Chapter 131: Some rejoice and some worry
The Dark Forest was now covered by a thick layer of snow. Han Shuo sloshed his way through it as he made his way towards the dwarf village.
The dwarves had been forced to leave their village because of the forest trolls. Although Han Shuo vaguely knew where they’d relocated to with the help of the original demons, but he wasn’t quite sure where exactly they’d gone either such a long period of time.
The forest trolls had left long ago and hadn’t reappeared. Han Shuo felt that the dwarves wouldn’t necessarily be willing to give up their old village, so he still decided to head in that direction first.
When Han Shuo arrived at the passageway into the village and looked around, a smile blossomed from the corner of his mouth. From the various concealments and setup of things around the passageway, Han Shuo could ascertain that the dwarves hadn’t left.
Han Shuo whistled long and loudly, shaking the accumulated snow off the tree branches. His sensitive ears heard the sound of approaching footsteps as several dwarf warriors, holding battle axes, appeared after a short while, approaching from afar with looks of caution on their faces.
“Don’t worry, it’s just me, I’ve returned as promised.” Han Shuo immediately called out before the dwarf warriors had gotten close to him.
The dwarf warriors in the distance all heaved involuntary sighs of relief when they heard Han Shuo’s voice. When they walked to Han Shuo, one of them said, “Many things have been difficult now that winter has arrived. Although the village has been exposed, we’re unable to build suitable houses in such a short amount of time, so although we knew of the potential for danger here, we still didn’t want to suffer in the cold and returned to the village.”
“Winter is here, so I’ve come this time to bring some winter rations and thick clothing for you. In addition, you can be at ease about the forest trolls. They won’t ever bother you again.” Han Shuo smiled slightly and comforted the dwarves.
The dwarves immediately cheered when they heard this. Their expressions were bafflingly overjoyed and filled with sincere delight and celebration.
“This is wonderful! We’ve gone through most of the rations you brought last time in recent days. The chief thought something had happened to you because you hadn’t appeared in a long time, but we also didn’t know how to help you so we could only worry about you. It’s wonderful that you came. Let’s hurry and enter to village to tell the good news to everyone.” The dwarf that had spoken before spoke joyfully as his short, stout legs moved forward rapidly, moving towards the depths of the village.
When they heard that Han Shuo had come, all the dwarves that had been warming themselves up indoors, out of the frosty winter weather, squirmed out one by one to give Han Shuo friendly greetings.
“Oh, it’s fantastic that you’re alright Han. We were very worried about you.” The dwarf warrior Bennett spoke with a look of surprise.
Han Shuo didn’t say much and proceeded to an area with flat ground that had been cleared of snow. He then took out the rations and daily necessities from his space ring with a smile. He laid them all out and gathered them into piles, covering a large area.
“These are the rations and necessities that I’ve brought with me this time, along with some thick clothes to help you guys keep warm this winter. In addition, you won’t have to worry about the forest trolls making trouble for you in the future. You can live here in peace and without worry, the forest trolls won’t be making any trouble for you in the future.” Han Shuo explained as he observed the dwarves’ delight. He felt that his actions had resulted in a proper reaction.
All the dwarves were beyond themselves with glee when they saw the ground covered with rations and daily necessities. Even the female dwarves, children, and elderly hiding in the houses came out when they heard the news and started cheering in the distance.
“Thank you so much Han, if it wasn’t for your rations and necessities, I think many of us would starve and freeze to death this winter. These rations and clothes are enough for us to make it through the winter. How can we thank you?” Chief Darwin genuflected to Han Shuo in the great gesture of the dwarves and spoke with great gratitude.
“We’re friends, so say nothing of gratitude.” Han Shuo responded.
To be honest, these rations and clothes weren’t worth much money at all, but it was a bit difficult for merchants to transport them over. Therefore, after entering the Dark Forest, whether it was the forest trolls, dwarves, or other species, all would be willing to pay a high price in exchange for rations and daily necessities.
