After filling their stomachs and walking out of the shop, Phoebe and Han Shuo shopped for a bit longer amidst all the various stores in the Valley of Sunshine. Phoebe then went to find the proper members of the Cairo mercenary band to negotiate for the shop that contained the place of extreme water for Han Shuo.
Han Shuo walked alone towards the shop in which Emily was located in, planning on asking Emily to investigate Florida’s background.
The same elderly man was still watching the door. This shop sold the armor in the style of Lancelot Empire knights, and because night had yet to fall, there were indeed a few wearing the armor of knights flipping through the wares located towards the front of the store.
The elderly man indicated to Han Shuo with a slight smile when he saw Han Shuo walk in. He pointed to the backyard. Han Shuo understood and made a show of picking up a set of clothing, walking over to the door that led to the backyard and walked through it.
“How did you run afoul of Florida?!” Emily was noticeably taken aback when Han Shuo started asking her about Florida with a ruthless expression on his face.
“Apart from the information everyone knows about him, do you have anything else? I know the Dark Mantle must have some other information on him!” Han Shuo glanced at Emily.
Emily’s brow creased faintly as she looked at Han Shuo. “Just what is going on here?”
Han Shuo recounted what had happened last night, going over events simply. Emily then said angrily, “I’ve long since heard that Florida is arrogant and cocky. I hadn’t thought that he would really be so domineering. The Valley of Sunshine isn’t in the hands of the Rainbow Sickle mercenary band anymore. How dare he act this way!”
When he saw Emily also grow angry with him, Han Shuo’s originally ticked off feelings were suddenly smoothed over. He then asked tenderly, “So what is this Florida’s background?”
“The Dark Mantle stronghold located here, within the valley, is to collect local information. Florida is neither of the Lancelot Empire nor the Kasi Empire. He comes from a vassal state to the Lancelot Empire, and his grandfather is grand magus Ferguson of the Church of Light. He has a lofty status in the Church and it’s said that he has an extremely high chance of advancing to magister.”
“Florida grew up in the Church of Light and was personally taught by his grandfather. Apart from light major magics, he’s also practiced many thunder magics. These are secrets that most don’t know. Since his grandfather taught him personally and his potential is uncommon indeed, he became an archmage at a young age just three years ago. The Dark Mantle once kept an eye on him and felt that he would become one of the preeminent experts on the Continent.”
“However, he didn’t join the Church of Light and suddenly left a few years ago to come to the Valley of Sunshine, joining the Rainbow Sickle mercenary band shortly afterwards. Because he had such great power, he quickly won chief Jason’s trust in an exceedingly short amount of time. Jason even entrusted his only daughter to him. However, old Jason fell in battle against robbers once, and his daughter also went missing as well.”
“It’s said that this had something to do with Florida.”
“However, no one has solid evidence of this. Florida naturally took control of the Rainbow Sickle mercenary band after Jason’s death. There was a group that suspected Florida had something to do with this and left the band and the valley out of resentment and anger. This was how the Cairo mercenary band grew to strength.”
“At the same time, the Rainbow Sickle mercenary band has indeed developed well in Florida’s hands these years, and it’s gradually recovered all the strength that it’d previously lost. It’s now become Cairo mercenary band’s greatest opponent, and they really might regain control of the valley under Florida’s hands!” Emily contemplated with a furrowed brow for a bit and conveyed all she knew.
After Emily had finished sharing her knowledge, Han Shuo said lowly. “A strong enemy indeed. This person’s thoughts are vicious and devious to make a move even against his benefactor. These methods are completely against the mission of the Church of Light. It looks like I’ll need to be careful.”
“Bryan, the Valley of Sunshine is different from other places and is under the jurisdiction of no country. Whoever has the most strength here is king. I know your strength is certainly not inferior to Florida’s, but Florida has the Rainbow Sickle mercenary band in his hands and you will be hard pressed to fight against multiple enemies with your fists alone. I don’t think he’d make any moves in the valley thanks to the restraining pressure from the Cairo mercenary band, but you better not venture out easily so that you don’t give him any chances to make a move!” Emily was obviously very cautious of Florida as she spoke bracingly to Han Shuo.
“Don’t worry, I know!” Han Shuo’s expression was calm as he responded gravely. He paused and said to Emily, “Oh right, why hasn’t Elaine brought Belinda after such a long period of time. I left a drop of blood essence in Belinda, so she won’t be able to do anything at all. Has something happened along the way?”
