While Wenji watched him in silence, Zhang waved his hands and moved his body with dance like movements, causing eight invisible strings of essence to whip about through the air.
“Hmmm, instead of chasing after and trying to latch onto them individual it would be better if I try something else.” Zhang thought as he noticed that moments before his essence strings would stick onto any of the eight Demonic Devil Spheres, they would move away and dodge.
Rather than treating them as inanimate objects, he felt it would be wiser to view them as living beings, animals, capable of dodging and wiggling away.
Changing his tactic, Zhang majestically waved his hands, causing the eight essence strings to overlap with one another and form two small nets. Manipulating his newly formed invisible nets of essence strings, Zhang honed in on the nearest sphere.
Working in unison with each other the two nets quickly cornered the elusive Demonic Devil Sphere, blocking all of its paths of escape and allowing Zhang to retrieve it.
“Interesting, there's a wisp of intent left inside of this sphere.” Zhang thought once his essence poured into the sphere and found that there was another source of essence within it
Branding the sphere with his essence, Zhang became completely bewildered once something totally unexpected occurred.
After his essence fused with the essence within the sphere after the branding process, the Demonic Devil Sphere lit up in flames. As if it amplified the nature of Zhang’s essence, the sphere was engulfed within a bright dancing flame.
“Interesting! Very interesting!” Zhang's laughed loudly while everyone else present stared at him and the floating sphere in amazement.
“What an amazing treasure.” A member of the Jiang Clan said in a low tone as his eyes shone with a hint of greed and envy.
“Yes, what an amazing treasure.” Another member of the Jiang Clan mumbled as his eyes also lit with greed and envy, much to Wenji’s displeasure causing creases to form on her brow as she gripped the hilt of her sword belt, preparing to make an example of anyone who dared to act unruly.
Luckily for the members of the Jiang Clan, before they could even make up their minds and decide whether or not they should fulfill the unrighteous fantasy conjured up in their minds, the sound of footsteps echoed down the passageway, signaling the arrival of more unwanted guests.
“Take up defensive positions! Brother, quickly retrieve the rest of the spheres!” Wenji said while commanding the members of the Jiang Clan while urging Zhang to quickly gather the remaining Demonic Devil Spheres.
Withdrawing their swords and forming a semicircle around the entrance into the room, the members of the Jiang Clan along with Wenji and the two pups readied themselves for a bloody battle.
In the meantime, Zhang quickly began gathering the Demonic Devil Spheres once again. One after the other as Zhang managed to grasp the Demonic Devil Balls with his net of essence strings, and made them into his own, they each began to light up in flames.
“Attack!” The members of the Jiang Clan yelled as their swords pears lunged forth, stabbing through skin, into flesh and causing blackish colored blood to drip to the ground.
“Sever their heads! Simply stabbing them won’t do a thing.” Wenji yelled as she slid across the ground, slashing away at the legs of the undead, causing them to topple backward, falling onto the undead behind them.
Once the undead were on their backs, the group of seven quickly hacked away at their limbs, causing severed arms and heads to roll onto the ground.
“Kill as many as you can and don’t activate the talismans until we can’t hold out any longer.” Wenji added as the seven men from the Jiang Clan charged forward once more.
Hacking, slashing, stabbing and violently swinging their swords, the seven members of the Jiang Clan fought wholeheartedly as Wenji and the two pups swooped in and out, providing them with support and ensuring that the undead does not gain any ground.
Much to the surprise of the seven men, unlike their previous encounter and struggle against the undead which resulted in their utter defeat, this time they were actually holding their own, rather they were able to push the undead back.
This, of course, was thanks to Wenji, whenever she saw one of the seven begin to falter she would instantly lend a hand and help relieve some pressure. By doing this she ensured that none of them would tire out nor be overwhelmed by the undead, at least for the moment.
“My arms are going numb!” One of the men of the Jiang Clan cried as he used his sword to block a powerful strike from one of the undead.
“Brother Han hold out a bit longer! We have to cut down as many of these bastards as we can! Activating the talismans alone won't be enough.” Another member of the Jiang Clan cried out.
“How many of them are there?” Another member of the seven yelled as he found no end to the number of undead clamoring down the passageway.
“Quit complaining and keep hacking away! We’re getting outdone by those two dogs!” Another of the seven yelled.
True to their reputation as demonic beasts, the pups employed their monstrous strength to tackle and bite off the heads of the undead. In a short span of time, the two pups had already managed to take down a total of eight undead.
Before long roughly half an hour passed in an instant, the floor slowly becoming slick with blood and littered with limbs, the once clean and soft coat of fur that covered the two pups were no matted with gore, the seven strong and intimidating members of the Jiang Clan could be seen heavily panting, and Wenji’s long silky hair was disheveled and her once tidy garments were ruffled and dirty. Compared to the initial confrontation, the group was now much more ragged, but also much more effective than before.
After repeating the same motions over and over the group slowly got used to fighting against the undead, but at the same time, their stamina and strength was steadily being sapped away from them.
As cultivators of the fragmented realm, the group of seven possessed a bit more strength and endurance when compared to regular people, however even if they were all core realm cultivators like Wenji, there was a limit to everything.
