Zhang Dong left the two girls alone in the room and left. He was hoping that Zhang Xue would keep her safe and also show her around the sect. The two were around the same age with the blond girl being slightly younger.
He hoped that Zhang Xue would open up to her new cousin. He picked her as she was his disciple and he trusted her to follow his orders. He also couldn't let Zhang Liu take the job, that disciple of his had a problem in the form of Liena's sister to contend with.
Feng Nuana barricaded herself as his fiance and wasn't allowing him to even interact with other women. He wasn't sure why the younger sister was so different from the older one, but he was glad that he ended up with Liena that went by Zhang Liena nowadays.
In the old days, the women from the Feng Clan rarely changed their clan name and took in female children only. With the sect taking over now they were just regular disciples so their outlook on things had changed. Also after Liena married him she decided to change her family name to be more traditional. This caused some friction between the Feng Clan members that were afraid of losing power and prestige.
That's why he was worried about his new niece a bit. He didn't think anyone would do anything drastic knowing he was involved. There still were other family members in the sect that would probably see the new person as a threat.
The inner sect politics were a convoluted thing that he tried to avoid. Some people liked to make their own little factions and help them rise up to power. They wouldn't be able to threaten his position as he was the strongest but in the lower sections of the sect, some infighting occurred.
Zhang Dong gave out a sight while flying away, he had other things to worry about than sect politics now. Time was of the essence and he would need to clear his schedule to resolve the new problems.
The first one was the problem that arose from him offending the Limitless Sword Society along with the Yggdrasil Sect. He slew Zhan Jie their Patriarch in one on one combat and this news was already known in all of the lands.
Normally if you killed a king from another country it would result in a war. In this sect-run empire, things were a bit different. The sect leader's position was a high one but they could still be replaced. In most sects like the Limitless Sword Society, the decision-making process was more democratic than people might think.
Most of them had something like a council of elders in the background. They would be the ones to actually make the decisions. The sect leader was just a figurehead that decided on regular sect decrees. When it came to outside politics and diplomacy, such councils started getting involved.
This Limitless Sword Society council was probably in the midst of making a decision regarding this. There was a chance that they would take up arms and attack them. Something like that actually had a low probability of going through.
Like five years ago, it took three of the other sects banding together to take out the Dark Palm Sect. They also only attacked when Zhang Dong was keeping them busy. They only attacked after he killed a large number of their nascent soul elders.
He believed that if the other two sects refused to co-operate the Limitless Sword Society would have to take this hit to their face.
Zhang Dong already showed his hand by defeating two sect leaders in single combat. Both of them were late stage cultivators and masters at their own craft. He was also one of these masters that had learned the sword heart. This would also be something that the old nascent soul fogies would be afraid to go against.
There was also the Divine Fist Sect that was rumored to be backing him. He knew that it was impossible to place spies in his domain. Information about this not being true would probably never leak outside.
How this would play out depended on the Dragon Gate Sect and the Demon Subduing Sect. He had better relations with the sect leaders of those two sects. The one from the Dragon Gate one was actually interested in doing business with his sect.
He was even the one that held out an olive branch towards him by inviting his side to the banquet. Though Zhang Dong didn't get to speak to Xu Qing, their leader at all. He was preoccupied with the Divine Fist Sect debacle and now it continued on.
"I gave Kuo the orders, maybe the spies had figured out something from the rumors…"
Zhang Dong took off into the distance while leaving Zhang Xue and Fang Meili to figure things out themselves.
After a moment or two, he arrived at a new location. He flew down into a large pagoda-like tower that stood in a walled-off section of the sect. No one besides core disciples was allowed here and it was also manned by them.
This was a building set up for his information network. This was the place to receive new intel on other factions and even individuals.
Every strong power required an agency like this. The other sects and factions still kept sending various spies into his domain. He just decided to return the favor and create a spy network of his own.
He left Zhang Kuo as its leader, the man was one of his most trusted advisors. He had long forgiven him about the Jade Grass City incident and the man continued working to prove his devotion towards him and the sect.
Thanks to him they had a mature information network throughout their whole domain. They even had sleeper agents placed inside the three surrounding sects.
Thanks to Zhang Dong's improved disguising technique they were able to replace almost anyone they wanted. They were spies trying to infiltrate his sect all the time. It was easy to capture them and then to replace them with someone of his own people.
