Chapter One Hundred and Ninety Two - Buddha Sound Hoop
Zuo Han crumbled away in the wind, only leaving behind a few talismans. The poisonous fan and mist had been frozen into ice by the yin fire bead. Despite this, Zuo Mo didn't feel it a pity. That poison fan was not very endearing, and the glow of the remaining talismans were very good.
It was a pity there wasn't the time to admire them one by one, so Zuo Mo threw it all into his ring.
Zuo Mo sighed. What he sighed at was not the power of the yin fire bead, but the maxim"We are sword xiu, whatever we need we will take it with our sword!" that the sect leader and others always said.
Battle was truly one of the fastest ways to gather wealth!
He had just killed two ningmai, and the talismans and jingshi he received were enough for him to feel his wallet swell up.
With the powerful yin fire bead as his support and the temptation of extreme wealth, Zuo Mo's eyes turned red.
His gaze as he turned on the other xiuzhe was like he was staring at a delicious and fat sheep!
So much jingshi!
At the same time, a Buddha sound rang out. A bright gold light appeared inside the formation and headed for the clouds.
Joy came only Zuo Mo's face. The tempering of the Buddha Sound Hoop was complete!
The Buddha Sound Hoop had turned from red to gold and did not feel like copper but a hoop of gold. Lightning occasionally flashed across the golden hoop. Had the Hard Lightning from the ball of light also been absorbed by the Buddha Sound Hoop? Zuo Mo was overjoyed.
Each time the lightning flashed, the Buddha Sound Hoop would sound out with a deep and dignified ring!
At this time, the environment of the Skyring Moon Chime Formation suddenly changed. A bright sun hung high up in the sky, warm golden light falling down. The thin strands that fell down were dyed gold. The rings of light on the gold wire turned from a clear moon color to gold.
The serenity of before was swept away. The feeling of the present formation was like standing under the sun, destroying all evil!
The remaining Black Wind Bandits felt something completely different. Before it was like they were in the wilderness, scary and dark. Now, they stood before a burning sun. They had moved from a cold wilderness to a hot and burning desert. When touched by the ripples of Buddha sounds, those with weaker minds easily lost all of their motivation.
The Black Wind Bandits inside the formation were all cruel people who lived on a knife's edge. Their minds were not so weak, but they felt wave after wave of pressure!
The previous Skyring Moon Chime Formation made people wary of the sudden ambushes. The present formation demanded that they channel ling power at all times to defend against the Buddha sounds. The offensive power of the formation was stronger now!
No wonder Zuo Mo was so happy. It was like someone delivered a pillow to him just when he wanted to nap!
With the yin fire bead and the completely transformed new formation, his chances of victory had risen against this group of bandits.
Zuo Mo quickly changed ideas. Previous, he had planned to wound as many as possible. Now, he decided to not let even one of them go. Each one was so much jingshi!
These criminals whose hands were soaked in blood, let ge release you from your mortal coil! Zuo Mo thought righteously.
At this time, Zuo Mo was like an experienced hunter. He wasn't in a hurry to pull close the net. His consciousness was connected to Lil' Pagoda. He slowly went through all the changes in the new formation. The changes of the Buddha Sound Hoop were so drastic even he needed to accustom himself.
The Black Wind Bandits inside the formation started to panic. The Head's presence had disappeared, his status unknown. After landing inside the formation, they had become like a crowd of flies, not knowing what to do.
The new formation increased the pressure on them. The sounds that permeated everywhere needed to be fended off with ling power, further increasing their consumption. They were not greenhorns. What they were most afraid of was situations like this when they needed to keep using ling power.
On the battlefield, ling power was the greatest support of a xiuzhe, and experienced xiuzhe would carefully control the consumption of their ling power.
Lil' Pagoda really lived up to being a soul-tethered talisman. The new changes of the Buddha Sound Hoop flowed through Zuo Mo's mind. Zuo Mo instinctively praised it and hadn't expected a joyful emotion to pass onto him from Lil' Pagoda.
