GDK 725: Show yourself!

Godswamp Pharmacy was completely gone from the City of Shadows and was replaced by Han Shuo’s Celestial Pearl Pharmacy. However, it was after Han Shuo actually took over all their businesses that he realized just how much effort was needed to properly manage the big machine. Before taking over the Godswamp Pharmacy, the entire process from collecting medicinal ingredients, refining medicine, and to selling the medicines was completed by Han Shuo himself. However, one person was far from enough to manage the enormous resources of Godswamp Pharmacy.

There were finer details associated with collecting, storing, refining, and selling medicines and therefore the talents Celestial Pearl Pharmacy needed was more than just pharmacists. It took Han Shuo no time to realize that he needed more manpower and he started yet another round of recruitment process…

Although Han Shuo had then spent a long time to recruit the talents he needed, he still could not get enough people to fill all the vacant posts. People who were talented in business management were particularly hard to find. Han Shuo, as someone with poor knowledge in running a big business, was troubled by this issue.

Andre and a few from the big family clans had recommended Han Shuo a few capable candidates. However, as those people were related to those big family clans in some ways and Han Shuo didn’t want them to know all the ins and outs of his Celestial Pearl Pharmacy, he had, most reluctantly, declined their recommendations.

Han Shuo had long moved into the big campus that originally belonged to the Godswamp Pharmacy. The altogether seventeen big and small shops in and around the City of Shadows had also fallen into his power. However, even two months after taking over the assets, the Celestial Pearl Pharmacy remained closed for business due to insufficient manpower.

For the lack of a better option, Han Shuo temporarily closed the sixteen shops that were outside the City of Shadow and gathered all the workers he could to the headquarters in the city. His intention was to get the business of his main pharmacy in the city on track while he slowly recruited all sorts of talents.

While Han Shuo was working his ass off for the Celestial Pearl Pharmacy, Avery, who had been away from the City of Shadows for a long time, suddenly appeared in one of the mountain ranges outside the City of Shadows.

Avery had been away from the city for half a year with the excuse that he was hunting for his children’s murderer. He did not immediately return to the City of Shadows but halted right outside the city as though waiting for something.

Avery knew the environment around the City of Shadows all too well. On top of his extraordinary strength, he easily avoided the large numbers of divine guards who patrolled the mountains. Behind him was a small squadron of thirty divine guards from the Fifth Corps. These divine guards originated from the House of Lavers and were loyal to Avery. 

When night fell, Avery flew up and stood on the top of a tall, ancient tree. He squinted his eyes and wore a cold face as he gazed at the City of Shadows.

Sometime later, in the dead of the night, a shadow snuck out from the City of Shadows. The shadow seemed to be afraid that someone might be following it and altered its course multiple times before finally arriving before Avery.

The person kneeled down on one knee. Gazing at Avery who was standing on a big tree, he uttered in a low voice, “Greetings, my Lord!”

“Number Three, tell me about the recent situation in the City of Shadows,” Avery said with his eyes still gazing at the City of Shadows not far away.

“During recent days, the most talked-about topic is the Celestial Pearl Pharmacy that will open for business soon. The Celestial Pearl Pharmacy’s owner, Bryan, has gained the full support of the House of Sainte and took over the Godswamp Pharmacy’s assets. In addition, the House of Sainte has never loosened up in monitoring our Fifth Corps. Andre has personally come to the Fifth Corps multiple times to ask about your Lordship’s whereabouts. It appears that they are suspecting us,” Number Three said in a deep voice.

“Bryan… He meddled with my business and actually managed to save that bitch’s life. I’m not going to let him get away with it!” Avery scowled. After keeping silent for a while, he finally lowered his head to look at Number Three crouching on the ground, and asked, “How many from the Fifth Corps are willing to leave the City of Shadows with me?”

“Myself included, there are nine people. I have carefully sounded out everyone but the rest of them did not reveal much motivation of leaving with your Lordship,” Number Three hesitated for a moment before he answered in a deep voice.

“Just nine people, that’s so…” Avery softly sighed before he smiled grimly and instructed, “Nine people it is. Number Three, I want to enter the City of Shadows tonight without being discovered. Use whatever influence you have left to arrange it for me!” 

