GDK 707: Hidden danger

When Cage arrived at Celestial Pearl Pharmacy with a group of divine guards, all he saw was that the place was bustling with construction work.

Anito who was overseeing the reconstruction of Celestial Pearl Pharmacy, upon observing that Cage was charging forward as though he had eaten gunpowder, stepped to the front door and blocked Cage’s path. With a cold and displeased face, he asked, “Young master Cage, what is this you are doing?”

“Where is he? Where is the owner of the Celestial Pearl Pharmacy? Where is Bryan? Tell him to show himself!” Cage, standing at the front door, yelled into the pharmacy. 

“I’m sorry, the shop owner isn’t around. Please come back later,” Anito was unperturbed. With just a whistle, a group of divine guards from the Third Corps rushed over and formed a line outside the Celestial Pearl Pharmacy. Their cold eyes were fixed on Cage and his troops. 

Cage’s heart that was filled with wrath slowly cooled off when the divine guards from the Third Corps drew their swords and held up their bows. Cage was a little smarter than his sister Eve. He knew that if he were to start a physical conflict with Anito, the person who would lose out was himself. He would accomplish nothing if he were to escalate the hostility further.

Cage had no choice but to repress the anger in his heart and give up. After yelling a few nasty words, he left with his Lavers Family divine guards. He pondered where Han Shuo would be whilst wearing a gloomy face.

“Young master, are you going to let it pass just like that?” a divine guard said. He felt angry for Cage.

“Of course I won’t let him off so easily. But we don’t know where that scoundrel is hiding now. We can’t do anything without first finding him,” Cage was still flushed with anger. He turned around and gazed at the Celestial Pearl Pharmacy before instructing, “Come with me, I’ll go look for my father.”

Cage made a beeline for the Fifth Corps of City of Shadows Divine Guards.

Inside a secret chamber in the Fifth Corps, Avery’s expression grew darker and darker as he listened to Cage explain the whole story to him. Then, when Cage finally finished giving his account, Avery stood up and gave Cage a big slap which caused him to stagger a few steps backward.

Cage covered his red, swollen cheek without uttering a word. He merely looked at his enraged father with a wronged expression.

“How many times have I told you not to provoke that man? Why must you be so stubborn? Look what happened now. Three of our shops have been destroyed and we have lost so many crystal coins. And now again I have to clean up the mess for you. Can’t the two of you learn from Donna and her brother and be less of a nuisance to me?” Avery yelled at his son who knew nothing but to stir up conflict while slamming his table.

“Father, I’m telling you, we did not actively provoke him after you told us not to. This time it is he who provoked us. I had merely shouted a few words at him but I couldn’t have guessed that he would be so barbaric to destroy three of our shops in one night. He obviously thinks that he can ride on our heads because he has the backing of the House of Sainte!” Cage said with a voice choking with sobs as though he was wronged.

“Did you or did you not order men to wreck his Celestial Pearl Pharmacy?” Avery bunched his brows and sternly questioned.

“No, I did not do it. I dare not disobey father’s words!” said Cage.

“Then, are you sure that it was this fella who destroyed three of our shops?” Avery continued to question.

“It’s definitely him. I merely incited him with a few words back at our family residence before he left angrily without saying a word. Then on that very night, all this happened to our energy stone stores. Who could it be if not him?” Cage answered in a hateful tone.

Avery nodded and waved his hand. He instructed, “Go home and look after your good-for-nothing sister. Do not leave our family residence for the moment. I will handle the matter. You shall not intervene!” After a short pause, seeing that Cage was still standing there with his gaping mouth, he shouted furiously, “Did you hear me?”

Cage was thrown off balance. He had rarely seen Avery so furious. He hastily nodded and replied in a low voice, “Understood!”

“Get lost! Now!” Avery grew more furious in his heart to see that appearance of Cage’s and he roared at Cage yet again. Cage, covering his cheek with one hand, scurried out of the secret chamber.

After Cage left the room, Avery vented his anger by loudly cursing over and over. He finally calmed down after some time.

