As both of them were located in the Dark Forest, the distance between the forest trolls’ village and the place of extreme fire wasn’t too long. Han Shuo immediately took action to implement fire elite zombie’s suggestion.
“Gilbert, transform into dragon form!” Han Shuo instructed the anxious dark dragon.
Without the slightest hesitation, Gilbert let out a roar and soared into the sky. His body extended and expanded rapidly. In the blink of an eye, his humanoid body transformed into a humongous thirty-meter-long dark dragon.
With Elizabeth’s two hands stuck to the Jadefrost Cage, Han Shuo grabbed Elizabeth by her shoulders and soared to the sky along with the Jadefrost Cage. Gilbert’s meandering body dived downward, just in time to catch Han Shuo on his back.
“Wooo…..Cold! So cold!” When the Jadefrost Cage subsequently made contact with Gilbert’s back, the freezing cold energy automatically flowed into his body, causing his dragon body to lightly shiver.
Han Shuo creased his brows. Then, he flexed his muscles and lifted Elizabeth to the air, along with the Jadefrost Cage. Although doing so meant that Han Shuo would have to spend some more demonic yuan, he could ensure that the Jadefrost Cage wasn’t in direct contact with Gilbert’s body.
“Fly low and let fire elite zombie up. Then immediately fly towards the region where we came across the Lord of the Flames!” Han Shuo instructed Gilbert as he held Elizabeth and the Jadefrost Cage high up.
“Understood!” The dark dragon made a loop and shot down, causing a turbulence of chilling wind and the snowflakes that layered the ground.
Fire elite zombie, who had been on standby, suddenly launched himself to the sky after a sprint, and landed steadily on the back of dark dragon Gilbert. He took another two steps to the Jadefrost Cage and continued releasing blazes into the cage, warming up the dark dragons whose bodies were again beginning to freeze.
With everything in place, dark dragon Gilbert identified the directions, and flew towards the place of extreme fire at the fastest he could.
Standing on Gilbert, Han Shuo watched the ground below him as the forest trolls’ village filled with arctic atmosphere. The small ponds, which were their water source, froze into ice before their eyes. All the forest trolls were terrified, trembling as they fled this world of ice and snow with all their might.
Many forest troll warriors carried their frozen children along, crying and mourning. Some of the older forest trolls lay sprawled on the ground, their frail bodies now popsicles and without a trace of life. Before the fire elite zombie could come to their rescue, they had left the world for the rest of eternity.
Looking at the hundreds of dead forest trolls, Han Shuo’s heart was filled with remorse. He realize that this catastrophe that struck the forest trolls was his fault. Of these faithful, true forest trolls who had served him over the years, a tragic portion of the old, young, sick and disabled lost their lives to the icy cold.
Shrine of Ice! There will be no reconciliation between us!
Han Shuo roared in his mind. The demonic yuan in his body unceasingly flowed towards Elizabeth’s arm and transformed into heat energy to resist the onslaught of the cold.
Although the distance from the forest troll village to the place of extreme fire wasn’t too large, Han Shuo and the fire elite zombie felt as though the journey was endless. As Han Shuo had tremendous reserves of demonic yuan, he could still struggle on.
The fire elite zombie, however, started to reveal obvious symptoms of weariness and fatigue. Han Shuo could tell that from the flickering red light of the Fire Lotus.
The Fire Lotus, a treasure of fire attribute nurtured from the place of extreme fire, contained an incomparably enormous energy of fire. So long as the fire elite zombie could support it with his strength, in theory, he could always make use of the energy stored in the Fire Lotus. However, it hadn’t been long since fire elite zombie was born. It was already rather difficult for him to sustain until then given his current strength.
Most significantly, it was the energy of extreme cold that the fire elite zombie was resisting this time! As the saying goes, fire and ice don’t mix. Therefore, when resisting the icy energy, the antithesis of fire, the fire elite zombie needed to expend more energy than usual. To add to that, some of the Shrine of Ice experts jointly assaulted the Jadefrost Cage with cold air so that the fire elite zombie would more quickly reveal signs of weariness.
Thousands of miles away in the Shrine of Ice…
Meanwhile, a group of Shrine of Ice experts lead by Ice Celestial Corey appeared calm and unruffled. Corey the Ice Celestial, in particular, even revealed a cold smile as though victory was within grasp. He seemed absolutely contented with his operation this time.
