GDK 873: Not qualified
Han Shuo stayed in the Pandemonium for a whole straight year, which passed in the blink of an eye. Besides repairing and revamping the demonic formations with the Five Elite Zombies, Han Shuo had also been meditating and exploring his newfound powers.
Han Shuo noticed that after entering the Skybreak Realm, every strand of demonic yuan in his body had grown much stronger than before. Han Shuo found that having seemingly unstoppable power coursing through his veins felt very pleasurable and awesome.
Han Shuo had learned the basics of Omen Invincible Body. When Han Shuo’s body was attacked, the demonic technique would automatically activate and defend his body from harm even if he was unconscious. And when there was no danger, it would deactivate and not drain Han Shuo’s demonic yuan. After ascending to the new demonic realm, Han Shuo had finally mastered the Omen Invincible Body.
Han Shuo was very glad to know that the Omen Invincible Body could not only automatically defend him but also automatically make a counterattack.
"If you are not reading this on vera tales, then you are reading on a pirate site," reminded Hedonist the translator.
Curious of the power of this demonic technique he had just mastered, Han Shuo decided to conduct an experiment using Romon who had a relatively resilient body. He sat cross-legged, set his consciousness still, and entered a deep meditation.
Following the instructions of his master, Romon suddenly charged at Han Shuo and threw a punch at him. When his fist of tremendous power made contact with Han Shuo who was completely unaware of his surroundings, a great force abruptly blasted from Han Shuo’s body. Romon was flung backward. He saw stars and heard ringing for a long while.
As Han Shuo wasn’t sure just how powerful the automatic counterattack would be, he did not let Romon assault him with all his might. From the fact that Romon had become too terrified to help Han Shuo conduct another experiment, Han Shuo reckoned that the counterattack was quite formidable.
After having broken through the Omen Realm and reaching the Skybreak Realm, both his realm state and strength had substantially increased. He had even mastered the Omen Invincible Body.
With that, even if Han Shuo wasn’t constantly alert, he would still have no fear of sneak attacks. Those who tried to harm him would be hoisting their own petard.
During that one year, Han Shuo and the Five Elite Zombies had devoted their time to revamping the Pandemonium, adding many more deadly demonic formations. Perhaps due to Han Shuo’s influence, or his newfound realizations while deploying the demonic formations, the Five Elite Zombies made breakthroughs and were now just one leap away from the realm of highgod.
The Five Elite Zombies could fuse their energies and form powerful attacks through the Penta-elemental Undead Formation. The power of the Penta-elemental Undead Formation increased exponentially relative to the strength of the Five Elite Zombies. A cultivation breakthrough made by one of the Five Elite Zombies could mean a multiple fold increase in the Formation’s power.
After that year, the Five Elite Zombies stayed in the Pandemonium and focused on stabilizing their realm state. They had recently reached late-stage midgodhood and were excited to further advance in power and to gain even greater strength.
The concentration of elemental energies in the Pandemonium was greater than anywhere else on Elysium which had greatly benefited Rose and the others. These gods who cultivated in the Pandemonium gained an even more profound understanding of the energy they cultivated and had made cultivation breakthroughs.
The higher concentration of elemental energies not only allowed them to gather elemental energy faster, but it also inspired them with new insights into those energies. The experts could sense the great benefits after staying there for a short while. Even Rose was now on the brink of another breakthrough. She had been staying in the gymnasium for months.
Apart from the Five Elite Zombies, Rose had been serving Han Shuo the longest and had experienced countless large and small battles. With each time that she stared death in the face, she would gain a better understanding of herself. After ages, Rose had finally heard the beckoning of the next realm and she was now preparing herself to step into late-stage highgodhood.
Hearsay about Han Shuo had been circulating the Fringe like wildfire. Any Fringedweller who spoke of Han Shuo would do so in a revering tone. They had considered Han Shuo as an existence of the same class as the Five Sovereigns. People started to worship Han Shuo and experts of decent strengths had come forward to the Pandemonium, throwing themselves to servitude under Han Shuo.
Han Shuo delegated matters of this aspect to Zovic and Goron. Those experts born with extraordinary talents and who passed a background check were allowed to join. After all, it was part of Han Shuo’s grand scheme to rule the Fringe. Having sufficient manpower was a necessary component in executing the grand scheme.
Other than Han Shuo, there was another expert whose reputation had been soaring in the Fringe - he was none other than Han Hao.
Ever since Salas fled from the Pandemonium, there had been no news about him, as though he had suddenly gone missing. Not a single person in the Fringe had seen him during the year. Even his most loyal followers knew nothing of his whereabouts or his current conditions.
There had been many rumors about Salas’ disappearance. Some said that he was hiding in an unknown region to quietly recover, others claimed that he was afraid of Han Shuo and had left the Fringe for good. However, not one of the rumors was verifiable.
