GDK 988: Why Wouldn't I
The five Sovereigns of the Fringe used to be its protectors. With them around, the Fringe was able to maintain some degree of relevance without being threatened by the other Divine Dominions nor the Godhunter Alliance.
But in time, Salas and Wasir chose to stand with Han Shuo, while Ossora had betrayed him and died, only to quickly be followed by Logue and Tyre. In a short decade, three of the five Sovereigns had perished with the other two having submitted.
The Fringe had seen many years of war, but from today onwards, nobody else could threaten the House of Han any longer. The gigantic avatar formed from six types of energies returned to the Cauldron of Myriad Demons. Han Shuo looked below and looked at the remnants. "Tyre and Logue have died. You guys should scatter now."
Slank and Karp bowed respectfully. "Since the Godhunter Alliance is still in the Fringe, we should be serving you temporarily to fight against them. Why did you ask us to leave?"
It wasn't just them; even Logue and Tyre's men were hesitant about leaving. As far as they were aware, they should be subordinating themselves to Han Shuo right now as he was the biggest player in the Fringe. Any other Sovereign in this situation would be demanding their allegiance and assimilate them into his army, so they didn't understand why Han Shuo was doing the exact opposite.
Smiling coldly, he said, "Pandemonium is more than enough to deal with the Godhunter Alliance, so you don't have to waste your energy. The Godhunter Alliance is to be allowed to exist for a reason. When they leave later, you should not stop them. Just let them pass. There are many other powerhouses watching for them outside of the Fringe, after all."
"Is... is there anything we can do?" Slank said with a look of embarrassment. He felt as tiny as an ant before someone like Han Shuo. It didn't seem like Han Shuo was the least bit worried about the Godhunter Alliance's threat against the Fringe.
"What can you do?" Han Shuo shook his head with a smile and said, "All you need to do is to live well in the Fringe. Omphalos will stabilize in time and you may spread the word to the merchants of Omphalos that have gone into hiding that they are free to return after this passes."
The next moment, he disappeared from their sight.
"The Five Sovereigns no longer exist from today onwards..." Slank said blankly. "Lord Bryan is far more powerful than they ever were. As long as he stays in the Fringe, it will be his."
"That isn't bad either. With the Fringe being controlled by a single person, there will no longer be endless war," Karp said after thinking it over. "No matter what, this Lord Bryan seems quite decent to his own men. It would be nice if we would be able to serve under his house one day."
"Well, only if they think us worthy! There have been many who had tried to join them before the great battle, but they didn't take any in. I had thought that the House of Han was just looking down on people, but I now know that they couldn't be bothered to waste their time on the likes of us. Without Pandemonium, the Fringe would've long fallen to the Godhunter Alliance."
"We have to do our best to earn Lord Bryan's favor and become one of them!" Karp said. Han Shuo had them fully convinced of his position as the strongest in the Fringe after defeating Logue and Tyre.
By now, Han Shuo had returned to Omphalos. The loud explosion had reduced Tyre's part of Omphalos to rubble. Only the godhunters there perished, with Tuckamore and Asser managing to survive but suffering heavy injuries in the process. They could barely even move.
During the explosion, the two of them happened to be in that area and weren't able to escape in time before they were swallowed up in the blast. Thankfully, only a part of Omphalos had blown up. If the zones of all five Sovereigns blew up at the same time, the explosion would be at least ten times more powerful. Asser and Tuckamore would've probably perished instantly in that case.
When Han Shuo arrived, he noticed that the remaining Hegemons were rapidly leaving Omphalos. The first explosion was so powerful that they didn't dare risk staying in the other parts in case there were more explosions waiting to go off.
Tuckamore, Asser, Regis, Isaiah, Miller, Balintan and Kauze were the only seven Hegemons remaining, with the foremost two heavily injured and powerless. Regis, Isaiah and Miller also hadn't recovered fully from the fight at Pandemonium, leaving only Balintan and Kauze in peak condition.
Han Hao raised his bone spear and blocked the seven Hegemons, coldly staring them down. An eerie mix of negative energies seeped out of his body. It was coming from the Quintessence which he couldn't yet adequately control, but it served to terrify the seven Hegemons. Han Shuo's arrival caused them to shrivel in fear. If Han Hao alone was enough to apply so much pressure on them, his father blasted the last traces of their confidence into the ether.
"Father, here's all seven. They're all here," Han Hao said.
Nodding with a smile, Han Shuo turned his gaze to them. "Gentlemen, we meet again. Well, the explosion in Omphalos was all part of Dhaka and Tyre's plan. The two of them hid tens of thousands of tonnes of energy crystals underground and had wanted to wipe you all out. But thanks to my interference, you all survived."
The Hegemons didn't know what to do when facing him now. Their men were still all scattered. If they escaped the Fringe by themselves now, their injured men would never be able to take on with Han Shuo and Han Hao.
"What do you intend to do now?" Isaiah said with a glum tone. Before he came to the Fringe, he was feeling on top of the world. But now, he had lost all of his vigor and only wanted to leave this place as far as he could. He didn't want to see the father and son ever again.
"Hmmm, I wonder..." Han Shuo stroked his chin with a smirk. He combined his six avatars to show off his power, forming a huge veil in the sky that enveloped all the Hegemons within.
"I gave you a chance to leave the Fringe, yet you dared to continue to cause trouble here. Since that's the case, don't blame me for not showing mercy!" He laughed out loud and started closing the veil in. Like an egg shell, it slowly applied the pressure to all seven Hegemons within it.
The only ones who could put up any meaningful resistance were Balintan and Kauze. The others were either too injured from the explosion or still weak from the battle at Pandemonium, so there was no way they could take him on, especially with Han Hao still nearby. The father and son were now so powerful that they wouldn't be the match of anyone apart from overgods with Quintessence.
"You... you would dare to kill us?" the life Hegemon Kauze yelled, "The Godhunter Alliance has existed since antiquity! Even the Twelve Quintessence Overgods acknowledge our presence and didn't touch us, so who are you to dare?"
When the Goddess of Destiny came to Pandemonium, she revealed some hidden truth about the Godhunter Alliance. It seemed that they had to exist for a reason, which was why the Twelve Overgods would tolerate them. Even the Goddess of Destiny didn't wipe them out after her husband was killed by one of their kind.
"Why wouldn't I?" Han Shuo clasped his hand and caused Kauze's bones to snap, causing him to spit out blood in pain. "Hmm, it seems as though you know something. Very well, very well. Since I'm not able to get the goddess of destiny to reveal anything, I guess I'll have to get them from you."
Han Shuo took out the cauldron and sucked Kauze into it. As he used it to refine Kauze's divine soul, he gathered the power from his fusion avatar to wipe out the other six Hegemons. "Since the Godhunter Alliance needs to exist, I won't wipe out all the godhunters. I will only get rid of you Hegemons and use your souls to help the House of Han grow in power."
With a loud crack, the Hegemons' bodies fractured, causing their souls to be absorbed into the cauldron as it refined Kauze's soul.