159 Chapter 159
A little bit earlier in a location between Spirit Spring City and Jade Grass City.
Thunder boomed and the clouds parted as some passerby's trembled in their boots. No one had enough time to react, the moment they heard the loud sound the being in the clouds was already gone. The only thing indicating that someone was even there was the straight path in the sky followed by hurricane-like winds. This was, of course, Zhang Dong racing towards his destination.
'I'm only halfway there, they seem to be holding up though.'
Matt had his disciple window out and was looking at Zhang Liu's status. The protective measures that the system put on the youth were still there and they hadn't gone down much since he took off. This was letting him know that whoever triggered that mark to activate wasn't able to follow up afterward.
'Why did they stop though? Did someone get involved and protected the boy?'
Matt wasn't sure about the reason, maybe the whole thing was some kind of misunderstanding and his disciple only got critically wounded during this so-called Dao festival. It was in Dark Palm Sect territory, so he could very well be showing his hand too early. Revealing that he was a nascent soul cultivator brought with it various problems.
Before he could reorganize his thoughts on the off chance that it was some kind of misunderstanding, the disciple window blinked. The mark's energy level started going down going to a bit over 50% in a matter of seconds. Something had to be happening there, how could this defensive measure drop down from being almost fully charged to half.
'It should be able to tank hits from core formation experts at the great circle level... are there many people of that level piling up on him or something?'
Matt's palms started sweating profusely after he thought about the other option that was more realistic.
'There is someone at my level there...'
It didn't take long for the system screen to glow red once more and the protective technique to go down to just 10% of its maximum charge.
'I'm nowhere near that city... what's happening there?'
He started panicking, he was already burning through this spiritual energy to fly at an alarming speed. It would take him about thirty minutes to get there, this was an amount of time in which anything could happen to his clan members or allies. While his mind was getting overtaken by dread the energy counter went down to zero and his screen went red once more.
'God damn is there nothing I can do.'
He racked his brain for an answer, this system sometimes showed him new ways to use it if he only thought of a feasible way.
'Could there be something that I could have missed?'
The system did update slightly after he reached the nascent soul level, it even came with one big handy new feature.
'Maybe there will be an option that relates to that?'
He quickly went through his disciple window trying to find the answer, he even stopped flying so fast so that he could concentrate. He was rapidly clicking through the options and going through sliders to see if something new popped up.
'Sharing spiritual energy...'
'Affection levels, devotion levels...'
'Special feature tab...'
'There it is!'
There was an actual 'Fast Travel' tab that brought him over to a new section of his disciple window. Some of the options were grayed out, but the ones that he could bring up gave him various ways of traveling to his disciples.
[ Small Portal (One Way) [ 100 000 SP]: Creates a small portal the size of the user to the location of the disciple.
Instant Transfer [ 1 000 000 SP ]: Instantly transports the user to his disciple, can also transport the disciple towards their master.
Large Portal (Two Way) [500 000 SP]: It creates a large portal that allows two-way travel. ]
The things he could buy here had various requirements that he had to fulfill before he could even purchase them. The ones he could use had all the minimum requirements of him being in the early stage of the nascent soul realm. They also required a certain amount of devotion and affection that the system was counting.
He didn't have quite enough Spirit Points for even the cheapest one, that being the 'Small Portal' one. But thanks to having a large amount of crafting materials in the form of beast cores and some leftover spirit stones, he was able to get that bare minimum. About a week had passed since he used up all of his points, but thanks to having two cities that gained him points passively he was able to gather enough.
'Okay, I got it... now activate!'
He stopped in his tracts and floated above some unknown landscape. The moment he pressed the fast travel option it told him to select the disciple he wanted to travel to. This was a slight surprise as he was able to even select his other disciple that was Xue, guess you didn't have to spend the points for every student separately. You still needed a certain devotion and trust level to be able to teleport to a given disciple though.
Energy rippled after he selected Zhang Liu from the small two people list. The moment he pressed the prompt in front of him it transformed into a little teleportation gate that looked like semi-transparent liquid. He could see some blurry scenery on the other side, but he had to squint to make out the fine details.
'Is that... a fist?'
He was someone at the Nascent Soul level so he saw the whole thing in slow motion. The person that was punching forward was doing it slowly compared to what he was capable of now. He reacted somewhat instinctively and pushed his left palm into the little portal, grabbing the fist mid-flight. He used his superior cultivation to cancel out any spiritual energy that the person on the other side put into this attack.
Soon the portal expanded enough for him to walk past it, the destroyed scenery on the other side becoming clearer after he passed through the liquid-like gate. He gazed at the man that he was holding the hand of and noticed the forehead gem that he had, this made him think to the time a similar person visited his clan to give them the order about the secret ground.
It didn't take him long to figure out that this guy was up to no good and was trying to murder his disciple that was now behind him on the ground. This prompted him to increase the pressure in his grip making Yang Kai drop to his knees from the pain. Matt felt some strange rock armor shattering into dust before he got to the man's bones that crumbled quickly afterward. Before he could call out to his opponent with a question he noticed a certain pile of black metal.
'Isn't that, the Black Knight prototype I made?'
He didn't like the look of this as he knew who was the person he gave this suit of armor too. He quickly noticed the shriveled up body of Zhang Jin laying there motionless. Even with his enhanced spiritual sense, he couldn't feel a drop of life from that withered body.
