Chapter 1006: The Trap
Translator: Sparrow Translations Editor: Sparrow Translations
“Eh?” Liu Xiafeng raised an eyebrow as he heard Yang Zhao’s question and a grin appeared on his face. “What are you trying to say?”
Yang Zhao continued, “Elder Xiao Yan’s first disciples seems to be Tang Jun. I heard he only joined the Celestial Sect of Wonders during the third grand opening of the mountain gates?”
Liu Xiafeng shrugged his shoulders and answered casually, “Your idea of sowing discord amongst us – that’s quite a low blow, isn’t it?”
“Sowing discord? There’s no need,” Yang Zhao said plainly, “The reason is because the gap between you and Tang Jun is simply too great. Anybody can tell that you are no match for him – so what value is there for me to sow discord between the two of you?”
Liu Xiafeng raised both his eyebrows and stared straight at Yang Zhao. Yang Zhao said softly, “According to the normal time of the Grand Celestial World, Tang Jun joined the Celestial Sect of Wonders during the Spiritual Conference of Mount Kunlun seven years ago, the third time your sect has opened its mountain gates.”
“And you? I think you joined up during the first opening ceremony, no? I can’t quite remember the exact number, but it must have been more than ten years,” said Yang Zhao as a faint smile appeared on his face, “The only thing I don’t know is, how much time have the both of you sent in the caves that speed up time?”
“Objectively, who has spent a longer period of time cultivating?”
“You’re already in the aurous core intermediate stage, and that’s an achievement in itself. If I’m not wrong, you are ready to experience the tribulations of the Yin Winds as well, eh?”
“It’s a pity that Tang Jun is about ready to attempt the Void Lightning Tribulations.”
Liu Xiafeng watched him silently before he flashed a vibrant smile. “I don’t mind telling you how many years I’ve spent cultivating because that’s not a big deal. My question is – how many years did you take to reach the aurous core advanced stage?”
Yang Zhao shook his head slowly. “I’ve said before, it’s not my intention to sow discord as there is really no need for that.”
“This just occurred to me all of a sudden, so I just wanted to ask. Although one can say that Elder Xiao Yan’s choice of First Disciple is a great one.”
Liu Xiafeng laughed again and said, “If you don’t wish to tell me, that’s fine. Let’s just get into it.”
With that, his figure flashed and arrived before Yang Zhao before he struck down with his palm.
When Tang Jun was battling against Shan Xiang, Wan Zhenglun and Yang Zhao, Liu Xiafeng was helping out with maintaining the defensive power of the World Spell of Turning Heaven’s Will. However, the entire process fell into his eyes and he was aware that Yang Zhao was a pure spell cultivator.
Since this was the case, closing the distance between them was the best approach against Yang Zhao. The shorter the distance between them, the greater the advantage for Liu Xiafeng.
The disciples under Xiao Yan’s Inferno Precipice were relatively adept with the Martial Way, and Liu Xiafeng was one of those more outstanding ones.
Liu Xiafeng’s strike seemed like it was out of sync with the ferociously burning flames of the Grand Sun Primordial Fire around his body, as it was a slow and flowing like a stream of water.
It was a form of the Celestial Sect of Wonder’s Fist of the Eight Trigrams – the Ridgewater Palm.
This form was not complement to the Inferno Precipice and its lineage of mantras, and was rarely used by disciples of the Inferno Precipice.
However, as Liu Xiafeng’s palm struck down, the stance abruptly changed and he clenched his palm into a fist – the Ridgewater Palm was transformed into the Flaming Fist Form, and violent power exploded outward!
A soft and flowing move was instantly transformed into a tough and ferocious one with seamless continuation and appeared incredibly smooth.
The strength released from this change of form was far greater than that of directly using the Flaming Fist Form from the very beginning.
The spike-like rays of golden light from the Grand Sun Primordial Fire flickered on his iron fist as his whole being seemed like a tiny Sun that was crashing down on Yang Zhao’s head.
This scene fell into the eyes of Yang Tie and company, and their eyes started to sparkle. “This change in form is highly representative of his understanding of the Fist of the Eight Trigrams.”
The company from the Great Void Sect also shared the same opinion as they watched Liu Xiafeng’s assault. “This transformation shows that he has a deep understanding of the mantra.”
