GDK 978: Ruminations
Everyone was dumbfounded, including Han Hao himself. He looked down blankly at the spinning rhombus near his chest and felt like it had become his second soul. Thanks to the new Quintessence, the hatred, resentment, rage, and all sorts of negative energies all around the world were affected and came flooding in from all directions.
This new Quintessence almost seemed like the source of all negative energies, which is channeled and gathered for Han Hao to use. The rhombus-shaped Quintessence spun around a few more times before entering Han Hao's head and was enveloped by his divine soul, becoming one with it. That instant, a grand blast of light seemed to emanate from the bone throne as it began to change in some way.
Han Shuo, who stood not far away, was just as clueless about the changes as the others were. He wasn't sure what that Quintessence represented, but he secretly felt elation at the prospect of Han Hao becoming an existence on the level of the Twelve Great Overgods.
He could feel a familiar, yet paradoxically foreign aura coming from Han Hao, of which nature he was still unaware. But based on the looks on the others' faces, he could be sure that the object was indeed a Quintessence.
"What's going on? How could a new Quintessence come into existence?" Judas mumbled. The smile on his face was now replaced with nothing but utter shock.
"Wasn't it said that only twelve Quintessence had come into existence since the very beginning? Over the aeons, I haven't heard of an instance of new Quintessences forming," Nestor said as he shot the Goddess of Destiny a confused look, expecting some kind of explanation from her.
It seemed that she was just as dumbstruck as they were. After recovering from the shock, she smiled in resignation and said, "Don't look at me. Even I don't know why this is happening. Han Hao's destiny is not something I can control. He is now beyond my understanding of the universe."
"What do we do then?" Nestor said after some thought.
She didn't answer his question immediately. Instead, she turned pensively to Han Shuo and Han Hao. After some time, she frowned and said, "Nestor, the Quintessence is already born, so there's no need for you to worry that he will take your Death Quintessence. These two might be of help to us. Now, I have a feeling we should leave."
Nestor turned to Han Hao with an uncertain gaze, while Han Hao looked back at him as if he was the greatest foe he would ever face. He was worried that the Overgod of Death would stake it all and attack him.
Even though he now had something so powerful in his divine soul, he hadn't mastered how to use it best yet. As of now, he was definitely not Nestor's match. Han Shuo was just as careful as he was. Now, his main body and avatars were carefully preparing to stop Nestor if he charged.
"Nestor, there are some things that are out of our purview," Judas finally said.
Nestor shot him a look before nodding. With a chuckle, he said, "We still have one more fight before we go to Aethernia. If you dare to continue using that trashy body of yours, I will not hesitate to destroy it." He then turned to Han Hao and merely humphed. He then nodded to the goddess before he left.
When Nestor had vanished, the Goddess of Destiny furrowed her brow and said to Judas, "You shouldn't meddle too much with the Godhunter Alliance's affairs nor occupy Judas's body. The alliance exists for a reason, but it doesn't need you to lead it."
When the God of Light heard what she said, his expression turned serious. With some hesitation, he said, "I know what I need to do, so you don't have to remind me. Once I leave, Judas will disappear for good. He will no longer show up in Elysium ever again."
The goddess smiled and nodded. "Very well."
The God of Light turned to Han Shuo and Hao Hao. After some hesitation, he smiled and said, "Before Aethernia opens, an unavoidable change will come to Elysium. I hereby invite you to join the battle as a representative of the Light, Life, and Water Dominions. Don't be in a hurry to join or refuse yet. You can take your time to think it over."
"I want to kill one of your three guardians, Gyál!" Han Shuo said, remembering McKinley's pleading right before the God of Light left.
Stopping in his tracks, he turned to Han Shuo. After some thought, he said, "Gyál has been a loyal follower of mine for years and I alone will decide his fate. If Gyál is dead, I will consider it as you having refused my olive branch. Think carefully about what you decide."
He then nodded to the Goddess of Destiny before slowly walking away. When he was right at her side, he stopped and whispered, "Rather than the Quintessence-bearing Han Hao, I'm more concerned about his father who can fuse the twelve fundamental forces. We know the power and limits of the Quintessence, but nobody has a grasp on foreign energies. You have to be careful how you let this develop."
After saying that, he gradually left. The God of Light didn't bother to hide what he said. Han Shuo and Han Hao heard it perfectly well. Now, Han Shuo knew that the Twelve Overgods had other plans, but he wasn't sure what it entailed yet.
Now that the other two had vanished, the goddess smiled. "Looks like I don't have to worry about Andrina staying with you all. Please take care of her. I have some other matters to deal with at the moment. When the time is right, I will seek you out personally to talk about what you want to know."
Han Shuo honestly didn't know what to say to her. Even though he knew she was hiding something from him and had hopes for him, she had never gone into any of the details. However, he had a hunch it had something to do with his cultivation and the Exalted Demonlord. He couldn't imagine what other part of him would draw the goddess's attention.
He didn't say anything as he watched the goddess vanish. Now, even she was gone, leaving only Han Shuo and Han Hao in Pandemonium's ruins.
After the great battle, the father and son grew even stronger. Han Shuo's realm-state broke through to the Diablo Realm and he also gained avatars for thirteen different energies, all of which he could fuse into a sum greater than their parts.
Han Hao had also developed a Quintessence, the pinnacle of divinity itself. To say that it was a complete transformation would be an understatement. The two of them, however, didn't think too much about their gains and instead felt a little dejected about the ruins. Gilbert, Sangius, Bollands, and the others were still missing, so Han Shuo was rather worried for their safety.
"Father, Pandemonium is no more..."
Nodding, Han Shuo said, "Well, we'll just have to rebuild it. Each time we rebuild, it will evolve. This time around, we will give it a complete overhaul with my current abilities to deploy an ultra-sized Ninth Realm Mystical Yin Harvester so that we'll have boundless yuan energy for Pandemonium's operation!"
Back in the Profound Continent, the Exalted Demonlord had set up such a demonic formation to harvest the natural energy and used it to draw Han Shuo's soul to this universe from another.
Compared to the Profound Continent, the yuan energy in the environment here was a hundred times denser, so setting up a formation here would allow Pandemonium to have an endless source of energy. He could also use the harvested energy to forge his Invincible Demon Body and store more and more demonic yuan energy within him so that his body could reach parity with his mind at the Diablo Realm.
As long as his mind and body were at the Diablo Realm, he was confident he would stand a fighting chance against the aeonic Quintessence-bearing overgods. Other than that, he still had thirteen other avatars to count on. The fusion of six of them alone could already allow him to defend against Nestor's attack. The moment all thirteen of them fused, there might not be anybody in Elysium who could take him on.