Zuo Mo first stilled and then was stunned.
Did Lil' Pagoda really have its own emotions and thoughts?
The formation process of Lil' Pagoda had been very mysterious. Zuo Mo still felt there were many impossible places even now, but in his eyes Lil' Pagoda was just a talisman. It originated from his consciousness and was connected to his mind. Usually, Lil' Pagoda would frequently reveal a personality, but Zuo Mo only felt it only a rudimentary intelligence. He had never thought that Lil' Pagoda would really have his own sense of self.
When a talisman developed its own sense of self, it was called ling cognition.
The thought that came from Lil' Pagoda made Zuo Mo realize that Lil' Tower had ling cognition!
Heavens! How was it possible?
Any talismans that could have ling cognition were the finest and greatest talismans without an exception. Zuo Mo felt that he was very luck that he had a soul-tethered talisman and had stumbled into a pile of jingshi.
A soul-tethered talisman that had ling cognition!
The sudden good fortune made Zuo Mo vibrate in excitement. His eyes glowed as he looked at Lil' Pagoda as though he wanted to shove Lil' Pagoda into his mouth! Lil' Pagoda instantly shrank back timidly, the five levels of its body shaking.
"Come come come, good son, let Daddy take a good look at you!" Zuo Mo drooled as he beckoned at Lil' Pagoda, his expression unspeakably wretched.
Lil' Pagoda could be considered to be half a son of his. Its ling cognition came from his consciousness.
Lil' Pagoda's body shrunk into a ball and trembled.
After closely examining for a while, he could not see anything. Helplessly, he could only release Lil' Pagoda.
He pondered that he needed to take the time sometime to recall how he had forged Lil' Pagoda. He dreamed of himself surrounded by light, a procession of soul-tethered ling cognition talismans that did not end behind him, it would be amazing!
He would only steal from wandering bandits. Anyone that would resist, all the soul-tethered talismans would bang down on their heads!
Fantasizing about himself grandly sweeping all directions, something suddenly hit his waist. Looking down, he found it was Lil' Pagoda. Zuo Mo refocused and wiped the saliva off the corner of his mouth.
Lil' Pagoda was reminding him the wandering bandits wanted to flee.
Zuo Mo snickered coldly. Before, he had still been wary. Now, this remaining bunch of wandering bandits were just meat on the chopping board.
The Buddha Sound Hoop had risen to fourth-grade previously. The tempering this time had not increased its grade, but the power had risen. It had fire, sound, and lightning. The fire was the Golden Crow Fire that could rank in the top ten of fourth-grade fire. The lightning was fourth-grade Yang Fiend Hard Lightning. The only regret would probably be the Buddha Sound formation carved on the hoop, it was only third-grade. Otherwise, this Buddha Sound Hoop would definitely be a rare top-level fourth-grade talisman!
But even so, the present Buddha Sound Hoop definitely could be an upper-level fourth-grade talisman.
After talismans reached the fourth level, due to the increase in power, they needed to be divided even further. Fourth-grade talismans, the highest were the top level; they were the most outstanding fourth-grade talismans. Coming down, it was the upper, intermediate, and lower levels. However, talismans that were soul-tethered and had ling cognition like Lil' Pagoda were above the top level.
The upper fourth-grade Buddha Sound Hoop, adding on the soul-tethered talisman Lil' Pagoda that had ling cognition, the yin fire bead that could instantly kill ningmai, and the third-grade seal soldier that Zuo Mo had not used yet.
Zuo Mo's confidence rose. He discovered that he had so many killing moves!
Such a good chance, would Zuo Mo let these Black Wind Bandits escape?
Lil' Pagoda flew into the sky, once again taking control of the big formation. The light illusions of the big formation changed. The Buddha Sound Hoop slightly vibrated, waves of sound passing outwards like water.
Inside the formation, the Black Wind Bandits felt the scenery changing. The pressure that had been somewhat ethereal before became strong. Calls rang out in their ears, a strong feeling of numbness made them unconsciously stop moving, like there was a voice muttering in their minds, "Sleep, just sleep for a while ... ..."
