Chapter 79: Breaking through the boundary
There were only two swordsmen left, one senior and one journeyman swordsman. Phoebe herself was enough to make the two of them unable to escape death. Han Shuo turning back merely accelerated their deaths.
With a flash of his space ring, Han Shuo held a crossbow in his hand and fitted a crossbow bolt into the string. He’d already targeted one of them, and shot at the back of the senior swordsman when they abruptly started retreating and wanted to take themselves out of the fight.
The senior swordsman, who planned on leaving had to turn back in resignation and block the bolt, but in the instant he’d destroyed the bolt, Phoebe was already standing in front of him.
The little skeleton that had stabbed the fire mage to death held a bag in his left hand, jumping down from the roof with a whoosh. After his skeleton wobbled a bit, he was already standing with dagger in hand in front of the other journeyman swordsman.
As Han Shuo strode over with a cold smile, one of the swordsmen suddenly drew his longsword across his neck and fell down.
“These are people from ‘Shadow Ghost’. If they know that there’s no way out for them, they’ll choose to end their own lives!” Phoebe shook her head, storing the longsword in her hand back into a space ring and said with a frown.
The little skeleton had arrived in front of the two corpses at this moment and began to search them with practiced motions. When two more bags hung on its left hand, it walked over happily to Han Shuo with bone dagger in hand, offering the three bags to Han Shuo.
Caressing the little skeleton’s skull with a faint smile, Han Shuo took the three bags and cursed after one glance. “Damn it, three poor sods. They only had ten or so gold coins!”
Rolling her eyes at him with ill temper, Phoebe didn’t search the corpses and directly said to Han Shuo. “I’ve never seen someone as greedy as you. Don’t bother searching their bodies, you won’t discover anything. The people of ‘Shadow Ghost’ never bring anything important with them when they go out on missions, so forget it, they won’t bring any riches to you.”
Han Shuo cursed again when he heard Phoebe’s words and chanted an incantation to send the little skeleton back. He then grinned and asked softly, “Didn’t you leave with Andrew? Why did you suddenly return?”
“You’re hurt?” Phoebe was shocked and immediately rushed to Han Shuo. When she saw the blood wounds left by the the windblades on Han Shuo’s body, she immediately revealed a worried expression. The space ring on her finger lit up and some gauze and medicine appeared in her hands. She didn’t shy away as she said softly, “Don’t move!”
It was rare that Han Shuo saw Phoebe display such an expression, and he felt vaguely touched inside. He stood there dumbly, not moving at all and looked at Phoebe carefully apply medicine to his injury, then using gauze to wrap it all up for him.
When Phoebe was finished, she tugged at Han Shuo and exhaled lightly. “You sure know how to pick a place. Two manors are on the two sides of this alleyway and both families are out. No one’s come out even after such a violent fight, it looks like the house hasn’t been sold yet. However, we can’t stay here for long. Although the security isn’t too tight here, the guards will still patrol the area after a while. It’d be better if we leave earlier.”
“Let’s go.” Han Shuo agreed and left with Phoebe, rushing to the northern part of the city. He asked along the way, “Oh right, you still haven’t told me, why did you suddenly come back?”
Seeing that there was no one around, Phoebe frowned and said in a low voice, “Grandpa Andrew told me in the carriage that Grover has been conducting transactions with the barbaric orcs, and has actually been selling the Empire’s weapons to them. The implications of this matter are huge, and if the Empire knew, they wouldn’t let him off easily.”
“Grover must know that if I’m in charge of the Guild, he won’t be able to cover this up anyone. So he must kill me before I take control of the Guild. Otherwise once this matter is uncovered, as strong as he is, Grover will be hard pressed to escape from the punishment of the Empire. Once I knew of this matter, I knew that he would try to kill you first. I worried about you so I left Grandpa Andrew halfway through to come find you.”
Nodding, Han Shuo said, “So that’s why. No wonder Grover wanted to kill us so quickly. It looks like as soon as you have evidence in hand, Grover will be done for without a doubt.”
“Exactly!” Phoebe laughed coldly, but then sighed as she thought. “However, Ellis has learned of my strength this time. I think Grover will think of a plan and even I will find it difficult to deal with his next assassination attempt.”
Han Shuo knew that his power was limited, if even Phoebe couldn’t handle things, then he wouldn’t have much effect either. The only thing he could do to help Phoebe was with his perceptive senses towards assassins. He thought for a moment and said, “I’ll leave for a bit. I’ll come find you when my injuries are healed. Grover is our mutual enemy now, I know what to do.”
“Alright, but don’t go back to the Academy no matter what you do. Since Grover knows your identity, you’ll face tremendous danger if you stay in the Academy the next couple of days!”
Phoebe mused and said to Han Shuo.
Nodding his head in understanding, Han Shuo told Phoebe to be careful and left alone. The three original demons accompanied him, but didn’t discover any other disturbances until Han Shuo came to the cemeteries behind the Academy.
After returning to the cemetery of death, Han Shuo trained his magic for a bit. A cool feeling wreathed around his injuries as he circulated his magical yuan, and the feeling of pain was greatly reduced.
After sleeping for a while, it was already noon of the next day. Since all the materials had been gathered now, Han Shuo left the cemetery of death eagerly and headed towards the dwarves’ village. He planned on asking the dwarf chief Calvin to forge the Demonslayer Edge for him.
The dwarf village was located in a small mountain valley. There were enormous trees concealing the entrance of the village. If it weren’t for the fact that Han Shuo had once made a trip here with the dwarves, he would have been hard pressed to find their place of dwelling.
Han Shuo was now quite familiar with the route and came to the dwarf village after a while. He threaded past the towering trees, and a dwarf, who stood guard with a sharp axe in hand in front of the village immediately called out with a friendly voice, “Oh! Good friend, you’ve come to visit us again!”
