GDK 442 - Complaisant
After about three years worth of time gone by, the beautiful looking Cecilia had learnt to live with a little more tranquility and calmness in her life, while losing a bit of her arrogance and unruliness. What remained the same was her pretty appearance and grandeur temperament.
Nowadays, Han Shuo is more tolerant toward Cecilia as he used to be. This was partly due to her grandpa Sabakas, who personally deployed a transportation matrix for Brettel City, in addition to her change of attitude for not being so sarcastic all the time. Therefore, Han Shuo did not continue his mocking and ridicule towards Cecilia when met with her again.
"I have concluded my training, and came to Tariq City for some personal matters. Long time no see! How's your grandpa doing?" Han Shuo asked Cecilia, as he still held certain respect towards the space sacred magus Sabakas.
Cecilia revealed a faint smile when she heard Han Shuo ask about her grandpa, and replied, "Thank you for your concern, my grandpa is doing well." Looking around, Cecilia noticed that Han Shuo was travelling alone, and she continued, "Come, let's go inside for discussions."
From Cecilia's attitude, Han Shuo could tell that she wasn't prejudiced against him, like she used to be in the past. This was a good development in Han Shuo's eyes. Given his current strength and status, Han Shuo wouldn't have felt the slightest bit of fear when facing the space sacred magus Sabakas, let alone Cecilia, who became one of the three heavyweights by relying on Sabakas.
However, since everyone here were members of the Dark Mantle, in the service of the Lancelot Empire, plus Sabakas could have been said as caring toward Han Shuo, it would be ideal if Han Shuo could get along well with Cecilia. No good would come to either of the parties if a dispute really erupted.
Thus, when noticing that Cecilia's approach towards him had changed, he gladly trailed behind her and entered the inner section of the mansion.
When he stepped inside, it felt as though the sky and earth had spun, and space was turned upside down. By the time Han Shuo came to his senses, he realized that he had arrived at a serene, harmonious courtyard. Other than Cecilia, there were a few other members from the Dark Mantle in the courtyard. They seemed to be Cecilia's subordinates. Each and everyone of them were sitting on round stony stools, and were discussing about something.
"Let me introduce you to everyone, this is Lord Bryan, fourth Dark Sun envoy of the Dark Mantle. You must had heard of him before," Cecilia said to the Dark Mantle members. As soon as Cecilia entered the place, the faint smile that was on her face just then immediately vanished, and was replaced with a solemn face and a tone of voice which only a superior held.
However, before members of the Dark Mantle came over to greet him, Han Shuo himself actually got a shock. Puzzlingly he asked Cecilia, "Since when did I become a Fourth Dark Sun?"
"Last time, during the civil strife in Ossen City, you assisted His Majesty the King in crushing the rebels, and furthermore, you succeeded in repelling two enemy sacred-grade experts. These contributions were cited as the reasons for your promotion. Oh, right, you disappeared three years for training, so perhaps you weren't informed about this. You may upgrade your identity plate when you return to the Dark Mantle headquarters," Cecilia explained sternly for Han Shuo. She doesn't seem to be joking.
Fourth Dark Sun! In such a huge and powerful organization like the Dark Mantle, every promotion can be said to have been an extremely difficult feat. Han Shuo would never have anticipated that he would climb so quickly to this position. This would also mean that throughout the whole Dark Mantle organization, only the three heavyweights could bind him.
Han Shuo understood in his heart that the reason he could become a Fourth Sun envoy so rapidly, was partly due to his achievements in the civil war, but more significantly, it was because of his good relations with Lawrence, and old astrologer Madam Grace's judgement of him.
"Oh! No wonder!" Han Shuo exclaimed smilingly.
"Greetings, my Lord!" After Cecilia introduction, all the Dark Mantle members at this place wore either a fawning or envious face. Each and everyone of them greeted and bowed their heads towards Han Shuo.
"Alright that's enough. Sit down guys," Cecilia said as she waved her hand. When she saw that the people went back to their seats promptly, she pointed at a place beside her and said to Han Shuo, "Lord Bryan, here's your seat."
Han Shuo sat there without hesitation. He knew that the Dark Mantle is a strict organization, and they pay close attention to where a person sits. More often than not, the seatings are arranged by their ranks. In the Tariq City branch, Cecilia is by right the highest ranked member there, and right beneath her is the rank, Fourth Dark Sun, which Han Shuo possessed. So naturally his seat was right beside her.
"Oh right, is there something that you need to inquire about, since you visited this branch?" Cecilia suddenly asked Han Shuo after he took his seat.
Nodding his head, Han Shuo replied, "I heard that sacred knight Blount of the Church of Light is currently residing in Tariq City, so I came here looking for him. If anyone know where Blount is hiding, I hope that you can tell me."
