(unedited)

GDK 759: Off to kill

***Fort Lasberg, House of Han.

Han Shuo had not been away for too long. After returning to Fort Lasberg, he discovered that not many changes had happened. 

Evidently, Rose did not like being around others. She had been following behind Han Shuo in silence all along. She did not reveal a tad of interest in the scenery or the people there. She was as quiet as a stone.

Candide and others had been working hard for Fort Lasberg. These people who had the experiences of managing a city showed great enthusiasm in fulfilling their great responsibilities. Using the energy stones that Han Shuo provided, they had powered up several additional energy towers and boundary towers near the city gates, improving the defenses of Fort Lasberg.

Han Shuo only stayed in his Han Residence for a short time. Seeing that everything was operating smoothly, he left for the valley where his Fifth Corps divine guards were being drilled.

The Eight Desolation and Torment Formation was currently being operated by Cauldron Spirit. Chilling wind was blowing and killing intent was raging. Colorful streaks of lights crisscrossed within the formation. Miserable howls could be heard coming from within. The divine guards were being ruthlessly tempered by Cauldron Spirit. They had not slacked for even a moment.

There were several dozens of divine guards sitting cross-legged outside the Formation. The seemed to be concentrating on something. Strange radiances would flash across their bodies every once in a while. Their domains of divinity were deployed but were kept separated from each other.

Han Shuo knew from the first glance that those divine guards must have gained substantial improvement in their willpower and acquired new insights into the energies they cultivated in after being tormented and tempered in the Formation. As to allow these people to further improve in strength, Cauldron Spirit had kicked them out from the Formation, allowing them to carefully and calmly digest and comprehend the new understandings they acquired.

Gilbert was among those people. He was sitting cross-legged on a boulder. The usual day cheekiness on his face was replaced with serenity and solemness. Gilbert had not been on Elysium for long and was only in early-stage lowgod realm. At this stage, it was very easy for him to make breakthroughs in his cultivation of the element of darkness. Han Shuo wouldn’t be surprised if Gilbert managed to make a breakthrough after being sharpened inside the Formation.

Spider Goddess Rose who had been following behind Han Shuo without a word appeared rather astonished after arriving at the valley. Before she stepped into it, she noticed that there were layers of boundaries concealing it. An average person with mediocre strength wouldn’t be able to learn the situation inside easily. And after entering the valley, Rose became even more astonished. She was very curious about the bizarre energy inside the Eight Desolation and Torment Formation. After carefully releasing a strand of her darkness divine energy to probe it, she discovered that the aura inside the Formation was somewhat similar to that of Han Shuo’s.

Han Shuo turned to shot a glance at Rose. He put on a faint smile and asked, “What is it?”

“Not- nothing!” Rose replied in a flurry. But after looking at the surroundings, she hesitantly asked, “What is that thing for? I can sense your aura in there!”

“For training,” Han Shuo pointed at the Formation and explained, “Inside is my Fifth Corps divine guards. Their strengths need to be improved. I want them to adapt to the most hostile environment at the fastest rate. Therefore, I have placed them inside to face dangers.”

“This structure can temper your men?” Rose was rather surprised. Although she could sense there were dangers inside, she knew nothing about the wonderful uses of demonic formations.

Han Shuo smiled but did not reply. He began communicating with Cauldron Spirit.

“Master, these fellas are pretty good materials. Most of them have mastered tactical formations for fighting alongside each other. A portion of them made a series of breakthroughs after facing life-threatening dangers. It seems that all of them have great potential. Your three apprentices, especially, had been advancing at lightning speed. They are indeed worthy of being called demonic arts cultivators!”

Han Shuo’s heart was filled with delight after hearing Cauldron Spirit’s report. He was immensely proud of Sanguis, Bollands, and Gilbert. The three will be Han Shuo’s most heavily relied upon henchmen in the future. The stronger they become, the happier Han Shuo would be.

