GDK 799: Man-made
Aobashi was famous in the City of Shadows not just for her outstanding strength and powerful position, but also for her good looks. Other than a man in the same class she was, like Erebus, the average man couldn’t even dare to dream of having her.
Aobashi, who usually dressed in green, was graceful and enchanting. She had all the characteristics of great beauty. But unfortunately, because of her very high status and qualifications, very few men had the courage to pursue a romantic relationship with her.
Oi! This is the woman that Erebus is after! Han Shuo reminded himself. He then smiled, “I have way too many women already. Besides, a dictatorial lady like Aobashi isn’t my cup of tea. You have nothing to worry about, Erebus.”
When Aobashi heard Han Shuo’s words, she stared at him with her bright eyes strangely before suddenly giggling, “What are you so afraid of? You really think Erebus believes that there’s something between us?”
Han Shuo laughed and said, “I just don’t want Erebus to misunderstand and feel jealous.”
“I’m not worried. Even if she wants someone else, she will not compromise her standards - I’m sure. Haha, what do I have to worry about?” After hearing Han Shuo’s explanation, Erebus recalled that there were plenty of good-looking women in his House of Han and shrugged it off.
“But, are you really sure?” said Aobashi mischievously as though she was determined to crush Erebus’ will.
“Erm…” Erebus was troubled and speechless.
While Han Shuo, Aobashi and Erebus were cheerfully chatting, Camilla, Rugersey and Batúk had drawn their lots. Wallace swept his gaze at the trio and immediately loudly said, “Aobashi, Erebus, it’s your turn!”
When Wallace saw that Han Shuo was getting along well with those two Divine Guard Chiefs under his command, not only was Wallace not thrilled, but he even felt a vague sense of worry. Unknowingly, Han Shuo had influenced many of those close to him. Carmelita, Andre, Erebus and Aobashi were all characters core to the House of Sainte. All of them were close friends with Han Shuo.
Wallace took this as a bad sign!
“Coming!” replied Aobashi. She gave Han Shuo a death stare and a snort before going to draw lots with Erebus.
Wallace, who had been carefully observing the trio, couldn’t help but bunch his brows. He suddenly felt as though he had lost all his loyal subordinates, except Ralph, who would forever be his loyal hound. He couldn’t help but turn to gaze at Ralph standing in the distance. When he recalled that Ralph would lose terrifically, for some reason, he felt deeply uncomfortable.
The results of the drawing were obtained soon. Erebus was to fight Camilla, and Batúk would fight Rugersey. Aobashi drew the unmarked lot.
Aobashi seemed glad to obtain the unmarked lot. She said, “I’m quite lucky today, no need to waste much energy!” To Aobashi, other than Ralph, no other Divine Guard Chief had nearly enough strength to harm her. As Aobashi was not aware of Han Shuo’s true strength, she included Han Shuo as one of those too weak to harm her.
In Aobashi’s eyes, although Han Shuo’s strength was extraordinary, there was no telling if he was even a match for Ralph. Having fought Ralph for many years, Aobashi knew exactly where Ralph stood. That was the reason why Aobashi had repeatedly reminded Han Shuo to be careful of Ralph.
Aobashi had never been in an actual duel with Han Shuo but was aware that Han Shuo had managed to injure Portlem back in the Celestial Pearl Pharmacy. To Aobashi, someone like Portlem who had only recently stepped into highgodhood was simply no threat to her.
Based on the limited information, Aobashi deduced that Han Shuo was, at most, someone who had recently become a mid-stage highgod. She did not think that an expert in this realm could defeat her.
“Well then, instead of selecting another location, let’s just use the same arena for the match,” said Wallace. He then turned to look at Han Shuo and Ralph and said, “If you two are ready, Andre will lead you to the arena.” Wallace then whistled loudly.
Andre came marching in at the sound. He instructed the House of Sainte divine guards stationed around the area to signal at Wallace from a distance, indicating that everything was ready.
Han Shuo kept silent as he walked straight towards Andre. Ralph followed behind Han Shuo while staring resentfully at his back.
The divine guards needed several days to travel from this region to the battle arena. Han Shuo and Ralph, both highgods, didn’t need that long. Travelling at their maximum airspeed, these highgods guided by Andre took a matter of hours to reach the arena.
The few hours spent in the journey was absolutely nothing to these highgods who had spent centuries in cultivation. Andre completely ignored Ralph all throughout the journey but cheerfully chatted with Han Shuo. To Andre, the results had been preordained with no room for a different outcome. It had been very polite of him not to mock Ralph at all in the journey.
