Ancient Strengthening Technique - Chapter 903
AST 903 - Duality Minutest Formation, The Arrival of the Sky Prison Sect
Qing Shui held onto the last pebble and was reluctant to toss it. This last pebble was like the equivalent of a person's eyes, its positioning was paramount to the success of the formation. If Qing Shui missed even slightly, the power of the formation would be greatly reduced.
Qing Shui stared at the Nine Palace and Eight Trigrams formation combination and hesitatingly tossed the pebble in his hand into it.
’’No reaction?’’ Qing Shui was waiting for something to happen with the formation, but there were no changes even though he was inside the formation.
’’Failed?’’ Qing Shui was a bit disappointed. Although this was his first attempt, it was nevertheless a time-consuming process, especially when you took into account the time he had spent on researching. Qing Shui felt that his formation shouldn't have failed.
However, the way it looked, it was indeed a failure. Formations were mysterious. It was like borrowing the divine might of the Heavens and Earth. Qing Shui felt this was similar to one of the realms of the mastery of techniques providence!
Pausing for a moment and studying the formation, Qing Shui confirmed that this first trial was a failure. However, he was not discouraged. Qing Shui picked up the pebbles from the ground and sat down. He studied the Nine Palace Eight Trigrams Formation, placing more attention on the crucial points of the formation. While doing so, he also practiced his Nine Palace Steps several times.
Then he started tossing the pebbles again. At least, Qing Shui felt he understood what lead to the failure earlier. Every time he tossed the pebbles into position he had the feeling that it was correctly placed, but there was still no effect.
When it came to the Nine Palace Orientation and the Eight Trigrams Orientation, Qing Shui felt that he had a better grasp of it than before. However, he still couldn't pinpoint the exact reason why no reactions had occurred.
This went on for several days before Qing Shui finally accepted the reality that he could not utilize the Nine Palace Eight Trigrams Formation, nor could he understand the reason why.
After his mind calmed down, Qing Shui spent three days experimenting with the Duality Minutest Formation instead. Now that his earlier thoughts had become a reality, he had to practice the Duality Minutest Formation first before attempting the Nine Palace Eight Trigrams Formation again.
The Duality Minutest Formation was a much simpler formation compared to the Nine Palace Eight Trigrams Formation. Qing Shui spent very little time studying it before starting to set the formation. Once he began, Qing Shui could only smile. Compared to the procedure for the Nine Palace Eight Trigrams Formation, setting the Duality Minutest Formation was a walk in the park.
It seemed that it was true that all formations were tied in one way or another to the Nine Palace Eight Trigrams Formation. Even without mentioning the ones that were simpler than the Nine Palace Eight Trigrams Formation, all the more complex ones required the Nine Palace Eight Trigram as a basis. Although their orientation wouldn't be overly difficult, there were probably some special requirements to make the formation work.
A short while later, Qing Shui was holding onto the last remaining pebble. His continuous failure had made him a bit perturbed. If the Duality Minutest Formation failed again, then he couldn't excuse himself.
Placing the pebble at the eye of the formation that was half a meter from his feet, Qing Shui's heart started to beat rapidly almost instantaneously.
As the pebble fell into place, a gush of majestic Spiritual Qi rose from the ground. The Spiritual Qi then turned into a berserk storm. All the rocks and sand were blown away, including a boulder that was the size of a small pavilion building.
Not only were things hard to recognized through the naked eye, but the sensitivity of his spiritual sense had also been reduced. His abilities also suffered a debuff. The Duality Minutest Formation had opened the Six Gates of Life, Death, Dark, Light, Change and Destruction.
Once Qing Shui began to cast the Duality Steps, given his familiarity with the Duality Minutest Formation, the atmosphere cooled immediately when he stepped out. Instantly, the immediate surroundings became tranquil, like a secluded ravine. However, just beyond the immediate vicinity, a dust storm was brewing like a raging battlefield but it was still silent.
Once they stepped into the formation, the victim would be immersed in danger and their strength would be greatly debuffed. Furthermore, some areas were rampant with venom and raging infernos which could cause tremendous damage. This was already incredibly deadly and if the victim couldn't escape from the formation, then they would be trapped till death. More importantly, Qing Shui could also ambush them at any time.
No wonder a formations specialist could fend off so many people by themselves.
The Duality Minutest Formation was already so strong, this made Qing Shui yearn for the power of the Nine Palace Eight Trigrams Formation.
Meanwhile, Qing Shui continued experimenting with the Nine Palace Eight Trigrams Formation but to no effect. Thus, Qing Shui decided to pour his remaining time onto focusing on the Duality Minutest Formation.
Just like that, two months passed. In between, Qing Shui spent some time practicing his Nine Palace Steps and the Ancient Strengthening Technique. In the last couple days, the Ancient Strengthening Technique had two Cycle breakthroughs. However, the increase in strength didn't feel especially invigorating. After all, the breakthrough difference wasn't much, especially when compared to every ninth Cycle breakthrough that increased his strength by several folds.
A normal day's length was equivalent to a hundred days in the Realm of the Violet Jade Immortal. The time he had spent was the equivalent of seventy days in the realm, the time he had remaining was about one month. During this time, Qing Shui made preparations for refining materials used in formations.
Pebbles did not carry much power, and jewels were too precious and extravagant. Therefore, Qing Shui decided to use beast skins and beast bones as Formation Flags. The beast skins and the beast bones collected from the Real of the Violet Jade Immortal were of a high quality.
Qing Shui studied a bit on how to make Formation Flags. Surprisingly, beast skins and beast bones required individual quenching, which was similar to the method of quenching used in talisman crafting.
