GDK 382 – Snatching one's Subordinate
When Bollands heard Han Shuo's statement. The earthworm-like scars on his face seemed to be alive due to his excitement, causing those who see him to be frightened as though they've seen a ghost during the day.
Even Bollands' current master sacred swordmaster Karel did not have a way to control the killing intent on his body. All along, Bollands had been experimenting by himself. As the exploration into the unknown was filled with uncertainty and danger, even sacred swordsmaster Karel was unable to provide him with any form of assistance.
To sacred swordsmaster Karel Ascot, Bollands' meticulous studying of killing intent was completely unorthodox. He didn't believe in wasting time on such things and had previously persuaded Bollands to go back to training in the orthodox field of training dou qi. Unfortunately, Bollands had already delved deeper and deeper, gradually becoming obsessed in the experimenting and it was hard for him to extricate himself. Karel was unable to persuade Bollands and with his heart feeling disdain, he naturally would not be able to assist Bollands in this "unorthodox" path.
At present, he heard Han Shuo mention that Han Shuo possessed a technique that could conceal and control his killing intent. To Bollands who had always been alone in this unfamiliar field, Han Shuo's statement was like words from heaven, as though ripping open Bollands' many years of lonesomeness. Bollands immediately couldn't maintain self-control.
"A-Are you for real?" Due to Bollands' excited mood, his face trembled violently and his tone was filled with disbelief.
Previously, Bollands had seen Han Shuo's battle against Brut Merchant 's Leah Cain, as well has the miracles Han Shuo displayed the first time Bollands saw him. These gave Bollands the surprised feeling of meeting someone similar to him. Otherwise, he wouldn't have stayed behind today after Lawrence had left and attempt to chat in detail with Han Shuo. He wanted to see if he could obtain any long-awaited gains from Han Shuo.
Affirmatively nodding his head, Han Shuo confidently replied, "Not only to wield the killing intent on your body, I also have a way to absorb the aura of death in a battlefield. Heh heh, I believe that in the entire Profound Continent, I am the only one who is proficient in such a technique."
With that sentence, Han Shuo's demonic aura ferociously flowed out, clouds of blood red fog suddenly emerged from Han Shuo's body. Contained within the blood red fog clouds was a ruthless killing intent filled with despair and endless resentment, causing one's spirit to tremble. Under Han Shuo's mental manipulation, the clouds of killing intent transformed into blades that similar to needles, forming a seemingly corporeal petal of a blooming blood red sinister devilish flower.
Bollands' eyes popped out, his gaze fixed on Han Shuo. The numerous, crisscrossed scars on his face appeared to be wriggling about, resembling earthworms. The heavy scent of blood on Bollands' body couldn't be contained as it spread out. However, he was unable to emulate Han Shuo's proficient manipulation of this bizarre energy.
Bollands could sense the power contained within as well as superficially urge a person's fighting spirit through that power. However, he had never imagined manipulating that power to the subtlety that Han Shuo displayed. It was also from Han Shuo's display that Bollands finally understood that by continuing to practice in this field, he would be able to display a brilliance and destruction that is more formidable than dou qi.
"C-Count Bryan, is it possible for you to teach me this martial technique?" Normally with Bollands' status and seniority, he wouldn't be acting so mannerlessly. However, he had already endured the feeling of helplessness and loss from years of fumbling in desolation for too long. Now that he saw a resplendent path appearing before his eyes, this old man who had solitarily explored the unknown all along was unable to contain himself any longer.
Han Shuo laughed involuntarily, apologetically shaking his head as he replied, "Hehe, Old Mister Bollands, you must be kidding. Not mentioning this mysterious technique, even the extensive dou qi in the Profound Continent, it wasn't that easy for someone who wants to practice another person's dou qi technique."
Bollands' eyes contained a hard-to-contain dimness. Sighing, Bollands sounded bitter as he replied, "I'm sorry, I was too rude. However, I truly wish to be able to practice such a martial technique, no matter the price I need to pay! In this world, perhaps you are the only one who is capable of giving me guidance in this lonely path. I've already experienced too much of the danger and suffering of helplessly fumbling alone."
Han Shuo, who was staring fixedly on the old man's eyes, clearly saw every trace of emotion that was reflected in his eyes. When Bollands' internal regret was exposed, Han Shuo knitted his eyebrows, thinking hard for a while. He then hesitated for another moment, his brows still tightly knitted as he muttered to himself, "Actually when my teacher left behind this martial technique, he indeed did not state that it couldn't be divulged to an outsider." Bollands who had just reached his lowest point had a delighted expression when he heard what Han Shuo said, emotionally looking toward Han Shuo as he probed, "B-Bryan, y-you…"
Flustered, Bollands spoke incoherently. Nevertheless, Han Shuo knew what Bollands wanted to convey. Appearing to earnestly consider for a while, only then did Han Shuo suddenly say, "It's not out of the question that you wish to practice this martial technique. However, you must become a part of our sect. This can be considered me substituting my deceased teacher in accepting a disciple. However, you are always following Mister Karel and even consider yourself his servant. I think this might not be very appropriate. It looks as if this would be impossible."
