GDK 748: House of Han
After seven years, all those who originated from Profound Continent had broken through to lowgod realm. But as they differed in aptitude, some like Stratholme and Ayermike managed to reach the late-stage lowgod realm while some inherently weaker ones like Candide and Emma had merely entered the early-stage lowgod realm.
As Fanny, Phoebe, and the ladies had all attained lowgodhood, honoring their agreement, they no longer refrained from sexual activities with Han Shuo. Han Shuo therefore enjoyed pleasurable days after returning from cultivation.
After returning to the Celestial Pearl, alongside his sexual frills, Han Shuo also made sure to find time to tutor Sanguis, Bollands and Gilbert. Other than to guide them on their cultivation of demonic arts, he wanted to learn the precise level of their strengths.
Han Shuo was rather clear about Sanguis and Bollands’ conditions as they cultivated solely in demonic arts. But as for Gilbert, he was a special case as his body was refined the same way a demonic weapon was forged and his soul had been enhanced through demonic arts. Gilbert never ceased to practice that demonic skill which strengthened his soul. After he arrived on Elysium, he started to cultivate in the energy of darkness and had already breached the lowgod realm.
Gilbert’s situation was unlike Han Shuo’s. Although Han Shuo cultivated in demonic arts as well as the energies of death and destruction, he had three separate bodies for each practice. Gilbert, however, had just one. Both of those energies combined in that one body of his caused his darkness divine energy to behave bizarrely.
After a moment of careful observation, Han Shuo discovered that within Gilbert’s darkness divine energy, there was also a small amount of demonic yuan which Han Shuo placed in his demonic weapons. His divine soul and divine energy were also much stronger than those of a lowgod of darkness of the same class. Han Shuo couldn’t figure out precisely what caused it.
Bollands, Sanguis and Gilbert currently ranked in the top three at the Celestial Pearl in terms of strength. They were more powerful than late-stage lowgods. Based on the trend at which they were progressing, making more breakthroughs did not seem too far away.
During the seven years, in the City of Shadows, the Celestial Pearl Pharmacy had not just maintained its market dominance, it managed to occupy an even bigger chunk of the market, raking in two million black crystal coins for Han Shuo. The medicines that he personally refined had become an attraction for gods visiting the City.
This was mostly thanks to Phoebe’s promotion. Before Han Shuo left to refine the flying swords, Phoebe had requested and received a portion of the medicines that Han Shuo personally refined. During the seven years, she would put a few of those medicines on sale ever so rarely throughout all branches of the Celestial Pearl. The sales would attract big crowds at their stores, thus increasing profits.
Phoebe had admirable competence at growing a business. Under her management, the business of the Celestial Pearl rose exponentially. The talented, albeit handsomely paid pharmacists produced medicines that were far superior to those of an average pharmacy. For this reason, even though Han Shuo had not produced medicines for years, the sales of the Celestial Pearl managed to quash those of every other pharmacy.
Then, on one of those days that things were going perfectly fine, Han Shuo was invited to the Sainte Residence by Andre.
As soon as Han Shuo arrived at the Sainte Residence, Carmelita, who had been forced by Wallace to cultivate during the recent times, came to welcome him. Immediately, Carmelita threw a punch at Han Shuo, saying, “You rascal, where have you been fooling around? Seven years you’ve been gone!”
There were no longer any dark pigments on her skin and her appearance was no longer frightening, but more pleasantly, just average. For some reason, Han Shuo felt very comfortable and relaxed. He found Carmelita delightful to be around.
“I took a retreat for my own secluded cultivation, away from the city,” explained Han Shuo smilingly. He quickly followed up with a question, “Anyway, what has Lord Andre summoned me for?”
“It’s actually my father who is looking for you. All I can tell you is that it will be good news!” replied Carmelita. As she led Han Shuo into the residence, she would inquire Han Shuo on what he saw in the godhunter’s valley. She was very interested to find out what happened in that operation.
“Aobashi and Erebus were there. You should have learned everything from them by now. Why are you still asking me about it?”
