Chapter 207: Into the Mines!
Utilizing her insane brute strength, Ai kicked the two large gates, sending them flying through the air, embedding them into the wall behind Lord Cheng Huang’s silver throne and leaving deep indentations in them.
“Hand over all your valuables or I'll have to beat you to a pulp!” Ai said while entering the hall in a domineering manner.
“Ai, we aren't here to rob them.” Yuying said in a soft voice with a chuckle as she and the rest of the group entered the hall behind Ai.
“Actually we are.” Zhang said with a laugh as he walked alongside Yuying.
“Wh-who are you people!? How dare did you get in here and how dare you show such insolence to Lord Cheng Huang? Do you not know that within a thousand miles from this place, everything is our lord’s domain!?” A level ten cultivator spoke in a loud and haughty tone, contrary to the frightened look on Lord Cheng Huang’s face.
This was mainly because level ten cultivators, did not possess divine sense and thus could not gauge the power difference between themselves and their adversaries.
Attributing to the haughtiness of these level ten cultivators was the fact that it was extremely rare for anyone stronger than Lord Cheng Huang to visit the island. After the years of bullying and harassing the powerless villagers that lived in the surrounding villages, these level ten cultivators slowly became absorbed in a self-made fantasy where no one on Razor Clam Island or any of the surrounding ones can challenge their power.
However apart of the group of level ten cultivators were a few quick-witted people who had noticed the fact that their lord had not spoken a single word and had an unusual expression on his face. Realizing there was something amiss they chose to remain silent and not utter a single word.
In Lord Cheng Huang’s case, it was obvious to him who Zhang and the beauties are thanks to the various reports that had arrived from the Golden Pearl Sect’s headquarters. Even if he didn't know who they were, when a lesser Saint was in the presence of five full saints and a handful of other lesser saints, it was obvious to act subserviently of they wished to keep their livelihood.
“Lord Cheng Huang?” Ling asked with a curious expression on her face while her furry little companion, Little White, could be seen sitting on all fours on her slender shoulder.
“Lord Cheng Huang, lord of Razor Clam Island! Designated by the almighty Golden Pearl sect to be the ruler of all the waters within five thousand miles of this island! A man who has achieved sainthood!” One of the level ten cultivators boasted, oblivious to the pained expression on his master’s face and before Lord Cheng Huang could stop him.
“A saint!? I'm extremely sorry for my wife’s rude demeanor.” Zhang said as he walked up beside Ai with an apologetic expression on his face, prompting the other beauties to cover their mouths with their hands in an attempt to stop themselves from bursting into laughter.
“If you have realized your stupidity then kneel! Guards! Detain all of them! All the men are to be sent to the mines while the women are to be sent to our lord’s chambers!” The level ten cultivator said with his head held high and a lecherous look in his eyes as he glanced from one beauty to the next, obviously with bad intentions.
Despite the long back and forth between the two groups, only buy a few instances had passed.
“M-m-my lords! Please forgive these fools for being blind and unable to see your greatness.” Lord Cheng Huang cried as he pushed himself out of his silver throne and hurriedly walked toward Zhang’s group with wobbly legs.
“Please forgive their insolence! Please forgive their insolence!” Lord Cheng Huang cried as his legs gave out and his body stumbled onto the ground.
Much to the confusion of the guards and many of the level ten cultivators, their almighty lord who ruled with an iron fist was actually on his hands and knees, begging for forgiveness.
Of course, the few who were quick witted level ten cultivators and a few of the guards were to catch on and soon joined Lord Cheng Huang. While the dull-witted who had acted haughtily at Zhang and the beauties continued to stare blankly into the space in front of them as they tried to process the current situation.
“What might you be talking about, Lord Cheng Huang. If I did anything to offend you then please forgive me for my lack of worldly experience.” Zhang said with a grin as he walked up toward Lord Cheng Huang who was groveling on the ground.
“My lord please don't kid with this old man. If there is anything you need me to do, then please just say the word.” Lord Cheng Huang said hastily.
“What we want? Darling, what do we want?” Lingqi asked as she arrived beside Zhang and pulled his arm into her embrace while her head leaned onto his shoulder.
“Yes my lords, please just tell me what you want and I'll be happy to hand it over.” Lord Cheng Huang said frantically.
“We will be taking this island.” Zhang said in a firm tone.
“Actually we will be taking all of the surrounding islands also.” He added after a slight pause.
“You scoundrel, you want these islands?” A level ten cultivator who was the last to realize the current situation roared.
“These islands? M-m-my lord, these islands aren't mine to give. They belong to the sect and I'm simply governing them as the sect’s representative. If I give away what does not belong to me, after being entrusted to guard this place, then the sect will have my head.” Lord Cheng Huang said in a tone made up of a mixture of respect and fear.
“I never asked for permission.” Zhang said with a smile as he proceeded to activate the Abyssal Cape’s power, causing two silhouettes to shoot out from his shadow and charge across the room.
In but an instant, all of the level ten cultivators who had spoken out of turn were reduced to puddles of blood and bits of flesh as a pair of Abyssal Voracious Eaters appeared beside Lord Cheng Huang’s throne.
With their talons slick with blood and sharp fangs gleaming from torch light, the Voracious Eaters made all of the bound villagers, guards, and level ten cultivators cower in fear. A few of the weak hearted even fainted after releasing terrified screams.
Surprisingly enough, Little White hopped off of Ling’s shoulder and made its way over to where the Voracious eaters were and morphed into its originally massive size.
With a roar, Little White playfully pounced onto one of the Abyssal Voracious Eaters who both, in turn, dispersed into a curtain of black colored particles.