After thinking for some time, Avery suddenly uttered, “Number Three, investigate the ins and outs of that kid. Find out if he really had something to do with the explosion of the three shops!”

“Yes, my Lord,” an emotionless reply sounded from the darkness behind Avery. A shadow distorted for a short time before suddenly disappearing.

***

Han Shuo, on the third floor of Celestial Pearl Pharmacy, asked as he watched Anito coming up, “Has he left?”

“Yep, he’s gone. Don’t worry, with us watching over this place, no danger will befall you,” Anito replied respectfully. After a short pause, he asked in a fawning manner, “Is the renovation of this gymnasium of the third floor up to your satisfaction?”

“Yes, I quite like it. I will have to trouble you for the next two days to decline every visitor. I need some time to refine more medicines,” Han Shuo instructed.

“Don’t worry, Sir, that’s no trouble at all!” Anito immediately promised with his chest puffed. Shortly after, he put on a smile and started to talk yet again, “Our Lord Erebus is also very interested in your medicines. His Lordship has instructed me to purchase some medicines on his behalf. Prices are negotiable. Will Mister Bryan please be so kind?”

Han Shuo long knew that Anito must have gained Erebus’ approval, tacitly or expressly, to be stationed in the vicinity of his shop for such a long time. As Erebus had taken the initiative to actively express his goodwill, Han Shuo naturally knew how to respond appropriately. Immediately, he nodded smilingly and said, “I know what I ought to do. Please thank Lord Erebus for me and send his Lordship my kindest regards.”

“Haha, thank you, thank you. Definitely!” Anito knew that these words of Han Shuo’s meant that he could complete the task that Erebus assigned him without any issue and immediately dismissed himself with a big smile. He then started yelling at the workers renovating the second and third floors, “Be more attentive in your work or none of you will get a single crystal coin!” 

Han Shuo shook his head and laughed at Anito’s actions from the third floor. Such action of Anito did not make Han Shuo feel more favorable of him. However, Han Shuo did not say anything about it as Anito had been very helpful all this time.

Who is it that destroyed the other two shops? Han Shuo wondered.

Of the three energy stone shops owned by Avery Lavers, Han Shuo had merely destroyed the smallest shop to retaliate against Cage wrecking his Celestial Pearl Pharmacy. However, Han Shuo heard that soon after he left, the two other shops were destroyed in a similar fashion. Han Shuo’s heart was filled with doubt. He had no idea who was behind it.

Perhaps there’s another enemy of the Lavers Family? Han Shuo thought. Although he was rather puzzled about the matter, he did not truly take it to heart. As Han Shuo was in a hurry to produce more medicinal pellets, he did not think too deeply about it.

*** At a pharmacy called ‘Godswamp’, inside a secret underground chamber surrounded by boundaries.

An elderly man with white hair and a face as translucent as jade was softly inquiring a man crouching before him. That crouching man was merely a meter tall and looked like an elderly dwarf. His face was covered with wrinkles and he had a pair of eyes glistening with infernal rays. 

“How’s the scheme doing so far, Steiss?” that elderly man whose head was covered white hair asked softly.

“Rest assured, master, everything is happening as planned. Avery has dispatched his men to investigate what happened yesterday. I believe he definitely will discover evidence pointing to that kid Bryan! Master, should we add fuel to the fire?” that dwarf Steiss replied respectfully.

“That won’t be necessary. With things having progressed to this stage, we can now do nothing at all. I know Avery. He’s the kind of person who won’t easily strike but once he does, he wouldn’t let anyone live. He had restrained himself the last time and he definitely will not continue to tolerate this time around. We just have to sit and watch. Perhaps by tomorrow, both Celestial Pearl and the youngster will disappear from the City of Shadows without a trail. Hehe…”

“About the medicines that the youngster makes, should we…” Steiss asked suggestively.

The elderly man shook his head. He smiled warmly and replied softly, “Now is the time to be patient. Once Avery strikes, not only will the youngster forever be gone, Avery will also learn about all the secrets of his medicines. Hehe, the House of Lavers isn’t good at producing medicine. After Avery obtains those memories, in order to reap the greatest benefit for his House of Lavers, he will look for us sooner or later. After all, not only have we maintained a good relationship with the House of Lavers, we are the largest pharmacy chain in the City of Shadows. Who is he going to look for if not us?”

