Chapter 201: Awe Stricken
At the darkest hour of the night, under the shining rays of the moon and the sea of stars looming up above and while the howling wind raced above the shifting waves, an ingenious plot was currently underway.
Upon a tiny island that could only be referred to as a speck when looking at a map of the Eastern Sea, dozens of silhouettes could be seen standing within the shadows, before the silhouettes were four massive pillars that had countless runes and carvings etched into them.
“Is everything ready on the other side?” A familiar voice belonging to a man with a large blade resting on his shoulders asked in an impatient tone.
“Hmph, just our lord had said at the start of the mission, you're so impatient… Lord Nai Fan just like our lord had mentioned, I believe you should work on being more patient.” The voice belonging to a woman could be heard.
“Hai Xing, just because you're officially the third in command of the cove doesn’t mean you can speak to me in such a haughty way… If I wanted to I could squeeze the life out of you with little effort…” Nai Fan grumbled in a low and angry tone.
“If you did that then not only would you disappoint our lord but the people of the cove would be outraged. Also after this upcoming battle, I should have enough heavenly energy to become a full saint also.” Hai Xing replied calmly without the slightest hint of fear in her tone.
“Now that the pillars are set in place and our progress has been reported back, all we have to do is wait for our forces to mobilize, they should be here any minute now. So no need to grumble...” Hai Xing added as her eyes scanned the four pillars that had been erected not too long ago, just as she was about to look away the runes and carvings on the four pillars began to light up one by one.
Before long, after all of the runes on the four pillars were completely lit, four beams of light shot out from the tops of the pillars toward the ground into a still pool of water.
“See? They’re here.” Hai Xing said with a laugh as the point where the four intersecting beams met began to widen and expand. In no time at all, the pool of water whose outer ring touched each of the four pillars began to glow and release a mystifying blue ray of light into the night sky.
As the still pool of water was engulfed in radiating light, the scenery reflected on its surface began to change and the moon and stars that were previously visible were no more. Rather is now revealed the vision of a place that could not be found anyone on the speck of an island or the skies above it, it now reflected the scenery of a place located in the deep depths of the sea called the Blood Coral Cove.
Seconds soon turned into minutes as Hai Xing and Nai Fan, along with the owners of the dozen or so silhouettes that accompanied them stood watching motionlessly watching the mirror on the ground as its surface began to ripple and fluctuate.
As the surface of the pond like ring continued to ripple, a delicate looking hand suddenly rose up and gripped onto the ground on the other side of the edge of the pool. In the moments that followed, an astoundingly beautiful young woman slowly pulled herself up and onto the ground.
“Madams.” Hai Xing said as she slightly bowed once the beautiful young woman rose to her feet while three other beautiful young women were making their way out of the pool of water.
“Sis, hurry up and let’s get going.” The first beauty to make her way out of the pond said in an anxious tone to another beauty who possessed long crimson hair.
“Ai, hold your horses, we still have to wait for the soldiers to cross.” Yuying said with a laugh.
“We also have to dry our clothes first; I hate how crossing through these makeshift teleportation platforms makes our clothes soaking wet.” Lingqi said as she could be seen fiddling with her soaking wet garments.
“Here I’ll give you all a hand.” Ling said with a laugh as she waved her hand and made countless droplets of water levitate into the air and gather into a large orb.
“If only darling was here, he would have been in for quite the show.” Lingqi said with a chuckle, prompting the other beauties to break out into laughter that was soon to be silenced out by the sound of countless individuals surfacing and making their way out of the pond that the beauties had come out of moments ago.
One by one, countless soldiers clad in red scale armor and unique individuals who were all lesser saints or their disciples made their way onto the island through the teleportation panel, before assembling in neat and tidy rows.
Back down in the depths of the sea within the Heavenly Net constructed of thousands upon thousands of jellyfish, Zhang could be seen making his way through the water as many thousands of gigantic flying fish and their mounted riders followed closely behind him, with weapons ready and fierce expressions on their face.
“Everyone! Follow closely behind me and don’t fall behind!” Zhang’s voice rang into the minds of the soldiers a part of the Flying Fish Legion as they charged toward the Heavenly Net.
With the Rising Moon Sword in hand, Zhang increased his speed exponentially as he and his soldiers neared the electrical net of jellyfish.
Of course, Zhang and his men did not go unnoticed as Holy Son Shan Li could be seen watching them from the other side of the Heavenly Net with a cold demeanor plastered on his face.
Without uttering a single word, Holy Son Shan Li lifted his hand and released a thin ray of essence from his fingertips and within a flicker of a moment, the ray of essence shot into one of the thousands of jellyfish that construct the net.
“Shan Li, the holy son of the Starry Sea Sect, sends greetings to the new lord and perhaps the last lord of the Blood Coral Cove.” Holy Son Shan Li said as his voice was transmitted directly into Zhang’s head their divine sense.
“Zhou Zhang, the new lord of the Blood Coral Cove, greets Holy Son Shan Li.” Zhang said with a laugh as he replied to Shan Li through his divine sense while directing the tip of his sword toward one of the Behemoth Jellyfish.
“My father asked me to personally deliver this gift to you.” Holy Son Shan Li replied as the pulsing electricity on the bodies of the thousands of jellyfish began to concentrate and a massive lightning bolt was soon shot through the water, toward Zhang and his soldiers.
Answering Holy Son Shan Li’s attack, Zhang unleashed a massive bolt of red lightning from the tip of his fingers, which pierced through the water at blinding speeds. In a flash, the two lightning bolts collided with one another, however, how could an attack by a single person without preparation compare to one that was fueled by the power of Holy Son Shan Li and the hundreds of thousands of Behemoth working alongside him.
