Chapter 763: Touch Wood
Translator: Sparrow Translations Editor: Sparrow Translations
The vast dragon encircled Li Yuanfang’s body as voluminous power began to harmonize with Li Yuanfang’s own pool of mana. The product was a mystical concept of power of continuous rise and non-stop improvement as the illusory dragon continued to enmesh itself with the light energy emanating from Li Yuanfang’s body. In the end, it transformed into a halo and orbited Li Yuanfang quietly.
Everybody could immediately feel that Li Yuanfang’s spiritual essence and energy were markedly stronger.
“This feeling… aurous core intermediate stage?” The Green Glass Soul was a little perplexed.
He was the original soul of the Green Glass Jade Stand, so aurous core intermediate stage cultivators were worthless to him. However, Li Yuanfang was only in the aurous core beginner stage and abruptly ascended to the aurous core intermediate stage under the effects of Zhu Yi’s Soaring Dragon Spell. This sudden change piqued his interest.
Over the course of the history of the Grand Celestial World, there were multiple mantras and secret methods that could instantaneously increase one’s level of mastery. However, many of them had negative side effects and most were only able to target themselves and were unable to target others.
It was not impossible for immortal soul stage cultivators and nascent soul stage grandmasters to raise the masteries of aurous core stage cultivators right away. However, there were usually side effects, and this was an action that would typically spoil things with the undue hastiness.
Zhu Yi and Li Yuanfang came from the same sect and they were on good terms as well. There was no reason for Zhu Yi to harm the latter, and even though time was of the essence in the struggle to break the ancient formation, it did not call for such a radical move with irreversible side effects.
If there was a loophole in the spell, it would be similar to that of other mantras that only temporarily increased one’s level of mastery – there was a time limit. The Green Glass Soul could feel that the effects of the Soaring Dragon Spell would fade over time and once the mana had completely dissipated, Li Yuanfang would have returned to the aurous core beginner stage.
Zhu Yi widened his eyes and glared at Jieyu and Baiguang. “I can only use this spell on others and it has no effect on me. At my current level of mastery, I can only boost the powers of cultivators below the immortal soul stage. Jieyu is already in the demonic lord advanced stage, so I can’t help to raise you to the Undying Demonic Soul. However, I can boost Baiguang to the demonic lord advanced stage.”
“However, this spell can only be used once on the target individual for a period of time and it cannot be used continuously. I intend to use the same spell to boost Baiguang after we have picked apart this ancient formation and we are officially in the contest for the Yingzhou Celestial Mountain.”
Both Jieyu and Baiguang nodded their heads in acknowledgement as Zhu Yi passed the Green Glass Jade Stand to Li Yuanfang. “The two of you will be following Sixth Junior. Your main task is to protect him and prevent him from being harmed by the illusions and transformations within the formation. You guys can leave the matter of understanding and solving the magic formation to him.”
“I will do it alone. Let’s split up.”
The Nameless Ancient Formation was frail and weak at this point in time and did not possess that much destructive power in itself. However, the layers of illusions within the Ying Sea were still present. Under the effects of the ancient formation, cultivators lost their sense of hearing and could not see color and were thus more susceptible to the deceptive illusions and would be more easily trapped inside.
It would be extremely perilous for any cultivator who found himself trapped.
The Green Glass Soul showed no further displeasure about the proposal as he thought to himself, “I have been inside the Nameless Ancient Formation before. If my master’s Sixth Junior is unable to solve it, or if he’s too slow, I think I can be of help.”
The Green Glass Soul quickly realized that his worries were completely unnecessary.
“The first formation pattern: Yin advances and Yang retreats, Bingwu enters Jiazi, Yimo gives way to Guichen, Dingyi retreats into Renchou, Gengmao enters Binghai…” (Translator’s Note: This text draws from the ancient Chinese system of sexagenary cycles, i.e., the twelve earthly branches and the ten heavenly stems. They are also used by Chinese astronomers and mariners as directions, on top of the four cardinal directions.)
