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GDK 737: Justice
***The Sainte Residence.
Wallace was keeping Doyalo company when Rugersey carried the b.l.o.o.d.y Portlem into the room. Doyalo was Portlem's uncle - the most important character in their envoy.
Portlem's chest was covered with his blood. A small chunk of the cracked divine armor on his back was gone. Pieces of shattered wine gla.s.s were still sticking out from his flesh, spilling fresh blood.
Doyalo wore a dark face. As soon as he saw Portlem being carried inside, he flew to Portlem to hold him. In a deep voice, he asked, "What happened? Who dared harm you in the City of Shadows?"
The expression on Wallace's face didn't look good either. Doyalo and Portlem were some of the most important guests in the House of Sainte. Portlem being injured so badly wouldn't look good on them.
"It's those from the Celestial Pearl Pharmacy," Charlotte replied softly.
Wallace bunched his brows. He turned to Rugersey and asked, "What happened?"
Rugersey handed Portlem to Doyalo and put on a solemn expression before answering, "There was a minor incident at the Celestial Pearl Pharmacy. There seemed to be grudges between Andrina and Portlem. They started fighting in the banquet hall just like that."
"So it was Andrina who injured Portlem?" Wallace's heart sank and he immediately asked. He had learned a little about Andrina from Andre. He had been mindful of this powerful little girl who would hang around Han Shuo. Knowing how powerful the little girl was, it wasn't surprising that Wallace would have thought it was Andrina who did it.
"No," Rugersey shook his head with a frown. "It was Bryan who severely injured Young Master Portlem!"
"What?" Wallace's eyes widened. He said gravely, "Are you sure about that? Bryan is only a lowG.o.d. How could he injure Portlem so severely?"
"It is true!" Charlotte wore an astonished look as she explained, "Everyone had underestimated his strength. He is even more vicious than Andrina. He did not use all his strength in his first strike when Portlem's defenses were up, which caused Portlem to lower his guard. Bryan then took advantage of the situation, catching Portlem by surprise by suddenly attacking with his full strength!"
"How is that possible?!" Wallace was astonished. He turned to Rugersey and asked, "Is that so?"
Rugersey nodded and said, "It is indeed so. I reckon Lord Andre will be back soon. He was there when it happened. Your Lords.h.i.+p may verify the details with him."
That youngster actually possesses highG.o.d strength! Wallace exclaimed in his mind. His eyes started to dazzle brightly.
Andre indeed knew his elder brother well. When Wallace heard that Portlem was injured in the City of Shadows, his first thought was to punish the attacker to appease his important guests. However, after learning that Han Shuo was the perpetrator and that he had displayed highG.o.d strength, Wallace started running a cost-benefit a.n.a.lysis in his mind.
One of the reasons Wallace could command the enormous power and influence he did was that he valued talents highly. Wallace had been mindful about the presence of Andrina, a highG.o.d, in the Celestial Pearl for a long time. When he learned that Han Shuo too possessed highG.o.d strength, he knew he had to consider his potential wins and losses carefully.
Doyalo examined Portlem's condition. After making sure that the injuries did not threaten Portlem's life, he raised his head, looked straight at Wallace, and asked, "I believe you will uphold justice for us, won't you?"
"Don't worry. I will do you justice as soon as I understand the whole sequence of events!" Wallace nodded and promised Doyalo. He then turned to Rugersey and questioned, "I know a little about Bryan's character. He isn't one who would do something like this out of the blue. What actually happened?"
"This… Erm…" Rugersey's gaze turned to Portlem and Doyalo. He seemed rather hesitant.
Wallace's expression turned dark. He shouted, "Rugersey, did you not hear my question?"
Rugersey hastily replied, "Yes, my Lord! Andrina claimed that while returning to the City of Shadows, she ran into Young Master Portlem. She alleged that Young Master Portlem tried to abduct Bryan's women." He added, "This is all I have heard from Andrina. I do not know about the specifics!"
Wallace had an idea of what happened after listening to Rugersey's explanation. He had heard rumors about Portlem's lascivious tendencies. It wasn't at all surprising to Wallace that Portlem was accused of such acts.
