GDK 898: Cornered
Dagassi had relayed Sha-t’o words clearly. The House of Han had to surrender every last bit of their secrets to the House of Kiaran within just three days. Otherwise, they would be exterminated.
Emily, Phoebe, Stratholme, Bollands, Sanguis, Gilbert, and other core members of the Han Family gathered to discuss how to respond to the ultimatum, all grave and gloomy.
By now, it was obvious to Stratholme that the missing House of Han guard must have been abducted by the House of Kiaran. Otherwise, Sha-t’o wouldn’t have known about the existence of those remaining demonic combat formations.
Emily and Stratholme exchanged glances. They both knew that it was no longer necessary to conceal the matter. Stratholme revealed to the party about the disappearance of one of their guards before he solemnly said, “Sha-t’o must have learned some secrets of our family clan from the guard. He wouldn’t have suddenly demanded us to surrender all our secrets in just three days otherwise.”
“I have personally trained every one of our guards and I’m absolutely confident that they wouldn’t say a word,” remarked Bollands confidently after thinking for a moment.
Before they were recruited into the House of Han, the guards had to pass thorough background checks and all sorts of personality tests. They would then be trained and tempered mentally and physically through various methods. These guards would place the interests of the House of Han above their own lives.
And as a matter of fact, the House of Han guard who was abducted spoke not a word despite having been tortured. He had even bit his tongue off. Such was the faithfulness of a House of Han guard.
“Sha-t’o cultivates the energy of death. As a late-stage highgod, his mastery and understanding of the soul would be beyond our imagination.” Fanny who cultivated the energy of death, explained, “I believe in the loyalty of our House of Han guards. But after a person dies, their memory and soul don’t immediately vanish. Given Sha-to’s strength, it wouldn’t be too hard for him to extract some information from his soul.”
The party immediately understood what must have happened after hearing Fanny’s explanation.
“It seems that this is as much time as we can buy. If Sha-t’o learned the secrets of our House of Han from the divine guard’s soul, then he will never ever let us off. No matter what we do, our only way out is death,” said Emily after she sighed in despair. With things having come to this, even the optimistic Emily saw no hope of survival.
Bollands who still wore the same calmness and indifference on his face, in a firm, decisive voice, proposed, “Then we shall wait no more. We will strike this very night and take as many kills as we can!”
Bollands had been very calm all along. It was him who had been keeping Sanguis and Gilbert from doing anything rash. He had followed Emily and Startholme’s strategy to buy as much time as they could. He even endured an insult from Sha-t’o. But surprisingly, he was also the first in proposing a kamikaze attack.
Sanguis and Gilbert who were prepared to do so a long time ago had ferocious lights bursting from their eyes. They seemed strangely excited after hearing Bollands’ words.
Emily nodded firmly. In a resolute voice, she said, “Tonight it is! We will give our lives to cause the greatest casualties to the House of Kiaran. The House of Han may be annihilated, but we won’t go down without a fight!“ It seemed as though she would welcome death with open arms.
Emily looked at the faces of all those gathered before she suddenly smiled and said, “But know that we will not die in vain! Bryan will avenge our deaths - it will only be a matter of time. He will kill all those who have directly or indirectly participated in this!”
“Let us disperse and take a quick rest. We will assemble before dawn and we will strike as one,” said Bollands. As the instructor who had trained every last House of Han guard, he was most capable of coordinating an assault, such as the one the House of Han was about to do.
Those core members of the House of Han silently dispersed to take what could possibly be their last recharge. Bollands then immediately assembled the House of Han Captains, informing them about their upcoming plan and strategy.
*** While the House of Han was quietly getting prepared, Sha-t’o, the patriarch of the Kiaran Family went to the City Lord of Witherbone City at his Mansion. He revealed the information he extracted from the soul of the House of Han guard to City Lord Hill.
Hill was rather annoyed at first, thinking that it was not necessary for him to be briefed with every nitty-gritty detail. But after hearing that Han Shuo had killed many of Larikson’s highgods and even forced Larikson and Felder to flee, his annoyance turned into shock. He put on a grave face and said to Sha-t’o, “Tell me everything you know about this guy in detail!”
There had been many rumors about the City of Shadows’ House of Han which had made their way to Sha-t’o and Hill’s ears. However, the two weren’t the type to trust unverified news and they were unaware of many of Han Shuo’s secrets. Therefore, Sha-t’o and Hill had not taken Han Shuo as a potential threat from the beginning.
