Chapter 95: The Dark Mantle stronghold
Clark had expressed his obvious love for Fanny during the trials within the Dark Forest, but had been forced away by Han Shuo’s evil scheme. Who would’ve thought that Han Shuo would soon see him again within Academy grounds a few months later?
Duke and Clark spoke within a house in the knight school, with the senior swordsman standing guard in front of the door as if deathly afraid of someone coming over and bothering the two.
Duke personally set up a wall of wind within the house. When Han Shuo’s original demon approached, it could only keep an eye on senior swordsman Erick standing guard outside, because they felt a faint pulse of magic. The original demon didn’t dare to brashly enter, and thus was unable to overhear what the two were talking about.
When Duke and Camilla had met last time in the classrooms of the dark major, they had chosen to meet in the middle of the night. They must’ve surely thought that no one would discover them, and so hadn’t taken these extra preventative measures, but it was daytime now, not to mention that they were in the middle of the knight school. No wonder Duke took such precautions.
Duke and Clark walked out from the house after a while. Duke retraced his steps and left the knight school alone. The original demon followed behind Duke and Erick and discovered that Duke returned to the wind major buildings, whereas Clark remained within a training ground of the knight school to practice his techniques.
This was precisely the time of day when knight students would practice their techniques, and Han Shuo didn’t stay in the same place to continue observing. He headed directly towards one of the training grounds to find Lawrence, according to the directions he had previously left.
Apart from a variety of weapons in the training grounds, there were also several battlesteeds, fully clad in heavy armor, that looked quite fierce. The biggest difference between knights and swordsmen was that knights relied heavily on horses during battles. Ability in controlling horses was an important skill that knights had to master. They could make use of a battlesteed’s force and speed to deploy an even greater amount of strength.
Lawrence was dressed in bright silver armor and wielded a long spear, dashing to and fro within the training ground. The battlesteed beneath his leads leapt over several high obstacles. As they charged forward, the spear within his hand was like a flash of lightning as glorious fighting aura blossomed from it in midair.
“Hi Lawrence!” Han Shuo stood in front of the door, observed for a while, and suddenly opened his mouth in greeting.
Lawrence turned his battlesteed around after a shrill whinny, using the long spear in his hand to start a fierce attack towards Han Shuo. Lawrence’s spear stabbed directly towards Han Shuo’s chest, accompanied by the clopping sounds of the horse’s iron hooves.
Although the attack was unparalleled in ferociousness, Han Shuo was unmoved until Lawrence had dashed in front of Han Shuo on his battlesteed. It was only then that he suddenly whipped out the Demonslayer Edge, infused it with raging, violent demonic qi and stabbed it towards the long spear.
Under the impact from the Demonslayer Edge, the long spear was broken into two, starting from its point. It was a good thing that Lawrence let go of it in time, otherwise the Demonslayer Edge might have injured his hand after decimating the long spear.
However, the combined force and speed of the battlesteed also made it a bit difficult for Han Shuo to withstand this attack. The irresistible force of the charge also made his arm, that grasped the Demonslayer Edge, tremble uncontrollably.
Hauling back on the reins and stopping the horse, Lawrence leapt off and arrived excitedly in front of Han Shuo after taking off his heavy armor. His two eyes were focused on the Demonslayer Edge in Han Shuo’s hand as he exclaimed in astonishment. “What kind of strange weapon is that, it’s so sharp!”
“Heh heh, black iron ore, black gold ore, and many rare metals were mixed in to birth this weapon. It was personally forged by dwarves, it’d be strange if it wasn’t sharp.” Han Shuo explained to Lawrence only after putting the Demonslayer Edge away.
Lawrence picked up a towel and wiped away the traces of sweat on his forehead, “So that’s the case, your weapon is indeed quite uncommon. Oh right, have you come to find me this time because you’ve already acquired some black iron ore? Heh!”
Nodding, Han Shuo brought out the black iron ore that he had excavated yesterday from his space ring, “That’s right, this piece of black iron ore should satisfy your wishes. Let’s wrap up our business!”
“No problem, give me your crystal card, I’ll transfer five thousand gold to you.” Lawrence looked joyfully at the black iron ore in Han Shuo’s hand as he said, too impatient to wait.
After Han Shuo and Lawrence had concluded their transaction, Han Shuo discovered that another five thousand gold had appeared in his crystal card and a trace of a smile broke out across his face.
Just as both were basking in their comfortable feelings, the earth rider knight Clark walked in from outside. Clark has just walked in and was about to speak when he suddenly saw Han Shuo. His face immediately changed as he shouted lowly, “You!”
