GDK 753: Little Cauldrons

Eugene, Jirofi, and their entire army were annihilated by Han Shuo and his apprentices. Following that, Anito and others collected and counted their spoils of war. It took them about half a day to complete the task.

There were around five thousand energy crystals of assorted sizes, around seventy divine armors and divine weapons, and two highgod divine weapons. The items were so valuable that even at the most conservative valuation, they would be worth at least two million black crystal coins. 

However, the most important achievement was that Han Shuo had taken control of the deposits. Eugene and Jirofi had merely been mining for a few days and had definitely not extracted much of the energy crystals. The amount of energy crystals in the mountain was massive and would be worth at least tens of millions in black crystal coins.

With Bollands’ guidance, Anito and others carefully ‘redecorated’ the place. They erased all evidence that could incriminate Han Shuo and his people, moved the dead bodies, and made it looked as though the forces of Eugene and Jirofi had mutually annihilated each other.

Though these works were a walk in the park for Bollands, Sanguis and Gilbert struggled with it. But with Bollands, Anito, and others guiding them, the two very quickly learned how to plant and manufacture fake evidence. The matter was accomplished cleanly.

Han Shuo decided to stay behind in the mountain, waiting for his competitors to arrive.

During this period of time, Anito, his men from the Third Corps, Bollands, Sanguis and Gilbert went to every major deposit on the mountain. On the entrances to those energy crystal deposits, they carved a unique pattern - the figure of the Cauldron of Myriad Demon!

Han Shuo had to set up his family clan on such short notice and as an admittedly un-creative person, he couldn’t come up with an original, unique emblem for his House of Han. But seeing that the competitors would arrive soon, he had to make it clear that his family clan had claimed the mountain and its deposits as soon as possible. Therefore, he simply decided to use the drawing of the Cauldron as his family clan emblem.

On every cave entrance, there would be a pattern of the Cauldron of Myriad Demon. A few tiny words were clearly carved above the Cauldrons - The City of Shadows’ House of Han!

It was only five days later that the competitors from the three major family clans finally arrived. They managed to locate the mountain with great difficulty after exercising the enormous influences and resources of their family clans. They couldn’t be more surprised to find the peculiar markings at all those cave entrances.

All the competitors were dumbfounded. They stared foolishly at the carving of little Cauldron and the tiny but striking words above it. They knew they were late.

The City of Shadows had its rules. Wallace the City Lord had clearly instructed that they were not to fight each other.

Knowing that Han Shuo had claimed the mountain, although disappointed and unhappy, there was nothing they could do. Therefore they went to Han Shuo, forced a smile on their faces, and congratulated him.

The three were called Ji Wei, Manly, and Gascon. They were all acquainted and on good terms with Han Shuo because of the medicines he refined. Seeing that there was no way they could turn around the situation, they grudgingly admitted defeat.

It was another three days later that competitors from other family clans arrived. If those from the three major family clans had nothing to say, then naturally, these competitors from lesser family clans would make no protest. The fact that Han Shuo was close to the House of Sainte dissuaded them the most from making any complaint.

Another seven days later, Erebus, Aobashi and their grand army arrived at the mountain. Erebus and Aobashi were astounded after hearing the ‘story’ from Han Shuo. Obviously, they did not believe it to be true.

Though it was possible that Jirofi and Eugene might have clashed in vying for control of the deposits, it was ludicrous that they annihilated each other and not a single one of them survived. Though Erebus and Aobashi continued to question them, they did not reveal a thing.

Erebus then pulled Anito and his men to a corner and asked, “Tell me, what actually happened?”

The four divine guards were ashamed and dared not to look directly at Erebus. With their heads lowered, they gave a vague answer, “Those from Darksoul City and Hushveil City killed our comrades. Lord Bryan exacted vengeance for us!”

Although the four divine guards dared to lie to Andre and City Lord Wallace, they couldn’t bring themselves to lie to Erebus till the end. He was, after all, their boss. Besides, Erebus had treated them well for all the years they served him. Moreover, Han Shuo himself had given a few vague hints. 

Erebus and Aobashi’s headache grew worse after hearing their vague answer. The two were here to deal with the aftermath. They knew that shit was about to hit the fan.

Naturally, the two did not think that Han Shuo had killed the two Chiefs in the spur of the moment. They thought that Eugene and Jirofi must have severely injured each other before Han Shuo took advantage of the situation to finish them off, along with their weakened forces.

They had gravely underestimated Han Shuo’s power!

“This is gonna be troublesome!” remarked Aobashi in a grimace. She heaved a sigh and said, “The City Lord sent us here with the intention of negotiating with those two parties. Now that it has turned into such a significant issue, the two cities will give us hell!”

“There’s nothing we can do but to report the situation back to our City Lord. His Lordship will have to communicate with the City Lords of those cities,” said Erebus in an anxious and worried manner. He too felt as though his head was about to explode as he couldn’t think of a proper way to resolve the matter.