“Master is indeed the most brilliant!” Steiss no longer made any more suggestions but praised sincerely.

The white-haired old man then waved his hand, indicating that Steiss was dismissed. After Steiss left, the old man muttered to himself while fondling a chunk of bone in his hand, “If the House of Sainte takes their anger on Avery for this matter, ultimately provoking a war between the two family clans, that would be perfect!” The old man gently caressed that chunk of bone with love as he uttered, “Chris, my child, your death will not be in vain…”

***

At nightfall, Avery was sitting on the rooftop of the tallest building in the Fifth Corps. He squinted his eyes as he gazed at the colorful glow of sunset. Holding a wine cup in one hand and a bottle of wine in the other, he would refill the wine cup for himself and happily chug it down. He did not seem to be bothered by the explosions of his shops by the slightest. 

“Something bad is going to happen. Lord Avery always does something crazy after he drinks!” A few divine guards of the Fifth Corps underneath the building could vaguely see what Avery was doing at the top of the towering skyscraper. They gossiped under their voices.

“I wonder who will be the unlucky fella this time. We better be more careful and not make his Lordship unhappy, lest we suffer his wrath,” another divine guard said very softly in an anxious and scared manner.

The beautiful, soft glowing light of the sky was gradually covered by the curtain of night. Eventually, the sky was completely shrouded by darkness. By now, there were eight empty wine bottles around Avery. He was reclining on his chair, gazing into the dark sky with half-open, dizzied eyes. It was as though he had fallen asleep.

After a long time, a voice suddenly sounded from behind him, “My Lord, I have discovered a medicine bottle inside one of the exploded shops. There were unique markings on the bottle and I’m sure it originated from the Celestial Pearl Pharmacy.”

The disoriented Avery straightened himself up on the chair with difficulty. He casually gave an “Oh” before asking nonchalantly, “Where’s the guy?”

“He is still at the Celestial Pearl Pharmacy,” the man inside the darkness replied.

Avery nodded, waved his hand at the person behind him, and instructed, “Go to the Lavers Residence and keep an eye on those two good-for-nothings. Do not let them take a single step outside the residence without my instruction!”

“Understood!” the dark shadow replied immediately before dismissing himself without a sound.

Avery rubbed his eye, downed the last cup of wine in front of him, and fell asleep in his chair. When it was deep in the night, a dark, phantom-like figure, as though a strand of soul, floated out from his body still reclined on the chair and flew in the direction of the Celestial Pearl Pharmacy.

***

At the third floor of the Celestial Pearl Pharmacy, Han Shuo was using the gymnasium as his temporary pharmacy lab. The Nine Tessellation Cauldron was like a throbbing blaze, performing its dance before Han Shuo. Fragrant and refreshing scents overflowed from the tessellations on the cauldron. 

Whoosh! A lump of red fireball in Han Shuo’s palm was sent into the Nine Tessellation Cauldron, causing the sweet smell of medicine inside the gymnasium to grow more intense and the Nine Tessellation Cauldron to revolve faster and faster, so much that the shape of the cauldron appeared blurry.

Chink! Clang! Tinkling sounds of things knocking against the metallic surface rang from the rapidly revolving Nine Tessellation Cauldron. Han Shuo was elated as he knew that the Pills of Rejuvenation would soon be complete.

During the period of time Han Shuo focused on refining medicinal pellets, he discovered that somehow, his mind was becoming more and more stable. Although he would exhaust a great amount of demonic yuan in the process, his demonic yuan would grow slightly after recovery. Even his realm state seemed to be rapidly stabilizing. 

When Han Shuo discovered that refining medicinal pellets would not hinder him but also end up helping him advance in demonic arts through some bizarre ways, he became even more passionate and engrossed with refining medicinal pellets. Cauldron Spirit explained to Han Shuo that as long as he was fully concentrated on performing a task with a sober and calm mind, his realm state would improve.

