Library of Heaven is Path
1116 Altering the Sutra
Chapter 1116: Altering the Sutra
Translator: StarveCleric Editor: StarveCleric
Those who were qualified to challenge and overcome the Trial of Inner Demons, in terms standing and strength, were all the upper echelons of the Combat Master Hall. There was only one motive for them to do so—to obtain the Vitreous Heart Tempering Sutra... He was only asking the other party whether he was interested out of politeness—naturally, there should only be one answer. Yet, who could have thought that... the other party would actually reply curtly with a 'no'!
If you aren't interested, what the hell are you doing here?
Playing with me?
"This is the highest secret art of the Heart Division... Are you certain that you don't want to learn it?" the elder asked hesitantly.
"I'm not interested." Zhang Xuan shook his head.
He had no inner demon at the moment, and that secret art, upon reaching Major Accomplishment, only served to reduce the number of inner demons. A secret art which performed poorer than him... Unless he was off his rockers, there was no way he should learn that technique!
"Then... why did you challenge the trial?" the elder was displeased.
"I thought that there are inner demons here to temper my state of mind, so I came here to train. Yet... who could have thought that the inner demons here are too weak, it's completely useless to me. I ended up getting excited over nothing... To tell you the truth, I am really disappointed!" Zhang Xuan sighed deeply.
If he had known that the formation was so weak, he wouldn't have come over and wasted his effort.
The only consolation for it was that he had managed to capture several hundred inner demons and uncover the location of another one of Vicious's body part, so the trip wasn't a complete waste.
"Too weak? Disappointed?" the elder's face flushed crimson, and he nearly fainted on the spot.
He managed to obtain the Formation of Inner Demons in an ancient domain a very long time ago, and he found that it was capable of drawing out the evil, sorrow, fear, and the various negative emotions within a human and amplify them, causing one to sink into a whirlpool of their own emotions.
Those who were able to overcome it would find their state of minds growing far more resilient than before. And for those who weren't able to overcome it, the formation was set up in a manner to halt before things truly get dangerous, so it wasn't dangerous at all.
As simple as the trial sounded, it was no easy feat to overcome one's inner demons. Of the generations of hall masters, only five had managed to clear the Trial of Inner Demons. Just through this in itself, one could see how difficult the matter of. And yet, that fellow actually said that it was too weak...
And furthermore, his face showed that he was full of disdain towards the matter...
Disdain your head! Are you really here to take the trial or to mock us?
"This Formation of Inner Demons is indeed nothing against true experts. However, your strength is only at Saint 1-dan, and it took you a very long time to clear the formation at that. From that, I think it can be seen that the formation isn't as easy as you put it out to be." the elder said with a displeased look on his face.
It had been around ten minutes from the moment that fellow triggered the formation to the point that he entered this room. As fast as it may be, the fact that he still needed ten minutes to overcome his inner demons meant that the trial wasn't as easy as he made it out to be.
So, why are you boasting over here? You aren't that great either!
"From the look on your face, it seems like you feel that I am talking big." Zhang Xuan shook his head and sighed. "It's not that I want to criticize you, but this formation of yours is truly unseemly and useless! If you don't believe me, I can point out the errors in it for you right now. Even though the formation is capable of drawing out one's inner demons, it requires one to walk to the center of the formation in order to do so. That's as good as giving the cultivator a hint as to what is going to come, thus giving him an opportunity to mentally prepare himself. At the same time, the cultivator would also realize that the experiences afterward would all be false, and that would severely reduce the effectiveness of the formation. This is the very first problem with it!"
"This…" the elder mused over those words for a moment, but he couldn't find anything to refute them.
That was indeed a flaw of the formation.
But while that was the case, once the inner demons came into play, the cultivator's mind would immediately be sent into disarray. It would be hard for the cultivator to think rationally and remind himself that the experiences he was going through were false by then. Thus, in his view, that couldn't be considered as a major flaw.
But even so, for the other party to notice it shortly after entering the Trial of Inner Demons... Could it be that the trial was truly too easy for him?
"Other than that, the inner demons produced by the formations are too simplistic. They only seek to lay doubts regarding one's cultivation and battle techniques. What if the challenger has absolute confidence in his cultivation and battle techniques? If so, the trial would effectively be rendered meaningless... This is the second problem!" Zhang Xuan continued.
