As time went by fear continued to grow among the disciples. Soon the siege set in and the exterior formations were engaged. On the front line, there was endless fighting. One of the days found John visited by disciples from the library.
Thirty or so disciples from the library department rushed toward John. "Gardener head, please help us!" they exclaimed as they saluted him.
John holds his hand up for silence. "Calm down. What is it that you disciples need from me?" he inquired.
"The library head has gone missing for the past few days. Without him what can we do?" One of them asked nervously. "Without a head to vouch for us they won't even send guards," another added.
"So that old bastard ran away huh?" John said as he stroked his chin in contemplation. The disciples flinched at hearing their head degraded but they had no way to retort. "Fine gather all those who wish to join us. Collect the gardening, plant, and basic cultivation books and bring them into my garden," John commanded.
The disciples hesitated as they looked at each other. This was clearly against the rules. At this point though no one would miss these books. "As you say Gardener head," one of them replied. They bowed and then scurried off.
After a week of fighting outside the sect, the grand defensive formation had broken. John called for all the gardener and library disciples to gather in his garden. "Today is the day. You all stay here you'll know when it's safe. Good luck!" John stated before closing and sealing the garden for the last time.
As he exited eight guard disciples at the obelisk stage ran over. They bow courteously and say "Gardener head! We are here to aid in the defense of this location."
John looks them over and nods. "I'm glad that you all made it. I've had traps prepared, so we'll spread out among them," John explains as he points out the locations.
They look around nervously. 'Even with traps, this mission is sure to be our deaths,' they thought.
John observed their shaking hands and smiles. He patted the closest on the shoulder. "Ha, don't worry. You all should flee. There may still be a chance to escape. As for me, I have something to protect so I must stand my ground here," John told the nervous soldiers.
The guards looked shocked at John. They sniffled some to hold back their tears. They then all bow deeply with resolve in their eyes. They no longer shook in fear but in anticipation. "Gardener head! We too have something we must protect. I'm sorry we showed you such a pitiful sight," one of them exclaimed.
John perplexed examined the changed disciples. 'I wonder what they have to protect? They're young, so it's probably a girl,' he decided "Think nothing of it," John said while laughing.
The guards prepared their weapons in their designated locations. 'I can't believe we looked down on the Gardener head because of his cultivation stage. It's just what you would expect from a veteran of the Lamenter war,' one of the guards thought to himself.
As they look out into the distance, they can already hear the fighting nearing. Some buildings are in flames showing the advance of the enemy. 'The plan won't work if I can't draw the attention of that punk. Hopefully, we can cause a big enough ruckus,' John thought as he looked into the distance.
As the enemies came into view, John stretched his arms and legs in preparation. He then produced the naginata that had dragged him through the war. 'I can't let them just barrage us from range. Our only hope is to pull them in to close combat,' he strategized.
His experience in the war had taught him that numbers win at range. While it may seem like they would be overwhelmed, he knew that with the traps they could hold pretty well. Even without the traps, only four or five people can effectively attack in hand to hand combat.
"I'm John the Gardener head and a veteran of the Lamenter war. I'm surprised you cowards dared to climb out of your hole. Is that prince of cowards Terry Lohkam hiding somewhere in the rear?" John taunted the oncoming wave of men.
"What do you know you senile..." many jeers began to be flung by the invading forces. But they were all cut off by a roar from John, "Those with no face can't speak. Come and fight!" He then pointed his naginata towards his foes with an unwavering gaze.
The invaders' eyes turned red with rage. Soon one couldn't hold back anymore and charged towards John. The man looked like a gangster with a large mace. The attacker was a tall and muscular man with a scarred face. However, from his stance and style, John knew that this man hadn't seen a real war before.
The attacker lifted the mace over his head intending to smash John to bits. His attack had the force of a mountain. He was confident he'd kill this man in one strike. Yet, as the strike fell the old man only slowly moved his naginata to parry. It was like he was too weak to even lift his weapon.
Yet as the weapons neared each other something unexpected happened. John twisted the naginata knocking the mace with the side of the blade. With just this short use of force the mace was deflected. It smashed onto the ground on to John right causing debris and dust to scatter. Before the man could recover, he was already run through by John's naginata.
John sneered at the man and spat on him. "Just what I thought. If you hide in a sect your whole life, it doesn't matter how much you cultivate you'll still be trash," John insulted the surrounding enemies.
After this, the real battle had begun. As they fought the endless horde of enemies, they utilized the traps to keep from being overwhelmed. Even so, the guards that had been sent only lasted for an hour. The last one mumbled, "Sorry, we failed Gardener head." As he died.
John sighed as he saw this. "It was inevitable. You did far better than these cowards," he said to the fallen man. He'd managed to come out fairly unscathed thanks to these brave souls. Even those of equal cultivation didn't want to rush John anymore. They now feared his parry. John was beginning to worry that his mark was truly to cowardly to come out. Luckily his fears didn't come to pass as the hated man finally appeared.
"So the famed Prince of cowards has finally given up hiding behind his men?" John asked sarcastically. He then left his combat stance and leaned on his naginata.
Terry scowled at this patronizing old man. He wore majestic battle armor that gave him an imposing presence. His skin was like jade glistening in the sun, in contrast, John was old and wrinkled. To him, it was obvious who should be looked down on. "Stop wasting your time and bombard him to death from a distance. Without his traps what can he do?" Terry said while suppressing his rage.
"HA, HA, are you so scared of me that you need new silk pants?" John laughed at the younger man.
"What did you say?!" Terry yelled as his blood boiled.
"I can't blame you for being afraid. I've lived through the Lamenter wars while your sect hid. I've slaughtered your companions. Even though you've already reached the preeminent stage, you can't hope to match me," John said while holding back a fake yawn.
"You'll wish you never said that!" Terry berated as he retrieved his sword. He then unleashed his cultivation causing the world to darken. His technique caused his weapon to glow with power as he prepared to finish John off.
John backed up on to the large inscription Felix created. He then pulled out a ball with runes much like the one he gave to his disciples. With his naginata in his right hand and the ball in his left, he prepared to take the attack. John unleashed his cultivation to its maximum, as he burned his true blood with no respect for his life.
"Even if you have more tricks it's pointless. This attack will destroy your soul so you can never reincarnate," Terry cackled maniacally.
Terry charged with sword light flashing beside him. John smiled without fear as he threw the ball into the air. As Terry neared John clutched his naginata as if to parry. But as the strike flashed towards his neck, he stabbed the naginata into the ground. Terry's slash struck true. The strike easily chopped through John's neck.
'Well I Guess I Died,' he thought as he sent all his energy into the inscription. The flow of energy also pulled Terry's energy down with it. In the sky, words appeared continuously insulting Terry. He'd have to choose between stopping the insults or stopping the inscription.
Terry looked on with rage as the inscription activated. Though it was confusing and filled with jumbled messes, and misdirections he was a master inscriptionist. "A large teleportation inscription?! If I don't stop it now, it'll be hard to find later," he said through gritted teeth. Then he looked up into the sky, and his face turned pale. John knew which choice this silk pants boy would take.
Thanks for reading.
I did notice that I've created the first major plot hole. I forgot I said that John was just an outer sect disciple when he died. I wrote that before I had the story plotted out well. I'll change it here soon. The first chapter needed a rewrite anyways.
This is the end of the backflash. It wen on longer then I planned. It may need to be cut down later.
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