(unedited) 

GDK 917: Do me a favor

Ever since Baum was executed and McKinley replaced him as the City Lord of Ethereal City, the city had been rapidly improving in terms of commerce and combat capability.

One of McKinley's first acts as the City Lord was to reduce the taxations on all kinds of trades. He would also maintain the City’s economic and political system where there is minimal government involvement in certain areas of public policy and the private sector. All those who came in peace were allowed into the Ethereal City.

McKinley had proved to be much more capable than Baum. Not only was he great at management, but he was also great at rallying support with nearly every family clans and merchants in the City approved of his governance. Those divine guards who had previously served Baum had all realigned their allegiance to McKinley and served him well.

With the generous support of the City Lord, the Celestial Pearl Pharmacy and Goldstone Enterprise became the largest businesses of their respective sector in Ethereal City. They had dominated the market.

Emily, Phoebe, and the others had been living in Ethereal City for a while and they were given the best treatment by McKinley the City Lord. They truly felt as though they were VVIP guests. Unlike the City of Shadows, the regulations in Ethereal City were much laxer, and the experts living there cultivated a far more diverse type of energy. Not only was it a more livable City, but it was also far more prosperous than the City of Shadows.

With McKinley’s assistance and Emily and Phoebe’s expertise in running a business, the House of Han’s Celestial Pearl Pharmacy and the Goldstone Enterprise rapidly dominated the market, crushing a majority of their competitions and becoming monopolies of medicines and energy crystals in Ethereal City.

*** In the Celestial Pearl Pharmacy, Phoebe, Emily, Sanguis, Bollands, and the others gathered for a regular meeting.

“Ethereal City is truly a wonderful place, but Bryan has said that the Fringe is where we belong. We won’t be staying here for too long so there is no need to put too much effort into improving this place,” said Stratholme smilingly.

The Han Family had been living in great comfort and security. They could feel that McKinley was treating them with utmost sincerity based on their past experiences.

“I have no words but praises for McKinley. I even feel like he is being overly kind towards us. Despite the constant pressure from those merchants and criticism of him being biased, he still refuses to tax our businesses anything. What a guy!” said Phoebe smilingly. She felt as though Ethereal City was her massive playground where she could do what she was best at. 

“But we must not be presumptuous lest we cause McKinley troubles. In any case, Ethereal City will not be our home. As soon as Bryan returns, we will head to the Fringe,” remarked Emily who wished to reciprocate McKinley’s kindness.

“Why haven’t Master returned by now? I wonder how he is doing,” said Sanguis who seemed rather worried.

Upon hearing those words, the party turned silent. They understood that Han Shuo’s murder of City Lord Hill meant a great likelihood that he will have to face the wrath of the Overgod of Death. To them, the Death Overgod was an unimaginable powerful existence. The longer they lived on Elysium, the more the idea was reinforced in their minds.

Although they were confident in Han Shuo, when they recalled that Han Shuo might have to face a practically invincible existence, they would still feel worried about his safety.

“Don’t worry, Master will be alright. Even if he cannot fight an Overgod, he should have no trouble escaping!” Gilbert remained blindly convinced in Han Shuo’s power as he always does. He wasn’t worried about Han Shuo’s safety at all.

“An Overgod with the Quintessence possesses the purest of their fundamental force. In the entire universe, there are just twelve of them. Their might is certainly way beyond the limits of our imagination, thus we cannot speculate anything. All we can do is hope that our Patriarch is alright,” remarked Bollands after letting out a sigh. He seemed somewhat worried.

“Alright, you guys can stop worrying now. Pack up your stuff cuz’ we will be going to the Fringe!” said Han Shuo after his majestic figure abruptly materialized in the room in an instant.

“Bryan! I’m glad you’re alright. What happened?” asked Emily hastily.

“Hill, Hofs, Wallace, Larikson, Ralph -  they are all dead!” Han Shuo put on a smile, looked at the party before he remarked, “It seems that McKinley has been treating you well.”

“Definitely. Compared to how we were treated in Witherbone City, this place is simply heaven!” said Stratholme in a faint smile. He seemed to like the place.

Sanguis, Emily, Phoebe, and the others cheered when they heard that Hill and the others had been murdered. They were the mortal enemies of the House of Han and them being dead can only be good for their reputation and future. They would also have less hidden threats to worry about. 

