Chapter 177: Devising strategies
After a tumble in the sheets with Emily, Han Shuo left alone, heading for the Gryphon Legion’s warehouse on the western side of the city. Thanks to the Dark Mantle’s intelligence network, Han Shuo had a pretty good idea as to where the exact location of the warehouse was.
Under the cover of night, Han Shuo left no traces behind as he moved. He made use of the “Art of the Demonic Ninth Heaven” to sneak into the warehouse from above, hiding himself in an isolated corner and silently circulated the magical yuan to compel the demon infant to sense where the drop of essence blood was located.
When Han Shuo did so, he felt the demon infant jump as it sensed the drop of essence blood’s exact position. He evaded the thick infestation of Gryphon Legion patrols and stopped not too far from a low house. He made use of his sharp vision to see that apart from being under heavy guard, it was completely sealed with no windows.
After observing for a while, Han Shuo silently sensed and clearly felt that the drop of essence blood was beneath the house. This meant that there was definitely a secret room used to store things underneath this house.
It was a pity that the earth elite zombie had yet to be fully formed. Otherwise, with its power of earth, the earth elite zombie could tunnel into the ground and scout ahead. Without the earth elite zombie, Han Shuo could only take out all the guards at the front door if he wanted to enter and look inside.
Although the guards weren’t that weak, Han Shuo was still confident that he could take care of them with no one being the wiser. However, he’d alarm his enemies in this way and the siege weapons may get moved again. Therefore, he didn’t take any action after thinking for a while and returned back the way he’d come.
Within the Dark Mantle stronghold, Emily and Han Shuo met up to weigh all the powers within Valen City as well as the Calamity Church and Lawrence. They then carefully estimated Bob Ascher’s strength, and the two of them began to brainstorm strategies to take care of Bob Ascher with furrowed brows.
Through the Dark Mantle’s intelligence, Han Shuo learned that there was a secret chamber hidden within Bob Ascher’s manor. The two of them discussed for a bit and became generally certain that Bob Ascher’s siege weapons were likely within the secret chamber. There might even be other evidence.
After the two had discussed, they decided to sneak into the Ascher manor when the guard was lax during Clark’s funeral tomorrow night. They were going to make use of Lawrence’s key man to make the guard even more loose that night and divert some of the men away from Bob Ascher’s side. The Calamity Church would also attempt to assassinate Bob Ascher, whereas Han Shuo and Emily would make use of the opportunity to sneak into the secret room and see if there was any useful intelligence.
When the operation had been more or less settled, Han Shuo and Emily thought carefully about what problems might crop up and brainstormed corresponding strategies again and again.
Han Shuo only started moving when the two of them felt that it was more or less settled. He went off to visit Belinda and Lawrence, thoroughly discussing the operation with them.
This matter had to do with Phoebe as well, but she didn’t have to help him with this. However, once Emily learned that Phoebe was a swordmaster, she went ahead and counted Phoebe as part of their team. Her excuse was that Phoebe was now involved anyways, so it was the best way to resolve this matter.
As Han Shuo went to find Belinda to discuss things, Emily also sought Phoebe and Candice’s assistance. No one was sure what she said, but Phoebe and Candice both agreed readily to join this mission.
When Han Shuo returned to Elaine’s hotel from Lawrence’s place, he was planning on going to find Phoebe when he ran into the druid Caspian along the way. Han Shuo didn’t think much of it and just nodded at Caspian, planning on passing him by.
“A moment of your time please.” Caspian suddenly said at this time.
Han Shuo was taken aback and turned to look at Caspian with confusion. He smiled, “Does the elder need me for something?”
Nodding with a smile, Caspian said, “If you don’t mind, can you come to my room? I have a favor to ask.”
It had been thanks to Caspian that everyone had been saved last time, otherwise Han Shuo would’ve been hard pressed to rescue everyone with his own strength. Things wouldn’t have been that easy, not to mention capturing Belinda in the end.
He nodded straightforwardly and smiled, “Of course.”
Han Shuo walked with Caspian as they arrived at his room. There was nothing out of the ordinary in his room, but Han Shuo could feel the extraordinary life exuded from the plants within the room as he walked in.
“Eh? The big bad guy, what are you doing here?” The little elf Angelica seemed to be meditating on the bed and was quite surprised to open her eyes and see Han Shuo walking through.
“Don’t be so rude Angelica. You need to understand to respect others, or no one will respect you.” Caspian glared severely at Angelica and admonished.
“Understood, grandpa!” Angelica stuck her tongue out after these words and spoke a bit fearfully as she made a face.
Han Shuo randomly picked a seat within the living room according to Caspian’s instructions. Angelica didn’t continue her meditations at this time and jumped off the bed, walking to the living room, staring at Han Shuo with eyes bright with interest.
“Elder, do you have any instructions?” Han Shuo looked at Caspian with a faint smile after he sat down.
“You’re too polite. It’s not instructions, but rather a favor I’d like to ask. I wonder if it’ll be too much of a bother.” Caspian looked at Han Shuo with a benevolent smile.
Han Shuo was planning on commencing the operation tomorrow night with Emily, so if Caspian wanted anything that would affect his plans later, there was no way he could possibly agree. Therefore, Han Shuo spoke honestly, “Please go ahead and speak first. I will certainly help you if I can, but I also have some matters to attend to. Please understand if I don’t have the time to this time.”
Caspian nodded with an understanding smile and mused silently for a moment, pointing at Angelica, “I need to run an errand and will be back tomorrow at the latest. However, I can’t bring Angelica with me. I hope you can take care of Angelica during this time and promise that she won’t be in harm’s way.”
Han Shuo wouldn’t undertake his mission until tomorrow night, and he had made all his preparations already. He actually didn’t have much to do between today and tomorrow. Even if something urgent came up, Emily, Phoebe, and the others could handle things. Thus, Han Shuo only thought briefly after Caspian spoke and agreed readily, saying, “No problem, I don’t have anything pressing during this time. Valen City is quite chaotic, so be careful when you venture out.”
With Caspian’s strength and his need to leave the hotel immediately without bringing Angelica, it must be an exceedingly dangerous matter. He must have been afraid that he would endanger Angelica’s life, and that’s why he didn’t take Angelica with him. This was why Han Shuo had spoken up in reminder.
“Grandpa, you must be going to fight that enemy. Take me with you! I’ve practiced magic for a very long time and can help you!” Angelica obviously knew some of Caspian’s matters as her little face changed immediately when she heard these words. She stretched her hands out to wrap them around Caspian’s arm and started pleading anxiously.
“No, you can’t go. A duel is between two people. I would be breaking the rules if I brought you.” Caspian truly doted on Angelica and would patiently not give way on this matter. He resolutely turned her down.
In actuality, Han Shuo could understand why Caspian didn’t want to take Angelica with him from his tone and words. He didn’t want Angelica to take the risk with him, and so breaking the rules was just an excuse he was using to distract Angelica.
“But, the enemy doesn’t necessarily follow the rules!” Angelica cried out anxiously and then looked at Han Shuo. “Although this person is bad, he’s strong. Why doesn’t he help you? I can protect myself.”
“No matter what the other does, grandpa will not break the rules. Do you not listen to grandpa’s words anymore?” The druid Caspian frowned ferociously as he stared at Angelica.
Angelica and Caspian stared stubbornly at each other for a while before the former backed down. Her face scrunched up with worry, she said, “Then, you must be careful!”
“I will.” Casian agreed and then turned to Han Shuo, “Then I leave her in your hands.”
Caspian nodded gratefully towards Han Shuo after these words and walked towards the door, leaving through it.