Candice chuckled and smiled as she conversed with Han Shuo while leading him and his party into Sunshine Valley. However, inadvertently or otherwise, her gaze would veer towards Jasper. Confusion was showing in her eyes.
Han Shuo noticed that secretive back and forth glance of Candice’s. Seeing that she only grew more and more puzzled, Han Shuo smilingly explained, “You can stop looking. She’s not an angel of the Church of Light as you are imagining. She was born with that pair of snow-white wings. That’s all.”
Candice finally relaxed. She inquired Han Shuo in a low and inquisitive voice, “If she’s not an angel as told by the Church of Light, then what is she? I have served as a mercenary at every corner of the Profound Continent and yet I have never seen or heard of this kind of human.”
“She is my woman,” Han Shuo did not explain Jasper’s origin and instead highlighted his relationship with her.
Upon hearing those words, Candice shot a hateful glare at Han Shuo and lowered her voice as she said, “You womanizer, you already have three beauties in Lancelot Empire, how could you still keep fooling around!”
Han Shuo smiled and did not reply to Candice’s criticism. He maintained his leisurely demeanor as they headed to the depths of Sunshine Valley.
All along the way, many merchants and businessmen in Sunshine Valley gazed at Han Shuo and his party with astonishment. Their attention did not focus on just Jasper and her wings, but also on Hemanna and Sylph who had sharp thorns growing densely out of their shoulders, elbows, and knees.
“What kind of people are they? How peculiar!”
“Isn’t that an angel warrior as told in the legends of the Church of Light? Why would an angel warrior appear in Sunshine Valley? I remember that the commander of the Soul Destroyer Mercenary Band had expressly stipulated in writing that no one from the Church of Light is allowed entry to Sunshine Valley?”
“Didn’t you see that it’s Candice who is leading the way for them? This is very questionable!”
Discussions about the identity of Han Shuo and his party constantly rang out from the merchants around them. However, due to Candice’s presence, these people had deliberately lowered their voices.
As the crowd discussed and commented about Han Shuo and his party, his ladies too were whispering about the crowd.
“Their clothes are so beautiful! There are beautiful decorative designs on the clothes of these people, how interesting!” Sylph cried out in surprise.
“Yea, that’s right. Look at those stones on their necks, so dazzling to the eye as they sparkle and shine!” Hemanna softly exclaimed.
“This world is indeed different from ours! Undeniably, their clothing, food, housing, and transport are far superior to ours,” Jasper remarked.
“Meh, those things are useless. Haven’t you noticed that these people possess much weaker strength than the commoners of our world? They have put too much of their attention into enjoying life instead of constantly fighting like our people!” These words of Sanguis had clearly highlighted his mindset apart from the ladies. The three ladies were so deeply engrossed in the alluring material constructs of this world but Sanguis, however, merely scoffed at them.
With Candice leading the way, Han Shuo and his party finally arrived at the back of Sunshine Valley. This area was previously a territory specially for the use of the Cairo Mercenary Band. Naturally, it now belonged to the Soul Destroyer Mercenary Band. At its front was a huge training ground. Some of the mercenaries were topless with their massive solid muscles fully revealed as they practiced their martial arts skills with complete attention.
“Lord Candice!” those people amicably greeted when they saw Candice entering.
Han Shuo took a quick glance and noticed that these people looked unfamiliar to him. It appeared that as the Soul Destroyer Mercenary Band rapidly developed, it had recruited more and more members.
“Candice, what are these people doing here? A new batch of mercenaries? Haha, mind if I borrow these fresh cuts for some games?” a two-meter tall bald, brawny man jokingly provoked while holding up a battle-axe.
“Hmph, idiot, with your wee bit of capacity, you will be gamed to death.” Candice glared at him disdainfully and shot back at him without the slightest mercy for his feelings.
That bald, brawny man was discontented upon hearing those words. He glared with his big copper eyes and replied in a low muffled voice, “I’m not buying it!”
Whoosh! A figure suddenly shot into the training ground. Sanguis squinted at this brawny man, sized him up, and gave his impartial assessment, “His four limbs are developed, but the energy in his body is weak. He cannot withstand a single blow!”
“Erm… Bryan...?” Candice said to Han Shuo after staring blankly for a moment.
“Sanguis, do not harm him. Just knock him down!” Han Shuo raised his voice to instruct Sanguis. After that, he turned to Candice and smilingly said, “He’s my apprentice. Just let them have some fun, there’s no harm in doing it.” In the world of mercenaries, the one with the biggest fist is always right. If you could defeat them squarely, you will win their respect.
The bald man was obviously infuriated by Sanguis’ words. He hung down the battle-axe in his hand, stuck out his chest muscles that were like two lumps of iron, and unyieldingly issued a challenge, “Arrogant kid, come, I’ll let you make three strikes on me!”
“Not just weak, but also simple-minded!” Sanguis shook his head as he gave further assessments.
“Kid, cut out the nonsense, knock me down if you can!” the bald, brawny man furiously roared like a bear after listening to Sanguis mock him over and over again. As Sanguis was only around 1.7 meters in height and minus the thick and bulky muscles, the brawny man did not consider Sanguis a threat at all.
“That can’t be easier!” Sanguis sneered and threw a lightning fast punch. His fist turned blood red and shot right at the center of that unmoving brawny man.
