GDK 713: Crack

A large crowd had gathered at Celestial Pearl Pharmacy within a short time.

Han Shuo was shocked to discover that the street outside Celestial Pearl Pharmacy was packed with so many people that the road was completely blocked. After looking around, Han Shuo estimated that there were roughly five hundred people gathered before his small little shop called the Celestial Pearl Pharmacy.

Anito and his bunch who were in charge of guarding the Celestial Pearl Pharmacy were standing at the front doors. They were rather clueless about how to receive all the prestigious persons from big family clans.

Anito was meant to allow these people to enter the premises for a seat. But unfortunately, the first floor of the Celestial Pearl Pharmacy was too small to accommodate so many people at once while the second and third floors of the building were Han Shuo’s lab and private gymnasium. Outsiders were not allowed into those areas.

It was for this reason that Anito was at a loss about what he should do, especially when Andre from the House of Sainte was among those people. If Anito was to let Andre into the pharmacy, the others would surely complain if they were not also allowed entry. However, there wasn’t enough room for everyone to enter at once. Anito was forced to apologize continuously as he denied entry to everyone.

Fortunately, these people did not take offense about it. They cheerfully and lighthearted chatted with each other as they waited for Han Shuo’s arrival.

Having learned from the per person quota Han Shuo imposed during the last sale, these people who learned the news of Han Shuo’s return rushed to the Celestial Pearl Pharmacy with a few squadrons of their family divine guards. That was the real reason why the street outside the Celestial Pearl Pharmacy was completely jammed with people.

“What… what the…” Han Shuo was left between laughter and tears when he arrived at the Celestial Pearl Pharmacy and saw the scene.

“Hey, Bryan, you’re back! Just in time…”

“... Hey bro, I have been waiting for you here for quite a while. How you doing mate?”

“... Great to see you in one piece, Bryan!”

Before Han Shuo could react, the people there started greeting him as though they had been acquainted with Han Shuo for a long time. Han Shuo had only met some of them just once while others were complete strangers.

The dense crowd took the initiative to part a small path for Han Shuo to reach the entrance. Prestigious members of several large family clans were standing near the front door. They were all waving at Han Shuo smilingly.

“So, you’re pretty popular in this city, huh,” Andrina who was walking beside Han Shuo softly remarked.

Andrina’s face return to that ice-cold expression seen when Han Shuo first met her. She appeared inharmonious to the cheerful and lively surroundings.

Han Shuo forced a smile and walked to the front door of Celestial Pearl Pharmacy. He cast a glance at Anito who was drenched in cold sweat, Andre who was standing smilingly, and the crowd before he bowed his body slightly and said, “My apologies, you must all have been waiting here for me for a long time!”

“Not at all, it’s no bother at all!” the crowd replied.

Han Shuo stepped to the front of the crowd, glanced at the powerful people from large family clans as well as those who came along with them and announced, “I know your intentions in coming here with so many of your people so this time around, instead of setting a quota for each person, I will divide the medicines by family clans.”

Those who had gathered at the front of Celestial Pearl Pharmacy were all high-ranking members and divine guards of large family clans. In the City of Shadows, only these ancient and influential family clans could receive word of Han Shuo’s return almost immediately.

Upon hearing the announcement, the smile on Rugersey of the Kisa Family immediately turned rather awkward. Of the family clans, Rugersey had brought over the highest number of divine guards. He thought that he had an advantage over the others until Han Shuo most unexpectedly abandoned his previous quota altogether.

“Rugersey, any objections?” Beth from the House of Kinson covered her lips to giggle before she asked teasingly.

“No, no objection,” Regersy forced a smile and immediately denied.

“Alright, family clan representatives may enter the pharmacy while the divine guards will remain outside for the time being,” Han Shuo instructed.

Everyone nodded and agreed. Thereafter, Andre from the House of Sainte, Beth and her daughter from the House of Kinson, Rugersey from the House of Kisa, and Tuyas from the House of Buller entered the pharmacy. However, no one from the House of Lavers, the family clan that Han Shuo came to know the first, had come.

Rugersey was a younger patrilineal cousin of the patriarch of the Kisa Family. He was one of the seven chiefs of the City of Shadows’ divine guards in charge of the Sixth Corps. He cultivated in the energy of death and was in early-stage highgod realm.

