GDK 750: Don’t make it too bloody

Sanguis, Bollands and Gilbert were currently the strongest in the Celestial Pearl after Han Shuo. Of the three, Bollands had been working in the Third Corps and was therefore the most experienced. Although Sanguis was the strongest among the three, he lacked real-life experience and needed to be further tempered. Gilbert and Han Shuo could communicate via telepathy, which could be useful in certain situations.

Han Shuo decided that rather than bringing a ton of people for the mission, he would take just the very best few with him.

Han Shuo had delegated all other tasks to his family clan members. He believed that the Celestial Pearl would do just fine while he was away and that they would move into the former Lavers Residence soon.

Fort Lasberg was located near the edge of the City’s influence and rather close to Hushveil City and Darksoul City. If one were to head north from Fort Lasberg, after crossing vast oceans and expansive mountain ranges, one would set foot into the Destruction Dominion.

Of the numerous forts under the City’s influence, Fort Lasberg was the biggest in size and had some of the most abundant natural resources in its surroundings. Besides being a little far from the City, Han Shuo couldn’t find any flaws to complain about.

After half a month, Han Shuo, Sanguis, Bollands and Gilbert arrived at Fort Lasberg. As the official documents had not been issued, Fort Lasberg was not yet the House of Han’s. Erebus’ men were in charge of running the fort for the time being.

Han Shuo did not immediately seek Erebus after arriving. Instead, he went strolling around the Fort with his three apprentices. Fort Lasberg housed approximately five thousand, most of them basegods. Lowgods and midgods were also present but highgods were few and far between.

The Elysium was vast, inhabited by a large number of gods, and yet, they lost to mortals when it came to population size and density. Although Fort Lasberg was larger than the territories of Lancelot Empire, it housed only about five thousand gods compared to at least several tens of millions of mortals living on Profound Continent.

The situation surrounding most cities on Elysium were similar to that of Fort Lasberg. They never lived as densely as the mortals on low-level material planes. Even the City of Shadows housed just tens of thousands of people. It was said that the most populated city on Elysium had two to three hundred thousand gods, a number that paled in comparison to the cities of mortals.

After strolling around Fort Lasberg and learning of its condition, Han Shuo and his apprentices finally headed to Erebus’ temporary residence at the center of the Fort.

The residence, as with the Fort, originally belonged to the House of Lavers. The buildings were tall and spanned far and wide. Land was cheap and the population sparse. This residence was in fact far more extensive than the Lavers Residence in the City.

This residence however, was far behind in terms of facilities and decorations. There were no energy towers and boundary towers covering every space, nor were there sophisticated boundaries to protect the gymnasiums from intense bursts of energy. The interior of the buildings were not sumptuously decorated but rather minimalistic in style.

Erebus was unusually delighted by Han Shuo’s arrival. He led the four into the biggest room of the residence before he said smilingly, “The City Lord has bestowed Fort Lasberg upon your House of Han. You, Bryan, are the real host and master of this residence. I’m just a visitor staying for a few days.”

“My House of Han has yet to receive the official documents. Until then, Fort Lasberg is under your command!” replied Han Shuo charmingly.

“Bollands, now that Bryan has returned, are you really going to leave the Third Corps?” Erebus asked, turning to Bollands with a smile.

Before Han Shuo left to refine his demonic weapon, he had arranged for Bollands to work under Erebus. Unlike Ayermike Cotton and Stratholme the old monster, Bollands’ strength would improve the more he killed. Butchering a god would cause his killing intent to condense into substance, forming an energy similar to demonic yuan and divine energy, allowing his strength to soar.

Bollands was an infamous assassin back on Profound Continent where he originated. He was a professional in the art of murdering and had assisted Erebus in eliminating countless enemies during his service in the Third Corps. He was such a good helper that even Erebus felt somewhat reluctant about Bollands leaving the Third Corps.

Bollands wore no emotion as he nodded. He said, “It is my Senior who taught me every skill I know and asked me to work at Third Corps. Now that he has returned, I must leave the Third Corps and go back to him.”

“Bryan, you are always terribly lucky!” Erebus said enviously.

“You know, I have the Goddess of Destiny’s blessing!” Legend had it that the Goddess of Destiny controlled the fate of others. From Aobashi and Erebus’ account, Han Shuo had certainly won the favor of the Goddess. Therefore, these words Han Shuo spoke were half jest and half truth.

“Alright, let’s get to business. I know your objective in coming here as Lord Andre has previously told me a thing or two. I have been paying attention to a mountain relatively far from Fort Lasberg and my men have gone to scout it. I did manage to acquire some useful information from it,” Erebus’ face turned solemn and said in a deep voice, “The mountain doesn’t belong to any city. It is between Hushveil City and Darksoul City. The incident began when a few divine guards of our City followed hearsay that an enormous energy crystal deposit was discovered in that area. Andre then sent his men to scout for information, but they have not returned any news even till now. They have probably met their demises. 

