Zhang Dong was standing above the command deck just looking out into the distance. The giant flying vessel produced a loud buzzing noise as it sped through the United Element sect's territory. Any spiritual beast that noticed the enormous flying object took off running or buried itself deep underground out of fear.
The people that witnessed the hovering behemoths just stood there with mouths agape. They vaguely saw a huge shape pushing through the clouds. They could barely make out giant letters that read 'Argonaut 1' on the side of it. The only thing snapping them back into reality was the booming noise of the sound barrier being broken.
The marvel of engineering luckily didn't produce many hurricane-like winds even though it was going this fast. The artifact possessed the function to absorb the wind energies before they got too far outside. This allowed the ship to fly without causing much residual destruction to the scenery outside. Without this safeguard, the ship when going at full speed would cause massive destruction to the environment around it. With this in place, it was just uncomfortably loud.
The behemoth of a flying vessel split the sky apart as it pushed onwards. The destination was a gathering spot that was between the borders of two sects. The same two sects that worked to take over this land. It was in a city that he had visited before its name Jade Grass City.
The city was luckily spared from most of the fighting as it was only a teleportation hub for that sect. It was still surrounded by green herbs like before and was used for trade. The United Element sect didn't really have its eyes on something trifling like this anymore.
When they were separate clans herbs like this would make their mouth water. Now on the other hand they had superior greenery in their own secret ground. They could even plant better ones outside and with the help of the spirit vein, they grew large and bountiful.
"We will be arriving at the meeting place soon, lower the engine's power. Activate the stabilizers and prepare for the arrival."
One of the people in the command center of the ship announced. The inside of this area looked similar to something out of a sci-fi show. The captain was seated in the middle and there was a giant monitor in front through which he could see various indicators and shapes.
There were six other people in there with him, some were responsible for directly flying the ship. Some were keeping watch over the engines and making sure that everything was in the green. Others were responsible for the defense and attack modules of this high tech ship. With a couple of button clicks, they could activate shields and even fire off the cannons.
Zhang Dong was outside and standing at the front of the ship. During his life as a cultivator, he had learned to live through long waiting times. Cultivation was all about just sitting down and going into a trance to progress. He was now able to successfully tune out the outside world and be one with nature. This allowed him to focus on other things during this journey, mostly about how he should avoid getting into trouble.
Some people might wonder why he was bringing over a giant flying fortress of a ship here. He would be sticking out as a sore thumb. This wasn't true as the other sects would be arriving in a similar fashion. This was the time to show off and not hide. If he arrived with less firepower the other sects would see it as a weakness.
He couldn't overdo it though and arrived with ten of those and all of his grand elders. That would be seen as a blatant declaration of war. He also needed the ship as a backup plan if something went wrong. Mostly to defend his own people who would be able to use it to defend themselves. He wasn't that worried about himself as he was confident in his skills.
He had gone through years of training, he sparred against Huo Qiang and his father two on one quite often. He had improved on his old techniques and trained them to the pinnacle of power. His swordsmanship had also improved and he had crafted himself a nice high grade heaven sword to go with it. He had many contingencies and could even escape with the help of his teleportation treasures or his system that was impossible to block out.
Zhang Dong gave out a small sigh while scanning the city for other nascent soul masters. He could feel three people that fit that realm, they weren't all that strong but one of them seemed familiar. This person was in a different location than the other two and wasn't part of the welcoming committee.
It was two nascent soul masters hovering in the air. They weren't just there alone, they had six flying ships around them. Core formation experts were also further back on their flying swords. He could also feel many other people looking at the small group of elites waiting for someone. The people were probably curious why so many powerful cultivators here and soon they would find out.
The United Element flying ship started slowing down and descended from the clouds. The people that were welcoming this new sect were surprised at the way this flying vessel looked. The fluctuations this strange looking artifact was giving off made them rank it as a heaven grade at the lower end of the spectrum.
The two nascent soul masters that were waiting here were from the two sects that bordered Zhang Dong's faction. One was from the Demon Subduing Sect and the other one from the Limitless Sword Society. The United Element sect's Patriarch memory was impeccable at this point so he remembered these two. They were part of the ones that he scared away all those years ago but the person from the third sect was missing.
They were on the weaker spectrum of a nascent soul cultivator. This told Matt that he wasn't taken that seriously as always. A member from the Dragon Gate sect was missing as that sect didn't own any land here anymore. They had decided to let the other two fight over it while they took their share of treasures and spirit stones from the defeated Dark Palm sect.
