GDK 792: I accept my defeat wholeheartedly

“I’m not buying it!” replied Ralph in a loud voice before he said to City Lord Wallace, “There must be at least one highgod among those three!”

After hearing Ralph’s accusation, Wallace bunched his brows and turned to look at Han Shuo.

“My House of Han doesn’t have that many highgods yet. Before stepping into the arena, all the participants must be examined by the House of Sainte. If any of them possesses highgod strength, they wouldn’t be allowed to step inside. I think Lord Andre can affirm this,” said Han Shuo as he smiled and nodded at Andre.

“Bryan is correct, I’m responsible for screening the participants. They had all inserted their divine energy into a crystal that measures their strength. If the three were allowed to enter, they cannot be highgods!” said Andre firmly. 

The crystal that takes one’s divine energy as measurement could detect a highgod using the fact that the concentration of divine energy of a highgod was different than that of a midgod. But as Bollands and Sanguis did not cultivate in the fundamental energies found in this universe, the crystal wouldn’t detect a thing even if they were highgods. As for Gilbert, he was only in the lowgod realm in the cultivation of the element of darkness. They managed to pass the test without a hitch.

With Andre’s assurance, Wallace no longer had any doubts. Indifferently, he said, “Then it is settled. I will hear nothing more of this allegation.”

Ralph and Batúk were stunned, their faces filled with confusion. They knew that Andre wouldn’t be lying in this setting. That left them with only one possibility - none of the three in question were highgods. However, wasn’t it just as unthinkable that just three midgods could unleash such terrifying power?

Having heard Andre’s assurance, the party again had their gazes gathered on Han Shuo. Their eyes were filled with doubts and astonishment. They could not understand how Han Shuo's Fifth Corps divine guards could be so outstanding!

The battle did not pause while the observers had their little argument. On the sand table, Bollands, Sanguis and Gilbert had broken through nearly all the defenses laid out by the Seventh Corps and arrived at the region where the brightly glowing divine essences were kept.

To Bollands, Sanguis and Gilbert, plundering the divine essences from the Seventh Corps wasn’t that difficult of a challenge. In fact, to them, the Seventh Corps had lost the battle the moment they came into view.

The Fifth Corps divine guards followed closely behind the trio at the vanguard. They handled every attack from both flanks without any trouble. They too had stepped into the center region protected by the Seventh Corps divine guards.

“Circle them!” shouted Bollands coldly. The conical formation started transforming. The Fifth Corps divine guards behind him spread out and surrounded the Seventh Corps divine guards.

“Do not kill!” Bollands reminded his divine guards again. He then nodded at Sanguis and Gilbert.

The Fifth Corps divine guards started bombarding the area with densely packed ranged attacks. With their comrades covering them, the trio charged even deeper into Seventh Corps’ territory. Bollands and Sanguis were at the leading front. Intense killing intent overflowed from their bodies. Sanguis’ broadsword that was made using Blood Crystal erupted with blinding blood-red radiance. All those Seventh Corps divine guards that were in his vicinity could not circulate their divine energies normally as their blood was moving chaotically.

With the broadsword amplifying the power of Sanguis’ Bloodgod Mantra, his skin and eyes grew as red as the blood in his veins. The divine guards who came near him would automatically draw back in fear when they noticed that their blood start to move abnormally.

Bollands’ flying sword glistened with cold radiance. Bits of starlike sword radiance twinkled as it forced the defending divine guards to retreat.

Both Sanguis and Bollands specialized in the cultivation of demonic arts and therefore they both possessed a grotesque aura unique to demonic art cultivators. To add on to that, they were both overflowing with raging killing intent. It was more than enough to scare the Seventh Corps divine guards witless.

After much charging and barging, Sanguis, Bollands, and Gilbert finally arrived before the divine guard in charge of holding the divine essences. When they pointed their swords at the person, he most cooperatively handed the divine essences to the trio. His eyes were clearly glinting with respect. 

The Companies in the Soaring Cloud Mountain Range were only sparring with each other. As they were all divine guards of the City of Shadows, they wouldn’t go all out and fight to their deaths. The divine guard had been watching how smoothly the Fifth Corps broke through the layers of defenses put up by his comrades. He knew that there was no point in giving any more resistance.

Sanguis received the divine essences and nodded. Immediately, Sanguis courteously cupped his hands and said, “Many apologies!”

That divine guard was rather stunned. He hastily replied, “No problem, no problem!” From his point of view, Sanguis, Bollands and Gilbert had no reason to be so courteous to the opponent they defeated.

Sanguis, after having been around Han Shuo for so long, managed to learn some of his sophistication. He learned when he should be overbearing and domineering and when to be urbane and mannered. Sanguis was doing exactly what Han Shuo would do in this situation.

When the divine guard saw that Sanguis was leaving right after taking the divine essences, he hastily cried, “I hope you guys can beat those from the Second Corps!”

“Don’t worry about that, we will make the Second Corps crawl under our feet!” exclaimed Gilbert with a savage smile. 

“Cut the chit chat and move!” instructed Bollands as he departed. Sanguis and Gilbert quickly followed behind him. 

The company from the Seventh Corps knew that they were no match against those of the Fifth Corps. They did not put up any futile struggle but watched as Bollands, Gilbert and Sanguis left with their divine essences.

