228 Chapter 228
Another day passed, the more prominent middle sized sect leaders finally started to arrive. The news of the arena fight was already widely spread which mostly caused people to laugh at the Silver Spear Sect Patriarch's blunder.
Now the eyes were on Zhang Dong. There were recording devices in this world that were able to catch this fight. They were only available for the more prominent masters as they required a lot of spiritual energy as fuel. They also had a few drawbacks in the way they recorded things.
Most people that saw the recording were shocked at the display of might. Was this Zhang Dong so powerful or was his opponent just old and weak? No one actually was willing to confirm this with another duel as Zhang Dong's plan seemed to have worked.
The biggest downside to this plan was the exposure. Now the other sects would be wary of him and probably make some plans before engaging him in combat. This didn't matter that much as his personal strength wasn't everything. He still had his sect members to help him out in a bind.
A group of five ships were flying towards the meeting place of all the sects. They were quite big and had an unusual shape. Instead of the regular boat shape, they looked like large white swords with masts on them.
How most ships operated in this world was with magical treasures that made them float. They would then put large masts on them that would propel the ship forward. Other treasures would blow more wind at the sails or they would glide through the air without the help of such add-ons.
This small ship armada that had a peculiar sword look was almost there. On the inside of the flagship that was the largest, a certain man was sitting. This was someone that Zhang Dong would recognize, a person that he didn't get along too well. It was the Patriarch from the Limitless Sword Society.
The man was sitting in his own cabin alone. His robe was pure white and it had the symbol for 'sword' embroiled on the back. The man was grasping a communication jade in his hand and listening to a report.
"He did?... Interesting…"
He just heard the news about Zhang Dong's victory and he was surprised. The man that he went against, Chang Yongzheng was someone that he actually sparred against. He considered the Silver Spear Sect's Leader's spear to be weaker than his sword but this master shouldn't have been such an easy opponent.
"Was he lucky or…"
The man thought back to the time that he witnessed Zhang Dong's might. He had seen him battle the Patriarch from the Dark Palm Sect. He had left an impression on him back then and with this Zhan Jie was itching for a fight. One reason was that he wanted to test the younger cultivator and the other was that he wanted to put him in his place.
The United Element Sect was treated by this Patriarch as a sort of servant. They were paying tribute to the Limitless Sword Society which lowered their status. With Zhang Dong's victory over a well-established master his sects prestige might be called into question. Rumors might spread that Zhang Dong is actually stronger than he was.
"Hm… we shall see, I need to see the fight's recording first."
The man placed the communication jade back into his spatial ring. He was itching for a fight but wouldn't start it without any information. He wanted to prove that his sect was strong and that he was the superior swordmaster. Zhang Dong was also a swordsman, this just made this Zhan Jie want to clash blades with him. He wouldn't force a fight though if the man remained respectful he wouldn't really seek trouble.
In the other ships from other sects, similar scenes were playing out. Zhang Dong's name and his sects became the hot topic of this banquet.
Due to this a lot of people that weren't there to witness the fight were clamoring for the recording device. This device looked like an apple-sized orb with some intricate symbols on it. A person needed to insert some of his spiritual sense into it and the artifact would show them a vision.
The vision would show an illusion of the fight that had taken place. The artifact didn't show a hologram as the ones that Zhang Dong had made. It injected the image directly into the user's mind. They could move around this world of illusions and see the fight from all sides.
The problem was the quality, high concentrations of spiritual energy would warp and change the image inside the device. This meant that the person using this would most likely only see a similar image that the people in the arena witnessed. If they tried going into the middle of the fight where the two experts fought they wouldn't be able to see much.
Also it was impossible for this artifact to accurately measure the power of the techniques that were used. This was something that only experts in the close vicinity of it would be able to tell. This would also leave everyone to speculate about Zhang Dong's true strength. Which was something that the man in question was banking on. Leaving himself in a shroud of mystery would keep everyone on their toes.
It took some time for the more pristine sects to arrive. The three that went against the Dark Palm sect all those years ago were all here. Besides them, there were seven more on a similar footing as them.
Even though these people were on the very top of power if you compared them to the other large sects. They were nothing compared to the big three that occupied the middle part of the empire. Those were rumored to have multiple nascent soul masters at the great circle of the nascent soul.