Yang Zhao’s brows creased as he faced the burning radiance, but his expression was as calm as ever, as if he had seen Liu Xiafeng’s ferocious stance coming from a mile away, and was simply surprised and approving of the power of this sudden transformation.
Just as Liu Xiafeng made his first move, Yang Zhao’s body immediately drifted backwards as he stepped backward as if he was on a staircase that was extending neverendingly – it was one of the Vanishing Spells of the Great Void Sect, the Elite Vanishing Heaven-Ascending Spell.
While Liu Xiafeng’s Flaming Fist Form was fearsome with the support of his Grand Sun Primordial Fire, this retreat meant that he was about to miss his target.
Liu Xiafeng whistled and unleashed his own Vanishing Spell from the Eight Spells of the Heavens and Earth, the Grand Vanishing Spell, and pursued Yang Zhao.
The Eight Spells of the Heavens and Earth and the Fist of the Eight Trigrams were mantras devised purely by the Celestial Sect of Wonders. They were both mantras that had been studied, refined and understood repeatedly by Xiao Yan and his juniors and eventually passed down to their disciples, and seemed simple enough but was filled with unpredictable transformations.
While the difficulty of learning these mantras were reduced, these mantras had room for power increments and these conflicting points required consistent balance and effort in mastering them.
Every single disciple of the younger generation entering the Celestial Sect of Wonders were not exempt, and everybody tried their best to master these two mantras.
As their levels of mastery increased and their experiences became richer over time, they would obtain a deeper understanding of the great theories of heaven and earth. It was possible that the day would come when they would stop using the Fist of the Eight Trigrams and the Eight Spells of the Heavens and Earth, but these two mantras were considered relatively sophisticated for aurous core stage cultivators.
Yang Zhao unleashed the Elite Vanishing Heaven-Ascending Spell to dodge Liu Xiafeng’s strike, but Liu Xiafeng was ruthless as he caught up with him in a second and gave him no room to breathe.
“Good move.” Even though Yang Zhao was frustrated, his eyes were as calm as usual and seemed relatively satisfied with the current situation.
All of a sudden, he howled into the air and a strange tune came out of his throat. Every note connected to each other to form a crisp rhythm, which was part of an ancient folk song.
The sounds were drifty and hard to predict, and there were concepts related to the vastness of the world contained within.
Pale white clouds were released from the effects of the song and gradually enveloped the entire area.
Yang Tie, Li Xingfei and Zhou Yuncong frowned a little as they heard this song. Yang Tie glanced at Li Xingfei and asked, “Senior Li, is this the Great Void Sect’s Supreme Drifting Song Spell?”
Li Xingfei’s eyes were fixed on the thick white clouds. “I have never seen this before, but I think you’re right.”
The Supreme Drifting Song Spell originated from the Mantra of the Great Oblivion, and combined the effects of voice energy with other mantras; the drifting sounds of the song fused together with the material clouds.
Great Void Sect cultivators who were positioned within the clouds followed the song and their physical bodies became drifty and illusory as well, and their opponents would find it difficult to determine their movements.
When Vanishing Spells such as the Supreme Drifting Song Spell, the Elite Vanishing Heaven-Ascending Spell and the Flow of Time and Space were used at the same time, it was difficult for the opponent to hurt the practitioner.
The flowing clouds drifting around seemed endless, and were so soft that it felt like they could absorb anything. It was incredibly difficult for Liu Xiafeng to unleash the power of the Grand Sun Primordial Fire to burn everything out.
Even though this mantra wasn’t a passive defensive spell, it was one of the mantras that incorporated the most intricate principles of the Great Void Sect’s defensive mantras.
If this spell was combined with unpredictable mutability, then its defensive powers would be even more outstanding.
While the song was still ongoing, another voice could be heard that resonated between the clouds. “If Tang Jun was here, the power of his Ashen Flames and the Nefarious Spectral Primordial Fire might render this spell useless.”
“Or, Zhou Yuncong’s Yang-Incinerating Vital Spirit would also have been able to break my mantra.”
“It’s a pity that you’re not either of them, and all you can do is be trapped inside and there’s nothing you can do.”
