Moments earlier in the Glacial Gorge.
Matt was standing in the room that was filled with the colorful spirit stone ores. He poked one of the glowing ores, his system instantly gifted him with a prompt informing him that a source of spiritual energy was found. He quickly tapped the 'yes' option and saw his spirit point count rise up by a small amount. The glowing piece of crystal quickly crumbled into dust, the radiant glow vanishing.
'I'm in the right place... but do I have to poke every crystal separately...'
While thinking about his big heist he was reminded about the tragic sigh that he saw in those mine tunnels. The workers in the tunnels were mostly men, but he spotted some women here and there. Children weren't spared either as they were pushing the carts, why they were forced to do this was something Matt was asking himself.
'Is this how most sects operate in this world? Or is this one especially rotten?'
His contemplation was broken by a sound behind him. The door swung open and what seemed to be the man in charge walked in. Matt wasn't sure how he should play this out, he talked his way into this spot and just wanted to incapacitate this guy before getting all the loot.
It would be much easier if he managed to do this on the down-low, so he lured his target into a secluded location that was even provided to him. His opponent was here now, but how could he catch him off guard without alerting the rest of the people in this mine. Surely if they started fighting, the whole thing would become quite annoying to pull off. He wanted to suppress his opponent, but for this, he needed to get closer and not alert him to his true form.
The moment the Dark Palm cultivator walked in he started to talk. His way of speaking was quite rapid which left Matt with little time to reply. The moment he gathered his thoughts to respond the man resumed his monologue himself. He had no idea what he was talking about, but it was something concerning this spirit stone mine? Why was he getting offered a 50/50 split, what was that man even on about, Matt was quite at a loss for words. But, luck was on his side as the man had gotten into strike distance without him even having to say anything.
"Wait...what is tha..."
Matt felt the man's spiritual sense washing over him and he realized that his disguise technique was seen through. This wasn't a problem though, the man he was facing was weaker than Wu Ming and he had the element of surprise. He covered Zhu's mouth with his hand and clenched it tightly, his golden aura activated and his lightning Qi forced itself into his opponent's body.
"What are you even on about?"
He was able to disarm the old man with a hump on his back, he wouldn't be able the move a muscle while he was getting bombarded by superior Qi. The Dark Palm member found himself getting raised up into the air by the intruder that was using Wu Ming's appearance as a disguise. He tried mustering up all of his might, but his nascent soul was getting locked down by an immense force.
"Well, it doesn't matter. I don't have time for your antics..."
Elder Zhu couldn't do anything as the Qi of divine thunder entered his body. It traveled through all of his meridians and even made its way into his dantian, destroying everything in its path. The painstakingly created nascent soul was destroyed, the core crumbled and the foundation pillars shattered into million pieces. What was left was a husk of an old man, his body dropping to the floor, his eyes vacant. The attack was focused on his enemy, no Qi fluctuations were able to make it outside, none of the other Dark Palm sect members would be able to sense a thing.
"Not sure how long you will be able to live like this. Just see it as a new life as someone that you despise the most, a person with no power."
Matt looked at the man on the floor, he was out cold and had his cultivation crippled. The most difficult task was done and he now had free reign in this area. He looked around the cultivation room that this man used for seclusion. Besides the glowing spiritual ores there wasn't much here. There was some furniture like a closet, this closet was used to stash the passed out person.
He contemplated on going for the kill, but he realized that that would only alert the other party to his whereabouts faster. He knew that just like his clan the Dark Palm sect probably had ways of tracking their more treasured members. Yang Kai and Wu Ming had to go, but he had a smokescreen covering Jade Grass City in the form of the communication jades not working. He feared that if he offed this elder, he would quickly have a bunch of them flying here as one of them had already died recently.
"They will probably be on alert, don't have that much time to do this."
He rubbed his neck while looking up, his eyes locked on his new target.
"Now to the next step! Spirit stones, come to daddy!"
Matt moved out his hand, his newfound telekinesis like abilities forcing all of the glowing stones from the walls. He gathered everything up in a nice pile and proceeded with the absorption process, this netting him some ten thousand of spirit points right of the get-go.
"Hm... not bad for a start...but I need way more than this..."