They may not have believed in rumors, but they had absolute confidence in the memories of that guard’s soul. Sha-t’o explained all the previously unknown secrets about Han Shuo to Hill. Both of them noticed the profound graveness in each other’s eyes.
Hill took a deep breath as he fiddled uneasily with his armrest made of bones. In a deep voice, he said, “The House of Han must not be allowed to live. Not only must we make sure that they are all dead, but we also need to find a way to shift the blame on someone else. Fucking hell, this guy is more terrifying than the rumors about him. If he comes to Witherbone City and finds out the truth, our city will surely be weakened!”
“I have handed the House of Han a three-day deadline and I will use this time to get things set-up. Those from the other Dominions are on their way here. As long as we carefully plan everything out, it’s possible to make a scapegoat of them,” Sha-t’o revealed his treacherous plan.
“Good, you have done well. When it is all over, you will be rewarded well!” said Hill gladfully. He was pleased with Sha-to’s performance so far.
But suddenly, Hill bunched his brows. He turned to the divine guard who had just rushed into the room and in an annoyed voice, he asked, “What are you so flustered about?”
“City Lord, the Kiaran Residence is on fire! They seem to be under attack!” replied the divine guard hastily.
Sha-t’o had put on a humble smile on his face after being praised by Hill. But after hearing the emergency report, his face froze for a moment before it instantly transformed into anger. He shouted, “How dare, how dare they attack! I will tear every last one of them into pieces!”
Then, without even saying farewell to Hill, Sha-t’o left and rushed for his Kiaran Residence.
Hill knew that Sha-t’o was anxious and therefore was not offended by his lack of manners. He too immediately got up from his white throne and followed behind Sha-t’o.
Those divine guards of Hill’s inside his mansion were not aware of the attack at Kiaran Residence. When they saw Sha-t’o hastily dashing across the corridors with Hill following behind him, they thought that Sha-t’o was escaping from Hill. Having misunderstood the situation, some of them aimed their divine weapons at Sha-t’o, wanting to intercept him.
“Don’t fire! Let him pass!” shouted Hill as soon as he saw his divine guards raising their weapons. His voice resounded through the entire mansion.
*** At the same time, an extravagant outsider had just entered Witherbone City through one of its city gates.
“Hey! Stop righ-… Nevermind…”
Han Shuo did not bother letting those divine guards check his divine tablet. He just whooshed through the checkpoint in a flash. Those divine guards manning the city gate were about to chase after Han Shuo but they suddenly saw the large amount of black crystal coins scattered on the ground. They pretended they saw no intruder and hastily helped themselves.
After entering Witherbone City, Han Shuo grabbed a random midgod on the street and shoved a sack of black crystal coins into his hands. He hastily asked, “Where is the Kiaran Residence?”
The midgod was disgruntled that Han Shuo had pulled him out of the blue. He was about to start cursing when he felt something hard and heavy in his hands. When he lowered his head and looked, his face turned from frowning to beaming ear to ear. Immediately, he pointed in a direction and happily answered, “Eastward all the way!”
As soon as he said those words, Han Shuo vanished as though he had just popped out of existence. If it wasn’t for the sack of black crystal coins in his hands, the midgod would have thought that he had been hallucinating because Han Shuo moved so fast that he didn’t even catch him leaving.
*** In the Kiaran Residence.
Taking full advantage of the element of surprise, the House of Han managed to flatten more than half of the structures in the residence in just a short time. Many of the Kiaran Family guards who were cultivating were killed before they could react.
With many of the highgods and divine guards not ready and out of position, the House of Han had been unstoppable. They divided themselves into many small groups taking ring-shaped formations to destroy and kill everything and anything they saw. Those flurried and disarrayed House of Kiaran guards were ruthlessly slaughtered.
In less than fifteen minutes, a hundred or more of the House of Kiaran were butchered. Meanwhile, the House of Han guards had only suffered several injuries.
However, the tide soon turned against them. After the great number of House of Kiaran highgods were assembled, when those divine guards of Hill’s stationed around the residence began their counterattacks, the House of Han was pushed back.
As the City Lord’s Mansion House was relatively nearby the Kiaran Residence, Sha-t’o, the Kiaran Family patriarch, soon returned to his Residence. The City Lord of Witherbone City also had shown up after Sha-t’o. Upon seeing the two late-stage highgods, every member of the House of Han understood that their end was nigh.
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