Chapter 364: Secret art of possession
Within the Cemetery of Death, dark dragon Gilbert was still in the midst of evolving. Further in, the mystical demon cave had long since stopped operating. Inside the grimace shaped mystical demon cave were twelve blood red agate-like blood pearls. The blood pearls rolled around the mystical demon cave like droplets, following a special path.
Han Shuo arrived in front of the mystical demon cave and waved. A lump of blood light shot out, piercing toward the twelve drops of blood red agate-like blood pearls.
The crisp sounds of twelve eggs cracking floated through the air. The twelve blood pearls fragmented, each blood pearl emitting a clump of blood mist. The blood mist gradually agglomerated into something bigger, forming ferocious ghostly figures. The twelve mystical demons differed in shape, but were exactly the same. When the twelve mystical demons were all floated in front of Han Shuo, they each swallowed their respective fragmented blood pearl into their abdomens before flinging their heads back and hissing toward the sky.
Han Shuo released the remaining yin demon from his body. One of the mystical demons pounced forward, devouring the released yin demon, chewing it thoroughly before swallowing it.
With a thought, the twelve mystical demons fluttered like ghosts towards Han Shuo, transforming into twelve droplets of blood, entrenching themselves around Han Shuo’s demon infant, absorbing the energy the demon infant exuded.
The mystical demons were of a higher level than the yin demons. With the existence of the mystical demons, the yin demon was no longer of use. It would be caught and eaten by the mystical demons even if it hid within the body. Han Shuo also knew that a low level demon leader like the yin demon had no way of surviving within his body. Hence, it was better to just let it be eaten by the mystical demons, lest it continue absorbing the energy within his body.
At the separate demon realm, the energy that Han Shuo’s demon infant was able to release was incredibly rich. The mystical demons, interlinked with Han Shuo’s blood, only needed to absorb a small portion of energy within his body to be infinitely useful to Han Shuo. In comparison to the lower levelled origin demons and yin demons, the mystical demons were able to separate from Han Shuo for longer distances. If a mystical demon could possess another person’s brain, it could separate itself from Han Shuo with no obstacles.
Once a mystical demon possessed a person’s brain, it would feed on the person’s brain everyday, not requiring replenishment by Han Shuo’s internal energy. At the beginning, by feeding on the person’s brain, mystical demons could gradually alter a person’s thoughts, affecting his or her judgement.
As time passed, and the person’s brain had been fully consumed by the mystical demon, the mystical demon would become their substitute, becoming a mystical demon in that person’s body, free for Han Shuo to use. This was equal to the most brilliant arts of puppetry. The final result was a puppet body for the mystical demon to use, only lacking the original person’s soul.
Once a mystical demon started its possession, as the mystical demon’s owner, Han Shuo could already control the person’s thoughts and easily obtain the target’s secrets. Even if the person hadn’t died yet, Han Shuo could still use the mystical demon to change their decisions, making them inadvertently follow Han Shuo’s directions.
With these twelve mystical demons, as long as Han Shuo could let them latch onto the minds of the seven grand dukes, Han Shuo could completely rely on six mystical demons to control six dukes. He would be able to influence their judgement and decision making from the start. At the end, when the mystical demons had consumed their brains, Han Shuo would be able to thoroughly control them.
On the other hand, even outside of possession, the mystical demons had a variety of uses. The omnidirectional, traceless scouting was the demon skulls’ innate ability. The mystical demons, similar to the yin demons, could also easily take Han Shuo’s appearance and even speak, essentially becoming another Han Shuo.
The strength of the mystical demon was of course incomparable to Han Shuo himself. However in critical situations, it could become Han Shuo’s substitute. This was equivalent to giving Han Shuo twelve extra lives. Although the mystical demon was weaker than Han Shuo, it still had an advantage over ordinary experts, being able to toggle between corporeal and formless figures. In a battle, they could attack in a swarm, fast enough to only leave behind a trail of bloody light. They were very hard for ordinary people to deal with.