Ting… Ting…

Tens of medicine bottles suddenly flew out from Han Shuo’s space ring. Those delicate medicine bottles gave off pleasant jingling sounds when they bumped into each other.

One after another, the medicine bottles flew towards the Nine Tessellation Cauldron in an orderly fashion. Each time Han Shuo flicked his index finger, a single pellet of medicine would fly off from the Nine Tessellation Cauldron and into the beautiful medicine bottle most accurately. Next, the medicine bottle containing medicinal pellet would gently land on the ground beside Han Shuo. The intense fragrance of medicine would become slightly reduced with each medicine bottled. Han Shuo had become very practiced with bottling the medicines. He had forty-nine medicine bottles filled and lined up beside him in no time.

After having bottled all the medicines, the Nine Tessellation Cauldron hovered and flew into Han Shuo’s palm. It shrunk little by little and disappeared when it was the size of a palm.

Next, Han Shuo wiggled his five fingers. His space ring flashed as the forty-nine medicine bottles beside him disappeared one after another.

Han Shuo heaved a deep breath, calmed down his heart and started recovering the demonic yuan he lost. This was the most recent method of raising the demonic yuan reserves Han Shuo had discovered and therefore he was very attentive.

While calmly recovering the demonic yuan in his body, all of a sudden, Han Shuo had a most frightening feeling. This sensation came extremely abruptly and it caused every hair on Han Shuo’s body to stand on end.

Han Shuo immediately started to probe around with his consciousness but did not discover any abnormality. He also rapidly dispatched two demon generals from the Cauldron of Myriad Demon to survey the situation outside the Celestial Pearl Pharmacy.

Anito and a group of divine guards were inside a building not far from the Celestial Pearl Pharmacy. Han Shuo saw that the magical lamp was still lit, indicating that Anito and his people were still active. This made Han Shuo very slightly relieved.

The demon generals continued to examine the surrounding and they too did not discover an anomaly. However, the sense of danger he felt never diminished.

After a while, suddenly, Cauldron Spirit transmitted anxiously, “Enemy! It’s not all that powerful but it is still much more powerful than you. Here it comes!”

A shadow appeared noiselessly. By the time Han Shuo sensed the presence of the shadow, it was already too late to do anything. The darkness around him seemed to have turned into substance and they gushed towards Han Shuo’s body. Han Shuo suddenly found himself unable to budge.

“Deploy the Invincible Omen Body NOW!” Cauldron Spirit shouted into Han Shuo’s consciousness.

Without a second thought, the greatly alarmed Han Shuo deployed the Invincible Omen Body which he had been practicing a lot in recent days. At the next instance, a most energetic and overwhelming force rushed into Han Shuo’s body. An explosion sounded off from his body. Intense pain flooded every nerve of Han Shuo’s.

When subjected to such immense pain, an average person would have immediately become unconscious. To Han Shuo, however, it only made him more awake.

That shadowy figure was very confident that Han Shuo was dead after delivering Han Shuo a single hit. The shadowy figure with darkness around it gradually went to the front of Han Shuo and softly murmured to itself, “What a pity, could have served for my family…”

Han Shuo sensed the strong smell of alcohol. After that, he saw the shadowy figure raise its hand, slowly covering down on his skull… 

Memory Capture!

Han Shuo immediately realized what the person was trying to do. The strength of the shadowy figure was powerful beyond Han Shuo’s imagination and he did not have the slightest certainty of victory against it. Besides, Han Shuo’s demonic body was now severely injured even though he was defended by the Invincible Omen Body. Han Shuo simply wasn’t on the same level with that being yet.

Seeing that the hand would soon press down on his skull, Han Shuo stopped hesitating. Immediately, he activated the blood essence inside his demonic infant. His meridians and veins were snapped, causing mists of blood to rapidly flow out from his body, enveloping him entirely.

“Huh?!” the shadowy figure softly cried out in surprise when it suddenly discovered that Han Shuo had disappeared. It started to become anxious. It rapidly flew through every room inside the Celestial Pearl Pharmacy and when it discovered nothing, it started searching the perimeter of the pharmacy.

 

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