Two days passed by in a glimpse.
An iron ball with a spike smashed against the side of Garen's face. However, the crisp metal clanking noise made it sound like the ball collided against a piece of indestructible metal.
Joy flashed across Garen's eyes as he forced his way out through the waves of iron balls.
"I'll have to trouble you for a bit."
Collin stood courteously at the corner of the room with a black metal spear in his hand. The spear was as thick as a person's arm and as long as three metal spears, its tip piercingly sharp.
"Let Grace go first," Collin said, nodding.
"That works too." Garen didn't seem to be bothered.
The two of them walked out of the practice room and into the empty Martial Coliseum.
Grace was waiting in the middle of the room. She had an assault rifle in her hand. After Garen came out, she looked worried. "Garen, are you sure this is okay?"
"Don't worry, let's start." Garen nodded. "Remember to wear a bulletproof vest."
He had asked Grace to find an assault rifle to test his body's defense. His originally strong body's condition would require testing to determine its strength after training the Iron Body Technique.
Although Grace had seen Garen's impeccable physical defense, it was an assault rifle she was holding. The bullets shot from this type of weapon were powerful, piercing and in no way comparable to pistol bullets. She still had her doubts in her mind, but it was for helping Garen to train, so she listened to him.
She wore a full set of bulletproof clothing, with helmet and gloves, while Collin was asked to hide in a small room nearby.
She raised the assault rifle and aimed directly at Garen.
"Should I start?"
Garen took a deep breath, and his muscles began to tighten. His entire upper body expanded by a full size as if he was a barbarian with a giant's blood from the legends. He towered over the 170 centimeter tall Grace.
Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang!
The rapid firing echoed through the Martial Coliseum.
Garen's body exploded with tiny sparks, but they faded in a blink of an eye. The bullet impacts made the sound of metal striking metal.
"Puuuuushhhh!" Garen thrust his palm forward.
He swiped his palm in front of him. The clanking sound was fiercest there.
The noise of bullets colliding came to an abrupt stop.
Grace stared hysterically at Garen, standing not far from her. He calmly extended his hand and faced the ground. A couple bullets dropped down, bouncing lightly up and down.
In the White Gate Martial Coliseum.
Garen stood naked in the middle of the Martial Coliseum.
Collin and a group of hired men held onto the black spear with the tip pointed directly at his abs.
They thrust the spear at Garen at full strength.
They marched forward with the same rhythm as they used all of their strength to push the black metal spear forward. Their speed increased as they got closer and closer.
The spear's tip collided directly with Garen's abs in a manner of striking a metal block.
Garen's entire body shook as he retreated two steps backward before quickly regaining his balance. He pushed back against the group of eight people.
The vibration he created forced the men to drop the spear. It almost hit their feet as it fell down.
It was fortunate that Collin managed to grab the spear and slowly put it down.
The men stepped back. They looked at Garen with eyes full of terror, as if he were an alien.
"Congratulations, Senior Brother!" Collin exclaimed, seeing that Garen's abs were perfectly fine.
"Senior brother's strength is impeccable! He can definitely beat Andrela's ass to the ground." Simon laughed hysterically.
Garen shook his head speechlessly. Simon's arm had not yet to recovered, but his audacity and cocky attitude had already returned.
Grace calmly walked over to wipe away the sweat off of him before giving him some salt water to replenish his body.
Garen took the cup of water and downed it clean. He saw what had happened to him and felt something odd.
"Ok, rest for a little, and then find more people in the afternoon. You guys will attack from all directions."
After seeing everyone's pressure alleviate, Garen was certain he'd achieved his goal. Everyone was under high duress and fear when they heard the Celestial Circle Gate was invading. But now that he displayed the unbelievable amount of force, it would ease the enormous amount of pressure everyone was holding and calm their minds.
Although he had officially mastered the entry level of the Iron Body secret method, he didn't know how much his defence had actually increased. Weapon damage differed, and even between assault rifles, there were significant variances in damage among the different models.
The assault rifle Grace managed to get was obtained through a network of connections, hence its power was limited. Since those people weren't part of the military, the assault rifle would be different from ones they encountered on the way back.
"It's disappointing that the progress in Dark Iron Palm and Firestream Fist is limited. Looks like it'll be impossible to master them in a short amount of time. Dark Iron Palm requires the build up of toxins, whereas Firestream Fist's progress is simply too slow. I must think of other ways."
He pondered, standing in the same spot.
"It would be ideal if there are secret methods similar to Iron Body."
He placed his thoughts someplace else as he approached Collin on the side. With his voice lowered, he said, "Oh, the Twelve Southern Gates are closest to the Circle Dance Gate and Seven Mood Gate. The Celestial Circle Gate is going to be an uphill battle, you guys have to train hard. If you have any questions, just ask me. In the afternoon I plan to visit one of the two Gates and see if I can find something useful from their Wushu collections. Do you know which one of these two Gates has a wider collection?"