After Salas went missing, his followers could no longer ride roughshod over others. Without the threat of Salas’ retaliation, their enemies no longer held back, launching a campaign to massacre Salas’ followers, forcing them to go into hiding.
And Han Hao was one of the predators they feared most!
But Han Hao did not hunt them out of spite. He was merely trying to take the enormous wealth that Salas could not carry with him when he ran. With the group of godhunters he led, Han Hao wreaked havoc all over the Fringe. Many of Salas’ followers were killed and most of his riches fell into Han Hao’s hands.
The remaining four Sovereigns, naturally, were likewise very interested in taking over Salas’ treasures and had specifically commanded their troops to do so. However, the followers of the Four Sovereigns somehow seemed to be far less capable than Han Shuo. Their combined harvests were less than those obtained by Han Hao.
Although those followers of the Four Sovereigns were all vicious, ruthless in character, none of them picked a fight with Han Hao, as if they had been specifically instructed so. Instead of eliminating their competition, they allowed Han Hao to compete with them for Salas’ riches and even avoided conflicts with him.
The Four Sovereigns were no fools. Though they did not know the true relationship between Han Shuo and Han Hao, after conducting some investigations, they understood that the two had to be closely related as the energy they cultivated was rather similar.
Therefore, all Four of the Sovereigns gave the same instruction to their followers, that they must not create any friction with Han Hao when dealing with Salas’ matter. The Four weren’t worried about offending Han Hao, they were worried about offending Han Shuo who had forced Salas into hiding.
Han Hao seemed to know what the Four Sovereigns were doing and he too avoided conflict with their followers. And if he ran into Ossora’s men, he would be extremely friendly, and sometimes, he would even share a portion of his loots.
Although Han Hao had never been to the Pandemonium, he had considered the Pandemonium as his home. As Ossora had assisted in keeping the Pandemonium safe, Han Hao considered Ossora as having done him a favor. That was why he was so generous in sharing with Ossora’s followers.
***One year after Salas went missing, Han Shuo returned to the Omphalos. He approached one of the entry checkpoints with a carefree smile.
The checkpoint was manned by Logue’s followers. When it was Han Shuo’s turn to enter, they coldly demanded, “One hundred black crystal coins.” It was obvious that they did not know Han Shuo.
Han Shuo glanced at the Omphalos guard who demanded crystal coins from him with a funny look. Without changing the cordial smile on his face, Han Shuo said arrogantly, “My apologies, but from now on, I’m not going to pay a single crystal coin.”
The Omphalos guard who possessed mid-stage highgod strength in the energy of water suddenly put on a dark face. With a beckoning of his hand, a group of Omphalos guards quickly surrounded Han Shuo. “Entering the Omphalos without paying? Tired of living, are you?”
“The bunch of you don’t have the qualifications to demand crystal coins from me, though Logue would. I tell you what, if Logue is here to collect the entrance fee from me, I will pay up,” replied Han Shuo smilingly.
“Heresy! How dare you address His Lordship so disrespectfully!” the Omphalos guard frowned and shouted to his comrades, “I don’t care who he is, I want him dead! He hasn’t entered the Omphalos. Killing him here won’t violate any rules!”
These followers of Logue obviously did not have the slightest idea who Han Shuo was, not treating him like the significant character he was. To them, any being who entered the Omphalos was to pay the entrance fee, except for the Five Sovereigns. Everyone was quite familiar with the faces of the Five Sovereigns but few knew of Han Shuo.
“I say it’s you who are tired of living. The Fringe today is no longer the same as it was. Other than the Five Sovereigns, haven’t you forgotten that there is one more person that you must not offend? Haha, I believe that even if Sovereign Logue was here, he would welcome Bryan into the Omphalos!” It was at this moment that a gentle peal of laughter suddenly sounded from the Omphalos. Haruli slowly walked into appearance.
Although these followers of Logue did not recognize Han Shuo, they knew Haruli who had established himself in the Fringe long ago. The Omphalos guard stared blankly for a moment before a sudden recollection. He froze and began to stare at Han Shuo with some respect. With uncertainty in his voice, he asked, “Are you Mister Bryan?”
Han Shuo smiled and replied, “So, now that you know who I am, do you still want crystal coins from me?”
“No!” replied the Omphalos guard with a frightened face. He hastily explained, “Our Sovereign has instructed us that we are to allow Mister Bryan to do as he wishes!”
Han Shuo chuckled. He nodded and replied, “Very well then!” Upon finishing those words, Han Shuo walked into the Omphalos unruffled without giving those people another look.
Those followers of Logue immediately stepped aside and showed Han Shuo the way in. They were very respectful in their gestures.
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