If endless streams of enemies continued appearing and the situation was allowed continued on, the group would eventually succumb to fatigue and then the situation would become quite dire.
“I'm activating the first ring of talismans! Everyone stand back!” Wenji said as she shot a thin beam of essence from her finger at one of the talismans she has stuck onto the wall.
A flicker of a second later, all of the talismans lining the passageway walls began to light up as a wild storm of essence took to the air. Fire talismans disintegrated as they released blazing rings of fire, lightning talismans discharged blinding bolts while ice talismans shot sharp spear-like shards through the air. In an instant, dozens of undead were reduced to char, dust, bits and pieces before being blown away by powerful winds unleashed by a few wind talismans.
“Use this chance to rest up a bit, there are probably more on their way…” Wenji said, reminding the group of seven that they had yet to overcome their current predicament, as she saw hints of joy appearing on their faces.
“Success!” Zhang’s laugh rang throughout the chamber as eight flaming spheres circled the air around him.
“About time you finished collecting those things.” Wenji said with a snort, prompting a slightly apologetic expression to appear on Zhang’s face.
“Alright let’s make our way out of here. Follow me!” Zhang said in an excited tone as he made his way toward Wenji.
Although neither Wenji or the pups showed any sign of questioning Zhang’s decision to leave the chamber they were currently in, the seven men from the Jiang Clan seemed somewhat reluctant.
“Is that a good idea? At least in here we can hold them back, or if anything we can collapse the passageway and wait until help arrives.” The man named Jiang Han said with a face filled with worry and fear.
“What Brother Han said, I don’t think it would be wise to leave this chamber. Out there they can overwhelm us…” Another one of the seven said.
“You guys still think help will arrive? Did it not take the combined powers of all of the core realm cultivators within Twin Blade City for us to be able to barely enter the tomb? How long do you think it would take for another group of experts like that to gather? That's to say they bother to gather in the first place. Who would want to enter a place where a group of core realm cultivators and all of the people who entered with them perished…” Zhang asked, bombarding the group of seven with questions.
“What Brother Zhang said is right. Even if we had enough food and water between ourselves to survive in this place for some time, there's always the possibility that help with never arrive.” Wenji said.
“Even if help was to arrive, how can we know for sure if they’ll come here before we die of starvation.” Wenji added
“Although I’m sure between the nine of us we can probably last a while by rationing our food and water, however, I’m not exactly sure about those two. I can’t guarantee how they’ll act once they start getting hungry.” Zhang said while glancing at the two pups who stared back at him with innocent eyes.
Upon hearing, what Zhang said, the group of seven began to let their imagination run wild as they looked at the two innocent faced pups with expressions of fear and dread. After witnessing the two pups dismantle a dozen undead, they were quite sure how powerful these two fur balls were. If they had to choose whether or not to be pitted against the pups and the undead, the seven were sure they had a higher chance of survival against the undead.
“If I had to face these two monsters I’d rather take my chances with the undead… At least the undead are slow and I can out run them if I have to...” Someone thought as they remembered how fast to two pups could move.
“Maybe it won’t be the two mutts who do us in, but it might be those two instead. They might kill all of us and then hoard all of the supplies for their own use. In times like this, even the kindest looking people will only look out for themselves.” Someone else thought as they glanced at Zhang and Wenji before gulping down a mouthful of spit.
Surely if the pups were so powerful their owners would not fall too far behind, which stood to cast another shadow of fear within the hearts of the group of seven.
“Then it’s settled, everyone follow me.” Zhang said with a smile as he led the group into the passageway littered with the remains of the undead. Unlike previously, the group of seven followed suit without complaint.
Knowing full well that they could not beat neither Zhang nor Wenji, the group of seven decided it would be best to contend against the undead.
Truth be told, Zhang and Wenji could leave at any moment they wished, thanks to the Teleportation Jade they had in their possession. However, since Teleportation Jades had a limited to the number of times they could be used, Zhang did not want to use the one he had unless a life or death situation occurred.
Also, Zhang felt it would be a pity to leave after only obtaining the Demonic Devil Spheres, he was sure that there were much more treasure lying around the tomb, waiting for him to retrieve them.
Walking through the passageway and back toward the main chamber, Zhang’s group quickly encountered more undead once again.
“Let me handle this.” Zhang said as he waved his hand and made the eight Demonic Devil Spheres fly through the air at a moderate speed, striking eight undead and lighting them up in flames.
“As long as I only manipulate the spheres to move through the air and use them to light the undead on fire I won’t have to expend too much essence.” Zhang thought as he decided. Although it would take a bit longer for them to progress through the passageway, Zhang would not have to waste too much essence.
Having taken a short glance at the first technique within the Demonic Devil Sphere manual, the Demonic Detonation Technique, and grasping a few of its basics, Zhang was sure if he were to attempt this technique he would at best be able to perform it twice before overextending his body and injuring himself.
Overusing the Heavenly Devouring Technique was also out of the question since that too would cause a huge strain on his body.
So, after weighing the benefits and the risks, Zhang choose so be slow and steady rather than risking failure.