GDK 946: The war begins
The meeting of the Hegemons steered by Judas and Dhaka slowly came to an end. Dagmar, Asser, and Dhaka, the Hegemons of Death, Darkness, and Destruction, will be attacking the House of Han’s Pandemonium. Tuckamore and Judas, the Hegemons of Water and Light, will be attacking Logue. Regis, Miller, and Isaiah, the Hegemons of Thunder, Wind, and Earth, will be attacking Ossora. The remaining Hegemons would be attacking Tyre and Wasir.
It was obvious that the power of the Godhunter Alliance was far greater than that of the Fringe. If everything goes well, the Five Sovereigns would be defeated and the Fringe would fall into the Godhunter Alliance’s hand.
After the meeting was concluded, the Twelve Hegemons gathered their troops and separated as five armies, marching into the Land of Chaos from five directions.
The Pandemonium will be facing Dhaka, Asser, and Dagmar, three experts with overgod strengths. Although Dagmar had suffered tremendous losses in his last failed mission, Asser and Dhaka still possessed an army of experts at the top of their shape. With Salas, a former Sovereign who knew his way around the Fringe working as their guide, it seemed as though the Pandemonium was destined to fall.
With Salas showing the way, the three Hegemons started marching towards the Pandemonium. After a while, Salas suddenly spoke, “There are all kinds of powerful boundaries protecting the Pandemonium. The valley is shrouded all-year by extremely toxic fog. It’s very hard to deal with. Back then, I suffered tremendous losses when I attacked the Pandemonium, even though Bryan was not around at that time. I could not even lay waste to the valley.”
The real battle will begin soon and it was important that they know as much as possible about their enemy and the ground situation. Salas informed the three Hegemons everything he knew about the Pandemonium in detail. Dhaka and Asser listened intently to his briefing.
Dagmar, however, was absent-minded. His viper-like eyes glistened with insidious rays. Before Salas had completed giving his briefing, Dagmar suddenly interrupted, “Salas, it’s just a small little valley. Even if there are a hundred times more barriers and seals, are they enough to stop the four of us?”
“I’m not sure. But back then, soon after I intruded the valley, I was trapped by a bizarre energy for a long while.” Salas used to be cautious of Dagmar. However, ever since Dagmar became obsessed with the Quintessence Shard, Salas started to scorn him. He thought that Dagmar was no longer a formidable expert after he lost his ability to think rationally.
“A bizarre energy?” sneered Dagmar. He glanced at Salas from the corner of his eyes and derisively said, “Salas, are you making things up to hide the fact that you were too weak? How in the world can the defenses of a valley trap an overgod expert?”
Salas groaned and put on an annoyed face. He responded, “I’m just telling you what I’ve experienced. It’s completely up to you if you want to believe my words or not. But don’t say that I didn’t warn you if your followers got massacred.”
“Dagmar, you were there when we fought Bryan at the Misty Sea. You should know that his cultivation is not the same as ours. Also, you’ve known Han Hao long ago and have fought him recently. Han Hao also cultivates an energy that is not known to us, is it not?” said Dhaka. In a grave expression, he continued, “In this war, not only must we kill Bryan, Han Hao, and destroy the Pandemonium, we must also avoid taking too many casualties. As you know, that Judas guy is a cunning fox. If we lose too many of our forces to the House of Han, we will lose out when it’s time to divide the spoils. Therefore, we better listen to what Salas has to say.”
After hearing Dhaka’s words, Dagmar put on an eerie smile and said, “Hmm, that makes sense,” He turned to Salas and apologetically said, “Please continue, I will listen carefully, hehe…”
Salas nodded, thought for a moment, before he continued, “The Pandemonium is extraordinarily unusual. I’m telling you that lest that you get caught by surprise and suffer heavy losses. Other than that base, from my research, I discovered that there is another base near the Pandemonium. Han Hao’s godhunters are stationed there. Although it is not far away from the Pandemonium, its defenses aren’t as tight…”
Dagmar’s body jolted when he heard Han Hao’s name mentioned. A sinister spark circled in his eyes before he asked Salas, “What do you suggest?”