"Mister Doyalo, if it was your side that instigated it, then it'll be quite troublesome to deal with!" Wallace let out a sigh and said, "The rules of the City of Shadows apply to everyone in the City of Shadows. If I favor your side just because you are our guests, then I, the City Lord, will surely be criticized by all the large family clans!"
Doyalo's expression turned somewhat sour as he could tell from those words that Wallace was leaning towards the Celestial Pearl's side. Although the influences of Doyalo's family clan was immense, they were inside the City of Shadows, outside their sphere of influence. If Wallace, the City Lord, decided not to help them, there wasn't much that they could do.
"What exactly do you mean by that?" asked Doyalo.
"I will investigate the matter thoroughly and handle the case justly - impartial and without prejudice!" Wallace said righteously.
Soon enough, Andre returned from the Celestial Pearl Pharmacy. The first thing he did was wink at Andre.
Wallace nodded at Andre, excused himself from the party, went to a corner with Andre and started discussing in a low voice. A moment later, Wallace returned with a faint smile on his face and said to Doyalo, "The most important thing now is to treat and stabilize Portlem's injuries. I will do an in-depth investigation of the incident!"
"I only hope that you will uphold justice for us. I have come to this city in representing the Church to discuss some issues with you. If you can't even ensure the safety of my envoy, then your House of Sainte is really quite disappointing!" Doyalo said in a deep voice before leaving with Portlem.
After Doyalo, Portlem and Charlotte had left, Wallace sneered and remarked, "Trying to pressure me with the Church? Dream on! Hehe, your House of Batchelder is just a tad stronger than my House of Sainte. And you have no power here!"
"Brother, Bryan the youngster is not to be looked down upon!" Andre said smilingly.
"Youth breeds heroism. The stronger he is, the happier I am!" Wallace laughed heartily, "If he was just an ordinary pharmacist, I might actually be unwilling to offend the House of Batchelder. But as things stand now, hehe, sorry Portlem, consider yourself unlucky!"
"But, my Lord, Doyalo came here representing the Church!" reminded Rugersey.
"He merely represents the Church, it's not like his House of Batchelder is the Church. I have nothing to be afraid of with him!" Wallace said disdainfully, "Besides, he came here to seek my a.s.sistance, not the other way round. My House of Sainte serves the OverG.o.d of Darkness. This little issue isn't nearly enough to jeopardize the position of my House!"
"Rugersey, you may leave," Andre smiled.
Rugersey nodded and tactfully left the Sainte Residence.
As soon as the brothers were left to themselves, Wallace asked Andre in an excited and elated manner, "Are you really sure that the youngster has highG.o.d strength?"
"I have seen it with my own eyes!" affirmed Andre, "On top of that, the energy he uses is unconventional and very queer, even queerer than that of Andrina's. This chap is truly unbelievable!"
"Fantastic!" cheered Wallace. He continued smilingly, "I don't think that the House of Lavers has interest in staying in the City of Shadows. Eventually, someone's gotta fill the empty spot they left. If I were to let the other three major family clans share those privileges, they may grow too big, and perhaps even threaten the position of my House of Sainte someday in the future. Bryan has only arrived on Elysium recently and doesn't have many foundations here. His relations.h.i.+p with Carmelita is good. I think it will be a decent choice to hand it to him instead. I did not take him as a candidate in the past because of his seemingly poor strength. But now, it appears that he is more suitable than Avery in taking this position!"
"Brother, you mean you want to hand him the Fifth Corps?" Andre cried out in surprise.
"That's right. The Fifth Corps has been left vacant for a long while. It's about time someone takes the seat!" Wallace nodded and replied.
"But we have put out word that anyone who wants to take the seat must exchange it with Avery's head. How do we get past that?" Andre said with his brows bunched.
"This is a non-issue - we can alter the terms. If Bryan performed a great contribution to the City of Shadows, we can use that as a reason to hand the Fifth Corps to him. But this is not final yet and we are not in a hurry. I'm just saying that he could be a great candidate for the job," said Wallace.