The Fifth Corps becoming mighty would mean that the House of Han will completely free itself from being known as merely a feeble merchant family clan. However, that cannot be accomplished no matter how powerful Han Shuo’s strength was. His House of Han must have more than just one highgod. He must fill his family clan with numerous powerful experts, just like the House of Sainte. 

“Keep on drilling them!” Han Shuo instructed Cauldron Spirit. After thinking for a bit, Han Shuo asked, “Instead of either one of us controlling and managing the Formation, can we use the demon general made using highgod soul to do the job?”

The Eight Desolation and Torment Formation was incredibly beneficial to the lowgods and midgods. After having discovered the efficacy of the Formation, Han Shuo thought that Stratholme, Phobe, Emily, and the others should all step into it for a round of tempering. He believed that it would be greatly beneficial for them.

Han Shuo asked the question because he and Cauldron Spirit cannot stay and oversee the Formation all the time.

“Yes, it will work, but the efficacy of the Formation will be greatly reduced,” replied Cauldron Spirit. After a short pause, it added, “But even a low-quality Formation is more than enough to temper low-level gods. If master’s intention is to train those who came from Profound Continent, the Formation will be powerful enough!”

Han Shuo became at ease after hearing Cauldron Spirit’s words. He intended to have members of his House of Han to enter the Formation after his divine guards were done with it.

However, this valley was more than a dozen days away from the City of Shadows. It would be rather inconvenient to go back and forth. Han Shuo began considering if he should dismantle the Formation and rebuild it in one of the gymnasiums in the Han Residence at the City.

Time flew by rapidly. Half a year had passed.

Seeing that the competition between the Seven Corps was right around the corner, Han Shuo finally commanded Cauldron Spirit to power down the Eight Desolation and Torment Formation and had all the divine guards to exit. 

During that short span of half-a-year, a few more divine guards managed to gain new profound insight into the energies they cultivated in. The close to one hundred divine guards had been staying in the Formation for more than a year. During that time, they were presented with all kinds of dangers at every moment. When they exited the Formation, their faces looked grave, stern, and they carried an air of calmness. It was as though they had braved through countless wars and battles.

The divine guards had gained a brand new demeanor after just one year. Not only that their strengths had greatly improved, but their hearts and minds had also grown very tenacious. They had learned not to easily give up no matter how grave the challenges they face. They would not tremble in fear even when they stand before a highgod.

After exiting the Formation, the gazes of these divine guards when they looked at Han Shuo had completely changed. The former vigilance and doubtful lights were replaced with sincere admiration and reverence. 

Before this, the divine guards did not think that Han Shuo could lead them. But with the Eight Desolation and Torment Formation, they realized just how miraculous Han Shuo was. Even till now, these people had no clue how the terrifying scenes they experienced were made, although they were very sure that Han Shuo was responsible for it.

It was more than enough to make the divine guards have faith and confidence in Han Shuo and for Han Shuo to earn their respect.

Particularly, those divine guards who managed to make breakthroughs after the training felt sincere gratefulness towards Han Shuo. These gods living on Elysium usually needed endless years and ages to make a small advancement in their cultivation. They knew very well just how much they had gained from the fierce training.

Gilbert, after waking up from his meditation, looked puzzlingly at Rose who was standing beside Han Shuo. He asked, “Master, who is this white-haired lady? Is she you new woman?”

Chilling radiance flashed in Rose’s eyes. A strand of her hair flew out at lightning speed towards Gilbert. Before Gilbert could react, the strand of hair that could seemingly stretch out to infinite length had tightly wrapped him. He was lifted into the air and slammed to the ground.

Gilbert cried out in pain and shouted, “Ouch! White-haired lady, what are you doing?!”

Radiances shone in Sanguis and Bollands’ eyes. They looked at Rose wearing an apathetic expression with great astonishment. Their minds automatically became cautious to this lady who was outstanding in both looks and strength.