"You…" the body of the elder stiffened.
In the first place, the Formation of Inner Demons was not easy to set up, so it was normal for it to be flawed. But even so, finding them shouldn't have been easy when one was in a befuddled state under the work of the inner demons, so how could this fellow still have the attention to look out for flaws?
Was this for real?
"Besides that, the entire location reeks of a formation! The forms of the inner demons are too distasteful, who in the world would want to deal with those inner demons in their right mind? They would probably crack open their heads as soon as they get a chance to do so! Don't you think that the effect would be far greater if the inner demons were to transform into someone they were familiar with? And this is the third problem of the formation!"
"... This is the fourth problem of the formation!"
"... This is the fifth problem of the formation!"
"... And this is the tenth problem of the formation! In the first place, this formation isn't too large or powerful, so don't you think that it's unacceptable for there to be so many flaws in it?"
Placing his hands behind his back, Zhang Xuan complained in dissatisfaction.
The formation was indeed capable of drawing out the inner demons within one, making it extremely hard to guard against it. However, the flaws were apparent as well.
To summarize it simply, it simply wasn't immersive!
For the inner demons to appear in the form of demons, wasn't this as good as telling others that 'I am a demon, guard against me'?
As a customer, he found the experience too non-immersive and lacking.
A truly fearsome inner demon would one which could warp into a being which evoked one's remembrance or deepest regret, rendering one incapable or reluctant to tell the difference between the two... That would be truly fearsome then!
For one, if those inner demons had chosen to assume Luo Ruoxin's form instead of those ugly appearances they had, there was a very small chance that he might have just succumbed to it.
"T-this…" the elder's face paled.
In the first place, he was only a fragmented soul left behind a very long time ago. Suffering these consecutive shocks had left his existence wavering uncontrollably, and it looked as if he was only a step away from dissipation.
As the one who had set up the formation, it was natural that he was well aware of its flaws. He knew that all ten of the flaws pointed out by the other party had no mistakes whatsoever!
In other words, in the short span of time which the other party had cleared the formation, he had also managed to see through the very essence of it.
That would explain why he took ten minutes... It seemed like he spent most of the time analyzing the formation instead of dealing with the inner demons.
But still, to be able to uncover so much within such a short period of time... Wasn't his eye of discernment a little too formidable?
"Then... is there any way that I can resolve the issue?" Knowing that he mustn't look down on the person standing before him, the elder asked carefully.
"It would be very difficult to resolve all of the flaws of the formation. However, I do know of one good way to raise its prowess by a little... As long as we stack an Illusory Formation on top of your Formation of Inner Demons, we would be able to hinder the challenger from noticing anything before the inner demons are triggered, and this would deprive them of the opportunity to prepare themselves. This should enhance the effectiveness of the formation significantly."
After saying those words, Zhang Xuan pondered for a moment before drawing a picture identical to that in the previous room with his zhenqi.
Tapping on the picture, several hundred light points emerged within the picture of the room.
This was one of the abilities of a painter, Suspended Imagery!
"As long as we plant flags in these points, we should be able to build an Illusory Formation on top of the original formation and enhance its potency…" Zhang Xuan explained calmly.
His comprehension of formations had already reached 7-star pinnacle, putting him at a level comparable to 8-star primary formation masters. On top of that, his experiences at the Qiu Wu Palace had given a far deeper insight into formations as well. Thus, as complicated as compounding two formations together was, it wasn't an issue to him.
Besides, his aim was only to improve a small aspect of the Formation of Inner Demons, so the Illusory Formation didn't have to be too complicated.
As one who had set up the Formation of Inner Demons, the elder's comprehension of formation had also reached an incredibly profound level. With just a look, his body jolted, and disbelief crept into the depths of his eyes.
At first sight, the formation seemed haphazard, disobeying the conventions of formation building. It looked as if something an amateur had randomly came up with. However, at closer examination, he realized that it was perfectly calculated to complement as many flaws in the Formation of Inner Demons as it could, enhancing the prowess of the latter immensely.
"I have benefited under your guidance…" the elder bowed deeply and respectfully.
His previous doubts had vanished without a trace, and in this moment, all he was left with was admiration for the latter.
