Apart from the moonlight spilling into the yard and the two puddles of water around the well, there were no other traces of anything else within the vicinity.
Scattered footsteps suddenly sounded from outside. They rapidly approached as Phoebe and a band of ten others appeared in front of Han Shuo.
Worry filling her face, Phoebe’s clear eyes landed on Han Shuo’s body and visibly relaxed when she saw that he was unharmed. However, she didn’t relax her grasp on her longsword as her pale neck swiveled, surveying the surroundings, seeming to want to detect if there was any danger hidden elsewhere.
There were a dozen armored Cairo mercenary band guards apart from Phoebe. It would seem that she had led them here. Their eyes were alert as they cautiously patrolled the surroundings.
“Are you alright?” Phoebe breathed out a sigh of relief when she took a look around and saw nothing out of the ordinary, nor any danger.
Shaking his head, Han Shuo cast a glance at Phoebe and smiled in comfort, “Don’t worry, I’m fine.”
“My apologies Mr. Harris, I think we must’ve seen an illusion just now. The danger I spoke of earlier doesn’t seem to have appeared.” Phoebe understood that Han Shuo must’ve taken care of matters and wore an embarrassed expression on her face, speaking to the stern, aloof guard captain.
This person was in the prime of his life. Swarthy, with a head full of short, brown hair that was messily askew, he carried a double headed battle-axe in his right hand and naturally emanated the violent aura of someone who’d weathered multiple battles. It was obvious that it had been formed through slaughter.
“This shop is a place that’s been cursed by a demon. All the owners who have taken charge of this shop have died of unnatural causes over the years. No matter who enters, whether man or beast, they will all die from this curse. There has never been any exceptions, so no matter how you entered, I recommend you leave immediately.” Harris’ eyes roved over Han Shuo and Phoebe’s bodies as he spoke coldly.
He waved his hand and didn’t wait for Han Shuo and Phoebe to say anything before he accompanied his band of a dozen soldiers out of the yard, seemingly unwilling to linger even another second in this area.
“Harris is a battle fiend who’s weathered hundreds of battles and the vice chief of the Cairo mercenary band. When I said there was danger here just now, he still paid a visit even though he was a bit unwilling. It looks like there is indeed something here that people are wary of. I didn’t have any strength to fight back earlier even with my level as a swordmaster!” Phoebe went over Harris’ identity in a perfunctory manner after he’d left. She then changed the subject and stared at Han Shuo, “What happened just now?”
Smiling dashingly, Han Shuo reached out a hand to stroke the well and said happily, “The two blood water demons have been taken care of, so no more odd things will happen here in the future. In addition, I’m going to buy this shop no matter how much this place costs!”
Phoebe’s beautiful, clear eyes looked at Han Shuo with a look of surprise on her face as she said confidently, “You must have a great deal of assurance since you’re saying this. Don’t worry about the shop, I’ll take care of the negotiation with the Cairo mercenary band. I think such a cursed place won’t be worth much money.”
Nodding, Han Shuo walked over to Phoebe and wrapped his arm lightly around her, putting his mouth close to her ears and saying softly, “Thank you so much, Phoebe!”
Her face suddenly flushing red, Phoebe turned back and hugged Han Shuo fiercely, pursing her lips to lightly kiss Han Shuo’s. She then pulled back and stared deeply at Han Shuo, saying passionately, “I’m the one who should be thanking you! You threw me out first when danger was in front of us!”
The danger with the blood water demon earlier had made Phoebe go through a life and death experience. Even Han Shuo’s soul had been almost scattered to the four winds. Having survived these two disasters, the two felt a unique sense of the joy of life as they looked at each other now.
As the moon shone down on them, it added a few traces of beauty to Phoebe’s stunning features. Her eyes shone with light and Han Shuo fell deep into them.
He tightened his grasp and held her tightly, feeling her shake slightly in his intimate grasp. A sense of happiness and contentment filled his heart.
Before he’d arrived in his world, Han Shuo had been just an ordinary person who had only dared to think evil thoughts. He didn’t dare act upon them. His personality was one that was a bit timid. He’d lived twenty years and hadn’t paid much attention to anything. He’d never had any women and had lived routinely through twenty years.
But thanks to Chu Cang Lan’s maneuverings, he’d successfully arrived in this foreign world with the heritage of magical cultivation. He’d amassed great strength within a short amount of time, gotten quite a bit of riches, and won the hearts of two beauties.
The affairs of the world changed thus greatly and unexpectedly. What had been farfetched daydreams twenty some years ago had all become part of his grasp in such a short amount of time. An unbelievable feeling rose in Han Shuo’s heart as he sometimes felt that all of this was still an unrealistic dream. However, his encounters with danger and pain again and again reminded him that this wasn’t an illusion.
“Alright, I think Emily must be waiting for us. We should hurry up and make our way there!” Han Shuo looked at the fading light in the sky after a bout of reflection and spoke tenderly to Phoebe.
Seemingly enjoying this moment of peace and romance that belonged to the two of them, Phoebe assented softly and allowed Han Shuo to hold her smooth, soft hand. The two of them walked side by side to the location Emily had previously mentioned.
Before long, the two of them had appeared in front of the shop. There were no longer any customers because night had fallen. A hale and hearty elderly man walked up merrily after Han Shuo had walked inside, “Are you Sir Bryan?”
