Chapter 214: The four great powers
Apart from the strongest Cairo mercenary band in the Valley of Sunshine, there were two other slightly weaker factions, the House of Menlo and the Katar orc tribe.
The House of Menlo had originally been a minor noble family in a small kingdom. They had their own private army and had attempted a coup, but failed when their plans were revealed.
They’d fought with the royal army of the small kingdom and fled, discarding their armor along the way. They’d finally arrived in the Valley of Sunshine, much weakened.
They only possessed three hundred soldiers then, but the House of Menlo had made off with quite a sum of riches from the small kingdom during the chaos of civil war. They used this fortune when they arrived in the valley to attract a thousand experts of various professions, and now their strength was second only to the Rainbow Sickles.
The House of Menlo was now the richest power within the valley. The head of the house, Sawyer Menlo, always dreamed about becoming the most powerful force within the valley, recruiting more soldiers and eventually going back home to redeem their defeat with a glorious victory.
The Katar orc tribe was a small tribe that had originally lived in frosty desolation. They’d overcome countless hardships to immigrate to the Valley of Sunshine and take up residence within one of its mountain ranges. There were only five or, six hundred orcs within this tribe, but all of them were highly capable and tough warriors.
The orcs of the Katar tribe mainly functioned to protect the merchants and put their earnings towards taking care of their family and elderly.
This faction wasn’t weak, but the chief of the tribe was also constantly thinking about controlling the valley in order to gain more benefits and gold.
The Cairo mercenary band, the Rainbow sickle mercenary bound, the House of Menlo, and the Katar orc tribe were the four strongest forces in the Valley of Sunshine at the moment.
This information wasn’t hard to obtain. Han Shuo had quickly learned all this from Emily as soon as he’d arrived in the valley. Everyone was aware that the four powers had uneasy relations, and that each of them wanted to take over the Valley of Sunshine to leverage its resources and quickly increase their own strength.
The Cairo mercenary band only had a thousand people to begin with. After they’d taken control of the Valley of Sunshine, their numbers had doubled in just a few years. This was all because they’d obtained an enormous amount of gold after controlling the Valley of Sunshine and attracted even more experts to join their ranks.
To the Cairo mercenary band, it was a wonderful trade if they could debilitate the Rainbow Sickles without harming their own strength. A mere storefront compared to the entire valley, it was a worthwhile trade no matter how one looked at it.
It was because Han Shuo understood the situation within the valley that he was full of ambition and began to think, trying to plot a profitable path for the mercenary band he’d just formed.
“Trunks, take your old comrades and go for a walk around the House of Menlo tonight. Conceal your faces and cause some trouble. Kill some people and set some fires!” Han Shuo looked at Trunks and smiled slightly.
“You mean, make the House of Menlo think that another faction did it?” Trunks’ expression changed as he asked.
“They won’t suspect us anyways when they’re attacked, because we don’t have the strength and have no reason to be enemies with them. In the end, they’ll suspect the other three factions.” Han Shuo explained.
Trunks nodded and a sinister smile appeared on his face. “I think I can do this well. I was used to the covert and open struggles between the factions when I was still in the Rainbow Sickles!”
“Then good, be careful and don’t expose yourselves. Cause as much destruction as you can!”
Trunks made use of the night and said nothing else, leaving hurriedly. It looked like he was planning on making some moves tonight.
After Trunks had left, Han Shuo said darkly to Emily and the two others. “Since the Rainbow Sickles have already made a move against us, we can’t take that lying down, can we? Come, let’s go take a walk ourselves and see if we can kill some people at the Rainbow Sickles!”
Han Shuo’s group now enjoyed exceedingly good relations with the Cairo mercenary band. It was very convenient for them to enter and leave the valley. However, they didn’t exit from the main entrance this time, but made use of Gilbert’s flight ability to fly out from a quiet corner in the valley.