This time, it was relatively easy to craft the Formation Flags. According to the method of crafting, Qing Shui discovered that the Spiritual Qi within them was adequate, and thus he was very satisfied. With a small amount of Spiritual Qi, the little triangular flags crafted would be one foot in height. Crafting was not taxing in terms of material, but it required ten or more days to craft approximate ten thousand little flags.
Looking at the little flags, Qing Shui thought of the eye of the formation. That formation node still required a formation flag, but the main flag should be crafted from a material of an even higher quality.
The next day, Qing Shui rose from bed on time. The sky was barely lit and since it was winter, there was still some time before dawn. Qing Shui walked outside the pavilion building to conduct his morning training. Unless there was an emergency, nothing could disrupt his morning training routine.
Breakfast with exquisite looking items was delivered by a servant from the Mu Clan. Qing Shui had just finished eating when Mu Qing arrived at his door. After seeing that Qing Shui had noticed her, she walked into the room.
’’Full?’’ Mu Qing looked at what remained on the table and said.
’’Yes, how about you?’’ Qing Shui said with a smile. When their gaze met, Mu Qing felt a bit of discomfort and avoided looking at Qing Shui directly.
When Mu Qing replied, something made a loud and noisy ruckus in the front yard. The two of them exchanged gazes. Qing Shui appeared to be calm, but Mu Qing had an unnatural expression.
’’Let's go see what's going on.’’ Qing Shui said while smiling.
Seeing Qing Shui's calmness, Mu Qing seemed to calm down as well. Thinking back a bit, Qing Shui had never appeared frightened. This gave her a reassurance because it seemed that Qing Shui had dealt with a lot of things before...
The two of them traveled side by side towards the front yard. Qing Shui dispersed his spiritual sense to observe the surroundings. He was ready for what was coming. The sooner he took care of it, the sooner he could leave.
’’Hand over Mu Qing and that boy, or else!’’
Qing Shui and Mu Qing hadn't even reached the front yard yet before they clearly heard an overbearing voice.
’’Sky Prison Old Fifth, this is our Mu Clan's territory, your arrogance will not be tolerated. We haven't gone to argue with you and yet you come to trouble us, does the Sky Prison Sect have no morality and proper conduct?’’ Mu Qian said angrily but with restraint.
’’People from Sky Prison Sect are here.’’ Qing Shui said softly.
Mu Qing's body shook, had they not left any tracks behind, this wouldn't have happened. However, now that the information had leaked out, the Sky Prison Sect was trying to retain face in this matter. The Mu Clan, the Yin Clan and the Dongfang Aristocrat Clan were much weaker when compared to the Sky Prison Sect, the Godly Sword Clan and the Silken Web Ridge.
The strength of the Sky Prison Sect could only be matched by the Godly Sword Clan. The Sky Prison Sect was arrogant and didn't obey any rules or comply with ethics, but nobody dared to speak their mind on the matter.
By now, Qing Shui and Mu Qing had arrived at the front yard.
Formations. Again with formations.
After he trained meticulously day and night with formations in the Realm of the Violet Jade Immortal, he wasn't excited from seeing formations again. However, the Mu Clan reacted as if an overbearing enemy had just arrived.
Mu Qian's body was shaking uncontrollably. He wasn't alone, even the people around him were shaking. This was the Sky Prison Sect's infamous Formation Destroyer. Now, several elderly people were walking over from a distance.
’’Do you actually believe you could move the Mu Clan, Sky Prison Old Fifth?’’ an angry roaring voice reached them before the owner of the voice arrived.
Immediately after that, four elders in plain clothing arrived. Their hair and brows were white as snow. As if they were just going for a stroll in the park, they exuded a natural authority.
’’Third Granduncle, father and Fourth Uncle!’’ Mu Qian bowed towards the Elders and the others follow suit.
’’Mu Old Fart, I am not here to make matters worse. Just hand over Mu Qing and that boy and we will pretend that nothing ever happened. This is the only chance the Sky Prison Sect will give you as a way out, we won't make things difficult for you guys.’’ Sky Prison Old Fifth hollered at the elder standing in the middle.
’’Haha, you come to my Mu Clan's domain to take a member of the Mu Clan? Even if you are the Sky Prison Sect, why should I give in? If I am alive and standing, we don't even fear a life and death struggle. You can dream on about taking someone from our Mu Clan.’’ The old man spoke with an energy that carried an unwavering authority.
Sky Prison Old Fifth was a refined, harmonious and thin looking old man. His eyes looked ruthless. Although he wasn't too big, his voice could carry a great volume. He looked at the Mu Clan's Elder and spoke, ’’Mu Old Fart, Mu Qing is a member of your clan so I will make an exception. Hand over that boy and we will call things even.’’
Qing Shui and Mu Qing had just arrived at the front yard. Qing Shui was about to speak up when he heard those words and remained silent. He simply walked beside Mu Qing towards the direction of the rest of the Mu Clan.
’’That boy has appeared. Mu Qing has as well!’’
One of the older members beside Sky Prison Old Fifth hollered, while the others looked towards Qing Shui.
The Mu Clan's Elders also looked towards Qing Shui and Mu Qing.
’’Sky Prison Old Fifth, you belittle us with your provocations and now you dare plan to lay your filthy hands on members of the Mu Clan? You've trespassed into our Mu Clan's territory based on a one-sided statement. Do you take us for some small fry?’’ The Elder said while sharply glaring at Sky Prison Old Fifth.
’’Mu Old Fart, your Mu Clan may be a large clan around here but all of us here are aware that our Sky Prison Sect could demolish your clan with ease. We aren't here to escalate things, just hand over that boy.’’ Sky Prison Old Fifth pointed at Qing Shui while gritting his teeth.