GDK 957: Taking a Risk
Dhaka had never expected that something like that would happen right after they stepped into the thick fog. After calling out a few times loudly without receiving a response, he knew that something odd had happened to Dagmar and Asser. They wouldn’t just vanish like that.
He gave it some thought; the three of them weren’t even that far apart. Their sudden disappearance caused Dhaka to be on even higher alert.
He had intended to find the other two before proceeding any deeper, but before he could sweep the area with his consciousness to locate them, he noticed that he had been wrapped by a thick layer of seemingly benign smoke. It was as if he had fallen into a quagmire, constantly sinking and about to be submerged at any moment. His limbs felt thousands of times heavier than before. It took him more than ten times the force to even raise his arm.
As the smoke enveloped him, it entered his body through his pores. Not only did he feel much heavier, he also started to numb. The smoke definitely contained some form of toxin.
Even so, it was not able to do any proper harm to him. Dhaka smirked as he caused the energy of destruction in his body to erupt from his body, annihilating the toxin that had entered it and forming a barrier over his body at the same time.
All of a sudden, the weight of the smoke was suddenly lifted, giving him back control over his body.
Being one of the twelve Hegemons of the overgod realm, Dhaka was famous for his combat strength. The edict of destruction had always been one that focused on powerful attacks, and Dhaka was willing to do anything to constantly get stronger. A minor setback like this wouldn't be able to overcome him.
After breaking from the toxic smoke, he made a sweep with his soul in an attempt to locate Dagmar and Asser. However, his mastery over this was still inferior to Dagmar's. He felt his soul sense being restricted from spreading too far by a weird body of air. He couldn't even span the hundred meters in his immediate surroundings, let alone find Dagmar and Asser across the whole of Pandemonium.
Thankfully Bryan's not in Pandemonium. Otherwise, he would've taken the chance to sneak attack one of us already, he thought as he slowly marched towards the depths of Pandemonium.
Meanwhile near the center of Pandemonium...
"Dhaka really is impressive. He was barely affected by the fog. I guess my master was right. The outer defenses might work against normal gods, but not those at the overgod realm," Gilbert said. Seeing Dhaka shake off the effects of the fog from the magical mirror and break through a few barriers within Pandemonium, he felt rather impressed.
"Every expert that reaches the overgod realm are terrifying beings. Dhaka, Dagmar and Asser, being Hegemons of the godhunters, are people who have emerged to stand atop a mountain of corpses. We can't afford to underestimate people like that!" Bollands said with a serious look. After a moment, he looked to Han Hao and said, "With him barging in so forcefully, I worry that most of the formations won't be able to stop him. Do you think we should lead him to this spot instead?" He pointed at an area that looked like a small hill.
The Five Elite Zombies, seeing Bollands point at the spot, seemed a little taken aback. However, they didn't speak a word and only turned to Han Hao.
As the leader of the Fringe-dwelling godhunters, Han Hao was well trusted by Stratholme, Phoebe and the others of the House of Han, despite not spending much time with them.
Han Hao looked at the spot with a contemplative gaze. After a moment of thought, he said, "Alright. I'll make a trip there myself to lead him there."
Han Jin, surprised, said, "Big Brother, let someone else do it. Over there is where the most terrifying formation of Pandemonium is deployed. Father had warned us that the formation doesn't differentiate friend from foe. Anyone that enters the area will be attacked indiscriminately, and the formation won't ever stop working as long as there is a sign of life in it and the energy within Pandemonium hasn't been used up!"
"It's fine," he said. He didn't say anything else before turning to leave.
"Wait!" Though Scarlett didn't really seem too worried at first, she felt something was off after listening to Bollands and Han Jin.
Han Hao turned to her and said, "I will be fine!" He left right after without delay.
Just as he left, through the magical mirror, everyone noticed Dhaka activating his divine energy to the fullest, forming Orbs of Destruction to be sent all over the place indiscriminately. Some of the formations were more or less ruined by the chaotic bombardment while others could barely operate at full capacity.
