Library of Heaven is Path
482 The Fearsome Illusion Formation
Chapter 482: The Fearsome Illusion Formation
Translator: StarveCleric Editor: Millman97
The books in the Formation Master Guild were significantly fewer than that of the Appraiser Hall. Almost seventy percent of the books were for 2-star formation masters and below. Having completely comprehended that level, there was no need for Zhang Xuan to go through those books once more.
As such, it didn't take him long to collect the books. In just two hours, he already had all of them duplicated in the Library of Heaven's Path.
With this collection, he had sufficient books to form Heaven's Path Formation Art 3-dan and 4-dan.
Another two hours passed, and he finally managed to master them. Rubbing his glabella wearily, he exhaled a mouthful of turbid air.
Having collected so many books and cultivated 2 dans of the Heaven's Path Formation Art, even though his cultivation had already reached Half-Transcension, he still felt slightly faint-headed and his face was ghastly pale.
But still, his hard work had brought him great benefits.
In terms of knowledge on formation, he still might not be a match for Guild Leader Zheng, but in terms of setting up formations, the latter was definitely far from a match for him.
"So, this is what inscribing a formation plate means. Inscribing a Spirit Gathering Formation sure isn't easy..."
With a deep understanding of formation plates, Zhang Xuan finally understood why Guild Leader Zheng flew into a rage when he told him to finish it within two hours.
Crafting a formation plate was equivalent to carving a massive formation onto a place the size of a palm. Furthermore, it had to be aligned with the environment. As such, the difficulty of the matter was extremely great.
This was especially so for Spirit Gathering Formations. The timing of half a month that the other party gave was actually truly the fastest speed possible already.
"It's true that using ordinary means to inscribe a formation plate will be difficult. However, if I were to use the Heaven's Path Formation Art to do so, it would be much easier!"
Ordinary formations had to follow the blueprint strictly and ensure that the layout was aligned with the environment, thus making the process incredibly complex and troublesome. A single wrong mark could potentially result in the formation being ruined.
On the other hand, the Heaven's Path Formation Art emphasized on continuity and smooth flow instead. There was more flexibility in it.
Thus, using the Heaven's Path Formation Art to inscribe the same blueprint would be many times simpler than using ordinary means.
"The preparation of the Sea of Formations should be ready by now. I should go over and take a look!"
Shaking his head, Zhang Xuan decided to put aside the matter regarding the formation plate for the moment and walked out of the library.
Now that he had assimilated the books within the library, his understanding of formations had deepened. It was time for him to try out the Sea of Formations and become an official formation master.
"The Sea of Formations is just a name. Rather than an actual sea, it's just a long corridor. It is located at the third floor of the Formation Master Guild, and countless formations are set up in the area. As long as one walks into the area, one will be at risk of being confined, beguiled, and even... dying!
"That is because... there are all kinds of formation in there, and that includes Slaughter Formations as well.
"But there's no need for you to worry. Every single examinee will be given a formation amulet. When you meet with true danger, you just have to crush it and the formation will immediately come to a halt!"
At the long corridor of the Sea of Formations, a young man gestured to the surroundings as he explained the entire proceedings to his two juniors.
The three of them had come from the same teacher. It was the first time the two juniors behind was taking the formation master examination whereas the senior in front was here to take his 2-star examination.
At this moment, the two juniors were slightly nervous. Their lips had turned white and their palms were soaked with sweat.
"There's no need to worry. I'll pass the first stage later on to give you all a demonstration of the happenings inside. Remember, the formation which one will undergo is completely random so my experience is only for reference purposes. You mustn't deal with it the exact same way as I did... Do you understand?" the senior said.
"Senior, rest assured. We'll pay some attention to it!"
"Let's pass the examination so as to not let teacher down!"
The two juniors behind clenched their fists tightly.
"Good. I'll demonstrate the examination to you all now. Take note, regardless of which formation you meet with, don't be too anxious to get through with it. You must analyze it calmly as only then will you find the life gate and break out from it!"
Seeing the humility of his juniors, the senior nodded his head in satisfaction. After which, he turned around and began walking over to the long corridor of the Sea of Formations.
As soon as he stepped in, mist immediately appeared. A formation had been activated, trapping the senior entirely.
The first stage of the Sea of Formations, a grade-1 formation!
"That wall..." The duo turned to look at the wall by the side.
By the side of the corridor, there was a wall made of special crystal which showed the situation of the one challenging the examination clearly.
Their senior's figure was currently reflected on the wall, and at this moment, he was observing the situation around him with his eyebrows knitted together.
In order to break out of the formation, one had to decipher the formation first. One had to know what kind of formation it was, where the 'life gate', 'death gate', and weakest link were... If one couldn't find these, one would never be able to break out of the formation regardless of how strong one was.
A compass appeared in the senior's palm and he studied it intently with a lowered gaze. After which, he took three steps left and three steps right, trying to test the formation's reaction.
A short period of time later, his eyes suddenly lit up, as though having discovered something. Chuckling lightly, he started walking toward a direction at which he had decided upon.
At the same moment, he gathered strength in his palm and struck out.
A buzzing sound echoed and the mist disappeared. A figure appeared before the duo again—it was their senior.
"Did you see that? This is the first stage. As long as you analyze it carefully and determine the origin of the flow of spiritual energy, as well as the various changes that occurs with your movements, you'll be able to deduce what kind of formation it is, confirm your current location and find the life gate... And just like that, you'll be able to break out of the formation!"
After clearing the first stage, the senior didn't proceed straight on to the second stage. Instead, he turned around and explained the various happenings to the duo.
