The Desolate Era - Book 10, Chapter 8 - Casualties
“A single ice shard is capable of killing an ordinary peak Wanxiang Adept.” Adept Vastriver immediately sent urgently, “Everyone, quick, assemble into formation!”
“Assemble into formation; a five-elements pentagonal formation,” Ji Ning sent.
“This is too terrifying,” Mu Northson said loudly.
Rumble… Ning, Northson, Yu Wei, Ninelotus, and Adept Vastriver were of the same school; naturally, they instinctively elected to use a five-elements pentagonal formation of the Black-White College. Combination formations did not need to be purchased with black-white pellets; on the contrary, the disciples of the school were required to learn them.
Their five figures began to move, and instantly, their bodies began to glow with light. Metallic light, red light, watery blue light, yellow light, and azure light.
“Whoosh.” Once their formation was joined, Ning calmed down slightly. “The power of these ice shards is too astonishing; when I fought against Daoist Snowplume, he sent out those drops of skywater against me… but although they were capable of damaging my Waterflame Lotus, they weren’t able to break through it. Those three ice shards, however, were able to break my Waterflame Lotus. This means every single shard contained power comparable to a drop of skywater.”
Daoist Snowplume had only used, in total, 108 drops of skywater… in contrast, these ice shards came in a tightly clustered, endlessly streaming series of attacks.
Most likely, even a Primal Daoist would be killed by this cluster attack!
“Ji Ning, the five of you, stand in front of me,” Youngflame Nong barked mentally. “The other ten of you, stay behind me. Xue Hongyi, Adept Bu You, stay to my sides.”
Ning’s group of five was the strongest; after all, three of them were somewhat stronger than ordinary Primal Daoists. After joining forces… they would be the most powerful force present. Naturally, they would have to block in front of Youngflame Nong and help screen him from the ambushing arrows.
As for the ten Wanxiang Deathsworn, although they were somewhat weak, there was still ten of them; when in formation, they were also quite powerful, and thus they could help Youngflame Nong block ice shards from behind.
The remaining gaps would naturally be filled and covered by Xue Hongyi and Adept Bu You. The two of them both joined together into the most common of formations, the ‘Liangyi Duality Formation’. This formation was one which virtually all Immortal cultivators were capable of, but in turn, it wasn’t very effective; there was a limit to how much it could raise one’s power. Still, it was still able to increase one’s power slightly, and so the two would naturally execute it.
“This is going to be trouble,” Xue Hongyi cursed secretly.
“This is going to be very dangerous.” Adept Bu You grew frantic as well; the two of them were weaker than Ji Ning to begin with. Ning was now in a five-man formation, while they were only in a two-man formation!
It must be understood that these ice shards were capable of easily killing Primal Daoists.
Xue Hongyi and Adept Bu You were in an extremely dangerous situation.
“Young master Youngflame, we’re almost unable to hold on,” Xue Hongyi sent frantically.
“I’m unable to hold on for much longer as well,” Adept Bu You was similarly frantic.
“How useless,” Youngflame Nong cursed mentally. He was frantic too. “In the end, it’s still those five from the Black-White College who are formidable.”
“Hold for as long as you can… the longer you can hold, the better our chances,” Youngflame Nong sent mentally.
Adept Vastriver sent hurriedly back, “Young master Youngflame, this formation must have been left behind by Immortal Witchriver. If Immortal Witchriver was present and personally controlling it, this formation would perhaps be even more powerful, capable of causing even Loose Immortals or Earth Immortals to perish. Now that he’s gone, the power of it has been lessened a bit, but we won’t be able to resist it for too long. There is a limit to how much elemental ki we have, but the formation utilizes the elemental energy of the natural world… it can persist indefinitely! It can exhaust us to death. The most important thing for us to do right now is to have a formations expert locate a flaw in this formation and break it.”
When trapped within a formation, if a true formations expert was present, he could guide the party through and out from the formation.
If a somewhat weaker formations expert was present, he could work hard to find some flaws and weaknesses in the formation, then use their most powerful attacks against their weak points. In a situation like that, the chances of victory would naturally be greater.
