GDK 930: Aroused
A few days later, the Goddess of Destiny descended upon the location where Han Hao and Dagmar had fought. She did not wait for long before a faint shadow manifested in midair.
The concentration of the death element in the area instantly shot up when the shadow appeared. It was more intense than what could be found in the Pandemonium. The Goddess of Destiny, wearing a neutral face, turned to the shadow and said, “Hello, Nestor.”
The faint shadow gradually became more and more distinct until it turned into a handsome and feminine looking gentleman. Elements of death continuously overflowed from his body in wisps of smoke. He nodded smilingly at the Goddess of Destiny before walking to her, and asked, “Althea, you were much closer when it happened and you cultivate the edict of destiny. Do you know who holds the Shard and where I can find them?”
Althea, the Goddess of Destiny, put on a faint smile and replied, “You should know the characteristics of a Shard as much as I. As long as the bearer does not use the Shard, he would be beyond your detection. I cannot obtain more information on the Shard bearer than you can.”
“Shard bearers can always sense our presence but we can only sense theirs when they are using it. What a threat they are to us Quintessence Overgods!” remarked Nestor with his brows bunched. He seemed rather troubled.
“Such is the will of the Creator. The Shards exist to give the world hope - the slim but real chance of overthrowing us. I believe that the Creator had scattered the Shards to remind us that we are not irreplaceable,” said Althea in a neutral tone and expression.
Nestor nodded lightly and said, “I will do everything I can to find this person. I will not allow any being who possesses a Quintessence Shard of Death to live.”
Althea smiled but did not give any more comments on the topic. She knew that she would do exactly the same as Nestor had been doing, to find and destroy the Shard bearer at all costs, if she ever discovered that someone possessed a Shard of the Destiny Edict, to make sure that she remained the Goddess of Destiny.
After keeping silent for a moment, Althea suddenly asked, “I heard that City Lord Hill of your Witherbone City has disappeared. Is it true?”
Nestor let out a soft groan and answered, “If it wasn’t for you, I would have ended that youngster already. Even our friend from the Darkness Dominion would have done that long ago instead of letting that kid off. His Dominion lost two City Lords and it was a real mess.”
After taking a short pause, Nestor asked, “Althea, is that youngster really the key to unlocking Aethernia?”
“He is, indeed. It is impossible to unseal Aethernia without him. It is enveloped with every known energy in this universe and therefore no energy from this universe can unseal it,” answered Althea affirmatively. She continued, “That is why I have asked you all to keep him alive. But when he has grown strong enough - after he unseals Aethernia for us, you all may do whatever you want to him. You will hear no objection from me.”
"But, Althea, are you sure that we are not nurturing a snake in our bosom? This kid cultivates the energy left behind by that being and his strength has been soaring at an incredible rate. I’m worried that one day, he will become so strong that even the twelve of us won’t be able to defeat him!” said Nestor. Traces of fear could be seen on his face as though he was reminded of an extremely terrifying memory.
"Don't worry, he will never attain the height of that existence. He exists only to unseal Aethernia. Once he has fulfilled his purpose, you may do whatever you want to him, I will not care," Althea reassured again. She took a short pause before she instructed, “Pay attention to the Fringe, a great chaos will rage across the Land. Another ten thousand years have passed and it's about time for it to be cleansed again.”
Nestor nodded. He put on a faint smile and replied, "I have made the necessary arrangements. Oh, right. By then, if my forces happen to clash with those from the Light and Life Dominions, please don’t mind us.”
“I couldn’t care less about your petty conflicts. Do as you wish, as long as you do not drag the entire Elysium into war,” said Althea with a rather annoyed look before she said calmly, “Please remind our friend over at the Darkness Dominion not to touch the kid before Aethernia is unsealed. Alright, I have said all that I should say. Goodbye.”
Upon finishing those words, Althea's figure gradually diffused into the air. A gentle breeze blew away all remaining traces of her.
Nestor did not leave the area right after. Using the element of death overflowing from his body, he reached a massive area of land around him and took his time to survey it. He concealed his mighty aura and became a most ordinary, inconspicuous god of death before finally going on his way.
After several months of havoc-making at the borders of various Dominions, Han Hao finally returned to the Fringe. As soon as he escaped from Dagmar, he reassembled every one of his godhunters and commanded them to return to the Fringe with him.
Dagmar’s appearance meant that the main army of the Godhunter Alliance will be reaching soon. As Han Hao had accomplished his objectives which included spreading a certain rumor, he knew that it was time to disperse and return home.
Besides, through the gravestone that was in his body, Han Hao sensed that Nestor, the Overgod of Death, was approaching. The threat from the Godhunter Alliance army was nothing compared to Nestor.
Han Hao could constantly sense Nestor’s aura and his general location, something that even Hill and others who were bestowed with Divine Brands from Nestor could not. Back then, Han Hao had settled in the Ronson Canyon, at the border of the Death Dominion and wouldn’t venture any deeper into the Dominion because he was wary of this terrifying existence who was constantly within his senses.
Although Han Hao had no idea what the gravestone really was, or that Nestor couldn’t sense his location when he wasn’t using it, out of his survival instincts, Han Hao always tried to keep as far away from Nestor as possible.
Soon after returning to the Fringe, Han Hao went to Scarlett who had been anxiously waiting for his return. Scarlett could not be more emotional and delighted when Han Hao suddenly appeared before her. If it wasn’t for the large number of her followers around her, she would have thrown herself at Han Hao and embraced him.
