Zhan Jie's facial expression was mixed. He was standing in the middle of his Limitless Lotus Sword Formation that his sword sect was known for. It was the pinnacle of their power and it was a technique that brought them countless victories.
The look of confusion and anger was directed at his opponent Zhang Dong. The man that he was facing didn't move from that one spot for the entire time he unleashed his technique. The thousands of swords that he was utilizing were being repelled by just twelve blades. These blades danced around at speeds that even he had trouble following.
"This can't be possible... "
He shook with indignation while moving both his hands forward. Like a conductor directing a symphony, he started moving them around at a fast pace. The shiny silver lotus flower petals that were made from his swords started flying forward.
This technique was supposed to slowly wear down the opponent's defenses while drowning them in sword intent. But whatever he threw at Zhang Dong the man didn't seem to be moving from the spot he was standing in. It was as if the technique that he had spent countless years on honing was useless.
This was something that he couldn't just let be, his pride didn't allow it. All of the silver petals were utilized at the same time. The sheer concentration required to control this many flying swords was something noteworthy.
Zhang Dong managed to bounce or shatter every incoming sword with ease. His opponent wasn't willing to give him room for breathing as he saw a mass of swords getting in position around him.
The sky was blocked out by the shiny silver metallic blades. It looked like a million weapons were pointed straight at his head while he only had twelve to defend himself with. Even while looking at all of those he didn't falter and just kept his gaze at the person controlling them.
Zhan Jie without missing a beat swung his hand forward as if pointing his army of swords to go get this enemy. The blades reacted by simultaneously charging forward at sound breaking speed. They were thousands of small jet planes on a collision course.
Zhang Dong's aura exploded as he activated his defensive formation that only consisted of a dozen blades. These sharp treasures were clearly superior to the ones that were coming this way.
But they were like a large tree against a tsunami, would they still be standing after the massive wave of blades hit?
"Your sword intent is strong but it won't be enough! Now die!"
Zhan Jie shouted out while confident in his victory. Each blade that he sent had his sword intent included in it. This was the crystallization of all his knowledge and life as a swordmaster. How could a pseudo swordmaster like the one he was fighting against here be his match?
Before the mass of edges infused with spiritual energy and the dao of the sword, Zhan Jie felt a jolt run through his entire being. He wasn't the only one affected as the descending blades also trembled. It was as if they were going up against a superior predator.
"What?... no how could this be…"
Zhan Jie's eyes went wide and he almost got a heart attack. What he saw was something that he didn't think was possible.
Sword intent was a fabled state of mastery over the sword. A swordsman that had mastered it could even produce sword energies that could slice apart opponents.
This wasn't the pinnacle of swordsmanship, there was another fabled stage that surpassed this. There was close to no one that had reached that stage in many thousands of years. The ones that did were just a few and mostly hidden away as the sect reserves as they were hidden grandmasters.
The Limitless Sword Society leader could hear something akin to a heartbeat coming out of his opponent's twelve blades. This sound resonated outside and affected his large flying sword formation quite drastically.
The twelve swords charged forward releasing massive surges of blade energies outwards. The moment this wave of dao connected with the large mass of metallic blades a giant explosion occurred.
Zhan Jie flinched while flying back, all of his swords started trembling and slowly cracks were appearing on all of them. The ones that were closest to Zhang Dong just shattered instantly as they met their match.
Six of the swords that were hovering around Zhang Dong's body broke out from the formation. The haven grade treasures were bathed in golden light that included sword intent and sword heart. The radiation of these energies could be felt by every cultivator in the area which caused them to stop.
The core formation experts from the sect that was attacking the Argonaut were shocked. Their flying swords started trembling as if they wanted to flee from this place. The blades of these practitioners had something like an instinct.
Weapons above the earth grade started getting something akin to a spirit. It would only fully awaken when they reached the heaven grade. But even now the tiny not fully formed primal souls in these blades were crying out in despair. They wanted to flee or swear allegiance to the person that was able to use sword heart.
The people on the Argonaut 1 were also surprised. It wasn't often that their sect leader showed off his skills. They had no idea that his mastery of the sword had reached this high. They felt proud, their grand leader was a sword grandmaster, a fabled existence in the whole empire.
The person that was up against him started retreating. The lotus flowers that were shining brightly while reflecting the sunlight started shattering into tiny fragments. The six swords continued to bulldoze through them, chopping them apart into tiny fragments.
Zhan Jie received a big hit to his stamina. This formation was very taxing on his cultivation, with the destruction of his blades he was getting weaker and weaker with every passing moment.
