“Well actually, to most people, I am indeed a god!” Han Shuo said proudly.
Firenze jumped as he fumed with rage. His face flushed with anger and pointed a finger at Han Shuo. His mouth gaped but before he could say anything, Han Shuo waved his hand to stop him from speaking and arrogantly chimed, “No need for more words. Seeing is believing. You will soon witness with your very own eyes.”
Not giving Firenze a chance to throw anymore insults, as soon as he said those words, Han Shuo swaggeringly climbed the air like steps and headed away from the city. In the puzzled gazes of the many army-civilians of South Border City, he flew towards the dense mass of orcs encampment ahead.
“Who’s that guy? How dare he speak to Lord Firenze like that?” a muscular civilian asked in amazement.
“Lord Bryan! He is Lord Bryan! I have had the fortune to meet him when I served in Ossen City. There’s no doubt about it!” claimed a military officer who once participated in Lancelot Empire’s civil war many years ago.
The crowd was startled!
All those army-civilians on the city wall who heard the cry of the military officer suddenly boil over. Cheers of pleasant surprise erupted from every corner of the city wall.
“Lord Bryan has appeared! The one who had challenged foreign experts and has never been defeated has come!”
“The South Border is redeemed! The situation at the Southern Border will surely take a turn for the better. Lord Bryan is the City Lord of Brettel City. If he is here, the Brettel City’s Ironblood Legion must also be here!”
“Yea, that’s right! The Ironblood is currently the strongest legion after the Howling Legion! Moreover, the legion hasn’t been losing their fighters to wars. His emergence here will surely bring new hope to South Border City. Ha, we don’t have to leave our hometown. Fantastic! This is fantastic!”
Enthusiastic voices of discussion reverberated all around the city wall. Everyone who heard of Han Shuo’s arrival was brimming excitement and joy and, for the first time in years, relief.
“This brat who is arrogant beyond cure actually makes all these people feel safe. Heh, let’s see what they think when they see him being torn to pieces by the orcs. This wretch really doesn’t know the limit to his abilities. He really thinks that he can save the situation just by himself? Resolving the crisis that we couldn’t defuse for two years?” in a low voice, Firenze said to his daughter with his teeth gnashed.
“Perhaps? Nothing is absolute in this world!” Fanny laughed with one hand covering her mouth. Soon after, as she rocked Firenze’s shoulder, she lovably pleaded, “Father, Bryan had been held up until now because he fell the Church of Light’s scheme. Can you forgive him, please?”
“Of course not!” Firenze, in a straight face, glared at Fanny furiously and chided her in a low voice, “Did that wretch go mad as well? Why didn’t you stop him from his reckless act? You little girl, how could you be so insensible?”
Fanny groaned when she received that line of criticism from Firenze out of nowhere. Knowing that no words would convince him, Fanny decided not to explain any further but gazed at Han Shuo with glimmering eyes, waiting for Han Shuo to strike.
“Lord Bryan, Lord Bryan is actually charging at the Empire of Orcs!” Oh my god! Is Lord Bryan insane? That’s an army of over hundreds of thousands of orcs!”
“What’s going on with him? How could Lord Bryan be so senseless? Oh god, what should we do?”
When the army-civilians on the city wall finally discovered the objective of Han Shuo’s actions, they began to squirm. The clamor on the city wall became ever louder and more chaotic.
Just as everyone was being concerned for Han Shuo either secretly or overtly, a streak of bright light suddenly flashed across the sky. An enormous bone dragon tore through the sky at the next moment. Riding on the bone dragon was an overlord of death with a demeanor of superiority over the entire world.
Little Skeleton, wielding a long and narrow bone spur, quietly recited summoning chants. The little lowgod cultivating in the elemental energy of death had shown enormous improvement in necromancy magic.
In the attentive gazes of the crowd, thousands upon thousands of undead creatures appeared from the bright flashes in the sky. They arranged themselves into neat and tidy lines before marching towards to Empire of Orcs in an organized fashion.
Bright flashes continued to light up the sky. The element of death was intense. Summoned by Little Skeleton, hordes of undead creatures gushed from the Netherworld and they completely occupied several expansive fields in just a short moment!