“Lady, Gentleman, I shall leave the rest to you. Just let me know when the discussions with those two cities have concluded and I will arrange men to mine the ores. As for the allocation of produced ores, we can slowly discuss it later in time!” said Han Shuo smilingly. He stretched his body lazily and murmured to himself, “Ay, I really got lucky on this trip. I only got to fight a bunch of easy targets who were already partially crippled!” 

Anito, Deco, and the two other divine guards wore strange looks when they heard Han Shuo’s words. They had witnessed Han Shuo getting rid of Eugene and Jirofi with brute strength and knew that luck did not contribute to him annihilating the two powerful forces. They knew that Han Shuo was trying to downplay his power. Having received plenty of divine weapons and other loots, the four acted in concert with Han Shuo and talked a bunch of nonsense, misleading Erebus and Aobashi from the truth.

“You rascal, how could you just walk away and leave the two of us to clean up the mess you made!” Erebus shook his head with a smile to hide his pain and remarked, “Bryan, oh, Bryan, two Chiefs of Divine Guards have died. This is no small matter!”

“Well, they killed each other. There’s no one to blame for their deaths but themselves. You just gotta tell the truth as it is. I believe that the City Lord, as wise as he is, will not say anything!” Han Shuo laughed mischievously and continued, “I shall stop hindering your Lordships from your work. We will return to the City of Shadows now. After the matter has settled, I will treat you two to a drink!” 

“It better be a barrel of the finest wine!” said Aobashi as she glared at Han Shuo. Her gut feeling told her that Han Shuo was behind the clusterfuck but unfortunately, she couldn’t find any evidence against Han Shuo. But even if she did, she would have to destroy it and cover it up for Han Shuo!

“Sanguis, Bollands, Gilbert, let’s go!” Han Shuo called for his three apprentices, bade farewell to the competitors from the three major family clans, and left.

Han Shuo returned to Fort Lasberg and discovered that Candide, Emma, Graeae, Pegasus and a few others were there. These people were experienced in various aspects of running a city. They took the initiative to familiarize themselves with the situation in Fort Lasberg and made preparations for the House of Han to take over the Fort.

Candide and the others knew the goal of Han Shuo’s trip. Therefore, they immediately asked Han Shuo about his journey when he returned to Fort Lasberg. He avoided telling them the specifics but said, “It’s settled, the Fifth Corps is ours!”

These people knew that having power was essential to their survival and rejoiced at the news. Candide and the others could be considered as members of his House of Han. Being on the same ship with Han Shuo, it was only natural that they would want the House of Han to rise and soar in the City of Shadows.

Having lived on Elysium for some time, these people recognized just how pivotal it was to be in a family clan. They had taken the initiative for Fort Lasberg because they wanted to help make the House of Han stronger. They understood that the stronger the House of Han became, the better off they would be. 

Han Shuo took out a portion of the energy crystals he obtained in the mountain and handed it to Candide and co., instructing them to power up the energy towers and boundary towers around their residence in the Fort. Energy crystals were indispensable in keeping those towers functioning. With ample energy crystals, the defenses of the Han Residence in Fort Lasberg could be raised.

Candide and Han Shuo discussed all sorts of issues related to Fort Lasberg for the better half of a day. Running a city wasn’t Han Shuo’s forte. Back on Profound Continent, he had delegated most if not all the work of running his Brettel City to Jack and Dorcas. His skills in this aspect had not improved. Most of the discussion consisted of Han Shuo listening to Candide and others talking and explaining. They wanted Han Shuo’s approval before executing certain significant projects. Most of the time, Han Shuo would just nod and agree.

Han Shuo knew that Candide and the others had no one to fall back on but him. Now that they had been branded as members of the House of Han, Han Shuo was sure that these people would serve him with all their hearts. Therefore, he agreed to their proposal right away, giving them freedom and convenience in making changes. 

It was after they no longer had a single question left that Han Shuo proceeded with returning to the City of Shadows with Sanguis, Bollands and Gilbert.

***The Sainte Residence. Wallace and Andre were facing a magical mirror.

Inside the mirror were Aobashi and Erebus, giving an account of the situation over at the mountain. When they reported that Eugene of Hushveil City and Jirofi of Darksoul City had perished in the mountain, Wallace and Andre’s faces jolted slightly. Wallace hastily asked, “How is Bryan? What about the others?”

“Bryan is fine. He has taken over the mountain by the time we arrived.” Erebus put on a grimace and continued, “Bryan said that Eugene and Jirofi had killed each other. We couldn’t find a single one of their forces who lived. All the divine guards from Darksoul and Hushveil Cities had perished but their corpses were missing. The situation is rather peculiar!”

“Eugene and Jirofi died in the mountain. Their City Lords will surely give you a ton of trouble, elder brother,” even Andre could feel the headache. After thinking for a moment, Andre asked Erebus, “Did Eugene and Jirofi really kill each other?”

“They are all dead so we have no idea!” said Erebus in a grimace, “Not a single divine guard from Hushveil and Darksoul survived. It seemed quite unlikely but when I asked Bryan, he stuck to his claim that they annihilated each other. We also found some signs on the scene suggesting that the two forces had a vicious fight.”

