236 Chapter 236
Fang Heng finally decided to give Zhang Dong a recap of what had transpired back at his sect. The two had some time till the Yinglong Pavilion leader made his decision and the other guests were just whispering amongst each other as well.
"About a month ago we came across a strange set of ruins, this was the beginning of our troubles…"
It all started normally with a new interesting discovery. Some people had dug up a passageway that led them into some underground ruins. There was a labyrinth worth of corridors down there and a team of cultivators was dispatched to map the place out.
There wasn't much at the beginning but after a week all signs of the first team of cultivators were lost. They couldn't get any information on their progress and their communication jades weren't responding. It was as if they just vanished.
This prompted the sect to send out a second party of slightly stronger cultivators to go check. The team arrived at an empty camp with no one in sight. There weren't any signs of struggle but after some digging, they could see that their sect members had entered the underground ruins.
Most of the team then entered into the underground passages while a few members remained outside. They reported regularly every hour to the people back at the sect. Then at night, there was a worrying report of some strange sounds coming from the discovered entrance.
Soon the second team met the same end as the first one and finally, the nascent soul elders moved into action.
"Yes… if maybe they arrived sooner we could have done something but it was too late, the creature that slumbered there had already absorbed too much blood…"
Zhang Dong raised his eyebrow but didn't stop the man from speaking. Fang Heng after stopping for a moment continued with the story.
The area was closed off and one of the powerful elders moved in with a weapon in hand. He was greeted by his sect members or at least by what was left of them. They all had turned to horrendous monstrosities, not resembling any kind of demonic beast that they had ever seen.
Some looked like masses of tentacles with eyes, others looked like leeches with giant shark-like teeth. Others were just fused together bodies that gave out dreadful screams of pain that even caused dementia to lesser cultivators.
The monsters then started pouring out of those ruins, attacking everything that they saw. Every defeated enemy was assimilated in one way or the other which made their army grow.
This wasn't even the worst part, that was the leader of the monsters.
Zhang Dong had to pause after the man had described the big bad monster that was behind all of this.
"Webbed wings… humanoid in shape… big arms with claws at the end and a face that looks like an octopus… also of giant proportions…"
He gave out a sigh as he knew what this creature was. He had even fought other variations of this beast before, they weren't at the nascent soul realm though. This one apparently was.
���Something wrong senior?"
"Ah no, please continue…"
The massive monster took flight and caused widespread panic in their lands. Nothing could stop it and the cities it went through turned into its minions. Even their nascent soul masters couldn't stop it as it continued to even turn them into their minions.
In the end, the hidden elders from the Divine Fist Sect used some kind of forbidden art to critically injure the monster. The monster vanished afterward but they weren't sure if it was dead or if it was just waiting to strike again.
The reserve elders had used up most of their life force in that attack and half of them died while the other was in a self-induced coma. They were using some healing arts but they wouldn't be waking up any time soon.
Their sect leader wasn't quite dead either, he had been infected by the monster's poison. He was apparently being kept alive by some of the sect's healing treasures. This was also why he wasn't able to attend this meeting.
Fang Heng was the only nascent soul elder that hadn't been hurt during the onslaught. There were still some lesser monsters roaming around. Their sect was slowly clearing out the infected cities.
'This sounds like some kind of horror movie, I bet that thing isn't dead…'
Zhang Dong felt a bit responsible as he had fought those occult beings before. He still was speculating that the first one had been here because of him. He wasn't sure if it was the same creature, it might have been evolving each time.
He might have to kill it again but this time around he would need to erase every atom down to the soul. He was now a nascent soul master so he could do it this time around.
"I see...I think I need to see those ruins…"
"You want to examine the ruins senior?"
The man was quite surprised. After hearing that story any normal cultivator would evade the trouble. The monster was strong enough to go against multiple nascent soul elders at the late stage.
"Yes, if that monster is what I think it is… then it probably isn't dead, it will be best to strike while it is injured."
Zhang Dong frowned, another big problem had fallen down on his shoulders. The monster was very good at regenerating and was probably not dead. The old man was from a sect that used divine energies which made him believe that it was weak to those. This was in all likelihood the reason why it fled.
This also made him more confident as he was someone that was versed in the Dao of the holy element. It was a Dao that was above the divine dao that Fang Heng's sect practiced.
"It looks like the fellow Daoist from the United Element Sect did not lie, he is indeed related to that junior."
