Chapter 199: Sea of Stars
“No!!!” Xiao Gong roared as he found himself flying through the air all the while gazing at the fiery ring that was becoming ever so more further away from him. Before long a loud rumble reverberated across the Blood Coral Cove once Xiao Gong crashed into the castle walls where he began to watch Nai Fan and Zhang continue their fight, disbelief in his eyes and rampant thoughts storming in his mind as his body began to shrink back to that of a child’s.
Inside the fiery ring the black cloud that shrouded Zhang’s vision had partially dissipated, showing bits and pieces of Nai Fan’s now massive body that was previously kept out of sight.
“No wonder he was so fast… His true form is a sailfish!” Ling’s voice could be heard as massive sail-like fins on Nai Fan’s back and arms.
While the audience and the beauties had their eyes glued on the fiery ring and the last two remaining combatants inside, the black colored most completely faded away as Zhang and Nai Fan stood motionless.
With Xiao Gong out of the equation, neither Zhang nor Nai Fan were willing to be the first to act, since even a minor mistake on any of their parts could propel out of proportion and result in utter defeat.
Nai Fan’s impatience that he had shown in the gathering hall had disappeared without a trace, leaving him with only a silent and deadly soul-piercing stare.
“Surrender and I'll let you become the person with the fourth most authority in the cove, after Chu Shou and Hai Xing.” Zhang said with a smile.
“How laughable, to be ranked underneath a pair of lesser saints.” Nai Fan replied with a loud laugh.
“Rankings are not by power but by seniority. If anything you may end up being ranked below him.” Zhang laughed as he pointed at Xiao Gong who in returned had an astonished look on his face.
“Him? How about you surrender and I’ll make you my right-hand man, once I become ruler of the cover.” Nai Fan said as his gaze shifted to Xiao Gong.
As Nai Fan’s gaze shifted for a fraction of a second, Zhang sprang into action and unleashed a horde of monstrous creatures from his fluttering Abyssal Cape.
Like a raging storm, the Abyssal Beasts that were released from the dark depths fluttered across the sky, or snaked and stampeded across the land as they all charged toward Nai Fan.
“These monsters are but mere pests and can’t do a thing to me, so there is no need to continue to summon them.” Nai Fan said with a snort as he swung his scimitar sideward, slaying a dozen Abyssal Beasts with ease.
“Pests make for great distractions don’t they?” Zhang said with a laugh as he appeared behind Nai Fan in a flash, slashing downward with the Rising Moon Sword and Mirage Viper Sword.
“In terms of speed you're still too lacking to think that you can pull off such a move on me.” Nai Fan laughed as he disappeared in a flash and appeared behind Zhang moments before Zhang’s attack was able to cut into with skin and flesh.
Although Nai Fan had appeared behind Zhang and his blade was cutting through the air, on route to chopping off Zhang’s head, Zhang actually had a bright smile on his face.
“Rift…” Zhang mumbled silently as a tiny slit in space appeared mere centimeters away from his neck.
Much to Nai Fan’s surprise, once his blade was mere seconds away from cleanly slicing off Zhang’s head, it completely disappeared and a piercing pain could be felt on the side of his stomach.
“Although it takes quite a bit of essence and mental concentration to maintain these rifts, they sure are handy.” Zhang said as he released his technique, causing a section of Nai Fan’s scimitar to be neatly snipped off, causing a fraction of it to fall onto the ground.
Nai Fan’s scales soon became slick with blood while his expression was that of utter disbelief.
“What kind of technique was that…” Nai Fan along with everyone in watching from audience mumbled while the beauties had pleased expressions on their faces.
Seeing Nai Fan was still in somewhat of a daze, Zhang charged forth and appeared beside his target at lightning speeds.
“Singularity!” Zhang cried as Nai Fan was knocked out of his dazed state brought back to reality.
Before long, Zhang conjured up five more singularities and was able to box Nai Fan in, much like what he had done to Lord Long Feng.
Had Nai Fan Ren completely alert then with his speed he would have been able to easily move away before Zhang even managed to get close, however he wasn't and thus was imprisoned.
“Regardless of how quick he can move and how strong his physique is; I doubt he can break free of that.” Yuying said, with full confidence in Zhang’s ability.
“Surrender?” Zhang asked with a smile as he snapped his fingers and made his cage of gravity slowly move toward the ride of the fiery ring.
As silence fill the air, and Nai Fan refused to speak, the prison constructed of gravity slowly moved out of the fiery ring and the victim of the free for all match was decided.
Due to a mix of emotion welling up in their hearts, the majority of the crowd stayed silent and the only cheers audible were from the beauties and the lesser saints who had offered their services to Zhang.
To the regular people, Zhang was still considered a foreigner and a fearful on at that, while Nai Fan and Xiao Gong, were viewed as their own. One hand there was Zhang who although was not a sea dweller, could relate to the majority of the commoners in the Blood Coral Cove. While on the other end there was Nai Fan and Xiao Gong who were sea dwellers who have inherited traits, which of course puts them on the top of the totem pole in the sea, in terms of respect and prestige.
Torn between the new that had stormed into their lives and the old that had been ingrained upon them through countless generations, the majority of the people of the Blood Coral Cove did not know whether to be happy or be sad at the outcome of the battle.
“I hereby declare that although the Blood Coral Cove will still be under my rule, I will establish a council consisting of those elected by the people to help me govern and rule. As someone that has only made his first steps into a new world, I will be needing lots of advising and help. So I humbly ask for Lord Nai Fan and Lord Xiao Gong to be a part of the council.” Zhang said with a smile.
