In just one day within the South Border City, Han Shuo’s prestige had risen far above that of Firenze’s, who was the Lord of the Southern Border.
For the last three years, Firenze had been strenuously defending South Border City with the Howling Legion - the mightiest legion of the Empire. But against the army of several hundred thousand orcs, they were steadily losing ground.
Han Shuo, however, managed to exterminate the few hundred thousand barbarous orc warriors in less than a day as soon as he emerged from his five year disappearance, all using his own power. Such an incredible accomplishment was unprecedented in Lancelot Empire even since its founding!
Many of the army-civilians of South Border City had witnessed the feat with their own eyes. Having been oppressed by orc warriors for many long years, the excitement of the people of South Border City to see the thousands of orc warriors being annihilated was absolutely insuppressible.
Unexpectedly, even with no one orchestrating, the people of South Border City flooded towards Han Shuo to express their gratitude through all kinds of means.
Some of them offerings of home-cooked food, some presented armor and weaponry handed down through their families for generations, and some even offered their own daughters, hoping that Han Shuo would keep them as his servants. But most of them just cheered for Han Shuo over and over again, screaming his name at the top of their lungs.
Han Shuo’s deeds that day were bound become legend among the people of South Border City!
With the threat of the Orc Empire neutralized, the people of South Border City gathered on the streets and cheered. They eagerly passed along the remarkable story of how Han Shuo wiped out hundreds of thousands of orc warriors all by himself. The atmosphere of fear that had shrouded South Border City had been dispersed by Han Shuo.
The people of South Border City began treating Han Shuo as a god before he even acknowledged it. Many of the commoners who had been suffering without mental support even carved Han Shuo’s name on tablets, kneeling and bowing at it.
To slay several hundred thousand savage orcs in the short span of an hour with his powers alone, other than a god, who could achieve that?
As it should be, Han Shuo received the most honorable treatment in South Border City. As he walked with Firenze to his mansion, the people he met en route were falling over each other in their eagerness to kneel and kowtow. They were most willing to worship Han Shuo as their god.
Han Shuo did not feel much when he saw the people of the city swarm to kowtow at him. After weighing in his mind for a short moment, he erected a divine altar in the city. He then landed at the center of the altar and unfolded his Domain of Divinity. A dignified, divine aura as imposing as towering mountains unfurled and gently extended in all directions.
The people of South Border City, as well as the soldiers of the Howling Legion who fell into the Domain of Divinity, couldn’t help themselves but feel most obliged to pledge their allegiance to Han Shuo and wished to worship him for eternity.
“Offer your faith to this altar, and I will ensure that your South Border City is safe and sound!” the voice Han Shuo made using his divine energy echoed on and on in his Domain of Divinity. The voice carried a bewitching power that hooked the soul, causing these people who were already most delighted to worship Han Shuo to be even more passionate.
After being shocked by the unequaled might Han Shuo just displayed and now further affected by his Domain of Divinity, the people of South Border City, whose passion were raised to the ultimate, absolutely did not hesitate before respectfully offering their souls to the divine altar, becoming Han Shuo’s pious believers.
After he finished decorating his divine altar, Han Shuo gave a few more resounding speeches. Once he was assured that the ceremonies were carried out in accordance with his instructions, he left with Firenze and Fanny, returning to Firenze’s mansion in South Border City.
“I have worked very hard for three years straight to keep South Border City safe. The most that those people would do is to pray for my safety. But you have only been in this city for one day and they have started treating you like a god. Sigh...” Firenze lamented as he shook his head bitterly after they entered the mansion.
Fanny put on a sweet smile and held onto Firenze’s arm. She said in a soothing voice, “Father, if you could neutralize a few hundred thousand warriors of the orcs by yourself, it wouldn’t just be South Border City, the entire Southern Border would treat you as an actual god.”
Firenze forced a smile, shot a glance at Fanny and said, “Do you think everyone is as wild as that kid? If I had that kind of strength, Lancelot Empire would have long become the hegemon in Profound Continent instead of having to take defensive measures all this while.”
“That’s what I’m trying to say. We are just ordinary people, but Bryan is a talented one. It is nothing surprising that he would climb to high places and be worshipped. You don’t have to feel any grievances about it!” Fanny giggled as she consoled Firenze. A sense of pride naturally rose from the bottom of her heart.
“I will stay in South Border City for three days. You father and daughter should catch up with each other. Right, if there are any problems in South Border City or the Southern Border that you need me to solve, let me know and I’ll take care of them for you.” Han Shuo’s lowgod of destruction avatar needed some time to digest the energy of destruction formed by the deaths of all those orc warriors. Besides, Fanny and Firenze had not seen each other in forever and they should be given some time to spend with each other.