Following behind the dwarf, Han Shuo traveled through a small path with shrubs on both sides and finally made it to the dwarf village. Calvin, Bennett, and the others had heard the news and were all waiting merrily to welcome Han Shuo. Fine wine was quickly served.
The dwarves lived in log cabins that they themselves had constructed, with some also living in emptied-out tree hollows. There were only a hundred or so dwarves in the village. Women and children were a good half of the numbers, and the warriors, who could truly fight, numbered not that many.
Han Shuo had won the true friendship of the dwarves over this period of time. They were very generous towards Han Shuo. Whenever he came by, there was always fine wine and meats welcoming him, making him feel quite touched.
“Han, how come you have time to stop by?” Calvin said merrily to Han Shuo.
Taking out the materials that Phoebe had prepared from the space ring, Han Shuo handed them over to Calvin, saying, “Elder, these were the materials you requests. There’s also enough black metal ore. Will you be able to forge a weapon for me?”
Calvin took the materials from Han Shuo and looked at them carefully, saying with surprise, “Of course, absolutely. With enough materials to forge a great weapon, this is a happy matter for us. Don’t worry Han, we’ll start working on it tomorrow. We’ll be able to forge a weapon for you in about a week, and you’re sure to be satisfied for it.”
Han Shuo truly breathed a sigh of relief with his guarantee and immediately expressed his genuine thanks to Calvin. The low complaints of some of the female dwarves came from afar. Han Shuo’s ears were sharp, and he involuntarily listened closely to them.
“Ai, it will be winter soon. We’re never guaranteed of food in the big snow, and the chief has drawn from the stores many times to treat the guest. At this rate, how will we survive through the winter?”
“Yes, I’ve also heard that the damned man-eating monsters have been around lately. It looks like they’ve come out to plunder and raid in order to make it through winter. If they discover our village, we’ll have to move again. When will these days end!”
The conversations of the female dwarves were all completely taken in by Han Shuo. He was a bit touched. It looked like the lives of the dwarves weren’t as good as he thought, but even so, they had still taken out the best food to treat him. This made him feel quite guilty.
He thought for a moment and sighed lightly, saying to Calvin, “Elder, do you not treat me as a friend?”
“Han, why would you say such things? Have we treated you unkindly in some way?” Bennett, who was very kindly disposed towards Han Shuo, was the first to exclaim in surprise and looked at him in consternation before Calvin had a chance to open his mouth.
Shaking his head, Han Shuo sighed, “Why must you worry about food and man-eating monsters, but refuse to tell me, your friend, about such matters?”
“This won’t do, since the elder is willing to bring out the winter rations to treat me, as your friend, I must do something. Don’t worry elder, I’ll head for human society and help you solve the matter of winter rations. What else do you need apart from this? I can bring it all to you.”
“How can we allow this? Although we’re friends, we can’t trouble you. We too wish to purchase these things in the human’s society, but there’s a long stretch of Dark Forest between here and human society. Not only are there attacks from magical creatures on the journey, but we may run into adventurers with ill intentions. This is why we’re forced to stay here.”
“Han, I know that if you’re to purchase those things for us, it will spend quite a bit of your money for sure. We can’t trouble you like this. I think we’ll work a bit harder and still get through this winter.” Calvin said.
“This matter is thus decided. I will help you think of ways to handle the matter of winter rations and the threat of the man-eating monsters. Just concentrate on forging weapons and leave the rest to me.”
Han Shuo made some internal calculations. There were roughly a hundred or so in the entire dwarf village. He would probably have to make a few trips in order to bring the amount of food they needed to the cemetery of death, based on how much food the space ring could hold. If he purchased the food from Phoebe, he probably wouldn’t need to spend that many gold coins. It was just a convenient favor to do, and Han Shuo was naturally happy to do so for the dwarves.
“Thank you so much. I thank you on behalf of my child and the mothers within the village!” A female dwarf suddenly heard Han Shuo’s guarantee when she brought over fruit and was so moved that she immediately thanked Han Shuo with the greatest courtesy of the dwarves.
“You’re dismissed.” Calvin admonished, and then also said with gratitude, “Han, we only create fine wines and forge weapons. Because we have exceedingly little contact with humans, we don’t have that many gold coins. We’re willing to make some fine wines and forge some weapons for you in exchange, otherwise I won’t be able to accept your good intentions!”
Although Han Shuo didn’t lust after their wine and weapons, but he understood that with the dwarves’ obstinate tempers, they would be unwilling to accept his assistance for no reason at all. He finally accepted after thinking for a while.
With the promise of winter rations from Han Shuo, all the dwarves were beyond excited. Even Calvin drank heartily with Han Shuo, a rare occasion indeed. He had to say that the wine made by the dwarves was truly quite sweet. Even the fine wine that Han Shuo had drank last night at the Boozt Merchant Guild’s banquet couldn’t compare.
Han Shuo was in an excellent mood after ensuring his Demonslayer Edge, and drank the night away with the dwarves. However, due to him practicing magic, he had already thoroughly sobered under the use of magical yuan when he left the dwarf village. He maintained a state of high alert as he traveled back to the cemetery of death.
Before meditating, Han Shuo thought for a bit and decided to once more explore the boundary that had stopped Han Shuo from descending down to the lower levels of the cemetery of death. He wanted to see if he could break through that barrier with his current level of mental strength.
After using the round, green ball to open the passageway, Han Shuo focused his mental strength and abruptly burrowed him. A piercing pain immediately filled his mind, but because he was used to the pain inflicted by the round, green ball during training, Han Shuo held up beneath the onslaught. He circulated his magical yuan to its highest and burrowed downwards.