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Although Han Shuo could not let them devour another person’s divine energy, he could extract divine energy from a person and process it with special medicinal ingredients, producing an elixir that would have similar effects to divine essences.
“I will find a solution to this, just don’t be a godhunter!” Han Shuo had always given them plenty of freedom and rarely intervened in their activities. The fact that he issued them a direct command prohibiting them from devouring divine energy showed that he was gravely concerned about the repercussions.
Gilbert and the others had been hesitant about devouring another person’s divine energy because they were also aware that becoming a godhunter was a path of no return. So as soon as they heard Han Shuo promising them an alternative, they immediately cast the idea out of their minds. All of them nodded and promised that they would not even dabble with the idea.
“Good. You should continue studying the memories you obtained from the crystal balls and get a better grip over their understanding of the edicts and elements. Also, do not leave the Pandemonium for the time being. There’s no need to concern yourself with the situation outside,” said Han Shuo.
Following Han Shuo’s order, the party dispersed one after another. Deep in their hearts, these core members of the Han family understood that everything Han Shuo did was for their own sake. They were no longer desperate to raise their divine energies and went back to calmly study the profound knowledge in those crystal balls.
Han Shuo then exited the underground palace, summoned Zovic, and demanded a report about the recent occurrences in the Fringe.
“Tyre and Logue have been meeting frequently. Together, the two of them have managed to subdue over 70 percent of all forces scattered around the Fringe. Ossora and Wasir are far behind. Most of the forces they have taken in are those who were already aligned with them. Combined, they have absorbed just 20 percent of all forces. The remaining 10 percent remain undecided…
“As of late, godhunters have been unusually active in the borders of Space, Destiny, Death, and Lightning Dominions, which has drawn great attention from cities in those Dominions. It seems the Godhunter Alliance is just around the corner and the Fringe is on the verge of being attacked…”
Zovic courteously and patiently reported the recent happenings in the Fringe to Han Shuo. When he completed his report, Zovic put on a confused look and asked, “My Lord, many faction leaders have come to us, wishing to serve the Pandemonium. Why did your Lordship decline them? Wouldn’t it be better to gather as much of the forces as we can, so that we would have more chips to use when the war breaks out?”
Not just Zovic, but all those who dwelled in the Fringe were perplexed by Han Shuo’s actions. Tyre, Logue, Ossora, and Wasir had fought high and low and even offered all kinds of ridiculous rewards just to have temporary command over those untamed factions. They were going all-in to assemble as big of a force as they could to give themselves the best chance of riding through the impending storm.
Han Shuo, however, did the complete opposite. No matter who came to visit Han Shuo or which faction they represented, Han Shuo rejected them all the same. All those faction leaders who desired to submit to Han Shuo’s command were flushed with embarrassment as if their burning zeals were doused by barrels of iced water.
Han Shuo put on the smile of a master-schemer and replied, “We of the House of Han do not need strength in numbers. Fret not, everything is going as I’ve planned. We are not missing out on an opportunity here.”
Zovic remained no less confused after hearing Han Shuo’s answer but he didn’t utter another word to convince Han Shuo otherwise. He understood that Han Shuo had a plan and as Han Shuo’s henchman, his duty was to execute Han Shuo’s commands and not worry about the masterplan.
“Alright, you are dismissed. Keep up the good work,” Han Shuo waved a hand, gesturing to Zovic to go back to running his intelligence agency.
Half a month later, Han Hao, accompanied by Scarlett and their followers, appeared inside the underground palace excavated for him by Earth Elite Zombie and Metal Elite Zombie.
Han Hao’s godhunters had returned from various regions to the Fringe some time ago. Some of them had even relocated to the underground palace and the mountains nearby.
Upon arriving at his new base, Han Hao summoned his Chiefs to a chamber excavated from the belly of a mountain for a meeting.
“Relay my commands - have everyone assemble in this base. We will no longer be scattered all over the Fringe. And cease attacking the Fringedwellers for now, exercise self-restraint. After this is over, you may resume satisfying your inner urges,” he began shooting orders as soon as everyone arrived.
The Chiefs, including Polo, nodded repeatedly, pledging to restrain their men during this period. They were all cognizant of the fact that they were at a critical time when every Fringedweller had to unite against the greater enemy. If they were to continue hunting other Fringedwellers, they would undoubtedly be condemned and denounced by everyone.