Tuyas were the uncle of the patriarch of Buller Family. As his talent in the cultivation of the energy of darkness was limited, even after having lived for ages, he remained stuck at late-stage midgod realm. This man, however, was very capable when it came down to business. Most of the finances of the Buller Family were given to him to handle.

“Bryan, where have you disappeared to for so long? We were so worried about you that we sent men to search for you everywhere,” Jiya asked smilingly.

“I traveled outside to meet with a friend but ran into some trouble midway and was held up by it. That’s why it took me so long to return. Haha, thank you for all your concerns. I will definitely keep them in my heart!” Han Shuo continued smilingly, “Alright, this time I have refined over a thousand bottles of various medicines. I will distribute one thousand bottles equally among the four family clans here, this means each family clan gets two hundred and fifty bottles. Agreed?”

“Agreed!” the party replied in unison.

To proceed, Han Shuo took out a thousand medicinal bottles, placed them on the table, and arranged them by their types and functions.

Then, with the party attentively watching, Han Shuo divided the thousand medicine bottles into four equal parts. There were around six hundred Pills of Rejuvenation valued at one hundred black crystal coins per bottle, with the remaining being Pills of Tranquility and Rebirth Pills valued at five to three hundred black crystal coins per bottle. Han Shuo gave every family clan the equal number of bottles of the same type. He did not show favoritism toward the House of Sainte.

Right after Han Shuo divided the medicines into four, each representative pulled out their black crystal coins quicker than the last and threw the sacks right before Han Shuo. Without even counting, Han Shuo knew he would earn roughly a hundred and fifty thousand black crystal coins in this round of sales.

Andrina, who was standing beside Han Shuo, suddenly looked at the four heavy sacks of black crystal coins with blazing eyes as though she saw the most delicious dishes laid on the table. She even subconsciously licked the corners of her lips.

Han Shuo immediately saw through Andrina’s intentions as soon as he saw her avaricious gazes. Han Shuo did not know this mysterious little girl well and was worried that she would give in to the temptation and eat the crystal coins right in front of the party.

Han Shuo gently cleared his throat and waved his hand. His space ring gave off four flashes before the four sacks of black crystal coins disappeared.

Immediately after storing the sacks of crystal coins into his space ring, using his consciousness, Han Shuo read the number marked on the sacks. Every bag contained exactly forty thousand black crystal coins, giving him a total revenue of a hundred and sixty thousand black crystal coins, which was more than what he had made in the last sale.

“I hope you all have had a pleasant transaction!” Han Shuo said, beaming ear to ear. His mood was lifted.

Those representatives from the four family clans kept away their medicines and had a brief and delightful chat with Han Shuo. Then, with Han Shuo’s indication, they all left the pharmacy perfectly contented, with the exception of Andre from the House of Sainte.

After the representatives from the three family clans left, Andre asked Han Shuo with a gentle smile, “Carmelita isn’t in the City of Shadows. Do you happen to know where she is and what she is up to?”

Han Shuo did not immediately reply to Andre’s question. He took out a bag of black crystal coins and handed it to Andrina who had been looking at him with miserable and pity-evoking eyes, and instructed. “Go upstairs. No matter what, don’t fall asleep like the last time!”

Andrina nodded excitedly. Carrying the big sack of black crystal coins containing forty thousand black crystal coins, she hastily headed upstairs as though unwilling to wait for a second longer.

After Andrina left, Han Shuo softly sighed and replied to Andre, “I don’t know where she has gone but I do know that she has been looking for me all this time. I believe she likely has left the city for matters related to finding me, right?” Han Shuo wasn’t completely clueless about the situation in the City of Shadows. From the conversations between those divine guards looking for him, Han Shuo knew that Carmelita had spared no effort to search for him. Her actions had deeply touched Han Shuo and he understood that Carmelita had sincerely taken him as a friend.

Andre, who had been observing Han Shuo’s reaction all along, nodded. He was very pleased with Han Shuo’s response - unpretentious and genuine. “That’s right, she has indeed traveled away from the city to look for you. Carmelita has truly taken you as a friend. She doesn’t want anything bad to happen to you and therefore I, myself, also hope that nothing will happen to you again. Understood?” Andre said enigmatically.