“Understood,” Number Three softly replied. He added after thinking for a moment, “My Lord, those few people can only be used once. We must leave the City of Shadows after that.”

“Don’t worry, we will leave the city after tonight!” Avery said and nodded. He took a short pause and added, “If you serve under me, no matter if it’s the City of Shadows or any other city, you will still be able to enjoy the same privilege you have always enjoyed. But if you stay in the City of Shadows, because you have worked for me, you will never be treated highly.”

“Your Lordship has always treated us well. Wherever your Lordship goes, we will follow!” Number Three hastily replied.

“Good. Go ahead and complete the task I have instructed. There are a few I must kill tonight!” Avery said as he gestured with his hand.

Number Three retreated and carefully returned to the City of Shadows. Right after that, he got into contact with certain important characters from the Fifth Corps. Two of these people oversaw the eastern-side city gate. With the two deliberately looking the other way, Avery, with a few elite divine guards from his Fifth Corps, sneaked into the City of Shadows without alerting anyone.

After finally returning to the City of Shadows, Avery first went to the top of a building near the Lavers Residence. He gazed at the Lavers Residence while softly mumbling, “Elder Brother, I believe you should have some clue about what is happening by now. I won’t be returning home, lest I bring you trouble.”

“My Lord, we don’t have too much time. What should we do now?” someone who was behind Avery softly asked.

“There are some in the City of Shadows that I have wanted to kill since long ago. We will finish them all tonight. We will get them done quickly and quietly. We must not alert the House of Sainte by any means. Otherwise, none of us will be leaving the City of Shadows,” Avery coldly instructed. He gave one last reluctant look at the Lavers Residence before he silently left with his men.

It was a moonless night, a perfect night to murder and kill.

By relying on his familiarity with the City of Shadows, Avery, leading several elites from his Fifth Corps, evaded the detection of multiple patrolling divine guards. He managed to assassinate several characters who had average strength but some influence in the City of Shadows. For example, Tuyas from the Buller Family. Although his strength was nothing remarkable, his business skills were outstanding. This Tuyas had always aligned himself against the House of Lavers but Avery dared not to do a thing to him on any average day. But that night was no average day. Avery boldly butchered him in the largest crystal stone shop of the House of Buller.

Other than Tuyas, a few others were slaughtered by Avery noiselessly. As Avery’s strength was great and most of his targets were merely midgods, all the assassinations were successful and he did not catch anyone’s attention.

“My Lord, it’s about time. We should leave!” Number Three who had been following alongside Avery softly reminded.

Avery kept silent for a moment before he said in a deep voice, “There is one last person. We will leave right after getting rid of him.”

“Who is it?” Number Three asked softly.

“Bryan of Celestial Pearl Pharmacy. This kiddo has lived comfortably during recent times, but it will end tonight! If it wasn’t for him, Cage and Eve wouldn’t have died to Carmelita. I might not be able to get Carmelita for now, but this fella must die!” Avery said in a chilling voice.

“My Lord, I heard that the little girl that follows around him is very powerful. I heard from the House of Kisa that the little girl used to fight with Rugersey and she was only slightly behind in strength,” Number Three hastily reminded when he heard Han Shuo was Avery’s next target.

Although it was clear that Andrina had the upper hand over Rugersey during their battle in the Kisa Residence, the House of Kisa did not like losing face. No one in the House of Kisa dared say that Rugersey was on the back foot in the battle and they altered they story, telling the outsiders it was Andrina who was on the back foot. Besides, as those directly involved had kept silent about the true story and as Andrina was just a little girl, no one doubted the validity of what they heard.

“She’s just a little girl, how powerful can she be?!” Avery said disdainfully, “Besides, Rugersey isn’t as powerful as me. If he could defeat that little girl, then I can do the same easily. What is there to worry about?”

After hearing those words, Number Three knew that Avery had made his decision and he no longer gave any advice.

*** 

On the top of one of the tallest buildings in the Celestial Pearl Pharmacy, Han Shuo was cultivating with his eyes closed.