He wasn't even able to retrieve his massive collection of blades that took him hundreds of years to procure. The swords just trembled in the air as his enemy's sword heart overwhelmed the sword intent that he had mastered to its pinnacle.
He was still unwilling to surrender or run. This sword formation was only one of his techniques and he didn't feel like this was over yet.
The man clasped his hands together and his whole body started glowing white. A roar of a dragon was soon heard after as it flew up into the sky, Zhan Jie on its head with his main sword in hand.
Zhang Dong didn't remain passive either. His body turned to gold as a similar massive beast shout could be heard in the surrounding area. His massive golden dragon soul-beast was summoned instantly to clash against the other one.
Zhan Jie was also in the possession of a dragon type soul-beast. His was a classical eastern dragon that looked more like a serpent with deer antlers and silver scales.
The two beasts clashed in the sky against each other. The clouds were pushed apart and the earth trembled below as the two masters collided with each other.
The people from the two opposing sects halted their advance while backing away. The two nascent soul elders that were going against the ship looked up while evading cannon fire.
They could feel that their leader was losing. His sword formation was already broken and shattered weapon pieces were raining down from the sky above.
The two looked at each other and nodded. While backing away they also brought out their own soul-beasts. Instead of attacking the ship with them they turned around and flew upwards. They decided to help their sect master with the fight while their beasts kept the massive ship busy.
They were underestimating the flying behemoth too much. This was just what the captain of the Argonaut was waiting for. The moment they were summoning their soul-beasts was the moment that he gave the order.
"Activate the Gungnir! Aim for the soul-beasts!"
The massive ship's deck started spreading apart. On its bow, a large compartment was opening up. something that looked like a cannon was pushing itself outside while the machinery made space. The cannon didn't have a traditional circular barrel, it had a pentagon shape instead.
The cannon appeared outside and was already gathering power for the shot. The spiritual energy was making the air outside warp. Many tiny blue lights converged onto the canon's opening as it charged up for its attack.
"W-what is that… watch out brother!"
The two nascent soul elders finally noticed that something was off. They were concentrating on creating their soul-beasts and allowed the ship to power up its main cannon.
Just as the two large creatures were formed the cannon was also ready.
"Charge at 76% captain."
"Doesn't matter, take aim and fire!"
The person in charge of the new weapon grabbed what looked to be a joystick in hand. He was looking at a screen, this screen was showing him the scenery outside. There were a couple of circular indicators lining up and when they locked on one of the beasts the man pressed the button.
A strange sound escaped from the cannon right before it was activated. A giant spear of blue light shot forward, in a fraction of a second it was already at where the target was. The nascent soul masters that were there gathered up their energies in the hopes of producing a shield.
Everything was bathed in blue light and the people that were standing outside of the blast point were blinded. A massive ear shattering explosion occurred, the spot where the two soul-beasts were in looked as if it was on fire. It looked like a small blue sun appeared and was destroying everything in its path.
From inside that blue sun, strange screams and shrieks were heard. The two soul beasts didn't have enough time to escape and took the brunt of this massive attack.
The Gungnir Cannon's muzzle let out some smoke after it was fired, tiny electrical discharges bathed the bow of the ship. People could clearly follow the path of this cannon's attack, right to the explosion.
After the dust had settled, the two massive soul beasts remained missing. They were turned to fine particles and their masters suffered a large backlash. If a person's soul-beast died the cultivator would take direct damage to their own soul. Sometimes this was even fatal if the connection between master and beast was strong.
The two old men's fighting potential fell by more than fifty percent. They cough up massive amounts of blood while escaping. They weren't even thinking about helping their sect leader anymore, now their own lives were on the line.
This was a giant hit to the morale of this sword sect. Two of their masters were fleeing while being severely injured. What was left was a group of core formation cultivators that couldn't hope in defending themselves against this massive flying ship. The only thing that could turn the tide was their sect leader.
All of them quickly looked up, their leader was still up there fighting Zhang Dong. What they witnessed was another brow raiser.
An even brighter flash of light followed by the parting of the clouds. It was as if the heavens were being cut apart.
This wasn't their master performing this terrible swordmaster technique. This was the man from the United Element's sect instead. On the receiving end was Zhan Jie.
He didn't know how this could have happened but it did. His eyes were moving apart from one another at this very moment. It was as if he was becoming wider but in reality, he was sliced right in the middle.
His body was severed from head to groin and his body was parting to the sides. Even at this moment of death, he couldn't process what exactly he witnessed. His vision was blurring and the last thing he saw was a man bathed in golden energy. The man didn't look glad over his victory at all. The only emotion that could describe it, was pity.