“The two wouldn’t speak about it clearly and left out a lot of details, as though they were trying to hide something from me,” answered Carmelita, obviously frustrated.
After giving it a quick thought, Han Shuo understood why both Aobashi and Erebus refused to recount the story clearly to Carmelita.
The raid on the godhunter base involved two overgods, one of them being the Goddess of Destiny. Aobashi, Erebus and Han Shuo had been warned by Wallace and Andre not to let word spread outside their circle. As Carmelita was rather naive in thinking and straightforward in talking, they deemed her to be one who couldn’t hold secrets. Knowing that she would likely spill the information unintentionally, they were vague in explanation.
Han Shuo had an idea of how things in the Sainte Family worked by now. If Carmelita knew nothing about the two overgods even at this point, this meant that Wallace and Andre did not want her to learn of it. Therefore, after quickly weighing in his mind, Han Shuo decided he would not reveal any sensitive information to her. He lied, “I sustained injuries during the raid and my mind wasn’t functioning well. I believe only Aobashi and Erebus know the details. Terribly sorry, but I can’t help you with that!”
“So you know nothing either, how strange!” Carmelita groaned lightly before she pointed at a room and said, “There, my father is inside. I won’t be joining you!”
It was a different room from the one Aobashi, Erebus, Han Shuo and Wallace had met previously. The hall had a solemn and grave atmosphere to it. Its four walls were decorated with dark designs, the stone pillars were bejewelled with shimmering magical stones on their tops, and over their heads, an enormous, glazed magical chandelier illuminated the hall with glorious radiance.
The hall had gathered all influential figures of the City of Shadows. They were seated based on their respective statuses.
One of those seated near the center was the patriarch of the House of Kinson, Caspar. Around him was his wife, Beth, his daughter Jiya, and his sister, Camilla. Camilla was the Chief of Fourth Corps. Just like Erebus, she was a mid-stage highgod of darkness.
Also seated were those from the House of Kisa: their patriarch Kinloch, Rugersey, the Chief of Sixth Corps, and several inner family members.
From the House of Buller, their patriarch, Laurel, Chief of Seventh Corps, Batúk, and Tuyas' heir, Tuxi.
Patriarchs and members of lesser family clans were present as well. They were seated near the corners and edges of the hall. It was clear that they had lesser standing.
After stepping into the hall and glancing around, Han Shuo took no time to realize that this was a very important meeting. He was taken aback and had no idea what he was in for.
“Bryan, over here!” Andre yelled and gestured from a distance as soon as he noticed Han Shuo standing at the entrance.
Some in the hall who heard Andre’s call gathered their attention on Han Shuo. All those who had friendly relations with Han Shuo smiled and nodded at him. Even the patriarchs from the three major family clans nodded at Han Shuo, acknowledging his presence.
Members of the major family clans of the City of Shadows, except for those of the House of Lavers, were present. There were around thirty people in the hall, various lesser family clans included. Everyone present was at least somewhat influential in the City of Shadows.
Answering Andre’s call, Han Shuo walked over to him blankly. However, after arriving, Han Shuo looked around and noticed that there wasn’t a seat or a chair beside Andre. He was rather puzzled. Everyone there was sitting but only Han Shuo was standing. This made Han Shuo rather awkward.
Most of those present were on good terms with Han Shuo. Those of major family clans had empty seats around them but not a single one of them invited Han Shuo to sit with them. The situation seemed unusually formal!
“Elder brother, should Celestial Pearl be given a place?” asked Andre after turning his head to look at Wallace, sitting on the most esteemed seat in the hall.
Wallace shot a glance at Han Shuo and nodded. In a deep voice, he said, “The Celestial Pearl shall have a place. Get him a chair!”
Everyone in the hall reacted by raising their eyebrows. All the patriarchs of the large family clans looked at Han Shuo with astonishment. Those of lesser family clans even began to gossip. “How is he even qualified to sit there?” “Not even the Godswamp Pharmacy had a chair in this hall at its prime. This youngster sure climbs to high places fast!”
“Congratulations, Bryan!” said Rugersey.