“Make good use of the time left and put all your effort into constructing and enhancing this base. It’s well-hidden. As long as everything is set up properly, we won’t have to be too worried even if the Godhunter Alliance sieges this base. Alright, you lot should start assigning tasks to your company. Whatever traps or boundaries you can make, put them up. The more the better,” Han Hao pressed on.
After taking a short pause, Han Hao pointed to Scarlett who was standing quietly by his side, and introduced her, “This is Scarlett, one of us. She is of the same rank as the bunch of you.”
Polo and the others had sensed the distinctive aura of a godhunter on Scarlett as soon as she entered the chamber. Without thinking, they knew that Scarlett must have been yet another faction leader who surrendered to Han Hao’s command. They nodded but did not make any comments.
Scarlett had been gazing at Han Hao with the eyes of a fangirl the whole time. It was only now that she realized just how much power Han Hao had accumulated. In the chamber, there were three Chiefs with late-stage highgod strength. The remaining Chiefs had mid-stage highgod strengths.
Based on the number of late-stage and mid-stage highgod experts in the chamber, Scarlett could tell that Han Hao now commanded a significantly greater force than what he had started with when he was still in Ronson Canyon. Even the combined might of those former Ronson Canyon faction leaders would pale against Han Hao’s.
Seeing the loftily standing Han Hao giving order after order in his callous and handsome face, Scarlett found herself helplessly awestruck by his charm. She couldn’t help but recall the moment they hugged a few days prior. Although it only lasted for only a moment, it left an unerasable mark in Scarlett’s mind.
As Han Hao wrapped up his orders, he glanced at Scarlett and caught her with flushed cheeks and a somewhat enchanted gaze. He turned back and looked at his henchmen. He realized that Polo and the others were staring at Scarlett with fiery eyes. All of a sudden, he felt a pang of wrath for no apparent reason, as though he was being violated.
When they were still alive, those faction leaders of Ronson Canyon had lewd and indecent ideas for Scarlett, even when there were two horrifying scars stretched across her face. Now that the hideous scars on her face were gone, she bloomed with an irresistible charm. It was no wonder characters like Polo and the likes would lust for her.
As Han Hao had always been socially-detached and had never before shown even the slightest interest towards the opposite sex before his subordinates, Polo and the others didn’t at all suspect that the relationship between Han Hao and Scarlett was any different from theirs. They thought that Scarlett was just another subordinate of Han Hao’s and therefore they had the audacity to wantonly scan her body.
Han Hao glared at his subordinates who were ogling Scarlett with immodest eyes, let out a cold groan, and sternly announced, “She is my woman! Look at her that way again and I will gouge your eyes out!”
The lecherous looks on their faces were immediately replaced with appall and they instantly averted their gazes from Scarlett. They understood that although their leader was rather young, he was cruel, callous, and most importantly, a man of his words. He would do exactly as he said with no compromise.
While terrified, those Chiefs were also baffled. Having served Han Hao for ages, they had never seen Han Hao express any sort of romantic interest in another living being. From their point of view, Han Hao was just an emotionless, unmoving rock. The party was greatly astonished to hear those words come out from Han Hao’s mouth. They were almost in disbelief.
Scarlett was irritated by their indecent gazes and was just about to lash out at Polo and the others when Han Hao suddenly made the threat. Scarlett was overjoyed and she felt as though her heart was filled with the sweetest honey. She threw a seductive glance at Han Hao as she thought, Finally, he’s starting to get it!
“Erm, we are sorry… We did not know that you were the Chief’s woman…” Polo put on an awkward and embarrassed smile before bowing at Scarlett and said, “We are really sorry… We have never known that Chief is interested in women and therefore thought that… Haha… Really sorry about that… “ Polo was Han Hao’s most senior aide and therefore immediately extended an olive branch to Scarlett.
Scarlett no longer felt any anger at them. She nodded smilingly and magnanimously replied, “I will forgive you for doing so in ignorance. I won’t hold grudges over such a trivial matter. We are all on the same side, after all.”
Han Hao cast a cold glance at Polo and groaned yet again. In a rather annoyed tone, he said, “That’s enough talking, now go get busy. Those from the Alliance will be attacking very soon and you bunch better have the defenses ready before they are here. There’s no time to waste!”
“Yes, yes…” Polo was yet again jolted. He stealthily took a peek at Han Hao as he thought, Come on, I’m only having a few words with her and already you are separating us. Do you really have to be so possessive?
Polo and others hastily left to carry out their orders. Han Hao then led Scarlett to his underground palace and said, “Come, let’s go to the Pandemonium.”
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