Although Han Shuo was incredibly exhausted from dealing with the mountains of work of his Celestial Pearl Pharmacy, he never slacked in his cultivation. His two avatars were not affected at all as they could stay within the Cauldron of Myriad Demon to cultivate all the time.

His avatar of death had reached early-stage midgod realm and it had been slowly familiarizing itself with this new realm while trying to learn several new methods of using the energy of death. His avatar of destruction was still studying and experimenting with the Orb of Destruction. It was growing more and more proficient at it. 

All of a sudden, Han Shuo’s heart pounded. His consciousness detected the arrival of great danger.

After having been severely injured the last time, Han Shuo’s ability in sensing danger became more acute. Immediately, he deployed the Indestructible Body Omen which gave his body tremendous defensive power. Han Shuo did not move a muscle but carefully sensed the threat. He was shocked by what he discovered and immediately transmitted to Cauldron Spirit, “The attacker is very powerful. Lend me the energy of the demon generals!”

Cauldron Spirit too sensed that aura that was secretly locked on Han Shuo. After hearing his instruction, Cauldron Spirit reminded, “Take note, you will have to endure tremendous pain when the energy of demon generals fills your body. Moreover, your body will be damaged as the energy flows throughout your body. This cannot last for too long. You must return the energy to me once you feel that you can’t take it anymore!”

“Hurry up! There’s no time for caution!” Han Shuo shouted to Cauldron Spirit.

At the next instant, a terrifying amount of energy gushed out from the Cauldron of Myriad Demon in Han Shuo’s body. His body was filled with immense pain in an instant. It was as though every inch of his flesh was being stabbed with a knife. But other than immense pain, his body was also filled with a seemingly infinite amount of energy. He wanted to scream.

The energy from tens of demon generals formed using lowgods and midgods was tremendous beyond Han Shuo’s imagination. The feeling of having so much energy was invigorating but Han Shuo had to release them as soon as possible. Otherwise, the energy would just be damaging Han Shuo’s demonic body.

“You must launch the energy away quickly. If you let all the energy gather in your body, it won’t be long before your demonic infant gets injured!” Cauldron Spirit hastily reminded.

“I know. Why isn’t that piece of shit making a move yet! Fucking hell!” Han Shuo cursed in his mind as he endured the pain. 

Avery was indeed right around him, hiding in the dark. However, after his failed assassination attempt the last time, Avery now didn’t dare to strike recklessly. He observed Han Shuo and carefully approached him, looking for the best opportunity to strike. He was unintentionally harming Han Shuo by waiting.

“Hurry and use the energy or your body will succumb very soon!” Cauldron Spirit hastened yet again.

Tremendous pain filled every cell in Han Shuo’s body. Seeing that his enemy was still not attacking even after so long, Han Shuo finally lost his patience. He raised his head towards the sky and, like a blood-thirsty beast, he roared, “Get out!”

The terrifying sound waves traveled straight towards where Avery had been hiding and caused tremendous undulation in the region of darkness. Avery, who was about to strike, was shocked. He couldn’t understand how Han Shuo managed to discover him.

ROAR! Han Shuo let out a wild bellow and charged like an animal at Avery. His eyes were bloodshot while the muscles and veins all over his body were puffed out.

“Impossible!” Avery was shocked and he cried out in surprise. He hastily assembled the divine energy of darkness in his body and formed layers upon layers of shields around him. The element of darkness in his domain of divinity was sucked clean in an instant.

Boom! Demonic Blades erupted from his two hands as he charged into the region of darkness like a blood-crazed demon. Terrifying energy traveled through the Demonic Blades and landed on the shields Avery deployed using the energy of darkness. They were destroyed in no time.

A burst of ruthless and mighty energy gushed into Avery, immediately injuring his divine body. He was thrown flying.

Han Shuo felt much better after throwing the punch and delivering some of the violent energy out from his body.

Han Shuo was overjoyed to see Avery flying due to his first strike. He hastily charged at Avery and continued with ‘greeting’ Avery with his chilling Demonic Blades.

