88 Chapter 88
Matt slung the large cleaver weapon over his shoulder and headed out while Feng Liena followed after him. He could feel multiple beings in that area, they were mostly in the core formation. After the two arrived closer to the scene, they could see the battle unfolding.
The first person Zhang Dong saw was someone he was familiar with, he could see his name thanks to the system and it was Huo Qiang. It was the red-haired man that he saw before entering the secret ground. There was another person with him, an older looking gentleman with mutton chops that looked injured. He was wearing the same clan pattern on his torn up robe, it being of the same clan that the burly red-haired man belonged too. The two were standing back to back while surrounded by some monsters, it weren't goblins this time around but orcs. There were quite a lot of them and Matt could even see an ogre amongst the group. Most of the monsters were in the middle stage but there were some in late stages of core formation.
The two cultivators were both in the late stage of core formation, so all things considered they were quite strong. There were many green skins that were evaporating into dust after getting slain but they just kept coming at them. Matt wanted to jump in and help the two guys out, but when he looked to the side, his big sis was just scoffing and walking in the opposite direction.
"W-wait, where are you going? We have to help them..."
Matt asked while looking between the battle zone and the female cultivator that had furrowed brows and a rather cute frown.
"Pff, just leave those bastards be, we don't need to help people like them out."
The woman moved her face to the side, Matt caught on fast deducing that there must be some animosity between her and the people that were fighting. Though this didn't really sit well with him, the more party members they got the better their chances of survival would be. He was sure they could talk it out in the end, if not he could always show his hand to reel them in. He tried out some reverse psychology to get his team leader to follow him into battle.
"Ah, it's fine to be afraid elder sister. There are so many of those monsters, it's only natural that you are hesitating. Just leave this to your little brother, you can just watch from afar."
You could see the pink-haired girl fuming with rage the moment Zhang Dong insinuated that she was afraid of the monsters. He didn't stay long enough to hear her complain as there was no time, he just bolted for the battle area and felt that the lady followed behind him soon enough, at least she could offer him a bit of range support with those wind techniques.
The two fighters weren't aware of Zhang Dong and Feng Liena as they were fighting for their dear life. The two belonged to the Huo Clan, this was a fire element type clan with the younger-looking youth being the strongest son of the current clan Patriarch. The man next to him was one of his bodyguards that his clan sent out with him to this secret ground. The dark palm sect had requested help from them and promised riches and even cultivation resources if they managed to figure out the testing grounds. Being the proud clan that they were, the Patriarch decided to send quite a force consisting of the three strongest core formation experts from his clan beside himself.
They all miscalculated that the whole expedition thing was a hoax and that the dark palm sect didn't actually expect anyone to return from it. Being the stuck up clan that they were, they expected riches and an easy payout even though it was known that the previous exploration attempt failed. They naturally thought that the reason was that the people sent were just too darn weak, the Zhang clan was just a middle-sized clan and the Huo Clan was a grade above it in strength even before the previous one lost most of their fighting potential.
Huo Qiang was quite lucky in the beginning, he found one of his clan elders just a couple of days after being spirited away into the wilderness. After about a week they even found the second one as well, so now they were all together and fighting with the monsters in their own little group. But, the creatures just kept coming and coming. They had to constantly move and fight, the monsters were everywhere and they were getting harder to defeat the more time passed.
The life-saving trinkets and talisman started getting used up, they only had a few out the rest was locked in their storage rings. Soon enough they came across the large Orc tribe village, the three masters weren't that good at sneaking around so they were spotted by the green skins while trying to avoid the settlement.
The monsters poured in like moths attracted to the flame while the three tried to escape, but they found themselves surrounded. One of their clan members tried buying them some time so that they could escape. He burned his cultivation base making himself burst into a flaming inferno opening up a path for his two clan members to escape. The plan didn't work though as even though they managed to run away from that group another one was waiting for them around the corner and they were surrounded by them again.
"What's wrong with these beasts? Don't they fear death at all?"
The red-haired man said while the gauntlets that he was wearing on his hands glowed red. He delivered a devastating blow to one of the nearby orc's sending the creature flying back, it's head broken as its body collided with a close-by tree. The two cultivators were quite strong, but the monsters just kept swarming them not caring for their own safety whatsoever. The two men were getting tired slowly, their spiritual energy was getting drained as they landed attack after attack, killing the monster mobs one after another in quick succession.
"Young Master, you must save yourself. You are the future of the clan, you must not perish here!"
The mutton chop beard elder said, his fists were also covered by some kind of glove weapon along with his legs. From the way the two were carrying themselves, it looked like they were close range specialists. The older man had a robust build as well, his body was already battered and bruised from the prolonged fighting. He was tasked with protecting this young master of his, he was a one in a million genius of the Huo clan, his only fault was that he was quite the womanizer.
