Three days later, at Black Jade City.
Skyscrapers that more than brushed the clouds crowded every corner of the grid. The streets were bustling with activity, all kinds of abyssal beings coming and going. War Demon Valley really was just a small village compared to Black Jade City where Demon King Manticole resided.
All around were buildings like the giants’ beanstalk. Among them, structures ranging in the hundreds of meters in height were a regularity. Along his journey, Han Shuo had seen at least a dozen abyssal creatures with bodies even more enormous than that of the Primordius Dragon.
Anyone in this place would feel insignificant and minute. Hemanna, Sylph, and even Jasper, someone who enjoyed a rather high status in War Demon Valley, all appeared rather reserved and cautious once they arrived at Black Jade City. They also appeared to be more revering, coming from their small hill village.
When these ladies arrived at Black Jade City, they were not unlike girls back on Earth who came to the city from the countryside for the first time. They were obviously uncomfortable and awkward, deeply afraid that any of their actions could negatively affect Han Shuo in some way. However, apart from reverence, the trio of ladies carried faint excitement in their eyes.
Black Jade City was one of the five major capital cities of the Abyss realm. Manticole, one of the five overlords of the Abyss lived in this city. Black Jade City was definitely considered to be an extremely prosperous city within the Abyss realm. For Jasper, Hemanna, and Sylph, coming to such a place had filled their hearts with not just veneration but also expectation.
“Welcome to Black Jade City, haha. Mister Han Shuo, how do you feel about the big city?” Bord beamed at Han Shuo. Bord had been extremely friendly towards Han Shuo throughout the journey.
“Huge! Everything is huge!” The environment all around, from the buildings to their inhabitants, gave Han Shuo precisely this impression. Perhaps it was due to the sheer sizes of the beings of the Abyss that the structures were so gargantuan. If not for all those abyssal creatures moving all around the city, Han Shuo would have mistaken the area for a mountain range.
“Precisely. Black Jade City is that magnificent. Look, that’s Demon King’s Palace, thousand of meters tall - that is where Lord Manticole lives. Hehe, the people of the Abyss are fond of rough and simple structures. Therefore, the taller and bigger the building, the more befitting it is in manifesting the status of our Lord,” Bord explained proudly.
Han Shuo raised his head and gazed at the grand scene presented to him. He discovered that the Demon King’s Palace was indeed the tallest building in Black Jade City. The majestic and magnificent Demon King’s Palace looked like a malevolent Demon God proudly standing over the world. The structure gave off a disdainful demeanor on all forms of life, suffocating any observer with an indescribable pressure and feeling of reverence in the heart.
“Oh!” Han Shuo gasped. His brows were deeply furrowed. This magnificent Demon King’s Palace had a natural fierce air to it. Piercing the blue dome of the heavens, the structure had lumps of incredibly dense black mist lingering all around it. The dark mist was congealed using the element of darkness and contained defensive energies.
With just one look, Han Shuo was certain that this Demon King’s Palace wasn’t as simple as it seemed. That energy it contained must have been for defensive attacks. Those clouds of mist as dark as ink congealed from the element of darkness. Merely from the outer appearance of the Demon King’s Palace, Han Shuo could ascertain that of the eight elements, Demon King Manticole had to be cultivating the element of darkness.
“Every time I look at the Demon King’s Palace, I get a feeling of reverence from the bottom of my heart. The pressure just comes about on its own. Truly mystical!” Zinia mumbled as she raised her head, gazing at the Demon King’s Palace.
Han Shuo’s lips curved to reveal a hard to discern smirk, thinking to himself that this palace had actually been altered by Demon King Manticole using divine energy. Those without a certain level of strength wouldn’t be able to understand the effect of that mysterious energy around the Demon King’s Palace. Perhaps Manticole, as the spiritual leader they believed in, used this method to will the populace into handing their convictions to him.
“Han Shuo, this place truly is grandiose!” Hemanna exclaimed in admiration.
“It really is. We finally got the chance to visit the Demon King’s City. Hehe, it indeed enjoys a well-deserved reputation!” Sylph agreed.
In the Abyss realm, one could not simply leave and relocate to another district without good reason. In particular, moving from a low level town to a big city, was absolutely impermissible. As it was the first time Hemanna, Sylph, and Jasper, these ladies who had grown up in War Demon Valley, had visited Black Jade City, it was only natural that they would feel excited and thrilled.
“Alright Mister Han Shuo, the two of us shall make a move now to have an audience with the Lord. You and your ladies may explore the surrounding areas for the moment. Later, as soon as the Lord commands, we will come over and take you to meet Him!” Bord explained.
