Though Kail and the other stood at the forefront, they weren’t the first to enter the grounds. That went to third tier cultivators- not so they would take on greater risk, but actually for their sake. Since it was known there were masters that needed to be fought, it was better if their own side’s masters were fresh. The third tier cultivators rushed forward, just slipping past the broken gate on their side of the river. Behind the third tier cultivators came second and first tier cultivators, mostly from the Leipeka clan and a few scattered handfuls from the Anakoni clan’s survivors. Before the last of the group could enter the walls, the closest enemy cultivators were already dead and they cultivators were headed for the walls.
Atop the walls the guards scrambled to attack, but they hadn’t expected an attack and their numbers were limited. They readied the ballistae as fast as they could but there were too few of them set up in just one section of wall. Within another two minutes all of the nearest enemies were dead. Alarms rang out throughout the area- it had been called as they were approaching- but even as more Macaio clan cultivators approached the Anakoni clan and allies had secured a foothold.
Barrett followed behind Kail and Kaylani. Makana had split off into another group, along with two other groups, each containing two masters- and members of the Anakoni clan. This was their revenge, after all, so it wouldn’t do to have groups of people completely without them. A better reason was that having different types of cultivators- even mixes between Anakoni clan and Leipeka clan- helped cover weaknesses.
Kail’s group was headed straight for the main buildings. That was likely where the most danger would be. They couldn’t expect all of the masters the Macaio clan had in the area to be around, but if they were they would likely find them ahead.
They fought their way through the enemy combatants, leaving any servants or unrelated people. It was possible to pick out those who cultivated the Macaio clan’s techniques- every cultivation technique would have a feeling to it, like the Immortal Berserker Technique. Around the Metal Sea they seemed to feel somewhat more similar, but Kail and the others could easily pick out the differences. Barrett just stuck using a stone pit on anyone who was going to attack them, if they got close, while keeping an eye and an ear out for stronger enemies. He couldn’t sense energy in the same way he could before, but he could pick out strong cultivators in different ways. One of those was killing intent.
Barrett sensed a particularly strong killing intent, but it didn’t worry him. Master Hykel had run off away from the group. That meant there was a strong opponent, but he had confidence in Master Hykel.
There had only been a flicker of a feeling that brushed past Teran Hykel’s thoughts, but a cultivator learned to pick out which such thoughts were worthwhile. He couldn’t say what he had sensed, only that it was an enemy- and a danger. He didn’t recognize more than that, but he went with his gut. He sprinted between the buildings, and when they got in his way he went over them. He might have gone through them, but buildings around the Metal Sea were built tougher than normal and he didn’t want to waste the energy. In less than a minute he arrived where he felt the something. Now he didn’t feel anything… and that told him they were still around.
He swung his arm directly into a flying needle, batting it away. It wasn’t merely a deflection. He could have just blocked it directly, but he wanted to make sure it couldn’t avoid him. While he wasn’t a master level Pure Body Temperer, he was still able to transfer a good portion of his toughness around his body… and as a sixth tier Immortal Berserker, his body was tougher than almost anything. Of course, that didn’t mean he could ignore attack- that toughness only counted normal materials unaugmented by magic or energy.
Teran Hykel tried to pick out where exactly the needle had come from, but it wasn’t as easy as just following a direct line. All he got was a general area. The subsequent needles gave him a better idea of their location- though he doubted the opponent was completely still. It also made him certain of their origin. While he didn’t like it, at least he could go all out without concerns. The Silver Blades had really had many more members than they let on. He would say it was surprising to see them everywhere he or Barrett went, but then again they were at all of those locations as well- and enemy cultivators ending up where they would fight wasn’t entirely a matter of coincidence. He wouldn’t say there was necessarily fate or something guiding everything, but things just worked that way.
As he began to hone in on the location of the enemy, he felt something in his chest. He had been watching out for tricks, but apparently not well enough. Whatever poisonous gas was in him had been very well concealed. It started breaking down his body- much faster than the natural effect of the river or even the Metal Sea itself… but it felt somewhat related. Teran even felt the blood vessels in his eyes ready to burst.
Another needle came, and he realized his mistake. There wasn’t just one enemy. The question was, how could he deal with them all? Then he shook his head. Sometimes, the easiest strategy was the best one. After he’d picked out a few likely locations, he threw a series of multisteel balls out. Lead was good and heavy, but it couldn’t withstand enough berserk energy to avoid exploding early. Multisteel wasn’t exactly strong, but it was strong enough to last long enough.
As the multisteel balls struck the surrounding buildings, they exploded. Teran Hykel admired their solid construction, since the buildings didn’t completely collapse. When he was fifth tier it had only taken a couple swings of his axe to bring down a building in the Raging Fire Sect. While the buildings were more or less still standing, the same couldn’t be said of all those inside. Shrapnel and berserk energy had torn into some of them- and at least one of them had taken a direct hit and couldn’t be recognized as a body anymore.
Teran Hykel felt the poison spreading from his lungs into the rest of his body. While he could contain the poison, it would be hard to expel it without some time taken to understand it. Instead, he merely let it try to break down his body a little bit at a time. If he wasn’t healing, he thought he would be dead within a minute. Wounds that took more than a couple months to recover from usually just moved into the deadly range. However, he was recovering. Since he was a sixth tier Immortal Berserker, he healed at a rate of more than a normal day’s healing per second. The fact that the toxin could overcome that was already impressive- and meant he couldn’t afford to waste time. Even if he could completely heal as fast as he was being damaged, it did take stamina to heal. He needed to completely take out the strongest enemy quickly, then he could basically ignore the rest- he would at least be able to detect them trying to poison him.