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Sanguis possessed tremendous strength and needless to say, it was a terrifying sight when he unleashed his full power.
Han Hao remained cool as a cucumber, not showing the slightest trace of fear against the blood-red radiances that shrouded the sky. He watched as the crimson-eyed young man descended from above, the murderous aura girding him ever so menacingly - yet he didn’t fret. He whirled the bone spear in his hand. A sinister and wicked energy suddenly shot out from the bone spear and instantly disintegrated the red radiances.
An evil gleam flashed through his purple demonic eyes before a large bone cage abruptly materialized. The hideous bone cage bore sharp spikes. It was positioned in Sanguis’ path with the open side facing Sanguis, as a shark waiting for its prey to swim right into its sawtoothed mouth.
Sanguis was astounded as a shiver traveled down his spine. He finally realized just how terrifyingly powerful the callous teenager was. Not only was he able to neutralize the blood-radiance attack that Sanguis congealed using blood essence with just a quick gesture, he even had spare energy to form a white bone cage using the energy of death.
Sanguis had already exerted his full strength against Han Hao. For some reason, it seemed as though Sanguis gained access to his fullest potential when pitted against the most formidable opponent he had ever encountered. The blood-red flames in his eyes burned even more vigorously with red trails overflowing from the corners of his eyes. His cheeks seemed to be overfilling with blood as his veins popped up under his skin. He looked like an angered, diabolical monster that thirsted for blood.
Those were signs that he was pushing the Bloodgod Mantra to the very limit!
Han Shuo, who had been standing aside and observing, took notice of the changes happening to Sanguis’ face. He gravely bunched his brows as he raised his guard, ready to intervene at any moment should things go South.
Sanguis did not try to avoid the bone cage. When he accessed his full potential, the terrifying blood aura around him instantly congealed into matter. The mist of blood all around the gymnasium condensed into a red palm before it shot into Han Hao’s bone cage.
The bone cage shattered into smithereens and bone debris dispersed like snowflakes in all directions.
“Oh?” Han Hao appeared a little surprised. A strange light flashed in his purple eyes as he stared intently at Sanguis whose power seemed to have surged several folds. He even seemed somewhat excited.
He could sense that Sanguis’s power was extremely unique and it was definitely not of the energies found in this universe. He also sensed the strong killing intent on Sanguis that was distinctive to cultivators of demonic arts. After Sanguis unlocked the fullest potential of his body, Han Hao would finally consider him as a worthy opponent.
Han Hao waved the bone spear in his hand and a deafening cacophony of ghastly cries and howls echoed from within as if thousands of tormented souls were struggling to break free. In an instant, the white bone spear turned murky grey while thousands of hideous, malevolent faces appeared on its surface. They were writhing violently as though trying to escape from their eternal prison but they remained securely bound to the bone spear.
“Charge!” With a sudden swing of his arm, Han Hao threw the bone spear into the sky, making harrowing shrieks as it soared. Sinister dark radiances glowed from its tip as those souls trapped in the bone spear gathered into an enormous and hideous mouth lined with fangs. It charged at Sanguis ferociously.
“Gilbert, take a careful look - Observe the energy that Han Hao has applied to the bone spear!” said Han Shuo, reminding the thrilled Gilbert to tear his eyes away from Sanguis.
Gilbert woke up from his daze and quickly realized that it was Han Hao’s cultivation that he ought to emulate. He promptly gathered his concentration on Little Skeleton’s bone spear and carefully sensed it with his soul.
After making the observation, Gilbert became overwhelmed with shock. He detected the presence of thousands of ferocious souls on the bone spear. They were filled with immeasurable rage, hatred, despair, and bloodlust. Those negative energies fused with the energy of death and formed a newfound, one-of-a-kind energy of sheer terror.
Gilbert had only been sensing the bone spear with his soul for a moment but already, he could sense a vague power drawing him into the bone spear to make him part of the collection.
<i>Damn, even his weapon has become so terrifying! Sanguis is out of luck!</i> exclaimed Gilbert internally.
Just as the thought appeared in Gilbert’s mind, the gruesome bone-spear-turned-mouth swallowed Sanguis who was caught off guard.
In an instant, Sanguis had completely disappeared. There was nothing but an enlarged bone spear hovering over the battlefield. The bone spear seemed to have transformed into an enormous earthworm. It squirmed tirelessly, the fierce souls emerged and disappeared on the surface of the bone spear, rolling around rapidly in the chilling, misty air.
Gilbert, Bollands, and others knew that Sanguis was now inside the bone spear as bursts of blood-red flashes could frequently be seen reaching the surface of the bone spear from within.
Evidently, although trapped, Sanguis was not immobilized. The flashes of red radiances indicated that he was still struggling vigorously, trying to escape from Han Hao’s bone spear.
By now, it was obvious that Han Hao’s power far surpassed Sanguis’. Despite his violent thrashing, his toil was to no avail. Those souls trapped in the bone spear had neither physical body nor blood and were completely unaffected by Sanguis’ blood aura. They weaved tighter and tighter around Sanguis, wearing down his power with every passing moment.
As time passed, it seemed as though Sanguis’s formidable power was nearly exhausted. The red flashes that reached the surface of the monster bone spear grew weaker before they eventually stopped. Only then did Han Hao extend a hand. He curved his index finger to make a strange gesture, and made a flick.