“Sure, go about your business,” Bord and Zinia had been fawning all over Han Shuo throughout the journey, and Han Shuo actually found the couple quite agreeable. Besides, this Black Jade City indeed was very magnificent and Han Shuo was interested in finding out what the city had in store. Therefore, he immediately agreed to the duo.
Just as the couple was leaving, a question popped up in Hemanna's head, “But Black Jade City is huge, what if you can’t find us?”
Zinia immediately let out a condescending chuckle and said, “Don’t worry about that, little girl. It couldn’t be any simpler for us Black Jade Guards to locate a person within Black Jade City, especially since you are all strangers to this city!”
Black Jade Guards, under the command of Manticole, were similar to Golander’s trump card Shadow Warriors in that they directly answered to their respective Demon Kings. Every one of them was a demon-grade expert wielding tremendous power and influence. Although there weren’t many Black Jade Guards, each and every one of them possessed countless subordinates. The Black Jade Guards were responsible for the safety of the entire Black Jade City, so not even an ant could evade their eyes and ears.
“Oh, I see!” Hemanna did not have any more questions after listening to Zinia’s explanation. There were a few traces of fear in the ladies’ eyes. They had long heard of the Black Jade Guards’ reputation. Just like the Shadow Warriors, the Black Jade Guards was an extremely formidable organization. The Black Jade Guards were not in the least inferior to the Shadow Warriors in terms of ruthlessness, something well known by the populace under the rule of other Demon Kings.
“Ok, Mister Han Shuo, ladies, please enjoy yourselves around Black Jade City. The two of us must report back to the Lord as soon as possible,” Bord bid his goodbye to Han Shuo before scurrying off with Zinia towards the Demon King’s Palace that was wrapped in divine energy.
“Let’s go. We shall roam around this Black Jade City,” after Bord and Zinia left, Han Shuo along with the three ladies started their unhurried loaf about the incredibly wide streets.
The Black Jade City was huge, far bigger than Han Shuo had imagined! After Han Shuo unfolded his consciousness, he discovered that the Black Jade City was at least ten times bigger than Ossen City of Lancelot Empire back on Profound Continent. All kinds of rare goods that he had never seen before could be found in its various regions. There were all kinds of alien creatures walking about the streets of Black Jade City. Some of them were indistinguishable from rocks, and some even looked like trees. It was completely foreign to him.
The three ladies were very intrigued as well and had been chattering continuously along the way. As Hemanna and Sylph had taken themselves as slave servants to begin with, the two did not feel upset when Jasper stepped into the picture. On the contrary, they got along well with her.
As the group of them had not an inkling about Black Jade City, their curiosities were churning. Whenever they saw anything interesting, they would linger on and investigate. Voices of awe and amazement never stopped echoing from their mouths.
A spiteful screech suddenly stung Han Shuo’s ears. “Half-breed, how dare you come out of your cave and loiter on the streets! Courting death!”
Shooting a glance in the direction of that voice, Han Shuo discovered that five or six alien teenagers had forced another teenager to a corner. They were punching and kicking at him, all the while spitting bloody insults at this youth.
The boy wore a numbed expression, his body curled up, hands over his head, and uttered not a word as he let the few others beat him up. The heavy thuds of the kicks left red marks on his body, soon to turn purple and puffy. Although he was letting himself suffer their beating, nonetheless, the rancor showing in his pair of eyes was bone-chillingly cold.
From the looks of it, this teenager ought to have developed an ingrained hatred towards the few alien teenagers. However, as he didn’t possess much strength, all he could do was to let them pound him without giving the slightest resistance, firmly holding onto his skull to avoid brain damage.
There were bound to be many of such scenes of bullying in any material plane. Han Shuo wasn’t one who was fond of meddling in other people’s business. Besides, they were in the Abyss where only the fittest survived. It was adapt or die.
Gradually, this youth, bitter resentment showing in his eyes, seemed to no longer be able to withstand the unending rounds of beating. Even his two hands had none left in them to shield his head anymore. It seemed as though in just another moment, he would be beaten to death.
Han Shuo was about to pull the three ladies away, but suddenly, he saw something - the dark red blood within this youth’s body seemed as though it wanted to seep out through his pores. Han Shuo made no effort in masking his astonishment. Then, as though he suddenly remembered something, Han Shuo examined the youth’s body with his consciousness. He was jolted and blurted out, “Body of Sanguis!”
“What?” Jasper stared puzzled at Han Shuo.
Han Shuo did not reply. His body transformed into a bolt, passed through layers of people, and appeared before that curled up youngster in an instant. He extended his big hand, grasped, and lifted this scrawny young one. The boy’s eyes were filled with stubborn resentment even on the verge of death. In a deep voice, Han Shuo asked, “Son, do you want power?”