(unedited) 

GDK 771: Illusions

Han Shuo knew that reconciliation was impossible. Even if Han Shuo and Rose escape from Hushveil City, Hofs will not be leaving the matter at that and will continue to hunt for them. But if Han Shuo could kill Hofs, the power structure in Hushveil City would likely reshuffle and the House of Hofley might lose their dominance over the city.

To eliminate the threat that Hushveil City might pose him, Han Shuo intended to kill Hofs here in this mountain range. Besides, Han Shuo wanted to test the full might of his Avici Godslaying Sword Formation against a late-stage highgod. Therefore, this was not an opportunity and challenge that Han Shuo was willing to miss out on.

Rose was clearly shocked by Han Shuo’s decision. From her point of view, fighting Hofs was anything but wise. Even if Han Shuo could defeat Hofs, the noise produced from their battle will surely draw the experts of Hushveil City to him. If Han Shuo was too occupied to fight Hofs when the forces of Hushveil City arrives, Han Shuo would be in a very terrible situation.

But Rose knew that she cannot change Han Shuo’s mind. She could only sigh helplessly while grumbling about Han Shuo’s daring behavior in her mind. “Alright then, I will help you hold back the others.”

Rose, as a mid-stage highgod cultivating in the energy of darkness, was aware that she was no match against Hofs. The only thing she could help with was to eliminate as many lesser threats around Han Shuo as possible. 

“You just need to wait for me nearby. I would know about approaching enemies better than you do. You have nothing to worry about - Hofs won’t be able to stop me,” Han Shuo was very confident. Hofs’ mind at this moment had been consumed by rage. Han Shuo, in contrast, was incredibly calm and collected. It was this clear advantage he had against Hofs that gave him this confidence.

Rose forced a smile after hearing those words. She suddenly felt as though there wasn’t much that she could do for Han Shuo during critical moments. As a highgod, Rose had rarely been in a situation where she could not be of help. This filled her heart with a strange, indescribable feeling.

Han Shuo did not explain himself any further and started traveling towards Hofs. The several dozens of demon generals around him had gone ahead in advance and placed themselves around Hofs, studying the area down to the finest detail.

Every rock, tree, and leaves in the region entered Han Shuo’s mind. Before he was even close to the region, he had mastered the terrain there like it was his own backyard. Han Shuo could utilize this information to masterfully evade attacks or launch an assault.

Unlike all those highgods who had died to Han Shuo’s Avici Godslaying Sword Formation, Hofs was a late-stage highgod. On top of that, he had rich experiences in battle. From the ferocious darkness divine energy contained in that dark spear, Han Shuo recognized that Hofs was a formidable opponent. He knew that he must take and utilize every advantage he could get over Hofs in order to defeat him.

Gradually, Han Shuo arrived at the region Hofs was at. Hofs at this moment was still wildly screaming in rage. His voice carried ferocious energy of darkness and it caused the atmosphere to undulate as though water ripples. The shrubs located near him shattered as though sharp blades had cut through them.

“Stay here and go no further,” Han Shuo said to Rose after he suddenly stopped moving forward. He gently inhaled and adjusted his mind to the most optimal state.

Rose who was following closely behind him nodded. She knew that her strength was below Hofs and if she got too close, her presence would be detected. If that happens, Han Shuo’s arrival would also be known to Hofs and Han Shuo wouldn’t be able to make a surprise entry.

Rose appeared worried. After stammering for a bit, she softly said, “Be careful!”

“Don’t worry, everything will be just fine,” replied Han Shuo in a calm smile. Then, his eyes gradually turned harsh and cold while his face turned callous and apathetic as though he cannot feel any emotions. His mind had entered a state of absolute calmness that was most suitable for combat.

In the next instance, Han Shuo’s figure turned blurry. Rose watched as Han Shuo went further and further into the distance until his figure completely disappeared. His aura completely vanished. It was as though he was not there. She couldn’t detect a trace of Han Shuo’s aura with her divine soul.

Rose was yet again flabbergasted. She put on a grimace and shook her head, mumbling to herself, “Just how many secrets do you have?”

*** Hofs wandered further and further from his search party. He had not ceased yelling for a moment.

But suddenly, Hofs turned completely silent. His eyes that were filled with insanity gazed all around while his brows pursed slightly. He had a feeling that something was amiss. He felt as though a savage beast was stalking him from somewhere he could not see.

This feeling came very abruptly and Hofs automatically grew cautious. <i>Could it be that the two have come?</i> thought Hofs, his mind becoming even more alert. He, in fact, felt that Han Shuo and Rose would likely had ignored him instead of answering his crazed scream.