Humph! Merely a puny city lord. How dare he came head to head with us Shrine of Ice! Corey sneered in his heart while frozen in ice. He had already found out of Han Shuo’s identity. Soon afterwards, with extreme confidence, he said, “In just a short while, we will freeze them all to death. Everyone keep it up!”
“Rest assured Lord Corey. With our cooperation, they are certainly doomed!” said a sacred grade magus.
“Lord Corey is truly insightful. This time, that Bryan won’t be able to escape the calamity. When he dies an ice sculpture, I’m certain the Church of Light will be very grateful for our assistance!” Another sacred grade magus also found free time to speak and took the opportunity to praise Ice Celestial Corey.
“We don’t want Church of Light’s gratitude. Humph, we Shrine of Ice shall be the number one religion on the continent! By killing this Bryan, who they couldn’t do anything about, we can incidentally prove them so!” Corey proclaimed.
“Lord Corey is right. We Shrine of Ice, as the messenger for the Ice Goddess on Profound Continent, should not be forever pressed under the Church of Light!” the magus immediately corrected his previous remark.
“Alright. Let us push harder, and freeze them all to death in one spurt of energy!” Corey softly shouted and did not continue to give more superfluous words.
The other few who did not talk simultaneously responded in agreement. Soon after, cold air pervaded their bodies. Strands of exceedingly cold aura passed through a mysterious magical array, which were then transmitted to the Dark Forest thousands of miles away.
“Father, I, I can’t hang on much longer!” fire elite zombie, who had been continuously sending out flames from the Fire Lotus, suddenly transmitted to Han Shuo.
Han Shuo could feel the sudden surge of cold air emanating from the Jadefrost Cage. He also felt that it was becoming harder to resist as he ceaselessly infused demonic yuan to Elizabeth’s two hands.
At that moment, the flames in the Fire Lotus were no longer bright and radiant. With the yuan energy of fire in fire elite zombie being consumed bit by bit, over time, it was drained to the brink of complete exhaustion. Elizabeth’s two hands turned purple in the cold. Her Body of Divine Favor couldn’t withstand the assault of such an enormous amount of cold energy. The few cyclones in her body gradually halted their conversion of energy.
However, they had, at that point, only made it halfway to their destination. At dark dragon Gilbert’s speed, they still needed over ten minutes to reach the place of extreme fire. If the circumstances continued, Han Shuo reckoned that before reaching the place of extreme fire, the fire elite zombie would succumb and be seriously injured, while Elizabeth and all the dark dragons in the cage would be frozen to death.
Han Shuo grew extremely anxious. What a pity that he himself already found it exceptionally hard to soldier on, and absolutely did not have an extra hand to assist in any aspect. If Han Shuo were to deploy the Art of the Demonic Ninth Heavens to the fullest, he could have been much faster than dark dragon Gilbert. Unfortunately, at present, he needed to hold the Jadefrost Cage up high while unceasingly withstanding the assault of cold air with demonic yuan, so his hands were all tied.
The innermost part of his heart was crammed with a dispirited emotion. Han Shuo racked every inch of his brain but couldn’t find a way.
“Gilbert, speed up! If you don’t get us to the place of extreme fire in five minutes, your grandpa and all your clansmen will perish because of you!” Han Shuo was at his wit’s end, and could only tell Gilbert the circumstances as they were.
Han Shuo had made up his mind in secret that, by the time it all went south, he would cut off Elizabeth’s two hands, and give up on the race of dark dragons. Although he was unwilling to abandon them, he really couldn’t find a better alternative.
When Han Shuo finished those words, Gilbert let out a miserable howl. As his wretched howl sounded, the veins and arteries on his dragon body suddenly ruptured, causing fresh blood to burst out from his body, which fell like fine rain droplets.
At the same time, Gilbert’s already lightning fast airspeed, suddenly doubled. Like black lightning streaking across the sky, he flew directly towards the place of extreme fire.
“No!” patriarch of dark dragons Gilbert bellowes himself hoarse. He made a great effort to move his shivering body, with his two hands grabbing at the arctic cold columns, and yelled, “Little scoundrel, stop it now! Stop it! We are already hopeless. You are the only hope of the dark dragons, you must not die!”
As Gilbert’s master, Han Shuo could clearly sense Gilbert’s life force slowly draining away. At Gilbert’s grandfather’s yell, he realized what Gilbert was doing - activating his fullest potential in exchange for his vitality, as to save the race of dark dragons!
