GDK 868: Rushing to the Pandemonium
Han Shuo realized that Salas would do everything within his means to find him and while doing so, Salas would locate the Pandemonium. It would just be a matter of time.
Han Shuo had a good understanding of Salas’ strength and the defensive power of the Pandemonium. The demonic formations in the Pandemonium could stall Salas for a while but it definitely could not kill him. Han Shuo was worried that Rose and the Five Elite Zombies who lived in the Valley might lose their lives.
Therefore, Han Shuo rushed to the Pandemonium with all his strength, hoping that he wouldn't be too late to the scene.
But Han Shuo had underestimated the intelligence and treacherousness of his five kiddos. He also did not expect that Ossora would defend the Pandemonium for him.
While Han Shuo was rushing towards the Pandemonium at the speed of light, Salas’ troops were being massacred in the Valley. It was like a scene from Hell.
At the center of the Pandemonium was a monolith carved with the Cauldron’s outline. Mysterious lights flowed through the etching like blood through a living organism. When Salas’ experts perished, their divine souls would float into the monolith in the form of thin smoke.
A soul-gathering formation and a storage formation were deployed on the monolith. It was made so that Cauldron Spirit could collect the divine souls of Pandemonium intruders even while he was away. Then, when Han Shuo later returned to the Valley, he could collect the souls and process them. With that, those perished souls wouldn’t just dissipate and go to waste.
Salas was at that moment wearing a grave expression, still trapped in a demonic formation. The divine energy in his body was being rapidly consumed to defend against the energies bombarding him from every direction.
The Yuan Energies which powered most of the demonic formations in the Pandemonium was directed to the formation that trapped Salas. This caused the lesser demonic formations to fall in their destructiveness and the pressure faced by those trapped in them was likewise reduced. With that, some of Salas’ troops managed to escape death.
Under the Pandemonium, Goron and his subordinates had left using the emergency escape tunnel that Earth Elite Zombie made. Only the Five Elite Zombies, Rose, Romon, and Zovic had yet to leave.
“That’s almost everyone. It’s our turn to evacuate,” remarked Romon.
Han Mu, Han Huo, Han Shui, Han Tu, Han Jin, and Rose were reluctant to leave the Valley which they had fallen in love with. This was especially true for the Five Elite Zombies who helped in constructing the place. They had truly considered the Valley their home. Their hearts ached when they considered the likely scenario that it would soon be destroyed by Salas.
“I think Ossora will stop Salas as he promised. Don’t grieve about it, the base will be fine,” Zovic consoled the party.
“Let’s go,” sighed Han Tu somewhat melancholically, “If worst comes to worst, we’ll just take another two years to rebuild it. It’s no big deal!”
“Let’s move. I hope Ossora will keep the place mostly intact,” said Han Jin before he stepped into the evacuation tunnel.
With nothing else they could do, the remaining Pandemonians escaped into the tunnel. The tunnel was sealed and no one else was present in the Pandemonium but Salas and his troops.
*** Ten minutes later.
Salas heaved a long sigh of relief, for the bizarre energies had suddenly stopped bombarding him. He felt the brief joy of escaping death.
Salas did not know that the Pandemonium had only collected a limited amount of Yuan Energies and the formation could not trap him indefinitely. Still, it had used up plenty of Salas’ divine energy. At that trend, he would be completely depleted of his divine energy within five days.
Salas got on his feet and gazed around. He was surprised to find that most of the demonic formations had stopped operating. He also saw a land filled with the bodies of his troops.
Before the assault, the invading force gathered by Salas was nearly a thousand gods strong. But after the carnage, less than three hundred experts were left alive, most of whom were wounded and exhausted.
Salas had waged countless wars and battles in the Fringe for eons but never had he suffered a defeat as crushing as he did this day. More than half his troops were killed but he had not even seen the silhouette of Han Shuo, his main objective.
He had already lost a great number of his troops to the Empyrean Peak attack several months ago. Coupled with the losses he suffered today, he had almost no army left. To a Sovereign like him, nothing could be more humiliating.
“Search the Valley! Kill anyone you find! Do not leave an ant alive!” commanded Salas with a dark face, determined to exterminate Han Shuo and his people.
Those troops of Salas who were fortunate enough to survive dragged their weary arms and legs and wandered all around the Valley warily, attempting to find their enemies and finish them, hoping that it would mollify Salas.
