GDK 997: Old Acquaintance and Ruins
Carmelita and Andre both fell silent. They seemed to ignore what Erebus and Aobashi had said without expressing any disagreement or approval.
The other two exchanged glances before Aobashi cleared her throat. "Let me go out to take a look then." She went out without caring if they approved of it or not.
"Sigh... We can't really blame Bryan for what happened back then either. The city lord had forced his hand. Back at the City of Gorging Clouds, the city lord had intended to deal with Bryan, so he had no other choice... That's why..." Erebus couldn't bring himself to finish what he was saying when Carmelita glared at him. No matter the circumstances, Wallace was dead and as a consequence, she and Andre suffered for it.
Shaking his head and sighing, Andre smiled in resignation. "How dare he come... Even if we don't deal with him, Yarus wouldn't let this chance off. Not to mention, this is the Domain of Darkness. I wonder if the Lord Overgod will notice his presence and blame us on it."
Ever since Andre became the city lord, he began considering the bigger and much more complex picture compared to Carmelita, who was solely focused on Han Shuo's debt with their family. Based on the current tumultuous state of Elysium, it was really inappropriate for Han Shuo to come to Elysium alone.
Carmelita clicked her tongue as she hesitated, before turning to Erebus and saying, "You should go too! If it's him, chase him away!"
"I'm not powerful enough to do that," Erebus said with a chuckle.
She seemed a little agitated when she said, "We don't wish to see him. There's no point for him to come to the Dominion of Darkness either, so get him to leave!"
It was only then that Erebus felt that he heard a hint of what she meant. He gave her a suspicious look and turned to Andre, who secretly nodded at him. Seemingly understanding something from that, Erebus nodded back and said, "I'll chase him away if I see him then."
He gave them one last look before leaving, and when he was gone, Carmelita heaved a sigh. "Why is he here? Isn't he doing well in the Fringe?"
"It shouldn't be a big deal. The last time, he was able to make it out of the Dominion of Darkness, so this time should be no different," Andre said after some hesitation.
On the sides of the streets of the City of Shadows were countless shops. Aobashi left the Sainte household and walked along the streets on her own without saying a single word. The guardians in the city recognized her and immediately sought her out for instruction, thinking that an incident had occurred within the city. Aobashi simply waved them away. Soon, she noticed that Erebus had come out after her with a smile.
"What's going on?" he asked Erebus.
"Nothing much. I was able to tell that both Carmelita and Andre still see him as a friend. They just can't appear to be too close to him because of Wallace's death."
Hearing that, Aobashi nodded and knew what she had to do. The two of them went to a quiet alley where the branch of Celestial Pearl Pharmacy used to be. For some reason, after the House of Han left the city, that patch of land was kept empty. Nobody could buy it from the Sainte family.
It seemed rather dirty from lack of cleaning thanks to all the dust that gathered, but the two of them didn't really seem to mind it as they entered. Han Shuo's exploits within the Dominion of Darkness were hardly unknown. As a result, nobody dared to damage that area. Many powerful elites in the city held a semblance of respect for the place and even the heads of the three major families in the city had instructed their descendants to not vandalize the area, which spoke a lot for their respect for Han Shuo as they weren't nearly as strict when it came to dealing with the Sainte family.
Within, Aobashi and Erebus found someone standing within, smiling at them as they came.
"It's been a long time, Bryan," Aobashi said.
"Haha, it was you after all! I knew my ears wouldn't fail me!" Erebus said with a beaming smile as he hugged Han Shuo tightly. He knocked on Han Shuo’s back a few times before finally letting go. "What's wrong? Did you get hurt? Why's there such a long scar on your face? You could heal all of Carmelita's wounds but not your own?"
The line separating his two halves was too obvious. If he wasn't dressed, the two of them would see that the line actually extended down to his body and radiate spatial energy.
"It's only a minor wound. It's no big deal," Han Shuo said, not going into detail about it. He sighed and asked, "Do they still hate me?"
Erebus and Aobashi didn't know how to respond to that.
"I knew it would end up like that. It's no surprise that they can't forgive me. Because of Wallace, many guards of my household were killed. He even wanted to kill me. If I didn't kill him, the House of Han would be no more, so I had no choice." He sighed and forced a smile. "I only came to visit you all this time around. If they don't wish to see me, then forget it."
"It's not like what you think. Andre and Carmelita still see you as friends and are concerned about you. However, the whole city knows that you killed Wallace, and if they get along well with you, the rest of the Sainte family won't let them off the hook for it. They were even worried for your safety, especially from Yarus," Erebus explained, before he looked overhead, seemingly worried about something.
Aobashi snapped, "Enough with that nonsense!" She also knew how impressive the abilities of the God of Darkness were. Who knew if their conversation were being listened in on.
"Don't worry. Not many can lay their hands on me in the entire of Elysium, to say nothing of anyone in the Dominions of Destruction, Death and Darkness," Han Shuo said with a carefree chuckle. He really didn't have much to fear with his current power.
"Oh? You sound confident!" Aobashi said, "I see that you've made quite a name for yourself in the past few years. The entirety of the Fringe belongs to you, right? Do you think I can join you if I can no longer stay in the City of Shadows?"
"You are always welcome to the Fringe," Han Shuo said. Aobashi had lived in the City of Shadows for a long time in much part thanks to her benefactor, Wallace. Even with Wallace gone for so long, she still served the Sainte family for a long time and could be said to have repaid her debts. "Then again, who can possibly match your strength in the City of Shadows, especially when you have Erebus and the Sainte family with you?"
"Things have changed," Erebus said before explaining their troubles to Han Shuo.
Han Shuo nodded and said, "I see." He handed them a few things and said, "Take it. There's one for each of you, including Carmelita and Andre, and they're used for..."
Back in the Fringe, Han Shuo had killed quite a lot of highgods, many of whom were near peak stage. He had refined their souls into arcane orbs which allowed one to absorb the insights of another directly into their soul. Apart from them, he gave them a few enhancing potions that could help Erebus and Aobashi break through.
"These... These are precious. Where did you get them?" Erebus asked, completely shocked.
"They aren't particularly precious. I have lots more where that came from. Don't tell Carmelita and Andre that they came from me. I worry they won't accept them. Andre can't reign them in because he's not powerful enough, so he'll need these."
Without letting them refuse, he quickly laughed and said, "Alright, let's go get some drinks. We're not going home sober!"
Right after, he caused all sorts of delicacies and delicious wine to appear out of nowhere and began to feast with them.
As Andre was managing city matters, a guardian appeared before him all of a sudden and kneeled. "City Lord, the patriarchs of the Kinson, Buller, and Kisa families have sent messengers to inform us that they're willing to accept our conditions and allow us to command their guardians."
"What?!" Andre cried in surprise, "They didn't even budge no matter how hard I tried, so why did they agree out of nowhere?"
"I don't know either."
After some thought, Andre's eyes brightened. "Don't tell me..."