The enormous physique of over a hundred kilograms was sent flying away as though it was weightless and made a thud when his butt kissed the ground. The man sat up and stared blankly at Sanguis who was standing more than ten steps away. He seemed to have no idea what just happened.
Those mercenaries in the training ground who were giggling as they watched, thinking that Sanguis will make a fool of himself, all looked at Sanguis as though they had seen a ghost. Every one of them was stupefied and couldn’t fathom how Sanguis could possess such a terrifying power.
These mercenaries weren’t clueless muscleheads. Of course, they knew that strength didn’t have much to do with body build. However, when they carefully observed, they discovered that Sanguis did not utilize any fighting aura.
For a youngster to send a massive body of more than a hundred kilograms flying with one punch without using any fighting aura, that was shocking!
Sanguis shrugged at the bald bulky man before saying to Han Shuo, “Master, I did not cause him injury.”
The outcome did not come as a surprise to Han Shuo. He nodded at Sanguis and hastened Candice, “Alright, let’s go.”
“Oh, oh. Okay. Okay!” Candice was suddenly roused. She took a quick look at Sanguis in a strange manner before turning her gaze to Han Shuo and shook her head as she sighed, “You really are getting more and more unfathomable. Who could expect that even your apprentice would be so miraculously powerful? Sigh, no wonder...”
“No wonder what?” Han Shuo said with a dashing smile as he thought to himself, That brawny man was merely a journeyman swordsman. If he could withstand one punch from Sanguis, then a Body of Sanguis doesn’t live up to its name.
“No wonder during the five years you were gone, every time the people of Lancelot Empire met with predicament, they would always think of you, how great it would be if you weren’t gone; No wonder Brettel City has come to possess such formidable strength in just a few short years that not even the Brut Merchant Alliance dared infringe upon,” Candice explained.
Han Shuo let out a hollow laugh and did not reply. He walked towards the restricted area at the back of the valley.
As he ventured farther into the valley, Han Shuo saw more familiar faces. Grant, who was explaining the rules of the mercenary band to a new group of mercenaries, was immediately stupefied when Han Shuo suddenly appeared. He stared blankly at Han Shuo without a word.
“Lord Grant, are you alright?” the newly recruited mercenaries didn’t know what was going on. They couldn’t help but question when Grant suddenly became silent halfway through his explanation.
“Ahhh!!!” an ear-piercing scream rang from Grant. Those mercenaries attentively listening to his lecture were jolted.
Under the watching eyes of those newly hired guns, Grant shot towards Han Shuo at lightning speed and cried out in surprise, “Lord Bryan! You are still alive!”
“I don’t die very easily, hehe,” Han Shuo nodded and smiled. His heart was filled with warmth to see Grant being so pleasantly surprised from the bottom of his heart.
“Bryan? Who called Bryan?” a cry of shock sounded from a stone chamber. Shortly after, a person stumbled out in a flurry and turned his gaze towards the source of the voice. Yet another shout that reverberated through the entire valley, “Ahh!! Holy shit! It’s really Bryan!”
Odysseus was wild with joy. Just like Grant, he rushed to Han Shuo’s side, laughed heartily and gave Han Shuo a firm hug.
Odysseus and his company had a closer relationship with Han Shuo and had joined the Soul Destroyer Mercenary Band because of him. Nowadays, Odysseus and those few had all risen through the ranks of the mercenary band. They were still as outspoken and uninhibited as before.
“You guys are still here, haha, this is great. It seems that the Soul Destroyer Mercenary Band is getting better and better,” Han Shuo too was very happy to see his old friends.
“Come, let’s go get Trunks and drink away! That chap has been locking himself inside for cultivation all the time, he’s getting more and more hardworking!” As Odysseus joined the mercenary band at Han Shuo’s invitation, he knew that the real owner of the Soul Destroyer Mercenary Band was Han Shuo. Although everyone had immense reverence towards Trunks, Odysseus, on the other, treated him as a partner just as before.
The party chatted and laughed as they walked to the back of the valley. Trunks came out from his cultivation after having heard the news. As soon as he saw Han Shuo, Trunks rushed to him and they shared a firm man-hug. Soon after, he yelled, “Brothers! Bring out the booze. Today we will empty them all!” After finishing those words, Trunks firmly hugged Han Shuo and exclaimed, “I knew it wouldn’t be that easy to kill you!”
“No kidding! They need to scheme much harder!” Han Shuo laughed.
After a short while, all of Han Shuo’s old friends gathered together. Soon after Trunks gave the instructions, large bowls of liquor and big chunks of meat were served. Mercenaries paid no regards to table manners to begin with. Upon hearing their leaders’ words, these people did not restrain themselves and started to drink and chomp loudly and rowdily.
After those mercenaries who had recently joined the Soul Destroyer Mercenary Band realized Han Shuo’s identity, they were ineffably excited. They took the opportunity to toast to their idol and expressed their veneration by drinking to the limits of their capacity.
Back then, Han Shuo was truly an idol in Sunshine Valley. He also had a record of never being defeated in Lancelot Empire. These mercenaries had the utmost admiration for such characters. Therefore, as soon as they heard that the legendary expert had arrived, each and every one of them was thrilled.
In an instant, Sunshine Valley was brimming with joyous atmosphere.