“It was then that Andre informed me about it. As I happened to be in the area, I dispatched a squad for scouting. Based on the news that came back, an enormous energy crystal deposit is definitely present!”

“Other than that, did you find any useful information?” Han Shuo smiled mischievously as he said, “You should know the City Lord’s intention. I must take over the crystal deposit in order to take the Fifth Corps. The three major family clans must have started exercising their power and resources, which surpasses mine. If you don’t have sufficient information for me, I doubt I can find it before they do!”

“I have confirmed the exact location. Apart from forces from our City of Shadows, there are divine guards from Hushveil City and Darksoul City. I’m certain that by then, conflicts are unavoidable. Be mentally prepared!” Erebus thought for a moment and continued, “You shall learn the details of the situation from Anito. Just get in touch with him when you are there.”

“How do I contact him?” asked Han Shuo.

“That, you don’t have to worry, Bollands should know how!” Erebus put on a smile and said, “Although you too have worked at our Third Corps, you haven’t spent much time with us. Bollands, however, has learned our ins and outs. He did actual labor here, rather than just tagging along for the credits like a certain rascal!”

Han Shuo turned to Bollands, who nodded. Bollands indeed knew how Third Corps’ agents communicated on the field.

After obtaining useful information from Erebus, Han Shuo decided not to stay longer than necessary and quickly departed for his destination. “Well then, I had better get moving. Hopefully I’ll be the first there!” 

Erebus knew that the sooner Han Shuo arrived, the better. Therefore he did not ask him to stay and said, “Good luck on the journey. Hope you come back with good news!”

“The Fifth Corps will be mine when I return!” laughed Han Shuo. His relationship with Erebus was deep and therefore he wasn’t scrupulous in speech. After mastering the Avicii Godslaying Sword Formation with his seventeen flying swords, Han Shuo had sufficient confidence in his strength. Han Shuo believed that he could take over the crystal deposit successfully if they did not run into any mishap.

“Master, what are we going to do?” Gilbert asked after they left Fort Lasberg with Han Shuo.

“That depends on the situation there, but our end goal is to take over the crystal deposit. Energy crystals are some good stuff. They are universally in demand in every city with gods!” replied Han Shuo.

After travelling around Fort Lasberg, Han Shuo discovered that although the Fort was great at producing all kinds of ores, there was plenty of room to improve in terms of defenses. He found the number of energy towers and boundary towers available to be deficient. In order to upgrade the defenses, Han Shuo would need a large amount of energy crystals. Occupying this enormous energy crystal deposit that had yet to be claimed by anyone would be useful to serve the purpose.

The party of four travelled for five days and in the evening, arrived at the mountain Erebus pointed them towards. Immediately, Han Shuo deployed his demon generals. He noticed that there were many gods in the mountain.

Bollands discovered several unique symbols on a few big trees soon after arrival. He thought about it for a moment before going to Han Shuo and said respectfully, “Senior, come with me!”

Han Shuo knew that Bollands had discovered Anito’s message and followed Bollands along with Sanguis and Gilbert.

In one of the caves in the mountain, Han Shuo saw Anito. A squad of divine guards was usually ten men strong. However, Han Shuo saw just three people beside Anito who looked dispirited. His clothing was dirty and torn. There were also what appeared to be blood stains on his chest. They must have suffered a great loss.

Sadness disappeared from Anito’s face when Bollands came into his view. Then, when he saw that Han Shuo too had come, his face lit up with delight. He even exclaimed, “Lord Bryan has come!”

The three divine guards beside Anito knew Han Shuo’s name. Dispiritment lifted from their hearts and hope appeared on their faces.

“Anito, what happened? You look like you've been severely injured!” Han Shuo questioned with his brows bunched.

“It’s those from Hushveil City and Darksoul City. Six of our comrades were killed!” Anito said angrily.

“The most abominable of them is that Eugene guy, who partnered with our City to raid the godhunters. I never would have expected him to lay such vicious blows against us just to get his hands on the deposit!” a divine guard named Deco said furiously. Han Shuo had seen him around Erebus when they went to assault the godhunter base.

“Eugene?” Han Shuo was stunned for a moment but a cold grin soon appeared on his face. “How unexpected, an acquaintance!” Eugene had been mocking and ridiculing Han Shuo throughout the raid of godhunters. He was prejudiced against Han Shuo because of his close friendship with the owner of the Godswamp Pharmacy, Hassling. Han Shuo did not expect that he would lay his deadly hand on divine guards from the City of Shadows.

The City of Gorging Clouds, Darkwater City, Dark Stone City, Mirage City, Darksoul City, the City of Shadows, and Hushveil City were the seven major cities of the Darkness Dominion, ranked from the most powerful to the least.

Although all seven cities served the Overgod of Darkness, they were independent from one another. There existed competition and minor frictions with each other. Although there had never been any all-out war between the cities, minor clashes never ceased between them.

