GDK 712: I will protect you!
“Do… Do you have more?” It only took a few minutes for the sack of five thousand black crystal coins to disappear into Andrina’s stomach. After consuming the coins, she asked for more.
Han Shuo’s appearance started to grow unsightly. He handed yet another big sack of black crystal coins. His heart was shedding tears, grieving for those black crystal coins that were being consumed…
“Do you have more?”
“... Do you have more?”
Han Shuo's face turned ashen. Finally, he looked at Andrina fiercely and exclaimed, “You have eaten ninety thousand black crystal coins already. Hasn’t that filled your stomach yet? Han Shuo started to show signs of anger.
Han Shuo had earned a total of ninety-six thousand black crystal coins by selling the medicines he worked hard to produce. These crystal coins were more than enough for Han Shuo to spend years if not decades in comfort. However, Andrina managed to finish all the black crystal coins for him in just half an hour. It would be a wonder if he didn’t feel angry.
Andrina appeared somewhat ashamed after hearing Han Shuo’s bellow. She did not have the courage to look at Han Shuo and kept her head low as she softly replied, “It’s far from filling my stomach but my injuries have gotten better. Oh, I feel a little sleepy. I shall take a nap…" Upon finishing those words, ignoring Han Shuo’s murderous stares, Andrina grabbed onto Han Shuo’s arm and fell asleep on it. She even started snoring heavily.
“My crystal coins!!!" Han Shuo cried. He looked at Andrina who was fast asleep and yelled furiously, “What kind of a monster are you?! How could you eat ninety thousand black crystal coins just like that?!” Unfortunately, Andrina could no longer hear Han Shuo’s complaining.
Han Shuo discovered that after Andrina swallowed the crystal coins, her originally severe injuries was rapidly improving in a most miraculous manner. Although she appeared inactive on the outside, the internals of her body were hard at work - it was like a complex machine that broke down the energy within those black crystal coins before distributing them to every injured spot on her body.
Crystal coins, used as currency on Elysium, was itself a type of energy stone. Black crystal coin was one of the energy stones that contained the most energy. But to Han Shuo’s current knowledge, although the energy inside crystal coins had a variety of uses, it was usually limited to powering interplanar transportation matrices, energy towers, boundary towers, refinement of divine weapons, and other similar devices. Han Shuo had never heard that it could be directly used or consumed by living things as Andrina had done.
What is her origin? Han Shuo doubted.
Andrina had fallen dead-asleep, completely unconcerned with the dangers around her. She had completely entrusted her safety to Han Shuo. Knowing that the godhunters from Greenfire Swamp were still pursuing her, Han Shuo dared not remain in this region for too long. Han Shuo was determined to take Andrina along after she ate ninety thousand of his black crystal coins so that he could get his money back after she eventually woke up.
After half a month, Han Shuo arrived at a mountain range near the City of Shadows. He was very familiar with this region. Without much effort, he located the underground cave where he had previously stayed for a few months and burrowed into the cave with Andrina.
During the half a month Andrina spent in hibernation, her body had been extremely busy with energies flowing all around. A healthy tinge of redness began to return to her pale face and her heavily injured body appeared to have healed significantly.
However, Han Shuo was rather annoyed that Andrina showed no sign of waking up even after sleeping for half a month. The City of Shadows was right before them but it didn’t seem appropriate for Han Shuo to enter the city with a little girl who was deep asleep and unconscious. However, if Han Shuo was to leave her alone in this place and if someone else was to discover her, her fate would be grim. Besides, Andrina still owed Han Shuo ninety thousand black crystal coins and Han Shuo wasn’t going to leave her before she reimbursed this enormous sum.
For the lack of a better option, Han Shuo stayed in the underground cave with Andrina. All three of his bodies would cultivate while waiting for Andrina to awaken.
During this time, Han Shuo had been monitoring things happening above the ground using his demon generals. From the chatter of those divine guards who patrolled the mountain range, Han Shuo learned a little about the current climate in the City of Shadows.
Avery who lost his only son and daughter used the influence and power of his Fifth Corps and the House of Lavers to the fullest. He started investigating every person with the remotest possibility of murdering his children. During this period of time, there wasn’t a night that those who had animosity with the House of Lavers and Avery himself could sleep soundly. They had to live in constant fear.
A few of those who used to have grudges with Avery and were coincidentally in the vicinity of Fort Hassell during the days Cage and Eve were murdered, abruptly disappeared without a trace…
The patriarchs of all big family clans in the City of Shadows understood that Avery was growing somewhat psychotic during this period of time. They would warn members of their family clan not to provoke Avery, who had lost all rationality. Those family clans that held grudges with Avery heightened the defenses of their family residences.
