GDK 942: You hid it!
Han Shuo brought the two Han Haos to the underground palace. The others, including the Five Elite Zombies and Bollands, could not be more amazed. They used their souls to thoroughly examine both of the Han Haos but were shocked to discover that not only did they look exactly the same, their auras were almost indistinguishable. They could sense a unique aura of death inside the main soul of Han Hao.
“As his main soul contains the power of the Quintessence Shard, the two souls cann’t have the exact same aura. But the Overgod of Death will not be able to tell that this is just a surrogate!” said Han Shuo confidently.
“Father, should I go now?” asked both Han Haos in one voice. They had the same pitch and inflection. As Han Hao was still not used to having two bodies, he still could not control them independently like Han Shuo could with his avatars.
“Yes, go now. Leave the Fringe with your main body and head to the Omphalos with your surrogate. Remember to bring your followers along. Go explore the parameters yourself until the Overgod finds you,” said Han Shuo smilingly.
“Understood,” nodded Han Hao. He said his goodbyes to Scarlett and the Five Elite Zombies before leaving through an underground tunnel of the Pandemonium, commencing the plot to cheat Death.
Han Shuo did not leave to the Omphalos with Han Hao as he did not wish to meet the Overgod of Death at this stage. Besides, Han Shuo had killed City Lord Hill of Witherbone City, an important servant of the Overgod. A meeting with the Overgod might not end well for Han Shuo.
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In addition, the Han Hao heading to the Omphalos was just a disposable surrogate. It wouldn’t cause any adverse effect on Han Hao’s main body even if the Overgod annihilated the surrogate. This put Han Shuo much more at ease about letting Little Skeleton go on the mission alone.
As soon as Han Hao left, Bollands, Sanguis, and Gilbert immediately went to Han Shuo excitedly to ask about avatars. They were very interested in what they saw and they too wanted surrogates of their own.
Unfortunately, Han Shuo had to douse their enthusiasm. As Bollands and Sanguis did not cultivate the orthodox school of demonic arts, they could not branch out a stand of their souls. Gilbert, however, could do so as he was taught the demonic techniques in tempering his soul.
However, it could be said that the current body of Gilbert was already a surrogate body which had become well-attached to his soul, not to mention the extreme robustness of the body. Therefore, it was pointless to spend time and energy forging another surrogate.
Han Shuo denied their requests and urged them to put their effort into their cultivations instead of distracting themselves with getting a clone.
The trio did not feel too dejected. Gilbert immediately returned to cultivating and meditating. He had learned a great deal from Han Hao and now saw the direction on how he should fuse the two energies in his body. He was confident that he would make great progress very soon.
Meanwhile, perhaps shocked or inspired by the strength they saw in Han Hao, Sanguis and Bollands became even more focused on their cultivations than they already were. They continued to advance at an incredible rate.
With the Godhunter Alliance now on the border of the Fringe, they were prepared to invade at any moment, Han Shuo was not at liberty to be careless. Ever since Han Hao departed, Han Shuo frequently met with Zovic to keep up to date about the latest situation and their battle plan. Han Shuo would also mysteriously disappear from the Pandemonium unexplained. He seemed to be setting something up in secret.
Two weeks passed in a snap. Han Shuo had been counting the days and thought that by now, Han Hao’s main body should have left the Fringe while his surrogate body would have reached the Omphalos. He started feeling somewhat worried, wondering how the situation was at the Omphalos.
***Over at the Omphalos.
Han Hao with a group of his godhunters formally stepped into the Omphalos. With his most grandiose and ostentatious party, he wandered all around the major streets and shopped for unique materials.
This surrogate body of Han Hao’s was in the vicinity of the Omphalos as early as five days ago. However, as his main body had yet to reach his destination, he hid and waited. It was only today, when surrogate Han Hao sensed that the main Han Hao had entered the Destiny Dominion, that he entered the Omphalos.
Han Hao’s sudden appearance in the trading city had alerted the major powerhouses, especially Tyre who knew that he possessed the Quintessence Shard. Tyre immediately ordered his men to furtively keep Han Hao under constant surveillance while disseminating his whereabouts using Stringers.
At present, Han Hao’s reputation in the Fringe was barely beneath the Five Sovereigns. Fringedwellers and the various forces were naturally curious when someone as powerful as Han Hao showed up in the Omphalos. They, too, silently observed every move he made.
Ossora was the first to come to Han Hao.
After bringing Han Hao to one of his Sovereign Shops and deploying multiple boundaries around themselves, Ossora bunched his brows and asked, “Why have you come to the Omphalos?”
Ossora knew that Han Hao and Han Shuo were very close and that he should also express his goodwill to Han Hao.
When the Sovereigns were visited by the Overgod of Death, Ossora had heard with his own ears the names Logue reported. Through his own intelligence network, Ossora was aware that some of those in the name list had been murdered. He had also relayed that news to Zovic via secret channels. Given just how dangerous the situation was, Ossora couldn’t understand why Han Hao would appear in the public now.