Both Sanguis and Bollands knew Gilbert’s strength. After seeing that Rose could subdue Gilbert with just one strand of her hair, they knew they stood no chance against Rose. They were puzzled why an expert with such power was with Han Shuo.

“My hair is silver, not white!” Rose looked at Gilbert coldly and said, “And I’m not his new woman!”

Gilbert regained his feet grumpily. He knew he wasn’t Rose’s match. He grumbled, “If you are not my master’s woman, then who are you?”

Rose hesitated for a moment. After taking a quick peep at the smiling Han Shuo out of the corner of her eyes, she replied in a reluctant manner, “Same as you, his servant,”

“Oh?” cried Gilbert. “A servant, I see. Hehe, with such a beautiful servant, I’m sure my master will have a really good time!” said Gilbert loudly as he put on a suggestive smirk. The divine guards around Gilbert also smirked after hearing those words.

“You!” Rose had obviously made it out what Gilbert’s words actually meant and she could tell what were on the divine guards’ minds from their vile expressions. Her face turned cold and was about to flip out again.

“Enough!” yelled Han Shuo lightly. He instructed the divine guards, “You will all return to the City of Shadows.”

“My Lord, are you not returning with us?” asked Barnard immediately. After a year of training in the Formation and experiencing a lot of hardships, his strength had substantially improved. He began to feel a deep sense of respect for Han Shuo.

“There are some matters I must deal with. I will be returning soon after. Right, you will lead the Company while I’m away,” answered Han Shuo.

“As you bid, my Lord!” Barnard saluted Han Shuo and led the company of divine guards back to the City. They were reluctant to leave the Eight Desolation and Torment Formation. For the divine guards, the year they spent inside the Formation filled with dangers was one of the most memorable experiences in their lives. 

After the divine guards left, Han Shuo said to Sanguis, Bollands, and Gilbert, “Dismantle the Formation with me. Make sure not to leave anything behind as we will be reinstalling the Formation back in the Han Residence.”

Sanguis, Bollands, and Gilbert were Han Shuo’s very core trusted aides. The three had some understanding of the demonic art Han Shuo cultivated in. Han Shuo wouldn’t trust anyone else with the task.

After hearing Han Shuo’s instruction, the three immediately got to work. Every stela and rock were picked up and put away. The unique and special materials were picked out and removed most carefully, lest the materials be damaged.

After removing the Formation, Han Shuo and his apprentices proceeded with removing all trace and evidence of what had taken place in the valley. Han Shuo made certain that not the tiniest hint could be found in the valley before he instructed his three apprentices, “Return to the City without me. I will be back before the competition begins.”

“Master, where are you going?”

“Master, bring your dark dragon along!” Sanguis and Gilbert said simultaneously. Bollands did not say a word but it was clear from his eyes that he too wanted to go with Han Shuo.

“I’m going to take care of a hidden threat. The situation will not allow me to bring you along. It is only when you have the strength to kill highgods that I could be at ease with bringing you in and out of dragon's dens.” refused Han Shuo smilingly.

After hearing Han Shuo’s rejection, the three seemed somewhat disheartened. However, there was nothing they could do about the harsh reality and so they headed back to the City. 

Han Shuo, however, did not return to the City of Shadows. He headed in the direction of Hushveil City with Rose.

“What are you up to?” Rose asked as soon as she realized that Han Shuo was not heading towards the City of Shadows. Doubts could be seen in her cold and clear eyes.

“We are going to assassinate people!” Han Shuo turned around, grinned, and said, “We will go to Hushveil City to kill several characters who poses a threat to my family clan.”

Han Shuo was determined to eliminate Avery after Aobashi and Erebus informed Han Shuo of his whereabouts. He was even further motivated to do so after learning that Avery had ganged up with Hassling.

Just as Aobashi had warned, Avery and Hassling will never make peace with the House of Han. The two possessed outstanding strengths and Hassling was even the master of the enormous Godswamp Pharmacy. For as long as these great potential threats remained alive, Han Shuo would feel as if he had a pin in his throat. Although Han Shuo wasn’t afraid of attacks from Avery and Hassling, he was worried about the members of his family clan. There was no way he could ensure the safety of all his family clan members from a sudden strike in the dark by the two.

