Chapter 38: Source
Such a formation, that totally blocks the five senses, could be said to possess both advantages and disadvantages in this world of martial arts where experts stood at the top of the food chain.
Its advantage was that it did not need a lot of force— did not need any precious stones, crystal, jade or the like— it could be activated just by being placed there. The disadvantage was that it couldn't easily affect someone truly strong. Once it lost its effectiveness, it was no different from a piece of rubbish.
Under normal circumstances, it would be unlikely to trap a demonic beast in the Harmonization Realm within it. However, with the cow currently in a deranged state and its spirit interfered with; its five senses were deceived as easily as counting to three.
The confusion coupled with the crucial last mystic force strike by Wei Peng— which killed the male flying elephant on the spot— momentarily reversed the situation a complete one-eighty.
Although the contrast between the before and after the situation was huge and mind-blowing to everyone, Lu Mingshu had not done much in between. All she did was bring all kinds of circumstances together. However, if it wasn't for her, Wei Peng's ‘one strike kill' would not have happened.
After everyone calmed down, they started to clean up the battlefield.
Gao Xiang drowsily followed Lu Mingshu to help deal with the aftermath – the disassembling of the rock pile that formed the illusion formation.
Gao Xiang had been acquainted with her for a few years now and had long since known Lu Mingshu to be extraordinary. However, he never expected her to stand her ground even among a group of senior brothers and sisters. Is the Heavenly Ascension Pavillion really this invincible? In that case, shouldn't I overcome my aversion to reading for a bit and camp there for a few months?
2With the strange atmosphere currently looming over the team, nobody brought up the incident. Everyone worked together silently to end the other heavily injured flying elephant, before cutting and distributing it.
Despite the silence, everyone kept questioning the events that had just passed in their hearts; to think that a newbie, who had just entered the Inner Breath Realm, would be able to triumph over a flying elephant so easily.
When their thoughts reached that point, they would shiver uncontrollably. Just recalling that sent a chill down their spine!
This is too scary! What's the point of being Martial Practitioners when we can lose so easily in the hands of a newbie in the Inner Breath Realm?
Strength was everything in the world of Martial Practitioners, and the different realms were an obvious difference in status.
The insecurity brought from their three views being shattered left the team in complete silence.
The silence enveloped their camp until late at night.
After drinking liquor in order to resist the cold, Yi Jiao pushed her intoxicated thoughts onto Lu Mingshu, "Young girl, what exactly did you do to trap that flying elephant? Did you use a curse spell?"
During those days, there was a myth still going around about a curse that existed in some Ancient Sealed Boundaries. However, martial practitioners would normally not take these myths to heart, for these curses were actually one of the ways mystic force was utilised. Moreover, those ancient curses possessed huge flaws, which made it easy to break them if one was an average martial practitioner equipped with the right technique.
That whatever formation used by Lu Mingshu today contained no mystic force at all. Yet, how could it be even more effective than curses? If it wasn't for the fact that it was a taboo to ask for someone else's secret technique, they would really take her to one side and ask about the mysterious incident that happened today to their heart's content.
Lu Mingshu felt utterly comfortable after drinking a tiny amount of elephant blood—her whole body relaxed and warmed up, as the mystic force pervaded every part of her. She casually answered, "It's an illusion formation, not a curse spell."
1"Illusion formation? What's that? Can it trap a Harmonization Realm demonic beast, with just a few rocks?" Yi Jiao was confused upon hearing her explanation.
Wei Peng lifted his head to glance at her. "How come I have not been trapped even though I stood in the formation?"
"Un … It only confuses the five senses and won't work on someone with a strong spirit."
"Spirit?" Shao Zhengyang hung on the word. "Does it refer to thought?"
"Right …" Lu Mingshu had learnt a lot of words from miscellaneous worlds by browsing around the Heavenly Wheel. Spirit was an interpretation of the interplanetary world. Many in the Heavenly Wheel used this interpretation due to its precise description.
"It really isn't a curse spell?" Yi Jiao still could not bring himself to believe it.
"It really isn't …" Lu Mingshu yawned as she spoke. The elephant blood that contained an abundant amount of mystic force, made her sleepy. "Senior brothers and sisters, I'll go to bed now."
"I'm sleeping too." Gao Xiang said.
It was natural for children to get sleepy easily. The two moved to a corner that was sheltered from the wind. They leaned against the wall and soon fell asleep wrapped in a thin blanket each.
The camp was still awake and the fire illuminated everyone's faces.
Yi Jiao looked towards Wei Peng, blinking with a bewildered expression. "Senior Brother Wei, was it truly so?"
"It should be." Wei Peng poked the ignited firewood, and spoke unhurriedly, "I had indeed not felt any abnormalities when I stood amidst the formation."
Zhu Jingliang inhaled two breaths from the water pipe and spit out a mouthful of smoke. "This child is incredible! The theory may be simple, but it isn't easy to make use of it at the appropriate time."
Lu Mingshu's strongest point was definitely her cool-headedness; it was obviously her first hunting expedition, yet she was not nervous at all when faced with ferocious beasts. Her second strength was her ability to plan ahead for any unforeseen circumstances— even when she couldn't directly be useful in battles, she would not stand aside and do nothing, but instead try her best to offer any help at all. Her third strongest point was her quick-witted mind that could think up a strategy to cope with the unforeseen circumstances like a second instinct.
The thoughts of the team members unknowingly drifted to her awkward birth status. There was no doubt that an eleven-year-old who had achieved the Inner Breath Realm in the circumstances of having nearly no supervision from anyone, would have a good future ahead of her.
Even a fool could guess that the Zhou family made a deliberate public proclamation about Fu Mingtang's breaking of Liu Jizhen's record— reaching the Inner Breath Realm before turning ten years of age— and even intentionally made a ranking for this spring hunt just to show off their influence and intention to let Fu Mingtang succeed Fu Shangqing's position of sect leader.
For Lu Mingshu to possess such an ability is akin to the saying: ‘Like an owl in the bag, real talent would be discovered' She will certainly distinguish herself when the time comes for the two sides to face each other ...
"That will be a good show to watch," Shao Zhengyang, who sat silently by the side, suddenly spoke.
Everyone looked towards him.
However, Shao Zhengyang did not have any intention to continue speaking. He stood up, dusted off the lint on his clothes and nodded to the crowd. "I will be going to bed now."
In the following days, the team continued heading into the depths of the mountain forest while hunting. Every few days, they stopped to consolidate their loot.
After the incident of capturing the elephants, the team had a tacit approval on giving the two newbies more chances to gain physical experiences.
Lu Mingshu and Gao Xiang were equally matched in terms of talent, or better said; Gao Xiang won by a small margin.
With the number one expert of the Nine Jade Palace belonging to the line of the Willow Woods, there was no way any ordinary person could match up to the sole successor of the said line. ‘No wonder he was selected by the high expectation – the line of Willow Woods.' Only this one line was enough to describe how good Gao Xiang's innate sword-wielding skill was.
However, if the two of them were to battle each other, the winner would undoubtedly be Lu Mingshu.
Lu Mingshu used her analytical skills – controlling the present conditions and having a grasp on the minor details – to fight. These abilities, that others needed a decade or two to master, came to her instinctively.
After observing Lu Mingshu for the entire journey, Shao Zhengyang was filled with extremely complicated emotions.
The last time he saw Lu Mingshu was when she had just arrived at Green Jade Valley, and he sent things over on his master's command. Afterwards, Yu-Wen Shi expressed his regret when Lu Mingshu did not go to the Lower House. Then, they had a series of conflicts with the Zhou family. How could they still have time on their hands to care about a single idle and convenient chess piece!?