Unlike Dhaka, Dagmar and Asser had entered Pandemonium with utmost caution despite how brave sounding they were initially. They were so careful that they only took small steps, unlike Dhaka who destroyed almost everything he came across.
"These two are huge threats as well. They didn't go all out because they still didn't have a grasp of the situation before. Once they leave the fog and are no longer under its influence, they'll definitely go blasting away at everything in Pandemonium like Dhaka," Bollands calmly said.
"Don't worry. They'll soon encounter the Infernal Psychedemon Formation. The two of them will be held back there for some time at least. Once they leave it, the Skysunder Lightning Formation awaits. So, there's no need to worry about the two of them," Han Jin whispered to Bollands.
"Great!" Bollands' voice was raised a little higher to draw the attention of the others. "Everyone, let's get preparing. Once Han Hao leads Dhaka into that place, we'll immediately leave Pandemonium through the underground tunnel. The three's subordinates are waiting outside and I want to use our household’s might to deal a heavy blow to them while the three are in here."
"Of course!" Sangius loudly said, "Since those godhunters have a deathwish, we should oblige!"
"Sanguis, instruct the guards to get ready. However, wait for my signal. Only bring them into the fight through the underground tunnel after I say it's clear, alright?" Bollands warned, knowing how reckless Sanguis could be sometimes.
"Don't worry, I know what to do!" Sanguis said before impatiently leaving with Gilbert.
Within the valley, all sorts of formations were covered in fog. Han Hao flew past them like a wraith armed with his bone spear.
A few demon generals stealthily flew out from his bone spear and snuck up to Dhaka, who was destroying everything in the distance, to monitor his every move.
Han Hao had memorized all the formations and energy barriers Andrina had deployed along the way thanks to his impeccable memory. He quickly sped towards Dhaka.
An insidious aura was present all across Pandemonium. Whenever the formations were activated, the killing intent they radiated would cause those within it to feel a chill down their spine which would also affect the energy within their bodies. However, Han Hao didn't hate this place. Instead, he found it rather comfortable. The environment was ideal for his cultivation of demonic arts.
His bone spear swayed about in his hand and shot out a dark beam from time to time, all the while an eerie wail emanated from it. Though, it was so soft that one wouldn't pick it up unless one really listened for it.
Gradually, he arrived at the location Bollands had talked about; he could already feel the danger as he approached. The demon generals that he sent out made sure to avoid that area and even the countless souls contained within the bone spear seemed to want to leave the area too.
"You may go anywhere you want within Pandemonium, but you'll have to be on your utmost care at one place. Even you shouldn't enter it! That place will destroy anything that enters it regardless if it's friend or foe!" Feeling the fear coming from the souls in the bone spear, Han Hao recalled Han Shuo's warning to him before he left. He stood still at the edge of the area without taking a single step in. He gave it some thought before pushing the spear into the ground by his feet as he infused some odd runes and energy into it.
He then let go. The bone spear sank slowly into the ground until only one small part of it was exposed. It then began to let out a grey smoke.
After some hesitation, Han Hao left empty handed and charged past the various formations back to where Dhaka was. Soon, he was there and he immediately sent a surge of soul energy rumbling towards him.
All of a sudden, Dhaka felt his head hurt midway through his rampage and immediately noticed Han Hao's presence. The physically tough Dhaka was a little weak towards soul attacks, so the full-powered soul energy strike Han Hao used was enough to make Dhaka feel his head splitting with pain.
He hurriedly stopped his wanton destruction and focused his attention on resisting the soul attack. Just as he was doing so, he noticed that the soul energy that permeated his consciousness had vanished the next instant. Not far from him, Han Hao looked a little panicked as he attempted to flee.
"Hmph, you've come to die, have you not?!" Dhaka smirked and couldn't wait to give chase. He was not a cultivator of the edict of death and therefore, even if Han Hao had mastered the Quintessence Shard's power, he’d still be immune to its effects.
That's why, while Dagmar was afraid of Han Hao, Dhaka wasn't.
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