*** 

Back at the center of Soaring Cloud Mountain Range, Batúk sighed, shook his head, and remarked, “I accept my defeat wholeheartedly!” 

From start to finish, the Fifth Corps had firmly held the upper hand over the Seventh Corps. Tino and his Company were on the defensive all throughout the battle. When Batúk saw that the divine essences had been taken and his Seventh Corps divine guards seemed to be unharmed, although difficult, Batúk finally let go of his stubbornness and conceded.

“Please don’t feel upset about it, Lord Batúk. It was nothing but luck!” consoled Han Shuo with an amiable smile.

Any fool could see that the Fifth Corps had overwhelmed the Seventh Corps with strength and luck was not involved in determining the outcome. It was clear to the crowd that Han Shuo was being humble. Batúk’s heart felt a little better to see that Han Shuo remained polite and modest instead of being an arrogant prick. He forced a smile and nodded but said no word.

Erebus suddenly went forward and patted Han Shuo on the shoulder. He said, “You amazing chap, you never fail to astonish us!” Then, after a short pause, Erebus side glanced at the dark-faced Ralph and exclaimed, “So it turns out that you weren’t making baseless assertions back at Aobashi’s camp!”

Aobashi who had been standing near Andre abruptly appeared beside Han Shuo. “Bryan, defeat the Second Corps! I’m rooting for you!”

Han Shuo nodded with a calm smile and said with complacently, “Don’t worry about that, my Fifth Corps will surely emerge victorious against the Second Corps!”

“Hmph!” Ralph standing nearby gave a cold, angry glance at them and groaned.

It was clear to the observers that of all the companies in the arena, only the Fifth Corps stood a real chance of contending against those of the Second Corps. The reason that Ralph could retain such a firm footing in the City of Shadows despite being so unpopular was that his Second Corps was the strongest in team combat strength. If Han Shuo’s company could defeat Ralph’s in the competition, it would be a tremendous blow to Ralph.

Everyone in the spectator field was either very wealthy or powerful or both. But a great majority of them loathed Ralph. These people would love to watch Ralph suffer a crushing defeat more than anything. Their eyes were filled with malicious joy when they looked at Ralph.

“The Second and Fourth Corps have started fighting!” exclaimed Rugersey suddenly. 

The parties immediately turned their attention back to the sand table. Through the miniaturized arena projected on the sand table, the spectators could clearly see the company from the Second Corps charging straight at the Fourth Corps with menacing force. The Second Corps had always been ruthless and brutal in the competition. Even though they did not typically kill their opponents, causing grave injuries was anything but unusual.

All those Second Corps divine guards led by Kiffan were among the small number of people who had been to the bloodiest of battlefields and returned - the fittest who survived. They striked to injure. It did not take them long to give a large number of the Fourth Corps divine guards broken arms and legs.

Accidental injuries were bound to happen when divine guard companies fought each other in the competition. As not to make fighting too restrictive while keeping things relatively benign, it was made into the rules that premeditated killing be forbidden and each team was limited in the number of accidental deaths they may cause. However, it was also made permissible to cause non-fatal injuries.

One of the main reasons that the Second Corps was so unpopular was that they would always cause unnecessary injuries to their opponents in every single centennial competition.

It was clear to all that the Second Corps had much greater strength than the Fourth Corps. With such great superiority in strength, those of the Second Corps could easily seize the divine essences without injuring anyone. And yet, it was the exact opposite of what they would do. These Second Corps divine guards were taught to disregard the lives of their own comrades in their cruel and inhuman training. In their eyes, they had been very polite to only cause some injuries. 

With the number of wounded divine guards mounting higher and higher, Camilla’s face grew darker and darker. The Chief of the Fourth Corps had a shivering clenched fist as she held back the anger in her heart and continued to watch the battle unfold on the sand table. She hated Ralph to the bones!

Batúk’s Company was in a similar situation just a few moments ago but Han Shuo’s Fifth Corps divine guards had injured not a single one of Batúk’s divine guards. Camilla grew even more angered when she recalled it while Batúk was secretly glad that he was not Camilla.

“Every - freaking - time!” exclaimed Erebus softly. He remarked as though talking to himself, “This guy just has to bring harm to others even though it is clearly unnecessary. I’m afraid that if there ever comes a day that he loses power in the City, everyone will add insult to his misfortune!”

Han Shuo thought about Erebus' words and couldn’t help but turn to take a look at Ralph. He thought, This guy is a lunatic. I better be prepared just in case that happens and he does something out of madness.

As expected, the Fourth Corps was no match against the Second Corps. After ten minutes of wounding the Fourth Corps divine guards, the Second Corps left with all of their divine essences.

The Second Corps then went on to continue their rampage and raided Rugersey’s Sixth Corps and Erebus’ Third Corps. Although the Third Corps was stronger than the Sixth and Fourth Corps, they were still no match against the Second Corps. They were also defeated by the Second Corps after dozens of their men were wounded.

Rugersey, Camilla and Erebus had dark faces. Their eyes were glinting with wrath when they glowered at Ralph. However, Ralph remained unperturbed.

It was at this moment that the Company from the Fifth Corps suddenly altered their trajectory and advanced towards those of the Second Corps.

Wallace, Andre, Rugersey, Erebus, and all the spectators immediately widened their eyes and placed their focus on the Fifth Corps. They were looking forward to the battle between the Fifth and Second Corps!

 

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