Emily shook her head with a wry smile after Han Shuo’s words as she responded, “I was worrying as well. Elaine should’ve arrived in the valley by now. Has something really happened to her?”
“Forget it, I’ll take a trip and search the roads around the valley for a bit.” Han Shuo thought for a bit and answered.
“No, you offended Florida so you probably shouldn’t leave the valley for a while. He has great power in this area and if he knew that you left the valley, he would definitely try to make trouble for you.” A look of panic grew on Emily’s face as she tried to stop Han Shuo.
“It’s going to be fine. You know how perceptive I am. I’ll leave immediately if I discover any signs of danger. In addition, I placed a drop of blood essence on Belinda and only I can sense her within a certain distance. I must take this trip in order to conclude this mission perfectly!” Han Shuo smiled dashingly and paid no heed to the threat of Florida at all as he spoke quite at ease.
“Since you insist, then let me go with you!” Emily spoke resolutely to Han Shuo when she saw that she couldn’t sway him.
Shaking his head, Han Shuo rejected Emily’s suggestion and turned to step outside. He spoke with his back to Emily, “Emily, you should trust me and not try to take care of everything for me like I’m a child. That isn’t the kind of life I want. If Florida actually does act, then I’ll actually be quite excited.”
Emily had already started moving, but sighed when she heard Han Shuo’s words. “Alright, but you have to be careful. Elaine and Belinda’s well being is nothing compared to your own. You must remember to protect yourself first.”
“I will!” Han Shuo responded.
The sky was already darkening by the time he walked out of the store. The various shops on the streets were already closed at this time, and the bright, multi-colored lights of many places of entertainment replaced the setting sun.
Han Shuo ignored all the calls and pleas for attention from the thickly made up faces around him, striding towards the valley border. Some procedures were needed in order to enter the valley, but none were needed to leave. No one asked Han Shuo anything, but the two Cairo mercenary band knights look at him with some surprise, seemingly perplexed why the two beauties weren’t leaving with him.
Han Shuo’s sharp perceptions noticed that someone was surveilling him as soon as he had stepped out of the valley, but he paid them no heed. There was no need for further thought. It was either members of the Cairo or Rainbow Sickle mercenary band who were keeping an eye on him. It wasn’t difficult for Han Shuo to shake them, of that he was extremely confident about.
He’d been walking slowly since leaving the valley, but abruptly picked up his speed. Han Shuo’s body was like a shooting star as he streaked through the dusk sky. He’d covered several hundred meters in a few breaths and pulled ahead of those keeping an eye on him.
When that feeling of being watched disappeared, he suddenly took to the skies and flew close to the lush, silver trees, making for Valen City.
He sent out a mental command as the demon infant’s mystical power mysteriously circulated. Waves of mystical power rippled out from the demon infant and covered the distance in front of him. There was a connection between the demon infant and the drop of blood essence. Han Shuo would immediately feel it if the drop of blood essence appeared.
As he concentrated his attention on the demon infant and cast his senses out in an attempt to search for the blood essence, a marvelous feeling suddenly grew in his heart. He could suddenly feel the presence of any small or large life forms. As Han Shuo inwardly started with shock, that sensation suddenly disappeared.
He once again concentrated his attention and bent his mind to finely sense the feeling that had surged into his heart just now. He discovered that he could feel the lifeforms of the various bugs and small mammals that were hibernating around him. Although this sensation faded in and out and was rather blurry, he was still quite shocked by this.
The demon infant suddenly shifted slightly at this point and the location of the blood essence was transmitted to Han Shuo in the next second. Overjoyed, he abruptly picked up his flight speed and sped to where that drop of blood essence was.
When he reached his destination however, he saw Elaine fallen on the ground beneath a large tree, her body covered in blood. Her neck was bent at an unnatural angle, as if she’d been forcefully choked to death by a strap. Her body seemed to have been hit by wind blade spells as multiple bone deep lacerations had sliced through her shirt. The blood was mixed into the accumulated snow and had melted into bloody water. It looked like she’d died not too long ago.
Suddenly, a strong sense of danger suddenly exploded in Han Shuo’s heart. He started and immediately tried to back up rapidly from Elaine’s body.