"Understood!" Andre then lamented, "This youngster could be said as having reached overnight success if he takes over the Fifth Corps!"
Half a month had pa.s.sed with the snap of a finger. During this period, Han Shuo was on high alert, fearing that Portlem's uncle would come to him to seek retribution.
However, Doyalo did not take a step into the Celestial Pearl. Not only that, but under the coercion of the House of Sainte, Doyalo and Portlem seemed to have accepted it as a loss, although they certainly still felt animosity towards Han Shuo.
The mortals from Profound Continent were incredibly diligent in their cultivation. Other than Phoebe and Emily who needed to handle the daily business operations of the Celestial Pearl, none of them had taken a step out from their rooms.
Phoebe had again proven herself to be an extraordinary business manager. Under her guidance, most of the work in the Celestial Pearl became smoother and more efficient. Her insights and experience related to business operations and management were far superior to that of Gu Li's. From having zero knowledge about medicine refinement, she managed to fully understand all the operations required to run a pharmacy within a short time. The suggestions she introduced to improve those operations were very practical and effective.
Emily had been working on recruiting certain rare talents. She managed to obtain new human resources to work at the branches of the Celestial Pearl Pharmacy. With the help of his two extremely capable women, Han Shuo had almost no work to do in his business. He would calculate the earnings every once in a while and left the rest of the business fully to their control.
During the time, Wallace, the City Lord of the City of Shadows, had personally come to visit the Celestial Pearl Pharmacy. Although he claimed that he was there to investigate the incident about Portlem, during the visit, he had made it clear to Han Shuo that he admired him. He even told Han Shuo to be at ease and not let the incident affect his mood.
Although Han Shuo had been doing business in the City of Shadows for a long time, for all this while, if Wallace had any business for Han Shuo, he would have Andre discuss with Han Shuo on his behalf. Wallace had never been to the Celestial Pearl Pharmacy even on its opening day.
However, just a few days after the havoc in the banquet hall, the esteemed Wallace came to visit the Celestial Pearl in person. It was obvious that his att.i.tude had changed.
Soon after Wallace, the patriarchs of the other three major family clans visited the pharmacy one after another. Not only did they heavily condemn Portlem for his depraved deeds, they even praised Han Shuo for his acts in the hall!
As Wallace had been pressuring Carmelita to cultivate, during the period, she had not taken a step out from her private gymnasium. Therefore, she had no clue about the recent happenings in the City of Shadows.
Erebus, on the very day he returned from a trip, went to look for Han Shuo. He was extremely astonished to learn about the might Han Shuo displayed on that day. He would rea.s.sure Han Shuo that given his understanding of Wallace, nothing would happen to him.
After having made much observation during this time, Han Shuo had long come to be aware that Wallace intended to defend him. Erebus' words had further confirmed his conclusion. Erebus had also invited Han Shuo to a friendly match, which Han Shuo had to decline as he could not use Cauldron Spirit's energy for too long. If he was to accept the friendly match, it wouldn't take long before his exaggerated image as a powerful expert as believed by all large family clans was shattered.
Fortunately, Erebus did not insist on it. He did not press on further after seeing that Han Shuo wasn't interested in a friendly match with him. Before he left, he indirectly indicated to Han Shuo that his Celestial Pearl would have an even more solid position in the City of Shadows with him possessing mighty strength.
Han Shuo had recognized this fact from the sudden change of att.i.tude among the family clans.
Compared to in the past, the members of large family clans who came to the Celestial Pearl to purchase medicines nowadays showed much more sincerity and respect. After learning that the Celestial Pearl had two highG.o.ds of unfathomable strengths and they were absolutely ruthless when it came to killing people, they no longer dared consider the Celestial Pearl as merely a larger than average pharmacy business.
With everything going on the perfect trajectory, Han Shuo had much more free time to spend on cultivating.
Inside the Celestial Pearl's gymnasium, Han Shuo and Akley were fighting each other under a gravity-intensifying field. Akley, a man thirsty for battle, believed that he could build his strength at the fastest rate by constantly putting himself in fierce battles. During recent times, he had often fought with Han Shuo in the gymnasium.
