183 Chapter 183
Sometime later at Jade Grass City.
This city had gone through a lot lately, the streets were mostly deserted. The people with enough money to move out were long gone, the regular commoners on the other hand were waiting in their houses. The tensions were high and they knew that someone earned the wrath of the overlord sect. The people were just bunkering up, if the overbearing sect cultivators didn't see them, they might be left alone was their thought process.
The old sect base was in shambles but people were working. There were a bunch of cultivators wearing the Dark Palm sect robes gathered around a large portal gate. It looked similar to the one the junior cultivators used during the Dao festival final test but it was much larger. It was at least the size of a football field in diameter. There was a large ramp going up to it and some symbols on the sides were already glowing.
"The gate is stable... primary tests are all positive, we are ready to activate it."
A man shouted out from the side while standing next to some other cultivators. The people around the large teleportation gate nodded and started infusing the large contraption with their Qi. The large ring part of the gate started spinning while water like spirit energy appeared from the side and started flowing out into the center. The portal gate soon formed, the spiritual energy stabilized but was still bubbling slightly.
"That's enough spiritual energy, secure the gate, activate the balance locks!"
The ring that was spinning came to a halt, the rune-like symbols flickered around and shone brightly. Not long after that, you could see a person's foot coming through the water like the surface of the teleportation gate. The foot was followed by another one from the side as multiple cultivators emerged from the inside.
"Greeting's elders and grand elders, everything has been prepared for the invasion, we await your orders."
The ones that were stepping through this gate was Elder Wan and Elder Guo. These two were previously chasing Zhang Dong all the way up to the border, this time around they would be part of the scouting force. Elder Wan nodded at the fellow sect member before moving his had forward and speaking out.
"We will proceed with the plan, the strike force will head towards the Zhang Clan."
Everyone cupped their fists and was ready for some action. In the distance the people in the city heard some rumbling, some of them peeked through the cracks of their windows as the sound was coming from above. Their eyes bulged as they saw at least ten large flying ships going past them.
The vibrations that were coming of those huge vessels were causing the windows and glass to shake, the loud sound was hurting the people's ears. They knew that this was the sect making a move, their destination unknown but everyone knew that they would only leave death and destruction in their wake.
The two nascent soul grand elders took to the sky and flew by themselves. The ships were carrying a large force of the sect disciples, the people taking part in this organized raid were in the foundation establishment realm at the minimum. They were here to do the cleanup duty, the grand elders were far too high up the ladder. You couldn't expect them to do all the work, they were only there to clear out the nascent soul cultivator. If they were done with their assignment they would just remain there to keep watch only taking part if something out of the ordinary occurred.
This attack wouldn't get unnoticed by the other large sects, but it was up to debate if they would do anything. While everyone was going toward Spirit Spring City Elder Wan and Guo started talking.
"You think that person will appear, Senior Wan?"
"Don't think so, would you?"
Elder Wan replied while rubbing his chin, the answer seeming obvious to this man.
"I wouldn't, I would flee to a secluded location if I didn't have any backers."
"Yes, that is if he doesn't have anyone backing him, this could be some kind of elaborate scheme to split the clan up so be vigilant Junior Brother."
Elder Guo nodded, the two knew that they had to watch out. They had brought treasures to aid their escape, they were worried that they could be going into a trap. They got the short end of the stick, being ordered by their Sect leader to act as scouts.
"Can't these ships move any faster? It will take us half a day like this!"
The large scouting troop flew, hours passed as they were steadily moving towards their destination. While the Dark Palm sect was making its move word of it arrived at the Zhang Clan. They had planted various detection devices around their land that would alert them to such movement.
"A large fleet of ships is moving towards our location Elder...ten of them plus... this reading... there are two large energy signatures in that group they are..."
The person that was looking at a sonar-like device started sweating.
"What is it!"
The commanding elder asked.
"We lost the signal, the large energy signatures were probably nascent soul cultivators, Sir!"
"Inform the others, we are going into code orange, everyone remember your training, for the Zhang Clan!"
The elder man shouted the orders as the scouting party got discovered, their tracing apparatus was found out but that wasn't important anymore. It did what it was supposed to do and now they could prepare for the assault.
Sirens sounded out in the vicinity of Spirit Spring City. The streets were empty and all of the common people had left anyone that remained was either from the three clans, or someone patriotic enough to lend a hand. This was it, the battle would be beginning soon and everyone knew that.
Spirit Spring City was surrounded from all sides by a sturdy wall, upon this large wall there were many guard towers, spaced out about 200 meters from each other. The guard towers looked like your regular circular-shaped castle towers, but on top of them was something uncommon.