Before he could think about what to do next the leader from the Yinglong Pavilion finally spoke up. He glanced from the green glowing chalice to him while leaning on one of his hands. Everyone in the room also stopped with their whispering, it was time for the verdict.
"Still, you have interfered in the sacred competition, you have to be fined."
The man rubbed his chin while looking at Zhang Dong, Fang Meili didn't even dare to look at the monstrous elder that could smite her with a quiver of his brow.
"A low grade heaven artifact should be enough, none of the other contestants were hurt by him and the competition continues."
Zhang Dong nodded and pulled out an intricate-looking spear. It radiated the might of a heaven grade artifact and was indeed a low grade one. This was one of his earlier products and was more or less a failure in his eyes. He didn't want to give weapons that he created to other factions but in this case, it was fine.
He gently guided the weapon towards the Yinglong Pavilion leader so that he could inspect it. The man grabbed the spear by the shaft and started looking over it, after a moment he gave a resounding nod.
"A fine spear. With this your involvement in the competition will be forgiven, if you wish to engage with the other sects in battle then please step forward."
Zhang Dong looked to the other two. If they challenged him to battle he would accept. Fighting one on one against each one of those two would be better done here. He could at least deliver a long lasting wound and he wouldn't need to worry about other nascent soul masters getting involved.
He didn't think that he would be confronted here though, the other two were now suspicious of his motives. For them, this was some kind of scheme by the Divine Fist Sect. In their eyes, Zhang Dong was their agent and might have even been placed here to fight them.
Just as Zhang Dong had reasoned the tree looking elder didn't make a move. Zhan Jie looked quite maddened and was staring daggers at him but he also didn't come forward. Zhang Dong could even hear the two bickering a bit as the sword fanatic wanted to do battle with him.
After a bit of glancing from both parties, it was clear that no one was willing to step forward from either side. Zhang Dong didn't want to be the instigator even though a one on one fight might have been more favorable for him. There was also a chance that something could go wrong, you never knew what could happen. These two elders were also much stronger than the Silver Spear Sect leader.
"I see that no one wishes to step forward. Let us continue with the banquet then and forget about this little incident."
The commotion was finally over and the competition continued. The atmosphere was quite tense and people kept looking at Zhang Dong. After the drama was settled he remained seated with the elder from the Divine Fist Sect and his granddaughter. She was allowed to stay here under their supervision.
They continued to silently discuss with each other while the young girl was kept out of the loop. She had enough maturity to know that she didn't have any say in this conversation. She would wait for her grandfather to speak up.
"Here take this."
Zhang Dong took out a small box and handed it to Fang Heng. The man looked at the item and could feel that it was a complex artifact.
"It's a beacon, take it to your sect when you return and activate it in a safe location. I will be able to travel directly to you then."
The item that he was giving the old man was a portable teleporter. He didn't want to go with them immediately. They didn't need to give out their plans to their competition, it would be better if they thought he was back at his own sect.
"Hoh… thank you senior."
The man looked at the artifact and placed it in his spatial ring. The other people could see them but what the item was no one knew. It looked like a square box with some runic designs on it.
"You just need to add some spiritual energy into it with the correct code and it will activate."
Zhang Dong explained how the device worked and also gave Fang Heng the correct code to activate it. There was more than one of them, they were in place to alert him if the one activating the beacon was in trouble.
"Anyway, Fang Meili was it?"
Zhang Dong had finally finished up his conversation with the older man. They had decided on a plan of action and now they just needed to get through this banquet. The competition wasn't quite over and it would probably take another day for the juniors to finish up with this one.
"Y-yes honorable senior!"
The young girl flinched when her name was called and dropped her head instantly.
"Ah, you can relax. Think your injuries should be healed, does it hurt somewhere?"
Zhang Dong asked while scanning the younger girl with his spiritual sense. The girl just blushed a bit after feeling what the man was doing, his eyes were very deep and mysterious.
"I'm fine senior, you don't need to worry about me."
The girl started bowing repeatedly while panicking. It seemed that she wasn't used to interacting with people like him that much or she was just the shy type.
"That's fine then, your grandfather and I have discussed a couple of things and one of them concerns you."
Zhang Dong turned to face Fang Heng. The old man just nodded as he knew that it would be better if it came out of his mouth. She would be returning with Zhang Dong and his people while her grandfather would be going back to his own sect.
With the other factions blowing things out of proportions with their imagination they should be able to return home safely as well. Returning back home was the first thing Zhang Dong was planning to do. His wife was close to giving birth and then he had a squid monster to face off against, this time around he hoped it would be the last time…