Chapter 177: Compensation?
With glaring eyes and a face brimming with anger, Grand Elder Du Zhao looked ready to either have steam burst out from his ears or rip Zhang to shreds. As all of the members of the Lunar Sect looked in anticipation for what they thought was about to happen, a sudden laugh echoed into everyone’s ears, shattering the silence that had enveloped the land.
Looking toward the direction where the laughing originated from, the usually quiet and distant Grand Elder Hua Xiong could be seen with a bright smile on his face. Beside Grand Elder Hua Xiong was the Tenth Elder of the Lunar Sect, who looked at the Eighth Elder with a face full of contempt.
Unlike Grand Elder Du Zhao appeared elderly but was filled with a fiery spirit, Grand Elder Hua Xiong appeared youthful but avoided most of the happenings of the sect and solely focused on furthering his own strength which in another perspective was his way of helping the sect in the long run.
“Old Zhao, it appears that we’ve mistaken about our young friend here. Zhen Xiang has told me what really happened and the fault lies entirely with our people.” Grand Elder Hua Xiong said with a smile as he looked at the Tenth Elder who was standing beside him.
“It was our people who attacked first your excellency. Had young master Zhang possessed any ill will then with his strength he could have slain all of us if he wanted to. I regret not reporting this earlier but everything just happened too fast and I was somewhat lost in the moment.” The Tenth Elder whose name is Zhen Xiang said in a respectful tone as he bowed and clasped his hands.
“No need to beat yourself up Xiang, we all know how old Zhao gets when he hears that someone has bullied our sect members.” Grand Elder Hua Xiong said as he patted Elder Zhen Xiang’s shoulder and proceeded to walk toward where Grand Elder Du Zhao was.
“If what Brother Hua Xiong and Zhen Xiang said is true then you lied to me… While the rest of you knew the truth but hid it from me…” Grand Elder Du Zhao said in an unpleased voice as he eyed the Eight Elder and every one of the disciples and elders who were a part of Zhang’s group of volunteers.
“Your excellency I wouldn’t dare!” The Eight Elder yelled as he fell to his knees.
“Old Zhao quit making a fuss and giving others a bad impression of us.” Grand Elder Hua Xiong said as he reminded Grand Elder Du Zhao that they were in Zhang’s presence and were making a terrible impression.
While the two grand elders of the Lunar Sect were talking amongst themselves, Zhang closely observed them. From the way they spoke to each other, their gestures, mannerisms and a dozen other things, he could tell that of the two grand elders, Grand Elder Hua Xiong was the stronger of the two. Although no one else noticed this, it was clear to Zhang that Grand Elder Du Zhao treated Grand Elder Hua Xiong with a bit of reserve mixed with a tiny bit of fear.
Since the two of them did not especially appear to be close friends and from the fact that Grand Elder Hua Xiong did not address Grand Elder Du Zhao by his title or in a polite tone that suggested they were equals but rather by the equivalent of a pet name, it was clear that Grand Elder Hua Xiong was the stronger of the two.
Although this was simply a conclusion that Zhang came to on his own after minimal interactions with the two grand elders, he felt that his observations should be on point and that it would be best to deal with Grand Elder Hua Xiong who is not only in his opinion stronger than Grand Elder Du Zhao but easier going then Grand Elder Du Zhao. Also if his observations were true, even if he tried to deal with Grand Elder Du Zhao, if Grand Elder Hua Xiong did not agree that his attempts would end in failure anyway.
“If I may interrupt, I would like to retract my previous statement about calling me grandpa and go back to asking for material compensation instead.” Zhang said with a crooked grin while rubbing his hands together much like the merchants that one might spot on a street corner selling imitation goods while trying to pass them off as real goods.
“What?!” Grand Elder Du Zhao flared as he glared at Zhang.
“A thousand essence stones each and a hundred flying chariots is out of the question but I can give you ten thousand essence stones and two flying chariots instead.” Grand Elder Hua Xiong said in a sincere tone.
“Ten thousand essence stones and two flying chariots… The chariots alone cost a total of forty thousand essence stones…” The Eighth Elder mumbled as he heard Hua Xiong’s words.
“If that's all you can give then I won't be the sort of person to try to exhort others. I'll consider us even once I receive the compensation.” Zhang said quickly since he hadn't really expected to get anything at all. He was simply trying to change the situation so that he appeared to be the one who suffered a loss.
Without saying another word Grand Elder Hua Xiong took waved his hand and made an interspatial ring appear in his palm. In a flash, the interspatial ring shot through the air and was grasped by Zhang who deposited it into his interspatial ring without bothering to check its contents.
Throughout the entire time that this transaction took place, all of the elders and disciples of the Lunar Sect stood utterly speechless and dumbfounded as they could not possibly fathom why Grand Elder Hua Xiong would even give Zhang anything. As for Grand Elder Du Zhao, unlike the others he did not appear very stunned at all and his previously angry expression was now gone, leaving him with a cold gaze that he usually had.
“If you ever visit the Lunar Kingdom please do stop by to visit.” Grand Elder Hua Xiong said in a kind tone, inviting Zhang to visit the Lunar Sect before gesturing for the rest of the forces of the Lunar Sect to begin their departure.
“If I ever get the opportunity I will be sure to visit.” Zhang said with a smile, thankful that he did not have to fight and endanger the beauties. Such an outcome could be said to be entirely unexpected but a most welcomed one for Zhang, since he not only received a large sum of essence stones he also received two flying magical items for free.
So with a grin Zhang made his way back to the pit where the beauties and his people were.
“It's safe to go now.” He bellowed down into the pit.
Up above in the sky the forces of the Lunar Sect could be could be seen flying away with two figures leading the way.
