Chapter 8: Deal Or Not Deal
The formation laid in the garden erected a woodland mirage; its sources of energy were buried in forty eight key spots.
When Zax’s fist hit the mirage the energy it discharged was absorbed into the vista of woodland.
‘Hm? Does it require more than brute force?’ Zax doubted, but the energy he unleashed seemed to just vanish in the mirage. ‘No, it sufficed’. His eyes shone in satisfaction as the effect of his blow begin to appear.
The vegetation in the woodland grew and multiplied increasingly fast, as if in an effort to suppress something erupting from inside. Nevertheless, just as it continually grew anew, so did it even faster wither and die.
Soon, seeds that spread in order to instantly become ginormous trees turned to ashes before feeling the earth.
The woodland mirage exploded and a gooey, grayish wave with properties of dark attribute surged heading straight to the estate and several other directions.
The gooey wave was an unforeseen byproduct of the combination of Zax’s dark attribute energy and the lavish garden, which was actually a complex formation. It consumed most of what was in its path whilst evaporating since its state was unsustainable.
“No!” Mayor Deg shrieked when he saw the base of his family estate slowly sinking and the walls corroding. Inside, among servants and guards, were the core members of his family, roughly two thousand people that should have been protected from even a Beginner third level Martial Mortal!
“Zoey, cousin Duvwen, block it!” He yelled his heart out!
Two figures shot out of the Dewgong family estate, a plumped yellow woman and a brown skinned, black haired woman. The former’s fluctuations gave the impression of an Intermediate first level Martial Mortal and the latter’s of a Beginner second level Martial Mortal.
Watching the progression of the gray wave and its corrosiveness, great aunt Zoey’s complexion blenched. “Come and help us!” She shouted into the estate, ordering the guards as well as all capable family members. “Duvwen, start the formation. The rest of us will send you all our energy!” She asked the brown skinned slanted eyes woman, who right away retrieved from her spatial rings eight jet black metal rods and by applying her windy green aura to them erected a paper thin solid green blanket over the entire wave.
“Support Duvwen!” Great aunt Zoey yelled and fiery red, complementary mist energy streamed from her to Duvwen.
The guards and Dewgong family members at the first realm crowded behind windows and atop verandas, sending their mist energy, too. Those few family members in the second realm acted the same while the fewer among them who mastered flight techniques floated closer the nucleus of the formation, Duvwen.
At first, the untied effort seemed to reach a standstill with the gray wave, but due to it evaporating faster than the Dewgong’s forces lost energy, in brief moments they attainted the upper hands.
Mayor Deg heaved a sigh of relief, for an instant forgetting the quiet Zax’s presence.
“Was I not clear?”
The instant passed and mayor Deg shifted his gaze up in astonishment.
“Since my strike passed, blood must flow”. His words barely fell into mayor Deg’s ears when the old man’s hands and feet on the ground felt a sudden tremor.
The diminishing wave exploded and from within it dark beam of black light tore a hole in the Green Blanket formation.
Duvwen first instinct was to fix the hole in the formation, but just as she set her mind on it, the tiny hole spread and grew in a spiraling motion, literally becoming a Black Hole. By using her body as the nucleus of the formation, she placed herself as part of it and so could not escape the influence of the Black Hole. The further along it spread across the Green Blanket formation the more chaotic her mist energy became in her dantian and mist channels.
Those who previously shared their mist energy, although were not affected by the damage to the formation, now faced the peril of being swallowed by the black hole. Great aunt Zoey and the Core Masters next to her who can fly were better off, but most family members and practically all the guards were facing imminent catastrophe, not to mention the rest of the people inside the estate, should the black hole would be allowed to continue to spread.
“Stop it! Inside the estate are thousands of people, only a fraction of which are cultivators! Will you massacre innocent people!” Mayor Deg confronted Zax, the black hole was an attack he never before seen, abundant with so much dark attribute it was incredible terrible!
“I can’t”. Zax said nonchalantly, deciding in this moment not to squabble over who was at fault for birthing this upheaval. In all honestly he was inwardly astonished. He knew the swallowing, devouring nature of the dark attribute, he in his current attainment of it, he could not make it so strong. ‘The illusory formation fueled it to a degree that broke it out of my control. To stop it now I’ll have to do it forcefully, as an external entity or else it will only vanish after fully consuming this green formation’. Though he realized what needed to be done, the consequences of inaction were of no real concern to his despise of the Dewgong family.
Dewgong family estate was gradually collapsing be the vibrations and pulling force of the black hole. Screams of fear and pain were echoing from inside while guards guided the retreat of all residents to the far side of the estate.
“Zoey, stand back, cough! I’m going to terminate the formation, cough! I fear it’s the only way to prevent it from destroying the estate, killing everyone inside”. Duvwen believed that if she was not connected to the Green Blanket formation, she could have put to a halt the black hole, but it caught her unprepared and now she had to pay a price for something no one could predict.
Great aunt Zoey was about to say something, but eventually refrained from interrupting the already steadfast Duvwen. “Draw back, protect the family!” She ordered the experts by her side.
Retrieving a long sword with World Gathering Bone as its blade, Duvwen swung the long sword, hacking tens of thousands windy threads that were embroidered to her body, linking her mist channels to the Green Blanket formation.
Slowly, Duvwen began to separate from the formation, however with each tens or so clipped threads her the disarray in her mist channels issued wisps of chaotic mist energy that further damaged her internals. At the point where less than five hundred threads remained, Duvwen could not prevent anymore the blood from surging up her throat.
Finally, the last thread was cut off. With the last of her strength, Duvwen pointed the long sword’s blade at the weakening Green Blanket and black hole. “Be gone!” She roared, spun and thrusted. A green light emanated from the sword, clashing with the black hole denting it. Then the spinning long sword descended, piercing precisely at the dented spot. Duvwen followed next, reaching down she grabbed the hilt of the sword while half of it came out the other side of the black hole. She released all her excess mist energy through the World Gathering Bone blade, in the process rupturing a few mist channels, yet augmented its sharpness several folds. A green wave extended, spinning at the same direction as the black hole, ripping it from its center.
“Duvwen...” From the periphery of the Dewgong family estate, mayor Deg watched his cousin placing her life on the line for the sake of the family. A deep, meaningful expression surfaced on his face. “Duvwen!” He repeated, his countenance vicious, resolute, mulish. ‘The dark attribute’s essences mustn’t be returned. Our losses will be the fee for procuring new horizon for the family’s Martial path!’ He was prepared to die if only to obstruct Zax for one calculated moment.
Should Duvwen not come out of this ordeal alive, his wife, Dewgong family’s great aunt Zoey, was another candidate for absorbing a dark attribute’s essence once it has been refined. The family had more potential candidates in its reserves, but right now their cultivation was insufficient. Either way, today’s sacrifice would only matter if his wife will manage to escape, preferable with the rest of the family or at least a few future prospects. Mayor Deg was confident that by then his acquaintances will reach Monivore city, giving his wife the opportunity to ensure an escape route. To further motivate his determination, mayor Deg recalled the identity of the person he found to refine the dark attribute’s essences. Though the cost will be huge, that person was trustworthy, his wife will not need to fear him scamming her.
“The protective formation is destroyed, your estate is in ruin, many of the people inside are critically injured, some dead and of your strongest experts one is incapacitated, not that it’s matter, when the formation crumpled you lost your lost line of defense”. Saying that, Zax released his Soul Sense, looking for his spatial rings first, then all and other fortune he might find inside.
Mayor Deg knew that it is time for him to act. He was selfish, favoring himself over everyone, but he had a few exceptions ... His wife and the cohesive fate of the family.