Chapter 200: Dog eat dog
An explosion rang out from Elaine’s body as her profusely bleeding body suddenly exploded into bloody chunks as a momentous force vented in all four directions.
Two finger bones and three arrows of blood made directly for Han Shuo with ferocious and frightening power. In that critical moment, the quickly retreating Han Shuo immediately chanted out the spell for the bone shield and a pile of stark white bones immediately formed a white bone shield a meter wide and 1.5 meters tall that floated in the air in front of Han Shuo.
Cracking sounds rang out crisply as the white bone shield couldn’t hold up beneath the tremendous impact it had just received. It exploded into numerous bone fragments that flew every which way, as splendid as fireworks.
If it’d been anyone else, they may not have sensed the danger lurking in Elaine’s body and would’ve been caught unaware by this attack. They likely would’ve scrambled to face it. However, Han Shuo was perceptive and his thoughts moved quickly. A bolt of enlightenment had suddenly struck his heart and he’d felt the latent danger in Elaine’s corpse just now. This was why he’d barely been able to react and retreat in time.
Being in the true demon realm, Han Shuo’s brain had undergone a savage bout of training and the speed at which he could concentrate and release his mental strength at a speed far faster than ordinary mages. This was why he could chant out the white bone shield spell with such miraculous speed in such a crucial moment.
After retreating more than ten meters and the white bone shield now lying in broken fragments, Han Shuo had successfully evaded this obviously premeditated attack.
When he cast another glance at Elaine, there was nothing remaining apart from some fresh blood and chunks of flesh. A strong sense of bloodshed suddenly permeated through the air.
Han Shuo suddenly sensed a stifling feeling, and he immediately knew that this was bad. He’d been catching his breath but started circulating the magical yuan in his limbs without another moment’s thought.
The trickles of magical yuan made a circuit of his limbs as it wiped away the scent of blood that Han Shuo had just sniffed into his lungs. Han Shuo had been feeling a bit woozy and tired, but now felt strength surge back into his limbs.
A vicious plan, a devious enemy!
He went over what had just happened and was certain that the blood essence he’d placed in Belinda’s neck had been tampered with and transferred into Elaine’s body.
The enemy had then killed Elaine and used her body as bait, setting two traps to ensnare him. They’d first used a spell similar to corpse explosion. Elaine’s body had been filled with chemicals so that the moment her body exploded, her fresh blood, that was laced with chemicals, would become a second round of attack.
Such cruel methods that made use of a corpse could only be the brainchild of those fervent cultists of the Calamity Church!
Belinda must have been saved by others, or she would’ve never awoken from the shackles of the blood essence through her power alone. Han Shuo immediately planned on leaving this place when his thoughts traveled here, but two sets of footsteps started drawing close to where he was. One of them was heavy and the other soft. Han Shuo could judge from their weights that the oncomers were a male and a female.
A thought struck him as his mind raced furiously. He was weighing up what was the most appropriate method and best timing to handle the two.
However, he needed an opportunity to create the best timing! Han Shuo looked around and noticed that there was no good terrain to take advantage of, nor was there any good timing present. He couldn’t help but sigh in his heart!
Han Shuo’s originally upright body then suddenly softened to the ground. When his eyelids covered the sharp look in his eyes, his heartbeat and breathing became uncommonly calm. It was as if he were in a deep coma with no awareness whatsoever.
Two people gradually drew close. Belinda’s face was covered by her black veil as usual. Her bright eyes stared tightly at Han Shuo without blinking.
The other person was rather elderly as the tips of his hair was a gray brown color. Fine lines wizened his face like moats as he wore a thick, gray cotton jacket. He held onto a knobbed cane in his left hand as his gray white eyes seemed without energy. He walked slowly over, keeping an eye on the surroundings as well and paying attention not only to just Han Shuo.
“Wait, Belinda!” Just as Belinda was about ten meters from Han Shuo, the old man immediately called out with a low, raspy voice.
Belinda had been staring intently at Han Shuo when she immediately stopped upon hearing this call. She turned in confusion and looked at the old man, “What is it Master Edwin?”
The man called Edwin was from the Calamity Church. His gray white eyes circled the surroundings again and again before finally settling on Han Shuo. He rasped out, “There’s no blood on his body and there are no obvious signs of injury. He likely wasn’t injured by that exploding corpse. Judging from the distance, he may have fainted from the chemicals, but we need to be more cautious.”