“Little White come back here. I'll find someone to play with you in a bit.” Ling said softly, prompting Little White to slowly make its way back toward her while also adding a layer of fear in the hearts of all of the spectators present.
For a pair of beasts who could take down two pairs of level ten cultivators in a flicker of a second to both be turned into nothingness with little to no effort at all, meant that Little White was overwhelmingly powerful. Well, at least that was what everyone who didn't know any better believed.
“Ho-how can a level nine demonic beast…” Lord Cheng Huang murmured as he was confused due to Little White’s level of cultivation.
“Brother Zhou Zhang, there is no need to waste time with their like, I took the liberty of subduing all of the people in the fortress already. As we speak, our forces should be heading toward the smaller islands to capture anyone of whom that are a part of the Golden Pearl Sect and establish our control.” Shan Li’s voice could be heard.
“You work quick.” Zhang said with a laugh as he looked back toward the hall’s entrance where Shan Li could be seen leaning on where the hinges of gates were.
“So what will it be? You have two options available to you. You can either pledge allegiance to us and change your ways or you can remain loyal and take a one-way trip to a place where not too many people come back from. The same option goes to the rest of you.” Yuying said as she gazed down at Lord Cheng Huang who appeared to be in a daze.
“Sis, no third option?” Ling asked with a chuckle.
“We have plenty of lesser saints at our beck and call now, no point in wasting my efforts on another one.” Yuying replied in a bored tone which in an instant later sparked a frenzy of responses to her question, believing that time was ticking against them and that Yuying would soon lose interest and grant them all death.
“If those are the only two paths left for me, then I choose death. Betraying those who have given me everything I have is not something I’m willing to do.” Lord Cheng Huang said after mustering all of the remaining courage in himself.
One after the other, the guards and level ten cultivators in the hall scrambled to gather in front of Yuying to announce their allegiance. Of course, there were a few who did not move a single inch from where they were standing. They were either unwilling to betray their principles, turn their backs on the Golden Pearl Sect or were simply too dazed to do anything.
After it was evident that no one else would step forward, Yuying looked at Lingqi who casually waved her hand and released a storm of needles into the air. Much like what had happened when Zhang unleashed the power of the Abyssal Cape, in an instant everyone who was had been busy pledging their allegiance tumbled onto the ground lifelessly.
“Sometimes being too quick to surrender isn’t a good thing. However, you guys shouldn’t have killed those guards… We need them to you know, man the fortress.” Ling said as she shook her head after looking down at the scattered corpses.
“You can remain loyal to the Golden Pearl Sect, however, once we’ve scattered it to the four winds then you are welcome to come join us. Of course, you can’t have any more slaves and you’ll have to make it up to the villagers whom you have wronged, but I don’t think such a task would be too hard for a lesser saint to accomplish.” Zhang said with a smile as he began walking over to where Shan Li was, with the beauties quickly assembling beside him.
“Detain him and every single one of the other members of the Golden Pearl Sect, clean up this mess, and see to it that those villagers are returned home.” Zhang said with a yawn as a small group of lesser saints, and a large group of soldiers from the Blood Scale Army marched into the hall.
After leaving the hall, Zhang and the beauties found a bedroom to rest in for the night while their subordinates and Shan Li’s subordinates broke into groups and began taking turns keeping watch over the fortress after detaining all of the fortress’s staff.
Like a breeze, the night ended and the day began, with his priorities in order, Zhang directly headed toward where all of the previous occupants of the fortress were being held.
Unlike what had happened in the prior night, where most of the guards and level ten cultivators were killed, almost all of the captives were released after successfully realigning their allegiance. Of course, Yuying had to play the same trick she had placed upon the members of the Yu Sect, but for the most part after believing they were cursed, all of the previous occupants of the fortress firmly believed that they would not betray Zhang or the beauties.
With his first priority completed, Zhang, the beauties, and their subordinates headed toward the Essence Stone Mines located on the island. Although Zhang had asked if Shan Li wished to accompany him and the beauties, he was respectfully declined since the Starry Sea Sect also had control of an Essence Stone Mine or two and it wasn’t anything new to Shan Li.
However, he did mention that it was one of the few places a cultivator should visit to widen their understanding and further their knowledge, further piquing Zhang’s interest in the Essence Stone Mine.
After being lead to a sealed off section of the fortress where the entrance to a large cavern that cut into the ground could be seen, Zhang and the rest of the group was greeted by swarm worshiping villagers who had all been freed from slavery the previous night.
Numbering easily in the thousands, every single one of the villagers were filled with joy and happiness as they caught sight of their liberators.
“Thank you! Thank you! Thanking for freeing us from that hell hole!” Countless voices chanted over and over as Zhang and the beauties continued walking toward the entrance of the Essence Stone Mine.
“I have a feeling this mine will be different from those pockets of the dragon vein that we had harvested.” Zhang said as he and the beauties arrived at the mouth of the mine.
“My lord, I’ve already sent down a few teams of people to stand guard and map investigate the layout of the mine so you can enter whenever you wish, without worry. I also prepared a few squads of soldiers to follow behind is in case they are needed.” Chu Shou said after a bow while clasping his hands.
“Good, then let’s go in.” Zhang said as he made his first steps into the Essence Stone Mine.
“Your holiness don't go! Don't go in there! Those things are down there!” A few of the villagers cried, however, their words fell on deaf ears because their voices were muffled by the enormous babbling crowd.
Although the entrance of the mine appears like any other cave or mine, the instant Zhang and the beauties walked a short distance into the mine, they were able to feel the essence concentration in the air begin to increase ever so slightly.
Despite the lack of essence stones thus far, Zhang and the beauties continued to walk deeper and deeper into the mine.
And the deeper they went, the higher the essence density in the air was.