GDK 804: On the crest of a wave
Days later, Han Shuo and his Fifth Corps divine guards returned to the City of Shadows. In one of the secret chambers in the Han Residence, Han Shuo, Stratholme, Ayermike, Bollands, Emily, and all the core members of the House of Han gathered to discuss the competition that was held in Soaring Cloud Mountain Range.
After everyone was seated, Han Shuo immediately began the meeting. He said, “Wallace feels threatened by our family clan. It is clear that he is on the guard against us!” They had been informed of the results and Wallace’s actions.
Strathole nodded and said, “It seems that Wallace just couldn’t tolerate any kind of potential competition. After the House of Lavers’ departure, the City of Shadows has reduced in overall strength. It's only recently that our House of Han has started to make up for the dent. But instead of throwing us all his support, he started suppressing us prematurely. Doing so won’t do the City of Shadows any good!”
“Perhaps the strength Bryan displayed was just too overwhelming and it scared Wallace,” Emily bunched her brows and said, “I’m afraid that our House of Han won’t continue to enjoy such a smooth growth in the City of Shadows!”
Han Shuo who took in everyone’s expressions and opinions put on a faint smile and said, “Well, we have reaped plenty of benefits in the City of Shadows already. Although Wallace intend to suppress us, he won’t do anything too excessive for now. You don’t have to be too worried about it, at least for now.”
After taking a short pause, Han Shuo continued, “From today onwards, we House of Han will no longer focus our expansion efforts on the City of Shadows. Instead, we will focus on expanding the Celestial Pearl’s influence on all other Dominions. As to Fort Lasberg, this territory of ours, as it is located at the edge of the City, we should tighten our grasp over it. We must put in as much thought and effort as we can on Fort Lasberg.”
“That’s right. If we House of Han managed to spread our influence to every Dominion, even if we fell out with the City of Shadows, we could just pack and leave for somewhere else. If this City doesn’t welcome us, another will. There is no place we cannot thrive!” said Phoebe angrily.
These members of the House of Han were very annoyed that the growth of their family clan was being hindered when the growth was at its highest. No one in the Han Family, including Han Shuo, coveted the City of Shadows or planned to take over it. Wallace’s actions had alienated them and forced them to make necessary changes to their plans for the future.
“From the competition between Divine Guard Chiefs, we indeed did not obtain all the rewards expected. Wallace has gifted us nothing but some fame and titles.” Han Shuo said calmly, “However, all those titles that seemed useless to him are the things we currently needed the most! Hehe, in just a short few days, more than several hundred gods have asked to join the House of Han and the Fifth Corps. These people will become the future pillars of strength for our House of Han!”
The House of Han had plenty of money and land. They lacked nothing but people!
Before Han Shuo had revealed his outstanding strength in the competition, only a few people would consider joining the Fifth Corps and his family clan as divine guards. But after Han Shuo defeated Ralph and Aobashi and obtained the title as the most powerful Divine Guard Chief; after the Fifth Corps crushed the Second Corps and became the strongest Divine Guard Corps, the number of enlistment surged by more than ten folds!
Moreover, the enlistees were of much greater quality in terms of aptitude and strength. They were the talents Han Shuo needed!
With that, the divine guards that the House of Han and Fifth Corps lacked were quickly filled. The House of Han was no longer a small family clan protected by just a few people. It was as though the House of Han became tougher overnight.
“Yes, we needed men. The number of divine guards we have now is far too little. If the Fifth Corps can assemble a thousand divine guards, we will put all of them through a round of training in the Eight Desolation and Torment Formation to make their strength and power rise to a whole new level. And if they became just half as loyal and united as the First Company, even if we were to fall out with the House of Sainte in the future, we would have some real bargaining chips!” said Bollands after he nodded.
“Yes, we need to do all we can to recruit new divine guards. But that doesn’t mean we will compromise on quality. Be sure to check the background of every applicant thoroughly. I do not want any of them to be double-agent inserted by other family clans who might turn around and bite us during the critical moment. You must keep this in mind. Interrogate every one of the applicants thoroughly!” Han Shuo repeatedly emphasized the point. Han Shuo did not want a single potential spy even if that means the recruitment process will be slow.
“Rest assured, Senior. I will make certain that every single recruit is clean!” assured Bollands solemnly.
As the days passed, all other divine guards and members of large family clans also returned to the City from Soaring Cloud Mountain Range. The outcome of the competition at Soaring Cloud Mountain Range was spread to the entire City by word of mouth. There were even certain forces intentionally spreading the news.
Genius pharmacist defeated Aobashi and Ralph. The divine guards he trained became the most coordinated team and the most powerful in team-combat strength, defeating even the Second Corps…
All kinds of positive information about Han Shuo was spread far and wide through various channels. Gods living in every fort and town under the City of Shadows would discuss the matter enthusiastically.
“Carter, let’s not go to the House of Kisa. We should go to the House of Han instead!”
“The House of Han is currently on the crest of a wave. They even possessed medicine that could raise one’s strength. This is indeed the smartest choice!”
“We should go to the Fifth Corps. It is said that the Fifth Corps is currently open for recruiting divine guards. This is a once in a blue moon opportunity! Aren’t you going?”
