GDK 853: Han Hao, my son!
Han Shuo was rather surprised. He did not know how or why Han Hao had taken in these good-for-nothing teenagers. Han Shuo stared blankly for a bit before he nodded and asked, “Has it been settled?”
“It’s settled,” replied Han Hao. After taking a short pause, Han Hao instructed those teenagers who had just pledged their undying devotion to him, “Go and get prepared. Remember the signals I taught you. I will bring you guys along when I leave the Omphalos. That’s all. Dismissed!”
The teenagers looked at Han Shuo to remember his face. Some seemed puzzled but no one asked a question. They left submissively as Han Hao had instructed.
After they left, Han Hao started explaining to Han Shuo his plans with the teenagers and gave a simplified recount of Kage’s assassination.
After hearing everything, Han Shuo smiled as he said, “Very good. Well done. I knew you would handle the task well.” Han Shuo was surprised to find that Han Hao had thought of controlling those family clans by nurturing the teenagers. He did not expect Han Hao to develop such sophisticated thinking.
“Let me introduce you. This is Romon, and this is Zovic. Our new members,” Han Shuo said to Han Hao. He then turned to the two, pointed at the grave teenager, and proudly said, ”This is Han Hao, my son!”
Romon had rarely ever left his swamp and did not have much contact with the outside world. Zovic, however, had heard of Han Hao’s name. He stared for a moment before asking with a shaky voice, “The godhunter leader from the Death Dominion?”
Much to Han Shuo’s bewilderment, his son was famous. He looked at Zovic and asked, “How did you know that?”
Zovic learned from Han Shuo’s response that his suspicion was indeed true. Astonished, Zovic gasped, “So it’s him! A large number of ferocious criminals from all Twelve Dominions enter the Fringe every day, so we are more or less aware of things happening all around Elysium. Besides, the Death Dominion isn’t particularly far from the Fringe. We get hold of information around there relatively easily. Han Hao is highly reputable in the Death Dominion. There is hardly a soul, dead or alive, in the Death Dominion that doesn’t know his name!”
Han Hao had on the same indifferent face as though his emotions were not at all affected by Zovic’s words. He seemed to have little interest in Zovic. He took out a glass container and tossed it at Han Jin as he said, “Little Gold, this is for you.”
“Huh?! Kage’s head?!” Zovic promptly wrapped his mouth with his hands realizing that he shouldn’t have shouted.
Just like Kage, Zovic also possessed mid-stage highgod strength. But unlike the former, Zovic did not command a large group of ferocious gods. It was recently that news about Kage’s death started spreading. Everyone had been guessing who the murderer was. Zovic did not expect to see Kage’s severed head being tossed out by Han Hao.
“Thank you, big brother!” Han Jin caught the glass container. Then, he suddenly exclaimed as though he found something pleasantly surprising, “Brother, is Kage’s soul still inside?”
Han Hao nodded and explained, “He is still conscious. I have trapped his soul in a corner of his skull. He has no divine energy left so you can torture him as much as you like. Right, after you are done toying with him, just hand his soul to Father.”
“Haha, wonderful!” said Han Jin delightedly. He started laughing mischievously at the glass container and injected golden light into it.
The party was in a rather desolate part of the Omphalos and Han Hao had deployed a boundary before he took out Kage’s head. The boundary blocked the senses of all outsiders and could prevent all those outside the boundary from snooping into what was happening within.
Zovic stared at Han Hao with astonishment for it seemed to him that Han Hao should not possess the strength to kill Kage. But there was Kage’s severed head right before him!
“Romon, you will help Han Jin and the others stroll around the Omphalos to purchase some materials. Zovic, you know this land best. Go and scout around, check for the latest news about the Fringe. Look out for unusual activities,” commanded Han Shuo.
“Understood.” Zovic, Romon, and the others went straight to work.
Many of the demonic formations in the Pandemonium lacked their main ingredients. Although Han Jin and Han Mu could obtain some of the ores and wooden materials, the resources exploitable in that area were limited. Therefore, Han Shuo had to come to the Omphalos to purchase the materials he needed.
As the only trading center found at the heart of the Fringe, all kinds of peculiar items were for sale. Many of the openly traded items would never be found in any of the Twelve Dominions. For example, some extremely potent poisons, vicious divine weapons made from the skulls of gods, magical devices powered by the soul energies of imprisoned divine souls and the like.
Everything that was illegal in the Twelve Dominions could be openly practiced here. Godhunting, organ trafficking, experimenting with poisons on living gods - no one would give a damn about it.