“Then according to your opinion, what should we do?” Belinda not only stopped approaching Han Shuo after these words but actually started backing up until she was side by side with Edwin.
“Shoot an arrow into him. If he’s truly in a coma, he won’t have the slightest sensation of it!” Edwin responded.
Han Shuo cursed inwardly. This old fart was devious and vicious alright! He could come up with such a savage plan. This man gave Han Shuo a strong sense of danger, but from his body’s condition, Han Shuo was well aware that this person wasn’t a swordsman or a knight. He must be a marvelous mage despite his decrepit body, otherwise he wouldn’t be afraid to approach Han Shuo!
Belinda laughed softly and agreed when she heard Edwin’s instructions. She took out a bow and arrow and shakily notched an arrow to the string.
Belinda was noticeably not a marksman. Her two arms were shaking as her notched arrow shook in Han Shuo’s direction as well.
Because they were so close, Han Shuo could sense Belinda holding the bow and arrow even with his eyes closed. Her shaking hands made soft sounds when her arms brushed past her thick clothing. This made Han Shuo panic a bit as he weighed whether or not he should take the gamble.
If he suddenly exploded into action, he wasn’t confident in his ability to kill both of them given their distance from him and the fact that they were both on guard. Han Shuo didn’t know anything about what methods this Edwin possibly had either, so it was very unwise to take this risk in attacking.
Han Shuo hardened his heart in the moment that Belinda notched her arrow and decided to just take the hit no matter what. Han Shuo understood that they didn’t seem to want to kill him from their conversation. This was what caused him to make up his mind.
“Do it!” Edwin’s voice was low as he pressed Belinda.
“Alright!” Belinda agreed and released the arrow with a “whoosh”.
The arrow landed in the snow by his left arm as Han Shuo lay there nervously. It hadn’t touched him at all! It looked like Belinda’s shooting skills were beyond crap, which cause her to miss even at such a close range. “No worries, we have plenty of time, you’ll get the hang of it after shooting a few more arrows.” No emotion could be heard in Edwin’s voice as he spoke slowly.
His eyes lit up as he spoke and he focused on Han Shuo’s body, wanting to glean some clues from it.
“Alright, I’ll try a few more times!” Belinda responded and shot out another three arrows. All three of them missed yet again.
Belinda was obviously a bit irritated as she huffed out lightly and took out another arrow. She didn’t aim at all this time and shot it directly towards Han Shuo.
However, the one arrow which she hadn’t aimed at all actually turned out to be miraculously accurate. It flew straight towards Han Shuo’s calf and sank in with a small pfft. Bright red blood oozed out slowly from his pant leg.
This kind of pain had long since become nothing to Han Shuo. His heart rate and breathing stayed the same as did the dull expression on his face, as if he’d truly sunk into the depths of a drugged coma.
“Things should be fine!” Edwin nodded and said lowly after observing for a while.
Belinda and Edwin then relaxed their guard against Han Shuo and approached his position. Han Shuo focused his concentration and prepared himself to kill at any second. He would make a move to immediately kill Edwin as soon as the old man approached. As frightening as Belinda was, she was only a threat in group fights thanks to the destructive powers of her golem. Han Shuo didn’t fear her at all if they were to fight in a place like this.
Just as Han Shuo made his preparation, more sounds came from the distance. They quickly approached this area, surprising Han Shuo as he feigned death on the ground. He wondered who was arriving now.
“Chief, that person’s here!” A loud yell suddenly sounded as a band of a dozen travelled swiftly through the frosty winter wind.
“To think he left the Valley of Sunshine of his own accord, he doesn’t want to live anymore!” Florida’s voice suddenly rang out in Han Shuo’s ears, completely contrary to his expectations.
“Chief Florida of the Red Sickle mercenary band!” Belinda suddenly exclaimed in shock.
“No matter who you two are, give me that kid immediately!” Florida announced peremptorily as usual when he arrived.
Calm restored itself in the eyes of the man called Edwin. He flicked a glance at Florida and the others approaching, first cackling oddly and then rasping out in a voice full of hate. “So you’re Florida, it looks like I was right to come to the Valley of Sunshine this time!”