After learning about Avery’s recent wild acts, Han Shuo inferred that Avery probably did not consider him as a suspect. After all, his strength was all too weak in their eyes and logically speaking, there was no way that he could successfully assassinate Cage and Eve.
With that, Han Shuo became slightly more at ease. He knew that even if he returned to the City of Shadows right then, Avery’s crosshair likely wouldn’t aim at him.
Inside a secret chamber, Steiss crouched on the ground and reported in a deep voice, “Master, Avery is now investigating Carmelita. It appears that Avery is suspicious of her.”
The elderly man with white hair but a face as translucent as jade smiled gently and said, “Avery is distrustful and paranoid in character. In addition to the fact that the incident was indeed very strange, he wouldn’t just be suspicious of Carmelita, but every one of his enemies. But naturally, we have to make him think that Carmelita did it so that the two sides will fight each other. Hehe…”
“Master, about that youngster, he completely disappeared and I still can’t find a trail of him,” Steiss reported in a low voice.
The white-haired elderly man subconsciously tapped on his chair with his index finger. Wearing a somewhat puzzled face, he said, “That youngster is really quite astonishing. It’s really hard to believe that even Avery failed to kill him. Forget about it, at least he is no longer in the City of Shadows. You can stop looking for him. So many big family clans have tried but they have all failed. It is to be expected that you won’t find him either. But still, it's quite a pity that we did not get his medicine formulas.”
“Master, how do we proceed?” Steiss asked respectfully.
After spending a moment in contemplation, the elderly man answered, “Utilize our pawn in the House of Sainte. Get him to divulge a message, one that will make Avery certain that Carmelita sent men to Fort Hassell!”
“Understood!” Steiss smirked sinisterly and dismissed himself.
“Are you sure of this?” Avery asked with a face as cold as ice.
“Last night, a divine guard of the House of Sainte divulged the information unintentionally after an evening imbibing. He said that Carmelita had sent a person to Fort Hassell eight days before Cage and Eve were murdered. Based on the journey time, this is completely in line with the timeline,” a shadow in the darkness replied indifferently.
“That malicious, ugly woman, it was her, it indeed was her! Eve had merely said that she looked ugly, but she actually went as far to treacherously murder her. What a heartless bitch. I’m gonna finish her!” Avery cursed with his teeth clenched. His body was shivering in rage.
“My Lord, it is the House of Sainte we are talking about!” the shadow gently reminded.
“So what if it’s the House of Sainte? If worst comes to worst, I will just leave the City of Shadows. Given my strength, I can make a living for myself anywhere in the Darkness Dominion. She killed my son and daughter. How could I let her off easily?!” Avery roared hysterically. He appeared borderline insane.
The shadow did not dare to give any more advice. He knew that after Avery made a decision, he would stick to it even if he knew that it was a bad one. No advice would have an effect on Avery.
After a long while, gradually, Avery calmed down. He said calmly, “But still, this needs to be planned and prepared properly. That ugly bitch has extraordinary strength. Even I myself do not have certainty of defeating her by myself.” Carmelita possessed about as much strength as he did. Avery did not have complete confidence in defeating Carmelita by himself and therefore wouldn’t attack her rashly.
A few months had passed. On this day, Han Shuo, who was in the middle of cultivation, suddenly detected movement near him. At once, he opened his eyes and looked straight at Andrina, whose long eyelashes were trembling.
Andrina who had been sleeping for nearly four months no longer appeared as pale as paper with her fair skin containing a tinge of healthy redness. Her eyelashes trembled for a while before she opened her pair of beautiful purple eyes. She then stretched her body in a languid manner and put on a contented, comfortable smile on her face before saying in her melodious voice, “How long have I slept? Mmm… I feel much better already. Even the aches in my body have greatly diminished!”
“I want my money back!” Han Shuo’s handsome face immediately turned dark as soon as he saw Andrina wake up. He shamelessly asked to be reimbursed.
“Erm…" Andrina forced a smile before she looked at Han Shuo pitifully, “How could you ask me to pay you money right after I woke up? That’s not very courteous of you.”
“It was ninety thousand black crystal coins! It was all the money I had! Do you have any idea how much money that was? Do you know how hard I worked to earn it? How much time it took to save that amount of money? Do you know just how many things ninety thousand black crystal coins can buy? Do you know…" Han Shuo grumbled grievously on and on and on.
