Chapter One Hundred and Eighty Nine - Brewing
Zuo Mo did not expect that Zhang Hao would use such a straightforward method. He did not assume that Zhang Hao would instantly find the formation core, but the Desolate Wood Reef was just this little bit of area. With Zhang Hao's speed, it would take him less than two hours to cover it all.
If possible, he wanted to use a similarly straightforward method like [Moon Chime Sound Storm] to just get rid of everyone. He had enough confidence that the [Moon Chime Sound Storm] of a two hundred and sixteen child formation Skyring Moon Chime Formation would be stronger than the formation at the Sword Test Conference, and might even get all of them in one swoop.
However, he didn't have the confidence he could successfully release it!
The state at the Sword Test Conference was a matter of good fortune. The number of successes that he had on releasing the [Moon Chime Sound Formation] with just the seventy two child formation Skyring Moon Chime Formation could be counted on one hand, and a two hundred and sixteen child formation Skyring Moon Chime Formation was many times more difficult.
There were two choices in front of him: one was to get rid of Zhang Hao before he found the formation core, and the other was to get rid of everyone else while Zhang Hao was searching the formation core.
Both choices had their pros and cons. Zuo Mo chose the first course of action.
Of all the people in the formation, Zhang Hao was the greatest threat to Zuo Mo and to the formation. As long as the formation existed, Zuo Mo's advantage would exist. But if the formation broke, all his advantages would disappear. Without the formation, not mentioning that he had to facing the sixty seven xiuzhe, Zhang Hao alone was enough to make him turn and run.
He might have defeated Chao An, but used all his cunning and numerous preparations. It did not mean that he had the ability to battle with a ningmai expert. Further adding to his troubles was the fact Zhang Hao and Chao An were not on the same level.
The two sides had not directly fought, but these two people did not dare to underestimate the other.
Zuo Mo no longer had the time to think. The longer this dragged on, the more reactive he would have to be.
He took out the Five Colored Pagoda which turned into a five colored light and flew underneath the copper hoop. The orange Buddha Sound Hoop completely covered the Five Colored Pagoda. No one noticed that the Skyring Moon Chime Formation had switched controllers.
Zuo Mo took out the Wu Kong Flag from the ground, and silently sneaked closer to Zhang Hao. He had put down a lot of little illusory formations in the Skyring Moon Chime Formation.
Three zhang away, Zhang Hao stopped, his face full of wariness.
Zuo Mo was silently shocked. Zhang Hao seemed to have clearly detected him coming near. The other's consciousness was much weaker than his, but his sensitivity was not any lower.
What he didn't know was for xiuzhe like Zhang Hao, who had lived for long periods at the edge of death, were sensitive to killing intent to a terrifying level.
His aims of ambush failing, Zuo Mo saw the situation and inserted the Wu Kong Flag into the ground.
Threads of sword energies swam around the Wu Kong Flag, suddenly gathering and spreading out.
Zuo Mo took a deep breath, his right hand reaching out flat.
The sword energies moving restlessly suddenly stopped. The inner sword essence suddenly exploded!
Zhang Hao's expression changed slightly. His response was very quick. With a "Ha!", the heavy sword in his hand chopped forcefully in Zuo Mo's direction.
A crescent shaped crimson sword energy left the sword and shot at Zuo Mo.
Zuo Mo felt the red light flash in front of his eyes, and the other's sword energy had reached him, a broad sword essence pointing at Zuo Mo's brow!
Such pure sword essence!
For some reason, Zuo Mo couldn't help but think of Wei Sheng Shixiong. Even though he didn't know about the present Wei Sheng Shixiong, but the other's sword had been very similar to the past Wei Sheng Shixiong! The other was very skilled in sword scriptures!
Zuo Mo really jumped in fright. This person had seven to eight tenths the power of Wei Sheng Shixiong at the Sword Test Conference. How could he not be shocked?
What he didn't know was this person, that he thought was unknown, was the Head of the most terrifying and feared group of wandering bandits.
Even though he was shocked, he did not panic. Zuo Mo's flat right hand turned to a point, and tapped at the air in front of him.
Like a sword coming out of the sheath, the silent sword energies suddenly gathered at the air three cun from his fingertip.
His fingertip pointing at empty space, a blinding point of light. The sword energies surrounding Zuo Mo flashed with light, forming a cocoon that was composed of countless lights of various colors which shielded Zuo Mo.
The broad sword essence destructively hit the point of light in front of Zuo Mo's fingertip.
