After a bright flash of light, the scene around them transformed.
Although he tried to be mentally prepared, nonetheless, when Han Shuo saw the surrounding which he knew so well, he couldn’t suppress the excitement in his heart. At once, he howled with laughter at the top of his lungs and shouted, “I’m back!”
Right underneath his feet was an interplanar transportation matrix. To the sides were several storerooms. Outside the wide open doors was a sky that stayed murky dark all throughout the year. The air was filled with an intense element of death, the ground covered in bones as white as snow.
There’s no doubt about it, this is the Cemetery of Death!
Sanguis, Jasper, Hemanna, and Sylph, walked down from the interplanar transportation matrix. They marveled and glanced all around curiously.
“Master, this is your homeworld?” Sanguis asked as he looked at the floor of bones while tasting the scent in the air.
“Yep. It’s just that this place is completely enveloped inside a boundary. The true appearance of this world lies outside of the boundary,” Han Shuo replied. After weighing over in his mind, he instructed, “I have no idea how long I have been away from this world. I need to find out the current situation of Profound Continent. The few of you stay in here for the time being. I will come back for you all when I have familiarized myself with this place.”
The few did not have any complaint about Han Shuo’s words. They had long noticed that Han Shuo was excited and knew that he desperately wanted to understand the changes after he left.
After informing Jasper and the others about the things they needed to pay attention to, Han Shuo had them step away from the interplanar transportation matrix. He returned to the center of the transportation matrix and activated it in short-range mode. With a flash of light, Han Shuo vanished from the Cemetery of Death and arrived at the secret underground chamber excavated by earth elite zombie deep below the City Lord’s manor at Brettel City.
Han Shuo stepped out from the chamber and expanded his consciousness. The full scene of the entire Brettel City projected into his mind.
Although Han Shuo hadn't a clue how long he had been away, based on his preliminary observation, compared to the time when he left, Brettel City had obviously grown even more prosperous and wealthy.
With one thought, Han Shuo suddenly appeared in the meeting hall at the center of the City Lord’s manor.
Dorcas, Jack, Dick, Faulke, Helen Tina and others were in the middle of a heated discussion inside the meeting hall when a streak of strange light suddenly flashed through. A majestic figure then materialized at the center of the meeting hall.
These leadership figures of Brettel City were startled and completely dumbfounded. Each and every one of those people stared at Han Shuo standing in the middle of the room with disbelief. The heated sounds of discussion abruptly halted.
“An assassin! Seize him!” a young guard standing near the doorway suddenly shrieked as he courageously charged at Han Shuo.
Two shadows suddenly shot out of nowhere. They were none other than Elizabeth and Bollands. The two had been concealing themselves all that while. When they sensed a mighty energy was coming from the meeting hall, they immediately flew out from hiding and ferociously charged at Han Shuo.
However, halfway into their assault, they clearly recognized who the ‘assassin’ was and pulled hard on their brakes. They kowtowed before Han Shuo emotionally. For a moment, Han Shuo did not know what to say as he watched the two tremble to their toes.
When that guard, who Han Shuo didn’t recognize, saw that both Elizabeth and Bollands suddenly kneel before Han Shuo, he thought they had been killed. His heart quivered. However, even when he knew that he would most likely die, he did not withdraw but continued to race towards Han Shuo with his sword that shone with silvery light.
“Stop!” Suddenly, all the leaders of Brettel City inside the hall came to their senses and simultaneously shouted.
This guard was jolted by their sudden command. Before he could even react, Elizabeth’s lightning fast hands had seized him and pushed him down to his knees before Han Shuo together.
“Are you blind or something? How dare you attack the City Lord? Don’t wanna live anymore?” Elizabeth glared and chided this guard.
The guard, however, seemed to have his brain short-circuited for a moment. At a loss, he said, “The City Lord? I thought that Brettel City didn’t have a City Lord?” But when he saw the revere showing in Elizabeth and Bollands’ eyes, as though having been struck by a sudden recollection, his body quivered. His voice slightly trembling, he pleaded, “Please forgive me, my Lord! Please forgive me, my Lord!”
Han Shuo waved his hand without speaking. He scanned each and every one of those inside the meeting hall, starting from Jack and ending with Faulke. He discovered that there indeed had been some changes to these people, but not too much.
Jack the big fatty now wore a moustache. He looked much more mature than before, with the demeanor of a person occupying high position naturally emanating from him. Dorcas still looked as grave and solemn as ever. The unswerving determination written across his face showed the long and numerous hardships he endured. Helen Tina still looked gorgeous and charming. She gazed at Han Shuo with fiery eyes as though wanting to melt him…
After flicking through each of them, Han Shuo heaved a sigh of relief to know that he hadn’t left for too long a time.
