GDK 877: Prepare for battle
A few days later, the core members of the House of Han reassembled in the same meeting room. They seemed even more stressed and gloomy than before.
The messengers they sent had returned to the Han Residence, but none of them came back with good tidings. Carmelita was in secluded cultivation and could not be reached. Andre had departed for Darkwater City ten days before and had yet to return.
Aobashi and Erebus were executing a covert mission at a secret location. Nobody knew if they were still within the borders of the City of Shadows or not. None of the messengers even caught sight of the recipients.
Andre, Carmelita, Aobashi and Erebus, the four experts closest to the House of Han, had gone unreachable as though they had planned it ahead of time. Phoebe and the others felt desperate and disappointed that the four would go missing when the House of Han needed their help.
“This cannot be a mere coincidence! It’s impossible that all four of them are somehow out of reach just as Larikson entered Hushveil City!” Phoebe gnashed her teeth and angrily remarked, “They were very close with Bryan when he was still in the City of Shadows. Especially Carmelita and Erebus, who wouldn’t be living today if it wasn’t for Bryan. But it turns out they’re all heartless scum who would turn a blind eye at us when we need their assistance the most!”
“Perhaps it’s not them…” Stratholme wore a dark face as he slowly said, “There is a person who can send all four of them away and prevent our messages from reaching them…”
“Wallace!” exclaimed Ayermike.
Stratholme nodded and said, “He is the most powerful man in the city. He alone can send Aobashi, Erebus, and Andre away from the city at the same time. Carmelita is his daughter. He can force her to go on a period of secluded cultivation.”
“Yes. Given their relationship with Bryan, they would definitely come to our aid if they knew that we were in danger. Wallace must have architected this situation! He wouldn’t kill us himself, he wouldn’t sully his hands but he would no doubt use Larikson and Hofs to do his dirty work!” said Ayermike angrily.
"Despicable! I cannot stand him any longer!" Gilbert yelled out of anger, “We should march into the city and kill that fucking Wall-ass!”
“No,” Stratholme shook his head and said, “Even if we know that it’s Wallace who has been pulling the strings, we must not lay a finger on him. We are already having trouble dealing with Larikson and Hofs. Now is not the time to make another powerful enemy.”
“Then what should we do?” Gilbert sighed and asked in a dispirited manner.
“Let’s just try to hang in here for as long as we can. I have contacted the family clans in the Death and Destruction Dominions. Wallace may want us dead, but our business partners sure don’t. They are sending men to Fort Lasberg to help us evacuate. We just need to stay alive until they are here,” Emily forced a smile and consoled the party.
During the past few years, the Celestial Pearl had been cooperating with some family clans in the Death and Destruction Dominions, opening a large number of pharmacy branches in those Dominions. Every party involved in the partnership made large amounts of crystal coins. It was important for those family clans that the House of Han stayed alive so that the crystal coins would keep rolling in.
Therefore, immediately after those family clans received the messages from Emily about the House of Han’s situation, they replied saying that they would dispatch men to the City of Shadows and help the House of Han escape and even offered them refuge.
“This is great news!” Stratholme said, “Then we should all get packed up. Wallace wants to kill us through the hands of our enemies. We cannot live in the City of Shadows any longer. Right, we should begin transferring a portion of our assets out the Fort and begin the work necessary for our departure.”
“Before our allies are here, we will stay in the Fort and resist our enemies. But don’t worry, our Patriarch put a lot of thought and effort into the defenses of the Fort. They cannot be easily defeated," said Bollands.
"Then let us get ready for a glorious battle!" said Sanguis.
Fort Lasberg became buzzing with construction and defense-related activities. Under the House of Han's management, every corner of Fort Lasberg was now covered with energy towers, cannon towers, deadly boundaries, and seals. The previously poor town was now an impressive fortress.
Using the large amounts of black crystal coins the House of Han accumulated, the weak segments of the Fort had been fortified with energy-crystal-based boundaries and weapons. The Fifth Corps divine guards, the strongest divine guards in the City of Shadows, were also equipped with the highest quality divine weapons there were, further increasing their deadliness. Sanguis and Bollands, the most elite troops in the Fifth Corps, had been soaring in strength during the past few years.