Turning his head to see that Clark had come in, Han Shuo also gave a slight start of surprise internally. He nodded towards Clark and smiled, “Hello Clark, long time no see. Why did you leave without a word last time in the Dark Forest?”
“Huh. I was framed by a sordid person and had no choice but to leave.” So much time had passed that Clark must have certainly understood the truth of what had happened. He immediately made innuendos as soon as he saw Han Shuo, cursing a certain someone.
Pausing for a bit, Clark looked at Han Shuo, “How is Master Fanny? I was planning on paying her a visit and also expressing my apologies.”
“Master Fanny is very well and doesn’t need your concern!” Han Shuo immediately said with a cold look on his face when he heard that Clark had yet to forget Fanny.
“Hey hey, what’s up with the two of you? Eh, senior Clark, didn’t you graduate already? What are you doing here? How do you know Bryan?” Lawrence saw that the two were practically spitting fire at each and hastened to speak up.
“I’ve come back to the knight school this time to investigate the matter of my younger brother Claude’s disappearance. My brother seems to have had dealings with Bryan in the town of Drol. If I discover that he had anything to do with my brother’s disappearance, I’ll make him pay.” Clark’s face darkened as he responded to Lawrence and Han Shuo.
Jumping in horror inside, Han Shuo also looked at Clark with some shock. He’d never thought that Clark would be Claude’s brother. This meant that he was the eldest son of the chief of the Gryphon Legion. Although he’d done away with Claude in a clean fashion that time in Drol, Claude had indeed met him in a bar. If Clark really wanted to investigate this, this matter would be a bit difficult to handle.
“What does that have to do with me, I don’t know Claude that well. Besides, his martial arts techniques are so advanced, what could have happened to him?” Han Shuo’s face was calm as he said indifferently. He then spoke to Lawrence after thinking for a while, “Alright, I have no further business, so let’s end here today.”
Han Shuo didn’t wait for Lawrence to respond after he’d finished and directly left the training grounds. He left the knight school at an even faster pace, hastening off towards the Academy grounds.
The three original demons had to be recalled back into Han Shuo’s body due to the issue of distance. When he found out Clark’s identity, Han Shuo felt that something was amiss with this matter.
As the eldest son of the chief of the Empire’s Gryphon Legion, why would he meet with an emissary of the Kasi Empire and stay in that room so surreptitiously? Although he didn’t know what the two had talked about, Han Shuo felt that the earlier he reported something he couldn’t control to the senior executives of the “Dark Mantle” for them to fret over, the better.
There was large manor to the northern part of the city that was only three hundred meters away from Phoebe’s collapsed residence. Han Shuo took out the “Dark Mantle” medallion that was his identity and knocked on the metal door after being unable to detect any abnormalities from the outside. A thin, short youth opened the door after a long while.
He first looked at Han Shuo up and down, sizing him up, then asked brusquely, “Who are you looking for?”
Han Shuo didn’t say much and only handed the medallion over to the youth. The youth looked at the medallion and turned his body to the side to let Han Shuo pass by. The youth returned the medallion to Han Shuo after the latter had entered. The youth had relaxed his facial expression and said faintly, “You’ve just joined us haven’t you? I’ve never seen you before. Your medallion is also one that a newcomer would carry. Who’s in charge of you?”
As he followed the youth inside, Han Shuo discovered that there wasn’t any particular magical boundaries or mechanisms within the entire manor. This made Han Shuo feel quite astonished and he observed his surroundings even more closely. He responded carelessly, “I just joined a few days ago, an old man called Candide is in charge of me!”
“Wh-what? Are you certain? Sir Candide is in charge of you just after you’ve joined?” The youth was noticeably surprised as he asked Han Shuo with a soft exclamation.
Nodding, Han Shuo asked, perplexed, “Yes, is there a problem?”
“Eh, not a problem per se, but Sir Candide is one of the three heavyweights who grasps true power within our ‘Dark Mantle’ organization. Sir Candide can directly deploy the troops of every city through the Empire without obtaining approval from His Majesty first. He can directly kill ordinary nobles and military officials. You’re a newcomer, yet you’re directly reporting to Sir Candide?”
Shrugging, Han Shuo said, “How would I know? He’s the one who brought me in anyhow. I’ve come looking for him this time. Right, I’ve looked around and discovered that this secret stronghold doesn’t seem to have any defensive capabilities. What’s going on here?”
“Heh heh, you’re a newbie alright. Come with me, I’ll show you around!” The skinny person adopted a tone of an elder as he led Han Shou in with a smile.