“Han Hao is close to the House of Han. As it is not as well defended, I think that we should head to his base first and see if we can destroy it before going to the Pandemonium. Oh, and don’t underestimate Han Hao’s power. He had united every godhunter in the Fringe. After the Five Sovereigns, he has the largest army!”
“Very well, we will head to Han Hao’s base first.” Dagmar seemed rather impatient. His main objective wasn’t to destroy the Pandemonium but to take Han Hao’s Quintessence Shard. The Fringe was nothing in Dagmar’s eyes compared to the Quintessence Shard of Death.
“Salas, you are more familiar with the Fringe than we do. Do you think we might run into any trouble?” asked Dhaka with his brows bunched. Salas’ proposal was a deviation from his own plan. But after thinking about it carefully, Dhaka didn’t feel that taking a quick detour would cause any issue.
Never in a million years would Dhaka suspect that Salas had secretly looked for Han Shuo and even reached a deal with him. After all, it was Han Shuo who had ousted Salas from the Fringe. From Dhaka’s point of view, Salas and Han Shuo had irreconcilable animosity and it was impossible for them to team up. He felt that Salas was proposing that in his best effort to destroy the House of Han.
“I do not know if we might run into troubles, but I’m sure that their defenses won’t be as great as the Pandemonium. If we can’t even defeat that base, then there is no point trying to invade the Pandemonium,” replied Salas in a deep voice.
“What do you think?” Dhaka thought for a moment before turning to Asser and asked for his opinion.
“Sure, why not. We can take down that base as a warm-up and see if we can find Dagmar his Shard in passing,” answered Asser unenthusiastically, shrugging.
“Wonderful! Hehe,” exclaimed Dagmar. Asser had just become much more pleasing to his eyes.
“Alright, then we shall head there first,” Dhaka finally agreed to the slight change of plan. They started asking Salas about the situation over on that base as they altered their course.
*** Over at the Pandemonium.
Zovic, Romon, Rose, the five Elite Zombies, Bollands, and every core member of the House of Han were assembled. Even Stratholme, Phoebe, and the others who had been busy assimilating cultivation memories from their crystal balls came out from their gymnasiums.
“Dhaka, Dagmar, and Asser are heading for us with their godhunter troops. Other than the three Hegemons, we might also have to face Salas…” Zovic who was standing beside Han Shuo explained the situation with a grave look.
The atmosphere turned solemn after the House of Han members were briefed. Even the usually carefree Gilbert turned unusually quiet.
Dhaka, Dagmar, and Asser were all overgod experts. If Salas was among them, they would be facing four overgods. The House of Han had never faced such a mighty force. Compared to the four, Hill and Sha-t’o they had encountered in Witherbone City was absolutely insignificant.
“That’s the situation now,” Han Shuo swept his eyes across the crowd and instructed, “From today onwards, the Pandemonium is sealed. Nobody takes a step outside without my explicit permission!”
“If we do not leave the Pandemonium, wouldn’t the godhunters take a detour and head straight for the Omphalos?” asked the puzzled Ayermike, “From our agreement with Tyre and the others, is it not our responsibility to guard this side of the Fringe? If we allow Dhaka and the others to go around us and head for the Omphalos, the consequences would be dire!”
“Don’t worry, Dhaka will come to the Pandemonium. His objective wasn’t to take the Omphalos but to destroy us,” replied Han Shuo with a confident smile.
Ayermike nodded and did not ask any more questions. He had known Han Shuo for a long time and he could tell that Han Shuo has a plan in mind. He would have thought of every aspect long ago.
“Yea, so don’t go out to seek them. Instead, we will wait in the Pandemonium and let them come to us!” Han Shuo scanned the faces of his family clan members before he smilingly continued, “But if they were to go around us and head for the Omphalos, let them be. In any case, our members in the Omphalos should have evacuated by now.”
Stratholme stared blankly for a moment before he suddenly laughed and asked, “So you have never bothered about defending the Omphalos?”
