156 Chapter 156
People murmured among each other. Everyone clearly heard the city leader's voice before the large beam of light took off. They weren't sure what was happening, but the city owner probably had something to do with it. The clouds parted and they saw a giant golden lightning bolt firing off into the distance and golden lightning was something that the Zhang Patriarch was known for.
While the commoners gossiped with each other the Zhang Clan members were left stupefied.
"D-did the Patriarch just fly without his sword?"
"What was that strange phenomenon?"
"Did he... reach the Nascent Soul realm?"
The Zhang clan members that witnessed their leader taking off from this spot looked at the large hole in the ceiling. They all gulped wondering if Zhang Dong had actually taken that step forward that no one from their clan had ever done before.
"This complicates things."
Zhang Kuo stood up while looking in the distance where Zhang Dong had taken off. He knew what the Dark Palm sect would do if they saw their leader who had reached the nascent soul level. The other problem was that something had happened during the Dao festival, it didn't take this man long to put one and one together to figure this out.
"We must call Senior Zhi."
Zhang Kuo looked to a person on the side, this was someone that worked for him.
"Give out a decree, everyone is to return to Spirit Spring City we need to activate the grand formation!"
"Also prepare the battleships, we need to aid the Patriarch!"
The person bowed and quickly moved out to carry out the orders, the people that were gathered there were still perplexed by the whole situation.
"I'm leaving on the first ship!"
Zhang Jie proclaimed while running to get her battle robe ready, she knew that her children were in trouble once again and she didn't want to wait here twiddling her thumbs. The place got louder as the senior members from the clan started running around like headless chickens. This situation looked even direr than the one where they were ordered to visit that secret ground, it seemed that someone from their clan had offended the big overlord that was the Dark Palm Sect.
Zhang Zhi got the call first, the man didn't take long to bolt on his flying sword towards Spirit Spring City. His true destination was the city where the Dao festival was held, but first he wanted to meet up with the Zhang force that would be heading there.
His wife being a Feng Clan member quickly called up her old contacts in the female-run family. Their side didn't have any info on anything, no communications were going through. Their side was skeptical about the whole thing and decided to wait it out, but to be sure they also started gathering their most powerful experts to aid their Matriarch.
Word also reached the Huo clan that began their own preparations as well. The three clans had made an agreement to share information with each other. Everyone was gathering up their forces, but they knew better than to just barge into Jade Grass City. They didn't like their chances when going against the Dark Palm Sect, so for now they would be preparing their forces and wait for more information to arrive.
The two clans didn't like the look of this. If a conflict arose they would probably have to abandon those young masters that were sent to that tournament. There was no realistic way of going against a sect with Nascent Soul cultivators. The congregation of their forces was more a formality than a show of force, done more to not make them look weak in this kind situation.
Out in the distance, there was a sudden rumble. A large beast at the core formation level was munching on some delicious meat of its prey. The monster was the apex predator of this area, but even it shivered uncontrollably as it felt a massive spike in spiritual energy. The creature had never felt an astonishing amount of power like this before, the only thing it could do is prostrate itself towards the incoming being.
The thing that was making this meat-eater afraid was a person that was rapidly approaching. This person was hard to spot as he was surrounded by golden lights, lightning bolts firing off and thunder clapping everywhere. Everything in the vicinity either passed out or prostrated itself like the beast.
'God damn, I'm so much faster now... but that blasted city is too far away... it will take me an hour to get there...'
This was an angry-looking Zhang Dong, he looked at the zooming scenery as he was rapidly flying towards Jade Grass City. It would have taken him one or two days to get there on his flying sword when he was at core formation. He was several times faster now, but this wasn't enough to get there in under an hour.
'I hope they can hold up until I arrive. Don't you die on me...'
Matt pushed his cultivation to its limits as he charged forward, he was feeling a myriad of emotions. Worry about his disciple and his new family that could very well die soon. Anger about the fact that the Dark Palm Sect was aiming for them and even sadness due to his grandpa withholding information from him.
'Am I so unreliable?'
He tried tossing these questions to the back of his mind for now. The battle ahead was more important, he also had to think about what he should do after it's all done. The Dark Palm Sect would be knocking on their doors if he trashes their city, even more, when they realize that he reached the nascent soul level.
'Should I make a contract with them?'
He had done his research and wanted to avoid that option. The eradication of his clan could probably be avoided if he took one of those binding contracts. If he did that though, he would be nothing more than a slave of that Dark Palm sect. They apparently used some strange soul binding pacts that were more or less slave contracts. The person that he would be bound to could order him to do anything and if he refused his soul could be destroyed.
