“What’s wrong?” Lu Yun frowned when he saw the old man gaping at him.
“I—I don’t know what you’re talking about,” the old man responded, shamefaced. He could tell the governor was discussing the intricacies of formations, but he, Qin Xianhuo, a renowned formation master in the whole of Nephrite Major, couldn’t understand what he heard!
Lu Yun rubbed his forehead. An eight trigrams layout was a little too complicated for contemporary formation masters in the world of immortals. Knowledge of feng shui must’ve been lost in the great war a hundred thousand years ago, so even Feinie might not understand what he was talking about.
Resigned, Lu Yun moved on. “I don’t have time to teach you. Give me four formation stones.”
Even more shame blanketed Qin Xianhuo. Though being reprimanded by a teen was humiliating, the desire to understand burned even more fiercely in his eyes.
Unfortunately, there wasn’t enough time for a lesson, nor was there time for Lu Yun to give him detailed instructions, as he had before. They had less than an hour left, although the bolstering formation itself could stand for more than an hour under Lu Yun’s control. But once the peak of yang energy dissipated after noon, the island, along with the tomb for the living, would return to the abyss beneath the river.
His sect’s warnings about entering these kinds of tombs prickled in Lu Yun’s mind all the while. He just couldn’t wait to get inside and see what they were all about.
Qin Xianhuo handed the formation stones to Lu Yun, who sent them into the Gates of the Abyss.
“Give me a hand, Feinie. Heaven and earth, fire and water, wind and thunder, mountain and pool. They’re not just forces, but rather eight different systems. Express them through formations and etch each pair on a stone.”
He then relayed his knowledge of feng shui to Feinie through the Tome of Life and Death. Ever since she’d become Lu Yun’s Envoy of Samsara, her experience was his. Similarly, Lu Yun could transfer his knowledge back through the book if he so desired.
Surprise and appreciation flashed through Feinie’s expression. She bent her head and began working diligently on Lu Yun’s instructions. From what she could understand, feng shui and formations were two sides of the same coin, but the dao of feng shui was much more complicated.
Both formations and feng shui tapped into the forces of everything in the world. Formations channeled forces to directly achieve their purposes, whether to kill, demobilize, protect, mislead, or trap.
Feng shui, on the other hand, used forces to influence the surroundings, exerting changes on living creatures, the environment, and even the most intangible of all, luck.
For example, the Enneawyrm Provenance Formation in the Dusk governor manor directly channeled the might of heaven and earth. Lu Yun had used it to kill immortals and give Lu Yuanhou a proper beating.
However, the corresponding feng shui to the Enneawyrm formation also impacted the environment, giving rise to the Enneawyrm Coffinbearers layout, which ended up destroying the fortunes of Dusk Province and would eventually lead to the province’s decline.
The dao of feng shui had disappeared from this world. Immortals could only recognize formations, but failed to see their influence on the other side of the coin. Compared to the relatively straightforward formation dao, the possibilities and complexities were endless when it came to the subtle shaping of feng shui.
Lu Yun’s way of destroying feng shui layouts was through destroying the source formations. He identified the feng shui, then traced its arrangement to its basic structure, which was composed of formations. Destroy those, and the feng shui influence they naturally exuded would be gone as well.
What he didn’t expect was that Feinie would identify the relationship between formations and feng shui with her newfound knowledge and return her comprehension to Lu Yun, which further improved his own understanding of feng shui.
After digesting the new knowledge, the envoy began etching the formations at a speed ten times faster than Qin Xianhuo. Systems of the eight opposing forces emerged on the four stones, turning them into formation disks.
In only a hundred more breaths, her work was done.
Lu Yun retrieved the four disks through his death art of walking the two worlds and pretended to draw lines on them. Then he tossed them to the side.
Qin Xianhuo’s jaw dropped when he saw the newly-carved formations. He might not understand what his eyes saw even if he gained the young man’s memories! It was a ridiculous thought, but the formations were truly too complicated for him to comprehend.
“Is this… a formation of fire and water?” He picked up what seemed to be the simplest one and considered it carefully, his confidence suffering another blow.
“The elements of fire and water in a layout of eight trigrams aren’t merely elements, but standalone systems. Every system encompasses all possible things in the world.” Lu Yun was working on the last formation.
Qin Xianhuo’s eyes slowly brightened; the enormous, insurmountable wall blocking forward progress in his dao was loosening.
Qi Shenghui and Situ Yun shared a worried look.
“We can’t allow Qin Xianhuo to keep interacting with Lu Yun...” whispered Qi Shenghui.
Situ Yun agreed wholeheartedly. The formation master was a fanatic when it came to his area of expertise, and if this went on, it would be difficult for them to kill Lu Yun.
“Done!” Lu Yun rose to his feet and looked at the five formation disks on the ground with obvious delight. He then summoned five soybean soldiers.
“Shit, this man is heartless. He always summons us to die.” Grumbling, the five soldiers picked up the disks and stood in a special arrangement. With a leap, they all landed on the island at the same time.
They immediately morphed back into five shriveled soybeans, their spirits returning to the other world.
Five formation disks dropped to the ground.
A dramatic tremor rippled through the island, heralding the materialization of a giant, five-kilometer-wide vortex that enveloped it from above. It spun slowly, attracting all of the gray clouds in its vicinity. The formation disks slowly rose in the air and spun along with the vortex, each radiating a faint glow.
Gradually, the vortex morphed into a spinning graph of yin and yang, which flowed into the five formation disks below. Meanwhile, the formation disk directly under the vortex transformed into the same graph of yin and yang, but it was a mirror image of the bigger graph above it.
“Gah!” A ghastly scream rang out from the island. Something was angry.
“Someone’s there!” Qi Shenghui goggled with shock. Why was there a woman in white on the island??
“You, check it!” Situ Yun grabbed Lu Yun and threw him onto the island. Distracted by the woman, neither Mo Yi nor Qing Han reacted in time. They watched helplessly as Lu Yun’s frail form fell onto the island.
“Lu Yun!” shouted Qing Han as he leapt onto the island and landed beside the young governor.