Wallace was stunned. After a long while, he nodded and instructed in a deep voice, “Occupy the mountain. Inform Hushveil and Darksoul Cities about the deaths of their Divine Guard Chiefs. No matter what they ask, tell them that they killed each other. If you find anything on the scene that was overlooked, you will clean it up!”

“Understood, my Lord!” replied Erebus. 

Wallace disconnected the call and massaged his glabella. With a faint smile, he remarked, “That youngster really knows how to cause trouble. Eugene and Jirofi’s deaths must have something to do with him. Hehe, their City Lords will surely be enraged by the news!”

“Elder brother, how is it possible for Bryan to get rid of both Eugene and Jirofi?” asked Andre in a confused manner.

“Well, how else would you explain the situation in the mountain?” Wallace shot a glance at Andre, put on a smirk, and said, “Though he might not have the strength to kill the both of them, he could still succeed if he strikes at a suitable timing, perhaps launching a sneak attack while the two were fighting. Hehe, he had preserved traces of the two sides fighting. This youngster is indeed a talent. It seems that he will do a better job than Avery in running the Fifth Corps!”

“Bryan is so bold it’s almost reckless. It takes a hell of a gut to kill two Divine Guard Chiefs!” remarked Andre.

“Audacious, ruthless, astute - these are all the qualities that a man must have in order to achieve great things. He has amply demonstrated that he is capable of acting as the Chief of Fifth Corps. Alright, get all the relevant documents ready by this afternoon. Also, let him have all those Fifth Corps divine guards that checked out,” Wallace instructed Andre smilingly. Instead of getting angry at Han Shuo for causing big trouble, Wallace was pleased with Han Shuo’s bold and ruthless methods.

Andre nodded and left to get the work done.

After Andre left, Wallace re-activated the magical mirror and acquired a connection with the City Lords of Hushveil City and Darksoul City. He flatly claimed that Eugene and Jirofi had killed each other and asserted that the mountain belonged to the City of Shadows. As expected, the two City Lords were furious to learn the news. The three City Lords had a heated argument.

Half a month later, Han Shuo and his three apprentices returned to the City of Shadows.

All those who originated from Profound Continent had moved from Celestial Pearl to their new home - the Han Residence! 

Compared to Celestial Pearl, their new residence was even more expansive and grand. It housed all the necessary facilities. The buildings on Elysium were usually solemn and imposing in architectural style, which the new tenants disliked. Fanny, Phoebe and the others had therefore spent a lot of effort in decorating their new residence with flowers, plants, hills, small streams, and other things, making the Han Residence a lot more serene and pleasing to the eye.

As Han Shuo walked through the flowering shrubs, he gazed at the tall and towering structures ahead. He suddenly had a flashback.

He recalled that when he first arrived on Elysium, he had gone through great challenges in coming to the City of Shadows. The first time he stepped into this residence, he was as clueless as a country-folk who first stepped into a city. Not far ahead of him was the gymnasium where he had an argument with Cage and Doloxes. He was insulted by the two young members of Lavers Family and left resentfully.

But now, just decades later, everything in this place became an asset of his House of Han!

Han Shuo enjoyed the wonderful feeling of having things in his possession and control. As he breathed in the fresh air, he could taste the scent of triumph.

The ladies went outside to welcome Han Shuo’s return and surrounded him with cheerful talks and laughter.

Sanguis, Bollands and Gilbert were pulled aside by Stratholme and Ayermike. They continuously questioned the three on what happened in the mountain. When they learned that Han Shuo had successfully taken over the mountain and that the Fifth Corps would be his, the two became very excited.

“Bryan, Candide and the others went to Fort Lasberg. Have you met them?” asked Emily.

“Yes, I have. They asked me about a pile of questions. What a headache!” replied Han Shuo in a grimace. “I’m no expert in managing a city. Luckily for me, I have brought them here from Profound Continent. Otherwise, I would have trouble finding suitable candidates to run Fort Lasberg on such short notice!”

“Bryan, those from Profound Continent can be trusted! There is no way that they could survive on Elysium outside of the House of Han. Therefore, they should know what they ought to do!” said Emily softly.

Han Shuo nodded and replied smilingly, “Yes, I understand. They will be the pillars of strength of the House of Han in the future. Though there isn’t much that I’m good at, I have sense enough to pick good men to do what he wants done, and self-restraint to keep from meddling with them while they do it. These men will find their roles to play on Elysium!”

“Bryan, these are the documents Andre sent you. He wants you to take office as soon as possible,” said Phoebe as she handed Han Shuo a pile of documents. She then said softly, “Andre wants you to know that there are some in the Fifth Corps who are rather arrogant and obstinate. Although they did not revolt with Avery, they are admiring of Avery.”

Han Shuo received the documents and gave it a read. He replied in an unruffled smile, “I eat untamed punks like them for breakfast.”

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