The great part about this technique was that it was easy to switch out their spies and even jump to a new persona if they ever got caught. The agents could even switch themselves out so that they wouldn't need to live for years in a foreign land. Never to see their own sect members or families ever again.
Most of them were quite devoted though. There were many specialized techniques they were taught free of charge. A lot of people just took this job for the guaranteed rise in cultivation. Spending over ten years at an enemy camp was nothing for people that could live for five hundred years.
This place looked more like an office building on the inside. Many TV screens littered the inside along with cubicles. The sects technological advancement was pushed in the direction that he wanted.
Being an avid gamer and procrastinator in the old days he decided to bring over graphical interfaces that he was familiar with. For Matt, it was an easier way of sharing information than communication jades.
Those were still being used but it was easier to use a monitor screen with a presentation when more people were involved. Fast learning modules were possible as well but there could be some drawbacks as headaches.
He nodded slightly at the guards greeting him. Without answering he moved over to Zhang Kuo's private office. He mostly showed up without prior notice but normally if someone wanted to see Zhang Kuo who was the chief intelligence executive they needed to make an appointment. Depending on their rank it could take days or even weeks for it to come through.
"Any word from our friends from the Divine Fist Sect?"
Zhang Dong asked after entering Kuo's office. It was spacious and the view from the windows was quite breathtaking.
The Intelligence executive was buried in paperwork that needed signing and approval. He had to read through a lot of reports that the spies sent periodically.
Zhang Dong could see Kuo standing up instantly from his large black leather chair. He looked like a CEO from a large company now and had a large luxurious office to show for it.
"We have received no news from the Divine Fist Sect. After you arrived we had our agents ask around in the other sects. Our information chain doesn't yet reach that far, I must apologize Patriarch but we have no information regarding the elder you met at the banquet."
Zhang Kuo continued with his explanation. The other sects are keeping the information concerning the Divine Fist Sect hidden. Kuo's Spies only resided in the three major sects around them as well. They didn't yet spread out into the other ones in the empire as this department of intelligence was still in its infancy.
The only thing they could go off was rumors and general knowledge. The Yggdrasil Sect had apparently moved their forces towards their borders but they were on standby.
"Are they feeling out the situation after the banquet incident?"
"That is probably so Patriarch, the death of Zhan Jie had also caused a couple of other incidents. Our spy reported that the diplomatic talks at the Limitless Sword Society are underway but for the time being it looks like they won't be able to strike. The other two sects are taking a passive approach."
This was good news for him. It was improbable that they would attack them if the other two big sects didn't form a pact like last time.
"After Zhan Jie's death the Limitless Sword Society's prestige is being questioned, some of the other factions are making moves in the background. Assassination attempts are probable, It's unlikely that their council of grand elders will be willing to make a move against us without the help of the other sects."
Zhang Kuo listed all the important things that the spy network could get but one question remained. What happened to Fang Heng, was he attacked while returning to his sect? Or was it possible that he managed to get back to his territory but still was unable to activate the teleportation beacon? It was also possible that this device was somehow damaged during his return as well.
"That is all Patriarch, I will send you the detailed report to your communication jade."
"Good job, notify me if you get any information regarding the Divine Fist Sect, even second-hand information or rumors."
Zhang Dong saw himself out after getting the quick report. His plan of teleporting to his destination would probably fall through. This left him with two options, either to wait for the beacon to be activated or go there himself.
He would need to travel there somehow while being unnoticed. The trip there wasn't that long if he flew there at top speed but it wasn't that easy. He would need to go through enemy territory. The other sects wouldn't just let a powerful nascent soul cultivator into their lands that was also the sect leader of another faction.
He would probably need to go incognito as one of his personas. Lei Yinglo might have to make another appearance. This name was already known throughout the lands. He was viewed as a powerful rouge cultivator that liked to battle demonic beasts and cultivators.
Getting past the other sect borders could be possible as a hunter. If asked he could just tell that he was going after a ferocious demonic beast that was seen in Divine Fist Sect territory. He could also try sneaking there.
The biggest dilemma for him was leaving his newborn and wife behind. She hadn't yet recovered but there wasn't much time. If that monster continued to be left unchecked it could pose a threat to the entire empire or even the entire world.
"I'll have to explain it to her…"
He flew back towards his mansion yet again. He needed to stock up on a few things and then convince his lovely wife that he wasn't going into a death trap. He didn't feel like lying to her would be a proper thing to do. He would rather disclose everything to her, breaking her trust was something that he wasn't willing to do.