Their eyelids were strangely heavy, the wariness disappearing from their hearts. Their hearts gradually became calm, the desire for sleep increasingly strong.
The Black Wind Bandits were very experienced. Pushing away their fright, they could only speed up the circulation of their ling power to fend against the sound.
They finally realized the longer it dragged, the more disadvantageous it was for them.
They all sent their killing moves at almost the same time!
Numerous sword energies and talismans shone as they rushed into the sky, shooting for the burning sun in the sky!
The last attack of the Black Wind Bandits before their death frightened Zuo Mo. The smugness in his heart instantly dissipated. His little heart beat rapidly. If the target of their attacks was him, not even dust would be left behind.
The Buddha Sound Hoop suddenly shook!
The golden light exploded, the sound was like thunder. The deep and dignified sound turned into the angry shout of Buddha, strong and fierce! The Black Wind Bandits inside the formation felt their bodies shake, the ling power inside their body out of their control. Everyone's faces changed. When they raised their heads, their faces became pale. Countless fist-sized hard lightning rolled down along the thin strands like marbles.
The big formation turned at its highest power. A deep and domineering presence destructively spread, unable to be stopped.
Zuo Mo gaped. So powerful! The counter-attack from the Buddha Sound Hoop wasn't any less powerful than the [Moon Chime Sound Storm] of the Sword Test Conference!
The Buddha sounds were like anger, and the hard lightning like rain!
The Black Wind Bandits lost their minds. These fist-sized hard lightning wasn't as strong as when Zuo Mo used them, but this was still the true Yang Fiend Hard Lightning! The domineering Buddha sounds had not disappeared, their ling power out of their control, just as the hard lightning fell upon them!
Wails and swearing entered Zuo Mo's ears.
The body count was high! After this one attack, not even thirty of the Black Wind Bandits could still stand. Many Black Wind Bandits were wailing and groaning in puddles of blood. The faces of the still standing Black Wind Bandits were full of hopelessness, their eyes terrified.
Zuo Mo sighed in shock and then felt heart pain. The golden light and lightning around the body of the Buddha Sound Hoop was clearly much dimmer than before. He hurriedly took the Buddha Sound Hoop back. If this happened again, the Buddha Sound Hoop would probably be destroyed. Even if it wasn't destroyed, the grade would definitely drop.
It had been so difficult to obtain an upper fourth-grade talisman, could Zuo Mo bear to have it destroyed?
Even more, the wandering bandits that had lost all motivation and he didn't need the Buddha Sound Hoop to subdue them anymore.
He and Lil' Pagoda could get them!
The harvest was about to begin. His gaze was hot as he turned back to the formation, rubbing his hands. Lil' Pagoda, connected to his mind, was also yearning, and excited.
Just at this time, Pu Yao suddenly came out.
Translator Ramblings: Zuo Mo's fantasies are so ... ... interesting.
My personal theory, upon further re-reading, was that Pu Yao was trying to force Zuo Mo to accomplish something similar to the leaf hand during the Sword Test Conference when he told Zuo Mo to multi-task but Zuo Mo ended up with Lil' Pagoda since he had no idea what Pu Yao wanted and he entered the weird state. Pu Yao could have also been playing with Zuo Mo since it's not so easy to form a leaf hand.
Fang Xiang, in his last remarks at the end of the story, admitted that he was not very good at writing cultivation stories. One of those major flaws is probably a lack of a true description of how essence works exactly. For example, understanding of formations do not have levels, but sword essence does. Sword xiu can have epiphanies and modify or level up their sword essence like Zuo Mo did when he merged his two sword essences. Formations are something that has to be constantly studied and is more similar to a puzzle. Magic systems are hard to construct and the lack of formation essence is something that is skipped over. Power systems based on understanding alone is amazingly easy for a main character to level up on. Someone in danger, an insult, a leaf falling to the ground, they are all great excuses for your character to level up.