Chapter 942: Abandon the City?
Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
"What are you doing out there? Get in!" Han Sen witnessed someone calling out to him.
When Han Sen entered the shelter, he was able to get a better look at the people who seemed unwilling to go outside. They looked awfully glum. It seemed as if something bad had been going on.
This was a small town, a knight cla.s.s shelter that provided residence to around thirty people. It wasn't the worst location for people to band together in the hostile lands of the Third G.o.d's Sanctuary.
"Is something wrong? What's going on here?" Han Sen asked the middle-aged man who had called out to him.
"Hmm, I've never seen you before. Are you new?" The middle-aged man didn't respond to the question he was asked.
"Yes, I've only just arrived," Han Sen said.
"Well, that's unfortunate. You may think sp.a.w.ning in a human shelter is a good thing, but we're about to lose the place," the middle-aged man said with a sigh.
"Why?" Han Sen asked.
The middle-aged man explained, "Twenty years ago, we conquered this shelter and built it up as a safe refuge for many people. A few days ago, a creature discovered our shelter. It's not your average woodland critter, either. It is a foul beast, one that came here from the north. The creature belongs to a royal shelter someplace in the mountains of that region, and we have been informed of an impending a.s.sault. The leader of that shelter is determined to lay waste to our little sanctuary."
"How did you learn about all of this?" Han Sen asked.
He thought it was strange that they would even know about the shelter that lay to the north.
"We have a man in their shelter. He has risked life and limb to provide us this information. But even so, with all the knowledge in the world, there is little that can be done. We don't have the manpower to withstand an a.s.sault like the one that is said to be coming down on us. We only wonder now whether or not we should make our glorious last stand here or flee to the wilds," the middle-aged man explained.
Han Sen, understanding their predicament a bit better, acknowledged the direness of their situation and their hesitance to defend the shelter against the hostilities of the north. He could tell they were weak and had no chance of protecting their home.
As Han Sen retreated into thought, a loud noise brought him back. It was the tolling of a bell in the plaza.
"Old Huang is summoning us," the middle-aged man told Han Sen, before proceeding to the plaza.
Han Sen followed the rest there, as well.
Normally, many would take a newbie under their wings and treat them well. They'd be asked many things and offered an all-around welcome. Under the current circ.u.mstances, however, few cared enough to make the effort. Things were bleak for them, after all.
A man with white hair was ringing the bell, a man Han Sen naturally a.s.sumed was Old Huang.
For a moment, Old Huang's eyes fell upon Han Sen. Then the man's eyes moved on.
"The time is nigh. Now we must decide; do we fight or do we go?" Old Huang finally spoke. "Against the darkness that fast approaches, raise your hands if you wish to flee."
Everyone looked at each other before making a decision, but ultimately, almost all chose to raise their hands.
"Then perhaps it is for the best. Let this be our final night of refuge in what has become our home. Tend to any last duties and prepare yourself for the road ahead; we leave at first light on the morrow," Old Huang solemnly spoke.
After his speech concluded, everyone stood where they were. They all knew it would be best if they abandoned the shelter.
But the sudden realization of this loss was difficult to swallow, and they knew once they departed, they'd have nowhere else to go. There was going to a great deal of hards.h.i.+p for them, beginning the next day.
Some of the older community members had put their hearts and souls into securing this place, and spent the years toiling hard to make it prosper. They felt the most agony, in understanding they would soon depart the safety of its walls.
"Go home," Old Huang said, returning to the podium he had spoken from. They had been there many years, and it was their home. But if they didn't leave, it would swiftly become their grave.
Unless they were willing to obey a spirit for what would likely be the remainder of their days, they had to flee. And even if they did decide to accept a lesser fate as thralls for a spirit, there was no guarantee the spirit would even want their service. They might have been killed even in surrender.
But the majority still wanted to leave, of course. They wouldn't allow a spirit to dictate their fates, if they had the choice. They determined their own destiny, and that was how it would remain.
Still, leaving their home behind was a difficult thing to come to terms with.
Han Sen observed the lifeforces of the people around him, and he noticed many of them were quite skilled and powerful. Thirty such people in a group was quite impressive.
"Can I say something?" Han Sen broke the silence.
Everyone turned to look at Han Sen, and when they did, Old Huang said, "Of course. Speak; we are all family here."
"We should fight," Han Sen said.
Old Huang, with a wry smile, said, "Young man, I understand the zeal of youth and the way in which you feel. But you must understand, we face the unyielding wrath of a royal spirit. They have at least fifteen mutant creatures; even if half our people went to face that wall of terror, there is little we could do."
"Do you think we would leave if we had what it took to fight, gra.s.shopper?"
Han Sen wished to say something more, but a young person who stood near Old Huang suddenly asked, "Are you Han Sen?"
"Yes." Han Sen nodded.
"Little Yu, do you know who this young man is?" Old Huang asked.
"He is Han Sen; the son-in-law of the president. He is a great man. He is the one who defeated the royal shura," Little Yu explained.
After Little Yu said this, people recalled the name and the deeds he had become known for. Even the elderly of the shelter had heard of Han Sen.
"If you choose to flee, then flee. But if you decide to fight, you have my full support. Not only will we defeat those who believe they can trample us underfoot, but we will strike back and claim that northern royal shelter for ourselves," Han Sen proclaimed.
"Little Han, we would like to, but... we don't have the power. It is a struggle to maintain our current grip on this shelter," Old Huang confessed.
"Do you not believe we can stand firm against the a.s.sault on this shelter with this?" Han Sen summoned his Dragon-Blood Snake.