Han Shuo stared blankly before he looked at Andre in a puzzled manner. He didn’t quite understand what Andre was trying to tell him, so he asked, “What you mean is…?”

“I want you to be alive and well!” Andre’s face suddenly turned solemn. In graveness that Han Shuo had rarely witnessed, Andre said in a deep voice, “I have thoroughly investigated the matter. You can be at ease -  Avery will not touch you again.”

Han Shuo jolted and gawked for a moment. He couldn’t understand why Avery had suddenly become so supportive of him. This sudden goodwill shown by Andre left Han Shuo somewhat at a loss.

“But, of course, the most that I can offer is the assurance that Avery won’t attack you again. About the injustice you suffered the last time, for the stability of the City of Shadows, as a member of the House of Sainte, there isn’t much that I can do to Avery. I hope you can understand,” Andre explained in a soft voice. Then, after thinking for a bit, he quickly added, “One more thing, please do not mention this to Carmelita. I know her temperament well. If she were to learn that Avery injured you, she would undoubtedly try to take revenge for you. She could stir up big trouble if she attempts that. It’s even possible that the House of Lavers will think of rebelling against us - something we definitely do not wish to see.”

After keeping silent for a moment, Han Shuo nodded his head and said, “I understand. Someday in the future, I will exact this vengeance myself!”

“I naturally will not stop you from doing that when you have the strength. Who knows, perhaps when the day comes, I might even help you! However, before that, you need to be more prudent. Alright, I better not be too wordy, but do keep my words in your heart,” Andre said before leaving the Celestial Pearl Pharmacy smilingly.

Han Shuo understood Andre’s position. In fact, Andre’s willingness to help ensure his safety had exceeded Han Shuo’s expectations. He was not about to demand Andre to make reprisals to Avery for his sake.

One could only obtain respect and status in proportion to their strength and value. Han Shuo knew that his current value now was far from enough for the House of Sainte to risk falling out with the Lavers Family. Although Han Shuo did not like it, he knew how to be patient. He believed that there would come a day when he would have enough value that the House of Sainte would eliminate Avery for him.

With sufficient strength, nothing is impossible!

“Did that guy leave?” Andrina’s voice sounded as soon as Han Shuo stepped on the third floor of his Celestial Pearl Pharmacy. “He’s strong. He nearly discovered the power that I’m concealing!” she said while chewing black crystal coins in her mouth.

“There are forty thousand black crystal coins in that bag so that adds four more years to your service!” after a short pause, he continued, “Remember, don’t fall into a deep sleep for months like the last time!”

“I know, that’s why I’m eating one piece at a time. By digesting it slowly, nothing like that will happen again. Alright, alright, stop bothering me. Go and get on with whatever you ought to be doing!” Andrina answered impatiently before turning her glowing eyes back to the crystal coins in her hand.

Han Shuo climbed down to the second floor. After having been refurbished, his pharmacy lab was even more glorious than before it was wrecked. There were bright, sparkling pharmaceutical utensils and containers strewn everywhere. But no one knew that those tools were merely for decoration. The only tool that Han Shuo actually used for refining medicine was the Nine Tessellation Cauldron.

Anito who had been conscientiously guarding outside the Celestial Pearl Pharmacy entered the shop after everyone had left. He said to Han Shuo in a fawning smile, “That umm… umm… did you save some for us Third Corps?”

“One hundred bottles for just twenty thousand black crystal coins - special discount for your Lord Erebus!” Han Shuo had long prepared pelleted medicines for Erebus and he put the medicines on the table.

Anito too had come prepared and immediately took out a sack of black crystal coins with a wide grin. To proceed, Anito carefully counted and pulled out twenty thousand black crystal coins from the sack of coins which obviously contained more than that number. He respectfully handed Han Shuo twenty thousand black crystal coins and said, “Bryan, I’m merely carrying out orders on behalf of His Lordship and therefore cannot be as generous as those members of large family clans. These coins technically belong to the public and any extras need to be returned to the higher authorities, that’s why…”

“No worries, I get it. Take the medicines and go ahead with your errands. Also, thank you for the efforts you spent on my shop,” Han Shuo naturally understood that those black crystal coins did not belong to Anito and didn’t mind not receiving tips.