For some reason, Han Hao felt a sense of gladness in his heart to see Scarlett filled with such joy. He felt as though he was facing Han Shuo or his five brothers.
“Come, we will return to our base and get ready for war,” said Han Hao.
“I’m glad that you’re alright, Han Hao. Did you meet Dagmar?” asked Scarlett after calming down from her excitement.
“Yes I have,” answered Han Hao straightforwardly.
“You, you really met Dagmar?!” Scarlett was astounded. She exclaimed, “Then how is it that you seem completely unscathed? Dagmar is the Hegemon of Death, the ruler of all godhunters in the Death Dominion. His, his power…”
“He cultivates the energy of death and therefore he cannot kill me,” replied Han Hao. He did not tell Scarlett about the gravestone as he himself didn’t understand the weapon completely.
Scarlett seemed perplexed, unable to understand why Dagmar could not kill Han Hao just because he also cultivated the energy of death. However, she did not ask Han Hao for clarification as Han Hao seemed disinclined to talk about it. Scarlett decided to resume her original plan as they journeyed to their base.
Over the next period of time, Scarlett tried her best to educate Han Hao on a certain subject. She would often send her followers far away and tirelessly lecture Han Hao on romantic relationships, attempting to indoctrinate his naive and empty mind.
But Scarlett soon discovered that Han Hao wasn’t so good a student. Han Hao didn’t learn by listening to others but through his own experience and exploration.
All along the journey, although Han Hao had been listening to Scarlett’s teachings, he did not accept them. He kept silent and shyed from giving any comments. The most he would do was bunch his brows.
One day, the two came to a hill covered with lush green grasses and flowers that gave off faint, refreshing fragrances. The cotton white clouds slowly sailed with the gentle wind. It was a relaxing and serene place most conducive for a certain activity.
“Han Hao, have you been listening to anything that I’ve said? Did you understand anything at all?” asked Scarlett softly.
Han Hao shook his head and with a blank face, he replied, “I have no idea what you were saying. Even if I do, I would not simply accept it just like that. I only learn by touching, feeling, and experiencing for myself. I will only take what I find true, not from the words of others.”
Scarlett was at a loss for words for a moment. She asked, “What exactly do you mean by touching and feeling?”
“Just like that day - to use my hand to touch and use my heart to feel,” replied Han Hao with a brow raised. He seemed to think that Scarlett’s question was silly.
When Scarlett was reminded of what Han Hao did the other day, her cheeks immediately turned red and her heart palpitated. She bashfully took a peek at the serious-looking Han Hao and murmured to herself, “This bastard… So that’s how his brain works? Then what should I do? Should I let him freely explore my body again?”
“You are agitated. That is not good. This will affect your realm state and make you unable to perform your best in a battle. You should be like me and always be calm,” advised Han Hao.
Those words of Han Hao had irritated Scarlett. She frowned and rebutted, “I don’t believe that you can always stay calm!” Scarlett then gathered her will and marched towards Han Hao against her nervousness.
Han Hao was going to say that his heart was always as calm as still water but it was at that moment that his mind was jolted awake. It seemed as though something had awakened the gravestone that was in his chest and he was losing control over it.
Scarlett was annoyed by Han Hao’s attitude. She thought, I don’t believe that I cannot stir up your heart! She became even more determined as she resisted her shyness and walked to Han Hao.
Han Hao at this moment had his brows tightly bunched and his purple eyes were glistening brightly. It was as though he was pondering something and did not notice Scarlett’s actions at all. He wasn’t even looking at her. This exasperated Scarlett. She groaned hatefully and said, “I don’t believe that you have no emotions at all!”
Scarlett suddenly opened her arms, stepped forward, and tightly embraced Han Hao. Her round, ample breasts turned to oblate spheroids as they were firmly pressed against Han Hao’s chest…
Scarlett also moved her hands around Han Hao’s back and carefully felt the attachment points of his seven bone spurs on his body. “It’s- it’s connected to the spine!...” Scarlett couldn’t help herself but to softly exclaim after realizing it.
All along, Scarlett thought that the seven bone spurs were just another one of Han Hao’s weapons with special attachment points for him to wear them on his back. But now, after feeling them with her hands, she discovered that they were connected to his flesh and bones. They were part of his body!
The astonished Scarlett continued to explore Han Hao’s back with her small hands. She gently brushed her tender skin against Han Hao’s, trying to arouse him.
I don’t believe that you would have no reaction to this! thought Scarlett before she took a quick peek at Han Hao. Her face suddenly jolted and she exclaimed, “Han Hao, are you alright?”
Suddenly, the gravestone slowly started emerging from Han Hao’s chest as a strange energy erupted from his body, throwing Scarlett away. The cryptically carved runes separated the gravestone as though thousands of birds were set free from their cages. They revolved and danced around Han Hao. The elements of death from far and wide were drawn to him and began gushing into his body.
Han Hao seemed to be in a daze. He stared puzzlingly at the runes orbiting him with his brows bunched. After hesitating for a moment, Han Hao slowly reached out and grabbed at the gravestone hovering right in front of him with one hand. He gently caressed the carvings on it with his thumb.
Then, all of a sudden, those cryptic runes revolving around him started entering his brain through his ears. Han Hao jolted and he immediately shut his eyes and stood still as though he had been fossilized.
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