There were energy towers around the battle arena that formed intense protective barriers. Those who battled in the arena need not worry about shockwaves and stray energies from their battles injuring the uninvolved or damaging the environment. Most importantly, Wallace and the VIPs could observe the battle from a safe distance using the sand table. They would gain a clear understanding of the strengths of the Divine Guard Chiefs.
After Andre brought Han Shuo and Ralph before the entrance to the arena, he indicated to the two that they may proceed. Han Shuo took the lead in entering the arena. Andre suddenly cried out to remind Han Shuo, “Light injuries are fine, but by all means, no serious injuries or death! My Elder Brother does not wish to have a Chief no longer capable of serving the City of Shadows!”
Ralph who was about to enter the arena suddenly put on a cold face and shouted, “Lord Andre, what exactly do you mean by that?”
Andre looked at Ralph, smiled, shook his head, and said nothing. But before he left, he again reminded Han Shuo, “Have mercy!”
He then shouted to the divine guards protecting the perimeter, “Arena cleaners, evacuate the area and let no one step inside!”
After the divine guards dispersed, Andre too retreated to a distance. He was watching the arena smilingly.
Ralph’s mind was filled with fury. He warned Han Shuo standing before him sternly, “Lord Bryan, I will show you no mercy!”
Han Shuo put on a puzzled look. He then dug an ear with his pinkie, as though he thought there was a blockage in his ear canal. Only then did he reply, “Is there something wrong with your ears? Do you have impeded hearing? Lord Andre asked me to have mercy - not you. For your own sake, you better not be merciful - you are weak enough already. I’m really afraid that I might accidentally kill you in a snap!”
“Let us begin!” When Ralph discovered that he was no match against Han Shuo in a battle of insults, he stopped the nonsense and charged into the arena.
As soon as the duo was near the arena, Wallace, the three major patriarchs, and the other Divine Guard Chiefs placed all their attention on the sand table they gathered around. Wallace did something and caused the sand table projection to zoom in on the two black dots. Han Shuo and Ralph’s figures were on vivid display.
“If Ralph is also defeated in this battle, that would be fantastic!” remarked Camilla softly.
“I really wonder if Bryan will win. Haha, he is always full of surprises!” remarked Jiya who was beside Camilla. She was wearing a faint smile and seemed hopeful to learn the outcome.
The patriarch of the House of Kinson, Caspar, looked at his daughter Jiya in astonishment. He was already quite surprised that two days earlier she had gone to visit the Fifth Corps. Being an expert in reading body language, Caspar noticed something unusual about his girl. Now, after hearing Jiya’s comment, a suspicion suddenly crossed his mind.
“Jiya, are you interested in that youngster?” asked Caspar softly. Being her father, Caspar was very straightforward with Jiya.
Jiya was obviously startled. She raised her head and took a quick glance at Caspar and replied, completely flustered, “What? I don’t know what you’re talking about, father!”
She sure is! Caspar knew his daughter very well - always calm and with on the same poker face in any situation. Her flustered reaction to the question meant that the answer could not be more obvious!
“It is said that the youngster is a promiscuous one. Be mindful of that!” said Caspar before he softly continued, “But, if he is who you want, and if you have decided, your father will not stop you.”
Jiya was stunned and looked at Caspar in disbelief. Her father had never been an open-minded person. For so many years, he had managed to chase away countless promising young men who adored her. She was surprised that Caspar was basically asking her to go for it, even when he was aware that Han Shuo already had many partners.
While Jiya was puzzled and pondered about her father’s decision, Camilla suddenly cried out in surprise, “Why can’t we see anything anymore?!”
Jiya was surprised and worried about Han Shuo for no apparent reason. She turned her mind to the sand table and stopped thinking about anything else.
The sand table seemed to be operating normally. However, a massive cloud of white mist had floated into the arena out of nowhere and it just so happened to obscure the region where Han Shuo and Ralph were. The spectating party who was excited about the battle could not be more anxious and frustrated.
Through the sand table, they could see dust flying and stones shooting from the mist. It was clear that an earth-shaking battle was happening in there but they had absolutely no clue who was winning or losing.
“City Lord, what's with all the fog?” asked Caspar hastily.
Wallace too was baffled by it. He took out a magical mirror and inquired with Andre, “What’s going on? Hasn’t the arena been properly cleaned? Why has a mist covered the area in the most critical time? Where did it come from?”
Andre in the magical mirror forced a smile and answered, “We have cleaned the arena properly. Such a thing can’t happen. I’m sure that this phenomenon is man-made!”
Man-made! Wallace bunched his brows. In every competition, Ralph would only focus on wildly attacking and wouldn’t spend any time to learn or change the environment. Therefore, if the mist was man-made, the only person who would do so must be Han Shuo. Wallace was absolutely certain of it!
But why? Why doesn’t he want people to see his attacks? pondered Wallace with his brows bunched.
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