GDK 890: Splitting
While Tyre and Logue let their imagination run wild, Han Shuo and Wasir continued to fight ferociously. They had turned into two blurry figures that repeatedly clashed and clanged.
Wasir had wrapped himself in a thick layer of protective ice from head to toe. He formed a sword using the energy of ice and stabbed Han Shuo with it. However, it would always be recoiled by Han Shuo’s Omen Invincible Body and couldn’t cause him any harm.
Han Shuo too was unable to cause Wasir any harm. His Demonic Blades could only penetrate a few inches of the protective ice, not nearly enough to reach Wasir who was under the thick ice. His attacks would only leave white trails on the surface of the ice.
Both Han Shuo and Wasir understood that there was no such thing as an impregnable defense. Han Shuo’s Omen Invincible Body and Wasir’s protective ice required demonic yuan and divine energy. Every time they suffered an attack, they would exhaust some amount of demonic yuan or divine energy to neutralize the attacking power.
And once any of them ran out of energy, their defense would naturally collapse. By then, their seemingly impregnable defense would crumble like a dried leaf.
The duel had turned into a battle of attrition. The one with more energy would eventually win.
But Han Shuo was not willing to spend too much energy on Wasir. If he were to exhaust too much energy on fighting Wasir, Tyre and Logue who were watching nearby might jump into the battle and join forces with Wasir to kill him.
Although Ossora was also watching, Han Shuo would not pin his life on him. He did not think that Ossora would help him against Tyre and Logue. Therefore, Han Shuo had to look for another approach in order to break the stalemate.
While wearing down his energy with Wasir, an idea suddenly crossed Han Shuo’s mind. He began attacking Wasir with a different method. Han Shuo’s consciousness suddenly produced an undulation barely visible to the naked eye. It had locked onto Wasir’s divine soul and pounced on it.
Wasir, who was busy defending against Han Shuo’s melee attacks, suddenly felt an intense pricking pain in his mind. He sensed that an incisive soul energy had intruded his mind and started a ferocious attack against his divine soul.
The sudden soul attack threw Wasir into a state of panic. Fear was visible in his eyes.
Of the Twelve Fundamental Forces, cultivators of the energies of life, death, and destiny had the greatest mastery over the soul. Cultivators of the energy of water were relatively poor in this aspect. But Han Shuo’s mastery of the soul was so immensely profound that it was beyond what could be achieved by the cultivators of the three energies.
After Han Shuo’s consciousness intruded on Wasir's mind, it spread and transformed into a large net, covering Wasir’s divine soul. The incorporeal net formed using hundreds of thousands of strands of the consciousness were contracting bit by bit, producing the unbearable pricking pain in Wasir’s divine soul.
As a cultivator of demonic arts, Han Shuo had not only forged his body to be incredibly tough, he had even formed an incredibly powerful consciousness that possessed abilities beyond the imagination of an ordinary being. Although Wasir’s physical defensive power was indeed extraordinary, he wasn’t nearly as good when it came to his divine soul. By attacking Wasir’s divine soul with his consciousness, Han Shuo had gained a strong upper hand.
The body’s defensive and offensive capabilities were strongly tied to the soul. The moment that Han Shuo started attacking with his consciousness, Wasir’s body movements grew awkward and sluggish. Even his eyes were no longer radiating confidence but seemed somewhat frightened.
The face of the observant Logue suddenly jolted. As a cultivator of the energy of death, he had a profound level of mastery in the soul. He was the first to detect Han Shuo’s consciousness attacking Wasir’s mind.
After carefully sensing using his divine soul, Logue discovered that he had absolutely no idea which energy Han Shuo’s consciousness belonged to. He was also startled to observe that Han Shuo’s consciousness energy had transformed into thousands of strands to make a spider-like web. It was unlike anything he had seen before, or anything close to his imagination. His gaze towards Han Shuo turned greatly cautious.
“It’s a soul attack.” Under Tyre’s inquisitive gazes, Logue softly explained, “He has an extremely profound level of mastery over the soul. It’s beyond miraculous. That soul attack of his is directly impacting Wasir’s strength.”
Tyre too put on an astonished face and his eyes glimmered with an indecisive light.