Jiya, too, congratulated him with a big smile.
Those of the large family clans and acquainted with Han Shuo congratulated him one after another, while those from lesser family clans wore envious faces while side-eyeing him.
Han Shuo stared blankly for a moment before he finally realized what had just happened. He turned to Wallace and bowed, saying, “Thank you, City Lord!”
So every family clan has seats exclusively for their own people in designated places in the hall. No wonder Rugersey did not invite me to take the empty chair beside him!
Han Shuo finally understood what Wallace meant when he said: “the Celestial Pearl shall have a place”. From that moment onwards, the Celestial Pearl was no longer a mere pharmaceutical chain, but a family clan in the City of Shadows. This meant that Han Shuo had finally climbed to the noble class in the city!
“Bryan, what is your full name? We need to know that to formalize your family clan,” asked Andre while a few divine guards arranged a seat for Han Shuo.
Han Shuo thought about it and answered, “Bryan Han.”
“Han? That’s a strange surname. Haha, but that’s alright. I have known stranger surnames,” Andre smiled and said, “Bryan, from today onwards, the Celestial Pearl Pharmacy will be the property of the House of Han. You can now possess divine guards under your family clan as well as your own emblem!”
“It’s an honor!” Han Shuo again expressed his gratitude. He had finally realized one of the many goals he wished to accomplish on Elysium. From that moment onwards, those who came from the Profound Continent would become members of his House of Han.
“Take your seat,” gestured Wallace.
Wallace then began in a deep voice, “The patriarch of the House of Lavers, Felder, has left the City of Shadows. All his family clan members fled the City before him. From this day onwards, the House of Lavers shall cease to exist in this City. Despite their departure, their properties and estates remain. This includes several shops and residences, as well as several forts and satellite cities previously granted upon them.
“These resources belong to the City of Shadows. Now that the House of Lavers is no more, someone will have to take their place in managing the estates, especially so with the forts and satellite cities which must have a ruler at all times. My House of Sainte has limited manpower and has always maintained that resources in the City should be dispersed among all family clans. The reason I have invited all of you here is to discuss how to allocate these assets among yourselves.”
Han Shuo had learned about Felder’s departure from the City of Shadows soon after he returned from refining the demonic weapon. There was no denying that Felder had made at least some contribution to the City of Shadows. However, because of Avery’s outrageous acts, Felder’s House of Lavers lost the trust of the House of Sainte. Wallace, as an act of mercy, did nothing as Felder and his family clan withdrew from the City of Shadows.
The House of Lavers used to be one of the five major family clans of the City. Although they were not as powerful as the House of Sainte, the resources and assets they possessed were significant. After Felder’s departure, those satellite cities, forts, estates, and shops they owned were naturally reclaimed by Wallace. All those assets could not be left unmanaged.
“We shall respect all decisions made by the City Lord!” exclaimed those from lesser family clans. The patriarchs of the three major family clans nodded silently.
In the City of Shadows, the House of Sainte is king. It was clear to everyone present that Wallace came with a plan and naturally, no one would say anything that would displease the City Lord.
Wallace nodded and said, “Well then,” turning to Andre and instructing, “You make the announcement.”
Andre stood up from his seat and declared, “Of the eighteen stores previously owned by the House of Lavers, the Houses of Kinson, Kisa, and Buller will take six stores each. In addition, except for Fort Lasberg, each of the three family clans will receive one satellite city or fort.” Following that, Andre pointed at a few lesser family clans. Those mentioned became excited while those who were not sighed.
“Fort Lasberg and the Lavers Residence in the City will go to the House of Han,” announced Andre.
Han Shuo was overjoyed at the unexpected good news but those from lesser family clan shouted to protest this decision. Both Fort Lasberg and the Lavers Residence were big fortunes!
It came as no surprise that the other houses were unhappy about the big assets being handed to Han Shuo’s family clan that was just formed. Although those patriarchs of the three major family clans were rather shocked, they did not say a thing because they viewed the empty post of the Chief of the Fifth Corps as an even bigger, more lucrative asset!
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