GDK 962: Underground Assault
Regis wasn't surprised at Han Hao's reaction. Given the circumstances, retreating was simply the wisest action. What he didn't expect, however, was that Han Hao would be that decisive in leaving with Zovic without saying anything else.
Almost immediately, light shone through the cracks in the blockage before it burst open, sending shrapnel flying towards the white bone shield. The beautiful shield shattered into pieces before it turned into powder.
Regis's eyes shone with bright electricity. He locked onto Han Hao as he zoomed about and snickered. "You have a decent reaction. You must be a talented one. I wonder how far you can run." Right after, he leaped towards Han Hao, speeding through the dark passageway like a bolt of lightning.
Han Hao, who was pulling Zovic with him, felt Regis gaining on him from behind. The discomfort he was sensing was a sign that Regis had locked firmly onto his soul.
"Zovic, leave first!" He loosened his hand before turning around and impaling his bone spear into the ground. As it sunk in, it let out a weird light. All of a sudden, the firm earth around the passageway rippled like a carpet being dusted and shot towards Regis. The energy of death caused countless sharp bone spikes to manifest around the tight passageway facing the incoming Regis.
"Be careful!" Zovic said before he turned to run.
"Not bad, Han Hao!" Regis praised once more. He unleashed his power fully in the tight passageway, sending lightning bolts crackling throughout as they shattered the bone spikes one after another.
With a squint, he sent two bolts of lightning out from his eyes that snaked towards the earthen 'carpet', successfully neutralizing the attack.
"Huh?" When the dust settled, Regis suddenly realized he had lost track of Han Hao completely. "He really is a fast one..." His mouth curved into a pensive smile as he muttered, "This isn't so bad either. It'd save me much effort if they can be dealt with all at once."
As long as Han Tu was in the underground palace, he could make new passageways anywhere he wanted thanks to his affinity with the earth element. It wasn't a surprise he used his abilities to his full advantage to help out the others in the House of Han.
Right after Zovic entered a room, a new hole suddenly appeared on the wall within it. Initially, he was suspicious of its presence, but he soon figured something out and entered it without hesitation. The moment he entered, the hole in the wall closed up, leaving it no different from before without the slightest crack to be seen.
The same was happening within the underground palace wherever there was a member of the House of Han. The moment they entered, the holes would close back up like before. Not only that, many existing holes would crumble to stop the godhunters from pursuing them. Han Tu used his power in tandem with his familiarity with the layout of the underground palace to lead the household members towards the heavily defended control center.
With his support, the core members of the House of Han were able to escape alive from the godhunters' frantic pursuit. However, Han Tu himself had yet to enter the control center. Currently, he was hiding in a remote corner within the underground palace, doing what he could as he observed the situation through several mirrors.
Apart from Han Jin, Han Huo, Han Mu, and Han Shui, he was also accompanied by Andrina, who looked somewhat doubtful. She was holding hands with Han Jin and watching Han Tu work his wonders with her crystal-like eyes. She seemed rather shocked and puzzled at how an early-stage highgod like him would be so masterful with manipulating the energy of the earth, especially with how he could open up new passageways so far away.
As the daughter of the Goddess of Destiny, Andrina had quite a deep understanding of the Twelve Fundamental Energies, familiar with their unique properties as well as what could be achieved at any given stage. Her mother had explained much of it to her in detail.
Putting aside highgods, even earth overgods like Isaiah or Ossora wouldn't be able to do what Han Tu did. It was remarkable.
Clutching Han Jin's hand tightly, she whispered, "Where's all his power coming from? Why does it look so weird? It's as if the earth is part of his body! This is too wondrous. If I hadn't seen it with my own eyes, I wouldn't dare believe that earth cultivators could achieve feats to this degree!"
Han Jin hesitated for a moment before pointing at Han Mu, Han Shui and Han Huo. "It's not just Han Tu. The other three and I excel at utilizing the energies corresponding to our element. Hehe, this is something our father has gifted us."
"Bryan... He... he really is..." Andrina shook her head with a resigned look.
"Someone's here!" Han Tu growled as he pointed at a wall nearby as if his nemesis was approaching. "He's an earth cultivator as well! He probably detected that the source of the changes happening around the underground palace came from here! If it isn't Ossora, it has to be Isaiah!" He exhaled and suddenly opened his eyes.
"How is it?" Han Jin asked.
"It's almost done. I've sent away those I need to. There are still some warriors left, but as there are too many, the best I could do was make an escape path for them leading towards big brother’s base," he answered.
"Alright. Then, let us go too," Han Jin said after some quick consideration.
Right at that moment, Han Tu and Han Mu both felt someone was near. Even Han Jin could feel an oppressive force approaching. Either Ossora or Isaiah was approaching them at full speed.