All of a sudden, the writhing bone spur spat Sanguis out like a cannonball. He crashed into the ground feebly and the murderous flames in his eyes vanished. It seemed that most of his stamina had been worn down while inside there and he could no longer pose a threat to Han Hao.
From start to finish, Han Hao had not moved much at all. Instead of launching aggressive and frenzied attacks with his body as Sanguis did, he simply maneuvered his bone spear around with his mind and effortlessly defeated Sanguis who had pushed his Bloodgod Mantra to the peak. Clearly, Han Hao had unleashed just a portion of his full might.
At this point, the chasm in their strengths could not be more obvious.
Ashen-faced and panting heavily, Sanguis locked his eyes and stared at Han Hao. A good while later, he nodded and announced in a deep voice, “I’ve lost!”
Han Hao briefly peered at him, speaking no word in response. He then turned around and called out to Scarlett who was standing by the door, “You may come inside now.”
Scarlett cautiously and bashfully trod into the gymnasium. Only then did Han Hao calmly explain to Sanguis, “Actually, your strength is rather decent, especially with your power to affect the blood. Still, it’s useless against me as the amount of blood in my body is one-one hundredth that of an ordinary being. My body composition is unlike others and therefore, your energy has no effect on me.”
Han Hao began as just a skeleton with not a drop of blood in his body. Even though Han Shuo had later refined and enhanced his skeleton with unique methods, still, it contained just a few drops of Han Shuo’s blood essences.
And as Han Hao grew stronger, using the blood essences that Han Shuo had left in his body as a template, he started making himself his own blood. He used it for activating certain demonic techniques and forging demonic weapons. This type of blood was mixed with part of his soul energy and was shrouded in a mixture of demonic yuan and death energy. Hence it was invulnerable to Sanguis’ Bloodgod Mantra.
As a result, the Bloodgod Mantra that worked on thousands and thousands of beings had no measurable effect on this unique lifeform called Han Hao. Besides, Han Hao’s base strength was a whopping level above Sanguis’, so Sanguis’s defeat was only a matter of course.
After hearing Han Hao’s explanation, Sanguis’ heart felt a little less bitter. He shook his head, put on a wry smile, and said, “I thought that you had somehow made your blood immune to my power - it turns out that you don’t have much blood to start with. No wonder I lost! Tough luck for me.”
“Haha, Sanguis, energy may affect most people, but unfortunately for you, this fella isn’t even human to begin with! You indeed are unlucky. Haha, it’s almost like Han Hao was made to defeat you!” Gilbert guffawed before stepping forward to Han Hao to look him up and down. After a moment, he exclaimed, “My gosh, you have changed so much, you’re nothing like before!”
Han Hao turned to Gilbert and nodded. His ice-cold expression thawed a little. He replied, “And you look pretty much the same as before.”
“Thank you for your assistance. If Polo had not intervened, the three of us wouldn’t still be alive now,” said Bollands suddenly with a solemn face.
Han Hao glanced at Bollands and casually replied, “No need to thank me. We are all on the same side.” It was no big deal to Han Hao.
It was at this moment that the blushing Scarlett who had been standing behind Han Hao went to Han Shuo, bowed at him, and earnestly thanked him, “Thank you for healing my scars and leading me to this place. I really appreciate it.”
Upon hearing Scarlett’s words, Han Shuo knew she must have figured out his lie about Han Hao inviting her to the Fringe. However, it appeared not only was Scarlett not angry at Han Shuo, she even seemed grateful for it. After some quick thinking, Han Shuo nodded and replied, “My boy, Han Hao, is nescient of a certain matter. I believe that it is necessary for him to learn and experience it in his life for him to truly grow. Otherwise, he wouldn’t be a complete man. Scarlett, you know what I’m saying, don’t you?”
Given Scarlett’s intelligence, she effortlessly caught on to what he was referring to. A sliver of unsuppressed delight gushed into her heart. She nodded, peeking at Han Hao as she softly and bashfully answered, “Yes, I know exactly…”
“Perfect. I trust that you will do well in helping Han Hao develop in those aspects.” Han Shuo chuckled with satisfaction before he turned to Little Skeleton and asked, “What brings you to the Pandemonium?”
“Let Scarlett stay here for now. It’s not quite safe at my side.” Han Hao paused to think for a moment before he continued, “Other than that, I have obtained the Quintessence Shard of Death. I know Father has invested considerable efforts into constructing the many demonic formations in the Pandemonium. This is the only place in the universe where I can safely investigate the secrets of the Shard without being discovered by that guy.”
Han Shuo was rather confused as it was his first time hearing the words ‘Quintessence Shard’. He raised a brow and replied, “Hold up, now what is a Quintessence Shard and how did you obtain it? Who exactly is this guy you are referring to?”
Inside the gymnasium with them was no one but Bollands, Sanguis, Gilbert, and Scarlett, of whom none were outsiders. With that, Han Hao revealed everything in detail, telling them about the gravestone he obtained from the Netherworld and the nature of the Quintessence Shard.
Han Shuo had a dumbstruck look on his face when Han Hao completed his narration. Han Shuo immediately turned to Gilbert and gravely warned, “Make sure that you do not share any of what you’ve learned with anyone! Absolutely nothing!” Han Shuo was very well aware of Gilbert’s loose lips.
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