The troops and workers of the House of Han followed the orders they received and started working around the clock. Dazzling energy towers and cannons were moved and relocated. The energy crystal cannons were aimed outwards at the expansive field, silently waiting and ready to greet the enemies with warm hugs of destructive energy at any moment.
*** In a dense jungle a thousand miles from Fort Lasberg stood Ralph, the Chief of the Second Corps. Gathered around him were the Second Corps divine guards. They were stone-cold as they listened to Ralph’s mission briefing.
“You should all know what we are here for. Though we won’t initiate the attack, we need to take care of those who managed to escape. The House of Han has severely threatened the interests of the House of Sainte. Aobashi and Erebus have been brainwashed by Bryan and they will not get rid of the House of Han. We are the only people left who can do what’s necessary.”
Ralph and his Second Corps divine guards were going to hide at a possible escape route to intercept and take down every member of the House of Han who escaped from Fort Lasberg after Larikson and Hofs invaded the Fort.
Ralph who was wearing a chilling face glanced at his equally ferocious divine guards before he continued, “Although the House of Han may have seemed benign for the past few years, they have in fact been secretly working with family clans in the Death and Destruction Dominions and growing stronger and stronger. If we do not exterminate them now, we might be the ones who will be exterminated in the near future!”
“Don’t worry, my Lord. The presence of the Fifth Corps has threatened the position of our Second Corps. We will wipe the Fifth Corps and the House of Han out of the City of Shadows!” said one of the divine guards ruthlessly. He took a short pause and hesitated a bit before he continued, “However, there is not a hint of that Bryan guy’s whereabouts. He is a formidable expert. If someday in the future he discovers what we will do, what will happen to us?”
Many of them were stunned at the mention of Bryan’s name. Although Han Shuo had been away from the City of Shadows for many years, the citizens and the divine guards had not forgotten his deeds and accomplishments. In their minds, Han Shuo was an expert second only to City Lord Wallace. Han Shuo would remain a threat to them for as long as he was alive.
Ralph frowned slightly and he rebutted in a cold voice, “What is there to be afraid of? Our City Lord is the most powerful being in the City of Shadows. Even if Bryan finds out what we will do soon, the City Lord will protect us! Don’t worry, no matter what happens, the City Lord will be shielding us!”
Although these divine guards were still feeling somewhat nervous even after Ralph’s reaffirmation, they did not voice their concerns any further. They knew Ralph’s temper very well and were aware of the friction between him and Han Shuo. They dared not question Ralph’s words.
*** From the opposite of Ralph’s location, an army led by Larikson and Hofs was moving with stealth towards Fort Lasberg. Although the House of Hofley had lost a great number of experts a few years ago, Hofs remained a respected figure in Hushveil City. There remained a good number of experts who would serve under him. After a few years of recruiting, the number of divine guards at his command was now much closer to the pre-incident level.
Larikson, who was flying at the front of the army, wore a dark, gloomy face. His mind was constantly filled with thoughts of revenge. It seemed as though the horrific scene of his son’s dead body had been haunting and tormenting him every second of every day.
<i>Bryan, House of Han, House of Lavers, Donna, I’m going to kill all of you!</i> thought Larikson as he flew towards Fort Lasberg.
When the news broke that Larikson’s son had been murdered, Donna immediately knew that it was Han Shuo who did it. Fearing that Larikson might blame her and thus her family clan upon finding out the truth, she went to her father and told him everything. Felder decisively commanded his family clan to escape from the City of Gorging Clouds while Larikson was madly hunting for the murderer.
After discovering the truth, Larikson activated his forces to locate and annihilate the House of Lavers. But as Felder was quick in escaping, Larikson had failed to do so. The House of Lavers seemed to have vanished from the Death, Darkness, and Destruction Dominions. He couldn’t locate the members of the Lavers Family no matter where he looked.
Larikson deemed the House of Lavers, Donna, Han Shuo, and the House of Han responsible for his son’s death and sought to destroy them. Having been unable to locate the House of Lavers and Han Shuo, he turned his crosshair to the House of Han in Fort Lasberg.
Half a month later, a group of avengers led by Larikson and Hofs arrived before Fort Lasberg. They wasted not a single word and started bombarding the Fort as soon as they arrived. They planned on flattening Fort Lasberg using their overwhelming power!
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