As earth cultivators, even if they couldn't utilize earth energy in the way Han Tu did, the latter's blockages weren't able to stop them in the slightest. Not to mention, as Han Tu was using the energy of the earth nonstop, they were able to pinpoint his location.
"They really came fast! Let's go!" Han Mu yelled as he took a step back.
Han Tu rose and opened a hole in the wall before jumping into it. Han Jin, Han Huo and the rest followed without hesitation before the secret chamber suddenly collapsed. The hole Han Tu had opened up closed back up as well.
The earth itself began to shake heavily, accompanied by a loud rumbling from above. A figure could be seen bursting through the earth in their path till they reached the crumbling secret room.
Isaiah sensed his surroundings and humphed. He swung his hands wide open, pulling apart the walls where Han Tu and the rest had entered, making a huge hole and revealing the backs of Han Tu, Han Jin and the rest.
"Gotcha!" He snickered and charged right in. As an expert of the overgod realm, Isaiah was definitely not one to be taken lightly. While his control over earth energy might not be as refined as the uniquely talented Han Tu, his attack power definitely far outclassed Han Tu's owing to his cultivation.
With his boundless power alone, he could affect the composition of the earth to reform it with his will. While he wasn't able to become one with the earth like Han Tu could, he could use his divine energy to influence the earth itself.
He managed to crack a path wide open with brute force alone. Using his divine energy, he gathered a large amount of earth element on his body, allowing each step he took to shake the whole underground palace.
"Oh no!" Han Tu cried. The extremely dense and powerful earth element had completely altered the composition of the earth around him, filling it with Isaiah's divine energy. Han Tu had lost his control over the earth. The pathways in front of him began to shrivel up as his control over them slipped.
"Here I come!" Andrina cried at that moment. Han Jin felt a terrifying power coming from her hand. Only the simultaneous activation of hundreds of energy towers could cause such a powerful reaction. A blinding light shot out from Andrina's diamond-like body towards the incoming Isaiah.
Struck with the sudden burst of light, Isaiah winced and had no choice but to withdraw the divine energy he infused the earth with to defend against the move. He caused a firm wall to form in front of him.
The clash caused a tremor so huge that everyone in the underground palace could feel it, especially from the dust and rocks that fell from above.
"Great!" Han Tu said with joy. He noticed that Isaiah's energy was gone from the earth around him. A pathway opened up in front of him once more, and he and the rest charged in quickly.
Knowing that a powerful cultivator like Isaiah was right behind them, the rest didn't dally and ran as fast as they could. Before Isaiah could react, they were already quite far off.
Soon, the Five Elite Zombies and Andrina passed through the barrier and reached the control center, which was a wide, underground secret chamber. Above them was the round monolith engraved with the Cauldron’s outline. The monolith could not only gather elemental energy from the environment, it could also collect the souls of those who died in Pandemonium.
"Why did you pull me away so hurriedly? It's just Isaiah! I'm not afraid of him!" Andrina complained.
Han Jin smiled awkwardly and said, "I was just worried you would be in danger..."
Hearing that caused her to smile sweetly. "With this precious thing over here, even Isaiah can't take me on!"
Surprised, Han Jin asked, "Then can it be used to kill Isaiah? If so, let's go back and get rid of him!"
"I can only use it to keep myself alive. It can't kill him," Andrina said, shaking her head. "My mother doesn't let me kill people for no good reason. Had she given me the Mirror of Destiny, however, I would've been able to kill him."
"The Mirror of Destiny? The divine weapon of the Goddess of Destiny?" Stratholme exclaimed. He wondered what kind of chaos Andrina could usher in if she really wielded the mirror.
"Who else isn't here yet?" Han Hao asked Phoebe with a furrowed brow. After all they had experienced, Phoebe, Emily and the other women no longer blamed Han Hao for being too cautious, knowing that if not for his swift reaction, asking Han Tu to evacuate everyone, many of them would've been dead by now.
Phoebe looked around the control room with a thoughtful expression before she said, "Everyone that came from the Profound Continent should be here."
"Alright." Han Hao turned to the Five Elite Zombies and said, "Seal the entrance!"
The five of them immediately used their elemental powers to seal the walls. Colorful energies radiated from their bodies before seeping into the walls around them. The room rumbled and creaked as they worked away, as if a huge mechanism was being activated.
At the same time, a portion of the yuan energy from the Sky Annihilation Formation gushed towards their secret chamber as all sorts of defensive formations manifested on the walls. Dhaka, who had been trapped within the aforementioned formation, noticed the change. While the pressure on him had lightened considerably, it would still take him some time before he could emerge from it.