“This farm really paid off, maybe more than the whole visit to the eastern side of the empire. Now, what should I change this thing into, let’s look over the options.”
Zhang Dong was seated at his chair in the command station of the Golden Dong Palace. The first thought in his head was to change the name that he had given to this thing but going through spirit points for something like this hurt his very soul. Maybe after all the danger was over and the passive spirit point gain was good he would just change it to something more regal. The Golden Dragon Palace had a better ring to it and was also more aligned with his new title.
“Hm… Not that many options, one will add a few defensive features but what I need now is something that can do a few things…”
With the Emerald Phoenix Emperor’s and his son’s passing there was only one main enemy that he stood against. It was the underwater empire that was led by the Cerulean Empress. The usual time for their attack had already passed so now everyone was curious about what was happening. Either they had decided to change their tactics or were just out of disposable soldiers.
Their cloning technology was quite advanced but it required a stable infusion of resources. The cloning mechanisms didn’t just run off spiritual energy they also required some type of strange biomass. His people were able to capture one of those cloning facilities and were somewhat able to deduce the mechanics behind it.
There was one component missing which didn’t allow them to copy the technology but it still allowed them to make some strides in the healing field. It was possible to clone body parts which then could replace lost limbs or organs. Making a full human with a working soul was impossible but creating a body was feasible. They theorized that a person that could move their spirit around freaky could potentially go into a created body like that.
This reminded him of some stories that he heard about or read. There were some powerful individuals that were said to have lived for longer than the millennial limit this world was stuck on. The soul that a person was composed of was much more robust than their body which would start falling apart. Zhang Dong, who had quite a powerful soul could potentially drag his life spawn out by using clones of himself.
However, this wouldn't last forever as the process was a bit unnatural. Each time a body was swapped some of that soul energy would be lost forever. If that core component was affected the cultivator would start getting holes in their memory. With time they could even forget who they were or turn into something different. When used in conjunction with demonic Qi, a person could become violent or a monster.
“Going down into the deep blue sea won’t be easy, even if people are able to survive the crushing pressure and lack of air, they have no training in underwater battles.”
His mind drifted back to the problem at hand. The people from the underwater empire probably had their base deep in the sea. Even he was only able to contend with the monsters because the power differential was really huge and he didn’t really go down as deep.
His spies had done some research about where the enemy monsters were coming from. It was easy to follow the swarm of sea creatures back from where they came from. Everything indicated that they had a base of operations many kilometers under the sea. No light was able to reach that far underground and they had to be ready to fight vast quantities of sea monsters when they got there.
“Going by the report it's possible that this base of theirs isn’t fully submerged in water. They did spot some type of protective barrier that couldn’t be peered through, first we need to destroy that before we can get further. I think this upgrade will allow my troops to move more freely there…”
Zhang Dong looked at the options of the castle and one allowed it to augment its shielding technology. This barrier was also quite special, besides forming one layer on the inside that acted like a semi-transparent wall, there was an outer region that could drive the water back. In this region that could be pushed out to a couple of kilometers around his base, his other ships could maneuver around as if they were up in the air.
“Concentric Barrier Fortress, that’s quite the long name for it…”
Concentric castles were ones with at least two layers of walls surrounding them. In this case, his bastion would gain another layer of regular walls along with separate barriers and generators powering them. Even if one protective wall fell there was another one that his troops could retreat behind. In a way, this was turning into a huge city castle with multiple layers of defenses that could also fly and work underwater.
“It’s going to double in size and even include some residential housing for the soldiers… It can also hold twenty thousand people now, I guess there is no reason not to pick it.”
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He was already set on going with the more defensive fortress as that was its main reason for existing. When it came to attacking his sect members and masters would take care of that part. What they needed was a base that people could hide in where they were injured and one that couldn’t be easily breached even from multiple sides. How fast it moved wasn’t really important just how much of a beating it could take.
“Now that I have decided, I should probably post an announcement…”
While he could just spend the points and the transformation would start taking place, he couldn’t just do it while people were outside. The walls would start stretching out and some of the buildings would get shifted around. He wasn’t sure if someone could get crushed or stuck in a wall but it was better to exclude all variables.
After clearing his throat he pressed a button that allowed his voice to go through the whole place. Even though Zhang Jin was here already, he didn’t know what his grandson was planning.
“This is your Patriarch speaking, please move into the inner palace in an orderly fashion. The Golden Dong Palace is going to go through a change so be sure to take all your important belongings with you as they might not be there when you return, that is all.”
The place was mostly populated by military personnel composed of the best experts from his sect. There were no questions asked as they knew that they could trust in the announcement. The only complaints he could see were from Zhang Jin that was interrupted while spending some time with several of his wives.
‘That old fart really changed this into his own harem… that bathing area is bigger than that aqua park I once visited when I was younger…’
“Dong’er, was that you? You could have said something to your dear grandfather!”
“You seemed preoccupied with something else… There is no need for you to do anything, just stay there and wait for everyone else to move into the main palace.”
While the outer areas would be changing, the original palace wouldn’t so it was safe to stay. With his order out he watched people quickly swarming for the main palace gates. They didn’t crowd or push each other and with the help of spatial rings, there wasn’t much luggage that they needed to carry around. Soon after around ten minutes, everyone was safely inside the main hall.
“Let’s get this over with.”
Soon he was pressing the accept button that activated the next step for this Golden Dong Palace. The whole place started rumbling slightly as the change was taking place outside. People that were not stationed inside the flying castle started pointing up at the golden light that was produced. The bright glow masked the transformation slightly but he could clearly see what was happening.
First, the large foundation that looked like a floating island started expanding. The underside was made of something that looked like regular rocks but was just as sturdy as the walls surrounding the whole palace. After this underside was enlarged the walls started popping out from the ground. It was like watching someone assemble something at a hundred times the normal speed. The ground was filled with white tiles that reflected some of the golden structures. This was still the Golden Palace so the motive was kept as it was.
“Everyone is free to go outside, please explore the new palace and make sure that you are familiar with all the new facilities.”
After everything was done he was quick to give the order for everyone to go out. They needed to look through all the new buildings before they descended into the unknown and dark sea. With the expansion of this place, a need for more personnel also arose. Thus the second thing he did was inform Zhang Jin that was meant to lead this place.
“Gramps, I expanded the palace. Be sure to familiarize yourself with the new layout and get new personnel from the main sect. After everything is in order we will be taking this new palace for a spin.”
“Hoh, where are we going with this thing?”
“Where else? Under the sea of course!”
“Under the sea?”
“Yes down where it’s wetter, take it from me…”
“Ah never mind, just an old song that I remembered. Now, be sure to go through the new floor plans and tell the alchemists and blacksmiths to stock the whole place up, we might be down there for a while and must be ready for any possibility.”
“Don’t worry, I’ll get everything ready.”
After a short conversation with his grandfather he sunk back into his chair. The people outside were already flying all over the place. The moment he gave the order they would normally drop everything that they were doing just to appease him. Luckily this was not out of fear but instead out of reverence.
“I guess it would be bad if I ever disappointed them. Their image of their great patriarch must never be tarnished or the whole place could collapse.”
His image of the glorious leader had to persist. He already saw that his sect was slowly falling apart when he was gone for five years. Now if anything happened to him as long as the basis for his sect was strong, even if he was gone it wouldn’t fall apart like last time.
“Well then, let’s get this show on the road!”