With the twelve mystical demons nestled in his body, Han Shuo now felt more confident. Seeing that the dark dragon Gilbert had not woken up, Han Shuo took out the skeleton staff to open the enchantment surrounding the Cemetery of Death and headed toward the Valley of Sunshine.
Within the Valley of Sunshine, the water zombie Han Shuo left in the place of extreme water had sent a message. The water elite zombie was ready to emerge.
Flying the distance from the Dark Forest to the Valley of Sunshine, Han Shuo did not openly enter through the front gate as he did not know the current situation in the Valley of Sunshine. He instead descended from the sky into a secluded corner, and then directly snuck into the place where he was refining the elite water zombie.
This storefront was Han Shuo’s personal property. The Soul Destroyer mercenary band did not station anyone here, but sent people to occasionally clean the place. When Han Shuo entered the shop, he realized the place was clean, with no spiderwebs anywhere inside the building.
This haunted and cursed store was quite famous within the Valley of Sunshine. After many had mysteriously died within its premises, ordinary people would take a roundabout way whenever they reached this area. Nobody dared to pass by this place. At first, blood water demons had made their home within the store, but had been quickly been destroyed by Han Shuo. However, he had then laid the Asura Illusion Formation, which was equally dangerous.
Han Shuo easily entered the underground place of extreme water. Han Shuo already had the experience of dealing with the earth, wood and fire elite zombies. Hence, he didn’t waste much time extracting it from the place of extreme water. Compared to the other three elite zombies, the water zombie appeared extremely normal. Apart from its body having an additional amber colored armor, it did not have any other noticeable features.
Han Shuo had some ideas with regard to the water elite zombies’ abilities and wasn’t in a hurry to make it display its skills to him. After he had set a ‘Dark Seal’ on the water zombie, Han Shuo summoned the little skeleton and handed the water zombie off to him. Shortly after, he sent both of them back to the other dimension.
With the water zombie dealt with, Han Shuo didn’t continue staying in the Valley of Sunshine, lest he been seen and give the Cairo mercenary band a bad impression. The Valley of Sunshine was currently still under their control. Han Shuo’s actions of stealthily entering was already scoffing at those in power.
Han Shuo wasn’t clear about the current relationship between the Soul Destroyer mercenary band and the Cairo mercenary band. However, there was no need to unnecessarily be in conflict with the Cairo mercenary band. Hence, once the matter of the water zombie was settled, Han Shuo silently left the Valley of Sunshine and headed toward the hidden location of the Soul Destroyer mercenary band.
Every time he came over, Han Shuo always discovered that the Soul Destroyer mercenary band had a distinct change. This time, it was even more so. Unknowingly, the Soul Destroyer mercenary band had already become a large thousand-strong mercenary band. In recent times, recruitment must have expanded like wildfire. With Han Shuo’s financial support and Trunks’ own abilities, it’s no wonder the Soul Destroyer mercenary band had the strength to contest for the Valley of Sunshine.
This time around, Trunks wasn’t in the secret grounds. Han Shuo found out from Grant that Trunks had gone to secretly meet with the female bandit Janet and should be back soon. Ever since Trunks found his long lost younger sister Annie with the female bandit Janet, he frequently found excuses to look for Janet. On one hand, he could see Annie, and on the other, he could negotiate with Janet on when they would help Annie take revenge.
The female bandit Janet was also a bold, straightforward yet odd woman and was quite agreeable with Trunks. As time passed, the two gradually became more familiar. One was from a mercenary band in the Valley of Sunshine, the other from a large bandit group outside the Valley of Sunshine. The two leaders actually unwittingly established a good friendship.
Han Shuo was also surprised when Grant said this. No one expected that Trunks was actually able to get along well with that tomboy. This Janet was like a man. Her words were bare of womanly gentleness, and she even used foul language from time to time. Add that to her preference for women, she could be described as an exception amongst women. Who would have known that Trunks could still be able to establish a friendship with her. It looked like Annie played an important part in the friendship between Trunks and Janet.
