GDK 887: A list
Quincy and Chrison, the two strongest godhunter factions in the Ronson Canyon, had been destroyed. Their deaths meant that those remaining in their faction would soon disband. Those faction leaders who had left earlier would certainly try to recruit them.
After this battle, no godhunter in the Ronson Canyon would ever pick a fight with the House of Han!
The mountain peak that has pierced through the clouds was covered with bodies. The House of Han guards, wearing cold faces, re-embarked the airship and stood still, ready to be commanded.
It was at this moment that Phoebe and Emily turned their attention to Khitan and Scarlett. Emily went to them smilingly and said, “Thank you for your kind assistance. If it wasn’t for your reminder and warning, we would have perished on this mountain!”
“You’re welcome. I’m just doing what I ought to do,” replied Scarlett courteously.
“It’s my duty. I’m just following my Chief’s command,” replied Khitan very humbly. It was very unlike how he had talked to Quincy and the others. He even seemed somewhat overcautious.
“Is it true that Han Hao has become your Chief?” asked Emily with one brow raised.
Khitan was rather puzzled for he couldn’t understand why Emily would ask such a question. He stared blankly for a moment before telling her the truth as it was, “Yes, ever since Chief arrived in the Ronson Canyon decades ago, he had led us on countless expeditions around this land. After a few decades, under His leadership, we became the most powerful faction in Ronson Canyon. All those who blocked your way had lost to our Chief. If Chief were still in the canyon, Quincy and Chrison wouldn’t have even tried attacking you.”
Emily put on an astonished face. She understood that a being that was feared by so many godhunter factions must be an extraordinarily powerful expert. She did not expect that the peculiar little skeleton warrior that she used to know could and had evolved to such a level.
“That's unbelievable!” remarked Lisa. Back when she was still studying in the Babylon Academy of Magic and Force of Profound Continent, she had been assaulted by Little Skeleton. She remembered the bizarre necromancy creature better than anyone.
“There’s nothing surprising about it. That fella grew very strong long ago, it’s just that you people weren’t aware of it,” said Gilbert proudly. He then grinned mischievously and said, “You weren’t together with Master often and therefore didn’t know just how treacherous that little guy is. Back in the Dark Forest, he looted and plundered with Master every day!“
Gilbert had served Han Shuo for a very long time. Han Shuo did not shy away from the fact that Gilbert was bound to him under a slave contract. Therefore, he understood Han Hao’s actual strength and intelligence better than anyone.
“Erm, then, where is he right now?” asked Phoebe who wished to learn more about Han Hao.
“My Chief is currently at the Fringe,” replied Khitan immediately.
“If that little guy is at the Fringe, then Master must also be there,” said Gilbert smilingly.
“We need to leave Ronson Canyon now. Other things can wait,” interjected Stratholme suddenly. He knew that the House of Han was still in danger and he was constantly worried that Hofs and Larikson could catch up to them.
With Stratholme’s reminder, Phoebe and Emily immediately realized that they did not have the time for conversation. They nodded at Stratholme and Phoebe thanked Khitan and Scarlett again. “The House of Han will always remember the favor you did us today. We are in a hurry and cannot stop in the Ronson Canyon. Till we meet again.”
“Till we meet again!” replied Scarlett with a faint smile. She nodded at Khitan and left.
Khitan too said farewell and wished them good luck. He left after Scarlett to handle certain matters which would arise following Quincy and Chrison’s death.
After destroying the two major godhunter factions and with Han Hao’s fearsome reputation, the House of Han did not meet any obstructions in the remainder of their journey. After ten days, they had finally passed through the Ronson Canyon and stepped into the territory of the Death Dominion.
Soon after the airship carrying the House of Han entered the Death Dominion, their pursuers finally caught up.
However, Hofs and Larikson could only stand and watch because the divine guards from multiple major family clans in the Death Dominion were present to escort the House of Han.
Hofs and Larikson were so angry that they were seething with blood. It did not matter if they had the strength to defeat those divine guards escorting them or not. Should they attempt to injure a citizen of the Death Dominion, they would be directly going against the rule set by the Overgod of Darkness and offending two Overgods.
Even though Hofs was the City Lord of Hushveil City, even though Larikson was the second most powerful man in the City of Gorging Clouds, they dared not disobey the directives set by the Overgods. They could only stare angrily as the House of Han left with the Death Dominion divine guards.
After entering the Death Dominion and being received by their harborers, the House of Han was finally out of danger and could heave a sigh of relief.
*** The City of Shadows, the Sainte Residence.
Wallace the City Lord’s face turned darker and darker as he listened to Ralph’s mission report. When Ralph had completed his recount, Wallace shouted, “Rubbish! What a useless load of rubbish!”