There were rules in the valley as well. Under ordinary conditions, even archmages who could fly couldn’t levitate themselves in and out of the valley. If they were discovered by the Cairo mercenary band, they would be immediately detained for questioning.
The moonlight shimmered like water as it cascaded down over the white ground. The accumulated snow had yet to melt, and the snow covered mountains and towering trees looked astonishingly beautiful beneath the moon’s rays.
The Rainbow Sickles were located within a small mountain valley to the north of the Valley of Sunshine. When Han Shuo’s group arrived and peered into the mountain valley, they could see rows of low houses made of red tiles. There was a sizable hot spring cluster within the valley, and hot mist was arising from the waters, shrouding the mountain valley in white mist.
There were many fresh flowers and grass planted around the hot springs, and because of the heat from the springs, the flowers and grass in the surroundings weren’t afraid of winter’s bite. Many vibrant flowers were blooming all over the area.
Stout looking mercenaries were stationed at outposts all over the mountain valley. They were looking around alertly, always on their guard against enemy intrusion.
Han Shuo had Gilbert stop on a cliff over the valley and looked downwards. Han Shuo smiled coldly, “Someone else may be making a move before us this time!”
Phoebe and Emily revealed confused expressions after his words. They looked in bafflement at Han Shuo, with Phoebe asking, “What makes you say that?”
“When we were at the storefront earlier, dark grand magus Edwin and the female alchemist Belinda of the Calamity Church were observing from a safe distance. I sensed their position before I stepped in, and the two of them followed after Andy when he left.”
“Edwin and Belinda were the first to break off from the pursuit, and then it was Gabriel and the female archer Maxine who left. Edwin and Belinda should in the mountain valley below now. If they’re here to kill Florida, that will be a huge help for us!” Han Shuo said slowly as he looked down into the mountain valley below.
“Then what should we do?” From some time ago,, Emily had already grown accustomed to Han Shuo deciding everything when he was present.
Lifting his head to look at the sky, Han Shuo said, “Only half of this long night has passed. We still have plenty of time, let’s wait for a while!”
Time passed quickly and roughly half an hour later, violent magic pulses suddenly emanated from one of the most magnificent red tile buildings. A metal golem in the shape of the three eyed demon god abruptly appeared out of thin air beneath the cool moonlight.
The golem began body slamming the magnificent building as soon as it appeared. Its thick metal tail swept across the scene and sent red tiles flying everywhere, causing the surrounding buildings to tremble.
At the same time, strong magic pulses accompanied the rumbling sounds of the earth shaking and mountains moving. Three hands of death appeared out of thin air and floated into the magnificent building through the windows, destroying its insides with abandon.
“Edwin and the others have made their move; we can’t sit idly by!” Han Shuo chuckled coldly as the air of bloodlust gathered around him again. The ruthless expression from earlier once again contorted his face into an evil mask.
“What should we do, honored master?” Gilbert’s deep dragon voice started to rumble in excitement.
“Bear them on your back and fly over the mountain valley. Destroy all the buildings in this valley to the best of your abilities, and spray out poisonous flame. If you run into any attacks that may injure you, fly away immediately and don’t wait for me. No one will be able to stop me if I want to leave!” Han Shuo laughed loudly as his face settled into a coldly stern expression. He rushed down like a diving hawk, a blood red light emerging from his body as his eyes were turned a deep blood red.
“Will he be alright?” Phoebe had already discovered Han Shuo’s peculiarities before he’d flown down, and couldn’t help but voice her concerns to Emily.
“Do as he says!” Emily responded and kicked Gilbert in the sides. “Dark dragon, move out!”
A thin figure followed behind Han Shuo, floating downwards through the air.
The little skeleton capered wildly as he plummeted downwards like a kite with a broken string. When he reached halfway, the seven bone spurs on his back shook consecutively and his body regained balance. He followed closely behind Han Shuo with a strange trail and dived down towards the mountain valley.