GDK 739: Puzzle solved
Han Shuo and Andrina were in the gymnasium. Their figures were blurry. Their figures intersected with sharp tinkling sounds.
Whoosh Whoosh! Han Shuo quickly deployed and retracted the Demonic Blades. Ten speckles of dark radiance shot out and swarmed at Andrina like ten little meandering serpents.
Andrina responded by forming multiple dazzling vortexes that would orbit around her, blocking the ten dark radiances from reaching her. However, the dark radiances started maneuvering at lightning speed as though they were alive. They evaded the vortexes and continued slithering towards Andrina.
Andrina let out a gentle cry of surprise. More vortexes appeared around her as the vortexes orbiting her moved towards her. The boundary towers around the gymnasium suddenly started glowing brightly as the energy contained in those towers rushed towards the boundaries.
The ten dark radiances were shredded by the vortexes. They were no longer a threat to Andrina.
Andrina’s petite figure gently hovered towards Han Shuo. With her two little hands, she wove a screen of light and trapped Han Shuo in it. Han Shuo immediately felt pricking pain all over his body. He hastily tried to block her attacks.
Pow! Andrina’s small hand pierced through the barrier and pushed Han Shuo in the chest.
Han Shuo stumbled. He immediately sensed that the Invincible Omen Body had automatically deployed. The strike did not cause much harm to his physical body. After saving himself from a fall, Han Shuo immediately pushed forward. His left hand became bone-chillingly cold while his right hand turned blazing hot. He launched attacks that harmoniously combined the two extreme temperatures. They were so fierce that even Andrina was forced to take defensive measures.
But it was such a pity that soon after that, the three-minute mark had passed. Han Shuo held on for another few seconds before he retreated. All the energy of Cauldron Spirit withdrew from his body. It took several deep breaths for Han Shuo to restore his blushing face to normal.
From the many days of friendly matches against Andrina, Han Shuo discovered that while his strength was boosted using Cauldron Spirit’s energy, his body would automatically deploy Invincible Omen Body when attacked. But after he returned the energy to Cauldron Spirit, his body would not deploy Invincible Omen Body when attacked.
After conducting many tests, long contemplation, and lengthy discussion with Cauldron Spirit, Han Shuo had finally pinned down on the cause. They identified two major factors: his body strengthened by the demon generals that had entered his body and the enormous power in Andrina’s attacks. Invincible Omen Body had automatically formed under the enormous external stress and his body was in a strengthened state.
With this knowledge, Han Shuo gained a clear sense of how he should proceed in his cultivation. By further strengthening his body, not only could he use Cauldron Spirit’s energy for a longer duration, but he would also make progress in mastering the Invincible Omen Body.
Han Shuo was destined to face a great Calamity while advancing to Skybreak Realm. If his physical body wasn’t mighty enough, he would certainly die while facing the Calamity. Therefore, at this stage, he could not go wrong with focusing on tempering his body. It was on his body that he had to spend the most thought and effort on in order to advance in Omen realm. Now that Han Shuo knew his direction, he decided to build his body by boosting his strength with Cauldron Spirit’s energy, fight Andrina, rest, and repeat.
After doing so for a month, Han Shuo could hold Cauldron Spirit’s energy for around four minutes. Invincible Omen Body would instantly form when his body flooded with demon general energy was met with powerful attacks.
While in that state, Han Shuo stood still and let Akley attack him. However, the Invincible Omen Body did not automatically activate. Akley’s strength was classes below that of Andrina’s. His attacks simply couldn’t pose Han Shuo any harm.
After having done this test, Han Shuo realized that at that state, only when there was an external force mighty enough to cause his physical body harm would the Invincible Omen Body automatically deploy. Akley’s attacks, too weak to damage Han Shuo’s body, were not powerful enough to trigger the demonic skill.
Han Shuo had been assiduously cultivating in the gymnasium. He would be in intense agony while Cauldron Spirit’s energy flooded his body. He felt as though every cell from his head to toe was being stabbed with needles. But Han Shuo’s body grew tougher the more he endure this kind of inhuman pain. He was constantly tempering his own body like a blacksmith tempering a sword.
During these times, Han Shuo did not partake in running the Celestial Pearl. Phoebe and Emily had proven themselves to be more than capable of running and managing the Celestial Pearl Pharmacy. Although the pharmacists did not like that the duo knew nothing about medicine refinement, they nonetheless were very admiring of the duo’s capabilities in business management.
Within a short time, with the two turning the gears of the Celestial Pearl, every aspect of the business became most optimal, efficient and productive. Thanks to their efforts, the few branches of the Celestial Pearl that remained closed all that while due to insufficient talents were now open for business.
With that, the Celestial Pearl Pharmacy could now truly be the reigning pharmacy in the City of Shadows. During recent times, the Celestial Pearl Pharmacy had collected several hundred thousand black crystal coins in profit. Honoring their agreement with the House of Sainte, Phoebe delivered Carmelita’s share to the Sainte Family in a timely fashion. The House of Sainte was most satisfied with her punctuality.
