184 Chapter 184
Screams and shouts were heard everywhere, the flying ships were getting bombarded by the long-range anti-aircraft cannons of the Zhang Clan. Without the nascent soul elders protecting them, they were like sitting ducks. Before they could get into range to return fire they would be annihilated. Their defensive arrays were ineffective against the cannon barrage.
Their protective shields weren't strong enough to last. The leaders did the correct thing and signaled for a retreat. One of their ships was going up in flames while falling. Before it could crash it was bisected by an enemy cultivator. This was Zhang Dong and he was just delivering the ending blow to the Dark Palm Elder. His nascent divinity was badly injured and the chase wasn't long, he was first grand elder causality.
"That other guy sure ran away fast, he didn't even bother to help his own comrade..."
Elder Wan looked like a grain of rice in the distance, even with Zhang Dong's enhanced vision he was hard to spot. He looked to the sides and saw the retreating ships and some Dark Palm Cultivators fleeing the scene. Even while escaping they were getting bombarded by Qi bullets, the scene was quite gruesome to watch.
"So this is war..."
"This is long past the point of no return..."
Matt frowned while clenching his fist. His hand started glowing as golden lightning crackled, he remembered the time he mercilessly finished of a band of bandits two years ago. This would be something similar just on a larger scale. He threw the improved lightning spear into the air and watched it whizz past the clouds. A loud boom of thunder resounded throughout the area and a shower of golden lightning bolts rained down on everyone in the vicinity.
The Dark Palm sect cultivators found themselves getting attacked from the back as they tried to flee and from the sky. Matt looked at the gruesome scene of people getting blown up and exploding while screaming for mercy. Deep inside he knew that these people came to his city to do the exact thing that he was doing to them. Still, it didn't sit well with him.
"At least I'll give you a quick death..."
He wasn't in the mood to chase any straggler, all of the ships were going down after his lightning barrage. He propelled himself backward and headed back into the city, he expected more of those Dark Palm members to arrive as he didn't think that killing one Grand Elder would be enough.
"It would be nice if this was the end... but knowing these murder hobos they won't take something like this lying down."
While Zhang Dong was returning back to Spirit Spring City, Elder Wan was pushing his spiritual energy to the max just to get away from there. He was sweating bullets and using his spiritual sense to feel if he was being chased. He was vigilant as he barely noticed his opponent being there, only when the attack was fired off did he manage to react and dodge.
"Alert the Sect Leader, the enemy nascent soul master is in the city! Send the remaining Grand Elders to help!"
He shouted into his communication jade while flying without looking back. He thought that the man would give chase but Matt was worried that he would be lured into a trap, or that they might attack the city while he was busy fighting the grand elders. Back in the Dark Palm Sect main base, Yang Guanyu was getting his report.
"What... that fool Guo is already dead, just like that?"
He was sitting together with the rest of the grand elders that were waiting for further orders. After pulling back the grand elder that remained at the border they were down to four active ones and their sect leader. All of them would have to head out, they needed to protect the honor of their sect but they had already lost far too much in this battle.
"This... am I surrounded by fools? Can't you kill one whelp?"
The man's dastardly aura filled the whole room, the three grand elders that were with him went down to their knees under the pressure.
"Please grand elder, appease your anger."
The woman cultivator called out while Yang Guanyu was having a fit of rage. The old man looked at his sect elders and finally stood up from his throne-like chair. He placed his long hands behind his back and floated forward.
"I'll take care of him, you fools follow me, I will not stand for this!"
"This problem has to be kept a secret, the other sects can not find out about this, we might suffer further losses to our lands."
The group of elders floated towards one of the Harmonious mountain peaks. This peak in particular was responsible for the teleportation arrays and gates that went through the whole Dark Palm territory. The personnel was already waiting for them and the gate was activated.
"Mobilise the main troops, while I and the Grand Elders are taking care of the nascent soul threat, they will eradicate their crummy city, we will take no prisoners, no one will survive!"
He proclaimed in a calm voice, even though he wasn't shouting everyone at the sect could clearly hear this order. The proud sect members raised their weapons into the air and cheered out. With their Sect Leader leading them they had nothing more to fear. Everyone vanished through the large gate, even their large ships were able to fit through this thing that quite the wide diameter.
On the other side, they were greeted by part of the force that remained in the city. Everyone had their head lowered not daring to look at their sect leader. They knew that he had a no-nonsense policy and would strike them down in a heartbeat if they showed him any amount of disrespect.
"Where is Elder Wan?"
The sect leader asked while the rest of the army was going through the teleportation portal.
"Elder Wan has retreated, he is flying towards the city."
One of the people reported while not looking up, far too scared to meet the sect leaders' eyes.
"So he left his men? Hm..."
The sect elder just nodded, thinking to himself that it was probably the right thing to do when fighting an unknown enemy at their territory.
