GDK 852: You must also obey him
One of the teenagers stared blankly for a moment. They did not understand why Han Hao would ask such a thing. “Well, we carried quite a lot of black crystal coins when we entered the Fringe. We wouldn’t have been able to live in the Omphalos till now if not,” one of them half-answered after hesitating for a moment.
These teenagers originated from various Dominions. They were either degenerates, or they must have done something reprehensible. Otherwise, they wouldn’t have been excommunicated by their families and banished to the Fringe. The fact that they could afford to live in the Omphalos for years, spending at least one hundred black crystal coins per day, meant that they had plenty on hand.
Han Hao carefully looked at the youngsters, bunched his brows, and started thinking. He remained silent for a while before he announced, “I will take you as my followers, but each of you will have to pay five hundred thousand black crystal coins as fees. I will not guarantee your safety - in fact, you will be in constant danger. However, I will guarantee that no one will be treated as cannon footers.”
“What! Five hundred thousand?!” the timid-looking girl cried out in surprise.
The teenagers looked at each other and found the decision difficult. Five hundred black crystal coins was no small fortune for the teenagers. It was more than enough for them to live safely in the Omphalos for at least a decade. To pay that amount of black crystal coins in exchange for exposing themselves to constant danger didn’t seem rational to them.
“You all came from family clans from all twelve Dominions. I promise that if you follow me, when you gain sufficient strength, I will assist you in retaking what is rightfully yours from your family clans. And, of course, I will help you take care of the people who have forced you to flee your home,” said Han Hao calmly after he noticed their hesitation.
Han Hao then gestured at them to leave as he said, “Go back and think about it carefully. If you do not have sufficient strength, even if I were to hand you your family clan, would you be able to secure it?”
The teenagers seemed somewhat tempted by Han Hao’s words. They again looked at each other and thought about Han Hao’s proposal. Then, one of them said, “Your words do make sense. We shall go back to discuss it. It’s not easy for all of us to take out five hundred black crystal coins, after all.”
Han Hao again closed his eyes and returned to being still and silent like a statue.
The teenagers bowed at Han Hao before they left with their brows bunched.
Right after they left, Han Tu hastily asked, “Brother, why would you want them?”
“They hail from family clans of influence from various Dominions. If we can groom these fellas under our doctrine, with their blood relations and our assistance, we could install them as the patriarchs of their family clans. We would, in turn, have control over those family clans.
“I asked for five hundred thousand black crystal coins only to cripple their way out. It is only when they are penniless that they won’t think of escaping to the Omphalos whenever they run into danger. Only then could they bring out their fullest potential.
“These people have been taking all sorts of divine essences since they were young, therefore they should have decent aptitude and potential. All that they lack is real combat experience and baptism through blood. I will give them those,” explained Han Hao after he opened his eyes to look at Han Tu. Then, he lectured, “Little Earth, besides improving your strength, you should also better your understanding of the ways of the world. Try to understand what and how people think. It is only with a greater worldly wisdom that you can be more helpful to Father.”
Han Tu put on a contemplative look after hearing Han Hao’s words. He thought that Han Hao was without any reservations fully deserving of being their big brother. He didn't just possess greater strength, but also greater wisdom and intelligence.
“Got it, brother!” Han Tu could not be more in awe of his eldest brother. He thought, <i>Eldest brother is so farsighted that he could think a hundred steps ahead of others. No wonder he has risen so high so fast in the Death Dominion.</i>
Han Shuo, Romon, Zovic, Rose, and the Elite Zombies were nearing the Omphalos. As soon as they arrived at the entry checkpoint, that Omphalos guard who had previously given Han Shuo kind warnings laughed out loud and greeted, “Hello, friend! Welcome back!”
It was also this person who divulged Kage’s whereabouts to Han Shuo. Although he had not shown any evil intent so far, as he was a servant to one of the Sovereigns, Han Shuo remained cautious towards him. Han Shuo smilingly said, “Hey! It’s you again. What a coincidence. Are you always manning this checkpoint?”
“No, but it will be so for the foreseeable future,” replied the person before he put on a serious face and said, “I have not properly introduced myself last time. They call me Luolong, a servant of Sovereign Ossora. May I know your name, sir?”
“I’m Bryan. I’m new to the Fringe and would appreciate any kind advice you may have,” replied Han Shuo calmly. He handed some crystal coins to Luolong, received several small badges, and distributed them to Romon and the others.
“Hehe, I heard that Kage is dead! Salas’ people are looking for the killer,” said Luolong in a soft voice after he suddenly put on a smirk. He looked intensely at Han Shuo to observe the emotions on his face.