“Brother Hua Xiong why did you give that kid all of those essence stones and even two of our chariots.” Grand Elder Du Zhao said to Grand Elder Hua Xiong as they flew a fair distance away from the rest of their group.
“Zhao you need to learn to control that temper of yours, one day it'll end up costing you your life. Tell me what would have come from us battling against a saint of unknown origins who claimed to be a disciple of old man Dan Jin? Let's say we do kill him then we would simply be mocked for bullying a junior. But if he were to kill even one of us or a few of the sect’s elders, then inadvertently we would have caused our sect to suffer a loss in battle potential. Since he did not inflict any harm on our people there is no need to fight.” Grand Elder Hua Xiong said to Grand Elder Du Zhao as if he was reprimanding a younger brother.
“As things are, at least we are able to avoid conflict with him and maybe one day in the future it will pay off. As someone who is two hundred years older than you let me remind you that not all issues must be resolved by violence, only the short sighted instantly resort to killing and slaughtering. The wise plan and set up for the future, only killing when there is no other option. So if a little bit of wealth can build us a bridge that could be used in the future then it is a worthy investment that could end up yielding endless benefits.” Grand Elder Hua Xiong added.
“I'll make sure to reflect on this once we return to the headquarters.” Grand Elder Du Zhao said.
“Now let's go search for the ingredients for the Pill of Rebirth and then return to the headquarters.” Grand Elder Hua Xiong said.
Having found their missing disciples and elders, the highest priority left to these two grand elders, of course, was to collect ingredients for the Pill of Rebirth for their sect master. As something that will help them stand above all of the other sects within the Lunar Kingdom, the sooner they collected the ingredients for pill and returned to their sect headquarters the better.
However, before the forces of the Lunar Sect could even begin their search for the ingredients for the pill, something unexpected occurred.
All of a suddenly thousands of blades made of essence slashed through the sky, cutting through clouds and spaces before smashing into hundreds of the Lunar Sect’s disciples before anything could be done to stop them.
“I knew we should have killed that bastard!” Grand Elder Du Zhao roared in rage as he witnessed hundreds of his disciples being cut to bits and pieces by the blades of essence. It wasn't because the attacker was so strong that they could not stop the blades of essence, but it was because their forces were too thinly spread that the two grand elders could not shield everybody in time.
“You bastard come out of here! I'll skin you alive!” Grand Elder Du Zhao roared while Grand Elder Hua Xiong’s eyes scanned the surrounding area.
Before long from behind a large cloud, hundreds if not thousands of people dressed in dark red robes could be seen. Much like the disciples and elders of the Lunar Sect, many of these people in red robes were atop of flying chariots or flying demonic beasts. But that was not all because from behind the same cloud another group of people appeared. These people were all dressed in white robes that had brown trim.
“Sun Hall Sect… Earthly Palace Sect…” Grand Elder Hua Xiong muttered as his brows furrowed.
“You!!!” Grand Elder Du Zhao roared as he finally realized that it wasn't Zhang who attacked his disciples but rather it was the H people from the Sun Hall Sect and Earthly Palace Sect.
“My my if it isn't Du Zhao and Hua Xiong, here I thought we might run into some bigger fish.” A man dressed in red robes who a scar shaped like flames on his right cheek laughed.
“I apologize for accidentally attacking you, I was just having my disciples practice their sword techniques on some clouds.” A bald man dressed in white robes said with a snicker.
“Enough of the small talk, how did you know we were here!? This couldn't possibly be a coincidence!” Grand Elder Du Zhao said as a lance appeared his hands while a bow appeared in Grand Elder Hua Xiong’s hands.
“What could you possibly mean? I was simply on a little stroll with a few of my disciples.” The man with the flame shaped scar said causing Du Zhao and Hua Xiong to glare at him with displeased faces.
“Let's say a little birdy told me.” The bald man from the Earthly Palace Sect said.
“I guess since you're both going to die anyway there's no point in keeping secrets.” The man with flame shaped scar laughed.
“There aren't too many secrets out there that a few essence stones or some torturing can't pry.” The man added.
“Like the man said, enough small talk. Everyone attack!” The bald headed man yelled as he brandished a long sword in his hand and slashed at the air creating dozens of crescent energy blades that were aimed toward an area in the skill filled with disciples belonging to the Lunar Sect.
“As you wish, Grand Elder Wu Guo!” All of the people dressed in white said in unison as they began to unleash a fury of attacks.
“Also leave no living witnesses.” The man with the flame shaped scar commanded.
“As you command, Grand Elder Huo Yan!” All of the people dressed in red said as they joined their white-clothed counterparts.
While their people began to attack, the two grand elders of the Earthly Palace and Sun Hall Sects along with a dozen or so of other experts began a standoff with Grand Elder Du Zhao, Grand Elder Hua Xiong and a group of their experts. Since in a battle between experts even a single mistake could mean certain death, the two groups simply stood waiting for their opponents to move first as to observe and spot possibly openings.
In the meantime, the disciples and various low-level elders of the Lunar Sect were vastly outnumbered as they combined might of the Sun Hall and Earthly Palace sect fell upon them. As the nearly one-sided battle continued and escalated, even people who were not remotely involved at all were alert, these people, of course, were Zhang, the beauties and the elite guard who were not too far away.
“Brother look there's a fight happening up there.” Ai said as she pointed to the sky after rising out from the pit that cut deep into the ground atop a fluffy cloud.
“Let’s get out of here before things get out of hand.” Yuying said as she saw how furiously the two sides were fighting.
But of course sometimes, there are things that are unavoidable as a small group consisting of members of the Sun Hall Sect began to descend toward Zhang’s group from the sky with weapons in hand.