The ship finally came to a stop, its giant engines that were humming loudly while exuding energy started to quiet down. The hunk of metal floated in front of the city while dwarfing the six ships opposite it. The cultivators looked at it with interest as they had never seen one quite like it. The four engines that made it hover were quite novel and interesting to some of these masters.
Before they could examine it further Zhang Dong decided to move out. The sooner he did it the faster this farce would be over with. He just wanted to go there, shake some hands and return home to his family. He didn't really care about making a good impression that much he wanted to remain neutral for now.
The other two nascent soul elders spotted him descending and flinched. They still remembered this young man from all those years before. He was already strong and overbearing then but he seemed to have become even stronger. The relationship between the sects here was shaky on all fronts.
The Limitless Sword Society and the United Element Sect's relationship was the worst from them all. After the disgraceful thing that one of the young masters did during Zhang Dong's wedding, it sunk really low. Even though he himself didn't care about it anymore this wasn't the same for his people.
Everyone took things like honor, pride, and face very seriously. This sect had directly disrespected their mighty Patriarch. They wouldn't let it slide even less as they considered Zhang Dong to be their hero that they cherished and looked up to. The situation was slowly becoming a powder keg, fighting had been avoided for now but the two sects didn't see eye to eye.
The Demon Subduing Sect on the other hand was still neutral. There wasn't really much to say about them. They didn't interfere much but they didn't show any sign of wanting to work together either. They were considered less of a threat than the overzealous sword nuts from the society.
The last faction that was the Dragon Gate Sect was the most friendly one. Probably if they didn't invite Zhang Dong directly he wouldn't have come here. They vouched for him which meant that they wanted to be friendly. It was a nice gesture from their side but due to this, he had to come here to mingle.
"The Demon Subduing Sect sends its greetings."
The elder clasped his hands as a greeting and Zhang Dong returned the gesture.
The man from the Limitless Sword Society just nodded with a less than stellar greeting and Zhang Dong just emulated the response. The three looked at each other without saying anything for a moment. It was clear that they were feeling each other out while scanning with their spiritual senses. The two older men realized that the younger man in front of them was still above them. They couldn't get a read on his true power at all, he was like a piece of unknown metal just floating there.
"Shouldn't we be going?"
Zhang Dong asked after he noticed the two men looking slightly apprehensive about meeting him.
"Ah, yes we should go, there is still a long way ahead of us…"
The two nodded, they were only here to escort the United Element's Patriarch to the banquet location. They weren't there to debate or even invite him for tea. Soon everyone flew back to their ships before leaving yet again. The third nascent soul master didn't appear as he remained in the city as he always did.
The two sects moved their ships around the one from the United Element sect and they continued forward. They would be escorting them in name but in reality, they just wanted to make sure that Zhang Dong and his people don't wander off on their own in their territory.
Each sect had three flying ships of each own, they all had their unique designs. The ships were clearly manufactured by various shipwrights and had various sails and color schemes. The only thing that showed where they originated from was the flag on the mast.
Matt didn't care that much he just wanted to get this over with. The sooner they got there the sooner he could return home and pinch his daughter's chubby cheeks. The six smaller ships looked like flies buzzing around the massive iron behemoth of an aircraft carrier. The people from the other sects looked at the huge artifact with envy as they continued with their journey.
The city gathering place where all of these massive sects would be gathering was neutral ground. It was a place that Matt knew off and he even met one of its members a few years ago. One of those members was the person residing in Jade Grass City but it wasn't the same person as before. This faction was called the Yinglong Pavilion.
They were a small elite group of merchants that weren't actually part of any sect. Though trading they had amassed a fortune and were even close in strength to the big three. They kept out of politics as making a profit was their religion.
The banquet that was going to take place in a few days would be in their main city. It was called Rain Dragon City and was situated in a nice spot where lots of spiritual energy could be found. It was similar to New Spirit Spring City as it was a closed fortress, no one could get in or out without the Yinglong Pavilion's approval.
The speed that they were traveling towards this destination was a lot slower now as Zhang Dong and his people needed to keep up appearances. Even an act of going faster than the escort could be seen as a declaration of war and that they were up to no good. Soon the meeting with the powerhouses would commence, what it had in store for the new sect would have to be seen.