Therefore, given the circumstances, Han Shuo’s most optimal course of action was to eliminate the threats before they could strike!

After all, Han Shuo currently had the strength to do so!

Both Hassling and Avery were in Hushveil City. Hassling was a VIP in Hushveil City highly regarded by their City Lord. Han Shuo knew that assassinating the two in Hushveil City wouldn’t be easy. Although Sanguis, Bollands, and Gilbert had been rapidly advancing in strength, they had yet to reach highgod realm. Without highgod strengths, not only that they won’t be able to assist Han Shuo in Hushveil City, they might burden him. Therefore, Han Shuo was resolute in not bringing the three.

Rose, however, was unlike them. She possessed mid-stage highgod strength. Even if they land in a predicament in Hushveil City, Rose could easily escape and keep up with Han Shuo. Besides, being about the observe his surroundings using demon generals, Han Shuo believed that Hushveil City couldn’t stop him.

“Who?” Rose wasn’t a kindhearted person as well. She did not reveal a trace of shock to hear Han Shuo’s words. In fact, she seemed perfectly indifferent to it.

“You’ll know when the time comes!” replied Han Shuo smilingly. 

Fort Lasberg was on the outermost perimeter of the City of Shadows’ influence and was relatively close to Hushveil City. The two did not converse during the journey but travelled in silence. After a few days, the two crossed the vast border between the two cities and stepped into soil under Hushveil City’s influence. 

Like the City of Shadow, Hushveil City had big and small forts and settlements surrounding the City itself. After stepping into the City’s sphere of influence, Han Shuo started acting more prudently. The two deliberately avoided crowds and divine guards from Hushveil City as to avoid unnecessary troubles.

As a highgod, the terrifying aura Rose gave off was all too menacing. It was under Han Shuo’s strong demand that Rose withdrew her forbidding aura so that the lowgods and midgods wouldn’t be so terrified and on the alert around her.

Han Shuo’s ability in concealing aura far surpassed Rose’s. He could easily disguise his strength just by not using the demonic yuan in his body and allow the aura of his midgod strength avatars to escape. If not even Rose could discover his actual strength, then an average lowgod and midgods would have no chance of discovering just how terrifying Han Shuo really was.

After travelling for eighteen days in the territories of Hushveil City, Han Shuo and Rose finally arrived at the city gate of the City.

The name on Han Shuo’s divine tablet was Bryan. As there were many gods on Elysium, it was not uncommon to find gods with the same name. The divine guards at Hushveil City had not even expect that this Bryan was in fact the master of Celestial Pearl Pharmacy that had been all the rage in the Darkness Dominion. They let Han Shuo into the just like that.

Although Rose did not like crowded places, like every other gods, she too had her own divine tablet. Moreover, her divine tablet was different from Han Shuo’s - much more simple and unadorned. The Hushveil City divine guards seemed somewhat respectful when receiving and handling Rose’s divine tablet. Even his words sounded much more courteous - entirely different from the arrogant treatment that Han Shuo received.

Rose stepped into the City proudly with her head held high and tall. “My divine tablet is of the most ancient variant. Gods with this kind of divine tablet who are alive even till now usually have great strengths! No matter on any location on Elysium, the divine guards would give the most respectful treatment to those with powerful strength!” Rose seemed rather proud when she said those words. It was as though she was secretly delighted and had regained some dignity when she had received better treatment than her master.

Han Shuo didn’t mind it at all. He nodded with a faint smile and said, “Then you should be very clear about the situation on Elysium. Very good. When there’s time, tell me all about the ancient stories about Elysium. I’m interested in them.”

“No problem!” agreed Rose. She was rather astonished that Han Shuo would seek for her knowledge. 

Hmm, so he does have one thing that is worthy of praise, after all. 

 

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