Inside the Cardinals’ Hall, the plump Pope of the Calamity Church very sincerely asked Han Shuo for guidance regarding the edict of destruction. Previously, all the Pope knew was that Han Shuo cultivated in necromancy magic as well as an unusual martial art. He had no idea that Han Shuo had such high attainment in the edict of destruction.
When Han Shuo deployed his Domain of Divinity made of the energy of destruction inside the Cardinals’ Hall, the entire room was filled with chaotic energy that distorted the normal circulation of elemental energies, depriving the cardinals of elemental energies they could use. His magnificent performance of turning all those powerful experts into sitting ducks had not only filled the big fatty’s heart with reverence, but he also saw the hope of making a breakthrough in his cultivation.
One of Han Shuo’s avatars was a lowgod of destruction who had a much more profound understanding of the edict of destruction compared to the Pope. There was an insurmountable gap between a basegod and a lowgod. Han Shuo only needed to speak a few sentences before the big fatty soon felt as though every problem he had became clear at once. This made him behave even more respectfully towards Han Shuo.
After giving the Pope some guidance, Han Shuo thought for a moment and expressed his stance while no one was around, “Just so you know, you don’t have worry about me. I have no interest in the Calamity Church! I won’t be like that old thing, Kironlo, and constantly interfere with your decisions. I have come here just to communicate with those higher-level existences, not to wrest power from you!”
“I know. You are very different from Kironlo. You have an unrivaled prestige in Lancelot Empire and yet you have never shown any inclination of meddling with or overtaking the throne. Just from this, I can tell that you’re not as power-hungry as Kironlo. Therefore, I’m very much at ease about you!” the fat man respectfully declared. It appeared to have made his own in-depth analysis of Han Shuo’s character long beforehand.
“To tell you the truth, I’m quite a lazy person. I really have no interest in managing those messy affairs,” Han Shuo said with a smirk as he shrugged.
The two did not continue to converse further after that. The big fatty seemed suddenly relaxed when Han Shuo assured that he would not engage in some power struggle with him. From Han Shuo’s attitude and manner of speaking, the Pope could tell that Han Shuo was telling of his true intentions, unlike Kironlo who spoke one way but thought another. With his mind at ease, the big fatty led Han Shuo out from the hall with a big smile.
The grand ceremony of praying to their evil god was just a few days from initiation. During that time, Han Shuo stayed in the room that the Calamity Church had specifically prepared for him. He found the constant stream of cardinals trying to fawn over him in the following days to be very annoying.
But after all, Han Shuo’s performance back at the Cardinals’ Hall had been too shocking. Each and every one of those cardinals was an old, scheming fox. They knew that it was in their best interest to build a good relationship with Han Shuo as soon as possible. Otherwise, if they were to accidentally offend Han Shuo, they might be finished off cleanly.
For the next few days in a row, those cardinals paid visits to Han Shuo with their subordinates, carrying batches after batches of rare treasures that they had plundered over many years. Their attitudes were more humble and amiable than before.
Wolf and Burt Zili, as direct subordinates under Han Shuo, riding on Han Shuo’s coattails, watched as their identities and statuses rose higher and higher. At present, wherever they went, all those that the two came across would wear mixed expressions of envy and admiration. Some of the bigwigs in the Church who previously wouldn’t even notice them started treating them cordially. This left them overwhelmingly flattered.
“Hey, Burt, now can you see just how wise that decision of mine back in those years had been?” Wolf had a complacent grin on his face as he stared at the gifts that piled up like mountains on the table. He felt very proud of his distinct foresight.
Han Shuo was annoyed but thought that it would be a waste to reject the gifts, so he left the task of sorting out the items to Wolf and Burt Zili. He even told the two that if there was anything they liked, they could take it for their own use without reporting to him.
“You indeed have great foresight! Hahahah, this is indeed the best decision you have made in your life!” Burt Zili said in a smile so wide that his eyes were mere slits below his forehead. When he recalled he had obtained a summoning ring of the highest quality from these gifts, his heart was all the more cheerful and delighted.
Wolf laughed mischievously and said in a low voice, “I heard that Lord Bryan nearly killed Cardinal Kironlo back at the Cardinals’ Hall. Ha, that arrogant old thing has been meddling with affairs of the Church for a long time. Who knew that such a day would come to him!”
“Really?” Burt Zili cried out in surprise and hastily pursued, “The grand cardinal has tremendous influence within the Church and he himself possesses terrifying strength. Did he strike back?”
“How would he dare? You should know the ferocious ways of Lord Bryan!” After a short pause, Wolf sneered, “I heard that the grand cardinal did not even have the power to resist. He was restrained by Lord Bryan in an instant and couldn’t even budge! If it wasn’t for the Pope’s plea for leniency, Lord Bryan might have killed that old thing already. Although his life was spared, Lord Bryan broke off one of his fingers as a lesson for him. Ha!”
“Lord Bryan could possess such strength at such a young age. With such conviction and his systematic way of working, his Lordship truly has boundless prospects!” Burt Zili exclaimed in admiration.