This bizarre Valley had annihilated more than half of them. But throughout the invasion, they had not even met a single person of the defenders. The experience had shaken them to the core.
Those exhausted survivors took great pains to search every chamber and tunnel there was but they could not find Rose, the Five Elite Zombies, or the other Pandemonians who had evacuated the Valley. After half an hour of pointless searching, the followers of Salas returned to their Sovereign with their heads drooped.
“My Lord, there is not a single person!”
“... it’s empty, nothing valuable is left!”
“My Lord, what should we do?”
Salas became so livid that the blood vessels in his brain nearly burst. He took great effort in gathering his followers from all over the Fringe to invade the Valley. Although he had successfully captured it, his enemy had managed to escape. All those men he sent to death had been for naught. If the outside world were to learn of this, it would be a fatal blow to Salas’ reputation. He could start planning his retirement already.
“Destroy it, destroy everything. Raze it to nothingness,” commanded Salas as he gritted his teeth. By now, even Salas wondered how he should face the world after suffering such humiliation.
At this moment, those troops of Salas had flickering lights in their eyes as they gazed at him. They started to suspect that the Sovereign that they so trusted might not be as terrifying as they had imagined. He judged the situation poorly and had given erroneous commands that directly contributed to the deaths of their comrades.
“I said, destroy everything!” bellowed an enraged Salas as though he had read his followers’ thoughts.
Salas’ followers were shocked and they hastily went back into the Pandemonium to execute his orders.
“Long time no see, Salas!” It was then that Ossora slowly walked out from the darkness with an almost mocking smile on his face.
Salas squinted and coldly asked, “Ossora, why are you here?”
“To persuade you,” Ossora explained. “The owner of this place has spent a considerable amount of resources to build it. He wishes that you will not destroy this amazing Valley.”
Salas’ voice grew deeper and he impolitely replied, ”Has your brain been clogged with dirt? Bryan’s presence in the Fringe will only upset the current order we have established for countless years. How could you side with him? Don’t tell me that you want to cut out some of your possessions of the Fringe and share it with Bryan?”
Ossora shook his head smilingly and replied, “Of course not. But it seems to me that Bryan isn’t interested in us. It’s just you who got unlucky.”
Salas was not in a good mood and couldn’t take Ossora’s sneering. He angrily shouted, “Ossora, what exactly do you want? You want to defend that outsider?!”
“Well, not really. If you had killed Bryan, I couldn’t care less if you destroy this place. But now, I’ve promised someone to look after this Valley. So please do me the honor and kindly leave without destroying the place,” replied Ossora in a polite manner.
“You short-sighted fool!” Salas angrily shouted, “Fine, let’s see if you can stop me!” Salas rolled up his sleeves, ready to fight.
The smile on Ossora’s face did not fade. He chuckled as he said, “Salas, oh Salas. Can’t you see that it is very unwise to fight me now? You have spent plenty of your divine energy in the Pandemonium and what little followers you have left can’t assist you. You should reconsider your choice.”
“Cut the crap. I’m going to lay this valley to waste. No one can stop me!” shouted Salas angrily before he attacked Ossora.
Salas’ troops were incredibly exhausted after barely surviving the demonic formations. Many of them were injured and far from top form. If they were to stand nearby while two overgods fought, they were bound to be severely wounded, if not killed, by the overwhelming stray energies and shockwaves produced. Therefore, those troops of Salas who were prepared to destroy the Pandemonium hastily withdrew to a safe distance.
Ossora saw that a fight was inevitable. Lest the shockwaves destroy the Pandemonium as they fought, Ossora decided to take it elsewhere.
Salas at this moment was nearly deranged out of rage. He charged after Ossora without thinking.
Lightning bolts expanded and filled the sky in an instant before converging towards Ossora who was standing on the ground. In response, Ossora congealed two enormous monsters using clouds of dust and intercepted the lightning bolts.
Two overgods started fighting near the Pandemonium. Deafening explosions shook both the sky and ground constantly. The terrifying lightning and earth energies clashed and destroyed two mountains near the Valley in the process.
The battle between two overgods would usually take a long time. The two Sovereigns were about evenly matched and would take at least one or two days before a winner might emerge.
The other three Sovereigns simultaneously felt a major energy undulation. Following their senses, Tyre, Logue, and Wasir rushed towards the Pandemonium without the slightest hesitation.
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