However, compared to that powerful strike just then, his follow-up attacks were much weaker. Although Avery still had to defend himself in a flurry, Han Shuo’s attacks could not take Avery’s life.

But even so, Avery was scared witless. He did not anticipate that Han Shuo would suddenly seem to have turned into another person. The ruthless power filled with bloodthirst and madness Han Shuo suddenly displayed was nothing like Avery had ever seen.

So cunning! This fella has been hiding his power all along. He is even more sinister than Andre!Avery thought as he defended himself from Han Shuo’s attacks. He was looking for opportunities to escape.

“Bryan, return the energy to me, you cannot continue this any longer or your demonic infant will be injured!” Cauldron Spirit transmitted anxiously while Han Shuo was enjoying himself beating back Avery further and further.

Han Shuo’s heart skipped a beat. He immediately detected the anomaly with the demonic infant in his body. When the demon general energy flooded his body, the blood essence that nourished Han Shuo’s demonic infant would be rapidly consumed. The blood essences were used up on Han Shuo’s body, allowing his bones and meridians to support the flow of demon general energy. 

However, the demonic infant also requires blood essence. When there was not enough blood essence to support the demonic infant, the demonic infant would be harmed and weakened. This was the last thing Han Shuo wished to happen.

“You got lucky this time!” Han Shuo cursed in a low voice before he suddenly retreated. He hastily returned the demon general energy to Cauldron Spirit.

Avery, who had been constantly bombarded by Han Shuo’s attacks, finally had a chance to regain his composure. He stared at Han Shuo in astonishment with wide eyes before he immediately turned on his heels and returned to darkness. He fell back on his divine guards and rapidly escaped.

“How did you become so powerful so suddenly?” asked Andrina. She had arrived long ago and had been gaping at Han Shuo with disbelief.

Han Shuo only dared to suddenly let go because he knew that Andrina was there. He did not immediately reply to her question. He first returned the demon general energy to Cauldron Spirit and pointed in the direction Avery left, “Andrina, kill that guy for me and I will give you a hundred thousand black crystal coins!” 

Andrina shook her head and replied, “I’m your bodyguard, not your assassin!”

“Well forget about it then. Avery has escaped this time. But if he comes back I will be out of luck!” Han Shuo said with a bitter smile. After having fought the attacker for a dozen or more seconds, Han Shuo managed to recognize that it was Avery.

“It is he who should feel afraid! From the strength you displayed just now, there’s no way he can kill you!” Andrina then looked deep into Han Shuo’s eyes, put on a faint smirk, and asked, “Bryan, can you please tell me what energy you use? And how did you suddenly become so strong?”

“Tell me about yourself first. After that, I will consider telling you about it,” Han Shuo said with a mischievous smile.

“Hmph! If you are not telling me then forget about it!” Andrina said angrily and pouted.

“Ay, what’s happening?” Akley arrived excitedly and asked, “Was there a fight here just now? Where’s the enemy?”

The battle between Han Shuo and Avery lasted only a dozen or so seconds. As Akley was cultivating in a gymnasium further away and his strength wasn’t nearly on the level of Andrina’s, he did not make it on time. By the time he arrived, the enemy had long escaped and was nowhere to be seen.

“You are late!” Andrina shot a glare at Akley impolitely and after a short pause, she said disdainfully, “But even if you came on time, you wouldn’t be able to do a thing!”

Akley knew that Andrina’s strength was powerful beyond fathom. He became more excited to hear that and asked “A midgod?”

“Highgod!” answered Andrina.

“What…” Akley became dejected. He took a quick look at Andrina with revering eyes while murmuring, “Bloody hell, she’s a highgod…” It was clear from Akley’s gazes that he thought it was Andrina who repelled the enemy.

“It wasn’t me!” Andrina knew what Akley thought with just one look. She pointed at Han Shuo and said, “It was he who beat back the highgod!”

“Save it! Alright, since nothing is here, I’ll be leaving.” Akley waved his hand, turned around, and left lazily. He obviously did not believe that Han Shuo could beat back a highgod.

“Such an idiot!” Andrina wasn’t in a good mood and cursed.

 

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