“You’re welcome… You’re most welcome…” Anito replied smilingly. After keeping away the medicines, he instructed his fellow divine guards, “I’m returning to the Third Corps to run an errand. You guys remain in the vicinity of the shop. If any fool causes trouble here, you all know your duties!” Anito then left hastily.

Suddenly, when Han Shuo was about to step back into his shop, a familiar voice sounded, “It’s been a while, Bryan.”

When Han Shuo turned around, he saw the charming Donna standing right outside his pharmacy. She was still as beautiful and lovely as always. However, Han Shuo could see the traces of sorrow in her eyes. Although she was still wearing a smile, it felt somewhat unnatural… 

Han Shuo had never regretted getting rid of Cage and Eve, nor did he feel that he had betrayed his conscience. After all, it was Avery who made the first strike against him.

However, when facing Donna, Han Shuo nonetheless still felt somewhat uncomfortable, as though he had done something unfaithful behind her back. He softly chuckled and said, “Hello Donna, it really has been a while. I’ve been to the residence to look for you but unfortunately you weren't around at that time. I heard you went to the Space Dominion?”

Donna smiled and replied, “Yes, I have. However, I did not expect that after returning from the distant place, I would find my good-for-nothing cousins murdered.”

Did she discover something? Is she suspecting me? That’s impossible. Even Avery did not suspect me. How would Donna? Han Shuo’s heart skipped a beat but he did not reveal a thing on his face. He invited Donna into his shop cordially before he sighed, “Donna, I have heard a thing or two about your cousins’ unfortunate fates. Please have my condolences.”

Perhaps he didn’t do it? Donna thought to herself. She had been silently observing each any every change to Han Shuo’s expression but did not see one bit of abnormality. 

No one in the House of Lavers had suspected a thing about Han Shuo because in their eyes, Han Shuo did not have that strength nor did he have the nerves!

But Donna, who had previously traveled to Profound Continent and fought shoulder to shoulder with Han Shuo, did not feel the same way. Donna understood how ruthless and decisive Han Shuo could be and suspected that Han Shuo had been concealing his strength. Therefore, after making some inquiries into Cage and Eve’s deaths, the first person she suspected was Han Shuo!

There were many who had animosity with Cage and Avery but Donna did not know any who would strike so decisively. Avery suspected Carmelita. But Donna, who had befriended Carmelita for some time, knew that Carmelita wasn’t one to seek revenge for the smallest grievances. She was certain that the murderer could not be Carmelita.

Donna did not exactly have a concrete reason to suspect Han Shuo but when she thought of him, she felt that Han Shuo was the most likely to do so, especially after Han Shuo managed to return to the City of Shadows safely. She had arrived at Celestial Pearl Pharmacy long ago but did not hurry in entering. She only showed herself after everyone left.

“The last time Eve came to this pharmacy, you saved her from being disfigured. But she was too insensible and even bore grudges towards you. I haven’t thanked you for that yet so, thank you!” Donna said with a trace of sadness on her face. She had learned about what actually happened in that incident.

Han Shuo figured out Donna’s intentions after hearing her repeatedly mention Cage and Eve. Her suspicious gazes also gave it up.

A deep fissure had unknowingly separated the two who used to be best of friends. Neither Donna nor Han Shuo had expected this outcome.

After figuring out Donna’s real intention in visiting him, the smile on Han Shuo’s face grew bigger but softened in sincerity. After exchanging a round of empty dialogue, Donna, seeing that she could not elicit any information from Han Shuo, left a bag of crystal coins and silently left with a hundred bottles of medicine.

After walking outside the shop, as she rolled a medicine bottle in her hand, Donna mumbled to herself, “I’ve known for a while now that you would climb to high places, but I did not anticipate that you would do so by stepping on the bodies of my family members…” She softly sighed and left quietly. 

From within the pharmacy, Han Shuo gazed at her back as her figure slowly disappeared into the distance. When she was completely out of sight, he softly remarked, “I’m sorry, but it had to be done!”

 

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