Chapter 488: Self-Activating Sentient Formation Plate
Translator: StarveCleric Editor: Millman97
He had just said that Spirit Euphoria was extremely rare, and encounters like the one a moment ago would tend to go on and become a legend. Yet, at the very next moment, this saber came and did the same as well. Were they so eager to find a master for themselves?
You all are Spirit weapons! You're supposed to have your own consciousness and pride, and not submit to anyone easily... When did you all become so easy to deal with?
If you are so easy to deal with, then what do the five years that I spent wiping the Imperial Jade Sword and nourishing it with my zhenqi count as?
Guild Leader Zheng felt faint-headed. He was just about to continue speaking when in front of him, Zhang shi flicked his wrist and a burst of aura shot forth from the saber. Then, grabbing the saber tightly, he hacked it straight toward the formation plate.
Guild Leader Zheng was taken aback. However, before he could finish his words, his words abruptly stopped.
Unlike what he imagined, the powerful saber qi didn't tear apart the formation plate. Rather, it left strokes and strokes of formation marks on it.
The other party was actually using a saber... to inscribe formation marks!
While most Transcendent Mortal experts hadn't even comprehended a single Weapon Intent, he had actually comprehended two already...
Just this sight in itself was enough to send him into a frenzy.
Your swordsmanship is light and adept, allowing you to use it in replacement of a carving knife to inscribe the formation marks. Fine, I admit that you possess incredible mastery so I'll accept it...
But sabers are heavy and bulky, especially nine-ringed sabers. That one in your hand definitely weighs at least several dozen kilograms. Ordinary men would find it tiring just to lift it, but to use it to inscribe formation marks...
How in the world are you doing it?
Can formation marks be inscribed like that?
Guild Leader Zheng's vision turned dark and his body trembled in agitation.
He had studied formations for more than eighty years now and he had always thought that his aptitude was above average, especially when it came to inscribing formation plates. However, after seeing the other party's actions, he realized that he was sorely mistaken.
Since his talent was great, could he use swords to inscribe formation marks?
Could he use the bulky sabers to inscribe formation marks?
That was a thought he dared not harbor at all.
Ding ding ding ding!
As the saber came into contact with the formation plate, the number of marks on the originally mirror-like surface increased swiftly.
Just as Guild Leader Zheng thought that the other party would complete the inscription process in a single breath, the other party tossed aside the saber in his hand, wiped the sweat off his forehead and looked over expectantly, "Does anyone have a spear?"
"..." The crowd.
A moment later, holding onto a spear, the young man stood at a distance four meters away as he brushed the tip of the spear on the formation plate on the wall.
Peng peng peng!
The spear moved swiftly, and just like with the sword and saber previously, formation marks swiftly appeared on the formation plate...
Grabbing onto their chests, Guild Leader Zheng and Wang Haoxun stared at one another.
Even when using carving knives, the both of them had to inscribe the marks slowly for fear of making an error. Yet, this fellow used a sword, saber, and now he was going to the extent of even using a spear... If he couldn't complete it with this spear, would he use a hammer next?
All of the formation masters that they knew of inscribed every stroke on a formation plate carefully as though a piece of art, fearful that it might break if with they were to use excessive strength. Yet, the other party went to the extent of using weapons on it...
Even though they were witnessing the sight for themselves, they still felt as though they were going mad.
Some of the crowd clutched onto their chests while some covered their mouths as they witnessed the astonishing sight.
In the meantime, Zhang Xuan was still currently immersed in his work. Having consecutively used the Weapon Intent of three different weapons, even though he was left on the verge spewing blood, what was fortunate was that the formation plate he was working on was about to be completed.
"The final stroke..."
With glowing eyes, he flicked his spear and drew out an elegant arc at the very center of the formation plate.
Carrying immense strength, the spear struck the surface of the formation plate and a deafening rumbling sound echoed.
The wall behind the formation plate was no longer able to withstand the immense pressure anymore and collapsed, leaving behind a gaping hole in its wake.