“Forgive me, City Lord. We have tried our best!” Ralph crouched in fear and tried to look for an excuse, “I did not expect Hofs and Larikson to have caused the House of Han no casualties. Also, I did not know that their experts, Sanguis and Bollands, were highgods…”
“Shut up!” commanded Wallace. He took a deep breath and gradually calmed himself. Then, he said, “It seems the House of Han knows the role I played in this attack. With all of them now in the Death Dominion, there is nothing that I can do to them.”
“My, my Lord, that Bryan… he has disappeared for many years now… Perhaps he is already dead… And perhaps we have nothing to worry about…” said Ralph haltingly as he took a few quick glances at Wallace.
“You think I’m worried about Bryan?” Wallace sneered and said, “Bryan is indeed a talented young man. Extraordinary for his young age. But I’ve seen many young men like him. This kind of person, the brighter they shine, the sooner they die. Even if he returns to the City of Shadows, so what? What can he even do to me?”
“Then…?” asked Ralph cautiously in a confused expression.
Wallace let out a soft sigh and rubbed his head as though he was having a headache. “Although I’m not worried about the youngster himself, he is close to the daughter of the Goddess of Destiny. Back then, the Dark Lord had instructed me to treat Bryan well. It is these two significant characters that I’m worried about…”
Ralph was taken aback. To him, the Goddess of Destiny and the Overgod of Darkness were beings way beyond his reach. He had been unaware of the relationship between Han Shuo and the daughter of the Goddess of Destiny and learning this had shocked him deeply.
“Schedule an appointment with Larikson and Hofs for me. It’s time for us to have a good conversation,” instructed Wallace after thinking for a moment.
Ralph respectfully dismissed himself to immediately schedule the secret meeting for Wallace.
A few days later, Larikson, Hofs, and Wallace gathered in Fort Lasberg. They had a meeting at the former Han Residence.
When Larikson and Hofs heard the revelation from Wallace, they had a tremendous headache. They cursed Wallace in their minds, <i>How could you keep such an important detail from us until now?! Fuck you!</i>
It was at the former Han Residence that they started scheming against Han Shuo. But unfortunately for them, as none of the three were aware of Han Shuo’s current condition, the discussion did not result in anything meaningful. The three agreed that they would join forces to kill Han Shuo and the House of Han if they ever returned to the Darkness Dominion.
After the discussion was over, Larikson and Hofs left Fort Lasberg. Wallace, however, did not immediately leave. After hearing Larikson and Hofs’ recount of their attack on the Han Residence, Wallace became greatly interested in those bizarre but deadly demonic formations in the Han Residence.
Wallace stayed in Fort Lasberg for more than a month in an attempt to study how those seemingly ordinary trees and stone pillars would have such miraculous uses. But unfortunately for Wallace, he had absolutely no grasp of the profound demonic arts. It was comparable to a caveman trying to decipher the workings of a rocket engine without any understanding of thermodynamics. Needless to say, his attempt was totally fruitless.
After more than a month, Wallace had no choice but to give up on trying to study the demonic formations. He had his men destroy every bit of the Han Residence and the demonic formations. He had also retaken control over Fort Lasberg and it no longer belonged to the House of Han.
Wallace told the public that Hushveil City was fully responsible for the attack on Fort Lasberg. He publicly announced that he strongly condemned their actions and would hold those attackers accountable. However, it seemed as though it was just empty talks and Wallace had not taken any action against Hushveil City.
Some of the City of Shadows citizens who knew the truth denounced Wallace and the House of Sainte for their actions. They made it known to everyone that Wallace conspired to force the House of Han out of the City of Shadows, decreasing the overall strength of the city.
After returning to the City of Shadows, Aobashi and Erebus were disheartened to learn what happened to the House of Han. It was clear to the two that Wallace had a hand in it. However, as subordinates of Wallace, there wasn’t much that they could do. They would only complain about their exasperation to each other.
Andre and Carmelita, however, did not react so calmly after finding out the truth. They had a lengthy quarrel with Wallace in the Sainte Residence that lasted for days.
Even to his own family members, Wallace denied having any role in the attack and shifted all responsibility on Hofs and Larikson, claiming his own innocence. But Andre and Carmelita were no fools. As core members of the House of Sainte, it was easy for them to deduce Wallace’s role in the attack by pulling a few strings.
But no matter how significant an event, as time went by, it would eventually fade out of memory. Gradually, the citizens of the City of Shadows stopped discussing it. Other than the Celestial Pearl disappearing from the city, everything seemed to have returned to business as usual.
But Wallace knew clearly that there was now another invisible barrier between him and Andre, Carmelita, Aobashi, and Erebus because of Han Shuo and the House of Han. He knew that this barrier would not fade with the passing of time.
