Chapter 227: Time to Think
After saving Ai from what would be a horrid fate, the group continued forward toward the ocean with utmost speed. However, they soon found their path blocked once again by the colony of Block Thorn Coral. Massive spires began to sprout from the ground, making their chances of escaping from the ground highly unlikely.
“Quickly! To the sky!” Zhang said as he sprung himself off of the ground and into the air. As quickly as Zhang acted, the massive spires began to branch apart and extend higher and higher until they loomed up above Zhang’s head.
Only once Zhang was in the air did he truly see the severity of the situation he and the beauties were in, an area with that took up roughly ten miles was dyed black by the Black Thorn Coral and countless spires were branching into the air, quickly forming into a cage.
“Burn!” Zhang roared as he created a dozen large fireballs that shot through the air and engulfed one of the spires of Black Thorn Coral, making a large pummel of smoke rising toward the heavens. Despite a large number of their kind being turned to char, the Black Thorn Coral continued congregate and swarm in toward Zhang and the beauties.
“Think Zhang! Think!” Zhang screamed in his mind as he tried to figure a way in which he and his wives could escape from the Demonic Reef. Sadly, no matter how much he racked his brain, all of the scenarios he was able to come up with, would all lead to an untimely end.
One could say the colony of Black Thorn Coral was the first entity to place Zhang in such dire situation ever since his escape from the Underworld. Never had he been so cornered before, in all of his previous engagement, there was always a clear glimmer of hope, however, that was not the case here.
“Brother! I’ll activate the samsara gate! We’ll escape to the Underworld!” Yuying yelled as she too could not come up with any solutions either. Perhaps if the group was given a tiny bit more time to properly think straight they would not be so hard pressed, but that is simply not how life works, life waits for no one and there are times a quick-witted decision could either lead to one’s demise or one’s prosperity.
“Darling!?” Lingqi asked as she noticed Zhang did not respond to Yuying and was instead had a blank expression on his face, showing that he was in deep thought while the colony of Black Thorn Coral continued to close in.
“I-I Have a plan!” Zhang sudden yelled with a face full of excitement after a slightly long silence. During the long silence, after extremely taxing his brain, Zhang came to a realization, he had completely forgotten about a certain item that he had given to Yuying. A certain item that can
With his full concentration focused upon the Rising Moon Sword in hand, Zhang conjured a massive singularity that looked like a miniature black, flameless sun.
“Yuying, open the Ruler’s Domain!” Zhang said, prompting a glint to appear in Yuying’s eyes.
Making sure that he and the beauties were exempt from the powerful suction force being exerted by the singularity, Zhang watched as a countless of blobs made up entirely of Black Thorn Coral were sucked into the air, causing a few of the black spires nearby to crumble.
Of course, as large as the singularity that Zhang conjured was, it was still unable to suck in all of the Black Thorn Coral in the surrounding area. In actuality only roughly twenty percent of the Black Thorn Coral present on the surface had been captured by the powerful gravitational pull.
Without a doubt, there was a terrifying number of Black Thorn Coral still lurking under the depths of the earth, awaiting their opportunity to scurrying to the surface.
“Open!” Yuying, commanded as she activated the power of the Ruler’s Domain and opened up a gigantic spiraling portal underneath Zhang’s singularity.
“Dispel!” Zhang yelled as he canceled his technique and allowed for the Black Thorn Coral to rain down from above.
“Create!” Zhang said in a soft tone as he utilized the power of the Underworld Heart to its fullest, condensing thousands upon thousands of small crystal spheres out of pure essence and encasing small groups of Black Thorn Coral inside, before dropping them into the spiral portal that Yuying had opened.
Although he couldn’t be sure if the Black Thorn Coral could break free of the crystal spheres or not, Zhang felt there was no need to worry. If the Black Thorn Coral knew what was best for them and remained within the crystal spheres, he would have a trump card to use against his enemies, if they did not and broke free then they would still be stuck within the Ruler’s Domain.
Falling completely under Yuying’s mercy, if she felt the need to eradicate them, then with a single thought she could turn the inside of the Ruler’s Domain to a sea of fire or an icy hell.
Though it may take a while, Yuying could also work her magic upon small groups of Black Thorn Coral at a time and eventually the group will be left with a massive colony of demonic beasts that are capable enough to devour high saints. By then they would be able to roam the earth, land, and sea without fearing. Even though there were experts who were more powerful than high saints, experts such as Long Shijie and the fallen master of the Sea Beast Sect, they were too few in number and the chances of encountering them were extremely low.
Repeating what they had done, Zhang and Yuying continued to harvest large numbers of Black Thorn Coral at a steady pace as they slowly but surely inched toward the ocean.
“If we can catch their queen, we wouldn’t have to go through the trouble of doing this…” Yuying said as she saw a hint of fatigue surface on Zhang’s face, seeing streams of sweat roll down his brow and his tired expression made her a tad broken hearted.
Nonetheless, Yuying could only bite her lip and continue working together with Zhang, inwardly cursing that her lack of power and resources had caused her loved on to strain himself, protecting her.
“I think it’s time to leave!” Zhang said as he wiped off the sweat that had collected on his brow after harvesting what could only be called an enormous amount of Black Thorn Coral and have managed to come fairly close toward the ocean.
Let’s go.” Ling said while the other beauties nodded as they saw that there was no end to the number of Black Thorn Coral oozing out from the ground.
Although the sky was still bloated out by massive black spires, thanks to the power of the Rising Moon Sword working in combination with the Ruler’s Domain, the group wasn’t worried about being overrun for the time being.
