64 Chapter 64
He arrived at the city that the so-called cult was supposed to be in. His new disguise was of a rugged looking old man, a big scar over his face and short brown hair. He figured out that he could change the length and volume of his hair at will. He could also shift his muscles around on his whole body, but couldn't really change his bone structure. Matt decided to play it safe, not knowing if the cultivators that he robbed would put up any wanted posters of him.
The town looked kind of gloomy, the sun was covered by a thick layer of clouds. Matt noticed that the weather tended to change rapidly depending on the location he was in. Sometimes he would arrive at a tropical area with lots of natural beaches, only to fly for an hour in another direction to arrive in a snowy area. This might have something to do with the nature of spiritual energy around this world. Places tended to be warmer where fire elements gathered.
The city was called Fogmire, which was a peculiar name given that most towns had those xianxia sounding names. This one was just dim, murky and the moment he stepped inside it started to rain. The notice came from this town, so he wanted to go get the details. Fogmire as any other in the area was governed by a clan. The city had about five million people living in it. On earth, this would be a capital city, but here it was just a regular mid-sized town.
His robe was pitch black as he flew close to the city, he descended in the nearby forest while hiding his aura. He didn't want to alert people to his high cultivation, his flying sword being a dead giveaway. It took him about half an hour to walk to the main gate, he paid the toll normally and then asked one of the pedestrians about the clan that governed the place and about the cult.
Fogmire was governed by a side family of the Kin Clan, their leader wasn't all that strong but he still was in the core formation. When he asked about the cultists, the person looked at him with wide eyes then bowed deeply before running away. Guess the people were more scared of that cult than of his new menacing appearance.
*Well, I guess I'll go check out the main clan building, they should have all the info there.*
[ Your Disciple Zhang Xue has reached another level in the Sylph Physique, 500 spirit points gained. ]
Those prompts starter popping up here and there, whenever his two disciples gained insight in his skills or advanced he would get rewarded. Guess it was a good decision as he already had earned back the points that he spent on the two rascals. He wondered if he could just make a martial arts school and have everyone swear him in as their master. But then he looked into his disciple tab, he could see a 2/5 counter in the upper right corner. Guess the system wouldn't let him use it like that. Maybe if he cleared some hidden quests, the limit would increase?
Matt had picked up a habit lately, every new place he visited he was drawn to their restaurants. The food in this world was quite tasty, probably due to the added spiritual essence in the plants and animals.
*Work can wait, first it's time to check out the local cuisine!*
He rubbed his palms together as he strolled through the city, trying to find a nice restaurant for himself. It was getting late, the gloomy town was becoming even bleaker as it lit up with the faint light of the street lights. The lights didn't run on electricity, they were simple magical treasures that used up spiritual energy from the surroundings. Matt finally found a place to eat, it looked like a tavern that you would see in those fantasy games. It even had a sign with a beer mug outside, but it seemed kind of quiet.
He pushed open the double doors as he walked in, the people inside slowly turned their faces towards him giving him cold stares. He was hiding his cultivation base, so they wouldn't know of his level. Matt thought that people would be having fun inside as it looked like a saloon, but it was rather quiet inside. The floorboards creaked with each step as he made his way towards the counter where he saw a lone bartender person standing.
He wondered if he walked in at a bad time as the place felt gloomy, even more than on the outside. He wondered if he changes genres as the inside looked like your run of the mill western fantasy establishment, still, the people were wearing robes even though they were on the shorter side. Before he could ask for some food, the man behind the counter spoke up in a hoarse voice.
"Greetings stranger, you shouldn't be out here, all alone... He he he ..."
The man was strange-looking, his eyes vacant and a pale unhealthy complexion. When he was laughing Matt could see the rotten teeth and the accompanying bad smell that came with them. The motion of ordering any kind of food from this place went out of the window after getting a load of those chompers.
These people were kind of strange, he felt multiple gazes of people from behind and the barkeep was acting loony. Zhang Dong had gotten that new skill where he could see people's auras in a more visual form. He decided to turn it on, wondering if this would shed some light on the situation.
*W-what is this...*
He took a step back after seeing a black smoke like aura enveloping the man in front of him. This wasn't any old chimney smoke, this was evil miasma mostly seen on demons. He turned to the side, the people in the establishment were all covered in the thick, eerie aura. The whole place was covered in it, did he just walk in on the main evil base or something. Where those people evil cultivators, or some kind of monsters, the demonic aura was really thick on them.