Han Shuo too laughed before he answered, “So what if it is destroyed? With Han Tu and Han Jin, rebuilding the Omphalos is a piece of cake. As to those in the Omphalos, well, why should I protect their lives? I couldn’t care less if they die. Hehe, only those strong enough to survive the slaughter are qualified to be the future servants of my House of Han!”
After hearing those words, the party immediately understood Han Shuo’s real plan. It seemed as though Han Shuo was planning to conquer the entire Land of Chaos.
“Erm, Bryan, about the elixir you promised, how is the progress on that?” Stratholme’s heart was itching. He had an embarrassed smile as he said, “I have reached a higher realm state. I will advance to the next level once I have sufficient divine energy.”
“Don’t worry about it, the raw materials for your elixir are on their way here. Hehe, with all those godhunters coming our way, I can produce an endless supply of the divine energy elixir for everyone,” answered Han Shuo before he calmly added a few more instructions and advised them to be extra cautious. However, Han Shuo did not reveal much about his actual plan.
Over at a valley not too far from the Pandemonium, silhouettes could be seen weaving above three mountains. They seemed to be busy with something.
Standing on a cliff, Han Hao was closely observing the activities happening on the three mountains and those shooting across it. From time to time, he would summon a follower and give some instructions.
Enormous sigils with strange shapes were carved onto the three mountains. Nobody knew when it was carven, who did it, or even what they were for. Even Han Hao’s followers were completely clueless about it. They merely followed Han Hao’s instruction to pour barrels after barrels of a most pungent and dark liquid on those sigils.
When the ink-like liquid made contact with the sigils, jet-black smoke was produced. However, miraculously, the black smoke doesn’t dissipate or move with the wind but lingers around the sigils.
The inside of the mountains was excavated to form countless cavities. When energy crystals were placed into those cavities, the energy crystals would start shining in their unique, beautiful luster and begin releasing their energy which would flow to every corner of the mountain through special circuits.
Under the work of Han Hao and his followers, the atmosphere of the three mountains had drastically transformed. It appeared ghostly, sinister, and dangerous.
“Are you okay?” Han Shuo suddenly materialized beside Han Hao. He took a look at the wound on his chest and asked, “Zovic told me that you ran into Dagmar in the Omphalos? Did he do anything to you?”
Han Hao gestured for his followers around him to keep away temporarily before he answered, “It’s fine. This surrogate body is meant to be disposable, after all.” After taking a short pause, Han Hao said, “Father, the first to come to my rescue was Wasir.”
Han Shuo stared blankly for a bit before he smiled and nodded. “Excellent. It seems that Wasir is a reliable person during critical times!” Han Shuo thought for a moment before he bunched his brows and asked, “Tyre and Logue definitely wouldn’t have intervened even if they were just nearby. Hmm, what about Ossora? Did you notice anything unusual?”
“Ossora arrived after Wasir. He seemed to be rushing to me and I can’t tell anything wrong. But still, somehow, it just feels as though he was a bit late…” answered Han Hao.
“Hmm, okay... “ Han Shuo thought in silence for a moment before he turned to those busying on the mountains and smilingly remarked, “Salas should be leading them here as we speak. Hehe, they are going to love the big surprise that I’ve prepared for them.“
“Father, do you know a girl named Andrina?” asked Han Hao suddenly.
Han Shuo was stunned. He looked at Han Hao with an astounded look and replied, “Yes, I know Andrina. She is a good friend. How did you know about Andrina?”
“I have fought her.” Seeing that Han Hao was still puzzled, Han Hao added, “I mean, my main body fought her in the Destiny Dominion. She is formidable. She possesses a divine weapon that probably belongs to destiny edict cultivator…” Han Hao recounted his encounter with Andrina in detail.
After hearing Han Hao’s story, Han Shuo kept silent for a moment before he suddenly laughed and said, “She is coming to the Fringe to find me? Hehe, that’s wonderful! If she stays in the Pandemonium, I believe that even a Quintessence Overgod would think twice before attacking us!”
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