The elder was contemplating doing a suicide rush as the other clan member, but before that could happen he heard a strange sound coming from afar. It sounded like thunder and lightning, but there were no clouds above them. The monsters were focused on the other two cultivators so they didn't pay attention at the white-haired cultivator that was charging at them from behind, coated in lightning.
Zhang Dong burst to the scene, swinging the large goblin cleaver with one hand and his charged up sword with the other. Feng Liena just stood up on one of the large trees and started blasting the creatures with her ranged attacks, not keen on getting into a close melee fight.
The orcs finally noticed the other intruders as they were flanked by Matt's charge, he managed to decapitate a couple of them with his two-sword style that still needed some work. The Huo clan cultivators saw this as a chance and started battling their enemies with more vigor as some backup had arrived. They recognized the white-haired man from the clan assembly but didn't know why he was helping them. They were sure about one thing, this Zhang Clan Patriarch was a lot stronger than they had thought, by the way, he was cutting into those monsters, he must be in the great circle they thought.
"Thanks for the assistance brother!"
Huo Qiang shouted while charging up his fist, you could see small red dots gathering around the man's fist. The metallic gloves he was wearing were made of a silver looking alloy, they had various runic patterns etched into them and as he gathered the fire energies they gave of a crimson glow as well. He struck a nasty looking orc with an open palm strike, caving the monsters whole chest in and blasting it back into the orc group that was charging at them.
The fight continued, the bodies of the monsters continuously vanished with the help of the Zhang Clan Patriarch and his lovely helper that was pouting in the back. Soon enough the large ogre appeared, it went after the red-haired man while swinging a tree, using it as a club. Qiang's punch connected with the makeshift weapon, the tree catching fire and turning into a mass of splinters.
Mutton chops was doing a bit worse than the rest of the group, he was still in the late stage but if you ranked everyone here, he would be last in terms of spiritual energy. He was already battered as he and the other retainer were being overprotective of their young master and they used their bodies to defend him. He was about to get impaled by a similar-looking hatchet weapon that one of the orc warriors was aiming at his head, but just before it landed a wind blade came from afar and deflected the attack, this was enough for the man to land a killing blow on the creature that attacked him.
He looked in the direction the attack came from and saw the Feng clan matriarch, she was standing on one of the branches and looking quite haughty. The battle continued, the cultivators managed to wiggle out of the spot that they were surrounded. This gave them some leeway as they didn't need to watch their backs anymore and could unleash a wider range of attacks.
The monsters weren't letting up though, but with time they got whittled down by the combined might of the four cultivators that started working as a team. Matt looked at all the weapons that the monsters dropped, if he could just gather those up he might be able to reach the great circle with his body refining skill. Though he didn't really want to start absorbing it with people next to him, plus he would need to carry the pile of hatchets and strange-looking weapons with him.
*If it only didn't take so long to absorb one of these...*
"Well, if it isn't Feng Liena, have you reconsidered my proposal?"
Huo Qiang asked in a cheery tone as he walked over to the busty gal. Matt could see the woman's expression changing from a neutral one, to one of rage and disgust. He didn't know that a beauty like her could furrow her brows that much, that frown was quite impressive.
"I would rather marry a donkey than someone like you! How many concubines do you even have?"
Feng Liena stomped the ground while scoffing at the proposal, the red-haired man just looked at her and shrugged.
"Oh, just about ninety nine, you could be the hundredth one~"
He laughed to himself while looking at the woman whose face started going red, she was really fuming. She even took out her battle fans and went into a battle stance, the mutton chop uncle intervened putting himself between his young master and the woman.
"Halt, you will not harm the young master!"
A fight was about to break out, the old guy was taking his job very seriously and he would pounce on the young lady the moment she showed animosity towards his young master. Matt just facepalmed while looking at the scene, guess these people weren't good at working together. He raised his fist up into the air it crackling with lightning, he activated his avatar form on it along with his condensing skill. He didn't need to cover his whole body with the technique, being able to use it on separate body parts which cost him less spiritual energy.
He slammed his fist into the ground, making the group of three turn their heads. The slam caused the ground to shake, the residual blast kicked up a storm, the people using their forearms to protect their eyes from the sand that was blown up.
"Enough! Stop fighting, we need to work together to get through this... don't you get what this place is by now?"
Matt made sure to add some spiritual energy to make his voice sound extra menacingly, his fist glowing and discharging electricity into the surroundings.
The three people gulped a bit after witnessing the strike, they clearly knew that if something like that landed on them they would turn into meat paste. They realized that the white-haired man was clearly the strongest from this group, probably at the great circle of core formation.
"Little Dong... didn't know that you were this strong... big sis is impressed!"
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Matt wanted to run up and bonk the pink-haired dolt on the head after hearing that, she kind of ruined his cool move with just a few words. He gave out a sigh and moved over to the group, he wanted to ask some questions and also force everyone to cooperate as he was still sure that this was a place where you couldn't just do things alone.