“This formation pattern is too ancient. Calculations using the Heavenly Stems and Earthly Branches method overcomplicates things. I shall switch to Heluo’s Law…” Li Yuanfang proceeded forward casually as he spoke quickly. However, his enunciation was as clear as his thought process even though he was not directing his speech at the Green Glass Soul or the others. It was a force of habit from talking to himself all the time during his own studies of magic formations.
“The cluster of the first ten formation patterns: The center doesn’t move, the left-hand side coexists, the first, third, fifth, seventh and ninth formation pattern possesses Yang energy. The seventh formation pattern is abnormal, the Second Earth becomes fire, and the Seventh Sky is formed. If the Seventh Sky is incomplete, then the Second Earth doesn’t exist.” (Translator’s Note: This is another system derived from ancient Chinese literature, and is used to calculate positions amongst other things. There are positions, denoted by the numbers, within regions that are denoted by terms like “Sky”, “Earth”, “Fire”, “Water”, etc, and is related to the four cardinal directions as well.)
“The second, fourth, sixth, eighth and tenth formation pattern is positioned on the right-hand side. The second formation pattern is incomplete, we can use this as a point of entry to solve the formation.”
“The second cluster of ten formation patterns: the center doesn’t move, the left-hand side coexists, the first, third, fifth, seventh and ninth formation pattern possesses Yang energy. The first formation pattern is abnormal – First Sky becomes Water, Sixth Earth is formed and will not exist if the First Sky isn’t there.”
“The second, fourth, sixth, eighth and tenth formation patterns are positioned on the right-hand side. The sixth formation pattern is incomplete, we can use this as a point of entry.”
“The third cluster of ten formation patterns…”
“The fourth cluster…”
Li Yuanfang kept moving forward and he never stopped once to take a break. For him, the powers of the Nameless Ancient Formation were a lot weaker than before and there was no need for him to pay attention to its dangers. He could focus solely on the changes in the magic formation, and once he made some headway or figured out the rhythm and patterns, the resolution of the magic formation would become much speedier.
Even though the Nameless Ancient Formation had assimilated the powers of the various spatial illusions around the Ying Sea, he had the protection of the Green Glass Soul, Jieyu and Baiguang so he was not did not have to be concerned about that either.
The Green Glass Soul and the two dragons watched him with amazement, yet they developed a feeling that all this was somehow common-sense.
Li Yuanfang’s eyes sparkled as he positioned himself squarely in the middle of the ancient formation. What was dry, complicated and challenging for most others was enjoyment for him.
Within the magic formation, Zhu Yi and the others existed in a separate plane. From the perspective of Lin Feng and the others outside the magic formation, the innumerable jade planks that formed a dome-like structure over the Yingzhou Celestial Mountain pieced together like an organized tessellation of rectangular brick flooring.
The countless numbers of planks started to move, yet there was an enchanting beauty to the chaos.
The Nameless Ancient Formation was a lot weaker than it had been. Lin Feng, Liang Pan and Shi Yu would not have too much trouble overcoming the magic formation had they been the ones insides. However, they would have required the brute force of Mount Yujing, the Imperial Palace or the Immortal Dragon City for a swifter resolution.
If not for the fact that there two other powerful parties watching him, Lin Feng did not mind using this speedy method to handle the magic formation. In the end, he was obsessed about magic formations like Li Yuanfang was.
However, the current situation was not too bad at all. Lin Feng had always been confident about the auspiciousness and good fortune of his disciples.
Furthermore, Zhu Yi was not the only one there – now there were two.
Xiao Yan, Xiao Zhener, Yang Qing, the Kui Cow King and the Spiritual Horse King had arrived in the space above the Yingzhou Celestial Mountain. Lin Feng immediately sent a voice-projected message to them and explained the current circumstance while Xiao Yan described his own encounters at the same time.
Lin Feng nodded faintly when he heard about the Ratnasambhava Monk but said nothing.
After everything had been arranged and instructed, Xiao Yan and his company bid farewell to Lin Feng and immediately descended into the Yingzhou Celestial Mountain.
Liang Pan and Shi Yu did not object to this new variant even though they were both aware that Xiao Yan was in the nascent soul advanced stage.
Compared to Zhu Yi’s prowess as a nascent soul advanced stage cultivator, it was not hard to imagine that of Xiao Yan’s, and that his abilities could no longer be measured by the standard gauges used for nascent soul stage cultivators.