“Gilbert! Stop it!” Han Shuo suddenly yelled.
Elizabeth and the race of dark dragons weren’t nearly as close to Han Shuo as Gilbert was. Han Shuo could watch the dozen or so dark dragons freeze to death, or cut off Elizabeth’s hands without the slightest hesitation, but he couldn’t watch Gilbert die from overdrafting his vitality!
Yet, towards Gilges and Han Shuo’s shouting their heads off, dark dragon Gilbert turned a deaf ear, and flew towards the place of extreme fire with all his strength. In Gilbert’s lantern-sized pupils, only a resolution to save his kind that even death couldn’t stop could be seen.
“Gilbert, if you don’t stop, I will immediately step aside!” Han Shuo shouted sorrowfully and angrily stamped his feet on Gilbert back. He could feel Gilbert’s vitality washing away.
Gilbert’s enormous body trembled. “Master, I beg you, please grant me this!” Sensing Han Shuo’s fury, Gilbert finally talked. His simple, honest voice no longer contained a trace of his sloppy attitude, but was solemn and serious.
After a short pause, he continued in a deep voice, “Master, I’m honored to have had the privilege of following you. For so many years, during my days with you, I was very happy! It’s true! Goodbye master. Even in death, I will never forget all the joys and fun I had with you!”
As Gilbert flew rapidly, his vitality too was draining away rapidly.
Han Shuo understood that Gilbert was offering his life in exchange for saving the race of dark dragons.
Even though Han Shuo felt indescribable grief in his heart as he sensed Gilbert losing his vitality, wishing to immediately sever Elizabeth’s hands and abandon the dark dragons, Gilbert’s plead was incomparably staunch and resolute, with simply no room for Han Shuo to reject.
He knew that he could not refuse this wish of Gilbert’s. Therefore, he did not stop Gilbert anymore.
As Gilbert’s downcast tone of farewell sounded in his ears, scene after scene replayed in Han Shuo’s mind…
“Don’t hesitate, think about it. If I become your servant, I can help you kill people, burn things, and fly everywhere and take out your enemies. As my master, you only need to give me treasure and beauties to enjoy. What a good business deal this is.”
“I can compromise if you don’t have treasure, but I must have beauties to sleep with, or I won’t do it!”
When he first met Gilbert, before becoming Han Shuo’s magical pet, Gilbert had some funny requests…
“Uh… my mighty, handsome, amazing, noble master, what… what do you want to do? Are you planning on hitting your cutest, most loyal, most honest, and most humble Gilbert? Um…”
“No! Absolutely not! I can’t fight my master with you guys! Not even if I die!”
In the forbidden ground, facing against Han Shuo who had entered demonic stupor, Gilbert stood foolishly, not knowing what to do, and stared blankly at Han Shuo, and waited for Han Shuo’s hundred-meter-long sword radiance to hammer down on him like a fool…
As those dribs and drabs of scenes of his past interactions with Gilbert replayed in the back of his mind over and over, tears began to inadvertently overflow from the rims of Han Shuo’s eyes.
“Nooo!!” Gilges made a long bawl and collapsed from the grief.
Beside Gilges, each and every one of the remaining dark dragons stared at Gilbert below them in disbelief. They recalled that naughty little dragon that never ceased to stir trouble in the valley, always breaking the tranquility, and always nagged about leaving home. When they again looked at this Gilbert, who offered his life in exchange for theirs, they couldn’t associate the two together no matter how.
Finally, with the increased flying speed, the price being Gilbert’s own life, before the fire elite zombie completely exhausted all his energy, Gilbert’s huge body, drenched with blood, descended into the ravine where the place of extreme fire was located.
It was also at this moment, Han Shuo understood that Gilbert’s condition had passed the point of no return. All his life force had been drained away in the process.
“Grandpa, take care of yourself! Master, thank you. I will always remember you!” Gilbert said those last words after falling into the ravine. His massive dragon head fell. Not a trace of life could be sensed in his body.
Han Shuo’s eyes were brimming with hot tears. Standing on his dragon body, Gilbert’s very last words echoed in his ears. His mind was filled with all the memories he had with Gilbert….
“Father, keep his soul!” At that moment, from the distant netherworld, little skeleton’s anxious message suddenly arrived.