The seven cities bordered each other and therefore it was common that some conflicts would arise in territorial claims. It was common for a few divine guards to perish. The seven City Lords were all fine with such minor conflicts and insignificant casualties. After all, the clashes between smaller family clans in opposing cities were much worse, where massacres of an entire family clan was often the outcome.

All three Overgods of the Death, Darkness, and Destruction Dominions considered benign competitions as helpful in promoting their servants' fighting power. As long as the conflicts didn’t jeopardize the stability of their Dominions, they would simply ignore them and let them be. It was only when major conflicts that could severely impact the overall strength of the Dominion arose that the Overgod would step in.

Conflicts due to claims of natural resources were common occurrences in the Darkness Dominion. Wallace, who had dispatched Han Shuo for the task, couldn’t care less what Han Shuo did. All he cared about was that in the end, Han Shuo would wield control over the deposit.

“Tell me the whole story,” asked Han Shuo in a deep voice.

“Eugene and his divine guards are also here. There are many deposits on this mountain. We claimed a relatively big deposit in the name of Lord Erebus. But before we could extract the ores, Eugene came and asserted that they had discovered the deposit first, demanding that we leave. When we wouldn’t, they attacked us. We lost three of our comrades to them!” Anito said angrily.

“Eugene must still be holding grudges against Erebus for being impolite to him. He took advantage of the situation to vent it on us!” remarked Deco. He had seen the friction between Erebus and Eugene during the raid on the godhunters. As Aobashi and Blightsoar were present, Eugene had no choice but to hold grudges in silence. He dared not to clash with Erebus.

But this time was different. As Wallace made the task of occupying the deposit a competition to decide on the new Chief of Fifth Corps, Erebus did not attend in person. With Erebus absent, Eugene had no qualms about attacking Erebus’ divine guards.

“Which deposit is Eugene at? Show us the way!” Han Shuo said calmly after learning the whole story.

“Lord Bryan, Eugene has brought around fifty divine guards with him. Don't you think our forces are a little too small?” replied the startled Anito, “I have reported the situation to Lord Erebus. We were instructed not to behave rashly and to wait until other competitors from our City arrive before attacking Eugene.”

“Nope, just the few of us is enough,” Han Shuo said proudly. If he was to wait for other competitors to join him, even if they then managed to take down the deposit, disputes would arise when it came time to divide the spoils. It was in Han Shuo’s best interest not to let any of his competitors lay any claim on the deposit.

“What are you being so wordy about? Just do whatever my master asked and cut the crap," yelled Gilbert bluntly.

“Anito, lead the way!” said Bollands in a menacing voice. He was giving off a murderous air!

After having worked in the Third Corps for seven years, Bollands had developed friendships with many of his comrades. Eugene’s deeds of killing his former comrades had enraged him. Bollands had killed many divine guards from other cities and possessed extremely intense killing intent. After practicing demonic arts, he grew more and more murderous and bloodthirsty. Except for Han Shuo, absolutely no one could keep him in control!

Anito was well acquainted with Bollands and knew that this old fellow had cold blood coursing through his veins - a madman who thirsted for blood. He was somewhat terrified at Bollands and replied in a trembling voice, “Alright then. But you need to be careful. Eugene, our opponent is a highgod!”

“Eugene is nothing against my master,” remarked Sanguis coldly.

Sanguis, like Han Shuo’s apprentices and women, held blind faith in Han Shuo. They believed that there was nothing he could not do. Although Sanguis had never met or known Eugene, he was confident that Eugene would lose against Han Shuo!

Bollands and Gilbert both nodded their heads at Sanguis’ remark, agreeing with his words.

“Well then, come with me!” said Anito. For whatever reason, when Sanguis shot a glare at him, Anito felt an even greater pressure than from Bollands. In his eyes, Sanguis, Bollands and Gilbert were all ferocious, ruthless characters. As Anito had never seen the fierce side of Han Shuo, he couldn’t understand how Han Shuo, someone who always wore a smile and was polite towards others, could keep the three monsters in check. 

Soon enough, with Anito leading, the party arrived at an enormous cave.

“Huh.” A divine guard who worked under Eugene guarding the cave entrance smiled sinisterly and asked, “You still have the guts to come back? Do you think that Lord Eugene was too merciful in not killing all of you the last time?”

“Haha, they have come back to die!” another divine guard snickered. They obviously did not take any of those comers as a threat.

Anito turned to look at Han Shuo as though pleading for help as he said, “Lord Bryan?”

“Oh no, you have brought backup. Haha!” the divine guard exclaimed in a ridiculing manner as though he had not noticed Han Shuo until Anito spoke.

“Senior, shall I?” Had it been like before, Bollands would have charged ahead long ago. But now that Han Shuo was with him, he asked Han Shuo for instructions before making any moves. He had no qualms being disrespectful to Erebus and even Wallace the City Lord. However, he would never be rude towards Han Shuo or go against his wishes as he knew that everything he had was bestowed upon him by Han Shuo!

Han Shuo still wore a warm and calm smile on his face as he nodded at Bollands. He said, “Go ahead, but don’t make it too bloody!”

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