His loud voice resonated through the area, it was backed by his cultivation level that took everyone by surprise. Everyone from the Dark Palm Sect took a couple of steps back, even Elder Ming raised a brow as he was looking with interest at the white-haired man that just walked through a portal.
'How is that possible? You shouldn't be able to form teleportation gates without a medium.'
Wu Ming was taking his time, this was an unknown variable. He didn't know if this person was friend or foe, he could very well be someone from another well-respected sect so he had to be careful. The man that arrived was apparently preoccupied with something else and wasn't paying attention to him, he would use that to his advantage.
"Unhand me, do you even know who I am?"
Yang Kai protested while going down to his knees. Veins on his neck and forehead were bulging as he tried getting away, but to no avail. He was even looking to the side to elder Ming. He was hoping that the man would save him, but Ming was just floating in the background not doing anything in particular.
'That bastard is scared to make the first move, this person is also in the nascent soul. Will, he abandon me?'
He thought to himself, battles between nascent soul cultivators were quite rare. People that had gotten to this level were all cold and calculating, they wouldn't risk hundreds of years of cultivation on a battle that they weren't at least 90% sure that they could win. This was the stance that Wu Ming was taking as well. Even though this was a child of the sect leader, he wouldn't blindly jump in to rescue him.
"No one cares who you are."
Before Yang Kai could raise another complaint he was slapped. His cheek ballooned and he was silenced rather quickly. His cheek and jawbone shattered instantly like it was made from paper mache. He then felt a burst of strange unfamiliar spiritual energy getting exuded from this man dressed in white.
"Someone tell me what happened here!"
Zhang Dong shouted while releasing a burst of spiritual energy. Wu Ming backed off slightly as this attack was aimed towards his own aura that he was using to keep everyone from the triforce alliance in check. Feng Liena and co felt the suppressive force leaving the area and it was replaced by something else. Everyone could finally look up and they saw the Zhang Clan Patriarch just standing there, a golden hue surrounding his whole body.
"S-senior Dong... that man he... used some kind of demonic art to trap Zhang Jin's soul in that gem treasure he wears on his forehead."
Feng Maling was the one to speak up first, the others were slowly gathering themselves up and even the junior members were waking up.
Matt was already standing in front of the shriveled up body of his grandpa. It looked more like a corpse at this point than a body that was fine just a few moments ago. He dragged Yang Kai along holding him by his hair and part of his head. He placed his hand on Zhang Jin's chest, soon golden energy washed over him. The whithered body started to slowly recover but even when it did, the one performing the healing arts was frowning.
"This... the soul is truly missing..."
He stared at the slightly cracked gem that was embedded into the forehead of this Yang Kai and tried examining it.
[ Slightly cracked Dark Soul Gem: This type of soul gem is used in tandem with various demonic arts. It is mostly used to trap souls of other beings inside of it. The practitioner that had captured the soul can then extract the trapped souls and preform various techniques with their help.
This dark soul gem houses a myriad of souls and is used to nourish its user's cultivation by siphoning energy from the trapped beings inside. ]
Matt's face twitched slightly after he went through the explanation. He pushed his spiritual sense into the gem while holding the man close. He indeed could feel various souls trapped inside this thing, they were different than his own nascent soul but thanks to it he was able to handle things related to them better now.
He glared at Yang Kai, his finger going towards the man's head the tip releasing small electric arcs that were gold in color.
"N-no... I am the son of the Dark Palm Sect's great leader, you can not kill me!"
The man started thrashing about, his eyes darting from the incoming finger to Wu Ming that was still standing on the side and not doing anything.
"Elder Ming, what are you doing save me!"
Wu Ming gave off a sigh, this has gotten too troublesome for even him. He came to this city for a simple auction and now it looked like this Yang Kai had offended some other Nascent Soul monster that he didn't know the background off.
"Fellow Daoist... I implore you to let that young lad go, I'm sure we can come to an agreement."
"I'm not sure from which sect this friend comes from, but I'm sure you wouldn't want to wage war over such a trivial matter."
Wu Ming stretched out his hands as if he was shrugging. In this man's opinion this was something that the junior generation caused. People of his level wouldn't really move for small matters like this, just some core formation and foundation establishment cultivators got hurt, there was no reason to make a big fuss about this.
Zhang Dong looked at the body of his grandpa that had slightly recovered and then to Wu Ming. He knew that this person had to be the one that caused his grandpa's armor to give out. He was also sure that it was him that caused the protective Mark to give out on Zhang Liu. This guy was clearly just trying to evade a fight and then reorganize later, he couldn't give him that chance though.
So, he did the only thing that he deemed to be right. The hand that was holding Yang Kai glowed brightly, his Qi invading the man's very being.
"Nooooo...Wu Ming do something... you old bastardddddddd!"
Yang Kai's whole body started glowing brightly. Rays of light came out of his orifices like his eyes and ears and shot out into the air. Wu Ming didn't have enough time to react as he was taken aback by the sudden attack from this unfamiliar cultivator. Yang Kai's body started giving out crackling sounds and soon enough it exploded into nothing more than dust. The only thing left was the purple soul gem that was now between Zhang Dong's two fingers.