Having witnessed the terrifyingly magnificent feat, the Firenze now showed much more reverence and reservation when talking to Han Shuo. Not only had he cut back on his reckless vulgar remarks, he even felt a little uneasiness.
On one hand, it was because Han Shuo’s strength had utterly overwhelmed Firenze. On the other, it was the noble and divine demeanor naturally given off from Han Shuo after he became a god. Under these two kinds of pressure, Firenze, who had paid no heed to any taboo all along, seemed to be a completely different person when facing Han Shuo.
“Alright. I’ll be sure to arrange things and make good use of this opportunity. If any problem arises that requires brute power to resolve, I will definitely not be courteous in asking for your help,” Firenze mischievously laughed, “No matter how powerful you are, you are still my son-in-law!”
Han Shuo nodded with a smile and did not continue with a response. After leaving Fanny some words, he got into the room that Firenze had specially prepared for him to silently digest the energy of destruction formed by the deaths of those orc warriors.
***Back at the place of extreme fire, outside the valley of fire.
Han Shuo’s main body that had been sitting cross-legged with eyes closed on a fiery-red boulder, abruptly opened his eyes. They glistened as he looked at the bumpy ground right ahead.
Suddenly, a dense, heavy sound came from the depths of the earth. The valley that had been silent and still began to quiver all of a sudden. The ground full of ditches started to shake with increasing magnitude.
The loud roar of a dragon abruptly sounded from the deep underground. The ditches tore bigger and bigger as the ground trembled.
Dark dragon Gilbert’s body gradually emerged…
Yet another dragon’s roar sounded. The ground continued to quiver and rumble. As the earth quaked and the mountains shook, the meandering figure of a dragon soared into the sky. It disappeared high into the clouds in an instant.
“Ahahahah…” dark dragon Gilbert howled with laughter. He could not restrain the excitement in his heart after having been reborn. He roamed the skies as much as he liked while shouting himself hoarse to release the thrill in his heart.
“Cut that noise out. Get down here!” Han Shuo chided while watching dark dragon Gilbert streak left and right in the sky.
“Coming!” Gilbert answered as he chuckled. His enormous dragon body shook and black light shone from it. His enormous body gradually shrunk in the black light and transformed back into that familiar dark-skinned youth when he arrived and stopped right in front of Han Shuo.
“Master, I have returned, Gilbert has returned! Hahaha…” Gilbert danced in joy. He patted all over his new body and appeared to be very contented.
“You died here, and were resurrected here. I have finally fulfilled my promise to you!” Han Shuo smiled at Gilbert and asked, “What do you think about your new body?”
“Good! Very good!” Gilbert answered immediately. He stretched his neck and threaded and kicked with his two legs before he added, “My body is packed with energy. Although it’s not quite the same as the original energy, it feels much more powerful!”
Han Shuo’s consciousness took a tour and the corners of his mouth curved to reveal a satisfied smile. He nodded as he praised, “Not bad, you have actually melted that small piece of divine essence. Very good. As long as you carefully feel and comprehend it, it will not be a challenge for you to become a god!”
“Thank you master, haha, thank you master!” After listening to Han Shuo’s compliment, Gilbert couldn’t help but laugh out loud in happiness. His voice spread far into the distance, prompting many low-level magical creatures to retreat.
“This is what you deserve. Right, your new body has some special abilities. I believe you can feel them already. Take some time to understand some of those special abilities. This will be greatly beneficial to you in the future,” Han Shuo said sternly.
“Don’t worry, master. Having experienced death once, I will treasure this second opportunity at life,” Gilbert assured to Han Shuo after withdrawing that smile off his face.
“Good. I believe you ought to know the importance of strength much better now,” Han Shuo said as he nodded.
“Master, I want to return and visit my grandpa,” Gilbert suddenly said in a saddened voice, “My father is dead and many of my fellow dark dragons were lost. I want to see how they are doing now.”
“Of course. And one more thing, do check out how those lizardmen are doing while you are in the underground world. Help them with any troubles they may have,” Han Shuo had once promised the Ancient Lizard King to look after the lizardmen. There could be changes to the underground world due to Adele’s revival. This resurrected Gilbert possessed far greater strength than before. Perhaps there were things that Gilbert could do to help the lizardmen living in the underground world.
“Understood, master. I shall make a move,” Gilbert had been missing his fellow dark dragons. He was worried that the Shrine of Ice went back to give the dark dragons trouble while he was gone for the past few years. Therefore, he hastily left after telling Han Shuo.
“This chap is still as impatient as always,” Han Shuo couldn’t help but laugh when he saw Gilbert scurry off quickly. However, after a short while, his face turned cold. He recalled that hatred carved into his bones and engraved on his heart when he gazed at the depths of the Dark Forest.