(unedited) 

GDK 779: Enemy in the dark

Losing two divine guards had sent Han Shuo into high alert mode. He immediately commanded his divine guards to stay close and to always be within a hundred miles to the Company. Han Shuo’s demon generals could only reach the maximum of a hundred miles from him. As long as his divine guards were within a hundred miles, Han Shuo could use his demon generals to quickly assist them if they ran into any troubles.

The divine guards also turned cautious and alerted. Han Shuo used his demon generals to probe the terrain around him while searching for the two divine guards who had abruptly disappeared. However, Han Shuo couldn’t find a trace of them.

The Company kept on its course towards the Soaring Cloud Mountain Range but started traveling even slower. Under Bollands’ guidance, the divine guards had improved in their tracking and stalking skills. They too had been searching for the lost divine guards but they also found nothing.

Using the far-reaching visions of his demon generals, Han Shuo saw many merchant caravans passing by as well as members of small family clans who went into the mountain range to temper themselves. He observed them for a long time but discovered that there was nothing suspicious about them.

Han Shuo was at a loss. He kept on racking his head on what could possibly happen to his two divine guards that went missing. He wondered if an unknown force was trying to get him or if the two divine guards had provoked someone they shouldn’t. 

Another five days had passed. The two missing divine guards still had not returned. This meant that they most likely had perished.

With that, Han Shuo started considering who among his enemies could possibly kill them. Han Shuo had been on the Elysium for a long time and had made a whole lot of enemies. Among them, the most likely should be Hofs that he had recently offended. However, with Hushveil City still in disorder, Hofs, who had yet to fully recover from his injuries, should be completely occupied on suppressing rebelling voices and his political enemies in the City. Even if he had found out that Han Shuo was behind the attack on Hushveil CIty, he wouldn’t have the time nor energy to travel all the way to the City of Shadows and mess with Han Shuo. 

After Hofs, the godhunters would be another powerful enemy of Han Shuo’s. However, Han Shuo had not made himself conspicuous to the godhunters during the attack on the godhunter’s base. Even if the godhunters were to retaliate, they should be putting their crosshair on the House of Sainte first rather than Han Shuo.

After much pondering, Han Shuo could not think of any enemy who had the capacity or motive to attack him at present. As Han Shuo could not find any clues for the moment, he had no choice but to leave the matter unresolved. The Company continued traveling towards Soaring Cloud Mountain Range.

Three hundred miles from Han Shuo was an enormous waterfall. Its swift water sparkled as it splashed into an enormous, bottomless pond on its feet.

Ahead of the bottomless pond were several enormous boulders that had been polished glossy and smooth by water. Several gods wearing dark faces were standing on them.

The patriarch of the House of Lavers, Felder, wore a dark face as he glared at the apprehensive Doloxis. He berated, “Why did you strike without my permission?”

When the House of Lavers withdrew from the City of Shadows, Doloxis too withdrew away from the City with his family clan. However, he never forgot about his grudges with Han Shuo and had carved it in his heart and bones.

“Patriarch, I was just trying to reduce their strength bit by bit,” replied Doloxis with his head lowered. He seemed rather nervous.

“Fool! Doing so will only put that cunning youngster into alert!” Felder loudly chided, “I have told you many times before not to act rashly. What you did wasn’t just self-defeating, you have jeopardized our mission of avenging your uncle’s death!”

“I’m sorry, patriarch!” Doloxis hastily admitted his mistake after he was angrily berated by Felder. But after a short pause, Doloxis hesitantly asked, “Patriarch, is he really the guy who attacked Hushveil City? I have met him multiple times before but he didn’t seem that terrifying.”

“If he can’t even manage to fool you, how would he have the capacity to replace our House of Lavers in the City of Shadows?” Felder coldly groaned and said, “Donna knew him much better than you do. She immediately knew that it was Bryan after learning of the specifics of the incident. Back then in that low-level material plane, Donna had seen that unique lifeform that appeared in Hushveil City. It definitely was him!”

“Patriarch, why isn’t elder sister Donna joining us? Given how much she knew that guy, this mission of ours would have a greater chance of success!” asked Doloxis after hearing Felder’s explanation.

Felder let out a soft sigh before he replied, “I don’t know why but Donna just wouldn’t agree to harm that youngster. In fact, I have to hide what we are doing right now from her.”

It appeared that Doloxis held grievances towards Donna. He thought that Donna was the main reason the House of Lavers declined. If Donna had not recommended Bryan to the City of Shadows, their House of Lavers wouldn’t have experienced so many ordeals. If Donna wasn’t Felder’s daughter, Doloxis might have proposed to oust Donna long ago.