The red sword essence was instantly destroyed. Zuo Mo's body shook uncontrollably taking a few steps back. The sword energies gathered at his finger tip had been scattered.
It seemed that the two were even, but Zuo Mo knew he had slightly lost. The sword energies of Wu Kong Flag came from jindan. Usually, Zuo Mo could not completely release their full power. However, Zhang Hao's blow was enough to make the sword energies successfully feel danger. They automatically released the sword essences they carried to block the other's move.
But quickly, Zuo Mo had no time to consider this. Zhang Hao's second blow came!
Zhang Hao was not shocked that Zuo Mo could block his first blow. He had stolen and killed for treasure many times, and his eyes were very experienced. He knew very well what Wu Kong Flag was like.
He had great battle experience and knew what was most important at this time was to stick to the other and not give him chance to breathe and set up, especially when it was a xiuzhe skilled in formations like Zuo Mo.
Therefore, he struck out a second blow.
Zuo Mo took a breath, and pointed again.
Clang, the sword energies that had been scattered once again gathered at the empty space in front of his fingertip.
The power passed on by the red sword energy was much stronger than last time. Zuo Mo felt his fingertip hurt and couldn't help but grunt, stepping several steps back.
"Ha ha!" Zhang Hao laughed, feeling pleasure. He stepped forward, raising his heavy sword again.
Up until now, everything was much smoother than he had imagined.
As long as he killed Zuo Mo, everything was not a problem!
At this time, his heart suddenly shook. The chop of his heavy sword turned to a seal, and block in front of his body.
A large force came from the sword. The red light of the heavy sword in his hand flashed and blocked the other's attack.
Zhang Hao was very shocked. It sounded like it was one sword energy, but what he had blocked was three sword energies! These three sword energies also came without warning and from an unknown direction.
He didn't have the time to think. He felt his heart jump. Snorting coldly, the heavy sword was placed in front of his chest as he struck his left palm heavily against the sword hilt!
The heavy sword turned to a dash of red light that circled around his body.
Ding ding ding!
The domineering and brutal heavy sword was as nimble as a little bird as it flew around him, forming a curtain of red light. The sharp and dense sword energies could not break through this curtain of light.
These sword energies were sharp and their paths were strange and hard to defend against, but to experts like Zhang Hao, other than to dragging out the fight, they were ineffective.
Zhang Hao was patiently waiting for a chance. Zuo Mo could not keep going like this. These sword energies were shockingly powerful, but the ling power used in releasing them would also be astounding. With Zuo Mo's zhuji cultivation, he would not be able to maintain it for long. And as long as he was controlling the sword energies, Zuo Mo wouldn't be able to make any other actions.
In other words, Zuo Mo seemed to have met a dead end. His attacks could not deal a killing blow to the other, but the ling power was not enough to support him for a long battle.
Zhang Hao became slightly puzzled. He was very experienced and felt that something was not right, but he could not identify it.
He decided to wait for the changes.
If he could see what Zuo Mo was doing right now, he definitely would not be so composed, and definitely would not be waiting!
Formation disks flew out of Zuo Mo's hands, and into position around Zhang Hao.
In the blink of an eye, Zuo Mo had thrown out more than a dozen formation disks.
Only when they had all been positioned did he feel slightly safer.
Multitasking. Zhang Hao didn't think that Zuo Mo could do several things at the same time.
This was due to the contribution of the [Great Thousand Leaf Hands]. Zuo Mo discovered that after his consciousness turned to the leaf hand, he could do multiple things at once. He was overjoyed at this discovery. It had to be said that multitasking was very useful in battle. When both sides were fighting with flying swords, one could ambushed the opponent. This kind of unscrupulous strategy was the dream of countless people.
But the reality was that no matter if it was sword xiu or other xiuzhe, when they were fighting against enemies at the same level, they could not multitask. They could continuously switch spells, but they definitely could not use two spells at the same time, unless they didn't want to win.
It was not that it was impossible to cast two spells at once, but using two spells at once would decrease the power of both spells. He had never heard of an expert skilled in multitasking.
Zuo Mo was able to multitask before, but that degree was completely minuscule compared with now because of the leaf hand.
Zhang Hao never thought that Zuo Mo was able to multitask, controlling the sword energies at the same time as he set up formations.
After setting up, Zuo Mo slowly closed his eyes, and pointed with his finger again.
Slowly, an unspeakable aura appeared on his body.
Zhang Hao's heart suddenly shook. Zuo Mo's presence transformed suddenly. Everything in the surroundings was very quiet, but the bad feeling in his heart became even stronger.
