After angrily tossing five gold coins at the man from the Mang Clan, Zhang was furious to find that he was actually fined for disorderly conduct.
Apparently, because he hadn't directly handed over the coins and tossed them on the ground, Zhang had to give the man another fifty gold coins.
Of course, this obviously made Zhang, who was already extremely angry, furious. One could say the fine for disorderly conduct was the straw that broke the camel's back, the arrow that started the war.
“So, that will be fifty gold coins. Else I will have to escort you off the premises.” The member of the Mang Clan said in a haughty tone.
“You…” Zhang mumbled in an angry tone, causing the haughty man standing in front of him to be taken back.
“Hey! What do you want!? Stay back!” The member of the Mang Clan said as a shiver of fear crept down his spine while Zhang inched closer and closer to him.
“If you're going to do something, no need to hold back.” Wenji said as she felt the members of Mang Clan had gone too far. Judging by Zhang’s attitude regarding money, she was certain that even if she wanted, she wouldn't be able to stop him.
Zhang was someone who could spend very lavishly if he wanted to, he was more than willing to use money to buy the better things in life, however, he absolutely hated it when people tried to extort him.
“It had always been my Zhou Clan that did the extorting… To think there’s someone trying to do the same to me…” Zhang said while clenching his fists as his brows furrowed.
In a flash, before the member of the Mang Clan could even utter another cry, Zhang arrived beside him and with a single strike knocked the man unconscious.
With a devious smile plastered on Zhang proceeded to strip the man naked, quickly retrieving a small bag of coins that was hanging from the man’s waist.
Moments later after leaving the unconscious man in only a pair of underwear, Zhang withdrew some rope from his interspatial ring. In a flash, the haughty man was tightly bound as Zhang proceeded to gift him with a hearty beating.
“This if for the expensive potatoes!” Zhang yelled as he kicked the unconscious man a few times.
“This is for all of the stupid fees and fines!” Zhang said while delivering a few more powerful kicks.
In the meantime, Wenji and the two pups could be seen staring at Zhang with unblinking eyes, sometimes they would watch with intrigue, other times they would slightly cringe.
“I didn't know a person’s arm can bend at such an angle… And that’s coming from someone who’s studied medicine and the human body for quite a few years…” Wenji mumbled in a soft tone as she continued watching the spectacle unfold in front of her.
“Phew… I feel much better! With the amount of gold in his bag, we should be in the green again. To celebrate let's go and pay someone to cook these damn potatoes for us…” Zhang said as a vibrant smile appeared on his face after wiping off the sweat that had collected on his forehead.
“Sometimes death can also be considered a gift… it'll take this guy months, maybe years to heal from all of these injuries.” Wenji mumbled to herself.
“But first, Little Red and Little Blue, dig a hole for me…It doesn't need to be too deep.” Zhang said as he glanced at the unconscious man that he had beaten to a pulp.
With a pair of barks as acknowledgement, the two pups proceeded to speedily scratch away at the ground with their sharp claws, quickly kicking away large quantities of soil.
In a flash, a decent sized hole dug and with a light push from Zhang’s foot the unconscious man rolled inside and in no time at all, the hole was filled in, leaving only the man’s puffy and bruised face visible.
“Alright let's go get some cooked potatoes…” Zhang said as he, Wenji and the pups walked off. But of course, not before the stuffed some cloth into the unconscious man’s mouth.
Tightly bound, gagged and buried, it'll undoubtedly take some time before the unconscious man is discovered.
With a jubilant grin on his face and a bag of new found wealth, Zhang went as far as buying four more potatoes, joyfully eating them with his party.
In but a flash, the time to open the Rob had arrived and everyone apart of the first group of explorers gathered in front of the giant stone tomb.
Walking past a nearly transparent bubble, Zhang, Wenji, and the pups situated themselves to the rear of the group. Wishing not to put their powers on display and being fairly certain that the tomb would be filled with traps and deadly trials, the duo decided it would be best to allow those in front of them to overcome the hardships within the tomb first.
“When can we go inside!?” Someone yelled impatiently as the sun continued to loom above and a piercing heat descended, causing everyone to be slightly fatigued and irritated.
“Everyone, please be patient, we will attempt to rule a hole in the barrier surrounding the tomb shortly. On top of all of the core realm cultivators within our Twin Blade City, we’ve been graced with the presence of Master Tu Wong and a group of excellent young geniuses, from the Serene Lotus Sect, who had come to help us.” An elderly man, Patriarch Mang, said after arriving in front of the large group Zhang and Wenji were a part of.
“Serene Lotus Sect…” Zhang mumbled as a familiar group of cultivators wearing pitch black robes with embroidered white lotuses came into view. Moments later two other groups, comprised of members of the Tiger Claw Dojo and Jiang Clan, which Zhang has seen on his way toward the mountain also came into view. There were also a few other groups of people who of which Zhang did not recognize, however, from what he could tell, all of the elites within a couple hundred miles of Twin Blade City had gathered.
“Let us begin!” Patriarch Mang said as he leaped into the air and arrived in front of the pair of giant stone gates that lead into the tomb, pressing his palm which was enveloped within a golden glow directly onto it.
Before long, without uttering a single word, other experts arrived beside Patriarch Mang and pressed their palms, which were enveloped within many varying glows, onto the stone gate also. A total of sixteen core realm experts congregated in front of the stone gate, while everyone else watched on with eyes brimming with anticipation, of these people was the man who was referred to as Master Tu Wong.
With a carefree expression on his face, Master Tu Wong simply watched on, not lifting a finger to help.
Surprisingly enough after a few moments passed, a previously invisible membrane that encased the entire stone tomb could be seen as countless ripples were released from the palms of the various experts.