Han Shuo waited for half a day. Midway, Odysseus’s group returned and had a few drinks with Han Shuo whom they hadn’t seen for a few months. Everyone was in high spirits.
Trunks definitely did not treat Odysseus’ group shabbily after they joined. As the members in Odysseus’ group were quite strong, they gradually gained prestige in the Soul Destroyer mercenary band. They had formed a tacit understanding and had mutual trust. Hence, they generally could complete the harder missions, and were very popular in the Soul Destroyer mercenary band.
While Han Shuo, Odysseus and the rest were drinking and chatting, Trunks returned and laughingly joined in the army of people having food and drinks. These battle-hardened mercenaries were all very forthright and were generally men who had large bowls of alcohol and meat. They believed in true masters and had the attitude of enjoying life.
The newer additions to the Soul Destroyer mercenary band initially didn’t know Han Shuo’s identity. But when a few veteran mercenaries divulged Han Shuo’s identity, these new additions all revealed worshipping gazes. Some of the young mercenaries couldn’t remain calm, and even excitedly proposed a toast to Han Shuo.
Although Han Shuo didn’t visit the Valley of Sunshine often, he had left behind deeds worth of stories every time he came. He’d defeated both the Rainbow Sickle mercenary band’s current leader, Florida and Adam Menlo, the head of the House of Menlo. Particularly during the battle in the valley, Han Shuo had appeared all of a sudden and allied with Cairo mercenary band’s leader Laureton, assisting him in leading the Cairo mercenary band’s experts out of the valley. His hand in illing the Church of Light’s grand magus, Ferguson, was even more widespread within the Valley of Sunshine.
Even when Han Shuo wasn’t physically in the Valley of Sunshine, stories about Han Shuo continued to spread in the Valley of Sunshine. Han Shuo’s reputation played a large part in attracting young mercenaries to the Soul Destroyer mercenary band. Trunks had really benefited from Han Shuo in attracting so many young mercenary experts that had potential and yet were willing to do their utmost to enter the mercenary band.
“What’s the current situation?” After the loud drinking in the square, Trunks and Han Shuo went alone to a secret room within the mountain.
Trunks laughed wryly before saying, “The Soul Destroyers have a good momentum going for now, but that’s also why the other four large mercenary bands have started to raise their guard. Even the previously amicable Cairo mercenary band has become less friendly towards us. It’s been a delicate balancing act, and there’s always a fear of having the four mercenary groups banding together to deal with our Soul Destroyer mercenary band. In any case, there’s a strong undercurrent at play in the Valley of Sunshine. Like a powder keg, all this situation is missing is a single spark.
Han Shuo nodded, replying, “This was inevitable from the start; everyone wants a piece of the rich pickings known as the Valley of Sunshine. With its ideally placed location in the middle of three countries, controlling the Valley of Sunshine would reap large quantities of gold coins and some hidden benefits. For mercenary bands that seek to expand rapidly, controlling the Valley of Sunshine is the fastest channel for growth.”
“I agree. In any case, the current situation is slightly chaotic. Our Soul Destroyer mercenary band has temporarily refrained from any activities that end up with us seizing power. It was precisely because I have shown no interest in maintaining order in the Valley of Sunshine that the other mercenary bands have not acted against us for this long. Instead, I’ve secretly allied with Janet to brainstorm ways to obtain revenge for Annie.”
“However, our enemies include Florida, Butcher Gustav and the much harder to deal with Kasi Empire’s Bradley. Bradley Pillon? Pillon is the biological brother of Kasi Empire’s emperor. I’m afraid that I don’t have any means to deal with him for the time being. Currently, Janet and I are in discussion about a plan to first kill Butcher Gustav.”
“Butcher Gustav and Florida have engaged in shady business dealings for a long time. Striking down Gustav will also deal a blow to Florida’s strength. In this way, I will slowly bleed Florida to death. After I’ve obtained sufficient strength, I would deal with Kasi Empire’s Bradley Pillon. I want to leave him for last.” Trunks spoke, his words dripping with hatred.