With the consciousness attack, Han Shuo was gaining a stronger and stronger position over Wasir. The thick layer of ice that protected Wasir started to crack and fissure lines were rapidly spreading. It seemed as though the ice would shatter at any moment. At this trend, it wouldn’t be long before Wasir would crumble to Han Shuo’s wild bombardment.
But it was at this moment that Han Shuo had suddenly withdrawn. He had not only stopped the physical attack on Wasir, even the consciousness energy that intruded Wasir’s mind was withdrawn.
Wasir found it extremely difficult to defend against the attacks on his body and soul and he became more and more terrified. He thought that he would be severely injured by Han Shuo but suddenly, the intense pain vanished from his divine soul and he felt as though he was set free.
After pulling a distance from Wasir, Han Shuo put on a faint smile and calmly said, “I believe that there’s no need to continue the duel. Wasir’s strength is outstanding.”
Before the battle, Han Shuo was nowhere near polite. But after winning the duel, he was modest and courteous.
Wasir first examined his divine body and divine soul. After making sure that Han Shuo did not do anything despicable to him in secret, he looked at Han Shuo with eyes showing a complex mix of emotions and said, “I don’t need you to save face for me. I admit I’m not as strong as you are!”
Han Shuo was astounded. He thought that perhaps of all the Sovereigns, Wasir was the easiest to get along with. Wasir’s openness and willingness to admit defeat had left a good impression on Han Shuo. And perhaps Wasir wasn’t as annoying as he thought.
“Without a battle to the death, it is very difficult to tell who would actually win or lose. There are just too many variables in a battle. Even the tiniest change to the tiniest thing could alter the outcome. Therefore, this duel can only be considered as a tie. You have not lost,” said Han Shuo with a calm smile.
Wasir was puzzled and he couldn’t understand why Han Shuo would say so or behave so politely. He looked at Han Shuo suspiciously, as though trying to determine what exactly Han Shuo was planning.
In the Fringe, every Sovereign would try to prove that he is the strongest at all costs. Only then would those ferocious gods migrating from every corner of the Elysium prefer to submit to their sovereignty, growing the power under their command.
Back then in the Pandemonium, when Ossora saw that Salas had exhausted a good amount of divine energy to the demonic formations, he had immediately provoked Salas to a battle. He wanted to use the opportunity to prove to everyone that he was stronger than Salas. Logue and Wasir went to the Pandemonium with similar intentions.
However, after overpowering Wasir in every aspect, not only did Han Shuo not mock him arrogantly, he had even modestly claimed that the battle was a tie. Wasir could not understand Han Shuo’s intention.
After looking carefully into Han Shuo’s eyes for a moment, Wasir found not a trace of disdain or mockery. This made him all the more puzzled.
“Huh? It’s over? That’s too soon!” Logue smilingly said, “We haven’t had a winner yet!”
Wasir was angered. He cast his cold eyes on Logue and remarked, “I believe that Bryan is fully capable of substituting Salas’ place in the Omphalos. If you disagree, you may test his strength yourself.”
Logue stared blankly for a moment, not expecting Wasir to side with Han Shuo. After looking at Wasir with puzzled eyes, he realized that Wasir must be angry with Tyre and him for their actions earlier. He lightly chuckled and said, “I don’t think that’s appropriate. Bryan has just fought you. It’s not fair to duel with him now. Perhaps we might do that sometime in the future.”
“Hehe, since when have you started caring about what’s appropriate?” sneered Wasir. He knew that taking advantage of others was Logue’s favorite activity. The fact that Logue did not immediately attack Han Shuo could only mean one thing - he did not have the confidence to defeat Han Shuo!
Logue wasn’t embarrassed by the comment at all and he still wore the same faint smile. He turned to Tyre and asked, “So, what do you think?”
With things having come to this, Tyre was uncertain of Wasir’s intention. Without Wasir’s assistance, Tyre and Logue did not have absolute confidence in killing Han Shuo. He was also worried about the scheming Ossora who was standing nearby.
Tyre understood that Han Shuo must have seen through their scheme. That was the reason he had withdrawn after gaining an upper hand in the duel. Leveraging on the fact that Wasir was angry at Tyre and Logue, Han Shuo took initiative to show goodwill to Wasir to make him hesitate, enlarging the rift between the three Sovereigns and breaking their fragile alliance.