*** At the center of the Land of Chaos, the Omphalos.
Han Shuo had no idea what happened in the City of Shadows billions of miles away. He was focused on solving a big challenge put up by Sovereign Tyre, Logue, and Wasir.
Tyre, Logue, and Wasir stated that they would accept Han Shuo to join their ranks as one of the managers of the Omphalos. However, the three Sovereigns also stated that they must take the view of the hundreds of thousands of merchants into consideration. As long as most of the merchants would accept having Han Shuo as one of the Omphalos’ owners, they would immediately hand those Sovereign Shops that formerly belonged to Salas to Han Shuo.
Han Shuo knew what those Sovereigns were up to. The three Sovereigns were infamous in the Fringe. Few, if any, Omphalos merchants would dare offend the three. With the three pulling the strings behind the scene, most of the merchants bowed to their orders and voted against installing Han Shuo as one of the Omphalos’ owners.
Han Shuo had his men conduct a survey. He discovered that just twenty percent of the merchants agreed to him joining the management board, and all these people were swayed by Ossora. A twenty percent approval rating was far below Tyre, Logue, and Wasir’s standards and Ossora could only do so much. Han Shuo must still solve the problem himself.
Han Shuo then realized that Tyre, Logue, and Wasir were not called Sovereigns in the Fringe for nothing. A great majority of the merchants feared Tyre, Logue, and Wasir more than they did Han Shuo, and they dared not disobey the secret orders of the three Sovereigns to stand against Han Shuo.
Han Shuo spent a few days thinking for a solution inside the Omphalos. Then, he went to a cliff wall outside the Omphalos and left some messages.
A day later, a callous looking man came to the same spot where Han Shuo was. After noting down the message left by Han Shuo, he silently went on his way.
Seven days later, inside an enormous cave thousands of miles from the Omphalos, Han Hao received the message from that man.
After reading the message, Han Hao thought silently for a moment before calmly instructing one of his followers, “Assemble all my Captains.”
“As you bid, Chief.” The follower respectfully dismissed himself and brought the company leaders from every region to Han Hao.
A few days later, all of Han Hao’s captains were assembled in the cave. Han Hao took out a scroll and pinned it on a wall before instructing, “This is a list of Omphalos merchants. Intercept all the goods of those in this list before they can send their supplies into the Omphalos. But remember, you are not to kill them. If you have to, kill one or two people to intimidate them.”
Polo put on an astounded expression and asked, “Just looting? Why not kill them?”
Han Hao glanced at Polo and replied in an indifferent voice, “If they are all dead, things won’t end well.” Han Hao did not explain much at all before he impatiently gestured at his captains and said, “Go ahead and do as I say.”
Polo did not ask any more questions. He nodded and left with his group. The other godhunter captains also noted down the names from the list and left.
Following that, the godhunters that used to spread out in various regions of the Fringe suddenly gathered near the Omphalos and secretly surrounded it.
As the Omphalos was just a valley, many of the goods sold there needed to be imported. Even poisons needed sufficient magical beast organs and other raw materials to be produced. There were tons and tons of supplies delivered to the Omphalos every day.
Outside the Omphalos, the merchants had their own ways to protect their goods. They would spend an exorbitant amount of resources to hire a large number of guards, or perhaps sought the experts close to the Sovereigns to protect their caravans.
Even with all these security measures, their caravans were still not a hundred percent safe and looting still happened from time to time. However, the looting was usually not too rampant as the Fringedwellers also needed to purchase goods from those merchants in the Omphalos. They knew that if they crossed the line and caused a lack of supplies in the Omphalos, the Sovereigns might intervene.
But things seemed to have changed!
For an entire month, a large number of merchant caravans delivering goods to the Omphalos were looted by an unknown powerhouse. Almost no merchant could get their goods into the Omphalos. In addition, the looters seemed extremely determined. No matter how many guards they hired or if they were protected by the Sovereigns’ experts, they would still loot the caravans the same!
The bandits were neither rude nor ravaging. As long as the victims didn't try to fight, the bandits wouldn’t be too violent. But if they tried to resist, the bandits would not show the slightest mercy.
After two merchant caravans were annihilated, the merchants had all learned to behave. When they ran into those ferocious bandits, they would consider themselves unlucky and hand over all their goods without resistance.
The merchants thought that the unknown power must have gone mad because they were too poor, and the rampant looting wouldn’t last for too long. Without sufficient resupplies to the Omphalos, it would simply be disastrous to the Fringe.
But they soon discovered that they were wrong!
One month passed, then two months, then three months… Yet, the unknown power was still present in every region that the merchant caravans had to take to enter the Omphalos, disrupting the order in the Fringe.
After a while, they noticed a commonality - none of those merchants that supported Han Shuo’s installment in the Omphalos had their caravans raided!
~ If you can, please consider supporting the translation project. You'll get advanced chapters!~