62 Chapter 62
Matt was on his sword munching on some healing pills while his wounds were regenerating slowly. He didn't like how his first mission went down, he almost died fighting that dragon then some crazy bandits wanted to chop his head off. He even got some innocent people involved, then had to kill. He'd give himself an F+ for handling things, the + just for not being dead in the end. He kind of figured that he shouldn't rush into these kinds of things without gathering some intel first. Though not like there was anyone around that volcanic mountain range to ask questions about. He could also use a detection skill of some sorts, maybe if he pined the location of that dragon before it noticed him, he could have gotten a sneak attack in.
First, he used the new points to get the first three manuscripts of the Thunder God Sword Scripture, to increase his attacking power. Each manuscript taught him one special move, but they also contained the knowledge about sword stances, methods of attacking and defending. The first one was an attacking technique, the sword practitioner would release sword energy and deliver a slicking attack that would cut anything in its way. It also added some lightning laws, and besides slicing and dicing your opponent it would kick up a storm in its wake. It had the name of Thunder God Slash, it also increased in power with every higher-ranked manuscript. There was also a variation of the skill called Thunder God Thrust.
The second one was called Thunder God Domain, it was a defensive move you formed in illusory domain calling up lightning elements and storms. In this domain, you could perceive all incoming attacks and react accordingly. The last one was a charge up attack called Sever the Heavens. It was similar to the first one, but it would deliver an immensely powerful strike and couldn't really be spammed like the Thunder God Slash move.
He decided to try out his new repertoire before moving on, starting with the basic Thunder God Slash. It was more or less a sword light type attack, if he did a slashing attack it would send out an energy blast from his sword, that would cut anything in its path. He tried it out, managing to slice up quite the big boulder with no problem at all. He could also do thrusting attacks with it, this left a big gaping hole in another large boulder that he abused.
The domain technique gathered lightning energy and sword intent around an area of about 10 meters in all directions. He threw a rock up into the air and closed his eyes, waiting for it to fall down. The moment the object got into his domain he could sense it along with its trajectory, slicing it in half without needing to open his eyes. This was quite a handy skill to predict enemy movement.
The last one was a bit harder to pull off. He grasped his sword with both his hands and started pumping his energy into it. The sword blade started expanding upwards, getting longer and wider. He performed a diagonal swipe with the 'charged up' weapon, slicing a smaller mountain peak in the process. He was left drained, sweat running down his forehead as he panted.
*I can't use this one too often...*
After getting the gist of his new sword techniques, he thought about the next destination. The closer one was the city where the cultists were in, but he needed some things before that. He looked for a fitting detection technique, maybe something to mask his aura or looks as well. He recalled that many Xianxia protagonists always had a handy technique to hide how they looked so that they could escape into the crowds whenever getting into trouble. Also if the cultist noticed that they had someone sniffing around town, they would either try to kill that person or lay low if they were too strong.
He looked at the earth graded skills as always, he aimed for something that worked on core formation experts and below as he couldn't really afford heavenly ranked skills and didn't know if he could actually use them. There was one, just named 'Earthly Disguise Art' that was supposed to work on core formation experts and below, masking the user's appearance along with his or her aura. It also helped the users detect people that were using disguising arts of lower and similar grade. Then there was an enhanced version called the 'Heavenly Disguise Art' That was a direct upgrade of this one.
He also wanted to snatch a better aura detection skill, maybe an aura tracking skill. People tended to leek their spiritual energy into the surroundings, it did dissipate after a while. He could maybe home in on this dissipating energy to track the evil cultivators. He felt that these were some quality of life skills, so he decided to drop some points into them as well.
Matt closed his eyes and focused his mind on his surroundings, the enhanced aura detection skill let him home in on the beasts and animals in the surroundings quite a bit more. His range also was increased by multiple kilometers, he dropped down to the ground. He noticed that if he used his new tracking skill a sort of mist appeared. It was a trail that he could choose to home in if he fallowed after it the person or animal in question would be at the end.
He thought that this system was a bit too overpowered, it had way too many functions and was only limited to the number of points he could get. He wondered if after some time there would be some kind of drawback, would the prices suddenly increase? With this thing around, he could probably go into seclusion hunting weak beasts, evil cultivators or search for things he could absorb for points. Guess he couldn't absorb magical treasures for points. Also, he couldn't see anything above the immortal grade in there. He didn't want to abandon the people he was now feeling responsible for though.
With the new skills and techniques, his points dropped by about a hundred thousand. The dragon did give him a lot of points though, so he still had some left. He didn't want to waste them as he had no idea how many he needed to upgrade his clan members cultivation techniques, also there were some treasures with steep prices that he wanted to get to aid them as well.
*It always comes down to points... Well, I still have to go pick up the spirit stone reward think it was issued by the clan around here, what was it again the Huo, or Hou clan?*
Matt was still having trouble with all the oriental names, for now, he headed to the city to get his reward. He also shifted his clothes to a black color and used the new disguise technique to change his appearance. His facial muscles started shifting around, the color of his hair turned to black, he even grew a full beard as he looked like an old kung fu master. He wanted to see if he could pass for someone else in this town, no one needed to know that the Zhang Clan was out hunting monsters. Also, he wanted to get a higher reward for his troubles, would be easier to bicker with people if they didn't know who he was, but could also get him into trouble.
While Zhang Dong was on his way to get his reward, the people back in Spirit Spring City were getting ready with the tournament. Everyone from the clan knew about the second expedition and that they were testing everyone. Some people didn't want to participate, but most felt a deeper bond with the family clan and were going to give it their best because if not, their families would be done for.
The clan was quite large, it had many foundation establishment fighters and even more Qi condensation ones. There were about 20 thousand clan members scattered around, that wasn't really a big number considering that the city had 10 million people in it. From those 20 thousand members, only about 1 thousand were in the foundation establishment level. Most in the early and middle stages, the rest were just Qi condensation juniors.
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People below at the 6th and lower levels of Qi condensation weren't even allowed to participate. Zhang Xue barely made the cut, but no one was expecting her to get far, her brother stood a chance as there were a lot of free spots to be taken. Though no one knew that the two people in question were experiencing a colossal change. It had been about two weeks since they picked up the new cultivation method. Their old cultivation art was more or less trash compared to this one. This could be seen by the amount of silvery hair that the two now possessed.
Xue managed to advance into the 8th stage while her brother was close to breaking through the bottleneck of the 9th stage. The two were frantically training with all their might, hoping to be of service to their new master and to their clan which they held dearly in their hearts.
The way the tournament would work was announced, it wasn't a bracket system as they didn't want to get one strongest fighter. The participants would fight multiple bouts in one day if they lost they got zero points if they won they would get two, if the time run out or if it was a draw they would get one point. The ones with the most points would move on to the next day where more fighting would take place. The first couple of days would be the worst, as there were just so many participants.
This wasn't really an event for the masses so everything was closed off, the sound of fighting resounded in the Zhang clan compound. After the first day, the two disciples managed to get some wins while loosing to some more experienced fighters. People were somewhat surprised as the two youths were able to defeat cultivators that were of a higher realm. They seemed to use some new techniques, Xue was adept at kicking while Liu at punching techniques. When their kicks and hands collided with their opponents, sparks flew about while the adversary became momentarily stunned leaving themselves open for attacks. The two kids looked promising as the tournament continued, but it would take some time till it ended.