143 Chapter 143
Zhang Liu was together with a couple of his clan members, Zhang Tai had gone in a different direction as they were still looking for more of their clansmen. Liu had gone through a couple of small skirmishes with other practitioners so he already had an additional token, only needing one more now.
His group was resting at the moment, they were at one of those spiritual herb gardens and they had just taken care of a trap formation that was previously here.
"These herbs aren't of good quality though, we can get better ones back at spirit spring city...still, it's not good to waste resources. "
Zhang Liu and his clan brothers examined this so-called spirit herb garden. They were from a pill making faction, so this wasn't anything out of the ordinary for them. Zhang Dong had also nabbed scriptures and books that described a way of producing rare variants of certain herbs. So these ordinary spiritual herbs weren't valued that highly by these youths. The few members from the Feng clan and the Huo clan saw it differently as they pocketed as much as they could get their hands on.
While this was happening, Liu felt something or someone coming. There was a familiar aura coming their way, but it looked to be behind a near by wall.
"Wait is that... Hey, look out get away from that wall!"
The youth shouted out, trying to get the attention of the people that were standing closest to the wall. The two people that were standing there, quickly jumped back. They knew that something was wrong and trusted Zhang Liu enough to heed his warning. Just in the nick of time as an angry-looking Huo Kong busted through that chunk of rocks.
"It's that guy?"
Zhang Liu noted while seeing the man covered in red energy, but soon after he could see his white-haired sister following after him. This wasn't the end though as many other angry-looking youths, with drawn weapons charged through after them while shouting various things.
"Don't let them escape!"
"Get them, brothers!"
The group poured through the hole that was slightly larger than a human. At least they tried to, the hole wasn't that wide and some of them ended up getting stuck. Zhang Liu used this chance to move towards his sister and the red-haired man that he fought previously.
"Hah, I knew you were alright Xue... oh and you brought a friend..."
He looked at the burning man that canceled his skill after charging through the wall. His hair was slightly scuffed and he had rock debris all over his body, that looked like scorching coals. Huo Kong just eyed Zhang Liu, he already knew that the two were siblings due to the similar features like the robes and their white hair.
He justs scoffed at Liu, still not happy about the things that transpired back at the betting arena. The two youths looked at each other, the shouts of the charging enemy cultivators making them postpone their argument.
"We'll settle the things between us after this trial is over, for now..."
Huo Kong turned around, his fists surging with red Qi.
"Let's take care of these trashes!"
Zhang Liu just smirked and nodded, letting his fist crackle with blue lightning Qi as if he was imitating what Huo Kong was doing. Zhang Xue just looked between the two boys while chuckling. She herself pulled out her brand new spear that her master made and brandished it against her foes. The mix of clan members that was on their side, also charged in.
"Don't let them get through that hole, we can pick them off one by one!"
The hole that the group was coming through was quite small, so they only had room for one person at a time. This could be used to their advantage. Soon a barrage of ranged Qi attacks rained at the group that was pouring through the wall, forcing the group into a defensive stance while the rest of them remained stuck behind it.
"Quickly, charge through... agh!"
An enemy cultivator was sent flying by a well-placed lesser lightning javelin. Zhang Liu's group had the element of surprise on their end as the enemies didn't expect to find anyone on the other side of the wall. They were still outnumbered though and the hole in the wall would just act as a temporary deterrent.
The enemies on the other side could do two things, either risk it all and try to battle it out right here right now, or pull back and reorganize. Being the haughty youths that they were, they went with the former and decided to blast the path open so more of them could fit through.
"Ack, w-what are you doing?"
The problematic thing about that was that they had some of their people crowding at the small opening. The rocky wall was quite robust, made from hard to breakthrough materials. This resulted in some collateral damage in the form of some lesser clan cultivators getting hurt. The youths from the other side belonged to the more powerful group, so they didn't care that much about the well being of the lesser clans that were temporarily helping them out.
Zhang Liu looked at the spectacle and smirked.
'Those guys have no teamwork what so ever... compared to us..."
He glanced to the side, Zhang Tai and the rest of their group were charging through one of the corridors. This looked to be it, the two largest factions against each other. The so-called triforce alliance was outnumbered but not outgunned. From the fifty so Zhang Clan members thirty or so remained.
"Brothers and Sisters... let us show them what the Zhang Clan is made of!"
Everyone shouted in unison and two groups with fifteen people each were formed. This was one of this clan's specialties, the Spirit Serpent Formation that everyone was required to train from this point on. This was one of the formations that was utilized in the secret ground, that this clan had ventured forth. This along with the Floodarmor Formation was now becoming a staple of their training regiment. The two formations could be switched between and grew in strength with the number of cultivators in it.