As young as the person before him was, his comprehension of formation had already achieved a level far beyond what he had achieved in his lifetime. On top of that, he possessed an incredibly resilient mind which not even the Formation of Inner Demons could faze. Who could have thought that he would encounter such an astounding genius after he had passed away?
"There's no need to stand on ceremony!" Zhang Xuan waved his hand calmly.
He was just feeling a little frustrated over how poorly the formation was designed, so he casually pointed it out. Since the other party accepted his views, there was no need for him to push his point insistently and embarrass the other party.
"This is the manual for the Vitreous Heart Tempering Sutra. Even if you are uninterested in it, I still have to abide by my own rules and hand it over to you…"
The elder tapped his finger lightly, and a shimmering bundle of light appeared. It gradually morphed into a manual.
Taking a glance at it, Zhang Xuan collected it into the Library of Heaven's Path. Following which, he picked up the book to take a look while in truth, he was browsing through the content of the book in his mind. A moment later, with a deep frown etched on his face, he remarked, "This secret art has an extremely high requirement on one's state of mind!"
The Vitreous Heart Tempering Sutra demanded its cultivator to possess an extremely resilient mind, or else, not only would one fail to master it, it might even introduce inner demons into one's mind, causing one's cultivation to go berserk and decline drastically. In the worst case scenario, one might even lose his sense of self and go berserk.
There were simply too few people in the world who possessed sufficiently strong mental resilience to cultivate the secret art. It was no wonder why one had to clear the trial first before one could inherit the heritage! Otherwise, if those who were not sufficiently capable were to obtain it, it might end up ruining their future instead!
"That's right." the elder nodded regretfully.
"It would be hard to commonize a secret art that demands such a high mental resilience of the cultivator... Why don't I take a look at it and alter it so that normal cultivators will be able to practice it safely as well?" Zhang Xuan pondered for a moment before asking.
If it had been any other secret art, he would probably be helpless before it. However, it was a different case for this heart sutra.
The crux of the Vitreous Heart Tempering Sutra lay in cultivating one's Primordial Spirit or soul to becoming wholesome. There was an uncanny resemblance between it and the method which spirit awakeners utilized to nourish Primordial Spirits and souls.
He had noticed it while he was browsing through the technique, so he fused it together with the spirit awakeners' spirit enchantment techniques. Even though he failed to create a Heaven's Path cultivation technique out of it, he did manage to overcome the requirement that demanded a high mental resilience from the cultivator.
In a sense, he had managed to resolve the greatest flaw of the technique.
"Alter it so that... normal cultivators will be able to practice it safely as well?"
Back then, he had endured much suffering in order to obtain this secret art. His goal was simple—he only wanted to raise the strength of the combat masters.
But after obtaining it, he realized that due to the sheer complexity of the technique, only those who possessed high mental resilience were able to cultivate it. This had been one of the greatest regrets in life.
If the Vitreous Heart Tempering Sutra could really be made commonplace, the overall strength of the Combat Master Hall could really be raised by leaps and bounds!
That would also mean a greater degree of safety for mankind as well.
"The greatest flaw in the cultivation technique lay in its cultivation process. Cultivators of the technique will have to face all kinds of temptations, and those who fail to overcome it will meet with disastrous outcomes. It is for this reason that the threshold for the technique is extremely high. In truth, it's not too difficult to resolve the problem. While I was browsing through the manual earlier, I have altered the portions concerning it accordingly. " Zhang Xuan said.
"You have altered it while you were browsing through it for the first time?"
When he heard that the other party would alter the technique and make it commonplace, he had imagined that the process would take decades or even centuries easily. Yet, it had only been half a minute since he had taken out the cultivation technique, and not only did the other party manage to finish browsing through it, he had even successfully altered it at that... The elder's body trembled in shock, unable to believe what he had just heard.
That had been his goal while he was alive as well, but despite devoting his entire life to it, he still didn't manage to succeed even when he was on his deathbed... Yet, within a period of time where it wouldn't suffice for anyone else to finish browsing through and internalize the manual, he had already finished altering the technique...
Even the great Kong shi couldn't have wielded such capability!
"That's right." Zhang Xuan replied with an amiable smile. "Do you want a copy? I can write one down for you now!"