“I don’t have a single crystal coin on me!” Andrina replied concisely after she patiently listened to Han Shuo finish grumbling.
Han Shuo was speechless.
The long speech was all for nothing. Han Shuo hung his head down dispiritedly. But suddenly, Han Shuo seemed to recall something and his eyes lit up. He looked at Andrina smilingly like a big bad wolf looking at a rabbit as he asked, “Do you have anything valuable on you? Perhaps something like a… a divine weapon… I can accept that to reimburse my crystal coins…"
“No!” Andrina suddenly wrapped her hands around herself as though wanting to protect the item on her body. She took a step backwards and said, “I don’t have a thing on me that could be exchanged for crystal coins. Don’t even think about it!”
“Then how are you going to compensate me for my ninety thousand black crystal coins?” Seeing that the method was ineffective, Han Shuo discarded his false-benevolent face and put on an angry one. During this period of time, Andrina had been very quiet and frequently made pitiful faces at Han Shuo, so much so that Han Shuo had forgotten how ferocious she was when they first met.
Obviously, Andrina was not afraid of Han Shuo. She pulled the corners of Han Shuo’s lips and giggled, “Don’t pretend to be so fierce! I know that you are actually a good person. You are not like those godhunters and definitely did not hide in that tree with evil intentions. Hehe, and when I was heavily injured, you saved me and have been very nice to me. I know you won’t harm me,” Andrina added after taking a short pause, “Besides, you cannot harm me now!”
Han Shuo put on a dejected face after hearing those words. The fury in his face disappeared as he asked dispiritedly, “Have you healed from your injuries? If you have, go find a job, make money, and return my crystal coins to me. After that, you may get on with whatever the heck you were up to!”
“Not completely healed yet but more than enough for self-preservation,” Andrina replied smilingly. She then spun in a circle before Han Shuo to flatten out the wrinkles on her little dress and nodded in a pleased manner. After that, she proposed in her lovable voice, “I don’t know how to make money but I’m willing to protect you for a period of time as compensation for eating your crystal coins!”
“You? Protect me?” Han Shuo's immediate response was to groan disdainfully. But immediately after, he shut his mouth tight as he recalled Andrina’s terrifying methods as well as Cauldron Spirit’s assessment of her. After rapidly weighing in his mind, he asked, “With your current strength, can you obstruct the sneak attack of an early-stage highgod expert?”
“Shouldn’t be a problem. Although I can’t win for now, I have more than enough strength to carry you and escape. But if you can get me another ninety thousand black crystal coins, we might not even need to escape!” Andrina replied after thinking for a moment.
Han Shuo’s heart was jolted when he saw that Andrina didn’t seem to be bluffing. He knew that for this little girl to have the confidence of resisting the attack of an early-stage highgod even under such conditions, her true strength at full health ought to be beyond terrifying.
“One year for every ten thousand black crystal coins. As you have eaten ninety thousand of my black crystals coins, you will have to protect me for nine years,” Han Shuo said.
The fee for employing a highgod as a bodyguard was much, much more than merely ten thousand black crystal coins per year. Han Shuo was prepared to haggle with Andrina and keep her around for at least a year.
Han Shuo had expected Andrina to object to his tender but instead, she agreed to it immediately, “Okay! In any case, you seem like a decent character, and I have nothing to do for the moment.”
Han Shuo was stunned to hear those words. One definitely could not obtain nine years of services of a highgod for a mere ninety thousand black crystal coins anywhere on the material plane. In fact, Han Shuo felt rather suspicious of Andrina agreeing to his terms so readily. He inwardly thought, Is she plotting something against me? This little girl definitely isn’t as innocent and naive as she appears on the surface. She’s a little freak who has no qualms about killing. Is it going to be a fortunate thing or a catastrophe to keep her around for so long?
“What are you worried about?” Andrina asked in a concerned manner. It was as though she knew what Han Shuo was thinking.
“Noth-- Nothing…" Han Shuo then put on a straight face and said, “Let’s go, we will enter the City of Shadows.”
Han Shuo decided to stop hiding from the public. With Andrina around, Han Shuo would have no fear about the possibility of Avery trying to assassinate him again. Therefore, he openly returned to the City of Shadows with Andrina.
Most of the large family clans learned of Han Shuo’s return after he had taken merely a few steps into the City of Shadows. Immediately, they activated their forces and started rushing towards the Celestial Pearl Pharmacy!
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