He brought up his system map, he was deep underground and his spirit GPS was showing him all the corridors in this here mine. He used his waypoint finder to select all of the places that had the thickest spiritual energy, there were a few. Now he could just fly outside and start absorbing everything in a fit of madness.
He dismissed that idea, he'd have some nascent soul goons on him the moment someone saw him running around in a frenzy. His disabling aura couldn't reach around the entire mine, there were just too many people around, someone would report it. He decided to take a slow stroll and even use the dark palm members to his advantage. Why does he need to gather it all himself, when the sect members will gladly do it for him instead?
'Think they have a main storeroom for everything think I can use that, this guy also had quite the small fortune in his storage ring.'
Matt was sure to disrobe the enemy sect elder and take all his storage treasures. He even found a heaven graded weapon in there, this made him want to cultivate his body refining technique even more. Time was of the essence though and he had no idea when he would be found out.
He fixed his robe and looked back into the now dark room. He scanned the place with his spiritual sense not finding anything worthwhile to take so he headed out. He followed the only corridor that he could all the way back to the large door where the two guards were at.
"Greetings to Grand Elder!"
He waved his hand at the two that bowed once again, the constant polite conversations were slowly getting on his nerves.
"Be sure not to disturb Elder Zhu, he had some things to think about and won't be going out of the chambers for a few days."
The two weren't in a position to question Matt that was disguising himself as Wu Ming. They couldn't do much besides bowing and returning to their post, unless something drastic happened they would follow this order even if their life was on the line. The grand elder's word was law and not many could go against it.
While walking through the long corridor Matt brought up his map. He moved his hand over to his system screen and made the whole image that was now in 3D spin around.
'This thing sure got a nice upgrade after I reached the nascent soul realm. The whole system might be somehow powered by my cultivation.'
He could see the whole spirit stone mine in his game-like interface. It showed him multiple corridors, those probably mined out by the slave workers here. The system was even able to find mineral deposits. He just needed to put in a search term and the system would work its wonders. He wrote spirit stones in and everything went into the familiar color shame ranging from green to red. Red showed the biggest spirit stone deposits while green just meant that there was none there.
'I could probably scan the areas around my cities to find mineral pockets in the future, wonder how far the scanning range is...'
He tossed that idea to the back of his mind for the time being. That was probably a very lucrative idea if he found a spirit stone mine for himself or even a mine with some rare metals for crafting. But now he had to focus on the problem before him, absorbing all of the spiritual energy that was in this place.
While looking at his system screen he managed to come out of the corridor that led to elder Zhu's chamber. He was now at a forked road, he could even hear the sound of pickaxes hitting rocks in the distance. There were even shouts of people, probably the guards that were forcing the workers to work harder.
"Hey, you there!"
Matt moved his chin up at a random guard , the guard instantly straightened out and moved closer while bowing.
"How may I serve you, esteemed Grand Elder?"
Matt made sure not to make eye contact, letting the guard know how much below him he was like a proper Grand Elder would.
"Yes, send a message to the person responsible for storing the spirit stones. I want all of the stones to be carried into one room for a proper inspection! Remember that I am a busy man, so hurry up I want every single stone from this mine to be gathered in one location at once! If they ask any questions, say that Wu Ming gave the order and that Elder Zhu has been relieved of his duties for the time being!"
He tapped his foot which produced a slight shockwave, his aura burst forward making a lot of people in the vicinity take notice.
"Be sure to also include the raw ores, have the workers help out if needed. Also... after they are finished I want them to exit the main mine, I have to give it an inspection too!"
He made sure to sound as loud and imposing as he possibly could. He was the only nascent soul cultivator here now, so no one could defy his order. The guard just shivered and nodded, he then took off to get the main manager informed about the order.
Soon he heard people shouting about and shuffling around. The guard was really speedy with his order, as the man responsible for the logistics of the stones even showed up to make a proper greeting. He looked quite chubby and was sweating a lot, but didn't cause much trouble after getting the stink eye from this Zhang Dong in disguise.
'While they are gathering the stones I'll look at the map, need to find the main vain that links all the spirit stones together.'
Matt rubbed his palms together, he wanted to milk this mine dry. It was slightly disappointing that he needed to cash the spirit stones into points right of the bat, but he didn't have much choice as he needed a large amount of them for his next step.
'Hope those guys agree to my plan... I just need to come up with a new faction name...'
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