<i>This youngster is anything but easy to deal with!</i> thought Tyre. With Wasir now possibly not going to honor their original agreement, Tyre knew that the original plan was no longer feasible. He thought about it for a moment and immediately came up with another plan. He laughed out loud before saying, “Well done, brother! Youth indeed breeds heroism! You have demonstrated your strength through that battle just now. We have no doubt about your capabilities, but…”
Han Shuo creased a brow and in a slightly deeper tone, he asked, “Oh, is there something else?”
Tyre put on a bitter smile and nodded. He continued, “But Salas is not yet dead. He is only in hiding to recover his strength. If we are to let you take his place in the Omphalos, things could get troublesome for us when he returns.” Tyre took a short pause before he said, “But if you can get rid of Salas and eliminate this possibility, we would gladly accept you as one of Omphalos’ managers.”
“You have nothing to worry about. If Salas ever returns to the Fringe, the first person he will look for is me. By then, I will end him myself. If I then lose to Salas, everything will just be returned to Salas. You guys have nothing to do with this. So I don’t get what ‘trouble’ it is that you mean,” replied Han Shuo immediately. He had thought of this question long ago and wouldn’t be fooled by that flimsy excuse.
“That’s right. The person that Salas hates the most is Bryan. If he even returns, the first thing he will do is look for Bryan to get his revenge. By then, the person who wins will take over the ten Sovereign Shops and continue to manage the Omphalos. We do not know when or if Salas will ever return to the Fringe. I can’t see why it’d be inappropriate to have Bryan substitute Salas’ place when he is not in the Fringe.”
Tyre knew that Ossora was on Han Shuo’s side. He nodded at Ossora and did not comment about it. Then, Tyre turned to Wasir and asked, “What do you think?”
Tyre wasn’t sure about Wasir’s position. He wanted to determine Wasir’s position through the question to decide if he should take the riskier option.
Wasir hesitated. He looked at Han Shuo while weighing his options. He knew that Tyre and Logue definitely did not want Han Shuo to join them as one of Omphalos’ managers and the final decision now came down to him. If Wasir disagreed, it would be three against two.
But Wasir was still angry at Tyre and Logue for their petty plots earlier. He had been thinking about how to get even at the two. While looking at the smiling Han Shuo, Wasir somehow got the feeling that Han Shuo was much more mannered than Tyre and Logue. With that, he came to a decision. Wasir nodded and said, “I think Ossora’s words make sense.”
Tyre’s face jolted very slightly after hearing Wasir’s answer. He nodded at Wasir, forced a smile, and said, “Since Wasir and Ossora approve of the motion, then it is decided. Alright, Bryan, I will talk to those merchants and straighten things out.”
“Oh! Thanks a lot!” said Han Shuo smilingly. He nodded at Wasir and indicated his appreciation with his eyes.
“But before you move into the Omphalos, I hope that you will do the Fringe a favor. This involves all of us.” It seemed as though Tyre wouldn’t let Han Shuo move into the Omphalos smoothly. He threw yet another problem at Han Shuo.
Under Han Shuo’s attentive gaze, Tyre angrily said, “The Godhunter Alliance has always wanted to invade the Fringe and make it their base. And in recent times, those of the Alliance are becoming more and more out of control. Many of the experts moving into the Fringe have been recruited by the Alliance before they could step in here. The number of true experts migrating into the Fringe has recently been declining.
“Bryan, I know that Han Hao is closely related to you. I also know that Han Hao is associated with the Godhunter Alliance. I hope you understand that if the Godhunter Alliance manages to take control of the Fringe and make it their base, it will only destroy the Fringe.
“For eons, although we have been chaotic in the Fringe, we would never go out and attack those in the Twelve Dominions. But the Godhunter Alliance is different. They have been causing havoc in every Dominion and everyone wants to exterminate them. If they succeed in making the Fringe their base, the Fringe will be destroyed!”
“And what can I do about that?” Han Shuo started getting a headache. This problem raised by Tyre was not unfounded. If the Fringe became the headquarters of the Godhunter Alliance, the Twelve Dominions would unite and send their divine guards to raze the Fringe to dust.
“Han Hao commands the biggest godhunter faction in the Fringe. Make Han Hao split from the Godhunter Alliance or have him leave the Fringe with his godhunters. Otherwise, it will only be a matter of time before he brings calamity to the Fringe!” said Tyre.
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