Han Shuo, having been freed from the workload of running his business, spent all the extra time on cultivation. His body grew ever tougher.
Finally, Portlem and his party concluded their visit and left the City of Shadows. Before Doyalo set on his journey, he had Anito relay words to Han Shuo, “You better not leave the City of Shadows. If we find you, you’ll be sorry you ever laid a finger on Portlem!”
Han Shuo scoffed at Doyalo’s threat. In fact, he did not even consider him a threat. If it wasn’t for those Sainte Family bodyguards seeing Doyalo away, Han Shuo might have set up an ambush on them with Andrina. Having made rapid progress in his cultivation, Han Shuo was tempted to put his newfound power to the test!
Then one day, Anito, a frequent face around the Celestial Pearl, came by and handed a stack of scrolls to Han Shuo. He said smilingly, “From this day onwards, we will be comrades-in-arms!”
“So it has been settled?” Han Shuo received the scrolls with an elated heart.
“Hehe, with the Sainte Family’s assistance and Lord Erebus’ consent, it’s no surprise that a matter of this sort would be settled so quickly. These scrolls here explain your position in our Third Corps. Right, Miss Carmelita wants you to know that Lord Erebus is currently at the Skyorchid Fort. Now that Portlem and the others have left the City of Shadows, you don’t have to worry about the safety of the Celestial Pearl,” Anito smiled.
“Well then, I will head to Skyorchid Fort right away!” Han Shuo was growing rather bored in recent days and was ready to get on his feet.
“There won’t be any divine guards protecting the Celestial Pearl for the moment but I will be around while you are away. But still, you can feel at ease about Celestial Pearl. Your enemies wouldn’t spend any effort on those who had yet to become lowgods. They will look for you and Andrina if they want to strike.” consoled Anito.
“Thank you!” said Han Shuo smilingly.
“You are most welcome!” replied Anito hastily. Han Shuo’s performance back at the banquet hall was now widely known among the family clans of the City. Anito, after learning that Han Shuo actually possessed highgod strength, became even more respectful and solemn in his daily interaction with Han Shuo. His gazes towards Han Shuo would be filled with reverence.
“Andrina, we are going to Skyorchid Fort. Get ready!” instructed Han Shuo when he found Andrina.
“Wonderful! We are finally going to take care of those godhunters!” Andrina was elated to hear those words. She had in fact been waiting for it for a long time. She giggled as she said, “There’s nothing I need to prepare. But you have to bring along the black crystal coins you made in the last month!”
“I have it here!” replied Han Shuo smilingly.
With this money printing machine they called the Celestial Pearl Pharmacy making him ever more crystal coins, he became less stingy towards Andrina. Aware that Andrina could heal herself using crystal coins, he had prepared some for the trip.
After training with Andrina for some time, Han Shuo had a vague idea of Andrina’s source of power. He discovered that when Andrina fought him, some organs in her body would turn into a crystalline state. It seemed as though Andrina was an intricate energy tower that could use absorb and use the energy inside energy crystals.
Han Shuo also noticed that whenever the fight got fierce, the energy towers around the gymnasium would behave abnormally, which gave Han Shuo some ideas about Andrina’s energy. However, he did not ask or seek confirmation from Andrina as she had not asked anything about his secrets. Besides, he did not want to annoy or anger Andrina.
“You previously mentioned that you discovered a godhunter’s base. Is that true?” Andrina suddenly asked Han Shuo while they were leaving the City.
“Yep. After I drew those godhunters away the last time, I followed them for quite a few days. I discovered a valley between the City of Shadows and Mirage City that was filled with boundaries. When Brovst arrived at the area, his behavior turned solemn. I believe that someone mightier than Brovst must be in there!” Han Shuo turned to a grave expression and continued, “Brovst is already a mid-stage highgod. If there’s a being even more powerful than he is, then this Godhunter Alliance is really quite frightening!”
“It is true. The Brovst trio is only on the second level of the hierarchy. The place does sound like a really juicy target!” said Andrina.
Andrina knew the Godhunter Alliance much better than Han Shuo did. Her words that Brovst, Gallas, and Taylin were only the second highest in command had verified Han Shuo’s guess.
*** Skyorchid Fort.
This fort was close to Mirage City and one of the most remote forts of the City of Shadows. Around the fort were mountain ranges, swamps, and oceans - places most suitable for godhunters to hide.
Not only were those terrains most suitable for godhunters to hide in, but gods that traversed between the City of Shadows, Mirage City, and Hushveil City would also have to cross those areas, giving the godhunters an abundance of prey. During the recent period, the godhunters had become especially active around Skyorchid Fort. The three cities would dispatch additional divine guards to search the region consisting of several dozen mountain ranges, around eight swamps, and three vast oceans. Those godhunters had severely threatened the safety of the three cities. They had no choice but to take the threat seriously.