But if one was too weak in terms of formations… then one would remain trapped within the formation, subject to being trampled upon and incapable of doing anything but using brute force to try and resist. This was the worst case scenario.
“Young master Youngflame, you must have brought a formations expert with you in your investigation of this Immortal estate,” Northson sent.
Youngflame Nong gritted his teeth. A formations expert? Of course he had brought one! But his formations expert was in the outside world of the Immortal estate! It was the Fiendgod – Xiangliu Fang.
Fiendgods were born from the natural world. The Fiendgod Xiangliu Fang had been born during the Fiendgod Era, and he had survived from then until now; from this, one could imagine how long a life he had lived. However, Fiendgods were different from other races; Fiendgods were truly the favored children of the heavens, the beloved scions of the universe. They were born with the innate ability to train and with innate divine abilities. In fact, some Primordial Fiendgods were even born with mastery over a Dao Path, or even an entire Grand Dao Path.
Thus, Fiendgods did not need to suffer the Three Calamities and Nine Tribulations! Their lives were infinite and unlimited! However…
Their training speed, in turn, was incomparably slow. In fact, upon reaching a certain level, they would be unable to improve any further! For example, this Fiendgod, Xiangliu Fang, had reached the Primal level countless hundreds of millions of years ago, but he remained at the Primal level. Most likely, his potential had been exhausted, and in the future, he would forever remain a Primal.
However, their extremely long lives led them to begin to analyze and train in other areas, such as the Dao of Constructs or Formations, which required a tremendous amount of time to research. Thus, although he was a bit weaker in terms of his comprehensive abilities, due to his extremely long life, Xiangliu Fang was a true formations master!
Per their original plan, Xiangliu Fang was to stay right next to Youngflame Nong and protect him. They shouldn’t have been separated at all! But earlier… when faced with attacks from so many monstrous Dao-soldiers, someone had to go delay them. Thus, Xiangliu Fang had been separated from the group.
“Uncle Fang!” Youngflame Nong was both frantic and filled with regret. “If I had known this would happen, I wouldn’t have left Uncle Fang leave me. After we overcome this tribulation and once he returns, I won’t let him leave me again. Absolutely not!”
“Uncle Fang is skilled in formations,” Youngflame Nong sent back hurriedly, “But he’s completely unable to come inside. Everyone… are any of you skilled in formations?”
“What kind of a sick joke is this?!” Northson was both angry and frantic.
“The Fiendgod is skilled in formations?” Ning and the others were all speechless. The one who was skilled in formations was trapped outside, unable to enter the palace. As for the rest of them, who amongst them was skilled in formations? Although they were all true geniuses, they had all spent all of their energy on their own Daos; even Ji Ning, who was talented in terms of formations, he still primarily spent his time and energy on the Dao of the Sword. He would only occasionally flip through formation scrolls to relieve boredom.
“Adept Vastriver, Rainbowflame Fairy, the two of you are both reincarnated Immortals. In your past lives, I imagine that you must have researched formations before. Can you remember anything about them?” Youngflame Nong sent.
“We are only at the Wanxiang level; we occasionally gain just a few fragments of our memories. The Dao of Formations is an extremely vast and broad one; only after completely awakening our former memories will we be able to master our previous insights regarding formations,” Adept Vastriver sent back helplessly.
Youngflame Nong, Ji Ning, and the others were chatting mentally at an extremely high speed. However, these arrows of ice that were being created and shot out by the formation were also moving at extremely high speed. The two weakest spots in the protective array, Xue Hongyi and Adept Bu You, were even beginning to suffer wounds.
“Young master Youngflame, we aren’t able to hold,” Xue Hongyi said, left arm stained red with blood.
“Can’t hold.” Adept Bu You sent hurriedly as well.
“Hurry up and come in.” Youngflame Nong had no choice but to give this order. “Ji Ning, Adept Vastriver… the five of you, you’ll have to cover the locations which Xue Hongyi and Bu You were previously covering.”