However, that sensation of being stalked felt all so real. Hofs knew from his countless years of past experiences that it was no misperception. Before he went screaming about like a lunatic, he had ordered all his men and experts under his family clan to stay away from him. Therefore, whoever that was secretly observing him cannot be from Hushveil City.

It was this uncomfortable feeling that made Hofs suddenly so quiet. His eyes were still filled with madness as he scanned all around. He also tried to sense for abnormality in his surroundings using his divine soul. Strands of thin dark smoke flew out from his body and wandered through the bushes and ancient tall trees around him.

A few moments later, Hofs turned rather puzzled. The darkness divine energy that he sent out to probe his surroundings had detected no signs of any living being. However, that uncomfortable feeling had never left him. This made Hofs more and more restless and uneasy.

Hofs yet again release his darkness divine energy. He leaped high into the air and started surveying the land from above. Although he had tried as hard as he could, he still could not locate the stalker!

“Stop being such a weenie, show yourself!” shouted Hofs. He seemed rather impatient.

A figure suddenly appeared beside an ancient tree. He raised his head to look at Hofs smilingly and said, “You injured me. Hehe, I have come to return the favor!”

“It sure enough is you!” Hofs laughed maniacally before he suddenly plunged from the air. Darkness domain of divinity instantly formed around him. The element of darkness and darkness divine energy filled his dark spear in an instant as he shot at Han Shuo from above Han Shuo’s head. Strange buzzing noises sounded from the spear that appeared as though a dark lightning bolt. The spear was accelerated to such an extreme speed that its shape could not be clearly seen.

Boundless darkness came covering down at Han Shuo from the sky. The region abruptly sank into absolute darkness as though everything was consumed by the Void. Immense darkness divine energy wrapped on the spear and caused it to melt into the absolute darkness.

<i>Rumbles… </i>

A world-shaking explosion sounded. Following that, an enormous and deep crater was revealed. All the trees, vegetations, and rocks were swept away.

Han Shuo’s figure, however, was nowhere to be seen!

Inside the absolute darkness, Hofs descended. He landed in the enormous crater and stood proudly in a ferocious face. The dark spear returned to his hand. His eyes glistened brightly as he looked all around for the figure that had vanished into thin air.

Needless to say, Hofs’ vision wasn’t affected by this absolute darkness he created. He realized that his last strike was ineffective. He grew even more cautious and truly took Han Shuo as an evenly matched opponent.

“My turn!” a sneer suddenly reverberated throughout the absolute darkness. Seven fuzzy figures appeared out of nowhere and shot towards Hofs from every direction. The figures all took Han Shuo’s appearance and they all gave off extraordinary auras.

Hofs suspected that they were merely illusions and so he used his divine soul to carefully probe the figures. However, to his surprise, each and every figure seemed real and alive, with everyone of them possessing highgod aura. This immediately threw Hofs into confusion.

Hofs, not understanding the situation, did not gamble in attacking any of the figures. Instead, he took defensive measures. With one wave of the spear in his hand, layers upon layers of defensive barriers rapidly formed. Intense aura of darkness gushed towards Hofs and shrouded him.

Every figure Hofs saw was made using the highest grade demon generals. These demon generals refined from highgod souls were extraordinary in strength. His senses were correct - the figures were alive and could pose him threat. Hofs’ decision of taking defensive measures was also correct.

However, Hofs’ taking defensive measures played right into Han Shuo’s hand!

Only when Hofs was in defensive position that Han Shuo could fully focus on maneuvering the seventeen flying swords and envelop Hofs in Avici Godslaying Sword Formation. Once that happens, Han Shuo could fully focus on boldly attacking. He need not to worry about anything else.

The seventeen flying swords whooshed out but Han Shuo’s figures transformed from demon generals vanished. Only the real Han Shuo remained, standing proudly before Hofs.

<i>They are illusions!</i> Hofs was stunned. After seeing the Han Shuos transformed from demon generals disappear, Hofs started doubting his senses as he was misled into thinking that the demon generals were nothing but illusions. 

The seventeen flying swords maneuvered by Han Shuo went whooshing at Hofs shrouded by intense aura of darkness. The flying swords seemed to had struck on the toughest cotton ball. The seventeen flying swords failed to pierce through Hofs’ defenses made using darkness divine energy.

<i>A late-stage highgod is indeed formidable!</i> exclaimed Han Shuo in his mind. Then, in his consciousness, Han Shuo said to Cauldron Spirit, “Assemble your energy. It seems that I must borrow your energy in order to defeat him!”

Cauldron Spirit wasted no words and immediately injected demon general energies into Han Shuo’s body.

 

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