"No, it's possible, it's possible!" Bollands hastily cried out in alarm. Under Han Shuo's astonished gaze, Bollands immediately explained, "There is a designated time of five years for me to follow Master. In order to repay Master's kindness, I've already followed him for seven years. Although I'm still willing to stay by my master's side now, I've already regained my freedom. As long as I let my master know, it shouldn't be a problem. If you don't mind, I wish to enter your sect and receive your teachings in the mysterious technique."
He didn't expect that Bollands had obviously already regained freedom, yet still willingly stayed by the side of sacred swordmaster Karel. It seems like this person is actually extremely suitable to be his henchman. In principle, this matter shouldn't have any problems. Nevertheless, Han Shuo was still a little worried about sacred swordsman Karel, somewhat uneasy that he would become enemies with Karel due to this matter.
However, Han Shuo believed that with his current strength, he need not be afraid of sacred swordsman Karel. Furthermore, Bollands was a candidate extremely suited for demonhood. After hesitating for a while, Han Shuo explained to Bollands, "It's best if you think it over again. You must know, once you start training with me, you would be under my restrictions.
Furthermore, our sect has many rules. As your senior, I have the right to order you to do things you may be unwilling to do. If you refuse, it would be violating the master's teachings. I have the right to revoke the martial techniques you have learned. In addition, you should first let Mister Karel know and then carefully consider for a few days. Once you have carefully deliberated and have a genuine decision, you can always look for me once more to have a chat.”
When Han Shuo said this, Bollands' eyes gradually regained its brightness. Having lived for many years, Bollands naturally wasn't an ignorant person that couldn't view a situation clearly. Although his mind was slightly flustered due to Han Shuo's martial technique, when Han Shuo mentioned the rules and restrictions, Bollands immediately understood the meaning Han Shuo wanted to convey – You have to listen to me completely, regardless of right or wrong!
This was actually the same as when he attended to his current master Karel, taking of all his master's affairs with the status of a servant, be it murder, arson or robbery. So long as Master passed down the orders, he had to do his utmost in executing it. What Han Shuo wanted to express was actually the same idea.
After Bollands' eyes cleared, he then truly started considering his options. From Han Shuo's body, he could see Han Shuo's ambition. Moreover, an intense viciousness could be felt from Han Shuo and he was definitely not a kindly, amiable person like Karel no matter how you looked. Once he followed Han Shuo, it looks like he would definitely resume his old trade and be involved in some shady business.
However, Karel was unable to provide what he wanted. But Han Shuo could. Furthermore, comparing the benevolent good-natured sacred swordmaster Karel and the vicious youngster, Han Shuo seemed more to his liking instead.
Bollands whose hands have been covered in blood recalled fondly the wonderful feeling of slaughter. Stemming from his unrestrained delving into killing intent, he had become addicted to slaughter, unable to extricate himself. Even after staying by Karel's side for many years, Bollands still could not forget that feeling. Han Shuo's appearance presented him with an alternative path – a path that he had been longing for!
Hesitating between rationality and enticement, Bollands was unable to immediately make a decision. In the end, he said to Han Shuo, "I will carefully consider your proposal, I will look for you when I've made a decision."
"No matter what you decide, I will respect your decision." Han Shuo smiled as he replied.
Before Bollands left, he suddenly thought of something. He turned his head toward Han Shuo, asking, "What is the name of this branch of martial skills that you practice?"
"Sky Demon Gate!"
"Sky Demon Gate… Sky Demon Gate, I'll remember it!" Bollands muttered to himself, turning and leaping onto the roof before vanishing in the blink of an eye.
"Heh heh, once you enter the path of demons, you never be able to leave from my control. Karel, Karel, it's not that I intentionally want to snatch your subordinate. In reality, you are simply unable to properly instruct such a talent." After Bollands left, Han Shuo muttered to himself, feeling immensely pleased.
Within the Duke's mansion.
Today, Duke Ashburn secretly met with a few special guests, a group of clerics belonging to the Church of Light.
The Church of Light's Red Archbishop Kosse, who was based in the Lancelot Kingdom, as well as a few Temple Knights and White Priests were chatting happily with Duke Ashburn and eldest prince Charles within Duke Ashburn's mansion.
The Church of Light was viewed as the religious organization with the largest influence in the whole continent. In the Profound Continent, many countries had various kinds of military organizations. Any country with a Temple of Light would have the protection of Temple Knights. The number of Temple Knights varied depending on the size of the temple.
Within the Oden Kingdom where the Church of Light was headquartered at, the Temple of Light possessed a regiment of ten thousand Temple Knights. All these years, there always existed ten large knight regiments with the continent. The Church of Light's Temple Knights have always had an impressive reputation. It is even rumored in the outside world that the Temple Knight regiment was the strongest knight regiment in the whole continent.