“I have some businesses to do here. I’m not the person He’s looking for. I will be fine,” although Han Hao’s skills in interaction were primitive, especially in romantic relationships, he knew enough to feign civility with a character like Ossora.
“Not you? Are you sure?” asked Ossora suspiciously after thinking for a moment. Although Ossora had no idea what really was happening, from the clues he had gathered so far, he could be certain that the Overgod of Death was looking for someone or something.
“It’s not me,” reaffirmed Han Hao.
“Alright then…” Ossora nodded and suddenly changed the topic, “How is Bryan doing recently? I have sent multiple messengers inviting him to the Omphalos for discussion. Why has he not replied?”
“He’s in a critical stage of his secluded cultivation. But you don’t have to worry, he has made all the necessary preparations. There wouldn’t be an issue even if the Godhunter Alliance strikes now,” answered Han Hao immediately. He had prepared those answers in advance with Han Shuo.
Ossora then asked a few more questions about Han Shuo which were answered almost spontaneously by Han Hao. He did not reveal any secrets related to the Pandemonium, but did a good job of not appearing as though he was trying to hide information from Ossora.
Ossora could not obtain the answer he wanted from Han Hao. After seeing that Han Hao seemed not in the least worried about the Overgod of Death visiting him and was determined to stay inside the Fringe, Ossora did not continue to persuade him otherwise. Not hoping to meet the Overgod of Death a second time, Ossora did not bother Han Hao for too long. He advised Han Hao to not resist if the Overgod visits him and wished him luck.
Han Hao thanked Ossora before leaving his Sovereign Shop with an indifferent face. He continued roaming around the Omphalos, waiting for Nestor to get him.
Around three days later, Han Hao, followed by Polo and the gang, went shopping at a store that sold certain unique bones. One by one, he scanned all the oddly-shaped bones containing strange energies that the merchant had.
As a cultivator of the death energy, Han Hao had a hobby of collecting all kinds of unique bones. It was a hobby of his to forge weapons out of bones. He needed just one look to determine the quality of a bone and if it was suitable to be turned into a weapon.
Needless to say, the shop owner was aware of Han Hao’s identity and he was incredibly respectful towards him. When presenting his highest quality products to Han Hao, the merchant wore the most sincere smile on his face and treated him with utmost courtesy.
After hours of shopping, Han Hao dropped a dozen or so bones on the counter and asked the merchant, who had been running all around the shop tirelessly the entire time, “I’m taking these. How many crystal coins do they cost?”
The merchant bared his palms, put on a flattering smile, and said, “How would I dare take your crystal coins, Lord? Please, you may have them all free of charge!“
Han Hao stared blankly for a moment. He raised a brow and asked, “Huh? Why won’t you take my crystal coins? Don’t tell me you’re actually running a charity?”
“No, Lord, it is a gift, only for you. You may come anytime and take anything in this shop. Haha, we would be extremely grateful if in return Your Lordship would spare us in the future,” said the merchant in an awkward and somewhat nervous smile.
Han Hao was rather baffled and he looked at the merchant with puzzled eyes. He didn’t seem to quite catch the merchant’s meaning. At this moment, Polo who was standing beside Han Hao chuckled mischievously before whispering into Han Hao’s ear, “A few years ago, Chief instructed us to intercept all the goods flowing into the Omphalos. Hehe, this is one of the merchants we looted…”
Han Hao immediately realized what was going on after hearing Polo’s words. Back then, Tyre and Logue were finding excuses to prevent Han Shuo from joining their ranks and control a part of the Omphalos. They commanded the Omphalos merchants under their influence to oppose Han Shuo’s installment as one of the city’s rulers. In response, Han Shuo had Han Hao loot all the merchandise going into the Omphalos, shutting down their businesses.
“Oh, thanks then,” said Han Hao indifferently as he nodded. He casually took away those bones and left with Polo and the gang.
Suddenly, the moment he stepped out the front door, Han Hao jolted for he felt as though someone had locked onto him. Although this body was just a surrogate body that was nowhere as good as an avatar or his main body, Han Hao’s secondary soul still possessed the acute sensing power of his main soul. He immediately knew that something was going to happen.
And just as expected, a misty cloud of death energy enveloping a dark figure stealthily emerged from a corner of the street and shot towards him at incredible speed. As the shadow approached Han Hao, out of nowhere, the energies of lightning, destruction, and darkness appeared around him to block Han Hao’s every escape path.
You’re finally here, thought Han Hao. He stood tall on his ground without moving, quietly waiting for the energy of death to get to him. He seemed prepared to allow the Overgod to probe him without giving any resistance.
But, out of Han Hao’s expectations, the figure shrouded by a cloud of mist suddenly stopped and a cold voice sounded, “Trap him!”