It was like in the space above his head, there was a pair of cold eyes looking at him indifferently.
A strong sense of danger suddenly appeared. All the hairs on his body stood.
Zhang Hao's expression changed greatly!
He believed his own intuition, the intuition that had saved him in countless bloody battles!
Feeling the strong terror in the heart of its master, the heavy sword flashed back into Zhang Hao's hands.
Holding the familiar hilt, the terror in Zhang Hao's heart dissipated greatly. His mind jumped. Not daring to hold anything back, all the ling power in his body furiously flooded towards the heavy sword.
The red light slowly flowed like a sticky liquid. Zhang Hao's eyes widened angrily!
Just as he prepared to act, three blue chains suddenly appeared out of nowhere, and headed towards him.
Third-grade formation, [Dragon Tying Formation]!
At this time, Zuo Mo closed his eyes and had finished brewing his killing move.
The earth under his feet started to crack. The fine dust from the crack seemed to have been affected by an invisible force, slowly floating upwards. On Zuo Mo's forehead, a leaf shaped symbol that seemed like a hand gave off a faint light, visible to all.
The finger that Zuo Mo had out was drawing in the air.
The places the finger drew past, the strokes curved, and gave of a faint light like starlight. In the blink of an eye, an ancient character formed!
Translator Ramblings: For the person who commented about the pagoda, there you go!
The ramblings are my personal opinions and my opinions are subject to debate.
Warning: long paragraphs of ranting following ... ... 3 ... 2... 1
Back to the topic of Pei Yuan Ran's decision ... ... I find there are two major sides to it. He sent Zuo Mo to Desolate Wood Reef to keep him safe, or he was sent away into exile because he was more of a burden. We do have Pei Yuan Ran's own words that he wants to keep Zuo Mo safe but it's hard to for me to believe him entirely. Why? Because Zuo Mo has shown great skills in survival. He managed to survive by himself for two years in the outer sect while there were inner sect disciples more powerful than he was (*cough* Hao Min *cough*). He might be less important in the sect at present since other and newer sect members are more powerful in terms of cultivation than he is, but Zuo Mo's status has never been based on his cultivation, but on his skills. He became an inner sect member due to his ling farmer status, and he became famous due to the Golden Crow Pill and his skill in formations, not because he showed how just how great he was at fighting.
If Pei Yuan Ran really wanted to protect Zuo Mo, could Zuo Mo have gone above him and refused if Pei Yuan Ran sent someone along? In a way, it looks more like Pei Yuan Ran thought he made an investment that failed and decided to let it be. Nothing erases what the elders, especially Shi Feng Rong, has done for Zuo Mo in terms of money for the formation, and it is understandable that Zuo Mo, who has shown little battle abilities, is ranked lower than Wei Sheng and Luo Li who is out fighting all this while.
The most valuable things Zuo Mo took from the sect were what Shi Feng Rong managed to get out of the sect leader, the Wu Kong Flag, and the materials for the sect. The disciples that came along are close to worthless. The wages for production xiuzhe has fallen, since people feel they are less valuable, while sword xiu wages have increased. Similarly, Zuo Mo has dropped in value. Pei Yuan Ran allowed Zuo Mo to leave with limited resources without a guarantee of resupply and close to no combat members. For a management point of view, it seems like an alright course of action since Pei Yuan Ran has seen that Zuo Mo has no talent at fighting "the proper way" and cannot do much to help the sect. From other points of view, it is a ridiculous decision. The leader just sent away what is one of their closest supporters (however weak he may seem) into literal exile. What would Wei Sheng and Luo Li think when they know this? You just showed all the newcomers to the sect that you are very pragmatic, and admitted that you are weak and struggling to the point you can't protect one of your own disciples. Who among the newcomers will support you if you look weak, even if the four elders hold a majority of power in the sect?
Even if they thought Zuo Mo could survive all the dangers of the island (weird when you consider they thought him weak and in need of protection), the elders are too inexperienced and ignorant which is not their fault considering three thousand years of peace and how much of a backwater Sky Moon Jie is, but Bo Feng's observations about the group and the expert is exactly what the elders don't know, or realize the significance of. The elders are actually not bad people, but they make decisions that show just how much they do not understand Zuo Mo, and the world they live in. (There's a rant there for a time in the future.)
Lastly, for investment purposes, Wei Sheng and Zuo Mo are nothing compared to Luo Li. The inner sect members of that group, like Qin Cheng, were inner sect members from childhood, meaning that they were taken into the sect based entirely on their potential and nothing they had done.