When Han Shuo spoke, his eyes scanned around through everyone sitting there. Involuntarily, his glances gave off the feeling as if he was looking down on weak, tiny ants. All of a sudden, every Dark Mantle member present felt as if Han Shuo was the actual person in charge there.
As the person responsible for certain matters for the Empire, and one of the three heavyweights, Cecilia unexpectedly, seemed like a subordinate under Han Shuo's command. This feeling was extremely odd, but at the same time, exceedingly natural.
Even Cecilia herself felt that inexplicably strange feeling. All Han Shuo did was simply sit down and speak. He did not make any unusual movements when he talked, but inevitably became the center of everyone's attention. It had nothing to do with his status or his rank in the Dark Mantle.
"Sir, I know that sacred knight Blount had been spotted in Tariq City around half a month ago, but I have no idea as to whether he is still in Tariq City!" A Dark Mantle member stood up from his round stool, and answered Han Shuo respectfully.
"Thank you. Do you know why he came to Tariq City?" Han Shuo asked with a faint smile.
"I think I know!" When this Dark Mantle member showed a dark face, Cecilia suddenly turned her head and said to Han Shuo. "It should be related to the reason I came here."
"Oh? What was it?" Han Shuo creased his brows and asked attentively.
"Outside of Tariq City, there's a canyon named Tarrag. Tarrag Canyon is similar to the Dark Forest of Lancelot Empire, an exotic place where magical beasts run rampant. All this while, Tarrag Canyon had been considered an off-limits area by the Brut Merchant Alliance. Other than some of the true experts, an average person would never dare venture into Tarrag Canyon.
Approximately three months ago, some experts who were cultivating in Tarrag Canyon, claimed that they had been attacked by some strong magical beasts, and were driven away from Tarrag Canyon. It is common knowledge that most super-ranked magical beasts live alone, and it's rare to find those that live in packs. This caught the attention of many different forces. I came here specifically, to investigate about this," Cecilia explained for Han Shuo.
With a doubtful face and creased brows, Han Shuo looked at Cecilia and asked, "What does this have to do with Blount? Could it be that Blount came here to investigate it as well?"
"No. Blount and his Church of Light members seem to be hunting for someone. This person should be a big heretic which the Church of Light determined, otherwise they wouldn't have sent Blount to personally set out on the campaign. The person also seems to be aware of the strange phenomenon in Tarrag Canyon. So with nowhere else to escape, this person pushed their luck and got into Tarrag Canyon. Probably hoping that the peculiarity of Tarrag Canyon will cause Blount and his party to abandon their pursue.
However, the Church of Light always considered themselves as the spokespeople for God in this world, and naturally wouldn't care about the monstrosities in Tarrag Canyon. After they discovered that the big heretic entered Tarrag Canyon, Blount and his party made their way in there half a month ago. But since then, there had been no further news about it," Cecilia slowly explained as she looked at Han Shuo.
"So that's what it is!" Han Shuo realized what was going on, and immediately joyfully said to Cecilia,"Thank you for the information. Alright, I'm done here. You guys may continue your discussions. I'm going to take a trip to Tarrag Canyon."
"My Lord, please be careful. Tarrag Canyon is an extremely unforgiving place. We have lived in Tariq City for many years, and are aware of the mysteries surrounding that place. Even the lightning sacred magus Reynold Dila of Brut Merchant Alliance was stranded in there for a long time. After Reynold Dila learned about the abnormal behaviour of the creatures, he even forbade some adventurers from entering Tarrag Canyon. He, if anyone, should know about the dangers hidden in there!" The Dark Mantle member who reported information about sacred knight Blount to Han Shuo just then, hastily warned Han Shuo.
"Thank you for your reminder. I will be careful!" Han Shuo thanked him with a smile, although he did not take it to heart.
Han Shuo, being in the Carnal Realm now, had the confidence to defeat any sacred grade experts. In demonic arts, breaking through to the next realm always meant many folds increase in strength. If he were to fight against sacred knight Blount and earth sacred magus Dempus again, Han Shuo had absolute certainty that he could kill them both.
At this moment, sacred grade experts were no longer formidable opponents against Han Shuo who had just entered the Carnal Realm. Even for a demi-god existence like the Ancient Lizard King, Han Shuo, who just underwent an unprecedented rise in confidence, would have the nerve to directly contend against him. Han Shuo believed that there weren't many things in existence found in the Profound Continent that could harm him, and therefore he did not have the slightest bit of fear for the Tarrag Canyon.
(End of part 1. Part 2 will be released here on 30th April, 12am GMT +8)