Chapter 258: Headquarters
The dangerously steep cliff, that was tapering off into a bottomless abyss, was covered in floating clouds. The crimson sunset festooned the sky, shining on the towering cliff, which now looked like an enormous red branding iron.
This cliff was a long distance away from the Valley of Sunshine. This kind of cliff wasn’t uncommon in the Kerlan mountain range. Rugged, oddly shaped rocks were scattered all over the bare cliff and no plants grew anywhere.
Standing atop the cliff, Han Shuo leapt straight downwards. In just a breath, he fell through the clouds and landed safely on a huge, protruding rock.
This big rock was situated in the middle of the cliff, and there was thick white mist above and below it. Part of this protruding cliff was flat, and although a little steep, it wasn’t dangerous as long as he was careful.
“Who are you?” A fellow with a bare upper body exclaimed. His face was messily beardy, his hand holding an axe forged by the dwarves as he stared at Han Shuo in a hostile manner.
“I’m looking for Trunks.” Han Shuo answered with a smile.
The Soul Destroyer mercenary band was situated on a vast, flat plain on the protruding rock in the middle of the cliff. The rock was floating on this cloudy mist, and for reasons unknown, this thick mist didn’t spread to the center. Above and below this flat plain was a vast expanse of white mist, giving it a somewhat strange appearance.
A row of bamboo huts were spread out along the flat plain. Many mercenaries with bare upper bodies were practicing martial arts on a fighting platform as large as a football field. Behind it were several large caves which could also be used for housing.
This flat plain was truly miraculous. It was covered in thick mist above and below, leaving only the center which was isolated by a simple enchantment. This thick layer of white mist was a natural barrier, ensuring that no one would discover the flat plain within it. There was no mist in the center of the plain and the air was fresh. It was quiet and concealed, a good hiding place.
Han Shuo was holding that gentle girl in his arms. Her eyes couldn’t see and her ears couldn’t hear as he had already restricted her senses. The moment he landed, Han Shuo immediately felt Gilbert’s presence.
“Honored master! You’ve finally returned!” The pitch black Gilbert was in the middle of the fighting platform. His body was naked from the waist up, showing his glossy black muscles. He threw two entangled mercenaries aside and yelled loudly as he ran towards Han Shuo.
The brawny guy holding the axe, who’d been eyeing Han Shuo with hostility, immediately curved his mouth into a smile as he heard Gilbert call Han Shuo his master. He said in a friendly manner, “Your weapon is very good. Thank you.”
Since Han Shuo offended the Church of Light and the Calamity Church at the same time, he didn’t tell Trunks his other identity in order to guard against these two churches. These mercenaries only knew Han Shuo as a good friend of Trunks, but they didn’t know about the other matter.
“No need to stand on ceremony. Where’s Trunks?” Nodding, Han Shuo asked the brawny guy.
“He’s gone out for something, but he should be back by evening. Honored master, you’ve returned.” The bare chested Gilbert yelled as he walked forward. Many mercenaries on the flat plain could hear his voice. A great deal of them exited their bamboo huts and rock caves, looking at Han Shuo with surprise.
Gilbert had lazed around this place for quite some time. Even in his human form, none of these mercenaries could deal with his tyrannical dark dragon body. Evidently, he had established a powerful image during that time.
This powerful being actually humbly called Han Shuo master, shocking the mercenaries who resided on this flat plain. They couldn’t help but want to take a look and see what kind of powerful figure could make Gilbert submit.
“Many thanks for your weapons! They are really useful!”
“That’s right. This broadsword is amazing. Worthy of being a weapon forged by the dwarves!”
“Thank you, thank you. The weight of this double-edged hatchet really suits me, thank you!”
The mercenaries shouted one after another, their eyes looking at Han Shuo with gratitude and goodwill. Evidently they were extremely satisfied with the weapons that Gilbert had brought with him.
“No need to be polite. Trunks and I are the best of friends, hehe!” Han Shuo nodded and laughed in a friendly manner, his eyes shining as they assessed these mercenaries.
Han Shuo saw more than a hundred mercenaries on this flat piece of land. Each of them possessed a calm and experienced bearing. The majority were swordsmen, plus a dozen or so mages and more than thirty archers. Judging from the presence from their bodies, they must be great men with extraordinary power and tough mindsets.
As was the bandit group led by Janet, the Soul Destroyer mercenary band also had over a hundred members. But its power was a bit stronger. Amongst them, several mercenaries were still young, yet had a cold and calm bearing. Han Shuo knew these people used to be a part of the Rainbow Sickle mercenary band that he’d met at the House of Menlo. Their calm and cold manner, forged from weathering many battles, made Han Shuo look at them a few more times.