The Supreme Drifting Song Spell was not merely used for hiding and defense. The vast white clouds continuously eroded Liu Xiafeng’s mana, and worked against the mana that he used for personal protection.
The Grand Sun Primordial Fire was violent and explosive and forced the white clouds to retreat upon contact. However, the rolling white clouds returned in a jiffy and this process repeated itself as it whittled down Liu Xiafeng’s mana.
Liu Xiafeng wasn’t too frustrated in this dire situation. Yang Zhao’s words, which were meant to taunt him, did not seem to have much effect either.
He changed his spell and started to collect voluminous amounts of Grand Sun Primordial Fire and conjured a small and unassuming pill. However, it contained massive amounts of detonation power and it erupted with such force that an entire patch of white clouds cleared away in an instant.
However, Yang Zhao’s figure flashed once and his mantra started to transform between reality and illusion. He recovered quickly, and used the Elite Vanishing Heaven-Ascending Spell along with the power of the white clouds to disappear once again.
Following the drifting sounds of the song, the white clouds permeated the entire area once again and enveloped Liu Xiafeng.
A faint smile appeared on Yang Zhao’s cold face as he looked down at Liu Xiafeng.
When Wan Zhenglun lost to Liu Xiafeng, he returned to the mountain in humiliation. Still, he knew what was important and reported the process of his battle with Liu Xiafeng.
His personality played a part, and he also had a relatively deep understanding of the great theories of heaven and earth. Liu Xiafeng’s cultivation of the Heavenly Classic of the Ways Virtues gave him an opportunity to devise his own mantra, called the Heavenly Vein Flowing Spell, which was also a vanishing spell.
Amongst the second generation of disciples from the Celestial Sect of Wonders of the same level of mastery, Liu Xiafeng was one of the three disciples most adept with Vanishing Spells.
Yang Zhao was roughly informed with Liu Xiafeng’s abilities from the words of Wan Zhenglun. Even though he had never seen them before, he was acutely aware that Liu Xiafeng’s Vanishing Spells were sophisticated and powerful.
From the very beginning, Yang Zhao wanted to challenge Yang Tie and not Liu Xiafeng.
Yang Zhao was familiar with Yang Tie’s battle prowess. He had heard stories before, and witnessed it with his own eyes when they were still inside the Spiritual Energy Hurricane.
Most people would develop headaches battling Yang Tie as they would feel that their strikes were slow and useless, and their powers had no targets.
There was a public consensus that they would rather clash head-on with people like Tang Jun, Han Yang and Zhou Yuncong than grind it out with Yang Tie.
Offence is the true form of initiative, and prolonged defense would inevitably lead to a mistake. However, Yang Tie’s historical record proved that as long as the gap in mastery wasn’t too great, he was able to grind down his opponent till the very end, and this even included cultivators who were higher in mastery and power than her was.
If there was a chance of winning the war of attrition against Yang Tie, his opponents usually played their hands out anyway and took it slow against him. However, their chances to emerge victorious were roughly one in a hundred.
Yang Zhao had the patience to grind it out with Yang Tie. From another point of view, Yang Zhao’s favorite opponents were similar to Yang Tie. Faced with Tang Jun, Zhou Yuncong and Han Yang who were masters of violent assaults, Yang Zhao had no chance at all.
Now that his opponent was switched to Liu Xiafeng, Yang Zhao was not afraid at all. From the information passed on by Wan Zhenglun, Liu Xiafeng wasn’t too good with aggressive moves.
The only problem was that if Liu Xiafeng unleashed his Heavenly Vein Flowing Spell and played guerilla warfare with him, it would be difficult for Yang Zhao to win the battle as well.
Therefore, instigating Liu Xiafeng and making him angry so that he would fall into the trap that Yang Zhao had so carefully laid out was the best approach.
Subsequently, Yang Zhao planned to show some weakness and display hysterical and confused emotions to give Liu Xiafeng the illusion that victory was within reach, and mislead him into continuing his forceful attacks that weren’t his strong suit.
From the moment his opponent was confirmed to be Liu Xiafeng, the trap had been set up. Yang Zhao was patiently waiting for Liu Xiafeng to fall inside, for him to struggle – the more he struggled, the tighter the trap became.