No one was really sure, fights between the big three didn't really happen very often. They had been like this for thousands of years now. Some new masters came and some succumbed to their old age but no one was willing to go into an all out war.
The sects below those three top powers were a different thing. At most, they had a great circle nascent soul master hidden away. Just like the Dark Palm sect each of these middle sized ones had hidden masters just cultivating and hoping for a breakthrough. They would never show themselves unless their life was in danger and the sect was about to fall.
From time to time an upstart like the United Element Sect appeared. Sometimes they would last and other times they would fade away into obscurity. Some old established sects would also sometimes lose their old masters due to accidents, old age, or cultivation failure.
There was one sect like this arriving. This faction was called the Divine Fist Sect and hard times had arrived for them. They were considered to be one of the very top of the sects below the big three. Very few people ever sought trouble with them and they were known to be a just sect with not many enemies.
Three large flying ships with their flag of a bright golden fist were slowly arriving at the Rain Dragon City. An old-looking man with silver hair was sitting down in a secluded chamber. He wasn't alone as there was a young-looking woman with golden hair right next to him.
"Grandfather, are you sure we should attend? What if the other sects discover what had happened? What if they already know?"
The girl was there behind the old man, her facial expression showing signs of fright and worry.
"Little Meili, we have no choice. If we don't attend the other sects will start asking questions. You know what will happen then…"
"But… What if they already know? Wouldn't it be better to seek refuge behind our city's grand formation? Even if the other sects unite they won't get through! It might not yet be too late what if the…"
"Child, this isn't up for discussion!"
The man waved his finger and the golden-haired woman's lips stopped moving. The girl looked maddened by the elder's deed but couldn't do anything about it. She was then brought outside by some senior members that were called in. One of these people moved in and bowed before the old man that the girl called grandfather previously.
"Acting Patriarch, we will be arriving shortly."
"Ech, didn't think I'd live long enough for someone like me to become the Patriarch, these are troubling times indeed."
The other person in the room looked up, concerned on his face.
"That blasted beat tide...if it wasn't for that…"
The two men remained silent, their sect was going through tough times but they had to attend this banquet. It would seem odd if they didn't as they were always present as one of the more prestigious sects. Their strength wasn't what it was though as they had suffered a large setback not so long ago. They were frantically trying to keep everything under wraps but it wasn't looking good for them.
"Meili… she will remain in the city, I had made some arrangements. She will be safe here."
The person the elder was talking to nodded as he knew what the old man was planning. In this neutral city, no harm would come to them but when they left and if their secret was out, they would be done for. What had happened to the Dark Palm Sect would befall them. The other sects would probably take this chance before they could recover and strike.
"When we are inside, remember to call me by my name. We can't let them know that an elder like me had become the Patriarch."
"It shall be done!"
The two separated and the old man used his spirit sense to scan out the area. His ship was docking now and they would be descending. After going to their hotel they would attend the banquet the next day.
This event didn't consist of only talking and mingling with the other sects, no. This was also a place to show off. The junior members could participate in various competitions. There would even be a tournament with a spirit stone price.
This was also a place where old grudges could be cleared out. Deathmatches were allowed and would be sanctioned by the Yinglong Pavilion. Anyone refusing to participate would be looked down on but those that came out on top would be praised and rewarded.
One of those people that was considered a winner was sitting in his room. He was looking at the round baby face of his daughter. She was still young and kept trying to grab her father's holographic head.
"Daddy will come back soon, I'll bring a present for you, I heard they have a lot of toys here!"
Zhang Dong chuckled as he looked at his daughter that was bumbling about. Soon it would be time to go meet and mingle with the other sects. He didn't know anyone there but after what happened in the arena the other day he felt like it should be a breeze.
"Say goodbye to daddy."
"Bwa bwa dwady~"
The child waved her hand at the image of her smiling father before it flickered out of existence. On the other side, Zhang Dong's face changed to a frown. Soon it would be the time to act, he needed to put on his game face and look as unapproachable as possible.
The oldies from his group would do all the heavy lifting as they were better with politics. What was in store for him he didn't know but he would face it just like he always did. This time around, he had a whole sect and his family counting on him. Failure was not an option.