“Patriarch Felder, with your House of Lavers joining our City of Gorging Clouds, as per our agreement, we shall do all we can to eliminate that fella for you!” said a short and small middle-aged man with dark skin and thick sideburns. The short man had been listening to Felder and Doloxis’ conversation. He took a short pause before he continued, “But you too should know about certain unwritten rules in the Darkness Dominion. Although the City of Shadows is far below our City of Gorging Clouds in terms of strength, we do not wish to alert the House of Sainte. We can only assist with this matter of yours in the dark.”

“Lord Lakrisen, our House of Felder has lived in the Darkness Dominion for many years and knows all the unwritten rules in this Dominion.” Felder was rather respectful towards the short man with sideburns. “I know that Your Lordship must not go against the House of Sainte openly and risk the wrath of the Overgod. All I ask for is that youngster’s life. If it wasn’t for that incident in Hushveil City, I wouldn’t have inconvenienced Lord Lakrisen to aid us in this matter!”

Lakrisen nodded and smilingly replied, “Thank you for understanding. And don’t worry, Hofs of Hushveil City is the weakest City Lord in the Dominion. We have more than a single expert with strength greater than Hofs’ in the City of Gorging Clouds. Even if it is true that the youngster was behind the Hushveil City incident, we would still have more than enough to finish him!”

Although the House of Lavers had left the City of Shadows, they had managed to preserve most of their strength. The House of Lavers possessed not just elite divine guards but also a vast reserve of wealth. They were highly sought after by every other city in the Darkness Dominion. Before the Lavers Family had withdrawn from the City of Shadows, Felder was secretly reached out by the representatives of City Lords of many other cities.

After considering the strengths of those City Lords, Felder finally decided to lean on the strongest city in the Darkness Dominion - the City of Gorging Clouds. Felder naturally discussed some terms with the City before joining it. His family clan joining the City will make the City even stronger while the CIty will safeguard the House of Lavers’ interest.

Asking the City of Gorging Clouds to assist him in killing Han Shuo was an afterthought of Felder’s. To the City of Gorging Clouds, gaining the House of Lavers far outweighs the possible repercussions of assassinating a promising young expert who recently made a debut. Therefore, they agreed to Felder’s request without the slightest hesitation.

Felder had lived in the City of Shadows for many years and he understood the situation in the City very well. He knew that it was extremely difficult to kill Han Shuo in the City. Even if he somehow succeeded, he would face great difficulty in escaping. He knew he must wait for an opportunity to assassinate Han Shuo outside the City.

The competition between the Seven Corps would create the right set of circumstances for Felder. After learning that the Fifth Corps of the City of Shadows will participate in the competition, Felder realized that it was the chance he had been waiting for. He utilized the remaining connection he had in the City to learn that the competition will be held on Soaring Cloud Mountain Range. Therefore, he was able to plan and prepare ahead.

“Thank you, Lord Lakrisen. As long as the youngster is dead, I will convince my daughter to willingly marry your esteemed son!” pledged Felder in a deep voice.

Lakrisen laughed heartily. He was very delighted. In a friendly voice, he replied, “We will soon be a family. Be at ease, for I will do everything I can to aid you!”

“That youngster has nearly a hundred divine guards around him. It would make killing him difficult. What do you think, Lord Lakrisen?” After a short pause, Felder added, “Based on my daughter’s words, the strange lifeform possessed by that youngster is extremely miraculous. It seemed as though they could cloak and be his eyes and ears. His performance in Hushveil City had matched the description of my daughter. This will not be easy!”

“It’s no bother. We came in a small number. I can lead you in avoiding the detection of those lifeforms. The divine guards will not be beside him all the time. We just have to wait for a suitable opportunity to present itself before ganging up on him. There is no way he can escape as he did in Hushveil City!” said Lakrisen confidently as though he had a full grasp of the future.

“Well, if Lord Lakrisen says so, I’m at ease!” said Felder noddingly. He seemed to have complete faith in Lakrisen.

No matter how much Han Shuo racked his brain, he wouldn’t have expected that it would be the House of Lavers that left the City of Shadows long ago that was trying to get him. He continued to slowly travel towards Soaring Cloud Mountain Range with his divine guards.

As Han Shuo wanted to further temper his divine guards along the journey, he had set off for the Mountain Range ahead of other Divine Guard Corps. Therefore, they had not met any other divine guards during their journey. They were getting closer and closer to the Mountain Range unknowingly.

On one day, Han Shuo and his divine guards arrived at the waterfall where Felder and the others had their meeting. The Fifth Corps divine guards were not all male. The female divine guards were excited to see a clean pool and asked for permission to bathe in the water.

Rose who had been following behind Han Shuo quietly all along also asked to stay there for a while. As Han Shuo wasn’t in a hurry with the journey, he agreed to their request. Naturally, the male divine guards, including Han Shuo, must keep away from the pond where the ladies will bath. They have therefore dispersed around. 

For some reason, a feeling of distress suddenly rose in Han Shuo’s heart. Han Shuo had full confidence in his senses. On top of that, with two of his divine guards having inexplicably disappeared, Han Shuo immediately put on his guard.

 

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