Zhang Liu was used as the core of one of the formations, while Zhang Tai was in the other. The larger group of cultivators could see two water serpents entangling with each other and then releasing a deep blue beam of condensed Qi in their direction. They were quick to react, putting up various defensive treasures and techniques to block the incoming attack but after one hit they already knew that this wasn't something they could take on easily.
The energy beam made everyone scatter to the sides, the place everyone run was in was a more wide-open area. Still, the two blue serpents had barely enough space to maneuver around here. This was also the reason why the Zhang Clan didn't combine into one large formation.
The other two clans were keeping busy as well. Their teamwork wasn't as grand but you could see various wind-based attacks getting thrown by the Feng ladies. The Huo clan rained down on their enemies with their scorching fists, quickly turning up the heat. The whole area turned into a battlefield, anyone not involved in the two alliances was quick to escape.
"W-what's with these bastards... how are they so strong..."
"How did that little Zhang clan become this strong?... are they getting backed by some sect?"
"Stop yapping and fight, we are getting pushed back...attack them you fools!"
The trial ground rumbled and massive amounts of foundation establishment techniques collided against each other. Small craters riddled the ground and walls, showing just how much power these youths were already able to wield.
After a couple of exchanges, an expert would notice which side was the favored one. The larger alliance started to slowly falter, the stronger clans were using the weaker ones as cannon fodder. This was a massive hit to morale and resulted in the breach of their defenses.
What followed was a domino effect in which their offense collapsed. They were then pushed back by the overwhelming might of the trio of clans.
"D-do you know who I am?...m-my uncle is the....Arghh...."
A small palm landed on an enemy youth's abdomen that propelled him far into the distance. The man slammed into the wall out cold and with foam coming out of his mouth. The small palm belonged to a certain pink-haired lady that just smirked after defeating one of the main young masters from the opposition.
"Hah, serves you right!"
The girl hopped up to the twitching body of the opponent that she defeated and pulled out his token. She could see that the fighting was almost over as her clan members and allies were doing the exact same thing that she was. She looked to the side, spotting a certain white-haired youth.
She shouted out in a loud voice towards him as she bounced forward in his direction. Zhang Liu twitched a bit and turned to see the small girl rushing towards him. She came to an abrupt stop, this produced quite the enchanting 'bounce'.
"Ah y-yes, can I help you with something sister Nuana?"
He asked while not being sure what to do about this bundle of energy, or where to look to not seem rude.
"This is my fourth token, this big sister is magnanimous enough to share it with you! Don't be shy and take it!"
She held out the token in front of him, her nose sticking up high as she presented it.
"Ahh... I'm fine, I already have enough of those... maybe one of the other brothers or sisters from our clans can use it..."
Zhang Liu had the pleasure of wandering around this place with this strange girl. From his perspective, she was quite the oddball. The girl was nothing like the people that he knew, she was different from his sister or mother. The other girls that he came across were also more refined and reserved compared to this one, but this gave her a certain amount of charm.
"Ah, I only have two tokens, I could use that one..."
A certain Zhang clan member came over, he had unusually large sword-shaped eyebrows that were quite voluminous too boot. Feng Nuana just gave the youth a death glare and threw the token to the side while tapping her foot on the ground furiously.
On the other side, Zhang Xue and Huo Kong were finishing up as well. They weren't alone though, they were in the company of Zhang Tai that was in the process of glaring daggers at the raid haired man.
"Who is thi..."
Before he could ask his question he was assaulted from the side. A girl wrapped her arm around his from one side and another did the same from the other side. These were quite the tanned Feng clan girls, the man they were holding was quite the looker and was also the strongest person beside Zhang Liu.
"Senior brother Tai... why don't we go look for some treasures together~"
"Nooo... Senior brother, wouldn't you rather do it with this junior sister instead?"
The Feng clan women weren't ones to beat around the bush, the man that was deemed worthy of their time would be chased after. The poor guy was surrounded by young women while Zhang Xue and Huo Kong excused themselves. Tai's clan brothers weren't sure if they should be feeling envious of their senior brother or pitty him instead.
"N-noooooo...w-where are you touching... t-that spot it...Ahhhhhhhhhhhh..."
His shouts reverberated around the trial ground as he got pulled away by a group of gyarus. The next time he was seen, he looked quite drained, his hair disheveled and his robe torn.
The last trial's major battle came to a close but it was still not over. There were still people that managed to get away, people from other factions that were hiding in the shadows. The treasure troves were also open for exploration, but the major obstacle for this trio of clans was vanquished. What remained for them was to either wait it out till the time run out, or to find the exit and end it early.