Zhang Xuan had fixed the formation plate on the wall to etch the inscription. Even though the formation plate wouldn't be damaged due to its toughness, the same didn't apply for the wall. Even though the Formation Master Guild had used the best Green Steel Boulder as the foundation for the building, it was still insufficient to withstand the relentless rampaging might of the sword, saber, and spear.
The corridor which the guild used to conduct the formation master examination collapsed and dust rose up from the surface, choking the surrounding crowd.
Looking at the ruins before him, the ashen-faced Guild Leader Zheng's mouth twitched.
Are you here to take the formation master examination or are you here to demolish the place?
You first stopped the main formation of our guild before going ahead to destroy the walls...
What the heck was this? What kind of grudge does our Formation Master Guild have with you?
"Is the formation plate still intact?"
Hall Master Sai hurried forward.
Hearing those words, everyone suddenly recalled the matter and turned their gazes over.
Given how even the infrastructure had collapsed, would the formation plate still be fine?
"I have no idea!"
Zhang Xuan scratched his head. Hurrying forward, he quickly retrieved the round plate that was crushed under a thick layer of wreckage.
He wasn't being humble by saying those words, he really had no idea whether the formation plate was still fine or not.
Under normal circumstances, when he finished the final stroke on the formation plate, the formation should have been completed... However, he couldn't have expected the wall to crumble.
As such, it was hard to tell whether there was any deviation in his final stroke or not. There was a possibility that the might of the formation might be significantly reduced with this error.
He lowered his head to examine the formation plate.
On the smooth surface of the formation plate, innumerable strokes of differing depths could be seen. It looked like an eight trigrams formation, yet at the same time, it seemed to harness the laws of the world within it. With just a single look, one couldn't help but feel faint-headed.
"How is it?" Guild Leader Zheng asked anxiously.
If a formation plate wasn't activated, it was hard to tell just by the formation marks itself whether it was a successful work or not.
"Let me give it a try!" Zhang Xuan replied.
Knowing this logic, he placed his palm on it and infused his zhenqi in.
Everyone's face paled.
A completed formation plate should be instantaneously activated as soon as zhenqi was infused into it. Given that nothing happened at all, it could only mean that... the formation plate was a failure!
There was only this grade-5 blank formation plate in the guild. After going through so much trouble, going to the extent of using sword, saber, and spear intent, he still ended up in failure...
Everyone looked at Zhang Xuan in sympathy.
"In the end, the might of those weapons was still way too great. Even though you curbed their strength, it's still unsuitable to use them to inscribe a formation plate..." Wang Haoxun shook his head.
It wasn't without reason why everyone chose to use carving knife to inscribe a formation plate. No matter how well one's control over his spear, sword, or saber was, it was still a weapon crafted for destruction. It was inevitable that it would damage the formation plate so Zhang Xuan's failure wasn't too unexpected.
At that moment, Guild Leader Zheng suddenly shook his head.
"No, that's not it. If it's a failure, the formation plate should crumble. However, it is still intact and the spiritual energy within it is still flowing smoothly. Clearly, it isn't damaged at all!"
Wang Haoxun was taken aback.
What the other party said was true.
A formation plate was, in essence, the miniaturization of a massive formation into a palm-sized round plate. As such massive energy was being condensed into such a small area, the slightest mistake would result in the plate breaking into innumerable fragments upon activation.
But, even though the formation plate in front of them wasn't activated, the marks were still glowing as zhenqi flowed through it. There weren't any signs of the energy within going berserk as well. What was going on?
If it was a success, why couldn't it be activated?
But if it was a failure, how could it still be intact?
"Could the formation have been inscribed incorrectly? The spiritual energy gathering nature of the formation isn't working and that's why it is still intact?" Wang Haoxun asked.
"Inscribed wrongly? That's impossible!" Zhang Xuan shook his head.
He had followed the blueprint strictly and even used the inscribing method within the Heaven's Path Formation Art for it. Even if he had made an error in his final stroke, it shouldn't have deviated too much from its original intention.