“Me? Forget about it. I’m only a mid-stage midgod. They will probably reject me at their doorstep!”
Conversations of similar content were repeated by different people in every corner of the City of Shadows. Experts with great ambitions from every region gathered in the City of Shadows. Their destination: the Fifth Corps and the House of Han. They were willing to do anything to be enlisted. A series of extensive tests were nothing to them.
The City of Shadows turned rather crowded all of a sudden as many traveled thousands of miles to the City. Some of them had even traveled from other Dominions. They flocked to the City intending to apply to the House of Han or the Fifth Corps as a divine guard.
The House of Han and the Fifth Corps suddenly turned very busy with extremely long queues lining up from their entrances. Bollands, Stratholme, and Ayermike Cotton who were in charge of examining the applicants were busy day in and day out. They carefully reviewed every applicant and held them to the most stringent requirements.
The three major patriarchs quietly observed the activity in the City. They did nothing as they watched Han Shuo slowly raise an army.
After the competition was over, Aobashi and Erebus were reassigned to distant borders of the City. They did not go to Han Shuo and celebrate his victory.
Since the competition, for some reason, Andre and Carmelita had stopped visiting Han Shuo. Members of other family clans who had good friendships with the House of Han also stopped visiting Han Shuo, as though they were afraid of something.
As the current situation in the City of Shadows wasn’t exactly stable, Han Shuo did not depart for the Fringe with Rose but sat in his Han Residence. During this sensitive period, if any kind of chaos were to happen in the City, the House of Han might not make it through without a highgod. Han Shuo never take chances when it comes to ensuring the safety of his family clan. He will not leave the House of Han without the absolute certainty of their security.
Time passed rapidly. One year went by. During that time, the House of Han and the Fifth Corps managed to recruit more than five hundred divine guards. The reason they were so slow in recruitment was that the requirement set by Han Shuo was just too stringent. He will only accept extraordinarily talented experts with a clean background. All those who had no tenacity or born with certain issues were rejected, no matter how powerful their strengths were.
Once it was made certain that the new recruits will be unswervingly faithful and loyal to Han Shuo, they would be sent into the Eight Desolation and Torment Formation to be tempered. Their strengths and vigor would substantially increase with every round of training in the Formation. Those who were still on the fence about devoting their lives to serve the House of Han would compromise after they saw those who had pledged their devotion becoming stronger and receiving much better treatment. The temptation was just too great for them.
And during this period, Jiya of the House of Kinson would often step into the Han Residence to look for Han Shuo with the excuse of seeking his cultivation advice, purchasing medicine, and et cetera. She would ignore the murderous gazes from Phoebe, Emily, and the other ladies, and shamelessly pull Han Shuo away to talk about anything and everything.
As Jiya became more frequent in her visit, even those newly recruited divine guards managed to make out that Jiya was interested in Han Shuo.
There was a large population of youngsters in the City who fawned over Jiya. When they noticed that Jiya was frequently visiting the Han Residence alone and actively looked for Han Shuo, they could not be more angry and frustrated. However, the House of Han and Han Shuo nowadays were untouchable to most. Although those hot-blooded youngsters held resentment at the House of Han, they dared not cause any troubles. All they could do was to pester their family clan to boycott Celestial Pearl Pharmacy. Needless to say, their actions had absolutely no effect on the House of Han or Celestial Pearl.
“I hate that little sly fox!” said Phoebe for the thousandth time. Emily, Fanny, Jasper, Lisa, Sylph, Helen, and Hemanna all shared the same opinion about Jiya. Every time Jiya came over to the Residence, they would be anything but nice to her. There had even been a few conflicts between them.
“Bryan, we really don’t like that woman. Tell us honestly, do you fancy her or do you not?” asked Emily softly. Her exhausted body was laying bare on Han Shuo as she drew circles on his chest with her tender hand.
Phoebe, laying tiredly on another side, raised her head with what little energy she had left to look at Han Shuo and softly pinched his lower leg when she heard Emily’s question. She asked, “That woman is too pretentious. I don’t like her either. Bryan, will you please skip her?”
Han Shuo, whose every cell was relaxed, nodded contentedly. He answered, “Okay. I am already more than happy to have you all.”
Phoebe and Emily could not be happier to get that promise from Han Shuo. They lied on Han Shuo comfortably and fell deep asleep.
*** Three days later, Han Shuo received a hand-written letter from the patriarch Caspar of the Kinson Family, proposing that his daughter, Jiya, be betrothed to Han Shuo. He even asked Han Shuo to hold a most pompous and grand ceremony in the City of Shadows to officially wed Jiya.
When Emily and the others received the news, they hastily gathered around Han Shuo and looked at him nervously. None of them had obtained any sort of official recognition even though they had been with Han Shuo for such a long time. If Han Shuo were to marry Jiya before them and even held a splendid ceremony, none of them were going to accept it.
“Don’t worry, I won’t marry her!” said Han Shuo in a faint smile. He proceeded to write a letter, politely declining Caspar’s proposal right in front of the ladies. He then had Bollands deliver the letter to the Kinson Family.
When Han Shuo wrote the letter, he had absolutely no idea that it will eventually lead to a major dispute in the City of Shadows.
If you enjoyed the translation, please consider supporting me here!~