At the beginning, the ripples could only be considered minuscule, reverberating only a tiny distance away from each of the palms of the experts, however as time went on, the tiny ripples began to meld together and form into large waves that shook the entire barrier encasing the stone tomb.
“Although it may seem like the barrier is weakening these people are actually really struggling.” Wenji said in a soft whisper to Zhang.
“Those bastards charged us so much gold and yet they are struggling to open a hole in the barrier....” Zhang responded in a low and unhappy tone, causing Wenji to slightly snicker.
“Luckily we got all of our money back already and on top of things we even got a bit extra.” Wenji said with a chuckle, causing a tinge of change to appear on Zhang’s face.
Having been with him so long, Wenji had basically grasped the workings of Zhang’s mind, being able to lighten his mood and cause a smile to appear on his face with little effort.
“I guess we did make a profit.” Zhang mumbled with scratching his head and grinning in a silly manner at Wenji, moments before a loud bang draw his attention back toward the ancient stone gates and the nearly transparent barrier.
Laying sprawled out on the ground was a middle-aged man who had arrived with the group of cultivators from the Jiang Clan. With two faint trails of blood streaming out from the corners of his mouth, a grotesque looking hand where every finger was crookedly bent at weird angles, and a deathly pale white complexion, the man appeared to be in a horrible state.
“You think they'll give us one if I asked for a refund?” Zhang asked Wenji with a chuckle.
“It looks like that man they called Master Tu Wong is going to act.” Wenji said as she glanced at Master Tu Wong who was standing like a statue.
“It looks like I'll have to lend a hand.” Master Tu Wong said with a laugh as a powerful aura was released from his body moments before he leaped into the air and smashed his palm into the stone gate.
“A profound realm cultivator…” Wenji and Zhang both mumbled as they glanced at each other and back at Master Tu Wong.
“It'll be best to avoid running into him for the time being. He doesn't give me too great of an impression.” Zhang muttered to Wenji.
“Me either, he looks to be the kind of person who pretends to be righteous but is filled with bad intentions.” Wenji said back to Zhang.
“He waited until the very moment when the core realm cultivators expanded all of their strength before joining in, probably hoping everyone will feel like they owe him a bit of gratitude.” Zhang said as Wenji nodded in agreement.
While Wenji had countless experiences with people similar to Master Tu Wong, people who appeared saintly on the outside by were abominations on the inside, Zhang had been taught from a young age to look past everyone’s outer shell.
As a clan comprised of businessmen, the elders of the Zhou Clan had made it a priority to teach all of their clansmen a very important skill, the ability to read body language.
From everyday interaction with others to picking trustworthy business partners to make important business ventures with, the ability to read another person’s body language was invaluable to a merchant.
Through a person’s body language, a lot of information can be obtained. Of course, this skill did not grant the members of the Zhou Clan the omnipotent power of reading another mind or something similar, however, with such a skill, Zhang's can somewhat tell what kind of a person someone is after a bit of observation.
The easiest type of person to spot was someone who was pretentious, hypocritical and fake.
Had Master Tu Wong not acted at all or had acted at the very beginning, Zhang and Wenji probably would not have judged him as being someone with a poor character, however from the way he looked at everyone before arriving in front of the gate, the two of them could see through his fake smile in an instant.
While Zhang and Wenji were discussing their impression of Master Tu Wong, countless ripples could be seen on the ancient barrier.
“Everyone get ready to enter!” Patriarch Mang yelled as a smile made its way onto his face while countless droplets of sweat trailed down his brow.
Hearing Patriarch Mang’s yell, everyone present readied themselves and moved ever closer to the stone tomb with weapons in hand, supplies slung over their backs and an air of excitement lingering around them.
“Deploy the talismans!” Patriarch Mang yelled toward a group of his clan members, moments before dozens upon dozens of white colored talismans shot through the air and stuck to the ancient barrier.
“Activate!” Many members of the Mang Clan yelled as the talismans that had shot out from their hands not too long ago began to light up and release a dazzling white glow.
“Those should be low level barrier breaker talismans. Just like their names implied, these white colored talismans are able to dispel low level barriers, I must say these guys are pretty smart to save them for the moment before the barrier collapses, this way the hole they tear in the barrier will remain open long enough for everyone present to enter.” Wenji said to Zhang, as she pointed at the white colored talismans.
Working their magic, the low-level barrier breaker talismans amplified the powerful rippling waves released by the core realm experts and Master Tu Wong, and soon enough the moment that everyone was waiting for finally arrived.
The thin membrane-like barrier that encased the ancient stone tomb shook and a small tear appeared where Master Tu Wong’s palm was pressed against the stone gate, before long more tears in the barrier appear where the palms of the other experts were placed.
As each tear began to expand and grow larger, they all eventually fused together to create a large opening within the ancient barrier.
“Everyone! Let’s go!” Patriarch Mang yelled as he lifted his palm and smashed it into the stone gate, causing the previously immovable gate to be pushed back, creating a small gap wide enough for four people to enter at a time.
“I’ll go in ahead and see if it’s safe.” Master Tu Wong said with a laugh as he flew over Patriarch Mang’s head and charged into the tomb first, with a few core realm experts from the Serene Lotus Sect charging in after him before anyone else could get the chance to do so.
Not wanting to fall behind, the core realm experts of the Mang Clan, Jiang Clan and Tiger Claw Dojo rushed in soon afterward with the rest of the crowd, of course due to how small the opening was, how many people there were, and everyone’s wish to enter before anyone else, a blockage of human bodies was formed, preventing people from entering.
“Tch… If we don’t get in soon the barrier will close.” Wenji clicked her tongue as she grabbed Zhang and leaped into the air, using a bit of her power to levitate the two of them into the tomb in a flash, while the two pups navigated through a forest of legs and boots, arriving in the tomb shortly after the duo.