Like usual, Zhang’s plans often spiraled out of control but like always regardless of what happened, he would figure out some way to gain an advantage. In this case, once an opportunity to help gear the will of the people presented itself, Zhang was quick to take it. Before he had been a ruler only in name and had little support from the people, however now that he was going to establish a council of sea dwellers to act as advisors, it would be certain that his imagine would improve.
“Three cheers for our new lord!” Chu Shou said as the soldiers of the Blood Scale Army who were ordered to remain silent began to applaud and cheer.
Like a wise man once said, most people wish to be a part of the whole, sheep who follow the flock, and would believe and do anything to belong to the whole.
So once the Blood Scale Army cheered, the previously silent civilians soon joined in.
While endless cheers reverberated throughout the city, Nai Fan, Xiao Gong and their disciples and followers could be seen making their way back toward the fiery ring where Zhang was still standing.
“Let’s go…” Ling motioned to the other beauties as she noticed the group of people moving closer to Zhang.
In a heartbeat, the beauties and all of Zhang’s lesser saint subordinates gathered and assembled behind him as Nai Fan and Xiao Gong’s group stood not too far away.
As the two groups stood in silence, the jubilant audience that had been cheering nonstop was soon also shrouded in a veil of silence once more.
“I accept your invitation to join the governing council.” Xiao Gong said while performing a slight bow with clasped hands, dispelling the eerie silent atmosphere that had just reemerged.
Soon afterward Nai Fan, like Xiao Gong, joined Zhang’s advisory council while also swearing his allegiance to Zhang.
Thus all of the major force in the Blood Coral Cove fell under Zhang’s control and preparations for when the forces of the Starry Sea Sect’s arrival began. Without having to worry about inner struggles within the cove, Zhang could now focus all of his attention on preparing a proper defensive and offensive plan.
Although he still didn’t know how powerful the enemy’s forces would be, at least Zhang now knew what he had at his disposal in terms of manpower and subordinates.
After the free for all battle concluded, and Zhang’s dominance was instilled, a calm peace enveloped the Blood Coral Cove.
But of course like in most instances, peace would be but a fleeting moment.
However, the people of the cover were nonetheless grateful that no internal struggles occurred and the cove was free of strife.
Once the people had witnessed the abilities of those who took part in the free for all battle, their worries about the assault force sent by the Starry Sea Sect was also somewhat quelled also.
It was obvious that if Zhang and all of the experts in the territory of the Blood Coral Cove combined their efforts they would become a force to be reckoned with.
“Brother, look at this! What a weird looking thing.” Ai said as she bent over to examine an odd looking creature that was being sold at a fish stall.
“That's a blobfish, silly girl.” Yuying said as she arrived beside Ai.
“Wait a second, how did you know that was a blobfish? You've been to the sea as many times as she has.” Zhang said in a teasing tone and with a chuckle.
“I'll have you know, I read up on all of the local fish that live in the waters around the cove.” Yuying replied in a proud voice with a silly grin on her face.
Since the forces of the Starry Sea Sect were still about a day’s travel away, Zhang and the beauties decided to roam about and explore the Blood Coral Cove in an attempt to kill time.
With all of the necessary preparations ready and a large force of fighters assembled, there wasn't much left for them to do.
So for the majority of the day, Zhang and the beauties visited various tourist attractions, restaurants and the homes of the influential people living in the Blood Coral Cove.
While the people of the Blood Coral Cove, with Zhang and the beauties included, were cozy and tucked under their sheets, up above the sea where moon’s rays were shining down from above and the twisting waves continued to move back and forth, countless silhouettes were visible.
As the moon and stars were reflected off the water’s surface, a frenzy of activity was occurring.
From the dark depths of the sea, many miles away from the Blood Coral Cove, countless dots of light could be seen ascending to the water’s surface.
In an otherworldly display of beauty hundreds of thousands of massive glowing jellyfish seen rose to the surface.
Like the twinkling stars, these jellyfish illuminated the dark waves in the dead of night.
Atop the waves and atop the massive jellyfish, thousands of human shaped silhouettes stood motionless as the moon continued to shower down its light from above.
“How much longer until we arrive at our destination.” Voice belonging to a young man could as the sound of the shifting tides could be heard in the background.
“Holy Son Shan Li, we will arrive at the Blood Coral Cove in roughly a day’s time.” A voice belonging to a middle-aged man could be heard quickly replying.
“What about our supposed allies?” Holy Son Shan Li’s voice could be heard once more.
“The forces of the Golden Pearl Sect should be on their way as well and are more than likely to arrive shortly after we do. I believe they've also sent Holy Son Hui Ying.” The voice belonging to a middle-aged man replied.
“Hui Ying… That bastard will be there? Knowing him it would be best us to not engage the forces of the Blood Coral Cove right away. If anything he would come at the very end and attack us after we finish off the Blood Coral Cove… I'm sure he will try to snatch the Ascending Beauty painting from us also. I will not fail my trial by fire because of that bastard...” Holy Son Shan Li said in an unhappy tone.
“As you say Holy Son, it would be best for us to set up an encirclement and hold off on attacking until they arrive. Although the sect master told us that we have nothing to worry and they will fully cooperate with us but I still believe we should act with caution.” The voice belonging to a middle-aged man said.
“Have the Behemoth Jellies deploy an electrical field upon arrival. Besides the fact that those bastards from the Golden Pearl Sect can't be trusted, we've received conflicting reports from our spies in the Blood Coral Cove. Without an accurate gauge of their forces, it would only cause us unnecessary casualties.” Holy Son Shan Li said.
“I'll also have our people stay on the lookout for the piece of the Ascending Beauty painting, we can't possibly allow that to fall into anyone else’s hand.”
“Alright let's find an island and allow the disciples and elders to rest for the up for the last leg of the trip.” Holy Son Shan Li said as the jellyfish underneath his feet began to sink back under the waves.