"We will depart and meet Elder Wan halfway."
"All the grand elders come with me, the rest of the sect will fly in the front."
The sect leader didn't put his trust into his sect warriors all too much but he still could use them as meat shields or a distraction. If the flying ships gathered around they could match the firepower of a nascent soul master. The only downside was that they were slow and their defenses were lacking. In a true battle, they would lose out but could act as a decoy or provide supportive fire from the back.
Finally, everyone moved and the citizens of Jade Grass City trembled once more. This time around the armada was much larger, the ships blocked out the sky as their shadows were cast on the ground below. There was at least a hundred of those ships coming in, the teleportation formation was working overtime.
"We must hurry and get done with this today, before the other sects find out."
In Yang Guanyu's mind, there was a low chance of the other sects getting here. Even they in their own territory needed a whole week to get their teleportation array going. Their opposition would need to do the same while being unnoticed by their Dark Palm sect faction. There was no movement at the borders and their nascent soul masters weren't reporting anything out of place either.
"I greet the Sect Leader!"
Elder Wan bowed while floating in the air. He had a solemn expression and was slightly sweating while looking at the thin man floating in front of him.
"So, Guo is dead?"
"Yes Sect Leader, the enemy cultivator had hidden his presence and managed to land a surprise attack..."
Elder Wan did a quick recap of the situation, he was the only person that returned alive from that encounter.
"He was young and with white hair?"
Elder Wan nodded, the enemy was known for changing his appearance.
"Yes, but I didn't feel that disguising technique on this man... it might have been his real appearance. From the way he looked, our intelligence faction has determined him to be someone named Zhang Dong."
The sect had their own intelligence-gathering force and procuring information about the clan heads was an easy thing to do. Going in deeper would require more time though.
"Do we have any information on this Zhang Dong you speak off?"
The sect leader and the grand elders were mid-flight while talking. None of them made any inquiries into the lives of the people from the Zhang Clan. They weren't treated as more than bugs in their eyes, there was no reason to do a throughout investigation.
"We don't know much, Patriarch... no one expected a small force like that to be protected by a strong cultivator like that."
The rest of the elders tried contacting their own retainers, but it would take time for any useful information to get back to them.
"It matters not, the only important thing now is that he and his clan gets eradicated. We must bring these people to justice for offending us."
Everyone agreed with the sect leader as they finally arrived close to the spot that Elder Guo was slain. Parts of the Dark Palm Sects ships were scattered throughout the area. There were multiple craters and holes, the nascent soul elders felt the place out worrying that there could be another ambush.
"Everyone is dead, I don't sense any survivors."
The Sect leader focused as well, his weaker sect elders weren't able to see through the enemy's hiding technique. He was the sect leader though, its most powerful official member. His spiritual sense reached far and wide, his eyes looking around as he searched for the enemy.
His eyes suddenly narrowed and he pointed a finger at a certain location. The gem on his forehead started glowing with a purple light. The energy traveled from this gem into his hand and collected in front of that digit in a matter of seconds.
"Do you think you can hide from this Yang Guanyu? Die!"
A massive surge of Qi flowed out from that finger. It looked like a purple mass of energy with wailing souls trapped inside, the scratches were horrifying and even the grand elders started backing off. The attack landed at a certain location among the ship debris a giant explosion echoing soon after.
The people from the Dark Palm Sect looked to that location, they felt proud at their sect leader who was able to sniff out the enemy master with just a glance. They started at that spot with eyebrows furrowed and their weapons drawn not sure if this was enough to slay this foe that had caused them so much trouble. After the dust had settled they saw someone emerge from the ground.
"Heh, didn't think the same tactic would work again, but I just had to try."
It was a cultivator in white robe-like armor. This robe seamed to be reinforced mostly by having pauldrons and armguards out of some kind of metal. The man that emerged was holding one of his hands, it was trembling and his palm was giving out smoke.
"That hurt... slightly..."
"So, you are the one that is going against my Dark Palm Sect, is this some kind of rouse from the other Sects?
Guanyu moved forward while looking down at the young man, his beady eyes scanning him over with his spiritual sense.
"Ah yeah, just lured you here so that the other sects can attack your base!"
The man said while smirking.
"You must be joking. Even if they did that it would at least take them a month to get past our defensive formation, you think such a blatant lie would work here?"
The man floated slightly backward while shrugging.
"Not really, but it was worth a try. You cultivation nuts like to overthinking simple things, so it wasn't that far fetched."
Yang Guanyu frowned at his opponent, the man was only in the early stage of the nascent soul, how was he able to slay so many of his men?
"Enough of this, you are clearly desperate to defend that little city behind you, there must be a reason for it."
"Hear my orders, surround the city along with the Grand Elders while I take care of this whelp, Dark Palm Sect, attack!"