Furthermore, numerous figures in the Church of Light similarly had astonishing strength. For example, a character like Red Archbishop Kosse, who possessed a divine artifact, was a nightmare to anyone, especially darkness magicians and necromancers. Once they met the divine artifact-wielding Red Archbishop Kosse, it would basically allow Kosse to proclaim the might of the God of Light, proving their lowliness. The Church's strength in the Profound Continent was unfathomably large. Faith was the vaguest and the hardest thing to comprehend. Often, it could cause an ordinary person to become fanatic and prejudiced and then doing unreasonable things. The Church of Light was an expert in exploiting the strength of faith, causing both the ignorant masses and nobility to become prejudiced, not necessarily in a proper orientation.
Within the Lancelot Kingdom, the strength of the Church of Light similarly not be underestimated. Every city in the Lancelot Kingdom had a temple of the Church of Light. Places with a Temple of Light would naturally have the armed forces from the Church of Light. The private forces that completely worshiped the God of Light was, in fact, a factor of instability to any kingdom.
However, perhaps it's due to the Church of Light's influence being too large, in any country, the private forces of the Church of Light was actually a lawful existence. This stemmed from the thoughts and demands in worshipping the God of Light. Even Lancelot Kingdom's King Uhtred accepted this tacitly.
Fortunately, the Church of Light wasn't the principal church in the Lancelot Kingdom.The people also worshiped the Goddess of Nature, the Goddess of Ice and Snow as well as other deities. These numerous churches were distributed across every city in the Lancelot Kingdom, but were unable to shake the foundation of the kingdom.
Now that the Lancelot Kingdom is caught up in the struggle for power by the various princes, it is inevitable that religions choose a candidate to support. The correct choice would bring immediate benefits to their church. For the possibility to be the only religion within the Lancelot Kingdom, Kosse had precisely eyed eldest prince Charles. That was why he would appear within Duke Ashburn's residence.
The support of the enormous Church of Light was naturally a joyous affair for Duke Ashburn. Eldest prince Charles was similarly overjoyed. As an orthodox knight, he already had a favorable impression of the Church of Light. When the Church of Light planned to support him, this favorable impression naturally increased many times over.
Both sides were perfectly contented regarding the discussion of the pledges of power and the provision of assistance, satisfied with the collaboration. As Duke Ashburn and eldest prince Charles showed their hospitality to the clerics, Kosse suddenly sighed before saying, "How does Lord Duke view Brettel City's Count Bryan?"
"He is just a lucky guy who curries favor as he schemes for profits. In addition, this fellow has no foresight. I believe his happy days will soon be over." Duke Ashburn's face darkened as he lightly smiled, giving his judgment of Han Shuo.
"Lord Duke is mistaken. That person is definitely not easy to deal with. That person has the backing of the Calamity Church. Being our old adversaries that have hiddenly fought against our Church of Light for hundreds of years, we are fully aware of the fearsomeness of the Calamity Church. To be honest with you, I've previously acted personally, bringing a few Temple Knights to seize said person. Yet, I returned in failure twice and was even injured." At this point, Kosse sighed again, before continuing, "The pontiff has instructed that our members within the Lancelot Kingdom should disregard all costs in eliminating this person. I hope Lord Duke will be able to help us."
When Kosse mentioned the Calamity Church, both Duke Ashburn and eldest prince Charles's expression suddenly became a little unsightly. A high-ranked noble like Duke Ashburn naturally knew of the existence of the Calamity Church. They were a demonic lair that gathered true fiends. Duke Ashburn could never have thought that Han Shuo actually had such an origin. This made Duke Ashburn a little apprehensive.
However, Duke Ashburn and eldest prince Charles had made a move previously. Both of them believed that Han Shuo was already aware of that. Regardless if it's Han Shuo himself or the Calamity Church, both parties were ruthless and would settle their grievances. Hence, both of them understood that they had already become mortal enemies with Han Shuo.
Although the Calamity Church was infamous, the Church of Light was capable of suppressing the Calamity Church in their few hundred years of battle. That was sufficient in proving that the Church of Light was similarly a powerful religious organization. When he heard Kosse mentioning his intention to eliminate Han Shuo, Ashburn immediately replied frankly, "We have tried previously, however it ended in failure. This person supports that illegitimate child, I believe sooner or later he would be at death's door. Mister Kosse's opinion is to eliminate him earlier?"
Nodding his head, Red Archbishop Kosse sighed as he said, "This person is the cause of the Profound Continent's instability. His existence would bring about disaster to the Profound Continent. The Church of Light's goal all along is precisely to eliminate all existences within the continent that defied the will of God. He is precisely the target that we need to immediately get rid off." "In that case, Lord Bishop, what is your plan?" Duke Ashburn seized the moment when Kosse ended his emotional statement to question closely.
"I have a plan. However, I need both of you to assist me…" , Red Archbishop Kosse nodded as he started describing his intention to the two of them.