'Not a very good deal... but probably the least bloody conclusion.'
He would probably have to work as some kind of sect enforcer or bodyguard for the next snotty sect master. Still everyone wouldn't need to fight and their clan would fall under the protection of the powerful sect. Could he trust his life to some murder hobos though? He could very well end up betrayed and dead after even signing on the dotted line. He wouldn't be able to do anything if that sect decided to do something to his clan, they were just too untrustworthy.
'The other option is to fight it out... but can I beat all of their old nascent soul farts myself?'
That was the big question, he felt like he shouldn't have problems with someone at the early stage. If they were as strong as that Pride demon he faced, he wouldn't have a problem. Was that the standard for the early stage or was it more? maybe it was even less, he needed more battle experience.
'Can the system help me? I don't have many points and no shop to buy any op items... the only thing I can spend my points now is to...'
He had one idea in his mind, but first he needed more spirit points and many more of them. He was only flying for a couple of minutes now, the indicator on the map showed him getting closer slowly it would take some time for him to get there. Meanwhile at Jade Grass City another battle was unfolding.
Zhang Jin's large obsidian spiky mace radiated with oppressive green energy. The old man brought it down on his enemy, his opponent was a giant rocky serpent that was at least forty meters in length. Its head was gigantic compared to the armored man, but even it couldn't withstand the hit from that weapon.
The giant rock serpent's head exploded into a million pieces and its body was flung back into the audience seats, luckily the people had already recovered from the lightning blast and fled the scene. The whole place was riddled with craters and holes, the water that was outside the ring was dirty from all the sand that had gotten into it.
The uncharacteristic black knight with the giant mace landed on the ground, the added weight from the suit that Zhang Jin was wearing made the ground shake and shatter from the impact. An angry Yang Kai was seen not far away, he had suffered another setback and his technique was canceled after his large rock serpent got his by that strange mace.
"What is this, how can you be this strong? What's with that strange treasure, where did you get that!"
Yang Kai roared while pelting the man in black armor with a barrage of rock orbs, the amount was staggering which made it look like machine gunfire. To this man's dismay his opponent didn't even bother to dodge this onslaught, the condensed rock orbs just shattered into many tiny pieces after hitting the armor.
"Are you rebelling against the Dark Palm Sect? Do you idiots think that you have a chance? You will all die as an example!"
Zhang Jin's opponent wasn't having any of this. How could he, a prominent Dark Palm Sect master who was also a one in a billion genius be losing to some old fart from god knows where? Would he have to use some of the forbidden arts to fight off this trash of an opponent?
While Yang Kai was having a crisis, Zhang Jin was shocked by how well this so-called 'Power Suit: Iron Kaiser' that his grandson had made for him was working. He wasn't sure why Zhang Dong gave it such a name but the product was working out well.
This was one of the latest creations of the Zhang Patriarch. He had modeled it to work like an Iron man suit of armor and it was running on demonic beast cores. This was also the reason why this black suit of armor had that gloomy greenish glow to it. On the inside there were many beast cores embedded into various core parts, like the shoulders and the chest plate.
The treasure was mostly made from beast cores in the great circle and late stages of core formation. It worked like described, it was a power suit that the user could wear. It boosted the wearer's offensive and defensive capabilities allowing them to battle people at the top level of core formation. The only downside of this item was the quick usage of spiritual energy, the person couldn't really use it for more than an hour or even less depending on the power usage.
[ Iron Kaiser at 74% energy ]
Zhang Jin heard a robotic voice, something akin to text to speech. This thing even came equipped with a basic Ai, but it wasn't really much it only alerted the user of how much juice the suit had left, or when it suffered critical damage. This product was still in the prototype stages and this Zhang Grand elder only received it for testing purposes.
"Rebelling? What nonsense are you spouting? Did you want us to just roll over and die instead? I'll take you down with me, you damn bastard!"
The elder roared out, the metallic armor making his voice sound a lot more ominous. He charged forward, his whole body covered in deep green energy that shifted to the top of the mace. He swiftly swung it downwards producing a massive shockwave of Qi that flew at Yang Kai who could only put up layers upon layers of defensive techniques to barely block the overwhelming strike.
"Don't get ahead of yourself you old fart! You think you are the only one with secrets here?"
The Dark Palm member jumped high into the air, his forehead glowing. The gem that was embedded into it started spewing up things that looked like globs of energy. These energy masses had some strange faces flickering in and out of them, going through various expressions but mostly showing fear or anger.
Zhang Jin looked up and took a step back, this was clearly a demonic cultivator's technique, but was this Dark Palm Sect a demonic sect?
"Are those souls?... what kind of dastardly demonic art is that?"