“How about I help you to first get rid of Gustav and Florida first, since I’m already here in the Valley of Sunshine. Although the two of them have decent strength, they aren’t a threat to me. If I want to kill the two of them, they definitely wouldn’t be able to escape.” Han Shuo pondered for a moment before suggesting a course of action to Trunks.
Trunks resolutely shook his head as he replied, “I appreciate your good intentions. However, I want to personally visit my vengeance on these three, in as agonizing a fashion as I can. Annie is like a biological sister to me. For her to have suffered such a large grievance, I must let those bastards repay their debt in blood!”
Han Shuo sighed lightly when he saw Trunks’ persistence, nodding as he replied, “Since that’s the case, I’ll stay uninvolved then. Oh, Gilbert is currently at my place. He is at a crucial stage of his second evolution, so it’s unlikely he’ll be able to help you. Be more careful while you are alone.”
“Understood, be at ease and go settle your own matters. Leave the Valley of Sunshine to me. I will contact you when there is truly no other solution. Ha, I heard you even got rid of the Brut Merchant Alliance’s Redbud Knights. It seems you’re getting stronger and stronger!” Trunks sighed in admiration.
The distance between the Dark Forest and the Valley of Sunshine wasn’t very far. As mercenaries were all people who travelled extensively, news was always fast and abundant. Han Shuo wasn’t at all surprised that Trunks was aware of his exploits.
“Hehe, that was all Celt’s own bad luck. Mm, you know where Dark Mantle has people in this place. If there’s any especially important matters, you can contact me through them. Of course, you can also leave a message at the address I gave you. I believe that with you in the Valley of Sunshine, the entire Valley will belong to our Soul Destroyer mercenary band sooner or later. I’ll be off, then” Han Shuo laughed as he spoke.
Trunks replied expansively to Han Shuo’s statement, saying, “Be at ease, I’ve eaten one of your pills and am now a great swordmaster. In the whole Valley of Sunshine, who else is my match apart from that violent berserker Laureton? Furthermore, we are different from the berserkers. We have an unlimited set of possibilities to break through. I believe that with the passing of time, my strength would eventually surpass Laureton. He can only become thrice berserk. I’ve never heard of a berserker who could be four times berserk!”
Han Shuo didn’t say much when he saw Trunk’s confidence. With Trunk’s reminder, Han Shuo had also remembered his promise with Ancient Lizard King Dagassi. He’d have to make a trip to visit the dwarf valley to collect the forged weapons and deliver them to the lizardmen in the underground world.
Using the Art of Demonic Ninth Heavens, Han Shuo headed for the dwarf valley. From the dwarf valley, he collected more than a thousand freshly forged sharp weapons. These weapons all contained a tiny portion of black iron ore, causing their sharpness to far exceed ordinary weapons.
The travel-worn Han Shuo didn’t stay long in the dwarf valley, flying quickly to the entrance of the underground world. He then shuttled through the intricate and complicated tunnels of the underground world, directly heading for the area where the lizardmen lived.
Han Shuo was not aware of the specific instructions the Ancient Lizard King Dagassi had given the lizardmen leader when he’d previously introduced Han Shuo. However, thanks to Dagassi’s instructions, the lizardmen leader was incomparable respectful toward Han Shuo. This made Han Shuo feel a sense of responsibility toward them, similar to how he treated the forest trolls.
Han Shuo’s brain worked continuously as he headed to the lizardmen’s territory, silently thinking. Apart from the forest trolls and the dwarf valley aboveground, he now had the completely docile lizardmen underground. If he added the nearby Soul Destroyer mercenary band in the Valley of Sunshine, this was also quite a large power.
If he could harmonize these powers together, it would form an exceptionally large force in the Dark Forest. Perhaps it might even be able to alter the situation in the Dark Forest?