Just as Zhang Xuan was about to use the Library of Heaven's Path to get to the bottom of the matter, Hall Master Sai's lips suddenly trembled as he walked forward.
"Can you allow me... to take a look?"
Seeing the other party's reaction, Zhang Xuan was slightly bewildered. Even so, he passed the formation plate over.
The reason why Zhang Xuan managed to become a 5-star appraiser was mainly due to the help of the Library of Heaven's Path. In terms of understanding of artifacts, he was most probably still inferior to the other party.
Hall Master Sai had immersed himself in the world of appraising for more than several decades by now. Even though he might not know much about formations, his intuition and eye of discernment still made his judgement a valuable one.
The other party placed the formation plate on his palm.
Before Hall Master Sai could take a closer look, the weight on his palm suddenly disappeared. The formation plate released a light buzz before flying back into Zhang Xuan's embrace.
"As I expected... As I expected!"
With a reddened face, Hall Master Sai's body trembled uncontrollably.
Seeing the other party's response, as though having realized something, Guild Leader Zheng couldn't rein in his curiosity any longer and hurriedly asked, "What's wrong?"
"Is this formation plate a failure?" Wang Haoxun asked as well.
"Failure?" Taking a deep breath, Hall Master Sai calmed himself down and shook his head. "How could that be possible?!"
"Then..." Everyone blinked in bewilderment. Even Zhang Xuan was unable to comprehend the situation before him.
If it was a success, why was he unable to activate it with zhenqi?
"Didn't you all see the formation plate leaving my hand on its own accord? Do you all still not understand it?"
Hall Master Sai spoke in agitation, "This... is clearly the reaction of a sentient tool. It has assessed me to be unsuitable, that's why it chose to leave..."
"Sentient? You mean... [Self-Activating Sentient Formation Plate]? This, this, this..."
Guild Leader Zheng had to say 'this' consecutively three times before he could bring himself back to reality. His eyes were widened and his body had stiffened. It was as though he had seen a ghost! "That is the ability that only a grade-6 formation plate should have! How can a grade-5 formation plate achieve such a feat?"
"Sentient formation plate?" Wang Haoxun also trembled in shock. He hurriedly turned his gaze to the formation plate in Zhang Xuan's hand.
The more he looked at it, the paler his face became. It seemed as though he would turn insane at any moment out of immense disbelief.
"What... is going on?"
Seeing the frenzied look on everyone's faces, Zhang Xuan was baffled.
Even though he had collected all of the books in the library of the Formation Master Guild, and he had studied the Heaven's Path Formation Art as well, he hadn't assimilated them yet. Thus, he was still unaware of much of the jargon that formation masters used.
"This... it means that the formation plate has gained spirit!" Guild Leader Zheng said with a quivering voice.
"Spirit? That does seem to be the case, but does it make a difference?" Zhang Xuan asked.
Only when the other party spoke about it did he realize that it was indeed the case.
Just like the Imperial Jade Sword, saber, and spear from before, this formation plate seemed to have sprouted its own spirit. However, as Zhang Xuan had only just crafted it, he'd failed to notice the matter.
"Due to the size limitation and inability to harmonize entirely with the environment, ordinary formation plates could only display half of the strength of a normal formation. If the formation master inscribing it is lacking in proficiency, the ratio might go even lower."
Noticing Zhang Xuan's doubt, Guild Leader Zheng began to explain.
Zhang Xuan nodded his head, indicating that he knew about it.
When he was reading through the books previously, he had learned about the unique nature of formation plates so he wasn't too surprised over it.
"However... this nature only applies to ordinary formation plates. Sentient formation plates don't obey that law!"
With a flushed face, Guild Leader Zheng continued, "Not only can sentient formation plates bring out ninety percent of the strength of the formation, it could even grow stronger over time!
"In fact... even without infusing zhenqi into it, it can activate by itself!"
Library Of Heaven's Path Chapter 488
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