On top of the tallest building in Skyochid Fort, Erebus was sitting opposite to a woman with fine black hair that could reach her knees. She had long, shapely eyebrows and eyes whose outer corners incline upwards. She appeared to be glowing with health and vigor. As she sat, her long, fine hair would gracefully dance in the breeze.
The gentlemanly Erebus had eyes filled with passion as he looked at the woman sitting in front of him. In fact, the reason he joined the City of Shadows as one of the Chief of Divine Guards was for this woman. Otherwise, Erebus might still be wandering everywhere and concentrating on cultivation instead of settling down.
“Oh, Aobashi, do you not understand my pain and agony?” Erebus let out a soft sigh and said with a voice of agony.
Aobashi smiled faintly. Her beautiful eyes squinted slightly as though she was making a crafty smile with her eyes. She replied, “I do know your pain, but I have never asked you to stay in the City of Shadows for me. Don’t you like wandering all about? You can leave the city anytime you like. I believe the City Lord will not stop you.”
“No matter how far I would wander, my heart stays here, with you. So there’s no point in leaving,” replied Erebus.
Aobashi shook her head and let out a gentle sigh. “Erebus, we really aren’t a match! I have said all that I have to say in these past years. I cannot do anything if you want to stay in the City but that will not make me accept you!”
“Forget about it, let’s not talk about this for now,” Erebus hastily switched the topic. “That youngster I previously mentioned will reach Skyorchid Fort very soon. We haven’t been able to track the godhunters but I believe that will change after he arrives.”
Aobashi took a sip of tea, shot a glance at Erebus, and said, “We couldn’t locate the godhunters but he could? Haha, isn’t he a pharmacist? Why is it that you have suddenly arranged him into your Third Corps? Are you hiring him to make medicines for you?”
“Of course not!” Erebus said, “The City Lord intends to have him take over the Fifth Corps that every family clan has been fighting for. In fact, it was the City Lord’s idea to let him work at my Third Corps so that he can learn our ways.”
After hearing those words, Aobashi, the top-ranking Chief of Divine Guards, slightly straightened up her lazily reclined body as a gleam flashed across her eyes. She asked puzzlingly, “Him? The Fifth Corps? Running an army is nothing similar to making medicines! How is he going to handle the job?”
“Nobody knows,” Erebus continued smilingly, “But, I’m rooting for him. This youngster is more difficult to handle than Avery. I have never seen anyone who is so good and patient at concealing their strength. He is no ordinary fellow! He obviously has highgod strength but from the first day he came to the City, he disguised himself as a lowgod. Not only did Andre and I fail to discover his actual strength, but even the City Lord was fooled. It was likely because of this that the City Lord was determined to hand him the Fifth Corps!”
“Oh?” Aobashi’s interest was aroused. She said smilingly, “He does sound interesting from your words. I shall see his talents for myself!”
“He should be here soon. I sent a message to Carmelita three days ago,” said Erebus.
While Erebus and Aobashi were conversing, Andrina forced Han Shuo to show her the godhunter’s valley.
“There it is!” Han Shuo pointed into the distance and whispered to Andrina. They were hiding on the top of a large tree.
Andrina remained silent. She took a long time to observe before she replied excitedly, “Bryan, you really are amazing! I haven’t been able to locate any base as big as this in all these years I've hunted for them. Who knew you would actually manage to discover such a huge base just like that. This is wonderful!”
“Don’t you do anything stupid!” Han Shuo hastily said, “No matter how much you hate the godhunters, entering the place alone won’t do you any good. The trio of Brovst could severely injure you. Besides, if there were character even more formidable in there, entering the place will mean your certain death!”
“Pff, such a wordy one. Of course I know that!” Andrina wrinkled her nose and replied.
“Eh!” Han Shuo suddenly let out a soft cry of surprise.
“What’s the matter?” Andrina immediately asked.
“There is a small divine guard squadron lingering nearby. Perhaps they will discover this place! They don’t seem to be from the City of Shadows. From the design of their armor, I reckon they are from Mirage City. I wonder if they will get lucky!” said Han Shuo softly.
“You saw it using those special lifeforms of yours?” Andrina giggled and said, “Bryan, those special lifeforms of yours are really useful. Can you give me a few of them? With those unique lifeforms, I would have multiple eyes watching around the mountain range!”
“No!” Han Shuo refused resolutely. When Han Shuo saw that Andrina had put on a discontented face, he forced a smile and explained, “This has got to do with the energy I cultivate in. The energy that you use is totally different than mine so you won’t be able to command them.”
“Miser!” Andrina pouted and whined, “That is just an excuse you made up. If you don’t give me some, then you are a miser!”
“Say whatever you want but I’m not giving you any,” Han Shuo laughed mischievously. Then, he pulled Andrina and said, “Come, let’s go over to have a look. They are approaching from another direction and might attract the godhunter’s attention. We might gain a clue about their strength!”
Andrina groaned as though she was angry at Han Shuo. After being pulled for a moment, Andrina went with him, but not without dragging her feet.
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