However, with the transportation matrix in the cemetery of death and the large capacity of the space ring, this task that would have taken a lot of people and resources to achieve was easily accomplished by Han Shuo with no difficulty at all.
“Han, you said that the forest trolls would no longer bother us, is it because the elves have already waged war against them and completely destroyed them?” The dwarf warrior Bennett thought of another matter and asked Han Shuo with great excitement.
When he asked this question, Han Shuo suddenly started and asked Bennett, “Can it be that the elves are already planning on waging a huge battle against the forest trolls?”
Nodding, Bennett spoke angrily, “Indeed, they’ve even invited us and said that they want to give those wicked robbers a harsh lesson. But the defensive capabilities of our village are too weak and the chief isn’t planning on having us participate. Isn’t it the elves that created this situation where the forest trolls won’t invade us again?”
“Of course not, the scourge of the forest trolls will slowly be restrained in the future. Be at peace. Mm. Alright, alright. I still have some things to do and I’ll come find you again in the future.” Han Shuo spoke.
He then spoke a few random words and hurriedly left the village, despite the dwarves’ efforts to keep him. Bennett said that the elves were going to wage war on the forest trolls. Han Shuo couldn’t sit still after he heard that. If it was before, he would’ve wanted the elves to wipe the floor with the forest trolls.
But now, the forest trolls were absolutely under his control and could even be labeled as his private army. In addition, he needed the forest trolls to cooperate with Emily’s mission. If the elves stirred up trouble now, that would be quite an inconvenient timing to choose.
Except, many days were necessary to travel from here to the forest trolls’ stronghold. Han Shuo had many things he still had to take care of in the Empire and he really couldn’t spare the time. This gave him a bit of a headache.
After thinking carefully, Han Shuo felt that there was no particular rush for things either. He’d only be delaying things by a day or two if he settled Phoebe’s matters first and accompanied her to a banquet, then head for the forest trolls afterwards.
The elves making a move against the forest trolls may not take place in these couple of days. Besides, although the elves were strong, the forest trolls were no pushover either. After so many years of conflict, the fact that the elves had not wrung any major concessions out of the forest trolls had already illustrated how things stood.
When the sky was dark, Han Shuo made use of the darkness/silence to hurry back to the cemetery of death. He was in no hurry to leave immediately, so he took out a Fruit of Dagmar again and endured exceedingly painful torture within the cemetery of death, digesting the Fruit of Dagmar like last time and once again opening up parts of his brain.
When Han Shuo felt that his body had recovered and was reborn once again, the clarity of his five senses had taken another leap forward, while the concentration speed of his mental strength and the circulation speed of his magical yuan had also all improved. Han Shuo could vaguely feel that there were signs of him breaking through the molded spirit realm. It looked like he’d be able to progress to the next level of demonic magic before long.
The next stage would be the “true demon” realm. Once he entered this realm, Han Shuo would become an infant demon, truly becoming a demon in definition. The previous three stages of solid realm, open passages, and molded spirit were just to reinforce one’s foundations for demonic magic. Before one became an infant demon, a practitioner didn’t really count as a demonic practitioner.
Only after he entered the “true demon” realm will Han Shuo truly be considered as someone who has entered the halls of demonic magic. As an infant demon, he’d be able to fly through the air and use magical yuan to refine magical treasures. He’d be able to reforge the Demonslayer Edge all over again, and could train in various other amazingly powerful magics. He’d even be able to refine the yin demons that were a step above the original demons.
In other words, the true demon realm was a boundary. Han Shuo would have many ways to improve his strength after reaching this realm. His strength would once again take great leaps forward, so Han Shuo was filled with indescribable joy when he vaguely felt that he was exhibiting signs of breaking through.
By now, it was morning the next day, and Han Shuo didn’t remain here. He used the transportation matrix in the cemetery of death to return to the Empire and walked directly back to the Academy.