Thus the moment the two lightning bolts collided, Zhang’s was swallowed up while Shan Li’s continued to shoot through the waves.
“I should have figured…” Zhang thought reached his hand into his robes and pulled out the Dragon Heart Necklace and used a bit of his essence to send it propelling through the water.
At first Holy Son Shan Li’s expression was utterly void of excitement and his eyes were filled with boredom after Zhang’s lightning bolt was swallowed up, however, the following few moments would be forever engraved into his heart as one of the most unbelievable events that he had ever witnessed.
The almighty Heavenly Lightning bolt, powered by hundreds of thousands of Behemoth Jellyfish who are level seven or eight demonic beasts, an attack so powerful that it could wipe out a large group of lesser saints or heavily injuring a small group of full saints without leaving a single trace of their existence, upon touching the Dragon Heart Necklace, disappeared in the dullest of manners.
There wasn’t an explosion, nor was there a blinding flash or awe inspiring sight to behold, the Dragon Heart Necklace simply absorbed the Heavenly Lightning attack and added it to the massive store of essence that Zhang had been accumulating.
“I guess it worked.” Zhang thought as he arrived beside the Dragon Heart Necklace and grabbed onto to it before returning it to its rightful place within his robes.
Completely awestricken, Holy Son Shan Li stared at Zhang with wide eyes belonging to a person who could simply not bring themselves to believing what they had just witnessed. In all of his time within the Starry Sea Sect, Holy Son Shan Li had been told time and time again, that even the experts of the Dragon God Palace would find themselves unable to stop the Heavenly Lightning attack without suffering heavy damage.
However, without suffering even the slightest hint of a setback, without even having his garments slightly ruined or even the tips of his hair partially singed, Zhang was able to stop the Heavenly Lightning attack.
It was not until Zhang had made his way directly in front of the net and materialized a dozen swords out of thin air through the use of the Underworld Heart, did Holy Son Shan Li finally snap back to his senses, but by then it was too late.
With a motion of his wrist, directed the dozen or so swords he had materialized to plunged into a Behemoth Jellyfish fish. Once embedded into the swords were bodies of the jellyfish, they began to spin and drill deeper and deeper until twelve large holes were left behind.
“Repel!” Zhang yelled in his mind as a black speck was formed by the Rising Moon Sword within one of the gaping holes left in the Behemoth Jellyfish and soon enough a powerful repulsion began to act, ripping the jellyfish apart while pushing away its counterparts, opening a hole in the Heavenly Net.
Despite taking some time to describe, the time it took Zhang to stop the Heavenly a lightning attack and the time it took him to punch a hole in the Heavenly Net, took but a minute or two.
With a sizable entrance opened within the Heavenly Net, Zhang made his way through, with his army of Flying Fish Riders in tow.
“A miscalculation… It was just a miscalculation… He must have had some kind of one-time use treasure. I’m sure of it! This is only the beginning! Rather than being a setback, this may help me further my plans…” Holy Son Shan Li thought as he tried to straighten his thoughts and rationalize what had just happened.
“Reset form the Heavenly Net! Prepare to engage the enemy while limiting our casualties as much as possible! The Golden Pearl Sect have yet to arrive and join the fray so we cannot over extend ourselves!” Holy Son Shan Li commanded while transmitting his thoughts into the minds of his subordinates.
Due to his cautious nature, despite being told that the Golden Pearl Sect would fully cooperate with him upon their arrival, Holy Son Shan Li could not bring himself to not plan for any treachery that could occur once they arrive.
Failing his trial by fire would certainly cause him setbacks, however, the thought of foolishly mustering all of the forces available to him and fighting with Zhang’s forces to the death while giving his all, only to possibly have the people of the Golden Pearl Sect benefit made Holy Son Shan Li’s insides boil.
“If it’s that bastard, Hui Ying, I’m certain he will try to pull some tricks…” Holy Son Shan Li thought as lightning began to form and wrap around his arms.
After dozens of conflicts with the Golden Pearl Sect, Holy Son Shan Li knew how crafty Holy Son Hui Ying was and was certain that even if their two sects had formally set a pact and combined their efforts to rid themselves of the Blood Coral Cove, his counterpart, Holy Son Hui Ying definitely could not be trusted.
“I have to get a good gauge of this man’s personality before I try to plan any more moves.” Holy Son Shan Li thought as he sped through the water to engage Zhang with his army of disciples following behind him.
As the two forces charged at each other at full speed, Holy Son Shan Li withdrew a silver whistle from his interspatial ring and brought it to his lips. An instant an inaudible high pitch sound was released from the whistle, and an instant after that, the thousands of Jellyfish who formed the Heavenly Net retracted from one another and began to swarm.
Using his silver whistle to command the swarm of Behemoth Jellyfish, Holy Son Shan Li directed them to charge at Zhang and the soldiers of the Blood Scale Army.
Soon enough Zhang and his men found themselves sandwiched in between an army of disciples of the Starry Sea Sect from the front and the swarm of Behemoth Jellyfish from the rear.
“Two of us can play that game.” Zhang thought as he withdrew a jade slip from his interspatial ring and crumbled it to bits before a massive brawl broke out between the two sides.
Although Zhang’s Flying Fish Legion normally held the advantage thanks to their speed, they found themselves in a terrible situation due to the long and poisonous arms of the jellyfish. If they simply swam blindly then they risk the chance of being tangled in the legs of the jellyfish.
Merely touching any of the jellyfish would be able to render Zhang’s soldiers incapacitated and at the mercy of their enemies, furthermore, if the duration was long enough they could find themselves paying a one-way trip to the Yama, thus Zhang’s soldiers had to be extremely cautious when fighting.