All kinds of perverted, wicked, and deranged alchemists and poison makers were found in abundance in the Fringe. These professions usually thrived in the Omphalos. They regularly exchanged the results of their evil research for large sums of black crystal coins, allowing them to continue living safely in the Omphalos. They would then have more funds to conduct even more research and to better themselves in their fields.
To Han Shuo, this had to be the most wonderful marketplace in the universe. Many of the special materials needed for his demonic formations and sinister concoctions that only the most wicked alchemist could produce could be purchased only in the Omphalos and nowhere else on Elysium.
As there were just too many materials needed for his Pandemonium, Han Shuo had his children go on their own ways to purchase the materials. Han Shuo wasn't worried about their safety. He knew that the Omphalos might just be the safest place in the world.
After Rose, Romon, Zovic, and the Five Elite Zombies went on to carry out their businesses, Han Shuo and Han Hao, the father and son, were left to themselves.
"Father, I don't think that I should spend too much time with you. I'm a godhunter from the Death Dominion. Although the Fringedwellers don’t care, the rest of the world does. Getting associated with me won’t be good for Father,” said Han Hao as he looked at Han Shuo.
Han Shuo knew that this could be an issue. He thought for a moment before he asked, “You can alter your looks, right?”
Han Hao nodded and replied, “Of course. If I want to, I can even turn into another person.”
“Then just be more cautious in the future and change your appearance frequently. That way we won’t be associated. I trust that you know what to do.”
“Got it. I will try to avoid getting Father into unnecessary trouble.” Han Hao kept silent for a moment before he continued, “However, the best solution is still to avoid staying with Father as much as possible. I have been counting the days and my troops should arrive at the Fringe soon. They will need their leader. I should stay away from Father for at least a little while. After all, my troops can’t alter their looks.”
Han Shuo knew that it was by letting Han Hao take on the world on his own that he could gain experience and strength. Besides, Han Shuo doubted that an average powerhouse in the Fringe could harm Han Hao. Han Shuo therefore nodded and agreed to it and reminded Han Hao to always watch out for danger.
The father and son then talked about their future communication methods. Han Shuo informed Han Hao of the Pandemonium’s location before they said goodbye. Han Hao then left by himself, perhaps to gather up those new followers of his.
After Han Hao left, Han Shuo placed most of his time and energy into acquiring all the most exotic materials he needed. Han Shuo would spare no crystal coins to make his Pandemonium the most fortified bastion on Elysium.
It must be said that the Omphalos was a wonderful place. Many of the unique materials he needed for his demonic formations could be found here. However, after the incident outside the Omphalos checkpoint, some of those sellers, or rather scammers, dared not to do business with Han Shuo no matter how much he offered for they feared that Han Shuo might lay his deadly, treacherous hands on them.
In the Land of Chaos, information spread faster than contagion. It hardly took a blink of an eye before all the forces that dwelled in the Fringe recognized Han Shuo. Wherever he went, people whispered to each other while pointing and peeking at him. There were some who would look at him with angry eyes but no one dared make any provocation.
After going around the Omphalos for a few days, Romon, Zovic, Rose, and the Five Elite Zombies had spent more than five million black crystal coins and filled up more than ten space rings with the materials that Han Shuo had instructed them to acquire.
Han Shuo was nearly out of black crystal coins but luckily, Han Jin had made plenty of them from his Goldstone Enterprise. They may not have gotten by otherwise.
One day, Han Shuo felt a ping in his consciousness. He suddenly sensed that his demonic bloods were approaching the Omphalos. Han Shuo expanded his consciousness and gradually spread it outwards. Soon, he sensed the presence of Goron and the others.
<i>Enter the Omphalos and look for me!</i> Han Shuo could command his minions from hundreds of miles away via the demonic blood implanted in them.
The gang headed by Goron entered the Omphalos one after another and assembled around Han Shuo. Within a month, all those Fringedwellers that hosted Han Shuo’s demonic blood had returned to Han Shuo. However, unlike the last time, there weren't just thirty-something experts - there were now more than two hundred experts gathered around him!
Some of those thirty-something Fringedwellers who had survived the Penta-elemental Undead Formation were leaders of their own factions. They had brought their followers to the Omphalos as Han Shuo had commanded.
The impressive number of Fringedwellers gathered around Han Shuo had to pay a great amount of black crystal coins each day they spent in the Omphalos. But fortunately, they had deep pockets and the expenditure wasn’t too much for them.
However, the Omphalos guards had been keeping a close eye on them during their stay lest they cause trouble in the demilitarized zone.
One day, Luolong came to Han Shuo and asked, “Bryan, are you free to meet Lord Ossora now?”
“Of course, I’ve been waiting for him!” replied Han Shuo cheerfully. <i>Finally!</i> he thought.
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