Truth be told, ever since returning to Profound Continent, Han Shuo had been rather afraid. Back then in the space-time discontinuum zone, Han Shuo felt as though space-time was in disarray and he had no sense of the passing of time. In addition, he was deeply afraid that time in the Abyss realm would run much slower than on Profound Continent.
If there was a great discrepancy in the speed of time between the two material planes, there was a possibility that when he returned to Profound Continent, he would find all those people that he knew had died of old age. That would have dealt him an unimaginable blow.
Based on the appearances of these people, although there were some changes, it appeared that not too much time had passed. His heart was genuinely relieved.
“How long have I been gone?” Han Shuo took the lead to talk as the party looked at him emotionally and excitedly.
“Five years! Yet another five years! You joker, where in the world have you been?!” Jack shrieked. His plump body ran towards Han Shuo before fiercely beating Han Shuo’s chest with his fists. He seemed to be expressing his excitement of meeting Han Shuo again after such a long time in this way.
Although the others were also incredibly emotional, they merely conveyed it through their eyes and expressions. They did not vent their feelings physically as Jack did. After all, Jack and Han Shuo had known each other all the way back since Babylon Academy of Magic and Force. Their relationship was much deeper and more special compared to the rest.
Helen Tina, this beautiful magus who already considered herself as Han Shuo’s woman, although she too was close with Han Shuo, she was too shy to throw herself into Han Shuo’s embrace before the crowd. Therefore, she only expressed her emotions to Han Shuo with her bright, fiery eyes.
“Five years, luckily it’s just five years. Haha,” Han Shuo said laughingly as he let Jack hammered his chest.
“‘Just five years?’ How many five years are there in a lifetime? You scoundrel, how could you throw this big responsibility to us, while you yourself couldn’t be less bothered and went missing - several years at that! How outrageous!” After a short while, Jack had no choice but to abandon venting his emotions by pounding on Han Shuo as his chubby hands were starting to ache. He grumbled while glaring fiercely at Han Shuo.
Suddenly, Han Shuo noticed that two figures were flying over from a distance at high speeds.
The two figures arrived at the meeting hall in just a blink of an eye. Unexpectedly, they were the Emperor of the Flames and Stratholme the old monster. Upon seeing Han Shuo, the two appeared more astonished than Han Shuo. Both of them gazed at Han Shuo in disbelief.
“I thought you were killed by that Soul Race tribal king?” Han Shuo and Stratholme said the same words at the same time while staring at each other. Soon after, they both broke into laughter.
“Where is my son? Where have you put my son?” the Emperor of the Flames started asking Han Shuo using that shrewish voice of hers.
Han Shuo was stunned. He forced a smile, looked at the no-nonsense Emperor of the Flames and the handsome-looking Stratholme, and asked, “How come the two of you are here? What happened after I left?”
“It’s a long story,” Stratholme the old monster said smilingly. He glanced at the crowd gathered in the meeting hall before continuing, “Three years ago, a war that spanned throughout the whole of Profound Continent broke out. Some very interesting things happened during these few years. With certain forces behind the scenes fanning the flames, the entire continent is now engulfed in war. It’s hard to explain it all succinctly.”
“Oi, youngster, hurry and tell me, where is my son?” the Emperor of the Flames, concerned about fire elite zombie, noisily shouted again.
Given the fact that this brutish Emperor of the Flames was inside Brettel City, Han Shuo deduced that she must have provided ample assistance to Brettel City. Five years earlier, the Emperor of the Flames was a demigod existence. Five years after, nothing had changed. However, this wouldn’t be the same case for fire elite zombie who was currently digesting the fire element energy of a lowgod. Once he successfully digested Cecrops’ energy, his strength would surely exceed that of the fifth-stage Emperor of the Flames.
“He is cultivating. It will take some time before he can see you,” after a short pause, Han Shuo looked at this shrewish middle-aged woman in all smiles and continued, “The next time you meet him, you will see just how much he has transformed. It will surely be beyond your imagination!”
“Hmph! Deliberately mystifying. I’m going back first. Take good care of that kid for me.” The Emperor of the Flames rushed to the meeting hall to protect these leadership figures. When she saw that the intruder was Han Shuo, she lost her interest and left at high speed after finishing those words.
From Elizabeth and Bollands’ performance as well as the arrival of Stratholme and the Emperor of the Flames, seemingly guarding against something, Han Shuo knew that Brettel City probably wasn’t as secure and steady as he imagined.
“Stratholme, tell me about the current situation,” Han Shuo creased his brows and asked the old monster.