Ning’s group had no choice but to grind their teeth and expand the scope of their formation to cover a wider range. But in doing so, the number of ice shard attacks they suffered increased as well!
“We were almost finished.”
Upon entering the center, Xue Hongyi and Adept Bu You couldn’t help but let out sighs of relief. They hurriedly swallowed spirit-pills, replenishing their power and healing.
“What should I do? What should I do?” Youngflame Nong began to ponder frantically. Although he had quite a few protective treasures on him, there was no way for him to break through this ancient, giant formation which a Celestial Immortal had set down. But of course, he could give up on this trial and use a ‘greater teleportation’ to immediately leave.
But upon doing so… that meant that he would have failed his trial. Youngflame Nong absolutely would not permit this to happen.
“I have to break this formation, but how? For now, those five disciples of the Black-White College and those ten Wanxiang Deathsworn are able to hold on, but as time goes on, their elemental ki will begin to deplete, at which point, death will be the result.” Youngflame Nong was frantic.
Right at this moment…
Within the chaotic void of the formation, an enormous, grayish-black, winged, ox-bodied, spiked, tiger-headed golem appeared. It was a Qiongqi Manticore golem! This Qiongqi Manticore suddenly appeared within the formation, and then, with a flutter of its wings, swooped out in an arc, avoiding the ten Wanxiang Deathsworn and clawing towards young master Youngflame at the center.
“Protect young master Youngflame,” Xue Hongyi immediately called out.
Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang!
One Qiongqi Manticore golem after another came howling forth. In almost a single instant, eighteen of them appeared in the surrounding area. For the moment, Ji Ning and the others were all being held down by these other Qiongqi Manticore golems, and were completely unable to protect young master Youngflame.
A sword struck out like a gleam of moonlight, chopping against the head of one of the Qiongqi golems. The Qiongqi golem was knocked backwards by thirty meters, came to halt, then threw itself forward once more.
Ji Ning was surrounded by seven hundred-plus flying swords. Seeing the situation, his face changed. Right now, the five of them were in a formation, and so his own elemental ki naturally had strengthened significantly… and yet, despite using the ninth level of the [Lesser Thousand Swords Formation], he was still only able to knock the Qiongqi golem back a short distance?
“These Qiongqi golems all have the combat capability of a Primal Daoist, and their bodies are nigh impenetrable, as hard as magic treasures. They are far more difficult to deal with than ordinary Primal Daoists.” Northson was a genius of the Dao of Constructs; upon seeing these Qiongqi golems, he immediately knew that they were in serious trouble.
“This place actually has golems that are as powerful as Primal Daoists… every single one of them is incomparably precious, and there are a total of eighteen of them here!” Ning struck out with one flash of sword light after another, only just barely managing to tie down two of the Qiongqi Manticore golems.
Golems with the power of Primal Daoists would generally cause even Loose Immortals headaches. However, for a Celestial Immortal… purchasing eighteen golems on this level was still fairly easily done.
Eighteen Qiongqi golems. Ten of them were able to completely tie down Ji Ning’s group of five, as well as the ten Wanxiang Deathsworn. As for the other eight, they charged straight towards Youngflame Nong in the center of the array. These Qiongqi golems were sentient; they knew that Youngflame Nong was the ‘bandit chief’.”
By Youngflame Nong’s side was Xue Hongyi and Adept Bu You. They naturally were caught in the crossfire as well. When these eight Qiongqi golems attacked, both Xue Hongyi and Adept Bu You began to panic. This was because every single Qiongqi golem was at least as strong as them. In addition, their ‘bodies’ were actually magic treasures, and thus were unbreakably tough.
“Riiiiip!” A sharp claw flashed out lightning-fast, slashing past Adept Bu You’s body, tearing him apart and sending blood flying everywhere.
“No…” Adept Bu You’s eyes were completely round. He had thought that by coming, he would gain young master Youngflame’s favor… but in the end, he had lost his life.
The first Wanxiang Adept death in their group had finally occurred.