Burning a path for himself and the rest of the group, Zhang steadily made his way through the passageway that led to the tomb’s main chamber.
Seeing how effortlessly Zhang was dealing with the undead, the group of seven concluded that the eight Demonic Devil Spheres were otherworldly treasures that possessed heaven-defying strength, which of course reignited the greed that dwelled in their hearts.
“If I were to get my hands those spheres I would be able to raise through the ranks of the clan in a heartbeat! Few people in the clan would be able to contend against me.” One of the seven thought while staring at Zhang’s back enviously.
“Turning those spheres over to the clan head will definitely allow our clan to rule over Twin Blade City. Fuck the Mang Clan, with such powerful treasures we’ll be able to uproot their influence and lay claim to the city.” Jiang Han thought.
“Once these guys run out of uses we should get rid of them as soon as possible.” Zhang gestured to Wenji through a series of glances, winks, and silly facial expressions.
“Yea, if we get surrounded by the undead, we can use them as bait to make our escape.” Wenji gestured back to Zhang in a manner that only he would understand. From a third party’s perspective, it appeared as if Zhang and Wenji were flirting with each other but little did everyone know, the duo was communicating in a language of their own.
While everyone was plotting against each other a peculiar looking undead appeared. Clad in an ancient looking suit of armor, with pale white skin and hollow reddish colored eyes that seemed to glow in the dark, this particular undead looked worlds apart from the undead that Zhang had been killing.
Extruding a deathly aura that seemed to contain the screams and wails hundreds of people, the peculiar looking undead stared at Zhang and the others with gleaming eyes filled with malicious intent. Lit with dancing flames of the fury the undead clad in ancient armor roar deafeningly and rushed toward Zhang, readying it’s long and sharp looking claw-like nails to rip whoever stands in its way to shreds.
“Ru-run-run!” One of the members of the seven cried frantically as his entire body was suddenly overcome with fear.
With knees shaking, teeth chattering and the hairs on their body standing on end, the men of the Jiang Clan were overwhelmed by the intense killing intent given off by the peculiar looking undead.
“Everyone get back!” Zhang commanded, feeling that the seven men of the Jiang clan would only serve to hinder him from seeing how shaken they were, he also wanted to protect Wenji and keep her out of harm's way thus ordering everyone to step back.
“Ye-yes…” The group of seven stuttered in unison as they almost instantly stepped back a few paces and created some distance from them and Zhang.
“Are you sure you want me to move back also? Now is not the time to play the hero.” Wenji spoke with a slightly worried expression on her face. Despite being a core realm cultivator, even Wenji felt a bit distressed when she saw the peculiar looking undead rushing over from afar.
“I went to see the extent of my control over these eight spheres, if I need assistance I will be sure to ask for it.” Zhang replied with a smile as he waved his hands and manipulated the eight demonic devil spheres to engage the armored undead charging toward him.
Moving through the air and creating a circular pattern, the eight demonic devil spheres under Zhang’s control, shot toward the armor undead at unbelievable speeds.
In a flash the spheres collided with the metallic scale armor wrapped around the undead, igniting a few sparks before piercing through their opposition and leaving behind eight gaping wounds. Against a regular person these eight gaping wounds would have been more than enough to leave Zhang’s opponent incapacitated, however since he was facing an undead, they only dealt minimal damage.
Ignoring Zhang’s attack completely the armored undead continued to charge forward while releasing fearful roars.
“If I pour my essence into them I can increase their penetrative capabilities.” Zhang thought as he quickly activated the Heavenly Devouring technique and withdrew his black flying sword from the shadows, using it to block the sharp claws of the undead from slashing away at his face.
“Hmph… Without the will to live, without a reason to return home and without a purpose other thing killing the living, the undead are truly unworthy opponents.” Zhang thought as he stared into the eyes of the armored undead and felt its nauseating breath brush on his skin while recalled the time he had spent on the battlefield and the faces of the soldiers that he had against.
Compared to a soldier who was filled with the hope of returning home to his loved ones and fueled on by a burning will to survive, Zhang felt the undead were rather dull.
“Their movements are predictable; their thought process is simple since they do not care if they are injured and their strength is limited since they have no emotions to spur them on. Even though they are many times more powerful than those men I had met on the battlefield, these undead cannot compare at all. They are too weak...” Zhang thought as he manipulated the demonic devil spheres to come flying back and piercing into the armored undead’s neck and its arm and leg joints.
“Demonic Detonation!” Zhang yelled as he jumped backward, disengaging from the armored undead. A flicker of a moment later a burst of Zhang’s essence was released from the eight demonic devil spheres that were lodged into the armored undead.
Due to the positioning of the spheres, the armored undead’s head was blown clean off of its shoulders, while its legs turned to stumps and its arms were severed from its body in a gore filled rain of mesh that splatted across the air onto the bodies of all those present.
True to Zhang’s words, individually no matter how powerful an undead was, they lacked the fundamental properties that made for a worthy adversary.
“Eww…” Wenji complained moments after finding her clothes covered in a disgusting amount of rotten flesh and black colored blood.