Each tower was equipped with a large canon. These cannons looked more similar to anti-aircraft weapons that you saw in the modern era. A single cultivator sat on a seat to the side, the length of the cannons was close to ten meters. These cannons didn't fire any projectiles, no they fired of condensed spiritual bullets and were powered by the city itself.
Out in the distance, the Dark Palm ships were flying forward, Spirit Spring City was still too far away for their own cannons to reach. The two nascent soul elders where a bit to the side, they were there mostly here to watch over the junior members and to defend against a nascent soul threat if it arrived. One of the elders was examining a strange metallic contraption that he found buried deep underground while they were flying here.
"This is a strange treasure, I'm sure it was giving off some kind of spiritual signal..."
"Why would someone bury something like this in the middle of nowhere?"
The nascent soul elder had found the miliary device that alerted the Zhang Clan of their arrival. They weren't sure what it was used for but reacted to the strange signals the treasure was giving out. They had spotted it with the help of their enhanced spiritual sense.
"Elder Guo, put it away, we will be reaching our destination soon, we must stay vigilant."
"Hm, what are you worried about Elder Wan, not like that person will risk being here to defend them. Even if he does, we just need to alert the Sect leader and he and the other grand elders will arrive within the hour."
The man nodded but still wanted to be careful, you never knew what would happen and he didn't get to this level by not being careful.
"Wait, something is coming!"
While they were talking they felt a disturbance in the spiritual energy around them. The two put up a large shield blocking the spirit rounds that were flying towards them from the distance. The whole sky lit up in a blue color as the bombardment started, the people at the guard towers continuously firing their cannons.
The two elders spread out their energies to encompass the ships, the cannon fire getting suppressed by the powerful masters.
"Hoh, those are some nice cannons they have there, they put ours to shame... they are at the earth grade level."
"Yes, surprising that a lower clan could build something like this and they have many, where were they hiding those?"
The two elders were surprised, core formation-level power was paramount for these lower clans. These people at Spirit Spring City had many of those cannons, which meant that no one from the other clans would be able to attack their main base.
"We should get the plans for those, maybe we can improve the design and place it in our sect."
The two Grand Elders chatted while the cannon fire continued, their ships remained untouched while the two swept the sky from the spirit bullets that couldn't puncture the barriers that they set up in place.
"Still, we will have to take care of those cannons before the ships can move forward."
"No need, we'll just squash them while slowly approaching!"
Replied Elder Guo, not really wanting to retreat with the ships while the two of them could protect them while moving forward.
"Hah, you sure don't like wasting any time Guo, fine let us just be done with... what?"
Elder Wan felt something, he was stronger than Elder Guo that wasn't paying attention and moved away to the side. He saw two golden beams of concentrated energy shooting out from the ground. One went for him while the other towards his ally. He was barely able to evade it while shielding himself with all his might and suffered minor Qi burns, his ally wasn't as lucky.
"H-how could this be? Elder Guo!"
The man watched on with shock, his ally was pierced by the finger wide beam, struct directly in the chest. He looked below, to the source of this attack and saw him. There was someone there and he was already flying forward. He didn't know who this man was, he was wearing a white robe and his hair was pure as snow. He had retreated to the side but Guo had suffered a direct hit, so he was a sitting duck for this cultivator that was certainly also at the nascent soul level.
"It must be him, quickly alert the Sect Leader, we need reinforcements!"
Zhang Dong didn't let this chance be wasted. The moment he got the report that several flying ships were going their way he decided to ambush the nascent soul elders leading them. He used the underground tunnels and some digging to place himself somewhere between himself and the city, waiting and biding his time.
He had improved some of his own techniques with the remaining spirit points, being able to hide his aura from even these two grand elders. While they were busy shielding their flying ships he took his chance and fired off two beams of concentrated energy from his fingers. He was quite far away from the two flying enemies, still, he managed to evade the notice of one of them, and now he was charging to finish the job.
Elder Guo vomited blood and activated various life-saving treasures. A barrier formed around him while he healed himself and started to flee. He was already injured, his speed dropping severely, Zhang Dong wouldn't let this opportunity slide. He pulled out a sword, it was black and belonged to Wu Ming, he didn't have enough time to reforge it within this short span of time.
"You're not getting away! Sever the Heavens, Nascent Soul version!"
Before he knew it radiant sword energy was moving towards him. He could only turn around and muster up all his power to attempt to block it. His defensive treasures trembled and split in half along with the man named Elder Guo, the sword strike traveled far and wide and slashed one of the galleon sized flying vessels in two. The ground trembled, the sky split apart as the cleanly cut body of the nascent soul cultivator exploded and signaled the beginning of the battle.