However, to be able to occupy the entire Demonic Reef meant that there was likely to be a sea of Black Thorn Coral still hidden underneath the ground, meaning even if Zhang and Yuying wanted to collect them all, meaning they would most likely run out of energy before they could even manage to harvest but a fraction of the entire colony. If they ended up exhausting themselves due to greedily prolonging their stay, they would be entrapped on the Demonic Reef and have to face death’s door yet again.
Thus, with a great harvest, the group sped through the air with Zhang taking the lead by conjuring a total of four repulsing singularities to create a perimeter and hinder any Black Thorn Coral from coming near.
“With this, we can rid ourselves of the Dragon God Palace when the time is right.” Zhang thought as a jubilant smile appeared on his face. In the face of creatures like the Black Thorn Coral, the experts from the Dragon God Palace would be nothing more than a hearty meal.
“If anyone asks, be sure to tell them we only managed to collect a few useless things off the petrified statues before being attacked and fleeing for our lives.” Zhang said to his wives as he especially stared at Ai, who was known to blurt things out on occasion.
“Of course.” Yuying said as a devious grin appeared on her face while Ling and Lingqi nodded accordingly.
“I’ll try not to tell anyone.” Ai said while awkwardly laughing as she noticed Zhang’s stare.
“You better now or else I’d have to punish you.” Zhang said jokingly as the group hastily made their way onto the beach where they dove into the shifting waves without hesitation.
Cradled by the water, Ling waved her hand and created a large bubble of air would carry her and the rest of the group away from the Demonic Reef.
“My lord, it looks like they’re not going to come back…” A middle-aged man garbed in golden silk robes said in a respectful tone with his hands clasped, this man, of course, was one of the few subordinates that Lord Long Zhiming had brought along with him to be a part of the initial exploration force.
“That is a shame… I was going to have him collect a few things for me once we arrive at the Shoal of Serpents.” Lord Long Zhiming said as he looked toward the Demonic Reef, where dozens upon dozens of black spires could be seen piercing into the air, acting as a curtain and obstructing everything from view.
“Collect a few things? If I wish I can gather a few men and we can…” The middle-aged man spoke but was interrupted mid-sentence.
“Nonsense! Don’t you remember who lurks within the Shoal of Serpents? Even though you are a high saint, don’t overestimate your strength, Long Yuan… I was not going to give the task to him because I thought he would be able to carry it out more smoothly than you, I was going to give him the task because he would be expendable… If he can retrieve the thing I want then good, if not then his death won’t have a slight effect on our battle potential. That is the difference between a lowly expendable dog and you, my trusted aid.” Lord Long Zhiming said as he looked at the middle-aged man named Long Yuan with a slightly unpleased expression.
“Tell the rest of our men to be on high alert, we will be needing our full strength when the time comes to take care of that bunch of rabble.” Lord Long Zhiming added as he glanced into the distance at a far-off island, the size of a person’s house, where Master Shan Jin and Master Yu Xui could be seen meditating.
“Once his highness returns, they will all regret standing against us.” Long Yuan said with a snicker.
“You are thinking too optimistically, at his peak potential, no one in the Eastern Sea can compare to his highness, however after being away for so long it’ll take some time for him to regain his powers. That's why I was going to have them retrieve a few of those Phoenix Feather Lilies that grow on the cliffs of the Shoal of Serpent. With a few of those in hand, our plans would be propelled forward, nonetheless, it’s only a matter of time before the Eastern Sea is ours once again.” Lord Long Zhiming said as something happening in the distance caught his attention.
On the shores of the Demonic Reef, the spires of Black Thorn Coral were steadily shrinking. Like a subsiding tide, the colony of Black Thorn Coral was slowly burrowing their way back into the ground. Soon enough once the tide rose, what little evidence left behind of their fearful existence would be erased, once more shrouding the Demonic Reef in mystery.
“Looks like this fools didn't make it.” Long Yuan said with a snicker, only to be awestruck mere seconds later.
With a loud boom, a large accompanied by a dozen massive torrents, all consisting of water, shot up into the sky before raining back down into the ocean.
“We made it!!!” Ai’s cheerful voice echoed into everyone’s ears are Zhang and the beauties could be seen with disheveled hair and untidy robes, standing as a testament to their awful trip to the Demonic Cove.
“We’re alive!” Lingqi yelled in a jubilant tone. Having suffered a near death experience Lingqi felt the need to vent her emotions to the heavens and thus continued to yell cheerfully. During the whole ordeal, she had contained her emotions in an attempt to steel herself and avoid affect the rest of the group, however now that everything was over, it was as if a giant weight had been lifted off her chest.
“It looks like they’ll be of some us after all.” Lord Long Zhiming muttered as he saw that Zhang and the beauties were alive. Although he didn’t care for them, the fact that he would have a few more lackeys at hand had made Long Zhiming slightly more pleased.
In no time at all, Zhang and the beauties made their way back to the larger group and gave a vague account of what had transpired on the Demonic Cove. Of course, they made sure to leave out the fact that they had managed to harvest a large number of Black Thorn Coral, they also left out the part where the Black Thorn Coral actually consisted of many billions of tiny demonic beasts instead of a single massive entity. They were also sure to not allow Ai to speak during this account.
“The four five of you must have the heavens on your side for you to have survived such an ordeal. Had I known the Black Thorn Coral was active during the day, I would have begged you guys to not go.” Shan Li said with a happy grin plastered all over his face before making a somewhat apologetic expression.
“No need to be so down, Brother Shan Li. How could you or well in fact anyone have known that the Black Thorn Coral was also active during the day. I mean it seems like an established fact that the Black Thorn Coral is only active at night unless someone specifically disturbs it.” Zhang said while patting Shan Li on the shoulder.
“To think, by simply walking along the beach, we awoke the Black Thorn Coral…” Ling said with a sigh.
“I guess we are truly unlucky.” Lingqi said while shrugging her shoulders.