GDK 991: Finding the Way
Apart from Han Shuo, Wasir and Salas remained at the Hexopolis to defend it. Wasir had already sent word for his subordinates to temporary hide out at Pandemonium. Meanwhile, Salas used this time to meet with the various faction leaders in the Hexopolis. Since Han Shuo had proclaimed that he wouldn't be taking anyone into the House of Han, the rest were up to Salas and Wasir to manage.
Once Han Shuo's intentions were broadcast, the others who didn't treat Salas as someone worthy began to seriously consider his words. Some of them knew that their faction's might was too weak and wouldn't be able to do much within the Fringe and decided to join Salas instead.
Han Shuo spent the next few days in Celestial Pearl Pharmacy to break down the remaining impurities in the souls of the Hegemons, leaving only the cultivation insights behind and making them into a few arcane orbs for Han Jin and Andrina to deliver to Pandemonium.
Han Shuo had eliminated all the Hegemons in the previous clash, resulting in him gaining eleven arcane orbs in total, including those for Han Huo, Han Mu and Han Shui's use. Apart from those three, Akley could get one destruction arcane orb made from Tyre's soul. There was also the death arcane orb for Fanny while Emily would get Asser's dark arcane orb. As for the other destruction arcane orb from Dhaka, Isaiah's earth arcane orb, Regis's lightning arcane orb and Miller's wind arcane orb, Han Shuo would keep it for the others in his house.
Having been able to operate and expand his Goldstone Enterprise to its tremendous scale this day, Han Jin had demonstrated that his intelligence wasn't any bit inferior to Han Hao's. And since he started getting along with Andrina, he began to grow even faster, allowing Han Shuo to leave quite a lot of important matters in his hands.
Once Han Jin and Andrina left, Han Shuo remained in Hexopolis, spreading the word to those that came to the Fringe from other territories and drafting the new regulations of the city.
With Wasir and Salas's support, Han Shuo became the undisputed ruler of the Fringe. He also took inspiration from the laws of Ethereal City and the City of Shadows to draft new regulations for Hexopolis. He decided to revoke all the despotic laws of Omphalos. From now on, Hexopolis would become the new capital of the Fringe and gods would no longer have to pay to stay there. They could stay for as long as they wanted.
This clash with the godhunters had resulted in significantly lower traffic to the Fringe. Many powerful gods in the Fringe were either killed by the godhunters or had temporarily left for somewhere rural to avoid the conflict. To ensure that the Fringe quickly grew prosperous again, Han Shuo implemented quite a number of policy changes, which took him quite a number of days. When everything was back on track, Han Shuo entered seclusion to cultivate in an underground room in the pharmacy Han Tu had made.
Since the breakthrough in Pandemonium, Han Shuo realized that the thirteen avatars inside the cauldron were incredibly powerful. Each one of those individual avatars could rival overgods without Quintessence by their own, but when two of them fused, they would easily dominate normal overgods like Tyre.
While the fusion of six of them didn't make them more powerful than Quintessence overgods, they displayed terrifying power that was able to render Tyre and Logue helpless and unable to put up a fight. Given that, if he could fuse all thirteen of his avatars, Han Shuo believed that he might even be able to outpower Quintessence overgods.
It was a shame that six was his limit for now. Though he had wanted to test it with the seventh, he hadn't found the chance yet. Not to mention, he had tried the other seven energies once before but wasn't able to fuse any of them together, much to his dismay.
Sitting alone in the training room, he fused the six avatars of destruction, death, darkness, lightning, wind and water. The forces fused like six separate streams flowing into one larger one, giving him a new, more powerful energy. He took a deep breath and began testing out fusing the light avatar with the other six, only to find that it was repelled right after it combined.
Han Shuo wasn't in a hurry, so he gave it repeated tries and attempted to figure out the problem. Gradually, he found that a trace of dark energy was repelling the light energy. It seemed that the energy grew stronger after the fusion of the six clones, representing a significant chance that could cause the fusion to collapse.
In his many tries, he found that the dark energy pushed away the light energy right after the fusion attempt was made. As he wasn't able to figure out a workaround, he tried fusing other energies instead of light, such as fire, life, space, destiny, earth and fighting aura. He found that fire was repelled by water while life was repelled by death. While space, destiny, earth and fighting aura didn't experience any repulsion, they didn't seem to meld together well either. It almost seemed as if polar opposite energies like light and dark, death and life, and fire and water couldn't be fused no matter what.
He gave it a little more thought and figured it was hard but probably not impossible. With that in mind, he decided he should focus more of his efforts on space, earth, destiny and fighting aura. Those four energies seemed easy to manage. When he fused using the fighting aura avatar, he felt a little comfortable. While he hadn't managed to achieve successful fusion yet, it felt like it would be rather easy.
The total time he trained was just a short ten days, during which he didn't make any grand breakthroughs but rather found a clear direction to progress in. He decided he would focus on fusing the aforementioned four energies with extra effort on fighting aura into the sixtet-energy avatar. As for life, light and fire, he would leave it for later. Whether it was possible to fuse them was still a question he didn't have an answer for.
That day, he left seclusion training and had Wasir and Salas summon those that had joined them to Hexopolis. With his powerful consciousness, he sensed that the guardians of the Twelve Divine Dominions had arrived in the city.
"Bryan, how many are there?" Salas asked with worry.
"They number more than the Godhunter Alliance. But you don't have to worry, numbers don't mean much. I'd like to see how they can take me on."
As long as they were within the Fringe, Han Shuo and Han Hao's telepathic connection could be maintained. He was told that Han Hao and the godhunters didn't suffer too many casualties as they left the Fringe.
Han Hao's message allowed Han Shuo to have a rough idea of the guardians' forces, but he didn't really take it to mind. The only one he paid attention to was the Keeper of Light, Gyál.
Among those that came to the Fringe under pretense was McKinley, city lord of Ethereal City. He was Han Shuo's good friend and had informed him about their arrival beforehand, allowing Han Shuo to have a good grasp on their movements at all times.
"Bryan, Gyál is here. If possible, I hope you can get rid of him for me!" McKinley said. His expression on the magic mirror was one of pure rage. "Gyál actually broke through and became an overgod. He's the one who led the campaign here to take on godhunters in the Fringe. Sigh, I'm still not his match yet. I was mocked the whole time I came here, but all I could do was endure his insults the whole time."
Apart from complaining, McKinley also revealed all sorts of information about Gyál. Han Shuo rather sympathized with McKinley. He finally escaped after being sealed by Gyál for so long, only to find that he was still not his match. Not to mention, he was forced to join the campaign, only to meet Gyál there and have to endure his harsh treatment without being able to exact revenge. One could only imagine how much rage he felt.
Gyál was loyal to the God of Light, who had warned Han Shuo not to touch him back in Pandemonium. However, Han Shuo had never been on friendly terms with the God of Light since his days in the Profound Continent, and he wasn't about to begin now. He smiled coldly as he watched the guardians approach.