“Dagmar!” exclaimed Han Hao before he hastily retreated, instantly flying back into the shop he just came out from. He instructed, “Polo, disperse and shout!”
Han Hao was very surprised. He did not expect that instead of Nestor the Overgod of Death, the visitor was Dagmar the Godhunter Alliance’s Hegemon of Death!
They were at the Omphalos, the center of the Fringe. Tyre, Logue, Ossora, Wasir, as well as the leaders of various major factions, were in the Omphalos at that time. It was lunacy for Dagmar to come and strike him at the Omphalos.
Dagmar cultivated the energy of death and had a much more profound mastery of the soul than an ordinary expert. It was indeed possible for Dagmar to conceal his presence from the Sovereigns and sneak into the Omphalos.
Han Hao was between laughter and tears after baiting for the Overgod of Death for many days but it was Dagmar who was obsessed with the Shard that showed up. While immediately retreating into the shop, Han Hao did not forget to give Polo instructions.
“The Godhunter Alliance is here! The Godhunter Alliance is attacking!” Needless to say, Polo was aware of Dagmar’s identity. Having worked under Han Hao for many years, he knew exactly what he had to do at this moment. He cried for help while escaping with his gang.
“There’s no escape this time, Han Hao!” shouted Dagmar in his sinister voice. Multiple shadows appeared from all around Han Hao and surrounded him. Dagmar, however, instead of going after Han Hao, waved his hand to trap Polo and the others in bone cages.
After his previous encounter with Han Hao, Dagmar learned to be cautious of the Shard’s miraculous power. He was afraid of being affected by the gravestone again. It was for this reason that Dagmar had kept a distance from Han Hao.
Naturally, Dagmar had no idea that this was just a surrogate body of Han Hao’s that did not carry the Quintessence Shard. He would keep Han Hao’s followers trapped while having his experts who don't cultivate the energy of death to encircle Han Hao.
“You still can’t kill me!” shouted Han Hao after jumping out from the back window of the shop. He then threw a handful of the Pearls of Annihilation in every direction.
Kaboom! Kaboom! Kaboom!
Tremendous explosions that shook the entire city erupted. Those henchmen of Dagmar’s had to temporarily stop advancing to shield themselves from the blast. One of the experts who were much further ahead of the others was shredded into smithereens. It was instant death.
Afraid that the surrogate Han Hao might get attacked while traveling to the Omphalos, Han Shuo gave him half of the Pearls of Annihilation he had. This surrogate body of Han Hao’s was rather weak and it could not unleash much power as it was made in haste. However, as the secondary soul inherited the properties and memories of the main soul, it could activate the Pearls of Annihilation without any trouble.
In an instant, the violent explosion destroyed several dozen shops in the vicinity. Rubbles, wood chips, broken crystals, and dust were sent flying everywhere. All the merchants, sales clerks, and shoppers in the area became collateral casualties.
Dagmar emerged from the cloud of dust and yelled, “Hurry! Seize him! We don’t have much time!” He flicked his fingers and sent strands of the energy of death into the bone cages trapping Polo and the others. The spiky bone cages started shrinking and piercing through their bodies.
Given that Dagmar was an overgod expert, it came as no surprise that Polo and the others stood no chance against him. Polo and the others would have been dead long ago if Dagmar had not been so focused on Han Hao.
Through Dagmar’s mad shouting, those devoted followers of his dauntlessly braved through the explosions and continued to charge at Han Hao. It seemed as though they were determined to kill Han Hao even at the cost of their own lives.
The Pearls of Annihilation could not instantly kill all those experts Dagmar brought as all of them possessed late-stage highgod strengths. This half-made avatar body of Han Hao’s was no match against the group of highgods. With them now charging ahead without regard for their own lives, Han Hao also could not outrun them.
However, Han Hao wasn’t all too worried. He knew that even if this surrogate body was destroyed, it would have no effect on his main body. Besides, if he was ‘killed’ in the Omphalos, the Overgod would no longer hunt for him. Although this would be different from the original plan, it still accomplished the original objective.
Five shadows suddenly gathered around Han Hao and intercepted him. Immediately after, five energies bound his body, not allowing him to budge.
“Hegemon, we’ve restrained him!” cried one of Dagmar’s followers.
Dagmar was overjoyed and he was shaking in excitement. He stopped injecting his energy of death into the bone cages that were about to pierce Polo and the others to death. Instantly, he landed before Han Hao and put a hand on Han Hao’s chest.
“Yes… My precious… I will finally have you...” mumbled Dagmar foolishly as he caressed Han Hao’s chest. Then, with his sharp, white fingernails, he stabbed Han Hao in the chest.
He pushed his hand deeper into the surrogate body’s chest excitedly as though he wanted to rip Han Hao’s chest out for the Quintessence Shard.
But suddenly, Dagmar stopped. He turned furious. He stared at Han Hao and bawled, “It’s not there! Why is it not there?! You hid it! Where have you hidden it? Give it to me, give it to me!”