“Of course!” laughed Wolf heartily. “And naturally, the two of us, as followers of his Lordship, will be climbing higher and higher up that same ladder of position and power!”
The two looked at each other and chuckled. They felt extremely proud of their wise decisions.
The altar, which the Calamity Church used to worship their evil gods, was erected high and tall at the center of a solemn, dignified shrine. All the major characters of the church entered the shrine one after another. They came to participate in the ceremony.
Meanwhile, Han Shuo was personally guided by the Calamity Pope to the shrine. Along the way, all those young disciples who had heard of Han Shuo’s name watched him attentively without concealing the admiration in their eyes.
There were even some of the young and pretty disciples watching Han Shuo with their beautiful and fiery eyes. They brazenly cast coquettish glances at him as though wishing they could throw themselves into Han Shuo’s embrace, surrounding themselves in the scent of such an overwhelmingly powerful man.
Unlike the Church of Light, the Calamity Church held a much more liberal attitude about relationships. Besides, the Calamity Church was a religious organization that didn’t give much scruples about their conducts. Han Shuo’s conduct and deeds throughout the years, deliberately publicized by the Pope and others, had simply become the behavioral norm for these church members.
The crowd of young disciples was suddenly swept by an atmosphere to worship Han Shuo. It was more intense than anyone had imagined.
The podgy Pope led Han Shuo into the colossal shrine. After hailing their Pope, the crowd began to chant the name “Lord Bryan” over and over. Most of these were youngsters aware of Han Shuo’s glorious achievements. They were blazing with passion.
The Pope, who originally intended to give a brief speech, was struck that, everywhere in the shrine, people were losing their voices for “Lord Bryan”. An awkward look stretched across his face and he was left momentarily speechless.
He understood in his heart that the reason these disciples were all so passionate was because of Han Shuo’s thunderous actions. He first destroyed the Shrine of Ice and then proceeded by killing the Light Pope and their two demigods. Under the publicity of the Calamity Church, these deeds had left an extremely deep impression on these people’s hearts. They were like gasoline-soaked rags that would burn vigorously with one small spark.
After all, since the day these people joined the Church, they were brainwashed to take the Church of Light as their mortal enemy. The longer they spent living in the dark trying to hide their identities, the more deeply they recognized the inconvenience and threat that the Church of Light caused them, and subsequently, the deeper their hatred flowed.
It goes without saying what Han Shuo’s deed of annihilating the top three leaders of the Church of Light meant for these people!
Surrounded by the clamorous cheers, the Calamity Pope forced a smile through his awkwardness and said to Han Shuo, “I honestly did not expect that you would be so well-received. Why don’t give a few words and satisfy their enthusiasm!”
Han Shuo, too, was in great discomfort. He did not foresee that just by walking into the shrine, he would snatch all the limelight from the fatty, overshadowing the host as a guest.
After thinking for a moment, Han Shuo lifted his two hands and made a gesture for silence.
As Han Shuo stood at nearly two meters in height, among the crowd of disciples, his magnificent body was as noticeable as a crane in a flock of chicken. In addition to the fact that everyone had been attentively watching him, when he made that ‘hush’ gesture, the crowd turned silent in no time. It appeared that although Han Shuo hadn’t previously been part of the Calamity Church, as his deeds were just so astounding, he had long accumulated great prestige within the Church.
After raising his hands high for a few seconds, the shrine packed with people went from being as noisy as a food market to being so silent that one could hear any odd footstep. Everyone was looking at Han Shuo with excitement. They gazed at this terrible demon who had, by himself, killed several hundred thousand orcs, destroyed the Shrine of Ice, and killed the Light Pope, as they waited for him to give a speech.
“I must say that after coming to this place, I realize that the Calamity Church is very different from what I had imagined. This place is like a small city. It has almost everything and life here seems comfortable.”
“However, no matter how comfortable this place is, it is still buried miles beneath the ground, hidden, never to see the light of day; just like the identity of our church members on the surface of the continent - it must always be hidden!” Han Shuo suddenly changed his tone and raised his cold voice. The crowd turned to put on complicated emotions and sighed incessantly.
“But, it’s about time we rise from the dead and walk among the world, out in the open!” Han Shuo looked all around, took a short pause, and continued sternly, “We deserve to live on the surface, and to not be holed up under the earth! And we will kill anyone who dares obstruct us!”
“It will not be long before we can openly tell people that we are members of the Calamity Church and be respected for it! All of you will see that day!” Han Shuo shouted with confidence.
After completing the speech, the crowd kept silent for a few seconds before they collectively erupted like a volcano and started cheering as though they had won a war.
“Bryan, you seem to be more suitable to be a leader than I am. I would never have expected you to be so good at giving motivational speeches!” the Pope said frankly as he looked at Han Shuo.
These words were from the bottom of his heart. The big fatty was truly in awe to see Han Shuo make those already fanatical church members even crazier with just a few sentences. He didn’t think Han Shuo would have such skills, despite his outstanding strength.
Han Shuo let out a hollow laugh and shrugged, but did not reply.