As Edwin spoke, an immense pulse of magic suddenly emanated from his body. The presence of dark magic suddenly permeated the air towards Florida. Three enormous black hands materialized in the air, slamming down upon them with a ferocious force that could cleave the heavens and ground open.
All the trees and boulders exploded into dust within that area in the span of a second. Towering trees first creaked audibly and then fell beneath the onslaught of that force.
The enormous dark magic spell, “The Hand of Death”, had been released, and three ten meter wide hands had appeared. As the terrifying force covered the ground, four of the Rainbow Sickle mercenaries couldn’t dodge in time and were pounded into bloody mincemeat.
“Did your grandfather Ferguson not teach you how to treat your elders?” Edwin’s voice was suffused with a cruel smile as he spoke to Florida.
Edwin and Belinda were already by Han Shuo’s side now, and if he wanted to, he could make a sudden move and harm Edwin. However, judging from these enormous disturbances, Han Shuo understood that Edwin seemed to hate Florida even more. He was trying to kill him after just meeting the man, and his strength was much stronger than Emily, who was also a user of dark magic.
On one side was a killer from the Calamity Church, on the other was enemies from the Rainbow Sickle. These two groups were both people that he would have to make moves against in the future, and it was all to Han Shuo’s advantage that they had suddenly started fighting. As opposed to him making a move now, he might as well continue to play dead and have them dog eat dog.
“Just who are you?” Florida and the rest of the Rainbow Sickle mercenaries had swiftly taken refuge on higher ground and was looking back at Edwin in shock.
“Heh heh, you may not know me, but your grandfather has known me for many years. Perhaps you’ve heard of the name Edwin!” Edwin’s voice still sounded rather noncommittal.
“Grand magus Edwin of the Calamity Church, it’s you old monster!” Florida cried out with shock as he swept his gaze over Han Shuo’s body. He waved his hand, “Retreat!”
The Rainbow Sickle mercenary band members completely obeyed Florida’s orders and retreated swiftly, obviously greatly afraid of Edwin.
“Want to run? It won’t be that easy!” Edwin’s voice sounded again.
He quickly chanted a profound magical spell. Two enormous Grim Reaper blades materialized in his left and right hands. They were even larger than the previous hands of death. The sharp blades flew quickly through the air and cut through towering trees like they were slicing through tofu. They broke apart into various chunks of wood after the blade had passed through.
The presence of death emanated towards Florida and the others. Two brawny and tall senior swordsmen flanking Florida had no defense against this at all as they were carved into various pieces of meat by the blades and scattered down onto the ground in a bloody mess.
Such frightening effects made Florida and the others move even faster.
The appearance of such an unlucky omen had obviously disturbed Florida’s previously laid plans. Even Han Shuo was quite surprised as the ghastly wails continued to commentate a play by play of the casualties.
“Tie him up first, I’ll take care of these people!” Edwin turned to speak to Belinda when he saw Florida and the others fleeing towards the Valley of Sunshine for their lives. He took out a vial of powder and gave it to Belinda, “Smear this on his throat, he’ll answer all your questions as soon as he wakes up!”
“Don’t worry, I’ll make him pay!” Belinda responded resolutely.
Nodding, Edwin turned to leave and planned to pursue Florida and the others. Han Shuo suddenly made his move as the Demonslayer Edge howled through the air, shooting straight for Edwin’s back.
Han Shuo had planned on staying quiet for a while longer, but now that he’d witnessed Edwin’s strength and realized that he was departing his attack range, he didn’t plan on observing any longer. Han Shuo decided to use this opportunity to take him out first.
Edwin was stronger than Han Shuo had assumed, as an instinctual response kicked in even when the Demonslayer Edge pierced towards him at such high speed in this short distance. A magic shield-like black metal flared up, protecting the area that the Demonslayer Edge was piercing towards.
Pfft. Blood sprayed everywhere.
The Demonslayer Edge sank a few inches in after piercing through the thick magic shield and was then halted by an enormous force, unable to move a single bit forward.
At the same time, Han Shuo leapt up like a panther from his original position on the ground, flying past Belinda to shoot towards Edwin with the speed of lightning, purple spellfire sparkling from his left hand as his hand formed a blade, drawing it across Edwin’s neck mercilessly.