While Wenji obviously wasn’t too happy about what happened to her clothes, the group of seven broke out in joyous cheers as they received a sudden boost in morale.
“Charge!!!” Zhang commanded as he waved his sword, prompting the energized seven, who had been the epitome of fear not too long ago, to run pass Zhang and into the group of undead in front of them with weapons raised.
Not too long after the two pups also began to move once again, quickly taking down one undead after the other while utilizing their sharp claws and fangs.
“I should avoid eye contact for now...” Zhang thought while feeling Wenji’s piercing gaze focusing on him.
“You’ll be buying me a new dress after we get out of here mister!” Wenji’s yelled in an angry force as she ran past Zhang and cut down three undead with a single stroke of her belt sword before pinning two more to the wall with the use of the long needles tucked into her sleeve.
As if she was using the undead to vent her frustrations Wenji violently continued to swing her sword decorating the walls with the splatter of black colored blood.
“Note to self never dirty a woman’s clothing, consequences may be dire if she is armed with a weapon.” Zhang thought as he gulped down a mouthful of saliva after seeing the horrid states the undead who were unlucky enough to be standing in front of Yuying were left in.
Although Yuying left a grisly trail of terror in her quake, Zhang couldn’t help but inwardly applaud her for the amount of skill employed in the manner of which she dispatched her opponents.
Since attempting to cut through bone would require her to use a bit of effort on top of increasing the likelihood of damaging her thin belt sword, Wenji instead chose to sever the jaw muscles of all of the undead she fought before cutting through their arm joints and disarming them, quite literally.
Once the undead lost their ability to inflict harm to her, Wenji would either proceed to ignore them and allow someone else to finish what she had started or casually smash their heads into the wall, causing brain matter to paint an image of pure brutality and death for all to see.
Under the combined efforts of the seven valiant members of the Jiang Clan, the furry two pups, the demons like Wenji, and Zhang, the undead was quickly cleared away and the main chamber quickly came into sight.
From what Zhang, could tell the bulk of the undead could be seen trying to funnel into two other passageways that were on the opposite side of the hall from the one that Zhang and his group were coming out from.
“That passageway is the one that the members of the Mang Clan and the disciples of the Serene Lotus Sect took. The Tiger Claw Dojo and the rest of the people from our clan should be in the passageway over there.” One of the seven said as he pointed to the other side of the hall, toward the two passageways crowded with the undead.
“What should we do now?” Someone asked.
“I should we go try and help out the Mang Clan and the people from the Serene Lotus Sect? They should be the strongest group in this place.” Another person within the group of seven said.
“Are you saying we should leave the people in our own clan to die and try to help out people from an opposing clan along with a few snooty bastards from some sect?” Jiang Han complained in a low tone, hoping not to draw the attention of any of the undead on the opposite side of the hall.
“If we manage to help out the strongest group within that entered this tomb, we can combine our strength with theirs and rescue our clan members. Also, if all else, our chances of survival will increase exponentially if we were able to join forces with them.”
“We won’t be helping out either group.” Zhang said in a soft and calm tone as he looked at the other members of the group who, besides Wenji, stared at him with confused looks.
“As powerful are you are, do you think the lot of us alone can fight our way out of here?” Someone asked.
“No, I don’t think that our group alone would have too great of a chance at leaving this place alive. That is to say, we continue to work together and try to leave as a group if it’s just us two and the pups then I’m sure it would only be a matter of time for us to leave. With that being said, I also know that most of the other people in this tomb have been poisoned and it is only a matter of time before they succumb to death. Regardless of which group we aid, our chances of survival are slim since in the end the people we had set out to aid might join the ranks of the undead and attack us once we completely tire ourselves out.” Zhang said while somewhat implying that he was confident that he could leave the tomb but just not with the group of seven.
By doing this and sending a subliminal message to the group of seven, Zhang was hoping to let them know that despite currently being in the same place with them, he was not playing by the same set of rules, he had a way out and thus he could abandon them if he wished. This would shatter the slightly equally footing that would have been placed upon the group, elevate Zhang’s sway, giving him more leverage to lead.
“Yo-you're thinking of leaving us?” One of the seven asked in a somewhat disheartened tone.
“No… At least not for the time being.” Wenji said with an awkward smile, reinforcing Zhang’s words and furthering his motives.
“Let me ask this… Do you guys think the nine of us and the two pups can take on all of those undead by ourselves?” Zhang asked as he pointed across the hall, prompting everyone to shake their heads.
“Instead of trying to save everyone, I say we should try to find a way to escape. Maybe along the way, we might stumble upon something that can deal with all of the undead in one fell swoop.” Zhang added, pushing his agenda.
“There’s probably still a lot of treasure left in this place for me to take, why should I waste my time and risk my life to save those people?” Zhang thought inwardly. Since he still had no idea who was responsible for poisoning all of the water sources near the mountain, he was not willing to lend a helping hand to anyone.
Zhang also felt that if he prioritized saving the other people first, once everyone is out of harm’s way, they would contest against him and decrease the number of treasures and riches he could obtain.