Han Shuo had experienced all kinds of situations and all kinds of people. It was clear to Han Shuo what Luolong was attempting. He acted as though he was surprised and replied, “What? Darnn it! I heard that he managed to plunder some very rare ores and I have been looking to buy some off him. But who would have thought that he’d be murdered so soon! How unfortunate!” After a short pause, Han Shuo curiously asked, “Do you know who killed him and where the ores are?”
Luolong had been observing Han Shuo’s expressions attentively but noticed nothing unusual. <i>Huh? He has nothing to do with Kage’s death? That’s strange,</i> thought Luolong before he shook his head and replied, “I only know that his head had been cut off. There were bodies of Sovereign Tyre and Logue’s followers around him. Nobody knew who did it. However, I do know about those ores. Kage had submitted them to Sovereign Salas as a tribute.”
Han Shuo pretended to stare blankly for a moment before he grimaced, shook his head, and said, “Since it’s with Sovereign Salas, I guess it's not possible to get those ores. He definitely won’t be in any shortage of black crystal coins. Sigh, I guess I will just give up on that.”
Han Shuo was secretly rejoicing when he heard that Kage had been murdered and that no damning evidence had been left behind. It left no shroud of doubt in his mind about Han Hao's capabilities. Meanwhile, Metal Elite Zombie who was standing not far behind Han Shuo was grinning ear to ear. He knew that Han Hao must have had something to do with Kage’s death and he grew to admire his eldest brother even more.
“It’s good that you’d think so. That Salas is a lunatic. Few in the Fringe would even try to do business with him,” remarked Luolong very softly. Then, Luolong suddenly leaned closer to Han Shuo and invited in a low voice, “Mister Bryan, the Master to whom I answer, Sovereign Ossora would like to meet you. Would you be interested?”
Han Shuo was stunned. He raised an eyebrow and said, “Sovereign Ossora? Like to meet me?” Han Shuo paused briefly before he put on a faint smile and replied, “You should know that I’m not interested in working for anyone, not even the Five Sovereigns.”
“You have misunderstood me!” Luolong hastily clarified, “Sovereign Ossora definitely has no such intention. I will guarantee you that! Actually, His Sovereignty is seeking opportunities for cooperation with Mister Bryan in the Fringe. Sir, Bryan, even if you do not wish to kowtow to any powerhouse; even with your extraordinary strength, it is still necessary to have friends in this tangled and complicated place called the Fringe.”
Those words of Luolong had managed to invoke Han Shuo’s interest. Although it was true that Han Shuo would not yield and bow to any of the powerhouses, he was more than willing to work with a Sovereign to defeat other Sovereigns.
After thinking about it, Han Shuo smiled. “Very well then, you may go set up the meeting. I will stay in the Omphalos for a few days. Just notify me after it has been arranged.”
“Alright, I will do just that. I shall not bother Mister Bryan any longer,” Luolong seemed very happy after hearing Han Shuo agreed to meet his master. He shouted at his guards, “I want you all to remember their faces. They are guests of Lord Ossora. Make sure that they have a pleasant stay. Kick anyone who tries to give them trouble out of the Omphalos!”
Han Shuo nodded smilingly before he stepped into the Omphalos with Rose and the others.
With one thought of his consciousness, Han Shuo immediately located Han Hao and Han Tu’s positions. He immediately led his party towards their location.
Han Shuo grew even more reassured of Han Hao’s safety after hearing about Kage’s death. It wasn’t just because of Han Hao’s strength, but also for his ability to execute a mission to such perfection that even Luolong had not suspected him. This showed that his intelligence had far exceeded an average being on Elysium.
As Han Shuo was relishing in the amazement, he arrived at a secluded region of the Omphalos.
As he got closer, he saw the cold looking Han Hao sitting cross-legged upon a boulder. Several teenagers wearing luxurious, expensive clothing were kowtowing before him, solemnly vowing their devotion to Han Hao. They also took out large amounts of black crystal coins and respectfully presented them to Han Hao.
When the crystal coins were presented, Han Tu put on a big smile and stepped forward to receive the crystal coins on behalf of Han Hao. He even patted on their shoulders in a friendly manner and said, “Good, good… From now on, we are all on the same boat… Hehehe… “
Han Hao raised his head and glanced at Han Shuo and his party who were approaching in the distance. He solemnly instructed the teenagers, “Remember this - in addition to me, you must also obey him!” and he pointed at Han Shuo.
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