“Alright, you guys should start packing. I’ll pay McKinley a visit and after that, we will begin our journey to the Fringe. No matter how great Ethereal City is, in the end, it is someone else’s land. In the Fringe, however, we get to be the true landlords. I’m sure that when you’ve seen the Pandemonium, you will love the place just as much,” said Han Shuo smilingly before abruptly vanishing.

***In the City Lord’s Mansion of Ethereal City.

McKinley who was meditating in his gymnasium suddenly put on a big smile. He was glad to see Han Shuo who had suddenly shown up in front of him. “Bryan! You’d finally visit me!” 

McKinley’s demeanor had transformed. The gloom that he had accumulated over millennia of being trapped had been erased and he seemed energetic and in high spirits. He was very satisfied with being the City Lord of Ethereal City.

“Hehe, you seem to be doing pretty well and your strength has improved! So, when will you breakthrough to the overgod realm?” asked Han Shuo jokingly.

Han Shuo and McKinley had been keeping in touch for the past many years. Although they rarely met up, thanks to the proximity of Ethereal City with the Fringe, they had been writing to each other frequently. Han Shuo was aware of McKinley’s situation in Ethereal City and McKinley knew what Han Shuo had been doing in the Fringe.

“No matter how quickly my strength is advancing, I’ll still be a snail when compared to you!” McKinley laughed heartily before he remarked, “I still remember how weak you were back on Profound Continent. But who could have expected that you would advance to such a great realm in less than a hundred years after coming to Elysium? What a freak you are!”

“I’ll be taking my family to the Fringe soon. Any progress on those devices you promise you’d make for me?” asked Han Shuo.

“I’ve got them ready for you long ago,” McKinley smiled and a space ring flew towards Han Shuo before he named the devices, “Magical Mirror, Portal Scroll, Spatial Disruptor… “ He also informed Han Shuo on how to operate those devices.

The magical mirror was a communication device that could allow people separated by vast distances to communicate which will be very useful for Han Shuo’s intelligence collection in the Fringe. 

Portal Scroll was a wonderful tool for escaping. Han Shuo may not need one, but if his family members had a Portal Scroll, they could escape from dangers by using the space-time tearing device. It would greatly increase their chances of survival.

As the name implied, Spatial Disruptor was a device for disrupting space-time. An average space edict expert or a resourceful person with a Portal Scroll could usually escape by tearing space-time. With a Spatial Disruptor, the Han Family members could prevent their victims from escaping with that method.

Other than the three devices, Han Shuo also received several other kinds of devices that only a space edict cultivator could produce. Some of them were even useful for Han Shuo.

“Nice, fantastic! Hehe, thanks a lot!” Han Shuo felt and scanned the space ring in his hand. He detected Magical Mirrors, Portal Scrolls, and other space-edict devices numbered at a few dozens each. It was more than enough for his family members.

“Right, Bryan, I heard that you have caused havoc in the City of Gorging Clouds and fought Yarus. Is that right?” asked McKinley suddenly. He seemed unusually interested in the matter.

Han Shuo nodded and smilingly replied, “Yep. I can confirm the rumors that Yarus has attained overgod realm is true. He is a decent, honorable guy. I’d be more than happy to have him as a friend but, too bad, we can only be enemies because I killed his brother Larikson.”

McKinley laughed while shaking his head as though in a loss for words. Then, after thinking for a moment, in a somewhat embarrassed manner, he asked Han Shuo, “Bryan, can I ask you for a favor?”

Han Shuo stared blankly for a split second before he smilingly replied, “Of course, there’s no need to hesitate between us. Just tell me what it is and you can consider it done. I would even murder and plunder for you.“

McKinley’s glistened. He seemed touched by Han Shuo’s words. He kept silent for a moment before he asked, “As you should know, it was Gyál, one of the Keepers of the Light, who had separated my divine soul from my divine body. I want revenge and I hope that you can assist me.”

Gyál was one of the three Keepers of the Light, the most pious disciple of the God of Light. He had attained late-stage highgod strength many years ago and McKinley was no match against him. He needed at least an assistance to defeat Gyál and Han Shuo was the most suitable candidate.

“No problem. Just let me know where and when,” agreed Han Shuo without thinking.

“Thank you! I will let you know when I’ve located Gyál,” McKinley thanked Han Shuo solemnly. 

“Sure, I will be waiting for your message. Alright, time for me to return to the Fringe!” said Han Shuo smilingly and he vanished without exchanging pleasantries.

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