While fighting Akley, Han Shuo would utilize the energy of his avatar of destruction. He would congeal multiple Orbs of Destruction with his two hands and bombard Akley with the Orbs traveling in orbits conforming to the edicts of destruction.
The Orb of Destruction was made by condensing destruction divine energy. They could hold an astonis.h.i.+ng amount of power. Akley was strained in handling the attacks. He was traveling at such a high speed in the gymnasium that his figure became a blurry shadow. As soon as he escaped from being confined by the Orbs, he would immediately launch his powerful counterattack.
Boom! Boom! Boom! Sounded the noise of fierce battles. It did not take long before Akley became utterly exhausted and was defeated.
"Dude, you really are such a freak. You cultivate in so many different energies at once but for whatever reason, you actually managed to cultivate every one of them to such an advanced level!" praised Akley.
Han Shuo's demonic body was much tougher than Akley's divine body. On top of that, after absorbing the G.o.dhunters' divine energies, his avatar of destruction was on the verge of advancing to a midG.o.d. Also, Han Shuo had more divine energy than Akley. Therefore, it wasn't all that surprising that Akley would lose in a battle against Han Shuo.
"Alright, now move aside, Akley. It's my turn!" Andrina immediately walked over with a giggle when she saw Akley defeated. She brandished her two little fists before Han Shuo as she asked, "What's the rule for today?"
"The same old rule - we will fight for precisely three minutes, not a second longer!" replied Han Shuo. He could only last around three minutes boosting his strength using Cauldron Spirit's energy. If he exceeds this time limit, his demonic infant, the very core for his cultivation of demonic arts, would be injured.
Han Shuo had been having friendly matches with Andrina during recent times too. He discovered that flooding his body with Cauldron Spirit's immense energy, although painful, was a good way to temper his body. He had a vague feeling that he was on the verge of making a breakthrough in his practice of Invincible Omen Body.
At the present time, Han Shuo was able to deploy Invincible Omen Body through conscious thought. The next progression of this demonic skill was to have Invincible Omen Body automatically deployed when the body was attacked. Han Shuo had been trying to achieve this for a long time but haven't been able to.
Every time he battled with Andrina, his body would be stressed by Cauldron Spirit's energy. Although this was incredibly painful, his body would be strengthened each time. He knew this from the fact that he could endure Cauldron Spirit's energy longer with each battle. Although it would extend by merely a few seconds every time, it was clear to Han Shuo that this practice was very beneficial to his cultivation.
"I really can't make sense of you. Not once have you been able to last longer than a few minutes!" Andrina pouted her tiny mouth. As soon as she finished those words, she started attacking Han Shuo without warning. Dazzling radiance would shoot out from her body and fly towards Han Shuo in the shape of a vortex.
After having battled against Andrina in the gymnasium many times, Han Shuo had grown familiar to her attack methods. As soon as he saw the dazzling vortex approaching, he deployed the Demonic Blades in his two hands. Streams of dark, dense ga.s.ses flowed out from the gaps between his fingers. The dark gas was formed using the energy of demon generals. It looked as though dark ribbons had grown out from his hands.
The ribbons of dark, dense ga.s.ses interwove, forming a giant net before Han Shuo. The giant net would creak and vaporize when the dazzling radiance fell into it.
At this moment, Han Shuo and Andrina, separated by the glowing vortex and giant dark net, launched attacks at each other. s.h.i.+mmering lights would shoot out from their hands.
Pow! One of Andrina's attacks landed on Han Shuo. His imposing being took a hit. Andrina, as she usually would, took this opportunity to push forward. Han Shuo had no choice but to be on the defense.
Andrina was much stronger than Portlem, a fact which Han Shuo learned from having fought against her many times. As the energy she cultivated in was unique, Han Shuo couldn't figure out the actual strength Andrina possessed even till now. However, Han Shuo estimated it to be around mid to late stage highG.o.d realm.
Pow! Andrina gently pressed her tender, little hand on Han Shuo's chest and delivered him a blow.
"Eh?!" Han Shuo was sent retreating three steps backward but he appeared to be delighted by it.
on 26th Aug 11:59pm GMT+8