Matt decided to do a test, he flicked his finger at the man that was still laughing. A little bit of his electric Qi flew out and bonked the man in front on the forehead. The good thing about his Dao of heavenly lightning was the heavenly part. Apparently anything that involved the heavens was the bane of anything that involved demons and demonic energies. The lightning jolt was really weak, it wouldn't really do much to a normal person but when it came in contact with the man he started shaking furiously.
Strange growls escaped from the man as he twitched around, his head was twisting in impossible ways. Soon his head shot up into the ceiling while the body collapsed onto the floor. The head had spider-like legs and had multiple eyes protruding out of its body. It gave out a high pitched scream that seemed to rouse the other monsters in the room. Everyone inside started transforming into nightmare creatures, lots of teeth, claws and even tentacles.
They all pounced at him in unison, biting, clawing and gnashing all their various appendages. The creatures were stopped by a barrier, the moment those creepies touched it they were sent flying backward due to an electrical shock. Matt was inside, really glad that he had bought this skill before the monsters wouldn't be able to get to him now.
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*Without my tranquil mind skill, I'd be s*itting bricks right now...*
Besides their gruesome horror appearance, the things were more or less just trash with Qi condensation level strength. They were all quite brainless as all of them continued attacking him while bouncing off the electric shield over and over again. Matt just wanted to obliterate the whole building with the monsters inside, not really keen on touching those ugly looking things. But if he did that, he could harm people outside also there could be some innocents in here as well.
Instead, he formed a couple of smaller lightning dragons, sending them outside his barrier to do the fighting for him. They were the size of larger snakes but packed a punch. They started chomping, pouncing and just charging through the monsters quickly clearing the place up. The small lightning snakes coiled their bodies around some of the humanoid monsters, causing them to sizzle and evaporate as they discharged heavenly lightning into them.
None of the monsters was spared, Matt only came out of his bubble after he didn't feel any demonic auras in the building. He looked at the dead bodies that were quickly turning into black sludge, frowning. He toured the tavern, hoping to find normal people inside but it was barren the most he could find is some gnawed on remains, probably a midnight snack to these monsters.
*Well, this whole thing became rather unsettling... think next time I'll go fishing..."
He went back to the bottom floor and dipped his finger into some of that black sludge. Even though the thing was dead, it still had a faint demonic aura to it. He tried focusing on this type of evil energy, closing his eyes as he let his senses guide him. Then he noticed a certain spot that was radiating this kind of energy. He opened his eyes and hopped behind the bar counter, going into the pantry.
The food looked rotten and there were flies buzzing about. The demonic energy was coming from behind the wall, there might have been a secret passage behind it. He started patting down the walls in the hopes of finding a switch or lever, but to no avail. Guess it wasn't as easy as they made it look in those adventure movies.
He did the only logical thing afterward, punching the wall and uncovering a secret narrow passage behind it. He cleared the rubble and took a step in, the demonic aura was leading inside. The passage quickly turned to narrow circular stairs that were going downwards. This was a textbook example of a horror setting, he expected to find even more of those monsters below. This was probably the moment in which he had to decide if he should continue downward or just report this to the people in the city and have them risk their lives.
Maybe it was just bravado, but the man felt that he should be able to handle himself. Also, if the monsters got alerted to his presence, they might start killing those people that they abducted, that is if they were still alive. He started going down, the stairs went on and on as he walked for a good half an hour before finally arriving at the bottom. There were torches lining up the walls, illuminating the interior faintly.
After descending the stairs he started hearing strange chants in a language that he had never heard of before. The walls were made from old bricks, the corridor started getting wider and wider the further he went in, the strange chanting louder and louder.
"Ph'..lui mglw'na... .ul..hu ...yeh wgah'na... fht...n "
He was almost there, he could see green light outside of the tunnel. He slowly moved forward, trying to not let his aura seep out into the surroundings as he peeked out of the tunnel. He saw some cultists kneeling down in front of an altar, some babies in front of them crying their little hearts out. Those were probably the sacrificial offerings, to the thing that was on the altar when Matt saw it his jaw dropped.
*...What is that thing doing here again...*