After the ambiguous conversation with Fanny, Han Shuo’s heart was filled with boundless expectations. Although Fanny hadn’t immediately agreed to his pursuit, he basically understood Fanny’s heart. He understood that if he advanced one step further, attained the level of adept mage and graduated from the Academy, he’d be able to capture the teacher’s heart.
He was still a bit unclear on some parts of the new magics and more technical terms, so he had to inquire Fanny. Therefore, Han Shuo still needed Fanny’s guidance in this stage.
Once he returned to the Academy and made his way to the necromancy major, he suddenly realized that he’d become a celebrity when he bumped into students from other majors along the way. The gazes that other people used to use when looking at him were filled with surprise and admiration, with some pretty female students even revealing the light of romantic interest in their eyes.
This kind of attention hugely satisfied Han Shuo’s vanity. He was in quite a good mood all along the way. When he saw the attention and feelings from the pretty girls, Han Shuo even gave them friendly greetings, displaying a brilliant smile. These female students immediately ran away with short strides and reddened faces.
However, once Han Shuo passed by the training fields, his good mood was immediately shattered. The smile on his face was replaced with a darkened look. Earth rider knight Clark was standing in front of the doors of one of the necromancy major’s training fields, wearing a form fitting shirt and holding a large bouquet of fresh flowers in his hand. He was looking inside with a faint smile.
Passing through the open door, Han Shuo saw that Fanny was explaining some magical theory to some necromancy students with a smile on her face. Judging from her demeanor, she wasn’t affected by Clark, nor did she look at Clark at all. She was practically ignoring Clark’s existence.
Even so, Han Shuo still felt ticked off by seeing Clark stand there looking soulfully at Fanny. As he took large strides to the doors of the training grounds, he suddenly darted forward and purposely exerted pressure with his right shoulder after tilting his body, scattering the bouquet of fresh flowers all over the floor.
Han Shuo had purposely lightened his footfalls in his movements just now, accelerating only when he’d walked up to Clark. Engrossed in watching Fanny, Clark had been caught off guard and reacted too late. It was a bit comical how broken and scattered his bouquet was now.
“Oh, I’m sorry, so sorry. It’s just that these are the training fields for the necromancy major, and I bumped into you by accident because you were blocking the door.” Han Shuo immediately appeared apologetic when he saw Clark spitting fire with his eyes and staring at him.
“Oh, Bryan, what are you doing here in the training fields today?” When Fanny saw that Han Shuo had come, her beautiful eyes immediately brightened and her whole face glowed with health. She indicated for Han Shuo to hurry up and come inside.
Han Shuo was somewhat mollified by Fanny’s reaction, but Clark’s existence still irked Han Shuo, and so his facial expression was a bit ugly. He looked at Fanny and then looked at the fresh flowers in Clark’s hands. He spoke with a voice dripping with acid, “Just who is the noble knight Clark waiting here for with flowers in his hand?”
Fanny started and rolled her eyes bad-temperedly at Han Shuo. She then walked over as if expressing her stance, speaking a bit coldly to Clark, “Mister Clark, I think I’ve been clear enough. I only want to teach in peace, and hope that you’ll stop bothering me. In addition, your status is noble and lofty. I don’t want to be embroiled in any unnecessary trouble with you, I think you probably understand what I mean?”
Fanny’s words were for Clark, but also for Han Shuo. They were an obvious refusal of Clark’s pursuit and a subtle indication to Han Shuo of her own attitude, also telling him to relax and not to think too much.
Thus, when these words came from Fanny’s mouth, Clark’s face immediately dulled and became dejected, whereas Han Shuo felt damn good and had smiles reappear on his face again.
Clark nodded his head, hugely depressed, and sighed lowly. He took the destitute flowers and departed from the training fields with a downcast face, not saying a single word further.
“Are you satisfied now?” Reaching out a hand to pinch Han Shuo, Fanny said viciously, “How dare you not believe me!”
“Ouch, that hurts, I believe you, I believe you!” Han Shuo felt like he was on cloud nine as he pretended to be in pain.