The group of men went on their way after one of them grabbed the unconscious Sol-Mi. Obviously, they could not use the teleportation arrays around the island for obvious reasons. As such, they had prepared an escape route throughout the wild lands. A relatively safer passage between the mountains and space distorted fields.
All ten of these men was a trained elite who had reached the 59th stage of spiritual accumulation and were far from inexperienced. Yet, even for this kind of 'easy job' where the target was a weakling, they took every precaution they could. They had been scouting and checking the path for months now.
And that's because even though cultivators were capable of incredible feats and they got closer and closer to controlling their surroundings, there was one thing they would always fear. The world itself, the nature. Because their powers came from it. And if they could create terrifying disasters, such disasters could exist naturally too.
It was the case for the wildlands surrounding the seven waterfall floating island. The lands were ravaged by chaotic space elements making it dangerous to just about everyone. Even Hae-Hyuk wouldn't go there casually. The spatial element was one of the most mysterious and deadly. Which is why these people were very confident in their little plan. They did prepare carefully.
Unfortunately for them, Hae-Hyuk had always been watching out for this kind of thing to happen. In his mind, he always believed it would happen. It had been a matter of time and so, he had kept watch as the days went by. And now, he sent an elder on those men's trail.
The Elder was familiar with the territory. Wildlands or not, it was his city's surroundings. He didn't even try to follow the footsteps of the ten kidnappers. Instead, he just rushed straight forward. He kept moving across the land at breakneck speed as he scanned the surroundings. He did so for two reasons:
1) To find the culprits quickly
2) To discover the erupting space distortion and dodge them
He didn't take too long for him to find the group due to them taking many turns trying to dodge the elements. The elder observed them for a moment and then went forward, jumping down from a side cliff and appearing in front of the men. His entrance was surprising to say the least. The ten men never expected it.
They had monitored the girl for months too and they had never seen a bodyguard... How did someone react so quickly to her capture? They did not know. They couldn't have guessed that Hae-Hyuk was watching. After all, it was hard to consider it an option. A mighty cultivator like him spending his days watching over weaklings? A waste of his time. And yet, he did. Which brought this situation.
The elder slowly gazed at the ten men. They were all very suspicious looking indeed. As his eyes fell on the girl, he recognized her easily. She was one of the most valuable clanmate at the moment... He sighed as he glanced at the ten men.
Then, he told them: "Why don't you let her go and I will let you leave alive?"
One of the men snickered while the others didn't move at all. There were ten of them at the 59th stage and that guy was alone, what could he do? What's more, they were elites. Still, the group leader was a cautious man. If they fought, they might attract unwanted attention and suffer minor injuries here and there...
He spoke back: "Who are you?"
The elder bowed without getting his eyes off the group as he introduced himself: "Ryu Seo-Jun, first elder of the Ryu Clan and you?"
The leader obviously didn't introduce himself and instead offered a deal to the elder: "Brother Seo-Jun, I wonder if you could turn a blind eye to this little event? Hm? What do you say we both go our ways and agree that we never saw each other? Hm?"
The elder shook his head sideways as he answered: "Afraid I can't do that after witnessing you guys kidnapping one of ours. Let her go, there ain't no need for a bloodshed today"
The leader sighed as he asked: "Are you certain that you wish to block our path?"
The elder smiled as he said: "I believe so"
Then, he waved his hand as his spiritual energy torrentially left his soul sea and began to surround everyone. The group discovered that he was at the same stage as they were. And they couldn't help but snicker. One cultivator against ten when they were all at the same realm. Who would win? They would have all bet on the group of ten. As such, they were far from afraid.
Until their surroundings changed in a second after he sent out his energy. The landscape was completely different. There were no plants or trees. Only rocks and broken rocks. One could hear and see the trembling ripples of space elements appear everywhere randomly and disappearing shortly after.
The Ryu elder still had his smile on his face as he informed them: "Since you're already here, why not stay?"
One of the ten members couldn't help but ask his colleagues: "What did he do?"
But before any of them could answer, Seo-Jun did: "A little change in scenery. I couldn't let esteemed guests leave without getting a taste of our local tourist spots. Guess what it is famous for?"
After he finished his words, one of the ten men screamed like a pig as one of his arms got caught in a distortion that opened right at his shoulder. The noise became even worse as he began to be sucked inside the distortion while he felt his body being grinded slowly. Even as he channeled all of his energy into escaping, he was unable to. And his friends didn't manage to react in time. In fact, it took only a few seconds for him to be grinded to minced meat through the distortion of space.
Seo-Jun as he got one step to his right and a distortion appeared where he had been standing a moment ago. Then, he told them: "Random spatial distortions, that's what"
The nine remaining men's expressions turned grim.