“Hey, you’re called Bryan? Hehe, you must be very powerful to be Gilbert’s master. Are you interested in exchanging a few blows?” A seasoned mercenary offered. He was about a meter and ninety centimeters tall, naked from the waist up, revealing his bulging muscles. He held a broadsword of one and half a meter in length as his eyes squinted at Han Shuo, measuring him with his invitation.
When he spoke, his right hand, which held the sword easily waving around as if demonstrating his strength. A dark green fighting aura suddenly flared as a sharp blade light flickered in and out of existence.
“Alright!” Trunks wasn’t back yet anyway. In order to remove future obstacles when he revealed his identity, Han Shuo intended to leave a powerful impression and deeply engrave his strength into the depths of their hearts. That would be the most effective method.
Han Shuo walked towards the fighting platform, relaxed and unrestrained. As he walked, he took of his shirt, so that his body was also naked from the waist up. His body was over one meter eighty centimeters tall, each chunk of muscle as if carved by a knife. His force was vigorous and explosive. The rows of muscles were perfectly coordinated as they were naturally formed through the tempering of his demonic magic.
As he flung off his shirts, the mercenaries around saw his body and immediately issued surprised comments. A bunch of them excitedly jumped as they yelled, “Grant, you’re in trouble!”
They were all knowledgeable people. Seeing the strong muscles and perfectly coordinated lines on Han Shuo’s body, they immediately knew that this sturdy and balanced body was most suited for fighting. Grant held a broadsword and his body was large. However, some of his muscles weren’t that visible. His muscles could achieve explosive power thanks to his fighting aura, but his speed would obviously be affected.
On the contrary, each chunk of Han Shuo’s muscles was clear and harmonious. Even in the most difficult place to grow muscles – his v-lines appeared as if they were carved in stone. This type of body with perfect muscle coordination was the most suitable for combat.
Grant also showed a surprised expression. Seeing that Han Shuo had come empty handed, he was stunned for a moment then threw aside his broadsword, shouting defiantly, “Then we won’t use weapons, only relying on pure physical strength to compare.”
“As you wish!” Han Shuo laughed loudly. He walked towards Grant, not using magical yuan at all.
Grant was delighted. He increased his speed and charged forward without waiting for Han Shuo to close in. His body rushed violently towards Han Shuo, curving his lips and clenching his fist, aiming it straight down at the latter.
Unexpectedly, Han Shuo moved step by step without any other actions. He just watched the incoming iron fist, the corner of his mouth curving into an odd smile.
The momentum of Grant’s punch was like a rainbow as it pounded into Han Shuo’s chest. A muffled drum-like sound came out of the latter’s body. Han Shuo’s figure stood still, even the smile on his face remained unchanged.
“Oh my god, is your body made of steel?” On the contrary, it was Grant who grimaced. His fist was shaking in pain, his face miserable.
“Heh heh!” Han Shuo moved like lightning. He took hold of Grant’s arm and suddenly threw it over his shoulder. The big man’s one meter ninety centimeter body fluttered like a feather, flying a few meters into the air and falling just right onto a large, soft cushion.
Leisurely sweeping his eyes around to glance at the nearby mercenaries, Han Shuo called out dashingly, “Does any other brother want to try? Whether it’s physical attacks, fighting aura, or magic, I can do them all!”
When his words fell, every single one of the Soul Destroyer mercenary band was completely silent. They dazedly looked at Han Shuo, dumbfounded. No one dared to step up.
“Wakaka, you guys are idiots! Daring to compete with my master in bodily strength. In the forbidden land of the Dark Forest, even the golden dragon, proclaimed to have the most powerful body, couldn’t fight against my great master. You brats are truly crazy!” Gilbert shouted triumphantly, scaring the already stunned mercenaries into shock.
“Mighty master, you’ve even brought me a woman this time? You are becoming more and more considerate!” Gilbert squealed as he suddenly discovered the restrained woman that’d been put aside by Han Shuo. He excitedly walked over.
“Stop. This woman is not to be touched. I still have great uses for her. She belongs to that female bandit Janet, and so I need to use her to schedule an appointment with Janet!” Han Shuo glared at Gilbert as he snapped.
Gilbert immediately became honest upon hearing Han Shuo’s shout. At that moment, the sound of rustling wind echoed down the steep cliff. In just a while, Trunks, along with Odysseus and a bunch of others, landed down from above.
“Eh, you’ve come!” Trunks immediately said with a smile when he saw Han Shuo. As he walked to the latter, his eyes unintentionally glanced around. He was suddenly stunned as he looked at the girl that Han Shuo had brought, his expression extremely odd.
After a while, Trunks loudly cried out “Annie” then furiously rushed over to her side. The people next to him were originally from the Rainbow Sickle mercenary band. They were first ecstatic before looking at her with some suspicion as they muttered, “Something’s not right!”