“I’m not a sir, please just call me Bryan!” Han Shuo bowed humbly to the elderly man and took out his identity token, handing it over with both hands.
The elder took Han Shuo’s iron token and glanced at it, then returned it with a smile. He then said a bit apologetically to Phoebe, “My apologies Miss Phoebe, please wait here a moment. These are the Dark Mantle’s rules that no one may enter if they are not of the Dark Mantle.”
As the shadowy organization beneath the king’s hands, the Dark Mantle naturally had its rules that everyone must follow. The fact that Phoebe, an outsider, could’ve accompanied Han Shuo to this place was already an exception. She naturally couldn’t proceed further.
When faced with such a polite and benevolent old man, Phoebe didn’t maintain her usual aloofness and nodded with a smile, sitting down willingly.
“Let’s go, I’ll lead you inside!” The elderly man stooped slightly and led Han Shuo in. They walked through a hallway and stopped in front of the living room. The old man pointed inside, “Mistress Emily is inside!”
The old man returned along the original route when Han Shuo walked in, seemingly back to his post at the head of the shop.
“Is it Bryan?” Emily’s voice sounded from somewhere as soon as he set foot inside. A piece of the living room flooring then opened up into a hole, a mechanism similar to what Han Shuo and Emily had seen in Bob Ascher’s room last time.
Emily walked out in casual clothing from the hole. There was a fireplace in this living room and the temperature was quite comfortable. This was why Emily hadn’t continued to bundle herself up warmly.
“How are things? Was everything taken care of?” Han Shuo walked towards Emily with a smile when the hole closed up.
“No problems at all. My brother is taking over and our mission is done. We succeeded! Heh heh, do you want to know how much of this was thanks to you?” Emily’s alluring cheeks held a trace of mischievousness as she looked at Han Shuo.
The mix of a youthful playfulness and an adult’s maturity in Emily gave her an unusual allure at this moment. Han Shuo’s heart lurched as his hands reached out and grabbed Emily while he sat down in a chair. His hands roved naughtily around her breasts as he chuckled, “Little hussy, I haven’t even punished you for what you did in the tree hole earlier!”
“Humph!” Emily threw back her head and glared at Han Shuo, saying huffily, “How dare you mention that! You started doing that with Phoebe right in front of me, were you thinking of me at all? Don’t think I couldn’t see anything because it was dark. Humph, Phoebe was panting so loudly and the both of you were trying to put on a normal act!”
He suddenly lifted Emily’s legs up and shifted her around so that she was kneeling on his thighs. Her well rounded butt was thrust high into the air and, much to her surprise, he started to spank them harshly. Emily began to beg for mercy amidst the pain.
“Alright alright! I won’t say anything about what you do in the future, you big villain!” Emily played along and suddenly switched to a serious tack, “After this time’s mission, you’ve advanced from a Third Dark Star to a First Dark Moon. You’ve skipped a few levels again.”
Han Shuo started, stopping his motions and looking at Emily with confusion. “Sometimes completing several missions wouldn’t be enough for one to advance one level. Why did I advance several after completing only one mission? You didn’t do anything for me behind the scenes, did you?”
Rolling her eyes at Han Shuo, Emily didn’t know whether to laugh or be angry. “Remember, you went up against Bob Ascher of the Gryphon Legion. The difficulty of this mission, compared to the usual scouting for information or arresting some fugitive nobles, is completely different. According to your contributions this time, it wouldn’t have been out of the ordinary to directly promote you to Second Dark Moon. However, you’ve only been in the Dark Mantle for half a year and promoting you to First Dark Moon was already astonishing enough. That’s why we didn’t go further.”
Han Shuo understood after he thought briefly about Emily’s words and then remembered Chester. “Oh right, Chester should still be in the Valen City Dark Mantle branch, what treatment is he receiving?”
“Thanks to you, he’s already a Fourth Dark Star. This kid is smart enough to be able to be promoted to it just by delivering messages. I never ran into anything that easy when I was running missions!” Emily responded with a smile.
“Oh right, when will Elaine and Belinda arrive?” Han Shuo was happy for Chester when he heard of his circumstances and then thought of Elaine and Belinda again.
“I almost forgot! Belinda was an unexpected gain. If we deliver her to the headquarters and she undergoes interrogation at the hands of the experts there, we’ll be sure to obtain a lot of information about the Calamity Church. We’ll be rewarded according to the level of intelligence we gain from her!” Emily chuckled lightly and spoke happily.
“Oh right, what kind of different treatment can I enjoy after advancing to First Dark Moon?” Han Shuo thought for a bit and immediately asked. This was what he was most concerned about at this moment.
“First of all, you’ll receive an increase in your monthly stipend from 70 gold coins to 150 gold coins. Of course, I think you don’t care about this at all. Apart from that, you can use your current level to obtain all information that corresponds to your level from all Dark Mantle strongholds within the Empire. You can use the transportation matrixes in all the cities of the Lancelot empire, and don’t need to pay any fees. You can command a troop of soldiers in any of the military organizations, not to exceed 100 people. In addition…”
Han Shuo finally discovered that there was a significant increase in all areas of his benefits after advancing from Dark Star to Dark Moon. He was already enjoying so many privileges at the Dark Star division, then being part of the Dark Moon level or even one of the three heavyweights would surely come with much higher benefits.
No wonder so many people wanted power! It looked like it really was a nice thing!