The group quieted down after hearing that the subject took a serious turn. Grace led the men away, so they wouldn't interrupt the conversation, and used the time to pay them for the services.
When they heard the question, both Collin and Simon looked troubled.
"Senior Brother, we are only disciples, and thus, do not have a lot of encounters with these Gates," Collin replied with her voice lowered. "I only know that the Circle Dance Gate is farther away. The Seven Moon Gate is located in the Skylark Mountain at Dinah City, which is near us. The Seven Moon Gate is also renowned as the Seven Moon Corporation. They are a conglomerate that's known for real estate, heavy metal, crafts and multiple other areas. I am not too sure about the other things."
Garen's eyebrows rose slightly when he heard the response. "Do you know something more, Simon?"
"I… hehe." Simon touched his nose and didn't respond, only laughing awkwardly.
"I know something about the Seven Moon Corporation," Grace, who just came over, said. "It has always looked for books to add to their collection. When I was at Manleyton Corporation, I've been notified several times about their purchases of related books. They won't disappoint you."
Garen nodded. "I will make a trip to Dinah City in the afternoon with the address they provided. Perhaps I will find something useful. Also, the White Cloud Gate's base is basically non-existent. We better move until second senior brother comes back. If there is any danger after I leave, you guys flee in different directions, so it'll be difficult to trace you."
Although he knew that if the White Cloud Gate base was captured, it would be detrimental to the reputation of the Southern Twelve Gates, for the safety of everyone, Garen carefully told everyone to abandon it.
"Understood, Senior brother, you don't have to worry," Simon responded. The sentence sounded odd as Collin pinched him.
"This is a conflict between the martially adept. You guys are in a different situation compared to me. I killed Celestial Circle Gate's Ni Tenstar, so there is no way it'll be easily resolved. But the rule is that conflicts stop at the family level, but they will only bother me with the rule. As long as I don't hide, my family will be okay. If you guys hide, they will not make trouble with your families. If you must run, do so immediately. After I leave, you guys go hide somewhere with the master. Is that okay?"
"No problem! I can take care of this, I have a mansion in the rural area that's vacant. I can move everyone there." Grace nodded as she responded. Everyone agreed.
Garen carefully explained to Collin and the group what was the safest way to handle certain situations. He then answered some questions they had in the Martial Coliseum, and only after that put on some clothes and left the dojo. Even Grace, who wanted to follow was refused. He would have more flexibility going alone.
The truth was that White Cloud Gate's true power consisted of only six people, the four brothers along with Master and an elder. All the others were considered mercenaries and had no loyalty, and were a negligible force.
Now, Master was unconscious, the senior sister had betrayed the Gate, the second senior brother's presence was unknown, and the third senior brother was prevented from leaving the house to join the conflict in the Wushu world. The elder had also disappeared without leaving any trace behind. The entire White Cloud Gate was left for Garen alone to defend.
Master's friends were all people from the Southern Twelve Gates. All of them were in deep water themselves,so none could have the freedom to lend a helping hand.
The Celestial Circle Gate had clearly indicated they would target White Cloud Gate. Andrela along with his companions were already on their way. Perhaps the Sixth Golden Loop's Su Lin would waste some of their time, dealying them for a few days, but Andrela would arrive at Huaishan City in a matter of a couple days' time regardless.
Garen adjusted his body's condition, recoverering to full power. The first thing he had to do was ensure that everyone else had settled to avoid the problem in his backyard. Then he would head to the remaining Twelve Southern Gates to assist them.
He would have greater flexibility if he traveled alone as he would be able to assist other Gates in a hurry. They would concentrate all their forces to defend against the Celestial Circle Gate.
Of course, searching for lower tier secret methods was also one of his intentions.
Seven Moon Gate. Skylark Mountain's Peak, where Seven Moon corporations headquarters were located. There was the address left by Rampas when he left, and it was the destination of Garen's trip.
The fortunate thing was that the Seven Moon Gate was only a two hour drive away from Huaishan City. Although close, without this incident, the Seven Moon Gate might not have established a connection with the White Cloud Gate.
This ancient Gate was far more powerful compared to the White Cloud Gate. The former master in charge was not the strongest within the Gate. In contrast to White Cloud Gate, within the Seven Moon Gate, there were three people at the level of Fei Baiyun! They had a countless amount of disciples, and were far stronger. They were at the top of the pyramid in the entire Galantia province, and ranked second among the Southern Twelve Gates.
Garen guessed that the reason Andrela came was to target the Seven Moon Gate. He alone would be enough to deal with their conflict. Compared to a behemoth like the Seven Moon Gate, the White Cloud Gate was simply too weak.
All of the Southern Twelve Gates received a detrimental blow.
Even before reaching Dinah City, Garen spotted powerful martial adepts rushing to the mountain peak.
It was likely that the weaker Gates in the Southern Twelve Gates were seeing Seven Moon Gate as the last battleground and concentrated all their forces there. They wanted to use the Seven Moon Gate to preserve themselves.