In the end, there was no way they could object to what the Celestial Sect of Wonders were doing anyway. That just seemed too stingy, as if they were afraid.
The only thing they could do was bank their hopes on the Da Kong Zen Master and Prince Jingfang and the others.
However, Xiao Yan’s company was a lot slower than Zhu Yi and the first batch of cultivators. It was expected that they would take a considerably longer time to break the magic formation than the others as they started a lot later.
The Nameless Ancient Formation was nothing like the spatial illusion that Lin Feng had just encountered. It did not dissipate once a single person had broken it. This was because the eye of the formation was the Yingzhou Celestial Mountain, thus there was no way it could be completely removed. Furthermore, the strength of the formation was fueled by the spiritual energy of nature and the countless illusions around the mountain. Unless Lin Feng and the others eroded them from the outside, the magic formation as there to stay.
Therefore, Xiao Yan and his company were unable to share in the fruits of Zhu Yi and Li Yuanfang’s success – they could only rely on themselves.
As time passed by, the spherical-shaped structure of jade planks surrounding the mountain started to transform into a complete annulus before their movement stopped entirely and radiated with colorful radiance.
Zhu Yi sauntered forward calmly within the Nameless Ancient Formation as a giant turtle-shaped turtle hovered above his head.
The spiritual turtle’s eyes were calm but was deep and profound like the vast oceans.
An immeasurable volume of light patterns and characters appeared and vanished on the back of the turtle shell and resembled the ephemeral nature of air bubbles in the ocean water.
These characters clustered together and continuously connected to one another. It seemed like a giant diagram of the eight trigrams from far away.
Through the use of the Return Of All Appearances Spell, the speed at which Zhu Yi was solving the Nameless Ancient Formation was actually faster than Li Yuanfang. After all, he was more than a single level higher in mastery, and he was a lot more sensitive to the flow of spiritual energy within the magic formation.
Suddenly, Zhu Yi stopped in his tracks and smiled as a black-white ripple appeared in the colorless waves before him as Li Yuanfang and his company stepped out.
The two of them did not even bother greeting each other as they immediately got down to consolidating their respective findings and cross-referencing each other.
After completely understanding the changes within the magic formation, Zhu Yi nodded his head one final time and said, “I will cast the spell.”
Li Yuanfang was in complete agreement as it was clear that Zhu Yi was more powerful than he was and thus had a higher chance at success.
Zhu Yi had already begun to cast a spell as he formed a handprint on his stomach. It was agile and dense at the same time, and primitive yet profound.
Calm yet distant lights suddenly shot out from the eyes of the giant spiritual turtle above his head and stirred up the wave-like spaces in front of them.
The entire rea surrounding the company began to tremble and ripple like boiling water as the lights from the turtle’s eyes began to take effect; giant air bubbles appeared and exploded before Zhu Yi and the others.
Color gradually returned to the environment as ear-splitting booming sounds could be heard.
The entire layer of void shattered before their very eyes as their environment changed once again – they were out of the Nameless Ancient Formation, and had finally arrived on the Yingzhou Celestial Mountain.
Zhu Yi could confirm that they were not in an illusion and had truly landed on the mountain. They stepped over solid ground and felt the ample spiritual energy of the mountain as they began to take in the profound laws of nature.
“It’s actually so simple. This feeling is just too unreal,” The Green Glass Soul was the first to speak. The tone of his voice clearly showed his disbelief and incredulity towards the entire process.
Zhu Yi smiled and said, “We are stepping on the shoulders of giants who came before us after all. The repeated assaults upon the Nameless Ancient Formation has weakened it so much that it is only able to disable our sense of hearing and take away the color of the environment. These two items are not really that important in our efforts to break it. A magic formation that has lost its offensive capabilities is just like a dying man – all it can do is watch as we analyze the transformations and derive the proper solution.”
Li Yuanfang continued, “The same goes for the others who are not that good with magic formations. Even though they will be slightly slower and we are clearly the first to break through, time is still of the essence.”
Zhu Yi turned his gaze towards the vast and sprawling magical mountain. “Let’s go.”