He was here to take the 2-star formation master examination. The 1-star examination didn't pose much of a challenge to him anymore, and the only reason he took it was just to give a demonstration to his juniors, as well as to calm their nerves.
The two juniors nodded their heads.
There wasn't anything wrong with the words of their senior, but the situation was very different when one was trapped in a formation. The surroundings would be completely different — there would be no point of reference and it would be extremely easy for one to get lost. The most one could do was to analyze the flow of spiritual energy. Determining what kind of formation one was trapped in and where one was positioned within the formation would be extremely difficult.
There were more than several thousand types of grade-1 Confinement Formation. The same type of formation could be divided into several hundreds of sub-types. If one didn't possess vast understanding of formations, deciphering and escaping from it would be nigh impossible.
"Alright, I'm going to challenge the second stage now. Regardless of whether I succeed or not, you all should try to look properly and learn from my experience!"
Saying so, the senior took a deep breath and his gaze turned grave.
As a 1-star pinnacle formation master, he was more than confident in clearing the first stage. However, the second stage would be difficult for him.
Stepping forward, the formation within the second stage was immediately activated. Just like before, a figure appeared on the wall by the side.
"Why isn't senior moving at all?"
Turning their gazes over, the two juniors soon realized that the movements of their senior had been peculiar ever since he stepped into the second stage.
Previously, he immediately took out the compass and began walking around to analyze the formation. But now, it seemed as though he was in a daze, not moving at all.
The white-robed junior suddenly thought of something and asked, "Crap, it couldn't be an Illusion Formation, could it?"
"Illusion Formation?" The green-robed junior's eyes widened in shock.
An Illusion Formation interfered with one's psyche directly. As soon as the formation was triggered, those within would be plunged into a scenario that the formation master had prepared beforehand, leaving them unable to collect themselves. As such, it was more feared than Confinement Formations.
Confinement Formations were similar to a cage in the sense that even though one might be unable to escape, one was at least able to retain their thoughts and consciousness. However, in an Illusion Formation, one's thoughts would be forced to wander, and at that moment, one would forget even one's own name and purpose. Under such circumstances, there wasn't the slightest possibility of escape.
Hu hu hu!
Just as the duo was in doubt, the pale face of their senior in the formation gradually grew more and more savage. His zhenqi grew erratic, and he randomly struck out at thin air, as though a lunatic.
After a period of time, it seemed like his zhenqi had been fully expended and he spewed a mouthful of blood. Only then did he regain his consciousness and hurriedly crush the jade token in his hand.
The mist disappeared and he appeared before his two juniors once more. However, this time, his face was withered.
The second stage, failed!
The senior's confident disposition from before had disappeared without a trace. Instead, as he walked over, he looked like a defeated rooster. His two juniors felt even more flustered.
"It's normal to fail when challenging the Sea of Formations. I can only say my luck is bad for having triggered an Illusion Formation..."
Swallowing a pill, the senior's complexion improved slightly. Turning to his two juniors, he smiled awkwardly.
"Indeed, Illusion Formations are simply too difficult..." the green-robed junior said.
"If only it was a Confinement Formation, senior would have definitely passed and become a 2-star formation master..." The white-robed junior said.
"Indeed! If it was a Confinement Formation, I'm confident that I would have cleared the stage!"
Seeing that the admiration his two juniors had for him didn't falter in the least, the senior heaved a sigh of relief. "I've done some research on the matter, and for the past decade, there was a total of 88 challengers for the 2-star formation master examination. Of that, there were 22 times that an Illusion Formation was triggered... but there wasn't a single person who cleared the stage in those 22 times! Those who cleared the examination were mainly those who faced Confinement Formation and Beguilement Formation."
"What about Slaughter Foramtion?"
"Slaugher Formation?" The senior shook his head. "That's even more impossible to clear. A single wrong move would spell death. It is already a blessing if one can survive within it, lest be said, escape from it..."
"It's that difficult?"
Upon learning how scary Slaughter Formations were, the two juniors began to tense up once more.
"Let me tell you honestly, no one has ever succeeded with an Illusion Formation or a Slaughter Formation before. Later on, when you enter, as soon as you realize that something is amiss, it's best that you crush the jade token immediately. There's no point struggling needlessly!"
The senior instructed grimly.
The two juniors nodded their heads. "Rest assured, senior. If we encounter an Illusion Formation or a Slaughter Formation, we'll give up immediately! Since even you are unable to clear them, how could others possibly succeed? At the very least, I doubt that anyone in this guild would be able to do it..."
Just as the duo was complimenting their talented senior, at the entrance of the corridor of the Sea of Formations, a young man walked over lazily.
The young man looked younger than them, probably below twenty. His eyes were reddened with blood vessels, and it looked as though he hadn't slept for several days consecutively. Exhaustion was the only thing one could see from his face.
"Who is this fellow? Why haven't I seen him before?"
The trio was taken aback.
They had been in the Formation Master Guild for a minimum five years by now, and there wasn't a single apprentice or formation master that they didn't recognize. But that young man in front was completely unfamiliar to them.
"He's probably some apprentice who have just joined... With just one look, it's clear that his mental fortitude is lacking. He probably hasn't slept for several days due to anxiety for the examination, that's why he's in such a state!"
"Indeed! Even his eyes are red. To think that the Sea of Formations could scare someone to this extent!"
The two juniors sneered.
They were embarrassed over their previous anxiety, but this fellow topped them on it. His clothes were unkempt and his posture was slackened. With just one look, it was clear that he hadn't slept for several nights out fear.
"What's wrong with the guild? Isn't there a limited number of slots every year for those taking the examination? How can a person like him challenge the Sea of Formations as well?"
The senior frowned as well.